Monday, December 20, 2004 and - Gone

It seems that SuprNova and TorrentBits have disappeared after legal threats from the MPAA.

Alternatives? The Slashdot piece has this info (not that I understand it in the slightest. Probably.) in the comments:
BTW: If you have an IRC client, you can join #bt, #bt-gm and #tvtorrents on efnet. #bt and #tvtorrents serves TV show torrents and #bt-gm serves torrents for games and movies.
Or you can try The Pirate Bay (yarr!) which is laughing in the face of scurvy lawyers.

via Waxy


ILuvNUFC said...

They are sticking their neck out a bit are'nt they?
Yarr! Cut throat pirates.

mmChronic said...

It depends where they are based really - some countries don't give a monkeys about copyright law. China and Russia have both signed agreements with the West to help prevent copyright abuses in their countries but I bet they are not enforced in any meaningful manner.

In the linked Slashdot post a site admin based in Russia has offered to host stuff - he doesn't give a shit about lawyers.

ILuvNUFC said...

YAY! I love Tinter'web.
For anyone who misses Suprnova try this Bi-torrent.

ILuvNUFC said...

YAY! I'm top of the new FF table, first time ever.
Probably only last til tonight's game, if there is one. Every dog has his day tho and it's about my turn to be top for 10 minutes ;)

ILuvNUFC said...

Now where was the "Very Occasional Series Of Loosely Christmas Related Linkage Which You Have To Vote For If You Want To See It" Advent Calendar thingy? That would round off a brilliant day for me.
Or maybe a tunnel report?

mmChronic said...

I've just posted the FF write up so your gloating can be more public. ;)

As for the 'Very Occasional Series Of Loosely Christmas Related Linkage Which You Have To Vote For If You Want To See It' He'll say we didn't 'Vote For It' so we didn't 'See It'.

I would like to take this opportunity to preregister my votes for the rest of the series.

ILuvNUFC said...

Me too :)

bungers said...

The Gods are pleased with all this talk of calendars and shall fulfil your request!

mmChronic said...

These Gods of yours aren't very powerful are they? 2 hours after announcing they will fulfill the request there's still nowt.

I'm off to worship Jeebus instead. ;)

Merg said...

The problem with torrents is they're incredibly easy to automate tracking of, and thus even more susceptible to lawsuits, etc. than even the older P2P networks.

The other problem is that with web-based .torrent files, any eejit can get into it, and as a result it's exploded and become very high profile.

Those aren't a good combo, if you consider it...

mmChronic said...

Fsck the laywers! Did you read that comment I put below your RIAA piece? They are a big bunch of wusses. Bungers said so and he said he'll see the lot of them in court. Probably.

They can't sue everyone. There's safety in numbers - ask the wildebeest. Just hope you're not the one dragged into the river by the crocs! ;)

Merg said...

I'd seen that piece before, but it's misleading -- none of the infringement lawsuits against individuals have ever come to court, because everyone sued thus far has settled out of court.

The reasoning for that is simple. The RIAA will settle for, on average, $5000. Your legal fees will exceed that rapidly if you challenge them. So the only reason to fight it would be on principle. And it's quite hard to argue people who are warezing music, games and movies have much in the way of principles. Or money. :)

As for the rest... thing is, it's not just the RIAA. There's them, the MPAA, the BPI, etc. and they're all starting to sue. It's only going to get worse, and torrent being the highest-profile most-easily-tracked is the obvious one to hit hardest.

I'm quite surprise they haven't just picked a major music/movie title release and sued *everyone* they could track uploading it -- which in the case of BT is everyone downloading it, due to the way it works. Sure, it'd overload their lawyers, but it'd scare the hell out of a lot of people using BT...

And as you say, using it is playing the odds... just gotta hope you're not the one who gets picked. (... reminds me, takedown notices sent to ISPs are rocketting again, too.).

mmChronic said...

Why are most of the individual cases still pending? As you say most people will settle the $5K rather risk getting sued for full amount. If only we could get sued in $ - we'd just have to delay the payment as long as possible. I predict US$5K will be about 17 New Pence by January.

