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Monday, 23 September, 2002, 13:26 GMT 14:26 UK
Music industry funds piracy post
Dr Kim Howells
Kim Howells: "It is the artists that suffer"
The UK music industry is to co-fund a new post at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to act as a link with the government in the struggle with music piracy.

Stephen Navin, who was previously acting chief executive of the V2 Music Group, will advise the DCMS on a range of music industry issues - including copyright and the protection of intellectual property.


Legitimate means of distributing music are under threat

Stephen Navin
The announcement was made by Arts Minister Kim Howells at the opening of the CISAC (The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers) world congress in London on Sunday.

Dr Howells described Mr Navin as "eminently qualified" to take on the role and added that piracy was a key issue for the industry.

'Stealing'

"The industry can only have the confidence to invest in new technologies if it can be sure that its work can be adequately protected in this brave new world," he said.

"There will probably always be an element of illegal downloading from the internet, but we have got to minimise and isolate this element.

CD player
Advances in copying technology have made piracy far easier
"We have got to get across to people that there is no difference between illegal file sharing or selling copies of the latest Oasis album and stealing it from a shop."

"Theft is theft, and it is the artists that suffer," added Mr Howells.

Mr Navin, who has worked at several major music companies including BMG and Warner Music, said that technological advances meant "legitimate means of distributing music" were "under threat".

"I hope I can play some part in creating partnerships between government and industry to withstand such threats in the common interest of all concerned," said Mr Navin.

The CISAC congress is a biennial meeting of more than 200 societies representing authors, journalists, composers, songwriters, music publishers, artists and photographers in over 100 countries.

See also:

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