back to article U2 frontman bitchslapped by TalkTalk

TalkTalk has branded U2 windbag Bono's intervention in the debate over illegal filesharing "outrageous", after he said efforts to block child pornography showed ISPs should be doing more to protect intellectual property. As part of his latest execrable, relentlessly pretentious sermon* for the New York Times' op-ed section, …


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  1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Fedora, OpenSUSE, Ubuntu, Debian

    There you are

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "noble effort to stop child pornography"

    What "noble effort"? Various governments waste huge amounts of money specifically on stopping child pornography being distributed over the public internet. That's it. Child pornography is still produced and distributed, albeit in a manner less visible to the public. "Out of sight, out of mind" is the motto of these people. They couldn't care less about the issues, just fickle, manipulatable public opinion.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    I usually try to post sensible comments but...

    Bono is a dick.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Concise and to the point....

      but gives him too much credit.

      Dicks are useful (as are assholes). Bonio is more genital wart than anything else.

    2. Maverick

      agree 100%

      May I refer all readers to P.60 of the Viz annual (The Council Gritter - issues 162 - 171)

    3. Luther Blissett

      Low signal to noise ratios

      Were that so, then I would expect this naif saintly irish mother theresa would definitely know that if you mean "cowgirl in reverse" then you don't say "reverse cowgirl".

  4. Ian Hammond

    Do I win?

    Linux Distros?

    Do I win? :-p

  5. Warren G


    I presume you are referencing Linux because without it broadband, and computing generally, would be a much sadder experience?

  6. sickofcrapjournos

    Another craptastic article.

    "Internet industry figures admit in private it would be significant" is as disingenuous a statement as any you claim TalkTalk are making. If you are going to make claims that an organisation doesn't back up its claims with fact, try not making the same mistake yourself. Who edits this rubbish, anyway?

    1. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Another craptastic article.

      That is based on conversations over several years with senior executives at ISPs, who for obvious reasons cannot admit as such in public.

      Off the record conversations are essential in journalism because they are sometimes the only way to reveal a truth. If you don't like it I suggest you read something else. Or indeed, nothing at all.


      - Chris

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Paris Hilton

        How do they know?

        I was going to question that statement too, but I'll take your word for it.

        What I want to know is, how do these senior executives figure it out? Assuming they haven't actually been looking at what all their customers have been downloading, how do they calculate how much customers value the ability to download music for free? Paris because I really don't know.

        TalkTalk is pretty much the only ISP I actually like, I would have been their customer if it weren't for the poor lines out here in the sticks which lead to increased cost.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Hold on there buddy...

        "Internet industry figures admit in private it would be __significant__."

        No offence, but I'm going to go ahead and call 'bullshit' on this. What you're saying is that there is a significant number of internet subscribers who are using their connection to just download copyrighted material. Additionally, if this were not possible they would not keep the connection.

        What would be significant? 10% of the user base? Using the subscriber numbers from 2007 ( ) 1% would be 139,571 people who would give up their connection if there was no copyrighted material to download. (Let alone, 1.3million.) So yes, I say it again, Bullshit.

        ISPs are not raking in the cash as they ride the wave made by Pirate Bay as Bono and your self seem to be implying.

      3. Will Leamon

        As it was then...

        I think that statement was true when broadband first came along (ie music downloads were the killer app for broadband) but these days I seriously doubt we would ditch our highspeed connections if the whole piracy thing just disappeared tomorrow. We're hooked and there's no looking back.

        PS. Bono's a twat.

        1. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: As it was then...

          Agreed. It's privately accepted that P2P - most of it illegal - was mostly responsible for establishing broadband. And as you say, there's no going back.

          Equally, what do people think Virgin Media 50Mbit subscribers pay the premium for today? The people I'm referring to in the story say illegal film and TV downloads.

          If Bono had his way, and it was tracked or blocked, would there be a market for that service? Genuine question. Please don't mention Linux distros.

          1. Samo

            Re: As it was then...

            Hell yeah! Off the top of my head at consumer level: -

            -Online gaming,

            - Streaming of HD movies / TV Shows (see Korea for example)

            - HD quality video messenging.

            - Cloud computing in the future?

            Then, at a business level: -

            - Video Conferencing,

            - File sharing (as in CAD drawings, projects, etc) between remote sites,

            - Remote HD presentations (uhm, if they are still used)

            I'm sure if I thought about it more, I would find more consumer level reasons, but those are the ones I use in some kind of way (online gaming, SD iplayer, and SD skype, for example... Lowly 2Mb speed here :( )

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              And more...

              More and more people are using VPN access to make home working a reality.

              As a computer professional (and I know many others that do the same from time to time) a fast Internet connection is essential for a practical home solution.

              Granted, you don't need 50Mbit but how many people actually have that? An insignificant proportion I would guess.

              When broadband was first being bought up, it was probably true that the vast majority were tech-savvy hackers wanting the latest cinema-ripped off content from some dodgy sites. Today, although they are the bandwidth hoggers, I suggest that they are a very small minority of Internet users.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Exactly as above...

