What if Putin is Telling the Truth?

On April 26 Russia’s main national TV station, Rossiya 1, featured President Vladimir Putin in a documentary to the Russian people on the events of the recent period including the annexation of Crimea, the US coup d’etat in Ukraine, and the general state of relations with the United States and the EU. His words were frank. And in the middle of his remarks the Russian former KGB chief dropped a political bombshell that was known by Russian intelligence two decades ago.
Putin stated bluntly that in his view the West would only be content in having a Russia weak, suffering and begging from the West, something clearly the Russian character is not disposed to. Then a short way into his remarks, the Russian President stated for the first time publicly something that Russian intelligence has known for almost two decades but kept silent until now, most probably in hopes of an era of better normalized Russia-US relations.
Putin stated that the terror in Chechnya and in the Russian Caucasus in the early 1990′s was actively backed by the CIA and western Intelligence services to deliberately weaken Russia. He noted that the Russian FSB foreign intelligence had documentation of the US covert role without giving details.
What Putin, an intelligence professional of the highest order, only hinted at in his remarks, I have documented in detail from non-Russian sources. The report has enormous implications to reveal to the world the long-standing hidden agenda of influential circles in Washington to destroy Russia as a functioning sovereign state, an agenda which includes the neo-nazi coup d’etat in Ukraine and severe financial sanction warfare against Moscow. The following is drawn on my book, ‘The Lost Hegemon’ to be published soon…

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on May 25, 2015.

There Is No Longer A Market: Citigroup Confirms What Zero Hedge Has Said Since 2009

“Zero Hedge long ago gave up discussing corporate fundamentals due to our long-held tenet that currently the only relevant pieces of financial information are contained in the Fed’s H.4.1, H.3 statements… macro economic data now is essentially one big joke.”
– Zero Hedge, January 2010
“we have been saying since day one […] that when it comes to securities price formation in a centrally-planned regime, it is flow not stock that matters.”
– Zero Hedge, June 2012
Those were the rantings of a “tinfoil hat-wearing”, “conspiracy theory-heavy” website, which dared to speak up time and again against widely-accepeted economic and financial dogma, which has been the foundation of the Fed’s flawed experiment now in its 8th year.
And they were right.
Here is what the global head of credit strategy at Citigroup just said this last Friday.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 05/25/2015.

Declassified Document Proves US Created ISIS

Ever since ISIS began its bloody rampage across the Middle East, many of us have been suspicious of their origins. The West seemed perfectly willing to support the rebellion against Russian backed Assad, but as soon as those supposedly ‘moderate’ rebels formed ISIS, they turned against them (according to the media at least). But according to a recently declassified document, the US government knew more than they were letting on (gasp) in regards to the formation of ISIS.
The seven page document, which was dated August 12th 2012, was attained by Judicial Watch through a federal lawsuit. It reveals that many of the rebel groups supported by the Defense Department, eventually rallied together to form ISIS.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on May 25th, 2015.

Report: Terrorist Nuke Attack May Be Carried Out Inside the United States in Next 12 Months

With nuclear material having been stolen on multiple occasions in Mexico, and close terrorist ties to intelligence organizations in the middle east, it appears that if an organization was committed to acquiring nuclear material they could do so. Finding the scientists to build such a weapon, whether dirty or actual, wouldn’t be all that difficult. Moreover, smuggling such a device into the U. S. is possible, as evidenced by a 2011 report which confirms that at least one nuclear weapon of mass destruction was seized as it entered the United States.
According to a report from Zero Hedge, such a plan may be in the works over the next twelve months, as the Islamic State claims it may be actively pursuing a nuclear weapon intended for detonation on American soil.
Three weeks after the first supposed attack by Islamic State supporters in the US, in which two ISIS ‘soldiers’ wounded a security guard before they were killed in Garland, Texas, the time has come to raise the fear stakes.
In an article posted in the terrorist group’s English-language online magazine Dabiq (which as can be see below seems to have gotten its design cues straight from Madison Avenue and is just missing glossy pages filled with ‘scratch and sniff’ perfume ads ) ISIS claimed that it has enough money to buy a nuclear weapon from Pakistan and ‘carry out an attack inside the United States next year.’
In the article, the ISIS columnist said the weapon could be smuggled into the United States via its southern border with Mexico.
Curiously, the author of the piece is John Cantlie, a British photojournalist who was abducted by ISIS in 2012 and has been held hostage by the organization ever since; he has appeared in several videos since his kidnapping and criticized Western powers.
As the Telegraph notes, ‘Mr Cantlie, whose fellow journalist hostages have all either been released or beheaded, has appeared in the group’s propaganda videos and written previous pieces. In his latest work, presumed to be written under pressure but in his hall-mark style combining hyperbole, metaphor and sarcasm, he says that President Obama’s policies for containing Isil have demonstrably failed and increased the risk to America.’
Cantlie describes the following ‘hypothetical’ scenario in Dabiq :

This post was published at shtfplan on May 25th, 2015.

