Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 15th Jan 2010 23:00 UTC, submitted by Cytor
Legal Ah, a lovely bit of news that to help us start the weekend off with positive thoughts! A UK jury has unanimously acquitted Alan Ellis, founder and administrator of the invitation-only OiNK music bittorrent tracker. This means that his 2 year-long trial has finally come to an end - there's no more room for appeal.
Order by: Score:
I am glad to see this.
by DougInKY on Sat 16th Jan 2010 00:56 UTC
DougInKY
Member since:
2006-08-02

I am a 58 year old male who doesn't download songs via bittorrent or though any other method. I have a collection of 3742 songs, all of which I have purchased (except for a few that were offered for free from iTunes or by the artist directly). I also feel strongly that the BPI, IFPI, RIAA, etc, have their own business interests at heart, not those of their customers or of the artists. It is about time that a ruling like this happens. I have grown tired of hearing about grandparents, parents and young people having to pay huge sums of money to these people just because they want to listen (try before you buy) to some music. I believe the Canadian research study that states that most of these people will go on to purchase the music they are downloading and listening.

Kudos to you people of the United Kingdom. Now the US needs to follow suit and shut this abuse of the legal system down too.

Reply Score: 11

RE: I am glad to see this.
by Eugenia on Sat 16th Jan 2010 02:01 UTC in reply to "I am glad to see this."
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Hmm, just last night, I put up a blog post breaking down my iTunes tracks ( http://eugenia.gnomefiles.org/2010/01/15/breakdown-of-my-itunes-lib... ). I included a number of statistics there, but your post just now made me think that I forgot an important statistic, that has a lot to do with the defense used in this legal case: "is there profit in a world of file sharing?" (in my case legal promo mp3s, since I don't pirate media).

So 15 minutes ago I went back to my "Purchased" section of iTunes, and checked it out. I found that from the ~2000 iTunes tracks I bought:

1. 900 tracks were bought (just in 2009) because I discovered these bands via their promo mp3s in the last TWO years of collecting legal promo mp3s.

2. 350 tracks were bought after discovering the bands due to word of mouth (e.g. from friends on Twitter or IM).

3. 750 tracks were bought from bands I got to know by traditional media, e.g. TV/radio, over my LIFETIME.

So within a single year of starting buying digital music (in our home we did that only after iTunes went DRM-free), I bought 900 tracks from bands discovered just in the last 2 years. And only 750 tracks were bought for bands that I've known for many years via traditional means.

I'd say that promotional, viral, mp3s work. I can only speak for legal promo distribution, but if Bittorrent has the same effect, then it should also be profitable for artists/labels.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: I am glad to see this.
by Eugenia on Sat 16th Jan 2010 03:18 UTC in reply to "RE: I am glad to see this."
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

One more thing. I just realized that about 300 out of the 750 tracks bought from artists known via traditional media, are actually purchase requests by my husband. They are not the kind of albums I'd buy (while the 900 purchases resulted by mp3 promo samples are all mine). This reduces the #3 point's numbers to 450.

So I guess "traditional PR media"-based artists (from major labels) get their ass kicked by indie artists who know how to use the internet, and give away viral mp3s.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I am glad to see this.
by flynn on Sat 16th Jan 2010 03:53 UTC in reply to "RE: I am glad to see this."
flynn Member since:
2009-03-19

I tend to agree that promo songs work. There are a number of bands who's albums I've purchased solely because I liked the sample songs that were streaming on their MySpace pages.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I am glad to see this.
by kaiwai on Sat 16th Jan 2010 02:18 UTC in reply to "I am glad to see this."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I've got around around 160gb of music, around 1/2 of it is legally bought form the CD store - I don't do downloadable music. Until they start offering lossless quality music at a lower price than the CD in store, I'll continue to purchase music the old school way. Buggered if I am going to hand over NZ$20 to iTunes and receive a inferior product to the one in the store - nothing to do with the audible quality and everything to do with the principle of the damn thing.

