About | ACP | Buy | Industry Watch | Learning Curve | News | Products | Search | Substack
Home » Learning Curve

An History of Orchestrated Outrage

Or how the IFPI manipulate their members and the media.

Get It

Try It
To you who listen to music from us who make music

Private copying of music from records or the radio to cassettes denies all artists, musicians, lyricists, composers, music publishers, and record producers their rightful recompense: royalties and sales revenues.
We the undersigned belong to the groups that suffer because of private copying.
We ask you who borrow records from one another and copy or record from the radio - stop doing that!

This will happen if you do not:
fewer choices, fewer artists, fewer resources with which to make music and fewer opportunities to give newcomers a chance - an impoverished Music-Sweden.

Be loyal! Don't copy!
You're stealing our income!

Signed by their own hands:
Fred Åkerström, Turid Lundqvist, Ted Gärdestad, Mikael Ramel, Arne Domnérus, Lill Lindfors, Claes af Geijerstam, Siw Malmkvist, Lars Lönndahl, Lars Roos, Magnus Härenstam, Jan Malmsjö, Lars Berghagen, Tomas Ledin, Eva Dahlgren, Kjell Lönnå, Bosse Parnevik, Ralph Lundsten, Pugh Rogefeldt, Magnus Uggla, Håkan Hagegård, Björn J:son Lindh, Per Gessle, Mats Persson, Anders Herrlin, Ola Magnell, Anders Glenmark, Thore Skogman.

The above was printed in the January 1981 issue of the periodical Musikern on page 24.

√ All of the people on this above list are well known musicians and millionaires.
Per Gessle, Anders Herrlin, Mats Persson played together in Gyllene Tider and cofounded Roxette.
Tomas Ledin is the husband of Marie Anderson and the son in law of ABBA manager Stickan Anderson.
Bosse Parnevik is the father of famous golfer Jesper Parnevik and owner of several Stockholm nightclubs.
Jan Malmsjö is a famous actor, singer, cabaret artist, and longstanding member of the Social Democratic Party.
√ Flautist Björn J:son Lindh has worked with classic pianist Staffan Scheja and rock guitarist Janne Schaffer.
√ Comedian Magnus Härenstam was for many years the host of the Swedish version of Jeopardy.
Anders Glenmark is a record producer and on occasion performs with his sister.
√ Everyone on this list is stinking rich.

This will happen... That was 1981 and it was a reaction to the introduction of the music cassette. It was published as a 'spontaneous appeal' by the IFPI and a significant part of the musical establishment in Sweden supported it.

The IFPI published an official statement along with the appeal.

Unbridled exploitation with no compensation to copyright holders will in the long run mean that the ability to create music will disappear completely.

The Swedish Musicians Union added in their own comments that increased copying of music led to fewer live performances and therefore increased unemployment and they therefore felt they were entitled to compensation.

Compare this with last year's IFPI appeal - more signatures, fewer heavyweights. Their music isn't downloaded anyway.

Through it all - through all the embarrassing 'spontaneous reactions' - it's been the IPFI behind the scenes, calling the shots, pulling the strings. The same IFPI who have been putting the Sarkozy government under such pressure. An IFPI headed by one John Kennedy (pictured below) who admitted in the trial of the TPB he understood BitTorrent technology 'only vaguely'.

A John Kennedy who willingly cited figures for worldwide revenues but would not cite figures for worldwide profits, insisting he really didn't know - but they were surely 'terrible'. A John Kennedy who squirmed in his seat and tried every trick in the book to dodge the direct question how much he and his IFPI spent trying to bludgeon public opinion and duly elected governments.

An IFPI who started putting their agenda together in Benito Mussolini's Italy in the 1930s - a politic that essentially says the record companies 'own' the artists.

The big joke is the IFPI have never been about artists - they're about record companies. Artists are making more money than ever in this digital age but the record companies are tanking. They're tanking because the money they've been stealing out of the pockets of the artists for so long suddenly isn't there anymore. And they're frantic and they're pissed.

All they ever should have been paid for was record sales. Now karma's boomeranging back on them.

  • 1980: The IFPI organise 150 Swedish artists to express their rage at private copying in Göteborgs-Tidningen.

  • 1999: The IFPI get 400 artists from several European countries to sign a petition for 'strengthened copyright protection in the digital world' and they report on this in their own periodical. The petition is given to the chairman of the European parliament by Jean Michel Jarre who for the occasion is described as the 'IFPS's Industry Artist Spokesman'. The IFPI also take out a full page spread in the Financial Times. The IFPI later expressed rage that the Swedish media totally ignored the story.

  • 2005: The IFPI have 114 signatures on a new appeal where they call downloads 'theft' and 'plundering'.

