is a non-profit organization based in Worcester, Massachusetts
Worcester is a city and the county seat of Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. Named after Worcester, England, as of the 2010 Census the city's population is 181,045, making it the second largest city in New England after Boston....
. It launched in August 2003 and argues that the four major recording labels have an oligopoly
An oligopoly is a market form in which a market or industry is dominated by a small number of sellers . The word is derived, by analogy with "monopoly", from the Greek ὀλίγοι "few" + πόλειν "to sell". Because there are few sellers, each oligopolist is likely to be aware of the actions of the others...
that is bad for both musicians and music culture. They believe that there is an opportunity to change that.
Downhill Battle also believe that filesharing can strengthen the role of independent record label
An independent record label is a record label operating without the funding of or outside the organizations of the major record labels. A great number of bands and musical acts begin on independent labels.-Overview:...
s in the music industry, and they help produce software that helps independent artists and journalists reach a wider audience. The group supports what they call "participatory culture
Participatory culture is a neologism in reference of, but opposite to a Consumer culture — in other words a culture in which private persons do not act as consumers only, but also as contributors or producers . The term is most often applied to the production or creation of some type of published...
" where everyone is a part of creating and sharing art and music.
Downhill Battle are also known for their projects such as Grey Tuesday, Eyes on the Screen
Eyes on the Screen was a project to disseminate the documentary series Eyes on the Prize by file sharing networks without regard to copyright restrictions during the period the series was out of print, 1993-2006....
, Banned Music, Peer-to-Peer Legal Defense Fund, and more. Downhill Battle made Spin Magazine's Top 100 moments that rocked the world at #81 for the moment when Downhill Battle launched Grey Tuesday and the Grey Album went viral.
The Downhill Battle team also founded the Participatory Culture Foundation
The Participatory Culture Foundation is a 501 non-profit organization whose mission is to “enable and support independent, non-corporate creativity and political engagement.”...
(PCF), which is building an independent internet video platform. PCF also has a set of Participatory Politics
projects, including a politics news site and a messageboard service that has been a gathering space for self-organizing.
Downhillbattle.org has been down for an extended period of time. It is unclear why or how long this has been its status. The Internet Archive
The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". It offers permanent storage and access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, music, moving images, and nearly 3 million public domain books. The Internet Archive...
last stored a functional copy of the website in November 2007, as can be seen here
As of Tuesday March 3, 2009 Downhillbattle.org had been reactivated.
As of Tuesday, May 24, 2011 or earlier, Downhillbattle.org seems to be offline again.
As of Sunday, October 16, 2011 or earlier, Downhillbattle.org had been reactivated.
- Blog Torrent
Blog Torrent was a free, open source BitTorrent client and computer aimed at bloggers and other people with web hosting but little technical knowledge....
, a BitTorrent client
BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer program developed by Bram Cohen and BitTorrent, Inc. used for uploading and downloading files via the BitTorrent protocol. BitTorrent was the first client written for the protocol. It is often nicknamed Mainline by developers denoting its official origins. Since version...
- Local Ink, first public tool for sending letters to local papers by zipcode with a user interface.
- Conversate, a pre-Facebook website for ad hoc sharing and discussing oflinks, media, email messages, anything, etc. with any grouping of friends, and acquaintances