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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

UK Artists against Piracy

Several UK music stars have signed a letter to the Prime Minister, asking the authorities to increase theirs efforts to fight file-sharing.

The list of the declared enemies of unauthorized downloading is long, and it includes such names as Lord (Andrew) Lloyd-Webber, Sir Elton John, Simon Cowell and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin. The aim of the letter, which will be sent this week, is to urge David Cameron to make sure the DEA 2010 will take effect as soon as possible. Under the new anti-piracy law Internet service providers, search engines and Internet advertisers will be forced to comply with strict measures to protect rights holders. The coalition also involves other members – rappers Tinie Tempah, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend from The Who, as well as Brian May and Roger Taylor from Queen. By the way, the latter pointed out that as the world’s focus turned to the United Kingdom this summer, there was an opportunity to encourage growth in sectors where the country had a competitive edge.

The musicians stressed the role of search engines in protecting both consumers and creators from the unauthorized websites, and claimed that ministers should implement swiftly the long overdue measures in the anti-piracy legislation.

The major event of Summer Olympic Games 2012 in London was, of course, used to create the context of urgency towards the UK’s creative industries protection, with the emphasis placed on the musicians’ liberty to earn a fair return on their works.

According to recent media reports, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) holds the search giant Google responsible for facilitating music piracy. The matter is that Goggle, like any other search engine, displayed in results file-sharing websites and also allowed the users to access them. At the same time, the BPI refused to admit it is encouraging censorship.

The experts are embarrassed and don’t know whose side to take: on one hand they have music stars guarding their ivory tower, while on the other hand they have business stars clinging to their corporation and their monopolizing business models, who oppose any need for change. The truth, however, is simple: file-sharing will remain, in any form, whichever side wins. The same can’t be said about the intermediaries though.

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