Want To See How Pointless Shutting Down OiNK Was?

from the the-hydra-at-work dept

When the file sharing system OiNK was shut down last week, we pointed out how silly it was for the recording industry to go after such a site. The RIAA has been shutting down sites like that regularly for years, each time claiming that it was a significant blow against piracy… but then many more new services would pop up, each one more underground than the last, and the amount of file sharing would increase. In other words, this was a strategy that doesn’t work at all. Predictably, some folks came by to attack us in the comments, insisting (incorrectly) that having your music on file sharing sites meant you couldn’t make money and that the RIAA needed to shut down these sites as a “deterrent.” That, of course, is ridiculous. The simple fact that every time these sites get shut down more open up and more people use them shows pretty conclusively that it’s never been a deterrent before, so why would it start this time? In fact, as TorrentFreak is monitoring, a bunch of new sites have quickly sprung up, attempting to replace OiNK. In other words, by taking down this one site, the recording industry has just helped create a bunch more, many of which will build up pretty strong followings. The end result doesn’t make things better for the recording industry — it makes things worse. So why do they keep doing it?

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Comments on “Want To See How Pointless Shutting Down OiNK Was?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

“…but then many more new services would pop up, each one more underground than the last, and the amount of file sharing would increase.”
Presumably if each is more underground than the last the ability to get accurate statistics on music sharing would get increasingly difficult. But techdirt confidently states it is increasing ; clearly that’s what you hope or even guess, but if you actually know then you must be a culprit !.

Elohssa says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

In the same way that it is possible for the media to interview gang members without being associated with violent crime, TechDirt is insulated.

I have no doubt that they are in active communication with many operators of many torrent sites, and have no need to hustle statistics,because they can get them from the source.

So what? If you want to accuse them of something, go waste the Feds time, not ours.

Kyros (profile) says:

More sites, more files, more possible downloads. It’s not a matter of magically collecting statistics (though most torrent sites do keep stats on total upload and download). Not to mention that when you say in the newspaper “RIAA SHUTS DOWN (insert torrent site) FOR GIVING FREE MUSIC” then a percentage of people are going to go investigate the site, come across clones, and start downloading music.

And sorry, but what is it with every moron that bashs the article not leaving a name or an email?

JP says:

These busts do help, if I am not mistaken, OINK was more of an archiving torrent website where you can grab anything from past years, albums which weren’t being pirated at a high rate back then, but now are. The ‘NEW’ torrent sites that keep popping up are going to have new and fresh material, so in a way you are stopping people from getting access to the old stuff, but then also some files will be everywhere anyways, but you are still stopping a large amount of people from accessing it.

Gunnar says:

Re: Re:

No, Oink didn’t keep old torrents around forever. Everything, from James Brown’s first album to the latest pre-release would have been uploaded in the past a month or so. If they were active (meaning people kept downloading the torrent) Then they would stay around. But if not, they were deleted. Oink had a great request system for asking other members to upload material.

fuse5k says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Oink was a good site because it was based on sharing.
You had to keep your ratio of uploads to downloads above a certain level. This meant when you were downloading something, it would be fast. I have personally had speeds of 1.5Mbps and above on oink.

Add to this the fact that all submissions had to be of a high quality, and you have a recipie for a damn near perfect download site.

To the person who was looking for an invite… they are quite hard to come by. You must have uploaded over 20 gig and have a share ratio that is 1 or over (ie shared more than you have downloaded) If you are really looking for one bad, you could go onto the IRC channel and beg.

jm says:

Re: Re:

That’s plain wrong. When a new site pops up and users of the old site sign up, they’re going to put down every single album they have (including the old stuff) to jack their ratio up right off the bat.

When these new sites appear, the old sites are near-instantaneously duplicated because the old site’s power users are the first to sign up.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Not quite… Assume I have the same topsite access as OiNK’s uploaders, what prevents me from reuploading all the classics and oldies to a new site?

Following your logic: A car dealership gets closed down for selling stolen cars. The same car models will never be found elsewhere? Or very hard to find elsewhere? Your logic is flawed.

Trust me, those of us who like sharing will do it regardless of what RIAA/MPAA/etc try to do, especially in countries where laws are non-existent or debatable.

