Bono calls for control over Internet downloads

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The Independent Online

Irish rock star Bono called Sunday for tougher controls over the spread of intellectual property over the Internet, arguing that file swiping and sharing hurt creators of cultural products.

"The only thing protecting the movie and TV industries from the fate that has befallen music and indeed the newspaper business is the size of the files," the lead singer of the band U2 wrote in an op-ed piece in The New York Times.

He pointed out that "the immutable laws of bandwidth" indicate that technology is just a few years from allowing viewers to download entire movies in just a few seconds.

"A decade's worth of music file-sharing and swiping has made clear that the people it hurts are the creators - in this case, the young, fledgling songwriters who can't live off ticket and T-shirt sales like the least sympathetic among us," Bono noted.

The singer pointed out that the US effort to stop child pornography and China's effort to suppress online dissent indicate that it is "perfectly possible to track" Internet content.

"Perhaps movie moguls will succeed where musicians and their moguls have failed so far, and rally America to defend the most creative economy in the world, where music, film, TV and video games help to account for nearly four percent of gross domestic product," Bono said.

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