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IFPI Will Make You Pay; Legal Downloads Rising

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People are getting more honest when comes to downloading music off the Internet, according an international recording industry group. The number of legally downloaded music tracks almost tripled in the first half of this year. Illegal file-sharing is up only three percent.

In the first six months of 2005, the number of legal music downloads outnumbered the whole of 2004 downloads. The International Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI) said that 180 million single tracks have already hewn their way to the scores of iPods and PCs, compared to 157 million honorably acquired tracks for all of last year.

Industry-wide campaigns promising to prosecute file-sharers, education programs, and 13 percent rise in broadband access were credited for the positive turnaround. From January to July, illegal downloads increased by three percent, from 870 million to 900 million files.

That there was a spike of 180 million legal downloads compared to only 30 million pirated tracks convinces IFPI that the fight against file swapping is less Tyson versus Taco Bell Chihuahua and more Tyson versus a slightly bigger, meaner dog-like a Scottish Terrier.

“We are now seeing real evidence that people are increasingly put off by illegal file-sharing and turning to legal ways of enjoying music online,” said John Kennedy, the IFPI’s chairman.

“Whether it’s the fear of getting caught breaking the law, or the realization that many networks could damage your home PC, attitudes are changing, and that is good news for the whole music industry.”

Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against music lovers who provide access to copyrighted songs by loading them into file sharing networks that could lead to millions acquiring the music for free.

Subscriptions to the 300+ digital music sites have also been on the rise, increasing from 1.5 million in 2004 to 2.2 million as January 2005.

But the fight is long from over, says Kennedy.
“We are not there yet. Many still appear to be gripped by a bad habit they are finding hard to break,” he said. “These people are now increasingly likely to face legal actions against them.”

Kennedy echoed Russian boxer, Ivan Drago, as he, still sweating from the bout, glared into the camera at any pirate who might be listening and said, “I will break you.”

IFPI Will Make You Pay; Legal Downloads Rising
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