Tuesday, July 16, 2019
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Internet Law Expert Yair Cohen says that victims of online reputation attacks and online intimidation should take their cases to the high court instead of reporting them to the police.

As a hospital administrator has become the first man in the UK to be jailed for stalking a woman by blogs, internet law expert, Yair Cohen says that it seems that the authorities have now sent a strong message to all those who wrongly believe that the internet is a lawless land where stalking, bullying, harassment, defamation and blackmail are a fair game and have demonstrated that online harassment shall not be tolerated in our society.

In a case which was heard by Magistrates in Manchester, a 38 year old man, Stephen Andreassen continuously attacked his female victim by using no less than 35 website blogs in which he repeatedly insulted her, causing her upset and reputational damage. Andreassen also used emails to harass his victims as well as social networking sites such as Facebook.

“It is not surprising at all”, says one of the UK’s leading internet legal experts Yair Cohen, “that it took the authorities 18 months before Andreassen was finally jailed. By this time, his victim must have been completely destroyed

I strongly advise to take cases to the High Court and to obtain a comprehensive injunction within 48 hours.

mentally and emotionally. Her confidence must have been shattered and her trust in people would have been replaced with cynicism and weariness. Had this hate campaign been conducted offline, I have no doubt that the authorities would have acted much quicker to bring it to a halt.

By the time Andreassen was jailed he had already appeared in court on a number of occasions. On one occasion, after he admitted harassment, an order was made against him to refrain from mentioning his victim’s name on any websites. Again, it appears it took some time before this very limited court order was made and even longer, before breaches were dealt with.

“It is very likely,”
 says Yair Cohen “that had this been a case of domestic harassment, where more traditional methods of harassments were being used, the victim would have been relieved from her pain much, much earlier. It seems to me that the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Magistrates’ Courts are not yet ready to effectively deal with these sorts of online harassment cases. The civil courts however are much quicker to act in response to online harassment cases with injunctions being granted within days rather than months and years. I strongly advise victims of online harassment,” says Yair Cohen “to take their cases to the High Court where solicitors can obtain a much more comprehensive injunction on their behalf within 48 hours. There is no need for victims of online harassment to suffer for such a long time before the harassment is stopped.”

Despite him being jailed, a large number of the defamatory blogs that Andreassen created against his victim still remain active and are visible to the entire world to view. Yair Cohen says that a properly prepared High Court injunction would have ensured that the blogs and websites were removed by the internet service providers and that once such an injunction was granted, it could last for life, preventing anyone from taking part in the publication of material which is prohibited by the court order.

During his online campaign of harassment, Andreassen boasted of being so skilled in IT that he could set up and manipulate blogs about Miss Pattinson quicker than they could be deleted.

“It is not unusual for IT skilled individuals to blackmail their victims by making threats to destroy their victim’s reputation unless certain demands being met,”says Yair Cohen. “The police have seemed to so far, failed to recognise the fact that this form of blackmail is a criminal offence, mainly out of ignorance and lack of resources. In my law firm we take these sorts of threats very seriously and we make sure that we articulate clearly to the perpetrators of such online threats, the civil as well as the criminal implications of their actions.”

How To Get Rid Of Internet Defamation

Because the internet is a world of extremes, success and failures could literally happen overnight. The speed by which, for example you can have web pages listed on first pages of Google could bring immediate and substantial amount of money to your business, literally overnight. The same speed however that leads to this immediate success could cause a complete devastation to people and business owners who find that their reputation has been tarnished almost overnight. The good news however, is that with the principle of ‘easy come easy go’, listings of web pages on the first pages of the search engines are constantly changing which means that it is possible for negative information to disappear from the first pages of the search engines and be replaced by positive information fairly quickly. Speed is the key and the quicker you act the easier the task is. This should be somewhat comforting to those who sustain online reputation attacks because the knowledge that nothing on the internet is set in stone, gives you the opportunity to replace negative comments with positive ones. The same rules of extremes apply to videos and personal information which appear online.

