The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) is the organisation that represents the interests of the recording industry worldwide. It is a non-profit members' organisation registered in Switzerland and founded in Italy in 1933. 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. Its services to members include legal policy advice (lobbying), copyright enforcement, litigation and regulatory affairs, market research and communications support.
Frances Moore was appointed the chief executive of IFPI with a term effective from 1 July 2010. 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.
The IFPI is currently based in Piccadilly in the City of Westminster in London, England.
IFPI represents the recording industry worldwide with some 1,400 members in 66 countries and affiliated industry associations in 45 countries. 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", 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". Record labels can be members of both their local industry body and IFPI.
Members of the international phonographic industry formed the IFPI at the industry's first international congress in Rome, Italy, held from 10–14 November 1933 and registered its head office in Zurich, Switzerland. The IFPI described its mission as representing "the interests of the recording industry worldwide in all fora" by promoting legislation and copyrights and "to protect the largely British-based recording industry" by promoting a global performance right in gramophone sound recordings.
The IFPI 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 and 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. Pressure from United States-based broadcasters who didn't want to license the records they broadcast, among other factors, kept the United States from signing the Convention; the United States would not recognise a separate sound recording copyright until 1971.
In an effort to combat copyright violation, in 1971, the IFPI advocated for the Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms (the Geneva Phonograms Convention), which 72 countries signed.
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."
To further combat infringement of recorded works, the IFPI and the compact disc manufacturing industry introduced Source Identification (SID) codes in 1994. The SID codes are markings on optical discs such as compact discs (CD) and digital versatile discs (DVD) that identify the manufacturer, equipment, and master discs used to create each disc. There are two codes: the SID mastering code and the SID mould code. The SID mastering code identifies the manufacturing facility used to produce a master from which moulds are produced. The SID mould code identifies the plant where the disc was moulded (replicated). Since not all optical disc manufacturing facilities have the ability to both produce master discs and replicate discs, the SID mastering code and SID mould code on a given optical disc may or may not represent the same manufacturing facility.:3,4
SID codes follow a standard format consisting of the letters "IFPI" followed by four or five hexadecimal digits. A number prefaced with "L" is a "mastering code", a serial number taken from a pool assigned by Philips to the manufacturer. The mastering code identifies the Laser Beam Recorder (LBR) signal processor or mould that produced a particular stamper or a glass master disc from which moulds are produced. Non-"L" numbers are "mould codes", which identify the manufacturer that replicated the disc. Phillips assigns the first 2 or 3 digits of the mould code and the remaining digits are a serial number assigned by that plant to its moulds.:4,7
In mid-October 2007, after the IFPI let the ifpi.com domain registration lapse, ownership of the ifpi.com domain was transferred to The Pirate Bay, a group which claimed it received the domain from an anonymous donor. 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." The organisation's website www.ifpi.org was unaffected during the dispute.
In a separate incident, on 18 February 2009, the Swedish ifpi.se domain was hacked by The Pirate Bay supporter(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". Peter Sunde of Pirate Bay made an appeal on Twitter requesting that the hackers stop this defacement.
On 19 April 2009, after the announcement of an unfavorable Swedish court decision against The Pirate Bay, the ifpi.org and ifpi.se domains were reportedly subjected to a DDoS attack. The British technology news and opinion website The Register and the copyright, file sharing and digital rights focused news site TorrentFreak speculated that the attacks were perpetrated by Pirate Bay supporters.
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. 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. An archive of past winners is available online.
The IFPI Middle East Awards were established in October 2009. They are awarded for sales in either Lebanon or the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. in the GCC, Gold certificate is awarded for sales of 3,000 units and Platinum for sales of 6,000 units. In Lebanon, Gold certificate is awarded for sales of 1,000 units and Platinum for sales of 2,000 units. An archive of past winners is also available online.
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 founded in 1933 to deal with [r]ecord industry at inter-governmental level; promoting legislation; copyrights for industry worldwide.
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'...
IFPI Middle East Awards
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