The 'It's STILL not alright’ debate continues

In light of the recent blog debate started by the UK artist Lily Allen and then being taken down. I have decided to take up the helm here and reinstate the debate to continue.
It is STILL not ok for someone to illegally share and freely distribute an artist song file without the artist OR label agreeing to do so. illegal file sharing is no different to dubious recording company practices reportedly ripping off an artist.

I have added a rule to the debate

Those who agree/disagree please write your views on this blog freely
Those who don’t agree/disagree simply make a point rather than abuse this blog insulting anyone who might just agree/disagree with the management of artist and industry media assets online.

I (and wider UK creative industries) CANNOT sit by and dumbly support non-consented wholesale theft and viral distribution, sharing or diffusion of created goods for FREE by unauthorised individuals with no vested interest in an artistic career ever developing long-term. The UK creative industries cannot allow unauthorised leaks or P2P file sharing without prior consent.

For those struggling with this view I give TWO simple analogies on this renewed blog debate:

1. High Street Banks do not allow unapproved credit or spending on accounts and then sit by watching the individual then claim more rights than the bank itself for not previously providing those funds. Their accounts would simply be instantly shut down for smaller sums than 1,000 -10,000 stolen files of value. I hear no one complaining about that issue at all...except on bank charges! (fines for unauthorised take)

2. I should also be able to determine the ‘FREE’ right to take the keys to your house or car and I will share it with others for an undetermined amount of time at your OWN cost. Surely that’s ok, as well?

I hope the anti-file sharing debate now continues and appeals to those who like me and many, many good people on the previous Lily Allen blog might have another realistic valuable view against digital management, theft and illegal and non consented online distribution and sharing.

The BIG POINT HERE is NOT 'Sharing', it is the point about the importance for ANY artist and label deciding when OR if a song file can or cannot be shared and distributed and not 'careless' illegal file sharing and distribution without consent and taking valuble earnings away from the artist before they can tour, especially impacting on the new breed of DIY artists.

The ‘STILL not alright’ debate continues below with the opening post.


Saturday, 31 October 2009

illegal unauthorised file sharing IS NEVER OK

Explain why you think illegal unathorised file sharing IS NEVER OK, without the Artist/label firstly deciding any song/album file should be given away to the public.


  1. Why do you share your own thoughts here freely without asking money for it?

    In the same analogy I think you should. Music is made by people because they want to share. If you want to share it doesn't cost anything to do that anymore. 10years ago it did. Those times are gone. Even recording is cheap.

    Even still it's possibly to make money out of music. There are a lot of scarce goods still left: concert, recording of music, time and attention of the artist. Recordings can get fan-funded, there are a lot of options left. Music isn't going away. It's only your part of the industry that is going away.

    Even with copyright. Other people will give their music away. Even if they don't, it impossible to stop people from sharing what they like.

    " When a 14 year old kid can blow up your business in his spare time, not because he hates you but because he loves you, then you got a problem.”

  2. because freedom of speech and a debate is needed...the point is artists and labels MUST give prior permsiion first though.

  3. Um ... Surely the point is, we want to reduce unlicensed behaviour, but we don't agree how to change that.

    Some of us think we need to change the licensing regime to allow an open market in music.

    Some people think we should make the current closed market function by clamping down on file sharers.

    And then a tiny minority think file sharing is just ok and copyright is a bad thing.

    Excuse me for saying, but a lot more people will think that way if we go for Mandelson's plans.

  4. I agree with Jim. If this was just a moral debate about whether or not to share music files with others then it would be largely pointless. What's at issue is what action should the music industry, government or anyone else take to control this activity.

    On the subject of licencing and the permission of labels and artists: don't forget that contract trumps copyright from a legal point of view. This means it's usually irrelevant what an artist thinks about how their music is licenced. See the recent case regarding Edwin Collins, for example. The wishes of some artists are now different from the wishes of their labels and publishers (Radiohead is a high-profile example of this too). This at least implies there needs to be a debate about what happens if the two diverge - unless it's the silly artist's fault for signing their rights away to their publishers?

  5. Well contract does indeed trump coypright and is legally binding...I believe the plans to manage ANY abuse will go ahead...And if that does not work then we will be lookng at a NEW replace the awful quality pirated files out there.
    I am not arguing that point too much i am arguing the silly point about file sharing being seen to be ok without prior permission (even if its a record label!)....and some people think managing it is not right as well as thinking the moral of file sharing is not right either...we cannot have both arguments work together, thats where we are at presently.

