Pirates, caught by pigs? Pigs, walking the plank? Sorry, this is so metaphor-laden I’m stumped. Photo by frogmuseum, via Flickr. PS, the fact that I’ve made this torrent site look so darned cute is not me advocating piracy. It was either that or a dirty pig snout.

Oink logoSeveral readers have written in to say that Oink, a music torrent server, has been busted. British and Dutch police raided the servers (via several properties in Amsterdam) and the 24-year-old IT worker (and his father) alleged to have operated the site.

The news:
IFPI press release
Huge pirate music site shut down [BBC News, in a story Releasedog, without explanation, claims contains "lies." Anyone know what they're talking about?]

Oink was arguably the largest music-focused BitTorrent-based server, but its special notoriety was in pirating albums prior to release — some 60 albums this year alone, according to worldwide recording industry body IFPI. It also succeeded as being an elite, invite-only club — albeit with a reported 180,000 members. That success led Blender Magazine to name Oink’s anonymous operator “Oinkylicious Alan” one of its 25 “power geeks” of music — though, ahem, “Alen” may not be so anonymous any more.

Updated: As several of you have noted, there were some additional details that made Oink very different. The members were largely music aficionados, with a strict upload ratio meaning that it was closer to a swapping service than some other torrent sites. What that makes me wonder — oink may well have been closer to a community, closer to legit than other torrent sites. But could it also be a model for truly legit music services?

Music software, too: Based on at least one tip from readers, the same torrent servers were also popular for pirating plug-ins and music software for “evaluation” prior to purchasing. Do people really purchase software after pirating it? Our sources say some do, at least among die-hard computer musicians on CDM, though unquestionably many more don’t. The availability of demo versions of a lot of software should raise at least some eyebrows, but in fairness, not all software is available as a demo — particularly plug-ins. (Many other CDM readers, for the record, stay away from pirated music software for “evaluation” or otherwise.) But at least a couple of you have noted software wasn’t a big portion of oink.

Torrent, force for good. Note to software publishers: legit torrents could actually be a great way to distribute real demo versions and updates, at vastly reduced bandwidth costs. Unfortunately, each time torrent servers aggressively promote piracy, BitTorrent as a technology loses ground. And that’s too bad; BitTorrent really is fantastic tech with real legitimate uses.

  • Lazarus Strange

    Oink was, by far, one of the best places to track down very obscure music that was difficult to find anywhere else. Most musicians I know didn't mind that their tracks were on Oink or any trackers for that matter because they understood that any exposure is better than none and most of their income now comes from playing live or Djing rather than sales of CD's. The economics of digital media is changing and these organizations like the RIAA, IFPI are simply the pitbulls for the large and generally out-of-touch media companies that refuse to adapt on any terms other than their own. The system has been shocked and it will reorganize itself. If you know how let me know and we'll be rich.

    As for music software, everyone I know had used some pirated software at some point. If I really like a plugin and use it, I'll buy it, assuming it's something I can afford. I can understand companies such as Waves going after working studios using cracks of their software but I have no problem with someone who can't afford or is just starting out doing the same because they would never buy it in the first place. Would Photoshop be the standard in photo editing if it wasn't pirated for years?

    I simply say this, buy what you can afford. Support the little guys who make good products. The more people who have access to making music the better. Look at companies like Audio Damage http://www.audiodamage.com or Air Windows http://www.airwindows.com
    who make excellent plugins for free or very reasonable prices. It's more affordable than ever to make music (Logic 8!!)

    Piracy will always be there in some form or another. The economic losses are mostly inflated and theoretical. The economics will work itself out over time. So just move along and get back to the music.

  • cdmr

    Re: BBC Lies …

    Defending the Pig – Oink Croaks

    "Oink allowed only entire releases, with complete tracklist information (uploading an incomplete album or a poorly labeled MP3 could get you kicked off). No bootlegs or concert recordings or unfinished pre-release mixes were permitted."

    Oink was not “extremely lucrative” as the BBC boldfacedly claims. If I remember correctly, a one-time donation of 5 pounds would do something-or-other, but it was a far cry from Soulseek’s monthly privilege fees. Nor, for the record, did Oink “lead to early mixes and unfinished versions of artists’ recordings circulating on the internet months ahead of the release.” – this is strangely ironic, since Oink would strip user privileges if they were caught circulating unfinished or unofficial album versions. This was a site run by audiophiles and music obsessives!"

  • http://www.paulsop.com Doktor Future

    Well, Oink certainly wasn't the harbinger of the neu economy.

    Buying music really isn't expensive (esp. compared to the amount of time it takes to FIND good music). I choose to support artists I like.

  • http://createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    I'm sorry, but I find the "defense" above more offensive than helpful.

    "Oink didn’t offer solutions; it highlighted the problems of over-priced, over-controlled music elsewhere."

    What? By giving away the music for free, regardless of the wishes of the artists?

    Here's what I have a problem with:

    "For fans, consideration of the music comes before questions of money and ownership – this is how it should be."

    Says who? The artists? Don't get me wrong. I like the "swap" metaphor they were getting at with the upload/download ratios, which in fact appears to be a point lost on the BBC. And maybe swapping music for free is a great idea.

    But saying the artists *have* to do this because everything else is "overpriced", without any consideration of what the people creating the music think, to me is absurd. The article keeps emphasizing how great it is that Oink is free and everything else isn't. So anything that isn't free is overpriced? Who gets to decide?

    Contrast this with bootlegging of concerts encouraged by artists, or even swaps that use physical media and thus require people to invest in music at least at *some* stage in the game.

    BBC may well have gotten their facts wrong, particularly on this question of what "lucrative" is. But I just don't get the self-righteous defense here. On some level, whatever you think, you have to at least accept that you're not involving the people who manufacture the goods in your evaluation of what those goods are worth. If something is overpriced and you don't buy it, that's absolutely your right. But while, as we've said many times before, illegally copying it may not be the same as physical theft, it does rob the creator of any power over what they've made.

    I think torrents could be great, and I think even free music could be great. But imagine if you let the artists get involved and decide — imagine if overpriced music, really overpriced music (hello, $80 box set) had to compete with music released *by the artists* for less or for free. Here, there's no competition: only the mob deciding nothing should have any cost associated with it at all.

  • ERS

    I would actually go so far to say as the majority of people pirating audio software and actually using it on a regular basis (unlike the hundreds of thousands of copies of photoshop which are only opened twice a year to resize a jpg and add a lolcat caption) actually buy /some/ of it – usually their DAW and favorite and most used soft synths and plugins – now is that right, wrong, or indifferent? does buying some things give you the moral right to steal others? etc. eh, don't want to have that whole argument.

