Leaving aside the extremely hard-line nature of Peter Mandelson’s proposals for a crackdown on illegal file sharing, there is a more fundamental question about what the impact of illegal file sharing really is on the music industry. To what extent does the distribution of songs this way take money away from sales and to what extent does it act as a free form of publicity, which triggers purchases and income from other streams such as concerts and merchandise?
Take this recent report from The Times:
Lily Allen condemned artists who have spoken out against the[Government’s] proposals.
Allen, in a lengthy posting on her blog, criticised “rich and successful artists” such as Ed O’Brien, of Radiohead, and Nick Mason, the Pink Floyd drummer, [who] told The Times that file-sharing had some beneficial effects for artists.
The pair, part of the Featured Artists Coalition, which opposes plans by Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, to temporarily disconnect those who repeatedly flout the law, said that the government plans would criminalise young people.
O’Brien said: “My generation grew up with the point of view that you pay for your music. Every generation has a different method. File-sharing is like a sampler, like taping your mate’s music. You go, ‘I like that, I’ll go and buy the album’. Or, ‘You know what, I’ll go and see them live’.
“What’s going on is a huge paradigm shift.”
So as a follow up to the clip with Nick Clegg’s views on the matter, here is one musician’s musical riposte to Lily Allen:
Hat-tip: Mark Evans