Does Giving Away Free Music Downloads Fight Piracy?

10.18.10 7 years ago

No, not that kind of piracy.

The European Commission has approved France’s “Carte Musique” program, which will allow French 12 to 25 year olds buy one €50 music download gift card per year for the reduced price of €25.  French taxpayers will subsidize the other €25 per year per participant as a bid to fight music piracy.  Carte Musique also limits the amount any one retailer can get to €5 million, meaning big retailers like iTunes, FNAC, and Amazon may be shut out.  The program is approved for two years, during which time the French government expects to sell a million cards each year, and we expect the number of cards sold to people who weren’t already paying for downloads anyway to be about zero.  But the kids who usually buy their music legally will get an extra €25 per year from their parents’ taxes, so that’s something, we guess.

Meanwhile in Bellevue, Washington, 19 year old Faribah Maradiaga stabbed one of her classmates multiple times during an anger management class.  Maradiaga was complaining about the video they were watching when another student told her to give the video a chance because it’s good.  Maradiaga, who says the classmate was threatening her, pulled out a 3 inch knife and stabbed the classmate several times in the arm and shoulder and threatened to hunt down her family as well.  We’re guessing she failed the class.

In other examples of things being blown out of proportion, Finland’s best-known English-language newscaster [Are there many of those?] has been fired for pretending to drink a beer during a report on alcohol licensing laws.  Kimmo Wilska, who is nicknamed “the Barry White of Finland” for his voice (obviously not his appearance), says he was only pretending to drink when the camera wasn’t on him to amuse the people in studio and didn’t mean to show it on air. Fans started a Facebook group that now has over 52,000 members to try to get him rehired.  Hopefully he can be hired back on the condition he has to chug a beer between every story.  That’s how we handle the news here, and it’s awesome.


  • France subsidizing music downloads for 12 to 25 year olds (Mashable)
  • Stabbing in an anger management class. Ironic? No. Totally expected. (Arbroath)
  • Anchor fired for pretending to drink a beer (video at Newslite and TDW)



  • Wojtek (AKA Voytek) the Nazi-fighting bear, who lived with and was the mascot for the 22nd Company of the Polish Army Corps, is getting a statue in his honor. (Telegraph)
  • Just after passing his driving test in Pennsylvania, this teenager crashed his car through the front doors of the testing center. His passing grade was revoked. (PostGazette, video at Buzzfeed, who incorrectly report he got his license.)
  • Meanwhile in Long Island, NY, two guys dressed in gorilla suits knocked a teenager off a bike so their accomplice, dressed as a chicken, could steal the bike. (AOLNews)



  • Here’s an infographic from last year about music piracy and music sales.  According to this, of the ten best selling iTunes of all time up till 2009, two were from the Black Eyed Peas and two were from Lady Gaga.  I can live with that, but Ke$ha being in the top ten has me feeling like P Diddy, whatever that means. (VisualLoop)
  • iSuppli estimates the parts in a current gen 8 GB iPod Nano cost $43.73, with another $1.37 needed for manufacturing.  But shipping them here from China and buying all those suicide nets breaks the bank. (Gizmodo)
  • Here’s an infographic about how Americans are spending their money.  Charity donations are way up, but so are lottery ticket purchases. What else did I learn from this?  We need to spend more money on books, less money on Ke$ha.  Let’s do this, America. (VisualEconomics)


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