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Bono Hopes Content Tracking Will Help Media Moguls

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the for-the-chilldren-of-northern-ireland dept.

Media 569

Khalid Baheyeldin writes "In his New York Times op-ed column, Irish singer Bono, otherwise noted for his humanitarian efforts expressed dismay at losses music artists incur from internet downloads. He notes that 'we know from America's noble effort to stop child pornography, not to mention China's ignoble effort to suppress online dissent, that it's perfectly possible to track content.' He then goes on to wonder 'perhaps movie moguls will succeed where musicians and their moguls have failed so far, and rally America to defend the most creative economy in the world, where music, film, TV and video games help to account for nearly 4 percent of gross domestic product.'"

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569 comments

Sorry (5, Insightful)

Dartz-IRL (1640117) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635064)

From an Irish Slashdotter, I think it's only fair to say. I apologise most unreservedly to the world for not flushing this floater when we had the chance.

But.. but... think of the children! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635140)

If you steal music, these gentlemen couldn't afford to be charitable because they couldn't buy the fifth plane or sports car.
So, next time you steal music or movie, think of the children you take the food away.

Re:Sorry (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635178)

Floaters are hard to flush. You usually need to anchor them down with a lot of toilet paper. And pray you don't have a water efficient toilet!

Re:Sorry (5, Funny)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635226)

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

Re:Sorry (1)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635332)

from another Irish Slashdotter - I agree !

Re:Sorry (3, Insightful)

turbotroll (1378271) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635382)

From an Irish Slashdotter, I think it's only fair to say. I apologise most unreservedly to the world for not flushing this floater when we had the chance.

Don't worry buddy, it's not your fault. Every nation has its black sheep and fuckups.

For those not aware what kind of a hypocritical scumbag Bono really is, here is some good reading:

Jesus Loves U 2 [corrupt.org]
Philanthropy and hypocrisy [corrupt.org]

Re:Sorry (5, Insightful)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635488)

That first link was interesting to me, right till I read:

So how do we know when help is either selfish or unselfish? How can we be sure that Bono, Madonna, Al Gore and Bill Gates are just rich swindlers? If we're honestly interested in helping someone, we do this best by solving their problem. Pumping in more money from the West does not solve the poverty of the Third World. Bono Loves Himself. In fact, the Western aid actually serves to increase poverty, by keeping generations of starving children alive - children that natural selection otherwise would take care of. Thus the number of people growing up without food and water naturally increases, contributing to the chaos and infections that run wild in Africa right now.

Oh bravo! By saving the lives of children you contribute to the problem... so how to solve this? cull the population down to a more manageable size. Now there's a solution [wikipedia.org] that's not been tried before!

Re:Sorry (1, Insightful)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635548)

Kudos to you sir, seems no one wants to talk about population management.

And we're proving ourselves fools by not addressing it.

Re:Sorry (5, Funny)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635462)

The problem is that U2's music is being pirated a lot. With every GNU/Linux distribution you download, you are also downloading all of U2's MP3s.

To listen to them, just do cat /proc/kcore > /dev/dsp. The sound it makes is virtually identical to bono's inconsolable screaming.

I'm sure he can sue us all and demand we pay $ 699 for each GNU/Linux install. Do we have a new SCO in town?

Re:Sorry (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635522)

Where I'm from in New England, "bono" was slang for a shit-covered penis (likely due to unprotected anal intercourse) decades before U2 even formed.

We are better off without such charitable people (5, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635070)

such kind of people harm society in multitudes of ways than they support it with their charities. imagine - this guy practically wants everyone to be tracked. totally oblivious to the danger that any and all governments or private interests can use tracking technology to suppress online dissent, any kind of dissent, even himself, expressing opinion that would conflict with the government in future. put this risk on the other side of the counter opposite of his charity ... a huge imbalance.

no sir. we are better off without such 'charitable' people. go fucking die in a corner, bono. you are little different than a charitable frenchmen advocating absolute monarchy in 1789.

Re:We are better off without such charitable peopl (5, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635214)

It's hard to argue against control of the internet without appearing pro-piracy, and worst, pro-child pornography.
And that is just what governments want, because the internet is our best tool so far, for keeping government in check.

Once the mechanisms of control are in place, everything is screwed. I just wish the internet had had a few less single points of failure, and a lot more encryption built it; but then who could see that far ahead.

Re:We are better off without such charitable peopl (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635418)

I just wish the internet had had a few less single points of failure, and a lot more encryption built it; but then who could see that far ahead.

People who study history and learn from it.

So long as the intent to control remains, that intention will adapt itself to utilize any tools that become available. Technology does not change the intent; it changes only the tools.

Re:We are better off without such charitable peopl (4, Interesting)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635596)

I'm not sure the short-sightedness was political in this case. Rather who knew what the internet would become, or that 640k was not enough for everyone.
You could argue that the problem is political/social vs technical, but there are some interesting overlay network topographies that I wish were standard.

