Posts Tagged ‘downloads’
There’s going to be a new law against faulty apps, say our beloved government. The Queen, not up to much these days, outlined her principles of a new Consumer Rights Bill in a speech delivered to parliament which allows you to claim compensation for faulty apps, music and movies purchased online.
For gamers, this means that, should you buy a game that keeps crashing or freezing, you’ll be able to get your money back or a replacement.
Same goes for films and music.
Jo Swinson, the consumer minister, said: “Stronger consumer protection and clearer consumer rights will help create a fairer and stronger marketplace.”
“We are fully aware that this area of law over the years has become unnecessarily complicated and too confusing, with many people not sure where to turn if they have a problem.”
Calling musicians everywhere – put another guitar on the fire, because Spotify is planning to negotiate royalty reductions with major labels so that they can extend their free service to phones.
At the moment, this is a rumour, but apparently Spotify ‘dudes’ are talking to Warner music about reducing fees and rights, and will be holding no doubt wanky talks with other labels soon.
It’s all intended to increase Spotify’s currently non-existent profitability and improve their free service – but the music industry might not be completely on board. After all, Spotify already deliver miniscule royalty cheques to musicians compared to iTunes or Amazon.
But with downloads stalling and CDs about as popular as frozen lasagne, the labels see subscription streaming services like Spotify – which has 20 million users worldwide – as the future model for the industry, so it’s in a good position to get its wish.
Whether the artists will play along is another matter – Adele, Taylor Swift and Coldplay have already bailed out because it’s not keeping them in gold plated Bentleys, wheatgrass juice and trips to the ‘Special Doctor.’
Should Spotify triumph by shafting the very people who justify its existence? Or should the artists and labels just suck it up and accept that the times are ‘a changin’?
One of the most popular British-based TV torrent sites, and one that regarded itself as being ‘ethical’, UK Nova, has been forced to shut down following action from the Federation Against Copyright Theft (Fact).
As well as being only open to a limited number of members, unlike other torrent sites, UK Nova prided itself on not linking to downloads of material that was commercially available or featured on pay TV.
In operation for the past nine years, and run on a not-for-profit basis, UK Nova was aimed at ex-pats who were unable to see their favourite British shows and couldn’t access catch-up services like the BBC’s iPlayer.
One of the site’s admins, Roger Evans, said: “Our main concern always was to take an ethical stance and to do no harm to any revenue streams of programme makers or broadcasters. To ensure that happened we always had a strict policy that nothing available on DVD or premium TV channels would be available.”
Evans added: “Among the members of Fact are BSkyB and the Premier League and our first step was to take down links to their material. But Fact said every link was infringing and had to be taken down – which means it was acting on behalf of broadcasters that are not even members of the organisation.
“In nine years of operation we had never received a complaint from any TV channel. We do not believe Fact would have been able to bring a successful prosecution against us – but at this stage we have no money or resources to defend our case in court.”
Fact were also behind a recent court case against the man behind Surfthechannel, a site that linked to American TV shows and movies. Anton Vickerman was sentenced to four years in gaol for his part in the site after being found guilty of conspiracy to defraud in June for “facilitating” copyright infringement.
Were you a UK Nova user? How will this affect your nefarious TV-downloading ways? Tell us all the things…
You know, you can get anything insured these days. Supermodels insure their legs, page three girls can insure their assets and even Len has insured his signature good looks against damage in the ring. But what about normal, everyday stuff? Naturally, your home insurance will cover most of your worldly possessions, but there is one thing you could have paid a lot of cash for over the years, but that might not actually be insured- your digital content and software.
That’s right. While you can back up photos and some apps to the cloud, what about proprietary program software for your laptop, like Office or Adobe? What about your lovingly curated digital music collection, the stuff not ringfenced in by iTunes? Could you afford to replace it all if your laptop literally went up in smoke?
Boffins over at Moneysupermarket.com, who genuinely have nothing better to do all day than poke around in the underwear of insurance policies have discovered that different insurers have wildly different levels of cover for your non-tangibles. Top of the shop is Hiscox, who offer up to £2,500, followed by LV= and Direct Line with £1,000. However, at the other end of the chart are companies like Barclays, LloydsTSB and the Post Office who offer no cover at all.
Importantly, some insurers make distinctions between covering digital downloads and software stored on home entertainment equipment and computers compared with how they cover data downloaded on mobile phones. It’s important to be aware of any differences should you need to make a claim and examples of policy wordings (from those that actually do offer cover) are as follows:
Peter Harrison, insurance expert at MoneySupermarket, said: ” It’s easy to overlook the value of digital downloads and computer software as they are out of sight and potentially out of mind. I’d advise homeowners to be sure they have sufficient protection against loss or theft of digital downloads. Check the details of your home contents insurance to see if you have cover in place and if you are unsure after reading through your policy documents, speak to your insurer to clarify if you do have cover and to what extent. It’s worth spending some time to value your virtual content to ensure you have adequate cover for all your digital downloads as the upper limits on many policies can be modest.”
