back to article Pirates pee on Amazon's MP3 parade

Amazon.co.uk yesterday trumpeted the launch of its MP3 download service, but a group of upstart coders chose the same day to blow their own horn about a Firefox plugin linking the e-tailer's service to The Pirate Bay. The Amazon service is flogging albums from £3 and individual songs from 59p. However, the 'Pirates of the Amazon …

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STill think DRM is a bad idea?

^^^

Pirate bay are legitimate music fans' worst enemy

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FINALLY

It's about damn time somone did this. After the Sony incident I've flat refused to pay £15 for a potential virus and I'm not parting with any money for something that won't be mine to use as I see fit.

I think I finally have something to buy for Christmas, a legitimate music collection!

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This dose lend weight

to the argument of theft... Although im alot of people will post in responce saying "well it will just be used by people who want to use Amazon to surch for stuff, but would never buy the music".

At least they cant use the "well If it was DRM free..." argument any more.

Face it noonw beleaves your lies any more. The whole trying to convince the world that you are not doing anything wrond, and you are infact a fighter for artists rights, showd that up as a lie.

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Anonymous Coward

Huh.

So a company provides people with what they claim to want: DRM free tracks at a reasonable price..and pirates still steal it.

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So the big corporates start to play fair...

...and the illegal file sharers piss on everyone's chips. "Artistic project" my arse. It's theft pure and simple.

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Pirate

World Record?

What category?

Biggest 'collection' of freeloading bastards?

Longest running "Up Yours" to the Music Industry?

Loved the idea of the plugin though. A good poke in the eye for amazon.

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Happy

Merry xmas from Amazon

"This artistic project addresses the topic of current media distribution models vs. current culture and technical possibilities."

Hohoho! What a sneaky way to 'address the topic'.

Those clever rascals...

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Patents

Doesn't this infringe on Amazon's single click to (not) buy patent?

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They're almost there...

...so close to a legal download model I will use. I'm still hesitating because I feel slightly cheated that they won't give me a FLAC version (even if their quality is a good baseline (much better than i'mlameTunes), those discarded bits have still been stolen from me!). But at least they're charging reasonable rates- rather than more than I'd have to pay to get the physical thing from play.com: at least they're admitting the maufacturing/distribution costs are significantly lower, and passing that saving on to us! DRM is dead... long live FLAC! One day anyway...

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Anonymous Coward

3 million songs

and the first 2 searches I do return with "sorry we can't find those, but here are the really expensive import versions" le sigh...

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Stop

This is going too far.

Had Amazon's service been DRM'ed to hell I'd be cheering this plugin and might even have got it myself. But Amazon are playing fair, making non-DRM'ed files that will play on pretty much anything, this is not how their service should be treated.

I'll be the first to admit, I've used TPB and similar to obtain music, some from artists I'd never heard of before, and as a result I've added a significant section to my CD collection, some imported from Japan and HK.

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Go Amazon!

I hope they're successful. Legit, DRM-Free MP3s? Instant win! I might switch from iTunes.

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I can play the piano, piano...

The Amazon site is pretty good. Reasonable price, I can put the track where I want and a fairly broad range. They even have Professor Longhair tracks. Now Christmas for the little children will be complete. Oh, how merrily they'll dance around the Christmas tree to the sound of 'She Ain't Got No Hair'.

It's a shame that the site is being exploited by these 'artists'. I suspect most people won't get the add-on or even know about it so it won't take much business away from Amazon.

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It's not exactly clear...

Does this plugin just search for the same track on the pirate bay and direct you to a torrent of it, or actually allow you to steal it directly from Amazon?

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Happy

amazon gets taste of own medicine?

Ignoring all the issues over legality of MP3s from pirate bay there is an interesting twist to this story in that Amazon is getting a taste of its own medicine ... recently they were talking about a scheme where you could be browsing in a bookshop and see a book you wanted but instead of buying at the shop you could send a text message to Amazon with the ISBN code for the book and receive a reply giving the price Amazon then a reply to that would place the order with Amazon. So, Amazon thought they could use ordinary bookshops to provide a marketing tool for their sales. So its very amusing to see someone turning the tables on them and providing a service where you browse on Amazon and then get told where to find the product cheaper!

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Christmas is cancelled

They don't 'deliver' the MP3s outside the UK. I suppose it will have to be back to the old scratched Slade 45.

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Unhappy

But Officer, it's just just a few bits....

....and bytes!

