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Analyzing YouTube's Audio Fingerprinter

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the streeeeeehtch-thiiiiingsss-ouuuuuut dept.

Media 116

Al Benedetto writes "I stumbled across this article which analyzes the YouTube audio content identification system in-depth. Apparently, since YouTube's system has no transparency, the behaviors had to be determined based on dozens of trial-and-error video uploads. The author tries things like speed/pitch adjustment, the addition of background noise, as well as other audio tweaks to determine exactly what you'd need to adjust before the fingerprinter started mis-identifying material. From the article: 'When I muted the beginning of the song up until 0:30 (leaving the rest to play) the fingerprinter missed it. When I kept the beginning up until 0:30 and muted everything from 0:30 to the end, the fingerprinter caught it. That indicates that the content database only knows about something in the first 30 seconds of the song. As long as you cut that part off, you can theoretically use the remainder of the song without being detected. I don't know if all samples in the content database suffer from similar weaknesses, but it's something that merits further research.'"

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music ip? (4, Informative)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677041)

There's the open-source library - libOFA - developed by Music IP ( which happens to create PUIDs on the first 135 seconds of audio in a track. It's used in the music-IP mixer (for mood mixes) but is also used by music database projects such as MusicBrainz.

From what I've seen, it's pretty decent audio fingerprinting, but I'm sure would be subject to the same limitations- if you remove the first 30 seconds of a clip- it would produce a very different fingerprint.

There's no reason to believe youtube isn't using this library or a derivative. There's also no reason to believe this result isn't intended. If the first 30 seconds of a song are missing- maybe that makes youtube confident that it could be considered fairuse.

Either way, I could imagine creating a fingerprint based on different sections of a song has the same problems doing an MD5 hash would- each fingerprint would be entirely different. If you don't just compare bit-to-bit, it'll be impossible to catch ALL permutations. And the fact is, that's a lot of computing power anyhow.

Re:music ip? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27677075)

For twelve years, you have been asking: Who is John Galt? This is John Galt speaking. I am the man who loves his life. I am the man who does not sacrifice his love or his values. I am the man who has deprived you of victims and thus has destroyed your world, and if you wish to know why you are perishing-you who dread knowledge-I am the man who will now tell you.' The chief engineer was the only one able to move; he ran to a television set and struggled frantically with its dials. But the screen remained empty; the speaker had not chosen to be seen. Only his voice filled the airways of the country-of the world, thought the chief engineer-sounding as if he were speaking here, in this room, not to a group, but to one man; it was not the tone of addressing a meeting, but the tone of addressing a mind.

"You have heard it said that this is an age of moral crisis. You have said it yourself, half in fear, half in hope that the words had no meaning. You have cried that man's sins are destroying the world and you have cursed human nature for its unwillingness to practice the virtues you demanded. Since virtue, to you, consists of sacrifice, you have demanded more sacrifices at every successive disaster. In the name of a return to morality, you have sacrificed all those evils which you held as the cause of your plight. You have sacrificed justice to mercy. You have sacrificed independence to unity. You have sacrificed reason to faith. You have sacrificed wealth to need. You have sacrificed self-esteem to self-denial. You have sacrificed happiness to duty.

"You have destroyed all that which you held to be evil and achieved all that which you held to be good. Why, then, do you shrink in horror from the sight of the world around you? That world is not the product of your sins, it is the product and the image of your virtues. It is your moral ideal brought into reality in its full and final perfection. You have fought for it, you have dreamed of it, and you have wished it, and I-I am the man who has granted you your wish.

"Your ideal had an implacable enemy, which your code of morality was designed to destroy. I have withdrawn that enemy. I have taken it out of your way and out of your reach. I have removed the source of all those evils you were sacrificing one by one. I have ended your battle. I have stopped your motor. I have deprived your world of man's mind.

"Men do not live by the mind, you say? I have withdrawn those who do. The mind is impotent, you say? I have withdrawn those whose mind isn't. There are values higher than the mind, you say? I have withdrawn those for whom there aren't.

"While you were dragging to your sacrificial altars the men of justice, of independence, of reason, of wealth, of self-esteem-I beat you to it, I reached them first. I told them the nature of the game you were playing and the nature of that moral code of yours, which they had been too innocently generous to grasp. I showed them the way to live by another morality-mine. It is mine that they chose to follow.

"All the men who have vanished, the men you hated, yet dreaded to lose, it is I who have taken them away from you. Do not attempt to find us. We do not choose to be found. Do not cry that it is our duty to serve you. We do not recognize such duty. Do not cry that you need us. We do not consider need a claim. Do not cry that you own us. You don't. Do not beg us to return. We are on strike, we, the men of the mind.

"We are on strike against self-immolation. We are on strike against the creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties. We are on strike against the dogma that the pursuit of one's happiness is evil. We are on strike against the doctrine that life is guilt.

"There is a difference between our strike and all those you've practiced for centuries: our strike consists, not of making demands, but of granting them. We are evil, according to your morality. We have chosen not to harm you any longer. We are useless, according to your economics. We have chosen not to exploit you any longer. We are dangerous and to be shackled, according to your politics. We have chosen not to endanger you, nor to wear the shackles any longer. We are only an illusion, according to your philosophy. We have chosen not to blind you any longer and have left you free to face reality-the reality you wanted, the world as you see it now, a world without mind.

"We have granted you everything you demanded of us, we who had always been the givers, but have only now understood it. We have no demands to present to you, no terms to bargain about, no compromise to reach. You have nothing to offer us. We do not need you.

"Are you now crying: No, this was not what you wanted? A mindless world of ruins was not your goal? You did not want us to leave you? You moral cannibals, I know that you've always known what it was that you wanted. But your game is up, because now we know it, too.

