AOL ’Play Legal’ campaign launched

January 2006


Online music downloads have been the digital success story of 2005, with the sector now accounting for five per cent of all music sales in the UK. AOL has now launched its ‘Play Legal’ campaign to educate young consumers on the advantages of legal downloading, to make people aware of the risks to themselves from file swapping and raise awareness of the potential damage to the music industry, artists and ultimately consumers from illegal file swapping. The campaign also hopes to encourage the legal use of copyright material on the internet. The importance of the campaign has been highlighted by a survey from Ipsos MORI on behalf of AOL which found that only 40 per cent of UK consumers say they understand the law in respect of music downloads. Findings from the survey reveal that file-sharing services which could provide illegal downloads and swaps such as Limewire and Kazaa are still more popular than legal download services. Limewire had been used by 27 per cent of those surveyed, while 20 per cent had used the leading legal service from Apple, iTunes. The survey also showed that 77 per cent of people who download music have used an illegal Web site at least once, that 53 per cent of people would not ban their children from downloading music illegally, that only 15 per cent of people said they had only used legal download services and just over half (51 per cent) said they had only used illegal download services. The Play Legal campaign already has support from music industry stakeholders, such as the IFPI (representing the recording industry worldwide), the BPI (British Phonographic Industry), British Music Rights and from labels such as EMI.

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