Monday, July 04, 2005


While the individual record companies have been busy cynically trying to flog CDs off the back of Live8, their cartel organisation, the BPI, has also been trying to exploit a kind thought and a good word for their own ends, choosing to bounce an anti-Ebay rant off the back of the event.

No sooner had CD-Rs of Live8 performances started appearing on Ebay than the BPI had rushed out its press release:

UK record industry trade association the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) has urged eBay to step up its anti-piracy efforts after finding thousands of copies of the Live 8 Hyde Park concert illegally on sale less than 24 hours after the event.
With music pirates moving swiftly to cash in on the event, the BPI is working closely with the online auction site to have the illegal listings removed.
BPI Director of Anti-Piracy David Martin said: "There are too many people out there who believe music is for stealing, regardless of the wishes of artists and the people who invest in them. Sadly we are not at all surprised by this incident.”

How awful that pirates would attempt to cash in on the event - don't they realise that how disgusting it is to try and make money out of a consciousness raising exercise? (That's except for mobile phone companies and record labels, who operate to a different level of morality).

Currently, eBay sellers can be caught selling items illegally up to three times before their account gets suspended. Even then, there does not seem to be anything to prevent sellers starting over with the same credit card details, with the rules seemingly even more flexible for eBay-approved “power sellers”.

Online auction sites have become a piracy haven in recent years, and in 2004 the BPI arranged for the removal of 14,318 illegal auctions up from 5,649 in 2003. With more than 13,000 actions removed so far this year, BPI investigators expect the problem to double in 2005 as more and more illicit sellers try to sell online.

Martin added: “We would like to see online auction sites introduce far more effective methods to prevent the illegal sale of fakes. Three strikes and out is simply not good enough; it’s far too easy for these people to cash in, and if caught they get another two warnings. Auction sites must move to expel music pirates permanently, and with immediate effect.”

Of course, shortly before Live 8 Harvey Goldsmith used the event to grind his own axe against Ebay, while keeping very quiet indeed about the hospitality tickets being sold on for other amounts. The big music industry have had a grudge against Ebay for quite a while - they hate that users are able to resell their CDs and there's not a thing they can they do about it; they've been spoiling for a fight for the longest time. It's pathetic they're using something that at least pretend to be uncynical as Live 8 to further their own interests, but... sadly we are not at all surprised by this incident.

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