This is the second, of a long series of posts about OINK.CD, the music file sharing site run by Alan Ellis, and Alan’s acquittal on charges of Conspiracy to Defraud. My apologies for the delay – I have been trying to obtain information on the case, and while I have obtained some of what I need, I’m still working on getting more.
If you have any documentary information on this case, please contact me. I am especially interested in statements made by the BPI, Police, and other agencies that were involved. I also would like to get copies of the Court Transcripts, and of the Search Warrant that was used.
So, onto the Oink!
The Search Warrant that the police used in the raids is particularly of interest. No one seems willing to supply a copy to me. And you have to start wondering why? A copy had to have been present in court, why won’t anyone supply a hard copy?
Rumours that the Search Warrant mentioned CD Duplication equipment have surfaced, and in one of them a police officer that was at the scene was quoted as being surprised that they didn’t find the CD Duplication equipment that they expected would be the centrepiece of the criminal case. If the police expected to find CD Duplication equipment, and did not, this brings into question how thorough the police investigation was in the first place? Were the police only relying on what the BPI/IFPI told them? And would reliance on the testimony of a trade organization in making out a search warrant even be legal? That also brings into question how thorough the BPI/IFPI investigation was. Did the BPI/IFPI actually expect to find CD Duplication equipment at Alan Ellis’s house and place of business? Or did they know that there wasn’t any, but told the police that there was to obtain their cooperation?
We don’t know. The police are being exceptionally closed mouth about the entire case. When I called them, they tried to refer me to the IFPI. When I explained that I intended to call the IFPI after I had talked to them, and that the IFPI wouldn’t have the information I immediately needed, the person at the Cleveland police station that I talked to (and yes, I know who it was, though I am not publishing their name) got scared. Quite scared. They covered the mouthpiece and started talking to someone else (and yes, I have this name too) but they didn’t do a very good job, and I could hear most of the conversation. The other person was no better off. Neither of them was willing to discuss the case at all. Quite frankly you would have thought that I’d drawn a gun on them instead of a pen.
I’ve also sent emails to Alan Ellis. He hasn’t responded so far, however I suspect that his lawyers have told him to shut up, and keep shut up. Tomorrow I’m calling his lawyers, I am looking forward to their reaction.
Another thing that I want to get copies of are the hosting bills for OINK.CD. The IFPI and the Crown Attorney made a lot of fuss over the supposed 300,000 pounds that had been donated to Oink. But what were the costs of running Oink? The news reports filed by the reporters covering the case have Alan having anywhere between 20,000 pounds and 300,000 pounds in the bank at the time of the raid. If it was 20,000 pounds, and the other 280,000 pounds went to cover hosting costs out of 300,000 pounds collected, that is a good indication that the BPI and IFPI lied from the start when they claimed that Alan was running OINK as a for profit enterprise. Most people aren’t aware of how high hosting costs can be for a large site with lots of members. Oink supposedly had 200,000 members. That’s a lot of web traffic.
Another point – there has been a concerted effort to bury information, particularly press releases. The Cleveland Police have taken down the early press releases from their site, and claim not to be able to supply them. The BPI has also ‘lost’ press releases. The IFPI on the other hand still has them up, and also has up copies of speeches made by IFPI representatives at various functions. These speeches categorize Oink as illegal. Based on the acquittal of Alan Ellis, Oink was probably not illegal. Is the IFPI going to correct those speeches? Are they going to go back to the organizations where those speeches were given and apologize for giving a speech that was full of hyperbole, and incorrect information?
I suspect not.
Anyone who has copies of any of the press releases please email them to me. If you have the Search Warrant, well, that would cause me to start dancing 🙂 If you have any information that has not been published, I would love to get my hands on it. If some of it has to be held back for privacy or other reasons, I will very happily do so. Also I store anything that could possibly be dangerous with my lawyer, who has instructions.
And now I’m finished this, I’m going to plug my Telecaster into the amp, and see if I can blow the window out.
Monday February 8, 2010