ISP Safe Harbour Called Thieves Charter

Paul McGuinness, U2's manager, calls on ISPs to adopt content blocking systems and subscriber termination.


  1. Philip Downey says:

    1. “What’s your’s is mine, and what’s mine is mine” Eric Cartman, South Park.

    2. That sounds like a speech from 1998, not 2008.

    3. He never explicitly says he wants more money for U2, but that’s pretty funny, considering that before the EU economic community was implemented, U2 (just four guys) was Ireland’s biggest industry.
    [ link ]

  2. Filtering vs Access
    McGuinness calls suing and disconnecting customers “business suicide”. He says, “I suggest we shift the focus of moral pressure away from the individual P2P file thief and on to the multi billion dollar industries that benefit from these countless tiny crimes”. This is an attempt to avoid the bad optics of the current strategy by going after unsympathetic large corporations with deep pockets instead. That makes sense.

    Unfortunately, filtering places a large burden on ISPs, especially smaller ones, leading to higher costs and reduced access. It would likely wipe out nonprofit Internet access networks. Here in Vancouver, volunteers are setting up just such a system using wireless mesh routers. This represents a tremendous opportunity for innovation, freedom, and social justice due to increased access to the means of communication and participation in the online economy.

    Then of course there are concerns that filtering would violate privacy, block legitimate communication, and in the end simply wouldn’t work.

  3. Joel
    He makes some interesting comments, like how the ISP’s should stop living in the past, and Let the Market decide the price. I believe the market has already decided the price. The go to concerts, they premium merchandise (t-shirts, cd’s, dvd’s, etc), and simply want access to the music so they can enjoy it when and where they like. I think the music industry should stop living in the past as well. The times are a changing and they should figure it out and move on.

    I am tired of buying the same music on record, tape, cd, then the next medium. Already paid for it, now I want to listen to it on my MP3 player, laptop, or whatever else. I download stuff that other people have already converted, which saves me the time of ripping it myself. I have stopped buying music a long time ago because I am not interested in a lot of it, and I am not interesting in the price. My disposable income is already being consumed by everyone else, the entertainment industry included. I will wait to buy a movie for $20 so I can watch it the comfort of my home where I can pause it when I want. I don’t feel like spending $30 in a theatre to watch it once.

    The Market is speaking, when will the corporations listen? All I hear from big business seems to be that their financial model is threatened by pirates and illegal downloaders, when perhaps they should be looking to see what the root of the problem is. Blaming others for their problems instead of taking responsiblity is called “passing the buck”, and does not actually solve the problem.

    My $0.02.

  4. Ooops
    Guess I should read ALL the fields to put the title and name in the correct spots.

  5. Chris Alpiar says:

    What Paul McGuinness really is saying is a voice for all of the artists out there, not a greedy money grubber.

    As a professional composer and performer who isnt in the top 1% of success and MTV rock monsters I am THRILLED that someone with clout is making these issues be vocalized. Its not the U2s and the Mettalicas that suffer, its the indie artists, score composers, and working musicians that are being destroyed by the wide open not even attempted at regulating illegal downloading of all kinds of media, including music, song & albums, films, art, scores, etc

    Thank you Mr. McGuinness for bothering to talk about the issues that are a nuisance to you but are life threatening to thousands of us!

    I also was a dot com boom programmer and I was an original pre-IPO member of InfoSpace and I understand the tech side very much. I will say that what happened is a natural evolution of technology and human nature. Clicking on files and getting that intellectual property of another person was SO EASY and since it was just digital it felt to have to real value. But we all listened to those MP3s and watched those quicktime movies. And we LOVED the fact that we could stuff a 200 gig firewire drive to the brim with all the music we ever wanted to listen to and not pay a dime. If you didnt do it on some level you are probably either a priest or someone without internet

    And so Mr McGuinness is saying lets not blame individuals and human nature, but something MUST be done about this and soon before we lose many facets of modern art and culture to the destabilizing and deflation of its economy.

    Its no joke and its not like yea yea whatever, its like EMERGENCY *DINGDINGDING* EMERGENCY. Right now the AFM (musicians union) performance fund (which is the fun for retirement and emergency funding for professional musicians) is about to die, because it is based on CD sales. There are *countless* programs similar to this that are dead or dying quickly because of illegal downloads.

    Certainly non-“mainstream pop” art forms like non-synthesizer orchestral film music, among many others are going to become extinct and then fade away completely the farther this goes without being checked.

    There absolutely needs to be legislation that forces ISPs and tech companies to create technology to stop non-paid-for illegal downloading of music, film and art. This would be relatively very easy to create. All it needs is ubiquitous agreement and cooperation from all sources that host and transmit data.

    Without it our world is going to become a shallow grey world without culture and professional art. That is a place I don’t want to live in.

  6. Very few pieces of art stand the test of time to be remembered for centuries, or even decades. What we have now is an industry that excels at producing an overwhelming amount of mediocre content and making a lot of money of of it while the wave of popularity lasts. That is the industry that is in danger as people realize that instead of paying $20 for that CD full of B-sides for the one bubble-gum radio hit single, they could buy it for 99 cents off iTunes, or even download it somewhere for free.
    But I don’t think talented, indie musicians with dedicated fan bases will be in danger of being forced out of “business” by those nasty pirates. Fans will still buy the merchandise and CDs and attend the live shows because they love the music that much. Look at all the crap Deadheads still pay for.
    The difference is, though, that the “rock star” life many artists pursue will be more difficult than ever to attain. It will require a lot more work, touring and overall talent to attract the attention of audiences, not just the attention of a label middleman with the ability to repackage and shovel the content out en masse.