Panamajack says:

Legal Logic

Whether or not this is effective against piracy is besides the point for the RIAA; not doing anything could be considered testament to giving away their rights to copyright (allowing 3rd parties to SELL their material, not just pirate it)… it’s a lot like the owner of a corner lot allowing right of way through their property without putting up a some trepass signage or some phsycial obstacle. If the owner leaves right of way open long enough eventually it will have legal status and he’d lose some of his orginal rights to that property.

Radiohead and others have done the smart thing; firmly establishing their rights to be the only people profiting from their artistic work …. but if you happen to want to listen to it for free, go right ahead. The funny thing is that their new album is still widely available on bittorrent … illegally, despite it being available for free on their website!

ConceptJunkie (profile) says:

It's Simple Supply and Demand

Even if what the media companies sold was free, people would still flock to the pirate sites… higher quality (especially for video), no DRM, no hassles.

Until the media companies learn (which seems impossible) that “value” must be part of the transaction, then people will still pirate. I support eMusic and Mindawn precisely because they put value first in their offerings by not foisting DRM on me, having very reasonable pricing, and generally not making it a hassle to do business with them. The rest of them? Who cares. I sure don’t.

PaulT (profile) says:

Free is the way to make money

Before we start getting the usual deluge of RIAA shills (oops, too late, look at the idiotic 1st post), this is a timel;y article as I’ve just given my money for a ‘free’ album.

The Trent Reznor produced Saul Williams album “The Inevitable Rise And Liberation Of Niggytardust” was released today. There was a pre-order period where you could choose to pay $5 or $0 for the album (though unlike the Radiohead model, the tracks for paid downloads are lossless and include a liner note/lyrics PDF).

Not being familiar with Williams’ work, I opted for the free download. After listening, I decided there were enough good tracks worth paying $5 for, so I did. I probably wouldn’t have come across this album if it weren’t for the free option.

So, giving away the album has made Reznor and Williams richer (at least from my pocket). Selling the album traditionally would have netted them nothing. That’s how free works.

Anonymous Coward says:

One of the main reasons the RIAA shut down oink, according to news I read, was because they were distributing new albums before they were released. To quote the article “…one of the largest sources of pre-release music…”

If the RIAA is that pissed about pre-release music maybe they should look to record company employees who are giving it away. I mean where else could pre-release music come from if not for music industry employees?

Gunnar says:

Re: Re:

Right, but the article was wrong. The first articles that came out were filled with errors.

Sure, there was pre-release music on Oink. But they were scene releases, albums uploaded elsewhere first then uploaded to Oink by someone who wanted to boost their ratio. People posted yousendit (or sendspace or megaupload) links on forums at the same time that they’d show up on Oink.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

OINK users

OINK coming back up eh?
Any OINK users want to drop me an invite, sounds like its quite worth checking out.

Aside from that. I heard ahead of time that Linkin Park was changing their sound with their new album Minutes to Midnight. Seeing as I thoroughly enjoyed the first two Linkin Park discs (not counting Reanimation, but I did like some of that too), I wanted to know if I would like the disc before buying it. As others have stated, a 30 second snippet here and there is not enough to know if you are going to enjoy it. So I went to the torrents. I checked LP’s website, and it had this 13 thousand some odd minutes to midnight thing on there. Wtf was that? I just looked up LP on the torrent, found out their newest album was actually Minutes to Midnight. Got the whole album in about 5 minutes because there was a bagillion people with it. I loved the new album. I realized after reading the name of the album from Torrent, that their CD wasn’t actually coming out for another two weeks. I couldn’t wait for it to come out. As soon as it did, I went out and *gasp* Bought the album. My only qualm about that is that I know LP wasn’t getting pretty much anything from me buying that disc. I would rather give them money directly than let a stupid ass recording industry group get a single penny.
Main point is, without hearing, I would not have bought it so soon, as since I liked their sound before, and heard they were changing it, I would have waiting until I heard quite a few tracks one way or another before buying a disc.
You guys can call me a ‘pirate’ but you are wrong. Those mp3s on my machine are legal. I own the cd.

Derek (profile) says:

Comparison to Hydra?

Has anyone ever compared illegal file sharing to a Hydra? no matter how many times the head is chopped off, two appear in its place. If i remember correctly, Hercules, after chopping off a few heads realized that he had to do something DIFFERENT to kill it. I wish the RIAA would see this.

