Channel 4: 'Kids are never going back to buying music'

Channel 4 exec speaks out about online piracy
Channel 4 exec speaks out about online piracy

Alice Taylor, Commissioning Editor, Education, Channel 4 Television, has released a revealing essay which asks for leniency on file-sharers and copyright pirates, saying that it's too late to change people and that "kids are never going back to buying music".

Her views were posted on Creative Scotland's Perspective's website and challenge the government's view that persistent file-sharers should be subject to a three-strikes policy, as outlined in the Digital Britain report, which may lead to the termination of their internet accounts.

In the essay she explains: "Two thirds of teenagers admit (and how many don't admit?) to sharing music, digitally, without paying for it.

"Of course they do: music is all about identity, and teenagehood is about creating and playing with identity. Copyright maximalists like Feargal Sharkey want them to stop this sharing, to go back to buying music and hoarding it, to learn to 'respect copyright'."

She continues: "It won't work. We can't tell the majority of a population that they're criminals now for doing something humans intrinsically want to do, like sharing songs… Kids are never going back to buying music when it's already free and shareable. Why should they?"

DRM fail

Taylor also criticises the use of restrictive methods like DRM, saying they are a failure, noting: "Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies – in other words, anti-copying, anti-fair use – are also anti-accessibility. They attempt to block and restrict, and they fail every time. Every single time."

She concludes: "We must not let these dying behemoths take away someone's internet access – and connection to the world – for some accusatory, unprovable "piracy" claim, ever.

"We must not let the internet's neutrality be bought and sold by corporations. This is our free and global internet, in our 21st Century, and thinking of accessibility, it's our greatest asset yet."

The essay has already got the internet talking with TorrentFreak, the online advocate for everything BitTorrent, explaining that more outspoken people like Taylor are needed to change the way companies approach piracy on the internet, explaining: "with pragmatic individuals like Alice Taylor speaking up for common sense and telling it how it is without all the usual corporate waffle, hopefully we can get there sooner rather than later."

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.