The IFPI will announce measures to combat unauthorized distribution of pre-release recordings sometime in the next few weeks, according to
federation chairman/CEO John Kennedy.

In his Oct. 16 keynote speech at the fourth annual Tokyo Asia Music Market conference, Kennedy said those responsible for such leaks should be "very scared."

The four-day conference is organized by local IFPI affiliate the Recording Industry Assn. of Japan, the Japanese government's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and non-profit body the Foundation for the Promotion of Music Industry and Culture.

"We believe there should be zero tolerance for anyone responsible for leaks on the Internet whether they are studio engineers, senior journalists and especially if they are executives at record companies," said Kennedy.

He also had harsh words for Internet service providers and mobile operators, saying that as the "gatekeepers of the digital world," they should take responsibility for protecting content on their networks.

"Their engagement is the single-most important factor that could tip the scales in the fight against piracy," Kennedy said.

On a more positive note, Kennedy said Japan is closer than any other country to making a success of its music business in the digital era, noting that digital sales in the territory have started offsetting the fall in CD sales.

"We have always congratulated Japan on being the second biggest market in the global record industry," Kennedy said, "but with its current stability, it is closing the gap on the U.S., the No. 1 market."

Meanwhile, Kennedy said the recent guilty verdict against a Minnesota woman in the first file-sharing case to go to a jury was "a moment of affirmation for our strategy and for respect for the law."

Kennedy, who along with other IFPI officials was in Tokyo for a regional board meeting of the federation, said he takes comfort in the fact that more music is being consumed than ever before.

"Music is the most popular product in the industrialized world," Kennedy claimed.