back to article Why Bono is wrong about filesharing

Music entrepreneur Paul Sanders thinks Bono is wrong, and the music business should start being a music business again. We invited him to elaborate. At a conference a few years ago IFPI Chairman John Kennedy said he had 'no problem' with China's approach to managing its citizens' use of the internet. It stuck in my mind for …


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  1. Not Fred31

    child pornography?

    "because ISPs can and do take some action to block child pornography"

    ISPs provide a fig-leaf for government failures to take action internationally to have child pornography sites taken offline. It is entirely simple to get around these blocks, if one is sick enough to want to. It doesn't work, but nobody cares because its function is public relations, not to be effective.

    Blocking would not work (and is seldom suggested) for copyright because it would be as ineffective for copyright as it is for child pornography. The difference is that nobody has any business or political interest in imposing entirely useless technology to protect copyright.

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      Re: child pornography?

      The main reason why you cannot use this against the freetards is that once a certain image is tagged as "offensive" (e.g. it's on an album cover), it is easy to recognise it electronically. However if you try to recognise a music track, how do you know if it is in breach of copyright, or someone is downloading it after buying it on iTunes / Amazon, or just someone listening to Radio 1 online?

      OK, so in the world of the music business it is more straight-forward: If it a music track, they haven't been paid enough for it, even if they have been paid, so it should be blocked. But in the real world it doesn't work like that.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Same lazy arguements.

    Same lazy arguements.

    File sharing isn't just about music, it's about lots of intellectual property. If you want to pay a tenner a month for a bunch of music you can already to it, and have it as nice direct downloads instead of having to piss around with P2P.

    But this model isn't going to work as some magical legalisation bullet, because the freetards are also nicking movies. Another £20 a month for that? It'd have to be at least that to cover existing revenues. And software? Another £40 a month for that (heck, that barely covers the carte blanche for nicking Photoshop alone that everyone would invariably do at this point). TV? Another £40 - 50 a month for that? E-books? Porn?

    The reason we didn't buy stuff on an all you can eat basis historically is because it got really expensive really fast and wasn't really worth the money. That isn't changing.

    It'd be a better system if people just paid for the things they wanted, instead of just taking them without paying for them because they're pathetic.

    1. Paul Sanders

      Bundling and laziness

      Leaving aside whether I have been lazy in making these arguments, other sectors are already much more advanced in how they deliver their service than music is. Films for instance already have a broadcast and cable channel, and VoD is significant and growing. Many households already pay on a monthly basis; Sky seems to be offering a bundle including movies at £46 per month. Software and games are partly migrating to a service model - take a look at WoW, or Salesforce for example.

      If you want a bit of serious analysis of this I recommend starting with a few papers by Yannis and Brynjolfsson on the economics of information goods. The reason we buy newspapers, and subscriptions, is apparently because both consumers and producers are usually better off, even if some of each class of people will inevitably do worse if the per article or per unit offer is not available.

    2. blackworx

      Hello is that Kettle?

      I have pot for you on line one. He says you're black.

      Your vision of "all you can eat" is not necessarily the only way it can be. It is perfectly possible to offer subscription services to those who want them and still be able to prosecute illegal filesharing.

      All it takes is for the music biz to stop squealing like a stuck pig and realise that the only reason it got stuck in the first place is because of its own short-sightedness. Same goes for Hollywood (although quite why anyone would want to download the shite they're putting out these days is beyond me) and, if they're not careful, publishers.

      The alternative is to continue screwing over paying customers while freetards get away with it. Ok, casual "piracy" might momentarily dip with new legislation or whatever, but nobody can seriously say there will be any lasting effect. Even if illegal filesharing ever did become a seriously hard thing to do without getting caught (which, last time I checked, isn't going to happen any time soon) then the ability to do it just becomes proportionally more valuable, and you're back to old style bootlegging and large-scale "piracy". Maybe the music biz wants the 80's back in more ways than one, but I sure as hell don't and neither does anyone else who's ever had a taste for the absolute abundance of talent out there that we never would have heard if it wasn't for the internet. I half suspect everyone else either hasn't heard of the internet or would actually be happy listening to The Lighthouse Family on endless repeat.

