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Mininova Goes Legit
November 26, 2009 8:20 AM   Subscribe

Today is an important day in the history of Mininova. From now on, we are limiting Mininova.org to our Content Distribution service. In other words, kiss goodbye to the largest illegal content distribution site on the interwebs (until the next one, maybe)....

Some background from torrentfreak.com:

Mininova, the largest torrent site on the Internet, has removed all torrents except those that were uploaded through its content distribution service. Mininova’s founders took the drastic decision after they lost a civil dispute against Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN, and were ordered to remove all infringing torrents from the site.
posted by davehat (88 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
I thought The Pirate Bay was the biggest. Either way, I think this is like the old cliche about cutting off one of the hydra's heads....
posted by meadowlark lime at 8:22 AM on November 26, 2009


OK, someone just post the next best public tracker and this will all blow over in a day.
posted by Theta States at 8:24 AM on November 26, 2009


First they came for Audio Galaxy, and we all moved to Napster.
Then they came for Napster, and we all moved to LimeWire, Grokster and KaZaA.
Then they came for LimeWire, Grokster and KaZaA, and we all moved to The Pirate Bay and Mininova.
Then they came for The Pirate Bay and Mininova, and there will be plenty of other services to move to.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:27 AM on November 26, 2009 [19 favorites]


No problem.
posted by fuq at 8:30 AM on November 26, 2009


Then they came for The Pirate Bay and Mininova, and there will be plenty of other services to move to.

I hope something pops up soon because with Mininova finally gone and TPB all but shut down, Demonoid is the only one left and it's been down for months.

Mininova has been essentially dead for almost a year, ever since they first started deleting copyrighted material. This final nail in the coffin isn't too notable.
posted by bunnytricks at 8:32 AM on November 26, 2009


But how will we poor North Americans get the next Doctor Who specials???
posted by Construction Concern at 8:36 AM on November 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


Sounds good? You can apply now! Make sure you meet the following requirements:

* You are (or your company is) the copyright owner or publisher of quality content.
* You would like to distribute your content for free.
* You agree that you will not upload DRM-protected content or spam.

posted by b1tr0t at 8:36 AM on November 26, 2009


Arrgh!!!
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:45 AM on November 26, 2009


You know what would be totally killer? Pirate satellites. You launch a simple reflector satellite into space, where no one can get to it. Then you broadcast data to the satellite which beams it back Idealy, you would want something that could be picked up with regular wifi-hardware with some firmware upgrades or something.

I suppose the system could be jammed, though.
posted by delmoi at 8:45 AM on November 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I see they had just hit 10 billion downloads - which attracts a lot of attention. I'm hazy on how the torrent world works, but is this a case where the big, highly visible site gets shut down and then one of many smaller sites jumps in and becomes the next big player in the torrent world - and then the process just keeps repeating? Are there just a few reliable torrent sites like Mininova, or are there thousands of sites like them and they just happened to be one of the biggest?
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 8:46 AM on November 26, 2009


You know what would be totally killer? Pirate satellites. You launch a simple reflector satellite into space, where no one can get to it.

The Chinese could get to it.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 8:48 AM on November 26, 2009


Ok, honestly, seriously, please. This is starting to really become irritating.

Where do I go now to steal TV, movies and music I don't want to pay for? What do I do? I used to use TPB, but now that's gone. And now Mininova is gone, and, seriously, what the fuck.

Where do I go?! WHERE!?!?!?
posted by kbanas at 8:48 AM on November 26, 2009


I just hope they don't shut down my favorite site. I'm not going to tell anyone what it is though, because this thread is being monitored.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:49 AM on November 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Where do I go?! WHERE!?!?!?

*coughUSENETcough*
posted by bunnytricks at 8:51 AM on November 26, 2009 [1 favorite]



I just hope they don't shut down my favorite site. I'm not going to tell anyone what it is though, because this thread is being monitored.


Just, uh, send me a MeMail.
posted by kbanas at 8:51 AM on November 26, 2009


The Chinese could get to it.

