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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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • Bono STFU! (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 03, 2010 @06:53PM (#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.

  • 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 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.

  • Re:From Wikipedia (Score:2, Insightful)

    by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Sunday January 03, 2010 @06:59PM (#30635168) Homepage

    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!

  • 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 Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:03PM (#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?

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Re:From Wikipedia (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:10PM (#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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Re:From Wikipedia (Score:5, Insightful)

    by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:15PM (#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.
  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:15PM (#30635336) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by mliu (85608) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:15PM (#30635338) Homepage

    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:From Wikipedia (Score:3, Insightful)

    by calmofthestorm (1344385) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:16PM (#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 (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:21PM (#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:Sorry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by turbotroll (1378271) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:22PM (#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: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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:29PM (#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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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:Sorry (Score:1, Insightful)

    by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:40PM (#30635548)
    Kudos to you sir, seems no one wants to talk about population management.

    And we're proving ourselves fools by not addressing it.
  • 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 Tsunamio (465339) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:48PM (#30635608) Homepage

    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.

  • Re:Sorry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by turbotroll (1378271) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:51PM (#30635634)

    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?

  • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:55PM (#30635660) Journal
    From what I read, sales for the more unknown artists who do not get as much airtime as the big stars are also up, especially online sales. And it makes sense, too.

    I don't mind paying for music. I don't even mind paying for music if the money goes to some rich asshole like Bono... he wrote it, he deserves to make a buck. All the music I've gotten during the past 10 years or so is from legal sources. Why? Not because I suddenly grew a conscience, but because the legal alternative is now almost as good as illegal sites such as AllofMP3, when it comes to quality and convenience. More importantly, many legal downloads are now DRM-free.

    I only wish the movie industry would do the same, and I'd gladly pay for a legal movie site like AllofMP3, with a choice of formats and compression rates, and no DRM. For once I actually agree with our government (in the Netherlands), whose stance on illegal downloads is that they will crack down on it, but not before the movie industry provides a reasonable legal alternative. And the current offering of streaming to proprietary players only, with no means to watch content on anything other than a Windows PC (no Popcorn Hours, no iPhones), is not acceptable by any standard.

    I don't think many musicians are hurting because of downloads (and there's plenty of research to back that statement up). I do believe that it's the established musicians like Bono and the record labels who are hurting, because their business model is a dinosaur from last century. Bono, pfft... he'd jump at a chance to flog a few records online before he made it big... and now he's made it so big that the great humanitarian decided that he doesn't want to pay taxes like the little people, and subsequently incorporated U2 in the Netherlands (which is a tax haven for foreign companies).
  • Re:Sorry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 03, 2010 @07:58PM (#30635680)

    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.

  • by kjart (941720) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @08:03PM (#30635718)

    What a fucking joke that this is +5 insightful. Yes, I do not agree with this opinion piece, but your wholesale dismissal of any good this person has done in their life and apparently wishing for them to die on that basis is absurd. I'm not naive enough to think that such morons don't exist on the internet, but lets try and maintain a higher standard here, please.

    Yeah, society would totally be better off without his work for Amensty International, AIDS awareness, Band Aid, Live Aid, etc. [wikipedia.org] I'm sure you've done more than him, right?

  • by dangitman (862676) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @08:10PM (#30635776)
    So, the answer is... what? If you're a massively successful band, you can still make money from a highly anticipated album if you make payment optional? Yeah, I don't think that has very broad relevance.
  • by Digital Vomit (891734) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @08:11PM (#30635778) Homepage Journal

    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."

  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Sunday January 03, 2010 @08:16PM (#30635818)

    Bono is thinking about the future artist.

    Bono wants that future artist to be able to turn a profit by selling the rights to their artistic creations to a large corporation which will have absolute control of those rights indefinitely.

    And the only cost will be the "outing" of every political dissident anywhere in the world.

    Fuck you, Bono.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 03, 2010 @08:26PM (#30635900)

    I think he might get some sympathy if it weren't for the RIAA...

    1. Trying to overturn the doctrine of first sale.
    2. Preventing artists from distributing their works outside the RIAA.
    3. Audits showing that the RIAA was 1000 times more likely to make mistakes in their favor rather than in the artists favor.
    4. Buying off congress for copyright extensions.
    5. Buying off congress for the DMCA.
    6. Trying to impose DRM.
    7. Running a litigation extortion racquet.
    8. Claiming copyrights for material that is not theirs.

    And a few others I'm sure I missed. The RIAA is the wrong structure for the internet and they know it. They won't be happy until they disrupt the internet.

  • by grcumb (781340) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @08:32PM (#30635946) Homepage Journal

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

    Er, no, it's really not satirical.

    Bono's trying to be witty, that's true, but what results is something the Flying Karamazov Brothers [fkb.com] like to call a 'Joke-Like Phrase': It has all the elements of a joke, but it's just not funny.

