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U2's Manager Calls For Mandatory Disconnects For Music Downloaders 658

Posted by Zonk
from the got-a-few-things-to-get-off-of-his-chest dept.
sleeplesseye writes "In a speech at the Midem music industry convention in Cannes, Paul McGuinness, longtime manager of the band U2, has called on Internet service providers to immediately introduce mandatory French-style service disconnections to end music downloading, and has urged governments to force ISPs to adopt such policies. McGuinness criticized Radiohead's 'In Rainbows' pay-what-you-want business model, saying that 'the majority of downloads were through illegal P2P download services like BitTorrent and LimeWire'. He also accused ISPs, telcos, device makers, and numerous specifically named companies such as Apple, Google, Yahoo!, Oracle, and Facebook of building 'multi billion dollar industries on the back of our content without paying for it', and of being 'makers of burglary kits' who have made 'a thieves' charter' to steal money from the music industry. The full text of his speech has been posted on U2's website."
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U2's Manager Calls For Mandatory Disconnects For Music Downloaders

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  • What a crock (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FredFredrickson (1177871) * on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:22PM (#22222322) Homepage Journal
    From TFTA:

    Notwithstanding the promotional noise, even Radioheads honesty box principle showed that if not constrained, the customer will steal music.
    Ok, not to state the obvious here, but if they're offering it free, that means it wasn't stealing. I would like to say, while there are some that obviously would try to steal it whether it was free or not, some may have been compelled to pick it up for free that wouldn't have even bothered to buy orsteal it in the first place. If it's free, might as well give it a try. That's not increased piracy-- that's increased exposure. Radiohead's huge, but a lot of my friends don't listen to them. This gave them a chance to join the Radiohead bandwagon.

    Aside from that, Paul continues to show his disconnection from reality by using Radiohead's example. Radiohead made far more money distributing it this way than they ever did with a record label. His entire speech was nothing more than a "oh noes! Please help me save our dying business model."

    Talk about profitting off the backs of other's work- he's using U2's name (and website) to push his agenda!
    • Re:What a crock (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ePhil_One (634771) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:26PM (#22222400) Journal
      Talk about profitting off the backs of other's work- he's using U2's name (and website) to push his agenda!

      I'm curious what U2 has to say about this. I haven't had much reason to buy U2 music lately anyway, but until now I've been OK with their politics. Be a shame if I have to start bad mouthing them because he supports a completely assinine potition on net rights.

      • Re:What a crock (Score:5, Insightful)

        by flitty (981864) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:39PM (#22222644)

        Talk about profitting off the backs of other's work
        I, for one, don't subscribe to the "internets" just to download illegal music. Of all the reasons I have internet, Illegal mp3 downloading is not one of them. As I've said many times before, When someone offers music online, DRM free, cheaper than a physical album (mp3's should NOT be the same price as a physical, lossless album) I'll buy MP3's. Until then, If you don't give me a reasonable option to buy your album, I'll either buy it in the store, or ignore it altogether. Thanks for adding U2 to the tainted "Metallica" pool of music downloading.
      • U2: Union Busters (Score:5, Interesting)

        by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@yah o o .com> on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:40PM (#22222650) Journal
        U2 started using Stage Crew Services, a non union shop, back in the '90s. Seeing as how they were born working class and still tout their so-called activism, that smells of hypocrisy to me. I haven't bought a U2 album since. Funny thing, everyone is so up in U2's ass, you can't find much about it on the web. I was part of a protest against them, we got a chance to talk to them, and Bono was the biggest piece of shit ever. Basically said, "Do you know who I am, and what I've done? I'm the biggest activist in the world, who are you peons to criticize me? I'll hire whoever I like."
        • by MightyYar (622222) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:54PM (#22222888)
          You can be a non-union shop in a union-heavy industry in one of two ways: You can actively suppress the unions or you can be so good to your employees that the idea of unionizing seems silly.

          Which method does U2 employ?
          • Re:U2: Union Busters (Score:5, Informative)

            by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@yah o o .com> on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:56PM (#22222912) Journal
            They actively suppressed unions and treated their crews like shit, from what I heard.
            • Re:U2: Union Busters (Score:5, Informative)

              by MightyYar (622222) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @01:00PM (#22222966)
              Ah, yes. You made me Google it. It looks like their pay is rather low and they don't even pay for all hours worked, plus they seem to fire pro-union workers.

              It looks like the unions nailed them to the wall - they don't even seem to exist anymore, do they?
            • Re:U2: Union Busters (Score:5, Interesting)

              by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @01:09PM (#22223126) Homepage Journal
              You heard?
              Well then why didn't they go to work for a union shop?
              I guess I have different opinion of "unions". When I was a kid a friend's father worked for Piper Aircraft. A Union tried to get in there. He said that the union people where threatening them to vote for the Union. At that time Piper paid really well, offer health benefits and even offered scholarships for the kids of employees. They didn't let the Union in. Oh he was a the guy that welded the motor mounts so yea he was just a worker.

