One week after U2’s album dropped and the disappointing sales numbers were tallied, Bono has decided it’s time for him to speak out against illegal downloaders. When the band’s album was leaked by their own label a week before its release, Bono avoided making any comments, but now he isn’t so indifferent.
“It’s not the place for rich rock stars to ask for more money, but somebody should fight for fellow artists because this is madness,” Bono told USA Today. “Music has become tap water, a utility, where for me it’s a sacred thing, so I’m a little offended.” In the case of No Line on the Horizon, the faucet for said “tap water” was Universal Music Group Australia.
Meanwhile, the RIAA is trying to imprison the leaker of Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy for making 400,000 illegal downloads possible by eager fans. That’s right, prosecutors are adding every possible illegal download of Axl Rose’s 13-year project of manic love to the charge against the 28-year-old who leaked the original 9 tracks. The RIAA claims the perpetrator, Kevin Cogill, was responsible for the record company losing $2.2 million in profits.
Here’s a question: If someone is responsible for every illegal download after they are the first one to leak tracks, shouldn’t Universal Music Group be charged for the U2 leak as well? I’m sure there are many reasons that will never happen, but shouldn’t major record labels at least stop trying to make examples out of people for perpetrating crimes that they themselves can’t help committing?