Pirate Bay tracker sinks to bottom of digital sea for good.

I usually try to start off each morning with something happy or exciting, but this is neither of those. The Pirate Bay team has announced that starting today, torrent users will no longer be able to use TPB trackers for downloads and will have to rely on other trackers instead. Whether you were for or against PB, you have to admit that in a relatively short time span (since 2003) TPB grew explosively, evolving to a digital giant with upwards of 25 million peers in it’s prime. Sadly that prime is no more. The team says the main site will remain live for now, but it’s but a shell of what it once was. So it is from this point on we must hold our heads high and find a new friend in this vast space of digital junk.


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Danish anti-piracy group “Antipiratgruppen” gets it — Giving up on chasing and prosecuting file sharers.

Label me a pirate. A renegade. A lawless scum who doesn’t care about intellectual property. That’s fine. I pay for music in one way or another. I have no qualms or regrets. Here in the states, intellectual property laws and policies are becoming increasingly anti-consumer, anti-artist, and are getting tweaked more and more to benefit labels and other such “middlemen”. We’re not alone however as many other countries across the world are enacting similar laws. France for example will soon be enforcing their “three-strikes” law which gives accused file shares three chances. After being caught 3 times, it’s no more internet for you bucko. The whole evidence of infringement used by France as well as all of the other countries is that of IP addresses.

One thing we need to stress is an IP address is tied to a location and computer — not an actual human. Anyone can log into a computer, multiple people in fact, and share the same IP address. See where this defense has holes already? Though lawsuits continue around the world. Here in the states, such cat mouse games with IP addresses and copyright infringers continue on with no end in sight. While our politicians and judges paid “government” lobbyists continue to increase their fight, it seems the Danish anti-piracy group “Antipiratgruppen”, actually understands the utter worthlessness that comes from such fruitless lawsuits and is “giving up” this endless fight. The first translated public announcement states:

We have to, because it is has been announced by the state court, that it takes very strong and concrete evidence to have these people prosecuted. We have simply not been able to establish the necessary evidence…”
An overview of Danish trials shows an extremely small possibility of getting sentenced - unless the the accused confesses. Four principal state court trials last year lead to three acquittals and only a single sentence for illegal file sharing. And this sentence only came into place because

“Out of the four cases we can establish, that the courts do not sentence owners of Internet connections simply because of technical identification of IP-adresses and technical recognition of files,” they say.

In their neck of the woods, the courts actually employ common sense as well as pro-consumer tactics in realizing that a simple IP address means nothing. It isn’t a per user ID but merely an “address” to a location in which any person at any point and time can obtain.

Why can’t the U.S. follow suit? Again, our politicians are merely extensions of extremist groups such as the MPAA and RIAA — on their bankroll, doing their deeds. Forget the fact that they were elected to carry out our will. Once they get that seat in government, their own agenda and wallet takes over. ‘Tis a shame that our U.S. companies and government can’t realize that if they embraced P2P technology for good instead of trying to abolish it that their jobs would be a lot easier. And maybe, just maybe we would hate them less. (That’s a stretch…)

For those lucky Danish civilians and Danish government, I applaud you in cutting through the crap and lobbyist propaganda and actually doing your jobs by not bending and rewriting laws to benefit your wallets.

By the way, how’s the weather there…..

Boing Boing > Free Form 101

Apple developing Radio app for iPhone/iPod Touch?

Since the beginning of the iPod’s inception on this planet, many have panned the fruit based player for its lack of FM radio. Up until now, the benefit of having an FM radio integrated with your MP3 player is relatively small as an MP3 player is meant to distance yourself from normal music. That’s why we carry our own collections. Right? HD radio and the ability to display RDS information is a handy touch though hardly a critical decision when choosing an MP3 player. So was it really a big deal?

Apple has taken this stance for many years now, arguing that the lack of an FM radio was deliberate because it wasn’t needed. That is, until they deem it necessary as the newest iPod Nano’s now sport the long elusive feature. But, iPhones and iPod Touches may soon be receiving an FM update of their own. Now you may be questioning how that’s possible? Simple, a software update. You see, while at first your mind will lead you to believe that it’s a hardware limitation meaning that no software update could ever bring FM functionality, iPhone and iPod Touch circuitry already support FM capabilities, Apple just hasn’t acted upon them yet. The same sit and wait approach was taken with Bluetooth functionality in the 2nd gen iPod Touch. It took a full 9 months for Apple to unshackle the coveted feature.

