One of the world’s top music trade bodies warned today that the fight against UK BitTorrent tracker OiNK won't end with the recent acquittal of its creator and administrator, Alan Ellis.
John Kennedy, chief executive of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), said the industry is considering civil proceedings against Ellis in a second bid to collect the £180,000 it claims he made from running the invite-only file sharing website.
Speaking at a press conference to launch the IFPI’s annual Digital Music Report, Kennedy called the verdict a “terrible disappointment” and indicated that UK legislation is “out of touch with where life is these days,” according to The Guardian.
“We will find other ways of going about it,” he said, adding that he “can’t sleep at night” when he thinks about the money Ellis allegedly gleaned from music freetards.
OiNK was shut down in Oct. 2007, after police raids in the North of England and the Netherlands, code-named ‘Operation Ark Royal’.
During the case, Ellis argued that he was only offering an indexing service — not unlike Google — and was not responsible for what content the website’s members were sharing with each other.
The IFPI's latest annual report tallies that over a quarter of all recorded music industry revenues now come from digital sales, and trade revenues from digital music were up 12 per cent to an estimated $4.2bn in 2009.
But the report stresses that illegal file-sharing and other forms of online piracy are causing “severe damage” to local music industries around the world such as France, Spain, and Brazil.
In France, it claims, a quarter of internet users download songs illegally, causing the number of local album releases to fall from 271 in the first half of 2003 to 107 in the same period of 2009.
And while sales from burgeoning markets like Apple’s iTunes and Spotify are promising, they have thus far failed to counter damage from illegal downloads.
“It would be great to report that these innovations have been rewarded by market growth, more investment in artists, and more jobs. Sadly, this is not the case,” said Kennedy in a statement. “Digital piracy remains a huge barrier to market growth and is causing a steady erosion of investments in local music.”
A copy of the IFPI report is available here (PDF). ®