Feeds

Why Bono is wrong about filesharing

P2P is fun: just let us pay for it

The essential guide to IT transformation

Freedom, abundance, and a tenner a month

And with fewer companies in control of the cashflow, artists and songwriters have less bargaining power. While we enjoy watching popstars being created on TV shows, the contracts the contestants have to sign in order to participate are among the harshest in the business. Now Bono is asking us to accept that the cost of maintaining this control should be shared by us all: in the form of higher prices for an internet that we can do less with, and on which we can expect to be monitored by his business partners.

A Damascene conversion for Bono is presumably too much to ask for, but what of the efforts that are being made around the world to get the cash and music flowing without Bonoian snooping and filtering becoming part of the internet? ISPs in many countries in Europe and around the world stand ready to offer unlimited music services for a monthly fee, and consumers are saying clearly that they value music and are willing to pay. The Isle of Man has spent the last year in discussion with the music industry about using the island as an opportunity to learn what happens when you do take the restrictions off, in return for money.

In fact for the last three years we have been on the cusp of something rather wonderful - an age of freedom and abundance in music in which opportunity for new artists and songwriters is actually part of the system, rather than something only attainable with extreme perseverance and a huge amount of luck.

What is holding all this up is the music industry, throwing spanners, making unreasonable demands, being disorganised and confusing, and preferring to lobby for snooping and disconnection rights rather than getting on with the business of making and selling music.

So, Bono, how about it? Filling up a USB stick and swapping files in the playground should be one of the joys of youth, not something liable to get you cut off and in trouble with your parents. And does it really matter if a tenner a month is split with a few indie artists and fledgling songwriters? The big money will still be yours, as you rightly point out.

The kids are not eating your lunch any time soon. Because in so many ways you are doing much to deliver freedom and choice to a world which has treated you well, and especially to its children. Progress is surely giving more to more people, rather than restricting freedom to preserve the wealth of the few. ®

Paul Sanders is a founder of Playlouder MSP, the world's first ISP licensed for music file-sharing. He is also a founder of the state51 conspiracy, an independent digital music distributor, and founder and director of strategy at Consolidated Independent, a digital media technical service provider. He chronicled the music industry's greatest digital flops for us here in 2008.

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?