The British music industry has jointly called on a number of key players in the digital space to discourage unauthorized use of copyright material on their networks.

The British music industry has jointly called on a number of key players in the digital space to discourage unauthorized use of copyright material on their networks.

Through the Music Business Forum -- an informal grouping of organizations from across the music sector -- the industry says it has written to digital companies and their trade associations with a check-list of actions to help safeguard the burgeoning digital music sector.

The MBF says its letter addressed digital companies' advertising policies with regards to illegal music distribution. It also called on them to employ proactive consumer copyright awareness programmes; urged greater responsibility in how sales representatives market their products; and suggested co-operation to ensure that digital platforms are not misused for illegal distribution of copyright content.

The MBF action came as authors' societies umbrella body British Music Rights published a new report on May 9 in which it warned that growth of the music industry would be threatened if the digital sector does not take note of its concerns.

The "Respecting the Value of Digital Music" report, produced by Spectrum Strategy Consultants, noted that music plays an important role in the take-up and profitability of digital operators' products and services. "Despite this, most companies in these sectors appear indifferent as to whether consumers' access to music is legitimate or not," the report said.

The document says consumer use of legal digital music could potentially grow five-fold by 2009, compared to 2004.