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Cool. I'll go look at Amazon.

I've never denied that musos have kids to feed, too. The only reason I haven't been buying OR downloading music is that current offerings are crap. The reasons I won't buy DRM-encrusted "offerings" are that it either tries to make me run Windows, tries to keep me from actually listening to it, buggers up my system, or any and all of the above. Trying to keep my music collection to ransom is also reason to decline. Musicians don't seem to realise how easy it is to do without their products.

If Amazon were to hide a message in their files saying "We sold this to Mostor Astrakan", I would not mind at all. I may let someone else listen to it, but If they want it, they should go to the original source.

These "download it for free" pissants are, not to put too fine a point on it, lying. Music is NOT a free commodity - people produce it for a living. They're already getting shafted by the music industry, they don't need to be shafted by the fanbase as well. With sold MP3s, the most important stumbling blocks are no longer there.

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Stop

copying not theft

Jeez, how many times. Theft is when you deprive the legitimate owner of something. This is illegal copying - copyright abuse. And as for Pirates, Ask the crews of ships at the Horn of Africa about Pirates.

Before you complain about the poor artists remember Warner music made $167 million profit last quarter and Simon Cowell is a Multi millionaire on the back of such crap as Sonia, Five and Robson and Jerome. It ain't the public how are ripping off the artists.

The criminal gangs are involved to make money that is why they copy actual CDs and sell them to arseholes at carboot sales.

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@"Huh" & "So the big corporates start to play fair... "

Couldn't agree more. I don't object to paying for music, I don't even object to buying downloads, I just wanted them to be freely usable across my devices once I'd bought them. Amazon provide that, and then this bunch decide to fuck up the deal. "“This artistic project addresses the topic of current media distribution models vs. current culture and technical possibilities,”" Yes, we've established that with most distribution models it is still possible to be a thieving, freeloading Cretinous Useless Negligible Tosser. Now go and "address the topic" of throwing your useless selves under a steamroller, you wankers.

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Coat

Re: FINALLY

Sadly, the freetards are spoiling it already. Just WTF is the point? Yet again, we have two competing extremists making life awfully difficult for the rest of us. Whatever the freetards say, recording quality music (if such a thing exists these days) costs money, so those costs and some profit MUST be recovered for music to be a viable career choice. Whatever the Industry Ass. mob say, DRM is obstructive and demeaning to their customers. So, freetards to the left of us, arseholes to the right...

My coat, please. I've had enough of this fight. All I ever wanted was to be able to stick legitimate, paid-for audio files on my music partition and be able to play them myself (not share them with anyone - I'm not a great believer in this altruistic "what's mine is yours" bollocks) anywhere. It's back to buying polycarbonate and spending half an hour making them into Ogg Vorbis files for me. I know format shifting is technically illegal right now (in the UK. The US has fair use, we don't but there is change in the pipeline) but it's far, far better than either of the two extremes.

By the way, am I breaking the law if I make those files available to family members on their machines in the same household (netgroup secured NFS with ACLs)? I always wondered, because what you pay for when you buy polycarbonate Frizbees is a licence to reproduce the audio for personal use, leaving aside the format shifting being technically illegal in itself.

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Paris Hilton

Piss on Chips

I'm what you lot like to call a "freetard" I use Linux, I want my music drm free so I can play it where and when I like, but I have no objection to paying for said music either by buying a cd/dvd or as a lot of us have long waited for unencumbered mp3 download. After all who can complain at 3 quid for a whole Led Zepp album?

A company decides to do so and what happens a bunch of selfish, ignorant wankers have a turdspurt and kick em in the bollocks.

Paris because even she is bright enough to know if you want a shag don't ballkick first.

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Playing fair?

They may not have DRM but they are still not 'playing fair'. The online tracks are still horrendously overpriced and at lower than CD quality. Why do they think people will pay more for less just because it is online?

Also the comments here seem to be hugely onesided. How many are from Amazon/RIAA cronies I wonder?

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Stop

Re: So the big corporates start to play fair...

"...and the illegal file sharers piss on everyone's chips. "Artistic project" my arse. It's theft pure and simple."

file sharing != theft

Record companies are just pissed because their nice, century-old way of making money has started to fail. Unfortunately for them, modern technology has made their product easy to duplicate, but since the file sharers are not making money from these copies, it should never be classed as illegal. It just means it is time for a new business model. Think about it: why are you supporting record companies? All they do and ever have done is cream profits from artists in exchange for a bit of promotion. Hardly, like stealing from a charity organization, is it? Leeches that make money from those with talent, would be a more fitting job title.

