Maybe it was always fighting a losing battle, maybe there were lots of other vested interests but the UK government has now decided to decriminialise the piracy of films, music and games – meaning that users caught downloading and sharing pirated material will no longer be fined or prosecuted.

Could be a tricky few years for anyone wanting to create who doesn’t have rich parents but starting in 2015, those caught pirating material online will receive four letters telling the individual that they have committed an illegal offence and that will be it.

The current law was unworkeable due to the sheer scale of the problem with nearly a quarter of UK downloads being pirated.

Great for the fan but a nightmare for the artist?

…thoughts please!

7 COMMENTS

  1. How can they receive a letter stating they have ‘committed an illegal offence’ if it’s no longer illegal? I’m confused.

  2. How is this still a question/issue? After the squawking of the music industry somewhat receded and we looked at the real research, music purchasing was at a peak when Napster was at its peak. Exposure to more music meant people bought more music. Of course the industry F’d up the opportunity big time by making it extremely difficult to purchase music in any and all formats at reasonable prices. They still continue to mess that up. It’s never been about piracy, it’s been about the industry failing to meet customer’s needs and providing appropriate pricing. Remember when nearly everyone belonged to a record club in the 80s to mid-90s? That model at its peak was profitable, and providing similar incentive packages for downloads/streaming combos could be even more so. Duh.

  3. Artists have long faced this battle and die hards will always buy, but they need to compete with the competition which is piracy and offer more, in the form of merch that can’t be copied or pirated to create revenue like books, art, tee’s, meet and greets, streams, other oddities – the more creative the better, music still has it’s value and it’s a shame to have come this far, but it is what it is.
    We make music ‘cos we fucking love it, getting paid for it is like heaven on earth.

  4. It hardly costs anything to record music and ‘release’ it nowadays (£50 to get your album onto I-tunes etc), so you don’t need to be rich to make music. Will you get paid for it? Increasingly no. So, yes music will become a hobby for most musicians except for a tiny minority. As time goes on, the period last century when a significant number of people made a living from music will just be regarded as a historical blip.

    PS when you only get 1p per legal download, it doesn’t really make much difference to the smaller band whether someone is downloading illegally or not – you’re talking about a tenner of lost income!

  5. So the only credible income for artists is live performance. To make money will require musicianship, showmanship and actual talent, not Autotune and an army of crack producers.

    No successful comedian complains about piracy of their material. They just get out there and deliver. That’s the model for music now, not hiding behind the studio and PR campaigns

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