Friday, 25 September 2009

Lily Allen's delete key doesn't work

Good news for all of those following the Lily Allen vs Techdirt debacle. We've managed to get Lily to change her mind. Not fully, but she has made a step in the right direction, and TechDirt attributes this to my exposure of her mixtape MP3s.

TechDirt's latest post on the ska popstress explains it very well, citing a Times article published this morning, with the headline Blow for music industry as Lily Allen says Peter Mandelson's plans too draconian.

Now that's the kind of thing I like to see. Not perfect, as the 100+ group of artists want bandwidth cut down for suspected infringers to a trickle. Nobody in the FAC or any other musician or producer has ever stated how they can be 100% sure they will be targeting illegal downloaders.

As a web designer, programmer and creative worker with over 20 years experience in IT, I can confidently state it's impossible to grab all illegal downloaders. If it were possible, we'd have rounded up spammers by now. Any legislation against internet filesharing will just drive it to a point where it's encrypted all time (see VPN) , practically untraceable, people will just swap MP3s on memory sticks, mobile phones and portable hard drives. Actually, a lot of folk do that frequently aready!

Sadly, a lot of the mainstream press were concentrating on Lily's announcement to quit pop music. This was one the last things Lily said on her pro-copyright blog before it got deleted, and I honestly believe it was another of her media stunts, designed to take attention away from the fact she distributed music illegally. Fortunately, not all media outlets are convinced, as it's not the first time Lily has stated she's quitting music. The NME and even The Sun poured cynicism on this announcement, but it did the trick for her, by eclipsing the revelation of her mixtape MP3s still being online.

However, I did discover last night that the MP3s were now deleted. These were the URLs you could obtain them from...

Whether it was Lily or an EMI staffer who took down those links, there's one thing they should learn. The internet doesn't really forget anything. Those MP3s can and will resurface elsewhere, and I was contacted today with new URLs for these (admittedly very good) music compilations:

This does relate to Lily's response aimed at me yesterday...
Anyway the snippets of songs you hear on those mixtapes are about 30 seconds to 1 minute in length,
I said this wasn't true, and here's the proof. Here's the tracklistings with my timings:

Lily's First Mixtape
LDN - Lily Allen (2.5 mins, admittedly Dizzee's beats come in after 1 min)
Fix Up Look Sharp - Dizzee Rascal (1.5 mins, not counting earlier beats)
Dub Be Good To Me - Beats International (over 2.5 mins)
Smile - Lily Allen (3 mins)
The Potion - Ludacris (over 2.5 mins)
Popshots - Premier (over 2.5 mins)
taxi fare - Mr Vegas (over 1 min)
Who Say Meh Dun - Cutty Ranks (over 3 mins)
She Taught Me How To Yodel - Kenny Roberts (over 1 min)
Born On The Bayou - Creedance Clearwater (over 1.5 min)
Get Out My Life Woman - Lee Dorsey (1.5 min)
Stay With Me - Rod Stewart (3 mins)
Up The Junction - Squeeze (3 mins)
Knock 'Em Out - Lily Allen (over 2.5 mins)
Go DJ - Jammin (Zinc) (repeated samples)
Drifting - Jammin (Zinc) (over 1 min)
Oi - More Fire Crew (over 2.5 mins)
Friday Night Saturday Morning - The Specials (2.5 mins)
Who's The Bad Man - Dee Patten (over 1 min)
Joe Le Taxi - Vanessa Paradis (3 mins)
Silly Games - Janet Kay (over 2 mins)
Cheryl Tweedy - Lily Allen (3 mins)
Incredible - M-Beat featuring General Levy (over 3.5 mins)

Lily's Second Mixtape
Nan You're A Window Shopper - Lily Allen (over 2 mins)
Put You On The Game - The Game (2 mins)
Only Love Can Break Your Heart - St Entienne (2.5 mins)
Wrigleys - Red Rat (over 1.5 mins)
Ready She Ready - Tubby T (over 2 mins)
Shake Your Money Maker - Black Grape (2 mins)
Dirt Off Your Shoulder - Jay-Z (over 3 mins)
Truth - Lily Allen (over 2.5 mins)
Sweet Love - Y2K (over 2.5 mins)
Soul Survivor Remix - Young Jeezy feat Akon, Shabba Ranks, Vybz Kartel & Sizzla (over 2 mins)
Oh My God (Kaiser Chiefs cover) - Mark Ronson featuring Lily Allen (over 3 mins)
White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane (over 2 mins)
Cosmic Dancer - T-Rex (3 mins)
(There's) Always Something There To Remind Me - Sandie Shaw (over 2 mins)
Badman Forward Badman Pull Up - Ding Dong (1.5 min)
Cubik - 808 State (2.5 mins)
Alfie - Lily Allen (over 2 mins)
Do As I say - Sia (over 3 mins)
Friday Night - Lily Allen (over 2.5 mins)
Never Let You Go - Tina Moore (over 1 min)
I Luv U - Dizzee Rascal (over 2 mins)
Gangsters - The Specials (over 2 mins)
On A Ragga Tip - SL2 (over 3 mins)
Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks (over 3 mins)
Onto Lily's next lie about these MP3s...

i made those mixtapes 5 years ago

Hold on a sec, I got the tracklisting for the first one off Lily's MySpace blog (which she admits she personally runs), dated in Jan 2006. That ain't five years ago, it's more recent than that.

