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. icon
    PaulT (profile), 17 Dec 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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