I’d like to run another poll with you guys. Please feel free to vote – it is 100% anonynomous!
Poll question: Do you consider it to be piracy to download MP3 files of a previously bought album? Let’s say you own some music as an LP, bought in the 80s. Now you don’t own a turntable anymore, but you can download MP3 or better files from the net from a site that offers unauthorized files. Since you already paid for the LP, should it legally and technically be “piracy” to download these files?
December was a bad month for downloads, as I worked too much, and prepared for Christmas too much to look for new downloads to grab. But the last month I did some hunting, and found these little DVDRs floating around. Naturally, I cleaned them up from the net:
Bamboo house of dolls
Bridge of dragons
Fire with fire
One in the chamber
Resident Evil 5: Retribution
Robin Hood (Douglas Fairbanks)
Robin Hood (Patrick Bergin)
Tales from the dark side
The Bourne legacy
The Expendables 2
The Tall man
Total Recall (2012)
Out of these I actually watched Six Bullets, a small but nice action film with Jean Claude van Damme. Sorry, JCvD, but you received no money from me this time, but that would be no difference compared to the absence of the internet; had the net not existed and one was forced to buy physical DVDs, I would never have bought this movie, as my budget does not stretch that far.
The music industry is slowly trying to find new ways to make money when CD sales are being reduced every year. The newest trend is streaming, such as Spotify. The problem is that this is not really a “new model” – it is still about charging individual users a sum of money and then try to distribute that money back to record companies and composers.
Here’s the truth about music streaming and what artists and composers earn from it:
According to a number of music executives, Spotify generally pays 0.5 to 0.7 cent a stream for the paid tier, which results in $5,000 to $7,000 per million plays.
Read the whole article here. It shows that even a million plays won’t keep an artist/composer with rent, food and working tools for a month.
Even for an under-the-radar artist like Ms. Keating, who describes her style as “avant cello,” the numbers painted a stark picture of what it is like to be a working musician these days. After her songs had been played more than 1.5 million times on Pandora over six months, she earned $1,652.74. On Spotify, 131,000 plays last year netted just $547.71, or an average of 0.42 cent a play.
The ones that really do make money off of music these days, are ISP who sell broadband services. Why are they not taken on by the music industry?
November 2012 was a pretty good month for downloads. I grabbed the following movie DVDRs:
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
Black Fox 1
Bring me the head of Alfred Garcia
Johan Falk: Alla råns moder
Johan Falk: Organizatsija Karayan
Liza Marklund 6: En plats i solen
No man’s land: Rise of the reeker
North face (Nordwand)
Outpost 2: Black sun
Starship Troopers Invasion
The Amazing Spider-Man
Werewolf: The best among us
And some music grabs:
Cliff Martinez – A l’origine (soundtrack)
Cliff Martinez – Solaris
Cliff Martinez – Drive
Cliff Martinez – The Lincoln Lawyer
Cliff Martinez – Traffic
Yanni – Truth of Touch
Tangerine Dream: Dream Mixes 4
Don Slepian – Sea Of Bliss
Klaus Schulze – Dosburg Online
Klangwelt – Weltweit
Tangerine Dream – Tyranny Of Beauty
Mark Isham – Vapour Drawings
Edgar Froese – Pinnacles (2005 edition)
Kitaro – Astral Voyage
Being that Christmas is coming up, and I would like to compile another CDR of 50s and 60s holiday songs, I downloaded a bunch of Christmas music too. In fact, more than 11 gigabytes of MP3 files (last year I think I grabbed around 6 gigabytes). My collection of Christmas music is now around 35 gigabytes, although I actually listen to only a fraction of the songs.
October was a little less active on the download front than September, but this was purely due to few interesting releases being made. With “releases” I mean scene releases, i.e. retail DVDs converted into “pirated” DVD files by ripper groups. These groups release their packages onto torrent sites, to FTP accounts, or other hubs.
