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The Pirate Bay Facing "Old Fashioned" Pressure

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the brown-shoed-squares-in-the-dead-of-night dept.

Music 415

Jety writes "Ars Technica has an article reporting that The Pirate Bay is facing legal pressure from a new front. A wealthy musician with a track record for going head-to-head with record labels and little kids is now joining the queue to take a legal swing at TPB. What I find particularly interesting about this article is the description of the 'camera-toting investigators following [The Pirate Bay admins] around in cars marked with Danish plates.' One TPB admin asks, '"What do they think they can find out by following us around? Everything we do is digital.'"

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Down! (2)

dippitydoo (1134915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428585)

Down with the Clowns for God's Sake! When will it end?!

Maybe... (5, Funny)

AlphaDrake (1104357) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428593)

I think that they COULD find out what they do by following them around. But the years of training of these pirates has turned them into a ninja/pirate combination, taking the best from both worlds, ending the age-old argument, and allowing them to stay concealed.

Re:Maybe... (4, Insightful)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428717)

Its pretty obvious why they would follow them round, find out what assets they have and whether they might be worth siezure.

Clearly not everything they do is digital. They have atoms as well: servers, laptops, flash drives. And clearly they are making a living somehow and someone is funding their activities somehow.

If I was investigating them I would have PIs on their tail. If nothing else it is certainly causing them enough concern to comment on it.

Re:Maybe... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21429009)

Pirate bay servers are distributed across several nations and the TPB core admins typically neither own nor have physical access to them.

Re:Maybe... (4, Informative)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429457)

I think they would be more interested in personal assets that could be liquidated for damages, not the servers.

Re:Maybe... (5, Insightful)

Mr_Freedownload (1192043) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429475)

They should release music for free and make money on live shows that to be honest can't be pirated cause you can't download the experience of a live show now can you?

Re:Maybe... (4, Insightful)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429515)

Live shows and the merchandise sold at them *are* how most bands actually make money. The truth is that not many bands make much of anything from album sales due to shady practices by the record companies. Generally the bands only break even on album sales and that's if they're lucky.

So I guess that means... (5, Funny)

MatchbooksAndSarcasm (1111757) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428605)

That's game. Blouses win.

Re:So I guess that means... (2, Funny)

EmperorKagato (689705) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429059)

Would you like some pancakes?



bitches.

Re:So I guess that means... (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429599)

At least you get to eat pancakes now...

Frist Post! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21428621)

The post formerly known as first post.

Mafiaa (1)

slyn (1111419) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428627)

Something bad happening to one or two P2P site admins could give new meaning to the "MAFIAA" moniker of the RIAA/MPAA/CRIA.

Re:Mafiaa (5, Funny)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428711)

Dear TPB Admin,

        We have your limited edition Star Wars Princess Leia figurine still in its original packaging. You do what we tell you when we tell you unless you want something....bad to happen to her. Just so you know what we're serious we have sent you the packaging from your original Jabba the Hut figurine.

                                                                            MAFIAA

From the Lucas Academy of Drama: (5, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428931)

We have your limited edition Star Wars Princess Leia figurine still in its original packaging.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Re:From the Lucas Academy of Drama: (2, Funny)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429589)

You mean he doesn't want it?

What is this? Slashdot has a "prince story quota? (-1, Offtopic)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428639)

Seriously, this must be the 3rd story about Prince in 3 weeks. Is this going to be a weekly feature? Are we going to start seeing other fallen-from-favor media "personalities" iand "pop-tarts" in the rotation?

Re:What is this? Slashdot has a "prince story quot (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428687)

I wouldn't go as far as to call this a dupe. But being sue friendly seems to be the only way Prince seems to be relevent to the modern world

If it wasn't for him trying to sue everybody from torrent sites to little kids, he proberbly would be forgotten

Re:What is this? Slashdot has a "prince story quot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21428899)

Yes, his irrelevance is exactly why Prince sold out the O2 arena recently all 21 nights he was in London. Prince isn't burning up the charts any more, but he's hardly been forgotten, "proberbly" or otherwise.

Re:What is this? Slashdot has a "prince story quot (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21429275)

Yes, his irrelevance is exactly why Prince sold out the O2 arena recently all 21 nights he was in London. Prince isn't burning up the charts any more, but he's hardly been forgotten, "proberbly" or otherwise.
"proberbly" is a perfectly cromulent word.

Re:What is this? Slashdot has a "prince story quot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21429567)

Do you really think that's funny, you no-talent little turd? The Simpsons stopped being funny a decade ago but it's still funnier than you. Go back to digg.

