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back to article ISPs' pirate-choking blocking measures ARE effective – music body

High Court orders dished out to telcos in the UK and elsewhere in the European Union demanding that they block access to sites serving pirated content have helped to decrease access to BitTorrent trackers, a music industry body has claimed. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry published its annual report on …

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So pirate bay might be down, but are others up? And what's happening to legit music sales. Are they going down because people don't get the chance to try the music before buying or are they going up because people are forced to buy?

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Buy

As in second hand

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You forgot the third option - sales are going down because current music is complete & utter Cowell (pronounced cr@p).

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Legit music sales will continue to decline because people don't want to have

to pay twice for the same crap...

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and Im sure I read something from one of the big streaming outfits saying that an 11% drop in piracy could be attributed to the quality and availability of their network....

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TBH I used to pirate a lot of music. This was because I didn't want it myself, but people wanted it at parties. I wasn't going to pay for it (in my youth I would have copied their CDs, or tapes, to get it).

Now I pay £8/month to google and get it all on there. I hardly notice £8/mo, and I don't have to choose what to buy or download, I can just add it to the playlist when someone asks.

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@WonkoTheSane

+1

Pirating is going down as well because there is bugger all worth pirating.

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@Dr. Mouse

This is a good point, and I would like to know how much is actually attributable to legal services that makes access as or more convenient then the illegal services.

What happened in areas that didn't implement blocks?

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Re: @Dr. Mouse

There have been other studies discussed here in the past year that stated that BitTorrent activity dropped rather at about the same rate as legal download services became available, on a country by country basis.

So, no real surprises here, just a change of marketing departments.

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Childcatcher

Re: @Dr. Mouse

...I would like to know how much is actually attributable to legal services...

Exactly! This is a classic instance of correlation being equated with causality. I would also like to see piracy stats from a third party rather than from a group that has a vested interest in inflating reports of abuse.

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So it's still for everyone else to solve

Other than the entertainment co's

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Anonymous Coward

business as usual

the IFPI provide justification for their existence (give us more money), by issuing farts, every now and then. Everybody knows how effective these are, and the pirates carry on as before. Everybody (?) happy.

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Pirate

How about VPN use, is that down?

I've heard that some significant portion of worldwide VPN traffic is bittorrent.

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Re: How about VPN use, is that down?

or newsgroups. Old school still going strong.

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Re: How about VPN use, is that down?

Talking about old school, have you seen the capacity of USB sticks recently?

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Or it could be the growing prevalence of alternative - legal - online ways to get to music?

Also:

"A search for the name of any leading artist followed by the term 'mp3' in the leading search engines still returns a vast proportion of illegal links on the first page of results."

So that's how it's done, I never really knew how to find the newest music I wanted for free - thanks IFPI

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Anonymous Coward

Quite Right !!

I hung up my (music) Peg leg and Eye patch, when i found out about Spotify.

Used it free for 2 weeks, have been a subscriber ever since !

Now just need the same for film, for me to retire fully from marine based intorwebz facilities

*anon for obvious reasons

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Anonymous Coward

Spotify

Streaming providers are no use to me - when I'm listening to tunes its generally in an offline way. For starters I work in one of the countless companies whose corporate firewall blocks such services, and I'm not going to chew up my mobile data allowance by listening to tunes all day to work around that. Other than that I'll out and about with my music player device, without a reliable network connection.

Secondly, stream services charge you whether you listen to tunes or not. As I only tend to have time to listen to tunes on the odd occasion, I don't like the model which makes me pay for something I'm not using. At least with my CD collection, I've paid only once up front.

I would buy a whole lot more CDs, if they weren't STILL pricing at £20-£30 a piece even for old school stuff such as I listen to.

Thats all about music, but for movies its a whole different story. We used to watch Sky box office a lot, which is form of streaming provider - but we discovered Netflix shortly after buying a smart TV. No wonder blockbuster went ... well ... bust. The only thing I would say about Netflix is that their content selection doesn't seem to cover any of the older more classic movies. No sign of 'Mad Max', 'Leon', 'Terminator', etc. Have heard that some of these are available on Amazon streaming, which frustratingly doesn't have an app for our Samsung smart TV!!

