International Federation of the Phonographic Industry

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Contents

History and Objectives

The IFPI was formed in 1933 as the International Federation of Phonogram and Videogram Producers, changing its name to the current International Federation of Phonographic Industry in 1974. Formed with the initial aim to negotiate payment of mechanical royalties to the promote the legal rights of record producers during 1933 in Rome, Italy, under the fascist government of Benito Mussolini by companies mainly owned or controlled by General Electric in the United States of America.[1]

The organisation is presently based in London and the current stated aims of the IFPI are to:

  1. Promote the value of recorded music;
  2. Safeguard the rights of record producers; and
  3. Expand the commercial uses of recorded music.[2]

Membership

Membership is open to individual or organisation making sound or video recordings available in reasonable quantity are eligible for membership.

Structure

The work of the industry group is divided at three levels - international, regional (Asia, Europe, Latin America) and national. It is affiliated with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Australian Presence

The local association representing the IFPI in Australia is the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), with EMI Music Australia, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Australia and Warner Music Australia being members of the IFPI.

Strategy

ISP Responsibility

The IFPI declared in their 2008 Report[3][4] that the advent of ISP responsibility would materialise, stating:

In 2007 ISP responsibility started to become an accepted principle, in 2008 it must become a reality.

This includes the introduction of so called "Three Strikes" or "Graduated Response"enforcement regimes - a legislative or procedural system whereby on allegation of copyright infringement, with no judicial oversight, an account holder would have their Internet connection terminated by the ISP. The IFPI have had moderate success with this lobby approach and so far. The French government have introduced and passed such laws[5], but not after the French Constitutional Court rejected key provisions of the law, declaring that "access to public communication services online" was a human right, and that only a judge could cut off an individual's Internet access.[6]

The United Kingdom has also passed into law a similar graduated response scheme through the Digital Economy Act, despite significant public opposition.[7] South Korea also has a similar system.[8]

The New Zealand legislation requiring the implementation of a graduated response has passed 1st Reading in Parliament and is expected to become law.[9]

Support of Filtering Technology

The IFPI has a programme of "co-operation" with ISPs, namely, the IFPI supports the introduction of legislation that compels the implementation and use of infrastructure for the purposes of blocking or censoring access to sites it alleges permits or somehow facilitates copyright infringement. It advocates for this implementation and provides assistance to National bodies in their lobbying efforts (see IFPI Filtering Memo) .[10]This process has been harshly criticised by the Pirate movement for its approach. It has been alleged by Christian Engström that Johan Schlüter from the local Danish Anti-Pirat Gruppen that represents and works with the IFPI and related organisations has exploited the victims of child sex abuse material and strategically uses that material as a means to lobby for setting a precedent for mandatory filtering infrastructure, and subsequent use of that infrastructure for blocking access to websites alleged to be facilitating the unlawful sharing of copyrighted material.[11]

References

  1. International Federation of the Phonographic Industry
  2. IFPI's Mission
  3. IFPI 2008 Digital Music Report
  4. IFPI fantasy: 2008 the year ISP filtering "becomes reality"
  5. HADOPI Law
  6. Top legal body strikes down anti-piracy law
  7. Controversial UK anti-piracy law finally passed
  8. Asian Patent Attorney's Association Annual Report 2009
  9. New Zealand “3-Strikes” Passes 1st Reading
  10. IFPI Filtering Memo
  11. IFPI's Child Porn Strategy
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