Are The Net Police Coming For You?

A proposed new law is threatening to disconnect the millions of internet users who unlawfully download free music, films and TV. Jo Whiley looks at how broadband use at home may never be the same, and could even be cut off.

The record industry claims to be losing £200 million a year to people downloading music for free and the government is introducing the Digital Economy Bill in an attempt to combat this.

Artists including Billy Bragg and Kate Nash, and X Factor judge Louis Walsh discuss the bill and the impact


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  1. Most artists would not enjoy their current fame if it weren’t for file sharing. Sometimes I wonder if this is more an effort to limit the media we consume. 15 years since the release of Napster and the beginning of file sharing and you can see the effects it has had on the ways/types of media we consume and our interests have splintered dramatically. More and more artists are being found by the masses rather than being created in a recording studio… means a lot more work/investment for big record companies.

  2. The government needs to stop bullying the people of their country and stop monitoring internet usage and find better things to do with their time and money

  3. This will end up in police state/world. It’s too high price for such a marginal issue.
    There should be no copyright law at all. In fact the only way to stop this nonsense is to put some version of “the right to copy” to the bill of basic human rights.
    Would be this the end of music ? Would musician starve ?
    Well hmm..
    Just for example, as a musicians you can:
    – make music for free
    – keep your music for yourself
    – make money from live concert
    – release only short demo for free, ask for money donations, when collected release full album
    – if you are really famous, make a deal with some big brand company
    – many new ways/services would appear in the future
    – some government fonds, very bad idea, but still better and cheaper than policing every Internet user of the world

    You all know, “you should not kill”, “steal”, etc.. but “you should not copy” is just an recent artificial bullshit

  4. What…… Whenever I hear musicians complain about money, I want to shoot them in the face. Comparing himself to a baker, please… Music is art, and putting a price tag on art is to systematically murder its core. Art is the expression of an incredible and mysterious experience of being human, shared in manners understandable by everyone.
    And how dare you consider there to be a link between your income and your level of creativity?! Have you no shame? At least be honest and explain that you are nothing more than a privileged boy from a privileged capitalist family who’s whole life has never seen any real trauma or tragedy, now wanting to lead a life in spotlights to be loved by all, whilst bathing in riches (of which you have dreamt your entire spoiled life). But don’t ever have the nerve of calling yourself an musician (artist) again.
    If your goal is anything else than to express yourself, and share your experience, than you are NOT an artist. You are in fact a capitalist whore who would, without shame sell its soul.
    I have no problem with record companies and such crying out for the need of such a law (it’s business nature), but when an ‘artist’ does the same…..
    Before people start reacting ‘Oh but to share your music you need income from it, for studio’s and such cost money’. Ehh wrong. It’s called sacrifice. I have been creating, recording and sharing music (for free) for over a decade without complaining. Want to drive a car? Ehh not possible, you need studio-time or new gear. Simple sacrifice…
    But I guess it’s always the not-so-talented among us who will demand payment. For in a world where art cost money, it’s not about who is the best. It’s about who costs the most.

    • I totally agree, if you do what you love the money will follow regardless of music piracy. Usually the people that can pay for your music will and those that can’t simply wont and wouldn’t buy your music anyway. Allowing the spred of your music freely will more than likely land you more listeners and in turn probably lead to more gigs which is where the real money is anyway.

      Now i’m not saying all music should be free but they should at least come up with better ways of monetizing and making money off it rather than wasting time chasing down your average Joe that happenes to download the odd album or two.

    • Apparently you think you are worth nothing.
      Entertainment is worth currency, don’t let any elitist idiot tell you any different.
      You can’t keep all your teeth in your mouth, can’t go to the doctor, can’t afford any insurance, can’t afford to have a family, can’t afford to weigh more than 135 pounds cause you skip meals every fucking week, you can’t afford to have a life unless you get paid.
      You can work a job and not make music, or make music that no one hears.

      You want to see a guitar player play the same strings he’s had on his 150$ guitar for six months?
      Wanna see a singer who has been sick for six months and hasn’t eaten?
      Wanna go see a band that is too busy working to master their art?
      Or do you want to see a guy who is a fucking master because that is what he has to worry about, fucking kicking ass.
      If people want your “seed” to “bear fruit” than they will “nourish” it.

      • Ah, but art is different from entertainment. You can entertain someone with art, sure, but it is not the same. Unless the entertaining itself is being done so well it could be considered an art…
        Anyway, according to you I should not be alive. But I am! How? I work a job, and sacrifice a part of this income to support my music. And still are able to master what I do. It’s all choice and hard work. You don’t want to live like this? Then you don’t want it hard enough, and shouldn’t be an artist anyway.
        And yes, I have far more respect for someone that is able to sound his soul with an 150 dollar guitar, than someone with a 2000 dollar one.
        Also, just like Danny said, if you do what you love the money will follow regardless of music piracy.
        PS: Apologies for my over-offensive attitude in my previous comment, but these people really get to me.

        • You’re an idiot Odin. Life isn’t nearly as romantic as you think you virgin neckbeard.

          • Get your head out of your ass. Life has the funny ability of being what you make of it, how inconceivable the concept may be for some.