International Game Of File Sharing Whack-A-Mole Continues

from the and-what-good-does-that-do? dept

In what we're sure will be declared yet another "significant blow" against "piracy," the IFPI helped shut down a private bittorrent tracker site that was used by many people. Following the arrest of the service's creator and the taking down of the site, the IFPI has put up one of its typical scary warning notices about how it's now trying to track down the users of the site -- though most people view that as an empty threat. There is little doubt that this particular service was mainly used for unauthorized file sharing. However, you do still have to wonder what the IFPI and others think they're accomplishing here. It becomes increasingly laughable to have anyone think that bringing these sites down does anything positive for the industry. It's clearly not in the best interests of musicians who are quickly moving as far away from organizations like the IFPI and the RIAA as possible. At the same time, musicians are recognizing that playing this giant game of whack-a-mole is both counter-productive and stupid. It doesn't do anything to damper file sharing at all. Once a copy is out there it's out there, and shutting down one player in the space doesn't make any difference at all. The users just scatter and show up again elsewhere, further underground. In the meantime, many more are realizing that rather than worrying about these services, it's time to embrace them, recognizing that they're incredibly efficient distribution and promotion mechanisms that can be used to help a musician become much more successful. About the only people who it's hurting are those who think they're in the business of selling little plastic discs -- and we've already described why felony interference of a business model isn't a crime.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Haywood, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 7:37am

    Should have been "a terrible inconvenience to pira

    Now all those pirates who used that site will have to Google "bit torrent" to find a new site. The agony!!

     

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  2.  
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    unknowledgable geek, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 7:45am

    Matter of time

    It will only be a matter of time before a CD (or a downloaded song) has an advertisment either before or after the song(s) you are listening to.

     

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  3.  
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    Max Swanson, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 7:54am

    Not Stupid but Stubborn

    The RIAA types, not to mention the purveyors of Sound Exchange, are more stubborn than stupid. At this point it's got to be a stonewalling tactic. Just as you can "Never argue with a drunk!", you can't teach someone who's hell bent on propheting from an obsolete system. The only way is, perhaps, to not purchase any new CD's; or if so, to go through indi sites like CD Baby, where artists get far more income than through the Aristas of the world. In short, though they succeeded once, how can you stop Jammie Harris from downloading a tune by Jimmi-Jam Harris?

     

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  4.  
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    Ajax 4Hire, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 8:01am

    Re: Matter of time; time already passed.

    CD already come with Advertising.
    McDonalds paid several rappers to include Big Mac and McD "favorable" in their rap songs.

    Today's CDs come with Launch.EXE/Autorun.inf images to prop up the artist underwriters.

    Many web sites are now "forcing" advertising infront of their content and require a user to click thru/cancel the front add. No longer is it banner adds or pop-ups, dancing gifs.

    Even the youTube/Smoking Gun/NEWS sites force you to "Watch" a pre-commercial/advertisement before content starts.

    Its a brave new world full of shopping opportunities.

     

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  5.  
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    Ajax 4Hire, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 8:10am

    Record Stores and Dinosaurs

    Candle Makers, Livery Stables, Pay Phones, Broadcast TV, Film Cameras, Dial-up Internet, Local Dialing area.

    AT&T, GM, Xerox, Standard Oil, Polaroid, IBM, Pan-Am, McDonald-Douglas.

    History is littered with ideas, companies and industries that either failed to adapt or become obsolete.

    Anyone who has been surfing knows you keep ahead of the wave or the wave takes you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    RandomThoughts, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 8:30am

    AT&T just reported $3.1 Billion profit in the 3rd quarter. You might want to wait a bit before thinking they failed or have become obsolete.

     

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  7.  
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    fuse5k, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 8:41am

    RIP OINK

    I assume that in this article you are talking about oink.

    I completely agree with you on 90% of your points, however,
    Oink was THE site for sharing music, i used it primarily for bootlegs and remixes, however, there was a lot of pre release material on there, for example the new chemichal brothers album was leaked about 2 months before its store release.

    You cant honestly be saying that the band didnt mind about this, and that they wouldnt like to have had it removed.

    Basically i thought that the UK was being quite lenient on file sharers until recently, and now 2 of the biggest sites to get pirate music/video based in the uk have been closed in a week, with the creators in custody.

    if anything would make me think about stopping with the filesharing this would be it...

    not that i think any of the charges will stick...

     

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  8.  
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    Derek (profile), Oct 24th, 2007 @ 8:48am

    Change the game

    its like, instead of trying to whack-a-mole, you should develop a new strategy that does not involve chasing the mole. Like a pinball machine, you give the ball a whack (let the file be shared) and it does the work for you (advertising itself and creates awareness)

     

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  9.  
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    oinkuser, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 8:55am

    Re: RIP OINK

    Are you new?

