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Bittorrent site resurrected
December 12, 2009 10:55 PM   Subscribe

Prominent bittorrent sites close down or are defanged. Rarely do we hear about any of them coming back from the dead. Today one of them did - demonoid. In the bittorrent world, demonoid occupies a special place. It is not quite as famous as Pirate Bay or the long gone Oink, but beloved by connoisseurs of rare product, be it music, video, e-books or software. Today many people across the globe celebrate.
posted by VikingSword (140 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, the longer it stayed down, the more I was convinced that it would stay that way. This is pretty cool news.
posted by arcolz at 10:56 PM on December 12, 2009


Holy shit, I thought it was gone for good.
posted by flatluigi at 10:58 PM on December 12, 2009


They have gone offline before and come back. Few who were familiar with the site expected them to stay down.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 10:59 PM on December 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


A heads up - the site is still a bit twitchy. Many things don't work, and it's touch and go.
posted by VikingSword at 11:02 PM on December 12, 2009


The first rule of Demonoid is that we do not talk about Demonoid.
posted by clarknova at 11:12 PM on December 12, 2009 [32 favorites]


It's probably being run by the MPAA now.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:13 PM on December 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


How do the original content creators get reimbursed for the use of their product?
posted by KokuRyu at 11:16 PM on December 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


Wow, I could get ripped in just four weeks.
posted by nanojath at 11:16 PM on December 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


YAAAAAAARGH!!! *clicks to see if it's true* YAAAAARGHHH!!!! :D :D :D
posted by saturnine at 11:17 PM on December 12, 2009


I would be very, very glad to hear this news, but then my sterling law-abiding reputation would be besmirched.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:22 PM on December 12, 2009


How do the original content creators get reimbursed for the use of their product?

Multiple ways. By getting free publicity - which would otherwise cost a lot of money - they get their product in front of the public. It really works - especially for less known original content creators (artists). I have found a lot of music through bittorrent. I downloaded - if I didn't like it, I saw no reason to let it hang around my hard drive taking up space, so I'd erase it - the artist lost nothing. If I really liked it, I bought the CD - and down the line (for two different artists) I went to their concerts, and even bought a T-shirt (one artist). Were it not for bittorrent, those artists would be out my buying their product. FURTHER, I'm an evangelist for good artistic work - friends take my recommendations seriously, and they regularly buy based on my recommendations. I speculate that they in turn spread the word. And it all starts with bittorrent downloads, which may be illegal. Had it not been for bittorrent, I'd either never have heard of the artist, or never bought their product. So they gain. A lot. Did I answer the question?
posted by VikingSword at 11:25 PM on December 12, 2009 [22 favorites]


Multiple ways. By getting free publicity - which would otherwise cost a lot of money - they get their product in front of the public. It really works - especially for less known original content creators (artists). I have found a lot of music through bittorrent. I downloaded - if I didn't like it, I saw no reason to let it hang around my hard drive taking up space, so I'd erase it - the artist lost nothing. If I really liked it, I bought the CD - and down the line (for two different artists) I went to their concerts, and even bought a T-shirt (one artist). Were it not for bittorrent, those artists would be out my buying their product. FURTHER, I'm an evangelist for good artistic work - friends take my recommendations seriously, and they regularly buy based on my recommendations. I speculate that they in turn spread the word. And it all starts with bittorrent downloads, which may be illegal. Had it not been for bittorrent, I'd either never have heard of the artist, or never bought their product. So they gain. A lot. Did I answer the question?

Yeah, it is still stealing.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:27 PM on December 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


Yeah, it is still stealing.

I thought you were a lawyer. It's stealing? Not copyright infringement? I ask because being a mere layman, not a lawyer, I don't want to use legal terms sloppily. For instance calling something "stealing", when the transgression is defined quite differently from a legal point of view. Just asking!
posted by VikingSword at 11:31 PM on December 12, 2009 [31 favorites]


stealing.

Oh come on, don't do this. Copyright infringement yes, stealing no. This is a very old argument and nothing you can say on the issue is going to change anyone else's choices.
posted by saturnine at 11:32 PM on December 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh, I missed you, too, Demonoid!
posted by Ruki at 11:33 PM on December 12, 2009


Copyright infringement yes, stealing no.

Copyright infringement. The horror. I suspect that there's not a single human being anywhere who cannot be said to be breaking some law or another, even while sleeping - if one searches hard enough. And speaking of sleep, I don't lose any over copyright infringement. Or over some ludicrously broad stretching of terms - into "stealing"... or "piracy" - why, piracy is terrible - peg leg, rapes, murder and all. Who knows, soon copyright infringement may be called a crime against humanity and worse than the holocaust. Still not losing any sleep.
posted by VikingSword at 11:37 PM on December 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Still not losing any sleep.

Neither am I, or millions of other people who torrent every single day. Torrenting is not comparable to not getting paid. It might not even represent a potential transaction. It might even represent a transaction that has already occurred. God forbid it be more than "omg ur stealing our $$$ give me my $$$".
posted by saturnine at 11:42 PM on December 12, 2009


Really, it's all about Doctor Who. If the BBC gave me the option, I would gladly pay the license fee for access to their iPlayer. $10 per episode of Torchwood, my Yankee ass.
posted by Ruki at 11:44 PM on December 12, 2009 [11 favorites]


Ironmouth: "Yeah, it is still stealing."

Pic related
.
posted by mullingitover at 11:45 PM on December 12, 2009 [7 favorites]


Hallelujah. This is the perfect early Christmas present.
posted by PostOfficeBuddy at 12:01 AM on December 13, 2009


SELF RIGHTEOUS BULLSHIT MEGA-TSUNAMI ALERT!
posted by Artw at 12:02 AM on December 13, 2009 [7 favorites]


Multiple ways. By getting free publicity - which would otherwise cost a lot of money - they get their product in front of the public.

I think most of them would just prefer to get paid for their efforts.

If I really liked it, I bought the CD - and down the line (for two different artists) I went to their concerts, and even bought a T-shirt (one artist).

Of all the people I know who download music via torrents, none of them actually pay for any music.
posted by jedro at 12:05 AM on December 13, 2009 [7 favorites]


I really don't know what all the squabbling is about. Torrents, just like any form of P2P, are used for sharing legitimate files between users in a convenient way. Term papers, scans of public domain books, my latest amateur porn flick filmed in nightvision, etc.
posted by PostOfficeBuddy at 12:14 AM on December 13, 2009 [6 favorites]


Yeah, it is still stealing.

I think of it more as time shifting, only instead of recording and watching *after* something gets shown on TV, I'm shifting it i the opposite direction, so I get to watch it *before* it's been shown on our local TV.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:14 AM on December 13, 2009 [12 favorites]


Of all the people I know who download music via torrents, none of them actually pay for any music.

Either you're lying or you only know people who are downloading because they're too poor to pay. People who download heavily actually spend the most money on music.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:15 AM on December 13, 2009 [16 favorites]


Oh, the moral certainty. Artists hate it when we download their stuff.
posted by irisclara at 12:16 AM on December 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


Meta
posted by Artw at 12:18 AM on December 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Of all the people I know who download music via torrents, none of them actually pay for any music.

Fortunately, anecdote is not data, and the data shows that people who download music via torrents actually spend more money on music than those who don't.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:18 AM on December 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


>: Yeah, it is still stealing.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:27 AM


Oh, what a big surprise.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:19 AM on December 13, 2009


Bastard! Damn you, Pope Guilty! Shouldn't you be in bed?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:19 AM on December 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think most of them would just prefer to get paid for their efforts.

Right. And they get paid because:

"By getting free publicity - which would otherwise cost a lot of money - they get their product in front of the public." It's called marketing. You have to pay for - and companies regularly do. Or - lucky! - get free thanks to bt.

Of all the people I know who download music via torrents, none of them actually pay for any music.

You should hang out with a better class of people then. I have over 5000 CDs. Many of them bought thanks to exposure to the artist through bt downloads.
posted by VikingSword at 12:21 AM on December 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Pope Guilty: "Either you're lying or you only know people who are downloading because they're too poor to pay. People who download heavily actually spend the most money on music."

This.

If you're looking for the real killers of the music industry, they're working at video game studios.
posted by mullingitover at 12:21 AM on December 13, 2009 [9 favorites]


...and the internet has collectively managed to DDOS the site back down.
posted by leviathan3k at 12:48 AM on December 13, 2009




How do the original content creators get reimbursed for the use of their product?


pending list.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:15 AM on December 13, 2009 [13 favorites]


Thanks be to Gusano Rojo.
posted by crataegus at 1:18 AM on December 13, 2009


Fortunately, anecdote is not data, and the data shows that people who download music via torrents actually spend more money on music than those who don't.

From reading the article I understand this was a survey of users, not actual measurement. I don't know anything about the methodology, but my cynical interpretation would be that people who admit to downloading also claim to buy a lot to rationalize their action, or that people who download and do not buy will not admit it.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:25 AM on December 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


I too ove Demonoid, but the more publicity it gets, the less the chance of it staying up.
posted by smoke at 1:28 AM on December 13, 2009


I thought you were a lawyer. It's stealing? Not copyright infringement? I ask because being a mere layman, not a lawyer, I don't want to use legal terms sloppily. For instance calling something "stealing", when the transgression is defined quite differently from a legal point of view. Just asking!

