Election debate – Which party is healthy for the music industry?

After last nights fiery debate between the three main party leaders I thought it was about time to look at the policies of each party and how they affect the music industry.   These kind of issues are ignored in the main debates, the mandate is to focus on the big – electoral policies that make the next days headlines.   Although it would be a misjudgment to forget about the multi-billion pound music industry.

Digital Economy Bill –  This law has just been rushed through the House of Lords.   It will punish both illegal downloaders and their ISPs, which is a positive move for the music industry, although it could be severely damaging for civil liberties.  It’s a shame that the implications of the law haven’t been more carefully analysed – this new bill effectively constricts democratic rights and sets a dangerous precedent for future state interference.  The copyright holders will benefit, although how much remains to be seen?

Labour –  rushed bill through at the last-minute.

Conservative – Equally supportive of bill.

Liberal Democrats – Have expressed concern over the lack of civil rights – would like further scrutiny.

Live Music Bill – This bill has also been rushed through the House of Lords before the dissolving of Parliament.  The bill effectively reverses the draconian licensing that Labour brought in to police small venues – it allows venues of less than 200 people to hold live gigs without a license.  This is great for the roots of the live music industry and will encourage more live music in pubs, while scrapping the wasteful beaurocracy of the former license.

Labour – Introduced the bill in keeping with their increasingly state controlled regime.

Conservatives – Largely in support when the license was first introduced.

Liberal Democrats – Lord Clement Jones was the Liberal peer who proposed the scrapping of the license and has successfully navigated the bill through Parliament.

BBC 6 Music – The unpopular white paper review by the BBC Director General, Mark Thompson, to reduce BBC’s services by closing down 6Music.  This radio station is a fertile breeding ground for much of Britain’s musical talent, closing it down would be very damaging for the industry.

All the parties have come out in support of 6Music, even Gordon Brown has expressed his concern.  How much of this is electioneering his hard to tell?  I guess we will find out who really does have a substantive policy on this issue?


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