              From a consumer point of view, at least - I know many households (my own included) who have more than one online gamer / heavy internet user at at time using thier service - a not unusual line up when I used Virgin's 20Mb service would be: 2 x WoW clients, 1 x Eve client 2 x Spotify clients, messenger clients plus Teamspeak / skype / Ventrillo and web browsing etc.. all these over 2 machines. More if the kids are round (iphones etc). It's very easy to suddenly produce a large amount of data traffic over your connection these days whilst remaining wholly within the law.

              Now I don't live in a cable area, and I'm kinda missing it.. <itch> 8Mb (more like 4 - 7ish) doesnt cut it.

          2. copsewood

            Different business model needed

            If the content carried by the network sells the network, morally the providers of the content should reasonably get a commission, but when they do, the commission has to be conditional upon legitimising use of content for which sales commission is due. The idea that content providers can police use of the network is incompatible with human rights concerned with privacy and expression.

          3. Anonymous Coward

            ISPs Hear Me!

            [Honest] Have you seen the size of a ripped 1080p movie! I need more bandwidth to P2P these files and I will pay you more money for it. Throttle me and I walk to someone who doesn't. Thank you for defending your customers! [/Honest]

            ISPs have no interest in supporting P2P traffic!

          4. Tempest 3K

            Re: As it was then...


            I have one of these 50Mbit connections - the reason? I do a LOT of work with large files and websites, alongside broadcasting on an internet radio station (licensed I might add before anyone jumps on that point). I also do a lot of gaming alongside said station, so being able to download games on steam etc and new MP3's from Amazon etc at high speed is great for me!

            I suspect I'm not the only one using these 'premium' connections for these sort of reasons.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Equally off the record...

        ... the music industry might concede what several not-very-cooked-by-them studies, and in fact some book publishers from practice(!) have found: That there is significant gain from ensuring a wider audience gets reached, regardless of how ``illegal'' that is done. Right, that'll happen. But lobby industries' denials do not change whether such a thing is true or not. Political failure for the good for the citizens to prevail is politicians directly failing their core market customers. Not mentioning ``core competencies'' though.

        And as regards child pr0n, I disagree with talk talk (and various governments the world over including the UK government), in that mandatorily blocking anything constitutes censorship, which is bad and undemocratic any way you look at it, and does exactly nothing for the children that are, will be, or might be abused. And a fix for the moral panic it sprang out of it also is not.

      5. irish donkey
        Thumb Up

        Sorry let me help

        Hands up who wants a 20mb @£35pm connection if you can't download free shit from the hinterwebs.

        Not me and I'm sure all you standing at the back shuffling your feet agree.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    My first illegal MP3....

    .....was a U2 track.

    1. Oz

      Re: My first illegal MP3....

      I note that it wasn't an album, therefore costing Bono 79p not £7.

      Dare I suggest that most people find far better things to download now than U2 stuff. Really - Bono needs a reality check!

  8. Anonymous Coward


    Is "Bono" Gaelic for "knob end"? Shame, because Bono is less fun.

    Much as I dislike Talk-Talk, good for them.

    1. James Melody

      Gaelic - WTF?

      They speak Irish in Ireland not Gaelic.

      On a further note - Make Bono History!

      1. pctechxp

        No such thing as Irish

        Its definitely Gaelic hence they have Gaelic football.

        Back to the subject, Bono is talking complete crap as always but I would like to see the end of P2P from a purely technical stance because it is highly inefficient.

  9. Alien Doctor

    Nice little...

    article about the bonobo from Alternet today:

  10. GarethJones

    I upgraded my internet connection to 20Mb

    Only to download Linux Distro's.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    He really is a sanctimonious twat

    To quote Graham Norton:

    "People like Bono really annoy me. He goes to hell and back to avoid paying tax. He has a special accountant. He works out Irish tax loopholes. And then he's asking me to buy a well for an African village. Tarmac a road or pay for a school, you tight-wad!”

    I'd take his views on government policy a lot more seriously if he paid something towards it.

    1. Richard Wharram
      Thumb Up

      re: He really is a sanctimonious twat

      Graham Norton is a surprising cool bloke. Spot on !

    2. Mike Flugennock

      re: Graham Norton

      Well, god _damn_. Right on, Norton! Buy that man a beer! Hell, _several_ beers.

      I think BBC America still carries his show over here; I think I'm going to have to start watching him, if I can just pry the remote from my wife's hand and switch over from "Law & Order" (spit).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Norton's not too bad

        Just download his shows so you can watch them whenever..

  12. Captain TickTock

    @Steve 70

    How dare you! Bono is a perfectly credible spokesman for struggling musicians everywhere...

    And while he may not literally equate child pron with illegal filesharing, equate them he does by his argument.

    Need a Bono with horns icon...

  13. SuperTim

    tracking content.

    It is indeed easy to track content (if it is hosted on a website that doesnt move). Tracking encrypted porn being P2P'd is harder, but even assuming that's possible, it is easy to say that it is ALWAYS illegal.

