Car manufacturers ABSOLUTELY DO THIS (when they are putting software in their cars.) I've been using MyFordTouch for three years now, and it was only last year that they FINALLY got (most) of the bugs worked out and had a product I would call release ready. (They only released updates quarterly, and each update broke something else.)
Everything is encrypted in the interfaces, specifically so you can't hack it and fix it. They promised they would provide an API so other map programs could use the UI in the dash (nothing so far) and tried to charge me $800 for a map on an SD card. I laughed. The sales rep told me it was cheaper than the $1200 they were charging the year before. And yes, presumably because pirates, if the card was not put in by Ford in the factory, they cannot put it in later because something is set permanently in the car to disable maps if you didn't get them when the car was "new." Screw Ford and their anti-competitive closed platform behavior.
God's grace is infinite, and freely offered to us. Granted, text books and things being concrete, physical objects in limited supply sometimes have a fee attached. There is a "stipend" attached to a mass that is supposed to cover the cost of the physical things like the priest's gas money. But that is waved if someone can't afford it. Cost should never stand in the way of an experience of the sacred.
So if U2 wants to charge for physical things like CDs, then sure, the sacramental analogy helps him. But in so far as copying music costs him nothing? Spread that grace as far as it goes!
2) The thread is far too long for me to determine if 1) is true.
At least in Reddit I can contribute by upvoting. Also, Techdirt articles while often enraging seldom produce much chance to share personal insight (they're pretty specific and overlap each other a lot.) There just isn't much to add other than "RAWR! I'M ANGRY NOW TOO!"
I might also add that creating an account initially was very difficult and I quit a few times, but I don't remember why.
Well, he's already embarrassed Rush and Palin, which should catch the attention of some circles. Even if he gets a few Catholic voters to see the cognitive disconnect they're living, he is making an important difference.
The real impact will be seen in the voice he gives to South America, and the "third world" at large.