    Its madness that so called music fans accept pirated copy of their artists records/songs are not doing their artist's future any harm.
    ..therefore it need managing IMHO.
    At this point we should all agree to a certain degree further forward than has been the case in the past. Perhaps a lower 25-50 pence a track is the key, once better management is in place.

    There are lots of things that can be done to ensure the file does not move, once licensed to the user/buyer/fan. We do need a new file format at some stage and preferably one that has been approved by industry as a quality listening format....unlike mp-twee, which has been adopted and absorbed but sound awful.
    Artists are really annoyed by the fact their pirated material also sounds so naff (I don't blame them either) and thereforee the fans are not getting a managed good quality freebie.

  6. If you are interested in thinking through new business and licensing models for the music and wider artistic industries as a whole, then you could do a lot worse than read up on the current thinking on this from the likes of Creative Commons, the EFF, the Open Rights Group, and (yes, I'm serious) The Pirate Party. For example, the British Library is strongly against the sort of ideas you propose, as are the majority of independent strudies who have looked at issues of copyright reform (such as that by Lord Gowers and the authors of the recent "Digital Britain" report).

    The vast majority of people engaged with this debate are doing so without wanting to ignore the livelihood of artists.

    I can't paste URLs into this text, but try Googling around the issue of copyright reform and read/watch stuff by Yochai Benkler, Larry Lessig, Cory Doctorow and Clay Shirky.

    These things are complicated, but they are important enough for you to at least know about them in the context of what you are doing with this blog. Your arguments will meet with little interest otherwise.

  7. Thanks but for me and many many people the Gowers report was a shallow sham, based on a closed shop debate, as for listening to any pro pirate debate around the table wishing to keep in place unauthorised and hijacked markets..I dont think so.
    They only represent the interest of themselves based on other peoples works they have peddled around with.
    None of them will have any REAL impact to the real rightholders long term.
    Its all a bit like saying a series of car thefts or house break ins can now be a pushed aside and those thefts/possessions made into legit 2nd hand pawn shops or car showrooms for the thieves.It does not happen.

    As for other debates which have tried to suggest ways forward...there is not a massive industry audience out there rushing out the door to sign up it's not just myself who thinks external advice is not always seeking the best way forward.
    Unless the wider commercial recording industry take up these ideas they are ALL hearsay until on the ground.
    The trouble is there is far too many ideas out there from minor non-music related sources, ie ISP companies denying responsibility and suggesting they THEN have advice for the music industry. The irony is huge. The ISP's cannot even manage music effectively how the hell can they start suggesting advice to others is something generally ignored.

    Everytime the BBC report on music filesharing it's rarely someone from the UK music industry commenting. Which is useless.
    The copyright extension ALSO needs to be extended, period, which some reports claim does not...we are in a recession and the present Gov't almost agreed to reduce the damn thing thus reducing huge potential future TAX earnings for the UK artists. INSANE MATHS.
    No One with serious IP and responsibility for extensive catalogues will agree to that reduction either.

    Some of these ideas in all these reports are about as helpful as pulling loans on business deals half way through to be honest. NOT helpful at all.

    Throttling broadband abusers is a very good protects the abused,(the artist) and in Law that's the Law. Its not the total answer but its a MAJOR first step. Its called management.
    The ISP's refused to do ANY serious management despite being asked and it shall likely be enforced. They only have themselves to blame at that stage, they could have resolved this beforehand.

  8. So to be clear about this: you are in favour of any and all measures designed to allow rights holders to continue to earn as much money from their works as possible. This extends to removing people's access to the Internet, forcing unrelated industries to protect your business, controlling computers, phones and other communications equipment without the permission of their owners, and imposing huge fines and even prison sentences for the illegal copying of music.

    Further, you imply that while these are unpopular views outside of the music industry, anyone who disagrees or opposes such measures (and there are many) is a self-interested thief.

    If I've got that right, and regardless of whether you think these views are extreme, can you provide any evidence that links the use of the Internet and digital file sharing with a decline in artist's revenue? It's about time we heard some pretty solid justification for all this.

  9. Too Be VERY clear I am in favour of THE rightholders rights to choose when and what happens to their OWN content at whatever price per song. YEs of course we are.

    I do not imply (as you state or interpret incorrectly)anyone who disagrees is a thief, I clearly state those who steal are thieves as the LAW makes clear.
    The measures that go ahead are going to be the ones that stem that culture as a direct result of continued law breaking actions.

