Monday 4 January 2010

Oh Bono...

Bit of a rumpus in internet land today as Mr Hewson opened his gob again and entered the 'stealing stuff off the internet' debate.

The article appeared in the New York Times. Go have a read here. It's mostly an idealistic top ten wish list for the next ten years and much of it you'll find yourself nodding a long with. It's exactly what you'd expect from him really, self depreciating humour (of a sort), a few political digs here and there, and a few silly, throw away comments that maybe he should have thought a bit more about.

His argument about people file sharing is a valid one but using China's 'ignoble effort to suppress online dissent' as a way to highlight how things could be done better is hardly a clever way to present it. Yep, people should get paid for their creative efforts but I don't think the way forward is to monitor everyone's downloads. Indeed it's dangerous and could certainly see the death knell for the kind of social power that we saw last year in Iran via twitter. Something incidentally that Bono goes onto support whole heartedly in his piece. You can't have it both ways.

It's either dynamic and socially engaging or it's dead. Part of being socially engaging and dynamic is the ability to share. Yes capitalism is struggling to figure out how to make the internet work for it and I've already written about how the print industry is suffering but I've steered clear of the music debate. Why? Because I think their are a significant number of people prepared to pay for their music that would never consider using a torrent site and there always will be. That model just about survives and I think it's even less likely to damage the film industry in the long term. Until we all live in mansions with our own cinemas that is... you know, like Bono does.

Bono should have steered clear of China. Bad move. The rest of the piece is quiet sweet but I can see why he's had his arse kicked all day on twitter.

Early contender for one new feature for Diary of a Ledger. There's gonna be a Muppet of the Month award at the end of each month culminating in a Muppet of the Year 2010.

Thanks Bono. I knew someone would step up to the plate in January.


  1. His piece wasn't as bad as the original sound bytes in the news suggested, but agree: spying on what people are doing is never the way to go.I already saw somewhere that people were having their internet cut off that they needed for their work, for illegal downloading that someone else had done by hacking into their accounts. And of course, people will always find new ways to rip things off if the present easy method is blocked for them. So it won't work in the long run anyway, whatever you think of filesharing, people will find a way.