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, RnBXclusive.com, 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?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 2:21pm

    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.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Ben (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 2:27pm

    When math gets wierd

    Perhaps in some fantasy land where the IFPI/RIAA is in charge of "new math," but not anywhere in reality.
    It is called Bistro Mathematics and was invented by a Brit; just add a really hot cup of tea and anything becomes possible.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 2:32pm

      Re: When math gets wierd

      _sigh_ You're mixing Bistro Mathematics with the Infinite Improbability Drive's Brownian Motion producer...

       

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

    •  
      icon
      :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 2:35pm

      Re: 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.
      (more)

       

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

      •  
        icon
        Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 3:19pm

        Re: Re: 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.....

         

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

    •  
      identicon
      Another Ben, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 10:31pm

      Re: When math gets wierd

      Yes. Of course. Us Brits drink tea so that must be the (humorously racist) cause.

      HOW MUCH FUCKING TEA MUST THE RIAA BE DRINKING??

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Fin York, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 2:28pm

    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

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 2:31pm

    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!

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 2:58pm

    Also, some marijuana was found...

    A half-smoked "joint" or "roach" in criminal parlance was found on the site. Estimated street value: $15,000,000,000.00

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Violated (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 2:59pm

    Pondering

    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.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Duke (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 3:15pm

      EU DMCA

      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.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 10:50am

      Re: Pondering

      There is no DMCA in Europe. Sites are basically liable without any real simple exception. There is no "oops" in play here.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 3:00pm

    How do Brits / the rest of the world, take to becoming an extension of the US? I thought the ACTA protests might have cooled some leaders heels about that.

    Success is educating the public. The US news seems to have a black out on copyright covereage. Is it the same elsewhere?

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 3:26pm

      Re:

      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.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        PRMan, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 3:30pm

        Re: Re:

        What do you mean? Lots of countries in Asia and Latin America play baseball. We're just too scared to play them in a championship.

         

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

        •  
          icon
          Marcel de Jong (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 8:17am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Cuba would totally kick some New York Yankees butt.
          And don't forget about the Dutch. Last world cup was a Cuba-NL match, with NL being the victor.

           

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

  •  
    icon
    Trails (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 3:12pm

    15 m per year

    " costing the labels "approximately 15 m per year.""

    So that means the labels should have seen a revenue increase of 41,000 per day. So did they?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 4:28pm

    Bad math Mike.

    "costing" 15 million doesn't mean that it would make 15 million. You are drawing a conclusion that the facts do not support.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 6:17pm

      Re:

      The facts don't support a figure of 15 million regardless of how you look at it.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 6:24pm

        Re: Re:

        Doesn't matter if it's 15 million or one thousand. If lawbreaking is costing a legal business some amount of money, then the government needs to police it. That's their job.

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 8:51pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          That bullshit argument has been used throughout history to justify wrong doing. Just to rephrase what you said.

          If some Nazi government says some Nazi soldier has to round up all the Jews. That's their Job.

           

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

        •  
          icon
          Trails (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 5:50am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If a gov't makes it illegal to wear underwear we should all just shut up and accept the seizure of our boxers? One should not assume the law is right.

          Your circular logic is showing.

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 7:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Comparing centuries old real law to some imaginary law that makes underwear illegal. lol

            Your circular logic is showing.

            hahahahahaha

             

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

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2012 @ 1:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              There is centuries old law in existence that allows police to shut down websites?

              Gods, but lawmakers were much more forward thinking than I could ever have imagined.

               

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 4:53pm

    "costing the labels "approximately 15 m per year."

    I approximate that it does'nt cost labels 15 m per year

    I approximate that both approximates are approximately true or not

     

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

  •  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 5:02pm

    I think its kinda cute they think a bunch of the over produced trash they foist into the market is worth 15 m.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 5:29pm

    "approximately 15 m per year."


    Approximate = plausible deniability, when true figure is found

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 5:32pm

    15 mil, sounds suspiciously well rounded

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 7:51pm

    "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.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 9:02pm

      Re:

      The reality is content industries are busy trying to swat flies when a tsunami is on the way.

      If they were smart, they would get to higher ground and compete with pirate sites by offering customers what they want at a price they are willing to pay.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 7:27am

        Re: Re:

        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.

         

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

        •  
          icon
          Torg (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 7:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "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.

           

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 8:42am

          Re: Re: Re:

          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.......

           

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 10:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          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

           

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 7:38am

      Re:

      As for censorship, I guess I need to explain this again

      US laws are trying to censor me when they make rape illegal.

      I'm expressing myself!!! Free speech!!! Where is the outrage?!?

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 7:47am

        Re: Re:

        Governements will push legislation if you have enough money and or, influence

        I'm expressing myself!!! Free speech!!! Where is YOU'RE outrage?!?

        dumb ass rapist........

         

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 9:12pm

    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.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    saulgoode (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 10:09pm

    The takedown message has been updated

    It now merely contains the message, "SOCA has taken control of this domain name" along with a letterhead and link to their website.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 4:59am

      Re: The takedown message has been updated

      I believe that has something to do with a small campaign by people pointing out that making allegations as such without proof opened SOCA up to lawsuits.

      Someone reminded them they needed to give people a day in court before calling them thieves.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    Idobek (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 2:38am

    SOCA, SFO and the Right to Remain Silent

    I have to wonder if SOCA has been extended the same powers as the SFO when it comes to fraud investigations; i.e. suspects have no Right to Remain Silent.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 4:40am

    So, by their lgic, that 15m number must be corroboratable, right?

    So, I'd challenge SOCA to actually provide hard evidence, with a simple methodology that doesn't include handwavium, that actual fraud was taking place.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    wec, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 7:08am

    By "costing" maybe what they mean is they are spending that money to help convince the police and Parliment Members to make and enforce the current bad laws.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Dave, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 1:16pm

    This is cobblers

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

    http://www.soca.gov.uk/news/401-music-website-takedown-latest

    "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.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This