Imagine if, due to encryption and cryptographic addressing, the internet was all or nothing for any given nation. All that ever passed your ISP was an encrypted data stream.
Oh how those in power would squirm.

Government not the enemy (3, Insightful)

microbox (704317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635588)

And that is just what governments want

That is wrong. The enemy is not the government but industry think thanks and public relations organizations.

Second that. (1)

omb (759389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635386)

This asshole is only interested in His Royalties, he is Bog Stupid and (dosnt understand / cares nothing) for Culture.

Re:Second that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635454)

This asshole is only interested in His Royalties, he is Bog Stupid and (dosnt understand / cares nothing) for Culture.

That's interesting, considering he is talking about future artists or artists that haven't made it big yet (aka, the future culture)

A decade’s worth of music file-sharing and swiping has made clear that the people it hurts are the creators — in this case, the young, fledgling songwriters who can’t live off ticket and T-shirt sales like the least sympathetic among us — and the people this reverse Robin Hooding benefits are rich service providers, whose swollen profits perfectly mirror the lost receipts of the music business.

If you'd read TFA, you'd know that. But this is /. so..

Re:Second that. (2, Informative)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635538)

yea. and how many future artists, and artists who havent made it big yet are going to make it big, in the future, if the current system of monopolized distribution continues ?

they want to turn internet into a cable tv clone. please tell me how many budding young artists cable tv helped to make a break, or make a living, out of millions.

This came after... (5, Funny)

iamapizza (1312801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635074)

This came after Bono spent hours searching for his music on torrent sites. Apparently he still hasn't found what he's looking for.

Re:This came after... (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635236)

I can't trump your joke, but...

Metallica found their music on Napster and helped take it down. The consequence was a drop in CD sales. They hurt their own cause. Perhaps the same will happen to Bono.

Re:This came after... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635350)

I can't trump your joke, but...

Metallica found their music on Napster and helped take it down. The consequence was a drop in CD sales. They hurt their own cause. Perhaps the same will happen to Bono.

I've stopped buying U2 or listening to their pretentious airs on the tele because of their attitudes to online privacy.

It's funny; I never really noticed the similarity in sound: privacy, piracy.

Isn't that right, Sonny? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635360)

Or perhaps his record sales will zoom downhill into a tree like another copyright advocate of the same name.

Re:Isn't that right, Sonny? (1)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635372)

Speaking of trees, did you notice that one of his points was "People Power and the Upside-Down Pyramid"?

Perhaps he doesn't really believe what he writes, because if that was the case then people would probably contribute music for free, in much the same way they contribute to Wikipedia for free. But I don't think that fits into Bono's worldview.

Idea-expression divide (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635492)

if that was the case then people would probably contribute music for free, in much the same way they contribute to Wikipedia for free.

There's a difference between ideas and expression [wikipedia.org] . Wikipedia is made of facts, and it's fairly easy to produce your own original, Free wording of a given fact. It's also easy to use Google's full-text web search to find phrases that a contributor inadvertently or deliberately plagiarized. Music, on the other hand, is more pure expression, and any attempt to produce Free music will end up with some contributor accidentally inserting a sequence of notes that happens to match the hook of a non-free song. (See Three Boys Music v. Bolton for how that could turn out.) Google can't search MIDI sites yet, apart from song titles.

Besides, Wikipedia is on the Alexa charts, but what Free album have you seen hit the pop charts?

Re:This came after... (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635506)

Apparently he still hasn't found what he's looking for.

Whenever I think about Bono, the first thing that comes to mind is South Park's portrayal of him as a 5'10" walking, talking turd.

Bono is proof positive that it's easy to be a renowned global humanitarian when you are richer than God. I wonder how much attention he'd have paid to world hunger, charity, global climate change, etc etc if he hadn't been lucky enough to meet Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois and he'd ended up as an Irish bricklayer playing weekends in a Duran Duran cover band.

I mean, good for him for trying to do something he thinks is good, but when he starts crying about losses of income from people downloading music, you realize he's just another bloated celebrity who thinks he's special in the eyes of god for winning the pop-star lottery.

I'm gonna go back and watch that South Park episode right now, where Randy goes for the record for the biggest bowel movement, and goes up against...well, I won't spoil it for you. And, since apparently Comedy Central seems to have learned what Bono has not, I can do it legally, and for free, at SouthParkStudios.com.

well.. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635082)

I think Bono shoud piss off, and I'm Irish. He can get his hands off my content. I download 1llegally all the time but it's for mainstream crap mostly.
The lesser known music, some of which I bought only a few weeks ago at the istore can't be found illegally, and most importantly, without free clips of it I got off youtube, I wouldn't even know it existed. So, I seem to be helping out the little guy a lot more than I was through the internet.

From Wikipedia (5, Insightful)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635084)

"Bono lives in Killiney in south County Dublin, Ireland, with his family and shares a villa in Èze in the Alpes-Maritimes in the south of France with The Edge, as well as an apartment at The San Remo in Manhattan and a small house in the quiet village of Middleton Cheney, England."

Yep. He's really hurting.

