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BPI hit back at claims music piracy is 'like stealing soap from a hotel room'

Recent UK government comments infuriate the music industry

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has hit back at claims by a UK government minister that online music piracy is akin to stealing the soap from a hotel room.

David Lammy, the Intellectual Property Minister made the comparison in an interview with The Times, printed yesterday (January 26). He also said he believed initial plans put forward by the government to arrest guilty downloaders were unworkable.

BPI Director of Public Affairs Richard Mollet responded to Lammy's claims with scorn, saying the British music industry would be "insulted" by the analogy, reports Billboard.biz.

"It shows an incredible lack of understanding [of the relationship] between music and illegal file-sharing from the minister in charge of intellectual property," Mollet said.

"We are appalled to see him falsely raising the prospect of arresting people in their bedrooms and fail to see what place this has in the discussion."

A new government paper addressing online music piracy, 'Digital Britain', is due to be published on January 29.

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