SpiralFrog to offer “free” downloads

The Big Four record labels will do anything, anything, rather than work up front with their customers and with the independent innovators who are, so far, wholly and solely responsible for turning p2p into the primary communications and distribution media for the digital 21st century.

They’d rather sue them. But enormous and continuing opposition from the music monopolies notwithstanding, the indies and p2p networks survive, meaning music lovers have for years been able to satisfy their unyielding passion and thirst for music, entertainment, and information.

evil frogNow Froggie Would A Wooing Go takes on a new meaning. Something called SpiralFrog is lurching in with Big Four Organized Music cartel founder-member Vivendi Universal to offer (you guessed it) a, “secure environment where music lovers can satisfy their unyielding passion and thirst for music, entertainment, and information”.

“Secure” means users won’t be terrorized and/or sued by the RIAA or any of the dozens of other Big Four ‘trade’ organizations such as the IFPI, BPI, CIRA, ARIA, and so on and etc

The Frog will force users to sit through brain-dead advertisements before they can download, and the songs will polluted with Microsoft WMA DRM (Digital Restriction Management) so they won’t play on Apple iPods which isn’t, of course, anything new.

Naturally, sharing will be strictly forbidden. Froggers will also have to allow alien anti-p2p software into their computers to stop them from making copies of tunes they download, share them or burn them.

They’ll also have to re-qualify by checking in at the Frog’s site every month. If they don’t, access will be cut off.

Significantly, former RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and IFPI (International Federation of Phonographic Industry) boss Jay Berman is at the top of the Frog directors list. He’s the ‘Berman’ in Berman Rosen Global Strategies with protege Hilary Rosen, another ex-RIAA boss, as the Rosen.

And to further digress, “Jay Berman was also on the board of Loudeye, owner of Overpeer the spoofing company that planted spoofed recordings on the web to the annoyance of music consumers and the amusement of unauthorised sites who increased their value as traffic increased to cope,” a p2pnet reader commented, also pointing out, “Unfortunately cheating music consumers with fake recordings wasn’t a long term business propostion with Overpeer recently closed down.”

Anyway, “Offering young consumers an easy-to-use alternative to pirated music sites will be compelling,” states Frog ceo Robin Kent. The target audience is people between aged 13 to 34, “an advertiser’s dream,” as he states it.

Older users can, presumably, go fish.

Warner Music, EMI and Sony BMG, the other three members of the Big Four cartel, will be watching keenly.

Will significant numbers of the hundreds of millions of people who currently steer well clear of the paltry, over-priced corporate offerings, preferring the p2p networks and indie sites, now switch to the Frog site?

Not a hope.

Interestingly, Kazaa is expected to introduce a free-with-advertising service, “when it reintroduces itself as a licensed, legitimate distribution business,” says The New York Times.

Sharman Networks recently achieved its ambition of years by ‘settling’ with the cartels and as p2pnet said, “the deal with the Big Four also means Kazaa will be resuscitated“.

SpiralFrog hops into North America in December, and into the UK close to the start of 2007.



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