Blog Post

Artists End War Of Words But No Consenus On P2P

UK artists and musicians have put aside their differences to broadly back the government’s revised anti-piracy plans to use tougher technical measures against P2P offenders. A war of words had been escalating for the past fortnight between artists who vehemently oppose illegal file-sharing and back the government — led by unlikely copyright activist Lily Allen — and the more measured approach of the Featured Artists’ Coalition which had criticised the heavy-handed rules and predicted they would “alienate” a generation of fans.

But now the FAC — comprising members of Radiohead, Billy Bragg and others — has released a statement which backs Allen’s campaign and — to a limited extent — puts its weight behind Lord Mandelson’s three strikes policy. And Allen herself, who wrote this thunderous anti-piracy call-to-arms (now deleted, but cached via Google) just days ago, has stepped back from the debate and removed herself as a self-appointed spokeswoman for hardline IP protectors.

But there’s not quite a consensus: unlike Allen and the many artists that wrote to her in support, including James Blunt, Keane and Muse, the FAC does not back disconnection. Its statement says it supports the “restriction of the infringer