Media and Advertising

Pay downloads vs. VeryCD

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Pirates of the world, unite!

So while Baidu's getting sued over its music downloads, the Chinese MP3 maker Aigo has launched a pay download site inspired by iTunes, but at 1/8th the price since it is denominated in RMB. MP3s and music videos ready to be downloaded to your flash player.

That's nice and all, but as I was doing research on the P2P networks the other day, I came across the following:

This album is a participant in the VeryCD Mp3 sharing plan.

Target: All net users who uphold freedom and love music.

Goals:

  1. Every person shares three albums in order to establish the world's largest P2P Mp3 music library.
  2. Through the VeryCD website's search, allow all users convenient and quick downloads of Mp3s.
  3. Death to pay download sites.

VeryCD I'd run into before; it's the manifesto that's new to me (see the end of this article for a full translation). It's a libertarian websurfer's dream: free downloads, few ads, and all of the sexy software kids are talking about these days. It's even licensed under Creative Commons.

And for all its bluster about cutting down on copyright violations, the Chinese government, through the Shanghai section of the Ministry of Information Industry, has given its stamp of approval to this website that offers downloads of such public-domain classics as Lost, Microsoft Office, and The Myth.

VeryCD's business model is unclear. Besides serving up eMule and BitTorrent links, it develops Chinese versions of eMule, Firefox, and Media Player Classic — all free programs — and it is hiring new programmers. There are very few ads on its site (and not just in comparison to other Chinese sites), though it does invite donations "to cover bandwidth costs." It has partnerships set up with many other websites, but one expects that these might evaporate depending on what happens in the Baidu suits.

"Death to pay download sites" would seem to preclude a Napster-like transition if it gets shut down, but the files will still be around on the P2P networks, and perhaps people will still carry the torch for uniformly-labeled, sensibly organized and categorized pirated media.

The full "VeryCD Sharing Plan":

This album is a participant in the VeryCD Mp3 sharing plan.
We hope that you can participate, too. Do not erase the compressed file, but continue to share the album.

Please visit http://www.VeryCD.com to download more music.

Attachment: VeryCD Mp3 sharing plan


Target: All net users who uphold freedom and love music.

Goals:

  1. Every person shares three albums in order to establish the world's largest P2P Mp3 music library.
  2. Through the VeryCD website's search, allow all users convenient and quick downloads of Mp3s.
  3. Death to pay download sites.

Proposal for downloaders:

  1. When downloading, provide as many uploads as possible to benefit yourself and others.
  2. Tell your friends to come and download to let more people enjoy this resource.
  3. Keep the packages you download and continue to share them.

Requests for distributors:

  1. Distribute according to the plan, including an introduction & photo. Don't distribute redundantly.
  2. Uniform Mp3 format with ID3 information.
  3. Uniform RAR package and filenames.
  4. Provide enough bandwidth for distribution.
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