Re:From Wikipedia (2, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635168)

From the paragraph just before the Slashdot summary quote:

A decade’s worth of music file-sharing and swiping has made clear that the people it hurts are the creators — in this case, the young, fledgling songwriters who can’t live off ticket and T-shirt sales like the least sympathetic among us — and the people this reverse Robin Hooding benefits are rich service providers, whose swollen profits perfectly mirror the lost receipts of the music business.

... and the sentence immediately after it ...

Note to self: Don’t get over-rewarded rock stars on this bully pulpit, or famous actors; find the next Cole Porter, if he/she hasn’t already left to write jingles.

So he's worried about the new guys who haven't made it yet, not himself. If you'd bothered to RTFA you'd know that, but hey, somebody is expressing concern for a future in which the next Bono never makes it thanks to rampant piracy. Obviously he must be an idiot!

Re:From Wikipedia (1)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635204)

His concern is astounding! After all, it was only by fully prosecuting those who made mix-tapes in the 80s that Bono made it big.

Re:From Wikipedia (2, Insightful)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635346)

Similar to how home taping killed the television industry after VCRs came out. Good to see such a prominent musician rallying us all to the banner of anti-piracy by any means necessary.

Re:From Wikipedia (5, Insightful)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635324)

I read that portion of TFA and what he conveniently doesn't mention is that lesser-known artists get some benefit from the increased exposure by having their songs available to millions. By just ignoring any positive effects of file sharing, he's oversimplifying the problem and inviting the very criticism that the preceding poster commented on. File sharing hurts acts like U2, not necessarily the lesser known artists.

Also, look at the chart in this article [timesonline.co.uk] . It clearly shows that revenue from live acts is increasing, which goes directly to artists. Couple that to the second chart that shows that revenues to actual artists in the UK are increasing, you can safely make the conclusions that the ones who are suffering under the internet are the labels, who are (were) the distributors of content, NOT the artists.

Re:From Wikipedia (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635570)

Ya, it's actually pretty funny if he's intending the 'lessor known' artist to be the beneficiary considering, you know, the exposure they need. If you can't commoditize an infinitely, freely reproducible item then it's time to shift focus onto what it is you can commoditize. Worst case scenario is the market refuses to support artists and musicians rolling around in money and the landscape will have to change. But within any society there will be some kind of reward structure for things we find value in and in art, like science people sometimes do amazing things for no tangible reason.

Maybe the problem is artists like Bono have been over-rewarded for so long they've acquired a disproportionate sense of entitlement.

Re:From Wikipedia (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635576)

d what he conveniently doesn't mention is that lesser-known artists get some benefit from the increased exposure by having their songs available to millions.

True, but when you get right down to it, "lesser-known" artists don't get squat from the record companies, unless some exec decides that said artists music happens to fit in with whatever marketing plans are in force. Even then, they're generally robbed blind by the one-sided contracts they have to sign to even get the chance for some exposure.

The Internet and live performance are about the only ways that "lesser-known" artists get any exposure at all, much less derive any revenue from their work. Furthermore, the roadblock that record companies put between the creative elements of society and those who enjoy their work explains why so many lesser-known artists are eschewing the traditional route and going online at the earliest opportunity.

The music industry has never served the interests of its suppliers (the artists themselves) and has not served the needs of the buying public for a long time.

Re:From Wikipedia (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635374)

> So he's worried about the new guys who haven't made it yet, not himself. If you'd bothered to RTFA you'd know that, but hey, somebody is expressing concern for a future in which the next Bono never makes it thanks to rampant piracy. Obviously he must be an idiot!

Maybe he should talk to Cory Doctorow? Because Cory was told that he could only give it away because he was an unknown. Now that he's known, they tell him that it only works because he's well-known and that all the fledgling artists will be hurt...

The problem with his opinion is that it's not based on facts. It's amazing how people can justify hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages for a few songs. And don't give me any crap about how they lead to unknown hundreds of thousands of downloads individually. No one has a torrent ratio of 100,000:1, and if we're claiming they're liable for all those other downloads, how come they get to sue *every* person they find? I'd say that they're double-dipping on the damages, but it's far higher than "double."

The music industry probably isn't sustainable. Music is. You might not be able to make millions at it, but I think that will only kill pre-fab pop idols. You'll forgive me if the creativity that can be spawned from full creative freedom in the absence of "ownership" of ideas seems a lot more valuable than having Generic Pop Band #314159265358979 reach the top of the charts.

Re:From Wikipedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635378)

Because of those same moguls that promote their own crap, we lost more "Bonos" to Britney Spears than we will in the next 50 years to piracy.

Re:From Wikipedia (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635380)

from that quote, he seems to worry about a specific kind of "artist", the people that write songs, and then get others to record and perform them, while collecting royalty on the use of said songs.

basically, its the feed cycle of the big labels he is defending, indirectly, where they have staff, or near staff, song writers, that write stuff so that the latest attention grabbing boy or girl the label have "discovered" can have their one record release, before going into either obscurity or infamy.

