Record companies' revenue from digital music sales rose 40 per cent to $2.9 billion US over the past year, but the growth has failed to cover losses from slumping international CD sales, the music industry's global trade body said Thursday.
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, or IFPI, said the increase in legitimate music sales did not come close to offsetting the billions of dollars being lost to music piracy, with illegal downloads outnumbering the number of tracks sold by a factor of 20-to-1.
But the trade group said it welcomed efforts by French President Nicholas Sarkozy, who has proposed a clampdown on those who violate copyright laws.
Sarkozy called in November for internet service providers in France to automatically disconnect customers involved in piracy.
IFPI chief John Kennedy said the plan is "the most significant milestone yet in the task of curbing piracy on the internet."
The industry body said CD sales fell 11 per cent between 2005 and 2006 and were likely to drop further in 2007. Digital music revenue has so far failed to make up for the decline and is also showing signs of slowing, the IFPI said.
Some consider the active downloading and distribution of content online to be theft, arguing that internet users are stealing from legitimate copyright holders.
Others see a more social aspect to the distribution of content online, claiming that all they're doing is sharing their favourite movies, music and TV shows with their friends and fellow internet users.
Where do you stand on this issue?
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