Krist Novoselic, Nirvana co-founder and bassist, on Tuesday jumped into the white-hot online-piracy debate on the side of copyright owners and U2 frontman Bono.
"I love Twitter, and it's disappointing to see the service manifest itself as a lynch mob," Novoselic wrote in blog post titled "Why I agree with Bono" that appeared on the site of alternative newspaper Seattle Weekly. "Bono is the latest in a line of good people who get trashed in the continuing file-sharing controversy."
Novoselic is referring to an op-ed piece by Bono that appeared in The New York Times over the weekend. Bono and blasted Internet service providers such as AT&T, Comcast, and Cox Communications for allegedly looking the other way as unauthorized music and film files pour through their pipes. On Monday, Bono's name appeared twice among the 10 top Twitter trends as angry Twitter users ridiculed U2's lead singer.
Novoselic joined late rock legend Kurt Cobain to form Nirvana, a lineup that eventually included Dave Grohl, now of the Foo Fighters. Novoselic writes what appears to be a regular blog for Seattle Weekly.
Novoselic argues that businesses, including Web services, can't sustain themselves for very long without being compensated for content. The lack of profits will then discourage investment.
"Content needs to be worth something, if anybody is going to care about it," Novoselic wrote. "Free content will ultimately resemble, well, free content. Look at it from a venture capitalist's perspective: Somebody bet big bucks on a film like 'Avatar.' They invested many millions [of dollars] to develop cutting-edge motion picture technology that would dazzle enough people to make their money back and then some.
"Now imagine 'Avatar' in context of the YouTube model," he continued, "a shaky camcorder with handheld G.I. Joe and Barbie dolls. Which would you pay for?"