    I just think that I can say, at least anecdotally, that a very significant portion of audio app piraters end up buying the software – more than people pirating web/graphic design or office programs

    So OiNk disappears, another community will take its place within a few months –

  • http://createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @ERS — yes, that we can confirm. I am curious, though, legitimately, to hear from pirates in terms of what makes them then decide to purchase software. Is it support? Manuals? Moral obligation? Some combination?

    After all, paying customers likewise have to make a value judgment. And perhaps the same for music … the above rant aside, I do think the really interesting question is what makes people perceive value. And unfortunately, we get so stuck in these other debates, many of which don't really lead anywhere, that we don't get to consider that really important issue.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Lazarus: These are interesting points. I guess I would just ask this –

    If the economics of music are changing, why can't legitimate artists offer their own music cheaper or freely? If they can't do that on their own, have the economics really changed? And why shouldn't the creator *and* the consumer get to choose?

    Regarding software, if you're on a budget, is it really so much to ask that you support, say, Reaper on Windows for $40 (or FL Studio, GarageBand for Mac for something similar, etc.?)? Toshiba deserves $1500 for your laptop, but programmers who rely on that registration fee really can't bother you for something that small?

    Is the software community really better off with people pirating WAVES software instead of supporting a completely free, open source environment like Ardour (which runs even on Mac) or Linux?

    Believe me, I'm all about challenging the status quo on this, but it seems we have to answer these questions, as well. With cheap and legally free software and music, it's hard for me to see how piracy is the right choice. It's like breaking into Saks Fifth Avenue because "shirts cost $200!" while ignoring your local K-Mart.

  • Angstrom

    Buying music versus pirating is not about price, as much as it is about convenience.

    When my girlfriends copy of Limewire packed up a few years ago, she quickly started buying in copious amounts from iTunes. She isn't rich, but the two processes were equivalent to her, Limewire was more convenient at first (until it broke) and then iTunes became the most convenient.

    Major record companies keep the convenience low by only offering a limited range of products (their own), so an illegal service is simply more convenient. The peak of convenience would be a GoogleMusic, similar to Froogle with a range of formats, suppliers and payment options.

    The secondary factor in music piracy is the social status of the "hot new release" for nerdy DJ dudes. With convenience and status you have the two main reasons for pirating music IMO. Price just isn't an issue. I mean .. pretty much anyone who has access to a computer can afford a 99c track.

    Obviously the price issue plays more of a part with a $500 (or more) DAW.

    Personally I still think there are too many barriers to purchasing music. I uninstalled iTunes off my PC as it installed all kinds of unwanted shit everywhere. It was an ugly service situation on a previously tidy machine. That is not how I want my shopping experience – to turn my machine into a half-crippled vending terminal by a single megalomaniac vendor. Nooo thanks.

  • grapewizardusa

    I'm sad to see OiNK go; I got to thinking about the sheer number of bands that I'd gotten into because of OiNK. As a musician in a band myself, releasing albums independently, I often grappled with the moral implications of this type of downloading, but I think that it truly was a useful tool for many, if not the majority of its thousands of members. The music industry is in the midst of a serious upheaval right now, and it seemed to me that people were trying to deal with it the best they knew how.

    As someone pointed out, this site was run and largely aimed at audiophiles; these are people that genuinely love music, demand quality and organization. I know that I, and many others, primarily used OiNK as a way to sift through the bullshit. The gap between artist and listener is rapidly closing, but with this easier access comes a great deal of static, and separating the wheat from the chaff, the hype from the real deal, becomes difficult.

    I downloaded tons of albums– and the ones that I liked, I would support, not only by buying the albums, but going to shows, buying merch, turning friends on to them, booking shows– hell, some of them stayed at my house. If I didn't have OiNK, I simply wouldn't have had the money to buy all of their albums right off the bat. As a broke-ass college student, I've got to be sure it's good before I drop what seems like a whole lot of money for an album.

    In doing so (and this is especially the case with software), I'm not taking money away from anyone, because if I hadn't downloaded it, I still simply wouldn't ever have the money to buy it. I disagree with the idea that this is like breaking into Saks Fifth Avenue, because no physical product is lost. I'm not depleting any inventory, and the company's not incurring any kind of economic loss on my account. My downloading a $700 piece of software that I couldn't possibly afford has absolutely perceivable negative effect on the company that made it. If it's reasonably priced (ie: Airwindows, the new Logic, etc.), I will gladly shell out the bucks to support developers' hard work.

    I'm not trying to say it's not stealing; just because I have an album, and I don't care if people download it doesn't mean I get to choose what to do with other peoples' work. But I do believe that in many, many cases, OiNK's effects were farther reaching and more profound than the immediate financial benefits of an album purchase may have been.

    Please, record industry, go ahead and die. Get out of the way so we can put our money where it belongs.

    Sorry for the long-winded post.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @grapewizardusa: Sorry, I should have clarified. I'm not making the comparison to physical theft. My point is, there are affordably-priced software products and open-source products that badly need your support, just as there are independent artist distribution channels, independent record stores, etc., that need this support, as well. So, I hear what you're saying. But I'm going to be just as impassioned to say, spend the time and look for open source and affordable software you can afford. It's hard for me not to believe someone pirating Cubase might then miss the opportunity to learn and buy REAPER, etc. — if not you, someone else.

  • http://www.oxo-unlimited.com Veqtor

    I know exactly what this will mean to my labels economy: People will stop buying our releases.

    Hadn't it been for oink I would never have gained so many fans, some of them I have personal contact with. One even got me a gig at ministry of sound.

    What I'm saying is, small, indie-labels, like mine, were gaining a lot of attention because of oink. The only ones that really will profit from this are the major labels.

    I can't help but think it was a sad day.

  • Robert K.

    "In doing so (and this is especially the case with software), I’m not taking money away from anyone, because if I hadn’t downloaded it, I still simply wouldn’t ever have the money to buy it. I disagree with the idea that this is like breaking into Saks Fifth Avenue, because no physical product is lost. I’m not depleting any inventory, and the company’s not incurring any kind of economic loss on my account. My downloading a $700 piece of software that I couldn’t possibly afford has absolutely perceivable negative effect on the company that made it."

    Oh so you're basically saying piracy is good and reasonable…

    I broke into your home, NO, I don't steal anything at all. I just roam around, check your family albums, maybe take a nap in your bed, and other things, then I leave with no trace behind.

    You never saw me there or knew I was there so its ok right? Would you let me do that and be happy?

    Yes well, that's my metaphor for when lame hackers try to excuse their acts. Sorry I don't have a good one for piracy.

    But the point is, there is something called INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, ever heard about it?

