Indie labels know about piracy. But at least 30% say they can’t deal with it anymore.
A new study published by the Future of Music Coalition (FMC) and the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) paints a bleak picture of the music industry’s fight against piracy.
A2IM and FMC asked independent record labels to respond a short survey over unauthorized music use. They also asked labels to share their experience with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a key component of US copyright law. Here’s what they found.
- 87% of independent music labels knew that people had actively infringed their works online. However, 30% of indie labels just didn’t actively search for infringement of their works.
Why did these 30% didn’t actively search and try to stamp out infringing works? A2IM and FMC’s next numbers may show a clearer picture to the losing fight against online piracy.
- 65% that tried having infringing works removed said it took longer than 24 hours to have it removed. They also said the works may not have been removed at all.
- Going further, 68% reported a “whack-a-mole” problem. That means an infringing work successfully taken down on one service soon reappeared (on the same service or another service).
Quite simply, independent record labels said that they don’t have adequate resources to combat active online piracy of their own works. 65% that didn’t actively search for their pirated works cited this very reason. Furthermore, 30% of respondents completely gave up searching works. Why? They reported that previous enforcement efforts just haven’t worked.
Respondents to A2IM and FMC’s study gave three specifics reasons why enforcing their rights against pirates doesn’t work.
- They don’t have enough resources to pursue infringement of their own copyrighted works.
- They can’t find contact information to request a takedown.
- Most of the time, infringing websites simply ignore DMCA takedown notices and other complaints.
The A2IM and FMC found one very clear fact: a super-majority of companies have a strong awareness that people are actively pirating their content online. In fact, 87% of respondents knew of unauthorized uses in any typical three month period.
29% of said companies find or learn about unauthorized piracy once or a few times a month. 26% learn about people actively infringing their works at least once a day or more often. 19% find out less than once per month.
The study ends with the group’s analysis of their findings.