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The Times Backs Me Up

November 16, 2009 Leave a comment

Wow, mainstream media, or more specifically The Times, did you happen to read my consultation response to the UK Government? I did point out in it how much of an increase in sales there has been since P2P came about (pages 10 and 11), with a roughly 25% gain in both album and singles sales in 2008 compared with 1997.

However, the Times went further, in looking at how the revenue from sales is broken down between artists and labels, and included live gigs. The Times quite rightly labeled the graph as one they don’t want you to see, and you can understand why. Their own figures show that the claims made by the industry, about how artists are losing out, is patently false. My data which was, like The Times’, taken from the BPI, and other industry bodies, shows the lie of their ‘diminishing sales’ claims, like this one:

Why is it a problem; does filesharing damage music sales?

Aside from the fact that filesharing infringes and undermines the rights of the creators and investors in music, it’s enormously damaging to music sales. If record companies are unable to derive income from music sales, that means less money to invest in new music. This is not only bad news for record companies but also for musicians who rely on that investment and for consumers, who want to keep on listening to exciting new British music.

The ‘non-confidential’ responses (and I won’t even go into the whole confidential responses business right now) will be published sometime in ‘A matter of mere days…‘ according to BIS’ Mike Klym. Presumably, that would be the same time as the law goes to Parliament. They’ve had all the responses for at least 7 weeks, and they can’t give us a day or two to review them ourselves, to point out inaccuracies. Inaccuracies such as the bald-faced lies made by Audible Magic in their Digital Britain submission last year, as my long-time friend Ben has just pointed out.

It would be very embarrassing for the Government, and Lord Mandelson, if the bill he puts forward, ends up being based on false information, wouldn’t it. It would be better all round if the submissions were published as soon as possible, in the name of fair, transparent, and honest government. And if you can say that, thinking of the current Labour Government, and keep a straight face, you’re a better man than I.

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