[LINK] Squeeze file-sharers, stars say
link at fly.to
Fri Sep 25 19:36:12 AEST 2009
Read this first (copy in my earlier post)
Squeeze file-sharers, stars say
By Ian Youngs
Music reporter, BBC News
Lily Allen has led an artists' campaign for a crackdown on file-sharing
Pop star Lily Allen has joined almost 100 other British musicians at
a heated three-hour debate to discuss how to tackle illegal music downloading.
The meeting was called after a public dispute among artists over
whether serial file-sharers should be punished.
The attendees agreed perpetrators should not have their internet
accounts suspended, as ministers have suggested.
Instead, they released a statement saying persistent offenders should
have their bandwidths "squeezed".
Artists including Allen, George Michael, Annie Lennox, Radiohead
guitarist Ed O'Brien and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason signed the statement.
The meeting in London on Thursday was open to all artists. Those
present backed Allen's campaign to "alert music lovers to the threat
that illegal downloading presents to our industry", the statement said.
They also "overwhelmingly voted" to support a plan to send two
warning letters to file-sharers before restricting their broadband speeds.
In the meeting, we didn't always agree but we came to an agreement
that we thought was good for everyone
That would "render sharing of media files impractical while leaving
basic e-mail and web access functional", the statement said.
Film composer David Arnold, songwriter Guy Chambers, Billy Bragg,
singer Patrick Wolf, sixties star Sandie Shaw and Keane's Tim
Rice-Oxley were among others to put their names to the plan.
Before the meeting, a debate over whether to penalise file-sharers
had raged among artists in the media and online.
Allen led the campaign for a crackdown, while lobby group the
Featured Artists' Coalition, including musicians like O'Brien and
Mason, said cutting off broadband accounts would be impractical and
But the need for artists to reach a compromise and present a united
front was considered pressing just five days before a UK government
deadline for receiving views on proposed sanctions.
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has said people who share files
illegally should have their connections temporarily suspended as a
The government has asked for views on the proposed new law before Tuesday.
O'Brien said the artists' meeting was "quite emotional" and "a little
heated at times".
Allen had said she would not go, and has removed an anti-file-sharing
blog after just three days because she said she was getting too much abuse.
But the singer was cheered as she entered the room at Air Studios in
Hampstead, north London, and spoke several times.
She was "extremely brave" to turn up, O'Brien told BBC News.
"She's taken a lot of flak for what she's said. What she's done has
been brilliant because she started the process where artists have
stood up and said, you know what, there is a consequence to illegal
"In the meeting, we didn't always agree but we came to an agreement
that we thought was good for everyone.
"We're going to have further meetings like this, we're going to get
together - we've realised the importance of doing this together," he said.
Media were not admitted into the meeting and Allen has declined to be
interviewed about the subject.
More information about the Link