Free downloads damage Britain’s musical diversity and creativity

Charles Arthur, the Guardian’s technology editor, says: “We saw the release last week of some ‘research’ that said 7 million people ‘use’ illegal downloads in the UK, ‘costing the economy billions of pounds and thousands of jobs'” (Filesharing isn’t music’s biggest foe, 11 June). He points out that these numbers don’t stack up – that you can’t equate every illegal download with a “lost sale”- and asks why the music industry keeps putting them forward.Writing as chief executive of UK Music, the umbrella body representing the commercial music industry, the simple answer is: we didn’t. The report referenced came from the Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property (Sabip) – an advisory board to the Intellectual Property Office. This was not focused solely on music, but on digital consumption across Britain’s creative economy.

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