Scottish rock band Franz Ferdinand has defended people illegally downloading music off the internet, following the recent

crackdown on the practice.

TAKE ME OUT singer Alex Kapranos has described downloading as "great" - claiming most music fans will buy the original product anyway.

Kapranos says, "Downloading is a great way to find out about music.

"I'm not going to criticise somebody for loving music. People come up to me and say, 'I downloaded your album, and I can't wait to go out and buy it.'"

The BRITISH PHONOGRAPHIC INDUSTRY (BPI) has recently warned online song swappers that they will face court action if they continue to download music.

However, Blur drummer DAVE ROWNTREE has also criticised the new plans.

He argues, "It's so difficult for artists to speak out without pointing fingers because artists make money from the sale of records and it's seen as if we want the best of both worlds.

"I'm certainly not saying, 'File sharing is great,' but I also want to make a living out of selling records.

"What I'm saying is if the BPI wanted to take a stand, then the time to take that stand was a number of years ago and do it in a kind of inclusive and grown-up way rather than now posturing and spitting like a bunch of schoolyard bullies.

"This will only lead to a bunch of 12 year-olds being taken to court as happened in the States, which will serve nobody and nobody will make a penny."

The RECORDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA (RIAA) has sued hundreds of music fans sharing their songs over the Internet since September ('03).

29/03/2004 18:17