The other half are out of print records that I have downloaded - I don't call that piracy. Piracy to me is when someone downloads (to keep) something and is able to buy it but refuses to do so. The ones I have you cannot purchase in New Zealand so therefore - until they provide a facility to purchase a lossless 'legal' version, I don't consider them 'illegal' (no, I don't care what some forum lawyer says either).

For me, I am sick and tired of these cartels suing people - it is about time that these artists and music companies ask themselves some questions about the viability of their current model.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: I am glad to see this.
by SReilly on Sat 16th Jan 2010 04:29 UTC in reply to "RE: I am glad to see this."
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Your views on what is "legal" when dealing with downloading music are quite frankly spot on! If I remember correctly, Thom posted a video of a keynote speech by Larry Lessig discussing something very similar. I'm Glad we have the creative commons licenses to works with as frankly copyright is out of control!

At the end of the day, it's up to us to reclaim what is rightfully ours no matter the print status of such art. Just because out of print work is not available in NZ does not mean that you, or anybody else, are not entitled to enjoy that art.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: I am glad to see this.
by kaiwai on Sat 16th Jan 2010 05:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I am glad to see this."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Your views on what is "legal" when dealing with downloading music are quite frankly spot on! If I remember correctly, Thom posted a video of a keynote speech by Larry Lessig discussing something very similar. I'm Glad we have the creative commons licenses to works with as frankly copyright is out of control!

At the end of the day, it's up to us to reclaim what is rightfully ours no matter the print status of such art. Just because out of print work is not available in NZ does not mean that you, or anybody else, are not entitled to enjoy that art.


The worst part about these out of print records; you can't purchase the CD version of them anywhere. Why don't all the music companies come together, create a 'Music Vault' where oldies are all provided online in lossless FLAC DRM-free format for people to download for maybe a set fee each month or on a per-album basis. I know if they offered such a facility I would be more than happy to pay NZ$20 per month for it (US$15).

How many of these over paid music executives are thinking in that way? going by the number of law suits, there is no thinking by any of them - holding onto a dying model instead of thinking outside the square. I understand that artists need to be compensated for their work but at the same time when one can't even purchase the music - it is on the verge of being ridiculous where people are labelled pirates for music that is unobtainable 'legally'.

Edited 2010-01-16 05:12 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I am glad to see this.
by Soulbender on Sat 16th Jan 2010 06:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I am glad to see this."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

How many of these over paid music executives are thinking in that way?


it's pretty obvious by now that they never will think like that. They're too stuck in their obsolete ways of thinking about how to distribute and make money from their assets.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: I am glad to see this.
by bert64 on Sun 17th Jan 2010 15:28 UTC in reply to "RE: I am glad to see this."
bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

How about new music which has been released elsewhere in the world, but is not yet available (and might never be put on sale) in NZ?

Reply Score: 2

RE: I am glad to see this.
by Karitku on Sat 16th Jan 2010 10:24 UTC in reply to "I am glad to see this."
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

There is ofc otherview. Since those that illegally download music are also intrested on music it is false to compare that to whole population. Some people aren't intrested on music at all, so by default they don't download music. Also since music sales have declined thru 2000es it goes against that study. Also it is just one study, anyone remember that hockey stick study that turned false. Too bad prosecuter was idiot in this case, he could clearly point out that using one study as evidence is foolish and there is facts that don't support it.

Hopefully this case will fuel need to change whole copyright system. It is clear that it hurts all sides, artists, consumers and business that funds artists. Also denying that piracy doesn't hurt some artists is foolish, there is clear evidence on that. However I'm doubtful that we see change any time soon.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I am glad to see this.
by dylansmrjones on Sat 16th Jan 2010 19:45 UTC in reply to "RE: I am glad to see this."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

It's not the first nor the only study to show that music downloaders (aka "pirates") buy more music than non-downloaders. Studies have shown this consistently through the last decade.

Reply Score: 2

Surprised
by PLan on Sat 16th Jan 2010 02:43 UTC
PLan
Member since:
2006-01-10

I'm quite surprised he was found not guilty, and you can bet the UK government will take action to stop anything similar happening if they think verdicts like this will become a frequent occurrence.

