Tag Archives: music downloads

Paul (”I’m one of their investors”) McGuinness Calls for Greater Control on Downloading

It’s exceptionally annoying when people in the old school just don’t get what’s happening in today’s digital marketplace.

Paul McGuiness, long-time manager for a little Irish quartet called U2, wrote on their website about the need for more controls on digital downloads. Unfortunately, like many involved in the industry in its hey-day, he completely misses the point.


For nearly a decade, the recording industry has had an opportunity to do something with themselves beyond fleecing consumers of their cash for singles and one-hit wonders, but they haven’t. I’ve bought every single U2 album, I’ve paid for three outrageously over-priced (but great) concerts and hundreds of dollars more in fan related stuff, but he still wants more.

Sorry. I’m tapped out.
We heard this kind of rhetoric when Lars Whazziz Name from Metallica was in a constant rant about losing out on revenue when Napster and other P2P services went live. We heard about the plight of the distributors as more and more of them shut down (except the cool ones that actually have a little more selection than all x number of Jennifer Lopez CDs).

And yet, nobody stopped to ask me what I’d do if they stopped playing Britney Spears or Clay Aiken when all I really wanted to do was find a couple of funky groups like Caribou, The Acorn or Patrick Watson (all exceptional Canadian bands, I might add).

Maybe, just maybe, it has something to do with this statement from Paul McGuiness:

“There is technology now, that the worldwide industry could adopt, which enables content owners to track every legitimate digital download transaction, wholesale and retail.

This system is already in use here in Cannes by the MIDEM organisation and is called SIMRAN. Throughout this conference you will see contact details and information. I recommend you look at it.

I should disclose that I’m one of their investors.”

What’s that you say? You’re not aware of any conflict of interest? Give me a break. I can think of a lot of ways to describe this blatant attempt to shut down a couple of billion downloaders, but the reality is, Paul, you’ve gone and shot yourself in the foot.

Why don’t you do something productive like Peter Gabriel? He’s taken this in stride and has started an exceptionally unique company called WE7. At least it’s an effort to make something happen in a positive way.

I know this sounds so obvious, but the media landscape has been permanently altered. Get used to it.