    I can honestly say I have never illegally downloaded any pirate material because it's awful cheap copy that shows ZERO (no) support for the artist to continue making good records.

    I also believe those who have bought records should also be able to migrate and transfer their music copy for their own personal use.

    I dont think they should share that online for others to take. Its not their right to do so.
    It is the right of the artist to allow that to occur, as and when the feel fit. Period.

  10. I see. You say it is the right of the artist to allow copying to occur though. Does this mean you are not in favour of the current system of record contracts and copyright assignment? I ask because in the vast majority of cases, musicians themselves are not the rights holders and have no (or very little) control of their work.

    If you do support the current system, then I think you'll find that in practice you are arguing for the maintenance of record executives' salaries, rather than anything else. You know that a lot of people - not least musicians - resent the idea that in paying £12.99 for a CD, only a small fraction goes to the artist as opposed to the rights holder.

    Actually, I you may have mentioned this before. What would be nice though is if you could detail some of your ideas in a blog post. Start with some evidence that musicians are making less money since the Internet came about (I know of none myself, but it would be good to have some), then outline what you think should be done from both an industry and regulatory perspective.

    I think you've done with the emotive stuff now.

  11. Well the business of agreements with all artists and their contracts issomething betweeen their contract holders and theartists andlawyers and theirmanagers. They oftendo agree knowing and amending clause to suit theartist.
    bnads of U" claibre could notpossibly be as big as theyare today withoutthefullfinacial support of record companyinvestment.
    Some people struggle to understand this, but lets say a record co pays out £2.5m to promote a debut single they do need a a large share to get that return. This does always apply for sure but the maths tend to fall in the artist favour.
    You do not hear many bands complain whne they are in the top ten globally. Thats why that model still persists. Record co and artists CAN and DO work well together most of the time.
    there are always issue to address but the big probelm for abnds iare staff changes which can change the company focus.

    The £12.99 for a CD arguement is a sore point for me as well...the big problem there is the the shop/retail outlet makes more per unit than the artist, Which is wrong and sends out a damaging message.
    When you see other goods in the SAME store on a much lower profit margin, it's sickening to see suchpremium prices.
    Theotheras[pect is the artists only get a share of wholesale, as does the record company, not a share of the premium retail pricing.
    The DIY market is bigger than ever which allows unsigned artist to sell their music and keep 100%. However at the average price of £10 per CD at any gig I dont see any DIY artist devaluing their product too much.

    The reason why most artists are making less money since the interent is mainly to do with the fact the recod co and artists and their managers have not yet renegotiated % structures online for download files, this does not aplly to mail order physical content/CD albums etc.
    I think this is mostly to do with the fact its not been worth the while to do so as most online products (files) are stolen and saless not seen.
    Having management in place online for these assets might increase the money ANY artist should be making.

    Providing figures is a maze and not the most important issue...particularly because artists do not shre this info and all deals are varying in their value.

    THE BEST figure to go for IMHO would be the increased ONLINE sales (say 2 years later) once file abuse was managed or restricted. that action would help promote a vibrant digital market of quality.
    It would also increase the artistic value/rate online and strengthen their contracted clauses.

  12. sorry about the typo's this keyboard has a broken space bar!!!

  13. It is a common argument for publishers that today's big bands would be nowhere had they not had the benefit of huge promotional investment by record labels. But for mainstream artists today who accrued most of their following in the early to mid 90's, record labels and live gigs were basically the only channels available. Today, it is through online networking. What matters in the end is that promotion is needed to build an audience. And there is no substitute for hard work, talent and quality, whether that is promoted through record labels or though MySpace. It is of course early days, but Radiohead and Trent Reznor have at least have shown that you can be hugely popular with just online promotion - no labels and very little investment.

    Now, to this you might say "But a less popular artist would not make as much money." To quote Rob Myers on this one: "This is trivially true. It is also true of recording-industry-based album releases. So it is not a specific criticism of this business model. Rather it is a fact of life regarding music: you need an audience to sell to in order to make money by selling music to your audience. What is important is that more of the money from this business model goes to the band. So a less popular band would make more money this way than from receiving royalties for CDs, all other things being equal." And with more money, comes more opportunity, and with more opportunity, more promotion, and so on until the band is as big as any of the big bands that have gone before.

    You agree that £12.99 is too much if most of it goes to people other than the artist. Well, see my above point about investment.