Re:From Wikipedia (1)

inicom (81356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635420)

It's well-known fact (tm) that the smaller artists don't make a penny from the royalties. Only the biggest acts are able to extract their royalties from BMI/ASCAP/etc. Bono is speaking out of self-interest and self-interest alone.

That doesn't excuse or justify piracy - but if you do care about the smaller artists then purchase music directly from them. Any markup on recordings will far exceed what they get as a royalty.

http://www.woodpecker.com/writing/essays/royalty-politics.html [woodpecker.com]

Re:From Wikipedia (1, Troll)

Veetox (931340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635562)

So he's worried about the new guys who haven't made it yet, not himself.

...And he's full of shit.

He's been around a while, and he knows the business:

1. Recruit new band.

2. Ride their asses with marketing demands.

3. Produce music that everyone's okay with but doesn't involve any innovation or creativity.

4. Profit!

But here's my message to all the Bonos out there: I want your ship to sink. Yes. Your music blows, because that's the way the current business model works. When we're done pirating all your crap and giving it away for free ('Cause it's not worth money.)... When you disappear for lack of a salary, a real musician will take your place.

A good musician that makes his/her own records. That's the guy I'm going to pay. ...And Bono's concerned about the film industry now, but as far as I'm concerned, they could use some reform as well.

Re:From Wikipedia (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635264)

Nobody is feeling sorry for Bono, but it's easy to dismiss less popular musicians as failures or has-beens when they speak out on this issue.

While I appreciate that many of the posters here are in the habit of locating and downloading copyrighted material whenever they please without asking or paying for it, I'm surprised that they don't realize the extent to which the economies of the US and Western Europe depend on a robust marketplace for copyrighted material that rewards creators for spending most of their lifetimes developing their crafts and material.

China has lots and lots of low-priced labor and is very good at pumping out mass-produced material goods, including technologically advanced items. The West can't match them, or many other developing nations for that. We excel at innovation in software and technology, media, the arts. Take away the market for digital goods (or reduce it to some small fraction of itself by encouraging people to donate or pay for what they can get for free), and China wins. Massively. We might as well start requiring kids in middle school to start learning Mandarin, because that'll be a language they'll need to know by the time they make their way in the world.

That's something that the Obama (and Bush) administrations and Congress for the most part understand, and I think that's why there's such a disconnect between the US government and the /. crowd.

Re:From Wikipedia (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635358)

The problem is that I don't see a way to stop piracy without trampling all over many other rights as well (as Bono advocates). If I could stamp out child porn with no negative effects I would, but we have to ask ourselves if the price is worth it.

I think the real solution is to provide people features along with the DRM, such as Steam. In exchange for having your game tied to internet activation (bad) you get to play it on any computer and redownload if you lose it or reformat (good). Of course this is far more applicable to video games than music or movies.

when it comes to digital piracy (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635448)

people seem to be more interested in free beer rather than free speech.

Re:From Wikipedia (5, Insightful)

fearlezz (594718) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635398)

Bono can only afford 5 houses because he doesn't pay tax [google.nl] like anyone else does. Funny how someone stealing from his own country can critisize people that don't even steal, but copy.

Re:From Wikipedia (1)

Iyonesco (1482555) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635438)

Don't forget his Evolution Parters investment vehicle (of which he is the Managing Director) which has assets of $1.9billion:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elevation_Partners [wikipedia.org]

If he really is so concerned about the plight of Africa why is he investing so much effort trying to increase his already substantial wealth? Why is he not using this money to help the people of Africa who he claims to care so much about? His hypocrisy is astounding and he seems to know no shame. He is a master of appearing righteous while doing absolutely nothing of any good. Quite simply he is pure evil.

Poor Starving Moguls (2, Funny)

joeboomer628 (869162) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635086)

This is his latest humanitarian project.

Bono is an idiot... (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635094)

Bono is an idiot to put it quite plainly. Does he not see that these treaties signed with underdeveloped nations to help them "defend" American businesses against "piracy" and patent infringement is exactly what is keeping them behind? If Bono would stop being such an egotistical asshole and actually look at the facts, he would see that eternal copyright and copyright treaties keep valuable medical information locked up from developing nations, valuable educational supplies from developing nations. Yeah, he seems willing enough to donate a few millions to "fight" AIDS but can't give up a bit of copyright in order to help the world as a whole? That isn't selfless, that is as selfish as you can get.

Re:Bono is an idiot... (0, Flamebait)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635272)

And whoever modded this flamebait is an idiot too.

Yea right... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635100)

Good luck with making us "Americans" rally against that dude. Does he not realize that if it's not gay marriage, guns, abortion, healthcare, or bail out money, that we really don't give a shit? (BTW, I'm downloading avatar as I type this, long live torrents)

Re:Yea right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635144)

Is there a decent version of avatar out yet?
The cams circa 30th Dec were truely awful.

Aang says... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635396)

Is there a decent version of avatar out yet?

There is a torrent [google.com] of the Avatar movie [wikipedia.org] , but it's got fewer ThunderSmurfs and a lot more airbending than the one you're probably thinking of.

