back to article Bono accuses ISPs of 'reverse Robin Hooding' over piracy

U2 frontman and save-the-world mouthpiece Bono has hit out at internet service providers for failing to clamp down on illegal file sharing over their networks. The rockstar attacked ISPs in a New York Times op ed piece yesterday. Bono warned the film industry to beware of the rise of illegal file sharers online, whom he …


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  1. Tom 15

    South Park...

    South Park said it best when they pointed out that Bono is, in fact, the World's Largest Shit.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Bonno wants to STFU

    when he actually knows what he is talking about is when he should actually open his mouth....

    music piracy has been going on a lot longer than file shareing.... but its only now that they can actually think they can do somthing about it because its under there noses....

    how many of us remember bprrpwing there mates brand new dire straits "brothers in arms" lp and recording it onto tape.... it was still one of the best selling albums, but everyone and there dog had a so called pirate copy....

    1. Anonymous Coward

      ...but as Graham Coxon once said ...

      "Why don't we hear any Dire Straits anymore ? ... Because they were shite."

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    a.k.a. O Nob (shorthand for "what a dick!")

  4. Alien Doctor

    The Bonobo...

    can just go back to saving the world and shove his ideas of totalitarian internet control and monitoring up his Liffey-hole.

    As much as I do not condone piracy the world can do without assholes like him.

    I know it's not true but I loved the comment on /. about this story:


    Hey. I watched Letterman last night and Robin Williams was being interviewed. He told a story about this floater that he was brought back down to earth in Scotland. Basically Bono started clapping and during the clapping he said "Every time I clap another whale dies". From the back of the auditorium came "Well then, fucking stop clapping!".


  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fixed that for you

    "opined the multi-millionaire, tax avoiding Irish rocker speaking from one of his 5 luxury homes"

  6. Ben Tasker

    One Word......


  7. Anonymous Coward

    Bono want biddy??

    *rubs nipples*

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, if it will upset Bonio..

    ..then I'd better download a torrent client.

    Massive hypocrite gobshite that he is.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    hey, twat-o

    does twat-o just not want to sell another record in his life or something?

    we should have a law along the lines of "if x people agree, then person y will be executed."

    I can think of a lot of people that would have problems there. Paris because ...

  10. JMB

    Bonio accuses ISPs of 'reverse Robin Hooding' over piracy

    Presumably multi-millionaire alleged musician and expert on everything Bonio is in favour of all of us who have never downloaded a piece of music, legally or illegally, to pay the government tax on our ISP charges to make him even richer?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Shut the hell up.

    You know what hurts the creators?

    paying them 0.8% of the Profits from their music, if that.

  12. Danny 5
    Thumb Down

    oh dear!

    oh dear, the self proclaimed global conscience is cross with our money grubbing ISP's who don't feel sorry for the music business going to hell. the argument that movie files are still too big is complete and utter crap, most people in the western world have bandwidth to spare and could download movies in a matter of minutes. no matter how much good this man does, i cannot help but be annoyed by his self-righteousness.

  13. Stef 4


    " "The immutable laws of bandwidth tell us we’re just a few years away from being able to download an entire season of 24 in 24 seconds. Many will expect to get it free," he cautioned. "

    Most people just record it from the TV and fast forward the ads. That is as good as free.

    As for U2, I hear their stuff on the radio, for free (or through my licence fee), and have no desire to buy it or download it, as I am sick to death of it by the time it is actually released.

    I do hate to say it though, he actually has a point for once. The ISPs do seem happy to take the money, but is it really their place to be decrypting traffic?

    I for one welcome our now poverty-ending-tax-dodging-sun-glasses-wearing-Irish-overlords.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Paying the ISPs

      Of course the ISPs are happy to take your money. They provide the bandwidth, you use it. Simple(s).

      Bono being right? God, that would be a first. He wants to draw an analogy between the losses made by movie studios and the profits made by ISPs. Did nobody stop to consider that maybe the online world is more *interesting* and people would rather fill MySpace full of rubbish and Twitter every inane thought that enters their heads than to sit and watch movies? Or does Bono think that *everybody* downloads movies? Truth is some people download movies, yes, but for the majority of us, an alternative source of entertainment has come along.

      Oh, and one small geeky point. It doesn't really matter if you can download a series of 24 in 24 seconds or 24 minutes or hours... because it plays back at the same speed...

  14. darkdog

    it hurts who again?

    "the people it hurts are the creators - in this case, the young, fledgling songwriters who can’t live off ticket and T-shirt sales"

    so, music piracy hurts those who we wouldn't even know about if it wasn't for music piracy, right? those whose live we wouldn't attend if we hadn't listened to their album(s) beforehand? well, i suppose that taking a jab at the hand that feeds him is too much, even for the world's savior.

    this is the kind of excuse i don't want to hear when the sole reason the album whose release i've been waiting for the longest is being held because of record label issues.

  15. Skip Raider

    Let them eat Bonios

    OMFG - how long will it be before someone in NuLab decides to make him "Internet Compliance Tsar"?

    He should just shut the fuck up - he is of no relevance to anything or anybody.

  16. Martin 19

    STFU Bono, FOAD

    About everything you have ever spouted forth your ill thought out shite about, you useless turd of a man.

  17. Anonymous Coward


    Mr Bono,

    Culture should be free. It is a human right far more important than copy"right".

    And who says artists should make millions? Is it fair for someone to record a song 30 years ago and still make profits on it today? Copyright is a privilege (not really a right at all) given to you by society, and by God, society should have the power to also take it away!!

    If you are so concerned about the up-and-coming artists that piracy is *supposed* to be hurting, you should consider donating some of your extensive fortune to helping them. If piracy is hurting anyone, it is the megaliths, the massive corporations leeching off the artists. But, is that even the case, when studies show record profits in recent years?

  18. Adam Salisbury

    Well you know what needs to be done Boner

    He of all people should know how much his record label makes from his music in comparison to how he himself makes. The answer is clear and simple wake-up the big four, get them to offer a decent legal download service and stop ripping us off.

    Record label greed is what freetards are rebelling against, the fact it only hurts the artists is irrelevant to them. People would rather steal than be willingly exploited

  19. jmccabe

    Don't Make Me Laugh

    I'd be interested in knowing how Bonio has become such an expert on file sharing and its effects. There is, of course, the possibility that, if file sharing is suppressed, it will help to increase his own income so it is very interesting to see that he has come up with an angle on this one whereby it looks like he's being sympathetic to others despite the obvious (potential) benefits to himself. If he's that worried about fledgling songwriters then perhaps he should devote more of his time and vast wealth to helping to develop them instead of coming out with the same old U2 style songs again and again.

    I'd also be intrigued to know if anyone has actually surveyed file sharers to determine their habits. I'm aware, for example, of people for whom file sharing is a way to see whether they like something, much like in the way that, when I was a youth, we would swap LPs at school. If we liked it, it would be added to our list of things to buy, but there was seldom any intention to just rip it off and keep it. Maybe it's different for the youth of today, but someone really ought to be looking at this angle since, if this is common, suppression of file sharing could make things even worse for the music industry.

    1. heyrick Silver badge


  20. Andy 97

    Bono ..... he's a built-up heeled genius.

    Bono sez:

    "The immutable laws of bandwidth tell us we’re just a few years away from being able to download an entire season of 24 in 24 seconds."

    Get back to moaning about the environment and write some decent songs for once you self religious [ill-informed] fuckwit!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    " 'The immutable laws of bandwidth tell us we’re just a few years away from being able to download an entire season of 24 in 24 seconds. Many will expect to get it free,' he cautioned."

