X-factor stars back Digital Economy Bill

Cheryl Cole's co-star on the X-factor, Simon Cowell, has backed a letter send to MP's urging them to pass the Digital Economy Bill and include a three strikes and you're out rule against persistent IP pirates. Other signatories included Sir Terry Pratchett, Tim Bevan, Paul Greengrass and Stephen Garret.

The text of the letter is below

Britain is admired for its creativity and its sense of fair play. British musicians, singers, actors, writers and directors are known and loved around the world and create some of our greatest assets. Together they contribute more than 7% to the UK economy.

The Digital Economy Bill brings both of these together. It will ensure that British creators, entertainment companies, and the 1.8 million people who work in and around the cultural sector are respected and rewarded in the future as they have been in the past, and that they are fairly paid when they put their work online.

Digital entertainment services are really beginning to take off: fans have never had so much choice as to how to enjoy their music, books, TV and films online. But for these new business models to develop, it is critical that more is done to prevent the illegal services providing easy access to free content.

We urge Parliament to pass this bill as a matter of urgency in order to secure the future of its creative talent and industries.