      It's the music biz's problem, not the ISP's, not the customers, but theirs. Ok the problem wasn't of their own making but they're still smarting and bitching and picking at the scars when all they need to do is either get over it and move on or go the way of the dinosaurs. Fucksake it's not like if the music biz imploded then music would suddenly cease to exist overnight.

      PS: Bono. Argh, I honestly can't even think of a single word to describe that fatuous spunkbubble.

    3. Beebs

      subscription is nothing new

      In case you hadn't noticed people are already buying movies on monthly flat rate from netflix or lovefilm, people have been paying for TV on a monthly flat rate for even longer from the satellite and cable companies. Changing the delivery mechanism can only increase the number of people willing to go legitimate and subscribe, a large percentage of those that don't would never have been willing to pay in the first place, even if it meant not getting the content.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      There are some valid points

      Although I don't like it, I have to second that. These are valid points.

      Let's face it , we are not THAT rich to pay a monthly fee covering free lunch on every AV/SW work. Every album, movie or software application is a work of tens, hundreds or even more people that want desperately to pay their taxes :)

      When talking music, people say something about "artist" - well, great artist some songwriter/performer may be, but you hear the difference, when he/she records something in a garage, especially without other people helping. Well, at least if you are not deaf (or listening to iPod). Usually, it sounds sh*t. There are notable exceptions in completely electronic music, such as techno (the real deal, not the "techno" for gullible masses), but that kind of music is culturally a bit different and far ahead in distribution and other related matters.

      And guess what - recording equipment, people who know how to operate it, people that are able to give it sound quality, are expensive. As in "really expensive". The same stands for film. People don't download that many artistic, low cost, or amateur movies, but they download blockbusters. They really, really do.

      I think, the solution may be in free previews (full length, low quality, possibly with some short ad at the beginning, or end of the mp3). Many, if not majority of people download just to find out, to broaden their horizons. If they like it enough, they may buy it in a higher quality, provided the studio doesn't go mental with the price and DRM.

      And now, at the end, my old gripe - why the studios do not make their music/movies really available? If they no longer press some CD/DVD, there usually is no way how to buy it. Especially with geographic limitations. I want to buy some albums, I really do, I do have the money, I would gladly part with them for the album, but I can't. These people just don't get it.

  3. seanj

    My guest opinion?

    Bono is a great big floppy donkey dick. Go pay your taxes, you two-faced hypocrite.

    The reason the music industry won't sign up to fee-based subscriptions is simple. They'd rather spend all their money making criminals of the average person on the street than appear to capitulate, thereby admitting their business model is obsolete, and their place in the world is as irrelevant to music distribution as the horse-drawn carriage is to mass transit.

    1. ekimdam
      Thumb Up

      This is a title

      Post of the year!

  4. shay mclachlan
    Thumb Down


    Bono would express an opinion on my granny's piles if he could get media exposure out of it.

  5. John Lilburne

    How does freetarding help start up musicians

    It doesn't. However, a record companies flush with cash may be prepared to invest in a few. Who knows but freetarding hasn't added anything to anything.

    None of it is about swapping a few files in the playground, its about making 1000s of files available to 1000s of others to download 24/7.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I beg to differ

      Back in the day, when there were many p2p programs, I had one that allowed the browsing of what others had shared. I found a great many smaller bands, who's CDs I bought later when I had money available for CDs, usually direct from the artists' websites, as they were not available at music stores. In some instances the discovery of the new music introduced me to a "scene" where I bought other artists' music, accessories, and tickets.

      In short, p2p allowed me to spend a fair bit of money on good music that I otherwise would not have heard of.

