Tuesday, April 04, 2006


The IFPI, the RIAA's worldwide client organistation, has rushed up to the microphone to announce a further chipping away at "illegal file-sharing" by launching another smattering of expensive lawsuits.

This time, it's 2,000 cases spread across 10 countries:

Among the countries targeted was Portugal, where sales of physical formats like CDs have slumped by 40 percent in the past four years amid heavy file-sharing usage, especially by college students.

Other users targeted for legal action included a Finnish lumberjack, a British postman, a Czech IT manager and a German judge, the IFPI said.

Hang about a moment... wasn't the family of the British postman financially ruined by the BPI back in January? How fresh is this "fresh wave", exactly?

The IFPI is desperate to try and steer attention away from the sorts of cases where they bring legal action against preteens or dead old ladies:

A large number of cases involve men aged between 20 and 35 and parents who have not heeded successive education and warning campaigns about the legal risks of allowing p2p file-sharing in the home.

Yes, the IFPI isn't going to leave itself open to the claims that it's pursuing kids. No, it'll demand ridiculous sums of money from their parents, instead, using the threat of dragging their children to court if they don't pay up.

Of course, it's meant to be educative, remember, otherwise this would merely be a very expensive and clumsy way of burning through record company cash - cash that could otherwise be spent on developing artist's careers:

Of those people who are stopping or cutting back [downloading], many cited the legal consequences of their actions as a major worry. This fear was common across most of Europe: France (35%), Germany (27%), Sweden (25%) and the UK (20%).

We can only assume that in other countries, its less than one in five who take any notice of the lawsuits - and that's amongst the third who have cut down. So, we make that somewhere like 7% of people whose behaviour has been influenced by these lawsuits. On the IFPI's own figures. And that's not 7% of people stopping, it's 7% stopping or just downloading less, or more carefully.

And yet they keep bringing the lawsuits.

Seriously, we're not just grinding an axe here - clearly, it's a strategy that's failing badly, and we do genuinely want to know why the music industry is wasting so much money on it?

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