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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  1. identicon
    hegemon13, 10 Sep 2008 @ 2:29pm

    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.

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