world's biggest file sharers shut down
good or bad? world's biggest file sharers shut down

The BBC reports that the US Government has shut down MEGAupload the world’s biggest file sharer, and charged its founder with violating laws relating to piracy.

Is this the first part of a fightback against the pirates fleecing musicians more than any major label could dream of?

Or is it an oppressive 1984 situation which means the powers that be won’t let you give away other people’s music for free?

Are these sites like Robin Hood stealing from the rich to give to the poor or are they parasites who steal a poor musicians music and give it away making profits from their ads on their site (quite often porn ads).

Are the pirates an inevitable part of the future of music and the labels that are going bust dinosaurs? Are you a musician who has given up recording music because its just a waste of hard earned money?

Should anyone’s work be unpaid and owned by someone else? Some people argue that the pirates make a musicians life better – helping them get their music out there and that they are good people – do you agree?


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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. It’s certainly bad for the hip-hop industry. New artists like Azealia Banks, Odd Future and A$AP Rocky (All becoming popular now after breaking through the underground) would have got no where without being able to release their mixtapes via file sharing sites.

    • i think its terrible.people will see less films and listen to less music. how can this be good. and i suppose and this is my reality if i pay 30 quid a month for internet i expect to be able to watch a few films or listen to sum ones music i might not other wise hear. also if an album is worth buying i will buy it. and the artist who are in it for the money, i question their motivation.

      • How does stopping piracy means people will see less movies and hear less music? It may mean people will need to look a little harder and have to open their pockets, which is what people have done for decades before the internet. If music listeners are only prepared to listen to music they can get free and easy, i question their motivation.
        Does paying forthe internet entitle you to free movies and music? Does buying petrol entitle you to steal a car?
        I don’t understand why people feel that musicians don’t need money. Do you have any idea how much it costs to rent studios, buy equipment, travel to shows, release music, etc? Do you think musicians are exempt from paying rent and buying food? How do you expect music to continue without funding?

        • I take your point, of course musicians have to pay the bills, filesharing won´t stop this. The most downloaded movie ever is Avatar, which also happens to be the highest grossing movie ever. Naturally the two can co-exist.
          Musicians already have used filesharing to promote their music, through such sites as Facebook etc. so it appears the industry want total control of the medium for their own ends.
          The music industry missed the boat with new technology and now lobby various governments to clean up what is their failed business model.
          Many new artists are cutting out traditional record companies to put their art out there, mainly because the traditional dinosaurs in the industry are only interested in making a big profit.
          Musicians also use studios a lot less, preferring to use the likes of pro-tools and later mix it in the studio, so the costs of production are coming down.
          Using the internet to promote your creative output is a positive innovation, it also allows you to reach a wider audience who will buy the mp3, the alternatively pakaged cd, attend a live show and maybe even buy the t-shirt. The cost of a few who will only take and not give back is inconsequential.
          Embrace the net don´t censor it.

          • All of this is dandy. But the simple fact is that if a musician uses the internet to promo their music thats great, but that’s their decision, you can’t you use this as a convenient excuse to steal music. Bands lost record contracts and livelihoods because of illegal downloads. Its time to get real. How would you like if I could go to your job and illegally download what ever you make money on and put you and your job out of business. Not such a great idea any more is it? Any music industry folks who were apart of it share the blame but still no excuse. (If you like a song .99 is not a lot to ask)

  2. The situation is developing fast, alternative URLs for Megaupload appear to be working, while Anonymous claim to have taken down FBI, DOJ, MPAA, RIAA, and UMG websites, while “The Internet Strikes Back” is trending on twitter.

  3. I’ve just finished the sound files and software programming for the soundtrack to the latest show I’m working on. It’s a lot of data. There must be a quick and popular way of sharing this to the theatre company’s laptop.

    … OH ….

  4. File sharing sites aren’t all about illegal downloading, they are also use to share legal, personal and non-copyrighted material.

    Cracking this nut with a sledgehammer is not the answer and the current situation reminds me of when music downloading first threatened cd’s.

    The music industry/copyrighters tried to rally AGAINST music downloads instead of embracing and controlling it. Eventually, thanks to Napster and iTunes, they cottoned on and now have their vice-like grip round it’s throat.

    This short sightedness is in evidence again. They simply do not fully understand the situation and are going at it like a bull in a china shop.

    £9 for a digital album or book is far too expensive so it’s no surprise people turn to alternative methods.

    The ‘industry’ are clueless about entertainment and the internet and still want to squeeze every last drop of money from the public. And too little of the profits goes to the artists (outside of the big boys – yes Bono I’m looking at you).

    There is a happy medium that can be struck but we are miles away from it. The entertainment industry is too greedy and intent on screwing us all, while Joe Public is skint and wanting it all for free.

    On top of all this, the subject of Digital Format Shift is something the powers that be have not got their head around. I have albums in my collection that I own on cassette, vinyl and cd (and even dvd) and I am now expected to purchase a digital download.

    How many times should I buy the same album?

    Why can I not convert MY PROPERTY to mp3 and share with a friend – akin to him coming round to my house and listening.

    What if you ‘go halves’ to buying an album?

    Home taping did not kill music – quite the opposite – and neither will illegal downloading if they tackled it in the correct way. Making albums and books available to download for £2 would be a start.

    Removing our right to free speech is not the solution and the two proposed internet bills, allied with the current ‘war’ on ‘illegal’ downloaders, are striking a very dangerous precedent.

    The reference to 1984 in the article is both accurate and worrying because in the end Winston came to like Big Brother. Or was he just pretending?

  5. I am one of the millions who uses filesharing sites to share coprighted comercial files and non-comercial files. I also spend close on 1000 euros a year on cd´s and dvd´s as well as legit mp3´s. Much of what I buy on cd I have previewed on filesharing sites. So quite clearly for me and many others, filesahring sites are a means to an introduction to musicians and their creative output.
    Of mcourse any artist should be compensated for their art and continue to compensated by mp3´s and cd sales, however the biggest compensation for artists is in live performances of their art. This may have them working harder but hey that´s life.

  6. httpss://

    Read this and try telling me that censoring the internet is a good idea. It’s the thin end of the wedge people.

  7. it s all very well if u are earning 40 grand a year but for sum one who loves music and is on minimum wage file sharing is a god send, and as i say if a band is great i will buy a cd and go to see them live. i get the feeling record companies are kicking off rather than musicians. the way record companied treat their musicians is crap. its like have a hit or u have no contract. they are the bad guys , not me because i downloaded an album. x


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