    You state again that artists are making less money now than they did before the Internet came along. But again, you ask us simply to take your word for it and offer no evidence. While CD sales are undoubtedly down, they were going down before widespread use of the Internet. On the other hand, the music industry's own accounts figures over the last few years show that the industry has been making more money than ever before from live music, licensing, merchandising and other business development which more than compensates for the drop in CD sales. (I would paste in URLs here, but this blog doesn't allow that.).

    Finally, and this is just my own opinion, even if tomorrow half of all musicians in the world gave up the hard slog of making music because of piracy, I doubt anyone would really notice.

  14. Well the evidence is in the lack of sales for artist, I would presume thats why legislation is coming into effect and rightly so based on facts not available to us all.

    No one offer much evidence that artist are making more money either, so its the same on the other side of the stated most artist sell CD's at gigs for £10+. which is not just a major record co pricing prob at that point. Artist do see themselves as worth £10 per album copy. (I do Not disagree)

    I do agree with a lot of your points/facts tho..but merchandise is more expensive now than ever that accounts for a lot of revenue reported no doubt.

  15. If you presume that's why legislation is coming into effect, then you presume wrong.

    If you look in detail at what's being proposed by the the music and recording industry (BPI, the record labels, etc.) you'll find that the artists themselves stand to make very little extra money. The lion's share of any extra cash goes to people who are NOT musicians or artists at all. This is a fact of modern economics: corporations exist to maximise profits by using "factors of production" - in this case the musicians. Sure, proposing all these draconian measures against pirates is done in the name of artists - because that's much better PR than doing it in the name of the board of directors, who make a shedload more than the majority of the artists on their books. There is no difference between a record label and a car manufacturer in that respect. Luckily, the EU has been able to see that, and didn't bow to the will of the fat cats by putting "3-strikes" clauses into the amends to the Telecomms Directive last week.

    If you want evidence that artists can make more money from using the Internet to their advantage, then look no further than the fact that in 2008, the No.1 SELLING download in the Amazon charts was "Ghosts" - despite it being made available for free. Of course, very few artists can currently do this kind of thing becuase (you guessed it) they don't have the contractual freedom to do so from their labels. And the labels won't give them that freedom because that would mean the labels would not make so much money.

    So - in short: the sharing of music should be encouraged by artists because in the age of the Internet it is obscurity, not piracy, that is their biggest problem. Artists need audiences. When they get them, they will get the money they need. And if they don't get the audience? Well, maybe they just weren't good enough. Going back to working in Tescos is the best thing for us and them.

  16. New artist do not get THESE audiences if their new singles and albums are THEN ripped off..It goes like this

    Artist release an album and sells 1000 copies, then 50,0000 people illegally download and steal the album for free.
    artist does not go on tour as artist has been ripped off and cannot now afford to tour and gain those massive merchandise sales people speak about. Its a foolish idea to think ripping a new band off is going to create a massive audience EACH and EVERY TIME.

    No New bands doing well (in line with fans support or TAKE) means no new merchandise because they will not be able to afford to tour to see anyone.

    Its STILL a foolish idea to think ripping a new band off is going to create a massive audience EACH and EVERY TIME.

    What if a new band has 20,000 albums ripped off in the USA?????? how the hell do they GO tour there and MEET those so called fans (illegal sharers) if the band are based in Ireland or the UK? and they just lost 20,000 sales???
    Most new (YOUNG) bands would be gutted to be perfectly honest. An exciting opportunity taken away from them due to online abuse.

    what next?? a claim that 20,000 USA fans come to UK to see the band ...ha ha yes of course they do!!!

    They will not pay air faresto come over and supporttheband at GIGS in the same way they did not pay $10 for the album in the first place.

  17. The mistake you make is in equating an illegal copy with a lost sale, and implying that an illegal copy costs the artist money. There is no automatic relationship between an illegal copy and what an artist does or does not receieve in return.

    The evidence (as NIN, Radiohead, and to a lesser extent Arctic Monkeys show) is that those who download a lot also buy a lot. And when there are thousands of artists competing for exposure in a free distribution network, to restrict exposure behind a paywall is clearly a mistake.

    Your chicken-and-egg example about not getting enough money to tour is interesting. Selling 1,000 is not, as you have said, the only measure of success or profit. If you have 500,000 peole download your music for free, then that implies you have a good market for live music (ie they will come to listen to you). Merchandising and other business development can follow. Companies like LiveNation lend bands money for exactly this reason.

    Of course, those 500,000 people may have concluded that your music is rubbish, which might account for the 1,000 albums, but then that's life. 499,000 wouldn't have bought the album anyway. But at least they never "cost" the band any money.