"Through centuries of scourges and disasters, brought about by your code of morality, you have cried that your code had been broken, that the scourges were punishment for breaking it, that men were too weak and too selfish to spill all the blood it required. You damned man, you damned existence, you damned this earth, but never dared to question your code. Your victims took the blame and struggled on, with your curses as reward for their martyrdom-while you went on crying that your code was noble, but human nature was not good enough to practice it. And no one rose to ask the question: Good?-by what standard?

"You wanted to know John Galt's identity. I am the man who has asked that question.

"Yes, this is an age of moral crisis. Yes, you are bearing punishment for your evil. But it is not man who is now on trial and it is not human nature that will take the blame. It is your moral code that's through, this time. Your moral code has reached its climax, the blind alley at the end of its course. And if you wish to go on living, what you now need is not to return to morality-you who have never known any-but to discover it.

"You have heard no concepts of morality but the mystical or the social. You have been taught that morality is a code of behavior imposed on you by whim, the whim of a supernatural power or the whim of society, to serve God's purpose or your neighbor's welfare, to please an authority beyond the grave or else next door-but not to serve your life or pleasure. Your pleasure, you have been taught, is to be found in immorality, your interests would best be served by evil, and any moral code must be designed not for you, but against you, not to further your life, but to drain it.

"For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbors-between those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it.

"Both sides agreed that morality demands the surrender of your self-interest and of your mind, that the moral and the practical are opposites, that morality is not the province of reason, but the province of faith and force. Both sides agreed that no rational morality is possible, that there is no right or wrong in reason-that in reason there's no reason to be moral.

"Whatever else they fought about, it was against man's mind that all your moralists have stood united. It was man's mind that all their schemes and systems were intended to despoil and destroy. Now choose to perish or to learn that the anti-mind is the anti-life.

"Man's mind is his basic tool of survival. Life is given to him, survival is not. His body is given to him, its sustenance is not. His mind is given to him, its content is not. To remain alive, he must act, and before he can act he must know the nature and purpose of his action. He cannot obtain his food without a knowledge of food and of the way to obtain it. He cannot dig a ditch-or build a cyclotron-without a knowledge of his aim and of the means to achieve it. To remain alive, he must think.

"But to think is an act of choice. The key to what you so recklessly call 'human nature,' the open secret you live with, yet dread to name, is the fact that man is a being of volitional consciousness. Reason does not work automatically; thinking is not a mechanical process; the connections of logic are not made by instinct. The function of your stomach, lungs or heart is automatic; the function of your mind is not. In any hour and issue of your life, you are free to think or to evade that effort. But you are not free to escape from your nature, from the fact that reason is your means of survival-so that for you, who are a human being, the question 'to be or not to be' is the question 'to' think or not to think.'

"A being of volitional consciousness has no automatic course of behavior. He needs a code of values to guide his actions. 'Value' is that which one acts to gain and keep, 'virtue' is the action by which one gains and keeps it. 'Value' presupposes an answer to the question: of value to whom and for what? 'Value' presupposes a standard, a purpose and the necessity of action in the face of an alternative. Where there are no alternatives, no values are possible.

"There is only one fundamental alternative in the universe: existence or non-existence-and it pertains to a single class of entities: to living organisms. The existence of inanimate matter is unconditional, the existence of life is not; it depends on a specific course of action. Matter is indestructible, it changes its forms, but it cannot cease to exist. It is only a living organism that faces a constant alternative: the issue of life or death. Life is a process of self-sustaining and-self-generated action. If an organism fails in that action, it does; its chemical elements remain, but its life goes out of existence. It is only the concept of 'Life' that makes the concept of 'Value' possible. It is only to a living entity that things can be good or evil.

"A plant must feed itself in order to live; the sunlight, the water, the chemicals it needs are the values its nature has set it to pursue; its life is the standard of value directing its actions. But a plant has no choice of action; there are alternatives in the conditions it encounters, but there is no alternative in its function: it acts automatically to further its life, it cannot act for its own destruction.

"An animal is equipped for sustaining its life; its senses provide it with an automatic code of action, an automatic knowledge of what is good for it or evil. It has no power to extend its knowledge or to evade it. In conditions where its knowledge proves inadequate, it dies. But so long as it lives, it acts on its knowledge, with automatic safety and no power of choice, it is unable to ignore its own good, unable to decide to choose the evil and act as its own destroyer.

"Man has no automatic code of survival. His particular distinction from all other living species is the necessity to act in the face of alternatives by means of volitional choice. He has no automatic knowledge of what is good for him or evil, what values his life depends on, what course of action it requires. Are you prattling about an instinct of self-preservation? An instinct of self-preservation is precisely what man does not possess. An 'instinct' is an unerring and automatic form of knowledge. A desire is not an instinct. A desire to live does not give you the knowledge required for living. And even man's desire to live is not automatic: your secret evil today is that that is the desire you do not hold. Your fear of death is not a love of life and will not give you the knowledge needed to keep it. Man must obtain his knowledge and choose his actions by a process of thinking, which nature will not force him t9 perform. Man has the power to act as his own destroyer-and that is the way he has acted through most of his history.

"A living entity that regarded its means of survival as evil, would not survive. A plant that struggled to mangle its roots, a bird that fought to break its wings would not remain for long in the existence they affronted. But the history of man has been a struggle to deny and to destroy his mind.

"Man has been called a rational being, but rationality is a matter of choice-and the alternative his nature offers him is: rational being or suicidal animal. Man has to be man-by choice; he has to hold his life as a value-by choice: he has to learn to sustain it-by choice; he has to discover the values it requires and practice his virtues-by choice.

"A code of values accepted by choice is a code of morality.

"Whoever you are, you who are hearing me now, I am speaking to whatever living remnant is left uncorrupted within you, to the remnant of the human, to your mind, and I say: There is a morality of reason, a morality proper to man, and Man's Life is its standard of value.

"All that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; all that which destroys it is the evil.

