UK Overreaction To OiNK Continues
from the typical-overreaction dept
Since then, though, there's been some question about additional fallout from the closure, as authorities were arresting certain folks who used the site. While, authorities kept postponing filing actual charges, there was talk that they were going to charge them with "conspiracy to defraud the music industry," which sounds a lot like "felony interference of a business model" -- the mocking term we use whenever companies seem to think it's illegal for others to compete in their industry. And, make no mistake about it, as Reznor pointed out, OiNK was about filling a niche for music lovers, as a place to discover and learn about new music.
Well, now the other shoe has dropped, and the administrator of the site has, indeed, been charged with conspiracy to defraud while two users of the site, each of whom only uploaded a single CD, were charged with criminal copyright infringement. For a single CD upload. This all seems a bit extreme. Once again, the government is basically making criminal charges over what is really a business model issue. OiNK filled a needed void in the music industry -- one that the industry itself could fill if it wanted to. But, because it refuses to do so, that's somehow conspiracy to defraud the industry and people may go to jail for it. At some point, years from now when people recognize the promotional value of free music, they're going to look back at the industry (and authorities') overreaction to these sorts of things and shake their heads in amazement.