On that note by the way, it was a sad experience in early Feb to visit the Oxford St HMV store - only to find they were running a closing down sale ...

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Re: Spotify

"I would buy a whole lot more CDs, if they weren't STILL pricing at £20-£30 a piece even for old school stuff such as I listen to."

Where are you buying your CDs? I can't remember the last time I paid more than £8 for an album and even that is the price you pay on day of release.

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Re: Spotify

@AC

I fully understand what you mean I live in 2G coverage !!!

Spotify has an offline mode where you only have to login 1 a month, if you really want to be stingy about data.

you can also make your playlists available offline and it will download them to whatever device your using.

I agree its not suited to everybody the pricing package

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Re: Spotify

Sadly you've identified the problem right there - it's easier to get high quality rips illegally than legally especially when it comes to movies or TV shows.

As producers and marketeers create arbitary 'market borders' with slightly different content or release dates the more I benefit from simply downloading a copy. No DRM, no mandatory advertising/warning (as on streaming) and no issues with content providers (netflix / Samsung etc) not having signed contracts to provide me with the content I want.

I would happily donate a £ value to the artist / producer / developer directly via a PayPal type solution provided it bypasses all the distribution and physical production people who have not contributed to the product I obtained.

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As far as I can tell, licensing music (and movies) to streaming outfits and actually making the content easy to stream is going to make far more of an impact than making Google stop indexing the content. I know people who have access to invite-only piracy sites who don't bother torrenting content any more because it's simpler to just type it into spotify or watch something on netflix. Problem is, they need to make it easier. For instance if I want to watch 'Game of Thrones' on my tablet I can't do it, because the Sky Go won't install on rooted devices (presumably for anti-piracy reasons), and HBO don't license it to anyone else. Because of anti-piracy measures the only way I could watch it on the train to work would be to pirate it, despite having paid for the content via a Sky subscription.

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The same with UV stuff too. There are too many hoops to jump through for already paid content. Again, it is easier to search for a particular encoding and download then use the offered options.

I had to move my XBMC from linux to windows (eurgh) so that it could "tab out" for sky and netflix. If they had a linux XBMC plugin then i'd be off windows again in a shot.

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I had to move my XBMC from linux to windows (eurgh) so that it could "tab out" for sky and netflix. If they had a linux XBMC plugin then i'd be off windows again in a shot.

I gather that this is cause Netflix use Silverlight to stream their Content instead of Flash or HTML5 which may well happen someday... Perhaps then.. Till then there's Navi X... But its sadly KO'ed again. Hopefully it'll be back up again soon...

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"I gather that this is cause Netflix use Silverlight to stream their Content "

So Moonlight and Mono doesn't cut it then? Shame.

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There's a checkbox in the Account Playback setting to prefer Silverlight or HTML5, where available. You can only access the setting over the website, not from an app, and it depends how they originally encoded the show.

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Megaphone

Streaming

"It said that file-sharing had dropped by 11 per cent in the countries where such measures were imposed on ISPs"

Of course this has nothing at all to do with it being even more convenient to use services like Spotify and Netflix?

Pirating is not down at all due to enforcement measures, it's down purely as it became more convenient for people to listen legally.

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Re: Streaming

Yeah, but lobbying and legally bludgeoning people into doing their job for them costs the rights-holders money so they *have* to claim some sort of success to report to the shareholders. Personally, I trust their figures about as far as I can spit a hedgehog.

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Anonymous Coward

High Court orders dished out to telcos in the UK and elsewhere in the European Union demanding that they block access to sites serving pirated content have helped to decrease access to BitTorrent trackers, a music industry body has claimed.

Was there a disclaimer on the bottom of the page?

"The pirates who brought themselves a VPN plan, when this business interest only legal censorship was enacted, might disagree with the measurement methodology used to produce this statement."

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WTF?

