BPI Effectively Admits That Digital Economy Act Was Useless

from the reading-between-the-lines dept

Every time I come across BPI, the UK's version of the RIAA, I'm amazed at how single-minded its focus seems to be. There's little interest in improving profitability for record labels. There's little interest in creating better music. There's little interest in smart new business models. It's only about "piracy" and how evil it is. What's funny is I saw the BPI's Geoff Taylor on a panel a couple years ago, and he was one of the people who would say two sentences in a row that would contradict each other. It was always something along the lines of: "We should stop 'going to war' with our customers... but first we have to stop piracy!"

This past year was a banner year for BPI. The UK market has bucked the trend in pretty much every other part of the world and has seen recorded music sales growing, while its overall music industry (if you count how much money musicians actually make -- beyond just recorded music sales) has been growing for quite some time. Even with all of that, BPI was able to push through the incredibly draconian Digital Economy Act in the UK via questionable means.

So BPI should be thrilled, right? In the midst of a recession, and a massive decline in recorded music sales everywhere else in the world, it was able to buck that trend even before it got this new law passed.

But no, to BPI, absolutely everything is about "piracy." It's put out a new report whining that "piracy" is still increasing and saying it's all Google's fault. Of course, this isn't a surprise as BPI has been trying to set Google up for a lawsuit.

Of course, by my reading of this new study, BPI is effectively admitting that the Digital Economy Act was useless. The industry was already growing before it, so the main reason behind it was to help slow down the dreaded "piracy." And it failed in doing that. So, shouldn't BPI now support a repeal of the Digital Economy Act?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Not an electronic Rodent, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 1:36am

    Good one MIke

    So, shouldn't BPI now support a repeal of the Digital Economy Act?
    Absolutely. And shortly after they do I will be appointed Archbishop of Canterbury at the same time as being elected Pope. I intend to have my ordination ceremony celebrated with a short air display by the 633 (Hambusters) Swine squadron of the RAF.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 1:49am

    Well the industry is trying to plug a leak in the levy with their fingers.

    They can fight all they want, I have moved on to a legal free service, they will see no money from me ever.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Darryl, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 3:53am

    Industry representative bodies, represent the industry, they are charged to represent.

    The BPI, and as you said the RIAA are representive bodies for the music/entertainment industries.

    Representive bodies, are only voices or representative voices of the entire industry..

    They are not making up the idea's or rules, they are stating what the industry is telling them. They are representing the industry.

    And it is clear, even to you mike, that the "industry" is calling for copyright reform, world wide. So its obvious that the representative voice of that industry will say what the industry wants represented.

    read the mission statements of those two groups, the BPI and you will see that they are there to represent the industry.. and that industry, can see they are losing money from piracy, so their representive body does what it can to support the industry it is representing...

    Get it ?

    via questionable means.

    Yes, I followed that link and as often is the case it leads to one of your own articles, and from that article it appears the only person questioning those means is you.. I guess that is so at some time in the future, you can claimthe desision was by questionable means.. why,, because Mike said so earlier, so it MUST be true..

    one could say Mike that you derived that statement by "questionable means" too.

    Just because you make a statement earlier it does not mean that statement is any more true or false now than when you made it..

    they dont mature with age, a statment made of a false premise is still a false statement no matter how long ago you made it.

     

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  4.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 4:07am

    Re: Industry representative bodies, represent the industry, they are charged to represent.

    "They are not making up the idea's or rules, they are stating what the industry is telling them. They are representing the industry."

    ...and so if the BPI/RIAA is being criticised, the industry as a whole is criticised by extension. Where's the problem?

    "can see they are losing money from piracy"

    That has yet to be proven with any accurate or realistic figures. Kind of important, especially when referring to a growing market life the UK. A market which happens to have been growing in a region that's been given access to new innovative business models such as Spotify as well as regional access to other services like Amazon that's blocked in many other markets. Interesting correlation and maybe a sign that free and reasonably priced access to music rather than "fighting piracy" with lawsuits is the answer.

    "the only person questioning those means is you"

    As ever, you seem to miss the complete point of an opinion blog. Of course it's only Mike's opinion - it's his opinion blog, and the issue is stated as an opinion. He backs up his opinion with clear reasons why he holds that opinion - more than I've ever seen you do.

    " a statment made of a false premise is still a false statement no matter how long ago you made it"

    So, what was the false premise? Which of Mike's stated reasons for feeling the way he did was wrong?

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 4:09am

    Re: Industry representative bodies, represent the industry, they are charged to represent.

    oh look, mike trolled darryl again!

    haha!

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    The Anti-Darryl, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 4:17am

    Re: Industry representative bodies, represent the industry, they are charged to represent.

    Oh, look. The senseless fool is back again and not a day smarter.

     

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  7.  
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    Ben (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 4:26am

    I thought

    I thought the effects of the DE Bill didn't come in until next year? There can have been tangible no effect yet, other than bad publicity

     

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  8.  
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    Richard (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 4:38am

    Re: Industry representative bodies, represent the industry, they are charged to represent.

    so their representive body does what it can to support the industry it is representing...

