Former EMI director and ex-IFPI chairman Per Erik Johansen has left his post at EMI and has been more willing to chat about his time at EMI. In an interview with Swedish magazine Dagbladet Johansen said he thinks file sharing isn’t the same as theft and believes the current battle against piracy is useless.
"There is a reason why we have copyright, and I agree," he said in the interview. "but the main thing is that a whole generation already violates copyright, and the only thing we can do now is find better solutions."
Johansen believes the future of the recording industry — and digital music — has not lost anything and will continue to be popular among music listeners.
The record industry has been locked into a brutal anti-piracy war that has yielded very few positive results. The Recoding Industry Association of America (RIAA) has launched thousands of lawsuits against alleged file sharers, though music sharing over peer-to-peer networks continues to be extremely popular.
Record labels have been forced to adapt to digital music in an effort to try and nip file sharing in the bud, though each record label has had varying results. Apple iTunes will go DRM free — something many music fans have requested — and record labels have also been forced to lower DRM restrictions to help persuade music listeners to buy content.
I wouldn’t be surprised if other industry executives came forward and shared the same thoughts as Johansen, but only after they quit or are fired from their posts.