We'll just have to make it missileproof.
posted by delmoi at 8:51 AM on November 26, 2009


BREIN also won a case against The Pirate Bay in July. I've been told that Pirate Bay trackers now block Dutch IPs, but I -- uh, I mean, a friend -- haven't noticed a difference. They have also been allowed to accompany the police on raids looking for copyright infringers, even though they are not a government entity.

I'm not Dutch -- I just live here -- but to me, BREIN seems weirdly out of place in the Dutch cultural ethos. There's definitely a foundation of tolerance and live-and-let-live (or possibly just-look-the-other-way, depending on your point of view) under a lot of Dutch law and life. Maybe BREIN is a sort of backlash against that; maybe it represents the feeling some have that the NL is too permissive (or, at least, that other countries shouldn't think the NL is too permissive).
posted by transporter accident amy at 8:53 AM on November 26, 2009


This is sad. I think I would be more angry if I didn't have excellent private trackers to use.
posted by azarbayejani at 8:54 AM on November 26, 2009


"But how will we poor North Americans get the next Doctor Who specials???"

Private trackers. The future is an unending and unsuccessful (for the copyright associations) game of whack a mole attempting to suppress private trackers.
posted by Mitheral at 8:55 AM on November 26, 2009


Private Torrent sites are really what you want for all your piracy needs.
posted by chunking express at 8:59 AM on November 26, 2009


What, like Demonoid?
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:00 AM on November 26, 2009


No.
posted by chunking express at 9:01 AM on November 26, 2009


the best torrent aggregator, google
posted by valdesm at 9:03 AM on November 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes, these public sites really are the joke of the community... the private ones are still going strong and fast without all the drama and whatnot.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:11 AM on November 26, 2009


Is this where I recommend Bit Che?
posted by blue_beetle at 9:13 AM on November 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hmm, Bittorrent Apparently uses a Distributed Hashtable now, but obviously you still need to know about a specific torrent. I wonder how well that actually works.
posted by delmoi at 9:13 AM on November 26, 2009


chunking express: Private Torrent sites are really what you want for all your piracy needs.

valdesm: the best torrent aggregator, google

These two answers have the entire thing answered. Googling the name of the thing you want with the word torrent, all in quotes, will get you a link to download that thing. Finding and joining private sites will have the same thing, and usually sooner, in higher quality or both.

And if both of those fail, search RapidShare and MediaFire. Frankly, Minova and TPB going down doesn't matter at all.

Like it or don't, the djinn ain't goin' back in the bottle.
posted by paisley henosis at 9:16 AM on November 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


Now when Oink was shut down, that was a site that had content all to itself and actually affected the way music was shared and spread across the entire internet. That was a torrent closure worth noting.
posted by paisley henosis at 9:18 AM on November 26, 2009 [6 favorites]


Now when Oink was shut down, that was a site that had content all to itself and actually affected the way music was shared and spread across the entire internet. That was a torrent closure worth noting.

10/23 never forget.
posted by tybeet at 9:21 AM on November 26, 2009


Pirate Bay is still going.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:24 AM on November 26, 2009


Isohunt is still going
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:39 AM on November 26, 2009


I miss demonoid... they keep saying they'll be back, and maybe one day they will. Man, that was some good quality stuff, and unusual stuff you couldn't get anywhere else. Good community too. The thing about private torrents is the breadth of offerings simply is not there. Demonoid was outstanding for that, and the users vigilant about kicking off trash and viruses and what not. Great one stop shopping - music, video, books, apps, with torrents lasting years. It was great. Hope it comes back.
posted by VikingSword at 9:41 AM on November 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


.

and another for Demonoid which may or may not return...

.
posted by MikeMc at 9:44 AM on November 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


The thing about private torrents is the breadth of offerings simply is not there.

Then you're doing it wrong. In my experience private sites have vastly more content than public sites: music, software, ebooks, movies - you name it, and there's a site devoted to it that does its job well.
posted by tybeet at 9:46 AM on November 26, 2009


All the people naively crowing about their super unkillable private trackers ought to think back, yes, to OiNK.
posted by Marquis at 9:56 AM on November 26, 2009


Good riddance to these terrible, spammy, virus-laden public sites like Mininova, TPB, and Demonoid. Private trackers are where the good, drama-free content has been for years now.
posted by bradbane at 10:07 AM on November 26, 2009



All the people naively crowing about their super unkillable private trackers ought to think back, yes, to OiNK.


