UK Music Industry unsurprisingly backs File-Sharer disconnections
Just one day after the French Government passed a law that lets judges disconnect users whose computer networks have shown sufficient evidence of illegal file sharing, the UK government's plans to disconnect filesharers have also received an unsurprising boost: from the UK music industry.
The Guardian newspaper today quotes UK Music (a consortium of music industry interests here across the pond) saying "The purpose of [the disconnection] powers is to encourage users of unlicensed P2P networks towards existing and future digital music services." - but we can't help but question the effectiveness of pulling the plug on Internet connections.
Despite misleading super-extrapolated numbers in industry reports, us Brits are far-from reluctant to buy our music online - in the first half of 2008 the UK saw the biggest increase in digital sales in all the major worldwide markets [PDF]. Yet just last week, the Financial Times reported that EMI (the label owning The Beatles' back-catalogue) was reluctant to place the recently-remastered Beatles albums online due to fears of online piracy - despite being readily available in almost every other format, legal or otherwise.
Despite clear demand for digital copies, the music labels continue to blame piracy for their bone-headed decisions on online music. However, as long as the labels withhold music in the formats or outlets that consumers love (hello iTunes and 7Digital) it's clear that there's plenty the labels could do to help their image and balance sheets before turning to the government and bleating for draconian laws to help shore up their own digital naivity.