§ 506. Criminal offenses
(a) Criminal Infringement. —

(1) In general. — Any person who willfully infringes a copyright shall be punished as provided under section 2319 of title 18, if the infringement was committed —

(A) for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain;

(B) by the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1,000; or

(C) by the distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, by making it available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, if such person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial distribution.

posted by Ironmouth at 1:31 AM on December 13, 2009


This is why section 506 was amended by the . . .wait for it. . . The Artists’ Rights and Theft Prevention Act of 2005.

Theft. Are we clear?
posted by Ironmouth at 1:34 AM on December 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Artists’ Rights and Theft Prevention Act of 2005.

Oooh, amended, why didn't you say so! I guess then it can be unamended, too. Or amended to be called The Prevention of Murder Act. Funny that!

I like these names of acts. Like Bushco coming up with names like "Clean Air Act" when poisoning the air, or "Patriot Act" when it was the epitome of unpatriotic laws.

Not impressed. Sure we're clear - about where the BS lies.
posted by VikingSword at 1:46 AM on December 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Phonorecords? The people who frame these laws are an anachronism. Just like the big studios.

Yes, I download music and movie torrents and my conscience is clear. If I like them, I buy the CD or DVD/BluRay and delete the download. I know in the eyes of the RIAA-MPAA that is no excuse, but as the meme goes, fuck them. Gladly payed NIN and Jamin Wayans directly. I go to concerts, buy merchandise. If I get busted I'll face the consequences.

Welcome back Demonoid.
posted by Duke999R at 1:49 AM on December 13, 2009


By "ove" obviously I mean love. Ove is something for consenting partners in the sanctity of their own homes, or the park.
posted by smoke at 1:55 AM on December 13, 2009


Either you're lying or you only know people who are downloading because they're too poor to pay. People who download heavily actually spend the most money on music.

They're not too poor to pay. But even if they were, would that make it okay? I don't think it would.

Sure, some artists give their music away, but you can't assume all artists do.
posted by jedro at 2:09 AM on December 13, 2009


"By getting free publicity - which would otherwise cost a lot of money - they get their product in front of the public." It's called marketing. You have to pay for - and companies regularly do. Or - lucky! - get free thanks to bt.

Why don't you leave it to them to decide if they want to market themselves by giving their music away for free?
posted by jedro at 2:11 AM on December 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


Meh, it's down again already. Do we keep the angry discussion going, or can we just postpone it until the site is up and running again?
posted by Ghidorah at 2:12 AM on December 13, 2009


But even if they were, would that make it okay? I don't think it would.

So an act which harms nobody- which deprives nobody of anything whatsoever- is morally wrong? Tell me, what other actions which don't harm anybody are morally wrong?
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:13 AM on December 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


So an act which harms nobody- which deprives nobody of anything whatsoever- is morally wrong? Tell me, what other actions which don't harm anybody are morally wrong?

You're obtaining something, without compensating them. If they wish to be compensated for their work, I think that's wrong. You obviously don't.

Imagine a musician who wants to support themselves with their music, but instead has to work a 9 to 5 office job. If the majority of people just download their music without paying for it, guess what, they're stuck in that 9 to 5 job.

Fine, some musicians want to, or are in the position to, give away some or all of their music, but don't assume they all do.
posted by jedro at 2:25 AM on December 13, 2009 [6 favorites]


Imagine a musician who wants to support themselves with their music, but instead has to work a 9 to 5 office job. If the majority of people just download their music without paying for it, guess what, they're stuck in that 9 to 5 job.

So somebody downloading their CD when they wouldn't have bought it anyway is contributing to this? Really?
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:26 AM on December 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ironmouth you have already violated the law that you quote here. You willfully took Vikingsword's creative (and yes, copyrighted) work and made a complete, wholesale copy, then redistributed it with your commentary. Under fair use, works may be quoted for commentary (and other purposes), but making a complete bit for bit copy is certainly a violation of Vikingsword's copyright.

Do you believe that you have committed theft?

I hereby grant you a one-time use, non-transferrable license to quote this comment in this thread for the purposes of discussion.
posted by Rictic at 2:33 AM on December 13, 2009 [4 favorites]



So somebody downloading their CD when they wouldn't have bought it anyway is contributing to this? Really?


Who said they wouldn't have bought it anyway? You're saying they don't pay for music, and if they had to pay for music, they wouldn't? Therefore it's okay for them to obtain music? Really?

If somebody expects to be paid for the fruits of their labour and you obtain it without paying, that is wrong.
posted by jedro at 2:42 AM on December 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yay another filesharing debate, those are always so productive! Quick, someone circumcise something!

Yay demonoid! I've never found a place where such an odd collection of stuff is shared. Great place.
posted by Skorgu at 2:43 AM on December 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


if we're throwing around anecdotes in here -

a month or so ago i was reminded of a duo i loved to listen to in my early 20s. discovered that half the duo was making music on her own. i went and downloaded some of the solo stuff (because so often the music out of group sounds nothing at all like the music inside of the group) and absolutely loved it. i found her on facebook, contacted her directly about what the best way to get the money in her hands was. she gave me her paypal address, i sent her 40 bucks, and now i'm 4 cds happier. i also forwarded some of the music i torrented to friends in the state she's playing in now - they loved it, and are going to 2 shows.

so - now the artist is at least 50 bucks richer because i was able to illegally obtain her music when i had a drunk idea.

the quicker the major label system falls, the better everyone who matters in the equation (artist and consumer) will be. if torrents hurry that procession, i'm not gonna shed a tear over it.
posted by nadawi at 2:43 AM on December 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


Also, most people I know stopped or hugely curtailed downloading music once Pandora and Grooveshark existed.
posted by Skorgu at 2:45 AM on December 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


the quicker the major label system falls, the better everyone who matters in the equation (artist and consumer) will be.

Now that's something I agree with.
posted by jedro at 2:45 AM on December 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Torrents? Pssh. I'll stick with usenet, thanks.

I've already said too much.
posted by cosmic osmo at 2:54 AM on December 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


Who said they wouldn't have bought it anyway? You're saying they don't pay for music, and if they had to pay for music, they wouldn't? Therefore it's okay for them to obtain music? Really?

Only people with disposable income get to hear music, got it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:55 AM on December 13, 2009


Imagine a musician who wants to support themselves with their music, but instead has to work a 9 to 5 office job. If the majority of people just download their music without paying for it, guess what, they're stuck in that 9 to 5 job.

Do you think its possible that expecting to make a living from their work could be unreasonable? I mean we have the big money maker industries-
-The music industry
-the film industry
-the game industry
-the television industry

But then we have others, where its perhaps not expected that you will make a living-
-The poetry industry
-The painting industry
-The sculpture industry
-The performance art industry
-the graffiti industry

A poet rarely picks up a pen expecting to make a living. I dont think that is a terrible thing. From all the data we have, people arent creating less music, people arent listening to less music. But even if they were, the creative industries evolve based on the feasability of distribution methods. Surely what we think of as "the music industry" will change, but I dont think its worth fretting over. Dont be worried about people not creating art, they always will.
posted by phyle at 3:01 AM on December 13, 2009 [17 favorites]


Only people with disposable income get to hear music, got it.

There's a lot of good, free music out there. Plus, they have the radio in the US don't they?
posted by jedro at 3:14 AM on December 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


my god, if i had to depend on the radio in tulsa, oklahoma to discover music, i would probably shoot myself, or at least rip off my ears.

Except all the radios agree with all the TVs - And all the magazines agree with all the radios - And I keep hearing that same damn song everywhere I go - Maybe I should put a bucket over my head - And a marshmallow in each ear - And stumble around for another dumb numb week - For another hum drum hit song to appear -- People used to make records - As in a record of event - The event of people playing music in a room - Now everything is cross-marketing - It's about sunglasses and shoes or guns or drugs you choose

(now be careful you protectors of all copyrights, i don't think ms. ani d is gonna get a coin dropped in her jar if you click on that link - but something tells me she won't mind so much)
posted by nadawi at 3:26 AM on December 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Of all the people I know who download music via torrents, none of them actually pay for any music.

As a contrary anecdote, in years when I've done the most music downloading, I've also bought the most music. I just don't hear new music unless it's recommended to me and I download it. What the RIAA sees is that I downloaded, say, fifty albums over a year's period, and they call that 'theft of fifty albums'. What they don't see is that I bought five of them, when I otherwise wouldn't have. They absolutely make more money from me when I'm sampling more widely, and they absolutely make less from me when I don't.

Downloaded music, for instance, is how I found out about Imogen Heap. I now have two of her albums, and will likely buy the third (the one I don't have) when I do my next Amazon order. Been meaning to for awhile. I haven't even downloaded it, as I know I'm going to buy it, it's just a matter of remembering when I actually place an order. :) Further, at least one friend has bought at least one copy purely because I liked it and shared it with her. Perhaps that network effect has gone further, or it might stop there, but that's at least three purchased albums that were absolutely and directly caused by downloading; without that ability, there would have been no sales at all.

I don't personally have any moral qualms about this; "stealing" implies that the other party is losing something, and that's just not true with a digital copy. Their ability to sell albums isn't impaired by my actions; in fact, it's slightly improved.

I don't know if this is true of people who didn't grow up with albums and the expectation of paying for music or not. Maybe it's different for college-age people. But, as others have linked above, music downloading correlates very, very strongly with increased music purchases. My own life appears to agree with that data, and given that experience, I think it's a cause-effect relationship, not just a correlation.