Bono STFU! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635104)

Bono should STFU. His arrogance is simply outstanding.

Someone should probably tell him that censoring the content doesn't actually make the crime stop. It merely hides it. As does charity with the real problems that affect the 3rd world.

Perfectly possible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635106)

Perhaps our two definitions of perfectly possible are different, but it seems quite a few people manage to evade the filters and legal prohibitions on these.

Bono... your math is wrong... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635118)

I think independent artists and creativity have flourished in recent years. The overproduced and overhyped "chosen" artists by the "Moguls" are mainly what's suffering. Madonna and Bono can kiss my ass if they think they are being "hurt" by downloads. They have made many times over the money they deserve for their media machines.

If you are a good artist, people will pay to see you live.

Let's go with a great band like Pink Floyd. I have bought about 10+ albums from them over the past 20 years. Millions of other people have as well. I work my ass off for $50K/year. They work their ass off too, and I would say that I am happy to give them a salary of $150K/year per band member. How much money would we as fans have to spend to make that happen. I can assure you it would be a FRACTION of what we have paid out of our pockets... and where does all that money go? Lining the pokets of those who had nothing to do with the art or us listening to it.

Bono has lost touh with reality and his fans... as he gets older I don't expect him to get more clue.

Is there anyone left on this planet ... (4, Insightful)

Aim Here (765712) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635120)

... who doesn't yet think that Bono is a sanctimonious hypocritical, posturing, corporate shill who is always willing to suck up to any big businessman or politician he can grab a photo opportunity with, no matter how venal?

Just askin'

Bono wishes his music was good enough to pirate (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635126)

Seriously. I wouldn't even waste my neighbors free bandwidth to download anything U2 has put out in over a decade...

From a man worth (1)

rinoid (451982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635128)

U2 the band is purportedly worth about 700 million dollars.

I have given them my money, seen them 4 times, bought most of the albums but come on Bono, how much more do you require?????

WHO GIVES A SHIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635154)

Why the fuck would i care what an iggnorany celebrity has to say on the issue.

Sigh ... copyright does not encourage creativity (5, Insightful)

2TecTom (311314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635158)

Sure Bono, and for the alternative perspective, how about Janis Ian's? "The Internet, and downloading, are here to stay... Anyone who thinks otherwise should prepare themselves to end up on the slagheap of history." ~ http://www.janisian.com/article-internet_debacle.html [janisian.com]

Personally, I wonder how much music has been lost and locked up bu the music industry? Or how many musicians don't own their own songs? Or how many CDs were never cut, remain unreleased or are locked up in out of print limbo land? How many fat cat executives live it up while new talent can't pay the rent? and so on and so...

Note to Bono: (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635160)

Note to Bono: EAT A DICK.

The process of doing so will further require that you remove your head from your ass, so that should improve your ability to perceive reality at the same time.

The biggest problem facing most "small independent artists" is not people downloading their songs - it's NOBODY downloading the songs. Most (95%) of the 100k+ albums released every year sell less than a hundred copies; the problem for most of these artists is that many of the traditional ways of discovering new music (radio, CD stores) have been bought up and monopolized by the majors. While the new media channels are available to everybody, getting "eyeballs" (OK, "ears") is still the hardest part.

Put another way: most "small independent artists" would love it if enough people were interested in their music to upload a torrent to TPB - at least then, *somebody* is listening.

Artists are actually making more money... (5, Informative)

Anik315 (585913) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635170)

Artists are actually doing much better [timesonline.co.uk] since the dawn of the Internet because of increased ticket sales from live performances, and box office sales are better now than ever. I highly doubt illegal downloading contributes very much to lost revenue since a very small percentage of the people who download illegal media would actually buy the product.

Re:Artists are actually making more money... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635200)

Artists are actually doing much better since the dawn of the Internet because of increased ticket sales from live performances

What if they don't want to perform live? Why is it perfectly acceptable to not pay for digital music as long as you pay to hear it live?

Re:Artists are actually making more money... (5, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635336)

Artists are actually doing much better since the dawn of the Internet because of increased ticket sales from live performances

What if they don't want to perform live?

If they don't want to be performers, they can become accountants, or whatever other profession they choose.

Re:Artists are actually making more money... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635412)

Then how will music in genres not amenable to live performance ever get created? And without good all-ages venues, how will fans under 21 get served?

Re:Artists are actually making more money... (2, Insightful)

mliu (85608) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635338)

It's not, but it's probably also tilting at windmills to complain about it.

And in regards to not just complaining, but pushing for legal changes, why is it perfectly acceptable to treat everyone, including the innocent, as a criminal in order to protect an outdated business model?

Re:Artists are actually making more money... (4, Informative)

Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635478)

I think Radiohead answered that question rather well when they released In Rainbows.

Won't someone think of the teachers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635560)

> What if they don't want to perform live? Why is it perfectly acceptable to not pay for digital music as long as you pay to hear it live?

A live performance involves actual work. Selling copies involves extorting rent forever from society for work done once upon a time.