"Man's life, as required by his nature, is not the life of a mindless brute, of a looting thug or a mooching mystic, but the life of a thinking being-not life by means of force or fraud, but life by means of achievement-not survival at any price, since there's only one price that pays for man's survival: reason.

"Man's life is the standard of morality, but your own life is its purpose. If existence on earth is your goal, you must choose your actions and values by the standard of that which is proper to man-for the purpose of preserving, fulfilling and enjoying the irreplaceable value which is your life.

"Since life requires a specific course of action, any other course will destroy it. A being who does not hold his own life as the motive and goal of his actions, is acting on the motive and standard of death. Such a being is a metaphysical monstrosity, struggling to oppose, negate and contradict the fact of his own existence, running blindly amuck on a trail of destruction, capable of nothing but pain.

"Happiness is the successful state of life, pain is an agent of death. Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values. A morality that dares to tell you to find happiness in the renunciation of your happiness-to value the failure of your values-is an insolent negation of morality. A doctrine that gives you, as an ideal, the role of a sacrificial animal seeking slaughter on the altars of others, is giving you death as your standard. By the grace of reality and the nature of life, man-every man-is an end in himself, he exists for his own sake, and the achievement of his own happiness is his highest moral purpose.

"But neither life nor happiness can be achieved by the pursuit of irrational whims. Just as man is free to attempt to survive in any random manner, but will perish unless he lives as his nature requires, so he is free to seek his happiness in any mindless fraud, but the torture of frustration is all he will find, unless he seeks the happiness proper to man. The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live.

"Sweep aside those parasites of subsidized classrooms, who live on the profits of the mind of others and proclaim that man needs no morality, no values, no code of behavior. They, who pose as scientists and claim that man is only an animal, do not grant him inclusion in the law of existence they have granted to the lowest of insects. They recognize that every living species has a way of survival demanded by its nature, they do not claim that a fish can live out of water or that a dog can live without its sense of smell-but man, they claim, the most complex of beings, man can survive in any way whatever, man has no identity, no nature, and there's no practical reason why he cannot live with his means of survival destroyed, with his mind throttled and placed at the disposal of any orders they might care to issue.

"Sweep aside those hatred-eaten mystics, who pose as friends of humanity and preach that the highest virtue man can practice is to hold his own life as of no value. Do they tell you that the purpose of morality is to curb man's instinct of self-preservation? It is for the purpose of self-preservation that man needs a code of morality. The only man who desires to be moral is the man who desires to live.

"No, you do not have to live; it is your basic act of choice; but if you choose to live,. you must live as a man-by the work and the judgment of your mind.

"No, you do not have to live as a man; it is an act of moral choice. But you cannot live as anything else-and the alternative is that state of living death which you now see within you and around you, the state of a thing unfit for existence, no longer human and less than animal, a thing that knows nothing but pain and drags itself through its span of years in the agony of unthinking self-destruction.

"No, you do not have to think; it is an act of moral choice. But someone had to think to keep you alive; if you choose to default, you default on existence and you pass the deficit to some moral man, expecting him to sacrifice his good for the sake of letting you survive by your evil.

"No, you do not have to be a man; but today those who are, are not there any longer. I have removed your means of survival-your victims.

"If you wish to know how I have done it and what I told them to make them quit, you are hearing it now. I told them, in essence, the statement I am making tonight. They were men who had lived by my code, but had not known how great a virtue it represented. I made them see it. I brought them, not a re-evaluation, but only an identification of their values.

"We, the men of the mind, are now on strike against you in the name of a single axiom, which is the root of our moral code, just as the root of yours is the wish to escape it: the axiom that existence exists.

"Existence exists-and the act of grasping that statement implies two corollary axioms: that something exists which one perceives and that one exists possessing consciousness, consciousness being the faculty of perceiving that which exists.

"If nothing exists, there can be no consciousness: a consciousness with nothing to be conscious of is a contradiction in terms. A consciousness conscious of nothing but itself is a contradiction in terms: before it could identify itself as consciousness, it had to be conscious of something. If that which you claim to perceive does not exist, what you possess is not consciousness.

"Whatever the degree of your knowledge, these two-existence and consciousness-are axioms you cannot escape, these two are the irreducible primaries implied in any action you undertake, in any part of your knowledge and in its sum, from the first ray of light you perceive at the start of your life to the widest erudition you might acquire at its end. Whether you know the shape of a pebble or the structure of a solar system, the axioms remain the same: that it exists and that you know it.

"To exist is to be something, as distinguished from the nothing of non-existence, it is to be an entity of a specific nature made of specific attributes. Centuries ago, the man who was-no matter what his errors-the greatest of your philosophers, has stated the formula defining the concept of existence and the rule of all knowledge: A is A. A thing is itself. You have never grasped the meaning of his statement. I am here to complete it: Existence is Identity, Consciousness is Identification.

"Whatever you choose to consider, be it an object, an attribute or an action, the law of identity remains the same. A leaf cannot be a stone at the same time, it cannot be all red and all green at the same time, it cannot freeze and burn at the same time. A is A. Or, if you wish it stated in simpler language: You cannot have your cake and eat it, too.

"Are you seeking to know what is wrong with the world? All the disasters that have wrecked your world, came from your leaders' attempt to evade the fact that A is A. All the secret evil you dread to face within you and all the pain you have ever endured, came from your own attempt to evade the fact that A is A. The purpose of those who taught you to evade it, was to make you forget that Man is Man.

"Man cannot survive except by gaining knowledge, and reason is his only means to gain it. Reason is the faculty that perceives, identifies and integrates the material provided by his senses. The task of his senses is to give him the evidence of existence, but the task of identifying it belongs to his reason, his senses tell him only that something is, but what it is must be learned by his mind.