              The other experience has to do with going to trade shows in Union towns. Yea it is so helpful for me to have to pay $100 for some union hack to bring me an orange extension cord.

              So you are willing to make a statement of fact based on what you heard...
              As far as I I can see a Union is the last thing that employees should want. If you are getting abused in by your employer and the law alone will not protect you then yes you may need a Union.
              Otherwise they are a blight on society from my experience.

              • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @01:21PM (#22223326)
                Years ago, my dad worked in a smelter.

                The shop across the street was unionized. The manager at my dad's plant said, "I'll give you everything the union shop gets, no questions asked. They can go on strike, get a better deal, and then you'll get that deal. Plus, you don't have to miss that pay while you'd be out on strike."

                They never unionized, and never went on strike. I guess the moral is that if you treat your employees with respect and treat them well (with good pay, good benefits, etc.) then unions aren't really required.
                • by davester666 (731373) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @01:49PM (#22223750) Journal
                  This sounds to me like an argument for unions. Your dad would have been totally screwed if the shop across the street wasn't unionized.

                  If anything your dad leeched off the union. He got the benefits of it being in the other shop, without having to pay for it [no dues, no having to strike for better pay/benefits, etc].
                • my old prof (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by tacokill (531275)
                  My old professor used to say, "Those companies with unions have, in almost all cases, done something to the employees to deserve it".

                  And the best part is: when you go back and actually fact check that statement, he's exactly right.

                  You just don't see unions at places that treat their workers well. And in the converse, you almost always see unions where they don't (or at least attempts to unionize). Sometimes they intersect when the unions try to recruit new members at "good" companies but for the m
              • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@yah o o .com> on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @01:24PM (#22223364) Journal
                Unions as they exist today are a mixed bag, neither the saviors of the working poor nor the blight you make them out to be. Reform is needed, but that's been true of unions for over 100 years. I volunteered with the Industrial Workers of the World, otherwise known as the Wobblies. Most people don't know about us outside of history class, but the IWW still exists. Here's how the IWW is different: no mandatory union dues taken out of your paycheck, complete and total democracy, and only one paid (and democratically elected) position. Also, instead of seperate unions, everyone is in the same union, but a different branch. That way, when the janitors at a plant strike, the electricians do too.

                I uphold that anyone should be able to hire whoever they like. But I and my friends should be able to bargain collectively, and we will point out, quite vociferously, when you as a business owner are trying to screw us over. That's free speech, and the Wobs used to read from the Constitution in town squares across the US just to make that point. That's one reason the IWW was suppressed so hard. Even to the point of being literally [wikipedia.org] massacred. [wikipedia.org]

                We are NOT like other unions.
              • by Anastomosis (1102421) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @01:51PM (#22223792)
                I think I need to insert the following quotation here:

                "You can't treat the working man this way! One of these days we'll form a union, and get the fair and equitable treatment we deserve! Then we'll go too far, and become corrupt and shiftless, and the Japanese will eat us alive!"
                --1920s version of the pimply-faced teenager, The Simpsons
              • Re:U2: Union Busters (Score:5, Interesting)

                by element-o.p. (939033) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:25PM (#22224250) Homepage
                I'm reasonably good at what I do, after a few years of hard work, I have both the credentials and experience to show that I can do what I say I can do, and therefore, I am typically able to negotiate a salary and benefits on my own. If the company I work for tries to screw me over, I will voice my opinion, and if I'm not listened to, I'll leave and find a better job somewhere else. Kind of negates the need for a union in my opinion.

                I used to work in a Union shop a few years ago. The union I was in wasn't all bad, but it wasn't all good, either. In short, what I found was that a union is a lot like a bureaucracy -- it exists to perpetuate its own existence and if that helps the worker then good, but if not that's too bad. Case in point: I worked for a manager who was a really good guy. Before our shop went Union, our manager gave us a lot of flexibility in our jobs. If we wanted to work slightly non-standard hours, that was okay. If we needed a little extra time off to run errands, that was fine. If we needed to stay late to fix something, that was kosher, and we could come in late/go home early later as we needed. I negotiated a 4-10 work schedule and really enjoyed three-day weekends every week. Then we went union, and everything changed. Now there was a contract that said our shifts were 8-5,4-midnight and midnight-8. If were just minutes late, we were reprimanded. If we were still working on something at the end of our shift, we were to pass it off to the next shift. In short, our work environment went from a very happy, very relaxed, very "do what it takes, and we'll make it work" kind of place to a very adversarial, workers vs. management environment within a few months. It just wasn't any fun working there anymore. So I quit and found a better (non-union) job, and I've never looked back.
              • Re:U2: Union Busters (Score:4, Informative)

                by LynnwoodRooster (966895) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:27PM (#22224282) Journal
                The other experience has to do with going to trade shows in Union towns. Yea it is so helpful for me to have to pay $100 for some union hack to bring me an orange extension cord.

