Feeds

Credit card squeeze looms for pirate music sites

Unverified by Visa

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
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.