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Wake Forest
University Press

Wake Forest University Press

Dedicated to Irish Poetry

Wake: Up to Poetry

"The act of poetry is a rebel act."

The Lowdown on the U2 Controversy

Ireland’s most famous band, U2, has been getting a lot of headline attention these past few days.

If you’ve checked your iTunes account recently, you might have noticed a new addition to your albums. U2 has collaborated with Apple to release their newest album, Songs of Innocence, and deliver it automatically to your iTunes account, free of charge.


But with this marketing move, U2 and Apple seem to have downloaded themselves quite a large controversy. While some are ecstatic about the prospect of free music, others say that this automatically downloaded album is an invasion of privacy and an insult to music lovers and bands who don’t have enough clout to warrant such a large release.

So, in order to keep you updated on the controversy surrounding our favorite country’s most famous band, we’ve decided to give you the lowdown of the most important points of the debate.

Those in favor of the free download are arguing these points:

  • This wide release raises awareness of the band amongst those who may not know of or listen to U2.
  • The new audience will increase ticket sales for concerts and therefore make up for revenue lost on the free download.
  • Since it is free, the music can’t be pirated.

But others are more upset by this release:

  • Some believe that you should have to agree to have an album downloaded onto your personal iTunes account, and not having that option is an invasion of privacy.
  • Paul Brady, a 67-year-old folk singer, thinks that it is shameful that the album is free since “music costs money to make.”
  • Matt Juul of Boston.com states that “giving away a mediocre album [is] like an unwanted fruitcake at Christmas” and therefore shudders to think what the future of the music industry may hold.

In order to appease those who were not so happy with this offer, Apple has made the album easy to delete.

But in a letter to the public, U2’s lead singer Bono stated that “part of the DNA of this band has always been the desire to get our music to as many people as possible. People who haven’t heard our music, or weren’t remotely interested, might play us for the first time because we’re in their library… That is so exciting. … And for the people out there who have no interest in checking us out, look at it this way… the blood, sweat and tears of some Irish guys are in your junk mail.”

Whether or not you agree with U2’s latest marketing strategy, it’s great to see Ireland’s famous band getting so much attention. Rock on, U2.


iTunes Digital Booklet photo

-Posted by Courtney A.

Categories: Arts and CultureTags: ,


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