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logowas a dream come true for the world at large. A site in gorgeous flash encoding, that served up Heroes, Prison Break, The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, American Heroes, Prison Dad, and Family Break, as well as thousands of old films (and even the entire Doogie Howser back-catalogue if you’re that way inclined) for one and all to watch in streaming HD. No clogged up harddrives or waiting times. Touch my face and call me Susan, it’s an internet miracle.

And the only restriction, it seemed, was the week or so delay between Terrestrial broadcast and netcast required to make the licensing between the Big Media companies who owned the shows and Hulu, their own joint venture, hold up in the stiff breeze of desperately needed TV Ad revenue streams (come on, a mixed weather metaphor is pretty sweet.)

Hulu is configured to recognise your IP address and boot you out of the site with not so much as a flicker of Jack Bauer’s tradesmile to send you on your way back to your own shitty, unilluminated life if you’re not in the US (read either “Not from round here, boy” or even “Unamerican”.)

WHAT? Watching 24 outside the US? That's Terrorism sir...

WHAT? Watching 24 outside the US? That's Terrorism sir...

But gladly a nice free unobtrusive IP Anonymizer application called Hotspotshield allowed you to dodge that Entertainment Bullet by making your connection seem like it was in the US via a huge free VPN circuit you can simply tag into. And the cost? Nothing, HSS automatically sends banner ads your way, so you can buy a mail-order bride whilst Wahey for free US TV again!

Well you can go fuck yourself if you think THAT wasn’t going to change. Hulu caught wise to this little trick (presumably after some complete Sweaty Park Cock ratted on the rest of teh interwebz and told a technician at Hulu, or maybe they worked it out for themselves – less exciting, that one,) and has blocked HSS IP addresses, so now all of the world that isn’t Manifest Destiny has to get its fun from this sexy little image:

Yeah baby, I could look at this for hours

Yeah baby, I could look at this for hours

Already the tech bloggers are squawking angrily about “Hulu’s decision to geoblock its content” – which is half-fair, because really it’s Fox, NBC etc who are making that rule up, and Hulu has to take the flak for being contractually obliged to enforce it and thereby NOT going to prison for eight billion years and pay infinity plus $8 in fines. And read Chaucer (a less well-known but equally gruesome pubnishment for piracy these days. Look it up. DO IT.)

Of course the internet is a big angry Hydra; cut off one path and eight new ones appear in its place. Not only is the staff of HSS running around, seven dusty servers in each arm, looking for an abandoned warehouse to plug their gadgets into (and probably ironically looking for an anonymiser program of their own), but there’s already talk of other anonymising programs that might still do the trick. You won’t find the list here because reading about it online is probably one of the reasons why the bastards found out and aren’t rotting in jail. TRAITORS.

So it’s back to torrents and other even more illegal behaviours for most of the world who simply can’t be bothered to wait the 84 inexplicable months between release dates in the US and everywhere else.

Still, we DO have the BBC iPlayer in the UK, so I’m alright Jack. Which is on tonight…

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It’s a mystery to me why so many artists keep releasing their worst songs from their albums to the public. In fact it’s a completely weird thing that we still release singles at all. Considering no-one cares about what used to be called “The Hit parade” anyway, it seems downright old-fashioned that we bother marketing albums that way at all.

Some would argue that it’s a neat way of getting a taster of the album out to the public before the whole thing drops. A few factors scupper that point – for one, a release date is now nothing more than a wishful thinking fiction. Every album in the last 3 years (and most movies) leak anywhere from a few days early to a whole month (think of Origins: Wolverine, which made it to our screens more than a month ahead of time in the form of a perfect quality Workprint, albeit with unfinished special effects…not to mention the perfect quality final releases that make it weeks ahead of time courtely of some little pirate (or collection of pirates) called Axxo) – and while we’re talking marketing, wouldn’t it be cleverer to use interfaces like iTunes, that allow individual song purchases, to market individual tracks from upcoming releases instead? You could allow users to pick which song they want to have ahead of time. It’s not going to adversely affect piracy, which is GIVING away ALL the tracks ahead of time.

