Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Music stars in piracy plea to PM

Simon Cowell signed the letter alongside Lord Lloyd-Webber and Sir Elton John

Some of the biggest names in British music have written to David Cameron calling for a crackdown on illegal file-sharing.

Lord (Andrew) Lloyd-Webber, Sir Elton John and Simon Cowell are among those who claim the UK economy could be boosted by stronger copyright laws to protect the music industry.

They have urged the Prime Minister to implement the Digital Economy Act 2010 to ensure internet service providers (ISPs), search engines and online advertisers protect consumers from illegal sites.

Their letter, which was also signed by Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend from The Who, and Brian May and Roger Taylor from Queen, stated: "As the world's focus turns to the UK this summer, there is an opportunity to stimulate growth in sectors where the UK has a competitive edge. Our creative industries represent one such sector, which creates jobs at twice the speed of the rest of the economy.

"Britain's share of the global music market is higher than ever with UK artists, led by Adele, breaking through to global stardom.

"As a digitally advanced nation whose language is spoken around the world, the UK is well positioned to increase its exports in the digital age. Competition in the creative sector is in talent and innovation, not labour costs or raw materials.

"We can realise this potential only if we have a strong domestic copyright framework, so that UK creative industries can earn a fair return on their huge investments creating original content.

"Illegal activity online must be pushed to the margins. This will benefit consumers, giving confidence they are buying safely online from legal websites."

Robert Plant, Professor Green and Tinie Tempah also added their names to the letter.

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