Accessing music via digital services is an area of growth for the music industry. The UK leads the way in the number of digital services available. In quarter one 2012 digital income accounted for over half of all recorded music income for the first time.
This growth is threatened as new services have to compete with websites that offer music illegally for free. 7 million people in the UK admit to visiting sites that offer illegal content.
There have been attempts by Government to improve the enforcement of copyright infringement, otherwise known as piracy, via measures such as the Digital Economy Act, which deals with peer-to-peer filesharing. Outside of legislation, the music industry is proactive in working with the advertising and payment sectors to ensure that providers of such services do not support illegal sites.
The music industry in the UK continues to find innovative ways to tackle problems associated with online infringement. Recent legal actions have been won to block websites which offer illegal content. The industry also continually monitors the way illegal content is listed in search engine rankings following concerns that infringed material sometimes outranks legal offerings.
Government communications regulator Ofcom has been responsible for the implementation of Digital Economy Act since it passed through Parliament into law. As part of this work they have developed a series of reports on online copyright infringement.
BPI Anti-Piracy Unit
UK Music member the BPI hosts an anti-piracy unit. In 2012, the unit sent seven million delisting notices to search engines who for illegal content. The BPI also produces an annual report, Digital Music Nation 2013, which looks at the digital market and includes useful statistics on infringement.
UK Music Submissions on the Digital Economy Act