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Elton John, Robert Plant, Pete Townshend and Simon Cowell were among 11 prominent music figures who signed a letter addressed to British Prime Minister David Cameron asking Google and other search engines, Internet service providers, and online advertisers to “play their part in protecting consumers and creators from illegal sites.”
The letter also calls for the implementation of the the Digital Economy Act 2010, antipiracy legislation passed in 2010.
Recent court orders attempting to crack down on illegal file-sharing have had little effect thus far.
The text of the letter, printed in Britain’s Telegraph, follows. At press time Google had not commented on the letter.
SIR – As the world’s focus turns to Britain, there is an opportunity to stimulate growth in sectors where Britain has a competitive edge. Our creative industries represent one such sector, which creates jobs at twice the speed of the rest of the economy.
Britain’s share of the global music market is higher than ever with British artists, led by Adele, breaking through to global stardom. As a digitally advanced nation whose language is spoken around the world, Britain is well-positioned to increase its exports in the digital age. Competition in the creative sector is in talent and innovation, not labour costs or raw materials.
We can only realise this potential if we have a strong domestic copyright framework, so that British creative industries can earn a fair return on their huge investments creating original content. Illegal activity online must be pushed to the margins. This will benefit consumers, giving confidence they are buying safely online from legal websites.
The simplest way to ensure this would be to implement the long-overdue measures in the Digital Economy Act 2010; and to ensure broadband providers, search engines and online advertisers play their part in protecting consumers and creators from illegal sites.
We are proud of our cultural heritage and believe that we, and our sector, can play a much bigger role in supporting British growth. To continue to create world beating creative content, we need a little bit of help from our friends.
Sir Elton John
Dr Brian May
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