Harriet Harman visits University of Hertfordshire

Shadow Deputy Prime Minister Harriet Harman visited the University of Hertfordshire today (Monday), to give a speech on the state of the UK music industry.

The senior Labour politician was at the Forum Hertfordshire, at the uni’s College Lane campus in Hatfield, to speak to students about the challenges facing up and coming artists, managers, producers and technicians in the age of illegal downloading.

On the eve of the Brit awards, the shadow secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport praised the university’s “pioneering” music courses, and called for the Government to crack down on online pirates.

Following her speech, which received warm applause, Ms Harman held a question and answer session with staff and students.

Afterwards, she spoke to the Welwyn Hatfield Times about what could be done to stop illegal downloading, and again hailed the university.

“These illegal sites aren’t doing it [sharing free music] out of the goodness of their own hearts,” Ms Harman said. “They’re making money out of advertising – I think that’s the primary source of income at the moment.

“We need to choke their source of income, as well as making sure that it is clear to people what is offered for free and what is illegal, so that people can tell what is legal.”

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Ms Harman also said it was an exciting time for the music industry, with institutions like the University of Hertfordshire giving young people the tools to succeed in a competitive industry.

“It’s really pioneering, what’s going on at this university,” she said.

“The music and creative industry is rapidly growing, and the opportunities here to learn about the management, law and technical work behind music and film is giving people the skills to make their way in the industry.”