Music industry winning piracy war

Posted: 11th November 2014

PirateThe music industry would appear to be winning its long-running war against piracy after coming down hard on the operators of 21 websites who actively encouraged music lovers to download copies of hit songs in wholesale violation of copyright.

Household name music publishers, who together represented about 99 per cent of the industry, joined arms in winning injunctions against Internet providers requiring them to block, or at least impede, the websites which all used ‘BitTorrent’ file-sharing software to make pirated recordings available to listeners in the UK.

The role played by the websites was ‘by no means passive’ in that they catalogued music content for the ease and convenience of members of the public, who were themselves infringing copyright each time they downloaded a track. Although some of the websites only acted as content aggregators and ‘paid lip service to copyright protection’, the High Court ruled: ‘In reality they all flout it’.

Commenting on the efficacy of music industry efforts to stop piracy, the Court noted that it had been calculated that, on average, the number of UK visitors to BitTorrent websites which had already been blocked had declined by 87 per cent. The Internet providers neither consented to nor opposed the grant of the injunctions.