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Bono Hopes Content Tracking Will Help Media Moguls 569

Posted by timothy
from the for-the-chilldren-of-northern-ireland dept.
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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Bono Hopes Content Tracking Will Help Media Moguls

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  • Sorry (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dartz-IRL (1640117) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @06:50PM (#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.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 03, 2010 @06:57PM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by turbotroll (1378271)

      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 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ta bu shi da yu (687699) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:33PM (#30635488) Homepage

        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by turbotroll (1378271)

          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!

          I merely suggested the reading and never stated I fully agree with those articles.

          But still, the fact is that all efforts to feed hungry people, in Africa and elsewhere, leave only even more hungry people. Obviously many of them insist on mindless breeding even while starving. How would you exactly address this problem humanely?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Yeah, they aren't even human beings to you are they. You only view this as more of an animal control problem, right?

            I hate this despicable viewpoint where people like you think that helping a hungry person will only make the problem continue, so the most 'humane' thing to do is to allow them to starve. Bono is a fucking prick. I have no doubt about that. But people like you don't have 1/100th the human decency that he has.

            • Re:Sorry (Score:4, Insightful)

              by DMiax (915735) on Monday January 04, 2010 @07:44AM (#30639246)

              They are human beings and you are melodramatic. By your reasoning slaughtering ten children to feed other ten would put me above critics...

              Food aid is usually paid by international funds to western corporations so that the money never really leaves the developed world. In turn the corporations like Nestlè send to the starving countries their exceedings that are usually poor quality or expired. This way they make a net profit on the good will of others, and simultaneously undermine the foreign country economy.

              This is simply to say that how you help someone is of the utmost importance. Failing to see the consequences makes you an idiot, ignoring them makes you an evil prick.

          • Re:Sorry (Score:5, Informative)

            by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @08:45PM (#30636070)

            I merely suggested the reading and never stated I fully agree with those articles. But still, the fact is that all efforts to feed hungry people, in Africa and elsewhere, leave only even more hungry people. Obviously many of them insist on mindless breeding even while starving. How would you exactly address this problem humanely?

            Don't be put off by the kind of do-gooders who have a heart but no brain. They are in fact the ones who are responsible for creating the whole mess. But just for their edification:

            It is well-recognized now that "foreign aid" in the form of shipping food, medicine, etc. to starving populations has done little but exacerbate the problem. As the guy stated (and this is a fact, which has no respect for whether you feel it should be true), those traditional forms of foreign aid did in fact do exactly what he stated. This is nothing more than a real-world example of the old saying, "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime." Except what really happened is a slight modification of that: "Give a man a fish and since he is now healthy he fathers a child he can't feed by himself either..."

            It doesn't matter whether you people like that situation or not. It exists. And doing more of the same will just get you more of the same.

            • Re:Sorry (Score:5, Funny)

              by Reziac (43301) * on Sunday January 03, 2010 @10:11PM (#30636668) Homepage Journal

              Another corollary:

              Give a man a fish today, and tomorrow he demands, "Where's my fuckin' fish??"

              Meanwhile, his nets rot on the beach.

            • Re:Sorry (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Dalambertian (963810) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @10:50PM (#30636924)

              I merely suggested the reading and never stated I fully agree with those articles. But still, the fact is that all efforts to feed hungry people, in Africa and elsewhere, leave only even more hungry people. Obviously many of them insist on mindless breeding even while starving. How would you exactly address this problem humanely?

              Don't be put off by the kind of do-gooders who have a heart but no brain. They are in fact the ones who are responsible for creating the whole mess. But just for their edification: It is well-recognized now that "foreign aid" in the form of shipping food, medicine, etc. to starving populations has done little but exacerbate the problem. As the guy stated (and this is a fact, which has no respect for whether you feel it should be true), those traditional forms of foreign aid did in fact do exactly what he stated. This is nothing more than a real-world example of the old saying, "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime." Except what really happened is a slight modification of that: "Give a man a fish and since he is now healthy he fathers a child he can't feed by himself either..." It doesn't matter whether you people like that situation or not. It exists. And doing more of the same will just get you more of the same.

              Not to sound melodramatic, but this is probably the most terrifying sentiment I've heard on /., and it disturbs me that I'm hearing it more often. The problem is that government-run foreign aid is done in an inefficient/unsustainable manner. You are arguing that because of this, nothing should be done at all. I would argue a different approach to the problem:

              You should know that most of the places we are talking about are farming villages and were sustainable until *someone* fucked up their water supply. Manpower is required in order for the village to sustain itself, which requires workers. The easiest way to get new workers is to make babies and raise them, so the argument for eugenics is not only unethical/immoral, it is also economically unproductive. I know you probably don't believe in eugenics, I am just noting it for those who do, but I digress. In many cases, the problem comes down to providing a clean source of water. This is why my church sends engineers, not money, not water bottles, to places like these in order to dig and install wells that produce clean, drinkable water. In 2007, they dug 11 wells in Liberia (sometimes hundreds of feet deep), helping an estimated 8,000 people http://www.adventconspiracy.org/water/2007_projects/ [adventconspiracy.org] The result has been that the children have stopped dying and these villages can actually prosper. Try as I might, I'm having trouble finding reasons why this was a bad idea, but feel free to educate me.