    But don't forget also that musicians don't have any god-given right to make oodles of cash any more than your local corner shop can expect to rival Tescos. "Massive audiences" are not required. In publishing, most fiction sales are lucky to top 5,000 copies in their entire printed lifetimes, so making ten grand off an album is doing darn well. The thing is that now the Internet is here, it means you don't have to hand it all over to a publisher.

  18. Sorry, totally has a huge impact thus the drive to sort it out. One outlet offering bands tour help is not an option if its the only option either.
    499,000 of Sales never cost a band money these days..its the making of the album that can cost, and the PR and essential living expenses required, so lost sales are lost earnings and lost costs returned.

    No, Artists do not have a god-given right (as you state) to make money but then that's never been made a law becasue its not an issue...people who make music DO have a right to have their musical works and assets protected...that is a LAW.

    Live nation only lend to specific signed artists as a rule via contracted agreements.
    So its never an option for new bands, LN are not geared up for that risk, on a grand scale.

    Making 10 grand off an album is a hopelss 'darn well'deal for a 5 or 6 piece band...or Live Nation, thinking about it.

    And as you 'the internet is here' we dont ALL have to then agree to have someone SIMPLY hand data over either, without major problems.

    There's more protections in place in DATA protection LAW for peoples names online than there is for artists materials online these days...perhaps we can start handing out those personal details as well? along with their goods.

  19. I find it highly unlikely that an album selling 1,000 units would end up being copied 500,000 times online without follow on sales. Mere word of mouth would ensure more sales, and as gilgongo points out, if those 500,000 people who downloaded the album illegally thought the album was rubbish, then there have been no lost sales anyway.

    Also, were a band in the UK or Ireland to gain such a reception as 200,000 downloads in the US or Canada, and were the album received well, again word of mouth would ensure the band found out they had a following, and undoubtedly a clamour for a tour would get to them. Any new band must expect to make a loss on setting up a first tour. If you're good enough, and sell tickets, and generate a buzz, the tour will be a success, and your initial outlay will be recouped (and you will likely have sold more copies of your album in the interim).

    Thinking that no band ever had to stump up money they could potentially lose on a first tour before the Internet came along is just fallacy, and you miss the point badly.

  20. well I am sorry but these kind of figures do occur...which is why the probelm has become so big
    lets take it down a little a new band sell 350 copies on release and then finds 19,000 downloads via online.

    I am sorry you do not agree but some bands choose not to sign a deal first and then hope to tour...those bands are having a very hard time trying to go it alone currently.Fact.
    NOT a point I wish to miss to be honest, it is occurring.

    The other point about bands selling a small amounts of units here first and then finding the album illegally online in another country before CD units are directly available is also a big problem that no can forecast.

    Some bands in the UK simply want to start at home first promoting the band to wider audiences..then they find a massive download probelm of a small initial release in Italy, Spain or the USA. Fact as well.

    Bands need to control their career and give away THEIR music when THEY decide, not when other people decide, would be the general wish.

    illegal file sharers do not elect themselves to be the bands manager all of a sudden...and thus stopping the band from making better progress with no sales, is not fan behaviour.

    We simply have to agree to differ on this.

  21. "... which is why the probelm has become so big"

    ".. bands are having a very hard time trying to go it alone currently."

    Agreeing to differ on this is not acceptable because you have repeatedly failed to cite anything other than circumstantial evidence for your position: people are sharing music files on the Internet, so this means that artists are being deprived of revenue. That may make sense to you, but it's not supported by numerous independent studies around the world. Not only that, but your strident calls to control and punish offenders through the use of technical measures and (ab)use of copyright law has been shown actually to damage the very people you say you wish to protect.

    There is little point in continuing this debate if you insist on simply presenting unsubstantiated opinions as fact.

  22. My opinions can agree to differ whenever I feel fit...its quite ironic that illegal file sharers often start going on on about rules and regulations regarding a debate. Whatever my opinions are the facts are out there in abundance for some time. I have seen the distress it has caused, and it makes TOTAL sense to me.
    Lets then naively suggest GM motors gives ALL it's cars away and makes a 'good job securing NEW model' selling tyres rather than a bailout from USA Gov't.I dont think so. Lets suggest the gaming industry does not sell ANY more games at £40 and gives them all away because they can make a good living selling console handcontrols and keep everyone employed. I dont think so.
    The Music Industry deserves better.

    Heres some links to suggest file sharing is a major problem to those who cannot digest the issue.