Israel Refuses To Pay Old Oil Debt To Iran

Israel is refusing to comply with an order by a Swiss court that it pay $1.1 billion that it has owed to Tehran since before Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution for its share of a jointly owned oil pipeline.
‘Without referring to the matter at hand, we’ll note that according to the Trading with the Enemy Act it is forbidden to transfer money to the enemy, including the Iranian national oil company,’ the Israeli Finance Ministry said in a statement.
The complex dispute stems from 1968, when Shah Reza Pahlavi ruled Iran. The Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Co. (EAPC) was created as a joint venture between an Israeli company, Trans-Asiatic Oil Ltd. (TAO), which is registered in Panama, and the National Iranian Oil Co. to supply Iranian oil to Europe.
At that time, the oil was taken by ship to the Israeli port of Eilat at the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba. From there it moved through a network of pipelines to Ashkelon on Israel’s Mediterranean coast, then to the northern Israeli port of Haifa and on to European customers.
The National Iranian Oil Co. provided 14.75 million cubic meters of crude oil through the EAPC, earning $450 million for TAO.
With relations between the two countries now severed, EAPC now is the sole operator of more than 450 miles of the EAPC pipelines in Israel, according to the company’s website.
In its ruling, the Swiss court said the Israeli company hadn’t paid its share owed to Iran before its 1979 Islamic revolution for buying and shipping that country’s oil through an Israeli port, according to Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), quoting an ‘informed source’ at Iran’s Presidential Center for Legal Affairs.

This post was published at Zero Hedge by Tyler Durden on 05/25/2015.

Designer Babies: Genetically Engineered Athletes Coming Soon

Here come the designer babies. If you think the wealth gap is bad now, wait until all the elites start genetically modifying their offspring to run faster and jump higher than your kids… Talk about a breakaway civilization.
Via The Conversation:
A team from China grabbed the headlines last month when it announced it had edited DNA in the nucleus of human embryos. Whatever the ethics of such research, the breakthrough raises the question of just how far we will take tampering with our genetic make-up?
The Chinese team’s work was done using a gene-editing technique called CRISPR (pronounced ‘crisper’) and the results were not spectacular – only four of the 86 eggs injected were successfully modified.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on May 25th, 2015.

Musings On Memorial Day

The wrong question is being asked here.
In the past few years, Americans have witnessed shootings at a movie in Colorado, a 3-year-old shooting and killing his father in Indiana and, most recently, nine people killed in a fight among biker gangs in Waco.
Amazingly, Americans seem to see these regular incidents as normal. It’s a powerful and sad testament to how anesthetized we have become to this ongoing violence. And despite all of this violence and loss of life, many in Texas and elsewhere want to increase gun ownership and allow people to openly carry firearms.
Since 9/11, Americans have been deeply concerned about threats to national security. Our tendency has been to define national security only in terms of external threats. A much better way is to see national security is in terms of the well-being of our population. If we think of it this way, the evidence is clear – a heavily armed population in the U. S. is not secure because our culture does not seem to lend itself well to allowing the proliferation of guns.
The premise is that there is some magic that will attach if we “strictly regulate” (or even prohibit) private ownership of firearms.
The facts say otherwise, in fact, they say the exact opposite.
The violent crime rate has fallen nearly in half from 1992 to 2011 according to the FBI and it has continued to fall; 2013, the last year for which full data is available, saw further declines.
The rate of murder and non-negligent manslaughter (that is, intentional killing of another human) dropped by a full half from 1994 to 2013. The rate of******dropped from 39.3 to 25.2, or 36%.
Further, property crime also dropped dramatically; motor vehicle theft, as an example, is down by nearly two thirds and burglary rates are down some 40%.
This dramatic decrease in crime rates come during what has been a reversal of gun bans and restrictions that arguably reached its zenith with the Gun Control Act of 1968.
In other words, the professor is lying through his teeth and, I suspect, he knows it.
But let’s look at this from a more-philosophical basis, shall we?
Exactly why would you elect or trust any government official who is worried about you being armed?
Think about this for a minute. If you go “nuts” and start shooting people in any other than a legitimate self-defense situation your life as a free individual is over and there is a damn good chance, in fact majority odds, that you’re simply going to be dead within minutes.
What this means, of course, is that if you choose to undertake such an act you are spending your life (in the very literal sense) for whatever you believe in at that moment.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2015-05-25.