We ma soon be seeing another feature unshackled for mainstream use, except this time it involves not only iPod Touches, but iPhones as well. 9to5 Mac received a tip tonight that Apple is working on their own, in-house radio app. The big pluses of an official in-house app are of course tight integration with the rest of the device and services as well as that Apple fit and finish that they have become known for. The most intriguing and promising rumor or “sub-rumor” is that said app will be able to run in the background. Whew! Other notable sub-rumors include the ability to tag, pause, and rewind live radio. The tagging feature will reportedly also allow you to launch the Mobile iTunes Music Store allowing complete cordless freedom in your music discovery needs. While the tipster didn’t specifically mention this tagging, pause, and rewind functionality, since it’s already on the Nano, we would *hope* that Apple would extend the party to iPhone/Touch platforms.

I’m definitely excited to see if this rumor has any real weight. I would obviously love to this materialize into something more, coming in the near future and not as an iPhone 4.0 feature as that’s just…well…way too far away. What are your thoughts. Earth shattering new feature, meh, or too late to the party?

9to5 Mac

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iTunes LP production fee..No indie artists? Not so says Apple.

Get your salt shakers out because we have another edition of “he said/she said” brewing. You may recall an article we touched on briefly this past Friday in regards to some shady rules and fees attached to the new iTunes LP format. The whole controversy started last week when Brian McKinney, owner of “Chocolate Labs”, an indie music label, posted on his blog about this very topic. Among his chief complaints were a claimed $10,000 publishing fee and a ban of any indie artists. ElectricPig was contacted today by an Apple rep who denied both allegations saying:

We’re releasing the open specs for iTunes LP soon, allowing both major and indie labels to create their own. There is no production fee charged by Apple.”

So is the rumor file doused? Eh, personally, I see her specific statement of “…there is no production fee…” instead of “…we do not charge any fees…” as a potential slip up. Perhaps they do charge a special fee for iTunes LP formats and simply don’t call it a “production fee”. A denial of clever wording? We shall see…

What do you think? Honest response or cover up?

Download torrents? You’re a Cinema killer. (Supposedly)

How about another chuckle on behalf of the entertainment industry and all things nerdy? The sign above is extremely clever and no doubt will turn a few heads/drum up talk about the theater. While torrents may cause some to not go to the theater since they already have the title that they would have gone to go see, I don’t see them being the main cause behind the closing of cinemas across the world. The real reason? Cinema’s aren’t giving people a reason to come there in the first place.

Would I rather torrent an HD movie rip or go to a movie theater and watch it in substandard quality on a massive screen highlighting every little imperfection? Hmmm. That’s a no brainer. More movie theaters adopting HD, 3D, and even more OMNImax…(read: not IMAX) theaters would go a long way in saving this industry. I don’t know about you, but I sure am tired of not having any good/unique theaters in my neck of the woods.


Music groups ASCAP and BMI hit new level of stupidity — demanding compensation for music previews and videos because they’re “live performances”

Because we all need another reason to hate music groups/labels, a developing story that makes me shake my head in utter disbelief because of the outright stupidity being shown by the ASCAP and BMI. These two fine, shining examples of how not to do business is highlighted with their latest scheme to get more money than they deserve. Specifically, these two groups are arguing that digital samples of tracks, such as the infamous 30-second preview on iTunes as well as any video download, are technically a “live performance” and as such should be charged a live performance royalty fee. Anyone with the intelligence level of a 2 year old can see this is ridiculous.
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Japanese Gov’t and music labels teaming up to “disable music functions of those who listen to unauthorized music”.

Count me thoroughly impressed and disgusted by the actions that music labels and bass akwards governments will go to in the hope of preventing piracy innovation. If you thought certain “3-strikes” plans that kicked suspected, not convicted file sharers off the internet were bad enough, a new friendship forming in Japan may signal an even more daring assault on consumers’ rights. According to a report revealed by Elmundo, the Japanese government and one or several music companies are in the beginning stages of teaming up to create a technology that would disable the music functions on cellphones of users who listen to “unauthorized music”. Now, as of right now, unauthorized isn’t detailed meaning there isn’t any distinction between pirated content or content that is simply purchased through a third party in which some greedy entitlest feels they deserve a stake in. Such a technology is essentially just like a mobile version of the 3-strikes plans that are floating around the planet in various forms. Just think how quickly some greedy music label could abuse such a service.

