Tuesday, October 23, 2007

TV-Links, OiNK, RIP

Police raids and arrests have led to the shutting down of two major illegal content sites: OiNK, the invitation-only music torrent site and tv-links.co.uk, one of the most comprehensive listings of television programs and movies available for online streaming.

OiNK's "mastermind", a 24 year old IT worker from Middlesbrough, England, had his home and workplace (apparently a large multi-national corporation) raided, and his investigators also visited his father's home. OiNK's servers, in Amsterdam, were seized by police. Also in Britain, a 26 year old from Cheltenham was arrested last week on charges of piracy and copyright infringement for operating tv-links.co.uk.

There were also many reports in the music press of 'illegal' downloads of Radiohead's ostensibly free new LP "In Rainbows". Other artists (Trent Reznor, for example) have followed Radiohead's example and announced that they will bypass the industry and release recordings directly to their fanbase, but this model is less likely to work for unknown bands. I suspect we'll be seeing considerably more songs sold for use in television and advertising, and artists will hope to make money thru live touring, with increased ticket prices. Television and cinema will almost certainly increase the amount of onscreen product placement (and start charging more for it).

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