    The BPI is set up to represent the industry. You are unbelievably naive if you think that that fact on its own guarantees that it actually does represent the industry.

    In practice such organisations tend to get captured by small groups within the industry - often (but not necessarily) including the larger organisations . My guess is that those parts of the industry that are actually thriving are too busy making money to be bothered with the BPI. Therefore the BPI is representative of large companies and failures (overlapping groups in the present market conditions).

    Get it?

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 4:53am

    What I find interesting in all of this is that BPI has been one of the more agressive players when it comes to trying to fight piracy, inform the people about the effects of piracy, and in enforcing rights.

    The results? Increases in recorded music sales.

    I am not surprised to see TD gloss over that and head for "by my reading of this new study, BPI is effectively admitting that the Digital Economy Act was useless.".

    The music industry was growing, but the recorded music industry was shrinking. BPI was seeing huge gains in licensing in the past, live music was going up, and recorded sales were dropping. Now recorded sales are heading back up.

    By my reading, it looks like BPI may be on the right track, and may have helped the British marketplace turn the corner on piracy. This would be a significant change, and might be a leading indicator as to where things are going.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 5:12am

    Re:

    "The music industry was growing, but the recorded music industry was shrinking."

    You must be new around here because this is what Mike has been saying for a long time.

    "Now recorded sales are heading back up."

    Yet they still whine:
    http://www.ispreview.co.uk/story/2010/12/16/uk-bpi-claims-7-7-million-broadband-isp-customer s-illegally-download-music.html

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Not an electronic Rodent, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 5:22am

    Re: Industry representative bodies, represent the industry, they are charged to represent.

    For those that can't be arsed to google the press surrounding the DE bill:
    BBC
    Guardian
    Times
    And just for contrast even Sky news suggests it was rushed through.

    Of course it's all just Mike's opinion with no basis in fact... right?

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 5:28am

    Re: Re:

    You misunderstand. I know what was being said. The point is that this new report indicates a major shift in the other direction, which was pretty much ignored, and instead focuses on attempting to read into the report that BPI is "effectively admitting" something.

    BPI appears by this report to be right in their actions, and it appears that perhaps their actions are working.

     

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  13.  
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    Richard (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 5:31am

    Re:

    The music industry was growing, but the recorded music industry was shrinking. BPI was seeing huge gains in licensing in the past, live music was going up, and recorded sales were dropping. Now recorded sales are heading back up.

    Except that the measure the BPI fought for haven't come in yet - and most consumers are fairly unaware of the BPI's activity.

    So your thesis doesn't actually work. The rise in recorded music sales must have another explanation.

     

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  14.  
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    Richard (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 5:40am

    Re: Re: Re:

    From the linked article

    UK Music sales "stabilised" against a global slide in CD revenues,.....


    It acknowledged that huge record sales by Susan Boyle and Michael Jackson may have bucked the downward trend,


    So record sales have at best stabilised - mainly because of a huge boost caused by Michael Jackson's death and the advent of SuBo - who sells records to people who normally don't bother too much with music at all.

    Plus, this data relates to 2009 - well before the DEA and so can't be linked with anything that BPI have done.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 5:43am

    "BPI appears by this report to be right in their actions, and it appears that perhaps their actions are working."

    Or maybe their fears and whining were just a little overblown and a sluggish global economy is just beginning to come back to life?

    Whatever the case, the industry has cried "Wolf!" so many times now that they're not deserving of the "benefit of the doubt", especially when they don't extend it towards the people they accuse.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 5:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    a huge boost caused by Michael Jackson's death
    So the recording industry's best strategy is to kill a major artist every year to maintain sales...

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Not an electronic Rodent, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 5:51am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The point is that this new report indicates a major shift in the other direction
    Nope, it indicates a small shift in the "other direction" that may or may not be explainable by other means such as suggested by Richard.

    Correlation != Causality expecially where you focus on a single factor and ignore that it's accompanied by a reported rise in the thing (piracy) that would have to be going down to make your assertion true.

    Mike suggests a paraphasing of the BPI statements based on the reasoned assumption that the DE bill was aimed at combating piracy rather than generating revenue. You want to suggest that it was aimed directly at revenue generation? OK, write your own article with the supporting reasoning and ideally evidence for your conlusions and I'm sure some people will show up to debate it with you.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 6:25am

    It's not Google's fault at all. It's the RIAA and BPI's fault for all of the publicity they have given downloading. It has grown epidemically and will continue. Artists have to adopt the Linux Model. Give away the product (Linux) and sell the after market goodies. In music that is T-Shirts. Since no one buys the CD sell the cover. Signed photos. Hang with the band. Everything but the real product. Then you tour and hopefully you will have tons of fans because you gave the music away. Some of the indies I know just release their album on Pirate Bay. Best distribution spot in the world. Best place to advertise is Pirate Bay.

