International Federation of the Phonographic Industry

International Federation of the Phonographic Industry
International Federation of the Phonographic Industry
Abbreviation IFPI
Motto representing the recording industry worldwide
Formation 1933
Headquarters 10 Piccadilly, London, United Kingdom
Chief executive Frances Moore
Main organ Main Board of Directors

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) is the organisation that represents the interests of the recording industry worldwide. It is a not-for-profit members' organisation registered in Switzerland. It operates a Secretariat based in London, with regional offices in Brussels, Hong Kong and Miami.



Its stated mission is to promote the value of recorded music, safeguard the rights of record producers and expand the commercial uses of recorded music.[1] Its services to members include legal policy advice (lobbying), anti-piracy enforcement, litigation and regulatory affairs, market research and communications support.[2]


Frances Moore was appointed the chief executive of IFPI with a term effective from 1 July 2010.[3] She replaced John Kennedy OBE, who had headed the organisation since 2005 and was also one of the co-producers of Live Aid and Live8.[4]

The IFPI is currently based in Piccadilly in the City of Westminster in London, England.

Scope of influence

IFPI represents the recording industry worldwide with some 1,400 members in 66 countries and affiliated industry associations in 45 countries.[1] According to the IFPI, "any company, firm or person producing sound recordings or music videos which are made available to the public in reasonable quantities is eligible for membership of IFPI",[1] though the company does not specify what "reasonable quantities" actually means.

National groups and affiliate bodies include SNEP in France, Bundesverband Musikindustrie in Germany, RIAJ in Japan, BPI in the UK and RIAA in the US. Although recognised as an "affiliated group", the RIAA on its own website specifically notes that IFPI administers programs "for a number of countries, excluding the United States".[5] Record labels can be members of both their local industry body and IFPI.


Phonogram performance rights

The IFPI was formed as the phonographic industry held its first international congress in Rome, 10–14 November 1933[6] and registered its head office in Zurich, Switzerland.[7] Its mission was to represent "the interests of the recording industry worldwide in all fora"[8] by promoting legislation and copyrights[9] and "to protect the largely British-based recording industry" by promoting a global performance right in gramophone sound recordings.[10]

Phonogram copyrights

The IFPI heavily lobbied at the Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations of 1961, which established an international standard for the protection of sound recordings, live performances & broadcasts. This Convention was opposed by trade groups representing authors and composers, who were concerned that establishing such "neighbouring rights" would undermine their own control over how their works were used and would result in prohibitively expensive licensing.[11] Pressure from broadcasters who didn't want to license the records they broadcast, among other factors, kept the U.S. from signing the Convention; the U.S. did not recognise a separate sound recording copyright until 1971.[12]

Phonogram anti-piracy

The IFPI then began a campaign against piracy. In 1971 it succeeded in advocating and obtaining the Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms (the Geneva Phonograms Convention), which 72 countries signed.[13]

In 1986, the ISO established the International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) standard, ISO 3901. In 1989, the IFPI was designated the registration authority for ISRC codes. ISRC codes "enable the use of copyright protected recordings and works to be controlled; facilitate the distribution and collection of royalties (performances, private copying); and assist in the fight against piracy."[14]

In 1994, in an effort to combat piracy, the IFPI and the compact disc manufacturing industry introduced Source Identification (SID) codes, which are markings on CD parts that identify the manufacturers, equipment, and master discs that were used to create each disc.

SID codes are formatted as the letters "IFPI" followed by 4 or 5 hexadecimal digits. A SID-marked disc typically bears at least two codes, each imprinted on different physical components. A number prefaced with "L" is a "mastering code," a serial number taken from a pool assigned by Philips to the manufacturer. It identifies the Laser Beam Recorder (LBR) signal processor or mold that produced a particular stamper or a glass master disc from which molds are produced. Non-"L" numbers are "mold codes", the first 2 or 3 digits of which are assigned by Philips to the operator of the manufacturing or mastering plant, which might not be the same plant that manufactured the stamper or glass master; and the remaining digits are a serial number assigned by that plant to its molds.[15]

The Pirate Bay incidents

In mid-October 2007, after the IFPI let the domain registration lapse, ownership of the domain was transferred to The Pirate Bay, a group which claimed it received the domain from an anonymous donor.[16] The group set up a Website under the domain titled "International Federation of Pirates Interests," a replacement backronym for IFPI. Ownership of the domain was returned to the IFPI in late November, when a WIPO arbitration panel concluded that "the Disputed Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which the [IFPI] has rights" and that the Pirate Bay's representative "registered and [was] using the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith" and failed to adequately rebut the IFPI's contention that he "has no rights or a legitimate interest in the Disputed Domain Name."[17] The organisation's website was unaffected during the dispute.

In a separate incident, on the 18th February 2009, the Swedish domain was hacked by The Pirate Bay sympathiser(s). This occurred on the third day of the trial of the Pirate Bay founders in Sweden. The site was replaced with a short message directed at the Prosecutor Håkan Roswall and plaintiffs ("Warner Brothers etc"). It was signed "The New Generation".[18] Peter Sunde of Pirate Bay made an appeal on Twitter requesting that the hackers stop this defacement.[19]

On 19 April 2009, after the announcement of an unfavorable Swedish court decision against The Pirate Bay, the and domains were reportedly subjected to a DDoS attack. The newspaper The Register and the BitTorrent community site TorrentFreak speculated that the attacks were perpetrated by Pirate Bay supporters.[20][21][citation needed]

Record sales certification

The IFPI awards two album sales certifications, the IFPI Platinum Europe Awards and the IFPI Middle East Awards.

