Nearly all music downloads are illegal

While several recording companies have ramped up punishments for illegal music downloads, a new study has found the majority of music files obtained on the internet are pirated. According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, music downloads grew by 25% during 2008 to $US37 billion. Digital sales now account for 20% of all music purchases. But there is bad news – only 1.4 billion tracks were legally downloaded compared to the 40 billion obtained illegally. 

John Kennedy, chairman and chief executive of the IFPI, says authorities must now accept that illegal downloads are a problem and something must be done. British ISPs are now taking a stand by sending warning letters to pirates stating their internet service may be in jeopardy.

“Governments are beginning to accept that, in the debate over ‘free content’ and engaging ISPs in protecting intellectual property rights, doing nothing is not an option if there is to be a future for commercial digital content,” Kennedy says.

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