     

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  19.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 7:34am

    Re: Good one MIke

    "Swine squadron of the RAF."

    When pigs fly, to funny!

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    RD, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 7:36am

    Re: Industry representative bodies, represent the industry, they are charged to represent.

    "And it is clear, even to you mike, that the "industry" is calling for copyright reform, world wide."

    It's not "reform" if the changes only move in one direction - FOR big media, and AWAY from the public. This is abrogating the copyright bargain, and is unconstitutional.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 7:39am

    Re:

    Not that I know it has any kind of financial impact either way, but have these industry groups ever taken into account the money they save due to lessened distribution or promotional costs?

     

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  22.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 7:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "BPI appears by this report to be right in their actions, and it appears that perhaps their actions are working."

    It is a short term trend. With the sheer volume of bands out there (5 million on MySpace alone) the labels are going to see these profits start tanking in short order.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 7:55am

     

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  24.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 7:56am

    Techdirt Drinking Game Continues!

    "he was one of the people who would say two sentences in a row that would contradict each other. It was always something along the lines of: "We should stop 'going to war' with our customers... but first we have to stop piracy!""

    Drink!

     

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  25.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 8:56am

    Re: Re:

    "The rise in recorded music sales must have another explanation."

    Amazon UK MP3 store launched in December 2008.
    Spotify launched in October 2008.
    7digital was finally allowed to carry content from all 4 major labels in Spetember 2008.

    I'm not saying there's a direct causal link, but it's interesting that there's a correlation between new businesses being allowed to sell or stream to UK customers in 2008 and a rise in 2009 sales. Remember, this is a market that, for example, Amazon US, Pandora and Rhapsody are not allowed to service.

     

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  26.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 9:59am

    Re: Techdirt Drinking Game Continues!

    Good job I have my Appletini now (or is that iTini)! :D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 10:10am

    Re: Re: Techdirt Drinking Game Continues!

    Please tell me you're a woman, or else I'm going to have to put you on drinking probation, where you get served nothing but scotch, whiskey, or Fat Tire....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike suggests a paraphasing of the BPI statements based on the reasoned assumption

    Reasoned assumption? In my world, that is called making s&%^t up. It is more "trying to read something into it that is positive for my opinion" rather than actually being reasoned.

    More importantly, using that same "reasoned assumption" as the title for the piece is all the more misleading. The BPI didn't say that, Mike did.

    If you fall for this obvious piece of fabrication, I can understand why you have a hard time with some of the more challenging stories here.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Even as a short term trend, you have to agree that the title of the piece and TD's suggestion that BPI is "effectively admitted" are both entirely misleading and fabricated from whole cloth, right?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 7:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Techdirt Drinking Game Continues!

    Hey! Leave JD alone. /Scrubsreference

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 8:03pm

    Re:

    The results? Increases in recorded music sales.

    Correlation does not imply causation.

     

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  32.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Dec 18th, 2010 @ 12:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Says the anon who falls for the crap the industry pulls out of their a****. Convincing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Dec 18th, 2010 @ 5:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt Drinking Game Continues!

    XD.

    Heh, it was either that or home-made absinthe. I felt the 'tini was safer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2010 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I am not falling for anything the industry pulls out. It isn't a question of my opinion versus TD's opinion. It is a question if TD's statement is opinion or fact. It is opinion, BPI never said anything like that, nor have they even hinted at it. It's an attempt I think to try to create a TD positive spin on something that is just not positive for the TD sheeple. People are buying more music. That is absolutely totally, and utterly against the trends that TD has been pointing to.

    In fact, if this was in the other direction, TD would be crowing how this is significant. So it can only be significant when it supports the TD line, otherwise it's a meaningless blip?

    BPI didn't say what TD is suggesting. They didn't even allude to it. TD drew their own conclusion and attempted to put the words in BPI's mouth. That is misleading and dishonest, and you know it. You can keep on defending it, but you know it's a huge reach, misleading, and entirely dishonest.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Not an electronic Rodent, Dec 18th, 2010 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Thank you so much for the random ad hominem attack on my point. The sentence means that Mike made an assumption and gave his reasons for it. I made no comment on whether or not I believe his reasoning, just pointed out that he'd done so. You might try the same thing instead of ranting. Do try to keep up old chap

     

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  36.  
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    drew (profile), Dec 19th, 2010 @ 7:07am

    representation

    Firstly the BPI doesn't represent the music industry in the uk. It represents the major labels. That's all.

    Secondly, @ anonymous #34, I agree that this is not one of TD's better articles and your critique is largely valid, bar one bit: "People are buying more music. That is absolutely totally, and utterly against the trends that TD has been pointing to."
    Read a bit more on the blog, that's not what TD has been saying at all.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Robert Andrews, Dec 20th, 2010 @ 2:44am

    Except... the Digital Economy Act hasn't actually been implemented yet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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