Those eager to snag the new Hives album off OiNK the other day came to a saddening realization: As we reported, the long running, invite-only BitTorrent Web site had been shut down in a combined effort by British and Dutch police. The operator of the site, a twenty-four-year-old man from Middlesborough, U.K., was arrested and will likely face so many charges, not even T.I. would want to switch places with him right now. Plus, users who went to the site were greeted with the ominous message, "A criminal investigation continues into the identities and activities of the site's users." Has the record industry and the Interpol that didn't come out with Antics finally struck fear in the hearts of illegal downloaders after being on the brink of defeat? It's like The Empire Strikes Back, but with the RIAA cast as Darth Vader.
While many folks will miss OiNK and its album-leaking ways, a few points: First, to those squealing on the Internet about the injustice of the shut-down, keep in mind that the site was engaging in illegal activity so the bust shouldn't come as a huge shock. Plus, this doesn't mean people will actually have to pay for music or wait for release dates again. There are still dozens of torrents and P2Ps out there, each one eager to provide someone who's down with the piracy trade with the new Hives album right now.
So how are you reacting to OiNK's last stand? Did you go and buy Ween's La Cucharacha, or did you use alternate methods? Does the demise of this site mark the end of an illegal era?
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