"All thinking is a process of identification and integration. Man perceives a blob of color; by integrating the evidence of his sight and his touch, he learns to identify it as a solid object; he learns to identify the object as a table; he learns that the table is made of wood; he learns that the wood consists of cells, that the cells consist of molecules, that the molecules consist of atoms. All through this process, the work of his mind consists of answers to a single question: What is it? His means to establish the truth of his answers is logic, and logic rests on the axiom that existence exists. Logic is the art of non-contradictory identification. A contradiction cannot exist. An atom is itself, and so is the universe; neither can contradict its own identity; nor can a part contradict the whole. No concept man forms is valid unless he integrates it without contradiction into the total sum of his knowledge. To arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in one's thinking; to maintain a contradiction is to abdicate one's mind and to evict oneself from the realm of reality.

"Reality is that which exists; the unreal does not exist; the unreal is merely that negation of existence which is the content of a human consciousness when it attempts to abandon reason. Truth is the recognition of reality; reason, man's only means of knowledge, is his only standard of truth.

"The most depraved sentence you can now utter is to ask: Whose reason? The answer is: Yours. No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it. It is only with your own knowledge that you can deal. It is only your own knowledge that you can claim to possess or ask others to consider. Your mind is your only judge of truth-and if others dissent from your verdict, reality is the court of final appeal. Nothing but a man's mind can perform that complex, delicate, crucial process of identification which is thinking. Nothing can direct the process but his own judgment. Nothing can direct his judgment but his moral integrity.

"You who speak of a 'moral instinct' as if it were some separate endowment opposed to reason-man's reason is his moral faculty. A process of reason is a process of constant choice in answer to the question: True or False?-Right or Wrong? Is a seed to be planted in soil in order to grow-right or wrong? Is a man's wound to be disinfected in order to save his life-right or wrong? Does the nature of atmospheric electricity permit it to be converted into kinetic power-right or wrong? It is the answers to such questions that gave you everything you have-and the answers came from a man's mind, a mind of intransigent devotion to that which is right.

"A rational process is a moral process. You may make an error at any step of it, with nothing to protect you but your own severity, or you may try to cheat, to fake the evidence and evade the effort of the quest-but if devotion to truth is the hallmark of morality, then there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.

"That which you call your soul or spirit is your consciousness, and that which you call 'free will' is your mind's freedom to think or not, the only will you have, your only freedom, the choice that controls all the choices you make and determines your life and your character.

"Thinking is man's only basic virtue, from which all the others proceed. And his basic vice, the source of all his evils, is that nameless act which all of you practice, but struggle never to admit: the act of blanking out, the willful suspension of one's consciousness, the refusal to think-not blindness, but the refusal to see; not ignorance, but the refusal to know. It is the act of unfocusing your mind and inducing an inner fog to escape the responsibility of judgment-on the unstated premise that a thing will not exist if only you refuse to identify it, that A will not be A so long as you do not pronounce the verdict 'It is.' Non-thinking is an act of annihilation, a wish to negate existence, an attempt to wipe out reality. But existence exists; reality is not to be wiped out, it will merely wipe out the wiper. By refusing to say 'It is,' you are refusing to say 'I am.' By suspending your judgment, you are negating your person. When a man declares: 'Who am I to know?'-he is declaring: 'Who am I to live?'

"This, in every hour and every issue, is your basic moral choice: thinking or non-thinking, existence or non-existence, A or non-A, entity or zero.

"To the extent to which a man is rational, life is the premise directing his actions. To the extent to which he is irrational, the premise directing his actions is death.

"You who prattle that morality is social and that man would need no morality on a desert island-it is on a desert island that he would need it most. Let him try to claim, when there are no victims to pay for it, that a rock is a house, that sand is clothing, that food will drop into his mouth without cause or effort, that he will collect a harvest tomorrow by devouring his stock seed today-and reality will wipe him out, as he deserves; reality will show him that life is a value to be bought and that thinking is the only coin noble enough to buy it.

"If I were to speak your kind of language, I would say that man's only moral commandment is: Thou shalt think. But a 'moral commandment' is a contradiction in terms. The moral is the chosen, not the forced; the understood, not the obeyed. The moral is the rational, and reason accepts no commandments.

"My morality, the morality of reason, is contained in a single axiom: existence exists-and in a single choice: to live. The rest proceeds from these. To live, man must hold three things as the supreme and ruling values of his life: Reason-Purpose-Self-esteem. Reason, as his only tool of knowledge-Purpose, as his choice of the happiness which that tool must proceed to achieve-Self-esteem, as his inviolate certainty that his mind is competent to think and his person is worthy of happiness, which means: is worthy of living. These three values imply and require all of man's virtues, and all his virtues pertain to the relation of existence and consciousness: rationality, independence, integrity, honesty, justice, productiveness, pride.

"Rationality is the recognition of the fact that existence exists, that nothing can alter the truth and nothing can take precedence over that act of perceiving it, which is thinking-that the mind is one's only judge of values and one's only guide of action-that reason is an absolute that permits no compromise-that a concession to the irrational invalidates one's consciousness and turns it from the task of perceiving to the task of faking reality-that the alleged short-cut to knowledge, which is faith, is only a short-circuit destroying the mind-that the acceptance of a mystical invention is a wish for the annihilation of existence and, properly, annihilates one's consciousness.

"Independence is the recognition of the fact that yours is the responsibility of judgment and nothing can help you escape it-that no substitute can do your thinking, as no pinch-hitter can live your life-that the vilest form of self-abasement and self-destruction is the subordination of your mind to the mind of another, the acceptance of an authority over your brain, the acceptance of his assertions as facts, his say-so as truth, his edicts as middle-man between your consciousness and your existence.

"Integrity is the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake your consciousness, just as honesty is the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake existence-that man is an indivisible entity, an integrated unit of two attributes: of matter and consciousness, and that he may permit no breach between body and mind, between action and thought, between his life and his convictions-that, like a judge impervious to public opinion, he may not sacrifice his convictions to the wishes of others, be it the whole of mankind shouting pleas or threats against him-that courage and confidence are practical necessities, that courage is the practical form of being true to existence, of being true to one's own consciousness.