Because of the extremely high volume of information, which is being posted daily on the internet, what is prominent today becomes little known tomorrow and high audience could turn into low volumes over a period of time and sometimes instantly.

In fact, if you search the internet for almost anything, you will struggle to find internet pages which were posted before 2008. Another, very encouraging set of statistics which reflect the extremes by which the internet operates is to do with the clicking habits of web users. It shows that results on the first page of Google receive 89% of the clicks, results on the second page receive 4.37 of clicks, results on the third page receive 2.42%, results on the forth page receive 1.07% and results on the remaining pages receive a total of less than 1% of the clicks. This means that 93.3 out of 100 people find results on page 3 and below irrelevant. As a result the vast majority of the people would not bother searching beyond the third page. This, in fact, is good news for anyone who suffers an online reputation attack.

It means that most online reputation attacks could be defeated or at least be pushed down to obscurity. If you are interested in the full click through statistics, you can find them below. The numbers of course, fluctuate all the time but could be regarded as a true reflection of the searching habits of the internet population.

  1. The first ranking position in the search results receives 42.25% of all click-through traffic
  2. The second position receives 11.94%
  3. The third position on the first page obtains 8.47%
  4. The fourth placed position on page one receives 6.05%
  5. The others on the first page are under 5% of click through traffic
  6. The first ten results (page one ) received 89.71% of all click-through traffic
  7. The next 10 results (normally listed on the second page of results) received 4.37%
  8. The third page receives a total of 2.42%
  9. The fifth page receives a total of only 1.07%
  10. All other pages of results received less than 1% of total search traffic clicks.

Yair Cohen

Internet Law Expert

Internet Blackmail

Blackmail on the internet

I am sorry to be indiscreet about this sensitive subject but it looks as if this terrible matter is starting to become an issue for a growing number of men of all different economic and academic backgrounds, who get caught in what appears to be a sting operation which could potentially scar them for life.  I have seen families falling apart, and men having to move to a different town and even acquire a new identity.

Chances are that this is the first time you are hearing about this issue and that what is to follow as you read on has no direct relevance to you at all. In fact, you might even be a woman and this story is about men being groomed online.

Later on, you will see  why we have decided to make  all our clients and colleagues aware of this terrible issue and if, as I expect, this subject is completely foreign to you, please do pass this note to other men you know and care about. You could be doing them a big favour.

We hear a lot about young girls being groomed on the internet by older men.  This is of course one of the most disturbing subjects concerning internet use. What we do not hear about however, and what you are just about to discover as you read on, is the ease by which  men, of all ages, are  being groomed by women over the internet, having their photos, videos and personal details stolen and then spread over websites of a certain nature all over the world.

In short, there are some free forums on the internet for people to chat about anything and everything.  Naturally these forums tend to be regarded as ‘meeting places’ where people talk to strangers, exchange ideas and look for relationships, virtual or otherwise. One of these forums is called Chatabox. You can join up for free and then, you can start chatting immediately.  You can chat to almost anyone who is online at the time. I am not singling out Chatabox and I do not suggest the website owners are doing anything wrong. There are other similar websites which offer free chat and Chatabox is a very popular one and all those who came to me for advice following their horrific experience which I will describe below, have mentioned Chatabox as the place where their nightmare started.

Many men whether rich or poor, married or single take part in chatting and in most cases quite innocently. It is just another way for many to relax from the days chores  and have a relaxing conversation with other online chatters. It is normally a friendly place which at times, as you will find out, can become very dangerous indeed.

What many of these men don’t realise is that there are some dangerous predators out there, ready to eat them alive. Not literally but also not very far from that.

