nsane.forums Posted January 23, 2012 Share Posted January 23, 2012 IFPI's music map of legal servicesIn order to protect itself from piracy, the worldwide recording industry needs a few favors from governments and corporations around the globe, and a major new digital music report (PDF) from the industry's worldwide lobby IFPI lays them out. When placed end-to-end, it's a lengthy list—and its one that comes after a year of surprisingly strong growth for the industry.The wishlistFirst: Graduated response schemes, in which rightsholders can easily pass along notices about file-sharing to the accused party, possibly disconnecting them from the Internet. This requires the cooperation of Internet service providers. Also, strong deterrents are needed, such as eventual Internet disconnection.Second: Site blocking. The industry wants the ability to wall off infringing sites, however defined, at country borders. The site might still be "up," but if local residents can't see it, who cares? ("Site blocking is effective in dealing with the various new forms of infringement such as cyberlockers and websites," says the report. "However, an approach based exclusively on website blocking is insufficient by itself, given the importance of major P2P services that are decentralised and therefore not covered by blocking.")Third: Search engines need to help—and not just by removing links to infringing content that rightsholders identify, which most already do. The music biz wants more, like "prioritization" of links. Search engines need to rank search results factoring in clear indication of legality or illegality," the report says. "A basic measure such as this would help consumers not only avoid viruses and malware, but also being directed unwittingly towards content piracy."Many artist searches return infringing linksFourth: Payment processors should cut off pirates voluntarily. This was a theme of the recent Stop Online Piracy Act in the US, which originally featured a section encouraging companies like MasterCard to take unilateral actions against websites, and provided legal immunity for doing so. IFPI touts a deal with the City of London Police and credit card companies in which "IFPI supplies the City of London Police with evidence that illegal downloads are being made available from an infringing site. The police review the evidence, verify its integrity and notify payment providers that their services should not be provided to such sites."Fifth: Ad networks need to cut off funds to pirates. "Advertisers can also help restrict the funding of illegal sites," says the report. "Important steps forward were taken in these areas in 2011, but more cooperation will be needed."Sixth: Mobile operators need to get involved. Outside the US, piratical behavior increasingly takes place through phones and other mobile devices. The industry push for ISP involvement isn't just targeted at traditional wireline operators but also at "mobile service providers."Seventh: Keep suing the big sites. "Litigation has also played its part in the US recovery," says the report, pointing to the Limewire closure. "The percentage of the US internet population using a P2P file-sharing service fell from 16 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2007 to 9 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2010, when Limewire ceased its file-sharing operations."Top songs of 2011. World, you have terrible taste. Middlemen, please put on this badgeThese are not measures to be adopted piecemeal, as though legislators can choose their preferred morsels from this tasty policy buffet. Instead, the industry says all are needed.What binds the ideas together? Most involve intermediaries, the middlemen who can be deputized to help the industry address its piracy problem. "The music industry sees cooperation from online intermediaries, such as internet service providers (ISPs), payment providers, advertisers, mobile service providers and search engines, as indispensable in addressing the problem and significant progress was made with all these parties in 2011," says the report.IFPI has pioneered ideas wherever it has found willing legislators. South Korea has blocked some sites, as have a few European ISPs after judicial orders. France has been trialling graduated response, as has New Zealand; London police have helped with payment processors; US bills—now derailed—were to be the proving ground for the full move against search engines and ad networks.The disastrous attack on end users appears over; the music business has aimed all of its guns at the intermediaries.You'd be forgiven for thinking that such a comprehensive approach would be needed because things had been going so badly. But the opposite is true—and IFPI CEO Frances Moore tries to explain the discrepancy."With a healthy 8 per cent increase in our digital revenues in 2011—the first time the annual growth rate has risen since records began in 2004—some might feel tempted to say that a troubled era for the music industry is coming to an end," she writes. "Such complacency now, however, would be a great mistake. The truth is that record companies are building a successful digital music business in spite of the environment in which they operate, not because of it."Perhaps. But let's look at IFPI's own numbers when it comes to the massive US market. The percentage of US Internet users making use of "infringing P2P services" fell from 16 percent in 2007 to just 9 in 2010. How was this miracle possible? It wasn't thanks to search engine "prioritisation," SOPA, site blocking, or even graduated response—none of which exist in the US.Yes, piracy exists. Yes, it appears to have some effect on recorded music sales and subscription services (estimates vary as to the extent of this effect). Yes, rightsholders should have the ability to takedown infringing items if they choose to execute that right. And yes, the P2P number has probably dropped just because people have switched to easier (and less-easily watched) cyberlockers and HTTP streaming services.But legal services have also proliferated in that time, as the industry rightly notes with pride. The days of getting gouged for $16 for a CD have ended for good, and the industry is no longer looking back so longingly to an era that won't ever return. Indeed, 52 percent of record companies revenues in the US now come from digital services. Even VEVO, the industry-backed music video hub, was initial designed "principally" for marketing; in two years, it threw off more than $100 million in royalties to labels.In such an environment, where the industry is now experiencing real growth and earning real money from digital, where P2P use has shown dramatic declines, and where the labels already have the tools to go after Limewire and Megaupload, we're faced with a choice. Is the best path forward for society and the Internet the industry's worldwide "SOPA plus" wishlist?Despite a reputation for working in smoke-filled rooms, rightsholders have generally been quite upfront about their enforcement goals. For a few years it involved suing everyone in sight, then it moved to graduated response, and now it means roping in all key Internet players. Expect to see many parts of this plan show up in national capitals around the globe throughout 2012. View: Original Article Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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