                It goes beyond that... I used to exhibit at CES (10 years in a row - this was the first year I didn't show). I couldn't carry ANYTHING on to the floor without being challenged - it had to be union labor loading and unloading boxes into our booth (never mind I built all the gear being loaded). Expect a $1500 bill for the drop off and pick up of the boxes. When it would have taken my crew and I literally 20 minutes to load or unload a single, 11 passenger van with all the boxes (we know, we pre-set the show in a taped off area of our warehouse, then loaded the van and drove the products to our crating company).

                And power? Not just the cord cost - you had to PAY an electrician to plug in your outlets! At the 2003 and 2004 CES shows, I was a Nevada state licensed power engineer (with my PE). I was licensed by the STATE to actually design and sign off on the electrical network in the building! But heaven forbid I dare plug a power strip into an outlet - why, only a UNION electrician could do that!

              • by Skynyrd (25155) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @04:47PM (#22226412) Homepage
                As far as I I can see a Union is the last thing that employees should want. If you are getting abused in by your employer and the law alone will not protect you then yes you may need a Union.

                I've worked union, as well as non-union shops. Until recently, in a non-union special effects shop in Hollywood (Burbank, actually). In my experience, the biggest difference, besides pay, is safety. In a union shop, if I think something is dangerous I can call for a shop steward and we can discuss the safety problem. In a non union shop, I can call the foreman and discuss the safety problem. The difference is that the union shop, in general, won't have the safety problem because they know it will stop work. The non-union shop has safety problems, and if you bring it to their attention, you don't work there for too much longer. And there's always somebody who's willing to work unsafely to be the macho, "I can do it with no gear" guy.

                Here are some of the "safety problems" I'm referring to - from personal experience.
                  - Working from large heights with no safety gear, because it's "just for a few minutes".
                  - Workers standing under equipment being lifted, because it's "just for a little bit".
                  - Untrained guys driving heavy equipment (forklifts, etc) with little or no training, in a crowded space.
                  - The owner of the company accidentally hitting workers with forklifts or things being moved by the forklift, several times a year. Broken bones included.

                There are plenty of good (and abusive) unions out there, but a lot of them are actually needed. In my opinion, when the company is large enough that the CEO/owner doesn't know you, you become just another replaceable item. That's the point when things can become very impersonal and you should consider some sort of group representation.
        • Re:U2: Union Busters (Score:5, Informative)

          by Skrynesaver (994435) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @01:00PM (#22222972) Homepage
          Working class origins get a grip, Clayton went to St. Columbas, the most exclusive school in Ireland and Motor mouth McGuinness went to Clongowes Wood, probably the second most exclusive in fact he forced his son to attend despite numerous attempts by the poor little bollix to get out of the kip.

          While the rest of them went to the relatively down market Mount Temple it's a far from working class school.

        • Re:U2: Union Busters (Score:4, Interesting)

          by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @01:04PM (#22223044) Homepage Journal
          "U2 started using Stage Crew Services, a non union shop, back in the '90s."

          Hmm...I actually see that as a point in their favor!!

          :-)

          Why shouldn't they be able to hire who they wish, and pay according to market just like most other industries?

          That being said, I thought most of what this guy said was rubbish. The manager clearly doesn't understand how things work in the tech area...closing up one 'hole' will only mean a new one will open. More undetectable modes will work if something like regular bittorrent is closed. There is no way to shut off everything without shutting the pipes down so much that normal traffic is affected.

          One thing I will give the speech giver is this one quote:"U2 own all their masters but these are licensed long term to Universal with whom we enjoy an excellent relationship. With a couple of minor exceptions they also own all their copyrights, which are also licensed to Universal. U2 always understood that it would be pathetic to be good at the music and bad at the business, and have always been prepared to invest in their own future. We were never interested in joining that long humiliating list of miserable artists who made lousy deals, got exploited and ended up broke and with no control over how their life's work was used, and no say in how their names and likenesses were bought and sold."

          You can't do anything for a living without also being decent at business. The thing is....the business rules have changed now...adapt or go extinct.

          • by sm62704 (957197) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:43PM (#22224558) Journal
            Why shouldn't they be able to hire who they wish, and pay according to market just like most other industries?

            The corporates have really, really brainwashed today's workers. The fact is that union shops CAN hire who they wish, and DO pay market rates. Non-union shops CAN'T hire who they wish; union people won't work for them. And non-union shops DON'T pay market rates; they pay far less than martket rates.

            The then-President of (IIRC) United Airlines (I think, it's been a while, early 80s; this guy ran a non-union airline, I think it was United) famously said "any company that gets a union deserves one." I have to agree with him. If you treat your workers fairly, they won't organise.

