• New multi-language guide “Young People, Music & the Internet” aims at tens of thousands of schools in 21 countries
  • Research suggests one in two 9-14 year-olds downloads music without parental supervision

London, 30 April, 2008 – A global information campaign is launched today to explain the world of music downloading to teachers and parents worldwide.

A new pocket-sized guide, published by children’s internet charity Childnet International and supported by Pro-music, the international alliance of music sector groups, will be distributed through schools and colleges, libraries, record stores, teaching portals and websites in 21 countries.

The simple, concise guide, ‘Young People, Music and the Internet” aims to help young people use the Internet and mobile phones safely and legally to download music. It comes as millions of people take advantage of the explosion of new ways of accessing music digitally, but still lack clarity on safety and legal issues, on finding legitimate sites, on the basics of copyright and on how to unpick the jargon of digital music.

Singer Ronan Keating is backing the new campaign: “I am a father of three young kids who are all very interested in music and computers, they are forever asking to use the computer to download their favourite songs. There is a constant worry about the security of the internet with children. This new guide helps adults and children to use the internet safely and securely. The internet is a fantastic tool for us all to enjoy.”

Stephen Carrick-Davies, Chief Executive of Childnet, said: For millions of children and teenagers, the possibilities and the risks of using the Internet and mobile phones starts with the experience of accessing music online. That’s why we’ve worked with the music industry to produce this guide especially for parents and teachers so that they can better support young people. There are so many wonderful online music services but there are risks to children including breach of copyright the threat of viruses, loss of privacy and security. This guide will be of practical help to parents and explain how their children can obtain music legally and safely and get the very best out of the internet.”  

According to recent research:

  • Parents and teachers are commonly unaware of how young people are getting music. A study by NPD Group (1) showed that six out of ten “tweens”(9-14 year olds) in the US who use the Internet to download music do so without parental guidance
  • A recent government-commissioned report (2) in the UK highlights growing adult insecurity when it comes to teaching young people about the benefits and risks of an environment they do not feel they understand themselves.
  • One third of young people in Europe regularly file-share music on peer-to-peer networks (3), three times more than the proportion of those using legitimate sites..
  • While teens are likely to love new technology, three out of five women aged 35 – 44, many of whom are mothers, are confused about digital technology. Half feel they are getting left behind. (5)
  • Peer-to-peer networks are a main vehicle for spreading viruses and malware. 19 per cent of all potential infections are propagated by P2P networks (6). Meanwhile research has found that a single download from an unauthorised MP3 site can result in the installation without permission of Trojan downloaders, spyware and pop-ads with a severe impact on the computer’s performance. (7)

The information campaign is today endorsed by the European Commission which is taking a leading role in promoting safe Internet use.

Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media says: “The new guide, “Young People, Music and the Internet” is a very good example of an initiative that offers simple, practical advice to parents and teachers to keep young people safe and legal while enjoying music on the Internet. Just like the EU's Safer Internet programme does it in more general terms, this educational initiative enhances the safety of children and adolescents in the online environment.  It will not only help in the fight against illegal content
on the Internet, but should help to spark off those vital conversations between parents, teachers and young people that are so essential for promoting responsible behaviour on the Internet.”

This latest initiative by Childnet follows on from its first guide for parents about peer-to-peer networks, file-sharing and downloading published in 2005. The first guide was requested by tens of thousands of individual parents, schools, youth groups, libraries and local councils around the world.

The new guide:

  • Explains how to download music without exposing the computer to viruses and other security risks
  • Shows what you can copy onto your computer
  • Explains where to find legal sources of music
  • Clarifies what are the basics of copyright and why it’s relevant to online music
  • Gives tips and features a pull-out card for young people covering the basic do’s and don’ts
  • Unpicks the jargon surrounding online music

The initiative is endorsed and actively supported by Pro-Music, the international music sector education campaign aimed at promoting legitimate music online.Pro-Music represents artists, major and independent record companies, managers, music publishers and entertainment retailers. 

The guide will be available on as well as on, where parents, teachers and young people will be able to access more information on a comprehensive music microsite.

It will also be linked through banners from the websites of individual members of Pro-Music and other campaign partners including affiliated charities, online music services, record label websites and on reputable parent-children online resources.

Physical copies of the guide will be available in music and computer retail outlets, including Zavvi in the UK, and will be mailed to libraries and schools with an invitation to distribute copies. It will be distributed in the coming months in 21 countries in Europe, Asia, Australasia and North and South America and Africa.

Pro-Music will be launching a new website to mark the launch of the leaflet. is designed to be an “all you need to know about music online” information portal. The new-look site will continue to be the largest repository for legal online music stores, but will now also include: new monthly digital charts from

around the world; information and advice for those wanting to make it in the music business in the digital era; education tools and resources from around the world to inform parents, teachers, young people, budding artists, business and university administrations, the media and student researchers.

(1) “Kids & Digital Content”, NPD Group, January 2008

(2) The Byron Review into Children and Technology “Safer Children in a Digital World”, Dr Tanya Byron, March 2008

(3) “2008 European Next-Generation Digital Music Services”, by Jupiter Research, says that 34% of 15-24 year olds use p2p, more than three times the rate of legal service usage among the same age group.