  23. Here some news from IFPI showing many
    out-of-court settlements, undeniably guilty
    this does not account for the 800 letters sent out via virgin broadband to users known for sharing.

    Breakdown of the cases via IFPI

    United Kingdom: The UK record industry confirmed that is it launching a rolling programme of legal actions against major alleged illegal file-sharers for the first time. The BPI is launching court cases against 28 individuals. The BPI alleges that they were engaged in copying and making available large numbers of music tracks on the internet in breach of copyright. They will face civil action for an injunction and damages.

    France: Criminal complaints and civil court cases are being filed against 50 major uploaders of music in France, as the first legal actions in an ongoing campaign to combat illegal file sharing. French anti-piracy organisation SCPP is pursuing court proceedings that allow fines and other criminal sanctions, or civil remedies including termination of the internet account of an infringer.

    Austria: IFPI Austria announced that it will be filing 100 criminal and civil cases against people found to have been offering large numbers of music files on peer-to-peer file sharing services without authorisation. Austrian proceedings permit a range of remedies and penalties, including criminal raids and fines, as well as civil compensation and injunctions.

    Denmark: IFPI Denmark is sending civil demand letters to approximately 174 more alleged illegal music file-sharers, bringing the total number of such legal claims launched in Denmark to nearly 300. So far 67 individuals in Denmark (representing approximately 40% of those targeted in the previous wave) have already either paid or agreed to pay compensation averaging a few thousand euros each - one as high as €13,000.

    Germany: IFPI Germany has filed 100 additional criminal complaints against individuals alleged to be engaged in illegal file sharing of music. This brings to 168 the number of such cases launched. To date, 10 of the earlier defendants have been raided, 5 have had criminal judgments or fines imposed on them, and 16 have made civil settlement payments from 2.000 to 10.000 euros (averaging 4,000 Euros).

    Italy: Police have raided 7 more individuals on suspicion of copyright infringement in connection with large-scale file sharing of music, with more actions expected in the coming weeks. This follows similar criminal cases brought against 30 individuals in March this year, which are still pending before the courts. Individuals found guilty are subject to fines expected in the range of 5,000 to 25,000 Euros with additional civil compensation possible.

    United States: Since September 2003, the US recording industry has brought copyright infringement lawsuits against over 5,700 alleged illegal file sharers. There have been hundreds of settlements to date, averaging several thousand US dollars each.

    IFPI is also today publishing a number of Fact Sheets on the impact of illegal file-sharing on music sales; the impact of the industry's litigation programme to date; the advance of the legitimate online music market; and the information campaigns conducted by the recording industry.

    Highlights include:

    Research findings on the impact of illegal file-sharing

    IFPI has compiled a comprehensive collection of third party research which proves overwhelmingly that illegal file-sharing has contributed to the decline in global music sales - down US$6 billion in the last five years. All reputable peer-commended studies conclude that illegal song-swapping depresses music sales (see attached Fact Sheet: "Internet Piracy: The Facts" also available on

    There are tons more stat reports out there, not quite as accurate as the IFPI reports and these links and stats above.
    As requested there's the evidence illegal filesharing is having a huge and colossal impact globally and regionally.

    I will post the links as well.

  24. All those links seem to be from the IFPI, an industry body representing the recording industry. Their business model is directly threatened by music sharing on the net. The links you've posted show that they are doing lots of good work in lashing out againt copyright infringement, but I can't see anything about starving musicians or disappointed fans having to make do with only one album by the Killer Boy Rats and a measly tour of Bournemouth because the bazillions they could have made have been denied them by kids with broadband connections.

    I assume you are not trying to make sure the likes of David Geffen can continue to buy yachts, because you are talking about musicians all the time. So why do you cite the IFPI, which is not a musician's body?

    Let's keep it simple and put it this way: what is your position on people like Trent Reznor or Radiohead?

  25. Mark, you keep using analogies like video games and cars. Cars get manufactured at a tremendous cost, and once sold, the manufacturer can't sell it again (or at very least can't sell it as new at full price again). Digital music can be produced for varying amounts from almost free to rather expensive, can be sold and sold and sold, and even if someone downloads an album illegally, while it *may* represent a lost sale, it *does not* equate to a unit or SKU which can't then later be sold legitimately, representing a loss. It's hard to authoritatively state that illegal file sharing is impacting sales in the face of trends such as declining sales prior to the mass take up of peer-to-peer sharing, or rising CD sales as announced recently. It's hard to take you seriously without any citation of hard, provable evidence demonstrating clearly that copyright infringement is directly affecting sales.