Polish Voters Elect Eurosceptic President; Disenchantment with Brussels Spreads

Andrzej Duda outed president Bronisaw Komorowski, the the pro-Brussels incumbent centrist Civic Platform party president, in an election over the weekend. Komorowski was expected to win.
The Duda Victory Sent Shockwaves Through Polish Politics, and no doubt Brussels as well.
The win for the socially conservative, nationalist, eurosceptic party, which saw Mr Duda oust Bronisaw Komorowski, the government-backed incumbent from the presidential palace, represents a significant lurch to the right in Polish politics. It has sent shockwaves through the country’s political establishment that could ultimately topple the ruling party in October after eight years in power.
Backed by both the country’s restless, anti-establishment youth and its conservative pensioners, Mr Duda’s election, which was unthinkable just a few months ago, represents a significant and far-reaching rejection of the ruling Civic Platform party.
Mr Duda has called for a repatriation of more powers from Brussels to individual member states, an effort that chimes with British prime minister David Cameron’s attempts to renegotiate the UK’s relationship with Europe ahead of a referendum on its EU membership.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on May 25, 2015.

ISIS Threatens the Ancient City of Palmyra in Syria

The week the global media has been declaring that the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria has ‘fallen to ISIS’.
This may be partially true, but as there are very few, if any, independent media reporters on the ground in Palmyra – it’s nearly impossible to know the full extent of the ‘ISIS advance’. Emotive media images like this have been plastered all over the western press agencies and media outlets for the last 5 days running:
Certainly, the US and European media outlets would be keen to show that this specially designated World Heritage site is now in the hands of terrorists – a story which would naturally trigger outrage of western academics and intelligensia, feeding further calls for more western military intervention in the Syria conflict.
Other accounts of the situation vary, like this report by writer Ziad Fadel for SyrianPerspective
‘Tadmur (Palmyra): Even nominally friendly sites like NSNBC are misreporting events in this historically important town in the far east of Homs Governorate.
Many sites are simply making the fatuous statement that the entire city of Palmyra has been overrun by ISIS fanatics and that includes Alalam and Al-Mayaadeen.
Interesting to note that neither news source has anyone on the ground there to report directly…’
Indeed, downplaying ISIS terrorist victories could be damage control PR from Damascus – or it could be closer to the truth than western mainstream coverage. It’s difficult to tell. Still, ISIS relies on the western media to provide publicity for all of its military conquests, so mainstream coverage should always be viewed with an equally, if not much more discerning eye than with seemingly pro-Damascus coverage coming out of Syria.
Still, no movement from western media about the blatant US, Israeli and Saudi/Qatari connections to ISIS and al Nusra terror brigades in Syria and Iraq. This is still a ‘no go’ area for all major US, UK and European media outlets.
Is Palmyra under threat now? Yes, definitely. But to what degree, we cannot accurately tell just yet…

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on MAY 25, 2015.

Chinese State Paper Warns “War Will Be Inevitable” Unless U.S. Stops Meddling In Territorial Dispute

Whereas over the past year, ever since the outbreak of the hostilities over the fate of Ukraine following the Victoria Nuland orchestrated presidential coup, relations between Russia and NATO have devolved to a Cold War 2.0 state as manifested bycountless interceptions of Russian warplanes by NATO jets and vice versa as depicted in the following infographic…
… at least China was mercifully allowed to stay out of the fray between the Cold War enemies.
This all changed this month when first the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress this month cast China as a threat to regional and international peace and stability, followed several weeks ago when, with China aggressively encroaching into territories in the South China Sea claimed by US allies in the region such as Philippines, Vietnam and Japan, the US decided to get involved in yet another regional spat that does not directly involve it, and started making loud noises about China’s territorial expansion over the commodity-reach area.
China promptly relatiated by threatening a US spy plane during a routine overflight, while immediately thereafter the US retaliated at China’s escalation, and warned that building sea “sandcastles” could “lead to conflict.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 05/25/2015.

