Lily Rejoins P2 Debate, Artists Coalition Backs Her

Lily Allen right big

FacDespite statements on her Twitter page that she was dropping out of the anti-piracy debate, Lilly Allen did attend a meeting of the Featured Artists Coalition yesterday in London.  Allen is not a member of the group, but her speech drew cheers from the audience of artists, many of whom then signed a statement of support.


FAC's artists members are advocating for a less stringent  three strikes approach that warns a the heavy offender twice and then throttles back their internet access to make p2p use difficult. Here is the complete text of the statement issued yesterday and a complete list of the artists who signed on:

We the undersigned wish to express our support for Lily Allen in her campaign to alert music lovers to the threat that illegal downloading presents to our industry and to condemn the vitriol that has been directed at her in recent days.

Our meeting also voted overwhelmingly to support a three-strike sanction on

those who persistently download illegal files, sanctions to consist of a warning letter, a stronger warning letter and a final sanction of the restriction of the infringer’s bandwidth to a level which would render file-sharing of media files impractical while leaving basic email and web access functional.


Tim Rice-Oxley (Keane)
Jamie Turner
Adriano Buffone (Raygun)
Allan Bradbury
Helienne Lindvall
Tony Crean
Andrew Laidlaw (Lucksoul)
Isard Haasakker
Tony Morrelli (The Fire Escapes)
Jean-Baptiste Pilon (The Fire Escapes)
Mark Headley (The Fire Escapes)
Hal Ritson (The Young Punx)
Billy Bragg
Ben Ward
Karl Harrison
Howard Jones
Tjinder Singh (Cornershop)
Phil Simpson
Steve Jones
John Reynolds
Sandie Shaw
David Rowntree (Blur)
Ed O’Brien (Radiohead)
Alan Sharland (The Hoosiers)
Martin Skarendahl (The Hoosiers)
Steven Hogarth (Marillion)
Mark Kelly (Marillion)
Guy Chambers
Patrick Wolf
Sam Duckworth (Get Cape Wear Cape Fly)
Jamie Allen
Toby Sebastian
James Kelly
Beryl Marsden
George Jones
Ross Millard (The Futureheads)
Stax Dempsey
Rona Sentinar
Fran Healy (Travis)
Karl Addy
Nathan Taylor (The Young Punx)
Josh Allegro
Ali Howard (Luckysoul)
David Arnold
Lucy Pullin (The Fire Escapes)
Annie Lennox
Lily Allen (Not a Member of the FAC)
George Michael

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  1. The FAC’s position is pretty much what was advocated in the Digital Britain report a few weeks back. Nothing in that frightened the horses. That was until Mandelson upset everybody by suggesting a much stronger sanction against file-sharing.
    Lily Allen appeared to be going along with that harder line but then softened her stance probably due to the bollocking she got on her blog.
    Mandelson’s ill-considered ideas would never have stuck anyway and he too has been climbing down over recent days.
    A ruthless politician and a pop-star who likes winding people up? Put them in a room together.

  2. Have they been watching “Super Nanny?” No Johnny, stop downloading those songs you like. Now Johnny, I told you to stop and you haven’t so If I see you do it one more time I can going to put in in time out.
    Why in the world would I want someone who probably is not going to buy my music anyway, to not have it. Does anyone remember the year 2000? Napster was at it’s peak and the industry sold more records that year than any year before it or after it. I understand that there is more bandwidth and blah blah blah but as an artist, I know there will be some that don’t buy and some that will. In an attention economy, without people actually hearing my music, how do I expect anyone to actually pay for anything I release? Again there are so many layers to this onion and there is more gray area than black or white but for these artists to go after the consumer of their music (how ever it is being consumed,) to me, seems over the top. Don’t we really have a supply side problem here? Bad music is in overabundance. Yes, I do understand it is illegal. The FAC really doesn’t understand that file sharing is not going away. Adapt or become extinct. The music business as it was known 10 years ago is extinct. This is exhausting.

  3. jeff, what is exhausting is people like you with your constant “yes, but…” or “sure, but…” line of “reasoning.”
    your example of napster in 2000 is laughable. shall i point you to the numbers of users of P2P then vs. in the last couple years? and yes, the bandwidth issue is kind of a big deal!
    and the chart that came out last week(and misleadingly titled here on hypebot) showing that people who don’t file-share still buy more music than those who do file share. what do you say to that?
    bad music is in over-abundance due to man factors, not the least of which is the extinction of “gatekeepers” also known as record labels. now that every no-talent tom, dick and harry has heard how “anyone” can be a star thanks to the internet, well, whaddya expect? glut of bad music.
    and this bit you wrote “for these artists to go after the consumer of their music (how ever it is being consumed,) to me, seems over the top” is priceless! you essentially are saying that the musicians should be grateful that ANYONE consumes their product/art even if they stole it! and thus we see that like so many who “defend” file-sharing, you, jeff, kinda hate musicians. because only someone who does kinda hate musicians would say something like that.
    then you cement your hatred by “saying adapt of become extinct.” an extreme darwinist, are ya, jeff? does that apply to all aspects of society in your mind? how about your own life? but i’m guessing those questions would make you uncomfortable and yet you have no qualms about other people, in this case musicians, facing ruin. hope i never find myself bleeding in the street when you walk by. after all, you’ll most likely just tell me to “adapt or become extinct!”