These dangerous predators I am talking about are women who have conspired to groom men and take them away from the chat site, where their identity can be revealed quite easily, to a private chat programme such as MSN Messenger , AOL Messenger or  Yahoo Messenger, where they intend to seduce their victims into performing compromising acts, totally naked, in front of a webcam.  Unbeknownst to their victims, the predator will capture the video, save it to their computer, edit it and then post it on hundreds of websites, the nature of which is obvious.

But there is still worse to come.

The way the operation appears to be working is this:  initially the woman will hunt for her victim. She will try several men before finding one who appears to be naïve so far as internet usage is concerned. The predator women do not look for perverts or men who are regular visitors to certain type of websites as these men tend to be far more suspicious and much more discrete. They hunt for an easy prey instead.

Their typical victim will be a school teacher, a dentist or a police officer. The initial conversation will be very innocent. It tends to be about work, family, location and so on. Suspecting of nothing, the victim will often divulge their children’s names and the name of the company they work for. Naturally, once they have given this sort of information, the men become even more trusting. It is a psychological thing that sharing personal information accelerates the feelings of trust that we feel about our partner to the conversation.

Then the woman speaks about herself and surprise surprise it transpires she and her victim have a lot in common. They both might be a bit lonely, they both could have some marital difficulties to resolve and they both are likely to be craving for love and affection.  Neither of them of course will contemplate having an extra marital affair mainly because of their loyalty to their family.  At the suggestion of the woman predator, the conversation will then move to a private chat programme such as Yahoo Messenger or MSN Messenger. This will break the ‘continuity of evidence’. Whilst on the public chat, the parties can relatively easily be traced through their account registration details. This will be almost an impossible task with a private chat programme. The move from one chat programme to another will also break the link between the grooming and the shocking action which will follow.

The conversation will continue on the private chat programme and will turn more and more personal until it becomes purely suggestive.  Eventually the victim will be encouraged to perform a compromising act on himself on camera so that the predator, whose job is almost done can “watch, participate and enjoy”. Once the compromising act is concluded the chat will come to its abrupt end by the predator simply switching off the programme at her end.

What happens next is very interesting and is probably beyond most people’s comprehension.

Following the video conversation which was fully recorded by the female predator onto her computer, she will compile several video clips and will give them titles such as

‘John Smith From 91 Cleveland  Lane Road, London, A GP and Child Molester Fxxxg Himself In Front of School Children’ as well as other similarly colourful commentary.

She will then post these videos on to several websites including YouTube and distribute them to countless other websites all over the world.

The victim will wake up in the morning to a new reality. He will first find an interesting email in his mail box from an unknown email address with a short note by his predator and a video attachment.

Having watched the horrific video, most victims will immediately carry out an internet search against their own name only to discover that their worst fears have been materialised.  By this time, the links which contain the videos have gathered so much popularity, especially following their distribution to the entire world by blogs and emails, that sometimes almost the entire first page of a Google search could be full of links to these videos, each time with a different title and commentary.

A total nightmare.  If the victim is married, he will now need to speak to his wife and explain how he allowed this situation to happen. This you can imagine would be quite a challenging task in itself. It could be a matter of time before his employers will find out, the kids, other family members, the neighbours, business associates or even some thugs who would believe that he is really a child molester or a paedophile.

At this stage the victims normally seek legal advice. They want to know what would happen if or rather when certain people discover these videos, in particular their employers. With most employers, it is a sackable offence to bring their organisation into disrepute.  Naturally, when we speak to the victims, many of them are in a state of extreme shock.

Before we deal with any other issue which troubles them, we give priority to the immediate removal of the videos from the several video hosting websites.  This could be done fairly quickly but of course the sooner we act the better because as time goes by, the number of links tend to increase and so does the popularity of the videos, as well as the number of people who copy these videos onto their personal computer and could potentially redistribute them in the future. The removal of these videos does not however guarantee that they will not reappear in the future.

