Feeds

Rock star says piracy battle is lost

'The horse has bolted'

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Major record labels are still fighting the piracy battles of 1997 according to a leading rock musician and digital rights activist.

Blur drummer Dave Rowntree told OUT-LAW that they should have realised in 1997 that their battle was already lost.

"If you turn back the clock when all this stuff was still on the horizon, the key realisation to have made was that we had lost the war already," Rowntree told OUT-LAW Radio, the weekly technology law podcast. "That's what I was going round telling everybody 10 years ago, saying 'the horse has bolted, there's no way of undoing what has been done already, the only thing you can do is to try and turn your business around so that you turn this into a plus rather than a minus'."

Rowntree advises digital rights advocacy group the Open Rights Group and has been a vocal opponent of the mainstream record industry's policies of chasing individual file sharers. When told that the last Blur album was leaked on to the internet he reportedly said "I'd rather it gushed".

Rowntree said that the major labels' policies of putting digital rights management (DRM) technology on music CDs to attempt to stop them being copied and shared backfired spectacularly.

"DRM was doomed to fail because the people who it was designed to stop, as in the counterfeiters or the mass file sharers or the people doing it for political reasons could easily bypass it," he said.

"But the people who were caught in the trap of DRM were the ordinary people who wanted to play their CDs on their computer as well as their CD recorder or who wanted to make a tape of it to put on in the car who were doing things that most people regardless of the law would regard as legitimate activities. "

"They have become very much the establishment…by the time that the industry was starting to fight what they saw as the war against file sharing they really weren't in anybody's good books any more, they didn't have the goodwill of the people whose behaviour they were trying to control."

Having watched the process as part of one of the UK's biggest bands, Rowntree was ideally placed to observe and advise. He says, though, that the industry was not necessarily ready to listen. "I told my own label EMI this five years ago, I said down with them and said that one of the major labels was going to go bust because of this, and they said 'it's all in hand'," he said.

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.