Earlier this week, we reported on a new study into online piracy by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), and predicted that its claims that the music industry should worry less about piracy would ruffle a few feathers. Consider the IFPI well and truly ruffled. “IFPI believes the JRC study is flawed and misleading. The findings seem disconnected from commercial reality, are based on a limited view of the market and are contradicted by a large volume of alternative third party research that confirms the negative impact of piracy on the legitimate music business,” claims a lengthy rebuttal statement released by the industry body. It goes on to criticise the ‘clickstream’ methodology of the study in detail, including the claim that it overestimates legal music behaviour and is “confused over the overlap between the use of legal and illegal services”, citing a host of other studies that contradict the findings. Oh, and to cap it off, the IFPI is resolutely unimpressed by the report’s suggestion that piracy isn’t a threat to streaming music services. “Piracy is as great a threat to the growing subscription and free-to-user streaming sector as it is to download services…”

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