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Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Digital Economy Bill - Oxymoronic...

This little video (which has no sound, btw) brings to light more than one issue about the absurd Bill that Peter Mandelson is championing at the moment. First of all it is clearly impossible to police and, as has already been proven with some court cases, inconclusive as to who the actual culprit is.

In this country there is a huge amount of mistrust whilst in Canada, for example, even high profile folk do not have fences or hedges around their properties. Their WiFi connections are usually unprotected and therefore a subscriber could be open to abuse by a passer by, however, my impression was that Canadian people are simply more interested in being real world, i.e. outside and enjoying themselves!

However, in the UK it makes a lot of sense to protect your WiFi router as someone could piggy back and exceed your monthly allowance or, if you have an uncapped service, get it restricted. Now I think that to abuse an openness of an unprotected WiFi like that does amount to stealing, however, when it comes to the thorny matter of royalties from uploaded videos and other matters the Digital Economy Bill seeks to address it is a very different matter.

I very much take the view that has been eloquently explained on Steve Lawson's blog and the reference to Danny Barnes' blog here, we are living in a new era for music generation where the revenue is returning to performance rather than sales of media that has an enormous mark-up on it. Despite the plethora of seriously crap output and the promotion of 'celebrity' above talent there are many new ways to be heard and work within reasonable means to be an artist.

Ironically, for me, as a bit of a 'has been', my music is tied up by worldwide rights such that I cannot use the very wonderful Bandcamp to sell new recordings of my own 'legacy' material, the very pieces that former followers of After The Fire do want to buy. We are restricted to any brand new material that would have a limited market. However, there is no doubt that this is the way ahead for all but a tiny slither of folk trying to make their way in music. Alternatively trying to shoehorn the old music business ways into the new Digital economy is a complete non starter.

P

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