OPINION: Bono is a thief


U2 Official Facebook

Daniel Smith , Opinion Editor

This is a difficult time for me. Bono, my favorite musician, might be a thief.

Paul Rose, a British songwriter, filed a lawsuit against the members of U2 on Monday in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Rose is accusing the Irish band of stealing “signature elements” of his 1989 song “Nae Slappin.” U2, he claims, used parts of his song in its 1991 song “The Fly.” Rose is seeking five million dollars in damages and songwriting credit.

The lawsuit comes nearly 26 years after the song was released. According to Forbes, Rose waited this long to file the suit because he did not want to ruin his career at the time.

The time he took to file the lawsuit is suspicious, but it makes sense. Had he sued U2 in the early 90s when the band was at peak popularity, he would have only been known for his accusations.

The two songs sound “substantially similar,” just like Rose claims, and the members of U2 would have been able to hear it when Rose submitted his demo to Island Records, the label that U2 was signed to in 1989.

Bono even seemed to have admitted to stealing the music in the song lyrics, singing “every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief.”

Lawsuits like this have been filed often against many major artists, including Coldplay, Led Zeppelin and Madonna. Many of these cases never make it to court, and the defending artists win most of the cases that do, but the copyright infringement is clear with this case.

I expected more from U2. This is a band that openly campaigns for social justice, but the members are okay with taking another artist’s music.

Maybe this is why U2 forced their album “Songs of Innocence” into everyone’s iTunes library in 2014. They could have been trying to give back after stealing this song two decades earlier.

I’m not mad at U2. I’m just disappointed.

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