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FIGHTING FEAR AT STREAMING INQUEST

Artists fear reprisals from labels and streaming services for testifying in front of a British government committee, leading the chair of the inquiry to issue a warning to anyone considering interfering with witnesses.

DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport) Committee Chair Julian Knight MP said today that he’s been told that “some of the people interested in speaking to us have become reluctant to do so because they fear action may be taken against them if they speak in public.”

The statement doesn’t specify who’s being threatened by whom, but songwriter Tom Gray—a key witness in the inquiry—tells us via social media that potential artist witnesses do fear being blacklisted by streaming services and losing the support of their labels. 

Knight continues: “We would take a very dim view of anyone interfering with witnesses to one of our inquiries. No one should suffer any detriment for speaking to a Parliamentary Committee, and anyone deliberately causing harm to one of our witnesses would be in danger of being in contempt of this House. 

“This Committee will brook no such interference and will not hesitate to name and shame anyone proven to be involved in such activity. Anyone who wants to come forward to speak on this issue or any other issues should get in touch with the Committee and will be treated in confidence.”

The first evidence session, where witnesses pushed for equitable remuneration, took place 11/24. The committee is taking evidence until 12/11.

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