Walking the plank


Not a good week for UK pirates #1. 

OiNK has been pulled down and its owner,  24 yr old Ian Ellis charged by UK and Dutch police.

Ian’s argument from the Telegraph:

The website is very different from how the police are making it out to be. There is no music sold on the site – I am doing nothing wrong.

When I set up the site I didn’t think I was doing anything illegal and I still don’t. There are 180,000 users and there has been an outcry about what has happened to me.

People who download music also buy CDs as well. A lot of people download music on the internet to get a taste of it and then later buy the CD.

But I don’t sell music to people, I just direct them to it. If somebody wants to illegally download music they are going to do it whether my site is there or not.

If this goes to court it is going to set a huge precedent. It will change the internet as we know it.

As far as I am aware no-one in Britain has ever been taken to court for running a website like mine. My site is no different to something like Google.

If Google directed someone to a site they can illegally download music they are doing the same as what I have been accused of. I am not making any Oink users break the law. people don’t pay to use the site.

The other side, from Jeremy Banks, the head of the antipiracy unit at the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which helped police with their investigation (CNet)

OiNK was central to the illegal distribution of prerelease music online. This was not a case of friends sharing music for pleasure. This was a worldwide network that got hold of music they did not own the rights to and posted it online.

The most damning evidence surrounds the availability of over 60 albums on the OiNK site weeks before the CD’s were officially released by the record labels.

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BBC searches for cash

So. The Beeb has closed 2,500 jobs and binned 1,800 and now faces some particularly irked union bosses. Perhaps lost in the noise, it’s also approved the launch of a commercial dotcom site, supported by advertising.

From Robert Andrews at paidcontent.org

It may have got lost in news of job cuts but the BBC Trust has approved the proposal to launch BBC.com with advertising support, global news director Richard Sambrook revealed. A first phase in November will see ads added to high-traffic pages, before ads are rolled out more widely later. Here’s the mock-up.

The site, from the commercial overseas wing BBC Worldwide and from Sambrook’s division, will not show ads to UK visitors, who will likely have paid license fees for their BBC content. The existing site currently gets 40 million non-UK users a month. Worldwide will now take on the £4 million per year the international site was getting from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office while the BBC World TV channel will get some payback for contributing its editorial resources.

BBC Worldwide CEO John Smith called it “a key step in delivering our strategy of growing our online revenues to 10% of revenues and building a portfolio of direct to consumer business” (via release). Sambrook: “Advertising seems to be the obvious way for them to contribute to the costs of the site …  BBC World TV news has been a commercial channel since its launch 16 years ago …  We will not be offering highly intrusive advertising and are taking significant steps to manage any potential conflict of interest between advertisers and editorial content.” Sambrook said earlier tests had shown users “did not express a strong objection”. Portions of BBC Worldwide revenue are reinvested in to domestic public service production.

This is how they’re going to look, appara.



Lets hope this all makes a bit of cash for them. I’m not looking forward to constant repeats of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave Em