    It's funny how you try to excuse yourself on the fact that companies won't be getting your money anyway. How's that? So it means because there is apparently no "physical inventory" companies perceive no loss? So if I sell something online, and 10 people buy it, 10.000 warez'd it, that's not a loss for me at all?

    Think again please.

    I understand what you say. Yes, you wouldn't have bought the stuff anyway, but it's time to grow up, be a man, and accept the consequences to your actions.

    So you're comfortable being a pirate? Fine! But don't come saying that piracy is right, innocent and it ain't hurting anyone.

    PD: Since its fine and companies are not losing anything, lets ask steinberg to put full versions of their software on their servers so people can download them, since its anyway the same, they are not losing anything (maybe we can pay 10 bucks each for the consumed bandwidth), and maybe if we feel like it, we buy the stuff otherwise we just smile and enjoy.

  • mk

    As has been pointed out by other posters, for some, Oink was about getting as much free music as they could. For others it was about getting to listen to bands they might not otherwise hear. I think of it as a high-tech version of borrowing tapes off your mates back in the good old days. Everyone I knew did it. And it was wrong. But at the same time it was how music got spread around, and I would be angry at the music industry bod who told me, or my dad or my brother (who have thousands of LPs, CDs and tapes between us) that we were destroying the industry.

    Even back then, there were people with huge collections of copied tapes who would never buy the original albums. It's one of the uglier sides of human nature. Then there's people who copied the tapes, and made a decision – it was good and they bought it, or it was bad and they simply copied something else over it. Some bought the original tapes, then went out and bought them on CD in later years.

    Why can't the music industry accept that the global economies that they have tried to milk have the flip-side of being a global "tape-sharing with friends" – it's illegal, but it's going to happen.

    Sorry I know the above was redundant but I felt the need to get it off my chest. Respect to the Oink community for what they did with music, some respect lost for the software aspect. Maybe one day the community can be used as a basis for legal music distribution. Maybe someone should start OinkFree now – a replica which only contains sanctioned music being donated by the artists. I'd help out/put my own bands music on it.

  • http://rekkerd.org ronnie

    I’ve personally been a “victim” of piracy with a few sample libraries released through Sony, but ironically enough I used to move terabytes of stuff myself each day so who am I to complain… This was in the days of private boards and fast university ftps. I don't think I even glanced at more than 1% of the bits and bytes that moved along these places. I DID download things myself, mainly drum & bass mp3s (mostly released by a group called SOUR) and built up a collection of thousands upon thousands of songs I never even listened to once. Eventually this did get me into DJ-ing and buying vinyl titles of these same songs I had downloaded, not to justify the downloading, but the exposure certainly got me interested. This is something many of these “enablers” use to right the wrong but it actually kind of worked that way in my case.

    I grew up getting most my music from a shop hiring out records (and later CDs) and recording them to tapes (they would even offer services to copy the records/cds on tapes so you wouldn’t have to take the album home to do it yourself!). What did I know.. this was an official business and I saw no wrong in this really, like taping stuff from the radio. Of course this shop had to close their doors later under pressure from various companies and organizations (they thought about selling and buying it back a week later type deals, but this was too sketchy so they just quit and started selling musical instruments instead). This shop single handedly opened the world of music to me. Over a period of 10 years I went from metal/rock to alternative, world music, blues, jazz, and later to various electronic music styles. I can honestly say I would not have bought most of the hundreds of CDs I bought later, if it was not for this store.

    Anyway… times changed, I've changed (yes Peter, I believe moral is one of the most important things with the issue. If someone doesn’t feel they’re doing anything wrong, or they just don’t care, they will pirate anything from $2000 software to a 1 dollar mp3), and most importantly supply changed. There are now tons of opportunities to use cheap or free applications instead of those pirated copies of expensive you'd never buy it anyway software. I could relate to those who pirated Photoshop back in the day, but now? Paint.NET, GIMP, you can even do these things for free online now (Fauxto)… Xnview is probably more than most users need anyway.

    On the other hand… like mentioned in some of the comments, sites like Oink enable people to find the interesting stuff they wouldn’t know about if they’d visit the iTunes store or their local retail stores. I’ve picked up things like the Boards of Canada A few old tunes from some torrent. I don’t think I could get this any other way really, so maybe I’m just not supposed to have it… so it still boils down to your morals I guess.

  • Kyran

    I didn't know about Oink, but people apparently like the community aspect of it. The fact that you can discover new music and bands and people interested in them etc.

    The fact remains that Oink did not have the right to host these files. Now but what if you actually build such a community site and artists can post their tracks on there, using CC or something similar. This allows them to get exposure, people can discover great new artists etc, make contacts for gigs, maybe eventually get the artists on there for a 'regular' release.

    This is actually not an idea. It exists: http://www.electrobel.eu (unfortunately it's not available in a lot of countries yet) But it does just that: it allows artists to post their tracks, people can listen to them, download them, comment on them. There's a board to get to know each other etc. It works, the best artists already have some commercial releases. It has allowed me to perform in a lot of places I'd never otherwise get to. It's everything you guys seemed to like about Oink, just legal.

  • Chuck

    "I broke into your home, NO, I don’t steal anything at all. I just roam around, check your family albums, maybe take a nap in your bed, and other things, then I leave with no trace behind.

    You never saw me there or knew I was there so its ok right? Would you let me do that and be happy?"

    ok, wait….people don't package their family albums and tours of their home lives and try to sell the information for hundreds of dollars. private information is not the same as intellectual property. creation comes from requirement for the creation, not requirement for money. if a piece of software is created to record music it's probably due to a dissatisfaction with all of the current softwares available for that purpose. if anything educational can be created, it should be created and distributed freely.

    i understand that it takes alot of effort to make software. effort like that should always be rewarded more than just the personal glow of having created something IF it is actually useful to the community it is released into. if a program is built to be self indulgent and bloated it will fail no matter how little is charged.

    also, all programmers should know that once you release something, you lose all control over it. no matter how much copy protection and activation locks you put in it, the only thing that will protect your "Intellectual rights" is respect from the community. i use Sony and Ableton. if i ever have $3000 to spare for the titles i use, i'll be more than happy to purchase legit keys. untill then, out of respect, i will NOT release or copyright anything i create with their software. i cannot be a professional with pirated software, THAT is respect.

  • http://www.angstrom.timeshard.com Angstrom

    Some follow-up

    The UK government could legislate to crack down on illegal file-sharers, a senior official has told the BBC's iPM programme.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7059881.stm

  • http://www.analogindustries.com Chris Randall

    What I don't understand (and generally find quite annoying) is the prevalent attitude that "well, the music industry [or software industry] is broken, and until they fix it, I'm gonna get my free shit."