And on that very blog, what do I see on March 2006?

What the fuck ? my shit is on Limewire , you naughty people . Oh well , I haven't got a problem with it , so long as a few of you buy the album

Thank you Lily! Deep down, you know you get the point. One final thing about the blog that was deleted...

i've shut down the blog, the abuse was getting too much.

As TechDirt stated, yes, there were childish and abusive comments (though having listened to the lyrics of Nan You're A Window Shopper on the second mixtape, this is clearly a case of glass houses and rocks), but they did fade away, and more intelligent comments were coming through, almost all of them critical of Lily's pro-record-label stance, with articulate backing and reasonable questioning.

Google's normally trustworthy Cache can't even revive the blog, but luckily I've got a tab open on one of the final pages, on the NME story about Lily and Radiohead's Ed O'Brien, showing some of the recent comments aimed at Lily. Have a read through and see if any of this is "abuse", because I don't think it is...
Planespotter said...

lol, what a bad piece of Jounalism that piece is. Big banner headline of "I agree with Lily Allen on file-sharing" followed by a chunk of text that completely contradicts that opening statement!

Lily wants the government to legislate ISPs to disconnect file-sharers (who are downloading and uploading, thats how file sharing works)

Ed completely disagrees with that proposal, Ed, rightly believes, that the system needs to change, that prices need to fall, new concepts of distribution need to come into play and that YOU have to enage with your fans.

luke said...

"Every generation has a different method," said Radiohead guitarist and FAC Board of Directors member Ed O'Brien. "File sharing is like a sampler, like taping your mate's music."

nuno miranda ribeiro said...

You have, to this minute, 25,752,726 plays of your songs in

But in the top 15 of your most listened to songs, only one, "Smile", can be listened to. Do you expect people to click on the "buy it" button before listening?

How do you expect people like me, that do not have any CD or ilegal files of your songs, to listen to your work?

See other artists, smaller than you (and let me tell you 25 million in is huge, not small), I'll find an example.

Oneida (one of the best rock bands ever, mixing vintage synthesizers with Sonic Youth like guitars):

They only have 502,540 plays in And that is very little in (some portuguese bands there are only known in Portugal have more than that, oh, and there are only 10 million portuguese).

Look at Oneida's top 15! Only one song is not available to be listened, all other 14 songs are.

So, you, your record company or both think that if you don't let people listen to your songs, they will be forced to buy it. Well, I never downloaded your songs, and I don't think I will ever buy your CD's.

With Oneida it's another thing.
And they are incredibly smaller than you (only in cash flow, not in musicallity).

I would love to hear what Oneida members have to say about your claims on file-sharing.

Prodge said...

Sorry Lily, this campaign is simply not working for you at all. I love your music, I liked your attitude until now... where far from the fresh-faced ska-tinged rebel you once were, you're now a puppet of the establishment.

When you're standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of Gary Barlow, James Blunt and Tim Rice-Oxley, you're not on the side of music lovers.

Your anti-piracy blog has been a big disaster from the beginning. You support the unethical policies of Lord Mandelson - a minister whose own corruption and seen him twice booted out of office - and you probably haven't even realised you fall afoul of them.

Mandelson supports the idea that users should be CUT OFF from the internet if they are ACCUSED 3 times by the record industry. Not proven of guilt, just merely accused. Very Orwellian.

It's astonishing to think that you issued a well-thought-out song against George W Bush on your latest album, but when it comes to seeking a profit, you ape his idea of justice.

I'm astonished Mick Jones got you, of all people, to cover a Clash song. Listen to yourself, do you think that Joe Strummer, if he were alive today, would champion your Elton-John-backed cause of making luddite record labels richer?

File-sharing is going to happen anyway. Attempting to prevent it is like opening up a cocktail umbrella to shield yourself from a tsunami.

Fine, bring laws in to cut off filesharers. You know what will happen? They'll move even faster to encrypted technologies, where the record industry won't have a clue who is uploading what. Need I mention VPN? (Google it, or look on Wikipedia - it's your nightmare.)

Musicians expecting a pension from selling overpriced plastic discs of their past work have to wake up and smell the coffee. That era is OVER. Why even join the ranks of the dinosaurs who are in that club?

