What’s Pro Bono I? It’s a limited edition speaker from UNSTABLE Technology (Omer Shapira, Surya Mattu), now on sale on eBay. It only plays U2’s latest album — you know, the one you loved so much when it appeared suddenly in your iTunes without your consent and was such a pain in the ass to remove? No matter what you plug into it, it all comes out as U2. Awesome.
Pro-Bono I is a powered speaker that turns any input into a U2 song. It contains a high-quality powered speaker, a microcontroller and a computer. As soon as any input it receives begins playing, the speaker will emit a song from ‘Songs of Innocence’.
Pro-Bono I is a response to Apple’s placement of content on every iTunes-connected product, without prior consent. It’s not just hilarious that a company that emphasises individualism and taste would put one album on every device it sold (although that is, we admit, kinda hillarious), it’s also terrifying.
The consequences of placing a payload inside something you think you own reach further than an insult to your musical taste. It may compromise your civil rights, personal safety and freedom of expression. This breach of rights is a deal between an Electronics manufacturer and a record label, the next one may be an uneasy deal with an opressive regime.
We wanted to create memorabelia from this short dystopian episode so it never happens again.
I wouldn’t bet on that, guys, but we can dream.