THE GREAT INDIE ROCK'N'ROLL SWINDLE
The inclusion of downloads is causing a bit of controversy…
Indie labels are planning to fix this week’s UK SINGLES CHART, published on April 17.>
For the first time this week legal downloads are eligible for the UK Top 40, but some in the music industry believe this will make the chart open to rigging, and aim to prove their point by fixing this week’s poll.
According to Gut Records’ Guy Holmes, unnamed labels will use multiple downloads to push songs up the chart to demonstrate how open to abuse they believe the new system is.
"It's not a slight problem - it's a huge problem," Holmes told BBC News. "I know of two different labels who are considering buying records online because they believe it's the only way they can teach the chart people that the security of the chart is no longer there."
He added that they may choose songs released by other labels to make their point: "The people who have instigated the chart have failed dismally in their responsibilities to make and keep our charts secure and to stop people with large amounts of money being able to take advantage of it."
However the Official UK Chart Company hit back saying the new system is sound.
"We're pretty confident on the security front and obviously haven't taken that issue lightly," said its director Omar Maskatiya, adding that any cheating will be dealt with. "We will treat hyping in the digital world in exactly the same way as we do for physical formats."