April 20, 2005 10:37 AM PDT

U.K. court lifts veil on 33 more file sharers

The U.K. record industry has announced that it has won a court order to force Internet service providers to reveal the identities of 33 suspected file sharers.

Five ISPs will now have just days to turn over the details of the suspected file swappers, who the British Phonographic Industry claims have posted 72,000 music files to the Internet illegally. The BPI is pursuing the 33 people for compensation.

The BPI also has revealed more about the second wave of file sharers to be accused. A third of them are parents whose children's computer habits have landed them in legal hot water.

"In the first round of cases, we took into account the fact that a lot of parents wouldn't be aware," according to a BPI spokesman.

"But it's not like we go, 'You're a parent--we'll let you off.'"

Illegal downloaders have cost the U.K. music industry about 654 million pounds ($855 million) over the last two years, new research has claimed.

The research, carried out by Taylor Nelson Sofres on behalf of the BPI, found that half of illegal downloaders said they will continue to get their music illegally; 34 percent were unsure whether they will switch to legal sources or carry on using illegal file-sharing services; and 15 percent intend to start paying for their downloads.

The BPI spokesman said illegal downloaders who claim that their file sharing prompts them to buy more music aren't justified in their actions.

"Whether they go out and buy 50,100 or a million albums, file sharing is still illegal," he said. "This isn't the first piece of research that shows any promotional effect is outweighed...by the damaging effect."

Jo Best of Silicon.com reported from London.

6 comments

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Record Companies RIP
>"Whether they go out and buy 50,100 or a million albums,
>file-sharing is still illegal," he said. "This isn't the first piece of
>research that shows any promotional effect is outweighed...by >the damaging effect."

File sharing isn't illegal. If I post one of my songs, for which I own the performance and recording rights, to a P2P network, there's nothing illegal about it. Cnet, you should clarify this persons statement which is clearly wrong.

Be that as it may, it seems as though the big five are hell bent on destroying the industry. I see NOTHING from them in terms of innovation in trying to make the new distribution models workable (iTunes and iPod are Apple initiatives which the recording industry had nothing to do with other than to say "yes"). All I see is them trying to desperately hold onto a model which consumers have said they no longer want, and trying to use legal means to squash a model which consumers have said they do want.

Arresting/suing parents is about the most moronic move an industry can make, and is a sure sign that it is in its dying days.
Posted by (274 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Suing Parents, Moronic?
In some ways I agree with you about the ridiculousness of suing the parents. But I also disagree. Who else are they going to sue? The kid? That would make even less sense.

Plus, it looks like they are only suing the parents if the parents were aware of their child's illegal behavior. As a parent, your job is to keep your children out of trouble and to teach them how to obey the law (even if you don't necessarily agree with the law).

A parent who knows their child is committing a crime should take some action to stop them, otherwise they are just as guilty.

33 File Sharers Revealed in UK... <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://allwaysmusic.modblog.com/" target="_newWindow">http://allwaysmusic.modblog.com/</a>

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Posted by (59 comments )
Link Flag
Isolated Example
I think most people are posting music that they didn't write/produce themself. All other cases are un-authorised distribution and thus illegal.
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
Studies are BOGUS
Much like the studies commissioned by RIAA, the results of
these studies are predetermined.

Every study commissioned by the recording industry shows that
they are losing hundred of millions if not BILLIONS of dollars.

Once they have their conclusion, they can ask their questions in
a way guaranteed to get the results they want. And if someone
that doesn't lead to the desired result, it is thrown away and a
new study is commissioned.

These studies are nothing more than corporate propaganda.
Posted by m.meister (278 comments )
Reply Link Flag
will the real problem please stand up?
Illegal downloaders have cost the U.K. music industry about 654 million pounds ($855 million) over the last two years, new research has claimed.
"Whether they go out and buy 50,100 or a million albums, file sharing is still illegal," he said. "This isn't the first piece of research that shows any promotional effect is outweighed...by the damaging effect."

Um... so where are the studies and what exactly do the show vs what is the industry implying.
There is no way the industry is losing millions and billions of dollars. (Just how big is the entire industry anyway?)
I've said it before and I'll say it again:
Every song downloaded does not represent a lost sale. Back in the heady days of free napster, I downloaded thousands of songs. How many of them had even a passing chance of being purchased? At best a couple %. If I heard a song on the radio and wanted to hear it again - download it. If I heard a reference to a group and wanted to know what kind of music it was - download it. If I wanted to remember a lyric to a popular song - download it.
The point is, when something costs nothing to collect, you collect much more than you would if you were paying for it. I pick up a lot of rocks and shells when walking on the beach too... does that mean I would have taken them home if I had to go into a souvineer shop and pay for them?

So show us some real statistics and let's solve real problems. Let's not make up stats to help increase the bottom line of a dying retail model. And legislative bodies should be smarter than to fall for that... but we all know they obey the lobbyists who pay their campaign funds, so it's probably not an issue of understanding, but corruption.
Posted by skeptik (590 comments )
Reply Link Flag
True
I want to know what they use to produce these reports. Is each download seen as a lost sale? If that is the case then the report is rubbish.
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
 

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