|International Federation of the Phonographic Industry|
|Motto||representing the recording industry worldwide|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Main organ||Main Board of Directors|
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) is the organization that represents the interests of the recording industry worldwide. It is headquartered in London, UK, with regional offices in Brussels, Hong Kong, Miami and Moscow.
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), anti-piracy enforcement, litigation and regulatory affairs, market research and communications support.
Since January 1, 2005, the chief executive and chairman of IFPI has been John Kennedy OBE, who has worked in the industry for more than 30 years and was one of the co-producers of Live Aid and Live8.
IFPI represents the recording industry worldwide with some 1,400 members in 72 countries and affiliated industry associations in 55 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.
The IFPI was formed as the phonographic industry, invited by "Confederazione Generale Fascista dell'Industria Italiana", held their first international congress in Rome, 10–14 November 1933 and registered its head office in Zurich, Switzerland. They would represent "the interests of the recording industry worldwide in all fora" by promoting legislation and copyrights "to protect the largely British-based recording industry" by promoting a global performance right in gramophone sound recordings.
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. 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.
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 Unauthorised 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."
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.
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 Web site 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 the 18th February 2009, the Swedish ifpi.se 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". 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. News & opinion blogs The Register and TorrentFreak, speculating, attributed the attacks to Pirate Bay supporters.
On October 23, 2007, the torrent website OiNK.cd was shut down. The website showed a message telling of an investigation of OiNK.cd by the IFPI, BPI, Cleveland Police, and the FIOD ECD into "suspected illegal music distribution". The IFPI issued a press release claiming that the site was "the primary source of illegal pre-release music worldwide"; that the administrator made large sums of money from donations and that users had to contribute material in order secure their accounts, although none of these claims have been proven.