“Rich service providers” were in the line of fire as U2 frontman Bono tackled the issue of illegal file sharing in a recent opinion piece in the New York Times, where he castigated ISPs for making possible the rise of music piracy, adding that their “swollen profits perfectly mirror the lost receipts of the music business”.
“The only thing protecting the movie and TV industries from the fate that has befallen music and indeed the newspaper business is the size of the files,” said the U2 singer as he went on to warn the reader that increasing bandwidth capacity will mean that we are a short way from ultra fast movie downloads, too.
The answer to this "reverse Robin Hooding", says Bono, is to track all content on the internet, something he said is possible if we look to the US’ attempts to stop child pornography.
While Bono advocated tracking all movement on the web and added an ironic note to self – "Don’t get over-rewarded rock stars on this bully pulpit" – he did not mention other attempts at averting piracy with concrete actions, such as practised by bands Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails, whereby certain content is provided online to fans at low prices or for free, placing more value on premium content and concerts or merchandise.
By Marie Boran
Photo: U2, with frontman Bono, second from left.