Bono On ISPs: “It’s Perfectly Possible to Track Content”

Artists rarely escape unscathed from piracy-related debates, and in the case of U2, manager Paul McGuinness is usually tasked with tackling such sticky issues.

But just recently, Bono jumped into the debate over whether ISPs should police piracy and filter content.  “A decade’s worth of music file-sharing and swiping has made clear that the people it hurts are the creators,” Bono stated in a recent New York Times op-ed.  “In this case, the young, fledgling songwriters who can’t live off ticket and t-shirt sales like the least sympathetic among us,” the artist-activist continued, while noting that it’s “perfectly possible to track content.”

Actually, that last point is debatable, and experts note that tracking and policing content is actually quite a tricky craft.  In more pressing areas like anti-terrorism, efforts to isolate and identify bad actors are frequently stymied.

That could make the looming battle between Hollywood and the access industry more tricky.  “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,” Bono wrote.  “The immutable laws of bandwidth tell us we’re just a few years away from being able to download an entire season of ’24’ in 24 seconds.”