Major Labels

Inside The Taylor Swift Anti-Piracy Battle: Regulatory Filing Reveals UMG’s Massive Effort To Block Pirates

PiracyFew musicians or labels are fans of music piracy. But with Taylor Swift's decision to keep her music anticipated album '1989' off streaming music services, UMG, her label's distributor, became particularly concerned  and hatched a plan to fight it.


Taylor swiftA Universal Music Group filing with the U.S. Copyright office designed to bolster the case that Safe Harbor standards need an overhaul, reveals the lengths that the company went to limit piracy on Taylor Swift's 2014 release '1989',

210,000+ Takedowns

In the last 18 months, teams working for UMG, label Big Machine, the RIAA and the IFPA have issued 66,000 notices to sites hosting unauthorized copies of ‘1989.’ They've also blocked nearly or issued take downs for nearly 150,o000 uploads to YouTube and SoundCloud.

“A staff of UMG employees devoted essentially 100% of their time between November 2014 and February 2015 to manually search for infringements of '1989; and its tracks on YouTube and other sites, so that these unlawful uses could be blocked or taken down,” according to the filing. “These efforts were supplemented by approximately a dozen employees working for IFPI who devoted a significant portion of their work days to the same task.”

Despite their efforts, UMG says that the album was still illegally downloaded 1.4 million times.

Read the full report here.

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