UK ISP Hits Back At U2's Manager For Claiming That ISPs Profit From File Sharing

from the will-we-get-a-response? dept

One of the more ridiculous claims, made by the music industry lately, is this idea that ISPs are somehow unfairly "profiting" from file sharing, and that's the reason why they should be forced to act as the entertainment industry's police. The argument makes no sense, but has become quite popular in certain circles. It was one of the many fallacious arguments made recently by U2's manager Paul McGuinness in his quite silly screed blaming everyone but the recording industry for the industry's problems. Thankfully, though, some people are speaking up. Both ZeroPaid and TorrentFreak point us to a blog post from ISP Entanet's head of marketing, pointing out that this claim is not at all accurate:
Considering Mr. McGuinness proudly informs us he has been debating on this issue for two years, he seems to totally misunderstand the reasons behind broadband customers' demand for better broadband speeds and equally doesn't understand the current facilities available on the Internet. He asks "Do people want more bandwidth to speed up their e-mails or to download music and films as rapidly as possible?" Well, if he took the time to make an informed comment through proper research he'd see that, in reality, most broadband customers want to be better able to take advantage of 'legal' technologies such as online gaming, YouTube, iPlayer, iTunes, VoIP and a vast array of business oriented services that are currently available. It is simply naive to suggest that customers' desire for faster broadband and more bandwidth is driven solely by a desire to cheat music rights holders out of their royalties through illegal file sharing. Furthermore, without legal services such as iTunes music sales would undeniably decrease. Does Mr. McGuinness want to close down this a distribution model that has proven to contribute positively to music sales? Talk about cutting your nose off to spite your face!
It's great to see people who actually understand this stuff debunking McGuinness' argument, though somehow I don't see McGuinness ever responding reasonably to this point.

Realistically speaking, this is yet another example of the industry's proclivity to overvalue the content and assume that any of the services or tools around the content are valueless. Similarly, it shows a very broadcast top-down view, assuming that the only reason people are using the internet is to download their content, rather than to communicate with one another. The internet is a communication platform much more than a broadcast medium, and the music industry still doesn't seem to grasp that simple fact.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 6:04am

    I would say

    I would say I need my cable internet for downloading lots of songs, but I would be lying.

    The reason I need the high speed is definitely for gaming. It is also why, even though I have a choice of Comcast or satellite I say I only have one choice. If I want to game I can only go with Comcast in my area. That is it. Anything else would remove the primary reason I get the high speed to begin with. Yes, there are plenty of other reasons I have high speed. It definitely saves time for everything else you can do on the net. Gaming is my number one cause for having cable though. If it wasn't for that I would consider satellite, but the satellite in the area also has a crazy 5 or 10GB limit per month, in addition to its high latency.

    Just not enough broadband options around here.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Joe NYC, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 6:37am

    As I say to all of these misinformed

    grade-school educated musicians who misguidedly try their hand at public debate:

    SHUT UP AND SING !!!

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 6:38am

    Query

    Why not use the United Kingdom's famous libel laws to shut the bloke up?

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 6:45am

    COME BACK WHEN YOU'VE PAID YOUR TAXES MCGIMPNESS!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 6:53am

    the internets do more than just email now?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    ofb2632 (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 7:16am

    Downloads

    I PAID to download a new cd for my kid. If i did not have a decent internet speed, that would have never happened. I also know for a fact that i dont get to any kind of music store very often to by it thru the store. This is why we need good broadband speeds, to make everything consumer friendly, esp for those of us that hate going out into public.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 7:22am

    I'm a fool, and here I was thinking about telemedicine that is huge deal in developing countries was a factor.

    http://www.telemedicineindia.com/
    http://www.telemedindia.org/

    Or to do some actual good work with GIS
    http://www.mapcruzin.com/

    Or to help science.
    http://fold.it/portal/info/science

    Or to help the government to make sense of their own data.
    http://reboot.fcc.gov/developer

    Or to use VoIP.
    http://www.asterisk.org/

    Or to have people work around the world in one cool project.
    http://durian.blender.org/

    Or to listen to free legal music
    http://www.jamendo.com/en/

    Or to listen to books
    http://librivox.org/

    Or to learn
    http://www.khanacademy.org/
    http://www.youtube.com/user/NurdRage

    Nope it is all about the MAFIAA and their greed, money, work and sorry ass, gosh how did I miss that?

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 7:25am

    Re: Downloads

    Shame on you, why do you finance those people?

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 7:27am

    Re: I would say

    Ah I remember the old days where I was called a lpb when high speed connections were rare.