    Several responses above could be distilled down to that phrase, and I'd just like to point out that using such a blatant logical fallacy as justification makes one look slightly retarded to people that are smart enough to know better. As both a software developer and professional musician (5 years as the former, more than 20 as the latter), I can state the following with certainty:

    1: Some people just take things, and others don't.

    2: The people that do take things come up with _many_ different justifications.

    3: If you make music or software, the ratio of people that just take things to those that don't is much higher than if you make, say, underwear.

    4: The people that do take things say "that's life. Deal with it."

    I'm sorry, but circular arguments like this just ring empty to me. It all comes down to the fact that music and software are the two most crime-ridden sectors of retail sales ever to exist (discounting, perhaps, prostitution and drugs), and since it is so easy to steal (and be honest, there's no other word that applies) it has become a personal moral issue rather than a societal moral one.

    That's fine and all, and I can deal with it and still make a reasonable living and pay my rent. But Oink? Please. They're not audiophiles. You have to look at the root of "fan," which is "fanatic," to see the lie of that. An audiophile loves music. A fanatic shoots John Lennon.

    -CR

  • http://hotmail Kayla

    Why do people make music not just for listening but what else?

  • inasilentway

    Personally speaking, as someone who works in a rock club doing sound and lights, Oink was great for checking out the bands that were coming through so I would know what I was expecting at the show, and it was far easier than trying to navigate their annoyingly-designed websites (though Myspace has the same effect, it was nice to listen to a whole album in good quality rather than just four low quality tracks). I normally am adamant about buying music but my personal morals stretch just far enough to cover bands whose shows I worked.

    The thing that appealed to me most about Oink, and I assume to other people who are anal about music, is the insistience on organization. Oink was for people who, in the offline world, keep their records alphabetized.

    And I'm with CR, there is no justification for stealing but everyone's got one (hey, myself included). @ronnie: If broadening your musical horizons was such a life-changing event, why weren't you willing to shell out a few bucks for it?

  • inasilentway

    Whoops, sorry ronnie, should have read your post a little more carefully, glad to see your 'tude has changed. The part about "expanding your musical horizons" is something I've heard far too many times and I always call BS on it. It cost me a lot of money to expand my musical horizons, and it was worth every penny.

  • Gorbon

    I had immense exposure to various acts, artists, labels etc. through various P2P services (Napster -> AudioGalaxy -> Soulseek / Torrents / DC++. I ended buying THOUSANDS of records – improv, electro, electronica, IDM, techno, house, psych, punk, noise, hip hop etc etc. I might be special case (although I know many users with similar experiences), but I don't think I'd buy even fraction of those records if it weren't for P2P. In addition to that I organized parties and had weekly radio show on several local stations, so I further promoted certain artists and labels. I know for fact that I presented works from hundreds of artists that were previously totally unknown in my country. I believe that my music knowledge would be severely crippled if it weren't for P2P.

    I'm not advocating anything here, I'm just stating my own experience. IMHO small / indie labels, GAIN when their stuff is spread on SLSK or some other P2P network, not LOOSE. They gain exposure to countless users (with possibility that those users will start to buy their "hard" copies) who further spread the word about them, go to concerts / parties etc.

    I know that it's very complex issue, but I also know that shutting down Oink (or any other site) doesn't mean anything. At this moment there is some other site blossoming that will replace Oink in matter of weeks.

    As for software piracy – another complex issue as well. But let's take this into account – I know dozens and dozens of people who download pirated music software, and then they make music with it. They don't have any ambition whatsoever – they don't plan to perform their music, to release their music, to sell their music etc. – they are just toying with it in their spare time (my guess is that more than 90% of people who download VSTs + DAWs are like that). If there weren't any P2P services and if that particular software wasn't available by any other means than buying it they WOULDN'T buy it – they would either use some free apps, or they wouldn't use it at all. Software company didn't loose anything, since those people would never pay 1 cent for their product, but they opened up possibility that some of those users will pursue musical career, and in the end start to pay for their products. You really think that all those hundreds of thousands users thah downloaded Reaktor 5 would actually buy it if it weren't available on P2P for free? More than 90% of them wouldn't.

    Sure, companies DO loose potential revenue, both it's nowhere near the amount some of them would want you to believe. If for example 400,000 people downloaded Cubase it doesn't mean Steinberg lost 400,000 x price of Cubase $$$.

    I'm not saying this makes it okay, but in majority of cases company doesn't loose anything, while there's always possibility that certain percent of those users will switch to legitimate versions of software.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Does anyone have screen grabs of oink when it was in operation? I'm with Chris as far as legality and morality, in that none of this explains to me why artists can't charge for their work. But I'm at the same time intrigued by what was appealing about oink as community and design. I think iTunes learned from Napster — what it did well, and what it didn't — and there's always potential to look here for how a legit discovery service might work.

  • http://www.oxo-unlimited.com Veqtor

    I think everyone should have a good look at the major labels behind the IFPI that was lobbying for the raid:
    http://www.ifpi.org/content/section_links/member_

    Now… what's really bugging me about this raid is:

    1) Oink isn't at all the biggest music piracy site

    2) Oink isn't at all a big torrent site

    3) Oink specialized in "indie-music". A lot of labels put their music on oink as a mean of promoting their releases. (I for one)

    4) Why wasn't sites such as mininova, newtorrents, torrentspy, moviex, etc etc shut down first?

    5) Why are the police saying the guy behind it was earning hundreds of thousands of pounds when the site was on the verge of shutdown a dozen of times due to insufficient funding to pay for servers and connection?

    6) Why are IFPI lying about you having to pay to be a member of Oink.cd?

    7) Why is there so much focus on oink being a pre-release tracker, when it wasn't? (compared to soulseek, the pirate bay and all the scene-irc channels that leaked the torrents in the first place?)

    8) Why are the IFPI pretending to do errands for record labels that aren't even members of their organisation?

  • http://www.oxo-unlimited.com Veqtor

    @Peter

    Well, what's always the issue with ALL 'legit' music discovery sites is that the people who launch them at first always get greedy and mess up the download statistics and exclude genres like "idm, breakcore, psytrance" whatever, just examples.

    What I'm saying is, look at any 'legit' discovery site and you'll see it's really corrupt.

    With oink you could track what other users downloading a torrent you liked had downloaded, now the equivalent exists in sites like last.fm but frequently users set up their computer to mess up the statistics.

    In oink you had a really strict ratio requirement so you had to be really careful about what you downloaded, not to mess up your ratio and being kicked out.

    In a public 'legit' discovery site the only choice left is every user having a certain amount of votes per month.

