Friday, August 09, 2002

WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE?: BPI, you're a fine industry body, and we love you very much. But you're living in a world of make-believe. With flowers and bells and leprechauns, and magic frogs with funny little hats. It seems the BPI - who you might remember aren't a government body, but little more than a Chamber of Commerce found out that EasyInternetCafe had CD burners on its machines. Of course, the simple fact that this is merely the 21st century version of the disk drive was lost on them, and they saw a world awash with illegal music downloads being copied to CDs - and, afraid that Mick Hucknall might not eat again as a result, "confronted" the cafe. The cafe invited the BPI in and, rather generously we think, offered to come to a cash settlement to make good any losses the BPI might have felt their members had made as a result of MP3s being stored on their machines. The BPI asked for a million pounds, or the equivalent of fifty-five thousand albums at full price. Which really exposes nothing so much as the complete lack of grip on reality the BPI seems to have these days. Easy suggested they weren't going to pay - the BPI then came back with an offer of £100,000 (which seems to suggest they were just trying it on in the first place). Easy are offering a still royal-sounding £26,000, mainly because they don't want to get involved in a pointless court case.
What we can't help wondering is why the BPI is being allowed to act as judge, jury and arbiter in this case anyway - surely if there is a dispute here, one of the royalty collection societies should be asked to mediate. Isn't that their area of speciality?
BPI choose a figure, double it, and then add some more [ZDNet] - It wasn't the BPI who visited the Gallaghers in their Manchester dressing room, was it?

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