Monsanto – Enemy to the World. Be Informed

Monsanto, the US-based, elite endorsed and Obama encouraged private corporation is poisoning the food supply. If anyone believes their government has their best interest in mind, why is it that people around the world are rejecting Monsanto-led Genetically Modified Organisms [GMOs]? People do not want any in their grocery stores, yet governments are forcing them to be accepted. Even stores like whole Foods are losing the battle to keep unidentfied GMOs out of their stores
We have two stories here. The first is an example of how insidious the elites and their puppet governments conspire to force chemically induced, but highly profitable, which is all that matters to the elites, onto the unwilling masses.
The second story is further amplification of how Western world news organizations are bought-and-and-paid-for and prevent the truth from being disseminated.
Monsanto’s Covert War on European Food Security Working quietly on the back of political turmoil driven by Western special interests (including itself) Monsanto has begun literally planting the seeds of genetically modified organisms’ spread throughout Europe, starting in Ukraine and working westward toward the European Union thanks to a slowly but surely softening by regulators regarding GMOs, despite their widespread unpopularity.
Regarding this American biotech company and others like it, and their attempts to infest the planet with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and in particular their attempts to corrupt the whole of Europe with their unwanted poison through a backdoor (Ukraine), has prompted Russia to speak up for their Eastern European neighbor. Up until the armed coup in 2013-2014, also known as the ‘Euromaidan,’ Ukraine had adamantly rejected GMOs.
With an obedient client regime now installed in Kiev, a series of political, economic and military decisions have been made that have more or less extinguished Ukraine as a sovereign nation state. Along with its extinguished sovereignty comes a complete lack of desire for self-preservation, and so, sowing one’s fields with genetically tainted, unsafe, literal poison goes from being adamantly avoided, to being openly embraced.

This post was published at Edge Trader Plus on May 25, 2015.

Meet the veteran who’s been reduced to peddling for change online to buy a new leg

http://traffic.libsyn.com/sovman/SM041.mp3
Historian Will Durant once wrote ‘in the last 3421 years of recorded history only 268 have seen no war.’
This is astounding. Warfare is constantly with us, often for the most absurd reasons.
These days we’re told that the War on Terror makes us more free.
We’re programed on days like Memorial Day to sing songs about our freedom and to thank the people in uniform for making us more free.
The question I would respectfully submit is, do you feel more free today than you did 5, 10, 20 years ago?
We now live in an era of unprecedented government intrusion.
Senior citizens are thrown in jail for failing to file disclosure forms.
Spy agencies arrogantly engage in illegal surveillance on their own citizens.
And excessive force is so commonplace it barely registers as newsworthy any more.

This post was published at Sovereign Man on May 25, 2015.

05.24 BREAKING NEWS: Poland’s Anti-EU Party Candidate Andrzej Duda wins Presidency in Shock Election Result

After the election results in Spain probably caused indigestion for Angela Merkel in Berlin and the banksters in Brussels, the suddenly important front line nation of Poland may have caused an outbreak of swine flu from Brussels to Berlin as the Euro-skeptic Law and Justice Party (PiS) scored a huge election upset today, casting the strong pro-Brussels, anti-Russian current President Bronislaw Komorowski to the side. This means the coming Cold War against Russia and shift of Poland into full membership into the European Union may well be in doubt as President-elect Duda wants no part of turning his nation into a participant or slave nation on the terms of the bankers in Brussels or Generals in the Pentagon.
The update from the Polish website The Warsaw Voice tells the story:
Andrzej Duda wins Poland’s presidential election – late poll results Poland’s incumbent president Bronislaw Komorowski has failed in his bid for a second term in office after losing a closely-fought presidential election Sunday, finishing behind a right-wing candidate backed by the country’s largest opposition party, Polish media reported.
Andrzej Duda, backed by the euroskeptic Law and Justice (PiS), scored 52% of the vote to finish first in the presidential race, according to the Ipsos late poll. Turnout stood at 56.1% according to the poll. The official results are expected Monday night.
Duda won the first round of the presidential ballot May 10 with 34.76% of the vote, barely 1 ppt ahead of Komorowski with 33.77%.