Note: This analogy would imply that the RIAA is Hercules, which could not be farther from the truth.

Vinod Tonangi (user link) says:

RIAA is like the Bush Administration

The RIAA is following the principles set by the Bush Administration. Bush made up some crap so we could get into Iraq and “democratize” the country, it didn’t work – so why does he want to do the same thing to Iran?

It’s the same issue of the RIAA – Ego.

They know it’s the wrong move to make – Both Bush and the RIAA – but they have stated so emphatically that they will go after these “heathens” like “cowboys”; so they can’t give up or their pride will be at stake.

However, the Bush Administration is slightly smarter then the RIAA – at least he Bush Administration makes a ton of money for their campaign contributors, the RIAA’s actions cost themselves, their artists, and their partners much needed revenue.


Derek (profile) says:

Re: RIAA is like the Bush Administration

I have to disagree with you here. Although I do think Ego might be a small part of the problem, I think the biggest part is MONEY. The record labels have been gouging the industry for decades, and all the sudden things have changed. The record industry was (and is still) not ready to give up their huge profit margin. Because of this, they have failed to innovate and adapt to changing conditions.

The industry is slowly coming around, but just like in the movie “Mr. Deeds”, you almost have to convince the Record labels to hate money.

Even though the industry has been such a mess i think a lot of good can come from it. The consumers, being fed up, now have a more open mind. This leaves the gate wide open for new companies to come in and innovate.

In my opinion the company that will succeed will be the one who puts the consumer and artist first, and the money second. This, being impossible for big record labels, means their imminent demise. But for young startups who can pull this off, this will be a great time period.

sean says:

Anonymous Coward = Devils Advocate

I’m starting to think, Mike, that Anonymous Coward is actually you 🙂 He gets under your skin on a regular basis, you reference his comments in your blogs… is it that you use AC to say the things that you can’t say in your blog without leaving your readers utterly confused as to your viewpoint????

Radiohead and TAFKAP (or is it back to ‘Prince’ again?) have killed the music industry in most Western markets, it just doesn’t know that it’s dead yet. Direct provisioning to the public of the music leads to better sales at the concerts, where is where the money is for the performers. In the age of (reasonably) widespread broadband, downloading a CD is no longer the pain it once was. The band make the music, provide it to their fanbase at low cost, sell-out concerts to make money, to pay for the next round of recording.

S says:

Legal Fraud

The recording industry keeps doing it because they like the rest of the major corporate world is run by attorneys who are just trying to line their pocket. They could case less about anything else. If it doesn’t make them money it wouldn’t be a target.

Get rid of all these BS laws and we will have a much happier world.

StopGap says:

The Trouble With Tribbles

I’m reminded of an episode from the original 1960’s Star Trek titled “The Trouble with Tribbles”… anyone who has ever seen that episode will share a good laugh because this is what’s happening to file (music) sharing sites. Granted, the RIAA had to go after OiNK, but everyone must realize this was only a Stop Gap measure. Won’t someone with common sense come up with a permanent solution?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: I remember...

So basically cave into people breaking the law. It is really hard to invent when people are constastly stealing your product. The only solution that is going to be invented is one that is going to stop people (probably not going to help people). DRM was a solution, but it sucks. File sharers continue to prove that they cannot be trusted so why cave in?

Derek (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: I remember...

This is backwards thinking. Trying to stop them is the wrong way to go about it. I agree that it is stealing, and that it is wrong, but it is too late to stop it. There are ways that file sharing can be used as a tool.

Quick example of idea: file sharing has caused a rapid depreciation in the value of music as a product. The industry will have to evolve into one where music is used as an advertisement or promotion instead of a product. Let people hear your music and get them to come to concerts, purchase merchandise, and buy expanded content. This idea would kill big record labels, because the profit margins are not insane like they used to be, but does anyone really care if they go away? This would also open the market up to tons of potential new music as the record labels would not control 90% of the distribution.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 I remember...

It’s illegal and it’s criminal but it isn’t theft, it isn’t murder (they’re killing my business!), it’s copyright infringement.

I’m glad you brought that up. Considering that corporations are legal “persons” in the US with the full rights of a biological person (according to the Supreme Court), then yes, actions that kill off a business model and result in the death of a corporation IS MURDER!!! That’s exactly what it is and you can’t argue that. Period. I bet executing a few of these file sharing punks would have an effect on their activities.

retroblu says:

Re: I remember...

all we are entitled to do as humans is die…on another note..