    Now, blocking a song being sent over the internet requires the ISP to KNOW that the song should not be sent. That is altogether harder. It may be a track i have written, that i own on one computer but need to send to another, or that is not copyrighted at all. The ISPs cannot know all of that.

    I know what bono is trying to say, but then the problems are not at all the same.

  14. Neil Stansbury

    Shock Horror!

    You mean Bono not only fails to understand the complexities of international aid, but he's passing his opinions off on even MORE topics he's not qualified to comment or pass judgement on - who'd have thought it.

    Bono - you sing songs in a band - get over yourself.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Bono is a god not a dick!

    How dare Steve 70 suggest Bono is a dick. Clearly the man has a point, as does everyone is in the music industry saying illegal downloading is killing the industry.

    Ignoring the fact that the week after Christmas the UK had a record amount of Single sales, 4.22 million of them, and in October the record for most amount of singles sold in a year was broken with 10 weeks of sales still to go and final figures are expected to be around the 150 million mark. Its also clear looking at sales figures over the past few years that as internet users increase so do single sales.

    So ignoring the fact that the internet has actually increased sales figure the internet is clearly killing the music industry

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      Increased singles sales != Increased sales

      The great pick-n-mix of iTunes is killing the album.

      Of course, the album's integrity was continually undermined during the nineties and naughties by gimmick marketing: incessant "bonus features" destroyed the experience for the listener.

      The "hidden track" was never well hidden and meant your CD would go silent for a minute or three before playing a minute or two of title track reprise. Kind of took the point out of getting a CD multichanger if you couldn't just let your CDs run continuously.

      The "rerelease album with extra track that we released as a single" or "now with added bonux tracks" thing almost invariably led to an inconsistent sound across the album (because the tracks were recorded at a different time with different instruments and/or settings and possibly even a different band line-up), a bit like inserting a purple picture into a collection from Picasso's blue period -- similar, maybe; good, again maybe; out of place, definitely.

      And then there was remix fever, which meant getting two or three songs from the album repeated at the end in a completely unrecognisable version in a style that fans of the artist's original style probably wouldn't like anyway. This combines the negative effects of deja vu with a rather extreme version of the inconsistency of the "wrong colour" bonus tracks problem above.

      The album should be able to be taken as a single work or a collection of works (consider that "opera" is a Latin plural word, yet many purists still hold that a single piece from an opera cannot be fully appreciated outside of the complete opera). Short-sighted sales-chasing by the labels undermined that and now they're taking the hit.

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Figures, Stats & Ingoring the truth

      You can wave those single's sale in Bono's face until his cows get milked.

      The RIAA(U) & BPI etc are infamous for ignoring the real facts. They will bend it, squeeze, & shake it until they get them to show what they want.


      All downloads of Music are pirating. Think of the poor musician said Bono. Balls I say (especially those of Ed Balls)

      I don't DL Music. I have used the iplayer and 4OD a few times. There again, I'm of an age where there is precious little new musing that interests me being produced. Certainly not some Simon Cowell close whiner.

      however the writing is on the wall. DPI will become the norm nd everything we do on the interwebs will be censored probably within 5 years.

      How long before NuLab proposed a £100/year license to use the Internet?

  16. Floormeister

    The band TalkTalk?

    It's my life and I guess I am living in another world because I am confused. Such a shame; life is what you make it and all you want to do is talk talk.

  17. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    Tape / Video / Internet is killing music

    Yawn - Heard it all before.

    "Home taping is killing music"

    "Video killed the radio star" (like how I fitted that in? no - I'll get me coat)

    "Video is killing movies"

    "Internet is killing music"

    To be honest, the heydays of music have passed because you know what, the kids have more to do now. They don't sit in their bedrooms listening to 7" all day anymore; they spend thier hours killing people in drive-by shootings on their PS3/Xbox, or taming ponies on their Wii.

    I have to ask; how much poorer would society REALLY be if there were no record conglomerates, nobody recorded music for the masses, and maybe even if there were no more films? Yeah, I can see why this is SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than the energy crisis, global warming, people being afraid of what a group of kids will do to them if they ask them to stop smashing up a car, research into diseases that kill thousands...

    (for the record, I'm not a freetard, just a free thinker)

  18. Jacqui Smith's DVD Collection!


  19. NogginTheNog

    Is the music industry dying??

    If so does that mean we won't have to suffer the yearly twats and morons shoutfest they call the BRITS anymore?!

  20. Mountford D

    Way to go BristolBachelor

    You hit on the nail there buddy.

    It is about time the music industry realised their market and business model has changed permanently and making easy millions out of pop music is no longer an option.

    On behalf of our reality overlords, I welcome the music industry and all those who think popular music is the path to instant fame and fortune. Subscribe to Simon Cowell's ruthlessness if you really want that and try understanding the word "business" in the description "music business".

  21. Oliver 7

    To paraphrase Tribe Called Quest...

    Hey yo! Bono know this

    And Bono know that

    But Bono know jack

    'Cause Bono can't rap

  22. blackworx


    Bono, U2, everyone who has ever called themselves a fan: there's a special place in hell for the lot of them.

