What the papers say: Payout defeat for illegal downloads

Kazaa's £61m settlement to record companies last week appeared to signal an important victory for the music industry and the continuing demise of illegal downloading services.

Headlines and comment were heavily unsympathetic to the peer-to-peer network: 'Kazaa clobbered' (bbc.co.uk, 27 July); 'Kazaa pays £61m pirates' penance' (Guardian, 28 July); ‘When you once managed four million simultaneous users… and had your software downloaded 239 million times, you must expect to get it in the neck' (www.trustedreviews.com, 28 July).

Record industry reaction was predictably triumphant: ‘There are very substantial damages being paid… Kazaa will go legal immediately' (www.reuters.co.uk, 27 July). And with Kazaa's statement that it would develop a new business model for the benefit of customers and artists, it appeared the settlement marked a ‘big step forward in the development of a vibrant, legitimate digital music market' (www.hitheads.com, 27 July).

But further comment revealed a less clear-cut picture. Analysts claimed that the music industry's victory was pyrrhic – and technology had moved on.

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow.

www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk

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