In my view, the death of record companies, in their current form, will only lead to the reduction in the number of mediocre, me-too, bands and fat cats' profits, both of which could never be classed as a bad thing! Perhaps the big name artists will earn less in the future, but who cares? Maybe, just maybe, they are overvalued and producing a handful of albums over a few years isn't actually worth hundreds of millions of dollars?

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Stop

Music is free!

If you write it yourself, and on a cracked edition of Cubase, a bit of wavelab here and there. Or if you want something a bit simpler Acid by Sonic Foundry!

I will neverever use DRM on any of my own tracks

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Tempted...

...to download and run a plug-in from an untrusted source that lets me download a whole load of other stuff from another untrusted source, about whom the only thing I know is that they are *definitely* on the wrong side of the law.

Now THAT's tempting.

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Prince on Amazon MP3 downloads

Just noticed that Prince's "Lovesexy" album is treated as a single due to it being sequenced as a single track, therefore it is 79p.

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Flame

Hooray

More free tunes off the interweb! And now even easier to find what you want off good ol piratebay! yes I am a freetard!

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Finally?

Play.com, 7digital and even Tesco of all people have been offering plain MP3s for a while now... and at a higher bitrate as well :)

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Alert

propaganda - don't be taken in

Copying is not theft. Copying in breach of copyright is just that. Theft deprives the original owner of something they had before the theft occurred and copying something does not do this. Piracy is armed robbery on the high seas. Misusing terms which mean one thing to express disapproval of a very different thing is propaganda pure and simple.

A few years ago copyright law controlled the actions only of the few who owned expensive printing plant. The majority of us have not been consulted until this matter has been debated and consultation is carried out through media which doesn't spew propaganda while reporting the issue one sidedly because it has a vested interest in the matter.

Don't accept taxation imposed through corrupt law bought by lobbyists without representation of the interests of the majority which wants reasonable but not excessive remuneration for the creative minority which can benefit us through their work. The rights of the majority not to have our communications spied upon and controlled for this purpose must also take priority. 25 million downloaders have not been fooled by mass media propaganda which is not going to present this issue responsibly, fairly or truthfully at any time before Turkeys vote for Christmas.

For UK residents and citizens who think copyright terms excessive you have an opportunity to say so by signing this petition:

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/ShortenCopyright/

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Time up Freetards

I've done it myself - utilised P2P and Pirate Bay for the odd song, precisely because of the DRM issue. Can't justify that now though. Just wish that Amazon had used a better bitrate...

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Pirate

blame the music industry

i blame the music/film/game industry for the amount of piracy. i mean if prices were lower then more people would go and buy the tracks. ive just looked at the price of Brittany Spears circus on amazon and it is £7 in the usa, £9 in the uk, £11 in Canada, £14 in Japan and £15 in the Euro zone (fr, de). all for the same product. if it was given to the artist then i wouldn't mind but it mostly goes to the record company. itunes pays the artist about 8p a track.

i have used illegal methods for collecting music but the main reason is because i wanted to find new bands and that is what i did, i found a band that were unsigned and made a independent album that was made available to me and i listened to it because i liked the name of the band, (my darling murder) and liked the music. they then split up (cos the lead singer's girlfriend) and i have seen 2 of the band members new bands live 5 times in the last year (getting them money) i also have various merch from them as well as 3 albums (all getting them money) so haveing their album that i wouldn't have got anyway pirated has done them good in the long run. there are also lots of other non uk bands that i would never have heard of that i have also done this with. so piracy can also do good because people will actually listen to the music without consideration of "is this worth it?"

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@Anonymous Coward

"In my view, the death of record companies, in their current form, will only lead to the reduction in the number of mediocre, me-too, bands and fat cats' profits, both of which could never be classed as a bad thing! "

I'm currently playing in band for a very talented singer whose (independent) distributor is struggling to sell music legitimately in any form. the likelihood is that, thanks to ignorant opinions like your own, there won't be ANY music industry, independent or otherwise, and artists will eventually have to stop writing and performing music apart from as a hobby.

Ultimately, the only way for a professional musician to make money in your free downloads for-all economy, is to join a function band.

Is that *really* what you want?

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They're nearly there

All they need to do now is offer the option of a FLAC, and I'll buy off them. The prices seem right. The Prince album at 79p is a rip off, you'd need to pay me considerable amounts of money to listen to that.

