Late last month, thousands of Internet file sharers cried out in terror as popular music sharing site OiNK was shut down by British and Dutch law enforcement, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, and the British Phonographic Industry. However, as Ars Technica reports, OiNK’s demise has caused a number of replacement sites to sprout up. The sites offer safe haven and illegal music downloads aplenty to former OiNK members—far from the IFPI and BPI’s goal of thwarting music file sharing.
According to Ars Technica, the problem doesn’t so much lie with the supply of illegal music downloads as with demand and the community-based nature of sites like OiNK.
The theory is that "busts" will eventually drive such sites out of existence, as they need to go deeper and deeper "underground" to avoid being busted. What appears to actually be happening is something quite different: the free advertising for P2P that comes from these closures not only helps spread the word about the existence of such sites, but it also appears to motivate more folks to step up their involvement in setting up, running, and supporting such sites. In short, it’s a call to arms.
Ars counts "nearly half a dozen" OiNK replacements, including a forthcoming effort by infamous pirate site The Pirate Bay dubbed BOiNK. Considering OiNK’s demise was the conclusion of a two-year investigation, the recording industry may have a lot of work on its hands if it intends to kill the OiNK hydra for good.