Having said that an uber cyber criminal is hardly going to leave $300,000 (the BBC say $, not £) just laying around in their PayPal account. Not really the kind of person the authorities should be trying to make an example of.

IIRC Newzbin have an upcoming legal case against them in the UK. I wonder how the "no illegal content hosted", "just a search engine", defence will play in that instance ?

Reply Score: 2

v ...
by Hiev on Sat 16th Jan 2010 03:52 UTC
RE: ...
by dylansmrjones on Sat 16th Jan 2010 04:57 UTC in reply to "..."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Damnit!!!

Hiev, read the resume *bangs head against table*

Reply Score: 3

.
by eksasol on Sat 16th Jan 2010 05:08 UTC
eksasol
Member since:
2009-04-05

This Makepeace guy reminded me of the scene from the remake movie of '12 Angry Men' where the last juror refuses to accept that the defendant is innocent.

Also he should change his surname to "Makelies".

Reply Score: 2

Grammar or Typo?
by alcibiades on Sat 16th Jan 2010 09:41 UTC
alcibiades
Member since:
2005-10-12

Thom, don't you mean to say it struck a 'chord' rather than a 'cord'?

Reply Score: 2

Oink, oink
by quackalist on Sat 16th Jan 2010 11:41 UTC
quackalist
Member since:
2007-08-27

As an ex-user of oink I was very happy to hear the news.

Although, I've a few thousand CD's I rarely buy any now and never, never will, buy digital downloads and get most of my music torrenting. Don't give a monkeys about the legality and though I'm 54 I hope to see the the day when they all go bankrupt. Hope, but doubt it will happen ;) .

I would buy CD's if around £5 but seeing a classical or jazz CD for £16 or so just makes me want to vomit.

Just saying.

Edited 2010-01-16 11:44 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Oink, oink
by darknexus on Sat 16th Jan 2010 13:58 UTC in reply to "Oink, oink"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

If you don't agree with it, don't consume the content. The problem is, given the way these executives seem to be thinking (or not thinking), you make it worse by pirating deliberately and then not buying. They aren't thinking of new models, all people like you are going to do is encourage them to come up with yet more DRM to try and screw everyone over. More DRM, more ridiculous laws, and more utterly foolish litigations. What you are doing will not help the situation at all as long as those fools have control of the record labels.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Oink, oink
by SReilly on Sat 16th Jan 2010 21:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Oink, oink"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I disagree entirely. Pirating music actually helps the artists in ways that are not directly visible. Everything we can do to lessen the stranglehold the Recording Industry has over music creation is good.

The Recording Industry are nothing more than glorified loan sharks. Let me give you some examples of what regularly happens to recording artists when they first get recognized.

Say band A starts getting a really large local following or their latest demo gets heard by an important music agent. Either of these two scenarios will bring them to the attention of one of the large Labels or one of the subsidiaries, who will approach them with an offer. That offer usually includes a contract binding the band to exclusively record their next three (if they are lucky) to seven (if they are really screwed) albums with that Label, a financial loan and if they are really dumb, they may end up signing away the rights to their own work.

So band A has a recording contract. They use the financial loan to record and promote a new album and here is where the Label starts showing it's true colours. Firstly, recording artists see a very small percentage from the sales of an album, usually about $0.50 from every $20+ sale, which instantly goes to paying off the original loan. When the band starts touring, they start to see a larger percentage of the proceeds but until the original loan is paid off, they still aren't getting any cash in the bank, usually leading to another loan.

You might think that isn't all that bad, and in many ways you would be right, but for one factor in all of this. If a band only gets to see about $0.50 of every sale, who gets the rest of the money? The Label does. Now, I've heard Label executives talk about the need to pay for packaging and promotion but that can't seriously justify the appropriation 90%+ of an album's sales. In effect, that money can only go to one place, strait into the pockets of the Label.

The problem is not just that Labels don't actually create the product they are selling, they rip off the creators on one hand and the public to whom they sell too on the other hand.

