Matts Views on File Sharing

According to a recent post on Lily Allen's Myspace page, Matt has responded to the pop star's recent blogs on music piracywith his own opinions on the current state of, and solutions to, illegal file sharing.

In an apparent message sent to her yesterday:

My current opinion is that file sharing is now the norm. This cannot be changed without an attack on perceived civil liberties which will never go down well. The problem is that the ISPs making the extreme profits (due to millions of broadband subscriptions) are not being taxed by the copyright owners correctly and this is a legislation issue. Radio stations and TV stations etc have to pay the copyright owners (both recording and publishing) a fee for using material they do not own. ISPs should have to pay in the same way with a collection agency like PRS doing the monitoring and calculations based on encoded (but freely downloaded) data. Broadband makes the internet essentially the new broadcaster. This is the point which is being missed.

Also, usage should have a value. Someone who just checks email uses minimal bandwidth, but someone who downloads 1 gig per day uses way more, but at the moment they pay the same. It is clear which user is hitting the creative industries and it is clear which user is not, so for this reason, usage should also be priced accordingly. The end result will be a taxed, monitored ISP based on usage which will ensure both the freedom of the consumer and the rights of the artists - the loser will be the ISP who will probably have to increase subscription costs to compensate, but the user will have the freedom to choose between checking a few emails (which will cost far less than a current monthly subscription) and downloading tons of music and film (which will cost probably a bit more than current subscription, but not that much more).

We should set up a meeting with Lord Mandelson as he is on this issue at the moment, I'm sure he would meet us for breakfast!