It is important that the victims sign up for a monitoring system which operates 24/7 to give early warnings of any future distribution of their compromising videos. Potentially, these videos can reappear on the internet at any time in the years to come. In any event, with the internet, it is all about speed speed speed so the priority is to have these videos removed from video hosts sites as quickly as possible.

I cannot tell for sure what is the precise motive behind the action of the predator woman, but having lately seen so many of these cases I have no doubt that there is indeed a system behind this operation and I am almost convinced that the female predators do this for money.

In legal terms, all the victims in such cases have a cause of action in the courts, particularly for breach of privacy. Although legal action could eventually lead us to the predators’ identity this would be very costly and will bring further unwanted attention to the matter, and with it, further reputational damage to the victims. In cases such as this, any publicity is bad publicity.  The police  are unlikely to be willing or able to intervene, mainly because of lack or resources and due to the fact that victims choose not to lodge a formal complaint.

I will leave it for your imagination to picture the devastation this could cause someone. I have seen male victims changing their name and moving to a different town in order to avoid detection. I also witnessed families falling apart and men feeling suicidal following their involvement as victims in this sting.

Legally, little can be done to go back in time. No level of compensation will persuade any man in his right mind to pursue such a matter through the courts. Sometimes keeping your head down is the best advice to follow.

What is left is for us to spread the word, inform the public and educate people to be more vigilant whilst chatting on the internet. You have to remember that the vast majority of the men who find their lives falling apart as a result of being groomed, are innocent victims who were perhaps guilty of being naïve or even a bit reckless, but are certainly not sexual offenders or perverts and do not deserve the potential  life sentence which they may  have to serve day in and day out.

I am not condoning the use of internet chats by married men to look for virtual extra marital affairs. This is a subject of another conversation. However, everyone would agree that it is important to educate both adults and children about some of the dangers of internet chat. These are the dark sides of our new global society and they are not likely to simply disappear. It is only by having people such as yourself passing on this information to others that we can make the internet a safer place for both ourselves and to the next generation.

More internet law updates that could affect you and people you know


Warning: Blackmail And Extortion Of Men On Internet Chat Rooms. Latest Update

By Yair Cohen

via Internet Law Experts | Online Reputation and Videos 

Having your reputation tarnished all over the internet is bad. But having your reputation destroyed with an online video is absolutely devastating.

Since taking over You Tube, Google appears to be on a mission to turn the internet into a multimedia medium and so are the other major search engines. It is believed that Google uses positive discrimination in order to encourage the use of video on the internet and as a result, it gives priority to video results which contain the searched keywords as well as to web pages which contain videos.

This means that online videos could be used as an explosive weapon by those who wish to harm your online reputation.  Online videos can be optimized to obtain good placements without the search engines in exactly the same way that optimisation is done for a web page. In fact, some argue it is much easier to obtain high places in the search engines with videos than with web pages. At the moment, online videos remain a major reputational weakness for many businesses. But this weakness can be turned into strength very quickly.

You can create a relatively inexpensive yet highly effective reputational defence shield by…Read NOW the full article on Internet Lawyer website


Posted by London Internet Lawyers

How Can I Remove Defamatory Websites

In the past few weeks we removed over 40 defamatory websites, which up until then, devastated our clients’ reputation.

We removed a vast number of defamatory videos from You Tube and we managed to remove a popular, yet defamatory article against a successful businessman from a national news website.

We sought and won injunctions against YouTube, Google Inc, Firefox and other internet giants around the world and successfully enforced them all in the UK, the USA, Canada and other countries.

We gave one decent, hard-working online retailer his business back following savage online reputation attacks against him and his company by competitors.

We advised a client who owns an international franchise company on how to deal with online attacks by a former employee. These constant attacks were estimated to have cost the company in excess of £300,000!

We have also helped the owners of a national services company to form their first ever online reputation strategy following a devastating online reputation attack against them by both a competitor and a former employee, which cost them their biggest contact.

