back to article Universal Music chief renews commitment to P2P battle

On the day of his industry's victory against the operators of the world's biggest BitTorrent hub, Universal Music chief Lucien Grainge signalled the battle against illegal filesharing will continue in earnest. He was speaking at the Digital Britain summit in London hours after the the Pirate Bay's four founders were handed …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well ...

    Up his. Sideways.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    blah blah blah

  3. Chris
    Paris Hilton

    And that's why....

    ...if the labels continue the way they are they will die out.

    "Universal is known to have earlier this year kyboshed a legal peer to peer system that Virgin Media planned to offer its broadband subscribers on a subscription basis"

    Utter madness - Adapt or die!

    Paris?: She's been around peer to peer networks, something about One night......

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    but but but

    Universal themselves have made music available online, including via iTunes, without any legal right to do so.

  5. Steve Roper


    <cut>Grainge said the record industry must innovate to give consumers what they want</cut>

    <paste>Grainge said the record industry must innovate to find better ways to force consumers to accept what the industry provides</paste>

    There. Fixed that for you. :)

  6. tref

    criminal sanctions

    The music industry for some reason doesn't want the bad PR of criminal sanctions. The fact is if they believe that P2P downloaders are stealing their product then why shoudln't they prosecute. The same applies to the ISP industry - neither party wants to be seen as the bad guy. I can understand that it could get messy but if people are breaking the law...

  7. chris swain

    More of the same then?

    UK Music 2.0, now with added layers of useless quango!

    This Rights Agency's job is what exactly? To mediate between two business types? In whose interests? And it took how long to come up with this and at what cost to me and my fellow tax-payers?


    'The risk record labels take by backing new artists had to be rewarded, he said'

    They just don't get it do they? They're becoming redundant and it's only the morons that run our government and their willingness to support any lame idea in the name of TAKING A STAND that keeps them afloat. Stop backing new artists then, we'll do it instead. Here's a radical concept these 'new artists' could play music in front of people to promote themselves for money, can I have some IP on that idea? Unless by 'backing' he means using dubious means to artificially inflate chart positions...

    'Grainge said the record industry must innovate to give consumers what they want'

    Super, I'd like to be able to pay an artist directly for music that I've downloaded from the net via P2P at no cost to themselves. I'm happy to give them as much as the record company does for the same quantity of music on a CD. Hell, I won't even charge them for storing it and distributing it to other people and some of them might be happy to pay too, just like me!

    I don't need the record industry to be the arbiter of taste by promoting new acts to me, they never have in the past, finding the good stuff has always meant trying to fight through the shite they push. I don't need them to package and distribute the music. I'm sure the artists are capable of recording and producing their own music. So what does Lucien Grainge propose to do?

  8. Rapacity

    How many...

    ...people can honestly say they go out and spend 10/15 quid on an album more than once every 3 or 4 months?

    In my 30 odd years of life, I've only ever spent more than a tenner for only 2 or 3 albums of my collection. All other music (and vids) I've bought have been purchased from second-hand/charity shops else picked up when they reached bargain basement aisles. I just don't see the point of spending more than a couple of quid (2 or 3 pounds) for an album when radios are so good.

    I don't need the plastic case and fancy covers; an unmarked sleeve suits me; and I suspect most people feel the same.

    Perhaps the record labels would sell more stock if they offered two versions of their products - fancy expensive or plain 'n' cheep. If people had the option to buy at realistic prices then perhaps they wouldn't download; and perhaps were commercially available downloads reasonably priced then more people would view them as an option. As for those who don't buy at any price, well has anything been lost given that they'd never buy anyway (excepting ethics).

    Chris Swaine@23:44 (17th April) - totally agree with you and I suspect so many others do too.

    Alien because it exemplifies the different worlds occupied by the record labels and the rest of us.

    --they'll be chasing radio only listeners next.

  9. Tref
    Black Helicopters

    risk taken backing new artists?

    why back them if you think it's a risk?

    if they're any good you need them more than they need you.

  10. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Down

    Get knotted "Gringo", or whatever your name is!

    "Grainge said the record industry must innovate to give consumers what they want..."

    OK, well stop promoting pointless, talentless no-hopers and give people with real talent a chance then? At the same time how about you "innovate" by returning to the old days where a record company would promote and artist even in the bad times, not just use them to as one hit wonder then dump them out on the streets like so much rubbish, just 'cos the second album wasn't so good.

    Sick and tired of this trite, talentless X-Factor BS, crap being rammed down moron's throats, just 'cos the leading lady gets her tits out or the leading bloke looks like Chris sodding Martin. Thousands of talented people out there who deserve a chance in hundreds of nich genres of music.

    I'll tell you why your business model is failing shall I "Grunge"? You won't use the latest technology to promote your artists and due to the afore mentioned technology millions of us are honing our tastes to very, very niche markets in music. We are able to contact artists directly through MySpace and personal websites or at least contact niche music indy labels that promote the music we love. That is why "Grinch", all the time your label is pushing to supermarket mums picking up the latest radio trash while out shopping, we have taken the money we once had to give you and giving it direct to the artists you deserve it.

    I hope the pirates kill the majors, every 9 year old pulling down a free copy of Brittney's latest piece of crap is another well deserved nail in the major's coffin! When the major's fail there might finally be a chance that talented and dedicated musicians will finally get a chance to be heard!

