File-sharers continue to outsmart record labels

File-sharers continue to outsmart record labels
BBC Online story.

“The record industry has become the National Rifle Association of showbusiness. It has declared jihad on its customers who it calls pirates,” said Wayne Rosso, head of Grokster.

File-sharing services such as Grokster now boast millions more customers than Napster, the original file-swapping music service, had at its peak.

“Last year, around about the stage that file-sharing was ramping up, there was a huge window of opportunity for the record industry to do something before it became too ingrained but that moment has disappeared,” said Mark Mulligan, senior analyst at Jupiter Research.

Jupiter Research’s latest study reveals that legitimate internet music services are struggling to get off the ground despite the fact that nearly 40% of Europe’s digital music fans are willing to pay for music online.

With the music industry refusing to offer up any but a small percentage of its artists for digital download, millions of music lovers are using services such as Kazaa to swap tracks and build up online libraries of free, if illegal, music.

File-swapping services are becoming almost as easily recognisable as the music labels themselves and boast an enviable number of users.