Demonoid Shut Down by the CRIA Again!

This time it may be for good – at least in Canada that is.

It was about a month and a half ago that Demonoid was shut down due to apparent pressure by the Canadian Recording Industry Association(CRIA). The site reappeared a few days later, but was forced to begin blocking Canadian visitors.

Now it seems that the CRIA has successfully pressured Demonoid’s ISP into discontinuing its rental of servers to the very popular BitTorrent tracker site.

A message on the site now reads:

The CRIA threatened the company renting the servers to us, and because of this it is not possible to keep the site online. Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for your understanding.

Apparently blocking Canadian visitors was not enough. But, shouldn’t it be legal in Canada if it technically complies with Canadian copyright laws? As usual the CRIA doesn’t seem to care and Demonoid will no doubt be forced to pack up and move elsewhere once again. Maybe Sweden will be its next stop.

What’s interesting to also note is that the CRIA has been reduced to little more than a front for foreign music interests. After the much publicized departure of virtually all canadian music labels last year following a dispute over radio content rules and grant programs for emerging artists, it became truly apparent to all that the “C” in the CRIA means anything but Canadian these days and should instead read “Cartel” to accurately describe its desire to control the supply and demand of all things music. At the very least it ought to drop the “C” and add an “A,” for all it is is a foreign subsidiary of the RIAA.

Yet, despite all this the CRIA is allowed to throw its weight around in Canada and to pressure ISPs to shut down sites even if they seem to comply with Canadian laws. So much for national sovereignty and net neutrality.

The move also goes against the results of a study funded by the CANADIAN GOVT no less that concluded that P2P and file-sharing services actually increase physical CD sales. The Impact of Music Downloads and P2P File-Sharing on the Purchase of Music: A Study For Industry Canada, a a newly commissioned study by Industry Canada, a ministry of the federal government, includes some of the most extensive surveying to date on the music purchasing habits of the Canadian population.

Conducted by Birgitte Andersen and Marion Frenz of the Department of Management at the University of London in England, the study concludes that illegal file-sharing does not cause a decrease in music sales as the music industry has insisted all along. In fact, it does just the opposite, in that it apparently tends to actually INCREASE music purchasing.

“Our review of existing econometric studies suggests that P2P file-sharing tends to decrease music purchasing,” says the study. “However, we find the opposite, namely that P2P file-sharing tends to increase rather than decrease music purchasing.”

Apparently the results of the survey are irrelevant to the CRIA who still seem to be suffering from the delusion that each illegal music download represents a lost physical sale. It’s reminiscent of what the what the general manager of the Australian music industry’s anti-piracy unit, Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI), said recently in that “It’s not rocket science to work out that if you get your music for free, why would you go out and buy it.” But, it only proves that it understands file-sharing about as much as they understand rocket science.

It’s not as rare an occurrence as the music industry might think for file-sharers to go out and actually buy a physical album they have already downloaded for free online. Why? It’s called supporting the artist for one, but also to make sure they have a high-quality version to listen to. Not every music file available online is encoded at 320kbps or in .FLAC format. The norm is usually 192kbps, and if you really dig the album it probably won’t cut it when you try to crank it up on your home theater system.

Plus, not every artist is available online or would be something you would normally be exposed too. Being that I live in the United States it’s not like I get to hear about new artists in other countries. P2P allows me to grab a track or an album and get more involved in the UK music scene for example. It also gives me a reason to go out and see bands from there when they pass through town. How does this not benefit the music industry?

Do they really want music to remain a dumbed down industry where it consists of radio, MTV’s TRL, and Wal-Mart? Judging by the pressure it’s placed on Demonoid’s ISP I think we all know the answer to this one.