U2 manager Paul McGuinness used his MIDEM keynote to claim Internet Service Providers (ISPs) were “destroying the recorded music industry” by failing to target piracy.
In a strongly-worded speech to an overflowing conference hall, McGuinness said the ISPs’ reluctance to take on those using their networks to distribute pirated material was “the single biggest failure in the digital music market.” He called for European and national governments to implement legislation along the lines of the French model – whereby a Memorandum of Understanding between content providers, ISPs and government will mean Internet subscriptions used for illegal filesharing can be terminated – if voluntary agreements could not be reached.
“Network operators have had a free ride at our artists’ expense for too long,” he said. “Technology companies conveniently forget that the real ‘killer app’ is often our clients’ recorded music. We need to get some morality back in this discussion.”
McGuinness’ speech – greeted with wild applause by many delegates – also took potshots at the major labels for “not encouraging enterprise culture” and their slow response to digital music, and the “dreadful” 360 degree model now being pursued by many in the industry.
“It would help if the industry would place the model under review and offer to cancel them once it repairs the main revenue model,” he said.