Today saw the closure of perhaps the most profilic of torrent sites; Oink, in a raid that saw its admin arrested and servers taken into police custody.
For those who belonged to the site, it was perhaps the closest thing to a music lover’s paradise – a community based upon a real love of music, not the den of criminals intent on destroying record companies as the subsequent press releases seem to have painted it.
The legalities of file sharing aside, the thing that gets me, is that the reaction to file sharing is short sighted at best and flawed at worst. If people want to see the future, then you only have to look at Madonna - regardless of what you think of her, she has always been a shrewd business woman, and with her latest move to Live Nation, she has shown that the business model for performers also needs to change with the times.
Rather than trying to stop people getting music for free, record companies should be looking to earn money through musicians doing what they do best - performing - as opposed to flying round the world doing publicity in order to sell CDs.
With the rise of myspace; sites like Oink are instrumental in building a new artist - if it wasn't for early release of materials on sites like Oink, which in turn gave non-professional music bloggers something to write about, artists like Lily Allen would never have got the hype behind them.
It does feel like the powers that be are focussing on winning a war they have long lost rather than reshaping the landscape.