BitTorrent News via Torrent Freak

March 17, 2008

demonoid.jpgThe good folks at Torrent Freak caught my attention this morning with news of the possible resurrection of Demonoid, of one my favorite BitTorrent trackers, for stats. They have been tracking the fate of Demonoid since it was taken offline last year. The site seems to have gained a new host in the Ukraine and its torrents are working again. Ernesto of Torrent Freak speculates that it could come back online in the next few weeks. In other BitTorrent news the fall of Torernt.is, an Icelandic BitTorrent tracker which accounted for 50% of Icelands internet traffic seems to be nearly complete. I really do love that 10% of the population and 50% of the Internet traffic on the island nation was accounted for on one site.


IFPI Taken over by The Pirate Bay!

October 16, 2007

IFPI via The Pirate Bay

The good folks at Mashable have picked-up the story on what has to be the best set-up for a prank ever. It appears that the domain IFPI.com has fallen into the hands of the merry swashbuckling crew at The Pirate Bay. The domain IFPI.org still goes to the older IFPI site, belonging to International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. However now the domain IFPI.com takes you to the International Federation of Pirates Interest. Now that sounds like an interesting organization. I wonder what their membership dues are. For those that dont know, the IFPI is the international version of the RIAA and has been trying to shutdown the Pirate Bay for years.

The original story came from Ernesto over TorrentFreak.


Suicide Watch: Universal Music Demands Customers Use P2P

July 2, 2007

umg_logo.jpgYesterday Big JG, the soup eater, posted a note about Universals Music’s mad dash to ends its tortured existence as the worlds largest purveyor of little plastics discs. In an act of classic Seppuku, Universal Music is reported to have told Apple that it was not going to renew its contract to sell music through iTunes. The move comes as a bit of a shock given that the Universal is reported to net somewhere in the $200 million dollar range through iTunes sales. Apple’s steadfast refusal to allow the labels to “wet their beaks” from iPod sales is widely believe to be the main reason behind the move by Universal.

There are two huge problems with Universal’s withdrawal from iTunes. First, they are the only ones doing it. Both Sony/BMG and EMI are on board with Apple and Warner Music is bleeding money and employees so fast it wouldnt dare walk away from any source of income. Second, by refusing to sell its music through iTunes, universal will not effect the consumption of its music, iPod sales or iTunes popularity. People will just get the content that isnt on iTunes they way they get 70-80% of the content on their iPod, from CD’s and P2P networks. The big loser therefore can only be Universal Music, which stands to loose a couple hundred million dollars along with a couple million paying customers. In these lean times for the music industry turning away either is the fastest way to quick death I can think of.

Here is a simple law of survival economics that all digital entertainment business MUST LEARN! “A little money is better then NO money.”


2051 Google Pawns Big Media

June 18, 2007

Amazin’ Phasin’ hipped me to a very interesting video put on YouTube by the folks at the Italian consultancy Casaleggio Associati. The video is a look back at the media landscape from the year 2051. Its interesting for a couple of reasons: 1) its definitely wrong on the details 2) it seems directionally correct 3) its got really cool. Take look at the video and see if it convinces you that the future of big media will be spelled Google.


Pricing Digital Music: An academic perspective

April 25, 2007

the_analog_hole_is_my_ear.pngTrolling SSRN I came across another academic report destroying much of the FUD put out by the RIAA in their attempt to criminalize digital downloads. Like all good academic studies it has a cumbersome and wordy title, The Analog Hole and the Price of Music: An Empirical Study, which belies the rather simple text contained within.