            If your employer can join an organization (say, the RIAA, the MPAA, the whatever trade organization Sun and Microsoft are members of) why can't their workers?
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Kalriath (849904)

              If your employer can join an organization (say, the RIAA, the MPAA, the whatever trade organization Sun and Microsoft are members of) why can't their workers?
              FYI, Microsoft is a member of both the Business Software Alliance and the Entertainment Software Alliance.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by hany (3601)

          Oh, thank you so much. Now I properly understand that South Park episode I mentioned here [slashdot.org]. Thank you, thank you, thank you. :)

        • by Shakrai (717556) *

          we got a chance to talk to them, and Bono was the biggest piece of shit ever

          Well duh! Anybody could have told you that.... Bono is 80 Kurics [wikipedia.org] of excrement ;)

        • by syousef (465911) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @07:26PM (#22228664) Journal
          Basically said, "Do you know who I am, and what I've done? I'm the biggest activist in the world, who are you peons to criticize me? I'll hire whoever I like."

          For me, no one has successfully argued why even a really good artist deserves to make millions. A good school teacher, who works just as hard doesn't. A good doctor who works longer hours and has more responsibility shouldn't (I know there are some that do, but those that are in it to do good certainly don't charge their patients exorbitant rates). Why should a musician or a film or tv star make millions? Then record companies and event organizers make ten times the money on top of that. We over-value these people.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ehrichweiss (706417)
        Oh, you must have missed the U2/Negativland debacle back in the late 80's/early 90's. U2 apparently has always been about the money, not the politics or the music. Just google "u2 negativland" and you will find more information on it than you probably care to read. Up until about 5 years ago there was no solid proof that U2 had anything to do with the lawsuit against Negativland and they claimed it was entirely Island Records until one day at an intellectual property conference at Stanford(I think, could ha
      • but until now I've been OK with their politics.
        [alan partridge voice]
        Yeah, really like that U2 song - it really captures the pain and frustration of a Sunday - the shops are shut, the kids are running round and you think to your self "Agh! Sunday, Bloody Sunday!".
        [/alan partridge voice]
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by milsoRgen (1016505)

      Ok, not to state the obvious here, but if they're offering it free, that means it wasn't stealing.


      Not to mention the fact that downloading is not stealing, illegal or not. No one is deprived of their property through a download as has been pointed out many times before.
    • by FredFredrickson (1177871) * on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:33PM (#22222536) Homepage Journal
      This guy is off the hook!

      TFA:

      Its time for a new approach - time for ISPs to start taking responsibility for the content theyve profited from for years.
      I, for one, would not have an internet connection if it weren't for all those illegal downloads. Clearly verizon is proffiting off of illegal downloads.

      Wait! Why stop there? Creative Labs made my speakers and sound card! They're the ones enabling my illegal habits! Get 'em! It's about time they stop profitting of the backs of hardworking musicians. They didn't write ANY of the music! Oh and for god's sake can we please start charging Microsoft for allowing us to even install these P2P apps? For the longest time, Microsoft has profitted off the backs of artists by allowing this filth to be installed on their operating system!

      And so on and so on. Seriously, grandpa, stop bitching, you're making your band look bad.
      • by mhall119 (1035984) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:58PM (#22222934) Homepage Journal
        And of course we should shut down those record stores that are profiting from people who are just going to rip their CD's and put them on P2P networks.

        And we should shut down the recording companies who make those CDs that people are ripping to put on PSP networks.

        hmmm, I actually kind of like where this is going.

        But seriously, since when did ISP profit from content? I worked for an ISP at one point, and we didn't see a damn bit of money from content, all we got paid for was access to the Internet. Where we getting ripped off?
    • Re:What a crock (Score:4, Informative)

      by kripkenstein (913150) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @01:11PM (#22223160) Homepage

      Talk about profitting off the backs of other's work- he's using U2's name (and website) to push his agenda!
      Yes, and this coming from a manager and not an artist is hilarious. Labels and managers exist to make money off of other people's creations. But it's even more shameful: not only is he pushing his agenda here, he is also trying to make a buck:

      There is technology now, that the worldwide industry could adopt, which enables content owners to track every legitimate digital download transaction, wholesale and retail.

      This system is already in use here in Cannes by the MIDEM organisation and is called SIMRAN. Throughout this conference you will see contact details and information. I recommend you look at it. I should disclose that I'm one of their investors.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:22PM (#22222338)
    Why should ISPs lose profits to protect another industry's profits?
  • by monkeyboythom (796957) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:23PM (#22222344)

    Hardly

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:23PM (#22222348)
    ...are always the one who scream loudest.
  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:24PM (#22222358) Homepage

    U2's good stuff would be public domain by now if we had reasonable copyright lengths, like we used to.

    • like we used to? (Score:3, Informative)

      by wiredog (43288)
      When was that? It used to be life of the author, plus 20 years. So U2's stuff would still be theirs.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mhall119 (1035984)

        When was that? It used to be life of the author, plus 20 years. So U2's stuff would still be theirs.
        Hmmm, 23 years or life+20......

