Wednesday, June 14,
2000Tragically Hip pulls plug on
MP3 controversy: Cape
Breton teen's site had group's unreleased album
An MP3 Web site
developed by a Cape Breton high school student was shut down Monday,
after drawing the wrath of rock group The Tragically Hip, Universal
Music Canada and the Canadian Recording Industry Association.
| Viktor Pivovarov, Moncton Times
Gord Downie, a
performer with the Tragically Hip rock group, which attacked a
student's Web site that was carrying the group's new
The site, www.3mc.spydar.com, offers free, unauthorized downloads
of tracks and albums by a variety of artists, including Canadian
groups. Two months ago, 3mc began allowing users to download
Music@Work, the latest album by The Tragically Hip -- even though
its official release date was only yesterday.
That discovery prompted an angry reaction by the band's manager,
Jake Gold, and its label, Universal Canada, both of whom complained
to CRIA about three weeks ago.
'The whole issue was compounded by the fact that it was an
unreleased album," said said Brian Robertson, president of
Toronto-based CRIA. "Either a master was stolen or someone
misappropriated something in the manufacturing process ... Obviously
there's a high degree of priority to do something about it."
Brad Touesnard, 18, of Dundee, N.S., started 3mc last year, but
gave the site to a friend after the MP3 controversy heated up.
"I was the former owner of it, but it's gotten so controversial.
It is illegal, so I got out of that and one of my buddies took it
over. But I still own the spydar.com."
After gathering evidence for a few weeks, CRIA's lawyers sent a
letter to 3mc, warning them that what they were doing was illegal. A
subsequent letter was issued, after which 3mc agreed to suspend its
Visitors to the site yesterday were greeted with the following
message: "The account "3mc" or link "http://3mc.spydar.com", has
been suspended indefinitely pending a statement from the Canadian
Recording Industry Association (CRIA)."
While the music labels may feel as though they've scored a
victory in their effort to combat online music piracy, the original
developer of 3mc isn't so sure.
Mr. Touesnard said he was informed by CRIA that they would not
sue if the site was taken down, which he has done.
Still, he's not sure the closure of 3mc will stem the exchange of
free music, much less discourage its new proprietor (who goes by the
sobriquet Hot4tea) from launching another free music site from
"He might decide to put another one up. That's the thing -- in my
reply email to CRIA I told them it would be better if I left the URL
redirection up, because I'm not hosting the pages, I'm just
providing a link to those pages.
"I provide a redirection service for anyone that wants to sign
up, so I'm not liable for the content of the site," said Mr.
Touesnard, who said 3mc currently boasts about 1,200 users, a number
which is quickly multiplying.
Hot4tea, who admitted to being slightly older than Mr. Touesnard,
would not say how he managed to grab The Tragically Hip's latest
album a full two months before it was released.
(Each link opens a new window)
Official site of The
premature downloads of Music@Work, The Hip's new album.
Generation Next, and much
assailed by record companies and bands like Metallica.
Also embroiled in the
intellectual property war.