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Lily Allen lobs blog at Wrinkly Rockers

F*** you very very much, freetards

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The well-off popstars' club The Featured Artists Coalition - featuring such national institutions as Pink Floyd's Nick Mason - could hardly have imagined what it started when it issued a rallying cry three weeks ago.

The Coalition issued a statement calling record companies a "legacy business" and saying that artists should think about playing live and selling merchandise for future revenue. Er, yeah! But if this shameless freetard-pandering was intended to rally artists behind the Coalition, it has had quite the opposite effect.

Lily Allen weighed in with a blog post which assailed a "naive and complacent" music business for not moving with the technology and blowing the proceeds of the good times on high salaries. Then took the wealthy wrinklies to task.

"The Featured Artist Coalition also says file sharing's fine because it 'means a new generation of fans for us'. This is great if you're a big artist at the back end of your career with loads of albums to flog to a new audience, but emerging artists don't have this luxury. Basically the FAC is saying 'we're alright, we've made it, so file sharing's fine', which is just so unfair to new acts trying to make it in the industry," she wrote.

"We need to find new ways to help consumers access and buy music legally, but saying file sharing's fine is not helping anyone - and definitely not helping British music."

She was even more emphatic in a follow-up. "Why do you think you are just getting Terminator 6 and Harry Potter 7 instead of exciting new voices? … you'll be watching X-factor, Simon Cowell will be getting richer, radio stations will be churning out old back catalogues from people your dad or even your grandads age(vera lynn is No 1 this week) and the taxpayer will have to subsidize yet more unemployment."

The row produced an even more confused statement from the Legacy Acts Coalition - saying "whenever our music is used, royalties should be paid" … except when it was used an "unpaid-for-promotion" which was a useful marketing tool.

Now Allen has started a blog It's Not Alright where Glasvegas's James Allan tells freetards to "grow a heart, let it beat a little and spend 79 fucking pence on a song you tight fucks".

Paddy McAloon says he paid an Aberdeen taxi driver who admitted to doing a bit of unlicensed downloading only 3/4 of the fare. "I've read about the thoughts of the FAC and have decided they are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, where the hostages start to side with the terrorists."

Ouch.

It's not a bad collection of thoughts - but the debate teeters on the brink of complete and utter silliness. The NME's Luke Lewis frowns on unlicensed file sharing but then goes on to say that Spotify (the largely revenue-free streaming service) "represents the industry's only real hope of defeating piracy". He demolishes the hope a few words later, remembering that it doesn't have much revenue, before concluding that "The whole thing, of course, is utterly hopeless and intractable".

Is there a stupidity virus in the air? File sharing should be permitted - so long as one is prepared to pay for it. It's a classic black market, and most black markets become legal markets eventually - fulfilling the copyright holders' duty of exploiting the material on behalf of the artist. Would anyone have a problem with that? ®

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