A meeting that was called for British musicians to discuss UK government proposals on how to tackle illegal file sharing has come to a consensus that file-sharers should have their bandwidth “squeezed” for persistent copyright infringement. The congregation of more than 100 artists came to the agreement that file sharers should not have their Internet accounts suspended.
Artists including Lily Allen, George Michael, Annie Lennox, Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason signed a statement. It calls for two warning letters to be issued to users when they are caught sharing music illegally before their bandwidth speeds are restricted for certain purposes.
The idea would be to “render sharing of media files impractical while leaving basic e-mail and web access functional.” Lily Allen, who was the target of quite a large amount of criticism for running her mouth on the issue while technically breaching copyright law on the exact same website, was applauded by the audience for her campaign to “alert music lovers to the threat that illegal downloading presents to our industry.”
Jim Killock, executive director of digital rights activists the Open Rights Group, said that the artists had addressed the symptom, but not the cure, adding that the only answer was to “license products to compete with file-sharing.” However, he said major labels are being too cautious to approve some new services.
Result for: british music
According to a new survey by the University of Hertfordshire, 14-24 year old iPod owners have on average 842 unauthorized songs on those iPods and download an average of 53 more each month.
The survey polled 1200 participants from that age range and that own iPods and found that nearly 70 percent download unauthorized music on a regular basis. 42 percent of those surveyed also admitted to uploading music to P2P networks.
The survey was commissioned by British Music Rights (BMR) and CEO Fergal Sharkey had this to add. “I was one of those people who went around the back of the bike shed with songs I had taped off the radio the night before. But this totally dwarfs that, and anything we expected,” he added of the results.
BMR has been campaigning to make legal music services more appealing and easy to use while at the same time making piracy less appealing. The group feels the best way to do this is to have ISPs offer unlimited music download services as an additional fee to a standard broadband package.
“The positive message is that 80 per cent of downloaders said they would pay for a legal subscription-based service, and they told us they would be willing to pay more than a few pounds a month,” added Sharkey.