Unplugging: ISPs wage war against music piracy

When was the last time you illegally downloaded music or movies? You may not remember, but there could be some watching who will. Hey, don’t look at us . . . MXDWN is just the messenger!

The saying “Big Brother is always watching” is becoming a reality in the war against music piracy. In an effort to cut back on online piracy, major ISPs such as Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner, and Verizon are getting hip to the idea of  issuing alerts to users who have compromised their accounts via illegal downloads.

So how will these alerts stop users from downloading illegally? The National Cable and Telecommunication Association (NCTA) says that subscribers are typically not aware they have violated their ISP’s Terms of Service, or even realize that their accounts have been used to download illegal content in some cases.

Whatever the case, when alerts are sent out to users, their violations will be brought to attention in enough light to prevent future violations. As for the radicals who continue to ignore their alerts, Big Brother will continue to watch, and possibly strike down with vengeance in the future.

In other illegal music piracy news, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has acquired subpoenas from the U.S. District of Columbia, claiming a small victory against torrent enemies. These subpoenas will allow the RIAA to get the names and IP addresses of the perpetrators running three popular torrent sites- Monova.org, Bitsnoop.com and Limetorrents.com. This is a step in the right direction for the RIAA in the battle against torrent sites, although it remains unclear what exactly they’ll do with their newfound information.

While we’re still on the topic of illegal activity, let’s switch from cyberspace to the physical world. Coheed and Cambria bassist Michael Todd was arrested last weekend for robbing a pharmacy outside of Boston. Set to perform at the Comcast Center in Mansfield later that night, Todd robbed a Walgreens of 6 bottles of pain pills, using a bomb threat as his weapon of choice against the employees. After fleeing the scene in a taxi to the Comcast Center, police caught up with him.

As assumed, Coheed and Cambria announced that Todd will not be finishing the tour with them. Coheed will continue as planned with their tour with a replacement performer on bass.

If the above news isn’t a big enough peek into the dark side of the music world, perhaps Rilo Kiley’s recent breakup will do it for you. Lead guitarist Blake Sennet recently detailed the band’s shaky relationship, making it known that Rilo Kiley was most definitely not on good terms upon their breakup.

Sennet went on to tell Spinner about the “deception, disloyalty [and] greed” that the band dealt with, although he did not single out which band mate was responsible for the breakup. The split was anything but amicable, and Sennet seemed bitter as he trashed the band’s last album, “Under The Blacklight,” telling Spinner he did not like some of the songs that made it onto the album.

Despite the permanent split, the band plans to release one last album of unreleased songs. If you still yearn for Rilo Kiley material, check out Sennet’s side project, The Elected, which features songs that did not make it onto any Rilo Kiley albums.

But . . . with every breakup comes great collaborations. On the bright side of the music world, the post-hardcore rockers Fugazi have teamed up with legends of the rap world, The Wu Tang Clan to form something great- Wugazi.

How was this possible? By way of a MXDWN favorite, Doomtree– member Cecil Otter and Swiss Andy, responsible for the tasteful compatibility of the album’s awesome mash-ups. The collaboration made way into the public eye a couple weeks ago through the leak of “Sleep Rules Everything Around Me.”

Since then, the singles “Sweet Release” and “Forensic Shimmy” have been released to lead up with anticipation to what is now available . . . the album “13 Chambers.”

Otter and Andy clearly made these mash-ups with the intent to create something fresh and interesting, while also staying true to the roots of each group’s sound. Long-time fans of either project will mostly likely enjoy and cherish in a wave of remembrance the new take on the classic music of Fugazi and the Wu Tang.

Fugazi’s album “13 Songs” unites with The Wu Tang’s “36 Chambers” to create an epic mash-up, “13 Chambers,” thanks to the hardworking brains behind the project, Otter and Andy. Okay, so that’s the good news. Want to know the great news? “13 Chambers” is a collaboration only intended for promotional use, meaning it can be fully streamed and downloaded for free online.

Check out MXDWN’s article to listen and download the album in its entirety. And no worries, your ISP won’t hunt you down, and you won’t be arrested.

Unplugging in Brief:

ISP’s Join Anti-Piracy Efforts – Big Brother is always watching . . . Your Internet provider could be watching as you download music illegally. You have been warned.

RIAA Ramps Up Fight Against Torrents – Info regarding three popular torrent sites have been exposed thanks to subpoenas obtained by the RIAA. So, uh . . . what now?

Coheed and Cambria Bassist Arrested for Robbing Pharmacy – Coheed bassist Michael Todd couldn’t make it to their show at the Comcast Center in Mansfield – he was a bit tied up, what with robbing a Walgreens of pain pills and threatening people with bombs.

Rilo Kiley’s Hiatus is Permanent – Blake Sennet talks to Spinner about the band’s not so amicable break-up, and his side project, The Elected.

Listen to the New Wugazi Album “13 Chambers” – Mash-ups of Fugazi and Wu Tang classics, put together by Doomtree’s Cecil Otter and Swiss Andy, available for downloading/streaming (free and legal!).

* Lily Angelle, MXDWN