    Immutable what now? This is news to me... I've had (approximately) 10Mbps cable Internet for about 6 years now and there's no apparent upgrades planned. Which suits me just fine as 10Mbps is plenty fast enough.

    And I know he was being hyperbolic, but I seriously doubt that any ISP is going to give consumers 300MB/sec bandwidth any time soon.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Bono, seriosly...

    Shut the fuck up. You’re just another Geldof, a self service publicity attracting has been.

    You weren’t moaning when all the people under the sun were buying your albums them taping them were you. But now, oh begorra, there's a new crusade for you to stick your unwanted, ill-educated opinionated nose into.

    Tell me bono, what IS P2P? How does it work? How is it different from the halcyon days of copying albums and tapes. I'll tell, because, then, U2 were good, now U2 are old has beens' trying desperately to come to turn with the fact that these days your music isn’t listened to by the masses. In fact, a quick shout around the 90-120 12-18 years olds here shows that almost none of them have heard of U2 or care!!!

    Quite frankly, I’d rather stick wasps up my arse than listen to your inane prattling. Twat.

    1. Maliciously Crafted Packet
      Thumb Up

      Hey cornz 1...

      I know where your coming from, though as painful as listening to U2 is Im not sure I would go quite that far.

      "Quite frankly, I’d rather stick wasps up my arse than listen to your inane prattling. Twat."

      Point well made though.

  23. Michael 28

    Bono, thank you for the music.....

    ...... It's the only way I've kept my ratio up!

  24. Phillip Webster
    Thumb Down


    Oh the irony of the media industry calling the ISP industry "rich" whilst portraying itself as losing out.

    ISPs have a pretty hard time of it due to the established single-sum business model. They oversell what they own and then a minority of their customers eat most of the bandwidth. They live on slim profit margins (especially in the UK, largely as a result of BT) and I would go so far as to say piracy hurts ISPs more than it hurts the music industry.

    Pretty sure new artists are the ones losing out the least on this. In my experience people are far more willing to buy smaller artist's tracks than bigger ones, moving on from that piracy can actually help smaller artists as it gets their music heard by a larger audience resulting in more fans who may well buy or attend gigs in the future.

    It all smells a bit Lily Allen blog-ish to me.

  25. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Another UnPC RC Ranting Raver.... Sub Prime Ministerial Wannabe a Leader

    What a pretentious hypocritical little prig, he is.

    Let that be a lesson to you, children. Too much easy money eats away at your brains and decent common sense.

    Crikey, there goes the New Year's Resolution already, shot down in Flames, for I thought, and had planned, to be extra especially nice to everybody this year.... :-) Ah well, I guess I will not be alone in that journey .

    1. Camilla Smythe

      Bono spouts shite..

      Cures AManFromMars [1]!!!!

  26. Aldous

    because theres no middlemen making money in the music industry

    i think this article perfectly describes whats wrong with the music industry, written by a producer of one of nirvana's albums. the TLDR version is basiclly "label gives you an advance out of which you pay studio/legal/etc fee's . you pay back this money to the label out of your 10% royalty while the label still keeps 90%)

    course bono's right i mean pracy really hurts all those poor simon cowells with no musical ability but who bring us all the fresh new acts who dont alll sound the same and arn't manufactured at all no sireee

  27. Anonymous Coward

    What utter arse gravy...

    Fuck off Bono you self righteous prick.

    Join the UK Pirate Party here...

  28. Anonymous Coward

    This from a man ...

    whose last decent record was "The Unforgettable Fire", and yes, I was there.

  29. Bilgepipe

    Dear Bono

    Dear Bono,

    Shut up.

    Yours, everyone.

    PS. Go back to Ireland and pay your taxes some time, you might gain some credibility.

    What this moron fails to mention is that many upcoming and indie artists can only get their music known by file sharing, and that file sharers purchase more music than non file sharers. They just don't purchase U2 music.

  30. The BigYin


    The failure of the major labels to provide a service that people want and to monetise the new media as it emerges is 100% the fault of those major labels. Not the file sharers, not the the ISP, not you are me; it's their own bloody fault.

    "Free" (often illegal, but not always) only sprung up because people could not get what they wanted (or at a price they were willing to pay). "Free" is also usually DRM free, something anyone with half a brain wants. Idiotic licensing restrictions, artificial barriers to trade (region locking etc), aggressive and illegal DRM attacks (the rootkit fiasco) are all examples of how Big Labels just don't get it.

    iPlayer is a good start, but not nearly enough. Spotify looks good, but I am nt sure how much longer it can last without running ads (got nothing against ads, so long as I don't have to pay).

    I will *pay* to get the content I want. Really, I will. If you are smart enough to make it available to me. Why can't I watch Hulu? Some pen-pushing accountant-cum-lawyer with no brain said so. Same reason I can't watch Adult Swim. Just idiocy. I will pay for access (advert free - a la BBC) or they can cut the feed with adverts (free access to me). Either way, I don't mind.

    But will they do this? No. Too busy throwing money at lawyers and chasing a business model that has died, often forcing those of us who missed an episode of <whatever> on to the illegal sites just to get a hold of it. Or because some piece lawyer-turdling has decreed that USA-ians can see a thing but the rest of the world is not allowed.

    Stupid, just bloody stupid.

  31. Neil 13

    Two faced

    Are we really supposed to believe that the young, musically intense Paul Hewson didn't have bootlegged recordings of bands in his collection? I mean, come on.......

  32. This post has been deleted by its author

  33. Awesomo

    Pay some tax, ya fecker

    When Bono starts paying his taxes in Ireland, rather than using some foreign tax haven, then I might listen to him. Other than that - "feck off!"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pay some tax, ya fecker

      I might listen to him if he recorded something worthwhile. Until then I'd rather he stopped making a noise, whichever orifice it's emanating from.

      Of course in his eyes, we're all just thieving proles who should be tugging our forelocks to our lords and betters. He obviously uses the same PR department as EA Games.

  34. eJ2095

    is he

    Gunning for Madelsons job?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Books are even smaller as downloads

    Don't see that the publishing industry has been crippled by illegal downloading yet

  36. Inachu

    No way!

    I am not going to buy for the 5th time the cd titled Joshua Tree just because I scratched it.

    Hell no!

    Also I am unable to find their stuff since the biggest music seller in my area FYE removed most american music with that of hispanic music and this isn't even the south near the border town.

    I am near Washington D.C.!!!!!

    How dare you treat my town in this manner!

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Wasn't 2009 the biggest year ever for gross film profits and also the biggest year of the single?

    Greed about the so-called lost sales drives this rubbish. But at least more people are turning away from idiots like this muppet.

  38. 46Bit
    Thumb Down


    I've honestly only ever 'pirated' about 5 or 6 songs copied off Youtube, but when you get rich, self-obsessed buffoons decrying the disgraceful free speech society we live in and instead hailing China as an example to the world it really makes me want to pirate any of their songs I ever want. Only problem is that (with the exception of Lily Allen who lets face it is as close to mass-produced music as there's ever likely to be so her opinions don't really matter) I thankfully have the sense to not like any of their music anyway.

  39. adnim

    Let's see

    Piracy has resulted in the price of the average Music CD/Album dropping to less than 50% of the price it was 7 or so years ago.

    DVD copies of films and Boxed sets of TV shows are also cost much less than they used to.

    Are the middle men who reap most of the reward from music sales and film rental/sales making a loss? A reduction in profit is not a loss despite claims to the contrary. No they are still making a healthy profit. Claims of billions in lost revenue due to piracy, whilst a healthy profit is still being maintained only confirm that the product was way over priced in the first place.

    Before piracy the consumer was ripped off for as much money as the market would allow. Piracy has has changed this and the rich parasites who used to fleece the consumer now find themselves having to offer a value for money product. My heart bleeds.