The other problem is that, as stated at the beginning, the best songs don’t seem to be the ones that are slated for singledom – now, that’s obviously subjective, but many people will agree, and most likely it’s not the band’s fault – Labelheads tell them to make one Radio Friendly garbage bag so they can get “the name out there” at the expense of the band’s real musical identity.

Days of The New released what was squarely the worst track on the Orange album, Touch, Peel and Stand (What does that even mean?) and THAT track made them a household name. Nickelback went one further and not only release garbage singles all the time but an entire back-catalogue of twattery usually worse than the singles themselves. Here, have a rock in the face, Chad. But hey, at least their singles match their albums in consistence, you have to hand them that (preferably handed to them wrapped in a dog-shit covered pipe-bomb whilst actually saying the word “LOL.”)

So on to Eminem‘s Relapse, an album I’ve been waiting for for over 2 years (ever since everyone thought it was going to be called King Mathers.) First off, the album is easily his best release since The Marshall Mathers LP. It’s also one of only a few interesting rap/hip-hop releases in the last 5 years (the others for me being Saul Williams’ Niggy Tardust, Talib Kweli’s Eardrum, El-P’s I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead and Just Plain Ant’s Dig Deep (the most unknown of the pack, and the most low-key too.)

Problem is, the four singles (Yes there’s FOUR of them – 3am, We Made You, Crack a Bottle, Old Times Sake) are so fucking weak. The production value behind the beats and loops sound like they’re around $8.46 including VAT – and although the flows on 3am and Old Times Sake are up to scratch, all four feature Eminem’s new heavily annoying “half-Arabic-half-Reggae” rap style – and given that it’s so pervasive in every single, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the whole album is sung in comical spaz style. But it’s not.

There are more than a handful of songs on the album that singlehandedly justify buying the whole thing. They are My Mom (more stories about his “neglectful” parent), Insane (more stories of abuse and incest”, Hello (a dark track about rehab and psychosis), Same Song and Dance (an ode to a girl Em’s Psychopath is about to kill), Medicine Ball (A song to the world at large, labelling it his therapeutic playground), Beautiful (the same register as Toy Soldiers but instead focussing on his troubled artist life) and the most explosive track of all, Underground – a twisted 6 minute11 second anger explosion filled with orchestral strikes and counter-rhythmic guitar pluck loops – basically it’s fucking incredible. And it’s all topped off with the first funny Ken Kaniff skit since The Marshall Mathers LP – it even features tap dancing whilst singing a pastiche of We Made You with the chorus line “I Don’t have to Rape You.

So that’s at 7 untouchable songs plus the decently passable 3am (backed by a very good video) and Bagpipes from Baghdad (despite the “Arapic”, although it’s in context here). Given that 5 more Relapse tracks are skits (and very good ones at that), that’s more than half an 80+ minute album that’s completely fantastic. So to pick the 3 hands-down worst tracks plus 3am is pretty shitty odds considering the wealth of quality on offer for promotion.

In short, don’t let the outmoded marketing of singles, or poor song choices thereof, put you off – this album is very very strong indeed. I can’t wait to see what Relapse 2 has to offer.

Director “Won’t think less of you” for Downloading Hit Movie on BitTorrent | TorrentFreak

John August is awesome. From Torrent Freak:

John explains: “My Google News Alert feed showed the inevitable had come to pass: there was a DVD rip of The Nines online. Given the subtitles attached (Spanish and French), it was almost certainly the North American retail release, which I haven’t even held in my hands yet.”

Normally at this point, one could expect those involved in the movie to start shouting about how piracy is evil – and maybe back that up with a call to an anti-piracy outfit such as Media Defender. John August takes a more relaxed view about the leak. “That’s okay. Not ‘okay’ in the sense of ‘legal’ or ‘right’. But okay in the sense of c’est la vie” he says. Once a movie leaks to the internet there’s very little that can be done, something John is resigned to: “People are going to watch the pirated version, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Sony, Interpol and the MPAA will do their best, but as the guy who made the movie, I honestly want people to see the movie. If the only way you’re going to watch The Nines is illegally, so be it.”

That’s what a reaction to Bittorrent should look like. Intelligent artists realised long ago that piracy is promotion, and promotion = more money.

John talks more on his own Blog about the issues. 

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