That took even less time than I expected. I had a feeling we’d see popular P2P client LimeWire again, but I didn’t think it would be this fast. Reports are surfacing that the software has already been resurrected by a group of self-named hackers. “Not only has a secret dev team reanimated the hugely popular client, but they have also made a few significant changes which make it better and more streamlined than before.”
“Shortly after the software was forced to shut down, a horde of piratical monkeys climbed aboard the abandoned ship, mended its sails, polished its cannons, and released it free to the community.” All dependencies on LimeWire LLC’s servers have been removed, all remote settings have been disabled, the Ask toolbar has been unbundled, and all features of LimeWire PRO have been activated for free. Thus, the creators claim that LimeWire Pirate Edition (LPE) will work better than the last stable version of the old client.
Anonymous initiated a DDoS attack against the U.S. Copyright Office yesterday in an attempt to show their disdain against the defenders of copyright law. The site was knocked completely offline for about thirty minutes. The following few hours showed it crawling along with slow loading times and rendering it useless. Even several hours after the attacks began, most links on the site would not work.
Anonymous spearheaded Operation Payback a few months ago. Their targets to date have included the RIAA, the MPAA and the UK Copyright Office. “Anonymous sees itself as the defenders of the Internet. Anonymous is rather a loose coalition of individuals who see the crackdowns against file-sharing, done in the name of copyright protection, as contrary to the very freedom of the Internet.”
Do you feel this is an intelligent way to protest against something you believe is wrong?
Mulve was the hottest music-sharing site to hit the Internet in a long time… may it rest in peace. Within a few days, the site was seeing more than 30,000 visitors a day and they were carrying out around 15000 searches every hour. It wasn’t exactly a P2P site, since nothing was ever uploaded by the users. That didn’t stop the RIAA from shutting it down, though.
Even though Mulve didn’t host illegal files, the RIAA discovered that a tiny element of the site was hosted with US-based Hostgator. As soon as that element was taken offline, the entire site crumbled. “Just letting you know that Mulve has received a DMCA take down request from the RIAA, so it needed to be taken offline,” a Mulve spokesman said.
The developers are reportedly working on changes to make the site better and stronger than it already was. There’s no word yet, though, as to when service may be restored. The data is pulled from insanely fast Russian servers which are connected to the country’s biggest social networking site. It has been reported that downloading from Mulve is as safe as one can get when downloading anything these days.
Now we get to argue and discuss this issue… do you feel that any site such as Mulve should be forced offline? After all, it IS yet another way to pirate music. The files are supposedly completely legal. But morally… can you download something for free that you know you would have had to otherwise pay for?
Today, May 20th 2010, marks a sad day for all of us who remember – and grew up with – Usenet. Duke University will be forever pulling the plug on the once-popular means of communication, laying it to rest at long last. More than thirty years ago, Usenet was started by two then-students as a means to communicate between computer modems. Many say that it was the beginning of the Internet as we know it today.
Once it began, Usenet quickly grew to become an international electronic discussion forum consisting of more than 120,000 newsgroups. However, not everyone could just jump “online” using the service because connections were expensive and required a research contract with the federal Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). Dietolf Ramm, professor emeritus of computer science at Duke, said that “Usenet was a pioneering effort because it allowed anybody to connect and participate communications.”
While the RIAA and MPAA may be celebrating this news due to the large amount of piracy going around Usenet, this is a sad day for the rest of us. Duke has decided to shut the service down due to rising costs of maintenance and lower volumes of people using the service. I well remember my days back on the computer before the Internet as you know it was born. I was so excited back then when I sent my first message from my computer to another. It’s a day that changed my life.
The RIAA has attempted to sue approximately 35,000 people since 2003 – some of those suits being downright heartless: suing single mothers, children, and and a dead person. They are now abandoning this backwards policy and striking deals with ISPs – but the devil is in the details, and the fine print that cannot be ignored.