October’s DVD grab bag:
Abraham Lincoln vs zombies
Disney: Silly Symphonies
Dungeons and dragons 3: Book of vile darkness
Get the gringo
Johan Falk 8
Lucky Luke (2009)
Snow White and the huntsman
Terra Nova S1
The whisperer in the darkness
The woman in black
I also grabbed some music:
Parralox: Electricity (Limited Edition)
Michael Jackson: Bad (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
Giorgio Moroder: E=mc2
Giorgio Moroder: Midnight Express
Giorgio Moroder: From here to eternity
Michael Jackson: Off the Wall (Special Edition)
Schiller: Sonne (Deluxe Edition)
VA: Summer Grooves
Vangelis: Chariots of fire (25th Anniversary Edition)
Vangelis: The Collection
And some software:
Freedom Scientific TTS engine
I am actually looking for two software: The TTS voice of Elin, and the soft-synth Synth-Werk. Any pointers?
According to TorrentFreak, the filesharing news site, The Pirate Bay has now taken some major steps towards becoming secured from police raids and MPAA intervention.
The Pirate Bay has made an important change to its infrastructure. The world’s most famous BitTorrent site has switched its entire operation to the cloud. From now on The Pirate Bay will serve its users from several cloud hosting providers scattered around the world. The move will cut costs, ensure better uptime, and make the site virtually invulnerable to police raids — all while keeping user data secure.
The Pirate Bay is loved by millions of file-sharers but is also a thorn in the side of the entertainment industries. The latter group continues to push authorities to take action against the site. The Pirate Bay was raided back in 2006 and there are rumors that the police might try again in the near future.
The Pirate Bay is not oblivious to this looming threat. They have backups in place and are shielding the true location of their servers. Nevertheless, should the site lose all its servers it might take a while to get back online. This is one of the reasons why The Pirate Bay decided to move the site into the cloud yesterday. The switch resulted in five minutes downtime and was hardly noticed by the public, but it’s a big change for the infamous BitTorrent site.
Hosting in the cloud also makes the site easier to scale, it reduces downtime, and is also cheaper. “Moving to the cloud lets TPB move from country to country, crossing borders seamlessly without downtime. All the servers don’t even have to be hosted with the same provider, or even on the same continent,” The Pirate Bay told TorrentFreak. The Pirate Bay is currently hosted at cloud hosting companies in two countries where they run several Virtual Machine (VM) instances. “Running on VMs cuts down operation costs and complexity. For example, we never need anyone to do hands-on work like earlier this month when we were down for two days because someone had to fix a broken power distribution unit,” The Pirate Bay says.
The setup also makes it possible for the BitTorrent site to take their business elsewhere without too much hassle. “If one cloud-provider cuts us off, goes offline or goes bankrupt, we can just buy new virtual servers from the next provider. Then we only have to upload the VM-images and reconfigure the load-balancer to get the site up and running again.”
While most of Pirate Bay’s former servers are now obsolete, not everything was moved to the cloud. The load balancer and transit-routers are still owned and operated by The Pirate Bay, which allows the site to hide the location of the cloud provider. It also helps to secure the privacy of the site’s users.
The hosting providers have no idea that they’re hosting The Pirate Bay, and even in the event they found out it would be impossible for them to gather data on the users. “All communication with users goes through TPB’s load balancer, which is a disk-less server with all the configuration in RAM. The load balancer is not in the same country as the transit-router or the cloud servers,” The Pirate Bay told us. “The communication between the load balancer and the virtual servers is encrypted. So even if a cloud provider found out they’re running TPB, they can’t look at the content of user traffic or user’s IP-addresses.” In addition The Pirate Bay now believes it’s more raid proof.
The worst case scenario is that The Pirate Bay loses both its transit router and its load balancer. All the important data is backed up externally on VMs that can be re-installed at cloud hosting providers anywhere in the world. “If the police decide to raid us again there are no servers to take, just a transit router. If they follow the trail to the next country and find the load balancer, there is just a disk-less server there. In case they find out where the cloud provider is, all they can get are encrypted disk-images,” The Pirate Bay says. “They have to be quick about it too, if the servers have been out of communication with the load balancer for 8 hours they automatically shut down. When the servers are booted up, access is only granted to those who have the encryption password,” they add.
For Pirate Bay users the move to the cloud doesn’t change much though. If anything, they will notice significantly less downtime.
This blog is written by a media pirate, Long John Silver, and is published by an independent publisher to protect the identity of the pirate. If the blog is abruptly deleted, it has been killed by the host, the police or the media industry.