Yes, but it took all of 24 hours after OiNK shut down for another delicious website to immediately pop up in it's place with the exact same users and content.
posted by bradbane at 10:09 AM on November 26, 2009


Private trackers. The future is an unending and unsuccessful (for the copyright associations) game of whack a mole attempting to suppress private trackers.

Nice bit of goalpost moving there. If the industry's goal is to make filesharing more trouble than it's worth for most people, then they're succeeding just fine.
posted by cillit bang at 10:11 AM on November 26, 2009


Aw crap. Back to Giganews for me.

I'm still pulling down files from last night's Mininova torrent session, and may shed a tear or two when they're finished. This takes me back to when Suprnova went dark back in 2004.

10.26.09 NEVAR FORGET
posted by porn in the woods at 10:12 AM on November 26, 2009


There's a really good site called btjunkie, that does a pretty good job of searching all public and private trackers.
posted by wabbittwax at 10:14 AM on November 26, 2009


Sad news. What's interesting is BitTorrent is evolving to the point where decentralized torrents almost work. It may be that the Internet no longer needs a big site like Pirate Bay.

There's two bits of central infrastructure needed to make a BitTorrent download work. There's the tracker, which plays traffic cop mediating all the peers sharing content. And there's the torrent index, which contains the actual small .torrent files that describe the file you want to download.

Pirate Bay used to run a big, popular tracker, but they're shutting it off. (Did Mininova ever run a tracker?) But trackers are becoming unnecessary: recent innovations with PEX and DHT mean you can find peers without a centralized tracker. Once you have a .torrent file you just connect to "the cloud" and find other peers to share the content with you. Trackers still seem to help, but I think BitTorrent could adapt to a fully trackerless deployment.

The problem is you still need a .torrent file to start the download. Pirate Bay, Suprnova, and Mininova were successful largely because they had the biggest, best indexed collection of torrents. Shutting those sites down will definitely put a crimp in easy stealing of TV shows. Magnet links will somewhat help with the problem, but ultimately you still need a .torrent file somewhere out there. I think we're right on the cusp of magnet links being enough to get the actual torrent from the cloud, but it's not quite there. The mininova shutdown may force the issue.
posted by Nelson at 10:14 AM on November 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's not that any particular private tracker is unkillable. It's that they are easy to setup and don't make a nice low hanging fruit target for **AAs/*PIs. Many of their torrents don't show up on search engines because the files are behind login walls. Like private gambling clubs or speakeasies the enforcement agencies have essentially zero chance of shutting them all down. At best legal action can generate churn.

And really they only become vulnerable once they get huge. Didn't OiNK have like 200K users? Wasn't the owner out there making publicity for the activities within? Not exactly trying to fly under the radar.

cillit bang writes "Nice bit of goalpost moving there. If the industry's goal is to make filesharing more trouble than it's worth for most people, then they're succeeding just fine."

Maybe. I'm not finding it significantly harder though I didn't use napster. It's still easier, 99% of the time, than trying to access content legally. Compare and contrast for example viewing The Daily Show through the comedy network ('cause comedy central is blocked from Canada) to downloading a torrent. It's an ad ridden horror story that doesn't even work on a regular basis vs. a couple clicks.

Nelson writes "I think we're right on the cusp of magnet links being enough to get the actual torrent from the cloud, but it's not quite there. The mininova shutdown may force the issue."

Is it possible to distribute the file viz Usenet?
posted by Mitheral at 10:26 AM on November 26, 2009


You know what would be totally killer? Pirate satellites.

Orbiting your living room, cashing in the bill of rights...
posted by octothorpe at 11:03 AM on November 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'll just keep using torrentz.com, which is a meta-aggregator of all the torrent sites and trackers.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:16 AM on November 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


lazaruslong, just wanted to say that.
posted by Laotic at 11:37 AM on November 26, 2009


Well, OK. What's a good private tracker? Is this something I need to pay to access? I'll pay. Oh, I'll pay.
posted by kbanas at 11:39 AM on November 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


You know, I kind of find myself paying for music most of the time these days. It used to be, you had a pretty good excuse, because iTunes was DRMed crap and you had to install their awful software.

