IFPI Unveils Online Music Piracy Report

The IFPI has published its first comprehensive study on the growth of legal online music services in Europe.

The IFPI has published its first comprehensive study on the growth of legal online music services in Europe.

The IFPI Online Music Report 2004 claims that 500,000 European customers regularly buy legal music from more than 30 authorized Web services. Those figures are expected to soar in 2004, as successful U.S. services, such as Apple Computer's iTunes Music Store and the new version of Napster, launch European editions.

Meanwhile, according to the IFPI, the number of unauthorized works available on peer-to-peer services dropped to 800 million at the start of 2004 from a peak of 1 billion in April 2003. Elsewhere in the report, a survey conducted by GfK Media for the IFPI in four major European markets (France, Germany, Italy and Denmark) shows that 66% of respondents said they know unauthorized file-sharing is illegal.

The study admits, however, that only about 25% of European consumers are aware that they can pay for legal music online, and that illegal operators are developing increasingly sophisticated systems.

The study proves that "the message of deterrence [sent to the public] was a pretty strong one," says IFPI chairman/CEO Jay Berman, adding that the launch of the trade group's information Web site pro-music.org was the first step in this process."
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