Embrace filesharing, and enjoy the attention. Everyone knows that live gigs are where you make the money anyway. You admitted to Q magazine that you hardly make money from album sales. Stand by your words, and stop siding with conveyor-belt-musak stars like Gary Barlow.

Already in your blog, YOU have been caught taking website content without permission...
...and you did it a further two times when you put up newspaper scans in the PRESS COVERAGE entry.

Three strikes of copyright infringement, eh? Looks like Mandelson should cut off your internet access, Lily.

sonic said...

Everyone seems to be losing sight of the facts. All the studies on file sharing agree that it is only responsible (if at all) for a tiny proportion of the reduction of sales in the music industry. You can find the studies on-line please read them yourself!!!

Some studies even suggest that file sharing has a positive impact. The most damming report only suggests that file sharing is responsible for 30% reduction in sales ( while most studies suggest the impact is only 5%). So the studies suggest that over 70% of the decline in the music industry (possibly up to 100%) is due to other factors.

The industry is in decline, jobs will be lost -Fact-. Nothing Lily or anyone else is doing will prevent that. Clamping down on file sharing isn’t going to save them as file sharing isn’t responsible for the majority of the decline in the industry.

Wasting tax payers money on legislation which will only have a tiny impact on sales would harm the industry even more. Higher public spending + more expensive internet access = less money in Joe publics pocket and less record sales.

I would suggest that it might be an idea to address whatever it is which is causing the majority of the decline in sales??? Anyone have any ideas what may be causing this? What can be done about it?

Timothy said...

Attenion: Lily, guys, girls, children, parents, adults - Look, this is really, REALLY simple. If pirating were "destroying the music industry", why in the world is PRS's own study showing that the UK music industry is GROWING!

GROWING, guys. This smokescreen of pirating that the labels, who are the ONLY ones effected negatively by piratng (except when the pass those negative effects onto the artists) is being used to draw MORE money out of artists and the curtail the rights of the public.

This is REALLY easy to figure out folks. Pirating has NEVER been a war on artists, or the music industry. It is a war on what is an obsolete business model trying to be perpetuated by record labels that need to understand that their job now is essentially to be a PR firm. Distribution has been taken care of by the P2P networks.

Prodge said...

Hey, Lily, how come I have EVIDENCE of YOU distributing major artist's music without their permission?

Check out this 2006 blog posting, everyone...

Can't be true, can it? Surely Lily isn't giving out music by the Kinks, T-Rex, The Specials, Dizzee Rascal, etc? (Good taste btw, I have to admit that).

Well, check the link out in the entry. It's on the domain. That's her EMI-funded website.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I do believe we have caught Lily Allen in the act of MUSIC PIRACY. She's even more of a hypocrite than ever before!

Don't worry Lily, as you say in the title of your latest album... Everyone's At It!

Rob said...

Why oh why do people continually miss the point... it amazes me.

Legislation isn't the answer, has legislation worked for illegal drug use? has it worked taking knives and guns off the street? The simple answer is NO.

What are the root causes, find them out, embrace the technology and mold it so that not only do people get what they want but also so that you make a profit from it....

Criminalising millions of people isn't the way forward, diconnecting mum and dad from the internet 'cos their 13 year old downloaded a Sugarbabes single on bittorrent isn't the way.

sonic said...

So are we saying Lily has been giving away other peoples music for free in order to promote her own music? Is this true? If so it puts her on pretty shaky ground morally, Its almost file sharing for profit. What do the artist whose music she was giving away for free think about this?

Come to think of it hasn't Mark Ronson put out a load of mixes as well? Has he been paying the artists whose music he`s been giving away?

blazinbadzula said...

I don't pirate music anymore simply because I don't want to get sued for millions of dollars for stealing $20 worth of music. I think if record companies make singles cheaper or some up with some affordable plan for people who will buy instead of steal music. I only buy CDs if the music is good or if I'm a big fan of theirs (Amy Winehouse for example). I think record companies and musicians should stop being so greedy and don't think you guys are above us. After all, we are the ones who make your paychecks.

wideawakewesley said...

Radiohead talk sense, education, better distribution systems, better pricing and incentives are all much better ways to fight against duplication and illegal distribution of music. Look at the fantastic success Spotify is having with an ad supported model. Their users are going legal in huge numbers because the distribution system and pricing are the best legal system that's been devised to date. Once there is competition in that space, you'll see even greater innovation that will attract even more customers and provide an even better experience.

nattiel8522 said...

