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Iggy Pop Totally Gets Why People Didn’t Like Having U2’s Album Forced Upon Them

iggy pop, free music in a capitalist society, piracy, u2

Iggy Pop gave a two-hour lecture on BBC Radio 6 Music last night about music piracy, selling-out, and why it’s okay to be a little creeped out about U2’s new album magically appearing in your iTunes library. The Godfather of Punk was the speaker at the annual John Peel Lecture, and his speech on “Free Music in a Capitalist Society” was insightful and surprisingly chill. 

The “Search and Destroy” singer validated your disapproval of U2’s new album, Songs of Innocence, automatically downloading into iTunes. “The people who don’t want the free U2 download are trying to say, don’t try to force me. And they’ve got a point,” he explained. “Part of the process when you buy something from an artist, it’s a kind of anointing, you are giving people love. It’s your choice to give or withhold. You are giving a lot of yourself, besides the money.”

“But in this particular case, without the convention, maybe some people felt like they were robbed of that chance and they have a point,” he concluded.

Iggy also offered his levelheaded take on music piracy. While he stressed that stealing music was a problem, he believes the industry shouldn’t prosecute individuals so aggressively. “I think that prosecuting some college kid because she shared a file is a lot like sending somebody to Australia 200 years ago for poaching his lordship’s rabbit,” the former Stooges singer said. “That’s how it must seem to poor people who just want to watch a crappy movie for free after they’ve been working themselves to death all day at Tesco or whatever, you know.”

He gave his stamp of approval to licensing music for commercials, saying that all mediums “color the content” somehow, and advertising is often a valuable opportunity for new acts. “I’m all for that, because that’s the way the door opened for me,” he said. “I got heard on TV before radio would take a chance.”

The full lecture is worth a listen, and you can check it out here.