Feeds

Why Bono is wrong about filesharing

P2P is fun: just let us pay for it

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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.

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
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.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.