World music sales for the year 2001 fell by 5% in value and by 6,5% in units. Europe fell slightly by 0,8% in value and saw a drop in units sold of 2,2%. In the world's major markets - including the US and many parts of Western Europe - this decline is attributed to a large extent to unauthorised CD-R copying. Two years ago, on a worldwide basis, one digital copy was made for every three music CDs sold. Last year, that ratio had shrunk dramatically to one-to-two. In 2001, for every CD album sold, one copy was burned. That amounts to around 2.5 billion CDs a year. At these levels of massive copying and piracy, huge damage is being done to legitimate recorded music sales.
Who is affected?
BMG too sees itself obliged to protect future releases by implementing a copy control system. In the long term, massive copying deprives music-makers of their very livelihood. It is theft of the intellectual property of musicians, authors and composers. New trends and talents can only emerge if music is bought and the proceeds from sales of existing music can be invested in the development of new music.
What needs to be done?
Given this background, BMG will be using copy control technology for digital media as has been used for a long time with comparable media such as computer software, video games and DVDs. Until now, the technological possibility to protect music discs from being copied with a CD burner did not exist. In the meantime, this has changed. Various internationally available copy protection processes are currently being examined in cooperation with Sonopress, tested in comprehensive test series and continuously updated to state-of-the-art technology.
Copy protection is important!
BMG attaches great importance to assuring that the copy protection used does not lead to restrictions for consumers with respect to listening pleasure. Those who play back their purchased product on a standard home CD Audio player will not notice any difference at all. The usual functions are preserved and the sound quality is not influenced in any way. BMG is in constant discussion with consumers and technology providers in order to guarantee an optimum solution and the best playability on as many devices as possible.
Secure digital downloads
In addition, BMG is cooperating with various partners in the music industry (www.musicline.de) as well as online and distribution portals (Lycos Europe, OD2) to develop secure, easy to use and exciting digital information and download offers. In the future, fans will be offered music in a protected form on secure sound carriers as well as through mobile transfer systems.