Lily Allen Heats Up Music Piracy Debate

Kait Richmond

Lily Allen has had a fairly controversial career. Whether she’s being photographed topless or drunkenly insulting Elton John, Allen is always in the tabloids and on the gossip blogs. However, last week, she wrote a blog that has gotten even her fellow musicians talking. Allen began a huge debate over digital music piracy that caused other artists to speak out, and eventually a meeting in London to address the issue.

Allen blogged that illegal file sharing needs to come to an end, particularly for those who are trying to make a breakthrough in the music industry. “And now some artists have got their message out there: that file sharing is fine when you’re a successful artist with sell out tours and a back catalogue ready to be sold to a new audience. That might be fine for them, but it’s not fine for the acts that haven’t made it big yet,” Allen wrote on the blog.

After calling on industry professionals to meet and try to find a solution, artists including James Blunt, Tim Oxley (of Keane) and Matt Bellamy (of Muse) all wrote back to Allen. A meeting was scheduled for Sept. 24, 2009.

Meanwhile, Allen was brutally attacked by many for several reasons. The first was that there were two mix tapes on her website that had been made available for download at the start of her career; both were immediately taken down. Furthermore, much of the controversial blog was copied from another website,

“I think it’s wonderful that Lilly Allen found so much value in our Techdirt post that she decided to copy, or should I say ‘pirate’, the entire post,” Techdirt founder Mike Masnick told Allen later posted a link to the website on her blog. That wasn’t enough though, and she soon deleted the blog due to “too much abuse.”

While this plan may not have the support of the entire music industry, it is a start to getting the problem solved. Should it make even the slightest difference, Americans should expect to see a similar solution to its fight against piracy. Since the debate began, Allen has announced that she does not plan to further pursue a career in the music industry, and will leave the rest of this debate to her fellow musicians. She tweeted, “I’m proud of the fact that I’ve been involved with this debate, but I’m passing the baton on to other artists.”