The IFPI Platinum Europe Awards were founded in 1996.[22] They are awarded for actual retail sales (as opposed to shipments) of one million albums, in one of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and United Kingdom.[23] An archive of past winners is available online.[22]

The IFPI Middle East Awards were established in October 2009.[22] They are awarded for sales in either the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, or in Lebanon. in the GCC, Gold award is awarded for sales of 3,000 units and Platinum for sales of 6,000 units. In Lebanon, Gold award is awarded for sales of 1,000 units and Platinum for sales of 2,000 units.[24] An archive of past winners is also available online.[22]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "IFPI's Mission". IFPI. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  2. ^ "What services does IFPI provide?". IFPI.
  3. ^ "Frances Moore to be new CEO of IFPI" (Press release). IFPI. 2010-06-24. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  4. ^ "John Kennedy to succeed Jay Berman as Chairman and CEO of IFPI" (Press release). IFPI. 2004-09-13. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  5. ^ "RIAA: Gold & Platinum: History". Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  6. ^ Thalheim, Dr. R. (1938), "Der Schutz der Schallplatte nach italienischen Verordnung vom 18. February 1937.", Archiv für Urheber-, Film- und Theaterrecht, 11, Berlin: Julius Springer, p. 39 
  7. ^ "Introduction of the RIT (IFPI Taiwan)". Retrieved 2009-04-21. 
  8. ^ Drahos, Peter; Braithwaite, John (2002), Information Feudalism: Who Owns The Knowledge Economy?, Earthscan, pp. 181–182, ISBN 1853839175, "The key actor in coordinating the industry's piracy strategy became its international trade association, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Formed in 1933, its mission was to represent 'the interests of the recording industry worldwide in all fora' (IFPI interview, 1993)." 
  9. ^ Davies, Gillian (May 1984), Oral History of Recorded Sound (Abstract), British Library National Sound Archive,, retrieved 2008-04-10  "IFPI founded in 1933 to deal with [r]ecord industry at inter-governmental level; promoting legislation; copyrights for industry worldwide." Davies was an associate director and chief legal counsel to the IFPI.
  10. ^ Frith, Simon (January 1988), Copyright and the music business, 7, Popular Music, p. 57,, "IFPI was founded in 1933, in its own words, 'to protect the largely British-based recording industry', but, as Gavin McFarlane points out, its brief was more specifically 'to promote on a world-wide basis the performing right in gramophone records'..." 
  11. ^ Drahos & Braithwaite 2002, p. 181: "Authors and composers became increasingly worried by copyright's technological turn. They saw it as compromising the artistic purity of copyright. At a more practical level, authors were worried that the recognition of a 'neighbouring right' in the form of a sound recording would undermine their control over the use of works as well as add to users' costs. Users would now have to pay additional licence fees to producers of sound recordings. It was the resistance of key author associations that helps to explain why it took more than 30 years for an international standard for the protection of sound recordings to emerge in the form of the Rome Convention of 1961."
  12. ^ Drahos & Braithwaite 2002, p. 181: "The US did not join the Rome Convention. Aside from some constitutional issues, powerful broadcasting organisations in the US did not want to endanger a status quo in which they received records from the recording industry for free or at a discount. Domestically, the US did not recognise a separate copyright in sound recordings until 1971."
  13. ^ Drahos & Braithwaite 2002, p. 181: "After its major lobbying effort on the Rome Convention [of 1961], IFPI began a campaign against piracy. It pushed for and obtained in 1971 the Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms against Unauthorised Duplication of their Phonograms."
  14. ^ ISRC Practical Guide, 3rd edition, 1998, International ISRC Agency, London.
  15. ^ SID CODE implementation guide
  16. ^ Ernesto (2007-10-12). "Anti-Piracy Organization Domain Now Owned by The Pirate Bay". TorrentFreak. Retrieved 2008-04-10. 
  17. ^ "WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center Administrative Panel Decision: IFPI Secretariat, IFPI International Federation of the Phonographic Industry v. Peter Kopimi Sunde aka Brokep (Case No. D2007-1328)". 2007-11-19. Retrieved 2008-04-10. 
  18. ^ "Screenshot of translated message, original in Swedish". 
  19. ^ "Technology = "Whoever is hacking, please stop doing that"". New Scientist (Reed Business Information) 201 (2697): 17. 
  20. ^ Leyden, John (2009-04-20). "Music industry sites DDoSed after Pirate Bay verdict". Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  21. ^ "Ernesto Van Der Sar" (2009-04-20). "IFPI Site Under Attack by Pirate Bay Supporters". Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  22. ^ a b c d "IFPI Awards". Retrieved 16 May 2011. "IFPI Middle East Awards" 
  23. ^ "Platinum Europe Awards - Terms and Conditions". Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  24. ^ "IFPI MIDDLE EAST AWARD APPLICATION FORM" (PDF). October 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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