Waffles.fm steps up to take OiNK’s place, feels growing pains

So after what I thought was a clever message to the masses regarding the demise of OiNK turns out to be a subtle hint for a new, member only, invite only bittorrent tracking site. Waffles.fm is, from what I understand, very similar to how OiNK was run, only they were never quite as big and are now feeling the strain on their servers as their membership grows.

From what I’ve read around the blogsphere, they are a bit more strict as well, which is fine, I never had many problems with OiNK and honestly, I’ve been able to find almost everything I need on Demonoid as of late. That said, I am interested in an invite, so if anyone has one to share, or wants to trade a Demonoid invite, please use the contact form to get a hold of me, I’ll gladly show you my ratio on Demonoid.

Even with invite only, closed membership, free to use private tracking sites, more than a half dozen other torrent trackers have popped up to fill the void that OiNK has left. All have been open to the public and all are gaining in popularity. This is not the end of torrent tracking site, and as mentioned before, searching Google will often lead you to just about anything you are looking for.

Q. What to use instead of OiNK? A. Waffles

A week ago bittorrent tracking site OiNK was raided by police and shut down, the owner has said that he has done nothing wrong, owns no music illegally himself and didn’t make people pay to access, only accepted donations to keep the site going. With all of this noise, The Pirate Bay is making attempts to bring OiNK back online, this time as boink.cd. As covered before, it won’t be member only, it won’t have all the content from OiNK and it isn’t officially associated with the OiNK owner at all.

Sometime in the last day or so, The Pirate Bay peoples posted up this funny image on boink.cd:

boink.cd waffles are yummy

The title for the page reads: oink.cd – the number 1 site in the world for waffle recipes, under the image of the waffles is this hyperlink,

These are the waffles that taste really good according to google.

This is a really interesting marketing method. Thousands of bloggers and forum dwellers have been covering what happened to OiNK and that boink.cd would be taking over. That means that thousands of people are viewing the boink.cd site, which is in turn, using Google to show music lovers what to use instead of OiNK. It may be one of the greatest marketing ploys this decade – showing the RIAA and others that one torrent-tracking site isn’t destroying the music industry; Google itself enables people to find that which they are seeking. It is absolutely brilliant.

OiNK is coming back online thanks to The Pirate Bay

Only three days after OiNK was raided and shut down by the police, The Pirate Bay has vowed to bring the OiNK trackers back online.  Torrent Freak is reporting,

The Pirate Bay is currently working on an OiNK replacement in an attempt to bring the hundreds of thousands of music albums back online that disappeared during the raid. The replacement will be released within a week and on the BOiNK.cd domain.

BOiNK will probably be ready in a few days.

BOiNK is a Pirate Bay only project, OiNK and other BitTorrent sites are not involved.

While I am really stoked that The Pirate Bay is willing to give the finger to IFPI, the RIAA and lots of other silly acronyms.  Point is, the music industry needs to wake up and look at the bigger picture.  The masses don’t want to pay 99c a song on iTunes for crappy quality music that has is crippled with DRM.  Radiohead released their 7th album for free, asked their fans to pay what they thought it was worth, it has done really well.  The rich music moguls need to realize that with sites like MySpace, bands are handling their own releases, putting out their own CDs and getting pretty well known, maybe not commercial radio station or MTV famous, but they do OK.  The money is there, people want to go to clubs and see live music, smaller bands can still cash in and enjoy doing what they do, but consumers don’t want to get raped for enjoying the music.

OiNK has been raided and shut down, long live the pirates!

What may have been one of the largest collections of amazing music and programs in bittorrent format was raided last night and shut down.  Mega torrent tracker OiNK, which had a near fight club attitude to advertising and was available to users only on an invite basis, seems to have been shut down for good.  Excerpts from the IFPI press release,

British and Dutch police today shut down the world’s biggest source of illegal pre-release chart albums and arrested a 24-year old man in an operation coordinated between Middlesbrough and Amsterdam.

The site, with an estimated membership of 180,000, has been used by many hardcore file-sharers to violate the rights of artists and producers by obtaining copyrighted recordings and making them available on the internet.

The site’s servers, based in Amsterdam, were seized in a series of raids last week. OiNK’s operator allegedly made money by setting up a donations account on the site facilitated by PayPal.

Reuters has a quote from one of the people who works for IFPI,

“OiNK was central to the illegal distribution of pre-release music online,” said Jeremy Banks, head of the anti-piracy unit at the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which helped in the investigation.

