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[Stumblings in the dark] - a sporadic weblog

Wednesday, 24th of October, 2007

OiNK oinks no more (8:50 am)

I've been musing since yesterday over the demise of private BitTorrent site OiNK, and especially of the rather forbidding message now hosted there ("A criminal investigation continues into the identities and activities of the site's users"). In particular, I was thinking how this criminal investigation, if it finds anyone much, is going to turn up a huge selection of massive music fans with huge CD & vinyl collections, and what's more a huge selection of professional musicians and DJs. Because many, many musos, and probably all DJs, are obsessive music fans.

I was going to write something up about it, about how despite its rather insanely huge selections, once I was able to check out its wares (well, its warez), I didn't find much that I wanted, because I'm such a completist anyway; and about how most of the music I've "stolen" from filesharing over the years now exists on my CD/vinyl shelves anyway — eventually I'll find a way of buying a physical copy of anything I like, and what, in the end, is the difference between a second-hand copy of an out-of-print item and a downloaded mp3 of the same, from the record company's point of view? (Answer: nothing. The fuckerz really hate second-hand record stores too!)

And the strange morality of OiNK was something that struck me very much – enforced sharing ratios, enforced sound quality, stringent rules about formatting and information supplied; could I square that in my head with the illegality of the whole exercise? I'm not sure. Even the fact that it was forbidden to share leaked pre-masters and studio sessions, which in a weird way was actually reassuring.
To me if you engage in filesharing it's as a way of getting to hear music in advance, and secondarily to get to hear rare items that frankly nobody deserves to get inflated prices for on eBay… (I know there are plenty of kidz these days for whom it's just the way they get their music. Why, they feel, should they be forbidden from having some particular music just because they can't afford to buy it? Sure, they need some educatin' about how musicians need to make a living, but they also weren't the denizens of OiNK on the whole, I'd say.)

In any case, the wonderful Jace Clayton aka DJ /rupture has written the perfect post on the matter, so go read DEFENDING THE PIG: OiNK croaks. Thanks Jace!

3 Responses to “OiNK oinks no more”

  1. acb says:

    You didn't pay with your credit card to use the site? If so, destroy your hard disks now. (I hear the actual IFPI memo refers to "break(ing) on the wheel".)

  2. Peter says:

    I hardly used it at all. I'm unlikely to be under scrutiny as there'll be hundreds of people who actually uploaded stuff and shared stuff. I pretty much leached a small number of things, of which the majority I currently own and can prove it.

    What's more, I suspect that nothing I downloaded actually comes under the remit of the RIAA and similar.

  3. Matt says:

    Censored! hint taken :P

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