Bono slammed by ISPs for flawed anti-file sharing argument


Bono slammed by ISPs for flawed anti-file sharing argument

Simon Quicke

U2 frontman Bono has been heavily criticised after penning an article in an American paper earlier this week lambasting ISPs for not doing more to prevent illegal file sharing.

The singer has been criticised for wading into a debate that he is not only personally involved with but also because his comments have been interpreted by some in the industry as unhelpful.

In an opinion piece in the New York Times Bono said that the ISPs had enjoyed a decade of swollen profits at the cost of the music and film business.

"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," he wrote.

"The people this reverse Robin Hooding benefits are rich service providers, whose swollen profits perfectly mirror the lost receipts of the music business," he added.

Consumer and business ISP TalkTalk has already laid into the comparisons the singer made between the efforts made to block child porn and control the web in China with the apparent lack of moves being made to stop illegal downloads as "outrageous".

The latest to register discontent is Entanet which has used an opinion article of its own by marketing head Darren Farnden to hit back at the Irish superstar advising him to "stick to singing and campaigning for poorer nations and leave the economics of Internet service provision to the professionals."

In his post Farnden said that the claim that ISPs profited from illegal downloads was a flawed argument.

"As for the comment about our 'swollen profits perfectly mirroring the lost receipts of the music business' - where do we begin? I would hazard a guess that these, are yet again, calculated on flawed hypothetical principles that everyone who downloads illegally would actually legally purchase the same amount of music. This is ridiculous," he wrote.

"ISPs have not said they can't or won't inspect packets, they have simply raised concerns regarding privacy and the morality of this practice," he added.

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