Radiohead's Ed O'Brien: 'I agree with Lily Allen on file-sharing'

However guitarist is still not in favour of 'cutting people's internet off'

Radiohead's Ed O'Brien at Victoria Park, June 24. At one point during the gig he and Thom Yorke formed an acoustic duo, performing a stripped-down version of 'In Rainbows' track 'Faust Arp' while the rest of the band waited in the wings. Pic: Andy Willsher
Radiohead's Ed O'Brien has responded to Lily Allen's criticism of him with regards to file-sharing, saying that he agrees with her.

Allen had accused the guitarist, a member of the Featured Artists Coalition, of portraying the message that illegal file-sharing was acceptable.

He has since told the BBC World Service that he does in fact agree with the singer's stance, and that he was not trying to send such a message.

"What's great at the moment is that artists, people like Lily Allen are saying, 'You know what, there are consequences to file-sharing', and that's the first step in engaging the file-sharers," he said.

Allen had suggested that O'Brien and other already successful musicians had a lax attitude to file-sharing as it wouldn't affect them as much financially as it would smaller bands.

"I completely agree with Lily Allen," O'Brien said. "We're [Radiohead] certainly not going to suffer. A lot of people have downloaded our music for free, but ultimately we don't suffer as much as a small band."

He went on to say that young music lovers should be encouraged to stop file-sharing through education and providing cheaper legal downloads. He criticised the Government's proposal to cut of internet connections of those who persistently file-share.

"At the moment the industry is saying you get them to change their behaviour by threatening them," he said. "We don't think this is realistic. Hopefully we can educate them [music fans] and say, 'Listen, if you want a great vibrant music scene and your favourite bands to be able to carry on doing it, you have a responsibility to pay for some of the work that they've produced'.

"Record companies have to license out the recordings a lot more. You want to make it completely user-friendly for somebody to be able to download something. Make it cheaper as well. Basically have more websites out there selling people's work."

Lily Allen recently set up a blog to record responses for her campaign to challenge illegal downloading.

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