- Music industry officials on both sides of the Atlantic on Friday vowed to keep up the fight against online music swapping, piling pressure on Internet service providers (ISPs) to police their networks.
The issue of whether Internet and technology companies should be compelled to assist the major music labels in the fight against piracy, which is blamed for slumping CD sales, was headline news this week at the music industry’s annual confab in the French resort town of Cannes.
At the conference, Internet executives reacted sharply to comments made by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Chief Executive Hilary Rosen who said ISPs should be held more accountable in monitoring illicit song-trading.
On Friday, Rosen told Reuters the RIAA would continue to work with lawmakers and the industry to root out song traders.
She said the trade body has no plans to develop compulsory licensing arrangements or impose fees on ISPs to recoup sales lost to file-trading. “That would be a dramatic departure (from the RIAA’s strategy),” she said.
Though one that may be inevitable, she didn’t mention.
The Euro-labels are making friends as well:
- In Europe, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), a global trade organization, has been waging a war of its own, battling to push forward the Copyright Directive, EU legislation that has stalled at the state level.
If passed, the Copyright Directive would require Internet service providers to play a more vigilant role in the protection of copyright-protected materials. The ISPs have challenged the directive on ground that it puts them in the costly role of having to police their customers.
Only two of 15 EU member countries have ratified the directive. ISPs, telecommunications companies and now manufacturers of hardware devices such as CD-burners, have sought to have protections afforded by the directive limited, to the chagrin of the music industry.
“This directive was the subject of a hard-fought compromise at the EU level between all the players. It is really bad faith that certain parties are trying to renegotiate this directive at the national level,” Frances Moore, European regional director for the IFPI, told Reuters. [Reuters]
The cat does not seem to want to be stuffed back into the bag:
- A study released on Friday by U.S. software firm Websense said file-sharing sites continue to proliferate with more than 130 unique P2P applications and 89,000 Web pages dedicated to file-sharing, representing a 300 percent rise from a year ago.
Yet the government, via the FCC, seems intent on doing all it can to spur the growth of broadband, which will, of course, only makes things worse for the recording industry: the more people with broadband, the more file traders.
So, regarding the recording industry: the ISP’s are against them, the consumers are against them, many of their own artists are against them, the electronics manufacturers are against them, as the public becomes more aware of what’s going on they are losing their lock on Congress (you think Hilary is leaving because she foresees SUCCESS down the lobbying road?), and, the regulatory branch of the government is de facto against them in he form of the FCC doing all it can to spur the growth of broadband.
I wouldn’t buy stock in the majors right about now.