              While this effort happened to be run by a religious organization, I do not believe efforts like this have to be faith based. I am simply saying that there are cheaper and more efficient ways of helping people. It should be the job of governments to find such solutions. Since governments are very good at finding the least efficient ways of solving a problem and there are often not enough short-term profits for private companies to get involved, it seems that a purely altruistic approach can be effective, at least in this case.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                While this effort happened to be run by a religious organization, I do not believe efforts like this have to be faith based.

                What this world needs is a good secular church, small groups of like-minded people with branches everywhere. All the community, all the good works, but without the need to posture to some anthropomorphic personification of the universe, a bearded thunderbolt-hurler, or any involvement with volcanoes.

                Although I believe that Sturgeon's Law applies to all religions, I think the small charity-oriented churches that followed the development of Western civilisation worked well in filling the gap between family

                • All the community, all the good works, but without [...] any involvement with volcanoes.

                  Why do you hate xenu so much? :(

              • Re:Sorry (Score:4, Interesting)

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 04, 2010 @04:08AM (#30638430)

                In 2007, they dug 11 wells in Liberia (sometimes hundreds of feet deep), (...) Try as I might, I'm having trouble finding reasons why this was a bad idea, but feel free to educate me.

                Very simple: The old wells dried up because ground water levels are dropping. These are dropping due to overuse, which in turn is caused by inefficient irrigation systems, unsustainable large cattle herds, etc.
                The solution "Build deeper wells" is no solution at all, especially if it allows the villages to "prosper" in the old ways and consume even more water.

                Caveat: I know that this is true for most Countries neighboring the Sahara desert, but am not familiar with the situation in Liberia itself - I hope for those villages that it is different.

              • Re:Sorry (Score:4, Insightful)

                by HanzoSpam (713251) on Monday January 04, 2010 @05:51AM (#30638824)

                Not to sound melodramatic, but this is probably the most terrifying sentiment I've heard on /., and it disturbs me that I'm hearing it more often.

                If you're hearing it more often, it might be because more people are starting to realize it's true. [independent.ie]

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Macrat (638047)

              Feed and clothe the starving orphans in Africa so they are healthy enough to be recruited into military factions to repeat the cycle.

              Profit!

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              If that's a fact, let's seem some evidence.

              To quote a meme I created:

              [citation needed]

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            I should add that the obvious solution is not to feed those people for free, but to change their situation so that they can feed themselves. In some cases that might mean relocation. In some cases that might be education. In other cases maybe both. But the problem won't be solved until native populations can feed themselves sustainably.
            • Re:Sorry (Score:5, Insightful)

              by aix tom (902140) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @09:23PM (#30636372)

              The sad part is, that a lot of farmers that could have feed their communities are pushed out of business by cheap subsidized food produced by the same western countries that then also have to send food aid once local farming has collapsed completely.

              Everybody looses, except the big industrial food companies.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by symbolset (646467)

                In Zimbabwe since 2002 they've been engaging in an innovative agriculture program: seizing [nytimes.com] farms owned by white farmers and turning them over to military lackeys who know nothing about agriculture. Surprisingly, yields [guardian.co.uk] are down [tulsaworld.com].

                Zimbabwe was once a major food exporter to southern Africa. Now they can't even feed themselves.

                So yeah, the sad part is that lot of farmers that could have feed their communities are pushed out of business by thugs who then don't know what to do with the land.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ClosedSource (238333)

            It's well understood that raising the standard of living in a country brings down its population growth rate.

          • by A nonymous Coward (7548) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @10:24PM (#30636730)

            Not only does dumping free food depress the prices the farmers can get for what they do grow, thus making it not worth their while to try and feed themselves, but it doesn't address the problem they have without free food of getting what they do grow to market and storing it for bad times.

            We not only do harm by discouraging them from growing anything by undercutting their prices, what little good we otherwise do does not help them distribute what they would grow if we weren't discouraging them.

            It's a double whammy, the ultimate do-gooder example of the law of unintended consequences.

