Thursday, October 25, 2007

OiNK Interview With the Daily Telegraph


Oink founder: We're just like Google

By Paul Stokes
Last Updated: 8:20am BST 25/10/2007

An IT consultant suspected of operating one of the world’s biggest pirate music websites from a Middlesbrough bedsit said he had done nothing wrong.

Alan Ellis, 24, was arrested on Tuesday as part of an Interpol-led operation to shut down a music file sharing website which has attracted around 180,000 members.

Mr Ellis set up the website, called Oink, three and a half years ago.

He was detained on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and copyright infringement and has been released on police bail for two months.

Computer equipment and documentation seized from his home, his place of work and his father’s home in Cheshire and are undergoing forensic examination.

But speaking after his arrest he claimed it was no more illegal than search engine sites such as Google which could also direct users to illegal music downloads.

Police and music industry investigators have suggested that hundreds of thousands of pounds a year could be made by the site.

Mr Ellis declined to comment on whether users had made financial “donations” to the site.

Mr Ellis was contracted to work as an IT consultant for Virgin Media’s contact centre in nearby Stockton-on-Tees, but was dismissed on the day of his arrest.

He told The Daily Telegraph: “I haven’t done anything wrong. I don’t believe my website breaks the law. They don’t understand how it works.

"The website is very different from how the police are making it out to be. There is no music sold on the site - I am doing nothing wrong.

"When I set up the site I didn’t think I was doing anything illegal and I still don’t. There are 180,000 users and there has been an outcry about what has happened to me.

"People who download music also buy CDs as well. A lot of people download music on the internet to get a taste of it and then later buy the CD.

"But I don’t sell music to people, I just direct them to it. If somebody wants to illegally download music they are going to do it whether my site is there or not.

"If this goes to court it is going to set a huge precedent. It will change the internet as we know it.

"As far as I am aware no-one in Britain has ever been taken to court for running a website like mine. My site is no different to something like Google.

"If Google directed someone to a site they can illegally download music they are doing the same as what I have been accused of. I am not making any Oink users break the law. People don’t pay to use the site.”

Oink, which used a cartoon of a pink pig as its logo, was one of the world’s biggest “peer-to-peer” music download sites, which have been targeted by music publishers and police because they allow users to swap music for free.

Anyone accessing it is met with the message: “This site has been closed as a result of a criminal investigation by IFPI, BPI, Cleveland Police and the Fiscal Investigation Unit of the Dutch Police into suspected illegal music distribution. A criminal investigation continues into the identities and activities of the site’s users.”

The website’s server, based in Amsterdam, was closed down by Dutch Police last week.

Among allegations being examined are that more than 60 major albums were leaked on an OINK site weeks before the CDs’ were officially released by record companies.

According to users, Oink had a daily throughput the equivalent of five million songs and registered members were able to download around 1,000 songs.

Detectives are thought to be analysing the databases for details of the invitation system and members’ downloads.

Users were offered the chance to buy a range of branded merchandise bearing a pink pig Logo and the slogan: “Music so good it could make your tail curl”.

A spokesman for Cleveland Police, responsible the Middlesbrough inquiries, said: “It is too early to tell if we will go after individuals, it all depends on what we find.”


Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping us updated :)

Holland Oats said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
podulations said...

oh shut up holland oats. stop being a fucking jewish mother that gets offended by everything. there was a poll for the banner on this site, and that one was the overwhelming winner. you think they're going to take it off just to please you? show your patriotism in another way, my friend. if it bothers you so much, use firefox and the greasemonkey extension to remove the banner from your view. nobody is telling you that you have to visit this site.

Holland Oats said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

i'm a new yorker. i didn't notice the plane until just now. at any rate, big whoop. 9/11 was horrible, one of the worst days of my life. but it means something completely different now than it did.

Holland Oats said...

the event may mean something different, but the image of that plane refers to something very specific.

aside from the fact that it doesn't make sense graphically in context of the oink-bust itself.

but whatever. if it doesn't bother you, it doesn't bother you. it bothers me. i look at it and i think of those schoolkids on their trip they'd never get to. which is so hilarious right? and i'm just uptight to not find it cool.

Anonymous said...

Holland oats, I see your point, but I also don't think its a big deal.

Also, why aren't we talking about this awesome interview that took place and the honesty of the news reporter FOR ONCE. This could be a huge milestone in the internet music downloading scene.

welovemusique said...

anonymous name-calling? hey, i use that "jewish mother" reference in real life too, so i'm not hiding behind some internet persona... and at least i didn't sign on as anonymous. the thing that pisses me off about this thread of replies over here is that you're not even talking about the article. you've managed to completely get off subject. a manoeuver/method that's too often used by your fellow republicans. stop whining. we care (at least i do) about those schoolkids as much as you do.

now back to our scheduled program. please.

Holland Oats said...

heh, true. i had to post somewhere though. anyway i hope oink pulls through, and 'll keep checking this blog no matter the masthead, i'll just cringe a little every time.

Holland Oats said...

my last comment was to anonymous's point...

welovemusique said...

woops. i didn't realized that i changed my identity/account. podulations is me as well.

Anonymous said...

hey its tara, here is the website i was talking about where i made the extra summer cash.......... the website is here

Shannonplaysbass said...

"According to users, Oink had a daily throughput the equivalent of five million songs and registered members were able to download around 1,000 songs."

"Oink ... was one of the world’s biggest “peer-to-peer” music download sites, which have been targeted by music publishers and police because they allow users to swap music for free."

.......they're still getting it wrong.

I'll trade you a __ for a __, yeah that's how it worked lol.

Holland Oats said...

well there was that ratio requirement...

another thing, not much mention made re all the snatched apps!

Shannonplaysbass said...

It didn't seem like that's what they meant to me!

And obviously OiNK is right in that the authorities have absolutely no clue as to how the site worked. I wonder what they questioned him on for hours, not knowing what they were talking about.

fakeplastic said...

damn! i should have bought a t-shirt.

Shannonplaysbass said...

You still can on CafePress! I did two days ago =)

Anonymous said...

Oh, wow, I actually didn't see that airplane when I voted for that banner. I thought it was just supposed to be two speakers exploding. Yeah, that's sick!

Anonymous said...

thanks for this nice post here.

i found your blog thru where to go instead of oink thanks!

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