Just who are the pirates?

I couldnít quite believe my eyes when I read this piece: Virgin Mega downloaded an exclusive Madonna track from rival France Telecomís music download store, cracked the DRM, wrapped it in their own DRM and then proceeded to sell it without license. FT had secured ĎHung Upí on an exclusive basis for one week from Warner. And Iím afraid that Laurentís argument that they were doing this in the interests of consumers simply doesnít wash. If you apply that logic then all file sharing networks should be left alone.

Virgin Mega have been hit with a reasonably hefty damages fine, but the ramifications of this will probably simmer for some time, not least between Virgin Mega and its label partners. These guys are music retailers, they know how the business works and canít break the rules just because their competitor got a promotional deal that they wanted. If the retailers canít be trusted, then who can?

Ironically, this may well be another, albeit inadvertent, blow against DRM by the French.