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The sunglass-wearing Irish pop singer Bono has a clash of financial interests  between his Internet investments and his copyright pro-3-strikes stance, as exposed by the sale this week of the computer-maker Palm. Should we call him a hypocrite?

 

U2's Bono is one five directors of Elevation Partners a venture capital company behind Palm, the US maker of hand-held computers.  According to US media sources, he has already made $US82.3 million from this investment. The sale of Palm to Hewlett-Packard for $US1.2 billion, agreed yesterday, stands to return his invested capital and net him even more profit. Bono is also sponsored by Blackberry, the maker of a rival product to Palm.

U2's manager, Paul McGuiness, is one of the most vitriolic opponents of the open Internet. McGuiness is  a key person behind the music industry's push for 3-strikes measures to punish Internet users - for using the very equipment which is delivering this second fortune to Bono. McGuiness has spoken openly and aggressively about his desire for ISPs to be made liable for copyright infringements.  

How do 

 the two square up?

To me, it would seem that they don't and it is totally reprehensible of Bono to support the locking up of  the Internet, and at the same time  to be making massive personal gains on the back of Internet innovation. Hypocrite would also seem like an appropriate adjective.

And it certainly leaves a nasty taste in the Blackberry brand. 

 

Sources:

Financial Times Hewlett-Packard to buy Palm for $1.2 billion 

Venturebeat

 24/7 Wall Street on Bono's investment in Elevation Partners

Blackberry's U2 promotion  

GPS Obsessed blog reports Bono's gain from Palm investment 

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial-Share Alike 2.5 UK:England and Wales License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/ It may be used for non-commercial purposes only, and the author's name should be attributed. The correct attribution for this article is: Monica Horten (2010) Palm sale exposes 'Net dealings of U2's Bono   http://www.iptegrity.com 29 April   2010 

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Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. She is  a trainer & consultant on Internet governance policy, published author& Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science. She served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee on  Internet freedom. She has worked on CoE, EU and UNDP funded projects in eastern Europe and beyond.  She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012. Iptegrity  offers expert insights into Internet policy (and now Brexit). Iptegrity has a core readership in the Brussels policy community, and has been cited in the media. Please acknowledge Iptegrity when you cite or link.  For more, see IP politics with integrity

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