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Wednesday, 25 October, 2000, 10:14 GMT 11:14 UK
Corrs lobby Europe over net piracy
The Corrs visit the European Parliament
The Corrs met EU Parliament President Nicole Fontaine
Irish pop group The Corrs have played a concert for MEPs in Strasbourg as part of a campaign to persuade the EU to introduce tougher copyright laws.

The chart-topping quartet dined with officials before playing a set in the parliamentary restaurant.

The Corrs want more protection against music piracy on the internet.

They made their plea to MPs in their capacity as the official voice of the European music industry, as it battles to stop the illegal recording and downloading of songs from the web.


There isn't sufficient legislation in place to protect the artists worldwide

Jim Corr

The group's Sharon Corr said: "It's very important for the livelihood of artists who come after us, and definitely for music culture in Europe."

Co-ordinating their visit to Strasbourg was the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which looks after recording artists.

It estimates that there are more than 25 million illegal music "files" available for trading on the internet.

It also wants the EU to give more protection against music piracy in the internet.

In addition, the IFPI wants an EU-wide harmonisation of laws on the use of encryption technology to help artists safeguard their recorded music.

Napster

Family group The Corrs - made up of sisters Sharon, Andrea, Caroline and brother Jim - became the representatives of European music in July. They took over from French musician Jean Michel Jarre.

Jarre predicted that by the end of the year music fans would be able to download a complete CD from the internet in just 10 seconds - if nothing was done to stop it.

Metallica
Metallica leading the fight against Napster

The Corrs agree with Jarre over the risk posed to the livelihoods of musicians.

In Strasbourg, Jim Corr said: "At the moment there isn't sufficient legislation in place to protect the artists worldwide.

"That's got to change. We hope our presence here will help improve the situation."

The row over music on the net was largely ignited by the online software system Napster, which facilitates the transfer of compressed music files over the internet.

However, not all recording artists are against Napster's activities. Big names such as Metallica, Christina Aguilera, Blink-182 and Garth Brooks want Napster shut down.

But "anti-establishment" bands such as Limp Bizkit and the Smashing Pumpkins take a more relaxed approach.

Meanwhile, five big record labels are suing Napster, including Sony, which believes it provides a "safe haven" for those who want to obtain and trade illegally copied music.

See also:

16 Jul 00 | New Music Releases
CD Review: The Corrs
26 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Net reversal for Offspring
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