But now that I have a job and Amazon has high-quality, DRM-free mp3s, I have a lot of trouble justifying not just paying for it- especially when it comes to supporting smaller artists.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:59 AM on November 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


But supposing I did want to liberate music from a private tracker, I have an earnest question:

This is something I create an account for, right? Doesn't that mean they have a database with everything I've downloaded associated with my login and maybe my IP I login from? And could not this database be seized by the authorities in the inevitable bust?
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:01 PM on November 26, 2009


bradbane: Yes, but it took all of 24 hours after OiNK shut down for another delicious website to immediately pop up in it's place with the exact same users and content.

I don't disagree with your point, in general terms, but the fact of the matter is that neither one of the W's, nor both of them combined, can match the breadth, width, and depth of what Oink had. Neither one is compelling people to buy better equipment just to rip LPs or 45s at a higher fidelity, and the simple truth is that lots of the best rippers on Oink retired when it died.

cillit bang: Nice bit of goalpost moving there. If the industry's goal is to make filesharing more trouble than it's worth for most people, then they're succeeding just fine.

Sorry, but if you want easy nothing is simpler than plugging the name of the artist + song or album into YouTube and hearing the entire thing, for free, instantly. The only thing that could be easier than Googling "win 7 iso torrent."

On this note, I'd like to give credit to Steam, the only content providers I have seen so far to combine the ease of piracy with the benefits of purchasing.

kbanas: Well, OK. What's a good private tracker? Is this something I need to pay to access? I'll pay. Oh, I'll pay.

The first question is one that isn't meant to be answered in a thread like this. The second question, the answer is a resounding No.
posted by paisley henosis at 12:05 PM on November 26, 2009


drjimmy11: This is something I create an account for, right? Doesn't that mean they have a database with everything I've downloaded associated with my login and maybe my IP I login from? And could not this database be seized by the authorities in the inevitable bust?

Remember when Oink got shut down (mentioned above)? They had around a quarter million active users, including recording industry people who were uploading hand-rips before the scene even had access to the music. They seized the actual servers that held all of that information and did press releases about how they were going to go after every single person involved.

Three years later, and they still haven't made good on that. I think it has something to do with this, but I really don't understand it.
posted by paisley henosis at 12:09 PM on November 26, 2009


> Now when Oink was shut down, that was a site that had content all to itself and actually affected the way music was shared and spread across the entire internet. That was a torrent closure worth noting.

.

Gigantic torrent aggregators come and go. Donkax, Suprnova, Mininova/TPB, [This Space Available]. Oink was the only one that I'd consider a loss.
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 12:16 PM on November 26, 2009


Torrent sites, they come they go. Saturday through Sunday, Monday through Sunday, yo.
posted by Askiba at 1:01 PM on November 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oink and private trackers are not aggregators or index sites like suprnova or mininova. It's a mistake to compare them because they work completely differently. Suprnova never ran a tracker, they just collected torrent files that people contributed; those torrents were tracked by third party trackers. A private site runs its own tracker and every torrent on the site uses that tracker by necessity because they record and keep track of how much each user uploaded and downloaded.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:07 PM on November 26, 2009


Sorry, but if you want easy nothing is simpler than plugging the name of the artist + song or album into YouTube and hearing the entire thing, for free, instantly.

In the UK at least, listening to songs on YouTube is entirely legit and industry-endorsed, as Google pay a license fee to the relevant industry rights body. Not sure if there's a similar deal in the US.
posted by cillit bang at 1:13 PM on November 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


ISOHunt has been the best (for me) over the past few months. Sometime in late summer they seemed to surpass both Mininova and Pirate Bay in terms of speed and seeders. Not sure if that is somehow connected to the type of content I've been searching for (a lot of hip hop and electronic music, winter is coming after all..)

ha, last night I was already in bed when I realized something I kind of wanted to get, and I actually got out of bed and went to Mininova to get it. Knew there was a reason I did that so urgently.
posted by mannequito at 1:32 PM on November 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


What are magnet links? I noticed them on TPB the other day, but haven't had time to investigate further.
posted by afx237vi at 1:46 PM on November 26, 2009


The only problem with the private tracker thing is the invites. I've managed to get into a few, but they're very genre specific (sports, punk music), and invites to those aren't often wanted as swap material, leaving me at the mercy of public trackers when I'm trying to find shows that just never made it to Japan.

