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If piracy and illegal downloaders really are killing the music industry, how come more singles have been sold this year than ever before and people who file-share spend more money on legal releases than those who do not file-share?

I have to admit, it's not been a good week to be on the side of law and order and the established way of things as far as the music business is concerned. While the UK Government pushes ever onwards with the Digital Economy Bill which promises a robust legal and regulatory framework to deal with illegal file-sharing, and continues to insist that illegal downloading is a real threat to the music industry, figures have been released which seem to undermine the official 'three strikes and your out' to save creative output position.

According to the Daily Mail a newly published study shows that, in the UK at least, those who download illegal music actually spend considerably more on buying legal music than those who do not admit to illegal downloading. When it comes to music singles and albums, the illegal downloaders spend an average of £77 per year on official releases while people who say they have never downloaded any music illegally spend only £44 per year.

Of those asked, around two thirds would stop downloading illegally if music download services were cheaper. Just reducing the cost to 45p a track could double the sales of legal downloads it would seem. Add to this the fact that 42% of people said they download illegally to try before they buy, and 83% insist they buy more music as a result of such downloading, and you get the feeling that the music industry needs to be examining new music distribution business models and exploiting them rather than applying the big stick with fingers in ears going la la la approach.

The British Phonographic Industry, the UK music industry trade association, reckons that illegal downloaders will cost the music biz around £200 million in lost sales by the end of this year. Yet at the same time it is being reported that the BPI is also saying that 2009 will be the biggest year ever as far as sales of singles in the UK is concerned. The previous record for most single records being sold was et, er, last year in fact. Even more proof, were it needed, that illegal downloads are simply not killing the music business as is constantly being suggested by the industry powers that be.

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

Sounds like a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing or reporting. So, it is a natural that government is involved.

I have an album available via torrent. That is to say an album by me, not one that I've bought, ripped and put on a torrent site. I like the idea of people being able to download it if they want to, even though the physical CD version is available for purchase. I would have the same view even if I was famous, and people should be able to make up their own minds about the music before having to pay for it.

If the government think that makes me a pirate, all I can say is 'Arr, matey!'

Nice one Rebecca. I forget the name of the band, British band I think, that put there last album up on iTunes (I think) and let their fans pay what they felt it was worth. Good luck with the album.

I think you're referring to Radiohead's 'In Rainbows' album. It was a great marketing ploy for them, as it increased their exposure, which led to better sales when they released the CD version of the album.

As for my album, I just checked on the figures earlier today. Since the album was released last year, it's been downloaded 283 times, and I've sold one CD copy. I don't think that's bad considering I haven't paid a penny for marketing!

There are many music sharing website that offer P2P programs to download and distribute copyrighted musiv, movies, games that are operating with permission. That's the key. It is recommended that you use discretion when downloading music and movie files

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