The view from the panel: photography by BP Fallon Oct 3 2009
Chaired by Hot Press’ Stuart Clark, a panel of music business experts and pundits heatedly debated how music will survive in the digital age. The panel consisted of John Kennedy (CEO IFPI), Shane O’Neill (Snr VP Liberty Global), Bill Whelan (Composer, Riverdance), BP Fallon (Rock’n’Roll Vibe Man) and Jim Killock (Executive Director Open Rights Group).
In the elegant surroundings of Ireland’s prestigious Royal Dublin Society, threats of imprisonment for illegal downloading jostled with more sanguine thoughts on how best to monetise the situation so that artists – including songwriters – would be more fully paid for their work.
“I know my role here today is as the anarchist Anti-Christ”, said BP Fallon to much laughter, “that I’m meant to be saying ‘Fuck everyone, take the music, who cares?’ Well, I do care”. He then talked of the perceived morality of downloading music without paying for it – “nearly two generations, most of them wouldn’t dream of paying for recorded music, it doesn’t come into the picture, unless they’re buying their granny an ABBA CD” – and likened it to nicking apples from the orchard on the way to school. “You’re going ‘There’s thousands more apples. So what, one or two…’ But in the back of your head there’s maybe this message blinking, y’know?”
95% of music downloads are downloaded for free.