Musicians call for copyright clampdown

Australian musicians including Tina Arena and Josh Pyke have written to the federal government in support of proposals to curb illegal downloading.

Tina Arena and Josh Pyke are among several prominent musicians calling on the Abbott government to implement proposals to clamp down on illegal downloading.

Their names are found among some 630 submissions made public on Wednesday in response to a government consultation paper on ways to curb copyright infringement.

INXS guitarist Kirk Pengilly, PotBelleez DJ Dave Goode, and Adam Weston from Birds of Tokyo also voiced their support for clampdown measures.

Arena called on the government to force internet service providers to block sites that facilitate piracy.

"Something that is very simple for them would mean music can continue to be created and thousands upon thousands of jobs remain safe," she wrote.

"The argument that artists can make their income from touring is a band-aid.

"I am a mother of a young child and touring the world constantly is just not an option."

Pyke said he was encouraged by the government's proposals, saying piracy has ravaged the Australian music scene.

"It has directly and indirectly impacted on the ability of many musicians to make a living from creating music in Australia," he said.

"I cannot begin to explain how frustrating it is to find my work has been made available online without my consent."

The government is considering two key changes to copyright laws.

One would compel ISPs to block sites that host free content.

The other would make it easier for copyright owners to take ISPs to court when they don't take steps to curb infringement, such as sending warning notices to customers.

Consumer group Choice says illegal downloads are spurred by restricted choice and the comparatively high prices copyright owners charge Australians.

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