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Friday, 19 April, 2002, 12:27 GMT 13:27 UK
Music 'indies' test anti-copying
Indie artists like Puretone may opt out of CD protection
A UK music industry body is to advise its members on the best systems available to stop CD buyers making pirate copies.

The Association of Independent Music (Aim), which represents about 25% of the UK music market, is to evaluate the different systems.

The move follows criticisms about some recent copy-protected releases such as Celine Dion's new CD.

I personally have never had a problem with someone making a copy of a CD for a friend

Guy Holmes
It was important for artists and music fans to be able to choose whether to have copy protection or not, said Aim member Guy Holmes, managing director of Gut Records.

He told BBC News Online: "For certain releases copy protection is very applicable, but from an indie perspective a lot of bands will want to have a choice whether or not to use copy protection.

CD copying
High-quality copying has become easy
"If our bands don't want to go along with it, we won't.

"Some of the technology is also very expensive to use, so Aim will be looking to negotiate on behalf of the sector on this."

Mr Holmes said that the introduction of copy protection on some pop releases had not been well handled.

"If people have been out and bought a CD with no information on its compatibility then that's appalling.

Global sales

"And in some cases retailers have not been consulted - or even told."

The issue has become more prominent this week after the release of world music sales figures that showed global sales falling for the first time since the advent of the CD format.

The International Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI) blamed CD copying for the fall.

Mr Holmes said the issue was becoming a serious threat.

"In Germany it's decimating the marketplace, in developing countries it's already decimated the marketplace, and it's coming here like a plague of locusts.

"I personally have never had a problem with someone making a copy of a CD for a friend and saying, 'Listen to this'.

"But this is a question of organised gangs."

The Aim committee also includes Korda Marshall of Mushroom, Matt Jagger of Ministry of Sound, Adrian Pope of Independiente and Gavin Robertson of the Aim internet initiative Musicindie.

See also:

05 Apr 02 | New Media
Dion's CD can crash PCs
16 Apr 02 | Music
Copycat CDs in an instant
11 Feb 02 | Music
UK CD market beats global slump
21 Nov 01 | New Media
Imbruglia CD sparks complaints
16 Apr 02 | Music
Global music sales drop
14 Nov 01 | Business
Music sales set for fall
28 Sep 01 | Business
Music market faces global slump
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