    There was a time when a new artist had to sign their soul away for the promotion and marketing that an established record label could provide for their music. This promotion by established labels is becoming less important as other avenues aided by the development of Internet technology, especially user generated content paves the way for a more democratic appraisal of the quality of that music. Record labels continue to sign artists that they believe will sell a lot of records and make them oodles of cash such that they stick to the tried and trusted formulaic banality which disgraces popular music culture.

    Some musicians make music for the sheer pleasure of it, to share ideas and feelings. They are happy that their music touches souls, the financial rewards are secondary although not to be sniffed at. And if the financial rewards put a roof over the head, food on the table and pay for a few luxuries all the better. I do have sympathy for the struggles of this kind of musician.

    Then there are those who are not actually musicians nor talented at all, yet they are pretty to look at and have the backing of top flight producers and engineers. They see music as a way to riches and fame. This is where most of the money is made, made from the sale of glossy packaged drivel designed, written and produced with the sole intention of separating the sheep from their pay packets. I have no sympathy at all for the so called musicians and producers at this level. Any failure here is heart warming.

    1. stolennomenclature


      The truth, beautifully written.

  40. Stevie


    "Immutable Laws of Bandwidth?"

    Wait, is he talking about only downloading the intelligent, well-conceived parts of a season of "24"? Because, if he is, well, you could do that now on a dial-up connection using a v90 modem.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He may have a point but..

    "the people it hurts are the creators - in this case, the young, fledgling songwriters who can’t live off ticket and T-shirt sales like the least sympathetic among us"

    Surely fledgling bands will not have huge sales anyway as no one has heard of them yet. In my view, the poeple who might lose out are the established well known bands, but then music is one of the few professions where you can do a job and get paid every time someone listens to/looks at your work for ever..

  42. Anonymous Coward

    Bono you are full of self-serving shit.

    >""the people it hurts are the creators - in this case, the young, fledgling songwriters who can’t live off ticket and T-shirt sales""

    Bull crap. The *real* struggling young artists don't have fucking recording contracts, you dick. There are a million times more great musicians struggling away undiscovered playing small pubs and local gigs than there are the tiny minority who get signed up by one of the labels whose interests you really represent. And it's precisely those small bands and solo artists who are the ones who have taken to the internet with the greatest enthusiasm and benefited the most from it, because suddenly they have a world wide audience instead of having to grind away for years "paying their dues" at small local gigs and hoping to one day get discovered and offered a recording deal, and that's precisely why so very many of them are utterly in favour of the sharing of music and put so much of their own music out there themselves.

    You speak for the tiny and already-privileged minority. If those few new musos signed to contracts now want to renegotiate the terms of the shitty deal that they were stupid and gullible enough to accept when the record company dangled the carrot in front of them, they should bloody well renegotiate it between themselves and their record companies and leave the entire rest of society the hell out of it. The notion that we should install a Chinese style absolute central control and censorship system just for the sake of one tiny subsection of one industry is the most blatantly facetious idiocy I've heard on the subject so far, and the fact that you can hold up this odious suggestion without apparently the least self-awareness of how offensive your suggestion is (Hey Bono, didn't you used to be involved in all that Free Tibet stuff? You fucking hypocritical dickend) just shows how utterly directed by financial self-interest to the point of complete blindness to what you're saying you have become.

    In summary: you can shove your overreaching rent-seeking demands up your fat and overpaid arse.

    1. breakfast Silver badge

      The myth of the underground

      the best artists I have heard over the last few years have been of exactly the unsigned type you describe. But they're not enjoying a world-wide audience, not noticeably more than they would have before at any rate. They're giving away their music in the hope it will get heard, but by and large it doesn't. Now you will doubtless have exciting stories about these big internet hits- Sandy Thom, The Arctic Monkeys, whoever, and that's all great but those are all cunning Record Label/Management coups designed to create the impression of an underground music scene when really there isn't one. I can think of a few people who have managed to scrape a living with independent music through amazing dedication and hard graft, but I don't think they're making anything like what they could with a strong record label behind them.

      Bono may be kind of a dick and a terrible songwriter but he sees the music industry from the inside ( and he did try helping out smaller bands in the past, he was just not that great of an A&R man so Hothouse Flowers, An Emotional Fish and any other signings to Mother seemed to largely vanish without trace ) and he has some idea what is going on there.

      The way you hear about bands is because they are promoted by someone with money to spend. That may be a record label or a management team or whoever, but by and large the money in question comes from a record label. And they only have money to spend because they are selling or licencing music. As the amount of music they sell goes down, so does the money they can spend promoting new artists- because these labels are businesses and as anyone who understands businesses will know, a safe bet with an established brand is far more reliable than a wild gamble with a slim chance of success, so the funding for new acts gets cut and the new signings drop away.

      If everyone did things by word of mouth and secret underground pixie dust then everyone would be listening to some of the hundreds of brilliant but almost unknown bands across the country and the world. That would be great, but it's not going to happen any time soon and as long as there is no money in it for them ( for the musicians I know their hobby is an expense and unlikely to change into anything else ) even the most brilliant bands will play a few shows, record a few songs and vanish. That doesn't sound like a creative utopia to me, but then I don't object to paying for something other people have put years of work into so I guess I'm way behind the curve on this one.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        The mythic underground

        I find it amusing that you wrote all that and didn't name drop once. Artists can get exposure from the record labels because they will promote them. Don't know about the UK, but here in France it seemed like Paramour was on practically every music-inclined magazine. Good band, or good publicity?

        Well, here's a start:

        Try some more. Why don't you list some of the unsigned bands you like. We share those we like, and if tastes match, we can remember to look out for them. Otherwise... well... my ESP isn't working today. Too much inclement weather messing up the signals. :-)

        1. breakfast Silver badge
          Thumb Up


          The main reason was that I didn't want to look like I was just trying to make a bunch of band recommendations rather than make a point about the music industry, but since you ask I particularly recommend looking out these three:

          Dry The River

          Our Lost Infantry

          Amy's Ghost

          I know they can all be found on myspace...

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Price fixing

    How easily they forget little things like the music industry getting convicted for CD price fixing where they ripped the consumer off for years and years,

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      That looked like an out of court settlement, not them actually "getting done" per se. In the UK we had a similar case in the 90s, where the music industry were found not guilty of price fixing.

      You should also note that in the UK many things have or, have historically, had fixed prices (either by legal statute or industry agreement), newspapers, magazines, books and music are among those. We now have the problem where the big supermarkets Asda (Wal Mart) Tesco, Sainsbury, Morrisons, are selling the music and books that they choose at massive discount, the music and books that sell, not anything else. This polarises the market and limits choice. Want to buy the latest X factor or Harry potter? You can do that for a couple of quid, want an obscure band you can go to the specialist book/music reseller. Oh, except you can't because they're being driven out of business by the supermarkets. Were there still fixed prices this wouldn't happen and choice would be a little more expensive but much wider. The little guy author or band would still stand a chance and the charts would be fairer - how could it be fair for a number one to be a CD sold at less than half the price of the competition?

  44. Anonymous Coward

    I believe a fact they don't like

    If I recall correctly .. and I might be wrong ... but when Napster was taken out, music sales took a long vacation off a very short cliff.

    I'll frequently check out a film on-line before I'll shell out my hard earned; purely becuase i don't trust the hype any more. The number of times I've been stung by shelling out money to see or buy a totally rubbish film, means the film industry has lost all my trust.

    Try before you buy. I wish Bono's mother could have done that with him ... and got a refund.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Fine with copyright, fine with paying (a reasonable price!)