Fundamentally, record companies are in an obsolete business, that of volume shipments of bits on physical media. This business model works when volume shipments of data are very expensive and requires huge capital investment, but it doesn't work when everyone in the country has a mini factory that does the same thing. Laws attacking people who aren't making money off piracy are completely wrongheaded, trying to use the guns of the government to stop the world from changing. Ultimately, it will be futile, and it will cause a huge amount of social damage as the record companies thrash about.

A fairly good analogy: Say it's 1930. The automobile is taking off, and the buggy-whip makers are seeing dramatically reduced profits. In a sane system, which is more or less what we had, Congress would stay the hell out of the way and let the system sort things out.

But say we're thinking, in 1930, like we think today. The buggy-whip lobby leans on Congress, who passes laws requiring that all vehicles used on public roads require a buggy whip. Then, the BWAA hires private goons to lurk on roadways, and inspect everyone's cars. If they don't find a whip, they demand an immediate large fine. If the driver refuses to pay, they're turned over to local authorities, where they face life-ruining fines, jail terms, or both.

The buggy-whip lobby, in other words, stays in business at the expense of the larger economy, their livelihoods enforced at gunpoint by Congress.

As a nation, we don't owe the RIAA anything. It's up to them to figure out how to cope in a world where anyone can make perfect copies of albums. It's entirely appropriate to go after commercial pirates, people counterfeiting CDs as legitimate and making money off the counterfeits. That's what the copyright laws are for. But if individual people can make perfect copies of something for free, and they're not passing their copies off as the real good or making a profit, that means the business model of selling perfect copies needs to change, period.
posted by Malor at 3:58 AM on December 13, 2009 [23 favorites]


"Imagine a musician who wants to support themselves with their music, but instead has to work a 9 to 5 office job. If the majority of people just download their music without paying for it, guess what, they're stuck in that 9 to 5 job."

And? Is there something bad about that? Lots of people are stuck in their 9 to 5 jobs, who'd love to support themselves with their talents instead. Let's say you're really good at bartending... all you need is for someone to invent a device that can record your bartendings and then you can sell them to people who want bartenders and live off that instead of actually bartending.

Of course, what you don't want then is any further technological advance that would make it astonishingly easy for the plebs to re-copy and re-distribute your recorded bartendings at little or no cost, because that would destroy the supply and demand equation that any viable business is based on. But what're the odds of that happening...

Apropos of nothing then, "at some point next year revenues from gigs payable to artists will for the first time overtake revenues accrued by labels from sales of recorded music."
posted by Auz at 4:01 AM on December 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


§ 506. Criminal offenses
(a) Criminal Infringement. —

...
Posted by Ironmouth

I'm just going to go ahead and point out the half-truth in this argument. This particular section is a criminal offense, and thus can probably be fairly considered 'theft'. What does it require?

A) Commercial advantage or financial gain (this would probably exclude personal pleasure as an intention)
B) During 180 days, $1000 - worth of material. Assuming $15/cd, that requires you to download more than 66 albums every half a year.
C) by the distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution.

That's an odd phrase, "being prepared". What could it mean? What Ironmouth accidently forgot to include was the definition:

(3) Definition. — In this subsection, the term “work being prepared for commercial distribution” means —

(A) a computer program, a musical work, a motion picture or other audiovisual work, or a sound recording, if, at the time of unauthorized distribution —

(i) the copyright owner has a reasonable expectation of commercial distribution; and

(ii) the copies or phonorecords of the work have not been commercially distributed;

Thus, if you're downloading more than 66 albums a half year, with the intent to make money off of it, all of which are unreleased at the time, you are committing a crime, which would be theft. If not, it's a civil matter, and that's just infringing copyright.

Section 506 was also amended by "The Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act" in 2008. But who needs to mention that?
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:21 AM on December 13, 2009 [13 favorites]


Theft, copyright infringement - does it really matter what we call it? What's important is the harm that it causes. Morally it's quite clear; if it doesn't harm the music industry we shouldn't do it.
posted by mock at 5:09 AM on December 13, 2009 [9 favorites]


the library of mankind will have unpredictable hours.
posted by Hammond Rye at 5:12 AM on December 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


cosmic osmo: Torrents? Pssh. I'll stick with usenet, thanks.

That's been my view for the last couple of years. But recently I decided that it's not right to give $120/year to a newshosting service, when in the past I would have used that money to buy cds or comics.
posted by sneebler at 5:13 AM on December 13, 2009


It ain't theft if you ain't depriving anyone else. Yes, copyright violations may have economic costs both to society and individuals.

You know, I'd love seeing the worst polluters and their executives brought up on manslaughter charges too for shortening people's lives. DDT usage is clearly far closer to manslaughter than copyright infringement is to theft. *But* society & law usually respect the fact that people don't worry about the far off consequences of their actions.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:27 AM on December 13, 2009


Well, the thing with Demonoid in particular is that in its specialist focus, it hits a lot of material that is in the opposite-of-a-sweet-spot where some of the material is not popular enough to take the loss, but too popular to really be raised from obscurity.

For example, I work in tabletop RPGs. Some of them are small enough that any exposure is good, but then again, none of those games are created under viable business models beyond "generate beer money after the fact, ignore losses now." But otherwise, it's a small industry that any company that doesn't happen to be part of a bigger company (like Hasbro for D&D) can really take a kick in the soft bits. Due to this scale (right down to people who pay attention to such things knowing exactly who the individual pirates are) it's pretty easy to see the whole process behind piracy (in this case, a watermarked PDF from OneBookShelf, Inc. is usually sanitized by a purchaser right before being seeded at Demonoid or handoff via 4Chan) and what it does.

I think this kind of scale probably applies to significant numbers of musicians, where they're well known enough for people to seek out torrents, but not so popular that torrenting doesn't have an impact.

(In fact, if you think of the process of downloading a torrent, the whole promotional argument looks kind of thin anyway. How do you search for a band you don't know? Promotion may involve a torrent in the cycle, but it ultimately comes from word of mouth/forum text.)

The stupid mistake people make is thinking that since pirating from Lars Ulrich and Jimmy the Busker on Your Corner are both harmless everything in between is also good. Many professional creators are at neither the bottom nor the top. Using someone else's creative efforts in a way they do not approve, which contributes to their financial hardship and which leads to no significant greater social good is obviously unethical. (It also reproduces the harm Big Content is supposed to *inflict* on creatives, replacing a business' strategic greed with crowdsourced, individual greed.)

Still, this kind of harm doesn't happen to *everyone,* though it's happening to some. Appealing to law or absurdly broad principle to decide who can be pirated from and who can't is neither smart nor an honest way to engage the issue. You are in fact allowed to consider whether the creator can afford it. People should obviously discover the wishes of the artist, consider his or her circumstances and proceed accordingly, instead of copy-pasting statutes or claiming that piracy hasn't hurt anybody ever and even if it did, it's the artist's fault.
posted by mobunited at 5:33 AM on December 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


What amuses me most about this thread--and the twice as long MeTa thread related--is that only two hours before this was posted, klangklangston & I were talking--oldschool, via telephonic communication device--that it seemed about time for someone to post about torrents or p2p and we could sit back and watch the completely predictable and mind-numbing call & response: "torrents IS TOO stealing" v. "OHNOES it AIN'T" from all the MeFi field hands.

Thanks for not disappointing. But we weren't serious. We could really do without inanity.

For those who appreciatae the return of Demonoid, good on ya, but the OP was thin.
posted by beelzbubba at 5:42 AM on December 13, 2009


What's the opposite of "." ?
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:51 AM on December 13, 2009


Like many of the download supporters on this thread, I think the existing economic model of popular music is unsustainable and that people should accept that rock music, in the future, will be more like poetry; almost no one will make a living doing it, many fewer people will do it, etc. And that's OK.

But everybody should stop saying this:

"the data shows that people who download music via torrents actually spend more money on music than those who don't."

The data also showed that students with larger shoe sizes are better spellers. Because older kids have bigger shoes and spell better. And people who like music download more and also buy more. So what? The relevant question -- and I have no idea whether there's any data on this -- is

"Do people who illegally download music buy more music than they would have if they didn't illegally download?"

which has nothing to do with the first question. VikingSword feels strongly that the answer is yes in their case, obviously. I'm not so sure. There are certainly records VS bought only thanks to discovery on a torrent, which we've heard about. Now what about records heard about on a forum, downloaded, listened to, liked enough to play a few times, but not enough to want to own? In a non - torrent world -- like the one I grew up in -- you buy those records, you enjoy them for a little while, you feel your money's well spent, you put them in a box and never listen to them again or sell them to the used record store. (Or -- not to make it sound like I had a squeaky-clean copyright childhood -- you tape them on somebody's dual cassette deck.) In any event, whether VS would actually pay more for music without torrents is an interesting question, hard for me -- and I think hard for VS too! -- to answer conclusively.
posted by escabeche at 5:58 AM on December 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


The one thing that always saddens me about Mefi is the sheer force with which casual theft of creative intellectual property is not only rationalized but defended like a pack of pit bulls in a kitten nursery.

Y'all wouldn't be so fucking strident if you didn't, deep down, know that you're wrong.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:18 AM on December 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


In a non - torrent world -- like the one I grew up in -- you buy those records, you enjoy them for a little while, you feel your money's well spent, you put them in a box and never listen to them again or sell them to the used record store.