Last month, we brought solutions to an ever growing number of vulnerable people following online reputation attacks against them. We devised creative and cost effective solutions. Some of these individuals thought that it would cost them a fortune to stop these online attacks on their reputation, but pleasantly enough for them, many of them were completely surprised.
The full solution to their online reputation problem was handed to them during an initial consultation, which meant that they needed not spend any money with us, save for their investment of £93 in the initial consultation.

Other individuals saw their problem quickly disappearing following a well drafted and extremely effective letter (sometimes 2), which we sent on their behalf.
Other individuals, who were on the verge of giving up and who came to us with serious online reputation problems, sometimes following years of attacks on their reputation online, finally found that no reputation issue, as big as it might be, is beyond our competence.

But we also brought to them solutions for any future problems. To prevent the problem from repeating itself, we created a unique tool that gives them early alerts of any posts about them on the internet.

It brings any internet posts that carry yours or your company’s name, directly to the desk of our highly experienced legal team, and in real-time.
The material then undergoes an initial assessment and then if necessary, is acted upon.
We do this all for you with no hassle or inconvenience to you. Should the material posted be suspected to be harmful to your reputation we take swift action to contain the problem and often to make it completely  disappear.

Follow this link to learn more about the exclusive our reputation management tools. 


We have solutions to almost all online reputation problems. Some of these solutions are fast, others take more time to implement. But what we are sure about is that you will get results (and more quickly), if you use people who are hugely experienced in this very delicate areas of law and business.

We are ready to take on your online reputation problem.

Internet Lawyers


Internet Lawyers: Are Website Hosts Responsible For Defamatory Comments Posted On Their Websites?
Once something defamatory is published against you or against your company, website operators become a crucial point of call in the search for who may be responsible for the original publication of the defamatory material, and also key to getting the article or site removed. There is therefore a very powerful argument to conclude that every website operator that has received a…..Read Full Blog on Internet Lawyer‘s Internet Law Experts Solicitors website
via Internet Lawyers: Are Website Hosts Responsible For Defamatory Comments Posted On Their Websites? | Internet Law.

Internet Law Experts: Who Can I Sue for Online Defamation?

Because under English law legal action is possible against all intervening persons who are responsible for repeating, publishing or otherwise circulating the defamation, Internet Service Providers such as Virgin Media, AOL or BT run the risk of being regarded as the publishers of libellous remarks, originated by another person, but published by them in one of their hosted websites or forums.

A person who has been defamed online may choose whether to sue the original defamer, or the repeat publisher, or both. In reality many would rather sue the party with the deepest pockets, usually the Internet Service Provider, rather than the original author who might be penniless. Internet Service Provider’s liability appears to be almost unlimited because the courts have so far rejected claims them that a defence of ‘innocent dissemination’ should be available to them because they have no effective control over the material they re-distribute.

The Defamation Act 1996 attempted to provide Internet Service Providers in the UK with an opportunity to limit their liability. However, this law turned out to be very confusing and unclear which means that Internet Service Providers in England are still extremely vulnerable to be sued for defamation. Furthermore, because in cases of internet defamation there is normally a choice of jurisdictions available to the aggrieved party it is very possible for the defamed person to choose to take legal action in a jurisdiction other than the UK, where the defamation law is less favourable to the Internet Service Providers.

Yair Cohen

Internet Law Expert: What Is The Law On Defamation And How Can I Prove Defamation Of Character | Internet Law |

In response to the many requests by our friends and colleagues, I have now put together a short article explaining in simple language the law on defamation of character.

Basically, the purpose of the law surrounding defamation of character is to protect an individual’s reputation. As is the case with most areas of law, there is a delicate balance, which must be achieved between a person’s reputation on the one hand and another’s right to speak their mind.