        The engineer in me just found a more efficient solutions than fixing copyright laws.
  • Hey Paul (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Captain Splendid (673276) * <capsplendid&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:24PM (#22222370) Homepage Journal
    With all due respect, Paul, Fuck you.

    I've bought U2's albums, t-shirts, concert tickets and other crap. Over the years, I've easily spent several hundred dollars on your band's products. Same goes for hundreds of other artists: Concerts, posters, tshirts, albums, box sets, fan club-only items. Hell, some albums I've bought multiple times in multiple formats over the years.

    I've got a huge DVD library, and it keeps growing. I'll happily pay premium prices for Criterion editions, I'm a hardcore movie geek who's always loved going to the cinema, sometimes even repeat fucking viewings for movies I really like.

    So when you come out with this ignorant, self-serving tripe and try to pass it off as a moral issue, I look at you and get sick to my fucking stomach. I'm terribly fucking sorry I downloaded your band's last album just so I could get my hands on that lame "quatorze" single. Fuck, I can't even remember the last time I listened to that song (I sure as shit didn't bother with the rest of the album).

    Hell, if it makes you feel better, I'll delete it when I get home tonight. Not really any skin off my nose. I've got my $120 Led Zep Box set to keep me warm at night. I've got the Joshua Tree and Rattle & Hum, 2 albums I've paid full retail for more than once.

    Big big fan of U2, at least until Pop, anyway. Shame they're on the decline. Shame you're a douchebag.

    One last thing. Facebook? Apple? Get some meds, man. Even the worst **AA shill isn't that shrill.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Right on, man. Seriously.

      This guy deserves to have a new asshole ripped for him.

      Paul:

      Apple? Oracle? Huh? Apple's a REAL stretch, and Oracle is just -- well a mind-bogglingly super stretch. Apple sells music, dumbass. Oracle? Oracle makes databases. In fact, they don't make anything else, really. Databases that are used for all sorts of stuff, including cataloging YOUR BAND'S ALBUMS FOR SALE on music and retail Web sites. Not to mention probably half of your financial history and most of your medical
    • by Tackhead (54550) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:44PM (#22222718)
      > With all due respect, Paul, Fuck you.

      Paul ain't due much respect. U2 has been on the forefront of anti-fair-use since the incident involving Negativland [negativland.com] in 1991: The Letter U and the Numeral 2

      The track parodies the whole top-40 industry by sampling the backbeat of "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", and punches in bits of Casey Kasem going apeshit!. It's not just hilarious, it's one of the single most important cases in the history of sample-based music. Long story short, after a multiyear legal battle, Negativland won. By this time, most physical copies had been recalled and/or destroyed, but you can download the MP3 [negativland.com] from their website.

      In 1998, the last few chapters of the legal battle played out, also to Negativland's favor, and RIAA rewrote its rewrote [negativland.com] its guidelines on sampling, fair use, and parody.

      Which brings us back to our next top-40 hit - it's no surprise that U2 and RIAA are back in bed with each other, working ever diligently against any form of fair use: they still haven't found what they're looking for.

      > I've got a huge DVD library, and it keeps growing. I'll happily pay premium prices for Criterion editions, I'm a hardcore movie geek who's always loved going to the cinema, sometimes even repeat fucking viewings for movies I really like.

      If we could only find someone like Casey Kasem ranting like that off-mike, the war for fair use would be over, and we geeks would finally have won.

  • by KlomDark (6370) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:25PM (#22222374) Homepage Journal
    I'll disconnect my internet connection if in turn you stop making music with that whiny Bono guy.

    For the record, U2 has always sucked. Whiner music.
  • Oh yeah? (Score:3, Funny)

    by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:25PM (#22222382)
    I downloaded and paid for In Rainbows. I'm going to sell my U2 CDs online. Screw U2.
  • by noidentity (188756) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:25PM (#22222390)

    the majority of downloads were through illegal P2P download services like BitTorrent and LimeWire

    Wow, there are legal P2P download "services"? Are they only in Canada?

    • by lattyware (934246) <gareth@lattyware.co.uk> on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:28PM (#22222436) Homepage Journal
      Wow, there are illegal ones? Seriously, since when is BitTorrent illegal?
    • Wookie Defense (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dmomo (256005) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:46PM (#22222766) Homepage
      "McGuinness criticized Radiohead's 'In Rainbows' pay-what-you-want business model, saying that 'the majority of downloads were through illegal P2P download services like BitTorrent and LimeWire'." In addition, I don't see how this statement makes sense.
       
          Let's for a second assume that Limewire, et al were "illegal download services", how does that reflect negatively on Radiohead's distribution strategy? Radiohead said: "Hey, download it HERE and pay what you want for it"; So some people downloaded it "THERE" and paid nothing for it. How is this any different from someone saying: "Hey, buy it in stores, and pay $15 for it" and then seeing people downloading it "THERE" and paying nothing for it?
       
