When major music labels and movie studios go after file-sharing sites they often claim they are doing so to protect artists large and small. However, not all of them want to be saved from the evils of piracy.
When the founders of The Pirate Bay were sued in Sweden back in 2008 one of the 25 musical works named in the lawsuit was Max Peezay‘s album “Discokommitten”. It was an odd choice, since the hip-hop artist was known for his positive attitude towards sharing.
Peezay heard the news through the media. He wasn’t aware of the case at that point and when he asked some record label insiders to fill him in on the details, they came back with an interesting briefing.
“I was told that The Pirate Bay was run by a bunch of crooks and Nazis. That it was about money, that they made a lot of money,” Peezay says in a previously unreleased TPB AFK interview released today.
“I wondered why the record labels suddenly were interested in political ideologies. Isn’t this just about copyright? But they told me that we have to stick together in the music industry and fight piracy. They wanted me to join 100%,” he adds.
Crooks and Nazis
Peezay’s first instinct was to get out of the lawsuit as quickly as possible, but that was easier said than done. It took a while before he could arrange a meeting with a lawyer from music group IFPI, who tried to keep Peezay on board.
“IFPI’s main argument was that [the TPB operators] were bad guys doing shady business. At the end of the meeting I told them I wanted to pull my album out of the lawsuit anyway,” Peezay recalls.
However, IFPI said that it might not be possible for him to get out legally. Peezay was skeptical of this assessment and asked IFPI’s lawyer to confirm that on paper. A few days later the lawyer went back on his claim.
“It turned out that they had no grounds to tell me that I couldn’t drop the case. So we decided to pull out. We didn’t want to have anything to do with this case,” Peezay says.
Unlike the plaintiffs in the case, Peezay appreciates what TPB stands for. “Ideologically I think it’s great that culture is being shared like this. We should nurture that instead of strangling it.”
After Peezay pulled out IFPI made a public excuse for including him in the case without asking. That was the end of the uproar, but even today Peezay feels that music industry insiders treat him differently.
“It was made clear to me that [my withdrawal] wasn’t popular at all among the other labels and artists fighting for this. It was kind of threatening, nothing concrete but I realize I’m not as popular in the industry after my little spectacle,” he says.
Despite this setback for the copyright holders the Pirate Bay trial continued, albeit for a smaller amount in damages. Eventually the Pirate Bay Four were sentenced to prison time and damage payments.
Two of the founders continued fighting and submitted their case to the European Human Rights Court but this application was rejected last month. Peter Sunde, one of the defendants, pointed out this week that one of the key judges is not particularly neutral when it comes to copyright, suggesting that she may have been biased.
Despite all the legal troubles The Pirate Bay website remains online – and carries links to several of Max Peezay’s albums.
TPB AFK (extra material) Interview with Max Peezay
Source: “Why I Pulled Out of The Pirate Bay Trial,” An Artist’s Perspective
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Due to the site’s clear format, attention to detail and longevity, millions of Internet users visit RLSLOG every month.
The site provides information on new content availability in the popular “release blog” format and covers all the main categories including movies, music, TV shows, games, eBooks and software.
Like all large file-sharing related domains RLSLOG has had its share of legal threats. It has been taken offline temporarily in the past due to complaints from outfits such as the Web Sheriff and record label Universal, and was reported to the USTR by the RIAA.
RLSLOG has always recovered, but this month the site has something apparently much bigger on its mind. According to the site’s operator, RLSLOG has received a threat of legal action from the same law firm that has just taken down NZBMatrix on behalf of the major Hollywood studios.
“I can tell you the company is called Wiggin LLC, the same that forced NZBmatrix to shutdown,” RLSLOG’s admin informs TorrentFreak. “Wiggin represent most movie studios. They asked us to remove all movie and TV shows represented by these companies.”
RLSLOG told us that the studios estimated that around 94% of all content listed by the site is material to which they own the copyright, an amount RLSLOG contests.
Although NZBMatrix have provided a few details on the threats made to them, largely they have remained quiet. However, it does appear that the threats they received are similar in nature to those now being received by RLSLOG.
“RLSLOG has always cooperated with DMCA requests, it’s just the fact we haven’t received so many of them in the past, lets say 10 or 15 per month, because we do not host the content, we just inform about it and post some links,” says the site’s admin.
“But Wiggin didn’t want us to remove particular posts/pages like its common with other DMCA requests but rather the whole thing. We are still in the process of negotiating.”
While discussions continue, RLSLOG have already taken the first step towards satisfying the studios.
Say, for example, RLSLOG announced that movie X or TV show Y was made available online today, they would post up an article including a link or two of their own to where they could be found. However, underneath the news article would be a section where site users could make their own comments, which in recent times mainly consisted of people posting dozens of links to the content on different file-hosting sites.
The site’s operator says he has taken the decision to remove these comments sections on every movie and TV show post to eliminate links to 3rd party sites hosting the content.
For now, the changes only affect the movie and TV show sections, but it is possible that the changes could spread to other parts or indeed all of the site, depending on how things pan out in the future.
“We started like that, not posting any download links, and it is possible we’ll return to this model,” the site’s admin concludes.
Source: RLSLOG Threatened By NZBMatrix Shutdown Lawyers, Promises Change
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