TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Music Industry Boss Defends File-Sharing Lawsuits

Music Industry Boss Defends File-Sharing Lawsuits

Lisa Minter (
23 Jan 2005 20:40:03 -0800

By Adam Pasick

CANNES, France (Reuters) - The global music industry is fighting a
determined war on piracy, suing thousands of persistent violators from
teachers to managing directors, its trade association said on

"None of this makes us feel wonderful," John Kennedy, chairman and
chief executive of the International Federation of the Phonographic
Industry, said.

"For years, we sat back whilst our music was wantonly stolen," he
added. "We tried to educate people to raise awareness and then, only
as a last resort, did we commence proceedings and even then only
against the worst offenders."

He said 7,000 people were sued in 2004 for sharing music illegally
online, including one case of a 12-year-old girl.

"Anyone who claims you're going to win the war on piracy is very
foolish person. But if you don't fight the war, it gets worse," he
told the music industry annual conference, Midem, in the French
Mediterranean coast city of Cannes.

"There will be more (lawsuits) in 2005. We look forward to the day
when they won't be necessary."

The music industry blames illicit online file-trading for a dramatic
fall-off in sales over the last several years.

Kennedy estimated that 2004 global music sales were roughly flat, with
a small drop in physical sales balanced out by a surge in digital

Analysts say the industry's carrot-and-stick approach of legal online
music stores like iTunes and Napster along with lawsuits against
file-traders has largely checked the growth of peer-to-peer networks
like Kazaa that illicitly offer music for free.

The number of songs sold online grew ten-fold in 2004 as more than 230
online music stores were created.

The digital music market was worth about $330 million last year,
or about 1 percent of all music sales, a figure that will double in
2005 according to research firm Jupiter.

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