RIAA, IFPI etc. – the war against illegal filesharing.

In these turbulent days for illegal file sharing I feel the need to add my personal “rant”.

Recently OiNK’s Pink Palace (short: Oink) was shut down in by IFPI and BPI, in collaboration with British and Dutch police. They claimed to have spent over two years doing research and planning this event. In Britain the admins home was raided and his personal computer(s) was confiscated along with his XBOX (probably due to it’s possibility for media center usage). In Holland, the local police raided the web host where Oinks servers where located.

All of this sounds perfectly reasonable considering how record companies and other organizations such as RIAA, IFPI etc. proclaim such sites to be illegal. However, there are some questions that needs to be asked; are sites such as Oink and The Pirate Bay any worse than Google? For those unfamiliar with how so called trackers work I’ll give a short explanation. A tracker is a website hosting files called torrents. These files contain information on content (such as an album of mp3 files, movies etc.) and from where it can be acquired (a modified truth, but bear with me). Certain applications (µTorrent and Azureus being some popular ones) can read these torrent files and downloads the content described in them. The content itself is stored on other users computers. That is exactly how many trackers proclaim their innocence; they do not host the actual content, but merely information on how to acquire it. A typical procedure to download an album would be: 1. log on to a tracker (if it’s a private one). 2. search for an album. 3. receive search results. 4. download the search result in form a torrent file. 5. load this torrent file in a suited program. 6. have a cup of coffee while it downloads. 7. listen to music from your local computer.

Sounds familiar? Yes this is exactly how Google, or other search engines work. You query the search engine and it gives you a result on where you can find what you are looking for. You then use a suitable program (ie. Internet Explorer or similar) to go there and download the material you want whether the provider has the rights to distribute this material or not. Some may remember back in the beginning of Google Books, where Google itself provided content (in form of digitalized books) they may or may not have the rights to distribute. This would seem more severe than what Oink was doing. If i asked on an on line forum where I could acquire an album, and some random guy pointed me to Dimitrij on the corner of 5th and 42nd street. He then was kind enough to give me an album (although perhaps copied). I would then have committed a crime acquiring illegal goods, and Dimitrij would have given away goods he had no rights to give away. However, could the on line forum, or the person pointing me to Dimitrij be considered guilty? IFPI etc. believe so. This is how (although a little obscure example) trackers such as Oink operate. There is a law, I don’t remember it’s name, which is used in such events. It’s used against trackers saying that they contribute to fraud (or illegal distribution of content). I don’t know which countries this law applies, but is it right? I won’t discuss that any more in-depth here, but it’s a mind opener. Does providing this link (courtesy of Oink) make me a criminal? Or on the other hand, does it make Google a criminal?

Think about it. Should Google be raided and shut down because they provide directions to other people doing crimes? That’s what Oink was.

Now, a little disclaimer so to speak. I do acknowledge that Oink was created for the sole purpose of sharing content, most of which by individuals who have no rights to do so. Google is not. Despite this fact however, the discussion above is both interesting and highly relevant.

A few interesting articles can be found on TorrentFreak. Also, if you have the time, this article from demonbaby is interesting reading.

Waffles are delicious!

2 Comments


  1. Well, I have a few opinions on this:

    First viewpoint: the keepers of Oink and Pirate Bay PURPOSEFULLY share torrents that enable one to download illegal stuff. They know what they are doing very well and still continue time after time. Same would go for a guy who would know Dimitrij sells pirate CD’s and still would direct someone to him. Same however doesn’t go for Google, since they couldn’t possibly know what kind of links such a big search engine provides. Otherwise they would have to guarantee there are absolutely no links whatsoever to any illegal sites, yes? And that would be plain impossible. Now, on other hand, why you can still find Pirate Bay on Google AFTER such a polemic over its content is beyond me. They could show the courtesy of blocking such well known illegal site from their engine if their search engine is supposed to work under law. That’s what I’d expect from a big company which wants to keep its reputation.

    Second viewpoint: why the fuck do police waste resources on carefully planning and raiding people and servers that don’t even make a living out of providing illegal content that doesn’t kill or hurt anyone (except someone’s pockets) is totally beyond me. There’s enough crime to go around in world and tax payers’ money is spent on something such a retarded thing as this. Those big companies that lose money to piratism pay only a tiny fraction of police budget worldwide! So why the fuck do police do personal favors for them and not me? The tiny communist in me says this is BULLSHIT!


  2. One could of course argue that sites such as Oink had a disclaimer on their home page quoting:

    “Disclaimer: None of the files shown here are actually hosted on this server. The links are provided solely by this site’s users. The administrator of this site (Oink) cannot be held responsible for what its users post, or any other actions of its users. You may not use this site to distribute or download any material when you do not have the legal rights to do so. It is your own responsibility to adhere to these terms.”

    The protocol used, BitTorrent, is exactly the same for free material. There were several (without having any sources) artists distributing their music through Oink for free.

    On your other viewpoint about authoroties spending tax payers money to “do personal favors” to record companies and their organisations (RIAA, IFPI etc.), I tend to agree. Just last night 4 innocent women were raped in my city. Money better spent on catching them. Andy for president!!

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