ISPreview - UK Music - Illegal File Sharing Interview Part1
UK Music - Illegal File Sharing Interview Part1
By: Mark Jackson - January 22nd, 2009 : Page 2 -of- 3
"63% of respondents claimed to download music from P2P networks, while 42% allowed others to upload their music collection"

3. Are the BPI’s figures, which estimate that 6 million Brits regularly use P2P networks to download music unlawfully, an accurate assessment of the scale this problem has grown to (any more recent statistics than that)?

UK Music: Those are the BPI figures, and certainly a huge number of UK consumers are actively using P2P networks to download music for free.

This was backed up by a survey published by British Music Rights and the University of Hertfordshire in July 2008 (the biggest-ever academic survey into the music consumption habits of 14-24 year-olds in the UK).  In this, 63% of respondents claimed to download music from P2P networks, while 42% allowed others to upload their music collection.

More encouraging was the fact that 80% of those downloaders indicated that they would pay for a legal file-sharing service. This is clearly the direction that the UK music industry wants to continue moving – offering music fans what they want legitimately, while growing our respective businesses.

4. In public most ISPs appear to be against the idea of a flat disconnection as punishment for illegal file-sharing and reports suggest that some form of service restriction (speed reduction etc.) might be more palatable. What alternatives to disconnection are being discussed with ISPs for those that ignore the warning?

UK Music: Any potential alternatives are to be discussed as part of a working group, and we await Government’s response.

5. Regardless of what punishment is eventually agreed, does the music industry itself still believe that disconnecting customers from their ISP is a solution and if so, why?

UK Music: I don’t think anyone is framing this issue in terms of “punishment”.

 I realise that statement may be a source of disappointment to some critics of the music industry; but most individuals within this business – whether they’re artists, labels, managers, publishers  or collection societies – want to continue embracing the possibilities of digital distribution, and develop partnerships where they get paid for use of their work.

Let’s face it, music has always been a fantastic way of attracting a crowd, and it has a real and determinable value whether that’s online or offline.

6. Do you think there is still cause for the government to step in and force ISPs to act by passing new legislation (what kind of measures would you like to see)?

UK Music [EDIT AMENDMENT @ 11:59am 22nd Jan 2009]: Ideally, we would like to see focus on a market solution. However, to ensure that the MOU or any future working codes of practice are adhered to, it is important that there is some form of regulatory control. We have to ensure there is a level playing field for all ISPs.

The bigger picture for Government, as defined by Lord Carter’s vision of a Digital Britain, is to consider how the UK can build next generation broadband, while also stimulating and supporting our creative industries. (Industries that - given the current state of the UK’s economy - will play an increasingly important role in terms of employment and export potential.)

Where possible, the music industry wants to be working in tandem with ISPs to achieve mutually-beneficial goals.

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