Wider music community: What will happen to the music distribution industry in the UK as the government cracks down on illegal download music?

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“Internet users who illegally download music, movies and e-books will be sent warning letters in a crackdown that could lead to court action for copyright theft,” say the Daily Mail. “A new regime to tackle online piracy will in effect treat individuals as ‘guilty until proven innocent’.” Those wrongly accused of pirating download musicwill have to pay a £20 fee to appeal in a move that has angered consumer groups but given hope to the music community.

“The controls on internet piracy, due to come into effect in early 2014, were outlined yesterday by the broadcasting regulator Ofcom under the Digital Economy Act 2010,” explains the Daily Mail article. “The same Act includes punishments that could, in future, see accused families having their internet service slowed down, capped or even cut off. A music distribution industry code will require large internet service providers (ISPs) such as BT, Virgin, Sky and TalkTalk to send warning letters to families suspected by entertainment firms of illegal download music activity or uploading copyright material.If a customer gets three letters or more within a year, copyright holders such as movie and music companies will have a right to ask for details of the material involved. These companies will then be able to apply for a court order requiring the ISP to reveal the customer’s name and address.
The information would be used to pursue the person involved through the civil courts for damages. However, there are concerns that innocent internet users, for example those whose wireless connections are hijacked by a neighbour or criminal, will be caught up in the new regime.Those sent a warning letter will be assumed guilty unless they can prove their innocence after paying a £20 fee to appeal to an Ofcom body.”

Mike O’Connor, of the customer body Consumer Focus, said: ‘Copyright infringement is not to be condoned, but people who are innocent should not have to pay a fee to challenge accusations. It could deter those living on low incomes from challenging unfair allegations.’ If the new system does not stop piracy, ministers will be able to go back to Parliament to enact rules in the Digital Economy Act that could see households having their internet service cut off.
‘The ability to appeal is therefore critical to ensure consumers who have done nothing wrong are not deprived of internet access further down the line,’ said Mr O’Connor. Creative industries minister Ed Vaizey said entertainment firms had to be able to ‘protect their investment’, adding: ‘The Digital Economy Act is an important part of protecting our creative industries against unlawful activity.’ Ofcom’s Claudio Pollack said: ‘Ofcom will oversee a fair appeals process, and also ensure that rights holders’ investigations under the code are rigorous and transparent.’

I understand the consumer groups’ concern but piracy is just not something the music community, and the wider community should accept anymore. We all love to listen to music, discover new bands and share new music. But we as a music community need to be wary of the danger to the new bands and new music if we download music illegally. Music distribution is an industry like all the others. Why do we think it’s different for musicians? They want to sell music online so that they can make money to live. It’s important that the music community take responsibility for music distribution. We need to take charge. We need to buy and sell music online so there can even be a music distribution industry. How can musicians eat if they aren’t paid for their work? Even when they sell music online it gets plagiarized.

We as the music community should understand that new bands cannot be made if we continue to download music illegally. The new music will simply not be made if the artists can’t sell music online. The music distribution industry will be killed along with the creativity. The time is now, music community, to stand up and do something about it so that new bands will be able to have a future. They will also need to learn how to promote a band in the age of audio samples, though! It’s not just about sticking with the status quo. To sell music online in this day and age is the only way to make any money. People are not buying CDs anymore. But how do we stop people from stealing download music? Music websites like Songeist.com are doing their part to win the war on illegal audio samples. Now, music community, what are you going to do?

John Robert write for music communities and bands for more information on music distribution, new bands, new music and audio samples please visit songeist.com.

Share!
internet piracy
Image by Perrenque
Sharing
By: Kevin Roberts, CEO Saatchi & Saatchi

Anyone in the creative industry has to feel for music and movie businesses as they battle piracy and file sharing. The desire for FREE on the Internet is a huge challenge to anyone who produces digital entertainment. I think that emerging from the torrent of files containing movies, TV shows, and music tracks that are being forwarded from computer to computer, is a word that will have a terrific impact on our future. That word is share.

In a world where the environment is under threat and credit is harder to find than a CEO on a lunch break, the ability to share – and come up with products that encourage sharing – is a new frontier for innovation. We’re already familiar with some prescient examples, like Zipcar. They set out to help people without cars to share one for a limited time but are inspired by a larger purpose: to enable simple and responsible urban living. You want to pick your mother up from the airport? Zipcar is a great solution to do what you need to do.