I'd like to not to have to work, either. Unfortunately, no one seems to believe that teachers should get even 1% of the income from their students, even though those students use the knowledge they've been taught for their entire lives.

Is this even news worth? (1)

nsd2142 (1174201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635176)

It's articles like this that make me think "where are we heading"? Consider this, all the information Bono is trying to reference is pure speculation, and has no substantiation. In the past, I've downloaded music, movies, etc., but ultimately I purchased them, and even more. My iTunes purchased collection is now over 2500 songs/music video's - far more than I've ever downloaded for free in the past. Grow up Bono! Maybe you'll find what your looking for - like generating more money via concerts - now that's something worth purchasing :-)

Either he doesn't get it, or he doesn't care... (5, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635180)

He managed to choose two analogies. One poor, the other extremely sinister.

Kiddie porn: A terrible analogy for online copyright infringement. Child pornography, possession or production, is always illegal. No "fair use", no parodies, no commentaries, no educational purposes, etc. Plus, it isn't all that popular. Online violation of copyright law is probably about as popular as ordinary pornography, not some obscure niche thing. In terms of police resources per unit kiddie porn, the porn is vastly more heavily policed(and, given the number of times that a computer search of somebody suspected for other reasons will discover some kiddie porn, it looks like our "content tracking" efforts aren't actually doing so well).

Great Firewall of China: Chinese "content tracking" is a huge(and probably fairly expensive) initiative, encompassing a substantial state censorship apparatus, a large amount of technical infrastructure, huge market distortions(notably, the enthusiasm for self-censorship among web companies that is created by the state's ability to just eliminate access to any of them, at any time, without comment or justification), and substantial support from private-citizen snitches.

Either Bono is just a fucktard, and hasn't really though this through, or he is willing to go to some very unpleasant places to protect his precious "content".

Re:Either he doesn't get it, or he doesn't care... (1)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635328)

He might want to reconsider those places he's going, or else one day he might not be able to protest about whales, starving children in Ethiopia or the terrible things China is doing to Tibet. And we wouldn't want that!

Re:Either he doesn't get it, or he doesn't care... (4, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635510)

Kiddy porn is a poor analogy but it is an extremely effective one to associate with whatever it is you hate. In the eyes of the general public, reasonable arguments regarding DRM, privacy, probable cause, innocent until proven guilty, or any human right, vanish like a fart in the wind whenever someone mentions kiddie porn. When someone plays that card, sniff around a little and you'll like as not smell a rat.

Why are we always in defense ? (5, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635188)

why are we waiting for a lackey of the copyright industry to make a shitty comment or release a dubious 'research' in order to take any action ? Why arent eff and similar organizations taking the initiative and producing research, education and publicity in regard to new ways of the digital age ?

its just stupid. we are just waiting. some idiot lays an egg, and we all go after to cleanse the resulting shit. instead we should be moving forward.

Re:Why are we always in defense ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635556)

Mod parent the hell up! I've been thinking the same thing, and really all this ranting about how terrible the entertainment industries are won't change a thing. Be loud, and not just on slashdot.

Oh, and FUCK YOU BONO you horse dick licking corporate tampon.

What is it about the "Bono" name? (3, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635192)

Tell him to go skiing, really fast.

One of these is not like the other... (1)

clinko (232501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635196)

Supergroups:
Led Zeppelin
The Beatles
Metallica
The Rolling Stones
U2

So far, only one of these is largely despised, an outcast, and will never be respected again.

So far...

Re:One of these is not like the other... (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635424)

I would argue a different point, in that US and Metallica are at best C-listers compared to the others.

fundraiser! (2, Funny)

tommeke100 (755660) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635198)

how about he does a fundraiser with Metallica to save the artists in need!

Motivation Matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635202)

Greedy bugger.

F U Bozo (1)

m_number4 (902127) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635210)

The music industry is just like any other private industry who has to solve their own problems. Dont expect governments around the world to help you solve your money problems - suck it up.

Just 4%? (1)

Dulimano (686806) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635216)

Nice to hear that number. I was a bit worried that economic growth will suffer while things inevitably converge to their copyright-free state. But no, even the perfect demolition of a 4% GDP industry would not ruin world economy.

Mom, look! That's me! (1)

N!NJA (1437175) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635222)

cut the guy some slack.... maybe all he wants is to keep track of how many times his photo has appeared on the news or on the package of some gadget.

Hypocrites (4, Insightful)

c0mpliant (1516433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635248)

Your indignation would be a lot more interesting to me if it wasn't so covered in crap.

Everytime U2 are on the verge of releasing an album, they leak it online so they can have a story about their album being 'stolen' before its released and get a brick load of free publicity from the subsequent news stories. Its amazing how they're able to use the internet to their advantage while still being able to call it a disgrace!

Tax minimisation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635250)

This is why he is domicled for tax out of irland so that he & U2 pay minimum tax. The guy is a hipocrite - wants every one else to give but doesn't give himself.

