The British Music Industry threatens legal action against people downloading music illegally in the UK.
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Here's what some industry figures have to say:
“People forget that the music industry is not just about the stars, it’s about the people we represent, the session players and orchestral players. The stars are nowhere without the backing singers and musicians. It is a business which is very fragile. The whole ecology of the music industry depends on our defeating piracy.” John Smith, General Secretary of the Musicians’ Union
“File sharing is illegal and if it is allowed to continue it may wipe out investment in recorded music. Absolutely no one wants that.” Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music UK & Ireland
“I hate what's happening with illegal downloading. People who love music shouldn't do this. The music industry provides huge choice. By stealing music you deny other people that choice in the future. Some may say it does not affect new and eclectic music. The fact is that it is precisely this kind of music which gets displaced. For small businesses it's particularly tough. Most of us came into this business not to get rich but because we love music. No one who loves music would steal it.” Paul Birch, Managing Director of Revolver Records
“Inexpensive paid downloads have resuscitated the singles market in the US - already over 2 million sales per week are being recorded - and the weekly total is rising all the time.” DJ and music expert, Paul Gambaccini
“Illegal downloading is sucking revenue out of the record industry and threatening its ability to invest in its future. It is essential that it takes firm action against illegal downloaders.” Helen Snell, an analyst at UBS monitoring the music industry
“It is our priority to make as much of our music available for sale through digital channels as possible, but at the same time,due to the amazing possibilities provided by this new technology it is just as important to assert the rights of all involved in the creation of that music .” Tony Wadsworth, Chairman and CEO of EMI Music UK & Ireland
“Serial uploaders are guilty of a cynical and deplorable act of stealing from those who create and invest in music. We endorse this campaign to warn them of the action they open themselves up to.” Alison Wenham, Chief Executive of Aim (Association of Independent Music)
“In the battle to educate consumers about the unethical nature of music downloading, we must, as an industry, make it clear that unauthorized copying of music is illegal, and hurtful to artists and every person who makes a living working in the music business.” Nick Phillips, Chairman of Warner Music UK
“As a new company selling legal downloads to the consumer on behalf of major and independent labels as well as artists and managers, we have had a lot of success with the likes of Coldplay, Ash, Will Young and Zero 7 downloads. But it certainly doesn't it make it any easier when people are able to download music illegally for free using Grokster, Kazaa and illegal MP3 websites and newsgroups. The difference between us and them is that with us the artists get paid for their work.” Ben Drury, Managing Director of 7 Digital Media
“A new generation of computer-literate music fans have grown up who seem to believe that music on the internet is in the public domain and do not understand why on earth music should be paid for; a business acquaintance has a 16- year old son who has downloaded 10,000 tracks and has never paid for music in his life. This cannot continue. Otherwise small independent labels like Boss Music will simply not be able to survive.” Andy Ross, Managing Director of independent label Boss Music
“The internet is not only a brilliant creation, but it has undoubtedly changed our lives. Accessing information, pictures and of course audio has never been simpler. But this has created a major problem: people seem to think that just because you can access and download music from a particular site, then surely that must be OK.
“Wrong. In most cases it is just theft. Pure and simple. It’s like walking into a musician’s house and stealing a CD he has just recorded from under his nose and then allowing anybody else to take a copy. Artists really do deserve to be paid for their work. Let’s be honest: only a tiny micro-percentage are multi-millionaire superstars! So please only use legal music internet sites.” Neil “Doctor” Fox, presenter of Hit 40 UK on commercial radio
“Innocent or intentional, illicit downloading represents a kind of global shoplifting spree which no business can sustain. The video industry is learning vital lessons from the music industry's experience, hence the BVA's partnership with the BPI to research and understand better the impact on-line copyright theft is having on the creative industries, with a view to developing a strategy to address the issue.” Lavinia Carey, Director General of the British Videogram Association
“Breaking new artists can take years of investment and hard work. Illegal file-sharing takes money from the business and from the artists. If it continues it cannot help but compromise our ability to invest in new British music.” Rob Stringer, chairman of Sony Music UK
“People who enjoy music need to understand that illegal file sharing damages the entire infrastructure of the music business - not just record companies but also musicians, writers, composers, producers and studio technicians. The full effects of stealing music need to be appreciated.” Tim Bowen, Chairman and CEO of BMG UK and Ireland
“Illegal downloading affects independent labels as much as anybody else. It is theft. If someone walks into a record store and takes a CD without paying, they open themselves up to criminal prosecution. It is no different on the internet.” Steve Mason, Chairman of Pinnacle Entertainment and is responsible for the UK interests of Arvato Entertainment Division
“Illegal downloading is very bad for us. It’s a constant battle and the scale of it is enormous. We put promos out on vinyl and we have artists coming in and complaining ‘It’s only been out five minutes and it’s up on the internet’. Sure enough someone’s ripped it and uploaded it. If people take the time and effort to make music, they deserve to be paid for it.” Matt Cadman, Director of dance label All Around The World
“OD2 has succeeded against competition from illegal sites in building the beginnings of a legal downloading infrastructure for the UK. We have proved that discerning consumers will pay for the better quality guaranteed from the legal sites that we manage.” Ed Averdieck, Sales and Marketing Director of OD2