Musicians speak for file-sharing and against government plans to kick file-sharers off the internet

Musicians, songwriters and record producers have collectively spoken out against UK government proposals to kick file-sharers off the internet.

The Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), a group fronted by musicians from bands including Radiohead, Pink Floyd and Blur, claimed that that despite the damage that file sharing does to sales of their records, it can also encourage people to buy concert tickets and merchandise.

Speaking to the Times, Radiohead guitarist Ed 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.”

The FAC claimed that ‘heavy-handed' tactics may turn fans away from music for good and in a joint statement, the three bodies of music-makers said they ‘vehemently oppose' the plans to punish file-sharers.

Blur drummer Dave Rowntree told BBC News that the FAC was against file-sharing, but that previous attempts at legal action had turned fans against the music industry and the artists themselves.

Rowntree said: “We don't want to make enemies of our fans. The sensible thing to do is to try to see how we can monetise all this file-sharing activity, which is evidence of a lot of interest in music.”

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