    Again, nothing material is being taken from a manufacturer here, so if you want to use analogies, you should find one relating to copyright infringement, rather than theft, that has more relevance.

    Let me put it this way. Would you rather the ISPs, the police and our legal system of justice were put to use disconnecting people who may or may not have committed copyright infringement (I say may or may not because if three strikes legislation is put in place, persistent infringers will simply shift their activity off-shore, or by using the open WiFi connections of neighbours or cafes, leading to false positives), or would you rather ISPs were able to concentrate on providing affordable, commercially viable and innovative services, and our police and the courts left to concentrate on catching and convicting muggers, rapists, burglars, murderers, and so on?

    I'd also rather that our elected parliaments concentrated on doing good for the country rather than simply kowtowing to the commercial whims of organisations like the MPAA, RIAA, IFPI, BREIN, some of which have no right to be interfering in this country's legislative agenda.

  26. I take the point of price point to some extent,
    however the IFPI reports (linked here) show severe damage and some of these reports were done by independent consultant and reserach bodies such as Forresters...for the IFPI.

    The biggest infringment example is already here for all to see!! music and video infringment...we need no bigger example of copyright infringement. That is the big one.

    if people do not lock down (encrypt) their accounts to stop WIFI log on ..then they will surely do so once a warning comes that will do good to educate external abuse from others...if that does not work then something will replace to work for other secure reasons other than just music files.

    Its not actually possible to implement an off shore broadband account, so I see no reason as to how that will work. Any account will still have to go through BT Networks or OFcom regulations.

    As for the car sales analogy, there are many well produced non commercial bands and artists that have limited sales capacity due to fan base or genre not having a mass appeal. Those artists are in the same poisiton as car manaufacturers, they have a limited amount of releases and a limited amount of sales,having spent a much time, efforts and costs developing their equal product.
    Increasingly seeing their releases being pirated and reducing their scope, which then limits the great variety of music.
    Its not just about mega commecial double/triple platinum sales each time.Its about support being in place for artists of all types.
    I take the point on our elected parliament, however IP facts and stats do need to show the global impact, for a fuller picture. There are MORE than just IFPI reports on the links here.

    Had the industry been able to previously stem OR control the file sharing issues and the impacts, the current music industry would be much less MOR/X factor than it is presently with a bigger selection of new music breaking than ever before, because the risks would have been greater on investing in new talent, giving other 'less commercial but perhaps more interesting' artists a greater opportunity.

    A real artistic 'music' revolution is when the creators can control their assets, thats how underground scenes develop into bigger changes.
    Its also excactly what is not currently going on, control of releases and material. Its their basic artistic 'right to hold' copy or negotiate who holds IP copy.(rightsholders).

  27. "Its not actually possible to implement an off shore broadband account, so I see no reason as to how that will work."

    When trying to debate a topic, at least start by knowing what you are talking about. File sharing off-shore and retrieving your files over an encrypted connection is trivial, as is connecting to an off-shore VPN service, presenting your data transfers as being from the United States, or Scandinavia, or ... anywhere, really. The user then appears, as far as anyone in the UK is concerned, to be transferring encrypted data, and that data could be anything: a new U2 album, a movie ripped from a Blu Ray disc, a corporate database backup, a photo album, a freely-distributable operating system, a phone call (Skype, for example, is encrypted end-to-end), anything.

    "Any account will still have to go through BT Networks or OFcom regulations."

    The initial Internet connection will most likely have to be provided by an ISP based in the UK, yes (although not necessarily via a 'BT Network', and Ofcom have nothing to do with regulating what customers do with their broadband connections), but as I stated earlier, there's nothing stopping determined violators from hijacking someone else's connection. Even encrypted WiFi is not immune, as that can be broken pretty trivally in some default configurations. Even WiFi services such as those provided which require payment for use, but permit valid DNS requests to be made can be hijacked without payment (cf TCP-over-DNS).

    Although perhaps next you'll suggest encrypted data transfers should be outlawed, so maybe I should have kept schtum about the whole thing.

  28. ''Ofcom have nothing to do with regulating what customers do with their broadband connections''??Wrong!
    Try migrating your ISP to a new service and see what happens under ofcom regulations.

    All networks in this country are on a BT network and their own departments are screened via ofcom regulations to the point one BT dept does not know what the other dept is doing.

    encrypted data transfers should be outlawed...another good idea...but limited practicality.
    Ofcom are a way bigger control & influence agency than you might think here, and the more problems the internet raises the more power they will inherit.

