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Radiohead & Blur Defend File-Sharing
Ben Hewitt , September 10th, 2009 09:31

Band members criticise Government plans

Members of Radiohead and Blur have joined singer Billy Bragg in criticising "heavy sledgehammer" tactics by the UK Government to punish music file-sharers.

Proposed legislation could lead to persistent file-sharers having their internet accounts suspended, which has been described as "heavy handed" by the Featured Artists' Coalition.

Radiohead guitarist Ed O'Brien, a member of the FAC, said: "It's going to start a war they'll never win. It won't work. It's as simple as that.

"I was talking to a serial file-sharer the other day who is a friend. He downloads films and he hasn't paid for music for six years.

"I asked his opinion of it and he laughed. He said, 'even if they cut me off I'll still be able to do it'."

Blur drummer David Rowntree offered a similar view, telling the BBC: "We don't want to make enemies of our fans.

"The sensible thing to do is to try to see how we can monetise all this file-sharing activity, which is evidence of a lot of interest in music."

O'Brien and Rowntree have followed in the footsteps of Billy Bragg, another FAC board member who has criticised the "very heavy sledgehammer" approach of the new laws.

He said: "We're concerned that, in an age where there is much greater competition for attention, these proposals are in danger of driving young people away from the idea of listening to music.' he said.

"We should be encouraging people to become music fans, and whether we like it or not, illicit downloading does encourage people to become music fans."

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