U2 band manager Paul McGuinness complains recent decision by Ireland’s High Court that Irish Law doesn’t require ISPs to detect and disconnect illegal file-sharers is “extremely bad for the international reputation of Ireland” and that legislators need to act quickly to remedy the situation.
Longtime U2 band manager Paul McGuinness has a long history of being a vocal critic of P2P and illegal file-sharing, calling for file-sharers to be disconnected from the Internet as far back as 2008 when France first began contemplating a “three-strikes” graduated response system in earnest.
Now, after hearing of Ireland’s High Court defeat of mandatory “three-strikes” for ISPs in his native Ireland, he’s made it clear that he is quite unhappy with the ruling.
“This is extremely bad for the international reputation of Ireland as a jurisdiction with appropriate legal protection for all kinds of Intellectual Property and copyright generally,” he said.
Justice Peter Charleton did rule that Irish Law doesn’t require ISPs to identify and disconnect illegal file-sharers, but cautioned that the lack of such provisions in Irish Law technically means the country is not in compliance with European law, and that considering its place within the European Union the govt must therefore address the issue.
McGuinness seized upon the caveat and urged the govt to provide a legislative remedy for the commission in Irish Law.
“The government must now as a matter of urgency, do its job properly and implement the required EU legislation without further delay,” he continued. “Justice Charleton’s judgment could not be clearer on where the responsibility lies.”
Judge Charleton did condemn illegal file-sharing, his judgment reading that it “not only undermines their [music] business but ruins the ability of a generation of creative people in Ireland, and elsewhere, to establish a viable living” and that “it is destructive of an important native industry.”
The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) has reportedly been approached by members of govt and expects legislation to be written some time in the first half of next year to get “this thing sorted.”
McGuinness has also argued over the years that ISPs have unfairly profited from P2P, and more recently, that ISPs only offer faster bandwidth to speed up the distribution of free content as part of an overall “commercial agenda of powerful technology and telecoms industries” who are making “vast profits” at the expense of copyright holders.
UK ISP Entanet pointed out that fast connections speeds are necessary for legal content download services like Apple’s iTunes, the proverbial savior of the music industry.
Considering McGuinness also said that Radiohead’s “In Rainbows” experiment backfired, it’s no wonder that artists like Gama Bomb frontman Philly Byrne have called him “crazily short-sighted,” and have criticized “three-strikes” for being “no less a persecution to the very people artists rely on.”
Byrne believes that free albums are the real key to the future, providing an opportunity for record tour profits as you expand your fanbase.
McGuinness, on the other hand, thinks it’s better to remove your fanbase from the equation entirely – an entire household at a time.
Certainly he can’t believe “three-strikes” will turn people into paying customers? Combined with the the fact that there are hundreds of ways to bypass detection methods it won’t even solve the so-called problem, and will only make enemies out the least tech savvy music fans among us.