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Record Producers Worried by Falling Sales

Finland's record producers are worried by the continuing downfall in the sales of music CD's. Although tough anti-piracy measures will help, the producers want greater efforts to prevent the unlicenced copying of music from the internet.

In the run-up to Christmas, Record stores are actively promoting the sales of CD's but often to deaf ears. Actual record sales fell last year by about eight percent.

Research by the Finnish national group of record producers shows that the net and other electronic means are the uncontrolled gateways to music. Downloading music from the net as well as using mobile services are big growth areas.

Finland is in fourth place in the record piracy league table. About a quarter of all domestic recordings in Finland are of pirate origin. Although the Finnish parliament has enacted legislation to make the purchase of pirate discs from Russia and Estonia illegal, the record producers say this doesn't go far enough. They want more cash from radio plays, for instance.

Arto Alaspää, of Finland's record producers' also wants restrictions on private copying. The solution, he says, would be technical protection systems of the kind found on many current hit CDs. In addition, copying equipment must include a specific fee that would be passed on to the musicmakers.

Keeping up with ever changing technology remains a problem. It is no wonder that many in the record business long for the simple days of vinyl when copying was a time consuming affair.

YLE 24