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IFPI Fudging Piracy Numbers
June 9, 2004
Thomas Mennecke
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Yesterday, Slyck reported the IFPI has claimed an impressive victory over music piracy. Specifically, the IFPI touted that piracy has dropped by a staggering 27%. However, the ITIC (IT Innovations & Concepts), a piracy tracking firm, calls these claims an "invention."

Many in the file-sharing world know FastTrack has suffered the most at the hands of the music industry. Considering its rudimentary features that practically beg the RIAA or IFPI to sue its users, virtually all current lawsuits are against Kazaa users. While the FastTrack network is in steady decline, other smaller networks have been enjoying stable or increasing populations.

Since may lay individuals consider (FastTrack) Kazaa the end-all of file-sharing, the RIAA and IFPI tend to use this network as a benchmark for much of thier data and statistical reporting to the public. While a 27% may sound as if the IFPI has had some kind of success, the ITIC challenges this notion on several counts, and has released this statement:

"The beginning of this week curiously matches IFPI's new leitmotiv "music piracy files falls 27%." Probably the analyst who invented such statistics did not realize the amount of computing power and bandwidth it would take to verify such a statement in such a short timeframe...What this IFPI message should have been is something like this:


  • IFPI sees much less files when people leave KaZaA (the platform IFPI harasses)

  • There is less files available in summer than in winter (should be normal trend until Sep. 2004)

  • More and more people are blocking access to the listing of their shared folders (because of lawsuits)

    But whatever the explanations could be, the important and unanswered questions are the following:

  • How could 27% of hundreds of millions of files disappear in one shot while online sales are not even 0.1% of the daily swaps?

  • The worldwide number of P2P users declined of 3% in May 2004 (see the graph): Does that mean they used to own 27% of the available files?"




In addition, the IFPI did not clarify exactly how it came up with 27% or which network(s) it studied. If anything, their new "study" demonstrates that just about anyone can claim victory against the file-sharing world or FastTrack by simply saying so.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Entertainment Industry :: IFPI
File-Sharing/P2P Related :: Statistics/Analysis

ITIC Statement.

IFPI Piracy Statistics.

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