  4. @kassin:
    The bad music is *coming* from the record labels. This is, in large part, why they’re in trouble. The image they portray is that of gatekeeper, but the people who set the labels up, the people who were both businessmen *and* lovers of music were squeezed out a long time ago. All that remains now is a money-making machine. They have lost the trust of the public, and seem hell-bent on eroding it further.
    When was the last time you thought to yourself: “A new record from Sony! I bet that’s good. They only publish good music” ?
    Regardless, record labels have always taken the lion’s share of royalties. Unless you were fabulously successful, it was impossible for an artist to make decent money from record sales. All that record sales did was broaden your audience. The real money has always been in touring and merchandise. You know what that turns record sales into, for an artist? An advert.
    That’s what he’s getting at. Why should an artist be complaining about me distributing their advert for them?
    Of course, he is missing the reason. Record companies (aside from making obscene profits) do expend a lot of money in pushing certain artists (not all of them, mind; some are lucky if their “recording deal” gets them a classified at the back of NME). Therefore, they expect a return on their investment. If people don’t buy the adverts, then when renewal time rolls around, they’ll drop the artist like a hot potato.
    That’s not to say I believe Lily Allen understands that. This year, she stated that she was *shocked* that she could only make money by touring and merchandising, so I don’t think she’s really up-to-speed yet. It’s interesting that she doesn’t count the 50K GBP she made from her last album on royalties alone as “money”. Quick! How many musician friends do you have who’d love to be making that much?
    The one thing I hope this makes clear is that the only artists who suffer substantially from the electronic distribution of music are a) those who currently are making lots of money from royalties and b) those who have big marketing budgets attached to their album deals. All tears shed on behalf of independent artists struggling to make a crust demonstrates either the speaker’s ignorance or their deceit. This is about their personal bank balances.
    BTW, I don’t think that L.A. is facing “ruin”, considering she recently bought a beach and spends 170k USD on clothes.
    As for “adapt or become extinct”… it’s just a fact of life. It’s the only sensible response to a changing environment. Note my choice of words. Your example is a straw man predicated on a single incident. What we’re talking about is, what do you when your environment changes in a fundamental way? Do you behave the same way you always did, or do you adapt?
    If you’re a flange manufacturer, and no-one needs flanges anymore, you’re either going to have to re-train or be very, very poor. If you’re a business, and your business model doesn’t make any sense any more, then you’re going to have to adapt, or your business will die.

  5. Wait a minute. The bad music is coming from the labels, but I’ve heard far more garbage from the multitude of independent musicians and performers. To deny there’s a flood of crap being produced and that the mass industry is not entirely to blame is bald-faced lying.
    Nor do you offer any solutions. Royalties exist for a reason, but eh, so what. Some artists want to protect everything they’ve poured their sweat and blood into, but eh, so what. I don’t think this 3 strikes plan is a good way to go about it – really sounds borderline absurd – yet the music industry shouldn’t be so lazy that it becomes the wild west, either.

  6. My how we take it personally. If I found you in the street bleeding I would call 911 and help you as much as possible. And yes, I am saying that all artists should be thankful that anyone will listen to them. I made my living as a musician for over 20 years and don’t hate them but the majority are lazy and have a sense of entitlement. We are talking about the business of monetizing music, not music itself. You can’t seem to differentiate the two. I am not the type that is going to sit around and wish for the old days when you had to buy the CD to get the song you liked. I have stated many times that I wish everyone would pay for music. Given the current climate, I don’t see those days ever coming back in a form that will obviously satisfy you. As far as being an extreme darwinist, you could fairly say on the business side that I am. When is the last time you rocked your eight track tape player. At what point does anyone that creates become entitled to anything. Music consumers have spoken. We need to figure out how to give people what they want in a manner in which they will buy it. I have also stated on this web site that I have experienced fans telling me at my shows that they downloaded my songs for free. But, I as they told me this I was signing their ticket stub to my show while they were wearing my t-shirt. One of the biggest fans my band ever had told me the story about how he got arrested for shoplifting my first CD but the guy came to over 100 shows and probably bought 20 shirts. As far as the supply side comment. You actually agree with me. I didn’t say it was the record companies fault silly. Technology makes it possible for millions to make bad music and harder for the good to rise out of the abyss. As to the comment about file sharers not buying as much music as those that don’t. We in the business missed the boat on that. You do remember that the RIAA had the opportunity to get money from napster and simply had it shut down. Now everyone is coming back and saying “we didn’t want to get paid then but now we do?” I do feel for musicians because I am one myself but in case you haven’t read the news today, times have changed. “Adapt or become extinct” merely applies to how we do business or how we must now change the way we approach business to actually make a living doing music. I never felt entitled to making a living writing and performing music and always felt it a privilege. I don’t have the answers to these complex questions and don’t claim to but will stand my my comments. When a musician writes and performs I look for those who wear their hearts on their sleeves but you can’t look at the business that way. Can I ask you how you feel when someone tells you that they hate your music?

  7. That’s right. While those in the music business and artists bitch and have meetings, those who create new technology are banking. Music business, time to get on the bus instead of trying to puncture the bus’s tires.

  8. Oh, please. Yeah, blame the independent artists for writing/performing/recording/producing/engineering/marketing/touring themselves and then scoff at how it’s a “flood of crap”, made at the tiniest fraction of the budget of an artist like Allen. You say you’re a musician, but here you are, falling for “now that there’s the internet, there’s so many more bands and most of them are awful!” Those bands have always been around, but now they have something of an outlet. And you’re saying that this is a bad thing because the labels aren’t able to control for quality?
    Support labels, they have money and taste. Down with independent music, most of which is garbage!

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