    1. blackworx
      Thumb Up

      Geldof's Ok though

      He's doing penance right here on earth every time his daughter opens her silly ingrate mouth. I'm surprised he doesn't have a permanent indent on his forehead by now.

  23. Stratman

    FOAD Bonio

    Or, if you must chase column inches, at least bleat on about something that we give a toss about.

    Like tax evasion. That impacts on everyone, not just multinational execs.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    What else did we expect?

    It's natural for the likes on Bono to invoke the spectre of child Pr0n to support his argument: politicians are at it, the police are at it and advocates all over the shop are always at it. It's a cudgel with which to beat down one's opponents and an effectively blunt instrument in almost every situation. But let's not take too many more lectures about the good and evils of world off this obscenely wealthy mutlimillionaire and his chums in the music biz. Hardly the best of role models, are they? More like snake-oil salesmen.

  25. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    yes of course

    I'm not Bono's biggest fan, but in any case I am forced to concur with you all since you have each manifestly achieved more in your lives and done more for the greater good and suchlike than he has. I mean, it's self-evident.

    1. garetht t


      So.. we're not allowed to criticize Bono unless we too are lead singers for multi-million dollar irish rock bands?

      I just read a story by Bill Ray about the imminent lacklustre success of the googlephone. I'm just sure he's in a great place to cast aspersions on that, given that he's done more for the greater good and suchlike that google has. I mean, it's self-evident.


    2. Jamie Davis

      Why is it so popular to use...

      ...Ad Hominem arguments!? Bono is a dick, this is as empirically true whether it was Jim Davidson or Mother Theresa saying it.


    3. Trevor Pott o_O Gold badge


      (A note, prior to my long post: Withdraw a marvellous feature. You can withdraw your comment, fix the worst and most obvious errors to your post, and resubmit. Hurrah!)

      Sarah, you know that I normally would cheer any thrashing handed out by the Moderatrix to a fellow commenttard, however I really think you're in the wrong here.

      Are you are implying that no individual is ever qualified to judge another? If true, then the entire argument implodes into a shower of turdish uselessness. Bono is sitting in judgement over pirates. The milled masses of the internet are sitting in judgement of Bono, each other, the music industry and that noisy dog down the street. Meanwhile you are looking down your long nose in contempt at the lot of us. For the sake of my sanity, I won’t try to even form a coherent argument about anything based on this concept. (This in no way implies my arguments in relation to anything else are coherent.)

      Are you are implying there is an arbitrary point where, (having contributed enough to the “greater good,”) one individual is qualified sit in judgement over another? If so then you imply that the beliefs which supposedly underlie our society, (democracy, judgement by one’s peers, all individuals equal regardless of socioeconomic status,) are a fallacy. The fact that [random commenttard] has not met [arbitrary society contribution limit] means they in fact have no right to an opinion. They are of the “too irrelevant to matter” caste, and should shut up and stop talking out of their asses. (As an aside: how would you know what the social or economic contribution of any given commenttard is?)

      Now, speaking as a member of the “too irrelevant to matter” caste, I heartily object. When we commenttards talk out of our asses, nothing really happens. We vent our spleens, and the world keeps turning. No policy decisions changed, no lives were lost, and no real material effect on the universe occurred beyond a minor change in our own sense of self worth. (Which incidentally means you are in employed to (in essence) be the disembodied therapist/moderator to an ever-increasing population of individuals who talk out of their ass. This strikes me as the equivalent of being Bono’s therapist multiplied by several orders of horror and fail.)

      Sadly, when Bono talks out of his ass Important People listen. His asstastic dialogue does periodically affect policy decisions, and has the distinct potential to affect the lives of millions. Sometimes it may be for the better, other times his influence can be distinctly negative. Regardless, his voice has more influence and impact than that of [random commenttard], and as such is as deserving a good raking over the coals as any.

      I fully support your right to post comments that in effect say “hey, you guys are a bunch of repetitive morons; shut up the whole judgemental, irritating lot of you! I’m totally sick of all fifty thousand comments about this Bono crap, all of which seem to be misinformed, partially informed, and based on hearsay or just plain asshattery.” By the same token, however…we have every right to believe that he is a hypocritical, tax-dodging jackass, whether or not we have “all the relevant details” about his life to make such judgements. It makes us feel better.

      Or, in my case, writing a ridiculous long comment in order to troll the Moderatrix because I’m bored works too.

      Oh look, it’s time to go home!


    4. Anonymous Coward

      You are right, of course

      Bono has achieved a lot more in his life than I have in mine. Actually, let's face it, lots of people have - not just Bono.

      But I think I am allowed to have a pop at him because he is minted and famous. It's the same principle which allows me to shout at professional footballers for being lazy and shit, despite the fact that they are superb athletes at the peak of physical condition and I am a fat bloke with a pie. Who couldn't make it from one end of the pitch to the other without suffering a major coronary event. The difference is, they are on 100 grand a week and I've just paid £48 to watch them.

      Extrapolating your point, you could also argue that The Register hasn't achieved as much in its life as (say) Google. But that doesn't mean you can't put the boot in when it's needed. In fact that's pretty much why I read El Reg.