Censorship?

"The pirates who brought themselves a VPN plan, when this business interest only legal censorship was enacted"

I don't particularly agree with a lot of the actions of the music corporations, but how is trying to stop people illegally access your copyrighted product without paying for it censorship?

Also I've no time for muppets who'll shell out for VPNs but won't put their hands in their pockets to buy the stuff they'll download through them!

Just because something might not be available exactly WHERE you want it for the PRICE you want it, doesn't mean you have the right to just help yourself for free (otherwise the Porsche and Ferrari dealerships might be in for some trouble!).

I await all the freetard downvotes...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Censorship?

Posting anonymously for the first time:

I download torrents through a VPN. I don't think that warrants labelling me a freetard.

Whether it's okay to download depends, I think, on whether I would have paid money for the download or for a physical CD/DVD. My music downloads tend to be of albums referred to in what I've read about other musicians; if A is similar to B or C is influenced by D or E plays something on an album by F then I often want to have a listen to B or D or F. There's no way that I'd spend money just to satisfy that curiosity. More often than not the download is wiped before I've listened to more than a little of it. If I do keep it there's no loss to the artiste since I wouldn't have bought it anyway.

Where I would pay, I do pay. Thus I've downloaded a number of guitar courses, decided that I'm going to make use of some of them and then downloaded those for payment from their creators' sites.

I know I could download a torrent of an excellent 25-disc course - because I've done it. I'd earlier paid for the course on disc. I, perhaps illegally (uncertain in the country I'm writing from), downloaded the course because I'd managed to lose one of those discs and downloading and burning was the only way I could replace it without buying the whole course a second time.

I think my downloading actions are ethical and do no damage to the holders of IP rights. Nor does my use of VPNs to give me access to television programmes in countries normally blocked to me, such as the UK, Spain, France and the US.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Censorship?

I don't particularly agree with a lot of the actions of the music corporations, but how is trying to stop people illegally access your copyrighted product without paying for it censorship?

It's no good asking me, I don't torrent or usenet anything, I've never felt the need to.

I do however consider blocking content (of any description) censorship. I'm not against censorship, I firmly believe some content must be censored (child pornography for example, although I'm much more in favour of just executing those who produce it and thus reducing the availability of it).

I'm not in favour of censoring anything to suit a 'business interest'. If the people with the business interest need the law to censor content in order to protect their business model, then their business model is broken, and they should direct their resources to fixing it.

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Anonymous Coward

Why pay money for a VPN? I've been a'pirating direct for years and never got any trouble for it.

Mind you, I buy music rather than download it, ideally direct from the artist if at all possible.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Censorship?

I pay for all my content, but to access the content I pay for on the devices I want in the manner I want requires downloading the content in an open format.

None of the "players" in this market offer that so whilst I do pay for all my content - full Sky sub, TV License, Spotify premium sub - I am required to use newsgroups in order to access that content.

Actually, the BBC do, almost all content from them I can use get_iplayer on, and the broadcast content is easily captured. I'd like to say the same for ITV, Channel 4, 5, but most of them put their HD channels only on the encrypted Sky platform and not on Freesat.

Spotify is getting better, but as an archivist/collector their practice of constantly removing or replacing albums means that my carefully selected playlists end up with tracks from compilation CDs instead of the original album, which makes me very angry.

Yes, I know I'm weird.

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Re: Censorship?

"I don't particularly agree with a lot of the actions of the music corporations, but how is trying to stop people illegally access your copyrighted product without paying for it censorship?"

Definition of censorship: The use of state or group power to control freedom of expression or press, such as passing laws to prevent media from being published or propagated.

That's how.

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Knock your head on the wall

Every day it is sunny, then claim your headbanging is what's making the Sun shine...

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Dropped 11% in countries with blocking

Any mention of how much it dropped in other countries or what the trend was in total?

It sounds to me like they are just manipulating the stats to make it look like what they are doing is having an effect.

