30% of Indie Labels Have Given Up Trying Digital Takedowns Of Illegal Music Sites

A2IM and FMC asked independent record labels to respond to a survey asking about their experiences with unauthorized online uses of their sound recordings and their experience with the DMCA. Based on the responses to that survey:

• 87% of the respondents knew of online infringements of their works, even though 30% did not actively search for infringements of their works.

• 65% of the respondents who took action to have the infringing works removed from an online source reported that either it took longer than 24 hours for the infringing work to be removed or that the infringing work was never removed.

• 68% of the respondents reported that an infringing copy of their music reappeared on the same service even after that music had previously been taken down—the so-called “whack-a-mole” problem.

• 65% of those that did not actively search for unauthorized use attributed the reason to not having enough resources to search for infringing activity. In addition, 30% of the respondents also stated that they did not continue searching for infringements because previous enforcement efforts had been unsuccessful.

• The three most frequently cited obstacles faced by the respondents in enforcing their rights online include that (i) they don’t have enough resources to pursue infringement of their works. (ii) they can’t find the contact information to request takedown, (iii) the sites ignore notices or other complaints.

Survey results were submitted to the US Copyright Office as part of their study of Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

“Sadly, the survey confirms that independent labels are significantly harmed by the unauthorized online use of their music and the unnecessarily tortuous notice and takedown process,” said Richard James Burgess, CEO of A2IM.

“Independent labels play a crucial role in the careers of artists of every genre; many are run by musicians themselves.” said Dick Huey, interim Executive Director of FMC. “As policymakers weigh changes to copyright law, the unique needs of the independent sector and all the diverse music communities they serve must be a central consideration.”