Do not pass Go, just collect $750 million

According to Billboard, Paul McGuinness is angry at Google. He’s manager of the music group U2 and wants Google and other Internet service providers to find ways to prevent “piracy”. He’s also angry with Google’s role in the recent anti-SOPA uprising: “Never underestimate the ability of a monopoly to defend itself.”


Well, let’s see. A monopoly is “a company or group having exclusive control over a commodity or service”.

Paul, let’s try an experiment. Do you see where it says “google” at the top of your screen? Type “bing” instead and hit Return. See? Now you’re searching the Web without using Google. That’s not how a monopoly works.

Do you want to see a monopoly, Paul? Got a CD handy? See the fine print about unauthorized duplication being punishable by law? Or grab a DVD and watch the first few seconds rather than running off to get a snack. See the warning about federal prison and huge fines?

That’s what a monopoly looks like, Paul, a government-granted and government-enforced monopoly, where “Go to jail” really means jail and there’s no free out. Your own business model is based on monopoly control, Paul. Maybe that’s why you see monopolies wherever you look.

And speaking of your business, business has been pretty good, hasn’t it? U2 just completed a 2-year tour that grossed nearly $750 million in ticket sales alone. That’s three-quarters of a billion dollars, and doesn’t begin to count CD sales and other merchandise.

Damn those pirates!


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