    But ISPs getting rich at the expenses of the music industry is just ludicrous. Where does Bono live? Hasn't he noticed that the ISP consolidation trend, i.e. only the largest and those offering terrible customer service will survive, which is exactly the same as what happened to the music industry!

  46. Neil Wilson

    Bono as Sheriff of Nottingham

    I can kind of see Bono as the Sheriff of Nottingham. Living off yesterday's glories so he doesn't have to do any real work today.

    After all working for your days pay is for peasants.

    Creators should get paid when they create, ie they need to go to work and get a *job*. Musicians should get a *job* to get paid (playing music funnily enough). Just like the rest of us have to.

    Copyright is a monopoly and like all monopolies it creates a very few winners, who you hear a lot from since they own the distribution channels, and an awful lot of losers from whom you here nothing.

    Music should be like French bread - worthless when it is old. If copyright was short we'd get a lot more fresh stuff and a lot more performances. And less whingeing from yesterday's "stars".

  47. Anonymous Coward

    Pop Stars turned Activists....

    You've got to hate them all right...but who would win in a fight - Geldof or Bono?

    Well, there's only one way to find out....FIIIIIGHT!!!!

    +(this is TV reference for our friends outside the UK)

  48. dave 81

    Bono can go jump off a cliff

    In fact, wish he would, instead of tonguing Tony Blair, or spouting out shift constantly.

    Joke Alert: Bono doing a concert when he stopped and started to clap his hands above his head about once a second. He then said: "each time I clap my hands, a child dies in Africa". Came a voice from the audience "Then stop clapping your hands you evil bastard!"

  49. Haku

    Don't worry Bono,

    it's not like we're wasting our bandwidth downloading your 'music'.

    My favourite line from one of Billy Connolly's stand-up shows was:

    "And it Bono wants to save the world, shut the fuck up"

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Supply and demand

    What is happening in the music industry is not the fault of piracy. It is rather a case of supply and demand. 15 or more years ago it was a real cost to record, promote and get a new artist out there. But today the majority of serious artists can do the entire job at home with a reasonable investment in equipment that will last them a long time. That means A LOT more musicians are recording and offering their music via all the free services online, A LOT more musicians who aren't as dedicated as you may have had to be 15 years ago. Consequently there is now a constant raging river of music always available.

    There isn't even a need to download artists from P2P services all their good stuff is available on youtube or myspace, and these services are all slowly being upgraded to HD. Most teenagers have house parties where they just create a list of youtube videos with everything they could ever want.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Plus the market is now working

      You can say what you want about eBay but they made the used-goods market work a lot better. Which is probably not to the benefit of the peddlers of "Absolute Definite Music Compilation XXVII" etc.

  51. JohnG

    more whining from the wealthy tax dodgers that are U2

    What a bunch of hypocrites!

    Pay tax in Eire.

  52. copsewood

    right to a cut != right to police net

    Without the art carried by it, people wouldn't be paying as much for as much bandwidth. So I personally don't have a problem with the artists getting a cut, similar to a sales commission. But I do have a problem with artists imagining they can police everyone's online behaviour. It's the same idea as when you go into a clothes shop or restaurant where music is played. The customer doesn't pay for the music, the business that gets value added from the music does.

    So I'd be very happy for artists to get a 2-3 percent cut of ISP sales and from supermarket sales of blank media - on condition they legitimise non commercial use of this bandwidth in order to be able to benefit from commercial use. The problem is that artists are not represented well by the collection societies and distribution managements who have persistently defrauded them, and still imagine they can somehow persuade the public they have a right to police what the entire Internet and electronics industries products are used for. That is pretty stupid; a bit like them suing someone who eats a meal in a restaurant for unlicensed music played to them instead of charging the business owner for a license.

    If they can get a cut from radio stations and shops etc, the only thing stopping them getting a cut from ISPs and blank media sales is the delusion that they can control non-commercial and private use of such.

  53. Anonymous Coward

    Tax evading scum

    Bono should just shut up - tax evading scumbags.

  54. Ollie @ Industry Trust

    The real victims of illegal downloading

    I think Bono’s point about illegal file-sharing hurting ‘creators first’ is really valid and rings true across the creative industries. I work with the Industry Trust, an organisation which addresses the issue of copyright theft for the film and television industry. Our industry employs over 150,000 people in the UK alone, from wardrobe artists and script supervisors to boom operators and sound engineers. These people rely on film and TV revenue for their wages and job security, and copyright theft has a direct impact on this.


    Ollie from the Industry Trust

    1. Nick Stallman


      If Bono is saying that it hurts creators first, then he's saying that it doesnt hurt you leeches as much as it hurts him.

      When I say leeches I mean people who 'address the issue of copyright'.

      What exactly do you do? Cause whatever it is clearly isnt working. :S

    2. Sir Runcible Spoon

      If I were a copyright infringer

      and say, I copied films that I rent from an online video rental store, would you say I represented a net profit or a net loss to the film industry?

      Once you've decided that, you might like to know that I own around 250 DVD's and regularly visit the cinema.

      If you're talking about enthusiasts, then ripping video's/music will often lead to a sale, probably more than if they hadn't accessed lots of free content.

      If you're talking about people who don't go out and buy hundreds of dvd's or cd's, then they're not likely to buy anything anyway are they?

      Sure, there are always going to be exceptions, but I think the 'problem' of piracy is one of PR. The music and film industries have lots of money to buy PR, so we're the pirates. I won't mention that both industries make VAST profits, enough to support at least 150 000 people in the Uk alone.

      If you could kill piracy tomorrow, do you think that you're job would be safer or more perilous?

      A pint, coz life's too short, and stress will kill us all.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Copyright Infingement. No theft invloved.


      1. TeeCee Gold badge


        Taking and Driving Away - no theft involved.

        Small comfort in the nit-picking semantic niceties to the poor sod who's had his car nicked though.

        As you might have guessed, I'm somewhat hacked off with that hoary old chestnut being parroted every time some arsehat^H^H^Hsunglasses uses the word "theft" in connection with the word "copyright".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          re: Theft

          I'm fed up of this one being trotted out every time... Theft is defined by the OED as the act of stealing. The OED further defines stealing to include dishonestly passing off someone else's work as ones own, then again defines stealing as an idea taken from another work. This would seem to cover copyright. But it doesn't matter, we could just use piracy, a similarly (un)popular word here which explicitly means either the thing that is done on the high seas, or the unauthorised use of a copyright material.

    4. heyrick Silver badge

      Do as your peers do...

      I could say a lot about Bono and how many of your 150000 people are on a standardised wage helping him make his millions that he doesn't even seem to want to pay taxes like an honest person should. But that's the way of the world. Loads of people are doing grunt work for low or minimum wage, from script girl to me... while somebody else reaps the profits and gets fat. The problem here is likely nothing to do with 149998 of the people your Trust represents. But those other two. They are the problem.

      You work for a group that represents film and television copyright?

      Okay... Please explain (DVD/BluRay) region coding in a way that makes it sound like it provides some sort of benefit to the end consumer. You might find that to be a lot harder than it first seems.

      While the Internet has undoubtably made sharing movies easier, it has also made it easier to show up some glaring inconsistencies. (US) lists the two-disc special edition BluRay of "Inglourious Basterds" (a recent well-rated movie, no? not watched it yet myself...) for an RRP of $39.99. Google's currency calculator tells me that is the same as £24.86 and Bloomberg agrees. Now lists the RRP of the standard one-disc version as being... you guessed it... £24.99. And the two-disc special? Seems like it is available only via new&used as an import from America. So *we* are paying the same price for *less* product? It isn't like you need to dub the things to sell them to the UK, and as the FCC mandates captioning, it isn't as if subtitling is a UK-specific thing either. Actually, it looks like both versions are subbed in English/French/Spanish - the typical three for America.

