More Details Emerge On Questionable UK Seizure Of Music Blog

from the crazy-estimates dept

Yesterday we wrote about the bizarre seizure of a music blog,, by UK law enforcement officials. Many people doubted that it was real, given the insanity of the splash page that SOCA — the UK’s Serious Organized Crime Agency — had put up on the site. However, SOCA has since confirmed that it’s real. SOCA is also claiming that this is about “fraud” rather than copyright infringement, because the site apparently had posted some pre-release music (something that happens pretty frequently). It’s called a leak, not fraud. And many artists embrace them — or (quite frequently) leak the works themselves because it builds up buzz.

SOCA is also making the absolutely laughable statement that this one blog was costing the labels “approximately £15 m per year.” Perhaps in some fantasy land where the IFPI/RIAA is in charge of “new math,” but not anywhere in reality. Now, certainly some of these leaks may have broken the law, but at best they should be civil issues and actual harm should be proved, rather than fantasy harm. While RnBXclusive was a decently widely read blog among music blogs, Dajaz1 (who, again, knows in great detail how all this insanity works) is pointing out that if the £15m claim is accurate, then you could easily sum up all the music blogs around, and they would account for more losses than “what the recorded music industry has made total since the very first record deal was signed. Per year.”

Isn’t it time that law enforcement stopped relying on fantasy numbers and started living in reality? Especially when it comes to censoring blogs?

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Comments on “More Details Emerge On Questionable UK Seizure Of Music Blog”

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silverscarcat says:

Of course not!

“Isn’t it time that law enforcement stopped relying on fantasy numbers and started living in reality? Especially when it comes to censoring blogs?”

If they did, they might realize that they’re complete and utter morons.

Oh, wait, I forget…

The average I.Q. of police officers is between 90 and 110.

Stupid enough to not ask questions, but JUST enough intelligence to follow orders.

Fin York says:

Bye bye lies

I suspect this is partially because people like myself got straight onto the police complaints, cc’ing in their MP’s pointing out that you can’t say someone has committed fraud or stolen anything until a court has found that they have.

Hopefully this case will result in another win for linking to content and start to make SOCA think that since people are spending more on music and the labels are receiving less, clearly the money is going to the artist’s, considering the increased volume of content available.

You never know they may spot that they shouldn’t be supporting the middle men who have enough money to chase people in civil courts, like anyone else in the UK would have to, but rather focusing on crimes that really are serious

Anonymous Coward says:

stop living in fantasy land. this is the UK after all.
remember the ‘special relationship’ it has with the US!
oh, and dont forget about the ‘accounting’ methods the entertainment industries use.

i cant believe the UK police have gotten involved again, presumably on the say-so of Sharkey and the BPI, after what happened in the ‘Oink’ case. gonna make plums of themselves again! trouble is, it will still get the site shut down permanently, which is the whole aim. and there should be severe consequences for those making any false claims against websites etc, regardless of what those claims are!

:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

When math gets wierd

For the uninitiated:
Bistromathics is the most powerful computational force known to parascience. A major step up from the Infinite Improbability Drive, Bistromathics is a way of understanding the behavior of numbers. Just as Einstein observed that space was not an absolute, but depended on the observer’s movement in time, so it was realized that numbers are not absolute, but depend on the observer’s movement in restaurants.

Violated (profile) says:


Since this raid came about I have been wondering if these sites complied with the European version of DMCA law? It then does not matter if you host infringing files as long as you correctly respond to take-down requests when received.

We should keep in mind the site owner uploading music himself would invalid any protection he had. Only users can upload infringing music and usually get away with it.

Then I also ponder just how much lawfully supplied music was involved here? Yes an artist leaking a few songs can indeed ramp up a fan base prior to an album release. Fame counts for everything in the entertainment world where locking up your creation for few to see is contradictory.

Duke (profile) says:


The EU doesn’t have a DMCA as such, instead is has the more general protections for caching and hosting services, and “mere conduits”, found in the e-commerce directive (00/31). There’s no specific take-down procedure, but the first two limitations on liability can be defeated by “actual knowledge or information” about illegality; i.e. if someone notifies you.

These limitations were successfully used in the TVLinks case a few years back, but haven’t worked (so far) in the O’Dwyr extradition case. Also, coming from a Directive, they’re rather vague and open to interpretation.

In terms of conspiracy to defraud, I should have spotted that as a possibility straight away; it was used (unsuccessfully) in the OiNK case, and has been threatened quite a few times since. It’s incredibly broad, so should be much easier to prove than copyright infringement (with all those pesky things like “prejudicial effect” and “actual loss”, or even “copyright”…). Wikipedia has quite a good, if legally technical, summary of the offence.

That’s also how they manage to get the ridiculous “10 years imprisonment for downloading” claim, although it’s still completely unreasonable.

Not an Electronic Rodent says:

When math gets wierd

As opposed the the Infinite Improbibility Drive, created by feeding the unlikelihood of ever creating one into a Bambleweeny 57 Sub-meson brain suspended in a really hot cup of fresh tea….. Tea is important but only a tiny divisor of non-absoluteness at the end of the bill of Bistromathics.

Probably Douglas Adams just decided that trees were a really bad idea and went back to the ocean. Wish the RIAA did too…..

Not an Electronic Rodent says:


How do Brits / the rest of the world, take to becoming an extension of the US?