"Honesty is the recognition of the fact that the unreal is unreal and can have no value, that neither love nor fame nor cash is a value if obtained by fraud-that an attempt to gain a value by deceiving the mind of others is an act of raising your victims to a position higher than reality, where you become a pawn of their blindness, a slave of their non-thinking and their evasions, while their intelligence, their rationality, their perceptiveness become the enemies you have to dread and flee-that you do not care to live as a dependent, least of all a dependent on the stupidity of others, or as a fool whose source of values is the fools he succeeds in fooling-that honesty is not a social duty, not a sacrifice for the sake of others, but the most profoundly selfish virtue man can practice: his refusal to sacrifice the reality of his own existence to the deluded consciousness of others.

"Justice is the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake the character of men as you cannot fake the character of nature, that you must judge all men as conscientiously as you judge inanimate objects, with the same respect for truth, with the same incorruptible vision, by as pure and as rational a process of identification-that every man must be judged for what he is and treated accordingly, that just as you do not pay a higher price for a rusty chunk of scrap than for a piece of shining metal, so you do not value a totter above a hero-that your moral appraisal is the coin paying men for their virtues or vices, and this payment demands of you as scrupulous an honor as you bring to financial transactions-that to withhold your contempt from men's vices is an act of moral counterfeiting, and to withhold your admiration from their virtues is an act of moral embezzlement-that to place any other concern higher than justice is to devaluate your moral currency and defraud the good in favor of the evil, since only the good can lose by a default of justice and only the evil can profit-and that the bottom of the pit at the end of that road, the act of moral bankruptcy, is to punish men for their virtues and reward them for their vices, that that is the collapse to full depravity, the Black Mass of the worship of death, the dedication of your consciousness to the destruction of existence.

"Productiveness is your acceptance of morality, your recognition of the fact that you choose to live-that productive work is the process by which man's consciousness controls his existence, a constant process of acquiring knowledge and shaping matter to fit one's purpose, of translating an idea into physical form, of remaking the earth in the image of one's values-that all work is creative work if done by a thinking mind, and no work is creative if done by a blank who repeats in uncritical stupor a routine he has learned from others- that your work is yours to choose, and the choice is as wide as your mind, that nothing more is possible to you and nothing less is human-that to cheat your way into a job bigger than your mind can handle is to become a fear-corroded ape on borrowed motions and borrowed time, and to settle down into a job that requires less than your mind's full capacity is to cut your motor and sentence yourself to another kind of motion: decay-that your work is the process of achieving your values, and to lose your ambition for values is to lose your ambition to live-that your body is a machine, but your mind is its driver, and you must drive as far as your mind will take you, with achievement as the goal of your road-that the man who has no purpose is a machine that coasts downhill at the mercy of any boulder to crash in the first chance ditch, that the man who stifles his mind is a stalled machine slowly going to rust, that the man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap, and the man who makes another man his goal is a hitchhiker no driver should ever pick up-that your work is the purpose of your life, and you must speed past any killer who assumes the right to stop you, that any value you might find outside your work, any other loyalty or love, can be only travelers you choose to share your journey and must be travelers going on their own power in the same direction.

"Pride is the recognition of the fact that you are your own highest value and, like all of man's values, it has to be earned-that of any achievements open to you, the one that makes all others possible is the creation of your own character-that your character, your actions, your desires, your emotions are the products of the premises held by your mind-that as man must produce the physical values he needs to sustain his life, so he must acquire the values of character that make his life worth sustaining-that as man is a being of self-made wealth, so he is a being of self-made soul-that to live requires a sense of self-value, but man, who has no automatic values, has no automatic sense of self-esteem and must earn it by shaping his soul in the image of his moral ideal, in the image of Man, the rational being he is born able to create, but must create by choice-that the first precondition of self-esteem is that radiant selfishness of soul which desires the best in all things, in values of matter and spirit, a soul that seeks above all else to achieve its own moral perfection, valuing nothing higher than itself-and that the proof of an achieved self-esteem is your soul's shudder of contempt and rebellion against the role of a sacrificial animal, against the vile impertinence of any creed that proposes to immolate the irreplaceable value which is your consciousness and the incomparable glory which is your existence to the blind evasions and the stagnant decay of others.

"Are you beginning to see who is John Galt? I am the man who has earned the thing you did not fight for, the thing you have renounced, betrayed, corrupted, yet were unable fully to destroy and are now hiding as your guilty secret, spending your life in apologies to every professional cannibal, lest it be discovered that somewhere within you, you still long to say what I am now saying to the hearing of the whole of mankind: I am proud of my own value and of the fact that I wish to live.

"This wish-which you share, yet submerge as an evil-is the only remnant of the good within you, but it is a wish one must learn to deserve. His own happiness is man's only moral purpose, but only his own virtue can achieve it. Virtue is not an end in itself. Virtue is not its own reward or sacrificial fodder for the reward of evil. Life is the reward of virtue-and happiness is the goal and the reward of life.

"Just as your body has two fundamental sensations, pleasure and pain, as signs of its welfare or injury, as a barometer of its basic alternative, life or death, so your consciousness has two fundamental emotions, joy and suffering, in answer to the same alternative. Your emotions are estimates of that which furthers your life or threatens it, lightning calculators giving you a sum of your profit or loss. You have no choice about your capacity to feel that something is good for you or evil, but what you will consider good or evil, what will give you joy or pain, what you will love or hate, desire or fear, depends on your standard of value. Emotions are inherent in your nature, but their content is dictated by your mind. Your emotional capacity is an empty motor, and your values are the fuel with which your mind fills it. If you choose a mix of contradictions, it will clog your motor, corrode your transmission and wreck you on your first attempt to move with a machine which you, the driver, have corrupted.