      It took me less time to discover that than to type the above paragraph.

      And you wonder why people don't have as much respect for movie copyrights as you'd like.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Ollie from Industry Trust

      Hey Ollie,

      I’d like to address the concept of a reasonable compromise between “what the consumer wants” and “what the rights holders want.” I honestly and earnestly believe that all those involved in the production of creative works deserve to be properly and in many cases even generously compensated for their efforts. For consumers to expect people to live near the poverty line simply because they work in a content-creation-related occupation is insane, and will lead long-term to no new content being created. Everyone along the chain needs to get paid. If they do their job well, and produce decent content, they should be paid handsomely.

      I also ardently believe that content producers should be trying to work with the consumers of this content to fit both the cost of paying for the content as well as the method of content consumption into their lifestyles. As a regular consumer of content who spends a fair amount of money content, I have to say that “big content” have completely let me down in this regard. (Well, actually, the music industry woke up a few years ago, and I have since resumed purchasing their content.)

      The issue is that I want to “own” my copy of any given content. I do not want to “licence” it, and most especially I do not want to re-licence my content for every individual device I own. It’s a fundamental schism in understanding that is seemingly impossible to overcome. The music industry fought against this idea for years and years, and until recently I could not buy “big content” music without DRM. It is due to this attitude that I have purchased virtually nothing from “big content” for around a decade. (Since I can now buy non-DRMed MP3s on Amazon, I have actually resumed purchasing music from “big content.”)

      This isn’t to say I don’t consume content. It has simply changed who I source it from. This isn’t because “small content” is superior, but simply because many of them will allow me to buy content with no restrictions on its use. I can then keep a central archive (read: home media server,) and copy that content to as many devices as I choose for walking-around-with. No DRM, no restrictions. I can use any device I want, and I don’t have to re-purchase the same media every few years.

      This leads to me buying far more media (in terms of new tracks/movies/episodes) from a wider array of artists than I would otherwise be able to. (Compared to, having to buy my favourite song/movie/TV series five times for five different devices over and over every three years or so.) More artists and more supporting staffs get paid. They keep producing new content, I keep buying it. (It does however leave me somewhat unable to participate in water-cooler conversation about “big content,” but I consider it an acceptable trade-off for the portability of my media.)

      Many people are not as understanding and willing to compromise on the source of media they consume as I have been. Instead of moving their dollars over to content providers who choose to “play ball,” they simply resort to pirating. They still want to consume that “mainstream, water-cooler” content, but are unwilling to either pay the tithe or endure the restrictions placed on that content.

      The interesting question is how many pirates out there would gladly pay for the content they consume if only they could use it without restriction? How many would never pay for content at all, and are simply freeloaders? There are two kinds of pirates: those who would pay gladly pay for the content if it was provided for consumption in a palatable format, and those who would never pay. The first group is a “lost sale,” not because the customers are “unreasonable freetards,” but because the content industry is stubborn, and refusing to work with customers who actually want to pay. The second group is not a “lost sale,” because they simply would never pay.

      So what do you have to say about overall decline in sales for “big content” in this context? I want to be able to purchase the latest episodes of “big content” television shows, and the new hit movies. I have set aside a budget of just north of three thousand dollars a year to purchase various forms of content. I want to buy it once during my entire life, and be able to move it around as many of my own devices as I choose. Why then does “big content” not want my fistful of dollars? Do you honestly believe that internet piracy is responsible for more “lost sales” than the stubborn refusal of “big content” to provide content to its audience in a way they actually want to consume it?

      It is my opinion that “big content” is focused entirely on trying to win over the wrong group of pirates. They do not have to “compete with free.” They have to compete with “easy to use.” If they provide their content in an easy to use, unrestricted and reasonably priced format, then they will win over many of those who are currently “pirates.” Those that remain truly will be nothing more than freeloaders unwilling to pay anything for the content they consume. Those pirates will not have a single moral leg to stand on. Ostracizing them and prosecuting them would then be both easier and draw far less of a public backlash. At the moment, there are only two extremes available: totally unpalatable, restrictive content that requires frequent re-purchase of goods by the consumer…or piracy. If “big content” wants everyone’s fistful of dollars, they are going to have to offer a third choice.

      To my above text wall in context; apart from being an avid content consumer, I am an aspiring author dating an actress. Both sides of this debate are very relevant to me. Feedback from someone "in the industry" about the above would be great.

  55. Anonymous Coward

    Reverse Robin Hood?

    Is Bono claiming to be poor?

  56. Anonymous Coward

    Isn't "reverse Robin-Hooding"

    ..a hunnish practise, similar to "wolfbagging"?

  57. CADmonkey


    Only joking

    I generally have sympathy for any underdog, and the score is currently 74/0 to the H8ERS...

    Sadly, even Devil's Advocates hate Bono!

    Jonathon Ross @ some awards show: "Bono can't be here tonight. He's in Africa, healing lepers with his touch."

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ref: The real victims of illegal downloading

    Don't worry I know at least 10 people that have completed or are taking sound engineer courses who would love to do your job Ollie, and would do it for less money. After all they did sign up for the courses so they wouldn't have to work in the real world of low pay and bad pensions for a few years.

    Nationalise the music business that's what I say get rid of EMI, Sony, the lot. Provide everyone's music for free or whatever the artists themselves wish to charge to download off the net.. TV , Radio, foreign income get's divided up on how many downloads you've had directly to the contributing artists with no middle men. The artists can employ if the wish companies re-invest their profits in advertising, product placement, gigs whatever and most important of all these artist now have complete freedom to move at anytime between competing services. If all the artists on an album are dead then it goes public domain. Simple, Supply and demand will do the rest

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let Bono casteth the first stone...

    Surely this can't be the same Bono who's stuffed all his money and companies into tax havens to avoid paying taxes in Ireland? Surely he can't be accusing people of being on the fiddle can he?

    Dear boy, I have some news for you. Your last U2 album was such a bag o' shite that I didn't even waste free bandwidth illegally downloading it for free.

  60. Sead Alispahic

    Let's do it like they do it in China

    If those pesky file-sharers are so evil to destroy the film and TV, how come the Avatar made a billion dollars (yes $1000000000, one thousand millions) in seventeen days ?

    Idiot, that is like $59000000 (yes 59 millions) a day! I guess making shit movies and TV series is the main reason no one is going to cinema, or watching TV any more, and not file-sharers.

  61. Peter 8

    If piracy truly hurts artists...

    If piracy truly hurts artists, then how does Bono explain the success of the Grateful Dead who actually encouraged people to make bootlegs and copies of their music?

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Gratetful Deadheads ...... A Smarter IntelAIgent Renegade Breed for Joint AIdDVentures

      "If piracy truly hurts artists, then how does Bono explain the success of the Grateful Dead who actually encouraged people to make bootlegs and copies of their music?" .... Peter 8 Posted Tuesday 5th January 2010 00:54 GMT

      To reveal that it is Raw Talent, Peter 8, would be too much of an Admission of the State of Mediocrity which Milks and Bilks the System for the likes of a Mr No Bono to explain.

  62. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Pop 'star' definition

    Someone who's arrogance is only exceeded by their ignorance

  63. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    Throw the man a Bono

    He has obviously realised his total and utter irrelevance to the world at large.

    Go and find a mike to wail in. No, wait, that's exactly what he did.

  64. Anonymous Coward

    Music - WTF

    I almost never listen to music so obviously I wouldn't want to pay a penny towards this dickheads centralised fund.

    What a prick

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Was it?

    Was it in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s that hardware made it easy to create multiple copies of stuff on tapes?

    If so, perhaps the music industry vendors should tread lightly at the personal users making copies of stuff?

