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Billy Bragg
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Radiohead and Blur Members Defend File Sharers

September 10, 2009
Radiohead and Blur Members Defend File SharersMembers of Blur and Radiohead alongside Billy Bragg have attacked the UK Government's plans to eradictae file-sharing on the internet.

Under new laws set to be brought in persistent file-sharers could have their internet accounts suspended.

Radiohead's Ed O'Brien, a member of the Featured Artists' Coalition (FAC), said, 'It's going to start a war which they'll never win.'

The FAC fear that 'heavy-handed' tactics may turn fans away from music altogether.

Blur drummer Dave Rowntree, speaking to BBC News, 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.'

Singer and fellow FAC board member Billy Bragg described the legislature as a 'very heavy sledgehammer'.

'We're concerned that, in an age where there is much greater competition for attention, these proposals are in danger of driving young people away from the idea of listening to music.' he said.

"We should be encouraging people to become music fans, and whether we like it or not, illicit downloading does encourage people to become music fans."

Ed O'Brien predicted: "It won't work. It's as simple as that.

"I was talking to a serial file-sharer the other day who is a friend. He downloads films and he hasn't paid for music for six years.

"I asked his opinion of it and he laughed. He said, 'even if they cut me off I'll still be able to do it'.

(by David Renshaw)

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