SHERIFF’S SALE: OiNK, a massive P2P file-sharing site with a reported membership of 180,000, was shutdown by Interpol on Tuesday. This ominous placeholder now greets visitors.
Closed internet communities known as “ripping groups” often get demos, early mixes of commercial releases and promotional copies of pre-release albums in advance of release with a view to distributing the music as widely and as far ahead of release as possible. Each ripping group gains cachet amongst its peers for being the first to get new music and uses torrent sites to distribute the music as widely as possible.
OiNK operated an exclusive membership scheme by which users were only invited to join the site if they could prove that they had music to offer. They were encouraged to distribute recordings in the torrent file format with other OiNK members, and have to keep posting such music to the site to maintain their membership.
Once an album had been posted on the OiNK website, the users that download that music then passed the content to other websites, forums and blogs, where multiple copies were made. Within a few hours of a popular pre-release track being posted on the OiNK site, hundreds of copies can be found further down the illegal online supply chain. MORE
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