ILLEGAL DOWNLOADS OF MOBILE RINGTONES COSTS MUSIC INDUSTRY '$1 MILLION PER DAY' Monday 23 April 2001 PDF Print Envisional points to 'another Napster in the making' Envisional, the UK-based Internet monitoring company, today warned that that the current craze for downloading musical ringtones to mobile phones has created massive intellectual property abuses that have the potential to cost the music industry as much as $1 million dollars per day. Envisional has identified hundreds of sites on the Internet that make ringtones available for download to mobile phones. While most sites charge users for each tune they download (around £1.50 per tone on average), industry analysts investigating the ringtone phenomenon say very few of these companies ever return any royalties to the record companies who own the copyright to the tunes. The record companies are entitled to a fee of 7.5 US cents for every tune downloaded meaning that, with hundreds of sites allowing hundreds of thousands of ringtones to be downloaded every day, the music industry is suffering massive losses due to copyright abuse. Ben Coppin, Chief Operating Officer of Envisional, said, "Reliable figures on the total ringtone market are very hard to come by, but we know that one site has seen more than thirty thousand downloads of a single ringtone - Mission Impossible - in a two month period with a further 270 tones available from that one site alone. Averaging out the number of downloads for each tune and multiplying that figure by the number of similar sites quickly brings the possibility of potential music industry losses to over one million dollars per day in the future. These are very rough estimates - and we'd be delighted to see market analysts qualifying these figures - but there is no doubt as to the scale of the problem. This is another Napster in the making." Envisional's research found that the problem was largely created by teenagers downloading their favourite artists - Eminem, Limp Bizkit, Destiny's Child and S Club 7 being the most popular - and thirtysomethings copying hits from the 1980's. TV shows such as Big Brother and the A Team were also popular and there was a growing trend towards downloading specialist tunes such as those from Indian 'Bollywood' movies, and seasonal tunes (around Christmas, for example). Clare Griffiths, a lawyer at Intellectual Property specialists Briffa, explained that the legal issues surrounding the practise of downloading ringtones were extremely complex - both for the site owners and the consumers. "Copyright in the music will be infringed by taking a 'substantial part' of a musical work. The most recognisable melody of a song, even if it is only 10 seconds out of 3 minutes, could be substantial copying. The moral rights of the song writer may also be infringed through the derogatory treatment of their work, having a beautiful melody reduced to a ring tone could be seen as damaging to the integrity of the music." "There is also a question of who may be liable for the infringement. It is the person doing the copying that is infringing. This will be the company/person putting the tunes on a website for download, but the act of downloading by individuals is also creating another copy on the person's phone and so both could be liable. Individuals who key in the tunes for themselves are also making copies and so cannot evade liability this way. The application of the existing law to these new scenarios can also throw up interesting debates: for example, is the song being broadcast/performed when the phone rings, especially in a public place, further infringing the rights of the copyright owner?" -ends- About Envisional's Discovery Engine: Envisional uses an advanced, rules-based language to automate a discovery process beyond the scope of human capability. It helps businesses find out what is being said about them, their clients and competitors or a particular field of research. It aims to help organisations in three distinct ways: Revenues - For content publishers, the Internet has enabled intellectual property theft - of the spoken word, still and moving images and music - on an almost unimaginable scale. The discovery engine identifies breaches of copyright, enabling organisations to take appropriate action. Reputations - For global brands, the Internet is the world's biggest rumour mill. Many of these rumours are generated by individuals with axes to grind and are extremely damaging. Last year, a rumour started spreading that KFC had created a GM chicken without a beak or feathers for use in their restaurants. If this kind of misinformation is left unnoticed and unchecked, it can bring a company to its knees. Research - the Internet is a vital source for those involved in research of any kind. However, the thousands of different URLs being returned by search engines for any query waste huge amounts of a researcher's time and money. Companies need to automate the drudgery of ploughing through these URLs in order to improve researchers productivity. Traditional search engines cannot provide any real precision in information retrieval, making it difficult, expensive and time consuming for organisations to address these problems. Envisional's Discovery Engine technology addresses precisely these shortcomings. Contact Details: Iain Frazer-Halpin/Matthew Ward Brodeur Worldwide Tel: 01753 44 8840/8875 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com. This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Pleon in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit https://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.