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Feargal Sharkey on three strikes… and after

A new deal for music fans?

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Feargal on... an end to "piracy"?

Whatever the music industry will do will not eradicate uploading. There will always be people like that. We'll file it under the same category as pirate radio: I noticed when they shut down another 20 stations in London, I'll hazard a guess that a week later there were 25 up there instead of the original 20! There will always those people who've got to do it.

What is beginning to come out of some of the research is: some of the educational messages are getting through. I think most people understand that there is a moral issue here - in that you are depriving young musicians, artists, songwriters, and composers from any ability to generate any kind of income.

It is beginning to look like is that potentially 70 per cent of people downloading music and not paying for it - when we go "do you actually realise what the impact is?" The indication is they'd stop doing it. They push the moral responsibility to the back of their minds.

Feargal on... DRM

There's a whole consultation on DRM in Europe. We've struggled to explain to them: "I don't know why you're bothering about this right now." The commercial world's gone {woosh}. It's over.

Feargal on... next generation deals for online music

I have reservations about creating a system where we sell music to people we've just cut off. I'm not sure that's where the music industry wants to be right now.

What the business needs to do is sit down with the ISPs and tech companies, and come up with some sort of structure - even though that might be a multi-layered or multi-tiered structure - that not only gives the ISP the incentive to make the colossal investment it's going to have to make in providing the fibre optic cable to everybody's home in the UK, but also provides the music industry and artists and creators carry on to do it all next year.

So just off the top of my head: would you pay an extra £2 a month to download five tracks you could do what you want with? Would you pay a tenner for as much as you can download of the entire music catalog of history?

El Reg: Like PlayLouder MSP?

Yes. We're wrestling with that because there's no traditional business models, no data. We're working through a lot of blind assumptions Would people like an all-you-can-eat download service? I suspect they probably would. In which case, is £10 enough? Or £25 too much? Or £12.50? These are the things we're trying to figure out right now.

El Reg: But that means people like Geoff Taylor and his members coming to the table and licensing in a way they've never licensed before.

Everybody's very sensitive to the idea that long-term [the position now] is unsustainable to the music industry. And consumers have to get their head around the idea that they cannot continue to do what they've been doing as well - and both of us have to be a bit more grown up and adult and do something where we can all help each other. ®

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