Songwriters Want Piracy Crackdown, Not Just Education

Nashville songwriters are growing impatient with federal authorities, waiting for a crack down on the illegal downloading of their music. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke was in town Monday to hear directly from musicians about piracy.

Locke says the Obama Administration’s policy has been that file sharing is stealing, just like taking something off a grocery store shelf. But he says there are still too many people who don’t see it that way.

LOCKE: “You can have all the laws on the books that you want, but if you don’t have that mindset that it’s wrong, then it’s just a piece of paper.”

HICKS: “Sir, with all due respect, it’s already illegal. We just need some enforcement. [cheers]”

James Dean Hicks is a songwriter and publisher. He says what’s needed is better policing of peer to peer file sharing services. But Mark Montgomery, a technology entrepreneur, says musicians just need to find new streams of revenue from their work.

“Right now, I don’t hear a lot of talk about innovation. I hear a lot of talk about ‘I just want it to go back to the way it was.’”

Montgomery says the old way of making money – mostly on record sales – isn’t likely to come back.

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