Playing fair

A new MU campaign aims to curb illegal filesharing, not by preaching, but by encouraging pride in paying for music. Katie Allen reports:

Getting the attention of teenagers is tricky at the best of times, let alone when you’re trying to enter a dialogue on copyright law. The Musicians’ Union’s decision to tackle the issue of copyright with ‘generation why-pay’, presented a dual conundrum: getting their attention and then raising a particularly controversial subject without sounding patronising.

The MU believes it has found a solution to fit both briefs. Launching in January 2010, Music Supported Here is a new campaign from the MU for all musicians – not just Union members – that it hopes will grow into the equivalent of a FairTrade marque for music.

Viral Campaign

The MU is offering anyone the chance to put a personalised version of the slogan ‘Music Supported Here’ onto their homepage and hopes that members will start a trend that spreads to every site, sparking debate as it goes. An easily adaptable online logo, which is available to all, taps into the proliferation of social networking sites and personalised homepages, where people showcase everything from their own songs to holiday snaps.

The campaign steers clear of the kind of preachy warnings about stealing that have alienated young consumers in the past, notably in the film industry. Instead, the MU slogan aims to unite musicians and fans of music in a common understanding of the need for musicians to have the right and the ability to control the use and distribution of their music in a digital world. Musicians can give away their music for free if they wish, but the point is that the choice lies with them.

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