These deals include the RIAA no longer requiring the identities of those found to be sharing files; instead, the RIAA will now send their emails to the ISP and no longer demand identity information. They will effectively be expecting the ISP to be the enforcers. This new system really is just a different way to do the same old thing. Only this time, the ISP will be doing the dirty work. The new policy that the RIAA has brokered with major ISPs is that of “three strikes and your out” – your ISP may now be able deny Internet access you if you are found guilty by the RIAA.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) suggested that the RIAA support a legal Peer-to-Peer Network in their “Let the Music Play” whitepaper. Users pay a small, monthly fee to legally share music files in whatever method suits them. The EFF states that the fee should be less than $10 per month, based on the fees charged by services like Rhapsody and Napster. “The money collected would be distributed among rights-holders based on the popularity of their music.” As long as users pay for the service, they are free to continue to do what they are doing, legally. This type of system has been done before; radio stations pay a fee for a license to broadcast music with whatever equipment works best. ASCAP was created based on these same premises.
Bruce Munro has been listening – and my videos on DRM and the future of the RIAA really set him off:
Before the RIAA can get back the business, they might want to look at what got them here. In the 60’s and 70’s, a 50 cent 45 RPM record was a promotional item, meant to entice the public to buy the LP. It was relatively successful but even if the LP was a dog, they made a small profit on the millions of 45’s sold.
Within a few years that same 45 was $2.49 and the record companies had already started to market new artists with little quality material, poor preparation and lots of filler to pad out $10 LP’s. People started to get smarter and just bought the 45’s but at least they were still buying. CD technologies were introduced and the price of an LP (CD) shot up to $25 with assurances from the music industry that prices would fall back to LP levels as soon as the majority of the public adopted the new technologies.
They lied. They kept prices high, drove vinyl off the shelves and created a brand new problem. They manufactured a perfect digital copy of the program and were helpless to prevent the duplication and eventual distribution through the internet. Smarter teens can simply fire up the family digital TV, go to the “radio” stations they all contain, hook up their media recorder and go away for a few days. Digital music, no DRM and easy to edit MP3 format for the computer. Reminds me of the reel to reel recorders and FM radio stations when I was a lad.
Lets see now, they stopped fair cost promotional distribution (45’s). Tripled the cost of the LP and rushed product to market with poor content. Did little in the way of promotion deciding instead to spend that money on litigation suing teenagers hundreds of thousands of dollars (by the way, teenagers don’t have any money) and generally making a pain in the ass of themselves to legislators and law enforcement around the world. I have a great idea, STOP everything you are doing now and lose the lawyers (nobody likes lawyers, really). Get back into the studio and create something worthwhile, stuff those CD’s full of entertainment and sell it for $10.
Lets see. 100 million CD’s at $10 as opposed to 1 million at $20. Do the math and for god sakes get that music executive a calculator because odds are he still doesn’t get it. One last thing, get your house in order, the artists are starting to promote themselves on the internet, many successfully. RIAA are you listening.
DRM is an unnecessary evil – so long as trust is well placed.
With the advent of DRM, the music industry is increasingly losing serious amounts of profits. Piracy is at an all-time high, and there’s no end in sight. What can be done to help the music industry save itself? Here are five things that it may just want to pay attention to, as sent in by a community member.
Put money into open source iTunes killer, like SongBird for instance. Record industries need an app that works on all platforms, so that everyone can enjoy and use them.
Invest in Bittorrent, and make it part of the iTunes killer. BitTorrent is the fastest platform, and most widely used. (Note from Chris: keep in mind that BitTorrent isn’t a platform; it’s a series of networks. But I get what you’re saying here.)
Hire coders to make your music available to work on ALL platforms, programs and formats. Nothing is worse than not being able to listen to music you purchased on any media you want.
Allow any and all stores to sell music, don’t just lock it down like iTunes does. (note from Chris: It’s not really about HOW I get the music, than the fact that I just am able to GET it, period.)
Profit! (Note from Chris: I’m not really sure what he’s saying here. I mean sure, the record industry needs to make a profit, but in order to do that, it needs to increase sales. It can’t afford to do things to increase sales without profit. It’s a never-ending cycle.)