This post was published at John Galt Fla on May 25, 2015.

US Accuses Iraq Army Of Cowardice, Says “More Firepower Support” Needed Against ISIS

On Saturday, we discussed a possible shift in US policy as it relates to boots on the ground in Iraq. Recapping, ISIS has recently launched what the media is billing as an ‘offensive’, seizing the Syrian city of Palmyra (an archaeological treasure) and Ramadi in Iraq. The group also claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in a Saudi mosque that killed 21 on Friday.
Against this backdrop the calls for a more aggressive US military response have begun and it now appears that one possibility under consideration is the deployment of so-called ‘spotters’ to help ensure that US airstrikes are maximally effective. Of course, as we noted over the weekend, once the ‘spotting’ starts, mission creep will set in quickly and it won’t be long before the Syrian incursion aimed at ousting Bashar al-Assad is on, with the destruction of ISIS as the excuse.
Two days and one supposed ISIS nuclear attack plot later and the calls for a change in strategy have gotten a lot louder with Defense Secretary Ash Carter questioning the Iraqi army’s resolve and uber-hawk John McCain calling for the deployment of special forces. WSJ has more:
Defense Secretary Ash Carter held open the possibility of a strategy shift by the White House on Iraq, a few days after recent setbacks in Iraq and Syria revived sharp criticism of the Obama administration’s approach in combating extremist groups there.
Islamic State forces last week captured the key Iraqi city of Ramadi and also expanded their reach in Syria. Critics and even allies of the administration took to Sunday television talk shows to call for a strategy change by the administration to stem the advance of Islamic State forces…
House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (R., Texas) said on ABC’s ‘This Week’ that the battle in Ramadi was among the many reasons why he doubted the Obama administration’s claim that U. S. efforts have succeeded in degrading the strength of ISIS.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 05/25/2015.

ISIS Planning US Nuclear Attack In Next 12 Months: Report

Three weeks after the first supposed attack by Islamic State supporters in the US, in which two ISIS “soldiers” wounded a security guard before they were killed in Garland, Texas, the time has come to raise the fear stakes. In an article posted in the terrorist group’s English-language online magazine Dabiq (which as can be see below seems to have gotten its design cues straight from Madison Avenue and is just missing glossy pages filled with ‘scratch and sniff’ perfume ads ) ISIS claimed that it has enough money to buy a nuclear weapon from Pakistan and “carry out an attack inside the United States next year.”
In the article, the ISIS columnist said the weapon could be smuggled into the United States via its southern border with Mexico.
Curiously, the author of the piece is John Cantlie, a British photojournalist who was abducted by ISIS in 2012 and has been held hostage by the organization ever since; he has appeared in several videos since his kidnapping and criticized Western powers.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 05/25/2015.

Debating Hillary for President: Robert Reich v. Nomi Prins

Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary in Bill Clinton’s administration and currently Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, is an important voice for tackling income inequality in America by bringing back the Glass-Steagall Act, busting up the too-big-to-fail banks, and imposing a securities transaction tax.
In 2013, Reich released a documentary, ‘Inequality for All,’ that demonstrated that there is a finite equilibrium of income distribution at which the U. S. economy can grow and prosper. In 1928 and 2007, the year before each of the greatest financial crashes in our nation’s history, income inequality peaked. When workers are stripped of an adequate share of the nation’s income, they are not able to function as consumers, creating a vicious cycle of layoffs and slow economic growth – the situation the U. S. has been mired in since the Wall Street crash of 2008.
Unfortunately, Reich, an otherwise clear-eyed progressive has a deep blind spot. Her name is Hillary Clinton. In a column posted to his blog last month, Reich had this to say about Hillary:
‘In declaring her candidacy for President she said ‘The deck is stacked in favor of those at the top. Everyday Americans need a champion and I want to be that champion.’
‘Exactly the right words, but will she deliver?
‘Some wonder about the strength of her values and ideals. I don’t. I’ve known her since she was 19 years old, and have no doubt where her heart is. For her entire career she’s been deeply committed to equal opportunity and upward mobility.’
This is more than a dangerous, rickety limb for Reich to be climbing out on when the financial stability of the nation hangs in the balance. During the primary challenge in 2008 between Barack Obama and Hillary, Reich made headlines by endorsing Obama despite his long-term friendship with the Clintons. That decision was at least partly influenced by what Reich called Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (HRC’s) ‘Odd Economics.’ In an April 2008 post on his blog, Reich appeared to intuitively understand that the same men who deregulated Wall Street and mushroomed the derivatives gambling casino under Bill Clinton would be back in power in a Hillary presidency.

