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IFPI Launches New Salvo against Alleged Pirates
April 4, 2006
Thomas Mennecke
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The IFPI (International Federation Phonographic Industry) announced today a new round of lawsuits against 1,872 alleged P2P pirates. Compared to the RIAA's campaign, the IFPI has spaced their copyright enforcement efforts quarterly rather than monthly. The last round of IFPI lawsuits occurred back in November 2005, when approximately 2,000 alleged pirates were targeted.

Although visually impressive compared to the RIAA's efforts, when broken down monthly the IFPI's efforts since November 2005 only total about 500 potential litigants per month (about 200 fewer than the RIAA's monthly average.)

The effectiveness of IFPI's campaign - one that must cover a jurisdiction far greater than that of the RIAA - is debatable. With a jurisdiction that covers 75 countries and a population far greater than the United States, the IFPI has concentrated much of its efforts against Western Europe and other industrialized nations. Today's announced actions found targets in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Iceland, Italy, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland.

According to the IFPI, their actions are having some impact on the tide of P2P piracy. In a recent study conducted by Jupiter Research for the IFPI, it appears Europeans have cut back on the volume and frequency of unauthorized file-sharing (November 2005.)

"More than a third of illegal file-sharers (35%) in France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the UK have stopped or cut back on such activity - while 14 per cent increased their activity. That means that a net three million people are cutting back or stopping their illegal file-sharing."

Gauging the viability of surveys tends to be difficult, as individuals are many times reluctant to give truthful answers. This is particularly so when an individual representing the IFPI's interests asks face-to-face (phone survey in Sweden) the file-sharing habits of already concerned netizens.

BigChampagne, a firm that specializes in tracking the size and volume of the P2P and file-sharing community, continues to publish evidence that conflict with Jupiter Research and the IFPI. Since November 2005, BigChampagne found the P2P population outside the United States grew from 2.60 million to 2.68 million in January 2006 – an increase of approximately 76,000 users in 3 months. BigChampagn’s data gathering techniques differ greatly from Jupiter’s, as it relies on deep packet inspections on global ISP back bones.

Whether the IFPI’s efforts are working remains questionable. What are not in question are the BPI’s (British Phonographic Industry) continued losses, which equated to over 1 billion pounds in the last three years and continue to rise. An interesting conundrum that questions how losses can continue to mount if actions against P2P users - the assumed cause of such loss - is a purported success.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Entertainment Industry :: IFPI

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