IFPI, the organisation representing the international recorded music industry worldwide, has welcomed the latest in a series of rulings by Russian courts against Kontakte, the country’s leading social networking site that facilitates the mass distribution of copyright infringing music. The Arbitration Court of St Petersburg and Leningrad ordered vKontakte to pay damages of 550,000 roubles (€13,718) to SBA Gala Records, an independent Russian record label and licensed distributor for EMI Music’s international repertoire, for its role in facilitating the illegal distribution of 11 unlicensed sound recordings online. vKontakte enables any user to upload files containing copyright infringing music to its social networking platform, then offers its other users the opportunity to search for the tracks and the ability to stream them, and download them using apps and browser extensions. It is Russia’s most popular online entertainment platform with more than 110 million registered users and is one of the top 50 most visited sites in the world.
The IFPI have also announced the re-launch of the newly redesigned www.pro-music.org website – a simple information resource for anyone looking to find out more about legitimate digital music services and copyright law across the world. First launched in 2003, Pro-Music was created by IFPI in partnership with a coalition of global music industry partners including independent record companies (IMPALA), performers (GIART), managers (IMMF), publishers (IMPA and ICMP), retailers (GERA) and musicians’ unions (FIM). It gives precise and up-to-date information about the world’s 500 legal music sites. The site has two main features: (i) a comprehensive directory of links to licensed music services, listed by type of service and by country and (b) an information portal with simple guidance about copyright law, a guide on how to access music safely and legally (available in nine languages), and links to useful educational resources and reports about the industry. To reflect the growing choice of digital music services available, the site now breaks down all the services by type (download, subscription, and ad-supported), as well as by territories across the globe. The site reflects the rapid development of the digital music business over recent years. When launched in 2003, Pro-Music listed just 20 services in the whole of Europe, and iTunes had just launched in the US, selling one million downloads in its first week. Consumers could choose from up to 200,000 tracks. Today, consumers from over 100 countries worldwide can choose from more than 26 million tracks, across around 500 different services. They have unprecedented choice in how they access music: buying on-demand, streaming, subscription or listening free with ads, on myriad digital music players. Digital music now accounts for one-third of recorded music revenues globally, valued at $5.2 billion in 2011.
www.fim-musicians.org, www.gera-europe.org, www.giart.org, www.icmp-ciem.org and www.immf.com
Recording Industry In Numbers 2012 edition (the ‘definitive source of recorded music market data’) is available now from www.ifpi.org