  29. On one hand you're misinterpreting my meanings (deliberately?) and on the other you are not researching your points. All networks in this country are NOT on a "BT network". Encryption for everyone, if made illegal for any reason, will be a massive blow to privacy. However, I think we're straying somewhat from the topic :)

  30. I dont know how that has happend here but its difficult on a blog sometimes fully understanding??
    Almost everyone does a deal with BT to piggy back onto the national network.

    And looking to the future with BT laying the most comprehensive optical network down (rolling out as from jan 2010 at 20 mb min), its going to increase.

    BT networks (backend) cases seem to come up a lot with piracy legal action, nomatter who is involved.

    I agree encryption data outlawing cannot be practical, but it might be beneficial in some areas ie: music files only..who really knows?

    ONE the most interesting aspects of the internet is the amount of filters and controls coming along, its evolving and becoming very intelligent and very 'auto switch' on or off for many values.

    Agreed a bit off topic but still relevant points made here.

  31. This is what I was saying (basically ofcom/Bt control the vast majoity of network lines/gates exchanges...anyone else is not too big an issue presently until this lot is dealt with. BT deliver the networks to over 700 other brands in the UK...beyond those 700 (BT accounts/clients) its not too much else going on...apart from HULL's kingston comms.

    this site correctly states

    ''BT delivers network services to over 700 telecoms suppliers that provide phone, internet and mobile services to customers across the UK. So even though you may not be a direct customer of BT, your services may still be carried over the BT network and therefore could be affected by the migration of the network to 21CN

    If your customers are connected to a cable service, are customers of Kingston Communications in East Yorkshire or do not require a BT line for their phone, broadband or ISDN services, they won't be affected by the rollout of BT's new telecommunications network. In these instances, their current telecommunications arrangements will continue to apply. Mobile services will not be directly affected''.

    Even the so called free Edinburgh service is a charged for council £3.2m deal with BT.

  32. *sigh* so because you read something about BT saying how many telecoms suppliers they provide services for, you assume that means all of them? I'm sure Virgin Media, Sky (Easynet), Be, Entanet, MurphX, et al, the myriad transit, backhaul and darknet providers (e.g. C&W, Thus, GX, Hurricane Electric, AboveNet, Level3, Datahop, etc), and the UK educational network JANET would be interested to hear that! :)

  33. Sorry, another point: the fact that yes, a lot of UK ADSL providers use either BT Wholesale to provide an end-to-end broadband offering, or Openreach (a BT subsidiary) to deliver access to last-mile copper from the exchanges, does not mean BT are responsible for the activities of the users connected by those providers - the ISPs themselves are. BT are no less responsible than the electricity companies are who provide people with power to use their computers to share files.

  34. One final point, before I hope you realise your mentioning BT at all was misplaced: the link - which is actually at - you provided has this key piece of information at the top - "All details on this page are based on data from October 2000". In other words, the same year residential broadband started becoming commercially available (and the infrastructure provided by BT Wholesale has changed radically since then), and years before peer to peer file sharing became a hot topic.

    Keep up :)

  35. whatever is out there via LLU unlooping deals they all still come under ofcom, and with 700 stated as under BT networks I would say ofcom have agreed that to be its no small matter reading it on the BT site.
    I simply prefer to wait to see what will happen, anyone new in the market wiill have to present tight control and regulations otherwise they will be out of the telecoms market, before they even get there, so its the same reality for them all (the others not on the BT 700 list) whatever way they provide.
    AS BT state again
    ''If your customers are connected to a cable service, are customers of Kingston Communications in East Yorkshire or do not require a BT line for their phone, broadband or ISDN services, they won't be affected by the rollout of BT's new telecommunications network''.
    I am not saying I do not recognise there are others, I am saying the others are not too relevant in my mind when regarding BT PLC and its 700 other networks at this stage.
    BT could disconnect anyone abusing ofcom rules, if pushed to do so.
    Whatever they do the others will follow anyhow.
    They control what speeds we have until they are ready to latch us onto faster services...they simply control it all.
    Other 'new' telecoms brands are only in the game to be sold or absorbed later on,via shares or direct buy outs for me.
    The best way of keeping up is wait and see what occurs in the future.No one wants liablities and the telecoms with ofcom will plan them out, one by one. Bit like the 'silent calls' policy or phone/sales abuse.

  36. I give up, this is like talking to a brick wall.