'ISPs must take action over dodgy downloads'

Apples iTunes Store and iPod dominate legal downloads. However the IFPI would like to see subscription services grow in strength

Illegal downloads account for 80 per cent all traffic on the internet and ISPs must take urgent action to make it stop. Or so says the International Federation for the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) in its latest annual report.

The IFPI says that ISPs both in the UK and worldwide should follow France's example and introduce filtering technology to stop illegal downloads. It also calls for illegal downloaders to have their internet connection severed.

The IFPI also wants more concerted efforts from the music biz and others to combat the dominance of the Apple iTunes Store and the iPod. The IFPI seems particularly enamoured of subcription services where you rent, rather than own, the music you download:

"Subscription services have grown steadily, particularly in the US. Revenues from subscription services, such as Napster and Rhapsody, grew by 63 per cent in the US between the first half of 2005 and the same period of 2007. Napster has a subscriber base of 750,000," it says in its Digital Music Report 2008.

Play nice with iPod?

"Other big brand names also came into the sector. However, these services remain niche in other markets, held back by various factors, including their lack of interoperability with the dominant music player, the iPod, and under-investment in marketing and promotion. If these problems can be addressed, the potential for subscription models is enormous."

On the plus side, the IFPI also says that digital downloads now account for 15 per cent of all music sales, a rise of 4 per cent from 2003. Digital downloads now earn the music business $2.9 billion (£1.48 billion) worldwide. However the IFPI also insists that digital downloads don't make up for a sharp decrease in CD sales since its last report in 2006.