Metal Band Takes On U2 Over File-Sharing (Top Story)

12/27/2010
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Metal Band Takes On U2 Over File-Sharing was a top story in August. Here it is again as we recap 2010: Gama Bomb frontman Philly Byrne knows first hand about file-sharing's impact on record sales. His band did a little experiment with their latest album, offering it as a free download (and it still is, go grab it at the link which follows this article). The funny thing is that this didn't hurt their CDs sales; in fact it helped the band build their fanbase.

So when Philly saw a recent article by U2's manager in GQ Magazine discussing the problems with file-sharing, Philly felt compelled to offer up his counter argument. Here it is: U2's manager Paul McGuinness' recent article is well-reasoned, well-informed and commendable in its aims - though it's crazily short-sighted. It falls at the last hurdle when envisioning future solutions to the problems file sharing causes for the music industry, and is filled with logical blind-spots on the current state of the business. He's got the numbers right, but the headspace is all wrong.

To his credit, Mr McGuinness is here wading into an argument that, as he notes, often involves untold abuse for those willing to stick their oar in. Furthermore, it's one that doesn't affect his untouchably profitable bread-and-butter, U2. So who am I to gainsay him? Last year my band Gama Bomb released their third album free of cost as a download with the permission of our record company, Earache Records. This, to my knowledge, makes us the first signed band ever to do so. We took this step because we personally consume music in this way and were aware our previous albums were largely being consumed as shared files. To release another CD in the traditional way seemed futile. Also, as a band playing a niche form of music on a small budget, we were aware of the potential PR power of such a move. The label agreed, we did it, and that's why I feel qualified to dust off my soap box on this one." - more on this story

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