    The reason why this won't work is that the major labels will hire people to sit and vote and they'll buy shitloads of IP-adresses to get away with having like hundreds of users per worker.

    The music industry is capable of doing ANYTHING to stop what's currently going on:

    They are loosing an increasing market share to indie-labels.

    Last year indie-labels as a whole had a bigger market share than all the major labels toghether. Now, I dunno but if I was a CEO at a major label I would do ANYTHING to try and stop the spreading of indie music, ANYTHING.

    I think raiding oink was them seeing the opportunity to get rid of two things that really annoyed them.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Really? Labels are that scared by indie music, that they go on a campaign against oink? Besides, wasn't there also significant use of labels by the majors on oink? I agree that something's off here. I just wonder if oink made an easier target than the bigger torrent servers — even if the bigger torrent servers do significantly more damage to labels' business. It's hard for me to believe this is all a conspiracy theory by the major labels. You can look at the things labels have done here, and they're similarly random (and, very often, not terribly effective at reducing piracy).

  • http://www.oxo-unlimited.com Veqtor

    I wouldn't say it's a conspiracy theory because in many cases business-strategies, as long as it is legitimate, are not a mystery.

    It's not like they decided to kill someone or frame someone.

    I think it's just a matter of logical choice.

    1) They get the police to raid the site admin

    2) They bring in the BBC

    3) They make the BBC interview the IFPI's own specialists to make an as one-sided view of the site and it's activites as possible.

    Piece of cake

  • inasilentway

    Gorbon's argument is probably the most common one about pirated software. But let's replace the word software with the word guitar. Would it make sense to say this: "The people stealing these Gibsons from their local guitar store would either be playing a Squier or nothing at all. They're not using their Gibsons to play in a band, they just play around with them at home. If they didn't steal it, they wouldn't be using it in the first place, so Gibson is losing sales but not that many" and so on? (for non-guitarists: Gibsons are $$$$, Squiers are not)

  • http://www.stretta.com Matthew Davidson

    It is the false sense of entitlement that baffles me. Just because something exists does not mean you're entitled to it. If you can't afford it, don't use it, or support something you can afford. Pretty simple.

    I also don't understand why people equate value of downloadables as physical objects. IE: if it can be duplicated freely, you're not stealing anything. That is a very narrow way of defining value. Value should be defined as personal utility: is this worth something to you? For example, imagine if all the recorded music in the world disappeared. Everyone listening to music in cars and with iPods would suddenly have nothing to listen to.

    If recorded music has no value, then listening to nothing would be just as good, yes?

  • Gorbon

    to inasilentway:

    You really can't compare those two things. If you steal that guitar that particular copy wouldn't be in the shop anymore, and there would be one less guitar on market. It's physical object. You just can't compare it to torrents etc. Software company doesn't loose one cent if Joe Average who never even planned to buy "product X" downloads it. Absolutely nothing. Like I said, I know tons of people who are playing with Reaktor (just one example, there are countless other applications, be it Maya, Cubase, Modo, Premiere etc.) in their spare time, but they would never ever even think of shelling any amount of money for that app, no matter if it costed 10$, or 1000$. And don't jump now – again, I'm not advocating anything, and I'm not stating it's "right" thing to do, I'm just saying that majority of downloaded pirated software just doesn't translates to lost sales. Those people never intended to buy that software, and if it weren't easily available to them they wouldn't buy it either.

    Of course, Matthew's comment about personal value is another issue to consider, but again – it in no way translates to lost sales for company X. We can discuss that those people shouldn't be using stuff without paying since they enjoy it, but that's another thing – I'm talking about $$$ loss for companies. You just can't tell me that Native Instruments lost some money because my 17 years old neighbour downloaded Reaktor or Battery from some torrent tracker, and he toys with it until something else gets his attention.

    Big majority of pirated software users are like that – they will download tons of pirated apps, install some of them (usually only fragment of those downloaded apps gets installed at all – I know people with literary hundreds of various VSTs which they never even installed on their system – they're just cataloging it, keep it on various backup media and soon forget that such application even exists, unless there's new version out, which they then download catalogue, backup and so on and on and on… – it's a lot like collecting napkins actually), and most of the time they just marvel at their quick launch bar filled with various colorful icons, and rarely some of those apps get launched at all. That's your average "Joe Pirated Software Downloader". They download 3D apps, video editing apps, music production apps, imaging apps, web developement apps etc etc., but 99% of their computer time is spent on IM / MySpace / email and watching movies / listening to music, and in most cases they even don't bother to install those apps (and even if they install it only small fraction of them spend any significant time in those apps). Again – you just can't tell me that such "users" are making financial damage to software companies. They are opportunist, and you can judge them for many different reasons, but they are totally insignificant in market terms. They were never potential users (although certain, albeit very small, percent will in the end become loyal supporter of company X) and it couldn't matter less if they did or did not downloaded software X.

    Of course there are users AND studios who are using such software in professional environment, and in the end they make 1000x more money than that software cost in the first place, but they are really really small minority (like I said – anything from 1% to 10%, depending on the country and particular software / application).

    Once again – don't get me wrong – I'm not defending anyone, I'm not advocating anything, I'm not taking stand for "right" or "wrong" etc., I'm just addressing issue of actual vs projected loss for some company. Number of people who downloaded certain torrent doesn't mean anything.

  • rageahol

    property is theft.

    property is impossible.

    the instant you make a creative work, and release it to anyone other than yourself, it is no longer yours to say what can be done with it.

    all assertions to the contrary are legal fictions. perhaps useful ones, but legal fictions nonetheless.

    get used to it, and adjust your behavior accordingly, and most of all, quit your fucking whining. it's keeping you from making more music.

  • Todd Fletcher

    If the creators of software and music can't get rewarded by the market in the form of that extravagance called "a living", then they'll stop producing it. Then everything will be free, because it won't be worth paying for. Does anyone consider that the optimal outcome?

  • Kyran

    The most heard justification for using warez'd stuff is apparently the fact you can't afford the software and as such would have never bought it.

    So let's say you downloaded an eq from waves. You're saying it's ok, because you'd have never been able to buy it anyway, so waves doesn't lose any money.

    But if you weren't able to download waves, you'd have no eq, so you'd have to buy one which is in your pricerange. So in a way you're not hurting the big company, but the small developer that chooses to sell it's product for a reasonable fee, because you'd rather download the big ass one for free.

    Now that is twisted, because your argument for warezing software is that it's too expensive and at the same time you're discouraging companies to sell their products for a reasonable price.

