Wow, now this one we didn’t expect! Lily Allen, following her heartfelt protestations that Mandelson’s plans to cut off the internet connections of ‘persistent file sharers’ were destroying opportunities for hard-working record labels to put money into young bands, has flipped to the polar opposite position.
No, she’s not saying file-sharing is OK. She’s now saying that it’s only bad if you DON’T charge for it. Yup, she’d rather you bought bootleg copies of her album from the crim in your local market than got it from a friend who bought it legitimately.
She has, in effect invented a whole new “license” – The Criminal Commons License: “please only breach the legal copyright on this work if you intend to profit financially from it.”
Words. Fail. Me.
I honestly have no idea at all what kind of bone-headed, moronic thinking could possibly lead to her thinking that a person – or indeed, a criminal syndicate – counterfeiting copyright materials is a better solution to the issue of
“how the production of music and the cultural and business environment in which musicians create, perform and distribute their music can thrive in an age when everything had changed“
than people listening to music because they love it and paying for it because they’re grateful for it, or want something physical, something that can’t be downloaded.
After all, that is the question, right? It’s not
‘how can anyone – criminal or otherwise – make money from selling physical music, regardless of their connection to the art itself.’
Her ideas represent a very peculiar form of anarcho-capitalism, that sees the exchange of currency as the only real value in any action, and that the right to do that should be promoted and upheld in spite of any negative social, creative, criminal or legislative consequences. So if that means protecting the rights of media conglomerates to exploit the assets of legacy works that by most reckoning ought to be in the public domain, then so be it.
And, indeed, if it means the suggestion that “illegal” transfer of music is only valid if the person doing the transfer is personally profiting from it, then so be that as well. Just so long as the unworthy scum that are actually listening to her music realise that it’s worth some cash.
It takes Mandelson’s plans – which aren’t that dissimilar in that they value the right to monetize assets over any multi-currency measurement of the cultural value of shared music – to a whole new place, where anyone can charge for anything, just so long as they charge.
Great music is worth a hundred times what anyone can physically pay for it. Bad music isn’t worth the investment of time it takes to find out that it’s bad. Free distribution of music works because it doesn’t cost anyone anything for the sharing to happen but has the potential to accrue enormous value that can be turned into cash to pay the bills and make more music in myriad ways.
I wonder what Lily’s chums at the FAC think of this one?
(Oh, and I bet the bloke who wrote the article defending her in Word magazine that quoted but completely (intentionally?) misunderstood my blog-post about Lily now feels a bit of a berk too…)
While you’re here, if you’re a UK resident, go sign the Open Rights Group’s Petition against Mandelson’s insane plans.by