Because "Prince" == Asshole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21428795)

It's because of Prince's "War on the Internet" where he did ridiculous crap like using a DMCA Takedown Notice against someone who dared make fair use of a 30 second clip of one of his songs, before that he sued websites with "unauthorized" pictures of him. Now, apparently, he's hiring PIs to intimidate the Pirate Bay folks. Next week, he'll probably do some other dumb thing.

And yes, whenever he does dumb things, they probably will get press. Believe me, it's not because anyone LIKES that Purple Weirdo. If you've ever had the misfortune of seeing his web page, he writes like it's one long SMS message. If someone were to replace it with goatse, it would be an improvement.

If we're lucky, we'll see a Media-Defender type leak at some point and he'll crawl back under a rock.

Re:Because "Prince" == Asshole (4, Informative)

dosius (230542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429255)

Nah, that's been Prince's trademark since at least the early 80s. A lot of his song lyrics use kw3lspeak, e.g., "I wanna do it 2 night, baby, I wanna do it 2 U" is an actual line, with original spelling, from 777-9311 (which he wrote for The Time).

He was doing it before there WAS SMS.

-uso.

Conspiracy theory? (2, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428641)

"What do they think they can find out by following us around? Everything we do is digital.'"
Maybe they will hound them into getting a cheauffeur, speed around the city streets at night and erm.. accidentally crash into a bridge and die later in hospital under great secrecy.. or something.

Arrgh, Pastry! (5, Funny)

drunken_boxer777 (985820) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428649)

investigators following Pirate Bay members around in cars with Danish plates

It's good to know that in Sweden cops have options beyond boxes of donuts. ;P

thread over (0, Offtopic)

garbletext (669861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428861)

You, sir, are the winner.

Re:Arrgh, Pastry! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21429593)

Swedish cops are more into pizza than donuts anyway. Actually, they're way more into eating pizza than they are into keeping the public safe, so they usually only do the former.

FTA: (4, Interesting)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428659)

I'm just sad that Prince--whose music I really like--can't understand that he's the new Metallica versus Napster. And we all know who lost that...
Umm, I know he's trying to say that Metallica lost. However, Napster was closed down and turned into a less popular subscription service and file sharing was dealt a harsh blow that it took a while to recover from. They definitely lose that court case. Metallica won the smaller case and lost the larger war of digital piracy, at least so far. The difference here is that Prince actually has been embracing the internet and consumer rights in general. This situation isn't as clearly a case of "dinosaur fights the inevitable," and it certainly doesn't mean that TPB will be able to survive it.

Re:FTA: (1)

dippitydoo (1134915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428727)

Yeah, but after napster, things exploded! Instead of a handful of ways to download metallica's crap, you Had TONS of different places to go. So they both lost. But metallica lost more. Instead of being on napster, they went to everything. Free Mp3's of a shitty band YAY!

Re:FTA: (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429291)

Nothing really changed in terms of music availability, other than that now we can now find more "illegal" tracks at higher bitrates, better quality, more quickly and conveniently than we could then. Amazing, isn't it? The Gnutella network alone is just bursting with music, and it's hardly the only one. The fact is, the RIAA's effort to shut down Napster was an absolutely classic Pyrrhic victory. Hell, a few more "successes" like that and they'll put the studios out of business entirely. Personally, I think the RIAA's poor decisionmaking in that situation would have justified the studios shutting them down instead. It really was a massive fuckup.

Put it this way: not only was that lawsuit a dismal failure in terms of discouraging copyright infringement, but also yet another clear example of the RIAA mindset simply not getting it. They failed to grasp either the technological potential of P2P (there's more than one way to skin a cat) or the human element (we've had a taste of this and we want more.) Had they asked, I would have told them that all they were doing was forcing a phase change on the technology. The appearance of Frankel's prototype Gnutella client so close on the heels of Napster's shutdown was no surprise to me. I grabbed a copy the night it was released, before AOL tried to shut it down (horse, barndoor, all that.) I could not believe how fast music began to appear on it. The thing had a serious memory leak, but I'll be damned if it didn't work! Anyway, if it hadn't been Justin Frankel, sooner or later somebody would have released the next generation of peer-to-peer, because Napster gave millions upon millions of people something they wanted. Here's the thing: some of those people were programmers.

That was something that even an RIAA lawyer should have been able to predict, and I think it should have been sufficient motivation to make them work with Napster so as to maintain a level of control over distribution. That would have required some vision, though, and a willingness to tell their bosses, "Hey, things are about to go from bad to worse and you had better do something NOW." Instead, they did the only thing they know how to do: throw lawyers at the problem. So they blew it.

So the GP can claim that the RIAA was successful in eliminating Napster as a source of illegal downloads ... and he would be right.

Not that it mattered.

