U2 manager Paul McGuinness may this year have become one of the music industry’s biggest advocates of action against ISPs and social networks, but not all of his comments have been supported by the band he represents. Earlier this month, McGuinness told BBC 6Music Radiohead’s pay-what-you-like In Rainbows release had “to some extent backfired” because “60 to 70 per cent of the people who downloaded the record stole it anyway even though it was available for free”.
But Bono wrote a letter to this week’s NME to say “we disagree with Paul’s assessment”: “We think they were courageous and imaginative in trying to figure out some new relationship with their audience. Such imagination and courage are in short supply right now.” Which doesn’t suggest U2 are about to go the same way, however. Bono backed the rest of his manager’s view: “It is disturbing to see internet service providers and technology companies profit from the so-called ‘disintermediation’ of the music business when so many music lovers are losing their jobs.”