    Personally I have no support at all for people making commercial gain by making improper copies of stuff.

    A dividing line seems to be: for personal use or for commercial misuse?

  66. Pat Volk

    The versions of the market

    Always in flux. Prior to recordings, people would bootleg copies of sheet music. The consumer wants their music for free. The producer wants the consumer to pay every time they listen to a song, and their adverts (Why do I have to sit through 5 minutes of non-forwardable adverts when I bought the bloody DVD?).

    Ah, a free market is a beautiful thing. Charge too much, and you make piracy economical. Make it reasonable, and sales increase.

    Bono *never* exploted resorted to being a media whore... Ironically, U2 is one of those 80's groups I don't listen to any more... Perhaps I was force-fed it too many times on the radio and TV.

  67. Anonymous Coward

    ISPs are not to blame

    Back in the 80s we used to swap Commodore 64 games between crews by putting floppy disks in mailers and snail-mailing them around the world. The various postal services then conveyed them for us. But the games companies, while carrying on about piracy, never considered that the postal service was to blame. Because they aren't.

    These screaming bastards will destroy the entire internet by their endless greed. When will these idiots realise that shooting the messenger does not solve the problem. Or for that matter, that one download != one lost sale. These idiots are whining about money that doesn't even exist. Think about it: if a downloader has no money, how the hell does it hurt anyone if he has a copy of a song or not? He wouldn't have been able to buy it anyway, so what difference does it make?

    Of course, I'm sure that the plethora of copyright do-gooders on here will call me a freetard and flame the shit out me for saying this, but I bet not one of them will actually answer that question.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ISPs are not to blame

      >"Back in the 80s we used to swap Commodore 64 games between crews by putting floppy disks in mailers and snail-mailing them around the world."

      I used to write some of those, and I was perfectly happy about people cracking and sharing them with their mates. As long as you remembered to give me a greetz in the scroller that is!

  68. disgruntled yank


    "Without the art carried by it, people wouldn't be paying as much for as much bandwidth. So I personally don't have a problem with the artists getting a cut, similar to a sales commission."

    Even assuming that "art" covers U2, I don't download music. I am not happy with my cable bill, but I'd be a lot less happy if I knew that I was paying royalties on music I don't download.

    'Culture should be free. It is a human right far more important than copy"right".'

    Wow. I admit that as a resident of Washington, DC, I have been spoiled by the National Gallery, and feel mild shock at parting with the 15 or 20 dollars to get into the Met or the Frick or the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I do not consider that my rights are infringed, though.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    On the other hand...

    It does seem a bit sad that entertainment based millionaires cast aspersions for one reason or another about the delays in others becoming multi-millionaires.

    However, I do take stance that the sector including ISPs need to do more but in a collective, partnership sense rather than blame it on some sense.

    I suppose some millionaire has to speak up in defence even if it is one with a strong sense of social injustice.

  70. MikeWolf

    Saying the ISPs are culpable. . .

    Is like saying that the people who maintain the roads used for both lawful and unlawful commerce and travel are responsible for the actions are highwaymen. You're basically highway maintenance workers into policemen.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This idea of putting on concerts

    and selling T-Shirts is crazy. Concerts cost a fortune, and most of the bands don't make on concerts, just paying for it to promote their album where they use to make the wonga.

    The music industry is wrong, too many middlemen, but rob the artists of the real way to recoup on their talent and time, and it is just not worth them making music commercially.

    Others may think people with talent and passion like to give stuff away, and have fans, but the truth is it is actually quite nice having things all to yourself after a while, and to be in that small limited number who have had access to that art. Paying is the only real way to get a lot of great music produced and released.

    You have to pay the ferry man, or you will be left the wrong side of the Styx.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Actually have to disagree with you here champ

      Having known a large number of people in the dance music scene in Australia (true its a different kettle of fish to the rock scene) but the main way most performers make money from music is through their gigs. I can remember back in 2002, there were only 2 DJ's in Aus who could earn enough to make a living from playing gigs and the rest needed a day job and that included those with the record contracts.

      For the rock scene, im reliably informed that for 90% of bands out there the gig is where they make there money - the record is just a way to get more people to your gig...

  72. stolennomenclature

    are isp's policemen?

    Why is it the job of isp's to police the content transmitted over there network? Are the telephone companies supposed to listen in to the phone calls going over their networks? Are the authorities that control the roads supposed to routinely stop traffic and check what people are transporting in the boot of the cars being driven on their roads? Is the postal service supposed to open up all the letters and envelopes to check their contents?

    This is rediculous. Just because content is transported over their networks surely does not mean that the ISP is responsible for that content or obliged to control what is transmitted, any more than any of the others. To inspect data I send over the network is an infringement of my civil liberties, just as it would be if someone in the post office opened a letter I had posted.

    Interesting how privacy rights and civil liberties get thrown on the scrapheap when some of the rich parasites find the supply of their ill gotten gains is drying up. If they all lose their money they will be poor just like the rest of us. Learn to live with it. We do.

  73. Captain Save-a-ho

    Re: ISPs are not to blame

    "When will these idiots realise that shooting the messenger does not solve the problem. Or for that matter, that one download != one lost sale. These idiots are whining about money that doesn't even exist."

    Don't disagree about the one download not equalling a lost sale, but not for the reasons to state later in your post. It's astounding to me that none of these artists realize that they can't produce complete, utter shit-music and fool people into buying it blindly. That business model is dead and gone, and God bless Shawn Fanning for killing it.

    Whining that you don't have the money to spend isn't the right tactic. This is about the quality of the product. It's really the main reason I've been almost exclusively buying the "Best Of" CDs for the last 15 years. At least I can look at the CD and know I'm getting 80% of the songs I want.

    Like most things, the answer lies somewhere in the middle and, with modern music vs. the freetards, there is plenty of blame to go all the way around. Personally, I would start with these corrupt record companies that force artists to sign away their life, with the hope of earning their living off just concert proceeds and t-shirt sales. That's the worst part of this whole travesty that few want to talk about, Bono included.

  74. ShaggyDoggy

    Record sales

    No pun intended ... how does Bono's whinging stack up against record music sales last december ?

  75. sysconfig

    Bono's just a paid Muppet

    Here's what happened. Board meeting at some major organisation, which claims to protect the rights of artists and record labels:

    chairman (whose name is not known very well outside that building anyway): "Right ladies and gentlemen. The people who copy music and download it free of charge from the internet still don't listen to us [surprise!]. We need to find a way to voice our opinions and reach those, who blindly believe in what their idols say."

    some butt kisser: "Sir, that's a great idea. How about we find someone famous. Somebody everybody knows. And we'll pay them to say, what we are usually saying ourselves. It shouldn't be difficult to find a greedy pop star, especially if we pay them in cash."

    someone else interrupts: "Bono! He's our man. He's been famous for decades. He's never been fond of paying taxes. And he likes to get involved in so many things. If we allow him to say it in his own words, people would think that he voices his own opinion. Needless to say that we 'suggest' some key messages which we want to get out there. We all know that he's clueless and arrogant. So he'll really make it look like it was his own opinion, because he obviously doesn't want to show he's been paid to do so."

    chairman: "Brilliant plan! A famous pop star, greedy, used to reducing costs [or taxes], who has problems to shut up when he doesn't know what he's talking about. That will wipe traces back to us. Get him on the phone!"

    (I haven't been in that board room, but doesn't it indeed look like a set up? ;))

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    get off your plane

    When Bonio is in hospital, I will gladly send him a DVD of a surgeon performing an operation, a video of a nurse caring for a patient and a tape cassette of me visiting his bedside, if he would let me know that he is happy with this solution to his health care needs, I will go and buy recorded music.

