The inaugural meeting of the U.K.'s Featured Artists' Coalition (FAC) in London resulted in a vote among its members opposing any measures that criminalize file-sharing.

The FAC was formed to give artists a collective voice to campaign for effective laws and regulations, as well as transparent and equitable business practices.

As well as discussing the general aims and logistics of the new body, there was also a near-unanimous show of hands against the idea of criminalizing file-sharers, according to those present. There was concern about any legal body taking action against fans who were involved in file-sharing and preventing them getting broadband access to be informed about the activities of their favorite acts.

The issue came up as artists discussed a planned response to the forthcoming Digital Britain report, the interim version of which has proposed a Rights Agency to enforce anti-piracy measures. In France, legislation is being debated to bring in a three-strikes system to potentially cut off broadband connections for those who infringe copyright - a measure to which the FAC is opposed.

The final Digital Britain report is due in early summer. Although the interim report did not propose a three-strikes system, it said that measures requiring ISPs to pass on information about customers sharing music on P2P networks to rights-holders would make it "significantly easier" for targeted action against the most significant infringers.

The FAC's first board of directors is made up of Blur drummer Dave Rowntree, Soul II Soul's Jazzie B, Billy Bragg, Radiohead's Ed O'Brien, Kate Nash, Marillion's Mark Kelly and rapper Master Shortie. David Gray and Robbie Williams were also among the dozens of artists who attended the meeting at London's Heaven venue last night (March 11).

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