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Stop Stealing Our Music!

The IFPI in Sweden 29 years ago: attacking the music cassette.

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GOTHENBURG (GT) -- Now Swedish musicians and artists are going on the attack against the increasingly widespread private copying of music.

'A lot of new bands and artists are getting robbed of payments for the work they've done. This is about their incomes they're supposed to live on', says Tomas Ledin as one of the signatories of an appeal together with 150 colleagues.

Their appeal is directed at people who lend out their records to one another and copy them or make recordings from radio transmissions, telling them to stop.

Over 30 million blank music cassettes were sold in Sweden last year.

'Each cassette can hold 60 minutes of music is used two or three times', says IFPI legal adviser Lars Gustavsson.

'That gives you a bit of insight into the size of the problem', he says.


Lars Gustavsson points out the music industry wouldn't want private copying to be illegal.

'It's the abuse we want to stop', he says. 'Today it's legal to make copies for one's own use. And it should be in the future as well.'

'But we've noticed that people at places of work get together to borrow records from one another.'

'The question is whether this isn't almost illegal.'

The way both artists, musicians, and Lars Gustavsson think is the most accessible is to levy a tax on blank music cassettes.

'But it must not be, as has been discussed, a tax the government collect', says Lars Gustavsson.

'It's those who are hurt by private copying that should be compensated for their loss of income.'


'Say that two or three kronor from every blank cassette goes to STIM who thereafter apportion the money.'

The 150 who signed the appeal want people to stop copying from records and the radio at least until the two studies [the copyright study and the one by the department of education] submit their conclusions.

'First and foremost we want to make people aware they're taking food out of our mouths', says Tomas Ledin.

'And in addition', he says, 'it's illegal to record music for other than personal use.'

Singer/songwriter Tomas Ledin's career was never conclusive. Fortunately for him he met Stickan Anderson's daughter Marie and later married her. Since then Ledin's been mostly a record producer working for his father in law's company. Ledis is today extremely well to do, living on Stockholm's gold coast and putting up at a hotel so he can let out his flat to Bruce Springsteen whenever the latter's in town. Why is it only the failures complain about file sharing?

Ledin's companies include Tomas Ledin Music Production, Acasso Music, Acasso Productions, Acasso Holdings, All Together Now, Ledin & Sons, and Baby Twist. For Tomas Ledin marriage has been good. How badly has the music cassette hurt Tomas Ledin? How badly has Tomas Ledin hurt Sweden?

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