Archive for January 2007

Allofmp3 may not have moved to the Ukraine

January 30, 2007

Well, since the company is still registered in Russia and most of the data still resides there it is not much of a move to the Ukraine. It’s easy enough to move your basic web site anywhere. Whilst there has been much speculation about which countries might stay safe havens for pirate sites I am not sure Ukraine is one of them. Ok, it is already home to some pirate sites, such as mp3sugar, but I suspect the right pressure from either the US or content industries woukld soon see the Ukraine acting to show that they can do what Russia could not. It would send the right message to potential investors in Ukraine.

One thing this highlights to me is that news moves so fast on the Web that the details often lag behind. In the rush to report the new p2pnet reported that allofmp3 had moved to Ukraine. It turns out that part of their web site moved and so far that’s about it. Might be a precursor to greater changes but it’s hardly true to report it’s moved. By reporting what was reported I, and Musically, may have propagated the story as true. Now I come to fill in some more details the story loses it’s punch.

So, on that note, I am now going to link to an altogether different article in the FT about how media buyers are trying to understand and use the nature of how a buzz builds in the blogosphere.

Allofmp3 may have moved to Ukraine

January 29, 2007

One of the problems with hounding an illegal service is that it may move to an even more inaccesible location. According to P2Pnet allofmp3.com may have done just that and, as well as changing its business model, may have moved to the Ukraine. With services that are servers and links to the internet moving to another location is always going to be a possibility and so long as there are territories with IP laws that do not touch them we will see more of this happening.

EMI strikes ad-supported deal with Baidu

January 22, 2007

Mark Mulligan is suggesting that ad-supported models may be the only way forward for digital music in China. This prompted by news that EMI has pulled out of an IFPI appeal against the ruling in favour of Baidu last November.

Injunction against Rapidshare

January 22, 2007

German collection society, GEMA, has been granted injunctions against cyberlocker Rapidshare. Will this see a turn in the trend for using cyberlockers for hosting pirate content?

Piracy, mafia and strong-arm tactics

January 17, 2007

There is a war on and increasingly it seems that those who play by the rules might be losing out. Take the corporate end of the content industry for instance, mostly resident in the US and Europe, who are at war with pirates the world over and still seem to play by rules which compromise their ability to fight back.

You might recall my post a week or so ago about the Ukranian who was shot in Italy as part of feuding groups involved in content piracy. Well, whoever shot him is proabably doing good business now having eliminated their competition and, through fear, increased the barriers to entry for newcomers.

Given the degree of erosion to market revenues and the snail’s pace of legal systems in Western democracies and the questionable legal controls in say Russia or China the content industry needs to come in harder and faster on the commercial end of piracy.

How?

1. Buy Sealand and install a third party there to launch denial of service attacks and other dastardly technical measures on end-user P2P’ers. Also stops PirateBay buying it.

2. On a more realistic note, they need to see piracy as a business and look at how those involved in illegal business conduct their affairs. Less lawyers, less mr nice guy, less C&Ds, less takedown notices, less DMCA and more leg-breaking, bribery and intimidation.

OK, so as a publically traded company there are certain things you cannot be seen to do but come on big companies do all sorts off the radar. We shouldn’t be hearing about criminal proceedings about directors of Allofmp3, we should be hearing that he got hurt or has mysteriously disappeared. Fight fire with fire.

Here’s my more moderate line for the company prepared to play dirty and protect their own interests … go make deals. No, not those deals that involve months of lawyers negotiating tweaks to standard form contracts, but dealing with the business interests involved in commercial pirate enterprises. Firstly demonstrate the ability to play dirty – burgle a data centre or launch a denial of service or similar. Then say,  “We’ll back off on giving you grief and hounding you in the courts if you comply with taking our content down”.

The real threat is:

1. that technical measures are too weak  – there might be thousands of decoys but i only need to get a file once or actually I can wait for a slowed down BT download or have multiple running simultaneously.

2. The law is too slow.

3. The two together may not be enough to avoid the decline of the content industry as we know it.

Wal-Mart advertising on Bit Torrent site

January 12, 2007

Variety reports that Wal-Mart ads have been appearing on The Pirate Bay. When I looked into this issue a couple of years back in the UK, it appeared that the Blue Chip companies whose ads were appearing next to porn and pirate material were mainly oblivious. The trouble is media buying agencies will often aportion some of the budget to picking up excess inventory at cheap prices. Final destination for the ads is rarely communicated to the client either in advance, or after. Companies not wishing their ads to appear in places out of their control need to ask for better accounting from the media agencies. That said, it does not mean there is no value advertising on P2P, but when so many P2P operations are acting illegally and so much content is undesirable to have a brand associated with care and accountability is vital.

Ambivalence on YouTube

January 10, 2007

There is a line tucked deep down in this LA Times article where Google’s VP of Content Partnerships, David Eun, says

We know for a fact that there were some companies that were very vocal about the legal concerns, whose own marketing departments were uploading content to YouTube.

He implies it is some terrible hypocrisy but really is it not about choice over who has control? I guess the companeis involved are complaining about large-scale breaches of their copyright on YouTube, but still doing some targetted posting of content they have made a business decision can be used as promotional material. Not entirely nonsensical.