It seems as if every silver lining has a cloud for the music industry. After years of dire predictions about the threat caused by illegal downloads, some good news emerged on Tuesday, in the shape of a major report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.
It showed global music sales for 2012 had increased on the previous year - albeit by a measly 0.3 per cent - for the first time since 1999.
The picture looks even better at home: music sales for 2012 were up 4 per cent on the year before. And just to underline the point, Melbourne's own DIY-guru Gotye trumped the most gimmicky of chartbusters, Psy's Gangnam Style as the second-highest selling single via downloads and other digital services.
But the report also contained a grim warning for Australia: if our current levels of music piracy are not controlled now, the problem will get much worse by the time the National Broadband Network reaches 90 per cent of our population by 2015.
The eventual goal is 93 per cent penetration of households with the super-fast, fibre cables by 2020. ''If more action isn't taken by the government and ISPs to curb piracy levels the NBN could have disastrous results for the local industry,'' the report said.
Dan Rosen, CEO of Australian Recording Industry Association, says if consumer behaviour doesn't change, it is not only the music industry that will suffer. ''It's all Australian content industries.''
He estimates ''between 30 and 40 per cent'' of music consumers still download music from ''unauthorised websites''.
Mr Rosen says more needs to be done to protect copyright ''so that the money from sales flows back to the people who created the work and not unauthorised websites''.