After thirty years of bitter struggle, jubilant music industry representatives today claimed a final victory in the battle against home taping.
Their campaign, with its slogan "Home taping is killing music - and it's illegal" was launched in the 80s in response to a growing wave of piracy where young people would record music from each others’ vinyl platters onto freely-available cassette tapes, thus avoiding the cost of purchasing the music. Industry insiders now believe that this 'taping' has all but died out, totally vindicating their battle against the pirates.
"For a long time in the eighties and nineties it was touch and go," explained Feargal Sharkey, representing the UK music business. "These pirates with their handy spooling biros nearly wiped out the whole industry. Artists like U2 and Michael Jackson struggled along, surviving on hand-me-downs and forced to live with their parents - the poor bastards."
"We thought it was bad enough in the sixties, with the scourge of reel-to-reel tape recorders,” he went on. “Goodness knows how the Beatles managed to keep going, and things only got worse when the compact cassette arrived - the very ultimate in music reproduction technology."
"But now we’ve seen them off once and for all. According to figures from popular teen hangout WH Smith, sales of blank cassettes have dropped to nearly zero. Clearly, the public is with us on this one."
Asked whether he believed the industry had not fully grasped the threat of digital copying, Sharkey was dismissive: "It won’t last. You don’t hear about mp1s and mp2s anymore, do you? We think mp3 will fade away as well."
"In any case," he revealed, "We’re about to launch a major new initiative to mop up the last vestiges of piracy that may remain - from now on, we’re going to overlay the last few seconds of all popular music with the sound of Bruno Brookes talking about how good the next song will be - I’d like to see how these kids are going to deal with that!"