Well sure, except that the Music Police also believe(d) that you don't have the right to resell that record, you only bought the right to hear it. Also, while you may have the right to tape it, if you DO sell the original, you have to destroy the copy.

The mode of the music is changing, the mode of the music has changed. Sure, I would love to see a new, sustainable model of music distribution. The thing is, we may have it.

I'm just glad that when I had a few coins together about 1990, that wiser minds talked me out of investing in a record store. Whew.

Thing is, we won't be solving the underlying music "sharing" issue here. The fact is, this is about the speed of sharing information increasing exponentially in our lifetimes, and people finding ways to apply that ability. Torrents, the Gutenberg Project, whatever.

I don't know people in the manufacturing/distribution side of the music business any more, but I know that few of them were adverse to stealing from artists under the guise of recording contracts.
posted by beelzbubba at 6:18 AM on December 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


fourcheesemac: if I do what you say, and never download any music ever again, I will also never buy any. None. Zero. There have been years in the last decade where I didn't download any music at all, and in those years, I bought nothing. And this wasn't from financial hardship, it was simple lack of interest; what I had was good enough. In years when I download, those downloads directly trigger some sales; in years when I don't, my wallet remains closed.

In the real world, the RIAA and artists are better off if I buy five albums than if I buy zero. My data habits are irrelevant. The contents of my hard drive are irrelevant. All that actually matters is the number of purchases I make of their products, period.

So, no, I don't think downloading music, at least for me, is even a little bit unethical. "Deep down", despite your claims to magical mindreading powers, I think exactly the same thing I'm saying. I can only speak for myself, but in my case at least, my downloading helps the RIAA, it doesn't hurt it. They should be happy as clams that I'm checking stuff out, because they're not going to sell me anything if I don't. This has nothing to do with posturing or boycotts or any such nonsense, it's just that it's the only way I find new stuff anymore.

This equation changes, however, with movies: music lasts, and is worth buying. Movies don't, and most aren't. That could turn into a big problem. I don't download or watch many movies, but occasionally do. They've probably lost at least a couple of sales from that, and certainly haven't gained any.
posted by Malor at 6:42 AM on December 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


We ain't goin' for this
They say that I stole this
Can I get a witness?


Yeah, I know Chuck was rapping about sampling there - not copying entire records. But I really like that song and I feel like celebrating.

Look at how I'm livin' now, lower than low
What a sucker know
I found this mineral that I call a beat
I paid zero...

posted by Joe Beese at 6:43 AM on December 13, 2009


Oooh, amended, why didn't you say so! ... Sure we're clear - about where the BS lies.

You asked the guy a plain question about legal terminology ("Just asking!"), and he answered. Knock off the adolescent sarcasm and try conversing like an adult.
posted by cribcage at 6:55 AM on December 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


What's the opposite of "."?

I think it's that one-line ascii penis, but I don't remember how to make one.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:04 AM on December 13, 2009


but in my case at least, my downloading helps the RIAA

STOP HELPING RIAA!
posted by Obscure Reference at 7:10 AM on December 13, 2009


Please don't call depriving content creators of their right to control the economic exploitation of their work "theft". People feel bad when they think they are doing things their mummy taught them was bad, like stealing. Nobody's kindergarten teacher told them "copyright infringement" was naughty, though, so that's fine!

(also wld like an invite. I have an intricate ethical field.)
posted by bonaldi at 7:17 AM on December 13, 2009


There's a lot of good, free music out there. Plus, they have the radio in the US don't they?

Your use of the word "good" renders these two statements mutually exclusive.
posted by Challahtronix at 7:23 AM on December 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Do people who illegally download music buy more music than they would have if they didn't illegally download?"

equally, the question could be do downloaders buy less music than they would have without downloading, because if the answer is no then no-one is being deprived in the round, since the musiclover is spending the same amount, although they may have more music to choose from.

Not to disparage struggling musicians and of course everyone would like more money but the question does occur to me : Are you making music to make art or to make cash?
posted by criticalbill at 7:26 AM on December 13, 2009


I don't have a problem with someone downloading 5 or 6 albums, listening, then deciding they don't like 4 or 5 of them and dumping them. Stats show that this hypothetical person is likely to buy 1 or 2*.

What I do have a problem with is the RIAA deciding that a person who downloaded and then deleted 5 or 6 albums is liable for the cost of 5 or 6 thousand albums. You want to punish file sharers, fine. We all can agree that it isn't legal to share the files (theft vs. copyright infringement debate aside). If you find someone sharing, hit them for the cost of the albums on their hard drive. But you can't continue to make it a moral argument while at the same time trying to prosecute a college kid or single mom or teenager for MILLIONS OF DOLLARS in damages because the person in question downloaded the latest album of shit music from the current manufactured teen pop-star.

The RIAA says that file sharing is theft. They are trying to get us to agree that the equivalent of shoplifting a CD is the exact same thing as hijacking a semi loaded with thousands of copies of that CD, new in box, with intent to hand them out to everyone you see. Especially realizing that the RIAA doesn't pay it's own artists, I say fuck them and the dying horse they rode in on. Morally, stealing/infringing is wrong. But you have to think about who you are stealing from before you decide whether you should feel bad about it. The RIAA have been stealing from the artists for a lot longer than we have. The commercial lock-in and payola bullshit they pull, the push to make sure that radio only plays the big names and local acts can't get airtime (because they don't make any money from the local acts!), the blank media taxes they enforce, the failure to pay the acts they represent - all of this is stifling expression and making it especially hard for new artists to break into the industry, and that steals from all of us. But it's legal theft, so we can't do anything about it.

*(Personally, half the time I buy a new album it's something I already "own" from sharing with friends or online, or a new album from a group I discovered from sharing. But I'm more likely to do an old-school sneakernet share than a straight download. When you get it from a friend, you're also getting it at whatever bitrate you want and in the format you want.)
posted by caution live frogs at 7:27 AM on December 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yargh, public trackers. I wish it would have just stayed down, but I guess that since it's back, the **AAs will pay attention to them instead of my beloved, smaller, higher quality private trackers.

Also, you wouldn't download a car, would you?
posted by King Bee at 7:31 AM on December 13, 2009


A poet rarely picks up a pen expecting to make a living. I dont think that is a terrible thing.

Oh man--I so disagree with you there.

Because the making of modern American poetry has become pretty divorced from its readership, because people don't buy poetry, poets don't have to worry about fulfilling an audience's needs in writing it, and its become increasingly abstracted and incomprehensible. Which results in even fewer people reading. On the one hand, this might sound good--artists shouldn't worry about whether someone likes what they're doing, it sounds like freedom of artistic expression. The practicality is very different from that, where you have a lot of men in white towers teaching (because that is how many poets make their livings) MFA students to become men in white towers and to learn to like art that is relevant to no one but a very small group of artists. My experiences with poetry (which is what my graduate degree is in) are world's different from my experiences with, say, speculative fiction writing. In spec fic, you can actually conceivably make a living just writing. Hell, if you want to write speculative poems people will pay you for them! Almost unheard of in literary poetry. Of course, you have to fulfill certain audience expectations in order to be paid--you have to be interesting, you have to communicate clearly, you have to anticipate your readers and their desires. My experience with both groups has suggested that people who hope to make a living from their art tend to take themselves, and their audiences, much more seriously. They're craftsmen just as much as they are artists.

I would hate to see music go the way poetry has. That being said, I think most musicians would do better if the record company system was abolished and we paid them directly.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:41 AM on December 13, 2009 [8 favorites]


I feel like mobunited is making the only really credible anti-piracy argument I've heard, essentially economics is very different at different scales. I've always felt the only viable long term solution is for society to learn how to exploit the pirates.

Why not simply release a pirated RPG yourself that included advertisements and links to buy the book? ConTeXt handles hyperlinks natively. Use hyperref if you write books in LaTeX. All Adobe products will handle them too. You can also make the digital version print wrong by using a highly nonstandard paper size. If many pages are sideways tables, then display those vertically, fucking up printing even more, other subtle page dimension variations might fly too.

You can simultaneously make the legit digital version more popular than scanned pirated versions by having internal links in the free pdf version. You might even mess up people who edit out the advertisements by using page links instead of anchors.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:46 AM on December 13, 2009


I am quite concerned that this "revived" demonoid is actually a honeypot.
posted by fake at 7:54 AM on December 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Y'all have no idea how good you have it. In the old days we had to save multi part messages off usenet.. and by multi part, I mean there could have been 80+ individual messages. Then you had to run them through a file joiner and/or decoder.. and hope to hell you didn't miss a single part of your shiny new download or it wouldn't work. THEN you had to unzip it and possibly install it too. (all for *cough* evaluation purposes, of course) See previous comment about hoping it would work.

via dialup, no less. All.night.long. Often requiring multiple nights or attempts if someone in your house was prone to picking up the landline without asking first. :p

You kids get off my lawn.

