New research claims that music piracy in Australia slipped by 20% between December 2012 and December 2013. Oh, and we should point out that the research was undertaken by Spotify, a service that has long argued that the key way to stem piracy is to offer legal services that are better than pirate ones. Will Page, Spotify’s director of economics, revealed all this at the Copyright – Online infringement public forum in Sydney. It is a claim that cynics might argue is “a bit Mandy Rice-Davies” (“He would, wouldn’t he?”), but Page is nothing if not rigorous in his analysis and has the numbers to back him up, working with MusicMetric on the report. He also added that torrent traffic tied to film and TV piracy was four times higher than that related to music, although Page was keen to say that it doesn’t mean it’s plain sailing for music. “Let’s be clear, Australia still faces a massive challenge in turning around its much talked about media piracy challenge, and it always has, and always will, take a combination of public policy and superior legal offerings,” he said. Google also spoke at the event and claimed, “Content owners do need to control their content online but it can’t compromise the ecosystem.” It added that proposals being outlined would damage new digital businesses and said the best route was to “follow the money” and “cut off the financial incentive of pirates”. This all comes as the Australian government is consulting on what the best way to tackle online piracy is, with some industry bodies calling for a ‘six strikes’ graduated warning systems similar to that in the US.

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