BPI takes risk with ‘uploader’ action

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) wielded a double-edged sword as it announced legal actions against ‘major uploaders’ of its music.

Prolific online pirates had been warned that their activity was ‘illegal and harmful’ via the group’s automated messaging system. ‘We have resisted legal action… [and] done everything we can to raise awareness,’ asserted BPI chairman Peter Jamieson (The Guardian, 8 October).

But the danger is that the accused may be hardcore music lovers with legally purchased goods or, worse, tech-savvy children with a penchant for tunes on the net.

BPI executives are taking a calculated risk, with action based on anonymous IP addresses rather than names and run the risk of falling foul of ‘political correctness’ (The Times, 8 October) if minors emerge as the culprits.

BPI claimed ‘we’re not in it to win a popularity contest’ (Silicon.com, 7 October), but with critics likening its tactics to ‘posturing and spitting like… schoolyard bullies’ (Guardian, 8 October), perhaps it should accept that ‘the rules have changed, guys’ (Times, 8 October).

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow. www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk

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