“Where possible, keep copies of invoices or bank statements as proof of purchase in case you need to make a claim” he finished.
But what if you have a massive hard drive and some serious music or software files? If the value or replacement cost of your digitals is more than the limit imposed by your insurer (not difficult if that level is £0), you may need to add exceptions to your policy, in the same way that jewellery over a certain value is often detailed separately to ensure cover. Although then, of course, you will need to see whether the extra cost is worthwhile.
Still, once downloads and digital software become commonplace, surely the insurance companies will keep up with the times and adjust their policies accordingly. Oh, wait…
Orange Film To Go are launching a campaign that offers free weekly movie downloads from iTunes. Free films. That’s consumer related right?
Basically, you’ll be given a film to download free from iTunes every Thursday if you want. Of course, you’ll have to have an iTunes account which is annoying.
This campaign comes on the back of the hugely successful Orange Wednesday promotion that the phone vendors do at the moment, which sees beleaguered cinema staff weeping into their nacho cheese every week as thousands of people swarm around their place of work, flobbing sex goo on the back row and flicking bit of a chewed up Skittles at the screen.
So, if you have an Orange Pay Monthly, PAYG or/and Home Broadband contract, you’ll get a free film worth £4.49 from iTunes each week.
“We know Orange customers love film, so adding the Orange Film To Go service to our existing portfolio of film offers is hugely exciting for us,” said Spencer McHugh, Brand Director at Orange UK, adding: “We’ve got some fantastic titles lined up for the launch and even more yet to be announced, so we’re hoping to see a significant number of our customers taking up this offer.”
Orange customers can request the promotional code by texting FILMTOGO to 85060.
David Gray – the man who warned us that James Blunt was imminent – has released his latest album solely through daily deal site Groupon. That’s staggeringly lame isn’t it?
The album in question, called ‘Lost & Found: Live In Dublin’, was made available through the site for £3.76 as a download. It was available for 24 hours yesterday (that’s Monday if you’re too thick to remember what day it is) and then vanished.
So is this the future of bumping up your sales? Well, not quite as when the deal closed, Gray had shifted a less-than-impressive 454 copies. This is despite the fact it was filled with exclusive tracks not available anywhere else.
Still, if the content is dismal, insipid, pedestrian dad-pop, it doesn’t matter how exclusive it is really.
That said, Groupon are eyeing up a move toward music. They’ve announced a partnership with Live Nation to sell discounted gig tickets. Thus far, it is US-only, but should it be a success, it is only a matter of time before they roll it out worldwide.
Are you going to Glastonbury this weekend? Are you one of those jarringly irritating people who is counting down to the smugfest using the number of sleeps you’ll be having as a unit of cloying measurement?
Well, if you are, there’s a good chance you don’t buy much music so Amazon are on hand to help you out a little.
They’ve created a Glastonbury Store which offers CD and MP3 albums for cheap. As of now, and if they’ve got any sense, they’ll run this for a few months up to Reading/Leeds in August, where you can buy albums for £1.
Now, there is a slight catch. The quid LPs are part of a One Day deal on selected Glastonbury artists. So, yesterday, you could’ve bagged the Chemical Brothers’ ‘Push The Button’ long player for one Earth pound, but today, it is some Australian outfit called Tame Impala who we’ve never heard of. It sounds like a cowardly harpoonist or something.
Of course, this being a Glastonbury based sale, there’s a lot of dross to wade through, but in amongst the awful Paulo Nutini and Elbow records, there’s bound to be some gems.
Click here and press the Go To Deal button. Okay? And have a wash you stinking grebo before your feet fall off.
Over in Americaland, people are paying for Netflix subscriptions in droves. In fact, recently, Netflix nearly doubled the number of new subscribers from 1.7 to 3.3 million.
In total, there’s 22.8 million people, paying to stream movies in the US.
Does this mean movie piracy is on the wane? Of course, there are still torrent sites knocking around, but it seems that Netflix have hit on a model that is superior to the illegal counterpart.
And with it doing so well, it appear that Netflix has an eye on spreading itself around the world. Like Spotify seemed to answer the need for people who wanted music online, Netflix appears to be doing the same for film.
Do you want to see it on these shores or are you happy streaming and downloading from sites that are, shall we say, residing in a legal grey area?
The fun is over for the controversial legal company that has been going after alleged file-sharers in recent months. ACS: Law (for it is they) have withdrawn their legal action against 27 individuals, blaming criminal attacks and bomb threats for the decision.