    2. Octopoid

      Free Advertising

      The big rich record companies were gracious enough to invest in a few musicians? If the were REALLY lucky they might let them keep 10% of their earnings.

      How do you think all these new musicians are rising to fame anyway? How many of them do you think are being discovered through the net? They are only being noticed through word of mouth, and a huge part of that is file sharing. Simply being told a song or band is good is one thing, but actually hearing it will spread the word a lot quicker.

      I'm not condoning downloading everything for free, but start ups musicians obviously benefit from filesharing - half the chart owes their fame to it these days. How many sales do you think they'd get without that word of mouth?

      50% of a lot is worth more than 100% of nothing.

    3. Naughtyhorse

      have you never seen the x factor?

      Record companies investing in fledgeling artists???

      So how did you arrange to get an internet feed back to the 1960's, which is clearly where you are operating from?

      The basis of the record companies business model is to apply usery to the artist and highway robbery to the consumer. (vinyl for the home (kerching) tape for the car (kerching kerching) have you heard about these newfangled CD's (kerching kerching kerching) and can i interest you in DRM (10 print "kerrrrrrrrrrrrching"; 20 goto 10)

      The last thing a record company wants is to develop an artist and risk them doing inconvenient things like having ideas of their own (how many artist have had their carrees stalled by a company refusing to issue material?) when they can just raid the job centres for a motley collection of spotty no marks to bung on a crappy tv show and screw a couple of chart singles on the back of the viewing figures. shure said spotty no mark is gone after a couple of hits, but another will be along in a moment. and the same few botoxed faces are always involved in the management and production.

      The record companies owned the means of production for decades and mercilessly exploited it. now that has gone away. and soon so will they. bonehead from U2 has more than enough whiskey vouchers to hand to get himself a studio that George Martin would have killed for, in fact most people have enough cash for that. and the intertubes are starting to and in time will mature to produce a model for distribution which is fair to the consumnr and the producer. but the record companies will have nothing to do with it. They cant be part of the solution as they are the problem :-)

  6. gedthecreator

    The future?

    "Filling up a USB stick and swapping files in the playground should be one of the joys of youth"

    What's to stop "swap parties" where friends get together and copy each other's music?

    With a little coordination a group of friends could start a music syndicate where a monthly fee is used to buy music and then swapped. How will the police/record labels stop this?

    1. Alien8n

      Been there done that?

      No one would do as you suggest, but something close to it used to exist before mp3s. It was quite common in the 80's and early 90's to setup "music rings". Everyone would take it in turn to buy an album and then make copies for their friends. This wasn't as frowned upon as you might think. When Guns and Roses released Use Your Illusion as a double album you'd get friends buying it in pairs. One would buy disc 1 and the other would buy disc 2 with a couple of blank tapes to go with it. Rather than discouraging this it was actively promoted by the record shops. It was also helped by the band making the albums just long enough that they fit on both sides of the tape with just a few seconds to spare. this was while some other artists were deliberately making sure that their albums were just too long to fit nicely on a tape.

      And for anyone who seems to think the music industry is some benevolent patron of upcoming artists, google two names. Poe and Aimee Allen.

      1. heyrick Silver badge


        As in "Haunted"? I *love* that song!

        There're many Poe matches on Google, mostly a dead bloke. Try and look for the bit in the middle about "Re-POE-Session".

        That's what you meant, right?

  7. smeddy

    Hurry up and go extinct, dinosaurs!

    From the day Napster was launched in 1999, the tools and technoloy were there to create a one-stop shop, where I could pay, say, 25p per single and £3 an album.

    The music industry have (quite rightly) done their best to squeeze every last penny out of physical sales, keep digital sales up, and confuse the market with different formats, different markets, DRM etc. etc. So liberating a market when it's going to cost you bucks.

    Obviously the tide has turned, so the label companies are now prepared to head into the digital age, but again in the most cumbersome, non-technical, but most-profitable way possible.

