Panorama divides musicians, but listeners not especially penitent about filesharing
Last night’s Panorama “Are the net police coming for you?” featured Jo Whiley looking at a proposed new law targeting illegal downloaders. Much of the programme focused on the disagreement between the music artists, with the likes of Billy Bragg, Kate Nash and Marillion’s Mark Kelly arguing for a reappraisal of the business models and people like of Louis Walsh and Scouting for Girls’ Roy Stride saying that artists needed more protection (an video excerpt is on the BBC website).
As usual, Twitter provided an interesting barometer for views:
MikeKevan: The one sidedness of last nights panorama was dissapointing, felt more like scaremongering than reporting. BBC I am dissapoint.
Growkin: the people on the panorama show are idiots “the kids take our work laptop and do what they want” IT IS YOUR WORK LAPTOP!!!
RossHaffenden: #Panorama “why don’t your go on Itunes ?” “because it costs too much”. Illegal downloaders spend twice as much on music etc SURPRISE? NOT!
The Open Rights Group’s Jim Killock felt that a lot of the programme missed the essential point: people’s rights not to be disconnected. On the ORG’s blog, he said:
This perspective was curiously underplayed in the Panorama broadcast yesterday. Instead, we mostly listened to a discussion between different musicians worrying about the future of their industry.
While that’s a concern – and the central concern of the BPI – our concern is our rights, democracy, and the future of our society, which is being built on the internet. We do not withdraw the basic tool of society without the most extreme reason. We certainly do not do such a thing without a massive public and democratic debate.
For close followers of the filesharing/music rights debate, there wasn’t anything new in the Panorama episode. Most users interviewed said they regularly used download services, although it was pointed out that filesharers spend more on music than non-filesharers. Andrew Heaney was clear about TalkTalk’s position on filesharing: “If the Secretary of State requires us to cut someone off, we will refuse to cut them off, unless a court has taken the decision that that subscriber did something wrong and they are guilty.”
Check out Panorama on iPlayer and make your own mind up. In the meantime, here’s our song: “Home Taping Is Killing Music”.