      If anything it shows proves that it's not just about the money. It's about how people prefer to access music. Radiohead offered it for free "this way", and people took it for free "that way". It's about a delivery mechanism that is not being provided by the industry.
  • I love how he talked about SDMI being restricted as cartel behavior, but now he wants the ISPs to do the dirty work SDMI couldn't do.

    SDMI bombed, and there are bitstrippers out there which have <buzzphrase>substantial non-infringing uses.</buzzphrase>

    As if forcing another business to do the things you couldn't do due to antitrust reasons makes it any better...
  • has felt like they were the only one in the room who "just didn't get it"

    well now is the time for you to relish, jeer, or commissurate (condescendingly)

    for here we have the experience of "just not getting it" playing out on someone else's dime, on a much larger scale, to a much larger audience
  • Byte me... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by realsilly (186931) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:29PM (#22222456)
    Make CD prices reasonable.
    Make CD last more, invest in the technology that promotes your sound.
    Make Copyright time frames reasonable.
    And don't forget if we didn't listen to your crap you'd be a broke begging musician.

    Shush you greedy F...s.
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nhojovadle]> on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:29PM (#22222468) Journal

    And the message to government is this: ISP responsibility is not a luxury for possible contemplation in the future. It is a necessity for implementation TODAY - by legislation if voluntary means fail.

    There's more exciting music being made and more listened to than at any time in history. Cheap technology has made it easy to start a band and make music. This is a gathering of managers; our talented clients deserve better than the shoddy, careless and downright dishonest way they have been treated in the digital age.
    Yes, they deserve the shoddy, careless and downright dishonest way they have always been historically treated by their record labels and managers.

    I haven't heard any artists speaking out about their royalties drying up. Maybe because they made 10 cents on the dollar before and now they make 10 cents on the quarter now since it's all digital?

    Funny how he starts with "We've been used to bands who wrote their own material since the Beatles ..." and neglects to remind us that we've been used to corporate engineered bands that don't even play their own instruments since The Monkeys. Look at their songs, who wrote them? Today, there are even more bands/artists being used as icons to promote music and styles they didn't even think of.

    Is he complaining that Steve Jobs pulled the $1 per song price out of his ass? No, he's pointing the finger at file sharers. This guy is losing his income and his bands are probably curious as to how they can get that $1 per song from iTunes without having to pay their manager 40 cents for ... for ... what exactly did he have to do with that transaction again?

    Earth to U2's Manager: take your cut of the work you actually do like arranging concerts and press coverage and then shut the hell up and let the artists do their thing and make money.
    • by nagora (177841) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:39PM (#22222628)
      we've been used to corporate engineered bands that don't even play their own instruments since The Monkeys.

      Just to stand up for the Monkees for a moment, they were young and jumpped at the chance to be on TV and all, but they did have enough guts and pride to eventually go on strike unless they were allowed to play their own instruments and material. And they did do some catchy pop songs. Not exactly the Beatles, but at least they wised up and grew some spines. Can't imagine this week's X-Factor/American Idol wank-stain ever doing that.

      TWW

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Skrynesaver (994435)
      Actually Paul is a full 20% member of the band. Always has been since they set up everyone including the manager gets an even split
  • ISP suicide? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thesuperbigfrog (715362) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:29PM (#22222470)
    Disconnecting your customers (or suing them or otherwise alienating them) is business suicide.

    SCO et al. found this out the hard way. AT&T does not seem to be picking up on this either.

    Calls for reform will only be taken seriously when they are financially feasible.

  • by StonedYoda47 (732257) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:32PM (#22222514)
    Seriously, someone needs to call the waahmbulance for this guy.
  • Dangerous Thinking (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MozeeToby (1163751) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:32PM (#22222528)

    illegal P2P download services like BitTorrent and LimeWire
    This is dangerous thinking; seriously, if you want to protect your online rights you cannot allow statements like that to go unchallenged. Even given that the majority of the files being downloaded by the progroms are illegal, that does not make the services themselves illegal.

    That's the brunt of the problem here anyway, these people are more than willing to disrupt every, every internet connection in the world in order to protect thier profits.
  • Say what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by djupedal (584558) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:33PM (#22222550)
    Where was Paul McGuinness when the record companies were taking over 80% of the profits during the last few decades? He didn't have a problem with that form of robbery, eh?

