As you might be aware, Birmingham blogger Andrew Dubber found his site rocketing to international attention when he posted an email discussion with Paul Birch of Wolverhampton-based Revolver Records. The substance of the debate was fairly daft – that as an employee of UCE Dubber should not be linking to articles that criticize the mainstream record industry – but by agreeing for the correspondence to go public Dubber essentially handed Birch a rope which he gladly used to hang himself. The story has gone global thanks to Birch being on the board of the BPI and the IFPI yet displaying an incredible lack of nous about not only the future of music but how the debate surrounding it should take place.
While enough petards have been hoisted to damage the reputation of the BPI in this matter there are a couple of observations I’d like to throw into the pot.
Firstly the name Paul Birch rang a bell somewhere so I did a bit of digging. Turns out he was the guy the Stone Roses threw paint over when he re-released a single of theirs without permission. While this doesn’t add anything to the debate it’s kinda amusing.
Secondly, and more pertinently, Birch’s record label has minimal internet presence. I’m not suggesting board membership of national and international trade organizations should be restricted to the corporations, but you’d hope that as the industry attempts to embrace the digital age its representatives would be at least vaguely aware of how it all works.