Wll if this war against their customers (which includes me) continues I may just have to start boycotting purchases. Fsck 'em. The large amount of money I save I can put away in a Legal Fighting Fund just in case they come knocking on my door. Or buy weed instead.

Merg said...

Exchange rate won't help since the RIAA cases are all Americans.

The British types sued were down to the BPI, IIRC.

As for boycotting their purchases, I've done that for years, due to their vastly over-priced products and the clipressing war that's been on-going... CDs actually DO sound worse than the vinyl versions now.

I keep reading that DVDA/SACD formats are the "true audiophile" formats... but CD have the potential to sound pretty much perfect. But they're being engineered to sound loud instead. The only advantages the other formats should be able to offer is multi-channel audio (vs stereo/pro-logic), but at this point...

As for why are most pending? I believe most aren't, based on what I've read elsewhere. And frankly, I believe the ones that do go to court will probably lose big. As far as I can see, the only real legal defence they have is "it wasn't me, guv" and depending on the vagaries of the IP address, etc. Which judges et al. don't understand (or care about).

And in recent times, in the US, the law has very much favoured corporations. Look at the Lessig-argued Copyright case where he argued current copyright laws were unconstitutional -- he lost despite having a very strong case.

mmChronic said...

I know we'd be sued in quids - 'if only we could be sued in $' is wishful thinking. Of course that's presupposing we would get sued - which isn't wishful thinking!

Speaking as one who can't tell the difference between vinyl and CD (unless they're scratched!) the sound quality has always sounded ok to me.

Did you see the segment on ITV News (the even more dumbed down than the headlines bit with Trever McDoughnut) at the w/e about the death of the single and the increasing sales of albums? And still we'll get the piracy is killing stuff argument wheeled out. If it kills chart singles - well done piracy I say! It should get an award for it's services to music. Probably.

Merg said...

Warner's Music division recently posted record profits, btw. Copyright infringement not killing the industry, and frankly, I doubt it's actually even denting profits to any significant degree -- I suspect the vast majority of people don't have the disposible to buy even a fraction of what they've downloaded -- or, in fact, the will -- since many download stuff to see if they like it in the first place...

But that's never stopped the various industries from assuming there's an infinite amount of money to be spent on their offerings and thus any copy made is a sale lost. Remember, these are the industries that want you to buy miltiple copies of music if you want to play it in multiple places -- in the case of music, one for the car, one for your iPod, etc. In fact, the holy grail is pay-per-play. Listened to it on your CD player? 5p please. Again in the car? Another 5p. etc.

With fair pricing and the legal right to personal backups (currently it's a case of "you may, if you don't break any other laws" situation for America, and a "fsck you" situation for us -- and in American, the DMCA means they're legally in the same situ as us for most stuff) I believe there'd be less infringement that has a financial impact.

Of course, there's all the commercial copyright infringement they have to contend with -- which arguably does impact on their sales -- but you'll note almost all recent laws passed are about greater penalties and more draconian enforcement capabilities against the already-illegal "peronal" forms of copyright infringement, and in the process often removing any personal rights to back-up copies of content that people did purchase legally.

It's also curious that the studies that demonstrate that youth is spending proportionally far less on music and far more on video games, movies (both DVD and cinema) etc. that they were 20 years ago aren't given anywhere near as much mention...

The same goes for the studies that demonstrate quite a high percentage of downloaders buying CDs of material they downloaded or other CDs by the same artistes.

I particularly enjoyed the grokster lawsuit arguments that it's "unfair competition" for the "legal download" services (where you pay) because p2p lets you get it for free -- presumably there will soon be law suits against gun makers by, say, Ford et al. on the grounds that they're unfair competition for, the auto industry -- since use of a gun does indeed allow you to get a car "for free" ...

As for (properly mastered) CD vs vinyl... yegods! Are you deef? :)

mmChronic said...

That ITV thing did mention that people were spending large amounts on other stuff too. And still album sales hold up.