Andrew Crossley, the public face of ACS: Law said: “I have ceased my work…I have been subject to criminal attack. My e-mails have been hacked. I have had death threats and bomb threats… it has caused immense hassle to me and my family.” Hassle? Is that a legal term? Hmmm…
Over the past few months, ACS: Law have sent thousands of letters to alleged filesharers on behalf of a company called MediaCAT (who themselves have been working on behalf of various copyright holders), ordering the ‘filesharers’ to pay a three-figure sum or face further legal action. Many of those who received letters had no knowledge of having downloaded the files that were cited.
It got worse for ACS: Law in September when they were hacked and a list of filesharers was leaked, along with the names of the porn films they had supposedly downloaded. The Information Commissioner is still deciding what to do as a result of this leak.
The BBC report that MediaCAT have now said they wish to drop all legal proceedings but the plot has thickened with the arrival on the scene of another similar company called GCB Ltd. They have now begun sending similar letters to the ones initially sent by MediaCAT, and one of the 27 defendants in the earlier case is said to have receieved one.
When quizzed, Andrew Crossley said he had no connection with GCB Ltd, other than the fact that its founders had previously been employed by ACS: Law. Hmmm again.
Have any of you lot received any letters lately from ACS: Law or GCB Ltd regarding illegal downloading and filesharing? Drop us a line if so – we’re as sure as we’re certain that this one isn’t over yet…
Mick Hucknall is an impressively disliked man. Once, on a trip to Whitby, I discovered that the whole town hates him. After he filmed the video for ‘Holding Back The Years’ there, and essentially, acted like a spoiled little shit throughout, the town has been completely unwilling to stop slagging him off to absolutely any visitor who might mention this fact to them.
One bloke in a pub spat on the floor at the mere mention of his name.
It’s pretty fair to say that Simply Red are not… and have never been… a cool band. Some jumped-up scrawn-bag belting it out under the assumption that he sounds like Marvin Gaye over muzak Casio demo setting ‘soul’ was only ever going to win over slightly overweight women who spend most of their day in their dressing gowns and eating scratch cards and Quavers for their tea.
Naturally, Mick Hucknall isn’t the coolest of humans himself, these days, looking like someone drew a face on a cushion and stuck some orange wool on top and tried to pass it off as a Malcolm McLaren bonfire guy.
With that, we shouldn’t be surprised that Simply Red have signed to the hippest, coolest record company in the world – Tesco.
Yep, reducing their product to a similar level of dog food and Value stewing steak (please note, both of these products are the same with different labels on them), Hucknall & Co have signed up with the supermarket giant for the first in a series of albums to be sold exclusively in its stores and via www.tescoentertainment.com.
So yeah. If you don’t even own rudimentary listening holes on your head, you might want to scoot over to Tesco and buy Simply Red butchering the very air that sound passes through.
In the future we’ll have no need for material possessions because everything will be available via download. EVERYTHING. Girlfriends, sunshine, shoes, failure, even computer games. Downloading provides the customer with instant gratification while the supplier has none of the pesky overheads associated with manufacturing a physical product. It’s a pity nobody has told GAME that, as avid Bitterwallet reader Chris points out. Want to download Mass Effect 2 for your PC? It’ll cost you:
I can only imagine that the downloadable version will be somehow beamed directly into our brains, giving us the ability to experience hot girl on alien-girl action wherever we are, whether it be at work, in the bus queue or so forth. Otherwise I can’t imagine how Game could justify the extra tenner.
GAME may point to the distributor offering discount for a bulk order, which obviously isn’t the case with downloads. Still, why the christing hell is anybody going to invest in a download when that extra tenner could get you a crate of Captain Stella?
File-sharing has prompted one of the most hotly contested debates in modern history. Everyone seems to have an opinion on it (except for 99% of musicians who don’t want to appear uncool by moaning about their bills or appearing to side with their record companies as opposed to the fans).
On both sides of the fence, the arguments are based on flimsy theories. Pro file-sharers think that it is saving music from the evil clutches of commerce and point toward the middle ages when music was passed around freely. However, not one of these people have looked at how penniless these middle ages musicians died.
By the same token, the music industry is happy to assume that this Grand Theft Audio is ruining everything for everyone without actually knowing if this is true.
As such, everyone is looking at Sweden like it’s a peer (to peer, arf!) into the future. The Music Industry is being intensely scrutinised because not only was where Spotify was founded, but it was also one of the first European countries to introduce an anti-piracy law, IPRED.
Recently reported figures are certainly worth mulling over, especially in countries that are preparing their own anti-piracy legislation. It appears that recorded music trade revenues in Sweden have increased by 18% in the first nine months of 2009, following the majors’ high-profile court victory over the Pirate Bay and the introduction of a new copyright law. There was also an 80% increase in trade revenue in the digital market while physical sales increased 9% by trade value, according to figures from IFPI Sweden.
This increase in revenue is being attributed to new digital and physical offerings and the actions taken against piracy in 2009. Four new physical music retailers opened in Stockholm in 2009, while the Spotify streaming service claims 17% have signed up to the free ad-funded version in Sweden.
