Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

IFPI Publishes CD Piracy Report

by Dennis D. McDonald

The UK-based IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) has published a new report estimating losses worldwide from illegal CD duplication and sale. The report is available for downloading here.

I've scanned through the report. Unfortunately, no basis for the numbers (e.g., dollars lost through illegal sale) is given although many different -- and convincing -- examples of CD piracy on a country by country basis are given.

So even though I have no sympathy for unauthorized mass duplication and sale of CD's, which is a clear violation of copyright law and the rights of composers and performers, IFPI's failure to provide a description of the data estimating procedures here could be a problem, as is the lack of a single data table that summarizes piracy figures on a country by country or some other basis.

Having been a number cruncher at one time in my career, there are several reasons for failure to provide such details, and not all of them increase confidence in the validity of the data. So even though I agree that CD mass production piracy is a problem, I still don't know how bad it really is.

Another problem with the report is that the issue of web based downloading and illegal mass-production of bootleg CD's are intertwined. This somewhat confuses and waters down the overall impact of the report.

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