The BBC reports that British and Dutch police today have shut down the popular and flagrantly illegal music-downloading site OiNK and arrested its overlord, a 24-year-old man from Middlesbrough, England. That sound you hear is the celebratory high-5ing of major-label employees worldwide and Metallica.
OiNK's ringleader, who works for a multi-national corporation, “is being questioned on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and infringement of copyright law,” the article states. OiNK's Amsterdam-based servers were seized in raids last week. The site—which had leaked 60 major-label albums before their release dates this year—had 180,000 paid members.
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An International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) spokesman commented: "Once an album had been posted on the OiNK website, the users that download that music then passed the content to other websites, forums and blogs, where multiple copies were made.
"Within a few hours of a popular pre-release track being posted on the OiNK site, hundreds of copies can be found further down the illegal online supply chain."
mtv.com relates that industry estimates show a third decrease in sales in the last six years. The defeat of OiNK may be a temporary boon for major labels, but until they start releasing better product, stop litigating against consumers, intelligently adapt to new technologies and figure out how to service an evolving customer base without alienating it, this development shouldn't make them overly complacent or giddy.
* The use of the derogatory term “pigs” is strictly for pun-worthy purposes. I respect our police forces and would never imply that they have porcine attributes.