You’re probably aware that the record labels scored something of a victory in a Stockholm court when those that co-founded the file-sharing BitTorrent tracker were found guilty of facilitating copyright infringement. They’re currently appealing and trying to sell the site, which has thus far proved unsuccessful.
This new copyright legislation received a lot of media attention when it was introduced. It hasn’t gone in as hard as any proposed ‘three-strikes law’, but it did allow copyright holders the chance (and the right) to obtain the IP addresses of those suspected of copyright violations from ISPs.
Since the IPRED law was introduced, reports show that 60% of file-sharers had stopped or reduced their P2P activity. How will it work in this country? And will we see people returning to illegal file-sharing once the fuss has died down in Sweden?
Another day rolls around and yet another player enters the streaming music market. Spotify had their cage rattled last week when Napster slashed their monthly fee and offered downloads as part of the deal. But now a big horse is set to run amok on the dual carriageway of online music – it’s Sky.
Sky Songs goes live on October 19th and has content from all of the major labels as part of its 4m tunestrong offering. Subscribers will pay monthly and are not tied to a long-term contract, meaning they can dip in and out of the service as they please. Also, and perhaps crucially, downloaded songs will be playable on any mp3 player.
The available tariffs will be…
- pay £6.49 and download either a £6.49 album or 10 songs, and receive unlimited access to listen to over four million songs online for one month; or
- pay £7.99 and download either a £7.99 album or 15 songs, and receive unlimited access to listen to over four million songs online for one month.
Downloading more songs will cost extra, although it hasn’t been announced if Sky will undercut the prices charged by rivals like iTunes and Amazon. Sky Songs won’t be available on mobile devices at launch, but the multimedia behemoths say they’re planning that and set-top box infiltration in the near future.
What does it all mean for you? Will you be tempted to dip your toe into the streaming music fountain now that a renowned brand like Sky are behind it? Or does the idea of bunging your cash at Rupert Murdoch’s empire make you sick up a small piece of carrot?
We’re still a little bit dizzy from the amazing Amazon 29p album download offer that we brought you earlier on, but we’ve just about composed ourselves and are being helped along by the sound of our choice of purchase, ‘Complete Madness.’
Here’s some more big fat bargains, all freshly popped from their pods at HotUKDeals. Spend the money you saved at Amazon and let’s lick this festering recession TOGETHER!
Looking out of the window brings near-tears to our eyes – we’re halfway through June and the gods of rain have decided to bless us by tipping out a grey cloud of stinking rain. So let’s think about getting outdoors and sleeping under canvas with a bargain-priced tent then.
The tent in question is a Gelert 6-man tunnel tent and is only £50 at the moment, almost £100 lower than its RRP. If we go out and buy enough of them, maybe the gods of rain will see that we won’t be beaten by them and they’ll piss off back to Manchester.
Next, if you’re a practitioner of the dark art of camcorder photography, here’s a couple of great deals we’ve found for baggage to carry your sick, satanic instruments around in. Both of them are going for under a fiver.
First, there’s a 5-pack of 8cm DVD-RW disks, a camcorder bag, LCD Screen Protectors and a camera lens cleaning kit for just £2.50 or you could upgrade to the £4.98 version where you’ll get a 5-pack of mini DVM60 tapes instead of the DVD-RW disks.
Finally, here’s a heads-up for a couple of sales that have kicked off over the past few hours. Debenhams are having ANOTHER sale (they’re almost as prolific as DFS these days) with up to 50% off a bunch of stuff. Starting to give off a slight whiff of desperation if you ask us.
Then there’s Tesco Entertainment. They’ve got a 7-day sale which boasts of ‘Midsummer Madness’ (as we said, it’s pissing down here – how mad do you want to get?) There’s a list of some of the best Tesco stuff for you to peruse over at HotUKDeals.
(deals found by HUKD members nono2522, bear7364, bamyrich and FunkmasterP)
A few days ago, someone at Amazon pressed the wrong buttons in the wrong order and scores of keen-eyed HotUKDeals readers bagged themselves loads of free album downloads.
Something similar has happened today, although it’s not quite the same free-for-all. HUKD member HedgyHoggy has spotted a bunch of albums available for download at just 29p each.
Artists featured in the offer include The Killers, Kings Of Leon, Metallica, Blur, Hannah Montana, Coldplay and Abba. No more jibber jabber – from us; get over there and fill your boots while you can. The HUKD thread is here and there’s a more extensive list of featured albums here. If you find any more, please add them here or at the HUKD thread.
EDIT: Still loads of albums to be found for 29p-99p – get the full list from here
ANOTHER EDIT: Ah bollocks, most of them seem to be singles even though Amazon are listing them as albums. Looks like it’s all over. So sad.