The best way to support a band at the moment is to go and see live shows. Downloading their releases and/or passing them around so that more people will listen to it and start going to live shows doesn't do any real damage to an artist's pay check. The only really damage it does is to the greedy Labels and frankly, that group of blood sucking vampires needs to learn a lesson or two about how to treat both the creators of it's products as well as how to treat consumers.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Oink, oink
by darknexus on Sat 16th Jan 2010 23:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Oink, oink"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I'm in no way saying the labels are fair, they're not. However, the more people pirate the more these overpaid label execs will try and squash it down. That means we'll see yet more DRM and that's the paying customer, by the way. It doesn't help to pirate it, and it doesn't help to buy it. It's a catch 22, pure and simple. The only ones who will ever be able to send a message to the labels are the artists themselves, and most of them don't seem to want to. They're the ones who signed a contract binding themselves to the labels, and there's plenty of evidence by now of what bastards the record industry execs are. Yet the one group of people who could really send a message are content to bitch and moan all the while ignoring the fact that they were dumb enough to sign a contract without knowing what it meant and, by doing so, they support the status quo. If the artists stopped signing with these major labels and didn't renew their contracts for this reason and if enough of them did it you can bet your ass the execs would change their model. But you'll never get mosts artists to give a shit it seems, and most people don't give a shit otherwise so long as they can buy the repetitive music these labels put out.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Oink, oink
by SReilly on Sun 17th Jan 2010 01:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Oink, oink"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Blaming it on the artists is, although accurate, an over simplification and not really fair. Until recently, it was financially prohibitive to be able to record independently and again up until very recently, distribution was almost impossible without the backing of a Label. With the commoditisation of professional level recording equipment and software, it has become trivial to produce quality recordings and now with digital distribution, the backing of a Label is no longer required to get your music out there.

Already we are seeing both new and long standing artists buck the old ways and release both digitally and physically without renewing their contracts with the labels or even creating their own labels. Check out Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead for the latest trends on that front. Both artists release both digitally and physically, DRM free.

If the Labels want to distribute DRM laden music, that's fine by me. They are just accelerating their own inevitable demise. People will buy DRM free music strait from the source as more and more artists become aware of the damage DRM laden music does to their reputation with their fan base.

Dinosaurs will die.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Oink, oink
by ssa2204 on Sun 17th Jan 2010 01:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Oink, oink"
ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

I disagree entirely. Pirating music actually helps the artists in ways that are not directly visible....


Have you asked these artists their permission to pirate their property? If not, I suppose then you will seriously shut the f--k up if your car is ever stolen, or you lose your wallet and someone uses your credit cards. What's that? That is wrong because they don't have your permission to take your car or money? Seriously, grow up.

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: Oink, oink
by SReilly on Sun 17th Jan 2010 01:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Oink, oink"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

You obviously don't understand copyright otherwise you would understand that it is not their property, it is in fact every bodies property so until you actually learn what your talking about, I suggest you STFU and grow up.

There is a wealth of information on copyright available right here on the web. Do yourself a favour and google it, maybe then you won't look like such a fool the next time you start running at the mouth.

Google is your friend, I suggest you start using it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Oink, oink
by ssa2204 on Sun 17th Jan 2010 10:48 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Oink, oink"
ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

You obviously don't understand copyright otherwise you would understand that it is not their property, it is in fact every bodies property so until you actually learn what your talking about, I suggest you STFU and grow up.

There is a wealth of information on copyright available right here on the web. Do yourself a favour and google it, maybe then you won't look like such a fool the next time you start running at the mouth.

Google is your friend, I suggest you start using it.


Every bodies property....well that's a good one. So now you claim the music you pirate is your property as well, when in reality you are either too cheap, too poor, or just living with a twisted sense of self entitlement. Ok buddy, good defense.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Oink, oink
by SReilly on Sun 17th Jan 2010 15:37 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Oink, oink"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Every bodies property....well that's a good one.

Do you even understand the term copyright?

