Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., which liberated radio shock jock Howard Stern from the federal decency standards that he felt had shackled him, is finding that freedom’s just another word for $500 million to lose.
Since Jan. 9, when Stern debuted on Sirius, pirated versions of the shows have been made available for free via several online file-sharing networks just hours after Stern signs off. […]
[…] Just as the rock band Metallica experienced when it first came out against illegal downloads of its music, Stern risks sparking a backlash. After all, this is the man who built his in-your-face persona around flogging federal regulators, who he claimed were the enemies of creative expression.
There already are signs that after dishing out such criticism for so long, Stern better get ready to take it.
“Mr. Freedom of Speech himself. Mr. $500,000,000 has ordered me to shut down my PERSONAL Web site that some people stumbled upon,” wrote the operator of http://www.hearhoward.org , according to the Rocky Mountain News. The site made Stern’s show available for free but with a disclaimer that only Sirius subscribers should use it.
BayTSP, a Los Gatos, Calif., firm that monitors online piracy for the entertainment industry, found digital audio files of every episode of Stern’s Sirius show on every major file-sharing network.