In reality people who's ISP blocks access will just use something like TOR which will make them appear to come from a different country most likely anyway. So it will make it look like people accessing it within the UK are fewer but greater in other countries.

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Pirate

Re: Dropped 11% in countries with blocking

Or alternatively, how much has it gone UP in countries without the blocking.

All those VPNs need to terminate somewhere ...

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Re: Dropped 11% in countries with blocking

Of course they manipulated the stats, or just pulled numbers out of their arse. That's what they always do.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dropped 11% in countries with blocking

Any mention of how much it dropped in other countries or what the trend was in total?

Yes, in the linked PDF it says that BT usage went up 15% in EU countries without blocking. No attempt to consider if any of that was displaced VPN traffic.

My BT usage has definitely dropped a lot over the last year, but only because I discovered Primewire. It'll be straight back up again if that goes away...

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Why can't I get all media from one streaming source

They won't out compete BitTorrent until you can legally stream all media content from one provider, having muptiple streaming accounts to access media is just not good enough when competing with free.

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Access to bittorrent trackers has decreased..

Maybe because most people use trackerless torrents / DHT these days?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Access to bittorrent trackers has decreased..

That doesn't seem to stop the scanning companies -- guess how I know :-)

// using a VPN now

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This is very curious given that there isn't a single website (that's still operational) that cant be accessed through one means or another and this has been widely known for a while, hell even the BBC practically ran a "how-to" guide on its click show a while back.

I also wonder where they get their figures from? is this ISP traffic, website traffic counters? the downloaded counter on the torrents that they shouldn't be looking at (or is it ok for them to use the websites we are now forbidden to look at?) just wondering

I predict a 20% reduction in downloads when new movies are stream able and a further 60% decline when they make films worth watching (and paying for!) whos up for a wager?

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data was from GCHQ. They download it from your router each morning.

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Facepalm

Effective?!

Oh sure they are, so all we do now is simply append the word "proxy" to any dodgy sites we might still need to look at, all in the name of educational research you understand!

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Anonymous Coward

A non-representative sample of one.

Me, that is :-

It is so ridiculously easy to buy the music I want that I really just cannot be bothered stealing it - in the sense of my obtaining it for free illegally, regardless of whether or not you believe copyright is theft.

I've also matured enough to realise that my desire does not give me an entitlement to someone else's work.

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Re: A non-representative sample of one.

Easy to buy the music you want, yes. But in a lossless format? Or in a version that hasn't had the dynamic range squeezed to within an inch of it's life? Until record companies can offer something that hasn't been compressed down to telephone call quality and remastered by a deaf engineer, then it's Ahoy Maties for me!

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Anonymous Coward

Quality

I just got a new (old) car with no AUX input, so gone back to CD's, I'd forgotten how much better they sound. mp3 were fine for days of small storage capacity, but maybe time to re-acquire everything in some lossless format, or just stick with CD's, still got no AUX input after all.

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Re: Quality

Don't blame me for the downvote but, I suspect whoever downvoted you should have gone on to say there's a couple of important points you seem to be missing;

#1 mp3 comes in many levels of quality, most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference between 320kbps CBR and a CD, most people would be able to tell the difference between 128kbps and a CD, depending on you (and the type of song) you can get away with as much (or as little) compression as you like (and 256kbps VBR is a good compromise between size and quality).

#1.5 "mp3" often is used to refer to "compressed music" but AAC 256kbit VBR is probably as good as 320kbps mp3 (at least I can't tell the difference).

#2 A car is a really bad environment for audiophiles, not only will the speakers be positioned less than optimally for your ears, there's odd shapes/sound reflections, engine noises etc., you might have isolators to stop the electrics for interfering (you might not), and if the CD player is old, then I guess the speakers are too?

I've played 96kbps vbr from an iPod mini (using a wireless adapter) in a car and it's perfectly acceptable, I've also built and installed a touchscreen PC playing FLAC encoded CD tracks, one thing for sure is that a shit song is a shit song, no matter the quality, and a great song (like my old Pet Sounds mono recording) is a great song even with fuzz and crackles.

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