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Flame

Copyright has the same moral ground than monopolies

An artist should gets money for his original piece of art/work( in music case gigs), not for reproduce copies of any past one, or by donations/sponsors; in a couple of centuries we transform artirts in monopolistic whore. any form of art in my opinion should be a aestetic impresion and its own mean and end. Now that we created this monopolistic pantomime call copyright, culture has become a product itself. Beyong entertainment ,any form of art is Culture and the right for everyone to enjoy and embrace Culture is higher than the right of profit.

A real artist should be happy that this art is enjoy/simpatetic for the maximum number of fellows humans, regarless profit.

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Well, as a freetard

(As defined by El Reg) I think Amazon have large balls to do this, it's what people have been crying out for. I've downloaded in the past from p2p programs, simply because tracks aren't available elsewhere. I've looked on Amazon, they are available. Well done guys! Now, as above, if only they start to use FLAC, we'll have dogs and cats living together, peace on earth, goodwill towards all men, women, and others, etc.

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Anonymous Coward

I love that line they all toe!

"Oh yeah, well it was say 50c a track and couple of dollars for an entire album I would buy, not rip it off!" - I never believed it then and I am 99.9% sure it will be proved true now the opportunity is actually there.

"Oh the online stores never sell my type of music!" - Well they don't sell my preferred music, but that doesn't give me the right to rip it off. It's even more important that you support your favourite niche music genre, as they have a lot more to lose and so do you, every time you rip some poor, next-to-penniless muso trying to make a living!

Me, I grew up buying thrash imports on on vinyl and tape and I still love the feel of a solid CD in hands when I pay over my cash. If you buy your music direct from the musicians in hard format, you know you made a difference and there is a strong chance they will be able to carry on working.

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Yes !

Finaly an easier way to steal my music. Love this.

If its free its good.If its free and stolen its even better.

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Pirate

Not working anymore

Looks like Amazon have already stopped it from working. Well I don't see any download for free links anyhow. Just testing for purely scientific purposes of course.

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Pirate

piracy is good (for some things)

im a freetard but i buy something if i think its worth it. i have spent over £100 on 2 bands from 2 album downloads (1 i have bought and the other i am unable to buy due to not being sold anywhere but would if i could) because i liked them so much

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Anonymous Coward

Yaaaay - Ow...

Oki - I don't generally download music at all (though I _do_ stream), the odd exceptions being things like NINs "Ghosts part I" or other legitimate free releases - and generally as a precursor to buying the album (on CD).

So, a download service comes along that _might_ have what I want at a reasonable price (pay a little less for the loss in bit-rate, lack of physical backup and cover art) oki fine...

I figured - right, nobody has to physically publish or store this, it's a download, so they should have a bigger catalogue... and maybe/hopefully one day they will. My first search on "Panzer AG" returned 0 MP3s, oki, I deliberately chose a reasonably obscure band, but it _did_ return 3 CDs, 2 of which are import. Similar story with ":wumpscut:" and it got better with "Zombie Girl" as they're charging 79p for a load of tracks that the artist actually released for free (at a lower bit-rate, but I own the CDs anyway).

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re: STill think DRM is a bad idea?

Yes.

What's changed the deal for those who would pay if the deal was good enough?

Or are you the sort who thinks that just because someone else commits a crime it's OK for you to do so too?

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re: So the big corporates start to play fair...

Is it? What are the terms. I haven't read them and I suppose you haven't either.

So how do we know it is trying to play fair?

They aren't asking for reasonable copyright lengths. They aren't asking for reasonable copyright laws. I don't see them trying to play fair.

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Unhappy

Let's take a look...

MP3 albums for £3. All fine and dandy.

Let's take a look the first ten items on my lengthy amazon wishlist, and see if I can bag a few on the cheap...

