You may remember that, some months ago, I attended the inaugural meeting of the FAC. While I was suspicious of some of their motives, I agreed with a number of their stances - they wanted standardised contracts that were more in favour of the artist than had been the case previously, for example. And, most importantly, they agreed that criminalising filesharers was Wrong and Dumb. At the end of the meeting, impressed with what I'd seen, merry on pop, and displaying my usual lack of careful consideration, I signed up with the group, and became A Member.
I was starting to question my decision by the next morning, and the group's activities over the coming months caused me much concern. (Eagle-eared listeners might have noticed some of those voiced on Can't Go For That, from The Omega Sanction) Thing is, I am a busy man, and hadn't taken the time to properly look into the situation. Last week I got an email inviting me to a debate they were having on file sharing, but I coudn't go as I was Actio.
Then I got back from New York yesterday, and found the following in my inbox:
On September 24th a very special meeting took place at Air Studios in London. It was an unprecedented gathering of artists who all met in the spirit of collaboration and with the aim of discussing the very challenging issue of file-sharing and how it affects the lives of so many artists and all the people that support them in creating the music that we all know and love.
The statement below is the result of that meeting...
The Air Statement:
We the undersigned wish to express our support for Lily Allen in her campaign to alert music lovers to the threat that illegal downloading presents to our industry and to condemn the vitriol that has been directed at her in recent days.
Our meeting also voted overwhelmingly to support a three-strike sanction on those who persistently download illegal files, sanctions to consist of a warning letter, a stronger warning letter and a final sanction of the restriction of the infringer’s bandwidth to a level which would render file-sharing of media files impractical while leaving basic email and web access functional.
Tim Rice-Oxley (Keane) Jamie Turner Adriano Buffone (Raygun) Allan Bradbury Helienne Lindvall Tony Crean Andrew Laidlaw (Luck Soul) Isard Haasakker Tony Morrelli (The Fire Escapes) Jean-Baptiste Pilon (The Fire Escapes) Mark Headley (The Fire Escapes) Hal Ritson (The Young Punx) Billy Bragg Ben Ward Karl Harrison Howard Jones Tjinder Singh (Cornershop) Phil Simpson Athleen Steve Jones John Reynolds Sandie Shaw (via phone) David Rowntree (Blur) Ed O’Brien (Radiohead) Alan Sharland (The Hoosiers) Martin Skarendahl (The Hoosiers) Steven Hogarth (Marillion) Mark Kelly (Marillion) Guy Chambers Patrick Wolf Sam Duckworth (Get Cape Wear Cape Fly) Jamie Allen Toby Sebastian James Kelly Beryl Marsden George Jones Ross Millard (The Futureheads) Stax Dempsey Rona Sentinar Fran Healy (Travis) Karl Addy Nathan Taylor (The Young Punx) Josh Allegro Ali Howard (Lucky Soul) David Arnold Lucy Pullin (The Fire Escapes) Annie Lennox (via phone) Lily Allen (Not a Member of the FAC) George Michael Nick Mason (Pink Floyd)
Signed After the meeting;
The Music Producers Guild John B Claudia Brucken (Propaganda) Rick Wilde
The Air Statement can be found on our website www.featuredartistscoalition.com
We also have two fantastic events coming up for artists. See the events section of our home page for more info.
So, there you have it. With that pretentiously titled "Air Statement" The FAC have announced that they are taking the Metallica route. They have revealed themselves to be greedy, backward, vindictive crybabies. So fuck them. Who wants to stand shoulder to shoulder with Adriano Buffone from Raygun and Timothy Rice-Oxley from Keane anyway? Are they going to personally sign the "warning letters"? "Dear naughty filesharer, I want more port, no more broadband for you, yours Timothy Rice-Cuntly, Oxford." Come friendly bombs and blow these sad fucks to smithereens! I was not joking when I said that!
I mean. Really. "A three-strike sanction"? Who'd you pricks think you are, Rudy Gulliani? Rockefeller laws for file sharers? Are you fucking insane? Damn! You foolish, foolish people! These are not the seventies! Things are different now! Time has marched on and left you behind! You are dead meat! The wind changed, and you got stuck making a really stupid face! I feel sorry for you, but swear down, I will not have anything to do with you. (Goddamnit, there's a photo of me looking celebratory on their homepage. I am embarrassed)
So goodbye FAC. Groucho was right, and I have learned my lesson.