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The Beatles top most-pirated list

By | Published on Thursday 7 November 2013

The Beatles

The Beatles have topped a list of artists whose music is not being taken down from file-sharing websites (or at least not effectively) which has been complied by anti-piracy service MUSO.

As previously reported, MUSO provides services to help independent labels, including Beggars Group, Demon Music Group and Essential Music & Marketing, to monitor illegally shared files online and issue takedown notices for them. The company compiled its top ten by monitoring websites which are compliant with its takedown requests (so missed out the more bullish likes of The Pirate Bay, et al), thus meaning that the illegal files counted could easily be removed.

Coming in first, The Beatles had 187,687 files available illegally on the sites surveyed, over 115,000 more than the number two act, Fleetwood Mac. MUSO estimated that these illegally available Beatles tracks would be accessed around 190 million times per year, with some of the files online for over five years.

MUSO reckons that these ten long serving, big name artists have not got anyone effectively managing how much of their content is available through file-sharing websites, which is likely damaging their respective content revenues.

Of course, you could make the argument that if these artists are not having their files taken down but are still earning plenty from their recordings (The Beatles sold 450,000 digital albums and two million single tracks in their first week on iTunes in 2010) then perhaps it doesn’t matter. Though I don’t think that’s MUSO’s viewpoint.

But anyway, it’s nice to see Cliff Richard back in a top ten, isn’t it? Here’s the full list:

1. The Beatles (187,687 uploaded files)
2. Fleetwood Mac (72,984 uploaded files)
3. Bob Marley (60,024 uploaded files)
4. Led Zeppelin (59,011 uploaded files)
5. Cliff Richard (56,576 uploaded files)
6. Stevie Wonder (45,496 uploaded files)
7. Jimi Hendrix (44,093 uploaded files)
8. Elvis (40,794 uploaded files)
9. ABBA (35,193 uploaded files)
10. The Rolling Stones (34,444 uploaded files)

Read our interview with MUSO co-founder Andy Chatterley here.