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Free app launched to tackle piracy

A new app designed to deter people from illegally streaming and downloading songs from the internet has been released by the music industry today.

UK Music and the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) have collaborated with Aardman Animations, the studio that created Wallace and Gromit, to launch the free app Music Inc.

The app simulates what it is like to be the manager of a band or artist, allowing users to understand the implications of piracy on a musician's fortunes.

Related: Google says 'follow the money' to fight piracy (opens in new tab)

"Music Inc. is an extremely exciting project for UK Music," said Jo Dipple, UK Music chief executive officer, in the build up to the game's launch.

"We join forces with the IPO and Aardman Animations to convey the message around the value of creativity in a fun and interactive way.

"We can't wait to see feedback from the public when the app launches in February, all the while generating an interest in the framework that underpins our ability to make a living from music, copyright."

Having selected a singer or a band from a list of hopefuls, players are then able to nurture their talent and shape their performances.

Throughout the musical career it is necessary to balance the books and make sure they survive amid a culture of illegal streaming and downloads.

Some industry experts have already claimed that the app is unlikely to have much of an effect on piracy.

"It is obviously part of their role to educate but I'm not sure it is a battle that needs fighting any more," music analyst Mark Mulligan told the BBC (opens in new tab).

"The awareness that piracy is hurting artists has grown in the last three years."

Music Inc. is available from today on iOS and Android devices.