    I'll accept that there's a fine line between making a mockery of oneself and actual satire, but in this case, Bono has managed to take a strong stand alongside the idiots.

  • Re:Second that. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Teancum (67324) <robert_horning AT netzero DOT net> on Sunday January 03, 2010 @08:35PM (#30635980) Homepage Journal

    If he was seriously talking about future artists or the small time artists that are trying to break into the musical big leagues, he would look far more seriously at why competitions like "American Idol" or "Pop Idol" have to be created in order to find the talent for tomorrow's music.

    There is something seriously broken in the music industry, and it isn't the "illegal music pirates" on the internet that is the problem. There really isn't a reasonable farm system any more for getting young and promising talent to move up without going outside of the system. Recording contracts are absolutely hideous and filled with clauses that keep any aspiring musician from being able to become a genuinely professional musician.

    Furthermore, there is a problem with groups like the RIAA, ASCAP, and other groups who supposedly are accepting licensing fees on behalf of these small time artists to actually pay up and get some money, any money, to this new and rising generation of musicians. The current royalty collection system only works for artists like Bono who are at the top of the game, and it is the little guys that get squeezed out in the process.

    I'll also want to respond to this statement:

    The only thing protecting the movie and TV industries from the fate that has befallen music and indeed the newspaper business is the size of the files. The immutable laws of bandwidth tell us we’re just a few years away from being able to download an entire season of “24” in 24 seconds. Many will expect to get it free.

    Last time I checked, a typical op-ed column or even an entire newspaper edition is an order of magnitude smaller than a MP3 file. If you add pictures and put it in a PDF file, it might be of comparable size.... to a single music file. I don't see the comparison here either. There is copyrighted on-line content that has subscribers, and those models work... as does advertising-based publications as well.

    The problem with the music industry isn't the freeloaders, but rather with venues for new musicians where the up and coming artists will actually get paid at all in the first place. Even if you "unmake" the internet, these new musicians won't be paid by the major record labels no matter how hard the new musicians work or try to find customers/listeners.

    A decade’s worth of music file-sharing and swiping has made clear that the people it hurts are the creators

    No, those who it hurts the most are the recording studio executives who no longer have a gravy train ride to profits, and somehow have to work to earn a living now. The old business models are broken and no longer work... because the world has changed. If you are creative, people will pay for music. They want to pay for good music, and there are many people who are actively looking for new musicians to support. The days that a recording executive in Hollywood might be able to cherry pick some random slob from an inner city ghetto and bring them to stardom through payola and graft with radio stations is over. They want to make their money off of vinyl or optical discs, and the world has moved on to other media.

    I'd much rather support some new and aspiring artist than folks like Bono. Unfortunately, when the government gets into the act, it is the old dinosaurs that get all of the money and they keep it from going to the new and upcoming musicians.

  • 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:Sorry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by eggy78 (1227698) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @08:41PM (#30636016)
    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:By the numbers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Sunday January 03, 2010 @08:45PM (#30636066) Homepage

    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].

  • by Delkster (820935) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @08:49PM (#30636118)

    Would you be ready to award the CEO of a major company a salary of more than $150k per year? Or other really successful people in really successful businesses? It's more honest to compare hugely successful artists and bands to other hugely successful people than to (more or less) Joe Commons, even Joes who do work their asses off.

  • Re:Sorry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @08:50PM (#30636126)
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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:Sorry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ClosedSource (238333) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @09:53PM (#30636570)

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

  • 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?

  • Perhaps (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 03, 2010 @10:21PM (#30636714)

    perhaps movie moguls will succeed where musicians and their moguls have failed so far

    Or perhaps your whole gang of mogollums will fail miserably and take your exploitive business model with you.

    Digital information processing is already decades behind what it should be, thanks to these idiots impeding technological progress in order to enforce a failing concept of what information is.

    The same disease is responsible for the BluRay/HDDVD format war and resulting delay, the DMCA, and patent trolls.

    Fuck the lot of them. They are parasites on the technological society.

  • 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, Insightful)

    by A nonymous Coward (7548) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @10:27PM (#30636756)

    Mr. Yacoob should read up on what Mr. Williams does for a living and why he was on Mr. Letterman's show.

  • Re:Bono's comments (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ClosedSource (238333) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @10:27PM (#30636760)

    "Whatever happened to live performances and the "work ethic" of the tour? If singers and entertainers want to get paid, then they have to get out there and entertain."

    Apparently only the artists are required to be ethical, not their fans. What is the ethical argument for listening to music on a recording instead of paying to attend a live performance?

    Yes, we know young people don't have much cash but still like to enjoy music. It's OK. Just man-up and don't try to hide behind the skirt of a phony ethics issue.

