Did Blur's Dave Rowntree invent iTunes?

Drummer claims he warned EMI about illegal file sharing as Blur lead artist revolt against Parlophone sell-off

Did Blur's Dave Rowntree invent iTunes?

Photo: PA Photos

Blur's Dave Rowntree has said he advised label bosses at EMI how to prevent illegal file-sharing, but was ignored.

The Blur drummer says he proposed an iTunes model years ago to the record label, which is currently in the process of being taken over by Universal Music.

"Years later, while the label I grew up working with is being broken up and flogged off, Apple have made a gazillion dollars using the business model I explained. I'm left in the completely unsatisfying position of being able to say, 'I told you so'," he tells The Independent.

Rowntree and his bandmates are leading a revolt against the sell-off of their label Parlophone, part of the EMI group, in order for Universal Music to complete it's £1.2 billion takeover of EMI.

The move has caused a stir amoungst artists on Parlophone's roster – which has included The Beatles, Coldplay, Tinie Tempah and Kylie Minogue.

"Artists are the only people currently being left out of the conversation, which is unfortunate," Rowntree said. "If the staff at the label are unhappy with the new arrangements they are free to leave, but the artists are not."

Blur are backing negotiations through the Featured Artists Coalition, effectively a trade union for pop stars, which is also supported by Lily Allen and Radiohead.

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