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IFPI chief calls on to stop the infringement and embrace licensed music

By | Published on Thursday 13 February 2014


The boss of the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry, Frances Moore, has called on popular Russian social network – or vKontakte – to seize the moment and become a friend rather than foe of the music industry.

As previously reported, has been on the receiving end of various lawsuits from music rights owners for enabling its users to easily share unlicensed recordings over its networks. The social media firm has, more recently, made gestures towards cracking down on infringement and working with labels and publishers, though the IFPI reckons much, much more needs to be done, and for now the social network continues to hinder the growth of Russia’s music market.

The company has just been listed in the US Trade Representative’s ‘Notorius Markets’ report as a serious copyright infringer, motivating Moore’s polemic. However, she says, management is being revamped at the Russian firm and new investment is being sought, with a possible flotation on the agenda. Securing investment from international sources will mean assuring potential shareholders that IP matters are in hand, and that – if nothing else – should persuade to act now, says Moore.

She writes: “vKontakte should not wait for an IPO to seize this opportunity. It should act now, take steps to stop facilitating piracy and become a licensed participant in the music business. Working with record companies vKontakte could be a powerful player in a fast-growing licensed Russian music sector. This does not need to mean that consumers would be deprived of free music – there are already licensed free streaming services [in Russia] such as Yandex and Trava. What it does mean is stopping unlicensed music, so that artists and record labels have the choice of how their music is distributed and get paid a fair return as a result”.

You can read Moore’s full piece here.