  26. Stone Fox
    Thumb Down

    I keep miss-reading




    Although anything that comes out of Bonos mouth is probably both...

  27. Pooleside

    It's the system, not the singer

    Bono can't speak for all creators, only for creators of a certain kind- creators of mass-marketable entertainment product.

    The system he defends requires enormous numbers of sales to maintain itself. His example of the next struggling artist? Cole Porter. A genius, of course, but also one of the most popular artists of his day. What about the next nobody? Does a non-megastar artist have the right to a livelihood as well?

    It is to laugh. Naturally, anyone with any talent will be well rewarded by the existing system, no? No. There is a particular category of art and artist that is rewarded- million+ sellers. No one else need apply.

    Making a living by selling units of music for pennies is a terrible system for the long-term support of most creators. Fan sponsorship of artists is a much better idea.

  28. teacake


    "I'm not Bono's biggest fan, but in any case I am forced to concur with you all since you have each manifestly achieved more in your lives and done more for the greater good and suchlike than he has. I mean, it's self-evident."

    Well, I didn't release The Joshua Tree, so if it's the greater good you're referring to I reckon I'm ahead on points, at least.

    On the subject of whether "significant" numbers of people wouldn't have broadband if they couldn't download illegally, I suspect it's more the case that the ISPs are able to sell premium high-bandwidth connections on the back of that downloading. So the question is how much more money do the ISPs make off the premium connections, if any, given that they have to throw more resource at those heavy users? Only a couple of years ago, ISPs like PlusNET were trying to get rid of their heavy downloaders.

  29. Steve Kay

    Abject nonsense

    The "killer app" for broadband was never copyright infringement.

    Broadband took off because it didn't tie up your home phone line, because it was pretty much "always on", because it made your web browsing a hell of a lot nicer and easier, because it controlled the costs, because it allowed parents to work from home more effectively, and because it allowed better online gaming from both PCs and consoles.

    In other words, it took off because it was it was better than the previous offering.

  30. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Kettle

    If you're looking for the point, dear, it went that way.

  31. Mark McC

    All TalkTalk and no trousers

    It galls me to once again see TalkTalk vocally denouncing any anti-PTP measures. I was a happy Tiscali customer (yes, there were some!) until TalkTalk decided upon taking over to bandwidth-shape the hell out of the service. Now, between the hours of 4pm and some time after midnight and practically 24/7 at weekends, all PTP traffic - whether it's bittorrent or legal stuff like Spotify - is restricted to the point that such services are completely unusable.

    So while they're spouting gung-ho soundbites to the media they're also deliberately crippling customers' connections to the point that I can set my watch each day when Spotify stops connecting at 4pm.

    I guess they can afford to be bullish because by the time the government implements their anti-consumer laws there aren't going to be any TalkTalk customers left with a connection that works well enough to fall foul of them.

    1. Captain TickTock

      TalkTalk BitIntolerant...

      That explains a lot of my problems downloading FreeBSD...

  32. daniel hobson
    Paris Hilton

    bono is a

    aww bless, he's just jewish at heart... lets set mel gibson on him

    Paris, because she secretly is bono

  33. JohnG

    Doesn't Bono work pro bono?

    i.e. free of charge, for the public good

  34. AltRockAddict

    Hey Bono Haters ~

    U2 work very hard for their money. Probably harder than any rock band to date. Are you Bono Haters saying that artists should give their work away? Of coures it's nice to get free stuff... if you're the consumer. But try to look at it from the artists point of view. Would you like to write code all day every day "for a living" and then never get paid for it? How would you like everything you produce, write, or dream up to be available free to everyone on the internet?

    The point isn't child porn or China's sensoring, it's Music On The Internet. Whoever finds a way to control this content is going to be very wealthy, and it will happen, because artists cannot (nor should not) work for free.

    1. Youngone Silver badge

      Re Hey Bono Haters ~

      Quote: U2 work very hard for their money. Probably harder than any rock band to date.

      Check this out:

      Now go on, tell me again how hard the tax dodger works for a living.

    2. B Ward
      Thumb Down

      Tax Breaks

      Yes he works so hard thanks to the Irish goverments retarded tax breaks that he milks.

    3. MonkeyBot

      Re: Bono Haters

      "U2 work very hard for their money. Probably harder than any rock band to date."


      And "The Edge" is a second rate guitarist. His primary instrument is the delay pedal.

    4. Jorel Pryce

      U2 hardest working? hah!

      as somewhat of a popculture whore. and more importantly, a rock and roll devotee, this post you've made here kind of speaks of your ignorance. there are myriad bands out there working harder than U2. If taking five years between two average-at-best albums, and more importantly, nineteen years since the last album they made that wasn't a flailing cash grab at new audiences, then sign me up for that job. hell I'll even do a better job of it while "working hard". And you know what? All the time I'll have between making lukewarm albums, and all the money I make from screwing over consumers, I'll even do things like "pay my taxes" and "give my own money to charities"

    5. Trevor Pott o_O Gold badge has figured it out...

      Amazon *has* figured out how to "control" music ont he internet. They sell single tracks as MP3 without DRM. I buy many.