"To promote the Progress of Science..., by securing for limited Times to Authors.... the exclusive Right to their... Writings." (my emphasis)

Why do you think this exclusive right has to be secured in the first place? All creative works belong to all of humanity and copyright was never designed to hinder that. The whole premises of copyright is to grant the creators of any given copyrighted work the exclusive rights to their work for a limited time only after which time it passes back into the public domain. Originally, this time period was defined to be 21 years but has been extended over and over again by greedy corporations.

So now you claim the music you pirate is your property as well, when in reality you are either too cheap, too poor, or just living with a twisted sense of self entitlement. Ok buddy, good defense.

Not only do I own close to 2000 legally purchased CDs, I also happen to be a recording artist. I'm neither too cheap or too poor to allow any creative works that I create to pass directly into the public domain. I have also spoken to countless fellow artists and the overwhelming sentiment is exactly what I expressed, copy our music and pass it around. We are thrilled when anybody takes the time to listen to our creations and if you really like it, why not come along to a gig or two?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Oink, oink
by quackalist on Sun 17th Jan 2010 02:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Oink, oink"
quackalist Member since:
2007-08-27

If anyone cares to copy anything I own while leaving me with the original they're welcome.

Once "stuff" can be copied digitally at virtually no cost then the value of "stuff" will tend to virtually nothing unless, somehow, you can inhibit copying and therefore reintroduce a fictive scarcity. I've seen no evidence that in the case of music and increasingly films, with ever increasing download speeds, such inhibitions are within the grasp of anyone now the gene is out of the bottle.

Course, for "stuff" to be produced it has to be paid for somehow; but, for music anyway, there's noway the "somehow" will survive as it is now.

Mind, though I don't buy nearly as many CD's as I used to I still buy far more then your average consumer who have never bought that many anyway. So, expect, I'm your typical music loving serial downloader;)

Economically, I'd imagine, the "average consumer" on mass provides the vast amount of music industry profits and as they can download, in mp3, a great deal more in a day then they'd have bought in a year it doesn't take a genius...

Edited 2010-01-17 02:19 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Oink, oink
by WereCatf on Sun 17th Jan 2010 03:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Oink, oink"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Have you asked these artists their permission to pirate their property? If not, I suppose then you will seriously shut the f--k up if your car is ever stolen, or you lose your wallet and someone uses your credit cards. What's that? That is wrong because they don't have your permission to take your car or money? Seriously, grow up.

While I don't like piracy, I atleast can understand how it benefits artists: they get broader fan base, pirates often share their favorite songs with their friends and so on. And sometimes those friends end up going to concerts, buying all kinds of extra material and legal copies of those songs. As such, pirates only provide artists with free advertising.

Now, your argument about someone stealing a car...well, it's a twisted argument here. Artists do NOT lose anything concrete when their songs are pirated; they lose no physical materials, they lose no money, they lose no goods or any kinds... They just don't get anything either. In the case a car gets stolen then it is an actual physical object and the owner loses something.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Oink, oink
by quackalist on Sun 17th Jan 2010 04:45 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Oink, oink"
quackalist Member since:
2007-08-27

You seem to have a rather simplistic view on what Property is. Certainly it's not a God given right, whatever you might think it is, and I can't remember anyone asking me if I, or anyone other then corporations, agreed with the endless extension of copyright or anything else relating to the production and reproduction of music.

You may trot out Artists rights but they also come well down the totem pole too.

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: Oink, oink
by WereCatf on Sun 17th Jan 2010 08:55 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Oink, oink"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

You seem to have a rather simplistic view on what Property is. Certainly it's not a God given right

Umm, how come? I never said anything about god given rights or anything. You're reading stuff on my post that I never said or even believe myself; all I was saying that making a duplicate copy of something without it affecting in any way the original is very different than someone taking the original completely away, especially when in the first case it only indirectly benefits the owner of the original.

I never said people have the "right" to have whatever they want or that a piece of music can't be owned by someone.

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: Oink, oink
by quackalist on Sun 17th Jan 2010 11:41 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Oink, oink"
quackalist Member since:
2007-08-27

Err, didn't mean you at all. Seem to have clicked the wrong reply tab. ;)

Reply Score: 0