Swedish pop stars unite against illegal downloading

Over a hundred of Sweden's best-known pop artists have signed an open letter protesting against the illegal downloading of their music. "We do not want to be robbed," they said in the letter, which was distributed by the Swedish branch of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

Among the artists who signed the letter were Per Gessle, Lena Philipsson, Alcazar, Magnus Uggla and Soundtrack of our Lives.

“Downloading music, films, books and computer programmes without paying for them is on the verge of becoming politically correct,” they said.

The letter argued that “artistic work” should be treated in the same way as any other product to be sold, and pointed out that in no other area is the right of ownership questioned.

“We accept that it is the owner’s name on the door of the flat where he lives. We don’t think it is strange that the grocer earns money from the sausage which is sold in the store. But when the work is creative it is considered that we who created it should accept having it taken by others without getting anything in return.”

IFPI chief executive Lars Gustafsson told Svenska Dagbladet that the idea for the letter had come from the artists themselves.

“There’s a lot of debate around downloading and sometimes it appears that the artists think it’s good that their music spreads over the internet,” he said.

“Possibly there are artists who think that, and that’s OK, but this is saying that the artists, the copyright owners themselves, must decide how their music will be distributed.”

It was unclear whether the stars were appealing directly to their fans or just having a general grumble, but they emphasised that “this is not about the biggest pop stars’ millions” or the entertainment industry’s profits.

“For us artists this is about having the opportunity to have this kind of activity as a profession. Ultimately it’s about what’s right and what’s wrong.”

Sources: IFPI, Svenska Dagbladet, Aftonbladet

The full list of artists who signed the letter:

Adam Kviman, Alcazar, Amy Diamond, Andreas Alfredsson (Waver), Andreas Johnson, Andrés Esteche, Anita Strandell, Anna Stadling (Hovet), Anna Ternheim, Annika Thörnquist (Da Buzz), Arash, Axel Robach (Whyte Seeds), Backyard Babies, Bengt Ernryd, Bengt Palmers, Björn Synneby (Whyte Seeds), Bo Kaspers Orkester, Bo Winberg / The Spotnicks, Cameron Cartio, Camilla Lindén, Christian Walz, Claes Janson, Clarence Öfwerman, Daniel Cirera, Daniel Lemma, Daniel Lindström, Dave Lepard (Crashdïet), Dhani (A-teens), Diana Nunez, DJ Aligator, Elin Lanto, Elin Sigvardsson, Eric Young (Crashdïet), Fredrik Norén, Gregoris Tzistoudis, Günther, Göran Fristorp, Göran Fritzon, Hawkey Franzén, Henrik Lindén (Whyte Seeds), Håkan Hemlin (Nordman), Idde Schultz (Hovet), Jalle Lorentsson (Wilmer X), Jen, Jens Back (Hovet), Jill Johnson, Johan Persson (Hovet), Johan Renck, Jojje Wadenius, Jonas Warnerbring, Josef Zackrisson (Hovet), Josefin Nilsson, Josefina Andersson (Waver), Klas Edmundsson (Lambretta), Laleh, Lars Beijbom, Lars Dylte (Blå Grodorna) , Lasse Andersson (låtskrivare/producent) , Lasse Lindbom, Lasse Lindgren, Lena Philipsson, Linda Sundblad (Lambretta) , Lisa Rydberg, Little Gerhard, Magnus Bäcklund, Magnus Uggla, Markoolio, Martin E-type Eriksson, Martin Sweet (Crashdïet) , Mathias Holmgren, Mats Norrefalk, Mats Ronander, Mats Wester (Nordman) , Mikael Ramel, Mimmi Pettersson-Hammar, Monica Borrfors, Nico Janco (Whyte Seeds) , Nils Landgren, Nisse Hellberg (Wilmer X) , Norpan Eriksson (Hovet) , Olle Hagberg (Whyte Seeds) , Patrik Boman, Pendletones, Peps Persson, Per Gessle, Per Lidén (Da Buzz) , Peter Jöback, Peter LeMarc, Peter London (Crashdïet) , Peter Nordahl, Peter Stormare, Petter, Petter Lantz (Lambretta) , Pier Schmid (Da Buzz) , Pål Svenre, Rotebergs-Raggarn, Rune Öfwerman, Sharon Bezaly, Sofia Karlsson, Sophie Zelmani, Staffan Andersson (Hovet) , Staffan Wiklander (Blå Grodorna) , Sticky Bomb (Wilmer X) , Sugarplum Fairy, The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, Thomas Holst (Wilmer X) , Uno Svenningsson, West Of Eden, Winter, Zifa, Åsa Jinder, Östen Warnerbring