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Brits don't think musicians should be paid

Can pay - but won't pay

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A poll suggests an emergent misanthropic streak in British adults, with only 38 per cent agreeing with the statement that musicians should earn royalties from online transactions.

The poll didn't offer an option about paying (nor not paying) songwriters and composers, who create the original material.

However a similar figure agreed with the statement "I think film and TV makers should derive royalties from their films/series/programmes that are downloaded online." Only 33 per cent thought they should. Currently, session musicians earn royalty income from the public performance of the recordings, via the PPL. No performance, no income. *

An outbreak of revolutionary freetardism, then? Perhaps not. Even the company that commissioned the poll had its doubts about how deeply felt the conviction may be.

"People are not thinking through the consequences," Simon Parry, Product Manager at network integrator Telindus told us. "I suspect if you sat down and had a discussion with people then one in 10 or 20 would object to creators for media they enjoyed. But this is a recession and people are saying, 'I don't want to pay anything'"

38 per cent of those polled also thought bandwidth should be reserved for popular video streaming services such as iPlayer and YouTube, to improve their network performance. But devoting resources to pleasing customers in this way would mean users fall foul of the "network neutrality" lobbyists, who believe that networks should be dumb, and argue that every packet should be equal.

The poll was commissioned for network integrator Telindus. The VAR's MD Mark Hutchinson said: "Content providers and ISPs need to work together to develop a structure that ensures that the creators don't miss out on revenues due to piracy and ISPs get rewarded for providing the extra bandwidth and experience required. [They] … need to deliver an end user experience that consumers will be demanding and, ultimately, willing to pay for."

Parry told us he thought the recent decline in P2P Bittorrent use is explained by the rise in expectations that follows the popularity of YouTube and iPlayer - which offer an instant response. As a VoD service, the Torrents simply take too long.®

Bootnote Oops. An earlier version of this article stated that: "Of course, most musicians don't get a penny in royalties from any kind of commerce; digital or physical. Session musicians are typically paid a one-off fee." Wrong: we were off by about 35,000 - the number of musicians who see a payment from the PPL.

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