UK Music Pretends That Musicians Aren't Against Kicking People Off The Internet

from the oh-really? dept

Recently, we noted that a bunch of big name musicians had come out against Peter Mandelson’s sudden decision that it was ok to kick music fans off the internet for file sharing, despite earlier promises that such a proposal was off the table. Having these musicians speak out against such a “three strikes” plan looked really bad for the various collections societies and industry groups that want such a plan — leading some to publicly complain that these musicians were doing something “destructive” in standing up for consumer rights (how dare they!).

There were rumors that following this little dustup, that the UK music industry would drop its support for three strikes. Instead, Feargal Sharkey, the head of the UK Music lobbying group, has come out with a totally meaningless statement that basically says that the industry supports the government’s plan and there’s nothing to see here in terms of a rift in the views of the UK music industry.

That’s not very believable. More and more musicians have realized that a proposal to kick people off the internet does nothing to promote better business models and does a lot to create significantly more ill will with fans. The only people who seem to be supporting it are those who are looking to protect old business models, and seem to think that kicking people offline will magically bring back paying customers. Sharkey has claimed in the past that the industry needs to stop fighting against music fans. Too bad he’s aligning himself with a plan that is entirely about fighting music fans.

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Comments on “UK Music Pretends That Musicians Aren't Against Kicking People Off The Internet”

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aguywhoneedstenbucks (profile) says:

From the article:

“Conversations will progress over coming weeks and days to ensure the industry can go out there with a clear vision on how we want government to help us going forward.”

I know how I want the government to help me going forward. I want them to give me lots of money and strike down my enemies. These people are praying to the government like they would pray to some ancient deity for deliverance from their foes.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“These people are praying to the government like they would pray to some ancient deity for deliverance from their foes.”

Agreed. This is starting to look like a progression of the age of reason revolution, when intellectuals rebelled against religion. More specifically, it smacks of Hegelism, which is an attempt to control the outcome of a debate through a manipulation of the argument.

Hegel’s thesis stated that: thesis against antithesis would produce a middle resolution.

Unfortunately, that reasonable theory has been utilized like this so that the proposed thesis is so outlandish that middle ground isn’t middle ground at all, but in favor of the thesis presenter.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Also FTA:

“In context of an evolving licensed digital music market, we believe that government intervention is extremely welcome and that, subject to assessment, Ofcom should be granted appropriate and proportionate powers as directed by the secretary of state.”

“The purpose of these powers is to encourage users of unlicensed P2P networks towards existing and future digital music services.”

I just love this quote. It specifically says they want the state to encourage people to use their services, insead of, you know, offering services that are encouraging to use.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yikes! That’s not the way I read it, unless I’m missing something in the context that alters it’s meaning. This looks more to me like a request by the industry that the state grant the industry groups “appropriate and proportionate powers” to “encourage” pirates to use existing pay services.

Am I reading this wrong or is this industry group SPECIFICALLY and plainly asking for powers of the state? And would implications could that have?

Fushta says:

Acting Like Bad Parents

The more I read about the entertainment industry and their tactics the more I’m reminded of bad parents using negative reinforcement as a child rearing technique. Negative reinforcement doesn’t work. Threats don’t work. They need to concentrate on positive reinforcement by following the main message purported by Mike and many others that contribute to this site. Give me a reason to buy (positive reinforcement), or at least give me something worth buying..
Sent from G1 phone.

Anonymous Coward says:

We also have Masnick Rule here: For new talent filesharing is a disaster. If a group of young artists where opposed, they’ll probably a) had dismissed them or b) explained how for established artists filesharing is a disaster. Because you know, the only way for a new artist to be known is to hide it’s music and have a contract with a big corporation.

Brian says:

One of the problems here is we think musicians should make a living – well too good of a living. At the end of the day, its just music, its just a job. UK average salary is only £21,500. Maybe thats what they should expect to make like the rest of us – if we’re lucky enough to have a job. Maybe we live in a time where Rock Stars don’t own palaces and homes all over the world, because they just make music, like another man builds roads or another unblocks your sink.

Right now in the US music companies are trying to lobby government, basically asking for money every time a clip or snippet is played in a downloadable movie. All art is inspired by other art, its a never ending process, if a director includes music, he should only need permission, not to pay each time the music is played. In fact the musician should be thankful.