Although I understand your stance and sympathise with the struggles of emerging artists, I can not for the life of me understand why you would want to alienate us, the consumer, in this way. I think that to place the blame at our door and not at that of the people that have the power to make real change, the music industry is completely unfair. And here’s why:

1. If we consider the recent U2 tour which it has been reported as the most expensive ever, you can surely understand how we the consumer/music fan struggle to sympathise too heavily with the music industry. To me this expense, during the current economic crisis, is vulgar and just proves how detached artists have become from the consumer. I understand that the financial structure of touring differs to that of recording and producing music, but I also apply this argument to the cost of producing music videos and promoting acts etc. While my business struggles to survive and I count every single penny, all I see are expensive big budget videos on my screen and label clad ‘stars’ in the pages of magazines. Surely you can understand that when bombarded with these images I find it hard to accept that it is my downloading that is the crux of the problem the industry faces.

2. We are loyal to you and are supportive of you. If some of you weren’t so detached from the people who give you your success and those who enable you to make a career out of the one thing you love then maybe you would begin to understand that it is not us that you should be joining forces against but is the companies that have made no attempt to meet us somewhere in the middle. Instead I feel that the music industry has ripped off the consumer for years, and even when faced with such a problem makes no attempt to compromise.

3. Katherine Monaco of the Sirens wrote that they ‘discovered at least 20,000 examples of illegal downloading’ of their single. There seems to be an assumption throughout this debate that those who download have done so instead of buying and so resulting in loss of revenue for the act. Who is to say that all or even some of those 20,000 examples would have gone out to buy the single? It is my experience and the experience of those around me that we download things that we would not go out and buy, thus supporting the argument that downloading does diversify the listener which can only ever be a good thing for any act.

It seems that the industry is completely detached from the consumer, the fan, technology and struggles that the world is facing. If the music biz looked inward you and realised that the music industry, like any other industry relies on consumer confidence and this is what is missing. Just because something is available for free doesn’t mean that we will automatically take it. If that were true then bottle water wouldn’t be one of the biggest selling drinks.

So, Lily and your army, I ask you to turn to your industry partners and direct your completely justified concerns to those in real power to make the changes needed and stop laying the blame at our door!......If you dare!

Wi_ngo said...

What Prodge, Sonic and others have pointed out is like the ultimate irony of all freaking time. Lily herself has in the past mass-distributed copyrighted works of dozens of artists to promote herself. (As of now - these 'mixtapes' are still available, actually.)

So, should we cut off Lily's internet, or just fine her a couple of million dollars?

She is just as guilty of 'copyright infringement' as anyone who has been prosecuted for it, if not more so. ON AN EMI-SPONSORED WEBSITE, no less.

Wake up, Lily dear. Either you are a colossal hypocrite, or your are just simply doing the same thing that the 'criminals' you seek to punish are doing - 'violating copyright' by just using the internet and not doing anything intentionally malicious or criminal.

Angel said...

I just don't understand how cutting off someone's internet is going to make them buy your stuff?? This makes no sense to me.

I'm more than willing to pay money for good music, But why can't the industry come into the 21st century and realize that their business models are dated?

The internet is not the enemy it's a new way of distributing things. Make your music/movies/software...etc..etc...etc. reasonably priced and people will buy it, plain and simple.

By the way how come nobody ever got fined $9.2 Million dollars for borrowing an LP, CD, or Tape and making a recording of it?

Phe-eew... yes, I quoted two of my own comments, that's my ego at work (and I realise I got her album title wrong!) but you can see that what I said about the hypocrisy, along with Sonic's viewpoints and the TechDirt articles, these were the catalyst on getting Lily to re-think her position.

And you know what? I'm actually slowly warming to her again. Not just because she used 808 State's awesome Cubik on that second mixtape...

Her second latest tweet is a BBC News URL that refers to her TechDirt/mixtape copyright infringement incidents. I'm glad it's permeating into music fans' knowledge.

Her newest tweet is a response to @upstartblogger, who has found himself unfairly targetted by EMI's legal team.

@upstartblogger (or Ashley Morgan as he's called outside of Twitter) claims to have some inside information from an EMI insider, and this caught Lily's eye, resulting in Lily's newest tweet, which seems to be an offer to contact him about how EMI are apparently conducting an underhand campaign against him. Could this be an olive branch? Ashley responded in a civil manner, meeting Lily's request, hope it all smooths out the nasty legal trouble, and
I really hope this has been an education for Lily. Don't piss off your customers.

Update: The @upstartblogger thing has resulted in Ashley removing his content. He insists it's not a conspiracy. This is his explanation.


Spike Nesmith said...

As Phineas and Ferb once said, "fame is fleeting... but the internet is forever."

Mr Straightman said...

Well, this has achieved the impossible, it's made me feel sorry for Lily Allen.
In fact, I feel sorry for anyone who stumbles into your bolshy, deluded, argumentative, self-important orbit. Take it down a fucking notch why don't you? You can't stay an angry young man all your life - but you seem to be having a damn good try.