    A CD sample rate and an MP3 aren't even close. So prereleasing material online does not hurt the artist. IT IS PROMOTION.

    This fight is about channels of distribution. Corporations want you to take what they offer. OiNK was about choice.

    All I can say is wait and watch, there is a major counter offensive underway.

    Good luck RIAA/MPAA and other you'll need it

     

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  10.  
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    fuse5k, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re: RIP OINK

    Exactly what i would expect to hear from an oink user...

    i agree, but the focus on oink (as you well know) was quality

    so how would prereleases at high bitrate (wasnt it 256kbps min. on oink) benefit the band?

    It wouldnt, fair enough if you liked it that much you would buy it anyway.

    My point was, that they are going for the big guns, its not like they are picking one of the small sites to shut down...

    I honestly dont know what i will do without oink, as far as i am aware there is no other option that came anywhere close in terms of volume of music available, or quality of the music there.

    i have said for a long time that as soon as it becomes as easy to buy the music i want as to steal it then i will start paying.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: RIP OINK

    You are an idiot. The mp3s and the cd are substitutable goods in some peoples minds. The prerelease mp3s hurt the artist by removing some sales and help the artist by generating some sales. Are you in command of enough facts to be able to say for sure which outweighs the other?

     

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  12.  
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    Jorge, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 9:29am

    Felonious Interferenece IS Unlawful

    Hate to break it to you guys, but felonious interference with a company's business IS unlawful.You probably mean that such interference is not a crime, because it is not.

    However, it is grounds for a civil action. There are numerous cases that speak to this. (Including the famous Duck Pond case which firmly establishes a plaintiff's right to sue for willful interference with one's business; contrast with the Schoolhouse case whereby lawful economic activity that results in interference via competition is not tortious.)

    The only reason the record companies haven't pursued this theory is that the burden fairly high: the company must show that the defendant intended to interfere with the business, and that such interference did occur.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 10:32am

    Oh yeah...

    Oh..that reminds me, there's some songs and movies I want to download...

    Maybe talking about file sharing at all should be illegal...

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 10:48am

    As if OiNK put everything there... everything on OiNK was also on other major sites, and with better PRE time. And yes, it was invite-only.. but, when every user has 10 invites how is that even remotely private? Just a matter of time before someone invites a 'friend' from MPAA/RIAA/etc.

    As it was said above... "Anyone who has been surfing knows you keep ahead of the wave or the wave takes you." Teaches him/them to play with fire. Now the real private sites are mostly all removing invites and keeping quiet until all this hype around torrent sites dies down a little.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 11:28am

    embrace illegal file sharing that makes musicians $0? lol... wake up to reality.if people can get it for free why would they buy it again.. and if you think a significant number of people are going to buy it just for the CD quality sound you are delusional.

    The reason they go after users is for a deterrent, so people might think twice about stealing content, if they see there may be consequences.

    once again another pro-piracy techdirt blog. It amazes me how you write your opinions as if downloading copyright materials is your god given right.

     

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  16.  
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    John F, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 11:39am

    No one here has pointed out the worst part of the story yet: the BBC is making it look like OiNK was a topsite, and that all it's users actively took content and brought it to public trackers. Now, while I'm sure a few users did do that, the simple fact is, OiNK was just another player in the torrent level of distribution.

    They a) didn't fix the leak that let out over 60 pre-releases, b) didn't stop the top-sites, and c) destroyed something they could monitor and track, so users will just have to be a little bit more underground the next time a pre-release hits.

     

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  17.  
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    RandomThoughts, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 11:51am

    Re: Oh yeah...

    If downloading songs and movies is illegal, then depending on how its couched, talking about file sharing could be considered conspiracy

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    RandomThoughts, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 11:53am

    Re:

    John, I think the idea is to move things more underground. If things go underground, fewer people are exposed to it. Maybe the intent is to limit it, not eliminate it.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    How'd they do that, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 11:55am

    Hmmm lets see the Grateful Dead gave it away for free and look at the amount of money they made and still do. Ahh but not in record sales but where all the real money comes from the live experience.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    oinkuser, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: RIP OINK

    and you completely ingnore the fact that the people who download it.....might....just might....... TELL THEIR FRIENDS!

    or perhaps write a good review on their blog or maybe any combination of the millions of possiblities.

    Maybe they'll go to a show, maybe they'll buy a t-shirt...

    are you new?

