Allen Cheered As Artists Gather To Fight Illegal Downloading

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Lily Allen was applauded by fellow musicians at a debate over illegal downloads on Thursday (24Sep09), after she vowed not to attend the meeting due to abuse from angry fans.
The pop star has spearheaded a campaign to stop illicit file-sharing in the U.K., calling on the government to help beat illegal downloaders who she fears will destroy the music industry.
She received a raft of support from fellow songwriters and performers, including Sir Elton John and Annie Lennox, but closed her discussion blog and decided not to attend a planned meeting after a backlash from downloaders.
But with more 100 artists gathered in north London, Allen arrived to a warm reception as the debate on how to tackle the problem ensued.
A statement was signed after three hours by stars including Allen, Lennox, George Michael and Radiohead guitarist Ed O'Brien, urging officials to give illegal downloaders two warnings before their broadband accounts are restricted by authorities.
And O'Brien has hailed the Smile singer for her bravery, insisting she has kickstarted a unified front from performers.
He says, "She's taken a lot of flak for what she's said. What she's done has been brilliant because she started the process where artists have stood up and said, you know what, there is a consequence to illegal file-sharing.
"In the meeting, we didn't always agree but we came to an agreement that we thought was good for everyone.
"We're going to have further meetings like this, we're going to get together - we've realised the importance of doing this together."


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