The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has released the Digital Music Report 2010, a 32-page summary of how the digitization and online distribution of content is affecting the recording industry. (Thoughtfully, and perhaps unexpectedly, they've made the whole thing available at their Web site for free.) Their principal conclusion is that money can be made from digital platforms, but something has to be done about illegal downloading, which bleeds huge revenue each year.


Stephen Garrett, a television executive quoted in the report, says that runaway downloading has brought about a "climate change of the entertainment industries." It may be that Garrett actually meant to say "sea change"--in any case, he doesn't actually seem to be equating MP3 theft with the warming of the Earth--but a number of tech bloggers have seized on the analogy. However mangled the quote, "music piracy is like climate change" is on its way to be enshrined as a meme. Garrett's word choice aside, bloggers have found much else to criticize in the report, from the way its authors interpret recent events to its recommendations going forward.
  • Get Your Facts Right The IFPI offers a lot of statistics and anecdotal evidence, Mike Masnick at Techdirt reports, but much of it is intellectually dishonest. "The report continually ignores the fact that the music industry has actually been growing (and that's based on a study from the music industry itself). This report is like the makers of horse carriages insisting that the transportation market is dying, because they're selling fewer horse carraiges as automobile sales ramp up."
  •  France Doesn't Have the Answer to Everything The report recommends the French system of copyright enforcement, best described as 'steal music and we'll ban you from the Internet,' but Web User's Ben Camm-Jones posits that this is neither workable nor fair. "The problem with the French Hadopi law is that innocent people who have unwittingly been the victims of Wi-Fi 'piggybacking' could be cut off from the Web without a chance to plead their case." 
  • Have You Been Inside a Record Store Lately? Nate Anderson of Ars Technica sympathizes with those whose intellectual property is at stake, but only to a point. "These are the major labels, so the top 10 singles are pretty execrable stuff unless you like Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, or songs with titles like 'Kiss Me Thru the Phone' and 'Boom Boom Pow.'"