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 12:43pm

    Maybe don't buy you a Mercedes. Coffee is for closers.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Vincent Clement, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 1:30pm

    Re:

    It depends on which version of AT&T Ajax 4Hire was talking about.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Lucretious, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 3:45pm

    From what I understand the owner and admins of Oink weren't exactly well loved. I've read a lot of forums stating they were abusive assholes to many.

    #15, Another "doesn't get it" guy.

    dude, there is NO possible way that companies can be gatekeepers to songs any longer. Once the music is released people will share it whether you, I, the companies or the musicians think its ethical or not. There is not now, nor will there EVER be any kind of software or hardware that will prevent the distribution of music for free. period. They continue to try because their shareholders demand SOME kind of action no matter how futile. You are seeing live the dying of a species of dinosaur right in front of your eyes. Its like Typewriter manufacturers trying to coerce PC users into using their products so they'll remain viable for writers who don't even need them any longer.

    Musicians will still be able to make money from their music but it has to be indirectly via concerts, and merch. Record companies are obsolete and all this crap is over their inability to see this change for what it is. 5 years from now you'll look back and see just how idiotic all this angst has been.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Shun, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 4:48pm

    Felonious Interference

    If copyright infringement is truly a civil issue, and not a criminal one, why were the English and Dutch police involved? It looks like another case of the RIAA/MPAA look-alikes using the criminal justice system to get their way, so they don't have to pay their own lawyers to have these types of sites shut down.

     

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  25.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Oct 24th, 2007 @ 5:53pm

    Re:

    embrace illegal file sharing that makes musicians $0? lol... wake up to reality.if people can get it for free why would they buy it again.. and if you think a significant number of people are going to buy it just for the CD quality sound you are delusional.

    Are you new around here? We've shown how musicians can often make *more* money by giving away their music. They only make zero if you falsely assume that the only way to make money from music is to sell it directly. And if you believe that's true, then it would be you who is delusional.

    The reason they go after users is for a deterrent, so people might think twice about stealing content, if they see there may be consequences.

    Yeah, we've had 9 years of that. How well has that worked? Oh right, there are more people than ever before file sharing. Can you please explain how that's a successful deterrent? And you call us delusional...

    once again another pro-piracy techdirt blog. It amazes me how you write your opinions as if downloading copyright materials is your god given right.

    Again, your reading comprehension could use some work. This isn't "pro-piracy" at all. It's simply pointing out the FACT that this is a wasted effort that doesn't help anyone. Downloading is not a god-given right. As I've said repeatedly, I don't download at all. What I'm saying is that musicians could be better off if they embrace it -- and the industry is wasting a ton of time and money doing something that isn't helping.

    I'm not sure why you can't understand those simple points.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    sam, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 7:59pm

    oh mike...


    good to know you're still on your rants about file sharing.

    i'm always able to get a laugh when i browse what you write. you state that you're against illegal file sharing, but every time an illegal file sharing function is shut down, you rail against it, saying it won't do any good... essentially you're saying they should be left alone...

    so.. the points i put forth quite awhile ago regarding what might be suitable processes to follow regarding the rights of an artist are clearly not ones that you embrace...

    again, thanks for the laugh...

    peace.

     

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  27.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Oct 24th, 2007 @ 11:08pm

    Re:

    Hi Sam

    It amazes me that every time you come by and every time we explain this to you, you still have trouble grasping this simple concept. You write:

    i'm always able to get a laugh when i browse what you write. you state that you're against illegal file sharing, but every time an illegal file sharing function is shut down, you rail against it, saying it won't do any good... essentially you're saying they should be left alone...

    But you don't explain how these takedowns help anyone. Our point, as we've stated repeatedly (directly to you on multiple occasions) is that while unauthorized file sharing might break the law, it shouldn't matter if bands learn how to embrace it to make more money. And, at the same time, shutting these sites down does nothing to stop it.

    I'm not sure why you falsely think that means we're saying people should pirate stuff. We're just saying you need to understand the reality of the world around you -- and if you can be better off in that world, even if people are doing something you don't think is "right," what's the problem?

    On top of that, if every time you shut down one of these sites -- rightly or wrongly -- it makes the problem WORSE... aren't you insane to keep doing it?

