Frequently Asked Questions

WHY SO MUCH TROUBLE FOR THE "RIGHTS" OF SOME MILLIONAIRES ARTISTS AND THE MULTINATIONALS WITH THE HUGE PROFITS?
Our aim is the protection of hundreds of thousands of artists worldwide. The majority of these artists are ordinary, hard working professionals. Some of them of course are famous and earn a lot of money. Respectively, we have a membership comprising more than 1400 record companies, the majority of which are small independent companies. It is natural, each trade association to have as members both large and small size companies.

IS IT TRUE THAT INDEPENDENT COMPANIES HAVE NO SAYING AND VOTE IN IFPI?
Decisions in IFPI are taken by the majority with participation of all members. After all, the IFPI's aims are common for both large and small companies.

IFPI CHASES PIRATES TO ELIMINATE COMPETITION?
It is not competition. It is theft.

WHO ACTUALLY HOLDS THE COPYRIGHT IN A PIECE OF MUSIC?
The person who wrote the tune and the lyrics and/or their publishers own authors' rights; the artist that performs that music has rights to his/her performance; and a record company has rights to its recordings.

HOW DO I KNOW IF THERE IS COPYRIGHT ON A PARTICULAR PIECE OF MUSIC?
All music and recordings of music are copyrighted and also subject to protections of 'related rights' as of the date they are created or published, as the case may be. In Europe authors and music publishers retain copyright for 70 years after the death of the author, and performers and producers enjoy protection for 50 years after the recording was first communicated to the public.

HOW DO I KNOW IF WHAT I'M DOING IS LEGAL OR ILLEGAL?
Under copyright (and related rights) in more than 150 countries it is not legal to copy, adapt, translate, perform, or broadcast a protected work or recording, or put it on the Internet, unless a specific exception exists in the copyright law of your country, or unless you have permission from all of the relevant owners of rights.

IS IT ILLEGAL FOR ME TO COPY AND DISTRIBUTE MUSIC EVEN IF I'M NOT MAKING MONEY OUT OF IT?
The question of whether you are doing copying for profit may affect what penalties apply, but does not determine whether you are in breach of copyright.

ISN'T IT LEGAL TO MAKE COPIES FOR MY OWN PERSONAL USE?
The laws of some countries have limited exceptions to the rights owners' rights to control copying, which allow copying for your own private use. These exceptions do not apply, however, if you make available or transmit copyright material over the internet, distribute copies, or (in most countries) copy from illegal sources.

IF I HAVE BOUGHT A LEGITIMATE CD, CAN'T I DO WHAT I LIKE WITH THE MUSIC ON IT?
In buying a legitimate CD you have paid for the right to own the physical disc, to play it privately as often as you like. You have not bought the right to make copies or distribute copies, whether on CD-R or over the Internet.

SO WHAT IF I BREAK THE LAW - WHAT CAN ANYONE DO ABOUT IT?
Where people persistently make music available on the Internet in breach of copyright laws, they are in effect engaged in copyright theft, and that exposes them to the risk of legal action by the copyright holders.

IS THERE A COPYRIGHT ON ALL MUSIC, INCLUDING MUSIC THAT MAY NO LONGER BE AVAILABLE COMMERCIALLY?
Generally, yes. While some old recordings may have fallen into the public domain, the vast bulk of those that appear on the Internet are still under copyright protection.

WHAT IF I JUST WANT TO DOWNLOAD A FEW SONGS TO SEE IF IT'S WORTH BUYING THE ALBUM?
That's fine if you're allowed to do so by the holder of the rights. Some legitimate sites let you listen to clips from particular songs, or sample a limited download of tracks from their service, as a 'taster' of the music.

MATERIAL OVER THE INTERNET IF IT IS MARKED WITH 'DELETE WITHIN 24 HOURS', 'FOR EVALUATION PURPOSES', OR A SIMILAR DISCLAIMER?
No, these disclaimers are invalid unless authorised by the right holder. The law looks to the reality of what is happening - unauthorised transmission and reproduction of somebody else's music.

DOES IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE HOW MUCH I'M UPLOADING?
You are likely to be breaking the law whether you are uploading one copyrighted song or thousands.

IS ALL FILE-SHARING ILLEGAL?
Unauthorised peer-to-peer 'file sharing' is copyright infringement. For the time being the vast majority of all peer-to-peer file-sharing is unauthorised, since it is not licensed by copyright holders, and is therefore illegal.

WHAT IF I DOWNLOAD MUSIC FROM A SITE FROM A DIFFERENT COUNTRY THAN THE ONE I'M IN, WHERE THE LAW MIGHT BE DIFFERENT?
Internet activities of this sort typically involve acts of copying, transmission, or distribution in both countries, so both countries' laws would apply.

THE SOUL OF INTERNET IS THE FREE DISTRIBUTION OF INFORMATION AND IDEAS. WHY IS THE MUSIC INDUSTRY TRYING TO CONTROL IT AND BOUND IT?
Protected content, though distributed in means of digital information, does not constitute information but a product with moral and commercial value. Though intangible has an owner and although it owes its existence to a creative idea of its creator, it does not constitute idea. Imposing legal and commercial regulations to its distribution cannot be associated with any limitations to free distribution of ideas and information, since it cannot be associated with these, despite the fact that sometimes a song can be source of information or the sparkle for the creation of an idea. We can keep on playing with words forever, but the substance remains: music industry does not limit the internet but tries to protect the rights of thousands of people in it.

THE MUSIC INDUSTRY FIGHTS THE INTERNET BECAUSE IT FEARS NEW TECHNOLOGIES?
The music industry is not afraid of the internet. On the contrary invests in new technologies of digital distribution of music that lead to lower cost of acquiring songs. Users already have the capability through more than 500 legal services (www.pro-music.org) to access music in whatever way and time they want, with respect to those that have contributed to the creation and production of this music.

IS BUYING MUSIC THROUGH INTERNET LEGAL?
Of course, through the proper services. Today, through www.pro-music.org consumers in more than 100 countries worldwide can choose between 26 million tracks through more than 500 different services. They have unlimited choices of accessing music: download, subscription and ad-supported, through numerous devices and software.

IF INTERNET BRINGS ARTISTS IN DIRECT CONTACT WITH THEIR AUDIENCE, MAYBE THE RECORD COMPANIES ARE UNNECESSARY?
Experience in talent development, promotion of artists and offering to the audience the kind of music they want is equally valuable in the digital environment as in the physical one. In any case, the choice of free or otherwise alternative distribution of an artist's work to the public remains a prerogative of the artist and not a choice of the public.
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