You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

U2 manager slams Internet providers

McGuinness likens ISPs to 'shoplifters'

U2 manager Paul McGuinness launched a blistering attack on the world’s Internet providers Wednesday, accusing them of strangling the music industry.

Speaking at the Music Matters confab in Hong Kong, McGuinness likened ISPs to “shoplifters” and accused them of “turning their heads” away from the music industry’s troubles and “rigging the market.”

“The recorded music industry is in a crisis, and there is crucial help available but not being provided by companies who should be providing that help — not just because it is morally right, but because it is in their commercial interest,” McGuinness said.

He and numerous others speaking on the first day of the confab said the industry was caught between rampant piracy and ISPs’ extortionate terms of trade.

Warner Music prexy Lachie Rutherford pointed out that the 2% of revenues from downloads and ringtones is shared with performers. “There are huge amounts of money being made from music (by portals and carriers) that are not supporting music or radio or magazines,” Rutherford said.

McGuinness targeted many for contributing to the music biz’s ills. “Cable operators, ISPs, device manufacturers, P2P software companies — companies that have used music to drive vast revenues from broadband subscriptions and from advertising. They would argue that they have been neutral bystanders to the spectacular devaluation of music. I don’t believe that is true,” he said.

But McGuinness saved his sharpest criticism for China and Chinese companies.

“ISPs and mobile operators are the business partners of the future for the recorded music business — but they have to share the money in a way that reflects what music is doing for their business,” he said. “That’s true nowhere more than in China. China Mobile makes hundreds of millions of dollars each year from sales of ringtones yet pays a minuscule fraction of that to performers, producers and composers.”

McGuinness said ISPs were unwilling to act against piracy and had ignored music-industry proposals — even though they were not being asked to police the Internet.

More Biz

  • Gibson, Iconic Guitar Company, Said to

    Gibson, Iconic Guitar Company, Said to Be Nearing Bankruptcy

    U2 manager Paul McGuinness launched a blistering attack on the world’s Internet providers Wednesday, accusing them of strangling the music industry. Speaking at the Music Matters confab in Hong Kong, McGuinness likened ISPs to “shoplifters” and accused them of “turning their heads” away from the music industry’s troubles and “rigging the market.” “The recorded music […]

  • David Glasser Fired by the Weinstein

    Weinstein Co. Board Fires COO David Glasser for Cause

    U2 manager Paul McGuinness launched a blistering attack on the world’s Internet providers Wednesday, accusing them of strangling the music industry. Speaking at the Music Matters confab in Hong Kong, McGuinness likened ISPs to “shoplifters” and accused them of “turning their heads” away from the music industry’s troubles and “rigging the market.” “The recorded music […]

  • Rules Don't Apply review

    Warren Beatty Sought Wider 'Rules Don't Apply' Release Despite Grim Test Screenings

    U2 manager Paul McGuinness launched a blistering attack on the world’s Internet providers Wednesday, accusing them of strangling the music industry. Speaking at the Music Matters confab in Hong Kong, McGuinness likened ISPs to “shoplifters” and accused them of “turning their heads” away from the music industry’s troubles and “rigging the market.” “The recorded music […]

  • Oh Seok-geun Korean Film Council

    New Leader Promises Reforms at Korean Film Council

    U2 manager Paul McGuinness launched a blistering attack on the world’s Internet providers Wednesday, accusing them of strangling the music industry. Speaking at the Music Matters confab in Hong Kong, McGuinness likened ISPs to “shoplifters” and accused them of “turning their heads” away from the music industry’s troubles and “rigging the market.” “The recorded music […]

  • SOUTH KOREA OUTMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Actress Choi Hee-seo Looks Forward to a Promising Career

    U2 manager Paul McGuinness launched a blistering attack on the world’s Internet providers Wednesday, accusing them of strangling the music industry. Speaking at the Music Matters confab in Hong Kong, McGuinness likened ISPs to “shoplifters” and accused them of “turning their heads” away from the music industry’s troubles and “rigging the market.” “The recorded music […]

  • The Prison Korean Cinema

    Korea's Box Office Faces a Drop in Admissions as Streaming Services Compete

    U2 manager Paul McGuinness launched a blistering attack on the world’s Internet providers Wednesday, accusing them of strangling the music industry. Speaking at the Music Matters confab in Hong Kong, McGuinness likened ISPs to “shoplifters” and accused them of “turning their heads” away from the music industry’s troubles and “rigging the market.” “The recorded music […]

  • Andy Lo Hong Kong Writer Director

    Ambitious Filmmaker Andy Lo Wants Success in Both Hong Kong and China

    U2 manager Paul McGuinness launched a blistering attack on the world’s Internet providers Wednesday, accusing them of strangling the music industry. Speaking at the Music Matters confab in Hong Kong, McGuinness likened ISPs to “shoplifters” and accused them of “turning their heads” away from the music industry’s troubles and “rigging the market.” “The recorded music […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content