File Sharing isnt going anywhere, and like most users of file sharing(not the majority) i also d/l music and if i like more than a couple tracks on that album i’ll go and buy it, otherwise, im not spending my money on crap, and who ever thought the first 30 seconds of a track was a good enough sample to convince me to buy a track or album, thats why i like real(brick n mortar) music stores where you can actually listen to the full cd prior to buying it

EliTheSerpent says:

New Trackers!

Just a confirmation of the article. There have been plety of older ‘invite-only’ sites opening up this week. So oink users are already back to what they were doing before.

I also know of at least 12 BRAND NEW sites to open this week aswell.

Theres no way to stop filesharing.

If Bands would release their music like Radiohead and NIN (which I paid $15 and $5, respectivly for) I would go that route every time.

What I will NOT do is pay $15 or more to cover the MASSIVE overhead of the record industry. I will not pay for record executives, A&R’s, business lunches, private jets, Virgen MEGA stores full of crap with a 10k a month rent.

I download stuff I don’t even want just to get it out there. Lets take down this corporate money machine 1 torrent at a time.

Old Generation says:

New Generation

I’m from the old generation. I have almost 2,000 vinyl albums and probably that many 45’s in my “music room” at home. I’m creeping towards the 1K mark in CD’s. All of these were legally purchased with U.S. currency… most, with cash because the albums pre-date the ATM days. The technology just didn’t exist back then to obtain the media “free”. There’s a whole new generation out there these days that utilize technology to obtain what we once “bought”, for “free”. Maybe the RIAA is assisting in helping this generation to be thieves. I don’t know, but it appears that they are. I guess the point I should make is… there are Ten Commandments (“commandments” – NOT suggestions), and the fifth one is “thou shalt not steal”. Any way you try to justify it, taking something that you should be paying for is still stealing.

The infamous Joe says:

Re: New Generation

It’s comforting to see that the ‘stealing’ doublespeak is still alive and well. 🙂

I’m also a bit tickled that your angle on convincing the younger generation that copyright infringement (*not* stealing, by definition) is wrong is to say that an unseen, all knowing being who aloofly watches over us all has told us all it’s wrong. *Very* convincing, sir. 😀

Finally, where does it say I *should* pay for something that costs nothing to reproduce? I think there’s a pretty good argument that making someone pay for something that is infinitely abundant *is* stealing. 🙂 🙂

Kjell says:

Re: New Generation

I have to admit it’s been a while since I read the Bible, and that as a general rule I don’t take it too seriously, but I’m pretty sure that none of the ten commandments say anything about Copyright infringement. Despite what the RIAA and their cronies say copyright infringement is not stealing. Let me make it simple for you: Stealing is when you take something someone else owns and they don’t have it anymore. IF you have a car and I take it without your permission I’ve stolen it. If you have a car and I somehow manage to make an exact copy of that car, you and I both have cars and I haven’t stolen yours. See the difference? Nobody is “taking” anything, they’re making copies of something. Big difference, so big that even the supreme court have figured it out.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: New Generation

I’m from the ‘new generation’ (actually I’m past 30 but don’t buy physical media nowadays). I get music free and legally from various blogs, podcasts and offers such as the Radiohead/Prince deals. I also buy music in large quantities.

Even back before the internet, I didn’t pay for all the music I listened to. Most people didn’t. Friends would copy tapes and CDs for each other or make ‘mixtape’ compilations to help friends discover new music. We would sit in front of the radio with the pause button on tape drives pushed down, ready to release it if we heard something we liked. This was a way of discovering new genres and new artists, who we would then go on to buy records from and attend concerts. Remember when “home taping was killing music”? It didn’t and neither will file sharing.

Nothing’s changed today, only the medium by which we share music and the loosening of the RIAA’s grip on its monopoly. When you bought those precious vinyl albums, little cash went to the artists but to middlemen – retailers and businessmen who saw the music as little more than a product. Today, we’re heading towards a way of buying and sharing music that doesn’t need 20 layers of corporate interference for us to pay first.