It helps, though, that Japanese authorities are, as of yet, still obsessed with winny, and haven't seemed to notice bittorrent.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:04 PM on November 26, 2009


I just go direct to the source - http://eztv.it.

Call me a pirate. I buy my stuff on DVD when it comes over here but without torrents I'd be stuck waiting for local TV over here to buy the series and then screw it up.

30 Rock? 11:30pm on a Tuesday sometimes. The Office? Pretty much cancelled after a season. Castle? Nowhere to be seen. Community and Modern Family? Bahahahahahaha. Nobody over here has even picked it up. What did we get? Glee. That's about the only show to make it over here reliably but it's at least two weeks behind.

Give me a way to pay for US TV directly and I'll do it. Find a way to monetize me and I'll take it. I buy all my music these days because of the sheer convenience and fair pricing (until I can't but it in which case off to the seedier side). But since international distribution contracts mean I'm at the mercy of local TV importers when it comes to Hulu and what not I guess I'll be an evil pirate until the DVDs come out.
posted by Talez at 2:05 PM on November 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


For all your current TV needs (including Dr Who!)
posted by Poet_Lariat at 2:09 PM on November 26, 2009


Eztv just posts scene releases. They are not the source.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:12 PM on November 26, 2009


OH NOES, Mininova is gone. I'm gutted. Where will I get mhy data from now?

Will it be Demonoid? What about Bitesoup? Or Torrentportal. Or Youtorrent, Isohunt, Torrentz, Torrentscan, Torrentsmatrix, Torents.to, FileMP3, TorrentBox, TorrentSpy, BTJunkie, Torrentreactor, Torrenttyphoon, Yotoshi, Snarfit, Torrentbytes, Meganova, ByTorrents Meta Search, Thinktorrent, Torrentdamage, FullDLS, Torrentlocomotive, Scrapetorrent, Filelist.org, Fenopy, BTbot, Lokitorrent and the ubiquitous Bittorrent.com, for that matter?

Huh. Maybe this situation isn't so bad after all.
posted by Effigy2000 at 2:27 PM on November 26, 2009 [23 favorites]


I'd imagine the major problem has always been lack of plausible deniability, the courts actually won't shut down services that are primarily providing other services. BitTorrent itself was written for piracy but has perfect plausible deniability.

So maybe social networking is the best source for plausible deniability among torrent distributors. If you wish to challenge facebook, create a social networking wesite and/or peer2peer app which shares your likes, dislikes, brags about your library, and helps find likable freshmeat. Oh, but plugins make packaging torrents trivial. And begging gets those plugins installed.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:48 PM on November 26, 2009


Seems like some of the torrent sites are starting to feel the h33t.
posted by MikeMc at 2:57 PM on November 26, 2009


With the laws being brought in in various places (the Digital Economy bill in the UK, the ACTA treaty elsewhere), private torrents won't be able to hide. ISPs will be obliged to monitor traffic looking for torrent-like activity, and agencies like the BPI and RIAA will be able to obtain search warrants based on such evidence. And encryption won't help entirely, as there's a lot you can get with traffic analysis, especially when conducted on a mass scale. (Monitor a few million nodes and you notice suspicious connections going to a few key nodes; then monitor everybody who connects to those and print off a few search warrants.)

The War On Copying is about to turn into a guerilla insurgency.
posted by acb at 2:59 PM on November 26, 2009


BitTorrent itself was written for piracy ...

