U2 manager calls for P2P crackdown

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The manager of rock band U2 has called on ISPs to crack down on illegal music downloads in order to keep bands in business..

Paul McGuinness told the Midem conference in Cannes that illegal file sharers are profiting at the expense of artists.

"If you were a magazine advertising stolen cars, handling the money for stolen cars and seeing to the delivery of stolen cars, the police would soon be at your door," he told Reuters.

"That is no different to an ISP, but they say they cannot do anything about it. If you steal a laptop from a store or don't pay for your broadband service, you will soon be cut off and nicked."

McGuinness also railed against music companies that had missed the opportunity to sort out a downloading strategy, and condemned media player manufacturers that "do not think of themselves as makers of burglary kits".

McGuinness is a majority shareholder in U2's management company, which reported profits of €7.7m last year.

He believes that musicians are being short changed. "There is a lot of money in the music business, but it has stopped coming to the artists," he said.

McGuinness insisted that ISPs must share revenues with musicians. "I call on ISPs to do two things: protect the music and make a genuine effort to share the enormous revenues," he said.

"They should share their ingenuity as well as the money. We must shame them. Their snouts have been at our trough for too long."
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