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International Law: Freedom to Differ
Anti-piracy video controversy
An artist featured in a new campaign pushed by the Australian music industry to discourage illegal file sharing and change the public's perception that musicians live like royalty says he was duped into joining an anti-piracy "witch hunt".
Frenzal Rhomb guitarist Lindsay McDougall, also a radio presenter at Triple J, told the Herald he was furious at being "lumped in with this witch hunt" and that he had been "completely taken out of context and defamed" by the Australian music industry, which funded the video.
He said he was told the 10-minute film, which is being distributed for free to all high schools in Australia, was about trying to survive as an Australian musician and no one mentioned the video would be used as part of an anti-piracy campaign.
Sabiene Heindl, general manager of the music industry's anti-piracy arm, Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI), which partly coordinated the film and is pushing for it to be included in school units related to copyright and file sharing, said all of the feedback she had received so far from other artists and their managers had been positive.
She questioned whether McDougall had actually watched the film and said only 1-2 minutes of it discussed the issue of downloading and how it impacted musicians.
The film, which can be viewed at http://www.in-tune.com.au, features interviews with some of Australia's biggest musical acts including The Veronicas, Jimmy Barnes, Operator Please, Evermore, Silverchair and Powderfinger. They either could not be reached by the Herald yesterday or were overseas.
Heindl rejected suggestions McDougall had been misled, saying all correspondance and signed releases indicated the video was made with the support of MIPI and would be distributed to schools.
McDougall said: "I have never come out against internet piracy and illegal downloading and I wouldn't do that - I would never put my name to something that is against downloading and is against piracy and stuff, it's something that I believe is a personal thing from artist to artist."
"I would never be part of this big record industry funded campaign to crush illegal downloads, I'm not like [Metallica drummer] Lars Ulrich. I think it's bullshit, I think it's record companies crying poor and I don't agree with it."
Metallica were one of the first bands to sue people for copyright infringement and attracted scorn from internet users for helping shut down the peer-to-peer downloading tool Napster.
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