It was?
posted by chunking express at 3:12 PM on November 26, 2009


No, it most certainly wasn't. Bram conceived it as a means to ease content distribution, though I'm sure that he was not unaware that it would be co-opted for other uses.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:33 PM on November 26, 2009


I'm sure he claimed it was to share "Linux ISOs" but he's not the primary developer of bittorrent today. The majority of people of bittorrent contributors today aren't using it to get the latest Ubuntu LiveCD, no, people keep a copy of Transmission around in order to login to a "certain breakfast recipes wiki"
posted by amuseDetachment at 4:06 PM on November 26, 2009


I'm not disputing its current state. Only the claim that it was "written for piracy" because it was most certainly not.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:09 PM on November 26, 2009


I'll linklessly assert that Bram Cohen has written that he was inspired by the downfall of some p2p pirate application, maybe Napster.

Bram clearly intended for bittorrent to democratize publishing by freeing independent publishers from bandwidth costs, therefore actually achieving one fake-but-nobel goal of earlier p2p applications. So yes my claim was gross exaggeration, but p2p piracy was his inspiration.

In any case, my point was the courts won't close down a product whose primary purpose is legitimate, witness VCR, TiVo, etc. I personally just hope an open secure peer2peer protocol will unseat the Very Bad Thing called Facebook, irrespective of applications to piracy.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:33 PM on November 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


They keep saying PirateBay is down, but I keep being able to get stuff there. Public trackers and DHT, I guess.
posted by DU at 5:44 PM on November 26, 2009


I don't even bother with torrents anymore. Just get a subscription to Rapidshare and a download manager. With those and bit of Googling you can find just about anything you want and download it at your max bandwidth. You don't have to worry about content owners tracking your IP (unless they lawyer it out of RS), or about leaving your system on for days so you can balance your upload/download ratio. With RS I have downloaded 13 gig files in very little time -- an equivalent file would take days with the kind of speed I see with torrents.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 6:27 PM on November 26, 2009


Here's another idea: Use Twitter to announce your and what you're looking for. Once you connect, you can delete the tweet.

And you could use some simple steno/crypto stuff to keep the meaning of the tweet hidden from people looking for pirates/hackers.

So if you're looking for torrent X you take a hash or whatever and use that as an alphanumeric hashtag, like #qirg5N_eiqnbz Then you use a word-lookup table to build a string representing your IP.

Once you get connected to a network, you remove the tweet.
posted by delmoi at 6:32 PM on November 26, 2009


Screw that, just google the shit.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:09 PM on November 26, 2009


My ISP advertises the P2P speeds you can get with them, so I don't think they'll be cracking down anytime soon.
posted by signal at 8:01 PM on November 26, 2009


.

I liked those guys, they were slick and fun.
posted by jscott at 11:03 PM on November 26, 2009


The first rule of ........ is you don't talk about ........ . Twit!
posted by carping demon at 11:40 PM on November 26, 2009


Private trackers most definitely for the win, I used to love Oink for the range of content, the metadata, and the speed of downloading. Its replacement was good too but I got banned for not logging in.

I can't help thinking that the industry really missed a chance here: they could have worked with Oink (or whoever), charged a small subscription, let people torrent what they want, and pro-rata the subscription fees based on downloads. Worked it out at maybe $1/torrent, and built a business model around selling large numbers of many torrents at a low price, rather than on large numbers of a few hit CDs.

On the other hand, I'm finding Spotify a great replacement for Oink, both in terms of ease of use and range of content. I find myself using torrents relatively rarely now, I just don't need to.
I wonder if a similar model might develop for movies (free, ad-supported streaming on demand).
posted by Infinite Jest at 12:10 AM on November 27, 2009


> But now that I have a job and Amazon has high-quality, DRM-free mp3s, I have a lot of trouble justifying not just paying for it- especially when it comes to supporting smaller artists.

This isn't an option for many of us, this is the message I get if I try buying mp3s from Amazon:

'We are sorry...
We could not process your order. The sale of MP3 Downloads is currently available only to US customers located in the 48 contiguous states, Alaska, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.'
posted by pseudonymph at 1:36 AM on November 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why these idiots (ComHugeCo, not the torrenters) want to make it lose/lose instead of win/win.