Re:FTA: (3, Insightful)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428843)

Umm, I know he's trying to say that Metallica lost. However, Napster was closed down and turned into a less popular subscription service and file sharing was dealt a harsh blow that it took a while to recover from. They definitely lose that court case. Metallica won the smaller case and lost the larger war of digital piracy, at least so far. The difference here is that Prince actually has been embracing the internet and consumer rights in general. This situation isn't as clearly a case of "dinosaur fights the inevitable," and it certainly doesn't mean that TPB will be able to survive it.
Metallica's career also declined. No way of knowing if it was the bad PR among their key demographics or if they were already growing unpopular beforehand. It's likely a little of both.

Re:FTA: (1)

Danny Rathjens (8471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429039)

I never bought anything of theirs after the Black Album simply because their music after that didn't sound that good. (and I was moderate fan that also attended a concert.) I don't factor what musicians do or say outside of their music into whether I like it. So I think Metallica's decline is mostly due to their music, although the whole "sell-out" thing obviously didn't help.

Re:FTA: (3, Informative)

ricree (969643) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428925)

To be fair to Metallica, they haven't exactly shunned digital distribution either. Although they were against having their studio albums available on Napster, many of their live shows are available online in DRM free formats, and they've also made several of the shows available free of charge. I know they managed to get themselves a bad reputation, but as far as I can see they've been a lot more friendly to the fans over this issue than most bands have been.

Re:FTA: (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21429049)

they haven't exactly shunned digital distribution either.
I agree. They were one of the pioneers. When CDs came out, they were one of the first few thousand bands to distribute digitally.

Re:FTA: (3, Interesting)

domatic (1128127) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429215)

Metallica attacked the PAN newsreader project because it included an mp3 decoder (gasp!) and was being funded at the time by the same VP funding Napster. It was basically a bullshit guilt-by-association thing. The best part was Metallica's attorney asking one of the developers on the stand "How would you like it if someone gave away your work for free on the Internet?" He seemed completely flabbergasted when the rest of the dev team and the developer burst out laughing.

It is customary for newsreaders and other Internet protocol software to use internal and external decoders on file formats. PAN certainly wasn't unique in that regard. Those Metallica dipshits just thought "ZOMG! It's something else that downloads mp3s! Napster BAD!" Their being cool about the live shows doesn't entirely absolve them of the "bad reputation". Attacking the only FOSS project making a decent GUI newsreader at the time definitely put them in the thoughtless jerk category as far as I'm concerned.

All the "piracy" is digital, sure. (2, Insightful)

loteck (533317) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428663)

They obviously haven't been successful in prosecuting them for that, though.

If I were them, I'd be very careful about jaywalking, cramping my wheels to the curb, and making sure my mattress tags were intact. It's called a shitlist; an idea not entirely unfamiliar to TPB admins, I'm sure.

Re:All the "piracy" is digital, sure. (5, Informative)

daybot (911557) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428783)

If I were them, I'd be very careful about jaywalking

Just like the piracy laws in Sweden, there is no such crime as jaywalking. Sheesh - and they call the US "land of the free"!

Re:All the "piracy" is digital, sure. (4, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428969)

Tags on furniture forbid the seller from removing them, the consumer can do what he wants with them.

Re:All the "piracy" is digital, sure. (2, Interesting)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429167)

There are a lot of things that the consumer's supposed to be allowed to do but that will get you sued over*.

*Like, say, copying your own music to keep a backup of. Now who is it that seems to think that's illegal?

is our children learning (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21428671)

A wealthy musician with a track record for going head-to-head with record labels and little kids is...

Thank you, Mr. President.

Re:is our children learning (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21428887)

A wealthy musician with a track record for going head-to-head with record labels and little kids is...
Thank you, Mr. President.

You fail it!

The subject of the sentence is "A wealthy musician" not "A wealthy musician and little kids". The singular conjugation "is" is correct.

Please report to your nearest Mother Superior for the appropriate punishment.

Sales are down... (1)

Daltin (1153533) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428707)

...it's not a dying genre, it's the PIRAAAATTEESSS.

What's the Deal With Not Naming Names? (5, Insightful)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428713)

A "wealthy musician?" Seriously?

It's Prince. Or that symbol thingy. Or TAFKAP (I think I know what one of those "A"s stands for).

The summary seems unnecessarily coy about exactly who's behind this.

Re:What's the Deal With Not Naming Names? (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429169)

It's a backhanded insult. And well deserved, in my opinion (and I love the purple one's music).

Re:What's the Deal With Not Naming Names? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21429197)

TFKPAA

When you arrange it like that it makes much more sense.

Re:What's the Deal With Not Naming Names? (1)

amokk (465630) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429425)

You must be a real hit at parties.

Re:What's the Deal With Not Naming Names? (0, Redundant)

Skynyrd (25155) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429417)

TAFKAP (I think I know what one of those "A"s stands for).

