In June 2009 with the passing of the HADOPI law, France became the first country to use legislation to tackle the issue of piracy in music downloads. The UK Digital Economy Bill, which passed somewhat controversially through Parliament earlier this year and includes provisions for banning illegal file-sharers and blocking websites that infringe copyright laws, is similarly designed to tackle internet piracy through the use of legislation. But how successful is legislation of this nature in reducing music piracy, and more importantly, to what extent does it encourage legal consumption? There seems little evidence so far that they are doing either.
The IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) has revealed its analysis of global music consumption in 2010, highlighting an overall drop in physical CD sales of -14.2%, with an increase of only 5.3% in (legal) digital sales during the same period leaving a significant shortfall in revenue for the industry.