If we apply this silly musicians logic, we could say when a song is written and for example ‘Rolls Royce’ is mentioned, then Rolls Royce as a company takes a slice of the musicians cut, then the living ancestors of Mr Rolls and Mr Royce take a slice, then without all the blokes in the factory making the car they wouldn’t exist, so each guy in the factory gets a quid. Without roads motorcars wouldn’t exist, so we better find out who invented roads, and tarmac, and wheels, and engines, – you get the idea. Every work of art is inspired by another, musicians need to grow up, move on and realise the days of trashing hotels rooms upon different continents each night could hopefully be coming to and end. What they do isn’t as important as everyone is led to believe, its just music.

Their job is to entertain, they don’t fight for peace, they don’t save lives, they don’t feed the starving – they just sing about doing it. Especially in the UK we’ve been ripped off as consumers for far too long now, special editions, collectors packs, limited box sets, its all plastic shit in tacky packaging. LPS for £17.99. Sales in which we are told £9.99 is cheap – how much do they want? Concert Tickets going for £150. Get real and stop whinging. As a fanatical music lover, I’ve decided to turn my back upon it completely and erased it from my life – and too be honest it hasn’t made that much of a difference, I talk to people more. I haven’t spent a penny on music now for almost 6 months. I’m going to film the burning soon of my entire collection and post it on You Tube, sure its not the best thing for the environment, but then neither is pressing records.

As for Fergal – he just needed a job.

DFK (profile) says:

We can argue whether or not file sharing is ethical until the cows come home, but looking at it from a business standpoint the entire piracy situation is spiraling out of control. Everyone in the entertainment industry can’t seem to wrap their mind around the fact that the entertainment industry is a market driven by what the CONSUMER wants. Their first mistake was with Napster. They noticed the file sharing program and started a campaign to outlaw all file sharing. By doing so they cut off an entire generation of potential costumers. Instead, they should have embraced the popularity and found a way to monetize Napster and other similar programs/sites. Obviously now the file sharing situation is far too out of control to monetize in its entirety. The music industry has been paying for their mistake ever since. The number one rule of any business/industry trying to sell any sort of product whether it be albums or snuggies, is to adapt to what the consumer wants. The industry is trying to force their traditional methods down the consumers throats and the consumers are smarter than that. There is a silver lining in this cloud though: as long as there are people, people will love music. Whether its 360 deals or Spotify, something eventually will come along and save the industry. All of the dinosaur record label CEOs will become extinct and the next generation will find a new and innovating way to make the consumer, artists and middle man happy.

“The winners are the ones who embrace change”
-Hulu CEO Jason Kilar

Davey Marks says:

Guys – firstly, point to me one musician you know who makes £21.5k a year and you’ve got a strong argument. Most make nowhere near this from music. Most have to borrow to make a decent record, end of. Many people I’ve noticed who are commenting in these sorts of articles on this issue are the sort of people who have something to lose: they’re young (ish) and tech-savvy and, it appears, less capable of really seeing the bigger picture. Most seem to have created a mindset which basically says they’ve prospered thank you very much from adopting (and abusing?) the emerging new technologies and damned if they’re giving it up easily. However, it makes it a much poorer debating chamber as a result, because it’s apparently not in anyone’s interest to contribute to an enlightened debate, one that attempts to see it from both sides and offer a progressive solution.

What you’re all missing is that file-sharing has *absolutely* gone too far, and it will enable the powers that be to argue (and enable & enforce) the monitoring of your internet usage. This affects everyone, so thanks for the memories. The irony is surely not lost on the so-called “we file-share in the name of freedom” lobby – is it? Because we’re not just talking about musicians’ livelihoods. This is a massive sector, full of dedicated talent, all of which is being hit by file-sharing and so is increasingly – and in the main reluctantly – having to ask for some sort of protection.

The simple uncomfortable truth is that in order to make a decent record, which I notice most of you are happy to consume, costs either a lot of money or a lot of (often unpaid) time. Either way there’s a big cost (and risk) involved. Why should those who put a lot into making a record not hope there’s some sort of a chance of a return on what is primarily a speculative outlay? Is it so repellent to contribute something, anything, to the cost incurred of something you clearly enjoy consuming?

Whilst I agree that in the past music has been very expensive to purchase, it no longer is. In this respect, what are your *genuine* non-fabricated reasons for just helping yourselves to it? Is it, as I fear, self-serving meanness – or a twisted form of greed?

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