This is a transcript from an audio recording of the TV broadcast. Video was not available.
Interviewer: "...Colin Greenwood, bass-guitarist with Radiohead, and by Robert Sandall of Virgil... er, Virgin Records. Well, what's your reaction to those decisions?
Robert: "Well, we're pleased, obviously, that the principle of copyright has been upheld because, really, that's what this is about. What I think is very important to stress is that no one is actually trying to reject this technology. We're not trying to dis-invent something which is clearly not going to go away. The problem is, that the way it's been applied has been with a complete disregard for the wishes of the artists and the record companies whose copyrights they're essentially trading in.
Interviewer: "So they're trading in copyrights of people like you, Colin. Isn't it wrong to be stealing your music?
Colin: "Going back to your title, I wouldn't want to defend people who are making money out of our music, but at the same time I'd want to say the important thing is to embrace this technology and not put your head in the sand - like so many record companies have done - because it's not going away. For us as a group, speaking personally, it's given us a new lease of life because it's enabled us to do various things, like perform live concerts, webcasts from our studio, do videos, shoot videos ourselves (it costs a fraction of video budgets normally). And also, for example, we've just finished the tour. We played in Barcelona. The next day the entire performance was up on the Napster and was downloaded, and three weeks later, when we got to play in Israel in Tel-Aviv, the audience knew the words to all the new songs! It was wonderful. It's a great dissemination of our new material.
Interviewer: "So it's actually boosting him an artist.
Robert: "Fantastic! Well, the simple point is that, if artists like Colin want their material to be disseminated over the web in that way and they agree to it then fine, no problem. But as we saw, and as your package made clear, there were some artists who don't like it! And the point about Napster is that at no point do they actually consult the artists whose mp3 files they were effectively allowing to be traded, as to whether or not they wanted that to happen or not. Our point, simply, is that the artists and the record companies have to be consulted, and we never were.
Interviewer: "Is this simply about people who are freeloaders, who are just interested in getting records and music for free, do you think?
Colin: "Well, there's two issues. The first issue is that all this is about is exchanging files on the Internet, and this has been happening since the Internet started. It's just digital information. When CDs were produced by record companies the cat was let out of the bag, anyway. The other issue is that, you know, Nick Hornby would never write a book about what's on his hard drive. Because the whole aura of music is about... for example, I was trying to find Mantronix on the web last week and it's all about mp3, it's all about digital music. Then I tried to download a couple of things and it was really annoying, and I spent the next three hours tramping around West London going in and out of record shops and had my hands on the vinyl. Like one of the people in your reports said, you're never going to lose that, you know? And it's just that, digital music is just one of many things that contributes to an artist getting their message across. And of course it's going to change, and of course record companies are going to have to embrace it and change with it, and find different ways of getting revenue, maybe using the Napster as a business model for their own online thing. For example, that guy sitting in front of the computer, he had to burn his CD, he's trying to get the music... because a lot of the time it doesn't work!
Interviewer: "So you're only scared unnecessarily, and actually isn't this, sort of, echoes of prohibition? You may stop Napster, you're not going to stop the rest of them.
Robert: "No, no, we're not running scared and we're not actually trying to stop the technology that Napster employs. We're simply trying to restrict the application of it so that intellectual copyright, which is a very important principle without which none of us would have jobs, is actually protected. We, as record companies... that's one of the major things we have to do. We only exist - and our artists only have careers - because their intellectual copyright is protected. And Napster, in very obvious ways... and now this is a second judgment in America which has agreed it - and let's not forget American courts, which recently ruled against Microsoft, are not particularly friendly per se to big business. They've accepted that intellectual copyright is essentially infringed and threatened.
Interviewer: "Isn't it a broader battle here, Colin, between ‘dot communism' and ‘older star capitalism'?
Colin: "Well yeah, I mean, what I find a lot more offensive is the way the Internet is being appropriated by large companies and the merges that are happening, as a way of controlling content and creating resource corporate intranets – that means like an Internet within an Internet that has its own content. What this is all about, basically, is with these companies, like AOL, merging, they're trying to set up their own TV stations, and obviously a TV station needs content. And if you can sit in your home in San Diego and get your music from an mp3 without having to go to watch the radio or BBC or whatever, and get it directly from someone else, then you don't need these big corporations supplying this content.
Interviewer: "Colin Greenwood and Robert Sandall, thank you both. And time now to have a look at tomorrow morning's newspapers...