    That's why I have not had any guilt about using p2p services for a decade, with the exception of about two albums a year where I feel the artist is small and worthy of support.

    But until I can browse an artist and download the tracks unrestricted, to do with it what I like, for a reasonable price, I will not give those dinosaurs a cent.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Much of the stuff available on the internet isn't worth having

    So why are you asking me to pay for music? And Films? And Software?

    Yes, there is some "good" music/films/Software out there and I'd be willing to pay a modest sum for a representative sample to enable me to select to buy but it such a PIA to get it - even if I could. I do it with books in book shops and when I read papers?

    Without doubt some people are sufficiently interested (or are freeloaders) in some music/film/software/whatever to fileshare but I'm not sure I believe the 'loss' figures bandied about by the various parties. For those that are so committed to theft they will find a way and all that will be done is stifle access and innovation by 'law abiding' folks.

    I don't know what the answer is but I'm pretty sure that, in these sort of cases, hounding a parent for the sins of the child are a waste of effort. ISPs should be about service provision and it should be the content owners responsibility to legitimately ensure they get payment.

  9. Magnus_Pym

    I've said it before

    and I'll say it again. Too many executive board members salaries depend on the current model for the current music industry to change it.

    A model that involves free downloads removes whole swathes of the scout - contract - promote - release system and would mean effectively voting themselves out of a job. They (and the likes of Bono) need the control physical media gives them to manipulate the charts for their own benefit. It will have to wait until the current big players wither and die before a new set of digital age music industry player can take their place.

    They've had it so good for so long that they actually think that they deserve it.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not downloading bono's newest album

    Can I take this moment to reasurre bono that the reason that I have not bought Bono's last U2 album was not because I was downloading it illegally. I couldn't even be bothered to do the latter. The reason U2s sales are down are not due solely to filesharing -there are other reasons related to the music itself.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Iggle Piggle

    My opinion

    Firstly I want to say that I am really anti the idea that we send the message to children that it is perfectly OK to simply copy music. Even back in my day when we used to exchange wax cyclinders, well OK cassettes, we knew it was the wrong thing to do. Nobody policed us and the recording industry were livid but the fact that it cost time to copy the cassette limited the damage we could do.

    Now with the advent of the internet you just open up your P2P application, search and then wonder off to school, work, bed and wait for the computer to do the rest. Now I realise that P2P is not actually illegal unless you copy something that is someone else's intellectual property and so banning P2P traffic would not only be technically difficult it would also be wrong.

    However we are heading towards the idea that there is a levy on cassettes, blank CDs, DVDs, and in the Netherlands even photocopiers and perhaps soon internet access. All to support an industry that cannot figure out how to market itself. I object to being made to pay a levy on a CD or DVD with the assumption that I'll be committing a crime and I would equally object to being forced to shell out extra for my internet connection.

    I do realise that your MSP is a choice a consumer can make and I'm guessing the model you propose is that non music users would either go for a different ISP or your ISP but without the optional music package. However what then stops me from copying the music from someone else? While there has to be a carrot (all you can eat music) there has also to be a stick (stop copying or you or your folks will not be allowed to connect). Worst case every ISP becomes an MSP with a compulsory music package and then you have the idiot situation that is the BBC. Well if you own a television you must pay us even if you think our product is crap.

    I presume that the music industry is setting up honey pots. That is fake sharers who put files on line and then monitor the IP address of those downloading. It is then a simple matter (often) to look at the catalogue that those users are sharing and pop along to the ISP or judge and ask for action to be taken. No talk about the ISP being forced to limit P2P traffic just let the music industry police their own market from the comfort of their own server room.

    I am a little interested in the model that your MSP offers. Let's suppose you offer an all you can eat service for 20 quid a month. Does that money get spread over the artists I download or is it just put into a pot (call it the muso benevolent fund if you like) and then spread thinly over the artists you offer? This would seem a very strange way to reward people if that is indeed what you do. And how do you decide which artists to offer?

