updated 04:05 pm EST, Tue January 29, 2008
U2 manager blames ISPs
Internet service providers should be the focus of blame for continuing music piracy, says the manager for the internationally famous rock band U2. Paul McGuinness, speaking at the current MIDEM conference in Cannes, France, has argued that ISPs should be disconnecting those who download tracks illegally. ISPs have "been at our trough for too long," McGuinness says, and a part of the "shoddy, careless and downright dishonest way" in which artists have been treated in the era of digital music.
Governments and record labels are not without fault though, McGuinness believes. He accuses the institutions for creating a "thieves' charter" by suggesting that ISPs are not responsible by what passes through their networks. "If you were a magazine advertising stolen cars, handling the money for stolen cars and seeing to the delivery of stolen cars, the police would soon be at your door," he claims.
BBC News notes that McGuinness' view is at odds with groups like the Internet Service Providers Association, which contends that ISPs are "merely a conduit" for peer-to-peer file sharing. Of greater concern may be the US' Federal Communications Commission, which maintains a net neutrality policy, under which ISPs are not allowed to dictate how customers use their bandwidth.