    Now people probably don't even know what an lpb is anymore.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 7:48am

    Re: Re: I would say

    Low Ping Bastard

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Major, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 7:57am

    Re: Re: I would say

    Well had to google it, LPB... and actually it made me remember the days i had 3ms and everyone else was in the 50-100ms range, but in my time they were calling that cheating :/

     

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  12.  
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    Berenerd (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 7:58am

    Re: I would say

    Don't you mean...XFINITY!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I watch Hulu and gaming. Some times at the same time. I also stream Movies to other people in my building though I don't think that goes through the internet. i think they just connect to my wireless network (yes its secure) but they have the option if need be.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: I would say

    I hated LPB's. I remember playing on servers where you'd have an average player with 200-300ms and some random lpb with 10ms. You would suddenly die and about 2 seconds later see who killed you.

    The funny thing is many lpbs really thought they were shit hot killing people with 10-30x their latency.

     

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  14.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 8:42am

    Darren Farnden seems to be talking about DRM ...

    "At the moment, once a user has it in their possession in the form of a file that they can play back, stopping them from copying that file and / or sending it elsewhere is very difficult."

    We all know how well DRM works, its always broken with in a day or two.

     

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  15.  
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    Nick Dynice (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 9:00am

    The Fly, by U2

    It's no secret that the stars are falling from the sky
    The universe exploded 'cause of one man's lie
    Look, I gotta go, yeah I'm running outta change
    There's a lot of things if I could I'd rearrange

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    IronM@sk, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 9:32am

    Re: I would say

    Errmmm... greater bandwidth does not automatically equal lower latency and it is latency that is the enemy of the gamer.

    In fact I used to get better pings back when I was on 1500kbps ADSL than I do on my current 18000kbps ADSL2+ connection.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 10:02am

    Oh no!! Sales are down and that 20% is looking meager compared to years past.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Josef, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 10:42am

    Just a simple answer

    This moron, McGuinness is living 10 years in the past. I might have been willing to buy his argument about needing more bandwidth for "stealing" content back then.

    But the answer to his question "Do people want more bandwidth to speed up their e-mails or to download music and films as rapidly as possible? is both.

    Maybe he doesn't send video mail or large attachments, but there are a lot of us that do. Im sure he uses the phone all the time and has never heard of any of the IM clients that all seem to have voice and video now. I wonder if he can spell Skype. If he has kids, I would guess they don't know what WoW is or own an Xbox.

    As the ISP rep pointed out, there are tons of high bandwidth applications now. Someone should mention to McGuinness that IPTV tends to require a huge amount of bandwidth. I wonder how the RIAA is going to convince the ISPs to cut off their source of income with a 3 strikes rule.

    Im wondering... If I get caught for downloading music illegally 3 times, should I then be banned from buying music?

     

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  19.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re: I would say

    Precisely my point about satellite is no option for me. Its speeds are enough, even if the monthly limits make it dumb even with the latency issues aside.

     

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  20.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re: Downloads

    Gotta give ofb the benefit of a doubt. There is always a chance that the CD he is downloading is from an artist that has no association with a major label. We can hope. =)

     

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  21.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Darren Farnden seems to be talking about DRM ...

    Or a week before it is released to public in a rare but hilarious case =P

     

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  22.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 1:13pm

    Re: in case

    In case anyone hasn't got the background for the above comment - Bono's Wikipedia entry contains the following:
    Bono and his bandmates were criticised in 2007 for moving part of their multi-million euro song catalogue from Ireland to Amsterdam six months before Ireland ended a tax exemption on musicians' royalties.[16][45] Under Dutch tax law, bands are subject to low to non-existent tax rates.[16] U2's manager, Paul McGuinness, stated that the arrangement is legal and customary and businesses often seek to minimise their tax burdens.[16] The move prompted criticisms in the Irish parliament.[46][47] The band later responded by stating that approximately 95% of their business took place outside Ireland, and that they were taxed globally because of this.[48] Bono was one of several super-rich figures whose tax arrangements were singled out for criticism in a report by the charity Christian Aid in 2008.[49]

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 7:11pm

    Working is also a factor a lot of people can work from home nowadays and I bet they do use a lot of bandwidth, transmitting huge amounts of data.

     

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  24.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Sep 10th, 2010 @ 12:56am

    Re: As I say to all of these misinformed

    I actually want to say to U2 and their manager:

    SHUT UP AND STOP SINGING!!!11eleventyonezomgponies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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