Lee sends us this comment:
Had to comment, as mindless and uninformed as it may be. The day any of these big musicians arrive for a concert in a Geo or flies coach or moves into my neighborhood because they can’t afford anything more that’s the day I think the music industry is in trouble. I don’t download music because I don’t have time and half the stuff coming out is really crap. But if there was something I did like I have no problem supporting an artist that can entertain me.
Of course you can’t support the artist without supporting the music industry. If there is any issue with the music industry it is that it is spending too much money fighting a situation an not taking enough time to see how they could use that situation. Yes piracy is out there, yes it’s a problem because it does cut off SOME of the overwhelming profit that comes in but by making music available and only available to listen to on an iPod (for example) the music industry is not doing itself any favors. I did subscribe to a music service for a short while.
When I found that I couldn’t listen to the music I bought on anything but windows media player well that was that. The points brought up in your newsletter were valid. The last thing is that there is nothing worse than buying an album because of one track and having remorse because that was the only track on the album worth listening to. When people have to wonder how they will pay for that next tank of gas it’s amazing to me that the music industry still exists. Hopefully that doesn’t sound to bad but remember it’s just one uninformed opinion.
The real impact is on the small or undiscovered artist who may be plenty talented but the MUSIC INDUSTRY does not want to take a chance on. In the end obscene amounts of money are being made but human greed knows no bounds I guess because they want to turn it into ultra obscene amounts.
And this was sent in by Gary:
We are tired of paying inflated prices here in Canada. Yet the smart entertainers go on the road and yes we will pay good money for these shows. Ottawa Ontario where I live has more road shows than Toronto or Montreal.This is a civil service town yet they come out in droves to see these shows. They have trouble coughing up $100.00 to see the NHL Senators but will fork out for music entertainment.
In the good old days and you heard about that somewhere I’m sure, Dick Clark had the right formula. Record stars performed on his show and yes hit singles made it to the top of the charts. 45s sold for a buck or two and the industry made money. Then they recycled the music into albums meanwhile still churning out new singles.We don’t have Dick nor Ed Sullivan and most of us don’t stay up for the late night shows. The music industry who own networks should start showcasing the talent instead of trying to take individuals to court for small downloads.Canada has stiff laws on piracy but not enough to stem the tide Ask any teen where he got his music for his iPod?
I prefer to buy a song not an album and if the industry could get their head around this they could get back to making money.Come up with ways to use the internet to your advantage. The world is changing. Why can’t those Music execs get their act together,
P.S. You are my favorite geek. I’ve been receiving your newsletters almost since you first started having subscribers ..
What do you think can be done to save the music industry? Do you hate DRM as much as I do? Leave me a follow-up comment, or send an email to me at [email protected]
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Song BMG has gone on record, stating that “When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song. Making “a copy” of a purchased song is just a nice way of saying ‘steals just one copy’.”
WHAT?! If I buy a CD, she’s saying I cannot save it to my own computer, and then listen to the CD in my car? Or… I can’t listen to it on my iPod? All of these items were purchased legally, including the CD. So why in the name of everything I hold precious can I NOT listen to MY OWN MUSIC?
The music industry has gone too far. They are hurting financially so much due to file sharing, that they are now making it nearly impossible for people to legally listen to their own music. Album sales have decreased dramatically. Yes, that’s true. However, telling me I cannot listen to the music I BUY from you in any way I want is not going to help your bottom line, Sony. All that is going to do is ensure I don’t purchase ANY music from you ever again.
The $39 Dollar Song and 6 Cent Ringtone didnâ€™t really light up the charts on the TechMeme saturated blogosphere, but it is a valid discussion to have, especially when the business of content is exploding as it is (to use Jeff Jarvisâ€™ parlance). I know that being from a record company, people will immediately look to me to talk about DRM and the RIAA. I will avoid the latter, and only address the former in the context of the discussion about abstraction and mutability and how it relates to Value.
I like buying content subscriptions. I hate buying content ala carte. I love buying physical products from my favorite artists.