Pete Townshend brands iTunes a ‘digital vampire’

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LONDON (AP) ? The Who’s Pete Townshend says Apple Inc.’s iTunes is a “digital vampire” that profits from music without supporting the artists who create it.

Townshend says that faced with the Internet’s demolition of copyright protection, iTunes should help artists by giving space to allow them to stream their music, and pay smaller artists directly rather than through a third party aggregator

The guitarist on Monday delivered the first John Peel Lecture, named in honor of the influential British radio broadcaster who died in 2004.

Townshend asked if there was any reason iTunes “can’t provide some aspect of these services to the artists whose work it bleeds like a digital vampire” to make money.

ITunes declined to respond to Townshend’s comments.