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U2 Manager: Only Kicking Off Customers Can Save The Music Biz

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imageWe already knew U2 manager Paul McGuinness was a passionate supporter of France’s three-strikes anti-piracy law (see our report of his keynote from last year’s Midem). Now that law is being passed, he has used France’s Le Figaro paper (in English at to write a back-slapping, steely defence that all but rejects alternative business models like unlimited access and ad supported music

McGuinness: “There are clearly people who oppose the new law, but I have not heard of any viable economic alternative to the system now being introduced, committing ISPs to helping protect copyright. The only other proposals offered look like solutions produced for the laboratory, not for the market place.

“In fact, the appeal of the creation and internet law is its balance and proportionality. Far from repressing freedoms as some of its critics charge, the graduated response approach goes out of its way to be fair and to respect the rights of internet users. A system of escalating warnings, with the ultimate deterrent of temporary internet disconnection for the wilful lawbreaker, is a transparent and proportionate way of influencing consumer behaviour.”

France’s new law – voted for last week by its national assembly after earlier senate approval – would create a new agency that would compel ISPs to warn, warn again, then disconnect customers found repeatedly downloading copyrighted content illegally. But McGuinness should give pause to growing opposition in the European Parliament, which is bitterly opposed to this “graduated response”.