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Three-strikes row escalates in the UK

Further to UK Intellectual property minister David Lammy's defence of the British government’s revised plans to disconnect the most persistent illegal file-sharers as reported in ATV News, he is facing opposition from a further range of industry bodies.

The Featured Artists’ Coalition, the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors and the Music Producers’ Guild say in a statement: "We vehemently oppose the proposals being made and suggest that the stick is now in danger of being way out of proportion to the carrot."

They accuse the government of taking a negative, small-minded view and warn: "We will not be a party to any system that alienates our members’ existing audience and potential new audiences."

The statement argues that turning fans away from even illegal downloading could mean fewer connecting with music and less live concert and merchandise sales. They rubbish the government’s claim the legislation could erase £200 million (€229m) of piracy-related losses a year as this assumes all pirate downloads would be replaced with a legitimate sale. They site other studies that show downloaders are also among the highest buyers of CDs and paid downloads as well.

Story filed 09.09.09

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