Bono Criticizes Pirates, Draws Heat

U2 frontman Bono wrote an editorial for the New York Times which critisized online piracy, supported net policy ideas, and has drawn criticism.

"A decade's worth of music file-sharing and swiping has made clear that the people it hurts are the creators...the people this reverse Robin Hooding benefits are rich service providers, whose swollen profits perfectly mirror the lost receipts of the music business," the singer wrote.

Bono then called for Internet policing to stifle piracy. Citing American efforts to stop child pornography and Chinese efforts to stifle online dissent, he noted that its possible to track Internet content and activity.

The singer's comments sparked a backlash across the web. "Bono" has quickly become one of the top trending topics on social networking site Twitter with one user saying, "its all about self promotion. He'd sell his used toilet paper if it meant promoting his career & name."

I understand how ironic it is to hear about online piracy hurting the music business from the lead singer of the top grossing live act of 2009, but people have got to understand that when you buy No Line On The Horizon, its not like all that money is going into Bono's pocket. There is a whole industry of people that you're stealing from.

People are understandably upset about the thought of policing online activity because it infringes on privacy rights, but aren't illegal downloaders infringing on the rights of copyright holders when they steal a copyrighted work?

As record sales continue to plummet and the record industry continues to hemmorage money, a solution must be reached. Obviously, the strategy so far, suing music fans and using scare tactics, hasn't worked. A new business model must be found. Perhaps Bono is the one with the answer. U2's latest release, No Line On The Horizon, has barley scraped over the 1 million mark in the United States while their supporting tour, 360 Degrees Tour, has grossed over $311 million.

You can read Bono's op-ed on ten ideas for the next ten years here.


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