“Don’t steal music”– Townshend
Illegal downloaders of Rihana and Lady Gaga were pinged overnight by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ), who asked Internet Service Providers to send copyright infringement notices to 42 customers that the association has accused of internet piracy.
The first of many such notices that will be sent out as a reward for stealing music.
Almost at the same time, The Who's Pete Townshend used his inaugural John Peel Lecture in Salford, England to attack illegal music downloaders as thieves, which they are, and Apple as
a "digital vampire" that is "bleeding" artists and "destroying copyright as we know it.”
Townshend, who first began dreaming about the internet back in 1971, urges Apple's iTunes “to use its power to help new bands” in a similar manner to the late John Peel, and the independent record labels he helped champion.
But he reserved the greater part of his ire for today’s bedroom pirates who demand a right to the fruits of his and his colleague’s labour without paying for it. Townshend, who has deservedly earned a small fortune from royalties, concedes that many a creative person much earlier in their career than he “would prefer their music to be stolen and enjoyed than ignored.”
“ This is the dilemma for every creative soul – he or she would prefer to starve and be heard than to eat well and be ignored.”
It is not them he blames (far from it) but the thieves, the pirates, the the music “fans” who illegally download music and starve those they claim to admire. Says Townshend, accurately:
They may as well come and steal my son's bike while they're at it… I wonder what has gone wrong with human morality and social justice."
Here’s The Who: