The great British tradition of media piracy – from music radio to online music

When a young Irish entrepreneur named Ronan O’Rahilly founded pirate station Radio Caroline in 1964, he also established a great British tradition. Not only did the actions of O’Rahilly and his fellow radio pirates force the BBC to start playing pop music, they left in their wake a great cultural legacy for everyone in Britain, a heritage we should all be proud of. They instilled in us the innate capability to become first-rate media pirates.

As a society we’ve allowed the pirates to stay in business because enough of us recognise they add an extraordinary amount of value to British culture in a way mainstream commercial radio simply cannot. It’s sad to see us punishing some of our greatest pirates today, instead of figuring out how to compete with them. When file-sharing site OiNK, arguably one of the finest repositories of recorded music ever assembled, had its Teesside HQ raided last October, we lost a great site that should have somehow been allowed to exist legally. People are consuming music in a new way that is adding value to their lives (which is why OiNK was replaced about five minutes later), and adding value to every other part of the music business. Outside of the business of selling people CDs, every other part of the music business is growing because today music, as David Bowie put it, flows like water.
www.independent.co.uk/news/media/the-great-british–tradition-of-media-piracy-830551.html

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.