Why I Stopped Pirating Music

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After nearly a decade, my iTunes library weighs in at almost ninety-four gigabytes. A lot of serious music nerds would sneeze derisively at that, but it still represents over 13,000 songs that would take me, from start to finish, a full 48 days to listen to back to back.

I’d be lying if I said most of these had been acquired legally. Most of these albums were acquired on Bittorrent in my twenties. Many more were ripped from CDs lent to me by friends and family, or slurped up from Usenet to satisfy my obscure yet surface-thin musical fixations. Some were purchased through iTunes or other sources online, but truthfully, if you stripped everything out of my iTunes library that I’d acquired legally, I’d probably have a digital music library that could fit on a first generation iPod.

Over the course of the last two years, though, something interesting has happened. I’ve grown a conscience. These days, all of the music I listen to is listened to legally. But iTunes not only has no part in it. In fact, for the past two years, my iTunes library has just been collecting dust: a graveyard to the music piracy of my youth.

I’m ashamed of it. I want to try to explain things. Both why I started pirating music, why I stopped, and how, in fits and starts, being a music pirate helped transform me into someone who cared enough about music to buy it.

Android Piracy Is So Bad, You Can’t Even Charge For Apps Anymore

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If you thought the iOS App Store had issues with piracy, think again. The Google Play store, home to over 500,000 Android apps, is in a much worse position. Apparently, piracy on the Android platform is such an issue that developers are, in a sense, beginning to give up.

The developers behind Dead Trigger, an FPS available on both Android and iOS, have decided to give up the fight, and are now making the popular game completely free on Google Play, due to the outrageous piracy.

Even BitTorrent Sites Are Serving iPad-Friendly TV Shows

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The excellent iFlicks doing its job
The excellent iFlicks doing its job

If you live outside the U.S and UK, you’ll find that the easiest and quickest way to get your favorite TV shows onto your iPad is via BitTorrent. But until now, you had to do some heavy post-download processing to make the XVID files play on your iPad, or at least use third-party software to play it.

Now, many BitTorrent groups have switched to the x264 MP4 format for most new releases. That’s good news for iPad and Apple TV users, but there’s even more entertainment to be had from this story: The BitTorrent pirates are crowing about the switch and even threatening to boycott the downloads.

Yes, you read that right. Pirates are threatening to boycott illegal TV show downloads.

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Image courtesy of Flickr user nitot
Image courtesy of Flickr user nitot

Internet freedom group launches petition: “Dear Apple, Don’t Shut Down My Phone Camera”

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Apple’s recent patent that would block piracy at concerts via an invisible infrared sensor has been more hotly contested than a bootleg Beatles’ concert performance.

The SavetheInternet.com Coalition, which claims some two million members plus charter members including Lawrence Lessig and the ACLU, wants Steve Jobs to reconsider. And they want you to sign an online petition to get his attention.

Soul, R&B Music Label Says iTunes Match Legitimizes Piracy

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Apple’s new iTunes Match functionality is an incredible boon to music lovers, effortlessly matching your local music to Apple’s cloud servers, but it doesn’t happen by magic. Instead, iTunes Match is the product of numerous inked deals between Cupertino and music publishers: no deal, and iTunes Match can’t mirror tracks from that label.

So bad news, soul and R&B fans. Numero Group has just vocally drawn a line in the sand: iTunes Match legitimizes piracy, and they won’t be part of it.