Indie labels take AIM at Gowers

Here’s an odd fish: apparently British indie music labels are preparing a complaint to the EU over recommendations included in the recent Gowers Review of Intellectual Property. According to the Independent newspaper the Association of Independent Music is upset at plans to officially legalise the copying of CDs onto your computer/iPod/whatever. How wrong-headed is this? Do I need to count the ways?

It’s particularly upsetting news because one always hope that the indies can rise above this sort of money-grabbing nonsense. Until, that is, you recall that this is basically a retread of AIM’s call last July to blame ISPs and even computer hardware manufacturers for the travails of a faltering recording industry and to demand some sort of structure for financial recompense. That caused snorts of derision from many quarters back then, and I expect this latest stunt will too.


7 thoughts on “Indie labels take AIM at Gowers

  1. Hi there. I think you guys should consider cutting AIM a little slack, what they are trying to achieve is a situation where people like Ben H can do whatever they want with music – upload it, download it, share it with friends – and crucially do this totally legally. It’s a simple goal but a fairly complex process to get there.

  2. To be completely transparent to your audience I work as AIM’s press officer. But I’m also an associate director of a think tank called MusicTank, and I’m writing with that hat on.

    The idea is for a comletely new system for sharing and enjoying music in a digital age, which catches up with the reality of what’s going on.

  3. Thanks for your posts, Sam, and welcome to the blog. The thing is, the reality of what is going on is that people buy CDs and copy them to their computer to listen to on their iPod. Why are AIM apparently so resistant to this?

  4. AIM aren’t resitant, quite the opposite. AIM are opposing Gowers because they don’t think Gowers went far enough. The real issue isn’t private copying but the fact that a whole new system of sharing and distributing music exists. The issue is to create a system where people are empwered to do what they want (fileshare, download etc) and legally, while affording some sort of recompense to artists and creators. That’s the ultimate goal, and AIM’s submission to the forthcoming Gowers’ consultation will, I think, be somewhat along those lines (although it’s still early days). You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t get back to any replies today.

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