"If you hold the irrational as your standard of value and the impossible as your concept of the good, if you long for rewards you have not earned, for a fortune, or a love you don't deserve, for a loophole in the law of causality, for an A that becomes non-A at your whim, if you desire the opposite of existence-you will reach it. Do not cry, when you reach it, that life is frustration and that happiness is impossible to man; check your fuel: it brought you where you wanted to go.

"Happiness is not to be achieved at the command of emotional whims. Happiness is not the satisfaction of whatever irrational wishes you might blindly attempt to indulge. Happiness is a state of non-contradictory joy-a joy without penalty or guilt, a joy that does not clash with any of your values and does not work for your own destruction, not the joy of escaping from your mind, but of using your mind's fullest power, not the joy of faking reality, but of achieving values that are real, not the joy of a drunkard, but of a producer. Happiness is possible only to a rational man, the man who desires nothing but rational goals, seeks nothing but rational values and finds his joy in nothing but rational actions.

"Just as I support my life, neither by robbery nor alms, but by my own effort, so I do not seek to derive my happiness from the injury or the favor of others, but earn it by my own achievement. Just as I do not consider the pleasure of others as the goal of my life, so I do not consider my pleasure as the goal of the lives of others. Just as there are no contradictions in my values and no conflicts among my desires-so there are no victims and no conflicts of interest among rational men, men who do not desire the unearned and do not view one another with a cannibal's lust, men who neither make sacrifice nor accept them.

"The symbol of all relationships among such men, the moral symbol of respect for human beings, is the trader. We, who live by values, not by loot, are traders, both in matter and in spirit. A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved. A trader does not ask to be paid for his failures, nor does he ask to be loved for his flaws. A trader does not squander his body as fodder or his soul as alms. Just as he does not give his work except in trade for material values, so he does not give the values of his spirit-his love, his friendship, his esteem-except in payment and in trade for human virtues, in payment for his own selfish pleasure, which he receives from men he can respect. The mystic parasites who have, throughout the ages, reviled the traders and held them in contempt, while honoring the beggars and the looters, have known the secret motive of their sneers: a trader is the entity they dread-a man of justice.

"Do you ask what moral obligation I owe to my fellow men? None-except the obligation I owe to myself, to material objects and to all of existence: rationality. I deal with men as my nature and their demands: by means of reason. I seek or desire nothing from them except such relations as they care to enter of their own voluntary choice. It is only with their mind that I can deal and only for my own self-interest, when they see that my interest coincides with theirs. When they don't, I enter no relationship; I let dissenters go their way and I do not swerve from mine. I win by means of nothing but logic and I surrender to nothing but logic. I do not surrender my reason or deal with men who surrender theirs. I have nothing to gain from fools or cowards; I have no benefits to seek from human vices: from stupidity, dishonesty or fear. The only value men can offer me is the work of their mind. When I disagree with a rational man, I let reality be our final arbiter; if I am right, he will learn; if I am wrong, I will; one of us will win, but both will profit.

"Whatever may be open to disagreement, there is one act of evil that may not, the act that no man may commit against others and no man may sanction or forgive. So long as men desire to live together, no man may initiate-do you hear me? no man may start-the use of physical force against others.

"To interpose the threat of physical destruction between a man and his perception of reality, is to negate and paralyze his means of survival; to force-him to act against his own judgment, is like forcing him to act against his own sight. Whoever, to whatever purpose or extent, initiates the use of force, is a killer acting on the premise of death in a manner wider than murder: the premise of destroying man's capacity to live.

"Do not open your mouth to tell me that your mind has convinced you of your right to force my mind. Force and mind are opposites; morality ends where a gun begins. When you declare that men are irrational animals and propose to treat them as such, you define thereby your own character and can no longer claim the sanction of reason-as no advocate of contradictions can claim it. There can be no 'right' to destroy the source of rights, the only means of judging right and wrong: the mind.

"To force a man to drop his own mind and to accept your will as a substitute, with a gun in place of a syllogism, with terror in place of proof, and death as the final argument-is to attempt to exist in defiance of reality. Reality demands of man that he act for his own rational interest; your gun demands of him that he act against it. Reality threatens man with death if he does not act on his rational judgment: you threaten him with death if he does. You place him into a world where the price of his life is the surrender of all the virtues required by life-and death by a process of gradual destruction is all that you and your system will achieve, when death is made to be the ruling power, the winning argument in a society of men.

"Be it a highwayman who confronts a traveler with the ultimatum: 'Your money or your life,' or a politician who confronts a country with the ultimatum: 'Your children's education or your life,' the meaning of that ultimatum is: 'Your mind or your life'-and neither is possible to man without the other.

"If there are degrees of evil, it is hard to say who is the more contemptible: the brute who assumes the right to force the mind of others or the moral degenerate who grants to others the right to force his mind. That is the moral absolute one does not leave open to debate. I do not grant the terms of reason to men who propose to deprive me of reason. I do not enter discussions with neighbors who think they can forbid me to think. I do not place my moral sanction upon a murderer's wish to kill me. When a man attempts to deal with me by force, I answer him-by force.

"It is only as retaliation that force may be used and only against the man who starts its use. No, I do not share his evil or sink to his concept of morality: I merely grant him his choice, destruction, the only destruction he had the right to choose: his own. He uses force to seize a value; I use it only to destroy destruction. A holdup man seeks to gain wealth by killing me; I do not grow richer by killing a holdup man. I seek no values by means of evil, nor do I surrender my values to evil.

"In the name of all the producers who had kept you alive and received your death ultimatums in payment, I now answer you with a single ultimatum of our own: Our work or your guns. You can choose either; you can't have both. We do not initiate the use of force against others or submit to force at their hands. If you desire ever again to live in an industrial society, it Will be on our moral terms. Our terms and our motive power are the antithesis of yours. You have been using fear as your weapon and have been bringing death to man as his punishment for rejecting your morality. We offer him life as his reward for accepting ours.

