The music industry was obviously caught off guard when Napster and peer-to-peer file sharing first emerged in the late 1990s, with a continued attempt to embrace changing technologies. The RIAA and other groups lashed out and attacked companies and music listeners, but are still unsure what to do while music sales increase.
In 2006, the BPI saw sales reach 221.6 million copies, while the industry grew to 281.7 million units sold in 2010 — a BPI-industry record — with digital album sales increasing as album sales and physical CD sales still slide. The music industry looks to point fingers and find scape goats, rather than acknowledge they have to find new selling tools besides music albums.
To think Internet piracy hasn’t had an impact in the music industry is foolish, but the copyright groups have successfully launched global propaganda campaigns. TorrentFreak believes there is a bigger issue with the type of music fans are purchasing, which leads to a decrease in revenue.
The music and movie industries continue to blame P2P piracy and other issues for reported declining sales — but legal digital music downloads continue to increase — as music listeners learn about additional services available.
The BPI previously claimed there were more than 1 billion illegal song downloads in the UK in 2010, with more than 7.5 million active pirates.
Music copyright groups continue to work through an evolving effort to sell music and crackdown on unauthorized music piracy. In the UK, it was determined anti-piracy costs actually outweigh physical damages, though UK ISPs moved forward with controversial three-strike laws.