    The guy is off his rocker, clearly.
  • U2 next Metallica? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bryansix (761547) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:34PM (#22222556) Homepage
    How much you want to bet that U2 sees the problem with this line of reasoning and it totally fucking over their fans and fires this guy? I mean does U2 really want to become the next Metallica?
  • Yeah Paul, just like all those ingrate thieving pirate bastards were stealing those $250+ concert tickets over the past few tours!! And on a side note - for a band who's very carefully crafted their public perception as being a band for social justice and sticking it to the man, do you really want to draw more attention to the fact that U2 are extremely rich and wealthy individuals who really are even more "the man" than some of "the man" they like to point their preachy fingers at from time to time? Do you really think whining about the fact that your giant pile of money used to be a lot bigger is going to endear U2 to it's fanbase?
  • by ProteusQ (665382) <dontbother@nowher[ ]om ['e.c' in gap]> on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:37PM (#22222606) Journal
    ...but I'm paying less than $0.27USD per song on eMusic. I could pay less per song if I chose to. Now, if that business model starts to eat into this guy's house payments, is he going to campaign for eMusic to increase it prices? Or would he just advocate for a surtax? He's skipping over this whole 'free market' thing that we're supposed to be operating under, so what would stop him from taking the next logical step?

    It's about time we recognize that what it going on here is _not_ an attempt to reform capitalism. It is an attempt to replace capitalism with _mercantilism_. Remember that minor North American rebellion in 1776? It had in part to do with British plans for how the colonies would buy imported crap ad infinitum, regardless of how they felt about the matter.

    My fellow conservatives, allow to me scream 'wake up!' in your general direction. When an industry owns a market, it's no longer a _free_ market! Duh!

    (sigh).... Rant over. Thanks for your patience.
  • U2 Website Terms. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by onion2k (203094) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:41PM (#22222680) Homepage

    We allow Members (as defined below) to make contributions to the Site ("User Content") through chat rooms, bulletin board services, member profiles, and other means. By submitting any User Content to the Site, you hereby grant us a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free right and license to use, reproduce, display, perform, adapt, modify, distribute, have distributed and promote such content in any form, in all media now known or hereinafter created, anywhere in the world, and for any purpose. Furthermore, you thereby waive any so-called moral rights or other similar rights in your User Content.

    Heaven forbid that U2 might rig their website to enable them to profit off the creative output of other people.
  • by spyrochaete (707033) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:42PM (#22222700) Homepage Journal
    Am I hallucinating or did this band wilfully advertise (and directly profit from) the device that is supposedly killing them? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiV4jzWitnA [youtube.com]
  • by dotancohen (1015143) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:43PM (#22222706) Homepage
    This is why I paid $10 for In Rainbows, and I don't even know the name of the latest Metallica album. I refuse to listen to music by those who shit on their fans (performers or managers) and U2 just got off my list. Thank God Trent Reznor is sane.
  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:45PM (#22222752)
    First off, a long-time principle of the FCC in this country (when did this change???) has been that content carriers (ISPs) cannot also be content providers. That helps keep monopoly and censorship wannabes out of the equation. Court decisions have repeatedly held (see stories here int the past recent days) that if carriers control the content of what they are carrying (ANY content), then they assume responsibility for that content. Which leads to this interesting scenario:

    In the U.S. at any rate, if an ISP tries to filter out "copyrighted content", then they automatically become liable for any "copyrighted content" that subsequently gets through. I am quite sure that is not what they want to do. This issue was discussed here at length just the other day.
  • by psbrogna (611644) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:45PM (#22222756)
    "building 'multi billion dollar industries on the back of our content without paying for it'" This really doesn't carry much weight coming from the lips of somebody's who's basically an agent; IMO, the pinnacle of parasitic business models. Wake up: If you're business model is based on being an intermediary or owning a channel (neither of which adds any value to the product or service)- guess what? It's time to get a new business model. There's an internet now- nobody needs intermediaries or monopolistic channels.
  • Principle is correct (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MrMickS (568778) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:45PM (#22222758) Homepage Journal
    [dons flame proof suit]
    The principle behind what he says is correct. There is an attitude that because people can do things that they should do them and that by downloading music etc illegally for free that they are sticking it to the man.

    The techology companies have paid lip service to trying to solve the problem. They offer up solutions but their heart isn't really in it. The ISPs find illegal media downloads profitable especially on capped tariffs. The hardware makers are happy to have music etc on their systems as its another reason to buy/upgrade. They want it to be as easy as possible to get stuff onto them. They will do the minimum possible to ensure that the lawmakers don't feel compelled to legislate.

    Blaming the problems on a poor, or outdated, business model might work to salve people's conscience but the weasel words still don't hide the fact that what is being done is illegal. From a ethical point of view they are taking the product of fellow human beings endeavours without paying for them. Somewhat of a moral dilemma.

    I fully expect people to heap derision on my simplistic view of the world but in the end the above is the truth of the matter. Anything else is just an exercise in smoke and mirrors to justify theft.

    As a final thought. Its now possible to buy music, on a track by track basis, for a reasonable amount of money, without DRM. Has this made a dint in illegal filesharing?
    [/removes suit][on second thoughts dons suit again, this is slashdot afterall]
  • Who are U2? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Robert Frazier (17363) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:46PM (#22222764) Homepage
    May I assume that they musicians who play some sort of popular dance music? Is there an accordion involved?

