[LINK] Squeeze file-sharers, stars say

Leah Manta link at fly.to
Fri Sep 25 19:36:12 AEST 2009

Read this first (copy in my earlier post)

then this


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.

Warning letters

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
Ed O'Brien

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 
"last resort".

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".

Lily cheered

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.

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