ISP's to charge you £500m to tackle piracy... and Bono agrees!

4 January 2010

baby_on_computerIt seems that no matter what anyone does, piracy on the net is not going to go away. I think it's fair to assume that people like free stuff more than having morals. What did morality do for anyone apart from turn people into pious preachers?

That said, there's a very real problem when it comes to musicians and film makers getting paid for what they do. The entertainment industry is in limbo and doesn't quite know what to do about it all and thus far, has only thought of moaning to governments saying "those people out there! They're bullying us for our dinner money!"

Naturally, governments are shitting hopeless at sorting things like this out. The latest scheme is to suspend the connections of those who repeatedly share music and films online. The actions of the pirates will see all consumers coughing up £500 million.

The Digital Economy Bill would force ISPs to send warning letters to anyone caught flinging copyright material around without permission. As such, these people will see their connection suspended or slowed to the point where they'll feel like they're using a computer in 1996. In real terms, the ISPs reckon consumers will have £25 added to their broadband subscription.

The MPs think that this will all generate £1.7 billion in extra sales for the entertainment industry and, perhaps most tellingly, £350 million in extra VAT for the government.

In The Times, Charles Dunstone, chief executive of Carphone Warehouse (who own TalkTalk) said: “Broadband consumers shouldn’t have to bail out the music industry. If they really think it’s worth spending vast sums of money on these measures then they should be footing the bill; not the consumer.”

Meanwhile, pint-sized U2 warbler Bono, has had a pop at the ISPs for not doing enough to combat illegal filesharing.

In the New York Times, he proposed that the rise of filesharing has hurt musicians and claimed that the only group “this reverse Robin Hooding benefits are rich service providers, whose swollen profits perfectly mirror the lost receipts of the music business”. That's not all though. Get this:

"We know from America's noble effort to stop child pornography, not to mention China's ignoble effort to suppress online dissent, that it's perfectly possible to track content," Bono added. So what, he wants us all to get spied on now? The jumped-up little squirt! Why I oughta...

Anyway, this debate is one that's going right down to the copper wire and no-one, as yet, has come up with a solution to it. As ever, it's over to the collective You, dear Bitterwallet readers, to think up the answers for these bozos.


PS: Don't take the image too seriously folks. It's lame joke to try and drag your attention in from the millions of other flashing neon blogs and sites out there.