I also own over 2000 vinyl records (as a former DJ, I bought 10-20 each week), as well as close to 1000 CDs and 45Gb of legally obtained downloaded music. The file sharers of today are the home tapers of yesterday, the bootleggers of former eras. Music will thrive, just not in the top-down corporate monopoly structure we have today. I for one am glad. Everybody share, you are making the music world a better place!

Brother says:

Re: New Generation

I guess the point I should make is… there are Ten Commandments (“commandments” – NOT suggestions), and the fifth one is “thou shalt not steal”.

I guess you must have missed the one about “thou shalt not bear false witness” because that’s exactly exactly what you’re doing when you accuse someone of theft for infringing copyright.

By the way you ignore the new testament I’m also guessing that you’re not a Christian. But still, I’m reminded of the story of Jesus multiplying the fives loaves of bread to feed the multitudes. He didn’t run to the bakers and buy a bunch of bread. He took what he had, multiplied (copied) it and shared it. That seems to me to be a lot like file sharing. Did he “steal” bread from the bakers? No. What Jesus a “thief”? No. But if you call people doing things like that thieves, then that’s exactly what you’re calling Jesus. However, if you’re not a Christian then I suppose you don’t care about that or that Jesus didn’t much like hypocrites either. If you are, then brother, you better think about what you’re saying and start doing some real soul searching. Fast. You never know how much time you have left.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Only that this country was founded on those principles, and our laws are based off them. Last time, I checked stealing was, in fact, against the law. But not in happy land, where laws are not relevant if we consider them against our own believes. I say screw everyone else, because my twisted beliefs are correct and they are all idiots.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Thats fine but he or she wasnt arguing the fact the it was against the law but that the other person was saying it was in violation of #5 of the 10 commandments. If that persons entire arguement against filesharing that based on his religion then that arguement is useless against another person that does not follow that same religion. It had nothing the laws of the country.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Stealing, Pirating, and Your God

Downloading music is NOT STEALING. I am sorry that you guys do not understand this by now. Please look up on of the PLETHORA of posts in the comments of pretty much all articles regarding topics such as this. You just use the search box up there in the upper right corner of the TechDirt page. Well, any TechDirt page. It is Copyright Infringement. So, technically it wouldn’t even go against your god’s commandments. Because it is not stealing. God never said anything about copyright infringement. So get over it. Not stealing.

Here is my god’s 8 I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts. They are far superior to the 10 commandments. Muhuhahaha.
Oh, and just for reference, the history of the FSM was simply to create an argument against teaching Intelligent Design in a science class in school, since it has Zero scientific proof. And I don’t really believe it. But if I did believe in a god, this would be it, just because its funny as hell. The 8 I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts are great though.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:


And I would like to mention, that when a law exists, and a really freaking good percentage of the public around the world that can (read has internet access at the home) IS breaking the law, maybe its a bad law? If they passed a law saying you had to stop by the gas station on your way home EVERY day you went to work, would you follow that law? No, because it would be stupid.

shelleybear says:

Torrenting, Piracy and R.I.A.A.

So, I buy an album (CD what have you) and I want to put a copy of it on my IPOD.
Now, I paid for it once.
The artist got their money.
I’m not using any of the production expenses that went into actual packaging.
I can only play it in once place.
And I’m one of the people they want to shut down?
I wish you’d die oh R.I.A.A.

The infamous Joe says:

Re: Torrenting, Piracy and R.I.A.A.

Take it a step further, friend. You buy a CD, the major labels would like to tell you that you only bought the right to listen to the music in CD format.

Now, due to a tragic Easy Bake Oven accident, all your legally purchased CDs get melted together. Your rights to listen to the music in CD format didn’t get melted together.. will the labels replace all your CDs? Can you then download the lost music and burn them to disc?

So many questions.

md says:

Seems like its kind of like what happened at the great barrier reef, while trying to get rid of crown of thorns startfish they didnt realize that they can regenerate, so they caught them, cut em up and threw them back in the ocean thinking it would kill them and save the ecosystem. In reality they just created a bigger mess than they originally had.

Max Powers at http://ConsumerFight.com (user link) says:

Laws are not all good or enforceable

I play online poker in the USA. It is illegal for any company to aid in transferring money to these casinos, yet there are more players now since the law was passed.

As in this situation, the government should just give in.

Concerning this article, the Record Labels should just give in.

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