"You who are worshippers of the zero-you have never discovered that achieving life is not the equivalent of avoiding death. Joy is not 'the absence of pain,' intelligence is not 'the absence of stupidity,' light is not 'the absence of darkness,' an entity is not 'the absence of a nonentity.' Building is not done by abstaining from demolition; centuries of sitting and waiting in such abstinence will not raise one single girder for you to abstain from demolishing-and now you can no longer say to me, the builder: 'Produce, and feed us in exchange for our not destroying your production.' I am answering in the name of all your victims: Perish with and in your own void. Existence is not a negation of negatives. Evil, not value, is an absence and a negation, evil is impotent and has no power but that which we let it extort from us. Perish, because we have learned that a zero cannot hold a mortgage over life.

"You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.

"You, who have lost the concept of the difference, you who claim that fear and joy are incentives of equal power-and secretly add that fear is the more 'practical'-you do not wish to live, and only fear of death still holds you to the existence you have damned. You dart in panic through the trap of your days, looking for the exit you have closed, running from a pursuer you dare not name to a terror you dare not acknowledge, and the greater your terror the greater your dread of the only act that could save you: thinking. The purpose of your struggle is not to know, not to grasp or name or hear the thing. I shall now state to your hearing: that yours is the Morality of Death.

"Death is the standard of your values, death is your chosen goal, and you have to keep running, since there is no escape from the pursuer who is out to destroy you or from the knowledge that that pursuer is yourself. Stop running, for once-there is no place to run-stand naked, as you dread to stand, but as I see you, and take a look at what you dared to call a moral code.

"Damnation is the start of your morality, destruction is its purpose, means and end. Your code begins by damning man as evil, then demands that he practice a good which it defines as impossible for him to practice. It demands, as his first proof of virtue, that he accept his own depravity without proof. It demands that he start, not with a standard of value, but with a standard of evil, which is himself, by means of which he is then to define the good: the good is that which he is not.

"It does not matter who then becomes the profiteer on his renounced glory and tormented soul, a mystic God with some incomprehensible design or any passer-by whose rotting sores are held as some inexplicable claim upon him-it does not matter, the good is not for him to understand, his duty is to crawl through years of penance, atoning for the guilt of his existence to any stray collector of unintelligible debts, his only concept of a value is a zero: the good is that which is non-man.

"The name of this monstrous absurdity is Original Sin.

"A sin without volition is a slap at morality and an insolent contradiction in terms: that which is outside the possibility of choice is outside the province of morality. If man is evil by birth, he has no will, no power to change it; if he has no will, he can be neither good nor evil; a robot is amoral. To hold, as man's sin, a fact not open to his choice is a mockery of morality. To hold man's nature as his sin is a mockery of nature. To punish him for a crime he committed before he was born is a mockery of justice. To hold him guilty in a matter where no innocence exists is a mockery of reason. To destroy morality, nature, justice and reason by means of a single concept is a feat of evil hardly to be matched. Yet that is the root of your code.

"Do not hide behind the cowardly evasion that man is born with free will, but with a 'tendency' to evil. A free will saddled with a tendency is like a game with loaded dice. It forces man to struggle through the effort of playing, to bear responsibility and pay for the game, but the decision is weighted in favor of a tendency that he had no power to escape. If the tendency is of his choice, he cannot possess it at birth; if it is not of his choice, his will is not free.

"What is the nature of the guilt that your teachers call his Original Sin? What are the evils man acquired when he fell from a state they consider perfection? Their myth declares that he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge-he acquired a mind and became a rational being. It was the knowledge of good and evil-he became a mortal being. He was sentenced to earn his bread by his labor-he became a productive being. He was sentenced to experience desire-he acquired the capacity of sexual enjoyment. The evils for which they damn him are reason, morality, creativeness; joy-all the cardinal values of his existence. It is not his vices that their myth of man's fall is designed to explain and condemn, it is not his errors that they hold as his guilt, but the essence of his nature as man. Whatever he was-that robot in the Garden of Eden, who existed without mind, without values, without labor, without love-he was not man.

"Man's fall, according to your teachers, was that he gained the virtues required to live. These virtues, by their standard, are his Sin. His evil, they charge, is that he's man. His guilt, they charge, is that he lives.

"They call it a morality of mercy and a doctrine of love for man. No, they say, they do not preach that man is evil, the evil is only that alien object: his body. No, they say, they do not wish to kill him, they only wish to make him lose his body. They seek to help him, they say, against his pain-and they point at the torture rack to which they've tied him, the rack with two wheels that pull him in opposite directions, the rack of the doctrine that splits his soul and body.

"They have cut man in two, setting one half against the other. They have taught him that his body and his consciousness are two enemies engaged in deadly conflict, two antagonists of opposite natures, contradictory claims, incompatible needs, that to benefit one is to injure the other, that his soul belongs to a supernatural realm, but his body is an evil prison holding it in bondage to this earth-and that the good is to defeat his body, to undermine it by years of patient struggle, digging his way to that gorgeous jail-break which leads into the freedom of the grave.

"They have taught man that he is a hopeless misfit made of two elements, both symbols of death. A body without a soul is a corpse, a soul without a body is a ghost-yet such is their image of man's nature: the battleground of a struggle between a corpse and a ghost, a corpse endowed with some evil volition of its own and a ghost endowed with the knowledge that everything known to man is nonexistent, that only the unknowable exists.

"Do you observe what human faculty that' doctrine was designed to ignore? It was man's mind that had to be negated in order to make him fall apart. Once he surrendered reason, he was left at the mercy of two monsters whom he could not fathom or control: of a body moved by unaccountable instincts and of a soul moved by mystic revelations-he was left as the passively ravaged victim of a battle between a robot and a dictaphone.

"And as he now crawls through the wreckage, groping blindly for a way to live, your teachers offer him the help of a morality that proclaims that he'll find no solution and must seek no fulfillment on earth. Real existence, they tell him, is that which he cannot perceive, true consciousness is the faculty of perceiving the non-existent-and if he is unable to understand it, that is the proof that his existence is evil and his consciousness impotent.

