U2’s Bono blames ISPs for piracy; suggests tracking downloads like China

Writing for The New York Times, U2 lead singer Bono offers up “10 ideas that might make the next 10 years more interesting, healthy or civil.”

Bono’s “ideas” include:

• Return of the Automobile as a Sexual Object: The Obama administration — while it still holds the keys to the big automakers — ought to put some style fascists into the mix: the genius of Marc Newson … Steve Jobs and Jonny Ive from Apple … Frank Gehry, the architect, and Jeff Koons, the artist. Put the great industrial designers in the front seat, right along with sound financial stewardship … the greener, the cleaner, the meaner on fossil fuels, the sexier for me.

• Intellectual Property Developers: 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. We’re the post office, they tell us; who knows what’s in the brown-paper packages? But 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.

• An Equal Right to Pollute (and the Polluter-Pays Principle): Your average Ethiopian can sell her underpolluting ways (people in Ethiopia emit about 0.1 ton of carbon a year) to the average American (about 20 tons a year) and use the proceeds to deal with the effects of climate change (like drought), educate her kids and send them to university.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Bono could make a Woodstock Festival Porta-Potty look empty.


  1. @ X–

    He can’t very well STFU and sing. You need to pick one or the other. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  2. The content police ARE coming make NO MISTAKE about it.
    But it will be about controlling material produced by big media companies whose content creation costs are high and who must put them behind a pay wall to be able to afford to keep producing it.

    Mark 2010 as the year that a lot of free content went away. Remember Napster? Well SOME news, primarily feature stories and in depth integrated content is going up behind pay walls SOON. When people try to steal it…and they will, they will be pursued and legal action will follow. This won’t be like file sharing of music files…this is website CONTENT which has been essentially free for some time. Once there’s something to be defended (because there is money in it) the lawyers will come out and the watermarks and specialized search tools will come out, and the lawsuits for copying content will follow.

    Bono has some both addled and good ideas…clearly.

  3. ” just cause you happen to be uber rich does not make you uber right.”

    or uber-wrong!
    This just another flame bait posting, let the lefty and righties go at it. Nice way to start the year at MDN.

  4. How much money does an up and coming music act actually get from sales of their first album? Practically nothing. Piracy hurts the music companies more than it hurts the artist. To the artist it is just free advertising.

    Of course that doesn’t make piracy morally right or provide any legal justification.

  5. ISPs tracking downloads?? In this time of heavy competition in this area, the last thing ISPs are gong to concern themselves with is monitoring downloaded content. Say goodbye to all your top-tier customers paying for the fastest service with the highest caps.

    Would be suicide, LOL.

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