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Illegal Downloaders Face Net Disconnection

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Friday, 15 February 2008
UK authorities are considering plans to force internet providers to suspend accounts of users who illegally download music and films, the BBC reported this week, turning ISPs into 'a pro-active net police force'.

The proposal was greeted enthusiastically by TrackItDown.net chief Nolan Shadbolt who told Skrufff 'we very much welcome the news, finally abusers will face a real consequence for their unlawful ways, a reality long overdue.'

'Our labels are frustrated that their 'so called' fans are prepared to steal perhaps without a real understanding of the knock on effect this has,' Nolan continued.

'When you have placed a good deal of time, effort and money into the production and marketing of a new track it's extremely upsetting to find it receiving thousands of illegal downloads from torrent sites. The fans don't seem to understand that the end result is less quality music being released,' he added.

The UK based dance music site handles digital releases for hundreds of dance labels including Kitsune, Southern Fried, Citizen and Great Stuff, whose label manager Vanessa Scholz was more circumspect.

'I don't like this UK proposal at all, it would mean huge control of all computers and a major restriction of liberty,' she told Skrufff, adding 'Are downloaders terrorists then-'

'Of course people downloading for free damages the record industry but as long as labels, DJs and producers get a return from live business and other sources of income, this could be a strategy for the future,' she suggested, 'The music industry does not just mean the record industry.'

British music industry heavyweight Eddie Gordon, who nowadays runs DJ download plugging company Music2Mix.com, criticised the Government plan for being too 'negative' and called for authorities to team up with the BBC to create a public service portal offering free downloads.

'They could then encourage the labels to supply samples and radio edits of their music to the site thereby creating a legal free site under the BBC license fee, managed by the BBC,' he suggested, 'They could then raise their license fee slightly to cover the costs - it would be valid. Maybe build a extra level where you can pay for the premium product - compete with iTunes for example. Add videos too and you pull in some of the Youtube magic.'

'It would be a good platform for the BBC to see what new music the fans are seriously into,' Eddie continued, 'With the Artic Monkeys coming to prominence by giving away their first recordings the precedent is set that it helps breed familiarity and familiarity breeds success as they say. The BBC are already toying with this on 1Xtra but they could go much further,' he urged.
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