  • rageahol

    todd fletcher:

    wrong.

    people have always made music.

    and if your desire to make music is beholden to the fickle whims of the market, then please STOP MAKING MUSIC, BECAUSE THAT MEANS IT IS CRAP.

    making "a living" by using a legal fiction to beat people over the head with is, frankly, retarded. otoh, making a living by performing, as musicians had done for centuries before the advent of recorded music, is completely awesome and honorable.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    I find these arguments about removing music from the market amusing, because if you look at cultures broadly, there ARE cultures that believe physical objects, land, food, etc. don't have ownership, either. So even the idea that you don't steal a guitar from the guitar store is something we've created, because otherwise it causes problems for the person who runs the store and makes the guitar, etc. Is it the only solution? No. But we live in a society where the market drives value. I don't think anyone is saying you should let the market rule your life; quite the contrary, we're all aficionados of certain cultural objects, etc., and value the music first. But the argument being made here, on the flipside, is that doctors and management consultants and fast food chain executives and oil company marketing people all deserve to be paid for their work, and musicians don't.

    Yeah. That makes TOTAL sense.

    So I think we can absolutely debate how to value music objects, how to price downloads, how to share downloads, how to value and price software, what really SHOULD be free and SHOULD be copied … all those things.

    But I don't think anyone is going to get real interested in the argument that all music should be free, while everyone else has monetary value for what they do. It's all about balance. And value for any of these things, on some level, exists only in the mind — even oil companies. (Especially oil companies. Come to my neighborhood, Wall Street, and we'll talk about imaginary value being assigned to things.)

  • moonbass

    I really like CDM except for one thing.. the slightly patronising tone about piracy. Maybe it's more an American thing but I do find the general attitude a bit knee-jerk compared to the average opinion of Musicians and software developers that I know.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Which attitude? :) I felt we had just devolved into the "all music needs to be free" argument (and to some extent, software, though *without* the logical leap to open source). If people want to make that argument, fine, but there are some serious unanswered questions.

    Hey, I'm American, I'm probably patronizing about everything. ;)

  • rageahol

    where are you going with all that straw, peter?

    "But the argument being made here, on the flipside, is that doctors and management consultants and fast food chain executives and oil company marketing people all deserve to be paid for their work, and musicians don’t."

    this is not an argument i made. in fact, all your examples are of people who are paid for providing services, in the manner of a performing musician. none of these are examples that rely, necessarily, on using a legal fiction (aside from the legal fiction of the corporation, perhaps) to beat people over the head with and claim "ownership" of bits/grooves-on-plastic/wax-cylinder etc.

    i never said that all music needs to be free.

    it already is.

    my point is that you're whining about how hard it is to put the genie back into the bottle.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Well, except, I'm not whining about anything. The UK police chose to go over the top with this raid of a torrent site, and their choice of sites doesn't even make any sense. I think I've been very clear that BanPiracy's anti-piracy vigilantes on the software side are a bad idea.

    What you describe as "legal fiction" is basically *all intellectual property*. And not only is it possible to define this legally, it's very often necessary. Musical copyright law goes back to the 19th century, when songwriters were getting ripped off quite literally by sheet music printers and (later) piano roll printers. They lost their livelihood and couldn't continue producing material. The real fiction was that these other businesses, the ones ripping off their work, were the owners. I don't think copyright law has necessarily evolved with the times, but the basic idea isn't a huge leap.

    Look at the open source movement, and what's been possible with Firefox, Linux, OpenOffice, Java, etc. Look at how that's been embraced by more companies. Look at the success of Creative Commons sampling. All of this is possible not because "everything is free" or "ownership is fiction," but because there IS a legal framework for defining ownership and how that ownership is applied practically. Without that framework, as the saying goes, you wouldn't be able to give some of this stuff away.

    If this sounds patronizing to anyone, that's not my intent. I just think think these issues are essential. And my experience has been that a management consulting service is every bit as nebulous in terms of material value as a live music show or a musical recording. But at a certain point, you give these things value. And part of why I don't think you have to go on giant police raids of torrent servers is that a lot of people feel very strongly that, if there's real value there and convenience of delivery, legitimate, for-pay services are worth choosing over services that rob creators of control and income. People making that voluntary choice may not be as exciting to copyright holders as a big, splashy, aggressive raid. But to immediately descend in this issue of "well, you can't control ownership" every time there's one of these things we don't like, that just seems to miss the point to me. The point is, you can and arguably should defend the idea of ownership of information and material. It doesn't mean you have to charge exorbitant sums for that material or block its sampling and copying and sharing — on the contrary. But it does mean the people creating stuff ought to have some rights, and the best way to do that is with sensible laws. I just hope we can improve our laws and the mechanisms by which these other activities are possible.

  • http://danwinckler.com dan winckler

    Wow, that's a lot of paragraphs up there. Don't you folks have jobs? ;)

    TorrentFreak.com has been posting excellent updates on this story, including a Q & A with OiNK himself (http://feed.torrentfreak.com/~r/Torrentfreak/~3/174821606/). Go straight to the source, skip the FUD.

  • rageahol

    yes, *all intellectual property* is legal fiction. in fact, i would go further and say that *all property* is legal fiction. but i realize im kind of an extremist in that way.

    open source and creative commons, as movements, are reactions to the exorbitant costs of software and egregious extension of copyright, respectively. they would not exist within a framework that did not have these economic pressures. the legal framework which contains them was carved out by the same forces that destroyed napster, oink, et al.

    your comment:

    "The point is, you can and arguably should defend the idea of ownership of information and material. It doesn’t mean you have to charge exorbitant sums for that material or block its sampling and copying and sharing — on the contrary."

    completely misses that point. on a continuum where there is legal ownership of information, there will always be certain people willing to share it freely, and others which charge exorbitant sums for it. the ones who charge exorbitant sums for it, assuming that the information is valuable to at least some small segment of the population, will then have greater economic leverage to BUY LEGISLATION THAT STRENGTHENS THEIR BUSINESS MODEL AND ADVANTAGES THEMSELVES TO THE DETRIMENT OF EVERYONE ELSE. it becomes a positive feedback loop.

    defining information as something that can be owned leads inexorably to this sort of situation that we have now been grappling with as a culture for almost a decade (longer, of course, but the IP issue didnt really become a worldwide popular issue until napster).

    is it worth it?

  • http://www.otownmedia.com Richard Lainhart

    No one here has addressed what I see as a simple ethical issue: if you take something from someone who wants to give it to you, you receive a gift; if you take something from someone who doesn't want to give it to you, you steal.

    The questions of whether or not the owner suffers a loss, or whether or not he deserves to be robbed, are immaterial. The thief doesn't get to decide if his act is ethical or not, the owner does.

