Paul McGuiness claims 95% of downloaded music is pirated

U2 manager slams ISPs for hosting ?free downloads?

The manager of U2, Paul McGuiness has penned an article that accuses ISPs of directly profiting from music piracy and has slammed bloggers who criticise the music industry.

In an article for GQ, McGuiness mourns the rise of free content, citing it as the death knell for traditional media and the music industry, and reiterated suggestions made by Bono that internet service providers are the ultimate benefactors from such a development and voiced support for the controversial Digital Economy Act.

“I am convinced that ISPs are not going to help the music and film industry voluntarily,” wrote McGuiness. “Some things have got to come with the force of legislation. Following the passing of new anti-piracy laws in April’s Digital Economy Act, Britain and France now have some of the world’s best legal environments for rebuilding our battered music business.”

He also criticised the prevailing attitude among internet users and bloggers – who he describes as “anonymous gremlins who wait to send off their next salvo of bilious four-letter abuse whenever a well-known artist sticks their head above the parapet” – that free downloads, whether legal or not, are a good thing.

However, McGuiness’ claims were dismissed by Entanet’s head of marketing, Darren Farnden.

“It is simply naive to suggest that customers’ desire for faster broadband and more bandwidth is driven solely by a desire to cheat music rights holders out of their royalties through illegal file sharing,” wrote Farnden in his blog.

“I wonder if it’s ever occurred to him that one of the reasons why he receives such harsh criticism (from bloggers) may be down to him being wrong.”

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