For a defamation claim to succeed in England, three elements first need to be made out:


Read full article on Internet Lawyer’s website.


via Internet Law Expert: What Is The Law On Defamation And How Can I Prove Defamation Of Character | Internet Law |


Online Defamation – Protecting Online Reputation

By Yair Cohen  – Internet Law Expert

‘A good reputation is worth more than gold or silver’

Age old wisdom that still rings true today. Reputation is everything. And yet the spreading of a bad reputation will cost you gold and silver, and lots of it!Internet defamation experts

There’s no doubt about it, the internet has revolutionised the way businesses generate custom; widening marketing potential, broadening client resource bases and in a nutshell, spreading the (good) word! For this reason, keeping tabs on your business online reputation cannot be prioritised highly enough. This has to include having measures at your disposal to guard off any trace of negativity. Why? Because the success of your business depends on it!

No doubt, having effective strategies in place is the key. Such strategies that I recomend as an internet lawyer  include preventative measures ensuring no defamation takes place, as well as quite literally setting all systems blazing the minute you get wind of any. Implementing reputation alarms, applying the pressure to the right people to remove the defamatory material, countering the negative material with good, and fighting for financial pay outs are all measures we are here to help you readily adopt to neutralise the damage caused, and build you up once again.

My Reputation Alarm is only one tool among many in your business arsenal. It helps to detect and alert but it must be accompanied by other measures which are ultimately aimed towards the goal of bringing you more business so that you can become more prosperous.

Click here for more free tips from internet lawyer, Yair Cohen on how to manage your online reputation.

Internet Lawyers: Bad News For Record Companies� Internet Law Legal Briefings.

The Irish High Court has ruled that the country’s laws forbid Internet service providers from suspending access to alleged file-swappers. The ruling was announced following a law suit by a local Internet Service Provider, UPC. The Irish Recorded Music Association previously sought a Court order to force UPC to hand over personal details of those the Association, which represents the major local record labels in Ireland, suspected of file….Read more�from Internet lawyers

Internet Law ExpertYou have to be careful with the way you are sending emails to bulk recipients. By sending it from your outlook you are running the risk that all your emails will be blacklisted, which I can tell you is a complete nightmare to experience and then fix.

Once you are suspected of sending bulk email, your email address will be blacklisted by one of a number of companies whose job is to locate ‘spammers’ and stop them from sending emails altogether. Once you get blacklisted by one company, others will follow suit.

You might then find that you are unable to send emails to any AOL, Hotmail, Google Mail, BT mail and many more. Any email sent will bounce back and will not be delivered to its intended recipient. Once blocked, it could take days to fix the problem. In the meantime, your customers will not be able to receive emails from you. A total nightmare.

If you find that your emails are bouncing back, you will need to get an IT expert to fix the problem and in some extreme cases use Internet Lawyers to take legal action. Whichever way you look at it, it is not going to be cheap. If you were to send useful information to your customers, always use a commercial programme such as Aweber (about £10 a month) or something similar where your bulk emails are being sent from an external server without any risk of your own domain being blacklisted. A programme such as Aweber will also allow recipients of your email to easily unsubscribe, making sure that your emails are only received by those who wish to receive them.

You can find here more free tips on Internet Law

Speak soon,

Yair Cohen

Internet Lawyer

Click here for instant social media legal advice

How To Best Deal With Online Defamation

Everyone needs to have a few blogs or ‘mini websites’ on the back burner. It is like having an army of loyal soldiers, all well trained and ready to fight the enemy upon demand. These mini websites can be activated with positive content about your company as soon as you feel that a reputation attack is imminent. By populating these mini websites you will help to push any negative web pages down the search engines. Because it could take weeks and sometimes months for web pages to be indexed by the search engines, as an internet defamation lawyer I always advise to have these blogs, or mini websites already prepared, indexed and ready to go on demand. Speak to your internet people today and ask them to create a few basic websites for you straight away, just in case….. 

Do you have a defamation problem question?