  • kobe

    they precisely went after oink because oink wasn't as big as the others.

    this phenomenon happens in the software world all the time. one company will pre-emptively patent something they have no intention of producing, just so that when another company comes around and does produce it, they can go after them.

    now, do they go after them right away? no. they wait until the company which has produced the item becomes very profitable, so that way the company filing the patent can now sue them for all that profit. see how that works?

    the likeness to oink here lies in this: oftentimes the original patent-owning company will go after a smaller company that does this rather than a larger company. the reason is because the smaller company has less money and resources to defend itself. if the original company can defeat the smaller company, they can now set a LEGAL PRECEDENT in court, giving them MUCH more leverage (a citable prior case) in defeating the bigger company.

    in this case, ifpi goes after this little site run by some kid & his dad, because it'll go down easy, one down, a few more to go. any judicial rulings that occur as a result of this will only be used against any of the aforementioned 'larger' sites.

    -i'm sure the quality & selection that oink provided made it that much more of a sweet victory for the ifpi.

    i'm saddened. i loved oink. :(

    honestly oink provided an edge. for a digital dj, to get tracks & rare remixes that were unavailable elsewhere at high quality, it was indispensable. it was an odd middle-ground, where as a member, you had something the public at large could not get, yet at the same time, you got more of a piece of something that the bigger dj's who worked for or owned record labels had access to that no one else had. -so, yes, it was selfish. humans are pragmatic. i can't defend or condemn that.

    the ifpi is definitely putting their own 'spin' on the situation, tho what irked me the most was the statement, "This was not a case of friends sharing music for pleasure.", for the obvious reason that this is EXACTLY what it was.

    i loved that oink did not allow movies, games or porn.

    as far as professionals using the apps and paying for them, as far as music apps i'd say they were more likely to, as the paid copy provided solid builds of the app that one could reliably depend on in a professional environment, as well as access to updates and technical support, rather than some funky cracked copy.

    oink also had a nice sheet music section. i wish i could have explored this a bit more.

    if i may so be redundant for one second here: pirated songs does not equal lost sales. the music simply would not have been bought in the first place. arguably it would have been in some instances, but a minority. people sometimes like to have stuff for the sake of having it, and don't even exploit what's on their hard drives. or they'd simply have never have been exposed to the content in the first place. the ratio system kept users disciplined, and fostered real advances and mainenance of the community and its content.

    one more redundancy if i may: exposure, especially in the field of software, reminds me of the rumors years ago, that leaked copies of photoshop actually came from adobe itself. the rumor was that adobe was responsible for leaking their own software, and the theory was that if a 22 yr old graphic design student can get his mitts on a $600 program and learn it, become prolific at it.. when he is out of school and in the world and able to purchase his tools legitimately (for the same reasons i mentioned above about build quality, updates, & technical support, as well as the idea that if he wants to continue to use this good software in the future, he will support the company so that they may keep providing it [as he is mature enough to understand this now]), that he will now buy the software he has been so accustomed to using all these years, ensuring that future marketshare and mindshare for Adobe. now obviously that's just a rumor, but food for thought.

    every day each and every one of us, whether in private enterprise, interpersonal relationships, or corporate dealings, or whatever side we're on in relation to digital music/file sharing/intellectual property, we plant seeds. and we all reap just what we sow.. the fruit of those seeds to some will be expected, to others not… yet, which to whom, time shall tell..

  • rageahol

    richard:

    with all due respect, that's fucking stupid.

    "ethics" and "morals" evolve within cultural frameworks. if any given indigenous people has no frame of reference to "give" settlers their land, does that mean the settlers "own" that land?

  • at

    @ Gorbon

    "You just can’t tell me that Native Instruments lost some money because my 17 years old neighbour downloaded Reaktor or Battery from some torrent tracker, and he toys with it until something else gets his attention."

    Like Kyran very rightly pointed out, there are very similar cheaper or free products which that person DIDN'T download – preferring to get Reaktor for nothing. Yes, maybe they wouldn't have bought it.

    But by the same token there are a number of people who download Reaktor, then really get into it – but DON'T buy it because they can't justify it to themselves to buy something they already own, effectively. Or they don't care.

    I have spoken to a number of people who are only buying Cubase because their cracked version stopped working. It's not a moral decision, its the lack of a functional free alternative that caused the switch. We shouldn't ignore the people who bought Cubase bought it because they loved their cracked version, great, but there are many more people who either morally aren't interested, or are tech savvy enough to fix it when it breaks. They use it regularly, and never buy.

    So if there was no Warez versions of anything floating about, no actual way for people to try it for free, except the demos which are designed for the purpose…do you think sales would be less?

    No warez, no temptation: people buy. Maybe they mostly get the free or cheap alternatives, but maybe they actually buy something.

  • Gorbon

    @ Kobe

    Excellent post Kobe. Although I'd add one thing – in 90& of cases pirated copies aren't "some funky cracked copies" – if you get releases from quality groups chances are you'll end up with exactly the same functions (and bugs) that are in "on the shelf" copy. Anyone who's into pirated software knows they're not getting anything inferior (except in some cases, which constitute only very small minority) in term of functions / options / stability to legally buyed versions. There's normally issues of support (and upgrades, although upgrades get pirated on regular basis too), but that has nothing to do with software itself.

    IMHO only fraction of people who transfered from pirated to legal software did it because pirated software didn't function properly. Back in the day it was more common, but today release groups are releasing full quality versions + keygens.

    As for stealing, morals, ethics etc. – it's complex issues, especially since "stealing" pirated software is so easy now. In 20 minutes you can have fully functioning version of Cubase / Reaktor / Live / Whatever on your hard, even few days (or weeks) prior to its release. It takes you less than trip to the store. Most people downloading pirated software don't feel like they're "stealing" anything – it's offered to them for download, and they can have it in few minutes installed on their hard drives. I'm not saying that's ok or anything, just explain how 99% of those "downloaders" perceive that process. They would did the same if they were offered to take, with such ease, anything – $$$, TV sets, clothing, hardware…anything (although it helps greatly to their reasoning that they aren't "stealing" actual product, but only an infinite copy – zeros and ones. It's damn too easy to "steal" software / music / internet over the Internet (and it's not that actions like this will make any harder). IMHO there's far worse stuff happening on Internet than downloading of latest Autechre release or Waves plugin, and more efforts / money should be going into that direction.

  • Gorbon

    @ at

    "So if there was no Warez versions of anything floating about, no actual way for people to try it for free, except the demos which are designed for the purpose…do you think sales would be less?"

    Of course they would be higher, you missed my point. But of course that not all of people who pirated Cubase will buy it – more than 90% of them wouldn't (since they really don't care much about Cubase, or anything – it's available to them for free, so they are taking it – like I said, only fraction of downloaded pirated software gets installed at all). My whole post was how amount of downloaded software nowhere near translates to lost sales. I thought I was clear enough, I don't know why I have to explain it again.