The
Artist
Formerly
Known
As
Prince

Re:What's the Deal With Not Naming Names? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21429487)

The
Artist
Formerly
Known
As
Prince


Takes
A
Feeble
Kick
At
Pirates

Re:What's the Deal With Not Naming Names? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21429529)

woosh... [waves hand above head in a that-joke-went-right-over-your-head kinda fashion]

one of the "A"s is for asshat.

ha (5, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428721)

Peter Sunde, a Pirate bay admin, tells Ars that the Purple One's legal team has already started leaning on some advertisers to drop support for the site. "We're not even worried, since the Internet is too big for morally upset people to get it their way," Sunde said in an e-mail. "I'm just sad that Prince--whose music I really like--can't understand that he's the new Metallica versus Napster. And we all know who lost that..."

Uhhh...yeah, Napster did.

Could someone please tell me how TPB is somehow offering some new business model for the people who make the music?

The record labels are told people will still keep illegally distributing music because the labels aren't providing it online. The record labels finally give in and provide it online, and they're told that people will still keep illegally distributing music because they don't like DRM and 99 cents a song is somehow too high.

The only business model a lot of people here seemed to support was AllofMP3, but honestly 10 cent non-DRMed songs really isn't a viable business model, as much as everyone wants it to be.

Re:ha (4, Interesting)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428929)

The record labels finally give in and provide it online, and they're told that people will still keep illegally distributing music because they don't like DRM and 99 cents a song is somehow too high.

At 99 cents / song it would cost roughly $5,000 to fill a 20GB iPod (assuming an average of 4MB / song).

The fact that 160GB iPods exist and are selling implies there is demand for them.

Just something to think about ...

Re:ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21428991)

They also play videos, which are a tad bigger than 4MB a piece.

Re:ha (2, Informative)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429003)

My 160GB iPod has 450 CDs (physical, uploaded to iTunes), 200 downloaded CDs, and the Knoppix DVD on it. There's still room.

160GB is Crazy big :)

I honestly am not sure how people intend to fill them... I'm thinking of going back and re-ripping with lossless!

Re:ha (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429193)

At 99 cents / song it would cost roughly $5,000 to fill a 20GB iPod (assuming an average of 4MB / song).


Aren't whole albums cheaper? And video cheaper yet, per gig.

Re:ha (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429397)

It takes a while, but at a few albums a month, one can grow a pretty sizeable collection. It's not as if a whole lot of people spend that $5,000 in one year.

Podcasts (most are free), TV shows and movies can take the rest of the space.

And then there's the lossless encoding too, which would only fit maybe 500 CDs on that 160GB iPod.

Re:ha (2, Informative)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429545)

They exist for people, like me, that have 100s of GB of freely available live music and enjoy listening to a wide variety of it as well as watching TV shows, movies, and storing other data in one spot so I can carry my collection to and from work, friends, whatever.

And while I have pirated music I really don't see many people doing it these days. Why should they bother? It's just as easy to get it from iTunes, eMusic, or whatever and that's exactly what they do.

Re:ha (5, Interesting)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428935)

Could someone please tell me how TPB is somehow offering some new business model for the people who make the music?
New business model? it's really the old business model. A third party distributes your music and you don't see a dime for it(sometimes you owe them for it) and you make your money from performances, merch, and promotional considerations. 90+% musicians live this way. All TPB is doing is applying the same treatment to the ~10% who actually got something back from that third party. That ~10% isn't really hurt that much either. The stones may make a few million on a new album but they'd make a few hundred million on tour. It's only a problem if your a talentless lazy slut [britneyspears.com] who doesn't tour often. Perhaps if your a studio musician it hurts you more, but all my musician friends don't see a dime and some have been signed. In fact some of those signed now owe money and got nothing in return.

Re:ha (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429089)

Spears is not my talantless lazy slut. And in any case, that wouldn't be my problem.

Re:ha (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429407)

Spears is not my talantless lazy slut.

You're right. She gets paid. That would make her a whore. She still looks ok, doesn't she?

Re:ha (2, Funny)

deathy_epl+ccs (896747) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429503)

Spears is not my talantless lazy slut. And in any case, that wouldn't be my problem.

Well, she's got to be somebody's talentless lazy slut, and we all got together while you were going to the bathroom and elected you. Like it or not, you're stuck with her.

(Oh, by the way... kinda tacky to have spelling mistakes in your grammar nitpick. heh)

Re:ha (5, Insightful)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428943)

There isn't a business model that could truly work, at least not a direct one. Commonly floated is the idea that if you release music for free, word of mouth and subsequent sales will make up for this. This, unfortunately, ignores the simple human traits that a) they will take anything not nailed down and b) perceived anonymity gives them an impetus to do things they wouldn't usually do (cf Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory...).