The report starts off with an exploration of the analog hole , which frankly isnt that interesting but then goes into how the analog hole will effect the pricing of digital music. They set off to answer two questions: Do consumers perceive a difference between analog hole copies and the originals? Kinda. At what price would they be willing to sacrifice some quality? Twenty-five cents. The sample size is pretty small for the survey, only 66 respondents, but the findings are really interesting. Read the full report here and check out the abstract here:


What Evil File-traders Think about the Virtuous RIAA

April 15, 2007

Last week, I mentioned the survey from P2Pnet.net, that AllofMP3.com was promoting on their homepage. Well the good folks at P2Pnet have released some initial data and say they will release the entire data-set on Monday. So far they have over 750 respondents and what looks like some really good directional information on the thinking of at least a segment of the file sharing community. Watch for the full data, including answers to open-ended questions, to go live later this week and I’ll try to keep track of anyone that crunches the numbers and makes interesting connections.


The Two Sides of NIN

March 21, 2007

poster_23052.jpgAt this weeks VON 07 conference I was accosted by a fanatic passionate Canuck Podcaster. He regaled me with tales of the Internet’s future and helpfully suggested I spend more time online; so I could better understand online communities and the changes they are likely to have on big media.

One of the many points he made was how NIN was using the Internet and specifically Last.fm to engage theirs fans. He spoke about it in such loving and rapt tones that I thought for sure that Trent and team had jumped from their label and were now doing things on their own. No such luck. Janko Roettgers over at the put up a post today highlighting just how well the labels can screw-up anything dealing with the Internet. The short story, a German fan participating in the NIN ARG (started by NIN’s label) got shakendown for $675 by NIN’s German label reps. Thats right he got sued by NIN label reps for participating in a game started by NIN’s label. After a few months and lots of pressure from the blogosphere the label woke up, ate crow, apologized and made good.

This struck me as such an apt example, especially after the WSJ article today, of how dysfunctional the labels are and how difficult it is to manage the diametrically opposed goals of control and engagement.


RIAA to Users: Cash Registers are Ringing. Thanks!

March 5, 2007

The image below is of unknown authenticity and has been circulating around the net. Its apparently the reciept you get after you’ve have forked over protection money to the Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA), via their recently launched shakedown site. It’s at least good to know that as the RIAA forges ahead on it’s campaign to destroy any connection between the music industry and music fans, they havent forgotten their manners. The last sentence of the receipt is tragically ironic, wrong-headed and yet so very polite.

The original image came from here (Review Lister).

riaa_p2p_model4.jpg


RIAA to America: You’re All Guilty! So Pay Up.

March 4, 2007

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Tasked with rescuing the major labels from it’s very public death spiral, the Recording Industry Ass. of America has struck on a novel idea. Sue Everyone! Not just old ladies and children but everyone in the US. While you might think it’s a joke, its not. As a first step in their plan to sue everyone in the US the Recording Industry Ass. of America has launched a website where anyone that has received one of their “We’re gonna sue you” letters can go and settle-up.

The Recording Industry Ass. of America has invited a couple hundred college students to beta test the site (via “We’re gonna sue you” letters sent to them last week). The key to the Recording Industry Ass. of America’s plan for suing all American’s is the total automation of the process, from initial bullying to final ransom. The launch of this site, completes the automation process and now the Recording Industry Ass. of America can identify, accuse, threaten and shakedown every American without having to have expensive, and increasingly counter-productive, court appearances.

Read the rest of this entry »


Piracy has No Impact on CD Sales says Report

February 12, 2007

JPE coverA central tenet of the RIAA/IFPI terror campaign against file downloading has been that file downloading causes the industry to loose billion of dollars a year. This point is hotly debated by many who point out that downloading is more like sampling then buying and has probably resulted in net growth for the industry. However, the myopic, luddite brain-dead response of the music industry has been to ignore the mounting evidence of the negligible impact of file-sharing on music sales. Instead they prefer to sue old ladies and children and further poison their relationship with their customers.

Needless to say these arent the brightest folks in business. Fortunately, our good friends in the Ivory covered halls of academia have been busy crunching numbers and running models to see just what is what. Well the latest in a string of reports from some well lettered individuals is in and the numbers show that file-sharing is likely to have negatively impacted just .7% of CD sales. Ars Technica has the full story and its not good for the labels. You cant argue with science man.

Some of the previous research (Price and Piracy, Piracy and Sales, SSRN articles)


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