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    mike allen, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 11:38pm

    Lets get one thing straight the musician who records music with the major record lables makes ZERO SQUATE ZILCH from that recording why because the company tie him or her in a contract so the company gets the royality payments. this has been the norm since the sixtys. ask van morrison what he got for Brown eyed girl for example. so dont even try to say the musicians benefit from closing or stopping file shareing THEY DONT

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    mike allen, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 11:40pm

    Lets get one thing straight the musician who records music with the major record lables makes ZERO SQUATE ZILCH from that recording why because the company tie him or her in a contract so the company gets the royality payments. this has been the norm since the sixtys. ask van morrison what he got for Brown eyed girl for example. so dont even try to say the musicians benefit from closing or stopping file shareing THEY DONT

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    mike allen, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 11:40pm

    Lets get one thing straight the musician who records music with the major record lables makes ZERO SQUATE ZILCH from that recording why because the company tie him or her in a contract so the company gets the royality payments. this has been the norm since the sixtys. ask van morrison what he got for Brown eyed girl for example. so dont even try to say the musicians benefit from closing or stopping file shareing THEY DONT

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    mike allen, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 11:40pm

    Lets get one thing straight the musician who records music with the major record lables makes ZERO SQUATE ZILCH from that recording why because the company tie him or her in a contract so the company gets the royality payments. this has been the norm since the sixtys. ask van morrison what he got for Brown eyed girl for example. so dont even try to say the musicians benefit from closing or stopping file shareing THEY DONT

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    mike allen, Oct 24th, 2007 @ 11:51pm

    sorry about the multi post im having computer probs today will fix asap.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Michael_K_Vegfruit, Oct 25th, 2007 @ 7:54am

    The pointlessness of trying to stop p2p with criminal sanctions has been made here plenty of times, and if you don't get it by now, you're never going to.

    What's not been covered so extensively, here or elsewhere, is the cultural value of sites like Oink as a form of voluntary, open, archive. DJ Rupture (quoted extensively on Stereogum here) makes the point well: "Oink had everything by certain artists. Literally, everything. I searched for ‘DJ Rupture’ and found every release I’d ever done, from an obscure 7″ on a Swedish label to 320kpbs rips of my first 12″, self-released back in 1999. It was shocking. And reassuring."

    Where else can you do that? Not bricks and mortar stores, not iTunes, not emusic. On p2p, and BitTorrent in particular, as long as one dedicated fan is willing to share an artist's music, anyone can get a copy. For the fans, getting the music they like enjoyed by others is incentive enough. For business, however big or small, it's not always going to be profitable to make every single cultural artifact available.

    Maybe Oink did mean that a few less CDs or DRM'd mp3s were sold. It also meant people had exposure to a far wider range of artists, and perhaps meant that more money was spent on gigs, T-shirts, and added value hard copies, and that a few more smaller acts with niche audiences were able to make a living from their work. I'd reckon that better serves society than a top heavy music industry run by a handful of corporations.

     

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  34.  
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    Michael_K_Vegfruit, Oct 25th, 2007 @ 8:03am

    Oops

    Just noticed the original source for Rupture's comments, quoted above.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2007 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: RIP OINK

    i SAID "and help the artist by generating some sales"

    Are you literate?

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    dorpass, Nov 1st, 2007 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: RIP OINK

    I am in command enough to say which one is which. Eminem's last album was the most downloaded pre-release AND best seller when it came out. If the logic of "more downloading = less buying" held true, the album would've tanked. Instead it didn't and now serves as a painful example for people that argue that illegal downloading unquestionably hurts sales. Not like they pay attention to reality abyways... right, Coward?

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Robspace1, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 2:45am

    I've never heard of Oink. Must be an English outfit or just real popular there. I live in the US and everyone I know uses Limewire or Frostwire to download music. Great selections and super fast downloads.
    Don't worry folks, file sharing isn't going anywhere. Too many people enjoy choosing what they want to listen to instead of buying a cd with two or three good songs and getting stuck with six or seven fillers. The record companies have had it their way for way to long and now, finally, the public can finally choose what they want to hear.Musicians make a great living doing live shows and selling merchandise. Their music is shared and allows many more people to hear them and want to go see them.

    Now, if they can't make it on the road then they should find a new line of work. Why shouldn't they have to get up and go to work like everyone else does? File sharing is no different then what libraries have been doing forever. They share books and now cds. Well, we do too! And there's no late fee's!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Robspace1, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 2:47am

    I've never heard of Oink. Must be an English outfit or just real popular there. I live in the US and everyone I know uses Limewire or Frostwire to download music. Great selections and super fast downloads.
    Don't worry folks, file sharing isn't going anywhere. Too many people enjoy choosing what they want to listen to instead of buying a cd with two or three good songs and getting stuck with six or seven fillers. The record companies have had it their way for way to long and now, finally, the public can finally choose what they want to hear.Musicians make a great living doing live shows and selling merchandise. Their music is shared and allows many more people to hear them and want to go see them.

    Now, if they can't make it on the road then they should find a new line of work. Why shouldn't they have to get up and go to work like everyone else does? File sharing is no different then what libraries have been doing forever. They share books and now cds. Well, we do too! And there's no late fee's!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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