    I'm not anti the all you can eat idea but I am very pro the stick idea. Give the copyrighted file sharers a good stiff whack over the knuckles and they will either turn to the MSP model or go back to buying CD's. Some, of course, will go back to copying wax cylinders (or USB sticks if you prefer) but that is a lot less damaging than the current P2P option.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      just one point...

      Honey-pot fake sharers wouldn't be used. It is illegal to COPY IPR material, and also make it available, Downloading a copy is NOT illegal - it the making and sharing of the copy which is illegal. It is for this reason that P2P is targetted as the powers that be know that you share while you download, and THAT is the thing they get you on - the sharing. If a honey-pot was used by the record industries then it is reasonable to assume that the shared content is AUTHORISED and not illegal, as it is the copyright owner who is sharing it. So honey-pots are a real dumb-ass move.

      Instead they try to download content from YOU - and do you for sharing.

      It's a minor point but I hate it whenever I see the phrase 'illegal download', it is actually a 'legal' download (from your perspective, of an 'illegal' copy - the crime is the copying and sharing.

      That is all.

      1. Iggle Piggle

        Sorry what I forgot to say was

        that the files on the honey pot servers would actually not be real music, just have the real names. Another option would be that they have the correct hash but when a user requests the file they find they are at the back of an enormous queue and never actually receive anything.

        Of course it would actually be far easier for the music industry to simply start downloading music and then grabbing the IP address of those offering the files. You may still need to download the entire track (or a decent chunk of it) to prove they were sharing.

        But actually you are probably right a honey pot might attract interested downloaders but if that is not actually illegal then it really does not serve much purpose.

    2. blackworx

      Just one thing

      "the idiot situation that is the BBC"


      imho of course :o)

  13. Tom 35
    Thumb Down

    They will not let me pay...

    The track I want is on iTunes USA, it's on iTunes UK, it's on Amazon mp3 service.

    But the labels will not let them sell it to me.

    They say I have to go to iTunes Canada, too bad if they don't have it.

    So no money for you. Stupid control freaks.

  14. Waderider

    Just a little point.....

    My opinion is that the music industry has hung itself, should have modernised years ago.

    My surprise is the recent discovery that the book publishing industry is doing the same thing. My mother in law recently got an ereader as a gift, a device I need to put the ebooks on as she is technologically challenged.

    Legitimate sources either don't have the books she wants available, or the price is ridiculous. Ten quid for a paperback (James Cameron in this case)? When no raw materials are used in it's creation, no transport, no warehousing, no shop to sustain etc.? The real item is £12.

    I don't encourage piracy, but all these industries need to urgently modernize and pass a decent proportion of the cost savings created by electronic forms of media or they'll have no business at all.

    The pirates are on both sides with ebooks, that's for sure.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Have to say it........

    Highest presales for an album, interest generated by 'pirated' TV clip on YouTube viewed by millions for free.

    Look what happened when the album was eventually released, I even bought the thing because my wife wanted the CD not a download.

  16. Chris007

    Learn from the past

    When casette tapes came out ther music industry said it would kill them off - it didn't, they embraced it and started selling music on cassettes.

    When the Video Tape (VHS/BetaMax) came out the film industry said it would kill them off - it didn't, they embraced it and started selling films on video tape (well at least after watching Porn studios make a shedload of cash by doing it first)

    When p2p (and similar) came around both industries said it would kill them off, it hasn't BUT they haven't embraced it and are not selling music/films on p2p etc (in any large scale format anyway - leave it son, you know what I meant!!)

    You'd think they might learn from the past but that really would be asking for too much.

    FAIL: Obvious really

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Know what's really sad?

    Like most users, I have used - on occasion - both P2P and download sites. Though rarely for copyrighted products.

    Holier than thou? Hardly.