The Internet is a virtual machine for sharing – YouTube to share your creativity; Facebook to share your life; Second Life to share your dreams; Wikipedia to share your knowledge and eBay to share your belongings! This is sharing as a way to get more value – and who doesn’t have that near the top of their agenda? It’s not about less but about better. One efficient lawn mower for the street. A full set of home handy tools for an apartment building. Where it gets interesting is the emotional adjustments people are prepared to make. However hard we try to encourage our kids to share, anyone with a two-year-old knows that it doesn’t come naturally! Sharing is a skill born of empathy. We learn it as we learn how to work and play together and to make compromises that benefit us all. Sharing can inspire a renewed sense of community and belonging. Who doesn’t want to have that as part of their life? I believe that making things to share will become a trillion dollar industry as we work together to make the world a better place for us all to live in.

Share this thought with a friend.

krconnect.blogspot.com/2009/03/sharing.html

BTW, thanks Sergiorecaberren for sharing this pic with me
www.flickr.com/photos/sergiorecabarren/

Please note my acknowledgements, sources and creative commons licence was cut off at end of video for some reason when I uploaded it. See below for full information:

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
To view a copy of this license, visit
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/.

Acknowledgements and Sources:

Bruns, A. (2010). Distributed Creativity: Filesharing and Produsage. In S. Sonvilla-Weiss (Ed.), Mashup Cultures. Vienna: Springer.

Burgess, J, & Green, J. (2009). The Entrepreneurial Vlogger: Participatory Culture Beyond the Professional-Amateur Divide. In P. Vonderau & P. Snickars (Eds.), The YouTube Reader (pp. 89-107): National Library of Sweden.

Jenkins, Henry. (2004). The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 7(1), 33-43. doi: 10.1177/1367877904040603

Jenkins, Henry. (2009a, 18/02/2009). If It Doesn’t Spread, It’s Dead (Part Four): Thinking Through the Gift Economy Retrieved from http://henryjenkins.org/2009/02/if_it_doesnt_spread_its_dead_p_3.html

Jenkins, Henry. (2009b, 16/02/2009). If It Doesn’t Spread, It’s Dead (Part Three): The Gift Economy and Commodity Culture. Retrieved from http://henryjenkins.org/2009/02/if_it_doesnt_spread_its_dead_p_2.html

Kalina, Paul. (2014, 26/06/2014). Australia a world leader in TV piracy. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22/08/2014, from http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/australia-a-world-leader-in-tv-piracy-20140623-zsfto.html

Klein, Jacob. (2013, 07/02/2014). How Much Does an HBO Subscription Cost These Days? Retrieved 15/08/2014, from http://hbowatch.com/how-much-does-an-hbo-subscription-cost-these-days/

Leaver, T. (2008). Watching Battlestar Galactica in Australia and the Tyranny of Digital Distance. Media International Australia, Incorporating Culture & Policy, 126, 145-154.

Leaver, T. (2010, 09/01/2010). FlashForward or FlashBack: Television Distribution in 2010. Flow TV. 9(10). Retrieved 22/08/2014, from http://flowtv.org/2010/01/flashforward-or-flashback-television-distribution-in-2010-tama-leaver-curtin-university-of-technology/

LeMay, Renai. (2013, 03/04/2013). Despite quick, cheap, legal option, Australia still top Games of Thrones pirating nation. Delimiter. Retrieved 15/08/2014, from http://delimiter.com.au/2013/04/03/despite-quick-cheap-legal-option-australia-still-top-games-of-thrones-pirating-nation/

LeMay, Renai. (2014, 03/02/2014). Screw you, Australia: Game of Thrones goes Foxtel-only. Delminiter. Retrieved 15/08/2014, from http://delimiter.com.au/2014/02/03/screw-australia-game-thrones-goes-foxtel/

Manovich, L. (2009). The Practice of Everyday (Media) Life: From Mass Consumption to Mass Cultural Production? Critical Inquiry, 35(2), 319-331. doi: 10.1086/596645

mezclaconfusa. (2012, 11/02/2012). Games of Thrones. Retrieved 10/08/2014, from https://http://www.flickr.com/photos/59087292@N07/6855051531/

Newman, Michael Z. (2009, 03/04/2009). P2P TV: Ethical Considerations. Flow TV. 9(10). from http://flowtv.org/2009/04/p2p-tv-ethical-considerationsmichael-z-newman-university-of-wisconsin-milwaukee/

Reynolds, Megan. (2014, 08/04/2014). Piracy: Australians lead the world for illegal downloads of Game of Thrones. MumBRELLA.