    • Re:Sorry (Score:5, Funny)

      by GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) <almafuerteNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:29PM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by eggy78 (1227698)
      I'm sure I'm not the only one who was reminded of South Park (even before your comment)... Bono Is Crap [southparkstudios.com]
    • Re:Sorry (Score:4, Insightful)

      by flyneye (84093) on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:39AM (#30639520) Homepage

      S'alrite, I don't recognize him as Irish. I recognize him as an industry baby suckling at the teat of big money. He will say and do anything to get himself noticed ( insert himself in foreign politics without a clue or thought and fulfill Voltaires premise that " anything too stupid to be said is sung", but then say it anyway.) ,like a good little industry attention whore.
              He owes the industry big for all the $ that went toward promoting his mediocrity as starstuff, so they probably pissed in his ear the volume of his spew.
              No I don't see him as an Irish problem, he is all our problem. We could start a charity to prevent the spread of U2 amongst the young, who still have a chance to live a full life free from music industry/ socialist blather. Won't you give? We can save the world. Help prevent U2 in our lifetime.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @06:51PM (#30635070) Homepage Journal

    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.

    • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:05PM (#30635214) Homepage

      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.

      • by microbox (704317) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:44PM (#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.
      • by MrBandersnatch (544818) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @08:38PM (#30636000)

        Actually "once the mechanisms of control are in place" we'll just work around them.

        All the internet has done for piracy is to make "content" accessible to more people, more convenient to use and easier to detect and monitor. Imagine for a second a world where all content was tightly controlled and their was no internet piracy, what do you think would happen? Would piracy stop? Would illicit information/data cease to flow? Nope, sorry, it would just move to higher bandwidth channel such as post and courier ("never underestimate the bandwidth of an envelope of microSD cards") and still move around the "user communities" in the same way it did 10-20 years ago.

        And even then, new technologies would spring up bringing us an "undernet", but one with lessons learned. Consider for a second just what the rather silent "wireless revolution" would mean if someone dropped something into the stack to attempt to route data via wireless networks only, and queue transmission in a similar manner to UUCP of years past...

        As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, perhaps the 21st centuries problem is going to be that we will *need* for so little but want so much...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Stormwatch (703920)

        It's hard to argue against control of the internet without appearing pro-piracy

        And that's bad, because...? Fuck it, people, stop being scaredy-cats. Say it out loud: I do support piracy! I do support unbridled copying! In the deal of copyrights, we the people have been screwed real bad. It was supposed to be an incentive, to enrich the public domain. But nothing goes to the public domain anymore. Why play the game clean when they have the dice loaded against you?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tthomas48 (180798)

          Because the majority of the people who make that content depend on it for their livelihoods and don't make much money. So while your argument might make sense when talking about a Disney movie from the 1920s, it makes almost no sense when referring to anything made within the last decade, which I have a hunch is the time period most people are pirating.
          I don't hear a lot of calls to go after people pirating Gershwin tunes.

    • by brianosaurus (48471) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @08:33PM (#30635950) Homepage

      Don't forget that he is equating downloading and listening to a U2 album with child pornography. One is a horrible abuse that I wouldn't wish on any child, and the other is child pornography. (sorry. poor taste). Bono is despicable, greedy douchebag for invoking child porn in order to fatten his wallet.

    • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @09:56PM (#30636588)

      Now, now... if Bono wants to compare the music industry with Child Pornographers and the RIAA with a tyrannical Government, who are we to argue with him?

  • by iamapizza (1312801) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @06:51PM (#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.
    • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:35PM (#30635506) Homepage Journal

      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.

  • From Wikipedia (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @06:52PM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fearlezz (594718) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:23PM (#30635398) Homepage
      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.
  • This is his latest humanitarian project.
  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @06:52PM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by phantomfive (622387)

      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?

      Really? You don't think it's the lack of education, lack of infrastructure, over-reliance on subsistence farming, and the general lack of business knowledge? Try to find a CEO in El Salvador with experience in streamlining a production pipeline, or find a CFO in Burundi who knows how to smooth out a cash flow. Running a developed economy is tricky business, and it takes a while to develop enough expertise, an experienced workforce, and a good infrastructure.

      Not being able to get pirated songs isn't what'

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 03, 2010 @06:54PM (#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.

  • by Aim Here (765712) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @06:55PM (#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'

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 03, 2010 @06:55PM (#30635126)

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

  • by 2TecTom (311314) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @06:58PM (#30635158) Homepage Journal

    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: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 03, 2010 @06:58PM (#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.

  • by Anik315 (585913) <anik@alphaco r . n et> on Sunday January 03, 2010 @06:59PM (#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.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:02PM (#30635180) Journal
    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".
    • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:35PM (#30635510) Journal
      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.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Digital Vomit (891734)

        Maybe we should use this unthinking, reactionary behavior against the enemies of society instead?