    The fact of the matter - and the sadness of it all - is that when I'm faced with 100's of movies and 1000s of music tracks, and decide that I don't want 99.9% of this rubbish for FREE (!!) - then what's being protected here? If I don't want it for nothing, then I'm hardly likely to want to pay for it either.

    It isn't just a question of new technology overtaking old. As some wit said - if we'd had such attitudes 100 years ago, we'd have banned radio and the phonograph to preserve music hall.

    But when the quality of a product is such that discriminating people won't even waste bandwidth on it, let alone agree to ludicrously-high retail prices - surely the digital rights battle is the very least of the media industry's troubles.

    Perhaps - as another poster remarked - the problem is that the pirates are on both sides of the fence.

    Including over-privileged, self-righteous idiots like Bono.

    1. J 3

      All true...

      The only problem is that "discriminating people" of the type you allude to is a very rare breed, and therefore irrelevant.

      Or do you think Bono and 50 Cent are worried about the Jazz snobs' disdain for their music?

  18. IR

    If only

    If only there was some way that we could have music that is transferred via another country that doesn't have the same copyright laws so we don't have to pay for it. You know, in the same way Bono transfers his cash so he doesn't have to pay taxes.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Contradicting all previous research

    "consumers are saying clearly that they value music and are willing to pay". No, they are saying exactly the opposite in every study of target audiences (12-25 yo). Now go away!

  20. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    Very good article

    A nice change from the usual mad pro-Universal rants that populate the Music section of the Reg far too often.

    As I often say, "buy a CD, kill an artist". The big labels use their monopoly to crush the "small" artists and distributors into oblivion.

    Also, whether free downloading really hurt sales at all is highly debatable. Most people have a fixed budget for this kind of products, and they usually spend it all regardless of whether they indulge in some copyright infringement on the side. Often enough, people buy what they downloaded for "free" if they find it good. Again, the big labels may not like it because it allows people to discover -and buy- less-publicized work from artists who don't have the money to ceaselessly harass consumers with ads.

  21. Captain Save-a-ho

    Re: Just a little point

    " don't encourage piracy, but all these industries need to urgently modernize and pass a decent proportion of the cost savings created by electronic forms of media or they'll have no business at all."

    Don't disagree. Logically, digital forms of media should cost less than the standard, analog forms we've been accustomed to for so long. However, there are startup costs associated with the digitizing. distribution. and rights-management of these media...startup costs that will be born by the first wave of customers to the digital form. In eBooks, the price will go down over time, as those startup costs are recovered and only the ongoing costs need recovery. I doubt the same thing will happen in music, because of the other factors (fat cat music companies and the Recording Industry Ass. of America).

    All service providers face a dilemna in how to recover startup costs for any multi-tenant or consumer-facing service. Generally, the first in line get screwed, which is why I tend to wait for the "dust to settle", as it were.

    Mr Sanders, your article was thoughtful and logical, even if I doubt the long-term prospects of buffet-style digitial media for reasons beyond the discussion of your article.

  22. Ejl
    Thumb Up

    Great article

    Lots of good ideas in this article; I agree with most if not all of it.

    The problem with file-sharing reform is that it always has been, and always will be, impossible to regulate which precise sequences of bits and bytes are allowed to be sent down any particular wire; file-sharing will *never*, *ever* be stopped, regardless of the morality - it's simply impossible to consider otherwise.

    I would be willing to pay a subscription for all-you-can-eat downloads or likewise, though.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Two words, idiot, bono

    Bono's an idiot and knows SFA about the internet.

    The internet is often people's lively hood, and many of us use the internet to work from home to access our employers and clients systems. It's essentially an unwritten requirement in my contract of employment that I shall have an internet connection at home.

    So if I were someone downloading tons of copyrighted material - which I hasten to add, I don't, I'm a good little boy, then under Bono's ill thought out through ignorance proposal, I'd probably lose by job too. And F**k knows what my clients will do,which are major arms of government running complex and critically important operational IT systems.

