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News From The World Of Music Downloads

May 27, 2008
The music download business is fraught with difficulties. First there is the problem of cost. Debates have wrangled since the inception of music downloads as to what should be charged for music and the ease that people have been able to practice piracy because they thought that the music industry was greedy in what it was asking for its tracks.

Ninety people were caught by the British Phonographic industry last year acquiring music download tracks by piracy. Sixty of these people agreed out of court settlements that set them back about 2,500 pounds each - a costly business indeed.

Five people have been caught illegally sharing music downloads but refuse to accept they were wrong. Between them they managed to acquire 9,000 tunes and the industry intends to pursue them through the courts to recover their losses.

Illegal music downloads cost the British record industry 650 pounds million over the last two years so is it any wonder they are clamping down on piracy and their efforts must be working. That and the fact that music downloads are becoming cheaper due to popular demand. A 744% rise in the number of legal downloads was recorded in the last year.

However, get is sorted, download legally and you could be laughing. Scientists are working on a new micro switch that will allow mp3 players to hold millions of songs. The record amount of tunes held on one player currently belongs to Apple with their classic iPod holding 40,000 songs.

Whether your player holds 40,000 songs or millions, whatever you download, make sure it is legal. On top of that, check to see if you are covered with insurance. Insurance for downloaded music is not something many people consider but is an important factor when you think about how much the average music library would cost to replace.

Some insurance companies will cover the cost of the music in the event of a household flood, fire or theft. But a lot of them would make no recompense if the music was lost to a computer virus or hardware failure. Insurers are being urged to change their policies on the cover of music downloads as it is now the most popular way of buying and storing music and should be recognised as such. The insurers that do currently offer cover limit it to the device being in the home at the time or capping to a maximum payout of 2,000. pounds

The average downloaded music collection is worth an average 257 pounds at the moment so that insurance is more than adequate but what would happen in the loss of millions of songs? And would you be expected to prove that they were legally downloaded. They say yes - paper receipts would need to be seen otherwise the claim for lost music would be astronomical. Many music providers will email receipts that can be printed off in the event that they are needed or paper copies printed and kept each time one is received.

One good thing to see in the news of music downloads is the fact that The Beatles Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club is still the top selling song of all time - via all channels including the internet. This would suggest that either older people are becoming more internet savvy or the younger generation are developing a taste for real music.
About the Author
Music expert Catherine Harvey looks at the music download developments.
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