  • http://www.otownmedia.com Richard Lainhart

    "with all due respect, that’s fucking stupid.

    “ethics” and “morals” evolve within cultural frameworks. if any given indigenous people has no frame of reference to “give” settlers their land, does that mean the settlers “own” that land?"

    That's your argument? That it's OK for you to download music because the Manhattoes got cheated out of their homeland in 1626? Or, more broadly, that it's OK for you to ignore the ethical standards of the society in which you live because ethical standards in another time and place were different?

    By your insult, and by the absurdity of your response, you clearly reveal your moral bankruptcy; you lose.

  • at

    @ Gorbon

    "I’m just saying that majority of downloaded pirated software just doesn’t translates to lost sales. Those people never intended to buy that software, and if it weren’t easily available to them they wouldn’t buy it either."

    I take issue with the generalisation. If you don't think the problem is that bad, come have a go making a living selling music software.

    There are PLENTY of would-be-legit-users who did not pay for their software and will continue to do so while cracked options are available. Whether the 90% of downloads affect sales is irrelevant, because it's that 10% causing the issue, given the ridiculous quanities we're applying these percentages to.

  • http://www.otownmedia.com Richard Lainhart

    I can add a personal note to the "lost software sales" thread – in the late 80s, I was the technical director for Intelligent Music, the company that released M, Jam Factory, Upbeat, and other such MIDI software. We were among the earliest and, if I may say so, the most innovative music software developers.

    Initially we released our software only on the Mac, and we used PACE floppy-based copy protection, as most of the developers did then. Our sales were decent and supported the company, but were mostly US-based. We knew, though, that most of the MIDI computer users in Europe worked on the Atari ST platform, and so we started developing our software for Atari and selling through European distributors. I don't recall the name of the copy protection we used, but it wasn't as robust as PACE.

    Once we started selling our products in Europe, a clear pattern deveoped – we'd release a product, sales would be good for the first 2 weeks, and then they would just stop. They wouldn't just slow down, they'd stop, and we wouldn't sell a single copy after that in Germany or France. Our distributors told us that they investigated the issue, and found that within the first 2 weeks, the protection would be cracked and the software would then be distributed manually through the user community. After that, no sales. In most cases, we wouldn't even make back our development costs, much less make a profit. And this community wasn't just hobbyists, but people who used our software to make successful records.

    Intelligent Music closed its doors in 1990, just before we were going to release Max (we were the original developers), and I and my co-workers all lost our jobs. Software piracy wasn't the only reason, but it definitely contributed.

  • at

    Respect for M, Richard. Though my only experience of it has come relatively recently, through using an emulator and finding the program on a fan site.

    Am I a pirate now?!

  • Gorbon

    @ at

    You're just stating what I already said. Of course there's "that" 10% of users, and they can almost directly translate to lost sales because of piracy. That's exactly what I said. Nowhere did I claim anything opposite, nor did I anywhere claim "how" bad (or "good") things are. I just pointed to fact that majority of pirated software downloaders never were potential buying customers (like I said – vast majority never installs application X, and of minority that does installs only smaller percentage actually uses that app, and of that percentage only small percentage would actually be potential buyers, if that app wasn't available any other way then buying it – of course that sometimes that percentage of percentage of percentage can be actually 5000 users, I never even implied that it couldn't be the case).

    Nowhere did I directly (or indirectly for that matter) said that people SHOULD download pirated software, or that companies DON'T loose money because of software piracy (obviously they do, I'm not an idiot, you know…).

    I have a feeling you want to see something that doesn't exist in my comments / posts.

    As for me going into music software business – why should I? I have totally different job, which I absolutely love and I'm neither business man, nor software programmer. I have no reason whatsoever to do that (at least for now, who knows what the future can bring), and I wouldn't do it even if it's best paying job in the world and there's no such thing as software piracy.

  • Gorbon

    @ at

    "Am I a pirate now?!"

    Depends on which version you're using. For example, Cycling 74 sells certain version of M. Atari version is freeware (it seems that's the version you0re using, since you're mentioning emulator).

  • http://www.otownmedia.com Richard Lainhart

    "Respect for M, Richard. Though my only experience of it has come relatively recently, through using an emulator and finding the program on a fan site.

    Am I a pirate now?!"

    Unless you're using the OS X version, no.

  • http://d4dirtyrecords.com D4Dirty

    I just can't understand the logic of taking down a site like oink.cd. It was an absolutely free way for labels to distribute their tracks and be exposed to 180 thousand music lovers. No hosting, no bandwidth, no hassles.

    Why couldnt they offer a comprimise and ask users to pay some kind of monthly fee. From the outcry of oink users I am sure most would have been happy to pay around $30 a month? what's $30 by 180000? well it's a hell of a lot more then they would have been getting anyway!

    So instead of approaching the oink owner in a civilized business manour and proposing to help him expand the site, mainting quality and impress 180000 people with their forwared thinking they took something a lot of people love and threatened every user with possible legal action.

  • post-oinker

    This is all very interesting.

    As a dedicated user of OiNK for quite some time, I can tell you that I would not have purchased anything I downloaded from there. In fact, over 90% of what I downloaded from there was obscure/unavailable in the country where I live/out-of-print, or otherwise impossible to get ahold of.

    I never donated a penny but I uploaded at a 3:1 ratio, finding tons of old CDs I had bought while in Asia years back and 2-or-3 other people were interested in hearing those things which were limited edition [asian record label name here] or vinyl 1976 Deutsche Gramophon, never reissued Stockhausen recordings and the like.

    Technically, did it violate certain countries' copyright laws? Yes. And I speed when I drive too.

    I will admit, sooooooooooo many people downloaded the new Modest Mouse and Arcade Fire albums that there was definitely some lost revenue there. I had only a vague idea who these bands were, downloaded seeked through the tracks and deleted them both, not my cup of tea, frankly.

    @Richard: respect for your plight, it seems that intelligent music was trying to protect its software at a difficult musical crossroads and Cycling 74 now has a pretty robust copy-protection scheme (there was an H20 release for the PC a while back, but no jitter) and people buy it.

    The software industry is most-likely heading towards a combination of open-source and niche-market (Like Max/MSP/Jitter) commercial tools. Radiohead (and Madonna) are not waiting around to get played by the complacent record industry that refuses to evolve.

    read this:

    http://www.demonbaby.com/blog/2007/10/when-pigs-f

  • post-oinker

    Oh, and a central point to the operation of the site was that you could NOT upload anything that was already tracked by the main server. This encouraged rummaging through the arcane pieces in one's music collection.

    cheers

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