  • Rob
    I'm sure Bono misses all that money he's lost. Doesn't he know fans of U2 are so old they can't use the internet anyway? I think anyone caught file sharing U2 tracks should be punished, anyone with taste that bad deserves to be put down.
  • Nobby
    Bono should punish the public for downloading his music and not paying for it. How about he stops producing any more music to punish us? Please, do that Bono, or I will illegally download some of your stuff.
  • Rubisco
    What a waste of time and money. As soon as they start cracking down on detectable piracy, people will just start using undetectable methods. There will be a drop in piracy for a couple of weeks max.
  • cookie
    Poor Bono must surely be living in poverty then. He's going to have to start campaigning for himself now since he's clearly in a worse plight than all those third world kids he used to campaign for.
  • Nobby
    I reckon if every bitterwallet reader chipped in 20p, Peter Mandelson could be taken out. A coupld of quid should do it. In the style of Mr Jolly Lives Next Door, of course.
  • Green C.
    Why not charge people £25 on top of their broadband bill and use that to pay for all the pirated material...
  • Bob G.
    Perhaps Bono should put his hand in his own pocket instead of trying to take the credit for Live Aid. Knobhead.
  • Zleet
    Hows about rather than the Government doing the bidding of giant multinational conglomerates and forcing ISP's to snoop into our personal data they ask the damn companies to have a look at their business model. Sites like Spotify and Last.FM have the right idea but these entertainment companies refuse to move with the times and then cry foul when the kiddies leave them behind.
  • the h.
    So when Bono mentions this "reverse Robin Hooding" is he suggesting pirates are stealing from the poor to give to the rich. Since when has Bono and his ilk been considered poor?
  • Spencer
    cannot and will not ever defeat piracy. Ever. Pirates are exceptionally clever and resourceful people and what ever measures Mandy and his minions think they can introduce will simply be circumvented. In fact, they already are circumvented. When these draconian measures are finally forced through, the technology to bypass them will already be years old. All this does is make hardier weeds. It makes piracy harder to detect, and so therefore makes filesharing less risky. Proper pirates operate in total anonymity. They get what they want and are practically untraceable. The more Mandy and the industry push, the more 'Proper' pirates they'll make. They'll drive it further and further underground, making it harder and harder to find.
  • Nobby
    @the third helix You are correct there. Bono has clearly gotten this wrong. It is music companies that steal from the poor and give to the rich.
    My solution is this: Do whatever you like, because I will always find a way to download films and music. Actually make that films because I rarely download illegal music now. Encryption is the way forward and will ensure once again the RIAA and MPAA (or British equiv) end up looking stupid and behind the times.
  • dunfyboy
    Bono really should take his head out off his arse once in a while and have a look around at the real world. Holding ISPs responsible is a bit like charging the the guys who repair the roads with speeding every time someone goes over the limit. Besides, CDs were always a rip off. You only had to look at how cheap they got in the sales to see the huge profit margin the made at full retail price. Now they make a product that's no more than a series of zeroes and ones and they often charge almost as much as for a tangible product despite the savings in production, distribution and sales costs. Legal mp3s sometimes come with DRM and quite often at a low, lossy bitrate. It's no wonder some people decide they'd rather get a better product for free. But don't worry Bono. I haven't downloaded any of your tunes illegally. I bought The Joshua Tree way back when and everything U2 have churned out since has been shite. Not even worth getting for free. But still the band gets paid millions, taking money away from up and coming artists who do actually care more about the music than their bank balances. And who decided because you can knock out a tune you deserve to be a millionaire anyway? Rant over. But seriously Bono, fuck off.
  • rock t.
    Does this mean every time Bono claps his hands another person has illegally downloaded a U2 song?
  • philip f.
    this coming from a man who files his bands accounts in amsterdam to avoid paying tax. I didn't think it was possible but he's made himself look an even bigger cunt
  • bpdunc
    I forget, how much were U2 charging for tickets on their tour last year? upwards of £48 or something? or was that just for a t-shirt? Oh well, i'm sure all the proceeds are going to starving kids in Africa. Not going towards paying for the three massive steel structures costing between £15-20 million each that their stage is made out of at all, oh no. "But seriously Bono, fuck off" I second that emotion.
  • Andy D.
    @Nobby - Take him right out? Dorking?
  • negbobsquarepants
    Didn't Peter Mandelson say that consumers will be allowed to duplicate music between friends and family? Does that include the Facebook definition of 'friend'?
  • Karmageddon
    I have to say, on a slight sideline, firstly it's the biggest bands who get hit hardest, as the most popular stuff is what is easiest to torrent, it's the very nature of the beast. I think we've moved into a new age, at least I hope so, where multimillionaire rock stars may be a thing of the past, I'm sure it'll still be quite possible to be fairly rich if you're talented, cretive, and above all lucky, but the top end will be lowered, and hey, this might cut down on the people going into the industry because they want to be rich or famous and because they want to be musicians and share their talents with the world. Even more tenously linked, it's obviously not an ideal solution, but I've been using Steam loads over the past two weeks, Now the PC industry is rife with piracy, but personally, when I can pick up games for £3-5 a go, with no cd keys, no installs, no needing to find a disc to put in the drive when Iwant to play them, I've been buying tons! Two points to summarise, most protection systems penalise the customer, when the sensible companies pretty much ignore the piracy levels, and concentrate on the actual sales, as they know that a pirated copy is not necessarily a sale. Secondly, when we don't feel we're getting screwed in terms of costs, we're a lot more likely to pay than go torrent hunting. Modern Warfare 2 hit headlines as the most pirated game ever, yet managed to ignore the facts that they'd removed most of the reasons to buy the PC version, therefore a fair number of those were probably 'protest' downloads, or people seeing if it was still worth it. Also, MW2 sold $500 million worth in the first week, it reminds me of 'Deal or no Deal' where someone deals on £18,000 but they had £25,000 in their box. You haven't lost xxx amount, you've gained xxx amount, and a spurious figure isn't real until it's in your account.
  • Warwick H.
    I never did like that ugly little twat Bono
  • Goity
    You're a slaaaag Bono. A slaaag.
  • dacouch
    I would take Bono more seriouslly if he had not changed his tax country to Holland when they brought out a very very low rating for celebrities (After the Irish government scrapped their very very low rate for celebrities). Whose for starting a campaign on behalf of the Irish Tax Payers who are losing out and the poor people of Ireland who are losing out thanks to bono
  • Bo n.
    I im not sure if I may be in a minority here would pay an extra £10 a month if I could download say 30Gb of media without the crippleware attached - this model was put forward in the mid 90s when BB was in its infancy - as has been said on here - software will cirumvent the tracking methods - usage isnt a measure at all - ill just grab nightly builds of various flavours of linux distros - 16mb connection - encrypted - on a p2p network - fuck em - let them crack the encryptiion to find its all legal and above board -the droids will move to allready available fully encrypted systems - where you havent got a fecking clue whats being cached on your hard drive. Didnt the news mention a massive rise in singles in the last couple of months. Wake the F up Bone on
  • Badgie
    Wasn't DRM supposed to stop piracy? Aren't the growth areas of music sales now with the companies who are supplying non-DRM'd mp3s? Hmm... As a semi-pro musician I can tell you all this talk about the death of music is shite - it's the music INDUSTRY that is at risk. Musicians will always make music, because they just have to; people will always listen to music and will be prepared to pay to see a good gig or even buy a good recording. The only people who will suffer are the industry fat-cats who have been ripping off musicians since time immemorial and the talent-free "stars of the future" they create. Bono - want to make a living out of your music? Go and play some fucking pub gigs like the rest of us. Being a millionaire totally destroys anyone's ability to write decent music anyway.
  • Warwick H.
    I never did like the Irish twat and I wouldent waste bandwidth downloading their shit. And I will pay sod all to download.
  • “Piracy L.
    [...] and used these newer channels on the web we would not be talking about the RIAA suing fans, or ISPs charging for music [...]

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