UK Overreaction To OiNK Continues

from the typical-overreaction dept

About a year ago, we noted that the IFPI had continued its totally counterproductive game of whack-a-mole and convinced UK authorities to shut down the popular private BitTorrent tracker site, OiNK. The site was quite popular -- and even Trent Reznor noted how useful it was and how it filled a void in the music space that the industry wasn't filling. However, with every whack of a mole, it was only a matter of days until plenty of alternatives sprung up.

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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    bobbknight, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 12:22am

    An Idea

    An idea ie: intellectual property if not shared is like fallow in the field. I does no one any good.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Lucretious, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 3:01am

    God I miss OiNK

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Greg, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 5:56am

    Wow, political leaders pursuing backwards and ineffective policies

    I'm *so* shocked. This has *never* happened before. Usually it's incredibly well thought out and effective policies like the war on drugs and the war on terror. Oh, wait...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    hegemon13, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 6:38am

    Okay, this one I agree with

    Despite my disagreement with TD on the GNR case (I felt that guy needed to be criminally charged because of the computer crime involved), I completely agree here. There was no attempt to defraud. That charge does not even make sense. And, uploading music you obtained legally, or even through infringement, is infringement, not theft. The level of charges here is tragic, as it is clear that three people will suffer punishment far beyond their crime just so that the government can make an example of them.

    Yes, this does differ dramatically from the GNR case because, as far as we know, the two uploaders did not obtain the music by illegally hacking the band's server and stealing it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Isaac K (profile), Sep 12th, 2008 @ 7:21am

    I just fear

    I just fear that the music companies will NOT learn their lesson, that they will CONTINUE to threaten torrent users as a method to cow the customer, and that their incessant appeals to the "good of man" in their well-oiled congressional machine will lead to ever more mposing violations of privacy rights.
    I fear for the industry.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Stirling Westrup, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 10:49am

    Minor Grammatical Nitpick.

    Just want to point out that "OiNK filled a needed void in the music industry" would seem to imply that the void was necessary and that OiNK filling it was a BAD thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    another mike, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 4:24pm

    just admit it, it's illegal to be a music fan

    it's worse than your average game of whack-a-mole because the recording industry is playing against a hydra. for every mole they smack, two more pop up to take its place.
    and no one is defrauding the music industry. so long as people can carry a tune in a bucket, the music industry is doing fine. the recording industry is in the business of selling little plastic discs. if you think that's your market, you're boned.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    mightymaz, Sep 14th, 2008 @ 8:47am

    "...IFPI had continued its totally counterproductive game of whack-a-mole .."
    Since IFPI have achieved all they set out to achieve it's a bit of a stretch to claim it's counter productive.
    In the your imaginary world maybe a number of oink replacements would spring up and make the IFPI achievements pointless. But in the real world that didn't happen - e.g count the number of people writing in about how they miss oink.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Mike (profile), Sep 14th, 2008 @ 10:57pm

    Re:

    Since IFPI have achieved all they set out to achieve it's a bit of a stretch to claim it's counter productive.
    In the your imaginary world maybe a number of oink replacements would spring up and make the IFPI achievements pointless. But in the real world that didn't happen - e.g count the number of people writing in about how they miss oink.


    Just because they haven't all discovered them yet, doesn't mean they don't exist. It just means they're further underground.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    mightymaz, Sep 15th, 2008 @ 12:17am

    Re: Re:

    Just because you don't know about them doesn't mean they really exist !

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Mike (profile), Sep 15th, 2008 @ 3:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Just because you don't know about them doesn't mean they really exist !

    Who says I don't know about them?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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