Radiohead made money with their recent dealie because they were established artists with a rabid fanbase, not a new band or a relatively unpopular one. For new artists, that isn't really a viable alternative either; not only because so few people would choose to pay for an unknown quantity, but also because cutting out the middleman (aka the record labels) cuts you off from the labels' traditional strong areas of promotion, distribution and general business nous, which, really, are the only reasons anyone signs with a label. What would be the point otherwise?

In all, my point (yes, I was getting to it in a roundabout way) is that business models based around free/absurdly cheap (read allofmp3) music are either unprofitable or wouldn't fly with shareholders of the major labels. It's a terrible business model unless your explicit aim is "get heard and damn the money". It is of no value except as a talking point for Slashdotters looking for the next justification-du-jour of why they will carry on being cheap rather than paying for what they consume. Like you said:

The record labels are told people will still keep illegally distributing music because the labels aren't providing it online. The record labels finally give in and provide it online, and they're told that people will still keep illegally distributing music because they don't like DRM and 99 cents a song is somehow too high.


They can't win; there's always a new reason. Either it's too expensive ($0.99 a song, $9.99 an album seems reasonable enough to me, where I live that's 2 quid cheaper than even an old mid-price album) or it has DRM (see the "take anything nailed down" thing... you want to try before you buy? Most good online music stores have previews you know...) or it's not good enough quality either technically (there's this lossless format you may have heard of, called the compact disc) or aesthetically.

(I like the last complaint, that people pirate because the music's not good enough; that's definitely why the last Britney album has over 1200 seeds on Mininova and the last Porcupine Tree album's had over 18k downloads... ;)

Re:ha (1)

cstdenis (1118589) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429159)

CDs aren't lossless. Frequency range is only 20 Hz to 20 kHz. Plus the whole dynamic compression issue.

Re:ha (1)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429207)

Fair point, but then for most peoples' purposes, CDs are close enough to lossless, and especially for the purposes of my example. :)

logical conclusion (5, Insightful)

enjahova (812395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429491)

There isn't a business model that could truly work
You just said it all, but you draw the opposite conclusion I do. We both agree that there is no feasible business model that aligns with the reality of modern technology.

Only you seem to be focusing on deriding the people who don't pay directly for their copies of music (according to our brief custom of the last 70 years).

Why is it so hard to see that its ok to let companies with no practical business model die off? I know it becomes a touchy subject when we bring art into the picture, but the spirit of copyright law is to promote the creation of art, not to give business models to musicians. It seems particularly hard for people of the last couple generations to fathom that music (or art in general) can be created without being paid for copies of their work. They can't see that the true value in art is the process by which it is created, that is what is rare. This value can still be monetized, and a business model can be developed around it (think service instead of product).

Even if you don't want to or can't believe this old school view of art, you will face the reality of digital technology. Copying is only going to get faster and more convenient. Distributed technology will only get more robust. Controlling the location of 1s and 0s will become increasingly futile. No laws will be able to reverse this, no amount of yelling thief at a generation of hungry minds will hold them back.

What do you think will happen when 1 million 3rd world kids get on the internet through OLPC? What happens when they reach 10 million in the next few years? Can you seriously expect them to even consider intellectual property with an open source key on their keyboard?

Right now there are more people with cell phone in China than there are people alive in the USA. What happens when there are more Chinese online than people in the US? What happens when the same goes for India? Do you think these huge amount of people wont be able to find a way to adapt open source software for their needs? When they are completely bypassing proprietary western solutions, what good will our DMCA do?

So I laugh at the moral indignation of the slighted intellectual property holders. Right now I am stealing. I'm robbing those who were lucky enough to get fat from an unworkable system. Luckily, the system is changing and I wont have to steal in the future. Still, every time they yell thief I feel more like Robin Hood, and I'm not the only one.

Re:ha (1)

Brigade (974884) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429001)

That's a matter of opinion. And I am definitely one of those that don't agree with paying a buck for a track that I have to lose a blank CD-R on in order to stick it on my Nomad, or my Cell Phone, or anything else that isn't owned by Apple.

I payed out $10.00 up front a long time ago to one of those Russian .mp3 sites that charges a dime a song. And anytime I encounter a song that I want that I hear on the radio, or at a bar/club, or any other avenue, that is exactly the first place I try and track that thing down (yes, even before TPB or isohunt or anywhere else). I've probably spent about $50 total on that site over the years (only because I had a pretty healthy music collection already, and rarely encountered things that I didn't want/need).

Honestly, except for a FEW rare instances (few DVD-Audio Disks, few SACDs) .. that is the only time I've actually paid for music in probably close to 10 years. I used to blow $100-$200 a month on physical disks, but that time is well past.

