Story: Jack Foley
A GROUND-breaking new venture from Oxfam - www.bignoisemusic.com
- was launched on Wednesday, May 26, giving music fans the chance
to download selected records from a choice of 300,000 tracks in
the knowledge that their money is going to a good cause.
The selection includes exclusives from Faithless and George Michael,
with 10p from every pound spent on the site going directly to
Oxfam, with songs costing from as little as 75p each.
Adrian Lovett, Oxfams director of campaigns and communications,
explained: "Bignoisemusic.com works for everyone. Music lovers
get great tracks, and artists see their music helping some of
the poorest people in the world, through real cash support, and
by building the world-wide movement to Make Trade Fair."
Oxfam has received positive endorsement for www.bignoisemusic.com
from the music industry, from record labels to artists and managers.
Artists have provided exclusive tracks for the site, launching
with Coldplay and George Michael, as well as competition prizes
such as unique gold discs and digital music players.
Chris Martin, of Coldplay, thinks downloading from www.bignoisemusic.com
is a good idea when you know your money is going to help
some of the worlds poorest people.
And Alison Wenham, chief executive of AIM, said: "Aim welcomes
Oxfam's entry into the digital music market. So many of our members
will applaud and support the marriage of music with a mission
to help poor people around the world."
Visitors will also be able to sign up to Oxfams global
petition, called the Big Noise, calling on governments and world
leaders to Make Trade Fair.
Over five million people have signed the petition, ranging from
coffee farmers, through to influential people, like the Dalai
Lama, to people here in the UK, through to artists such as Mr
OnDemand Distribution (OD2), Europes leading digital distributor
of music, is providing the back-end technology, licensing and
OD2's platform allows access to over 300,000 tracks from major
and independent labels, in the Windows media format.
OD2 currently provide digital download services for other big
names, including HMV, Coke, MSN and Tiscali.
Examples of what the money spent on Big Noise Music could
l 20p paid to Oxfam. This could
buy five packets of oral re-hydration salts. Diarrhoea can be
a killer if it is not treated. In refugee camps, children and
older people are particularly vulnerable. £5 could buy 125
packets of oral re-hydration salts, which could save many lives.
l 50p paid to Oxfam could buy two
meals for Peru's poorest people, in a community-run kitchen in
l £1 paid to Oxfam could
provide vegetable seeds to a family in Honduras, so that they
are able to improve the family diet.
l £2.05 paid to Oxfam. £2
could buy enough water disinfection tablets to provide 30 people
with safe water for a week.
l £4. 10 paid to Oxfam. This
could help build a school. For most poor people, education is
a priority. They know that if they have even a basic education
it is easier to escape from poverty. You could help build a permanent
school and educate many generations of poor children. 100 bricks
l £7.95 paid to Oxfam. This
is could provide clean water for three families. In the Kosovo
conflict, in 1999, the Oxfam water container helped to bring safe,
clean water to more than 300,000 refugees, in Albania and Macedonia.
The specially-designed container has a tight-fitting lid to keep
water safe and clean. It is used by Oxfam and other relief agencies
around the world. £7.95 could buy containers for three refugee