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Last Updated: Monday, 16 August, 2004, 15:58 GMT 16:58 UK
Newspaper CD giveaways attacked
Sunday Mirror cover with Free CD headline
CD giveaways have become common in weekend papers
Free CDs given away by newspapers have been attacked by some in the music industry who say they harm sales and give an impression that music is free.

Music managers and retailers have spoken out against the growing practice of putting CDs inside weekend papers.

"The music industry is just helping the tabloids fight their war against each other," an HMV spokesman said.

"But it's difficult to see how the industry is doing anything to protect its own interests in the long term."

The scale of the promotions has recently grown, with some papers now giving away double CDs including big hits by established artists.

The record companies involved get paid for the songs - but critics say it makes fans less likely to buy that artist's albums, unless they are new to the music scene and need exposure.

Music is valuable, you should be willing to pay for it
John Glover
Music Managers Forum
It also sends a message that music is cheap and disposable, undermining an industry campaign that music should be paid for and not downloaded for free, critics say.

The Music Managers Forum (MMF), which represents 650 managers in the UK, has asked its members not to allow their artists to be used in the promotions.

MMF chairman John Glover told BBC News Online: "Music is valuable, you should be willing to pay for it. The message you get from a newspaper is music is free. It devalues all of our artists' catalogues.

"It's madness - I don't know why our industry does this. That catalogue will be worth nothing in years' time because everyone will have got it for free."

Mr Glover currently manages Go West, Tony Hadley and ABC, and has previously managed Victoria Beckham, Free and Mott the Hoople.

Funds warning

"I have now got here a massive collection of these free CDs," he said.

"They're fantastic CDs but almost every artist I've ever managed since I started managing back in the 70s is appearing on these."

He said he did not want performers to contribute funds to industry anti-piracy campaigns while this message was being put out.

Some record companies have stopped allowing their songs to be used, but others see it as another way to earn money.

The British Phonographic Industry, which represents record companies, declined to comment.

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