We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

95% of online music downloads are illegal

IFPI: 40 billion tracks were downloaded illegally last year

Despite initiatives by ISPs to stop illegal file sharing, 95 percent of online music downloads are completed illegally, says the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

According to the industry body, global music downloads rose by 25 percent in 2008 and were worth around $3.7bn (£2.5bn). Digital music downloads now account for 20 percent of all music sales.

However, only 1.4 billion tracks were legally downloaded, compared to the 40 billion digital audio files that it estimates were shared illegally last year.

Visit Digital World for the latest home entertainment news and reviews

Visit Broadband Advisor for the latest internet news, reviews, tips & tricks - and to take advantage of PC Advisor's unique, independent Broadband Speed Tester

In the UK alone, 110 million single tracks and 10.3 million digital albums were purchased in 2008.

"Governments are beginning to accept that, in the debate over 'free content' and engaging ISPs in protecting intellectual property rights, doing nothing is not an option if there is to be a future for commercial digital content," said John Kennedy, chairman and chief executive of IFPI.

In July, six of the UK's largest ISPs, including BT, the Carphone Warehouse and Virgin Media, signed an agreement with the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) that they would issue warning letters to customers suspected of illegally downloading digital files.

The agreement is the first step toward implementing a 'three strikes rule' that would result in illegal file sharers having their broadband connection suspended and possibly even terminated if they continue to offend after being issued with a warning letter.

See also: Christmas sees record music downloads


IDG UK Sites

Apple WWDC 2015 rumours: iOS 9, OS X 10.11, Apple TV & more

IDG UK Sites

Why I think the Apple Watch sucks and you'd be mad to buy it

IDG UK Sites

Kung Fury VFX behind-the-scenes: how Fido blew up everything for this year's most over-the-top film

IDG UK Sites

What will Apple launch at WWDC 2015, with one week to go? Apple TV, Macs, Beats Music, iOS 9, OS X 1......