The Great British Music Debate 2004 - BBC Radio 2
lists at hippygeek.co.uk
Fri Dec 3 13:46:00 EST 2004
The 2 hour Great British Music Debate 2004 was aired on BBC Radio 2 on
Wednesday night. I sent an email to the panelists asking about Copyright
law and the Internet. I also asked about the regulation of Peer to Peer
I thought the list members might be interested in the response I got and
might like to comment on it. I've transcribed it from the listen again
feature on the BBC web site which runs for a week after transmission and
can be found on this page
I can provide an mp3 of the show upon request.
My question was as follows. (Please note that this wasn't the exact
wording, I didn't save my question at the time.)
I would like to ask the panelists, do they think that digital media and
the Internet, which mean the cost of duplication of music is almost
zero, have rendered archaic Copyright law obsolete? Are more liberal
licenses like Creative Commons which offer greater freedoms the future
of the music industry?
Could Peer to Peer file sharing networks be regulated by the music
industry as a broadcast medium like radio, rather than them suing
potential customers for using them?
Below is the response. Unfortunately Creative Commons wasn't mentioned
and I'm not sure if the question I was really asking got answered, but
this is what I got.
Nice email here from Ben Francis, and I don't want to get too technical
about this, I think we should just get the principle that Ben is getting at.
"The Internet has rendered Copyright law obsolete and music companies
should change so that Peer to Peer sharing and Napster and the like can
some how be licensed and legislated rather than simply saying no,
Copyright law must be upheld." Do we have a feeling on that?
Two different issues. Can Peer to Peer activity be made legitimate?
Probably, it will be. Quite soon.
We should say, by Peer to Peer we mean the old file sharing, Napster,
file sharing, You have some of my records, I'll have some of yours, or
There's a way of legitimizing it, I'm sure that will be achieved soon.
The other issue, Copyright, is an important issue, because if creatives
aren't going to be payed for their work, how are they going to make a
living? I mean it's a very simple question, why would a creator not be
payed for their work? Let's ask Mig, what is your take on that? Do you
embrace it? Is it a frightening concept?
It's a frightening concept for someone who is a creator, for someone who
generates income from writing songs and hopefully people buying it.
Because if every thing's given away, every thing's free and it's all
there. You have two hamburger places next to each other and one is
charging the full price and one is giving them away, you're going to go
to the one that's giving them away. The problem is, eventually you're
going to end up with old hamburgers, there's no new stuff. There's no
more meat going in, no more vegetables going in, there's no nothing. So
eventually you're going to end up with just old music up there, new
stuff, not stuff that people will be able to go and find. Unless you're
out there doing it live and building up a live following from going out
there and working and working and working. You will have no fan base,
nobody's going to buy something they've never heard of before.
Simon, what do you think?
Well I actually I think downloading is something you can do to find new
music. I go back to this thing. There's this current wave of things
called MP3 blogs or audio blogs which are people putting up individual
songs of artists they really like. They put them up for a week, they say
take a look at this, I'll take it down for a week and please buy the
album because I rate this artist. They do it with old catalogue stuff.
Actually, once you find these people you like it's a great way of coming
across new stuff.
Presumably it's illegal?
I think what happens is it's not done on the same mass scale that
Napster was done and also the other thing is lots of artists have
suddenly realised that if you want to get these people to put your music
up it's a great way of getting free promotion. In the US you've had
Warner Brothers who've actually been stalking some of these bloggers to
say put one of our new songs up because actually the cost of breaking an
artist is so much that if there's any way you can use something like
this to get a bit of viral spread, they'll love it.
That is the new marketing buzz word isn't it because I know of people
who will now lurk around on line communities, maybe lurk around say the
Oasis community if you have a band that sound a bit like Oasis and find
out who are the opinion formers in that community, pick them off and say
to them, why don't you tell the rest of the people in your gang as it
were, about my new band The Whatevers. I guess that's what you mean,
Also people will run an individual site and they'll get a couple of
emails from an artist saying we sound like the sort of thing you want,
if you want to take a listen to our site that's great. It's a nice way
of opening things up.
I think it's a tragic thing though when bands are reduced to say we
sound a little bit like them, you might like us. I think that they
should stake their own ground a little bit, be a little bit more
original, a bit more bold.
Also, it's a bit like walking into a record store and saying I'll just
grab this because it might interesting. I'll grab that and that might be
I'm a very very heavy record buyer, CD buyer and I used to buy a lot of
rubbish, but since I've been sampling things on the net, the number of
dud CDs I buy has gone to nothing. I find more and better stuff.
So there is bad news for the record companies in this, yeah?
Ben "tola" Francis http://hippygeek.co.uk
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