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?

Filed Under: blame, copyright, downloads, piracy, uk
Companies: bpi, google


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 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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