A huge disagreement over the correct way to apply digital rights management (DRM) of songs is emerging in the music industry.
UK indie label association, AIM, will give oral evidence before a UK government enquiry at the House of Commons on Thursday February 2.
AIM chairman and CEO Alison Wenham, Simon Wheeler of the Beggar's Group and Paul Sanders, founder of state51, will speak to MPs who are presently investigating DRM.
They will argue against the major label position on DRM and file-sharing.
They will say that they accept that: "The loss of some measure of copyright control is a factor in reaching new and enthusiastic music markets around the world."
The inquiry is looking at DRM issues to establish how consumers, artists and distribution companies should be protected in a continually evolving market place.
AIM will urge the Parliamentary/New Media Industries Forum to encourage a fresh approach on these matters.
"Independent music companies are primarily artist-orientated and want to give their artists every possible opportunity to reach national and international markets: using rather than refusing new technologies; encouraging broad and niche consumer access to new music; avoiding a punitive approach to copyright enforcement and realising that loss of some measure of copyright control is a factor in reaching new and enthusiastic music markets around the world - and believing that there can be a fresh approach to all these factors," they will say.
AIM believes that DRM systems "cannot and will not offer a complete answer to doing IP business via the internet": though they accept such technologies as a useful and competent tool for tracking music use and sales via downloads," they say.While they accept that such technologies can be of value to controlling content in terms of who downloads what and ensuring artists get paid, they do not believe it should be used to police and control such content, as they see the potential for music downloads to generate new audiences and new business growth.
"DRM is not - and we believe cannot be - a 'policing' system," their filing states.
"We want to liberalise the process for the consumer while taking responsibility for the metering and for subsequent self-regulated allocation of income to the creators and copyright holders," AIM explains.
Other attendees at the hearing will include: British Music Rights, EMusic.com, Snocap, the British Library, BBC, AOL, the National Consumer Council, Open Rights Group, PACT and the Film Council.
The inquiry report will be published in March or April.