Judge Orders TorrentSpy to Spy on Users For MPAA

June 10, 2007

CNET.com is running an article about a secret order issued by Armenian dictator US Magistrate Judge, Jacqueline Chooljian. The order would require TorrentSpy to log all user activity on the site and turn the logs over to the MPAA, for review in their ongoing witch hunt battle against Torrent sites. The order was issued and sealed on May 29th but on Friday Hon. Judge Chooljian stayed the order giving TorrentSpy until June 12 to file an appeal. In the CNET article a TorrentSpy representative says that they will block US access to the site before they allow users to be tracked. They have also posted a short message on their site about the court case and how they plan to tackle it. US courts have wrestled with the issue of websites being held responsible for files/material they neither distribute nor control and only point to several times, and I’m pretty sure generally these sites cant be touched. Lets hope it stays that way. But just in case you might want to get familiar with Anonymizer and check here, here and here for simple ways to change your MAC address.

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AnywhereCD back in CD Business

June 7, 2007

Back in April, Michael Robertson launched his latest Internet venture called AnywhereCD, which was supposed to sell CD’s with MP3 tracks that could be downloaded immediately. No sooner had the companies press release hit the Blogosphere then Warner Music pulled its music from the site. The lawsuits started to fly and the AnywhereCD was reduced to eMusic.com circa 1999.

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RIAA Sultans of Spin: Survey Data From 1,077 Internet Users

April 23, 2007

riaasul.jpgA Pew Research report it aint, but the good folks at P2pnet.net have released the raw data from their online survey of Internet users, entitled “Sultans of Spin“. The data is released under the creative commons license and is in MS access format for easy crunching if your a database geek (I’m not). I mentioned the report last week and while I hear the folks at P2Pnet have caught a lot of flack for the survey its a great resource for getting the pulse of the folks the RIAA’s lawsuits are intended to pawn. If you do anything with the numbers ping me so I can get a look. Here is the data file zipped.


AnywhereCD and the $12 MP3 Album

April 23, 2007

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Last week serial business starter and aging Internet super-star, Michael Robertson, launched the 6th iconoclastic Internet venture in his portfolio of disruptive ventures. The new business, called AnywhereCD, billed itself as an MP3 music vendor with a CD delivery option.  And while the business itself is a bit of a yawner, its pricing and sales pitch are at least entertaining.

Explaining the AnywhereCD business model is a bit complex, largely because of how they are trying to market the service. Basically for around $15 bucks you can buy a CD from the site and get it sent to you in the mail. With each CD purchase you also get DRM-free files of songs from the CD int eh MP3 format. This is pretty impressive given the labels resistance to MP3 downloads even when they might make money from it. This is of course where things get kinda wonky. For $3 less than price of both the CD and MP3 files, AnywhereCD will sell you the CD and MP3 files but only give you the MP3 files. Confused?

The CD is clearly the basis of pricing on the site but their sales pitch is fashioned in a way to make it seem that the MP3 files are what’s being sold. The MP3 delivery and all the digital goodness that flows from having a DRM-free digital file is ancillary to the basic transaction of buying a CD for 12 bucks. The sites original pricing model featured two sets of prices one for MP3’s + a CD and the other for just the MP3’s. Thankfully, before anyone really had a chance to ask any questions or point out what was truly being offered, the MP3 album option disappeared.

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In less then 12 hours after the sites launch, on April 12th, the MP3 only option was gone from the site. Apparently even the pretense of being able to buy albums exclusively as MP3 files is more then the labels can stomach. Gone is the “MP3 Album + CD” verbiage, replaced by the much safer and probably more truthful CD plus MP3 wording. Thus an interesting, if not truly new, online marketing and sales scheme was killed on the vine by the luddite music business. But wait, there’s more…

On April 20th Reuters reported that AnywhereCD had filed a lawsuit against Warner Music for breach of contract, business defamation and trade libel. Former liquor vendor and current Warner Music topper, Edgar Bronfman Jr., is reported to have said that selling digital music without DRM is illogical, clearly he believes not selling any music at all is the better option.


Viacom vs YouTube via YouTube

March 23, 2007

Its an awesome skit. And even better its on YouTube. Awesomeness, thanks to Scott Mathews! Alas, the clip is no longer available on YouTube!

Here’s one of  man, many funny anti-Viacom clips out there.


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).

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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.

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