Sometimes you spend years setting up a highly successful, community-driven website based on equal trade and high standards and someone breaks in one morning and takes all your servers and arrests you and threatens your users by posting an intimidating message on your front page. Sometimes, your system is set up to rip off more of the lower-profile musicians than even a normal ripper-offer and you might even actually be doing something illegal. Oink, R.I.P.
Here’s what I did. Ripping-offing aside, I think what they had was a good thing. What a nice place. People were held to the rule that if you take, you also should give. Metaphor for life, baby. Contributions—if you don’t participate what’s the point? Well, it might be to steal music. It might also be to encourage people to go out and buy the rarer stuff they like, specifically so they can upload it and share it with, like, three other people.. which is what I did. You’re welcome, Esma Redzepova; you’re welcome, three other people.
So, while I don’t care what to use now that Oink’s dead, I think that more of the same spirit would be nice. Know what I did? I bought a t-shirt. Yeah. It’s got a little pig on it with headphones and stars exploding out from a shield bearing a Union Jack—$20 going to Mr. Oink. Know what else? If most of the cool stuff I downloaded from Oink’s Pink Palace of Musical Exclusivity mysteriously appears elsewhere, don’t be all that surprised. The greater number of us deserves to hear this stuff, too.
Good things never last forever. Oink didn’t; I don’t see it coming back. Find something else. It’ll come around. Someday, maybe everyone else’ll come around too.