U2 manager Paul McGuinness accused the world’s Internet providers of victimizing the music industry. He accused the ISP’s of adopting a moral code that applies more strictly to one group than to another.
ISP’s do not want to work with the creative community and protect artist rights because they claim that they don’t want to intervene in the traffic of their networks, but history and evidence show that ISP’s have INTERVENED in the traffic when it SUITS and BENEFITS them. This evidence alone displays a discriminatory practice and requires government legislation.
McGuiness saved his sharpest criticism for China.
China is a picture perfect example of a crumbling music business that we as americans, musicians, artists, songwriters, want to avoid at all costs. BBC reported that the huge numbers of pirated CDs and high levels of illegal downloading are forcing Chinese pop stars to find alternative ways to make a living. China’s music industry is considered the world’s most chaotic, those involved in the business say. In other words its pure anarchy.
“McGuinness likened ISPs to “shoplifters” and accused them of “turning their heads” away from the music industry’s troubles and “rigging the market.”
“Warner Music prexy Lachie Rutherford pointed out that the 2% of revenues from downloads and ringtones is shared with performers. “There are huge amounts of money being made from music (by portals and carriers) that are not supporting music, or radio or magazines,” Rutherford said.”
“One way or another ISPs and mobile operators are the business partners of the future for the recorded music business — but they have to share the money in a way that reflects what music is doing for their business. That’s true nowhere more than in China. China Mobile makes hundreds of millions of dollars each year from sales of ringtones yet pays a minuscule fraction of that to performers, producers and composers.”
“McGuinness said ISPs were unwilling to act against piracy and had ignored music-industry proposals — even though they were not being asked to police the Internet.”
“The modern history of the Internet is chockfull of examples of ISPs intervening in the traffic on their networks when it suits them,” he said, citing cases involving Comcast in the U.S. and a provider in Belgium.”
“You would think that the existence of basic rights to ensure that performers and producers get a share in profits would be taken for granted. You would be right to expect that in any country that values its musical culture, nurtures its repertoire and values its international reputation. Yet the absence of such rights in China is a missed chord. China’s commercial radio sector is worth hundreds of millions of dollars in ad revenue. It is important for China’s music community and for its international reputation that that money is shared.”
He described the practices of websites Baidu, Yahoo! China and Sohu as “very wrong” and “very unfair.””The legal action record companies are involved in now against Baidu and Sohu is a sad necessity,” McGuinness said. “Yahoo! China has a service that has already been ruled illegal by the Chinese court, but (it) refuses to respect the judgment.”
“He said that the Beijing Olympic Games organizers protect their logo and brand. “Yet when the record companies protested repeatedly to the Beijing Olympic Committee that Sohu, the official ISP of the olympic Games, is running a massively copyright-abusing download service they met with stony silence.”
“Today it is the music business that is charting the way to the future. We are the ones who are exercising the brains of government about how to balance a free Internet with an Internet that respects intellectual property, is properly regulated and is not the Wild West,” he said.
“If there are dinosaurs around today they are the Internet free thinkers of the past who believe that copyright is the great obstacle to progress, that the distributors of content should enjoy profits without responsibilities and that creators and producers of music should simply subordinate their rights to the rights of everyone else.”