Bono supports totalitarianism (5, Insightful)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635252)

So, Bono would like to turn the US and Europe into totalitarian states in order to make sure people like himself can keep making millions with unreasonable copyright terms and restrictions.

Some humanitarian!

If this is what it takes to save music... (5, Insightful)

svirre (39068) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635266)

...then I guess we should let music die. Music and other entertainment is not important enough by far to trade away privacy and freedom. I don't care for piracy, but I recognize that only by having complete control of what people communicate and hence their freedom of expression would it be possible to quell piracy. I hope most thinking humans would agree that this is too high a price to preserve the profitability of music.

shhhhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635268)

shut the fuck up bono....diaf...

An open letter to Bono (1)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635282)

Regulating downloads is impossible. And if it's made possible, it will come with a GREAT PRICE to indie artists. Bono is not an indie artist, so he sees the world from his point of view, but there are more indie artists than major ones, so I fail to see why Bono should have his way. I actually wrote a blog post [gnomefiles.org] about all this, replying to Bono and explaining why he's wrong, on my own blog (I wrote it before I saw the Slashdot news post).

By the numbers (5, Informative)

mliu (85608) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635292)

I really wish that newspapers would cite their information so we could understand what they're basing their claims on.

Looking at the US government's Bureau of Economic Analysis Numbers, they seem to paint a very different picture than what he suggests:
http://www.bea.gov/industry/gpotables/gpo_action.cfm?anon=343982&table_id=24753&format_type=0 [bea.gov] [bea.gov]

The line for Motion picture and sound recording industries has been constant from 2003-2007 (with information from 2008 still not entered) at 0.3%.

Bono claims, "music, film, TV and video games help to account for nearly 4 percent of gross domestic product". Assuming no tectonic shift in profits, that would suggest that video games are producing nearly 3.7% of GDP, but the line for all Publishing industries (includes software) floats at around 1% of GDP. So even including "real" software like Windows as well as books, we're not even close to 4%.

Another factor which he neglects to consider is the scale of damage that would be done, both in terms of freedoms as well as innovation. Even if America and all of its best buddies were to enact this type of draconian censorship regime he advocates, I doubt that America's enemies would be as eager to join in. That would suggest a net effect of simply forcing innovation to move abroad to places that don't sign on or enforce. One of the few areas where America is truly a global leader still seems to be in Internet services. If foreign Internet services provide more to consumers that they want than American services, I don't doubt that American services on the Internet would be abandoned in a flash. While I don't discount the importance of the export of America's pop culture abroad, the price to protect outdated business models seems like a weighty one. Bono talks a lot, but I wonder how much depth he really puts into his thinking.

Perhaps.. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635312)

Music will just become a "real" job, you know one where you go to play 9-5 (or 6-2 depending on audience) and you make your days pay, thats it, go home and have a beer. Not the lottery where everyone goes poor except for a few. Direct band to fan is where it'll probably end up being, a few will make it big and to be fair maybe the "rock-star" lifestyle should die.

He's a singer.... (5, Insightful)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635318)

Why do people expect singers and guitar players to have a unique view on life for all of us to share?

Imagine that a football player gave his view on copyright and innovation. You'd laugh. But a guy sings a song on the radio, and all the sudden his utterances appear in the NY Times?

Crazy.

Re:He's a singer.... (1)

mmcxii (1707574) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635498)

You must be new around here. If Bono gave his thoughts on any matter it would be published for no other reason than him being Bono.

He's like Al Gore; he may mean well enough, he may even be right but he's certainly no expert on the subject matter he presents. He might know more than we do but when it comes down to it I'll side with real experts, economists in the case of Bono and meteorologists in the case of Gore, in a second.

Re:He's a singer.... (2, Insightful)

Tsunamio (465339) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635608)

Well, singers have a direct stake in the system. They benefit from copyrights, and they are the innovators meant to be protected by it. Just because you haven't studied policy for years doesn't mean you don't have valid perspectives. Artists DO have a unique view to share! (on this issue, anyway; I don't mean to say that Bono really has anything important to contribute on the sexy cars issue)

Of course the greater reason this is here is that it will move papers/mad clicks. If Tiger Woods wanted to give his view on copyright and innovation right now, you betcha the NYT would oblige him with an op-ed.

Bono, the '80s called... (1)

fearlezz (594718) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635334)

They want you back.

Re:Bono, the '80s called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635508)

No they don't...

4 percent ... (1)

BenBoy (615230) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635356)

... and after all, isn't 4 percent of our current commerce, as things are structured now, worth sacrificing our natural right to privacy?

Oh dear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635392)

He is good! He is evil! He is good! He is evil! He is good! He is evil!

Person holds views that qualify him for either the Superhero League or the Den of Bad Men but also at the same time none! World ends at 5.

predictable comments (1)

blueworm (425290) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635394)

Bono is from the old business model with overpriced physical products, so his comments are predictable.

Save money, Give to charity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635444)

Total spent on music this year: 29p (RATM KITN)
Total spent on charity: £10.00 (Donation fund for shelter curtasy of RATM)

I would give more but they always insist on taking a standing orders, what part of im broke and only want to give once, because i don't have a cushy job as a charity mugger don't they understand.

