BPI: Over 1 billion UK illegal songs downloaded in 2010

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) is now claiming that more than one billion songs were downloaded by UK files sharers in 2010, saying not enough is being done to prevent peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. The British copyright group hopes ISPs will hold users accountable, especially if court-issued subpoenas are sent out requiring ISPs to turn over information.

According to the BPI, file sharing is growing in popularity across the pond, with more than 7.5M users nationwide. To combat file sharing, the UK passed its Digital Economy Act earlier in the year, which would lead to Internet disconnections for repeat offenders. The BPI still believes not enough is currently being done to stop file sharing, and hopes the controversial act is expanded in the future.

BPI: Over 1 billion UK illegal songs downloaded in 2010

BPI also said that music piracy is currently eroding digital revenue growth at a time when music listeners are leaving behind music CDs. If record labels are unable to increase revenue as digital downloads continue, the current war on file sharing likely will only intensify.

Not surprisingly, the BPI has spent more time complaining and pointing fingers rather than finding solutions that make sense. The BPI has been reluctant to cater to music listeners demand and there remains confusion regarding file sharing and its possible ramifications related to possible Internet bans.

The adoption of a three-strikes law is now in place in New Zealand, England, and France is actively pursuing three-strikes legislation. Meanwhile, the MPAA wants Japan to adopt a three-strikes law to prevent users from sharing files on a larger scale.

The actual effectiveness of these three-strikes laws is unknown, with many French pirates still sharing files.

The BPI has joined the RIAA and other copyright groups looking to find ways to try and combat online piracy as revenues continue to slide. Simply shutting down services and suing individual file sharers hasn’t worked, so the groups are now embracing new tactics, especially lobbying Government institutions to implement stricter laws.

Each copyright group has faced issues trying to deal with governments and file sharers, but the UK government does appear prepared to help out — if approached properly. ACS:Law sent out thousands of letters to accused pirates, but has seen its recent efforts heavily scrutinized by legal experts.