Blogger's Arrest Resulted In Much More Downloading Of GNR Music

from the wrong-approach dept

Last month, of course, there was a big story around the FBI arresting a blogger who was accused of posting the music files from Guns N’ Roses latest album. He now faces many years in jail, despite simply being a fan helping to promote GNR. As we pointed out, this was a huge mistake by GNR, as appearing anti-fan is a move that will almost always backfire.

As if to provide even more evidence of that, Bob Lefsetz does a quick email back-and-forth with Eric Garland of BigChampagne, the company that tracks file sharing activity. Garland points out that prior to the arrest, there was almost no file sharing of the album, despite the fact that the leak happened a while back. However, since the arrest, the numbers have shot way up, as the arrest has really only served to alert the public that the album is available for download on BitTorrent.

Now, the cynical among you (you know who you are) may conclude that this is all a marketing ploy by the band, knowing that it would attract a lot more attention for the album, and that’s why they did it. Of course, that doesn’t explain why the FBI is involved and why a fan of the band may now have to sit in jail for many years for helping to promote the band. If this really is a cynical marketing ploy, it’s rather sickening that the FBI is assisting and a big fan of the band may end up in jail for it.

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Comments on “Blogger's Arrest Resulted In Much More Downloading Of GNR Music”

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37 Comments
Joe (profile) says:

It's sad what is happening

It’s a pity that some bands, mostly the ones big in the 80’s who are finding it hard to be successful in today’s music scene do not understand the change in the music scene.

GNR has no clue what is going on or how to capitalize off of the current generation of music experiences available. If they did they would have tracks on rock band, or guitar hero…they have crap available, and given this I wouldn’t buy it anymore anyway.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: It's sad what is happening

Yea, its a shame that old bands can’t accept theft as an acceptable practice.

If you can’t understand the difference between theft and sharing, then you are bound to make this mistake repeatedly. It is not our fault, however, that you are unwilling to learn the difference.

Hey, I have a brick, maybe we should run down to the liquor store and do a smash and grab.

Again, I would recommend learning the difference between scarce goods and infinite goods. Otherwise, you just look ignorant.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 It's sad what is happening

“Maybe you should learn the difference between theft and sharing. Sharing is when you give someone something. Theft is when you take it from them.”

Yeah so when I put a GnR album up for download on a Torrent, I am sharing (since I am giving people something), not stealing (since I am not taking anything from anyone). I think I get it . . . thanks.

Guy says:

Unfortunately, this story has been heavily misreported.

Keep in mind this guy posted the tracks to his blog, and uploaded the files to his server. This is not typical file sharing/leaking. Usually, these things are done more discreetly, using P2P software such as bittorrent or whatever. This guy was blatantly violating and flaunting the law, and he was doing it to promote his own website.

Additionally, as Guns N’ Roses stated (but has not been reported), while they don’t condone what he did, their only interest is in finding the original source of the leaks, not in prosecuting him. That has been entirely the work of the record company and the FBI, not Guns N’ Roses.

You never know says:

Re: by Brian

> I can understand a fine or perhaps a relatively short stay in jail in lieu of a fine, but years? Seriously? Don’t we have worse people to put in jail than some bogging band junkie who stole some music?

The quick answer is, there is no money in going after the “worse people” aspect. Like other groups before GNR this is just the start of a long list of arrests and fines that will be leveled against the Fans. The next thing we will see is offered settlements for not having the accused arrested. It works better than saying they will “Sue if you don’t pay up….”

Anonymous Coward says:

This is not really a file sharing case, I believe the details involved him “hacking” the servers at the studio and then posting the songs. I believe the FBI is involved because it’s a computer crime, if it were bank info or SSN’s or credit cards that were stolen from a remote system the punishment would be the same right?

hegemon13 says:

Re: Re: Re:

Um, have to disagree with you here. If he did indeed hack a remote system to get the files, then he should absolutely be charged with a computer crime. The only difference is that those stealing money/ID would also be tried for bank fraud or identity fraud, but the computer crime charge would be similar.

Also, I think your choice of words, “Do you really not see the difference between stealing actual money from people and promoting a band’s record?” displays a bias that you claim not to have. You always say that you don’t promote file-sharing, but this is pretty blatant. He truly stole private files and released them, and you call it “promoting.” This is not an argument about copyright infringement not being theft (which I agree with). He went well beyond copyright infringement when he gained illegal access to the system and helped himself to private, unreleased files. Even if the end result could have helped to promote the band, it is an action that should not be tolerated.

I will be among the first to defend including free in a business model. However, hacking someone’s system, stealing private files, and releasing them to the public is a crime, period, and it should be tried as one.

All that said, I do agree that years in prison is going way overboard.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Yes, arrested. If all he did was “file-share”, then jail would be silly. If he hacked into servers to get files prematurely, then DEFINITELY jail. Years might be excessive tho, especially when I read about hackers breaking into brokerage accounts to pump stock prices up (so they can sell their own at a nice profit) and then only getting 2 years in prison.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Years might be excessive tho, especially when I read about hackers breaking into brokerage accounts to pump stock prices up (so they can sell their own at a nice profit) and then only getting 2 years in prison.”

Especially when Banks steal from thier Customers and no one goes to jail. Defense contractors openly steal from the Government and no one goes to jail. Enron defrauds the state of California, causing blackouts for gods sake (seems akin to terrorism to me) and not only does no one go to jail, the Bush Administration refused to even excersize thier basic regulatory responsibility and stop the fraud . . . etc etc etc

Krak-Ho on mp3s says:

Perception is everything.

It doesn’t matter what he did or didn’t do. The perception of GNR being anti-fan is now out there. You think people are going to go do their homework to find out the truth, when the perception of the ‘crime’ is out there freely available. Go Google GNR and anti-fan and see what the top 10 returns are. Most people are too lazy to go beyond the top 3 Google returns. Ask them to do their own research? Ask the sun to rise in the west, you’ll get farther.

B in Dayton says:

Once Again, Our Tax dollars at work...

Despite the fact that Guns n Roses basically suck now and probably will forever, this douche bag hacking in and stealing their shit is not cool. That being said, spending the resources necessary to have the freaking FBI prosecute him is way more than I think is necessary. We have lots of other things the FBI should be concerned with. Fine the douche bag and make him listen to Barry Manilow for a while, but for crying out loud, have the FBI keeping tabs on MAJOR crimes, kidnappings, and domestic terrorism.

Sun King says:

Armchair dissenter

“Especially when Banks steal from thier Customers and no one goes to jail. Defense contractors openly steal from the Government and no one goes to jail. Enron defrauds the state of California, causing blackouts for gods sake (seems akin to terrorism to me) and not only does no one go to jail, the Bush Administration refused to even excersize thier basic regulatory responsibility and stop the fraud . . . etc etc etc”

So what are you going to do about it?

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