U2 have come under fire from Northern Ireland music legend Paul Brady.
Brady is angry that the megastars allowed their new album, Songs of Innocence, to be automatically downloaded on to Apple’s 500 million iTunes users’ accounts.
The singer-songwriter believes that the move has undermined the music industry which is already struggling. There are strong arguments to suggest that factors such as illegal downloads, YouTube, streaming services and file sharing are making it too difficult for young artists to come through and make a liveable income.
It could mean that many younger artists are soon lost to music altogether as they will need to find other ways of making a living.
Brady wrote on his Facebook page: “So U2 gave away their album? I guess any of us would give away our work in return for reputedly $100m. But what about the rest of the musical artists in the world who were kind of hoping that proceeds from the sale of their records to the public might go some way to offsetting the cost of producing them?”
He believes that huge stars like U2 are making the situation worse for less well-off artists by strengthening the idea that music should be free.
He continued: “This is a further and highly visible nail in the coffin of a sustainable music business from a band that continually waffles on about fairness and human values. Music costs money to make. It has value. It should not be given away free. Shame on you, U2.”
U2 have come under a lot of criticism from iTunes users on social media and from a number of other artists.
Most of the criticism has been for the method of distributing the album which was seen as a breach of privacy as it was downloaded without users requesting it or giving permission.