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Lily Allen and file-sharing: the story so far

  • This music world has been split by the file-sharing debate. The argument has become so fierce that Lily has withdrawn her blog on the subject, saying "the abuse was getting too much." Pic: Tom Oxley

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    Added: 14 Jul 2009

  • Lily Allen, who today announced she was quitting music, kicked off the debate last week on a specially-launched blog. She wrote: “We need to establish that we think file-sharing is wrong.”

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    Added: 24 Aug 2009

  • Spurred on by Allen's comments, events have progressed rapidly. Today, music industry leaders are meeting Secretary Of State For Business Lord Mandelson to discuss proposed legislation to shut down the internet accounts of downloaders.

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    Added: 26 Jan 2009

  • Many artists immediately came out in suppport of Lily Allen. Elton John said: "Unchecked proliferation of illegal downloading will have a seriously detrimental effect on musicians." Pic: PA Photos

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Responding directly to Lily Allen, Mark Ronson wrote: "[Piracy] could eventually destroy the fabric of what makes the UK recording industry and musical community." Pic: PA Photos

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    Added: 23 Sep 2009

  • Patrick Wolf also showed his support for Allen, writing on his MySpace blog: "How can the musicians of tomorrow and of today survive [in the face of piracy]?” Pic: Tim Cochrane

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    Added: 14 Jul 2009

  • James Blunt also waded in, complaining that piracy might mean the "next Beatles" would never form, since labels "can't afford to put an amazing new band into a great studio.” Pic: PA Photos

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    Added: 23 Sep 2009

  • Glasvegas’ James Allen was a little more blunt: "Grow a heart, let it beat a little and spend 79 fucking pence on a song, you tight fucks." Pic: Andy Willsher

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    Added: 13 Jul 2009

  • Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney has also spoken out, telling the BBC: "If you get on a bus you've got to pay. And I think it's fair, you should pay your ticket.” Pic: PA Photos

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    Added: 23 Mar 2009

  • Appealing to fans through Allen’s blog, N-Dubz’s Dappy wrote: "If you steal our music it might make you happy but it makes us very upset." Pic: Andy Whitton

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    Added: 23 Sep 2009

  • Keane's Tim Rice-Oxley also took a predictably conservative line: "We should focus on finding new ways of making money from music and supporting new talent." Pic: PA Photos

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    Added: 23 Sep 2009

  • Agreeing, Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes wrote: "File-sharing is a huge and complicated problem for emerging artists, myself included."

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    Added: 23 Mar 2009

  • Alesha Dixon also spoke out in favour of tighter regulation of file-sharing: "The internet plays a huge part in promoting music – but there does need to be restrictions on how this is managed." Pic: PA Photos

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    Added: 23 Sep 2009

  • Tinchy Stryder's contribution to the debate: "Everyone in this world needs an income and the majority of artists’ chief income should be through selling MUSIC." Pic: PA Photos

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    Added: 23 Sep 2009

  • But not everyone agrees with Allen. Speaking to the BBC, Blur’s Dave Rowntree said: "Like it or not, illicit downloading does encourage people to become music fans." Pic: PA Photos

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    Added: 14 Jul 2009

  • Similarly, Billy Bragg argued that the ISPs should be prosecuted, not music fans: "The people who are damaging our industry are not the fans swapping files... it's the sites.” Pic: Ellis Parrinder

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    Added: 23 Jan 2009

  • Echoing the libertarian view, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason said: “It’s a great thing to have another generation discovering your music. File-sharing plays a part in that.” Pic: PA Photos

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    Added: 23 Sep 2009

  • In an email to Allen, Muse's Matt Bellamy pointed out the value of free online distribution: “Broadband makes the internet essentially the new broadcaster. This is the point which is being missed.” Pic: Dean Chalkley

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    Added: 18 Sep 2009

  • Also on the side of the opposition, Fran Healy of Travis told The Times: "People who hunt down a record and download it for free, they are the unsung word-of-mouthers who spread the word." (The Times) Pic: PA Photos

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    Added: 23 Sep 2009

  • Radiohead's Ed O'Brien accepted Allen's point that big bands can afford to be relaxed about file-sharing: "A lot of people have downloaded our music for free, but ultimately we don't suffer as much as a small band." Pic: Claire Morris

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    Added: 23 Sep 2009

  • Meanwhile, The Futureheads' Barry Hyde struck a conciliatory note: "There is a punk-rock mixtape element to files-haring, which I love, but a happy medium needs to be discovered." Pic: Andy Willsher

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    Added: 23 Sep 2009