As usual, no one reads the article (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635458)

It's satire. Bono's tongue is so deep in his cheek he's practically gnawing it off. Go read the piece in question.

Media moguls (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635524)

In the classic sense, there are no moguls in the music industry today. As the term was used in the Studio Age in Hollywood it referred to somebody who a) ran a studio, b) had earned their wealth in the film industry and c) had a distinct vision of what kind of films should be made and how they were to be made. Putting this vision into practice within whatever budget restraints were imposed by the firm's Board of Directors is what made each studio unique. You don't need to see the opening credits to tell a Warner Brother's picture from a Universal or an MGM, at least not if you know what to look for.

The People running the various recording firms may well fit the first two conditions, but not, AFAICT the third. The only "vision" they have is to maximize profits at any cost, including swindling the artists out of their fair share of the profit. No, what music needs today is one or more real moguls, who actually care about the music and understand that Henry Ford was right: sometimes giving your workers a raise results in higher profits.

Bono v Lefsetz (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635554)

Bono said:

'perhaps movie moguls will succeed where musicians and their moguls have failed so far, and rally America to defend the most creative economy in the world, where music, film, TV and video games help to account for nearly 4 percent of gross domestic product.'

Perhaps that would be a problem if it wasn't for the simple fact 99% of what both the "Movie Moguls" and so-called "contemporary musicians" make is utter bilge and a dire blight upon our culture. And this includes Bono's most recent record which was as forgettable as it was boring.

Musicians who have any sense have realised that a long time ago, and that it's really REALLY all about the music. The Music Industry Critic, Bob Lefsetz wrote in response to Bono's idiocy:

Oldsters are under the illusion that they can steer, that they can determine outcomes. What we've learned so far in the twenty first century is we follow the public. Rather than rant and rave at injustice, better to go online and try to figure out where it's all going.

The problem with Bono's precept is despite their protestations, the major labels no longer have a lock on distribution. Their power is limited. Most music is attached to no corporation, no one has power over the rights other than the creator. And the creator is doing everything in his power to get his message out to potential fans.

It's no longer the songwriter bitching at the publisher owned by the multinational that his songs are being stolen. It's now a college student, even a high school student, creating a song and instantly giving it away online, angling for some traction.
. . .
Old media is killing itself. By insisting the way it's always been done is the way it should be. That's the lesson that eludes Bono. It's not about protecting the old media monopolies, it's about them adjusting to the new landscape, in order to survive. What's a bigger threat, the ability to make an HD movie at home or theft on the Web? I'd say the former. Because we've learned in the twenty first century that he who grows up outside the system, a system that has very few opportunities for entry, will end up wanting to play by himself. MySpace sold out to Fox and is almost dead. Facebook is independent and thriving. The behemoth most feared is Google, not Viacom.

And old media and old people don't understand that we no longer pay attention to that which does not interest us. What Randy Phillips and the L.A. "Times" don't understand is we don't have to listen to "Empire State Of Mind" if we don't want to. That's the most interesting angle, not the limited penetration of the single. Ubiquity is a thing of the past. And just like those who watch Fox News don't watch MSNBC, and vice versa, those who like Lady GaGa don't give a shit about the Brooklyn scene. We no longer live in an homogenous society, with a common lingua franca, rather we're all heading to the hills in a different direction, in search of that which appeals exactly to us.

We live in a Tower of Babel society. Which cannot be fathomed by a music industry that believed in the silo of MTV exposure. And whereas every cable system has a limited number of channels, the Internet is inherently unlimited.

So the rules have completely changed. It's less about marketing than quality. If Bono wanted to get traction today, rather than rant in the "New York Times", he'd do what he does best, cut a record with his band. Something so good that the new avenues of distribution would pick it up and drive people to U2. Where you monetize in the food chain is an interesting question, but not as interesting as the death of the old paradigm, one of scarcity, with the public chomping like lemmings upon that which is fed to them.

Distribution has been flattened. Anybody can play. In news, music, movies, political opinion, you name it. Either try to establish a dominant distribution platform, or focus purely on content.

In other words, Mr Bono: build a bridge and get over yourself. Your world is GONE. The only thing that matters now is the music. Make something significant and we'll buy it - CD, digital, concerts, etc. But keep regurgitating garbage and we'll tune out. Maybe we'll download it to check it out, and we might even keep it on our drives, but we won't honour it. You'll always be "that loud irish singer" in the band with the cool guitar player and that crappy bass player who can't seem to get away from muffled eighth notes on the root. thump thump thump thump indeed...

RS

Bono just lost credibility on TWO counts . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635568)

Of course everyone with a brain knows that it's the labels that are sabotaging their own business and therefore hurting, not the artists.

And America's "noble effort"? Riiiiiiight. No one has done more to harm children than America's "child advocates". They're just the modern version of those who once wanted to "protect" women by keeping them at home, barefoot and pregnant.

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