Bono has dismissed accusations U2's recent album giveaway is undercutting other artists by encouraging free music downloads.

The Beautiful Day hitmakers caused widespread controversy this month (Sep14) when their latest record, Songs of Innocence, was automatically installed into iTunes users' music library.

The move sparked criticism from outraged Apple users, who were unhappy to find the album on their devices, as well as music industry insiders who accused U2 of undermining up and coming artists by supporting free music.

However, Bono is adamant U2 cannot be blamed as it was actually Apple bosses who gave away the band's record.

He tells Britain's Q magazine, "We're not giving it away. Apple are giving it away. That is really important. I'm against free music. But the idea that someone in, I don't know, Seoul, might just check you out because you're there and because it's a news story...

"And thank goodness (record label) Universal struck a (distribution) deal. I mean it only goes to pay off our debt by the way. It's not going in our back pocket... The charts are broken. They do not measure what people are listening to and they do not measure people's passion in music. They do not measure people's desire to pay for that music and they should be respected for that."

U2's bassist Adam Clayton adds of the criticism over the free download, "I'm aware of it. It's kind of very predictable. There are people who will debate it till the cows come home... I'm not naive at this point. I know that it's cheeky on so many levels. But you know what? We'll take it on the chin."