I am saddened to see OiNK go, if it truly is gone forever.  Over the last two years or so I was introduced to countless amounts of new music that I otherwise may have never heard before.  In my opinion, the music industry needs to figure out a better way to distribute music, with CD sales falling every year; one would think they get the drift.  My opinion is that the $1 per song download through iTunes and similar sites is not the answer either.

Save Free Internet Radio

On March 2, 2007 the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), which oversees sound recording royalties paid by Internet radio services, increased Internet radio’s royalty burden between 300 and 1200 percent and thereby jeopardized the industry’s future. At the request of the Recording Industry Association of America, the CRB ignored the fact that Internet radio royalties were already double what satellite radio pays, and multiplied the royalties even further. Artists, listeners, and Webcasters, have formed a coalition to help save Internet radio. The coalition believes strongly in compensating artists, but Internet radio as we know it will not survive under the new royalties.

We’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars in back-fees alone. The fees are FAR beyond what “traditional” stations are required to pay. Starting May 15th many free internet stations will shut down simply because they can no longer afford to stay on the air.

Recently, there was a by-partisan bill introduced in the House of Representatives that would save countless stations from being forced off of the air. Contact your Representative and tell them to co-sponsor and support this legislation!

May 15th is the day that the new royalties take effect….so act now!

Learn more & make your voice heard: SaveNetRadio.org

Piracy OK in the minds of most Americans

In a recent poll taken by a Toronto based research company, only 40% of Americans think that downloading copyrighted movies is a very serious offense, while more then 60% agree that parking in a fire lane is a very serious offense.

I park in fire lanes; there is no good excuse for it other then convenience. I also drive without a seat belt from time to time, which is stupid on my part and against the law. The fact that only 40% of Americans agree that downloading movies from the internet is a serious crime should open the eyes of the movie industry. Today�s viewers want more of everything faster, quicker and cheaper. Hollywood claimed that the VCR would end the movie industry, it did the exact opposite, with a good portion of movies being made now directly for the rental market. YouTube and iTunes have changed the way we watch short video programming, making it available in much faster time frame, some legally and some illegally.

A recent discussion with a friend regarding the movie industry yielded some interesting conversations:

  • Release a movie in the theaters on Friday as they normally do but give the option right there at the theater to buy the DVD version of it for a few dollars over the cost of the ticket. The theater experience to some is still worth paying the bloated ticket price, dealing with kids talking and cell phones ringing.
  • The following Friday, one week after the initial release, offer the movie for download at a nominal price.
  • On the same date, make it available in traditional movie rental stores like Blockbuster and available from online rental sites like NetFlix.

By doing this, the theaters still get the revenue from the walk in viewer, along with them buying the popcorn, candy and soda at bloated prices for the movie theater experience. They also open up the ability to make money from people who simply don’t have the time to go to the movies by giving them an option to pick the DVD up from a rental store on the way home and the technology friendly consumers can download it when the time suits them.

With no way to shutdown BitTorrent, the movie industry should start looking at ways to mold and adapt to the ever changing needs of their consumers.

YouTube now Digg friendly

One of the largest Web 2.0 companies, YouTube.com, has just become more friendly to a devote sect of internet users, Digg-ers. While I personally don’t have an account on YouTube and was admittedly one of the last people to use and embrace it, I find this somewhat intriguing. Ironically, I found this story talking about the addition of the Digg icon on Digg.

I’ve written about the concept of Digg, many people believe that it will become more popular then many online news resources (most of which have a traditional print version paper as well) because it shows what current readers want to read about. YouTube is the video version, clips make it to the front page of the site because users have an option to rate them. Although parent company Google still has to figure out a way to make YouTube profitable and deal with the huge copyright issues of Hollywood and the RIAA, YouTube could start to take place of your traditional television. For the most part, the videos that are on YouTube fit your average late teen through mid 30’s westernized persons attention span, under 3 minutes, which I think is the mass appeal.

Time will tell us what will come, but making the option to add video clips from YouTube to Digg in a fast and convenient way was a wise marketing choice. Social networking is here to stay, these two companies just happen to be some of the largest ones out there.

The Pirate Bay won’t be buying Sealand, moves to Plan B

Back on January 15th, I wrote about The Pirate Bay attempting to buy Sealand. It appears that they have raised about $20,000 but will not meet the estimated $1 billion to buy the tiny island nation. They have instead moved to Plan B, trying to buy an island and turn it into a nation to avoid persecution by the RIAA and everyone else who bothers them.