  • Re:Sorry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bob Cat - NYMPHS (313647) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @10:34PM (#30636818) Homepage

    Robin Williams 'recycles' other people's jokes. The people he steals from don't seem to mind much, maybe because he does it better than Mencia.

  • by ClosedSource (238333) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @10:39PM (#30636854)

    We had to destroy the village to save it.

  • I don't know (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ClosedSource (238333) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @10:43PM (#30636880)

    Welfare has worked rather well for US corporations.

  • Bono the greedy! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 03, 2010 @10:43PM (#30636886)

    I managed quite nicely before Bono and will continue without him. If I decide to donate monies to a worthy cause, I will do so directly, unfiltered or skimmed by Bono. I do not condone or support surrogate Philanthropists like Bono or Bill Gates, they only use monies bilked from their customers. This is not charity but extortion with a tax benefit.

  • 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:Sorry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @11:22PM (#30637092) Journal

    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-sized organisations and government-sized organisations, and that gap is mostly empty today (largely due to the aforementioned Sturgeoning that happens when the memes of an organisation die).

    Yep, a secular church. Maybe call it the Church of Imagine meets Wavy Gravy [wavygravy.net]. Offer spaghetti bolognaise as a sacrament if you must.

  • by Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @11:28PM (#30637134)
    The point with Radiohead is not what you pointed out. Yes, they're a big band with a worldwide reputation. But they simply asked for what the market will bear and still made more money off of that album than any single project they did with a label (straight from one of their interviews). There will always be people who want to pay zero and there will be, I think, a majority that will be willing to pay something.

    And as you've probably noticed, enforcement is really difficult so some other financing regime for performers will eventually surface. Hopefully, it's a good one.
  • Re:Sorry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by symbolset (646467) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @11:59PM (#30637312) Journal

    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:Sorry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ta bu shi da yu (687699) on Monday January 04, 2010 @12:47AM (#30637594) Homepage

    He is. It's the same sort of argument I'm seeing come from America where they say that having a national health provider will cause people to be lazy and not look after themselves. Of course, they don't look at countries like Australia that does have a national health scheme but people are by and large not lazy.

  • Re:Sorry (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ltap (1572175) on Monday January 04, 2010 @01:15AM (#30637698) Homepage
    The problem is that these conflicts are generally fuelled by foreign meddling (see, Italy's governance of Somalia before it abandoned it), and foreign aid generally are a patch on the problem without actually fixing it. Simply throwing food and money at people will not cause them to form stable governments, rein in crime and provide a social support network. While it does not, in an absolute sense, make the problem worse, it is basically the Western world's way of saying "See? I've contributed! I'm doing my part!" without delving deeper into the issues that causes this more-or-less self-perpetuating cycle.
  • Re:Sorry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ta bu shi da yu (687699) on Monday January 04, 2010 @01:15AM (#30637700) Homepage

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

    To quote a meme I created:

    [citation needed]

  • by brit74 (831798) on Monday January 04, 2010 @02:52AM (#30638094)
    Meh. It's not that hard to defeat. You can: setup a computer as a honeypot - it serves up the "pirated" material people are trying to download and logging their IP addresses. You can write an application/custom installer that phones home. When pirates install some application, they're also notifying you that they just installed a pirated application. I'm sure I could come up with lots of other ways. "Oh how those in power would squirm." Yes, along with all the movie makers, musicians, software developers. You'd set back the creation of digital media in a big, big way if you undermine the creators like that.
  • South Park (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Monday January 04, 2010 @04:41AM (#30638554) Journal
    South Park gave us one of the more plausible representations of Bono (a floater and maker of floaters). The creators of South Park also let you download the shows for free, providing an illuminating contrast with Bono and his ilk.
  • 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]

  • 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..

  • 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: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.

  • Re:Sorry (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Russell McOrmond (123550) on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:48AM (#30639572) Homepage

    "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime."

    You forgot the real issue here, which is that Bono, Gates and similar pseudo-philanthropists are actively involved with making a variety of "teaching" (sharing of knowledge) expensive and/or illegal. This is the core of what Bono is ranting about this time, suggesting the world's governments should go as far as the human rights violations in China to (theoretically -- no proof of "benefit") grant him more money.

    There are those who think that making knowledge scarce, including criminalising private citizens owning and controlling their own communications technology, is the only way to make it possible to pay authors/inventors for their important contributions to society. This ignores all the experience and research to the contrary. Whether you believe this or not, you must admit that deliberately making knowledge scarce and thus more expensive greatly harms the interests of the worlds poor.

    Sharing: the way to Make Poverty History. [digital-copyright.ca]

    The repercussions of deliberately making knowledge scarce will be an underlying issue that will show up in many global conflicts in the next decade, whether talking about poverty, western economic recovery or global climate change.

  • by tthomas48 (180798) on Monday January 04, 2010 @10:33AM (#30640356) Homepage

    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.

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