    I hear free (i don't pay directly) music everywhere I go, it's rammed into my head, I can't escape it, so why on earth would I value it? £50 to see a live performance is one thing, the value of a recorded track is less than the cost of the bank transaction fee or even the cost of downloading it.

    ISP's are making the money from downloads? Well setup an ISP and give away the music!

    And while I'm at it, If you really want to save the planet, GET OFF THE F*****G PLANE

    bit rambling, sorry.

  77. Ollie @ Industry Trust

    Response to Pat

    Across the film and television industry we are continuously looking to find ways to provide legal alternatives that are easy to use and people consider to be good value. For instance, the launch of FindAnyFilm earlier this year, was introduced to make it easier to find legal content and new services such as Love films VOD offering help make this more accessible.

    However, finding a way to ensure that people get what they want whilst ensuring that jobs in the industry remain secure is vital and not helped by the temptation of taking content without paying.

    The film industry is heavily reliant on reinvestment – it ploughs the money it makes from one film into the next and so on. The less money there is to reinvest, the more our industry dries up. At the moment, Film Council stats show the industry is losing half a billion to copyright theft every year (link to source:, which is money that could go a long way to making more films.


    Ollie from the Trust

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Ollie from the Trust: Well pardon my cynicism...

      ... but since 90% of what the film and movie industry churns out is uninspired derivative hackwork, maybe it would just be for the best if it did get downsized by about the same amount? Right now every single person with cable access already has ten times more tv hours than they could possibly watch in a day even if they never ate or slept, but nine out of those ten hours are 'fortunately' worthless anyway.... it's like running ever so hard to stay in the same place. Four channels full of good programs was a far better option than forty channels full of tedious dross. More films is the last thing we need.

    2. Pat Volk

      History repeats itself, Ollie...

      It's been repeating itself for at least 100 years. New type of media, expansion, consolidation, control, to a new type of media. From film to radio to television, to the internet. The first chapter is the mad scramble. Then people realize how much money there is to be had, and it expands, and then consolidates into the hands of a few. In the past, ecomics has intervened.

      To plead that it costs jobs or money is disingenuous. Fewer people work in the industry mainly because of consolidation (how many projectionists does a modern multiplex employ?). Your cries of lost money in reality is unrealized profit. Very difficult to plead lost money when movies make hundreds of millions of dollars (Avatar).

      The reality is the same however: a balance will soon be struck once the new media is put to good use. And then it will get turned on its head, and the cycle begins again. I've seen it happen with the software industry, and I've seen how the music and television industry work at the entry level (you need a day job).

      The bigger, the fewer, the more complacent. With each new media, a little anarchy creeps in, and it is good. Piracy will always happen, just as sure as consumers will get ripped off. With more opportunity, comes more jobs, and more media. I've increased my DVD library considerably from failed video rental places (used, but cheap, same for CD's).

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reverse Robin Hood?

    I tried the Reverse Robin Hood once... almost broke my bono

  79. breakfast Silver badge

    Hey freetards, stop helping Cowell

    I notice lots of people saying "heh, I only download music for free, IN YOUR STUPID FAT FACE, COWELL!!!"

    Which is lovely, but unless you are solely downloading the products of Cowell's sundry TV shows for free, then you are ensuring that the acts you do like, perhaps the ones that aren't sponsored by reality TV show, are not making any money. Meanwhile the people who love X-Factor are the same middle-age housewife demographic who still buy CDs rather than downloading music.

    Now if you're a freetard you're probably also a naive free-market thinker with a vague inclination towards the libertarian side of things, so I'm sure you can see what fanancial pressure you are creating by doing that and what the outcome will be for music as a whole and for Simon Cowell's fortune in particular.

  80. Ollie @ Industry Trust

    RE: Re: ISPs are not to blame

    You’re right that there are some blurred edges when it comes to working out how much the creative industries lose to copyright theft. But the film industry is actually very robust in the way it assess these losses and we would stand by the results.

    Independent research supplier, Ipsos Mori, carries out tracking research on copyright theft, which looks in part, at consumers’ behaviour. For both film and television separately, respondents are asked in what way, if any, they would have watched the film or TV show if they had not viewed an unofficial copy. The options to select from are numerous and include ‘watching it for free on terrestrial TV’, ‘borrowing an official DVD’, ‘watching on a digital movie channel’ as well as the option to state that they wouldn't have bothered to watch it all (an easy choice to make with the benefit of hindsight). The difference in the costs associated with buying, downloading or renting films are taken into consideration. For the categories looked at, each had a different cost associated to it which was based on national averages for 2007, e.g a cinema ticket - £5.07, a new release DVD - £12.21, a catalogue DVD - £6.46, a DVD Rental - £3.11 etc.

    Even then, these results are not taken at face value because the industry recognises that, in reality, people may not have visited the cinema or bought the DVD as frequently as they claim. The rate of lost sales is therefore down-weighted further using an industry standard methodology for regulating consumer claims in research such as this.

    This method is how we arrived at our most recent estimate of the costs of copyright theft to the film and television industry as being around £500 million, (measured in 2007, link to source: Whereas, if we did assume that one pirate copy, viewing or download was equivalent to one lost sale, the losses would amount to £2.186 billion (based on 2007 survey by IPSOS); that’s 4.5 times greater the £500million estimate.


    Ollie from the Trust

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Ollie from Industry Trust

    Ollie, I notice that you haven't directly responded to my post. I find this disheartening. I really would like to hear your thoughts on how many sales you feel are being lost by "Big Content" through it's sheer stubborn refusal to provide the buying public what they are demanding so very loudly.

    I spend thousands of dollars every year on media, Ollie. Why doesn't "Big Content" want my money? My comment is on page two of this thread, please read it and respond, rather than astroturfing about job losses.

    I am a content-consuming customer, willing to spend thousands of dollars a year on content, but only in a format that makes my life easier, not more restrictive. I am one of literally millions of like minded individuals. "Big Content" blames piracy for its loss of revenue, without any form of public acknowledgment of the billions of dollars they are losing out on because we are "voting with out wallets" to spend our entertainment dollars elsewhere.

    When will “Big Content” decide it wants the billions of dollars available to it simply by treating it’s customers with respect, and providing them what they ask for? (As opposed to treating them like the enemy, persecuting them or developing ever restrictive technologies that make the consumption of media more difficult and onerous.) Opening up the formats will not increase piracy. It will push piracy to the very fringes of our society, where it has always been. If you want to win the war of public opinon, and make people honestly believe that piracy is theft, then you need a viable, unrestricted, reasonably priced alternative. When that alternative is made available, “Joe and Jane average” will start to look at pirates the way we would someone who shoplifts.

    So long as “Big Content” refuses to provide their content in a format that people actually want to buy, with no restrictions on it’s use, not requiring the person to repurchase the same media over and over (and over and over and over and over and over and over…) it will be completely impossible to not be “the bad guy.” Right now, “Big Content” is screwing consumers, and we are all aware of it. Piracy is wrong, but you would be astonished how many people condone it. (Many people who are not pirates themselves certainly are piracy sympathisers.) This is a reputation and image problem brought about by the terrible decisions your industry has made. If you want your astroturfing to find any purchase, here on The Register, or out in the wide, fuzzy world you (and by you I mean the entirety of “Big Content,”) are going to have to answer these tough questions.

    Or to put it bluntly: what “Big Content” is losing in terms of “lost sales” to pirates is an irrelevant pittance compared to what they are losing to their own paranoia. I’ve got a fist full of thousands of dollars. Why won’t you take my money?

  82. wv9e

    Save us you Nazi basterd

    The richest and greediest like Bono, that Metalica fool group and others are saying nothing new, simply proving what many think, money is all they know. I would think it flattering that people would want your art and since the internet has overall increased sales it is moot point.