  • 2006: The IFPI are back in the Financial Times with another full page spread, this time petitioning to extend copyright protection. This was the culmination of a campaign they began two years earlier. They wanted copyright to be extended to a walloping 95 years. With only 50 years protection the Beatles catalogue would start losing protection already in the year 2012.

    But the British minister of finance requested a review by former FT editor Andrew Gowers who wrote the following.
    Term extension would keep the cost of sound recording licences higher for longer. Extension would increase costs for all businesses that play music, for example hairdressers, old people's homes, local radio and internet service providers (ISPs). The impact of extension would therefore be felt throughout the economy.

    In conclusion, the Review finds the arguments in favour of term extension unconvincing. The evidence suggests that extending the term of protection for sound recordings or performers' rights prospectively would not increase the incentives to invest, would not increase the number of works created or made available, and would negatively impact upon consumers and industry. Furthermore, by increasing the period of protection, future creators would have to wait an additional length of time to build upon past works to create new products and those wishing to revive protected but forgotten material would be unable to do so for a longer period of time.
    And as that didn't set well with the IFPI they took out another full page spread in the FT. This time they got 4,000 (four thousand) signatures including the following.
    Acker Bilk, Barry Gibb, Billy Bragg, Cerys Matthews, Cleo Laine, Cliff Richard, Ian Anderson, Katie Melua, Kiri Te Kanawa, Maximo Park, Neil Tennant, Nicola Benedetti, Paul McCartney, Paul Simonon, Pete Townshend, Peter Gabriel, Petula Clark, PJ Harvey, Robbie Williams, Simon Rattle, The Kaiser Chiefs, Tom Jones, U2, Yoko Ono.
    Lawrence Lessig wrote of the petition:
    December 7th. A date which will live in infamy.
    Then there was the question of exactly how 4,000 people signed the document - Lawrence Lessig pointed out several of them were 'apparently' dead.
    You'll see that at least some of these artists are apparently dead (Lonnie Donegan died 4 November 2002, Freddie Garrity died 20 May 2006). I take it the ability of these dead authors to sign a petition asking for their copyright terms to be extended can only mean that even after death term extension continues to inspire.
    Otherwise the suspicion was the same: the IFPI don't bother soliciting names but simply 'cook the lists'.

  • 2008: A handful of representatives for the book, games, and movie industries - the creative Sweden - protest downloading and begin the debate about an IPRED law that they think should include being both disconnected and blacklisted from the Internet. This in January.

  • 2008: A new protest is published in November with 37 signatures.
    Politicians have to stand up to the pirates. We're many who've been silent too long because we wanted to avoid the hateful attacks by the notorious file sharers. Our elected leaders have taken a cowardly stance in the copyright debate. Political responsibility has crumbled.
    The names - again: most are millionaires.
    Åsa Larsson, Björn Ranelid, Claes Janson, Colin Nutley, Dick Harrison, Eric Lantz, Eva Dahlgren, Fredrik Thomander, Georg Riedel, Hannes Holm, Henrik Rongedal, Jacob Widén, Jakob Samuelsson, Jill Johnson, Joakim 'Joey Tempest' Larsson, Joakim Nätterqvist, Kjell Åke Andersson, Lasse Tennander, Lena Koppel, Lisa Miskovsky, Magnus Rongedal, Magnus Sveningsson, Martin Ehrencrona, Martin Rolinski, Matti Alfonzetti, Måns Herngren, Mikael Persbrandt, Monica Borrfors, Niklas Strömstedt, Oscar Kempe, Per Gessle, Peter Dalle, Peter Englund, Rikard Wolff, Stefan Sauk, Torbjörn Flygt, Ulf Dageby.

The above is far from a complete list of IFPI actions. They kept a low profile for much of the happy days of the CD bubble of the 1990s. Then moonshining got them panicky all over again and it was time to take out the old appeals about cassettes and private copying and polish them up for the New Millennium.

The IFPI have changed in some respects. They used to take pains to distinguish between private copying and pirate copying. They don't do that anymore.

Some people played along - mostly artists who were already well known. Without sharing of some kind one simply cannot become well known and they know it. Some people refused to play along - the indie artists and labels who need file sharing.

Some people played along for a while and then lost interest. Some people stuck with the IFPI throughout. One name in particular stands out: Roxette founder Per Gessle, the sixth richest musician in the country.

When we started out there was no money to be made playing in a band. Someone was making money but it definitely wasn't us.
 - Mick Jagger

See Also
Radsoft: Benito's IFPI Royalty System

About | ACP | Buy | Industry Watch | Learning Curve | News | Products | Search | Substack
Copyright © Rixstep. All rights reserved.