(4) 2008 Digital Entertainment Survey from Entertainment Media Research and Wiggin

(5) “Symantec EMEA Internet Security Threat Report”, April 2008

(6) Experiments run by Benjamin Googins, a senior researcher at the international IT software management company CA


For further information and interviews contact:

Julie Harari West - IFPI 020 7878 7913, mobile 07887 652 199
Adrian Strain - IFPI 020 7878 7939,

Lucinda Fell   - Childnet 0207 639 6967
Stephen Carrick-Davies - Childnet: 0207 7639 6967 mobile 0771 245 1859

For a copy of the leaflet:

See or for a full electronic version of the UK leaflet, stories and illustrations.

Countries that will launch the new leaflet in the coming months include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand and the USA. Versions of the first leaflet are available for the following regions: China, Finland, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Singapore, UK and the USA.

To support the initiative, go to to upload a banner linking to the guide.

To request hard copies of the leaflet email


Supporting Quotes:

Ronan Keating
I am a father of three young kids who are all very interested in music and computers, they are forever asking to use the computer to download their favourite songs. There is a constant worry about the security of the internet with children. This new guide helps adults and children to use the internet safely and securely. The internet is a fantastic tool for us all to enjoy.

Cheryl Hood, Safeguarding and Child Protection Trainer (Cheshire)
We distributed the [first Childnet] leaflets through staff training in children's social care. They were put in packs for social workers, family support workers, foster carers and residential workers. We also give them out to children and young people. It brings together all the relevant issues relating to music and how young people use the website for their interests in music.

John Kennedy, Chairman and Chief Executive of IFPI (recording industry)
The love of music has brought millions of people into the online world. However, it is clear there is still a huge knowledge gap about the legal and safety issues around young people’s use of the Internet and mobile phones. This is a simple guide aimed at answering questions about music downloading that we believe teachers, parents and young people ask every day.  It is aimed specifically at the educators - parents and teachers who themselves are in a unique position to pass on their knowledge to young people.

Kim Bayley, Director General of ERA and Executive Board member of GERA-Europe (music retailers)
GERA-Europe is pleased to continue its support for this international campaign.  Educating consumers on legal ways to acquire music is key to growing the digital music market and entertainment retailers are well placed to distribute this message.

Helen Smith, Executive Chair, IMPALA (independent record companies)
This guide provides vital information on how downloading music can be good for the artist as well as the fan. The whole free versus paying downloading debate needs to be seen in its true light. 80% of all new music actually comes from thousands of small independent music companies and artists who love the Internet. It gives music fans the chance to hear all the music they might otherwise never have discovered. But if no one pays for it today, who will make the music of tomorrow?

Luis Cobos, President of GIART (performing artists)
Parents are becoming increasingly aware that their children can be exposed to harmful or illegal content, even while searching for music on their family computer. Performing artists welcome this new guide, which will provide a much-needed tool for parents and teachers, by offering clear and simple advice about how to keep young people safe and within the law while enjoying music online.

John F. Smith, General Secretary British Musicians’ Union and President, FIM (musicians)
The Musicians’ Union (MU) and its international partners in the International Federation of Musicians (FIM) welcome this initiative. It is vital that parents become aware of the methods that young people call upon when listening to music. Many thousands of MU members are not only performing artists, but also instrumental teachers and we hope that these teachers in turn encourage young, aspiring performers to become aware of how musicians earn a living and to also understand the important issues in respect of copyright that musicians rely upon.

Nicholas Lansman, Secretary General, ISPA UK (Internet Service Providers Association)
ISPA UK believes that education is a key tool in preventing users from inadvertently breaching copyright law online.  ISPA welcomes this initiative, which addresses key questions about downloading online content and advises about the availability of legal content online.  Internet Services Providers support constructive initiatives such as this, which help to raise awareness amongst young people and parents about issues relating to content.

Laura, 17
I used to use Limewire but didn’t realize it was wrong and my parents didn’t know what I was doing. Knowing that they understand will make me more willing to talk with them about how I use the Internet and what I’m doing.


Notes to Editors:

  • The leaflet has been written by Childnet International, with advice and support from Pro-Music and Net Family News.  For updated advice for parents including the latest on P2P see
  • Childnet has been an active member of the UK Government’s Home Office Task Force on Child Protection on the Internet since its inception.
  • For further information about child safety online see Childnet’s s resource which gives advice for young people on a range of online interactive services including Instant Messenger, mobiles, games and chatrooms.

About Childnet International
Childnet International is a registered charity, (no 1080173) set up in 1995 - with the mission to work in partnership with others around the world to help make the Internet a great and safe place for children. The organisation seeks to take a balanced view of the issues of children and the Internet and is active in seeking to promote the positive ways in which the Internet can be used by children for social benefit. For example see . Childnet is also involved in responding to the negative aspects of children’s use of new media and has been involved in developing award-winning education and awareness programmes such as its work on cyberbullying with the DCSF available on Childnet’s digizen website, and for schools. For full information about the charity see

About Pro-Music
Pro-Music is an international music sector education campaign about digital music. This guide is supported by pro-music member organisations representing musicians, performers, artists, managers, major and independent record companies, publishers and retailers across the music industry.  The Pro-music alliance was set up in 2003 to help improve understanding of copyright on the Internet and to promote the legitimate online music sector. For details of all the Pro-music partners see

About Net Family News
Founded in 1999, Net Family News is a US-based nonprofit public service for parents, teachers, and caregivers of connected kids. Founded in 1999, NFN's mission is to bridge the other digital divide - between grownups and their tech-literate children. Its daily blog and RSS news feed, weekly email newsletter, archival Web site, and partnerships with like-minded organizations provide multiple ways to empower parents, through education and news, to get and stay engaged in their children's use of technology and the Internet. For more information, go to


For more information about IMPALA please click here