      This is the only signal amidst the noise.

  35. irish donkey

    These Pirates directly take the bread out of the mouths of my children

    Its all really about fairness isn't..

    So OK Bono lost £5 million last year due to Pirates. Considering U2 made £260 million last year. Not really a big deal. IMHO

    A US student who was fined $675,000 (£421,000) which probably equates to his earnings for the next 25 years.

    I know who I feel sorry for.

    Something has happened in today's society. Big business is just driving the gravy train until it claps out!

  36. b166er

    Where's the figures?

    but without free music how many fewer broadband connections would have been sold in the first place?*** Internet industry figures admit in private it would be significant.

    I don't know anyone who bought broadband so they could download music, in fact the majority of people I know have the standard offering from the usual ISP suspects; ie: not that fast and severely capped. So the above statement is essentially bollocks, well done!

  37. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    All you do is...

    A most confusing article for those not following UK telcos, as Bono sings and Talk Talk was a band.

  38. Someone

    Bono, go and live in China

    Bono’s examples of control, and it’s debatable how successful they are, are not control through technical measures, but control through fear. Fear that the state will bring sufficient resources against you, mostly manpower, that you’ll be caught out, and the punishment will be severe.

    Some rights holders would like the Chinese method applied to individuals consuming pirated Internet content. Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, has said, “when people start going to jail, people will stop doing it.”

    For someone who appears to want to liberate the world, Bono is surprisingly willing to trample over democratic freedoms in an attempt to further protect copyright.

  39. heyrick Silver badge

    "Internet industry figures admit in private it would be significant"


    Did *I* get broadband just for "free" music? No.

    Was it even a factor in why I wanted broadband? No.

    I wanted broadband because:

    * always-on connection, no wasted time in dialling into a service - this is a great argument-saver because when you know you are right you can go Google it... and when you're wrong, well, you hope the person you're arguing with doesn't think of that. :-)

    * it is viable to run more than one computer off of one connection. Many ADSL boxes are smart routers with varying numbers of ethernet ports and WiFi.

    * fixed price monthly fee, not a per-dialled variable charge, so I know exactly how much it is going to cost me.

    * a friend and I bashing out some PHP scripting. We'd tweak, upload, test. And have a running conversation about it on the phone. Can't do that with dial-up, its one or the other when using a modem.

    * for 7 euros/month extra, the phone using VoIP lets me call pretty much anywhere in the world, unlimited, for free. All I need now is a sweet Japanese girl that speaks English and is lonely enough to actually want to talk to me...

    * even when it's blowing a bloody hurricane and the download rates are tragic and the computer feels like treacle... it's STILL zippier than a modem. Seriously, don't contemplate XP's SP3 via a modem. Or one of those 50+Mb .Net framework patches. Makes my bladder do flips just thinking how long that would take... and you and I both know 280Kb from the end... NO! PUT THE BLOODY PHONE DOWN... ooooohhhh! aaaargh! mommmmeeeeeee!

    In other words, half a dozen reasons off the top of my head and NONE involve how fast I can get music. Honestly, that never factored into it. I doubt I'm the only one, so I call Balls on that statement.

    BTW - did none of you El Reg hacks ever watch "Broadcast News"? "Sources say" and "admit in private" are two key phrases usually used alongside a completely fabricated point that helps further a story in some way. I, for one, prefer actual quotes from real people. In other words, "put your name to what you say or STFU".

  40. Infernoz Bronze badge
    Jobs Horns

    Bono is busted

    Bono has some very dubious friends, and does not pay his way, so I would not trust a word he says, if you value what freedom you have left.

    Anyhows, current copyright 'law' is based on statues, and as a self-declared freeman, I chose not to consent to this particular abusive corporatist mockery of fairness!

  41. Evil Genius

    Let he who is without sin..

    ..Chuck the first rock at Bonio.

    Instead of pontificating about something he knows nowt about, perhaps he should stick to something he claims to know all about.

    Bono. Please work out to 3 decimal points your carbon footprint for the 120 lorries needed to shift the 360 tour stage.

    hopefully that will keep him busy and quiet for a few years

  42. once bitten

    Bono - selective support

    Stop supporting this W@nker - when it is 'evil' civilised governments downtreading African nations with interest on loans (for money which they gladly took)... then he is all for freedom. Let them have it... stop demanding interest and repayments.

    Considering that these losses wouldnt be paid by his tax-haven, expensive shell company managed arse... no problem for him to support it. Who ultimately would end up paying it? Tax payers in the original lending countries... you and me.

    When it potentially hits him in the pocket. File sharing and copyright... then he wants to ensure he gets his cash.

    South park portrayed him correctly.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Stick to what you know Bozo

    The saintly one should stick to grip 'n grins with starving Africans and 11th hour mercy dashes to the UN - he still won't have a clue what he's talking about, but at least the 'victims' are more of a natural subject for public sympathy than his coke addled mates in the music industry.

