BPI bashed for piracy stance


The Open Rights Group has criticised the BPI for its anti-piracy stance after the latter released a report on illegal downloading in the UK.

The report, featuring research from Harris Interactive and UKOM/Nielsen, showed the UK had seen record levels of illegal downloading this year.

Three-quarters of music downloaded in the UK is now obtained illegally, according to the BPI, which called for "urgent implementation of the Digital Economy Act."

UK residents have illegally downloaded 1.2 billion songs in 2010 so far, whilst just 370 million have been downloaded and paid for.

The research also showed the digital music market has been growing in the UK, with a quarter of record industry revenues now coming from digital sales.

Sales of digital singles could surpass 160 million this year, outdoing 2009's record figure of 149.7 million.

Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, said the music industry has seen strong growth and yet has still complained.

"The BPI are whinging that massive growth in their profits in the middle of a recession isn't good enough," Killock said.

"They argue for measures that would curtail innocent people's human rights in order to increase their profits. That is immoral."

The BPI argued that despite the rise in revenues from digital sales, this had not offset declining CD sales.

"Illegal downloading continues to rise in the UK," said BPI chief executive (CEO) Geoff Taylor.

"It is a parasite that threatens to deprive a generation of talented young people of their chance to make a career in music, and is holding back investment in the fledgling digital entertainment sector."

Taylor called on the Government to act decisively next year "to ensure the internet supports creativity and respects the basic rules of fair play we embrace as a nation."

Despite BPI's calls for implementation of the Digital Economy Act, any action on the legislation may be prevented by a judicial review into the law.

BT and TalkTalk had lodged complaints about the Act earlier in the year, claiming it had been rushed through.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.