        "DRM is like kiddie porn. No one in their right mind would want it on their movies and music if they knew what it was, and despicable old men in suits get off on it. Just say 'NO' to DRM."

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by stimpleton (732392)
        Years ago I ran a parody website in my smallish town. My coup-de-etat was my "paedophiles-hang-their-six-packs-of-yogurt-on-the-side-of-their-supermarket-trolley" expose. I quoted a fictional study, used actual photos with the censor strip over the face, and mock interviews with supposed paedophiles that all hung the yogurt on the side of their trolley. The local newspaper picked up the story. Apparently the incidents of the six packs *in the trolley* went thru the roof according to my checkout friend.
  • by unity100 (970058) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:02PM (#30635188) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:02PM (#30635192) Homepage Journal

    Tell him to go skiing, really fast.

  • fundraiser! (Score:3, Funny)

    by tommeke100 (755660) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:03PM (#30635198)
    how about he does a fundraiser with Metallica to save the artists in need!
  • Hypocrites (Score:4, Insightful)

    by c0mpliant (1516433) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:09PM (#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!
  • by pydev (1683904) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:09PM (#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!

  • by svirre (39068) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:10PM (#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.

  • By the numbers (Score:5, Informative)

    by mliu (85608) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:12PM (#30635292) Homepage

    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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Minwee (522556)

      The line for Motion picture and sound recording industries has been constant [...] at 0.3%.

      Bono claims, "music, film, TV and video games help to account for nearly 4 percent of gross domestic product".

      Apparently, Bono learned math from Verzion [blogspot.com].

  • He's a singer.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tkrotchko (124118) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:15PM (#30635318) Homepage

    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.

  • by Dan667 (564390) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @09:22PM (#30636368)
    Music Lovers are still mad at lars and metallica for their attacks on Napster. Even now, metallica gets hounded online by people anytime they are mentioned as being greedy jerks who hate music.
  • by emaveneau (552950) * on Sunday January 03, 2010 @10:00PM (#30636606)
    Tracking doesn't work. I have a youtube video with background music specifically legally licensed from magnatune for use on youtube [magnatune.com].

    Regardless, google/youtube flagged the audio and the dispute has been open for a month. In the dispute filing, I pasted the relevant text from the license and linked to it.

    The video itself clearly has a link to the artists site at magnatune (as required). So if any person were to intelligently go to the site and read the license or just read the dispute data I filed, the problem would cleary seen to be valid and legal.

    But I'm still waiting to hear back from WMG. The point I have is that Bono's technical suggestion to track everything will not work. In a very closed and controlled environment like youtube, the false positives are so numerous that legal content cannot be cleared and shared.

    Here's the license from magnatune (from link above).

    "If you'd like to use Magnatune music in a video that will be posted on YouTube, ... simply buy the album and use the music. ... you're required to include attribution of our music.

    .

  • by cheros (223479) on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:17AM (#30638940)

    I don't recall you having any basis in study for your uttering. Just because you got rich hopping around on a stage wailing into a microphone doesn't make you an expert in everything.

    No, all you have done now is discredited the good work you *did* manage to do.

    I do not steal music, but I am just as likely to be dragged into court as anyone else because the detection methods used by the RIAA are (a) flawed and (b) irrelevant - they are not interested in the conviction per se, but the chilling effect. Well, they have chilled two things: (1) my respect for the legal system, as I have seen it abused in many ways over the last 8 years and (2) my enthusiasm for buying music - I switched to web radio instead. In the last 5 years I have bought ONE (1) CD, and I know I'm far from the only one.

    You see, the RIAA idiots forget two things. Firstly, those they sue now would have been their future customers. Instead, by manipulating the amount of fines they will be denied a future. So, no future sales. Secondly, we age, which means what we like now is old tomorrow but we'll hang on to those records. Again, no new sales.

    Last but not least, there is another chilling effect. For someone who is so-called "creative" you appear to have a short memory, or maybe that has been bought by the RIAA as well? Any creativity has roots, has examples. I have seen fantastic new ways in which music has developed based on examples people grew up with and experimented with.

    What the RIAA is doing is chilling the experimental, the new growth. That leaves only the manufactured bands, with a few exceptions (when the singers accidentally have talent too) - and that is on the decline because it's unoriginal crap which requires (costly) marketing to sell. You could get a computer to make that stuff, and most sounds like it too.

    So it's not just a child that dies every time you clap your hands (did you stop clapping?) - it's also the market that gave you the money to change from a moderately interesting singer to an idiot used by politicians and sales droids, and I haven't failed to notice that quite a few things you have been promoted involved making more money for the parties involved (like "RED" - buy our stuff and we'll give a -small- percentage to the cause). Yes, money ruins a lot - U2, it seems..

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