Nearly 9 months ago, we reported on a ground breaking site called Oink. Well it seems all good things must come to an end. A special message greeted some of the estimated 180,000 paid members of music file-sharing Web site OiNK.cd when they tried to access it on Tuesday: "This site has been closed as a result of a criminal investigation by IFPI [International Federation of the Phonographic Industry], BPI [British Phonographic Industry], Cleveland [U.K.] police and the Fiscal Investigation Unit of the Dutch police, into suspected illegal music distribution.
The site —is apparently the world's biggest source of pirated pre-release albums — had been the subject of a two-year investigation overseen by Interpol and known as "Operation Ark Royal". The site relied on donations, but was apparently extremely lucrative. Over 60 major pre-release albums this year were released on it, prompting the shutdown.
While Oink started as a place to share obscure music, it seems the promise of a being an illegal distribution center for pre-release albums was too great. I for one had believed a nice elite barter system was in place, and having not visited after the first day i signed up, was unaware of the rampant piracy. Its no surprise that a few would spoil it for the rest of us for the quickly shared spoils on the internet.
I for one wonder what this means for legitimate bartering over the net. While certain sectors won't die, it seems that technology(especially music) is still figuring out what is acceptable and what isnt in the digital age. While another music site will pop up to download JT albums, im not sure something as communal and open will show anytime soon.
At least i dont have to worry about membership requests.