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Last Updated: Friday, 15 July, 2005, 07:22 GMT 08:22 UK
'Copy our music' urges rock band
Carbon Silicon
Carbon Silicon see themselves as doing 'rock n roll in an adult way'
A new rock group featuring former members of The Clash and Generation X has taken a novel approach to the issue of piracy by urging their fans to copy their music.

Carbon Silicon make all their recordings freely available online, and actively encourage bootlegging or filming of their gigs.

They even attack the current waves of litigation surrounding illegally copied music in their song Gangs Of England, which includes the line, "if you want the record, press record".

"What we're talking about here is fans who are sharing music," Tony James, formally of Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Generation X - who formed the group with ex-Clash guitarist Mick Jones - told BBC World Service's The Music Biz programme.

"It's just like you did when you were young, when you made a cassette of your favourite tracks you'd love, and would give it to a friend and say 'listen to this.'

"Everyone's going to say, 'hang on - if they've got it already, why are they going to buy the record?' But what we find is actually, people really like buying the records."

Demos online

The music industry has been grappling with issues of piracy over the last few years, in particular since broadband became popular.

Artists who have backed anti-piracy campaigns, include Metallica, Tatu and Peter Gabriel.

Carbon Silicon
Our ideas of copyright, and what constitutes a record, will change in the future
Tony James
But James said that he considered the internet to be the "most exciting thing that's happened to rock and roll".

In particular, he pointed out that people could now record songs in their bedrooms and make them available to the world, and new artists no longer needed "a label, or a manager, or a BBC Radio playlist".

Carbon Silicon use their website to show the development of their songs. Demos are put on the web so people can track how they came together.

"We feel that it's almost like if I could go and watch Lennon and McCartney in the studio making Sgt Pepper, and watch them on the internet making that record, that would be a really exciting thing," James explained.

"So I think what we'll see in the future is people will pay to be there - to be part of the creative process. That's a really exciting thing.

"Our ideas of copyright, and what constitutes a record, will change in the future."

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