Tuesday, May 11, 2004

BPI SHIFTS, RIAA SHIFTS UNEASILY: The BPI has had a quick reshuffle of its top people, in what seems to be an indication that the organisation's multinational paymasters are losing patience with its more relaxed approach to the use of lawsuits against filesharers ("to better focus its services to members and its advocacy on behalf of the industry"). Steve Redmond becomes a full-time 'communications and development' person, but more interestingly, Geoff Taylor becomes general counsel, handling all legal issues and 'anti-piracy' activities. Geoff has until now been deputy general counsel and director of litigation and regulatory affairs at the IFPI, the "international" body that's international in the same way NATO is; the IFPI has been noticeably a lot keener on the concept of better consumer relations through legal action. This could be great news for British barristers.

Meanwhile, the RIAA's "it's all for the artists" defence of those court cases has taken a bit of a knock with the publication of a survey suggesting 60 per cent of musicians and songwriters in the US don't believe the RIAA's actions will benefit people making a living in the music industry; only five per cent believe that illegal downloading has "exclusively hurt their careers." The survey was web-based, so not entirely reliable, but it's an interesting pointer nevertheless.

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