Yesterday evening I attended, along with Rod Kirwan, a seminar on copyright organised by the British Black Music organisation. It was a somewhat surreal experience sitting at the University of Westminster surrounded by black musicians and students!! For aficienados, there was a singer from BoneyM in the audience! However to my delight, the Stationers' Company got a special mention as the Chairman discussed the history of copyright in the UK and my presence at the event was recognised and welcomed.
What was interesting, and cheering, was that almost everyone there (mainly black musicians) strongly supported the need to stop online piracy. I had somewhat assumed that musicians had largely abandoned the fight to prevent the illegal downloading of music and were concentrating on earning money through live performance. But this certainly wasn't the case yesterday. There were some interesting ideas on how the problem might be addressed and genuine enthusiasm for the responsibilities placed on ISPs in the recent Digital Economy Act. Only two people spoke out for open access (the organiser of the Notting Hill Carnival was one!), but the rest all saw the need to protect the commercial needs of the creative industries.
It was a very enlightening evening.