For every musician that thinks file-sharing builds their cred, there’s another for whom it robs their livelihood, it seems. Lily Allen has used a blog post to criticise acts like Radiohead and Pink Floyd, members of whom last week opposed (via Times) the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ amendment to Digital Britain that could mean disconnecting downloaders…
“It probably is fine for them,” Allen writes at MySpace. “They do sell-out arena tours and have the biggest Ferrari collections in the world. For new talent though, file sharing is a disaster as it’s making it harder and harder for new acts to emerge.
“And it’s not like there aren’t alternatives to illegal downloads anyway. Sites like Spotify give us access to new music and different music without having to rip someone off – you can listen to tracks and see if you like them before you buy them. Then obviously there’s MySpace, that streams music and helps acts like me get enough fans to convince record companies to sign us up.”
Allen also called for better payment solutions: “I don’t think what’s out there is perfect. It’s stupid that kids can’t buy anything on the internet without credit, forcing them to steal Mum’s credit card or download illegally.”
Members of Radiohead are amongst founder-members of the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), a group formed last autumn to lobby for better terms for artists as digital contracts are written.
The FAC, Radiohead and Allen alike are all essentially arguing the same point – that the music biz needs to stay healthy. Whilst, as Times says, the FAC is “calling on the government to focus instead on nurturing new business models to encourage fans to obtain music legally”, Digital Britain also made this promise, the report was woefully short on exactly how to encourage legal alternatives, largely leaving that instead to the industry to figure out, albeit with a grant issued to the Technology Strategy Board to figure out a micropayment solution.