    I really wonder if the Pope's favourite rocker realises what a total dickhead he looks almost any time sound comes out of his mouth that isn't accompanied by music (ethically pinched 'world music' or not). The only thing that could beat the end of football would be the end of crusading "celebrities" who believe that their minimal contribution to culture qualifies them as 'opinion leaders' in fields far beyond their intellectual capacity.

    Paris, way more interesting than any angsty Irish crooner.

  44. Tony Paulazzo

    Not particularly @ Sarah Bree

    >I'm not Bono's biggest fan, but in any case I am forced to concur with you all since you have each manifestly achieved more in your lives and done more for the greater good and suchlike than he has<

    Trying to understand this statement and failing miserably. Do you mean because he's filthy rich? if so, no argument, but if you mean:

    1. He single-handedly destroyed famine in the third world...

    2. He gave most of his riches to help those in the third world...

    3. He dutifully paid what taxes were due from him so that government aid to those suffering...

    4. His music was, is and ever shall be awesome...

    5. He compared copyright infringement to the horrors of child pornography and Chinese dissidents being disappeared by their government, probably to be tortured...

    Then I must respectfully disagree, the most starving child has a moral conscience, the poorest worker pays his share of taxes and 10 000 lemmings aren't necessarily correct.

    There is one way to change the ills of the world, delete greed from the human psyche, learn to share, respect the world and our place in it, and then, maybe, the spectre of human suffering, starvation, abuses, wars over resources etc. will end (and I'm not even a famous pop star).

  45. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Can only speak for myself

    I got broadband so that I could effectively upload and download software - I'm a bit of a programmer you see, and yes it IS mostly Linux. It's definitely all FOSS.

    I then discovered that I could download and upload huge amounts of music, some of it crap, some of it great - did I mention that I'm also a bit of a musician/composer?

    Oh, almost forgot. The music is all Creative Commons licensed and much more interesting than the factory muck I hear on (other people's) radios, in shops restaurants etc.

    Bono? Is that someone I should be interested in?

    If one does a ratio comparison of his finances/charitable acts against the average Joe's finances/charity acts I have a strong feeling that average Joe would come out on top. There are also some people who quietly devote their entire lives to the care and welfare of other people - I would value them at the very least 100 x Mr. arrogant, self-publicist Bono.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    U2 are crap, but...

    Just for that, I think I might find a torrent of all their music and seed it for a while.

  47. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: "Internet industry figures admit in private it would be significant"

    "a friend and I bashing out some PHP scripting"

    Does that suggest to you that you are a typical consumer broadband subscriber?

    Yes, I have seen Broadcast News, many times. I also prefer to quote named people, but for reasons explained earlier in this thread, it's not always possible.

    1. Trevor Pott o_O Gold badge

      @Chris Williams

      I can't speak to "typical consumer broadband subscriber" in the UK...but here in Canada, my experience with all "typical consumers" is that they have broadband for its ease of use. Something about dial-up being a pain in the ass.

      As to "would they choose to simply do without internet" the answer is a flat out no. Most of them would love to pirate music/movies/etc, but flat out don't know how. The single biggest use of the internet seems to be "coupon hunting." Everyone gets on the internet and rotary shops every store that sells [insert widget here] looking for the best prices. They then go to the brick-and-mortar and buy it.

      Usage case #2 appears to be sending an infinite stream of useless fw:fw:fw:fw:fw:fw:fw:fw:re: pointless whatever via e-mail. All of which have an animation, sound file, video, or some combination thereof.

      Other than that, folks seem to browse Facebook, and use the ‘net as a replacement for their newspaper. (Our local papers all offer e-editions, and they are growing in popularity to the dead-tree versions.) Oh, and sometimes they Google something, or look something up on Wikipedia, but that doesn't seem to be a big part of anyone's day. I am almost certain most of them haven’t even figured out how to use YouTube, and being in Canada, we don’t get Hulu or Netflix.

      We used to pay ~30$ a month for a newspaper, and $40 a month for a landline. Now we get the internet and a landline for ~$40. Even the “little old lady” at work who hasn’t figured out that you can have more active programs on your computer than the current maximised window wouldn’t dream of living without.

      “Typical consumers” don’t seem to understand the point of a computer that doesn’t have “always on” internet access. In Canada, this means broadband. Isn’t it the same in the UK?

    2. Chris Hedley Silver badge

      Re: "Internet industry figures admit in private it would be significant"

      > "Does that suggest to you that you are a typical consumer broadband subscriber?"

      Is there even such a thing? If there is, I suspect that playing games online is a more likely motivator than illegally downloading music that would've probably never been bought anyway. People have numerous different reasons for thinking broadband is fundamentally a better thing than dialup; whilst "freetard" may make a better headline, I can't help feeling that it isn't really the truth of the matter. It certainly wasn't part of my own reasons to go down the broadband route, which are mostly the reasons already mentioned several times here: always on, unmetered, less inconvenient, doesn't tie up the phone etc etc. The fact that I can download 1GB texture packs for the latest RPG in less than three weeks is a nice added bonus.

