UK Music – A new anti-piracy umbrella to replace all the others

October 27, 2008

What happens when something is supposedly under threat? A support group or charitable organization is set up in order to save it. But while that may be admirable when it comes to endangered animals, is it really such a noble cause when the species feeling threatened is musicians?

We are all well aware that the music industry is evolving. It’s having to because the Internet has changed the way people buy, share, and listen to music. The idea of having hugely powerful record labels controlling everything is old-fashioned with musicians able to control their own destiny via selling their wares online.

But the record labels and decades-old music industry isn’t going to lose control without a fight. To that end, there are a number of umbrella groups fighting for their paymasters to stay in charge. The best known of these is the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), and its British equivalent, the BPI (British Phonographic Industry), but there are a number of others, all of whom look after a certain section of the music industry.

But there’s always room for another umbrella (just ask Rihanna) and from today, UK Music becomes the umbrella group that encapsulates all of the others. The RIAA, being American, isn’t part of this endeavor.

UK Music is being lead by Feargal Sharkey, ex-lead singer with The Undertones. Its aim is to fight music piracy and look out for the welfare of British musicians. To this end, the new group has spelled out a five-year plan to try and get the music industry back on its feet. Although despite falling record sales, I wasn’t aware there was that much to fix.

Sharkey told The Guardian:

The thing we all realized is that we all agree with each other 95% of the time. It’s looking at where the industry is going to be three, four or five years from now.

Quite simply, music is one of the few areas where this nation continues to punch above its weight and something we should all be celebrating.

The thing is, we are all celebrating British music, it’s just that the normal punter on the street who has helped make record label bosses and musicians extremely rich over the past few decades are doing so by embracing new technologies rather than living in the past.

Music piracy isn’t going anywhere. Sure, ISPs co-operating with the record labels by handing over details of file-sharers could make a little dent in the number of downloaders, but nothing will stop it outright. Instead of trying to keep the status quo (not the band) going where record labels control everything and everyone else loses, Sharkey and his cohorts should be looking at solutions for the future.

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3 Responses to “UK Music – A new anti-piracy umbrella to replace all the others”

  1. DaveBG:

    The music industry is just clutching at straws.

    The biggest gang of thieves and genuine pirates any artist will ever encounter is the music business itself.
    How tiny a percentage do they thing is ‘normal’!?
    Court case after court case told us all about their greed and staggeringly unreasonable conditions.

    Sharing is not the problem and never has been – though they’ve been pushing that lie since the days of the compact cassette and home taping.

    In fact sharing has always generated interest & sales…..or at least it used to until those greedy swines tried to get us all to replace our existing record collections with expensive CD.
    Once the means was available to get digital copies then not surprisingly many of the public turned their back and started burning their own – and often thanks to hardware from the very same companies.

    When someone like Sony claims P2P is killing music isn’t it a little hypocritical coming from a company that makes burners and blank media to do it on?

    Anyways, bands are learning to release under their own steam.

    Those who questioned Radioheads example of allowing consumers to give mere pennies if they wanted (whilst the consumer paid for all the overheads re internet connection = distribution & any CD burning & label printing) forget that whilst some have only paid pennies that was all they ever got from the record companies on each sale.
    They made a lot more money doing it all themselves (and they will not be alone in this).

    The record companies are a bunch of outdated leaches desperately looking for a reason to justify their outrageous cut.

    The sooner they go to the wall the better.

    They currently are nothing less than terrorists. They select individuals to ruin as an example to terrorise others.
    Note that Bush (who publicly admitted he loved the Beatles on his iPod – which must have been illegal copies cos they were not legitimately available then) never got a summons.
    Only the little people, eh?

    Put simply nobody needs them anymore, hurry up and f*ck off and die parasites.

  2. Dick:

    DaveBG put it so eloquently. You know it’s messed up when they charge the same for a digital download and cream off most of the cost from places like iTunes. This for a no-physical copy, no CD, no cover, no liner notes, no distribution, no storage at a retailer etc and then have the gall to say that they are not getting enough (They were pressuring Apple into an even bigger cut but backed off). Plus the artists see very little of the money from those self same digital sales.
    Then of course they sue the people who actually buy the music in the first place and NONE of that money is accountable and you can damn well bet that NONE of that money goes back to the artists either and just funds MORE legal action in a self perpetuating loop.

  3. Toby:


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