Boogle is Down and Out

The campus search program that I started writing last year and perfected πŸ˜‰ just a few weeks ago with its 2.0 release is now offline, possibly permanently. The Recording Industry Association of American, an “industry trade group,” has decided to stop with its cease-and-desist letters and quit with its DMCA infringement notices and simply start suing college students. Along they way, the RIAA has come up with some fun new terms to compliment their old standby “piracy,” a term which is not only confusing in the visceral reaction it provokes but is also completely wrong.

Also completely wrong is the RIAA, which seems to believe that instead of growing as a business, embracing new technologies, and giving its consumers what they want, it can simply sue all of its consumers out of existance, surely not a good tactic for continued profitability. The RIAA mantra is, “Music: Our Way or Jail!” This latest round of evilness involves calling campus search systems “Napster networks,” a complete misnomer since they are neither networks nor at all Napster-like.

The best story so far is probably the one from The Chronicle, although I don’t really like the ending.

9 replies on “Boogle is Down and Out”

  1. To be fair, every other industry that sells a product, say Campbell’s tomato soup, also has the mantra “Soup: Our Way or Jail!” You either buy it or you don’t. If you get it anyway without buying it, that’s infringement and is illegal. If you want to protest the industry by boycotting it, the point is you’re also making a sacrifice by not using the product.

    Or you could support free *alternatives*, like the open-source movement does. Instead of pirating copies of Adobe Photoshop, open-source fiends use the GIMP, a product that has been made as a free alternative. Every artist has a choice whether to “sell out” to these companies or to record out of their garage and go the free route. So boycott commercial music and listen only to music that is made freely available by the artists online.

  2. Oh, please. Do you know anything about the RIAA? Have you read the articles? O’Reilly’s telling of why copyright infringment is not theft? It is completely different, the industry is completely evil, and alternatives are only very recently becoming viable, and no one quite knows how well they can do without the recording industry. If things like this move forward, how exactly are indie bands going to get mindshare?

  3. The issue with Boogle shouldn’t even be what the exact legality of music copying is. The simple fact is that Boogle is piece of code to look for files on a network, nothing more and nothing less. Whether the files are mp3’s, pirated software, or things that are undeniably public domain is simply not the responsibility of Boogle. Napster was designed for a single purpose getting copied music. Boogle on the other hand is simply a tool to look for a files somewhere on a network. If the RIAA goes after things like Boogle, they might as well sue Yahoo or Google too.

  4. Yes, and my point was (well, maybe my point *now* is) that the issue with the recording industry isn’t about intellectual property. The issue is that the RIAA is a rotten monopoly. Pursue *that*. We have laws about that so *that* the industry can be kept fair (in theory, of course) *within* the bounds of existing intellectual property and copyright law.

    Yes, I have read O’Reilly’s *opining* of why copyright infringement is not theft. πŸ˜‰ And phrases like “oh, please,” and “completely evil,” are not always the building blocks of a logical, reasoned argument.

  5. The “oh please” is only because I’ve long ago become tired of explaining in great detail with dozens of references and commentaries why the RIAA is evil. It just is. πŸ˜‰

  6. From what I’ve read, it seems that they are pursuing cases against the actual people disseminating copyrighted material. I don’t see that these recent actions puts you the operator of boogle, in any more danger than previously. Granted you might not want to take a sword for this particular issue, but the arguments that boogle is simply a generic file searching utility is a strong one, and in the event of a lawsuit, you’d probably get to correspond with some neat EFF lawyers =)

    Of course, getting sued for billions of dollars might not be as fun for you as it would be for me.

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