Music stars unite in piracy action call
By Colin Mann


A wide-ranging collection of music industry performers and executives have put their name to an open letter to the Daily Telegraph seeking government implementation of what they call “the long-overdue measures in the Digital Economy Act 2010,” as well as ensuring broadband providers, search engines and online advertisers play their part in protecting consumers and creators from illegal sites.

Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Sir Elton John, X-Factor supremo Simon Cowell, Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, Brian May, Roger Taylor, Robert Plant, Professor Green and Tinie Tempah are among the open letter’s signatories.

According to the letter: “As the world’s focus turns to Britain, there is an opportunity to stimulate growth in sectors where Britain has a competitive edge. Our creative industries represent one such sector, which creates jobs at twice the speed of the rest of the economy.

Britain’s share of the global music market is higher than ever with British artists, led by Adele, breaking through to global stardom. As a digitally advanced nation whose language is spoken around the world, Britain is well-positioned to increase its exports in the digital age. Competition in the creative sector is in talent and innovation, not labour costs or raw materials.

We can only realise this potential if we have a strong domestic copyright framework, so that British creative industries can earn a fair return on their huge investments creating original content. Illegal activity online must be pushed to the margins. This will benefit consumers, giving confidence they are buying safely online from legal websites.

The simplest way to ensure this would be to implement the long-overdue measures in the Digital Economy Act 2010; and to ensure broadband providers, search engines and online advertisers play their part in protecting consumers and creators from illegal sites.

We are proud of our cultural heritage and believe that we, and our sector, can play a much bigger role in supporting British growth. To continue to create world beating creative content, we need a little bit of help from our friends.”

UK telecoms watchdog Ofcom late June 2012 published a new draft code for implementing the Digital Economy Act (DEA), explaining how ISPs would adopt a ‘three strikes’ approach to deal with customers accused of copyright infringement.

Ofcom is now consulting on the revised draft code, which will be subject to review by the European Commission before being laid in Parliament at the end of 2012. The watchdog expects the first warning letters to be sent out in early 2014.