If a cellphone manufacturer were to partner up with a certain music label and that label in turn demanded this software or DRM of sorts be installed on the handset, any user who put music content on that headset that wasn’t purchased from the label/manufacturer partnership could have that phone or in the very least music services disabled — a measure that is extremely far reaching and one of the greatest invasions of privacy I’ve seen yet!

According to Freekbits:

Details are scarce but apparently the system would consist of a central database which contains information about music which is authorized to be downloaded, and would be responsible for verifying that cellphone users weren’t downloading illicit music. Those that do would be sent warning messages…with persistent violators having the music functions on their phones disabled…

This is all in it’s early stages and again, this report is preliminary. However, I’ll definitely follow this story closely. If policies or controlling schemes such as these are enacted on mass produced devices, I will officially stop paying for anything marketed by any label. Stay tuned…

Source: Tech Dirt
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“Guilty until proven innocent….no such thing as legal downloads”….So says U.S. Government


While the war against illegal downloads rages on between consumers and the organizations suing the pants off of everyone, one can easily see that this “war” will never end. It is and always will be a constant cat and mouse game. Many consumers however opt to avoid confrontations and instead go the legal route by paying for their digital downloads through the online media store of their choice. However, if you work for the U.S. government, prepare to sing a new song — a song that says any and all downloading, no matter if you pay or not, is illegal. Say what?

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Pirate Bay has temporary setback…Founding 4 found guilty

In what is a sad day for P2P, torrent, and file sharers everywhere, a tweet by CNNbrk sadly revealed early this morning that Pirate Bay has lost their case.  Will Pirate Bay disappear and become but another story we tell our grandchildren some day.  Or will it live on (albeit in another country.)  Heck, even Pirate Bay themselves said regardless of the decision they and their service would live on.  As with all things legal, the appeal that is most certainly to follow could and probably will stretch into being measured in years. So the labels and anti-piracy advocates claim a victory of “epic proportions” they will decry. Finally artists and creators of content will finally be paid what is due to them. Can you see right through their PR BS? The only thing this trial did for the Pirate Bay was disrupt operation for a few days at most, piracy as a whole - what trial?

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Pirate Bay defeated…4 men on trial to serve 1 year

In what is a sad day for P2P, torrent, and file sharers everywhere, a tweet by CNNbrk as just revealed that Pirate Bay lost their case.  More details will follow as soon as they become known.  For now just sit back, weep, and torrent a few files as you think back on all the good times.  Ok a bit melodramatic I suppose as Pirate Bay themselves said regardless of the decision they and their service would live on.  We’ll see how this plays out.


Source: CNNbrk, *Image Source: G Captain*

Sony’s Xperia X1 getting 4 new panels

And we’re not talking flanel panels either.  These are high quality all digital panels.  Woo hoo!  Complete and utter ridiculous non-sense aside, the 4 new panels will consist of: CNN, Skype, Mytopia, and “On-the-road”.  Of course with the CNN panel you will be getting the latest in news coverage including everything form sports to weather.  The popular “civillian journalism tool” i-Report will also be included so little ‘ol you can be the big journalist you’ve always wanted to be.  The Skype panel will make identifying which of your Skype friends are online as well as access to them only one click away.  The Mytopia panel will allow the gamers of the crowd who need to kill some time or just simply like to play games the option of doing so.  Bingo and Poker were two of the options mentioned although there are many more to choose from.   And last but certainly not least is the oddly named “On-the-road” panel.  This panel is responsible for brining HUGE icons to your screen which in turn will allow you to control such tasks as music playback, UI navigation, and call handling.  Beyond these 4 panels mentioned above, Sony has many more available at Sony Fun.  Stop by and see if they have they have that special app to make you go ga ga for the X1!


Source: Slashphone

“All you can eat…errr listen music buffet”…$1.38/month. Compliments Isle of Man

Can you imagine downloading all of the music you want for a measly $1.38/month?  Does this sound too good to be true, a mere figment of someone’s imagination?  Well this “figment” is very real and slowly making its way through the local government of a tiny little island.   This tiny little island that is located in Irish Sea goes by the name of “Isle of Man” has come up with quite possibly the most ingenious method to embrace ”piracy”.  I’ll give you a hint, it involves a buffet! Read the rest of this entry »

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