Important legal notice
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Information society
Information society - Promoting a secure digital society for all
“Providing policy-makers with knowledge that will help them balance the needs of the music industry and its users in the internet age.”

The problem

By the end of the last decade, people across the world were catching on to a new way of obtaining music – via internet downloads. With the advent of broadband, interest has rocketed. Consequently, music is now a major driver of internet-related business: file sharing or Peer-to-Peer (P2P) activities relating to audio and audio-visual products accounts for about 50% of all broadband traffic. However, file sharing comes with problems: content owners fear loss of control of their digital assets, and the anonymous use of file-sharing software makes it difficult to optimise network efficiency. What’s more, P2P technology can be used to distribute malicious software, such as viruses.

MUSICLESSONS  Fine tuning policy for music download technologies


The MUSICLESSONS project aims to provide research on the problems and challenges relating to file sharing which will be of interest to policy-makers and the entertainment industry. The project will use socio-economic and technological research to assess conflicting trends, and carry out a Europe-wide study of consumer attitudes towards music downloading.

The objective is to:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of how new technology affects the sector and develop emerging business models
  • Evaluate the threats and opportunities related to
    P2P technologies
  • Identify conflicts between the legal and technical issues that surround file sharing

Contribution to policy development:

  • The project will provide policy-makers with an improved understanding of broadband applications and their impact on the music business, helping them to balance the needs of industry and users.
  • Results should also be of interest to policy-makers working in related fields covering e-business, e-government and e-work.
  • Specifically, the results are likely to feed into the work of a number of EU directorates-general, for example Competition, Education and Culture, Information Society, and the Internal Market.

Project deliverables

  • Carry out a review of existing policy as it relates to legal and technical issues – June 2005
  • Produce a Europe-wide statistical survey of user behaviour – September 2005
  • Develop project business models – December 2005
  • Workshop for industry, users and Commission representatives – towards end of project
  • Workshop report and final project report – July 2006


  • Project team will make personal visits to selected EU officials to explain MUSICLESSONS’ objectives, activities and results.
  • Selected members of the scientific community will receive regular updates about
    the project’s activities.
  • Record companies, music publishers, software companies and artists’ organisations will also receive regular updates.
  • Project website offers comprehensive overview of project.

Technical information

Project acronym: MUSICLESSONS
Project’s official full title: Broadband technologies transforming business models and challenging regulatory frameworks – lessons from the music industry
Research priority: 3.5. Information Society issues (such as management and protection of digital assets, and inclusive access to the information society)
Specific webpage:
Proposal/contract no: Not available
Start date: January 2005
Kick off meeting: Not available
Completion date: July 2006
European Commission scientific officer: Guido Acchioni,

Name: Kungl Tekniska Högskolan
Abbreviated name: KTH
Address: SE-100 44 Stockholm
Country: Sweden
Tel: +46 8 790 4267
Fax: +46 8 751 1793


Name: World Internet Institute
Abbreviated name: WII
Country: Sweden