/me wanders off to see if demonoid is back up yet just for nostalgia's sake.
posted by keptwench at 8:06 AM on December 13, 2009


I would like to apologize to Indochine and Jacques Dutronc for the five-month span between the time I "infringed their copyright" and the time I arrived in France, where I bought their CDs in person. I hope I didn't cause them too much financial hardship in the interim.
posted by Heretic at 8:17 AM on December 13, 2009


This is why section 506 was amended by the . . .wait for it. . . The Artists’ Rights and Theft Prevention Act of 2005.
Oh, I guess the PATRIOT act means everyone who supports is a true PATRIOT then! I mean it's right in the title! Or we could look at the legal code, which you actually posted, which shows that it's still called infringement, not theft.
Why don't you leave it to them to decide if they want to market themselves by giving their music away for free?
Because that would require destroying the ability to communicate freely on the internet, which obviously would be a lot worse for society. If the movie companies had their way, Youtube never would have been created. Neither would music.metafilter.com They're completely unaware of the fact that people are actually capable of creating their own media.

People act like we should completely distort society and technology so that artists should get 'control' over their work. It's ridiculous. Do radio stations have to ask permission before they play songs? no they do not. Instead they have to pay a flat fee per song to a clearing house, which is supposed to pay that back out to artists. If we as a society wanted too, we could clearly pay for the creation of music through grants, rather then copyright. Copyright was intended to promote the creation of art and literature, not grant an intrinsic right of control to artists. There are lots of other ways to promote that creation. We shouldn't have to bend over backwards to preserve it just because small minded people can't imagine any different situation.
posted by delmoi at 8:18 AM on December 13, 2009 [6 favorites]


The main bits of gold I've found through Demonoid have been dts-encodings of old Quadraphonic albums. With today's modern surround sound systems, it is quite wonderful to be able to hear things like Jethro Tull's Aqualung album in its 4-speaker version. Or to hear the original Alan Parson's Quad mix of Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon. Or, or, or. I've found a few dozen of these available which I treasure listening to.

I don't feel at all bad about having downloaded these. They are not available for purchase, they are free in the wild as quad vinyl or Q8 tape recordings, they required some specialized equipment to transcode into dts and they require specialized equipment to play back. There are no labels expecting to make money off of new sales of these quad releases at this point, and I own originals of nearly all the stereo versions of the albums, sometimes having purchased them two or three times over the years (vinyl, cassette, cd).

I have also found a couple of movies on Demonoid which were only ever released on VHS (or never released at all and were videotaped off the air) and subsequently ripped into a digital version and posted. I don't feel bad about downloading those, either. If the studio in question were interested in making money off of those, they would have released a DVD version by now.
posted by hippybear at 8:20 AM on December 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


If I create a work, I determine how, when and where it is distributed. That is the law, it is also good common sense.

Distributed is not the same as sold. If you buy my game and then sell it to your friend, that is ok. First Sale Doctrine and all of that. But if you buy my game and make copies for everyone else... I don't need to call it "theft." But it is "wrong." You are breaking the rules.

Ah well, screw it. Multiplayer-only games, I guess. Steam FTW.
posted by andreaazure at 8:21 AM on December 13, 2009


[Bunch of comments removed. Discussing demonoid: a-okay. Littering mefi thread with invite begs: not so much.]
posted by cortex at 8:29 AM on December 13, 2009


What's the opposite of . ? Not as in, "BLAST! How dare you not have actually died, enemy!" but as in, "I'm so glad you're alive after all!"
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:53 AM on December 13, 2009


I'm surprised at how genuinely happy I am at the return of Demonoid. If any of you would like to share in my happiness MeMail me for an invite code (supplies are limited).
posted by MikeMc at 8:57 AM on December 13, 2009


If I create a work, I determine how, when and where it is distributed. That is the law, it is also good common sense.

This may be "common sense" to you, but copyright was meant to be a temporary state meant to encourage the production of media with the understanding that information always becomes part of the public domain.

I own these words forever because they are mine is not "common sense" to everyone, yet that is the direction the law has been moving.
posted by uri at 9:04 AM on December 13, 2009


I am quite concerned that this "revived" demonoid is actually a honeypot.

I assume that would be somewhat difficult for any organization to do, because Demonoid shares so many different kinds of files. If, say, the FBI in the US with support from the RIAA and MPAA started running Demonoid intending to catch file sharers, I would think that other countries and copyright holders, such as a Japanese anime studio, might be pretty upset that their content was being traded illegally with help from a foreign government.

Anyway, the fairly plausible reason that was given for the downtime was that all of the site's content was erased (which happens pretty often in the BT world). It could have been because of a hardware issue, or some sort of problem with the hosting company. At any rate, they had to find and revert to the last backup, which was from September, so all of the torrents, upload/download stats, or user registrations between September and now have been lost. Also, I believe some of the code used to run the site was lost and had to be re-written, which was part of the reason for the delay.

If anyone wants to discuss gaining access to Demonoid (aka invite begging), feel free to MeMail me rather than posting in this thread.
posted by burnmp3s at 9:06 AM on December 13, 2009


If I create a work, I determine how, when and where it is distributed. That is the law, it is also good common sense.

How is it "common sense"? Isn't common sense something that's obvious to everyone? That certainly isn't the case. And furthermore, common sense changes all the time. 60 years, it was "common sense" that smoking was good for you, after all we had ads on TV talking about the health benefits, what do you think people would think?

Common sense most often means "what people think these days" rather then any intrinsic moral truths.
posted by delmoi at 9:12 AM on December 13, 2009


That's been my view for the last couple of years. But recently I decided that it's not right to give $120/year to a newshosting service, when in the past I would have used that money to buy cds or comics.

Yeah, sometimes I feel weird about it too. But the VAST majority of what I use usenet for is TV shows, and I would much rather be paying Giganews and Newzbin than Time Warner Cable, which has done everything in its power to infuriate me and because of the way cable service in NYC works, is the only option for TV I'd have otherwise (barring satellite or Direct TV). (The fact that usenet is a fraction of the cost of cable TV helps, too).

I do download music, though. And I have been doing so for a very long time. Before usenet, there was OiNK (and Demonoid...I just checked, and I joined in March of 2005). Before that there was Soulseek, before that there was Limewire, before that there was audiogalaxy, and before that there was watching a single song creep along at 5 KB/s on Napster (or, more accurately, Macster). And before that, I was taping songs off the radio.

I buy music, too. But I buy vinyl. Used vinyl, and so the record companies and the artists don't see a dime. Isn't that the same thing as downloading? I get the music, the artist gets nothing. Yet no one in this thread is crusading against used CD stores. (Or maybe they are and I missed it.) That, to me, is what gets me about the anti-downloading crowd. If you're so against someone hearing music without paying the artist for it, why aren't you protesting at flea markets? Why aren't you calling the cops on the guy on the sidewalk selling records? Why aren't you boycotting Amazon for letting people resell their old CDs? Sure, the artist got paid initially. But I'm not paying the artist, just as I am not paying the artist when I download music.

Either it's right to get music without the artist getting paid or it's not. If it's not okay for me to pay Giganews and Newzbin and download an album, then it shouldn't be okay to pay a reseller for an album secondhand.

Yes, I understand that this is the same argument the RIAA has made in the past, and that they HAVE gone after the ways people buy and distribute music on used physical media. But if you think that's draconian but still support the RIAA's argument against filesharing, I would really love to know why.

[Also, insert obligatory anecdote about discovering a band by downloading their album and then paying money I wouldn't have paid otherwise to go see their show/buy their merchandise/convince my college to have them come play/etc. etc.]
posted by cosmic osmo at 9:32 AM on December 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


This is why section 506 was amended by the . . .wait for it. . . The Artists’ Rights and Theft Prevention Act of 2005.

Theft. Are we clear?


Completely apart from the whole copyright-as-theft debate, the popular name of a piece of legislation doesn't reveal anything, legally or otherwise, about what the legislation actually does (as opposed to possibly revealing the mindset of the people who give it that popular name). In fact, it often does exactly the opposite.
posted by blucevalo at 9:33 AM on December 13, 2009


I don't really care what a million Ironmouths and fourcheesemacs think. Torrenting is not going to go away. Distributing data is not going to go away. There is no way to stop it, legally or technically. If it can be read, it can be written. People swapped tapes, they swapped CDs, now they're swapping bits. You two can rage against the machine all you like, but the war is already lost.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:16 AM on December 13, 2009 [9 favorites]


I think as time drags on and more artists die, more bands break up, and more scenes dissolve, P2P will be seen as a great method for keeping their media available. I follow a particular blog ring that freely distributes 60's and 70's prog and psych music that has completely fallen by the wayside. Not only is this music not being produced at all today, it wasn't all that popular when it came out originally. Vinyl copies seldom appear on eBay, but the good news is that so few people know or care about the music that they don't sell for all that much, either.
One of the biggest contributors of content to this blog ring is a Swedish record store owner who specializes in sales of this kind of music. He makes most of his money off of the stuff that was popular like Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, so none of the stuff we're interested in really moves. He decided to start ripping and sharing these records, that way a lot more people can hear them. I don't want to sound congratulatory, but we've reignited the career of more than one band this way.
Yeah, you could say that we should be buying these LPs from him directly, hoarding them to ourselves, but I think collectively everyone has decided that the music is much more valuable when its shared.
posted by Demogorgon at 10:16 AM on December 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


DP's back.
posted by Kirklander at 10:21 AM on December 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I download music, old out-of-print RPGs, and TV and movies from time to time. I don't have 100 gig HDs filled with media I'll never listen to, and I often buy the stuff I download, (especially the RPGs) but I certianly don't all the time. I know copyright infringement isn't theft, in a common law sense, and I know that any harm I do is either negligible or nonexistant, but I cannot, for the life of me, understand why some downloaders get so self-righteous about what they do. 'I'm really helping the artists!' 'We're being persecuted by unflattering descriptions!' 'People have a right to free music!'

