Limewire Hit Hard in RIAA Copyright Infringement Lawsuit
Yesterday, the U.S. District Court found LimeWire guilty of copyright infringement. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) initiated the case four years ago. This court decision could financially ruin the New York-based company responsible for the file-sharing program. Judge Kimba M. Wood determined that LimeWire users committed a considerable amount of infringement, amounting to 93 percent of website traffic, and that the Lime Group had not taken sufficient steps to mitigate the damage. The RIAA is demanding up to $150,000 for each copyright violation. The court has not yet decided on the final damages. LimeWire claims 50 million unique users every month. They are one of the largest P2P (peer-to-peer) services still in existence.
Recording Industry Pleased with EU Decision to Extend Copyright Term
The European Union decision announced on September 12, to extend the protection for European recordings from 50 to 70 years, is excellent news for performing artists. As IFPI chairman Plácido Domingo stated, newer artists will benefit from greater revenue that will now be available to make investments in new talent. Established artists will be able to enjoy compensation for their work throughout their lives. The number of licensed digital music services, and the wide availability of online music, make this increasingly important. It narrows the gap between the protection given to compositions and that given to recorded performances.
Digital Music in 2012: Rising Revenues and Piracy Actions Gain Momentum
The IFPI Digital Music Report 2012 was just published, and it notes the unprecedented expansion of the industry. Revenues are at US$5.2 billion. Music services are now in 58 countries, compared to only 23 in 2011. Anti-piracy efforts have ratcheted up in New Zealand and France, with the U.S. to follow suit in 2012. Companies like Spotify, Deezer and iTunes are making headway into new markets. The report states that consumers have benefitted from a wider array of digital music services, with subscription services reaching new audiences. Cloud technology has helped to transform how fans store and manage their music. Piracy continues to be a huge challenge, with more than a quarter of internet users regularly accessing unlicensed services.
Re-Launch of Pro-Music Website—A Global Guide for Digital Music
The re-designed pro-music.org website is officially launched. This important resource now lists 500 legal music services. It offers 26 million tracks to music fans in more than 100 countries. Pro-Music is a partnership between IFPI, major and independent record labels, artists, publishers, managers, musicians’ unions and retailers. It provides precise, up-to-date information about the world’s legal music sites. In addition, it has links to licensed services and an information portal. Users can also get guidance regarding copyright law, how to access the music legally and safely (in various languages), and educational reports and resources. The new site reflects the recent robust expansion of the digital music industry. The initial launch in 2003 listed just 20 services in Europe, and iTunes had just started in the U.S. Today, digital music makes up a third of recorded music revenues, at $5.2 billion as of 2011.
Note: See the GrayZone Quarterly Digests (published 1996-2011) for older news stories and items of interest.