As someone upthread said, I'll pay! Most of us are willing to pay for our media (tv, music, etc.) for a fair price. Everybody gets what they want. Sure, there will still be people who steal, but they're never going to stop that. The "whack-a-mole" comment is particularly apt. If I could pay the UK licensing in exchange for being able to watch what's on TV in the UK, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I'm happy to spend money on non-DRM music that I want. At this point, we are overrun with the technology to make anything that's airing anywhere available to anyone at any time. The fact that it doesn't work like that is just STUPID.

If the content providers would just shift the business model to, you know, giving the consumers what they want for a fee they'd pay, they'd make far more money than they think they're "losing" on piracy.

In the meantime, usenet, private trackers, and all the other stuff mentioned here will do just fine.

Oh, and for those outside the UK who want to watch the BBC, ITV, and other UK channels live, without waiting for torrents, check out this nifty little perl script, written by a high-school kid somewhere in Texas. I used it to watch Doctor Who "Waters of Mars" as it aired, and just watched the season premiere of QI this afternoon.

Can't stop the signal.
posted by tzikeh at 1:52 AM on November 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


ALSO, I wondered for years why parent corporations didn't sell CDs of movie soundtracks in the lobby of the movie theaters. I almost always come out of movies thinking "Man, I gotta buy that soundtrack!" and then forget about it thirty minutes later. They could have made a mint.

My business model for the future of "television," if anyone has any pull anywhere to float this idea past People In Charge:

1) Writers with a good idea for a tv show get industry players to fund a pilot.

2) They upload the pilot to the show's official website, and make it accessible to anyone in any country, free.

3) Viewers who like the pilot "subscribe" for 12-episode run at a buck an episode. (For the math-impaired, that's like spending $12 for a season of Dexter to be sent directly to you, instead of having to subscribe to Showtime.)

4) A million subscribers worldwide gives the production team $1M to spend on each episode. Any decent show is going to have a million people interested in watching it if the pilot is any good, even if it's only available in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. and far, far more if it's available to the whole EU.

5) Since the show would go direct-to-web, and would have a virtually free marketing campaign (word-of-mouth, fansites, free pilot), it would cost significantly less than $1M to produce an episode.

6) PROFIT.

7) More interest in the show. More subscribers. Charge new viewers $12 to download the previous season.

8) MORE PROFIT.

(Note the lack of any "???" steps in my Underpants-Gnome Incorporated business model.)

Perfect example: Farscape had about 1.5M viewers per episode. A fifth season would've been a snap. FUCK YOU, SCIFI (and fuck you even more for rebranding yourselves SyFy, you schmucks).
posted by tzikeh at 2:15 AM on November 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


Did you just wheel out the "If everyone who was interested paid just one dollar..." business model? Dude!

Like, seriously... dude.

Dude.
posted by cillit bang at 2:36 AM on November 27, 2009


Oh, and for those outside the UK who want to watch the BBC, ITV, and other UK channels live, without waiting for torrents, check out this nifty little perl script, written by a high-school kid somewhere in Texas. I used it to watch Doctor Who "Waters of Mars" as it aired, and just watched the season premiere of QI this afternoon.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! QI and Top Gear without the wait, here I come.
posted by bunnytricks at 4:38 AM on November 27, 2009


Dude.

This is not the same as making "a point".
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:34 AM on November 27, 2009


But dude!
posted by cillit bang at 1:08 PM on November 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


I think the point can be sometimes implicit.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:17 PM on November 27, 2009


Did you just wheel out the "If everyone who was interested paid just one dollar..." business model? Dude!

Yes, because you know what? In this instance, it's already being proven to *work*. Just because an idea was bad before doesn't mean it's bad now.
posted by tzikeh at 9:58 PM on November 27, 2009


I'd imagine the pilot plus donations idea would work well for directors with a fanatical fan base, like Joss Whedon. I'd imagine Whedon would enjoy and profit from a couple more multi-act episodes to Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, which successfully recouped using only iTunes, DVD sales, and Hulu ads.

I'm not sure begging for donations from fanatical fans actually increases artistic flexibility over asking studio execs, but maybe two choices beats one.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:56 AM on November 29, 2009


Not only is The Pirate Bay still operational, they just made some tweaks to their search engine to make it cleaner looking and much faster.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:55 PM on December 7, 2009


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