The 2010 Digital Economy Act set out plans to have internet providers send warning letters to those infringing copyright by downloading illegal music copies. Under the act, those doing so could face having their internet connection cut off and substantial fines.
The act is not due to come into force until 2014. The letter, whose signatories include Elton John and Simon Cowell, states the London Olympics will put new global attention on Britain’s creative industries, and argues that the country is well-placed to increase its exports from the music industry.
“We can realise this potential only if we have a strong domestic copyright framework, so that UK creative industries can earn a fair return on their huge investments creating original content.”
Pete Townshend of The Who and Brian May of Queen are leading a group of music stars in a public attack on internet search engines, such as Google, for helping users get access to pirate copies of their music.
Sir Elton John, Lord Lloyd Webber and the rapper Tinie Tempah are among other leading musical figures who have signed a letter to the Daily Telegraph calling for more action to tackle the illegal copying and distribution of music.
The letter, which will also be sent to David Cameron, highlights the role search engines can play in giving people access to illegal music copies.