I just want to say some things in defence of IAAO, whether they are met with disagreement or otherwise.
I was a member there for almost 5 years, I joined in late 2009 at the recommendation of a person I had brief contact with on YT. Before that I wasn't even aware of "file sharing" or mp3 downloading being the technophobe I am. Yes, like many others - I downloaded (illegally I might add) many tunes, probably a lot that were available to buy digitally, I'm not 100% sure on what is or was or can be available! all those factors etc...
So if I'm guilty of some heinous crime, then so be it. It's a fair cop Guv, and all that...
But the site was more than just downloading freebies etc. The site (like many others), had other things you could download such as sets, peoples own mixes, radio spots, blah blah. No one ever seems to get their knickers in a knot about those, it's always the singles that get into hot water. Anyway....also this. The site (just like this) had other aspects to it too, completely removed from open filesharing and other such naughty endeavours. I used to help with compiling track listing, IDS, feedback on people's new tunes. It was functioning like this site only it had the filesharing side too (it's dark side!).
I think the problem here, and where I take offense is suggesting we're "moaning" because we lost our site so therefore we can't download any more tunes (openly, in public view). It is completely inaccurate, the site means so much more to its longstanding members than that; it's a bit unfair to suggest that's what's affected us, the speed and manner in which the axe fell, giving Mark who owns the site no real chance to comply with any legalities or obligations is really the issue, and you ask any member who takes it serious there, they will tell you nothing otherwise.
Whether you condemn or condone that practise of filesharing, the truth is, the whole manner could have (and should have) been dealt with a bit more courtesy and tact and in a more diplomatic way.
As "Elusive" stated, everyone probably using the Internet has illegally downloaded SOMETHING at one point or another, whether it is music related or not. It's funny when people say things like "MP3 filesharing is still illegal". I guess no one ever took drugs, smoked under age, had sex underage, sped over the speed limit etc....
We're all perfect angels :-)
I doubt any single member of IAAO would disagree that all concerning artists have the right to royalties or payments of their music, no one has any issue with that; set out to step on anyone's toes, upset established artists or whatever. As is common practise, we just moved with the times where filesharing (whether right or wrong) was a part of this age, the age, the "digital era" or whatever. I don't think anyone cross examined the principalities of it too greatly, or analysed it in too great a concept, we just did it as others have and still do....perhaps in our eyes it kept the music 'alive' or vested interests of those like so many of us still passionate. Whether that justifies it or not, I don't think too many of us saw it as a means of being able to stick two fingers up at the artists and so forth. It's not like the London riots where we looted for the sake of it!
I'd also like to point out that I live in Australia, I emigrated in 2007 from the UK, I can't always afford the vinyls with airmail and conversion rates, I would love nothin more than to own everything on vinyl, you can't beat it, but for me personally it's just not a viable option. Again whether that's a justifiable reason for downloading tonnes of music, as you do, I don't know, all I know is from a recreational point of view it has kept me happy, I make no 'profit' or use the music for any form of commercial gain. And I personally would never advocate for MP3 mixing in clubs, venues or otherwise, vinyl would always surpass it without unequivocal doubt.
I just feel the site has come under a bit of unnecessary scrutiny in light of what has happened and I think it's a shame this happened, and that we lost our website because of one man's personal and warped crusade, when some form of compromise could easily have been reached.
I have no beef with anyone here, don't wish to piss on anyone's shoes and agree with many statements, particularly with Ian Saunders about getting a digital copy where it's available. Being fair to everyone, yeah? Including us