    1. david wilson


      >>"So if I were someone downloading tons of copyrighted material - which I hasten to add, I don't, I'm a good little boy, then under Bono's ill thought out through ignorance proposal, I'd probably lose by job too."

      For all te arguments against it, I'm not sure how great an argument that would be.

      It'd be like someone who never broke a speed limit arguing that driving bans are a bad thing because they need a licence for their job, and if they did somehow repeatedly get caught speeding, they'd eventually end up having their licence suspended.

  24. Barbara in Austin

    THE DAY THE MUZAK DIED...and I'll be singing...

    Bye bye Miss American Pie, drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry, them GOOD OLE BOYS were drinking whiskey and rye, singing 'That'll be the day that I die..."

    I hope Metallica sales tanked forever.


    U2 hasn't done anything worth stealing /or listening to in decades.


    P2P give industries (whether they be technical or musical) valuable information that they could instantly use to their benefit, namely real time market research. Companies pay huge amounts of money to determine buying habits and trends and they could have turned the Metallica/Napster occasion and made billions of dollars by charging a minimal amount for web quality downloads.

    The muzak industry obsoletes technology time and time again only to make each of us re-purchase muzak we already own in the "new and improved" format. B*ll*cks!

    As I said in another post on another subject,... SILENCE IS GOLDEN...


  25. Luther Blissett

    Taking the p1ss in more ways than 1

    bono [bo-no] agg. [f. -a; pl.m. -i, f. -e] buono

    agg. e n.m. [f. -a; pl.m. -i; f.-e]

    sessualmente attraente

    // doesn't need Luther - out of Watford via various parts of Italy - to xlate into English, C, etc

  26. lukewarmdog

    Wont do what you tell me

    Bono grew rich during a time when home taping was killing the music industry.

    Doesn't seem to have done him any harm.

    Bit tired of these elder statesmen with a vested interest telling me about what goes on on the Internet.

  27. Jezthangingabout

    Bono, file sharing and a failing business model.

    With all due deference to Bono (which is actually very little) and the media companies, I fail to understand why protecting their antiquated business model is a problem that must be shared with ISP's or anybody outside of that business. Copyright protection has been gradually extended (or drastically, should you be the owner of a cartoon mouse character!) and, after much lobbying by the media moguls, now offers a level and period of protection that not only beggers belief but bears no relationship to the original intention. I'm also at a loss to understand why copyright protection for music should be, or presume to be, different than for the written word.

    A little off topic but, copyright (which is what this all boils down to) is a gift, given by governments on behalf of their citizens, to any person producing original works of art and literature. The premise being that, by allowing that person a period of exclusive rights to any monetary gain from the work (a period that used not to extend to life plus) the work is published to the public domain. The essential part of this is that, if the public think that the work merits it, they have to pay for it, if not it goes unsold and the "artist" goes hungry (or to his/her day job). At no point is there a codicil that says "regardless of the terms of copyright, everybody will have to ante up a subscription to view/listen to this (insert media here)." What gives the media companies, and some very highly remunerated "artists", the divine right to expect payment from everybody who can potentially access their product, whether they want the stuff or not?

    Copyright is a gift that, in my opinion, has been extended too far and is now taken for granted. A reduction to the original term and conditions is now long overdue - it's a gift that I no longer wish to make.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A gift?

      :: Copyright is a gift that, in my opinion, has been extended too far and is now taken for granted. A reduction to the original term and conditions is now long overdue - it's a gift that I no longer wish to make. ::

      I think sweets should be free, nobody should have to pay for them, and a reduction of the price of all sweets to ZERO would benefit society.

      It would benefit me most of all.

      1. Jezthangingabout

        A gift? Ehh?

        A little past your bedtime there huh? Missed the bit about having to pay? Kids today, no respect for anything etc., etc., .....

  28. Misoriented

    Why is this so important?

