PRS for Music takes on the pirates

It is one year since PRS for Music launched its Member Anti-Piracy System (MAPS) and already the project is providing impressive results.

Developed in partnership with The Publishers Association, MAPS locates music that has been posted online without a license. It can then send take down notices and get links delisted from Google’s search results. More than five million tracks illegally posted online have been located, with 80 per cent of these URLs removed. Over 136,000 take down notices have been sent, while 275,000 links have been removed from Google pages.

PRS for Music represents almost 125,000 songwriters and composers, who lose potential income each time a track is posted without a license. The goal of MAPS is to reduce the number of unlicensed tracks available online, promoting legitimate download and streaming services.

Sharan Ghuman, anti-piracy unit manager at PRS for Music, explained that MAPS is just one part of its strategy for combating piracy: ‘Given the constantly changing face of piracy, some consumers do not even know that they are accessing illegal services online. This is why education is also key. Music creators can also help in the fight against piracy by educating their fans about where to consume their content safely and legitimately.’

PRS head of litigation Simon Bourn added that: ‘As a licensing body, our first approach is always to take steps to work with new digital platforms, to find a mechanism to license rather than enforce.’