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"The Holy Pictures" by David Holmes

MP3: £6.90

New CD: £6.98 (delivered)

New+Used: £6.20 (new, delivered)

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"Velocifero" by Ladytron

MP3: £6.99

New CD: £8.78 (delivered)

New+Used: £7.71 (new, delivered)

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"Trout Mask Replica" by Captain Beefheart

MP3: N/A

New CD: £7.98 (delivered)

New+Used: £5.46 (new, delivered)

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"Hurricane: the Best of" by the Prisoners"

MP3: N/A

New CD: £7.78 (delivered)

New+Used: £7.71 (new, delivered)

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"The Blue God" by Martina Topley-Bird

MP3: N/A

New CD: £8.78 (delivered)

New+Used: £7.13 (new, delivered)

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"Stainless Style" by Neon Neon

MP3: N/A

New CD: £8.98 (delivered)

New+Used: £7.20 (new, delivered)

____________________________

"Boss" by Magik Markers

MP3: £6.99

New CD: £9.98 (delivered)

New+Used: £5.16 (used - like new, delivered)

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"Overpowered" by Roisin Murphy

MP3: £7.99

New CD: £4.98 (delivered - if you spend 2p more, but I'll let that slide)

New+Used: £5.54 (new, delivered)

____________________________

"In Sides" by Orbital

MP3: £7.99

New CD: £10.29 (delivered)

New+Used: £6.70 (used - like new, delivered)

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"I Am a Bird Now" by Antony & The Johnsons

MP3: £6.99

New CD: £9.98 (delivered)

New+Used: £7.45 (used - very good, delivered)

____________________________

10 albums, nothing especially obscure, all the kind of thing you'd expect to find in a decent HMV for £13.99 or whatever.

Scores on the doors...

2 for MP3 (...out of the 6 occasions the option was available, so 33% at best)

1 for Amazon New CD (...but only due to my concession re: delivery - you'd have to buy something else to get the free delivery)

7 for New+Used Amazon Marketplace (6 x "new", 1 x "used -like new")

Verdict...Amazon Marketplace wins out again. Nothing new there. It's how I've bought the majority of my CDs for years. And, if you can wait the 2 days for arrival, you get a CD artefact as source and backup for a rip to the format of your choice rather than an ephemeral file that you're responsible for archiving and backing up 'cause there's no option to re-download.

I've been saying this for ages, but MP3 albums are not worth more than £5. The market will not bear it. Allofmp3.com knew this from the off and as soon as a legit version is available, it will have things wrapped up.

As for "Hugh_Pym"'s comment that "Simon Cowell is a Multi millionaire on the back of such crap as Sonia, Five and Robson and Jerome" - a) I don't think PirateBay users are DL-ing Sonia, Five and Robson and Jerome somehow, and b) I think the X-Factor TV rights have made made him the most dosh. Pay up, ya scoundrel.

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@Hugh_Pym and others

The OED says:

Theft is defined as the act of stealing. Stealing is to take [someone's property] without permission or legal right without intending to return.

A pirate is either the thing with the boats or: A person who appropriates or reporduces the work of another for profit without permission, usually in contravention of patent or copyright.

Let this be an end to the attempting to justify ripping people off by symantics argument, oh and don't try to argue that the copyright is not the property of the person who owns it.

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@Daniel Garcia

I love the architectural ouvré of Nash and his contemporaries -- you'll see examples all over London. It has wonderful aesthetics. Does this mean I should be allowed to live in any of their houses for free? One person's property is another person's "art". Where do you draw the line?

The whole "Art should be FREE!" nonsense is complete and utter cobblers. The very concept of "art" in the modern sense is an entirely invented one. Michelangelo didn't paint the Sistine Chapel for the price of some pizza and biscotti. He was PAID to create it. And quite handsomely at that. Ditto for all the other major works of art most of us are familiar with. Even Charles Dickens famously wrote that nobody writes for free. Creativity is f*cking hard work. (Watch this week's "Screenwipe" if you want to see what writing is really like. Best writers-on-writing programme I've seen in years. It's not all lounging around drinking lattes.)

Art is work. You want access to the work I produce? Fine: Pay up, or fuck off.

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It's still

MP3 though.

Why?? I guess that's the only format lay-people know and think they can play on their 'mp3' player. Mp3 is outdated/poor!

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Anonymous Coward

Don't like amazon? Don't like their bitrates? Try 7digital.com then!

7digital.com have UK legal MP3 downloads from most major labels *and* an impressively wide selection. Many of those MP3's are also available at 320k, which I think is more than adequate for most users. Of course it's not free, but it fulfills most of my music requirements the vast majority of the time.

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Stupid fuckups

I pirate just as bad as you might expect, but this is a stupid extension. Piss on some company that isn't playing fair.

Amazon is a model of how to do it right: DRM free MP3s at very reasonable prices, so for gods sake don't destroy their position in the market unless you simply want music companies to go back to horrible DRM. Support companies when they do it right.

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Mp3 is outdated/poor???

so what should we use that is as universally recognised?

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