IFPI has issued all its member companies and national associations with labelling guidelines governing the release of CDs that incorporate copy control technologies (CCTs).
The initiative acknowledges record companies' increasing use of copy control technologies on music CDs and the need for clear labelling to assist retailers and consumers. The guidelines follow IFPI's Main Board recommendation in November 2001 that any releases featuring CCTs should be clearly labelled.
Copy control technologies are becoming increasingly commonplace as record companies move to protect themselves, their artists and other rights holders from mass copying and digital music piracy. It is estimated that the number of CDs copied worldwide is now on a par with the number of CDs sold.
IFPI represents the recording industry worldwide, with over 1,500 member record companies in more than 70 countries. Jay Berman, Chairman and CEO of IFPI said, "Copy control technologies are now being widely adopted by record companies as a way of tackling the enormous problem of mass copying and piracy. These guidelines are designed to offer practical assistance to record companies and retailers, so that consumers are properly informed when they are buying a disc that carries copy control technology."
The guidelines were welcomed by the Global Entertainment Retail Association-Europe (GERA-Europe), which represents the national trade associations in the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands and overall represents 20% of the global entertainment retail market.
GERA-Europe said in a statement: "We welcome the introduction of the IFPI guidelines on labelling of CCT CDs and look forward to further discussions on this matter with IFPI. The individual and collective use of these guidelines in the marketplace by content owners is a necessary step to developing the marketplace in the new digital age. Ultimately, if the implementation of these guidelines grants the legitimate end-customer a 'care-free' consumer experience, then these guidelines should be welcomed by all players in the entertainment industry."
A summary of IFPI's main recommendations follows:
Record producers are encouraged to display the following information prominently on the outside packaging of CDs.
* Compatibility: what devices or platforms a disc is intended to play on and is not intended to play on, taking into account customer expectations about playability
* Computers: if use on a computer - via additional files delivered on the disc or via the internet - is dependent upon compatibility with certain hardware or software requirements, this should be stated. For practical reasons, full details may need to be provided on inside packaging
* Where relevant, IFPI members may wish to indicate that computer copying is allowed within a secure environment
Details of how to access or operate any second session or downloadable player, and support information such as website address or help-line number may be provided on inside packaging.
Language & symbols
IFPI recommends that wherever a disc is released, the information is offered in the appropriate languages. If symbols are used, it is essential their meaning is clear and unambiguous, and, where necessary, complemented by information campaigns.