  11. Chika

    He hasn't learned anything

    Let's face it, Grainge is attacking P2P because it's there.

    P2P is just a technology, and a pretty useful one at that, but all he is worried about is the fact that its current use is hitting his company in the proverbial pocket (never mind the bollocks he and others like him talk about what it does to the artists; these companies have been screwing the artists for years, just as they screw the consumer and, now they are getting screwed themselves, they are squealing like stuck pigs about it and using the courts in a tyrannical assault that we consumers and many artists never had a change to use because we don't have the money or the leverage to do anything against these fat cats).

    There is opportunity here aplenty for Universal and other media giants to make good by embracing P2P but they are still stuck in the 1960s in the days before the compact cassette, where everyone had to buy their kit because there was nothing else, and they could demand whatever they wanted as a price, then skim the fat profit off the top.

    Or, as a certain machinimator might put it (in the style of a hippy elf); "You're downloading! You can't do that! People weren't meant to download, they were meant to pay us lots of gold for our produce! I curse you! May your loincloth give you a rash! I'm SUEING YOU!!!"

    <fling><whirrrr...><splat> MediaOn. Apply directly to a media company CEO.

    (I really must stop watching so much YouTube!)

  12. user

    Remember me on this computer

    Scum .... sub-human scum.

  13. Moss Icely Spaceport

    The new model....

    1. Allow music on well organised and structured P2P in, say 128kb quality

    2. Allow sharing, enjoyment, etc

    3. Those who want to BUY the music may do so in a High Quality PAID for download or on CD...

    4. Those who were NEVER going to buy the music DON'T.


  14. Anonymous Coward

    @More of the same then?

    Hold on there!

    Not all artists can produce there own music. Brilliant song writer singers like Britny Spears need the record industri to produce ther... HAHAHA sorry couldent keep a streight face trough that... DEATH TO THE RECORDING INDUSTRI!

    ALL HAIL THE BLOODY THIV... ehm.. cool pirate guys...

    I wonder if there is a middle ground?

  15. Doug Glass

    Can You See?

    Fanboys: The wall? The Hand? The writing? The future?

  16. Rob Beard


    "The risk record labels take by backing new artists had to be rewarded, he said."

    Hmm right. How much risk is it really to try a new artist?

    Simply just don't sign them up to a long expensive contract, release maybe one or two tracks on iTunes or even *shock suggestion* give a track or two away free as a promotion * and if they don't do well then surely the investment won't have been as much as signing up an artist to a 5 album deal.

    Not to mention if they stopped pushing as much crap into the charts like they currently do. I mean what's happened to half of the X-Factor winners, sure one or two of them have gone on to do pretty well (if you can say that) but most of the talentless karaoke-tards have faded into obscurity. (Not to mention it encourages more loonies to come out the woodwork to say that they're going to go on X-Factor and they'll win it, I've met two of them randomly in the past 3 weeks).


  17. JC


    What was he supposed to say, they're going to give up trying to keep people from getting product for free?

    It's a PR release, they still don't know WTF they need to do to regain same profits they've enjoyed for years, largely because there isn't anything they can do now that the information sharing age is in full effect except trim their fat and try to find some artists we're willing to pay $1 /track for online.

  18. Anonymous Coward


    This is the same Universal who would, if I was not "breaking the law" by setting my DVD player to be region free, have made me re-buy the DVDs which my American wife had legally purchased when she lived in the US. Oddly enough when I wrote to them and said could they swap my Region 1 DVDs for Region 2 they didn't seem to be interested.

    Universal and the other media companies are the root cause of all the problems with people "pirating" stuff. Over inflated prices, strangleholds on distribution (like films in the UK being released months after the US) and so on. All done to maximise their profits but at the same time actually creating the "market" for P2P. There is now a Kudos for being the first person to watch a film downloaded off a torrent that has not yet been released in this country.

    All the time Lucien Grainge and people of his like use the word "piracy" to mean people using P2P to share music and at the same time use the same word to describe the people who produce counterfeit DVDs and use that money to fund terrorism and drug smuggling and other such practices. Why do they do this? Because it suits them to make us all look bad. Shame on Him and his ilk.

  19. Lukin Brewer

    The risk record labels take by backing new artists... borne, to the greatest extent possible, by the artist. The record company will front the recording fees for the first album, but they will expect to be paid back. Promotion fees and so forth can be lumped on as well if that was in the contract that the band had to sign. And the record company actually owns the music that the band create under contract. If the band are sufficiently successful, they will be able to pay back the record company out of their (small) percentage. If not, and the record company drops them, they still owe them the money. Yes, this is just business, and yes, the band members can declare themselves bankrupt like anyone else, or fail to pay off the debt in good time. Actually, this is quite common. There are plenty of unsuccessful former bandsmen from the 80s and 90s who are still paying off their record companies.

    Why do you think so many of the bigger bands demonstrated their appreciation of the value-added service that their record company provided by abandoning them and starting their own companies as soon as they could?

    It used to be that if you wanted to make a successful career in rock/pop music, you had to get signed by a record label and record in a professional studio. Now you can mix a record on a commodity pc with cheap software and peripherals. You can sell music and promote the band on the internet, post live videos on YouTube, take your time and build a following on your own schedule, and never have to see the inside of a record company or surrender most of your sale proceeds to them. In other words, the record companies can see a future where their business model no longer works because they are no longer necessary. No wonder they don't want to move forward.

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