DO THE COPYRIGHT THING

Dave Rowntree has launched a stinging attack on the British Phonographic Industry's stance on the issue of Internet copyright...

BLUR have issued a call to arms to the UK’s rock stars, urging them to fight for their rights on the Internet and lambasting the cornerstone of the British music industry.

In an open letter published in this week’s music industry paper, Music Week, drummer Dave Rowntree urges fellow musicians to raise their voices and not allow the British Phonographic Industry to speak for them on the issue of Internet copyright, which is being debated by the European Parliament.

Sting, Ronan Keating, Sir George Martin and Westlife are among the artists who have already petitioned the European Parliament and backed the BPI.

Now, in a new twist, Rowntree, who says he is “seething” over the issue, lambasts the BPI, saying: “Simply tagging along with [the body] simply will not do,” and urging pop stars not to sign a standard letter being circulated by the BPI supporting changes to copyright law.

Speaking to Q magazine, Rowntree said: “The BPI are trying to present a united music industry front to the European Union…I’m seething over this – there’s nothing more insulting than to have someone give you ‘Your opinion’ on a piece of paper and ask you to sign it and give it back.”

He continued: “What I hope now is that artists get consulted, but there’s no organisation. I feel so ill-served by the Musicians’ Union that I feel like sending my cards back to them, but who else is representing artists? If people want to make representations, there should be a proper industry-wide body who can lobby on all our behalf.”

A spokesperson for the BPI told NME.COM that “Dave is entitled to his say”, but the proposed legislation is to help “set a legal framework for corporate online trading” and the BPI are simply “lobbying hard to protect copyright of recording artists and those involved in the recording process”.