p2pnet news special | (C)RIAA News:- Canadian RIAA clone the CRIA (Canadian Recording Industry Association) has been forced to confess to a massive screw-up involving audiomaxxx.com, taken down in an RCMP raid.
When p2pnet posted a story on the incident, we thought it was an example of Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG successfully nailing a genuine counterfeiting crook instead of going after their own customers, whom they’re calling file sharing thieves and criminals.
Good work, we thought, and today, if you try to log on to audiomaxxx.com, it still says, “The server at audiomaxxx.com is taking too long to respond”.
Earlier, “Following a year-long investigation by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), the RCMP has shut down Audiomaxxx.com Ltd., a major alleged music counterfeiting operation in Winnipeg, and filed criminal charges against four individuals,” said the Winnipeg Sun.
We didn’t bother to mention the (C)RIAA in our first post. Why give it free PR? However, mouthperson Graham Henderson said the ‘operation’ was the largest he’d seen, according to the story, which continues >>>
This is the Big Kahuna,” said Henderson, whose organization helped investigate Audiomaxx, which RCMP say sent counterfeit product to thousands of international buyers every week.
Anytime you shut down something as big as this, it has an impact.
Audiomaxxx, “made its name selling reggae and house-mix CDs and a large catalogue of porn flicks for between US$3 and $6 a pop,” says the Winnipeg Sun, citing domain ownership records as saying, “the site was registered to Ramgotra, known as ‘King Raj’ to customers, in 2000.
“Sources say Ramgotra was one of four people arrested during the raid and now faces numerous charges.”
Sources, eh? Wonder who?
The story has RCMP sergeant Line Karpish (right) confirming a, “31-year-old man faces charges and was released on a promise to appear, while three others were released pending further investigation”.
[The] ‘CRIA regrets the error …’
In our post, we said, “At the bottom of the site, ‘© 2006 Audiomax Movements International / AudioMaxxx.com. All Rights Reserved.’
“In fact, nothing had been reserved. Or licenced.”
There have been no charges laid. Yet. From Alexa traffic they seem to have offended a lot of people while also apparently retailing via dance parties the DJ mixes … Did you think that maybe popular DJ’s use these guys for their stuff rather than making it themselves?
Note: I am not defending what they were doing. I just want to know who has been charged in this, facing criminal charges, like right now. The answer is apparently no one cause the evidence for the search warrant must have presented a challenge.
Check out www.audiomaxxx.net … where someone has used a proxy domain service to post a CRIA press release that the CRIA took down. There was a problem in the plans they had to publicize the event that I would suspect in the what evidence they actually found.
Check out my blog post too if you like: http://northworthy.blogspot.com/2008/03/put-finger-down-your-throat-at-media.html
That is my .02 cents. Don’t know anything just like … others.
TORONTO, March 7 /CNW/ – In the CRIA media release of March 6, it was erroneously reported that RCMP had filed criminal charges against four people in connection with the RCMP investigation into Audiomaxxx.com Ltd. CRIA has received information that no one has been charged with an offence in respect of this matter.
In the same media release, it was also reported that Raj Singh Ramgotra was among those arrested. CRIA cannot confirm the identities of any of those arrested and therefore retracts its statement to the effect that Mr. Ramgotra was arrested.
CRIA regrets the error.
On Northworthy, Lawrence gives chapter and verse on the entire farce, including this update >>>
The first CRIA “News Release” published March 6th, 2008 is no longer available from the CRIA’s website. The current correction they publish does not point to the prior publication because I think they are afraid of the private person they named suing them: if the police won’t name him, this has caused a challenge to the CRIA having named him. This is bizarre as Michael Geist picked up on in his blog.
Blogged Geist on March 6 >>>
I’m at Canadian Music Week in Toronto this week (where a representative of the RIAA urged Canadians to increase the “hassle” factor of P2P by launching lawsuits and polluting the P2P networks with fake files) where CRIA just issued a press release heralding the shut down and arrest of a major music counterfeiting operation in Manitoba. The release claims that 30 percent of pirated CDs seized in Toronto originate from the operation. CRIA’s Graham Henderson is quoted as saying that “today’s arrests send out a clear message that commercial piracy will no longer be tolerated in Canada.” I’m not sure that commercial piracy was ever tolerated in Canada, but I’m in agreement that this is good news. Commercial piracy – which can and should be distinguished from non-commercial cases – should not be tolerated and it is good to see that Canadian law and Canadian law enforcement are clearly up to the challenge of dealing with the issue.
