Insights PRS for Music announces that its Member Anti-Piracy System has reported over 6.7 million URLs to websites linking to or hosting music illegally

PRS for Music has announced encouraging figures demonstrating the continued success of its Member Anti-Piracy System (MAPS) in the battle against digital music piracy, five years on from its launch.

PRS for Music says that since 2016, the bespoke automated notice and takedown tool, which tracks PRS for Music repertoire on unlicensed and infringing websites on behalf of the organisation’s 150,000 songwriter, composer and publisher members, has:

  • reported over 6.7 million URLs to sites linking to or hosting PRS for Music works illegally;
  • removed 76% of infringing URLs, with any non-compliant sites being directly referred to the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit’s Operation Creative;
  • notified Google and Bing of over 424,000 live links for delisting results from search pages; and
  • been instrumental in forcing 1,346 infringing sites to cease operating completely.

Some of the most infringed compilations crawled by the MAPS database include The Official Top 40 Singles Chart, Beatport Top 100 and Billboard Hot 100.

Simon Bourn, Associate General Counsel, PRS for Music, said that “… If just one legal download of an album were made for every infringement identified by MAPS over the past five years, it would have led to revenue being generated for the industry of around £13.1 million. However, we know that in fact many downloads are likely to be made via an infringing link, so the loss to the industry is in fact a multiplier of this amount …” .

Overseen by PRS for Music’s Rights Protection Unit, MAPS utilises web-crawling technology to detect and report infringements. Cutting off instances of piracy at the source, MAPS helps to ensure that legitimate, licensed services can be more easily found and that PRS for Music members receive fair remuneration for use of their repertoire online. To read PRS for Music’s press release in full, click here.