Industry Bloggers Bite Paul McGuinness Back

image from blog.seattlepi.com As reported earlier this week, U2 manager Paul McGuinness had some humorous and colorful things to say about industry bloggers and the state of music in general. A number of those "bloggers" decided to respond and critique his new GQ essay.

Naturally, none of these perspectives are from any sort of the “anonymous gremlins” that McGuinness feared are shaping the conversation around the future of the music industries, but some of the leading thinkers, academics, and professionals in the field.

Mike Masnick, Editor of TechDirt:

image from www.cbc.ca "Hi Paul. My name is Mike Masnick… I may be a blogger, but I'm not anonymous. Not only that, I've also attended the past few Midem's, as well — and have even presented a few times off the same stage as youand, oddly, it didn't end in anonymous gremlins and backlash… [we] are not some bogeymen from the dark… We're people who love music and worry about an industry that is making many misguided and dangerous decisions that do more to harm the music world than the new services and technologies you apparently haven't taken the time to understand. We're not attacking you." (Read the rest.)

Jon Newton, Founder of p2pnet:

image from www.mp3newswire.net "McGuinness makes it clear he still doesn’t understand music fans are the people who keep him and the Big 4 in business and thus have to be treated with care and respect, not attacked as criminals and thieves.  They have to be taken into the equation, not left out of it… ‘Free’ and ‘freedom’ are what the internet is all about. But they’re words McGuinness hates with a passion. [McGuinness] makes it clear music lovers have to be taught who’s in charge and made to toe the corporate line, with frightening repercussions for anyone who fails to do so… his views embody those of the labels, and the politicians in their pay." (Read The rest.)

Andew Dubber, Founder of New Music Strategies:

image from andrewdubber.com "Hypothetically speaking – what’s better? A world in which only professionals can create, distribute and make a good living selling music to consumers who pay them every time; or a world in which anyone can be a creator if they want to be, and find an audience if they care to? Would we prefer a world with a hundred U2s in it, or a world with a million Jakes? Or is there something in between those two that we could start to work towards here?" (Read The rest.)

Response to GQ essay: R. Millar – A Democratic Solution to File-Sharing.

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  1. Gotta tell you guys, I am a bit confused since this was first put up here a few days ago.
    I am not really understanding the backlash over Paul’s comments. I could be wrong, but I did not see him attacking any of the bloggers listed above, only those who would attack from a position of anonymous safety.
    I also do not believe Paul and others fail to grasp the technology, they simply have not acted to find or endorse alternatives.
    It is naive to think that all is well here, I think we all realize things have changed and are changing still.
    All the outrage would be better placed against Google with their position of net (non) neutrality as that could be another deadly blow against indie acts. The solution is certainly not FM in phones.

  2. Agreed – Net Neutrality is the issue.
    The ISP’s along with Google, Apple, and Facebook make all the cash “run the show”. If the government doesn’t step in soon with legislation protecting net neutrality, all the indie artists along with Pat McGuinness and U2 with be left standing out in the cold wondering what happened.

  3. Good to see R.Millar falling back into the concept of monitoring all Internet traffic for the purpose of collecting royalties. The police state will save the industry!!! (But — what about ROT13***?)
    *** if you get this reference, you are too old… 🙂
    Or, more realistically and relevant today, what about password-encrypted archive files?

  4. Jean Renard — a key motivation in the backlash against McGuiness’ comments was what we see as his misinterpretation of Lily Allen’s participation in the debate. McGuinness says that Evil Anonymous Bloggers said rude and vicious things to her.
    A few anonymous commenters went over the line into misogynistic crap — there’s shitheads in most online discussions — but Lily’s real problem was (1) she did not appear to have the skills necessary to answer reasoned debate, and (2) she fled the discussion when she was shown to have been engaging in a sort of file-sharing herself, which many of us took as a bit hypocritical.
    Now neither of those is a mortal sin, and we don’t pick our pop stars for their intellectual firepower and debating skills. I for one was disappointed when Ms. Allen closed up her blog and retreated from the discussion.
    I found that the first page of Lily’s anti-piracy blog is still available in Google Cache. Look for “lily allen not right” if you want to read it.
    In addition, McGuinness appears to be trying to say that all of his debate opponents are anonymous members of a vicious mob: the named bloggers like Masnick who have opposed McGuinness took exception to that.
    (Me, I’m anonymous, but I like to think I’m also polite. 🙂 )

  5. Agree totally with Jean. I think you guys missed the boat here, opting for an unbecoming sort of “gotcha”-style “journalism” (and that’s definitely in quotes). You should aim higher, and assume your audience is reasonably intelligent, which I think we are.
    And, to answer Andrew’s question (which I know was hypothetical, but): I’d rather have 100 U2s than a million Jakes. Any day of the week. I don’t have time for a million of anything, never mind some guy named Jake.

  6. I’m a blogger. I’m also a musician. I have been making music for thirty years. When I was a little kid, I dreamed of being a rock star not because I wanted a fancy tour bus or a mansion, but because I wanted access to a recording studio.
    By the time I actually started writing and recording original music, there were software programs and digital hardware that, while expensive, put the idea of having my own studio within reach.
    Now, with a decent laptop, some good mic’s, and some off-the-rack software, it’s possible to make recordings that rival the output of the moderately-prices studios of yesteryear. And with all the distribution avenues available, it’s possible for me, or any independent musician, to look for (and hopefully find) an audience.
    Whether I’m buying a copy of the latest U2 release (I’ve been a fan since I saw them at the Tower Theater in Philly almost thirty years ago) or downloading a single track from a local (Tampa, FL) indie band, I pay for my music. Unless the band is giving the music away by design, downloading music without paying for it is stealing. End of story. Stealing from “the rich” is no more justifiable than stealing from some broke indie kids trying to “make it.”
    The problem is that so many people have stolen so much music for so long that the inevitable blowback will probably piss a lot of people off. Hopefully we’ll find a happy medium that allows artists to receive fair compensation for their work, but slagging U2 or McGuinness simply because they have a lot of money is ridiculous. And frankly, so is slagging the record companies. If you don’t like their prices or their artists, don’t buy their products. But don’t point fingers at the record label’s behavior and use that s justification for your own bad behavior.

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