28th April 2010 12:00
BPI Announces Increased Revenue "Despite Piracy"
This statement can be downloaded here.
The British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the organisation that represents the record industry, has recently released a summary of their 2009 sales, showing growth of 1.4% over the year - a performance that was 2.2% stronger than the rest of the economy - and these figures do not include live shows or performance royalties. The Pirate Party is pleased to see this increase and hopes it prompts further innovation and encourages record labels to invest more in young, local talent, rather than relying on their back catalogues protected by ever-increasing copyright terms.
The breakdown of the sales is also quite interesting. While sales of physical media have fallen by 6.1%, there was a staggering 47.8% rise in online sales as consumers shift towards digital media, following the trend in previous years. This also means that online sales now represents 20.3% of the recording industry's revenue.
Quite clearly, the claims made by some that the industry is on the brink of destruction are unfounded. Despite an abundance of evidence to the contrary and heavy resistance from the public, consumer groups, industry groups and respected academics it was these unfounded claims that were utilised to pressure through the worst sections of the Digital Economy Act 2010, considered by some to be one of the most deplorable pieces of legislation in modern times.
"It seems that these results are due to the record industry finally listening to their customers and providing at least some ways to get music over the internet," said David Geraghty, Pirate Party candidate in Derby North. "Failing to do this sooner is the main reason that the industry saw any sort of revenue losses in the first place.
"Far from needing protection from piracy, the publishing industries need to realise that their age is coming to an end. Pirates are much better at distributing content than the industry could ever be - it's why file-sharing is free. New ways for creators to receive investment are also getting off the ground."
The Pirate Party UK believes that by legalising non-commercial filesharing, artists' income will increase beyond what the record industry can currently offer. The Internet gives artists access to the widest audience ever known, while allowing them to connect directly with their fans. Filesharing should not be thought of as stealing but as free advertising, and it has already been shown convert directly into ticket, merchandise and record sales.
Tim Dobson, candidate in Manchester Gorton for the Pirate Party UK said, "The only way to ensure the best deal for artists and fans alike is to review copyright. Rather than a system that rewards companies for monopolising other peoples' work, we want a fair deal between creators and the public that truly rewards and encourages creativity. Right now, copyright is far too restrictive, and these restrictions are only increasing. This is a trend that we need to break."