Music search engine Seeqpod threatens to sell its source code


Following legal action from the major music labels, music search engine Seeqpod is trying a novel strategy – selling its source code to third-party developers. It’s hope is to create hundreds of clones, all operated individually, so that even if the main site is taken down, the technology is still accessible.

It’s a remarkably defiant strategy. Seeqpod claims that its service is legal because it doesn’t host any infringing files itself – just points searchers to them. Although US companies might be fearful of legal action, other countries around the world might be far more welcoming. As Seeqpod is charging $5,000 for the code, they could make a pretty penny before they’re forced to shut down.

(via Listening Post) accused of handing U2 album leak user data to the RIAA


If you’ve been listening to a leaked copy of U2’s “No Line on the Horizon”, then it’s possible that the RIAA know exactly who you are, if you believe Techcrunch who got all in a tizzy on Friday over the suggestion that has been handing over listener data to the record company. immediately denied the accusations, saying:

I’d like to issue a full and categorical denial of this. We’ve never had any request for such data by anyone, and if we did we wouldn’t consent to it.

Of course we work with the major labels and provide them with broad statistics, as we would with any other label, but we’d never personally identify our users to a third party – that goes against everything we stand for.

The RIAA followed that up, with:

“[We’re] not sure where that rumor came from. It’s not true.”

So you’re probably safe for now, but given how much personal data many people share on, if you’re one of the first with a copy of a leaked album, then you might want to be careful about scrobbling that fact. Just a thought.

95% of music downloads in 2008 were illegal, says IFPI


The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, or IFPI, is basically an international version of the RIAA and BPI, who claim to act as a trade body for record labels, but seem to only exist in reality to head up the music industry’s anti-piracy campaign. True to that role, last night it released a statement claiming that 95% of music downloads in 2008 were illegal.

However, there’s some bright news for the labels hidden in there too – download sales are up 25% on last year, and now make up a fifth of all recorded music sales. The IFPI reckons that it’s worth £2.5 billion.

RIAA to drop failed lawsuits strategy


It’s official – the RIAA is giving up on its strategy of suing thousands of individuals for file-sharing. The campaign, which began in 2003, has hit 35,000 people. At no point have the record labels ever won a contested court case, instead gaining masses of default judgements against defendants who never turned up.

It’s failed to stop file-sharing, too. Album sales have gone nowhere but down, even when taking into account digital sales increases. Not to mention the PR disaster it’s caused for the labels – who’ve sued pensioners, 13-year-old girls, and penniless single mothers.

Muxtape postmortem: what really happened


There were a lot of questions around the shutdown of Muxtape back in August. The cryptic message left on the site seemed to suggest that it would be back in a matter of days, but as the days passed, it seemed increasingly likely that it was gone forever. As users shifted to other sites, it was clear that the RIAA’s big clunking fist had shut down the popular music sharing service for good…