Feargal Sharkey reasserts filesharing commitment at Labour conference

UK Music CEO Feargal Sharkey wrote to Department for Business, Innovation & Skill minister Peter Mandelson last Thursday, “offering total co-operation with government” as it tries to reduce illegal filesharing, the former Undertones frontman says.

But that did not stop Sharkey joining culture minister Ben Bradshaw on a fringe panel at the Labour party conference in Brighton today to make the case further.

“The ultimate goal has to be to create an environment where the content industries, working with the ISPs and the technology companies, can build what will be sustainable businesses in the online world,” Sharkey told Tweetminster afterwards.

“What we need right now is a respite, a bit of support from government, because we’re finding it difficult to cope with free, and to compete with free, and to make an investment in a business when you’ve got no guarantee of return.”

No surprises there. But does this add up to support for Mandelson’s recent amendment to Digital Britain, when he proposed quicker action against filesharers, possibly suspending their accounts and making ISPs pay half the costs for managing the process? That proposal went out to a consultation that ends on Tuesday.