Bob Geldof Confused As To How The Internet, Free Markets Work
from the rock-on dept
I guess it should come as no surprise that someone from the “old school” music industry would be a bit confused about how this internet thing (and free markets!) works. Bob Geldof, is hard at work organizing the sequel to LiveAid, this time called Live 8, and part of the ticket distribution plan was to give away free tickets to various people via a text lottery. Those tickets have been given out and in what should surprise no one, they’re now appearing on eBay. No big deal there, right? Wrong. According to Geldof, eBay is pure evil. While he’s upset at the people selling the tickets, he’s even more pissed off at eBay to the point of calling for a boycott of the service (yeah, that’ll work…). Apparently, the fact that some of the winners of the tickets might want to be less impoverished themselves matters nothing when it comes to the principle of ending African poverty. Of course, since eBay is just a marketplace, it’s hard to see how they’re to blame — but that won’t stop Geldof: “What eBay are doing is profiteering on the backs of the impoverished.” This from a guy who’s main claim to fame over the past twenty years or so is his fight to “end poverty in Africa.” It’s a noble cause and all, but you could certainly claim that he’s been using the cause to his own benefit as well. Meanwhile, eBay is actually going above and beyond what they need to do in promising to donate the proceeds of the sales to Live 8 (showing, er, that they’re not actually “profiteering.”) eBay also has a somewhat snarky response to Geldof’s claims: “we live in a free market where people can make up their own minds.” Apparently that’s only angered Geldof more: “The people who are selling it are wretches. But far worse is the corporate culture which capitalizes on people’s misery.” Again, it doesn’t seem like it’s eBay who’s actually “capitalizing” on this at all. Update: Looks like eBay wasn’t that serious in its initial snarky comments and has now agreed to back down and block the sales of such tickets — meaning they’ll just move to other forums — and that none of the proceeds will be donated. Update 2: Apparently Geldof’s fans also went a little nuts on this one bidding up the eBay auctions to ridiculous amounts to make their sale impossible. Meanwhile, we’re still trying to figure out exactly who’s hurt in having these tickets resold?