It's no wonder the record companies are still making profits as they are now selling you the same songs digitally for about the same price you'd pay for it if you bought the actual CD - but with no manufacturing or transport costs. Greedy buggers.

As for the buy different copies to play different places - the protection shite they put on should be illegal. I never buy a CD with weird formats. Their loss.

Am I deaf? Of course. I blame Sony and their fiendish Walkman invention. The next phase of their cunning plan is Sony styled hearing aids in a Sony Shop™ near you.

Merg said...

Re: Warner:

The music giant behind superstar acts like Madonna, Big & Rich, Linkin Park and Josh Groban, said its operating profits nearly tripled to $219 million.Obviously a dying market, then, since they only tripled.

As for protection, that's what I mean about legal mandates -- we should have a legal right to be able to make backups. "Copy protection" hurts the legal consumers, rather than the pirates.

I've stopped buying music -- there's practically nothing recent I want, and what there is has been clipressed to death so it sounds dodgy on anything but cheap speakers (which is presumably the logic...) -- but it must be bad if I can hear it!

I agree with you about walkmen... I'm pretty sure my hearing's a big iffy in parts due to excessive volumes on my walkman as a kid.... my father likes country and western *shudder* and would inflict it on me during car journeys... as a result, I got a walkman at a very early age. In fact, it's just in the last 2-3 years I've stopped listening to music on practically all journeys... but that could be down to my previous point that most recent stuff is, IMHO, terrible...

I'm hardly buying DVDs lately, even. I still see stuff in theatre, but there's less and less I want to see again (and before there's any screams, I don't download movies either -- though not from any strong moral convictions).

Mind you, I think it's just the ultra-commercial/populist direction of... well... everything that is getting to me. There's fewer games I like now (on any platform) than in the past... fewer movies, less music, (much!) less TV ... I think we've entered a new era of bland conformist commercialised crap. Ho hum.

mmChronic said...

Pah - you're just a grumpy old man! ;)

At least with music you can play old stuff and it still sounds good. There's still plenty of music to buy - it's just there is a huge amount of shite too.

Also from the article you linked is the proof they are conning us - that's the selling us virtual copies for the same price as physical copies: The company is set to save $250 million annually, thanks to a major cost-cutting drive.

That's a huge reduction in costs and no drop in selling price or volume. They deserve to be ripped.

Merg said...

Me? Probably. I have bloody good reason to be grumpy, IMO -- see above.

Re: old stuff. The old stuff I already own (and don't have a legal right to back up!) sure. Old stuff being re-released is clippressed to death too. There's a recent re-release of some Madonna stuff in a compilation that originally featured on "The Immaculate Collection" (itself a "greatest hits" type affair) that demonstrated it very well, where they've reeingineered it -- it's from the same recording session. I'm not much of a Madonna fan, but the older stuff sounded much more vibrant, and the newer rather "hollow". But louder. Which is what it's all about...
Someone put up clips and even mp3'd, it was noticable... and, I imagine, more so when not compressed.

So... even the old stuff is only really worthwhile on old CDs...

The "virtual" copies piss me off for so many reasons -- intrusive DRM in many cases, the fact it's compressed with lossy compression meaning it IS inferior to the CD version (I can tell the difference at times - depends on the music, bitrate, etc. but even high bitrate aac/mp3/ogg/whatever isn't able to cope well with certain sound combinations... a lot of in particular classical and rock music sounds pretty iffy as a result... and AC3 is probably worse) ... it's MUCH cheaper for them to 'produce' and yet costs about the same as a CD -- and they're trying to push the prices higher, saying it's "too cheap"! And don't get me started on the US/Europe/UK price differences, where we pay more for no readily explainable reason. Nor, in the case of iTunes/Apple, the recent blocking of a rival service for no reason other than it was competition.

I honestly don't see the attraction... in fact, only idiots would buy from them given these facts -- it's ensuring you continue to get ripped off in the future!

Sadly, people will put up with an awful lot of crap for the sake of convienience. (q.v. companies that let you sign up for services online but require x days written notice to cancel, etc. for the application of the same theory in a different situation...)

