Feeds

Credit card squeeze looms for pirate music sites

Unverified by Visa

Security for virtualized datacentres

It isn't just Wikileaks that's being squeezed by credit card companies - pirate music sites are also feeling the pinch.

The UK has spawned more digital music services than any other country, but it's still easy and risk-free to pick up unlicensed music. So after years of unsuccessfully trying to modify our behaviour, and being obliged to play whack-a-mole with pirates in the courts, copyright enforcement forces are going for the wallet.

The City of London police say they will now be notifying Visa and Mastercard and their banks of persistent infringers, to try and prevent pirate sites getting card payment facilities. The initiative is at the request of IFPI, the global sound recording lobby group.

You can argue that all unlicensed sites are parasitic - they don't put anything back to the artists. Many don't ask the downloader for money - they support themselves via the ubiquitous crack whore advertising webcam 1:1s, or agencies offering "Russian brides". Lovely. But a few others, such as MP3fiesta or legalsounds.com are pay sites, actively soliciting your credit card payments. The latter offers music for nine cents a song and albums for 90 cents (55p).

There's a catch. They don't pay anything back to the creators, even though money has changed hands - so it's hard to think of anything that better defines "parasitic". (In the case of sites based Russia, because it's outside the copyright system, there are no reciprocal arrangements, so royalties never reach the talent.)

Mastercard said last year it was willing to take a "proactive" approach to infringers. Cyber-locker sites such as Rapidshare, Megaupload and Hotfile are the music enforcement agencies' biggest concern.

These currently offer a "premium" (faster) option via payment services such as PayPal and Moneybookers, and while PayPal has listed Rapidshare as a rogue site in the past, it seems to have relented. For such lockers, PayPal looks a lot like a single point of failure. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.