It seems that's it's not enough to consider your actions causing negligible harm, they have to be see as moral, too.
posted by Snyder at 11:00 AM on December 13, 2009


Great, so it's impossible to post about anything having to do with bit-torrenting w/o the conversation devolving in the same IP/pirating argument. What's the breakdown of internal/external torrents? Is one safer than the other? Are the Demonoid admins more proactive about zapping malwarish torrents than preview private trackers, like OiNK? What are the speeds like? Who runs Demonoid? Why were they shut down for months and months? How have they survived this long? Is the Demonoid user community fractured or strong? How much money do they bring in? Where are they located? Etc. etc. etc.

Or not, whatevs.
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches at 11:15 AM on December 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


I buy music, too. But I buy vinyl. Used vinyl, and so the record companies and the artists don't see a dime. Isn't that the same thing as downloading? I get the music, the artist gets nothing. Yet no one in this thread is crusading against used CD stores. (Or maybe they are and I missed it.)

I mentioned it upthread, cosmo, and for the same reasons that you mention it. Chris Gaines Garth Brooks most famously campaigned against music resellers. Like you, I have tons of vinyl, most bought new 1000 years ago, but much bought at cut-out departments or cut-out stores. An aside--in many cases, the jobbers who ran cut-out operations (the source of the cut-outs, not the retailers) were part of schemes by the manufacturers/distributers to defraud artists of their rightful royalties. It is and was an ugly business, layered with payola scandals to place music in radio rotations, and on and on. Those who would put used record stores out of business because the artist receives no royalties on the resale would also put out of work about half of the local musicians, who seem to work there, too.

I don't get the idea that Artw or blazecock pileon are standing as defenders of RIAA or CRIA or their corporate sponsors. If they are, and I am mistaken, then they are sadly deluded into thinking that there is any thought of the artist in the music distribution business. As I said, though, I think they are defending the artists right to control their output. A noble stance, if somewhat akin to locking the barn doors after the horse is well gone.

I am not able to take as pure of a stance as they, because I admire John Osborne, Vicki Bennett, Negativland, DJ Spooky, The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu--hell, going back to Dickie Goodman's "Flying Saucer" which made an indelible impression on me when I was 3 years old when it was released.

No downloading, no appropriation under any circumstances is an impossible and untenable position.

On the record, I buy 98+% of my music through eMusic, in stores, or through other online sellers (CD Baby, etc.), but since I have bought new recordings of JW Coltrane's A Love Supreme in every format but 8 track tape, including the gold pressings of audiophile quality cd (what a f'ng hoax), if I want to SSX a digital copy, I am not hurting Bob Thiele, Ravi Coltrane & his sisters, or the estates of Jones, Garrison, or Tyner.
posted by beelzbubba at 11:22 AM on December 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


They're not too poor to pay. But even if they were, would that make it okay?

Yes.

It seems that's it's not enough to consider your actions causing negligible harm, they have to be see as moral, too.

Not all MP3/AVI downloaders take the moral high ground, but it's not a stretch to define seeders as modern-day Robin Hoods, stealing from the rich (those who can afford to produce and distribute professionally produced art) and giving to the poor (those who cannot).

Sure, I can afford to spend $X per year on music and movies. And I do spend $X. But there's no way I could afford to listen to 1000 albums a year if I had to buy them. And because I can't afford to buy them, I shouldn't be able to listen to them? That seems sorta ridiculous.

Personally, I don't see it as moral or amoral. I think it's akin to copying a book with a photocopier. I see nothing immoral about it, but it's not a mitzvah or anything (unless you're copying for someone who otherwise would never be able to read it), and then I guess it is a good work.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:23 AM on December 13, 2009


Server too busy

The action you requested could not be completed because the server is too busy.

Please try again in a few minutes


**welcome back to the Demonoid we know and love**
posted by kuppajava at 11:25 AM on December 13, 2009 [2 favorites]



"Also, you wouldn't download a car, would you?"

We are rapidly approaching the point, with assorted CNC equipment, where any well equipped hobbiest will be able to produce many objects by feeding downloaded code into their machines. Want a copy of that Oscar dress? No problemo, we'll just download it. Need an emblem for a 46 Hupmobile? Let's download the NC and get our mill to carve a billet copy out. Obviously not quite the same thing as music and movies as the downloaders will need to supply raw materials. It'll be pretty interesting once it becomes wide spread reality. Designers (and pattern creators) are already freaking out about wide spread copyright infringement of their designs and have been for decades.
posted by Mitheral at 11:42 AM on December 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Recorded music is only worth what people are willing to pay for it; it has no other intrinsic value. If you think the latest KISS CD is worth $22.97, go right ahead.

(full disclosure: $22.97 retail: the package includes the "Sonic Boom" CD, a "klassics" CD, and a concert DVD, on sale at amazon for $13.99. Currently out of stock (Ha!). The "Sonic Boom" T-Shirt costs $24.95 at the official KISS store, and they probably get a much bigger cut from that.)
posted by and for no one at 12:03 PM on December 13, 2009


I get the music, the artist gets nothing. Yet no one in this thread is crusading against used CD stores.

Copyright law recognizes your right to resell a CD, LP, cassette, etc. that you purchased. Copyright law does not allow you to produce and/or distribute additional copies of a work. A used-CD sale implicates the former. File-sharing, by contrast, involves the latter.

I don't know people in the manufacturing/distribution side of the music business any more, but I know that few of them were adverse to stealing from artists under the guise of recording contracts.

The last word in that sentence is key.

Moreover, at the major-label level, transactions are not purely financial. Sure, you can take issue with how many pennies Sony pays to Dave Matthews for each CD sold—but the guy is a celebrity because of that contract. Most bands don't sign major-label contracts because they believe the contracts will make them rich. They sign because they believe the contracts will bring them fame (which, to the extent they care, will then make them rich).

Defending copyright has nothing to do with believing that major labels are 'good.' That's a buggy logic that's often tossed around in other contexts, from gun control ("So you support murder, then?") to 'sexting' ("So you support child pornography, then?"), and it's not any better here. The device may be used for ill (as most can), but that doesn't make it indefensible.
posted by cribcage at 12:07 PM on December 13, 2009


I may have mixed those arguments, crib, but I am not confusing defending copyright with the behavior of major or minor labels. I believe that copyright should be defended and be defensible. I do think that the so-called Disney-era copyright law is antithetical to the original intent of the American copyright law.
posted by beelzbubba at 12:22 PM on December 13, 2009


Copyright law recognizes your right to resell a CD, LP, cassette, etc. that you purchased. Copyright law does not allow you to produce and/or distribute additional copies of a work. A used-CD sale implicates the former. File-sharing, by contrast, involves the latter.

Downloading off of usenet is not "sharing" in the sense that it doesn't require that I upload any of the content. I am not distributing anything, unlike peer-to-peer protocols like BitTorrent. According to that definition of copyright law, it seems like I'm in the clear. Yet I'm pretty sure that doesn't make a difference to those who oppose downloading music you didn't pay for.

I understand that one is legal (reselling) and one is not (filesharing). What I am saying is that I have a hard time buying an argument from anyone who finds no problem with selling used CDs or records but objects to downloading music you didn't pay for on strictly moral or ethical grounds. I don't think anyone here is saying that it's bad only because it's illegal.
posted by cosmic osmo at 12:32 PM on December 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Gee, a lot of the pro-file-sharing arguments are amazingly self-centred.
posted by jedro at 1:01 PM on December 13, 2009


I own these words forever because they are mine is not "common sense" to everyone, yet that is the direction the law has been moving.
posted by uri at 10:04 AM on December 13

I never said forever. Hell, I would LOVE it if copyright wen back to 17 years. That counts to "forever" in Internet time. Disney's perpetual copyright stuff raises my hackles.

That said, lease, please don't strawman me. It isn't that simple. I am not wrong for wanting to make money off of my creative work. Or, rather, I might be wrong and the marketplace should beat the hell out of me. But it is my right to be wrong. Let me be wrong, but don't then turn around and say "she's wrong -- we have the right to take her stuff." That is not how the law works.

Tell me I am stupid. Back it up with numbers. Tell me to release my content for free on the hopes that people will buy ancillary products or services or will donate money. That is your right. But if I don't agree, that is my right.

Living in a free society means having the right to make mistakes. Let me make this one, ok?
posted by andreaazure at 1:26 PM on December 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Recorded music is only worth what people are willing to pay for it; it has no other intrinsic value.

For decades, the modern media industry has been relentless in its drive to turn music and art into cheap, cookie-cutter, mass-produced products that are to be churned out, consumed, and then quickly forgotten. In their quest to turn aesthetic expression into nothing more than transient get-rich-quick schemes, the industry has successfully devalued entertainment into such a low-value commodity that people feel little to no obligation to pay for it.
posted by PsychoKick at 1:27 PM on December 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


I do agree that "Disney-era copyright law is antithetical to the original intent of the American copyright law." Copyright law envisioned, and society requires, a public domain. And you and I know well, Beelz, that there is a lot of good, out-of-print music that (1) is old enough to qualify, either literally or arguably, for the public domain; and (2) would be unavailable today except for file-sharing. You and I listen to this music, and love it. But most of what's "shared" today isn't that, but rather music that would be protected by copyright as originally conceived, if uncorrupted by Disney.