I often wonder if the masses have always been so short sighted -- is it that they're now easier to manipulate, or that those that would do so have gotten much better at it? I know marketting has improved a great deal. I particularly dislike the Kodak Digital tells-you-what-to-think ad -- the ones that starts with "We love our pictures!".

mmChronic said...

They have to go for the loud over quality option due to the deafness they've caused in us already with the Walkman. :)

I've got loads of recent albums - and they all sound alright to me. That's no recommendation though due to my inability to tell the difference between CD and vinyl! I only ever listen on cack speakers - either Walkman headphones or the car.

I won a free digi track on the Wrigleys compo on atm. The choice was limited and I ended up picking Dido for the bairn. When I downloaded it wouldn't fscking play without downloading and installing another DRM layer. It still hasn't been played.

On the different pricing - we always pay more than evryone else for anything. It's a cosmic law apparently.

I know what you mean about the Kodak ad but it's understandable. Their whole company was built on film and film processing. They've seen their area of business disappear over the last few years due to digicams. Since then they've just been one of many other digicam companies. Their real area of expertise (and the one where they'd built the brand up over many years) was in producing pictures not taking them. They're desparate to get us printing pictures again!

I think that most of the costs are still quite expensive for a personal photo printer. You can take a flash card with 50 pics on to Jessops and they'll transfer to CD and give you 6x4 prints - for a fiver. If I want hard copies I know where I'm going. Kodak are fscked.

Merg said...

I don't care if Kodak's laid off their entire workforce, obnoxious ads will just keep me from their products if, indeed, I had any need of them in the first place. I'm told by a friend that Kodak's digital cameras are very good, well designed, user-friendly units, but frankly were I in the market for one unless the Kodak was at a bargain-of-the-year type price, they'd have had it. And that ad is incredibly obnoxious, IMO.

The print-your-pix market's pretty big, btw... and people will buy home printers for the convienience. People will pay rather a lot of kit they just use occasionally if it saves them having to leave the house. And of course, I'm sure the amateur pr0n market helps ;)

Talking of ads, isn't saying a product makes you more attractive against the rules? I mean, I can understand the excessiveness of the "Lynx Effect" being passed off as comedy, but there's been a recent one that goes something like, "I never thought I'd fine love again at 45..." followed by a load of tosh about looking ten years younger! And don't get me started on the Top-Up TV ad on DTT C5 which uses the a digital teletext overlay that pops while people are watching TV -- you get the bottom tenth or so of the picture obscured with a message about pressing red if you want "10 great new digital channels" which takes one to a fullscreen ad that only pressing "blue" gets rid of. Ludicrous. I'm told the original banner disappears after a while but it's always irritated me enough to force it to go... and I hardly watch C5! (CSI's decent... Muppet's Christmas Carol!)

The Licensing/DRM thang... yeah, seen that before on "free" music with a "trial period". Always cancelled the DRM install and deleted the music.

BTW, you comments on quality -- you need half-decent speakers to hear the problems... I suspect that's why they get away with it so much, because the majority are listening on either cheapo headphones, the standard car stereo speakers or on mini-"hifi" systems from Argos. However, we're rapidly approaching a point were anything better hardles seems worthwhile due to the cack engineering. Gah! (and my speakers are hardly anything fancy... )

mmChronic said...

I didn't say it was justifiable - just that I can understand why they are pulling out all stops to get you to print.

Kodak's digicams may well be decent - but they are 1 of a hundred companies doing decent digicams as opposed to to one of a handful of branded film manufacturers IYKWIM.

I figured the picture printer market would be big - but I won't be joining it anytime soon. I'd rather do it via Jessops for ease. Anyhoo we are Generation Xers - we put our pics on the interweb and DVDs not paper! ;)

Is the 10 years younger ad the one with the 55 year old wife with face cream? There is some claim made in small text about reducing wrinkles - as long as they can back that one up they are legal I believe.

That teletext ad shit sounds horrendous!

Re the speakers - as I said I only listen on shite ones so it's not a problem. Well it is but not one that I'll notice.

DRM stands for Dirty Rotten Motherfsckers. Or should do.