  48. DavidM2

    Great analogy

    "We're the post office, [ISPs] tell us; who knows what's in the brown-paper packages? ... it's perfectly possible to track content."

    So, shall I inform Bono's postman that he's perfectly A-OK with them opening his mail, just to make sure he isnt doing anything wrongbad? Or has he already done that?

  49. Hugh_Pym

    Q: How do they know?

    A: They don't. All 'estimates' of illegal downloads are a guess by definition. Also illegal download != lost revenue. The current system is set up to allow the industry to control the market for the benefit of the few at the top. Bono's millions are only a percentage of the money made on the U2 music sold. There are hundreds of other's supporting high end lifestyles on their 'middleman' jobs, jobs that downloaded music doesn't require, jobs that only a controlled market can support. No wonder then than the industry spews out such crap about 'piracy'.

    P.S. I believe that work hard for my money as, I suspect, do a lot of people reading this. I'm not sure how I could work 100,000 times as hard in order to enter the pop star income bracket. Perhaps the payment received is not directly proportional to the effort expended.

  50. nichomach

    @Chris Williams re:

    Well done on cherry-picking the only relatively atypical reason amongst the many given by heyrick and others (to whom I will now add myself) calling "bollocks" on the idea that the major driver for broadband takeup was illegal filesharing. I got it because it was fast, fixed price, allowed me to work from home out of hours, and allowed me to hook up multiple computers easily. In fact, out of all the people I know who over the years got broadband, none were motivated by illegal P2P. Either put up some facts or stop spouting such unsubstantiated drivel.

  51. Stratman

    Bonio and copyright theft

    I wonder (actually I couldn't give a toss but for the sake of this post let's assume I do) how the world-saving warbler feels about drug companies' intellectual property being stolen b ythe generic manafacturers, ostensibly so that 'third world' (ever seen a thin African general? Thought not) nations can afford them.

    Maybe it's OK because it fits in with his view of the way things should be. Perhaps he should tell us, via a proclamation if necessary, precisely which types of intellectual property are sacrosanct and which should be a free for all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Generic manufacturers don't steal IP from other pharma companies, they make things once they're out of copyright, hence the name. Big pharma also make less costly versions of HIV meds, for example, specifically for the 3rd world. Do you seriously think there would be a pharma industry if there was no copyright of products? Why would anyone splash out millions of £/$ to make and test a product if it'll get nicked as soon as you've made it?

  52. justsaying
    Thumb Up

    Talk Talk are great

    Spirit of Eden especially - a majestic album.

    As for U2/Bono? They're not fit to wipe Mark Hollis's arse. Sanctimonious tossers.

  53. Ancient Oracle funkie

    Confession of a downloader

    Before the (long) confessional, I originally installed ISDN to free up the phone line so when I had the chance to surf more quickly (by which time we had several PCs in the family) it made a lot of sense to go broadband.

    And I do download stuff off the net, sometimes quite a lot. As an example I recently downloaded several Jefferson Airplane gigs with Signe Anderson, plus a few of the early gigs with Grace Slick. Over the years I have downloaded a whole load of Beatles stuff, as I love listening to take 1, take 2, etc of the various songs that I have on legit CDs.

    And yes, I have d/l genuine copyright material. Sometimes it's a vinyl rip for an album not available on CD. Or it might be that single extra bonus track on yet another release of an album that I have once or twice on vinyl and again on CD. You see, the music industry has been ripping me off for years with re-releases containing new material (often just the one song). I can sort of live with the fact that I've had to shell out a small fortune to buy the CDs to replace my 500+ vinyl collection (although no more - I've finally sorted things out so I can do my own rips to MP3; still a technical breach of copyright). But when I was expected to buy a double best-of CD to get a single unreleased track for an artist where I already owned all his CDs, that's when I finally thought "S*d the lot of you". The music industry treats us consumers as cash cows, then wants to oppress us when we fight back.

    Look, we all know piracy is wrong, but shouldn't the music industry also realise that they have been milking us for all we're worth over the decades and it's about time they stopped?

    A final rant - am I the only person who thought that the latest Beatles remastered releases said more about cash-generation than music? Why am I expected to shell out twice if I want both mono and stereo versions of an album (why would I want both? Because I do - I'll get my anorak) that has sold millions and is 40+ years old?

    Oh that's enough, sorry for the length of this incoherent ramble but there's snow outside and I'd rather be building snowmen than pretending to be an IT consultant.

  54. Evil Genius

    Position of the month?

    "Reverse Robin Hooding"

    Is that the same as Reverse Cowgirl? You get to look them in the face as you download the torrent?




    ice axe


  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Digital Economy Bill [HL] hansard 6th Jan 2010 scrutinised by a committee transcipt

    Digital Economy Bill [HL]

    hansard 6th Jan 2010 scrutinised by a committee transcipt

  56. Tony Paulazzo
    Gates Horns

    Pointless point

    >But try to look at it from the artists point of view. Would you like to write code all day every day "for a living" and then never get paid for it? How would you like everything you produce, write, or dream up to be available free to everyone on the internet<

    I agree, I'd love it if I got paid every time someone used the program I coded.

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