The gun control analogy is apt, I think, because defending file-sharing on the grounds that Disney has harmed copyright is like opposing assault-weapons bans on the grounds that hunting is a legitimate sport. The argument is valid, but a red herring. Most people who "file-share" are not downloading old Hal McKusick albums. Copyright may have been twisted from its original purpose, but not in any way relevant to 99% of what's on file-sharing networks.

I have a hard time buying an argument from anyone who finds no problem with selling used CDs or records but objects to downloading music you didn't pay for on strictly moral or ethical grounds.

I'm not sure why. I might not phrase it as, "It's bad only because it's illegal," but that's not far from the mark.

Society is about contracts. When [Musician/Label] released your favorite album, it was with the understanding that reselling is legal and file-sharing is not. Thus, you're not doing anything unethical by reselling, because that's something that person agreed to by putting his product into the marketplace. He made a conscious decision to manufacture X number of units to sell, understanding that his sales may be undercut by resales. But completely losing the ability to control the volume of product available? That wasn't part of the deal.

The essence of copyright is that we have said, as a society, "In order to encourage the production of creative works, we will grant a set of exclusive rights regarding each work created—and with those exclusive rights, you can try and profit by your work." Those exclusive controls are limited in some ways (fair use, first sale, etc.), but we preserve what we believe is necessary to provide that incentive. That has been our decision, as a society. Now you're turning around and basically saying, "Even though as a society we agreed that you should be able to charge money for this music for the next 20 years, I want the music and I don't want to pay." That is selfish, and tremendously antisocial.
posted by cribcage at 1:29 PM on December 13, 2009


3 points:

1. "You wouldn't copy a handbag! You wouldn't copy a car" Nah, yeah, nah, I would.
2. Bottled water sellers advise: "You can compete with free".
3. Lighting a bonfire is not arson, though it does involve fire.
posted by Sebmojo at 1:31 PM on December 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


1. "You wouldn't copy a handbag! You wouldn't copy a car" Nah, yeah, nah, I would.

But would you shoot a policeman? And steal his hat? And defecate in it? And mail it to the grieving widow? And steal it again?
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:42 PM on December 13, 2009 [8 favorites]


Every time I feel I should buy music from an artist, I feel bad that I'd be giving money to a major label that is ripping them off. I'm all for paying an artists directly (i.e. Jack Conte) or buying Merch handled directly by the artist (that I know they get a decent cut of)

I'm not stupid. I know that record labels and distributors can also help artists. I know that some artists wouldn't get the support they need without a label. But the fact is MOST music artists are being completely ripped off by their label.

Also, to the guy who said "what about the people who want to make their living on their art." I say this:

Most musicians who live solely on their music income, I don't like. Because most of them are pop stars. The only reason they even make enough money is due to the sheer volume of their sales, since their label is screwing them. The other folks that make a living on their music, almost always do it out of some lucky crazy scheme, where they sell it themselves and have enough fans to support them.

But most of the bands I like, even the ones on labels, still work jobs when they're not on tour. Percentage wise, VERY few music artists live off their art.
posted by toekneebullard at 2:19 PM on December 13, 2009


Most musicians who live solely on their music income, I don't like. Because most of them are pop stars. The only reason they even make enough money is due to the sheer volume of their sales, since their label is screwing them. The other folks that make a living on their music, almost always do it out of some lucky crazy scheme, where they sell it themselves and have enough fans to support them.

Yeah, I need to remove this sucker from activity before I get poisoned by all the stupid as well.
posted by Artw at 2:25 PM on December 13, 2009


Only people with disposable income get to hear music, got it.

If thats what the artist wants, yes. If they only want left-handed people over 6'2" to hear it, that's fine too. You have no "right" to listen to any particular piece of music.

Other artists will (and do) give away their stuff. If the pro-piracy people are correct and sharing/giving away is the better business model, then those artists will be more successful. But that doesn't mean you have the right to listen to it if the artist does NOT want to give it away.

Doesn't matter if you would have bought it or not, the artist should get to choose the distribution of their work. I don't really understand why people think they should get to choose this instead of the creator of the music. No one is stopping musicians from saying "hey, sharing is cool, pay me if you want," just saying that the choice is theirs, not some oddly-entitled internet users who seem to think they should be able to take whatever they want.
posted by wildcrdj at 2:39 PM on December 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


What's the breakdown of internal/external torrents? Is one safer than the other?

Around 80% of the 200,000+ torrents are internal. Theoretically internal torrents are safer because only members of the site can connect to the tracker and get peer lists, but since gaining access to Demonoid is relatively easy and it's one of the most popular trackers on the Internet, it's not much of a stretch to imagine that P2P tracking companies can monitor users there.

Are the Demonoid admins more proactive about zapping malwarish torrents than preview private trackers, like OiNK?

Like any big free-for-all tracker, the content is not quite as tidy as smaller niche trackers. They do have a system for reporting malicious or otherwise bad content though, and it doesn't appear to be that big of an issue on the site.

What are the speeds like?

It depends on the seeds of each particular torrent. Since Demonoid has a huge user base and large numbers of live torrents, speeds can range anywhere from 10 kb/s to 10 mb/s. In general though, their speeds will probably be slower than similar content on more serious private trackers.

Who runs Demonoid?

The admins are understandably not too keen on revealing their identities. In fact, they tend to be more tight-lipped than most tracker admins, and rarely speak to anyone outside of the site.

Why were they shut down for months and months?

According to messages posted on the site during the downtime, they lost a significant amount of content due to a hardware issue. They eventually restored most of the content from backups and re-wrote some of the site code that was lost.

How have they survived this long?

Many anti-file sharing organisations have threatened or tried to shut down Demonoid via their hosting, and presumably they have gone after the admins of the site as well. So far it appears that those shutdown attempts have not been successful.

Is the Demonoid user community fractured or strong?

Judging by the number of torrents that have been uploaded so far today, and the number of torrents that are still live, the community is still strong. The forums have not be re-opened as of yet though.

How much money do they bring in?

According to sitereport.org, they bring in around $700 per day, and the site itself is valued at around half a million dollars. I have no idea how accurate those figures are. Its Alexa rank is comparable with MetaFilter's.

Where are they located?

The site is hosted from Ukraine. It's not clear where the admins of the site are from.
posted by burnmp3s at 3:10 PM on December 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


cosmic osmo: "Either it's right to get music without the artist getting paid or it's not. If it's not okay for me to pay Giganews and Newzbin and download an album, then it shouldn't be okay to pay a reseller for an album secondhand."

I understand, but that's not the point I'm making. I don't care about reselling of physical copies, I just don't want to support companies making money by scalping other people's products. And I don't have a choice, as our ISP has abandoned USENET and directs their customers to Newshosting.

In my little world, if I download a comic, I'm taking some revenue from the creator - not the whole cost of the book, much of which would have been paid to various other parties along the way - and a little black mark is added to my soul. That's my responsibility, and I can deal with it. Paying Newshosting to pimp the same product seems like aiding and abetting a racket. Plus I've still got my $120/year to spend on cds. But that's only my opinion.
posted by sneebler at 4:01 PM on December 13, 2009


The site is hosted from Ukraine. It's not clear where the admins of the site are from.
posted by burnmp3s


With a name like Demonoid they must be from HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL. I've never used Demonoid but I like my delicious waffles and bit me television is amazing and god do i love torrents. I do not find it to be a moral imperative that I pay for things within the legal structure that is set forth in the U.S. I try to give money to those who deserve it whose work I consume (there are more who deserve it than I can possibly give money to unfortunately).
posted by haveanicesummer at 4:14 PM on December 13, 2009


Of all the people I know who download music via torrents, none of them actually pay for any music.

I download a SHITLOAD of music, movies, and television shows. I spend, on average, about $300 a month on vinyl records. I go to at least one concert a month. I also go out of my way to buy specialty items - for instance, I recently downloaded the newest EP from Puscifer. Within a week of doing that, I went to a Puscifer show, bought 5 posters (3 of which was signed) for $300, and traveled over a 100 miles to get a bottle of wine signed by the lead singer of Puscifer. I'm sure I don't represent the average music pirate, but just because you don't know anyone who both pirates music and still throws down cold hard cash to support the artists they love doesn't mean they don't exist.

And I seriously wonder how many people who come in talking about downloading music for free as outright theft really do it anyways, or, for that matter, tiptoe the line when it comes to other laws out there. Nobody is perfect, people. And speaking from personal experience working in several record stores where I was in charge of ordering product, I can tell you the average markup on an new CD/Vinyl is about $10, easily. On used cds, it's even more. So if anyone really, really wants to be upset because I download the newest offering by, say Guster, just to hear it until I can get my hands on a copy of the record, then hey, GO YOU.

No offense.
posted by Bageena at 4:15 PM on December 13, 2009


Also, as an artist myself, I can honestly say that if I found out someone was out there making prints of my work and giving them away for free, I'd be FUCKING EXCITED THAT PEOPLE GIVE THAT MUCH A SHIT ABOUT MY WORK. Why does every musician need to have Lady Gaga/Metallica-esk income? If your a real artist, aren't you doing it just out of the sheer enjoyment of creating and the subsequent (hopefully) positive reactions you get from people who care about what you're doing. I have art shows all the time in Phoenix and most of the time I don't sell a thing. Mostly, I think, because I price my stuff intentionally too high so that I don't have to part with it. When someone asks me to make them something, I also very, very rarely charge anything. Would I love to make a living off of doing art so I could quit my 9-5? Probably. But without my 9-5 to help me built up angst, frustration, and life experience, I think I'd have a lot less inspiration in my day to day life for my drawings.