    Best wishes,
    Bob
  • by jaweekes (938376) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:53PM (#22222864)

    And I quote...

    There is technology now, that the worldwide industry could adopt, which enables content owners to track every legitimate digital download transaction, wholesale and retail.

    This system is already in use here in Cannes by the MIDEM organisation and is called SIMRAN. Throughout this conference you will see contact details and information. I recommend you look at it. I should disclose that I'm one of their investors.

    I think that puts it in context...

  • by ryanw (131814) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @12:53PM (#22222878)
    I know first hand that the iTunes sales are extremely strong. It also gives equal opportunity to every record label beyond the "top four labels", which is the real problem for the major labels. They're used to being able to throw their weight around and putting a can of spaghetti-o's on the shelves for 3 months and have it turn into gold. Things are different now. Music & Movies can be successful, but requires true talent and overall good entertainment value.

    This guy is completely oblivious and ignorant of the current generation of consumers. The consumer market is still extremely strong, but the average consumer wants to be able to try before they buy, high quality, cheap, and they want it immediately. Overnight shipping is too expensive for this generation along with it's not immediate.

    Ignoring the generation's desires along with the technology at the finger tips is completely ignorant. I don't mean to come across as a "fan boy" but Steve Jobs single handedly rescued the music industry. He had given the current generation the ability to satisfy all the needs of the current generation with technology of today.

    I have always felt that piracy was the entertainment industry's excuse for making poor investment choices. Putting out bad bands and bad movies results in low sales. Piracy has always been around, and there have been people renting videos and copying them to VHS tapes for EVER. People used to make Mixed tapes for their friends. People used to sit around recording the radio onto tapes.

    If you think about it, piracy is another form of "airplay". The record industry pays hundreds of thousands to get your song "radio airplay", because it helps create buzz and get your album noticed and then people buy it. This is the trend that has been going on for decades. There will always be people who buy albums and people who don't. There's a small group of consumers on the fence who don't buy music because it's too easy to get through some other means. I think this is a small group, because the larger group consists of people who had never bought an album, and never would buy an album, but have TONS of music because they enjoy music. But these people would rather listen to radio than buy music, but since they can download stuff for free, they do. You can find these types because they have gigs and gigs of music, and they have their music players on 'random' and don't care what is being played. You can identify a music "buyer" by their numbers of playlists and/or how frequently a specific album is played. These people are the "music buying" people.

    The music industry is a tough one. But not impossible. You need spectacular talent and incredible foresight to work with musicians who are wanting to be their own thing and not ride the coattails of what is already popular. Individuality rewards a lot greater in this kind of market, where as being a "me too" band is a waste of time and money.
  • by nganju (821034) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @01:19PM (#22223304)
    I cant believe the news today
    Oh, I cant close my eyes and make it go away
    How long...
    How long must they steal our songs?
    How long? how long...

    cause tonight...no sales of our song "One"
    tonight... they're all downloading "One"
    Tonight...

    Broken models of our business bleat
    Record execs thrown out on the street
    And we won't make our earnings call
    It puts my back up
    Puts my back up against the wall

    Pirate bay, bloody pirate bay
    Pirate bay, bloody pirate bay...
  • So... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TemporalBeing (803363) <bm_witness@ y a h oo.com> on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @01:49PM (#22223754) Homepage Journal
    What about the artists that put their own stuff out on P2P networks? You going to kill people's ISP accounts for downloading what artists rightfully put out their? (And I'm talking about artists that fully own their stuff and don't have to worry about whether a label has rights to it.) I think both artists and people very much have a right to trade that stuff over P2P. (Yes, I plan on doing this myself. Working on setting up my own sound studio at the moment.)
  • Realpolitik (Score:3, Funny)

    by Joe Jay Bee (1151309) * <jbsouthsea@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @05:06PM (#22226690)
    I'm usually harshly anti-P2P, on the basis that it hurts artists through cheapskates using it instead of buying music through legitimate sources, therefore denying them revenue. Given that I kinda like having said artists around to listen to, I really, really don't like P2P.

    For U2, however, I will make an exception. I'd use Azureus and hurt them myself, but my broadband connection would start crying and go on strike at having to carry such shite.

    The same goes for the film Lady In The Water. What a godawful piece of shit that movie is. I didn't even pay to see it and I want the ticket price back as compensation.
  • by Trogre (513942) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @05:42PM (#22227232) Homepage
    Why does this whiner have a voice that people listen to? Because he has influence.
    How did he get influence? Truckloads of money flowing through the band he manages.
    Where did he get his truckloads of money? You.

    Lesson: Stop giving these people money and they just might go away.

    Your wallet is more powerful than you might think - who you give money to determines who influences your government in the future far more than your insignificant vote ever will.

"It is better to have tried and failed than to have failed to try, but the result's the same." - Mike Dennison

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