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade By Pam Martens and Russ Marte.

DC Bomb Squad Blows Up Pressure Cooker Spotted Near Capitol

Police in Washington have detained a car owner after law enforces spotted a ‘suspicious’ vehicle containing a pressure cooker near the US Capitol building; the object was detonated by a local bomb squad, media reports said.
On Sunday evening, Capitol police officers on patrol noticed the vehicle parked on a street that crosses the National Mall west of the Capitol. Detecting an odor of gasoline, the officers further revealed that the car contained a pressure cooker.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on May 25th, 2015.

History In the Making: The Sides Are Being Drawn for the Coming Civil War

Since the revelations regarding the intrusiveness and the scope of Jade Helm, many now believe that this country is plunging head first into a state of revolution/civil war.
The Case for Civil War
How many of you believe that a planned currency collapse coupled with the implementation of a brutal martial law and gun confiscation will be the trigger events which will incite the coming revolution? This remains the leading candidate for the unfolding of a civil war. On May 24th, I interviewed Stewart Rhodes of Oathkeepers, and he believes that an economic collapse will set off the conflict and he also believes, as I do, that ISIS will wreak havoc in this country the midst of the chaos caused by the failure of the dollar. We both believe that under the cover of this chaos, we will see political dissidents extracted as per the intent of the Jade Helm exercise. It will be at this point, that the sides will be definitively drawn in the upcoming conflict.
Many of us in the Independent Media believe that this is the likely scenario that will very soon turn this country into the most dangerous country on the face of the earth. It might behoove us to look a little closer at the nature of revolution in order to predict where all of this is likely headed. Although I personally oppose the use of violence as a political tool, in the present political climate, I see no way to stem the tide of unthinkable brutality and violence which seems imminent. It is in this mindset that I set about to research the topic of revolution and this series of articles reflects the results of the research. And as a result of past and common patterns of revolution, it appears as if a clear picture is beginning to emerge and whether, or not, we choose to admit where Jade Helm will take us, the government is already practicing for what appears to be likely.
In an email from a forced Lt. General retiree, courtesy of President Obama, he provided some clues on where he believes the coming conflict is headed.
‘… With modern antiaircraft systems (mobile and man portable) air power will be all but useless. What we will see is a ground war, city by city, street by street. Additionally what is coming will be unlike any civil war in history, it will be very personal, the government will call the Patriots forces terrorists and traitors, they will arrest, intern, torture and murder suspected terrorists families, this will result in bloody reprisals which will start a vicious cycle lasting for years’.
What kind of conflict is being described here? In order to answer that question, we must first examine the ‘Four levels of warfare’.

This post was published at The Common Sense Show on May 25, 2015.

How iTunes Destroyed The Music Business In 1 Simple Chart

The music industry was the first entertainment business to confront the digital transition, although it was not exactly a willing pioneer. Rather, it was thrust into this role as a matter of survival, as it grappled with the rapid rise of online piracy in the early 2000s.
The music industry was incredibly slow to respond to the digital transition. Napster, the original music piracy site, burst onto the scene in 1999, but it wasn’t until 2004 when Apple iTunes debuted that consumers grew more and more primed to free music.
This was a serious error and haunted the music industry for years thereafter, costing the industry multi-billions in annual sales. The rest of the entertainment industry has taken note and, as a result, all other entertainment sectors, including video, have been comparatively quick to embrace digital distribution.
The music industry, rather than focusing on a legal digital download service, initially focused all its effort on shutting down Napster by way of a copyright infringement lawsuit. Ultimately, the industry prevailed and the courts shut down Napster in mid-2001; however, this was a pyrrhic victory. By the time Napster was shut down, the pirates had moved on to the next new thing: decentralized peer-to-peer file sharing, led by Gnutella. Unlike Napster, these piracy sites were virtually impossible to shut down because there was no central server storing the files. Shutting down Gnutella would have been tantamount to shutting down the entire internet.
In addition to the failure to launch a legal alternative to the pirate sites, the music industry was, understandably, paralysed by its fear of album unbundling. Piracy had given consumers a taste for singles and there was no going back to albums.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 05/24/2015.