It's supply/demand scale of economics. The supply online FOR FREE is vast, and the demand for music is also high. iTunes only works because there are a LOT of tech un-savvy people out there that love their iPods, and it is a simple, closed system that (tends) to work. Give it 5-10 more years - how many kids do you know that buy music on iTunes exclusively? A lot of them are little tech geniuses, and they will end up like me - find a price point/DRM solution that they can live with, or go spit.

If you drop the prices in an online store, and I guarantee while piracy won't drop off the map completely, it will decline sharply. People aren't paying for music anymore; people are paying to avoid the pain in the ass it would be to get the music for free.

And another thing that comes to mind about that price point: Lowering the cost of entry increases the number of people able to cross that boundry. 50,000 people will pay a buck a song for a decent track .. I almost guarantee that more than 500,000 people will pay a dime for that same track. At this point you're just looking at bandwidth.

Re:ha (1)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429421)

Exactly, people don't mind paying for music "legally" however when you get so many closed source formats that are incompatible with each other, mixed with the patent mess here in the USA (So even though free-software has advanced and you can get codecs to play WMA, AAC, MP3 and others you can't legally use them because they are patented) make it nearly impossible to get good legitimate music. And bandwidth won't be an issue as long as you distribute them via a P2P network such as BitTorrent but when the *IAA realizes that they are driving potential customers away with DRM and things and stop, online music will have a future beyond the closed-source of Apple and the underground efforts of TPB

Re:ha (2, Informative)

Auz (50055) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429027)

"Could someone please tell me how TPB is somehow offering some new business model for the people who make the music?"

Is one needed? I'm pretty sure there was music being made (some of it quite decent) before the advent of audio recording technology allowed a music recording and distribution model to emerge.

Re:ha (1)

Tainek (912325) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429141)

For me, Piracy exists because i am a student, and as thus, can barely afford the noodles i eat 3 times daily, they arnt losing money from my piracy because i could never have spent it in the first place

Re:ha (2, Interesting)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429149)

The only business model a lot of people here seemed to support was AllofMP3, but honestly 10 cent non-DRMed songs really isn't a viable business model, as much as everyone wants it to be.
Maybe they should cut costs on the production end. Instead of using expensive equipment to process and polish and pitch-correct the voices of their current "talent" pool they should focus on hiring artists with actual, natural talent.

Re:ha (1)

Kazrath (822492) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429183)

I think part of the problem is so much of the music is crap and has devalued music considerably. Before when I was younger you would purchase an album for $15 and at least half the music was enjoyable. Now adays your lucky if it is 1/4 of the music. $1 buck a song IMHO is pretty expensive for the investment it takes to produce the song.

Here is a comparison:

Cost of an inexpensive hollywood movie is around 100 million. The DVD gets released and it is $30 and lasts for 90 minutes or 33 cents a minute. Cost of an album is about $15 bucks and runs for about 45 minutes or 33 cents a minute. Cost to produce said music is far from 100 million dollars. My point is they are charging highly inflated rates for the investment put into the music. The actual value of the music is changing and 33 cents a minute just does not cut it anymore.

Not to justify copywrite infringement but I would guess that a fairly large chunk of people who "Pirate" music/software/movies don't have jobs due to being underage and could not purchase said items anyway. They are not directly cutting into the bottom-line. Music is failing because of the poor quality and the price. Bringing the price even down to a quarter a song like the old Juke boxes would still be profitable just not outlandishly profitable like it currently is.

Re:ha (1)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429263)

First off, the concept of DRM is absolutely anti-consumer and gives me no incentive to purchase music "legitimately" if I can download DRM free tracks for free. So when you pay for your music why should you be restricted in what format you listen to it in? There was nothing stopping me from making my own CD player or record player or even tape player to play music but yet in the patent-ridden USA where even though we have codecs to play AAC, MP3, WMA and other audio files it is "illegal" because those are patented. When you can get DRM free music that you can get in as many formats as you want to play on an unlimited amount of devices, that will all play the song. Why should I have to pay say 3 times for a song to play it on an iPod then buy it again as a ringtone for my phone then buy the exact same thing to play on a Linux machine. There is absolutely no reason to have to do that. Whenever someone can get music in their format of choice, whether that is AAC, MP3, OGG, WAV or FLAC they should be able to have their music in that format. Sure it isn't profitable to sell for 10 cents DRM free but how about 99 cents DRM free? DRM-free shouldn't be an option, it should be expected. How much sence does it make to penalize your paying customers by only offering music that can't be played on certain hardware and software devices, now I am not saying they need to support every format known to mankind but having it in some open-source formats such as OGG and FLAC would make more people download music "legitimately".

Re:ha (1)

Wylfing (144940) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429391)

Just because AllofMP3's pricing is (maybe?) unsustainable for American music producers does not mean the business model is wrong. I think they have it quite right: pay per byte. The higher bitrate you want, the higher the price; the longer the track, the higher the price (i.e., ringtone MP3s = solved). Let the market find a sustainable equilibrium price. It will do that job just dandy.

