Further steps to beat online music piracy

Earlier this week it was announced that a working agreement has been struck between The City of London Police, PayPal, and the IFPI (International Federaton of the Phonographic Industry). The result should see stronger action being taken to prevent PayPal’s payment services being used by illegal sites that sell copyright infringing music. These sites have come into existence after numerous file sharing sites such as Limewire were closed down, the sites purport to be legally offering music files, the sales gimmick is that they heavily undercut iTunes, eMusic etc. Unsuspecting punters, keen for a bargain are paying for music they mistakenly believe they are buying from genuine sites who pay musicians, publishers etc the appropriate royalties.

The agreement follows an announcement in March 2011 that payment providers MasterCard and Visa would withdraw their services from such sites. The sites, many of which are based in Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine responded to this by switching payment to PayPal ”“ this latest agreement should curtail that. In practice the City of London Police will provide PayPal with evidence of sites offering copyright infringing music, who in turn will withdraw their services.

PayPal, MasterCard and Visa have further tightened up their regulations ”“ any site offering music for download will now have to produce evidence of appropriate regional licenses to offer music; if no licence is produced they withdraw their service, thereby cutting off the revenue chain.

Will any of this make a difference, or will the pirates just find a new revenue stream?

LTW has previously looked at this issue; Should music be free?, The Pirate Party,

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.

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