    Not for sissies like above..... greedy sick hogs at the trough.

  83. Rab Sssss

    @Ollie from Industry Trust

    Having a leaflet in a DVD I purchased that said "thank you for not stealing this" Pissed me off no end and apart from making me swear and feel like snaping the fucking disk (not to mention wanting to punch the ever loving shit out for the gormaless smug fuckwit that came up with the idea), basicly stopped me from buying ANY DVDs for about 6 months, still don't purchase the amount i used to.

    Talk about pissing in your own drinking water...

  84. Jorel Pryce

    my employer is reading this so...

    I am risking my VERY LIVELIHOOD to make a very important post about Bono.

    Bono is a perfect example of a man who does not understand how business works. there are all kinds of other factors involved, of course, but it comes down to two things

    1: you need to make money

    2: people don't pay for what they don't want or need.

    iTunes, Amazon, Steam, are all perfect examples of the right direction for today's market. all three are making large piles of scrillah off of easy-to-download, easy-to-pay-for media. sales aren't down because of piracy. Sales are down because of the brick and mortar stodginess and how counter it is to today's breed of lazy consumers.

    I like having a physical copy of something as much as bono likes me to pay for it, sure. But if I can cut the cost of shipping and packaging out of my purchase for something that doesn't NEED a physical copy to be useable, I will. I very much believe in supporting the artist of a given piece of media, but paying an overhead for stocking fees and import taxes isn't going to help that artist one bit. all of the various and sundry fees tacked on to the eventual retail price of media go to the various and sundry people attaching them, not to the artist.

    Digital media is what the industry needs to embrace right now. fight piracy by making your product viable. don't fight it by alienating the fans that can't afford your latest pop infused lame-rock seepage.

  85. Ollie @ Industry Trust

    RE: @ Ollie from Industry Trust

    Hi – apologies for taking some time to get back to you.

    You raise some really interesting points, which I’ll try to answer as best I can. On your ‘big content’ licensing idea - the industry is working towards exactly this type of concept, but it’s not so much a licence to do exactly what you want with a piece of work but to offer a variety of models so that if you want to copy and move a work around your own personal, authorised domain, you can pay for that usage, or pay less for a digital copy from a DVD or BD, or you pay less to download to keep, or less to watch once.

    Already the industry has trialled numerous products which aim to include content portability. The first digital downloads offered were a three copy model which gave consumers a digital download, a DVD and a "copy" which could be imported to a device of choice. More recently "digital copy" DVDs have been trialled which give people a digital copy when they purchase a DVD.

    However, the reason the industry hasn’t yet reached the point you describe, is that it takes a great deal of work to get all the necessary conditions in place to make it happen. There is a group of hardware, software, content owner/creator, telecoms, etc companies who have been developing this model. It’s not simple as there are many aspects of the audiovisual sector that make it very different from, say, music, which, for instance, doesn’t have the same constraints on different global release dates.

    Apart from anything else, DRM for film is not entirely driven by content protection. It’s also a rights issue. In many cases video, digital and TV rights are licensed to different parties in different countries and it’s DRM that ensures each licensee sticks to their rights.

    The industry will continue to research consumer demand and look to tailor its offering accordingly, but such changes take time and we have to recognise logistical limits.

    I hope this is useful.

    Ollie from the Trust

    1. Anonymous Coward

      @Ollie from Industry Trust

      Unfortunately, every version of the technologies that you are describing seems to either a) require a compatible media player be created by a vendor, or b) the movie uses a special codec that "phones home" to verify if you have rights to pay for it.

      The first option is simply unpalatable, because I want to play my media on any device of my choosing, produced by ANY VENDOR. The means that the entire world's worth of electronics vendors then have to compete against each other for my business, meaning cheaper and more innovative players, meaning a better content-consumption experience. Locking the media to a specific vendor (Zune, iTunes, Kindle, etc.) drives the prices of the hardware into the stratosphere, and also means that one day down the road the vendor, the content industry (or both) will drop support for that DRM scheme. When that happens, the consumer if (pardon my language,) well and thoroughly fucked. This has already happened more than once in the aughties, where abandonment of a DRM scheme has left consumers with files they have rightly and legally purchased, but can now no longer play.

      The second option, having a codec that phones home is equally bad for the consumer. This requires that the consumer “trust the industry.” If those servers go down, I can no longer access my media. (Or under some schemes, I merely lose the ability to transfer my media to a new device, because it can’t authenticate that I am allowed to view/listen/read.) The company that operates those servers could go under, with only the vague hope that someone else may buy its assets and keep the servers alive.

      Streaming services? Same problem! Under many proposals, I can “pay per view,” (obviously what “Big Content” is wanting me to do,) or I can “buy” the rights to view it as many times as I want from the streaming provider. With the un-talked-about caveat that of course it will only stream to a limited number of devices with narrow codec support, and only for the next X years until the provider is no longer around.

      Far more likely is that the content industry decides its shareholders need some more profits, so they made a cold-blooded decision to kill off the old format (option 1) or the servers (option 2) in order to make us all re-buy our media.

      What you need to understand Ollie is that I am *done* re-buying my media. Not only me, but literally millions more individuals across the world. Reasonably wealthy individuals with a taste to consume media. People who very much so enjoy television, movies, music and such like. I will not buy the Beatles on vinyl, only to buy the cassettes, only to buy the CD’s, the minidiscs, the iTunes download, and then pay-per-listen from a new streaming provider every two years.

      And in case it wasn’t clear, I don’t trust “Big Content” not to try to ram an enormous corporate penis up my backside in a desperate attempt to get me to do exactly that, over and over and over and over and over again. I also don’t trust them not to try to lobby every country in the world to make it illegal for me to rip my music from a copy of vinyl, CD, what-have-you to my brand new media player. They’ll instead take me to court and sue the pants off me for playing a “pirated song” on my new media player, despite owning that song in twelve other formats. (There’s that P.R. issue rearing its head again.)

      In fact, Ollie, this whole conversation with you has kind of brought me to a decision. .I normally spend $2500-3500 on media a year. Instead, I am going to donate each and every dollar I had once set aside for mew media to our pirate party, and other similar copyright and patent reform lobbies. What is more, I think I am going to beat the drums to encourage others to do so as well. I know that it’s easy to be a “random person on the internet talking smack,” but this is truly important. “Big Content,” with its copyright-lifetime-extension landgrabs, purposeful restrictions on formats/usage and its unbelievable lobbying position are stripping the citizens of the world of their rightful cultural heritage.

      I certainly do believe that artists deserve to get paid. So do all the technicians, PR flaks, media consultants, talent agents and even CxOs that work for labels. All serve necessary roles, however once the vice grips are tight enough, the incentive to create new media, (and certainly to encourage the creation of quality media) disappears. The world will not keep buying the Beatles forever.

      So please, pretty, pretty please take this whole conversation back to your buddies in the industry, Ollie. Talk about it around the water cooler. Find a way to get it kicked upstairs to someone who can address my concerns. There are many, many more people out there who have them as well. We are world-wise enough to know that DRM schemes are only going to require us to re-purchase our media again, and we are having none of it. We want to encourage the creation of new and innovative content, new artists and the creation of real jobs.

      We will not buy what we already own. You can work with us earning our patronage, or you can work against us, causing a backlash. I am one disgruntled customer, and am easy to dismiss as a pirate, or anything else that’s mentally convenient. The thing of it is though Ollie, I am actually a customer. One who is not only willing to, but wants to pay. Perhaps it’s not the pirates you should worry about, but an honest-to-god grassroots customer revolt. I know I’ll be doing my best to start one in my corner of the world.

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