Friday, February 19, 2010

UK Music object to other points of views

UK Music - Feargal Sharkey's bunch of the self-appointed portraying themselves as the voice of UK music - have had an incredibly easy ride from the press so far. Nobody ever asks them who, exactly, appointed them, or how much support they have, or where their money is coming from; instead, the media tends to just copy down what Feargal says, puts the words "John Peel's favourite song" into the article, and then run it whole.

So when they come across someone who files a report - Mark Thomas, for BBC2's Culture Show - which takes a more sceptical tone, they react like vicars suddenly discovering that some people use their butts for more than just pooping.

A formal complaint has gone in, which includes this little gem:

In reference to the lack of impartiality, UK Music pointed out that The Culture Show's 10-minute DEB report only afforded one minute and 40 seconds to those who didn't support presenter Mark Thomas's viewpoint.

Jesus, Feargal, even the Daily Mail understand that a balanced report doesn't require that each different viewpoint gets exactly the same amount of airtime; it's important to acknowledge that there are other opinions on an angle, but if we adopt your stopwatch-driven foolishness, every time there's a piece on the Six O'Clock News where an anti-Fascist campaigner gets two minutes, we'd have to balance it out with two minutes of the BNP being foul.

Sharkey also claims the report was "inaccurate":
In the report Thomas also stated that the bill "gives the film industry and the music industry the right … to actually seek a court order to get you cut off from the internet with a bare minimum of evidence being presented".

Another contributor to the report, Cory Doctorow, said the bill meant copyright holders could submit "three false accusations and then taking bolt cutters to someone's internet".

However, Sharkey said Thomas was presented with evidence in advance of the broadcast that the DEB proposal suggests a person suspected of infringing copyright will be sent approximately 50 copyright infringement notices before being considered to be a "serious repeat infringer". Rights holders will not know the person's personal details at that time.

Perhaps - although that isn't written into the bill at all, and even if it was, there's nothing to stop fifty simultaneous notices being sent. And however many notices may need to be sent, the level of evidence required is still "the bare minimum". Indeed, it might actually be more than that.

Still, it's nice that UK Music have found something else to whine about. Anything which keeps them busy and away from lobbying government.


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