We’ve hated it for a quite a number of years thank you very much and wish those the other side of the political pond would stick to things they know about like “world series” sports that no other country plays. We suck bad enough at infringing on personal freedoms all by ourselves without “you lot” getting involved thanks.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:


You would expect anything less from a Government who had a hand in the rendition of political asylum seekers (entire families) back to be to tortured so that you could secure some oil and gas exploration rights for your corporate friends?

But it’s ok, there is a law that protects the spies from being held accountable for breaking the law and they are trying to use that to cover everyones ass now.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Isn’t it time that law enforcement stopped relying on fantasy numbers and started living in reality? Especially when it comes to censoring blogs?”

Stuff like this is why you are so hard to take seriously.

First off, Law Enforcement lives in reality. The reality is that the site in question was a hub for downloading copyright material. It was the only reason for the site to exist, from what I could see. Reality, the site was breaking the law – and doing so for profit.

As for censorship, I guess I need to explain this again: in the US, speech that is part of a crime is not considered to be protected. The UK has similar laws. Basically, what was removed wasn’t protected speech, so it’s not censorship – it’s just law enforcement doing their jobs.

If you are going to drag out the censorship carcass to flog, at least do it when it is merited, and not just every time you don’t agree with law enforcement doing their jobs.

Anonymous Coward says:

Now, certainly some of these leaks may have broken the law, but at best they should be civil issues and actual harm should be proved, rather than fantasy harm.

What’s wrong with fantasy harm?
By the way, did you know SOCA costs UK taxpayers approximately ?15 billion every month?
And that’s not counting all the lost jobs; they’re responsible for at least 3% of the unemployment rate.
They also regularly kick puppies. Occasionally kittens.
And I have it on good authority they have a time machine, which they used to travel back in time in order to sink the Titanic, cause the Tunguska event, and start the Black Plague.

Anonymous Coward says:


The “tsunami on the way” is possibly the most idiotic comment possible under the circumstances. The storm has been raging for a decade now, and the reality is that it is dying down as governments and their members finally come to grips with the areas of the law that don’t work online. They are moving to remedy the situation, rope in the lawlessness of the internet, and put things back they way they should be.

The truth about the desperation of the pirate supporters (such as Mike) is that they are starting to try to hide behind the strongest barriers… using terms like “censorship” and “free speech!” while entirely ignoring the actual acts that are occurring. Shutting down a site that was by and large a piracy haven isn’t censorship, it’s just logical. If it cannot exist in the real world legally, why should it be online?

You guys (and Mike) need to come to understand that the tide has shifted. There is no longer unlimited, unchecked freedom without consequence online. The noose is being tightened, get use to it.

Oh yeah, it’s not the “content industry” doing it. It’s enlightened governments who realize that a large part of their economy is being subverted and destroyed by people out for a free lunch.

Torg (profile) says:


“back the way things should be” is a contradiction in terms. The past is the past, and it should stay there where it belongs. If an industry, no matter how important, relies on limiting something that technology no longer limits, then it should cease to exist and make way for a system that takes advantage of the opportunities progress has provided. An “enlightened” government does not protect the legacies of the previous era from the effects of the current one. An enlightened government tells the scribes to get their own printing presses or stop bitching. An enlightened government then tells the printers that they should start selling their books on Kindle or their problems are their own. And when something better than the current system is created, an enlightened government will allow this to wither and die too. That is how things should be.

Anonymous Coward says:


Well said, all points valid, i too support my government in all things, regardless of right or wrong……wait, ignore that last bit, freeterds

I’d call you a sheep, but then i’ll just realise, i dont represent the government, so why would you listen

I get it, people have no say in what gets passed as law, trully, i get it, ONLY the government has the capacity to dictate what the majority of people should feel is right or wrong, anyone who does’nt agree with them, we should slur them and automatically assume that their arguments have no merit,

Our government has spoken, thy will be done

Long live *you’re version of a* free society…….

Anonymous Coward says:


So by your logic Dajaz1 was by and large a piracy haven and the year they were taken offline wasn’t censorship despite the fact there was no probable cause?

If you should have learned anything from Dajaz1 it’s that judging something on appearance doesn’t mean anything.

The tide has indeed shifted, people are going to get voted out of office, citizens will take to the streets. An entire generation is waking up to the fact they need to register to vote. And quite frankly when the 18-25 age group comes out in force you and all your shills in congress are fucked. F U C K E D

Dave says:

This is cobblers

A somewhat reduced statement is online now.
My guess is that someone’s realised that the whole thing is total twaddle in the face of mounting criticism!

“A number of site users have deleted their download histories.”

Really? And how do we know that, pray?

“SOCA’s holding message to users who had been frequenting the website was taken offline at the conclusion of the first phase of the operation on 15 February.”

Ha! As if it was all deliberate and part of some grand master plan. Still sounds like cattle excrement to me.

“The targeted SOCA activity, which lasted 32 hours, was part of an operational programme aimed at protecting UK businesses and the wider economy.”

No – this is NOT what the SOCA is supposed to be involved with. Businesses and economy is nowt to do with them, Crime is supposed to be their brief, not protecting the national economy! Crap, I say. They’ve probably been pushed into it by the music industry without being fully primed on how to handle it. The original page looked like it been put together by some 12-year old misfit.

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