Retrieved 15/08/2014, from http://mumbrella.com.au/australia-leads-way-illegal-downloads-game-thrones-219249

Wikstrom, P. (2010). The Social and Creative Music Fan The Music Industry: Music in the Cloud (pp. 147-169): Polity.
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Illegal Music Downloads And The Law

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Ever since broadband was set up and made readily available to the general public, illegal music downloads have gone through the roof. Today, approximately 95% of all downloads are illegal and some 6.5m broadband users illegally download music on a daily basis.

Earlier this year, the music industry decided that enough was enough and that this multi million pound purge needed to stop. Discussions with John Hutton (The Business Secretary), Andy Burnham (The Culture Secretary) and major internet service providers (ISPs) resulted in tough new proposals governing the illegal download scene.

At this point, it is perhaps worth outlining the law when it comes to downloading music. The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA) is the current UK copyright law and gives the creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works the right to control the ways in which their material may be used. These rights cover broadcast and public performance, copying, adapting, issuing, renting and lending copies to the public. By downloading music files illegally, you are in breech of the copying part of this law.

ISPs have been pressurised into clamping down on persistent illegal downloaders and in June of this year, Virgin Broadband (one of the largest ISPs in the UK) agreed to take steps towards culling downloads. Virgin expect to send out more than 12,000 letters over the course of the summer to internet users warning them to stop their illegal downloads or face restrictions on their service.

So what does this mean for internet downloaders? Well, Virgin are keen not to punish their users, they would rather ‘educate’ them on the wrongs of downloading illegally. Sounds like a cop out and a good way round enforcing the law, but they might not have much choice on this in a year’s time.

Huttin and Burnham, along with bosses from the music industry want tighter rules surrounding illegal downloads. One of the proposals includes placing a 30 GBP annual charge on people who want to download files. This would give users unlimited access to download files from anywhere on the net, without the worry of facing up to law. 30 GBP may not sound a lot, but as Peter Jenner stated; “If you get enough people paying a small amount of money you can turn around the wheels of the music industry.” The funds from these fees are worth almost 1.2bn GBP and would be channelled back to the industry and distributed proportionally back to the relative rights holders.

Obviously looking for the toughest penalties for repeat offenders, industry bosses are calling for a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ policy, similar to the scheme currently employed in France. Persistent offenders would be warned and banned if they didn’t stop. Other proposals include preventative filters which stop the possibility of any illegal download activity or, illegal downloaders’ details being given directly to the music industry for punishment.

Sites like Napster brought illegal downloads to the masses and were relatively untouched by officials for many years until they realised just how much impact illegal downloads were having on the music industry. In 2001, the company were forced to shut down after being found guilty of copyright infringement laws.

Today, Napster is a legitimate trading company and sells downloads instead of offering them for free. iTunes are the biggest players in this market and dominate the scene with a 70% share of legal music downloads. It took less than five years to reach 1bn downloads, and keen to show that legal downloads are the way forward, the company rewarded the downloader, Alex Ostrovsky, with a brand new iMac, ten iPods and a 10,000 USD (5,700 GBP) iTunes voucher. Not a bad return on his 99p investment.

In 2006, the download market really came up trumps when Gnarles Berkley had a hit with Crazy. The song hadn’t even been released on CD when it hit the top spot in the UK charts after Zane Lowe championed the song on his New Music Show.

So will pressure from the industry actually have any effect on downloads? ISPs have already cleared themselves of any wrong doing as they are merely ‘conduits’ of information – they don’t personally hold the files.

Illegal downloads will inevitably continue as new methods of file sharing are discovered and employed. At the end of the day, rules are there to be broken and problems are there to be solved. As long as CDs cost as much as they do, downloaders will see no reason to stop what they are doing. If a CD costs less than 1GBP to produce, the question remains: Why are we charged the earth to purchase them?

Samantha is an expert Research and Theatre consultant. Her current interests are UK shortbreaks including LEGOLAND Windsor and Alton Towers.

Pirate
internet piracy
Image by jurvetson
Seen all over the Internet Cafés of Croatia. Yar!
(Photo by Emily Melton, our intrepid international photojournalist. =)

Just got back from Utah myself.

P.S. This image has spooky powers. When I loaded it into iPhoto, the thumbnails became corrupted and when I uploaded to Flickr, my Safari browser crashed. Beware, all ye who enter here….