Execs vow global crackdown on music file sharing

A music industry trade organization said on Thursday new online download services are winning over customers, and warned a globe-spanning legal crackdown on file sharers is imminent.

On Thursday, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) released a progress report on its year-old campaign to develop and promote online music stores and spread its message that online song-swapping is illegal. In a rare upbeat statement, the IFPI said its initiative is building a vibrant, albeit small, market for selling music downloads that appears to be stealing momentum from peer-to-peer networks such as Kazaa and WinMX where all varieties of music are available for free.

"We believe that the music industry's Internet strategy is now turning the corner, and that in 2004 there will be, for the first time, a substantial migration of consumers from unauthorized free services to legitimate alternatives," said Jay Berman, IFPI's CEO. "The start of 2004 brings a new sense of optimism along with evidence of real change," Berman said in a statement. The IFPI, which represents a host of independent and major music labels, also said it would get tough with prolific song-swappers this year. IFPI's members include EMI, Universal Music, Bertelsmann's BMG, Sony Music and Warner Music, a division of CNN's parent company Time Warner Inc.

News source: CNN

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