Get in touch with Internet Law Expert

Behind the music: Will the House of Lords block the Digital Economy Act?

via The Guardian

An interesting visit to Westminster suggests issues of filesharing and copyright are very much on the House of Lords’ agenda.

Last week I had tea with Lord Lucas in the House of Lords (I know – whodathought?). He wanted to have a chat about what the Lords could do to help artists and music creators. As soon as we sat down, he brought up the Digital Economy Act, a subject that had been discussed at length during the Westminster eForum, which he attended, a few days earlier. It was the part pertaining to the possible temporary disconnection of persistent illegal downloaders that had created heated discussions among indie labels and ISPs. “It’s dead in the water,” he proclaimed. “There’s no way we will alienate our voters and punish individuals.”

A source tells me that there’s a very specific reason why the Lords are so interested in the DEA – the plan is a push for them having the right to review every single piece of legislation passed in parliament. No wonder it appeared Lucas had been heavily lobbied by the ISPs. He also had very little love for the major labels, though he conceded he’d never met any of them. “They thought they had it all sewn up since they had Mandelson on board,” he said, with disdain. “Now that it’s passed they don’t seem interested in talking to us.”

So I asked him what he proposed to do, if, indeed, he was interested in helping artists. Lucas said the music industryshould give consumers what they want. “What, like free, unlimited music?” I asked. “They need to make a deal with the ISPs. Or at least with one of them, and the others will follow,” he replied, pointing to the stalled negotiations with Virgin Media. I’ve said before that I support such a deal  and, unlike Lucas, I have talked to major labels. Universal’s head of digital, Francis Keeling, blamed the other record labels for being unreasonable, pointing out that Universal was first on board for Virgin Media’s “unlimited” music service. I replied that maybe Universal had taken such a big slice of the pie that there was little left for the other labels to share. “It wouldn’t be in Virgin’s interest to give less advantageous deals to other labels,” said Keeling. Independent labels, in particular, would disagree with that statement.

I suggested to Lucas that there should be a pan-European collection society, both for artists and songwriters, that negotiates deals and licences music services – a one-stop shop, if you will – pointing out that the majority of artists and songwriters want licensing to be simpler and to be paid fairly. As an example, I voiced my dismay with Google’s YouTube deal with PRS. Surprisingly, since he’s a conservative and I was under the impression that they oppose government intervention, Lucas said he had no problem with reining in Google and he would support an EU directive of a minimum rate for music streaming (PRS has one, by the way, but Google refuses to pay it). “If they don’t pay, they won’t be allowed to operate,” he proposed, adding that he’d be happy to break their – and iTunes’ – dominance of the music industry.

At the eForum, the head of the Association of Independent  Music, Alison Wenham, spoke of the frustration indie labels felt when they released a record and the first six pages of Google search results would show illegal downloading sites, before the first legal one showed up on page seven. Lucas suggested regulations that would prevent that from happening. “We should only target the illegal filesharing sites that make a profit,” he said, adding that the sites where people share with friends should not be disallowed. That’s a bit of a muddy theory, I’d say, as one could argue what constitutes “a friend”. If it’s a friend, you wouldn’t need a site to share your music – you could just go over to their house, or send it in an email.

Lucas concluded that we need copyright reform. He doesn’t want any restrictions on usage, but obligatory remuneration – an impressive idea, but almost utopian in its implementation. Like so many who present a panacea to the music industry, he fell slightly short in his understanding of it. For example, he was under the impression that different songs were paid at different rates by the PRS, according to their genre and popularity. I explained that the composers of a popular song only get paid more because it gets played more.

Yet, I applaud him for reaching out to the artist community to learn more about what they want. Soon he may even get another peer who is one. Rumours are – and I’d say they’re not completely unsubstantiated – that Feargal Sharkey, the former frontman of the Undertones, is in line for a peerage. As Sharkey is now the head of music industry umbrella organisation UK Music, what are the chances there will be some more heated discussions in the House of Lords on the implementation of the DEA?


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