    What is it about music that gets geeks so worked up? It's just music. It's pointless amusement to waste your free time. I'm all for pointless amusements, but they're not worth getting your panties in a bunch. Go find something useful to be angry about. Here's few ideas to get you started:

    Feel free to add whatever theme music you like.

  29. Ben Rosenthal

    having fun in that tar pit Bonio?

    Home taping still killing the industry? >.<

    Oh noes, we'll have to find another revenue stream, how will we survive on mere millions while we do so?

  30. Jasp
    Thumb Up

    Convenience the key?

    Piracy will never completely be eradicated, although large numbers of current pirates might be converted by the implementation of more convenient systems. Downloading certainly isn't painless. It requires sourcing the file, waiting for the download, occasional corruption, it might also require uncompression, file renaming and cataloguing.

    Yes, this pain can be reduced by intelligent clients and syndication feeds, but it's certainly not perfect or accessible to the average non-techie person.

    What if this process was removed and high definition TV episodes, films and music were automatically available on your set-top box or media centre at the same time as everybody else across the globe; ready to play at a time of your choosing? I'm sure this convenience would be worth a subscription to some, if not most.

    Some services are getting closer to this such as Sky Player/Spotify/Netflix etc and some even have media centre plugins; but I don't think we can say that it's there yet.

    In terms of TV and film, piracy will always be around until they synchronise release dates worldwide. Why should another country be a season or more behind on a TV series?

    1. david wilson


      >>"In terms of TV and film, piracy will always be around until they synchronise release dates worldwide. Why should another country be a season or more behind on a TV series?"

      Though it doesn't apply to film, I'd guess that for TV a lot comes down to having channels.

      It's not always obvious what is going to be a hit, so often a channel will wait to see how a show does in the original country before buying - co-ordinating overseas channels to show largely the same time isn't likely for early episodes.

      If something is a hit, then maybe a foreign buyer might have the ability to try and catch up with the original broadcaster's timescale for later series, but they still might not want their programming dictated absolutely rigidly by the someone else - there are only so many primetime slots, and short of having a UK channel that's largely a reorganised copy of a US one, etc, there seem likely to be delays even when people would rather there weren't.

      More channels/digital downloads does offer the option of changing that, but the reasons may still apply to 'big' channels.

      Also, I seem to remember reading recently about a series having been padded out to some fairly large number of episodes because there was a threshold a series had to reach before some other organisations/countries would consider syndicating it, though I'm not sure of the details.

      If that is correct in some situations, it's understandable in a more traditional model where someone wants to know it's worth the effort of promoting a programme - for some people, a great programme that stopped after 6 or 12 episodes when they though it was going to last a lot longer might leave them with burnt fingers if they'd spent a lot on promotion.

      1. Jasp
        Thumb Up

        @david wilson

        >>"More channels/digital downloads does offer the option of changing that, but the reasons may still apply to 'big' channels"

        Good points in your post. What I was proposing was really a removal of the traditional broadcast at certain times model and a replacement with an on-demand for everything model. Primetime would then be when people picked their favourite show to watch from a list of them all.

        Shows would be made available globally at the same time, if the shows are good then the figures would reflect this as it would be the viewers choice what to watch and when.

        Perhaps the studio could be paid based on the percentage of viewers in a sale or return type of way. We might get rid of some of the daytime crap :)

  31. Martin 49

    Thanks seanj - you made my day!

    There I am wading through lengthy posts on the intricacies of file sharing, the law, DRM, etc

    when suddenly:

    "Bono is a great big floppy donkey dick."

    .........The bill for keyboard cleaning is in the mail.

    1. seanj

      Thank you.

      I was wondering whether it was the Bono insult or the cutting insight into the music business which had garnered my post with so many positive votes...

      I'll happily send a post-dated cheque for the keyboard... For now, have a beer for me, it's Friday, it's 9pm, and I'm still working!

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