IFPI releases so-called ‘inconvenient truths’ about file-sharing and piracy

Slams the Pirate Bay, the world’s largest BitTorrent tracker, and its “free music” rhetoric, ISP’s for not busting file-sharers, and ties terrorism to bootleg CDs.

Apparently somebody over at the IFPI is taking David Letterman’s Top 10 List to new extremes, releasing an Al Gore-esque list of the “Ten inconvenient truths about the music industry today.”

In it they slam everybody from the Pirate Bay to those who try to blame poverty for piracy, and even try to tie bootleg CDs to terrorism, a potent move in the current “War on Terrorism.”

They criticize the Pirate Bay’s “anti-establishment ‘free music’ rhetoric” since it makes money off of advertising on the site, though how they are otherwise expected to pay for server, bandwidth, and maintenance costs isn’t explained. Maybe an annual “Swede-Aid” is required.

The real kicker is how they seemingly denigrate the poorer among us who download or purchase pirated content, citing a study that found that “…Chinese citizens who bought pirate products were mainly middle or higher income earners,” therefore concluding that “Piracy is not caused by piracy.” Say what? How many students can afford to pay $20 bucks an album all the time, or in the case of NIN’s new Year Zero album, $30 bucks? Guess that answer was part of the 20 “inconvenient truths” list.

I also like the one where they say that Allofmp3 is illegitimate because it has been “disowned by right holder groups worldwide.” Well, what about the fact that it does pay the standard 15% Russian licensing fee that applies to online music to ROM, the Russian Organization for Multimedia & digital systems. ROM is the Russian equivalent of the RIAA, and according to their website they are “…the national Russian organization providing professional collective management of authors’ property rights and protection of interests of rights holders in cases of use of their works in digital interactive networks, including the Internet.” But, unfortunately for AllOfMP3 the RIAA doesn’t recognize ROM’s legitimacy, perhaps out of fear that it would help legitimize AllOfMP3 and erode their position against it, which is that 15% is just too little.

They go on to blame ISPs for not doing enough to police their networks, and even try to tie bootleg CDs to terrorism and the “War on Terror.” I particularly like that one. I thought terrorists just focused on opium and sympathetic donors, who knew they were taking advantage of the high demand for Fergie’s new album? Fergie for an RPG?

Anyways, here they are. I hope they make you laugh as much as I did.

1. Pirate Bay, one of the flagships of the anti-copyright movement, makes thousands of euros from advertising on its site, while maintaining its anti-establishment “free music” rhetoric.

2. Allofmp3.com, the well-known Russian website, has not been licensed by a single IFPI member, has been disowned by right holder groups worldwide and is facing criminal proceedings in Russia.

3. Organised criminal gangs and even terrorist groups use the sale of counterfeit CDs to raise revenue and launder money.

4. Illegal file-sharers don’t care whether the copyright infringing work they distribute is from a major or independent label.

5. Reduced revenues for record companies mean less money available to take a risk on “underground” artists and more inclination to invest in “bankers” like American Idol stars.

6. ISPs often advertise music as a benefit of signing up to their service, but facilitate the illegal swapping on copyright infringing music on a grand scale.

7. The anti-copyright movement does not create jobs, exports, tax revenues and economic growth — it largely consists of people pontificating on a commercial world about which they know little.

8. Piracy is not caused by poverty. Professor Zhang of Nanjing University found the Chinese citizens who bought pirate products were mainly middle or higher income earners.

9. Most people know it is wrong to file-share copyright infringing material but won’t stop till the law makes them, according to a recent study by the Australian anti-piracy group MIPI.

10. P2P networks are not hotbeds for discovering new music. It is popular music that is illegally file-shared most frequently.