Update: In a rather bizarre chain of events, CRIA issued a correction to this initial release last night indicating that there had been no arrests. Hours later, there is an RCMP press release indicating that there were arrests (using the Copyright Act), though the release is hosted at a private website and is currently not on the RCMP’s own site.
Interesting and interesting’r
On Northworthy, Lawrence goes on >>>
UPDATE 6: 8/3/2008 8:11 pm
The Globe and Mail has published an online correction to its print story, at some time today. I won’t cancel them out but I will tell their publisher what I think. He responds to crap like this.
They post at the moment:
Four people arrested March 5 by Winnipeg RCMP in connection with an alleged piracy scheme involving DVDs, compact discs and digital downloads have been released without charge. The RCMP says one of the four, freed on an undertaking to reappear May 26, may face “numerous charges” under the Copyright Act for offences that carry a penalty of up to $1-million in fines and five years imprisonment, while the other three remain under investigation. Incorrect information appeared in a story yesterday.
UPDATE 7: 9/3/2008 12:23 am
Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day releases press release 7/3/2008 at 20:16 ET, to offer his congratulations to the police officers on “arrests and seizures” like this.
He also links “piracy” with “organized crime.”
Minister Day Comments on the Largest Ever Seizure of Alleged Counterfeit CDs and DVDs in Canada
Read it if you care. Will it get pulled and be corrected? Interesting and interesting’r.
The use of “Alleged” in the title of the Minister’s press release, presents a hint here to the difficulty faced with a seizure of this size, with likely significant amounts of goods seized that were likely too circumstantial before analysis to lay the charges to come, if they do. The documentary requirements here I imagine are significant ($$$,$$$), throwing the wrench in the planned public relations campaign. There are likely the DJ Mixes involved too which are going to be a huge PITA, both for the analysts, alleged property owners, and the lawyers involved (read this very interesting post by Jason K on the DJ /club mixes in general). Add in the Adult industry porn, and the classification of it, by owner, and its pedigree, without the aid of a “CRIA” like organization (maybe) to help, and well you have some delay in the news here to the charges, if any result.
My sense of this is that we are not dealing with “replica’s” hence the charges not being laid. What the police were told and what they found are possibly a rather serious issue at the moment. I have to look for the news story to find out …
The CBC has some interesting video with only 3 or 4 inaccuracies in it. I love the way the host puts a certain visual opprobrium into it. From the scene, that CTV did not get access to, the CBC video feed shows none of the named artists in the audio commentary, that come from the CRIA press release, so far … one more video to watch …
The retracted press release BTW is hosted now by a proxy domain service that put it up at www.audiomaxxx.net with no traceable elements. Unless the CRIA the owner of the original content, puts up a fuss, with the proxy registrar, that is where it will be forever.
This one is the best account of it right from the RCMP themselves in a TV interview with some of the video feed of the “international” CBC version at Update 8. The host is referring to a list that only includes the CRIA news release artists. No video evidence of any of those artists named. The “hard core pornography” the CRIA had mentioned, is not mentioned in this interview.
David Gray interviews RCMP Sgt. Line Karpish (Runs: 5:11)
Play: QuickTime »
Play: Real Media »
UPDATE 10: 9/03/2008
There is a very interesting comment here on what is a missing element to this whole sorry tale:
Its from here: http://www.dancehall.mobi/2008/03/07/audiomaxxx-shut-down/
“This is NOT a good thing for reggae as a whole.
Yes he was selling material and not paying anyone … but he was organised and up to date and was beginning to stock a great collection of classics for a NEW artist AUDIOMAXXX was agreat tool to get known wihtout spending too much money or time…
anyone who is REJOICING over this, doesn’t know how the crooked reggae industry operates…
too many unorganised and half assed labels have been the main reason why reggae is not the biggest ting in the world’ artists like BUSY SIGNAL have benfited from Audiomaxxx…”
- Gappy Crucial, March 9, 2008
Will the RCMP sue the (C)RIAA for sending them on a wild-good chase?
Don’t hold your breath.
Will King Raj sue the (C)RIAA for defamation?
Now that could be interesting.
Definitely stay tuned.