Say That Again

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
blame, bono, copyright, music, u2



Bono Agrees With Manager: ISPs Are To Blame For The Downfall Of Music

from the blame-the-enabler dept

About a month ago, we wrote about how Paul McGuinness, the manager of U2, was repeating an earlier rant blaming pretty much everyone but the recording industry for the recording industry's troubles. Basically, the rant could be summed up:
All of these other companies actually had the foresight to see where the market was heading with digital music, and they built up businesses that made money! The actual recording industry, however, did not foresee any of this, did not build up the business models -- and, in fact, stuck to the old, increasingly obsolete business model so stubbornly that it actually pissed off many fans. Therefore, it's clearly the fault of those who accurately prepared for the changing marketplace, and they should give lots of money to the companies that deliberately chose to ignore these trends.
Well, that may be a bit of a paraphrase, but I think it's pretty close.

Anyway, despite him ranting on in such a misguided fashion for quite some time, U2's Bono has been too busy saving the world to weigh in on the matter... until now. Valleywag points us to the news that Bono has written a letter to NME Magazine, where he, too, claims that it's all the fault of these damn ISPs and tech companies building real business models that make the market for music more efficient and open up all these new opportunities to profit. However, he does choose to contradict his manager on one point: arguing that McGuinness is wrong to claim that Radiohead's experiment with pay-what-you-want for music backfired and hurt the industry. Bono claims that the experiment was "courageous and imaginative." The same, however, cannot be said for all those tech companies that actually enabled that courageous and imaginative experiment to take place. They're obviously just exploiting the musicians.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Critic, 2 Jul 2008 @ 6:49pm

    IP

    Most all of the rants about this probably come from those who have not had an original thought between their ears. Know what, intellectual property, whether music or software or whatever is worth something. All of you have a choice whether to buy it or not, just like any other product in the marketplace. All of us that used Napster, Kazaa or Limewire stole, whether you want to admit it or not - just as though we'd walked into WalMart and took a CD off the shelf and walked out with it.

    Blaming an ISP is too simplistic, but how many of us are willing to admit that P2P networks were just blatant and outright theft? I don't like the RIAA any more than you, but they have to protect what is rightfully theirs. Are you going to stand by if somebody is ripping you off? I don't think so.

    Does the recording industry need to change? Yes.
    Do they need to give more to the artists? Yes.
    But two wrongs don't make a right.

    If each of us paid for the music and the software that we used, then they wouldn't have such a righteous attitude. Don't like the price of software - find an open source solution and for God's sake, contribute! Don't like to pay for music? Then listen to music that is listener supported by voluntary contributions.

    Bono maybe a little off the mark with his blame, but you know what he meant. Get off your soapboxes.

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