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Tuesday, January 19, 1999 Published at 21:08 GMT

World: Europe

Musicians against piracy on the Internet

Hundreds of European recording artists are pressing the European Union to adopt tough rules against electronic piracy, when consumers can download music from illegal Internet music sites and make perfect copies on digital recorders.

The French musician Jean-Michel Jarre handed their petition to the European Parliament on the eve of a vote on a draft EU copypyright law.

He said that artists loved technology and new ideas, but it should be up to them to decide whether to give their creations away.

Among the signatories are the pop groupsBoyzone and Aqua, the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and soprano Barbara Hendricks.

The International Federation of the Phonograhic Industry, backing this campaign, estimates that without stricter rules, losses to piracy will be far greater than the estimated five-billion dollars value of today's music pirate market.

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