What you seem to be arguing is that the record labels have tried to give people what they want. They haven't, not by a long shot. What they have tried to do is perpetuate their shady predatory practices online. Subscription services where all the music vanishes as soon as I stop paying, restrictive DRM, and evil pricing schemes. The same thing that is true for any market, anywhere, is true for the music market -- if you artificially choke the marketplace, the black market will flourish. The black market only goes away when the market is adequately meeting the demands of the buyer. So when we see a large black market in music trading, the lesson is that the marketplace is broken, not that the buyer is evil.

Re:ha (4, Insightful)

Fred Ferrigno (122319) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429565)

Could someone please tell me how TPB is somehow offering some new business model for the people who make the music?
If they don't have a business model that works, it's up to them and them alone to find one. I don't work for them. I don't see any benefit if their business is or isn't successful. I have no interest in doing their job for them.

Technology routinely renders old business models obsolete and doesn't necessarily replace them. There may not be a viable business model for selling music anymore. Forcing the issue and banning technology to keep them in business amounts to a government subsidy.

Lost the battle, won the war (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429569)

Metallica versus Napster was never about illegal downloads, it was about setting precedent which basically scared the s*** out of everyone in the music industry. You COULD NOT distribute music online (let alone sell it). Either you were under contract (which made use of Napster illegal) or you were stuck with terrible alternatives like Kazaa or Limewire. Two years later the iTunes Store comes out and the RIAA starts shitting themselves over Apple's success. (Not to mention the legal disputes).

what's in a name (1)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428785)

Might help if they didn't call use the word 'pirate' in their name.

It just seems like they chose the name to invite attack, rather than fly under the radar.

Just sayin'.

Re:what's in a name (4, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428927)

Might help if they didn't call use the word 'pirate' in their name.
Yeah, like "The Ninja Bay" would have been so much cooler.

Re:what's in a name (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429087)

The wealthy musician didn't do a good PR job with the antimonarchist faction, either. This conflict was inevitable.

Re:what's in a name (2, Informative)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429563)

Invite? They revel in it! They make a habit of publishing silly rebuttals to legal threats, and apparently their country of origin supports them to a surprising degree.

Sue 'em like it's 1999! (1)

Tatisimo (1061320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428789)

I think he's trying to revive 1999, when the whole file sharing vs. MAFIAA thing started evolving into lawsuits. Ah! The good old days!

Re:Sue 'em like it's 1999! (1)

calculadoru (760076) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429297)

I think he's trying to revive 1999

That wouldn't be such a bad idea, 1999 is one of his better albums.

is it worth it for Prince (2)

Paul Pierce (739303) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428821)

Ignoring taking sides over if Pirate Bay should be allowed to exist or not, is this worth it for Prince?

Money probably isn't an issue for him, so count that almost completely out (-.01)

This can't help him sell records I would imagine, image (-1)

Any publicity is good publicity? (+.2)

More people buy his record after not being able to find it on PB (doubt it ?)

A personal victory for Prince (he must really dislike Pirate Bay or I don't see why bother). Maybe he wants to help out other artists that don't want to attempt getting in the news for this.

Why they're being followed (3, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428867)

"What do they think they can find out by following us around? Everything we do is digital."

Duh, they're trying to catch you stealing all that music and software!

Re:Why they're being followed (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429357)

It's like a couple of Arkansas cops that were sent to arrest a white-collar criminal, and when asked why he was carrying a crowbar, one of them said, "In case we have to get any information out of the computer."

Stalking! (5, Interesting)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428877)

What, doesn't Sweden have laws against stalking? Because that's what this sounds like to me.

Just because Prince is some big star doesn't give him any special rights. Well, outside of America anyways. If Hollywood had any influence there, the TPB admins would already be in jail.

So go for it - sue Prince for harrassment and stalking.

Re:Stalking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21429343)

Actually as of yet - no. There's supposedly some laws in the making against it though. Let's see how those applies to people with big money. I'm not optimistic. :/

Re:Stalking! (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429389)

They should have someone follow around the guys who are following them around.

(And so on.)

setting up the dominoes of evidence (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21428937)

What I find particularly interesting about this article is the description of the 'camera-toting investigators following [The Pirate Bay admins] around in cars marked with Danish plates.' One TPB admin asks, '"What do they think they can find out by following us around? Everything we do is digital.'"

Anything they *can* find out, is what. Building up a criminal or civil case is all about setting up the dominoes of very basic and boring evidence. When they go to a judge and say "we want to search this location, it's the offices of Pirate Bay", the judge wants to see something beyond "we talked to this guy who knows this guy who said it's in this building." He wants to see that it's an office building, you go there regularly, etc.

