If you don’t live in the UK you may never have heard of the unlicensed file barter platform called Oink that was shut down in 2007 accompanied by a number of criminal prosecutions. The site’s grand poobah, one Alan Ellis, seems to have gone on to do something else following his acquittal for conspiracy to defraud.
Why do we care? The relaunch messaging of Oink is what’s instructive–now it is under new management apparently and is positioning itself as a friend of independent artists “who answer to no one.” Or said another way, who own their own recordings and songs and therefore grant the right to distribute and reproduce same to New Oink.
How do we know this? Because Oink tells artists “Don’t worry, we’re on your side this time.” And of course they must want to “help” independent artists “promote” for “exposure.” Or alternatively for a share of advertising revenue that the artists aren’t able to audit.
What Oink is doing is not that different than other music services that walk or cross the line, or even the litigious ones like YouTube and Pandora.
Don’t worry, they’re on your side this time.