Just my opinion.
posted by Bageena at 4:26 PM on December 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


A few years ago I bought some Christmas presents at a local retailer: some movies, some computer games, some cds... and I'm looking at the pile of cardboard & plastic at the register thinking "It's just a pile of bits! Why the hell am I buying a bunch of bits on plastic at a store?" This method of distribution makes no sense.

: For decades, the modern media industry has been relentless in its drive to turn music and art into cheap, cookie-cutter, mass-produced products

They have succeeded: modern recorded popular music is a cheap, cookie-cutter, mass-produced product. Sturgeon's Law applies, and then some.

But the Music Industry and Music aren't the same thing, and in the long run Music is better off without it. Making a living making music is tough, and always has been. The idea that someone can get rich off of recorded music is relatively recent, and already obsolete.

I remember seeing concerts with big name bands in the 80's for less than $10. Nowadays the ticket service charges are more than that.

The pressure for inexpensive recorded music is enormous. There's only so much time and money and so many distractions: tv, movies, video games, iPhones, internet, etc. And free access to music is everywhere: radio, tv, internet - yet it costs over $30K on iTunes to fill an iPod that costs about $200.

I have a friend who is a big music fan, always looking for good music, downloading and listening to everything, and he buys the stuff he likes. Musicians would and should kill for fans like that. These are the people they should be trying to reach. With less power and influence in the hands of the "merchants of cool", more people will find the stuff they like, instead of what they are told to like. That kind of fan is in the minority; I think most people just don't give that big a shit about music. I don't. As far as I'm concerned, the Music Industry is a bunch of parasites, and the pop & rock musicians they've made rich and successful are a bunch of spoiled twats who can rot on skid row for all I care.

On the other hand, I've got a lot of respect for anyone who can make a living playing an instrument, because playing an instrument is hard and requires an enormous amount of commitment. If that sounds like cognitive dissonance, oh well.

I'm not saying file sharing is good or bad. It's simply a fact. Shit happens. Things change.
posted by and for no one at 4:34 PM on December 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


A few years ago I bought some Christmas presents at a local retailer: some movies, some computer games, some cds... and I'm looking at the pile of cardboard & plastic at the register thinking "It's just a pile of bits! Why the hell am I buying a bunch of bits on plastic at a store?" This method of distribution makes no sense.

I email Gabe Newell every so often asking if they'll ever implement Steam gift certificates. So far he hasn't responded, but whatcha gonna do?
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:00 PM on December 13, 2009


Who runs Demonoid?

I'm guessing it's the same person who runs Bartertown...
posted by MikeMc at 7:40 PM on December 13, 2009



I feel like mobunited is making the only really credible anti-piracy argument I've heard, essentially economics is very different at different scales.


Thanks!

I've always felt the only viable long term solution is for society to learn how to exploit the pirates.

Maybe.


Why not simply release a pirated RPG yourself that included advertisements and links to buy the book? ConTeXt handles hyperlinks natively. Use hyperref if you write books in LaTeX. All Adobe products will handle them too. You can also make the digital version print wrong by using a highly nonstandard paper size. If many pages are sideways tables, then display those vertically, fucking up printing even more, other subtle page dimension variations might fly too.

You can simultaneously make the legit digital version more popular than scanned pirated versions by having internal links in the free pdf version. You might even mess up people who edit out the advertisements by using page links instead of anchors.


I actually tried this with an RPG called Aeternal Legends. I gave away a digital copy which included a link to the print version at a significant discount. After an initial spike it didn't make much of a difference. I could have crippled the PDF somehow, but that just generates resentment.

I think we'll probably see a push toward putting media in the cloud. Apple bought Lala the other day for precisely this purpose. That's a shame. I want to control my stuff.
posted by mobunited at 7:52 PM on December 13, 2009


I actually tried this with an RPG called Aeternal Legends. I gave away a digital copy which included a link to the print version at a significant discount. After an initial spike it didn't make much of a difference. I could have crippled the PDF somehow, but that just generates resentment.

Maybe it just wasn't a very good RPG? Baen seems to do pretty well with their Free Library.
posted by Malor at 8:05 PM on December 13, 2009


It's nice to see Demonoid back if only because it was an infinitely more reliable and better-seeded place to get stuff from than Pirates Bay, where any given piece of x public domain software tended to have a 33% chance of being someone uploading a virus to screw with you - especially nowadays when even free software tends to be hidden behind sketchy auto-downloaders that I don't particularly want to install on my system. (Many MMOs, as an example off the top of my head, will insist you install a bespoke download manager just to get the install files. Forget that.)

I guess I missed the memo where you have to use torrents for copyrighted material only and/or ritually sacrifice a puppy to prove your allegiance to the demonic masters of piracy. It's a tired argument but it bears repeating that Bittorrent is just a protocol and has many a legit use regardless of thoughts on music licensing.
posted by stelas at 9:32 PM on December 13, 2009


Maybe it just wasn't a very good RPG?

It reviewed well enough.

Baen seems to do pretty well with their Free Library.

Backlist material and singles from series are ideal for free promotional distribution, but not everyone wants to publish five volumes of military SF or dust off something from the 70s or 80s. Even so, I'm not sure anybody actually knows how "well" the Baen Free Library does. Eric Flint's last article on the subject was seven years ago and basically spun the fact that his numbers were inconclusive.

I note that since then, most of the books have been added after the end of peak sales for print or are edited selections. In any event, the Baen library did not spark a gazillion other free libraries, and contrary to what the some people would like to believe, print publishers are not know-nothing doodooheads who are behind the times. If it made them money, they'd do it.
posted by mobunited at 12:42 AM on December 14, 2009


I guess I missed the memo where you have to use torrents for copyrighted material only and/or ritually sacrifice a puppy to prove your allegiance to the demonic masters of piracy. It's a tired argument but it bears repeating that Bittorrent is just a protocol and has many a legit use regardless of thoughts on music licensing.

You probably missed it here because it's utterly irrelevant to the matter at hand. This is about a specific tracker that really does provide access to copyrighted works, not any use of BT ever.
posted by mobunited at 12:45 AM on December 14, 2009


You probably missed it here because it's utterly irrelevant to the matter at hand.

Howso? At no point does Demonoid state you must not use it for public domain stuff, and it's a perfectly valid use of the site. The matter at hand is only the matter at hand because, a few comments in, it was assumed that bittorrent === copyrighted works, or people have taken it very rapidly to that level, which is tarring the population of the site with a - yes, mostly correct - but still rather too-wide brush.
posted by stelas at 1:47 AM on December 14, 2009


You know what's ironic? The overwhelming majority of stuff I download I don't even want, but I dutifully get it and seed it to keep my dl/ul ratio healthy for the stuff I may want in the future. I must have at least 50Gb of assorted soap operas and other TV trash on my hard drive at the moment. But know ye this: if a third season of Spaced is ever aired, I will have each episode of it within a few minutes of the closing credits.
posted by Ritchie at 2:23 AM on December 14, 2009


You know what's ironic? The overwhelming majority of stuff I download I don't even want
posted by Ritchie


Personally I ONLY download things I don't want. Because downloading is stealing, I only steal from creators of content that I don't like, that way I can imagine me batting the food away from their children's mouths just before they eat it.

My Two and a Half Men collection is extensive.
posted by haveanicesummer at 4:21 AM on December 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


I, too, have an opinion about filesharing. You can read my thoughts about it on my blog at Who Gives A Crap dot com!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by Damn That Television at 4:34 AM on December 14, 2009


cautionlivefrogs said: The RIAA says that file sharing is theft. They are trying to get us to agree that the equivalent of shoplifting a CD is the exact same thing as hijacking a semi loaded with thousands of copies of that CD, new in box, with intent to hand them out to everyone you see. Especially realizing that the RIAA doesn't pay it's own artists, I say fuck them and the dying horse they rode in on. Morally, stealing/infringing is wrong. But you have to think about who you are stealing from before you decide whether you should feel bad about it. The RIAA have been stealing from the artists for a lot longer than we have. The commercial lock-in and payola bullshit they pull, the push to make sure that radio only plays the big names and local acts can't get airtime (because they don't make any money from the local acts!), the blank media taxes they enforce, the failure to pay the acts they represent - all of this is stifling expression and making it especially hard for new artists to break into the industry, and that steals from all of us. But it's legal theft, so we can't do anything about it.

I can't endorse the argument that downloading torrents is ok because the RIAA is going to steal from artists anyway so it becomes our duty to screw artists first. But something can and is being done about it:

Canadian Recording Industry Faces $6 Billion Copyright Infringement Lawsuit, from Michael Geist's blog & weekly column in the Toronto Star. (Michael Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law.).
posted by beelzbubba at 5:59 AM on December 14, 2009


uh--crap--you have to scroll down the page to get the article. Or you can go here: BigOfeature Blog Archive.
posted by beelzbubba at 6:03 AM on December 14, 2009


On the subject of Demonoid being back, I'm freakin' thrilled to see my account still works. All that ratio was not lost to the ether!

Sweet.
posted by quin at 1:09 PM on December 14, 2009


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