Plus, if they're the cops, they're looking for anything that will legally get them inside your car, business, or home.

Also, I find the term "old fashioned pressure" to be hilariously misused here. The nice people sue. The mean ones may try the lawyers and politicians- and then go to the muscle.

TBP has got to be rolling in dough from advertisers. They should probably be spending some money on bodyguards and their own PI's (looking for anyone that might decide they've had enough.)

Wrong guy with the wrong friends (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429097)

Prince? That guy has been known to have some not-so-nice friends. Friends that might want to do him a favor. Or, you go to a rough part of town and hire some "friends" who are in it for the money and don't care about the cops.

Prince may wear a lot of purple but don't think for a moment that he is going to walk away from a fight. If he believes the way to get his way is with hired thugs, expect to find hired thugs. Probably paid well enough to forget completely about who hired them.

Re:Wrong guy with the wrong friends (1)

domatic (1128127) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429249)

That only works on completely anonymous nobodies. TPB is a fairly well known. Said thugs would also have to operate in a foreign country that won't be terribly inclined to leniency if they're caught. I suspect the sort operating the Pirate Bay would love nothing better than to trace and expose something like that. The Purple One is better off sticking to lawyering.

Re:Wrong guy with the wrong friends (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429513)

It's Sweden. They don't have "rough parts" in their towns.

I support TPB (1)

CitznFish (222446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429177)

cause they stick it to the man and don't care. Doesn't effect my life one bit so let them continue. If TPB disappears another will take its place.

Purpose of following admins around (2, Interesting)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429195)

What do they think they can find out by following us around? Everything we do is digital.

I normally hate all the Ayn Rand crap about how laws are just designed to keep the masses down, but in this case, it provides some context... It doesn't matter if you do everything online. At some point, you step back into the real world, along with real world rules. And that's when you can be caught for a million different things: littering, jaywalking, illegal parking, u-turns, speeding... the list is endless. If you're serious about taking someone out, don't do a frontal attack. Instead, sneak around the back and get them by surprise. Their site is firewalled and legally unassailable? Get them for something else. Tax evasion, anyone? If nothing else, the constant harassment will cause the admins to blow up at some point, and to provide some camera fodder.

Call for a New Torrent Search Model (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21429217)

Forget the "business-model" talk, what is needed is a new model for searching for torrents so sites like Pirate Bay, Demonoid, and the like are no longer needed. Has anyone here investigated: 1) Building a distributed torrent database on the millions of machines that currently host the target files? 2) Discovery protocols to locate machines hosting a distributed database. 3) Use of IRC or NetNews for a distributed database. The BitTorrent protocol works so well because of the distributed nature of the target files - no single point-of-failure. We need a similarly robust database of torrents to eliminate the single point-of-failure that exists in the form of the torrent search sites.

oh :) (1)

ezwip (974076) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429333)

Oh, that reminds me... I forgot to download the Prince discography. Thanks again homie! :D

Two faced (1, Insightful)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429353)

Prince literally gives away his latest album with a newspaper in the UK, completely devaluing his music and brand, but when people copy his music he gets p*ssed off?

Maybe he's realised that if he doesn't have tons of money that he won't be able to attract sexy models anymore?

Re:Two faced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21429511)

Does it really need to be explained that he's giving away his latest album because *he feels* piracy has devalued his music, and his brand? I guess so.

Oh dear... (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429409)

'"What do they think they can find out by following us around? Everything we do is digital.'"


An attitude like that is likely to make following them around very fruitful

PR stunt (1)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429449)

some artists formerly known als being successful will do anything to get some press coverage...

Old Fashioned Intimidation Tactics - MAFIAA Style (3, Insightful)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429451)

What do they think they can find out by following us around? Everything we do is digital.

Perhaps they are trying to dig up dirt about the admins for a good old fashioned blackmail mud-slinging political match ala J. Edgar Hover and the old school politicos or maybe they are just trying to intimidate the admins (i.e. black suburbans, helicopters, and guys in SWAT vests with 'RIAA' velcroed to the back). The best thing that the admins could do in response would be to keep reporting what is going on in their blogs and other public places on the Internet. This will help discourage these pseudo agents from arranging an 'accident' or some other more overt form of persuasion because everyone will know who was responsible.

Re:Old Fashioned Intimidation Tactics - MAFIAA Sty (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429587)

I can 100% promise if i was ever raided, the first guy through my door with RIAA on his vest is getting my fist in his face.

Re:Old Fashioned Intimidation Tactics - MAFIAA Sty (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#21429639)

...which would be followed by several jolts from the Tazers (i.e. don't taze me bro....eeaaaahhhh!) of his fellow raiders.
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