Business secretary may be turning his talent for spin to the turntables
Business secretary Lord Mandelson may be about to add MC to his already extensive list of titles.
In a press release issued this week, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills said it planned to increase its efforts to combat the threat of illegal downloading and file-sharing by releasing a single highlighting the problems featuring Mandelson himself on vocals.
Fight For Your Right – To Profits
While the news that Mandelson plans to rap on the track may surprise some, it is believed that the business secretary is a secret fan of hard-core hip-hop acts including Dr Dre, Eminem, and Snoop Dogg. According to sources close to the BIS, the idea of Mandelson rapping on the track was first suggested by David Geffen during a meeting between the two last year in Corfu.
The track in question is believed to be a cover of the popular Beastie Boys track “Fight For Your Right” with Mandelson replacing the word “Party” with “Profits”, to reflect the hard times which record labels have found themselves in of late, thanks to the rise of illegal downloads.
Fight For Your Right (To Profits), featuring MC Mandelson, will be released on Geffen records to coincide with enforcement of the Digital Economy Bill, which is currently going through Parliament, and the UK release of Apple’s iPad later this month.
It is alleged that Mandelson met with Geffen during a holiday in Corfu – a trip during which Mandelson apparently helped run the government in Gordon Brown’s absence using his Blackberry. A government spokesman confirmed the meeting took place but denied there was any discussion of Internet file-sharing.
Earlier this week it emerged that the government has reinstated a controversial clause in the Digital Economy Bill, which gives ministers the power to alter copyright law, despite its removal by the House of Lords earlier this month, following a barrage of complaints from Internet service providers and others. The decision makes it more likely that the Bill will pass into law without opposition, as part of the “wash-up” ahead of a general election.
The controversy over the Digital Bill has plunged into deep musical waters before, with ISP TalkTalk using the Barry Manilow song Mandy in a planned file-sharing violation, designed to show the difficulties in bringing any action against file-sharers under the proposed law – a difficulty which was also underlined earlier this week when the Crown Prosecution Service dropped charges against an alleged teenage file-sharer.
Protests against the bill by groups including the UK Pirate Party, which plans to contest seats at the General Election, and the Open Rights Group, which is planning action today, on April Fool’s Day.