"As products of the split between man's soul and body, there are two kinds of teachers of the Morality of Death: the mystics of spirit and the mystics of muscle, whom you call the spiritualists and the materialists, those who believe in consciousness without existence and those who believe in existence without consciousness. Both demand the surrender of your mind, one to their revelation, the other to their reflexes. No matter how loudly they posture in the roles of irreconcilable antagonists, their moral codes are alike, and so are their aims: in matter-the enslavement of man's body, in spirit-the destruction of his mind.

"The good, say the mystics of spirit, is God, a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man's power to conceive-a definition that invalidates man's consciousness and nullifies his concepts of existence. The good, say the mystics of muscle, is Society-a thing which they define as an organism that possesses no physical form, a super-being embodied in no one in particular and everyone in general except yourself. Man's mind, say the mystics of spirit, must be subordinated to the will of God. Man's mind, say the mystics of muscle, must be subordinated to the will of Society. Man's standard of value say the mystics of spirit, is the pleasure 0f God, whose standards are beyond man's power of comprehension and must be accepted on faith. Man's standard of value, say the mystics of muscle, is the pleasure of Society, whose standards are beyond man's right of judgment and must be obeyed as a primary absolute. The purpose of man's life, say both, is to become an abject zombie who serves a purpose he does not know, for reasons he is not to question. His reward, say the mystics of spirit, will be given to him beyond the grave. His reward, say the mystics of muscle, will be given on earth-to his great-grandchildren.

"Selfishness-say both-is man's evil. Man's good-say both-is to give up his personal desires, to deny himself, renounce himself, surrender; man's good is to negate the life he lives. Sacrifice-cry both-is the essence of morality, the highest virtue within man's reach.

"Whoever is now within reach of my voice, whoever is man the victim, not man the killer, I am speaking at the deathbed of your mind, at the brink of that darkness in which you're drowning, and if there still remains within you the power to struggle to hold on to those fading sparks which had been yourself-use it now. The word that has destroyed you is 'sacrifice.' Use the last of your strength to understand its meaning. You're still alive. You have a chance.

"'Sacrifice' does not mean the rejection of the worthless, but of the precious. 'Sacrifice' does not mean the rejection of the evil for the sake of the good, but of the good for the sake of the evil. 'Sacrifice' is the surrender of that which you value in favor of that which you don't.

"If you exchange a penny for a dollar, it is not a sacrifice; if you exchange a dollar for a penny, it is. If you achieve the career you wanted, after years of struggle, it is not a sacrifice; if you then renounce it for the sake of a rival, it is. If you own a bottle of milk and gave it to your starving child, it is not a sacrifice; if you give it to your neighbor's child and let your own die, it is.

"If you give money to help a friend, it is not a sacrifice; if you give it to a worthless stranger, it is. If you give your friend a sum you can afford, it is not a sacrifice; if you give him money at the cost of your own discomfort, it is only a partial virtue, according to this sort of moral standard; if you give him money at the cost of disaster to yourself that is the virtue of sacrifice in full.

"If you renounce all personal desire and dedicate your life to those you love, you do not achieve full virtue: you still retain a value of your own, which is your love. If you devote your life to random strangers, it is an act of greater virtue. If you devote your life to serving men you hate-that is the greatest of the virtues you can practice.

"A sacrifice is the surrender of a value. Full sacrifice is full surrender of all values. If you wish to achieve full virtue, you must seek no gratitude in return for your sacrifice, no praise, no love, no admiration, no self-esteem, not even the pride of being virtuous; the faintest trace of any gain dilutes your virtue. If you pursue a course of action that does not taint your life by any joy, that brings you no value in matter, no value in spirit, no gain, no profit, no reward-if you achieve this state of total zero, you have achieved the ideal of moral perfection.

"You are told that moral perfection is impossible to man-and, by this standard, it is. You cannot achieve it so long as you live, but the value of your life and of your person is gauged by how closely you succeed in approaching that ideal zero which is death.

"If you start, however, as a passionless blank, as a vegetable seeking to be eaten, with no values to reject and no wishes to renounce, you will not win the crown of sacrifice. It is not a sacrifice to renounce the unwanted. It is not a sacrifice. It is not a sacrifice to give your life for others, if death is your personal desire. To achieve the virtue of sacrifice, you must want to live, you must love it, you must burn with passion for this earth and for all the splendor it can give you-you must feel the twist of every knife as it slashes your desires away from your reach and drains your love out of your body, It is not mere death that the morality of sacrifice holds out to you as an ideal, but death by slow torture.

"Do not remind me that it pertains only to this life on earth. I am concerned with no other. Neither are you.

"If you wish to save the last of your dignity, do not call your best actions a 'sacrifice': that term brands you as immoral. If a mother buys food for her hungry child rather than a hat for herself, it is not a sacrifice: she values the child higher than the hat; but it is a sacrifice to the kind of mother whose higher value is the hat, who would prefer her child to starve and feeds him only from a sense of duty. If a man dies fighting for his own freedom, it is not a sacrifice: he is not willing to live as a slave; but it is a sacrifice to the kind of man who's willing. If a man refuses to sell his convictions, it is not a sacrifice, unless he is the sort of man who has no convictions.

"Sacrifice could be proper only for those who have nothing to sacrifice-no values, no standards, no judgment-those whose desires are irrational whims, blindly conceived and lightly surrendered. For a man of moral stature, whose desires are born of rational values, sacrifice is the surrender of the right to the wrong, of the good to the evil.

"The creed of sacrifice is a morality for the immoral-a morality that declares its own bankruptcy by confessing that it can't impart to men any personal stake in virtues or value, and that their souls are sewers of depravity, which they must be taught to sacrifice. By his own confession, it is impotent to teach men to be good and can only subject them to constant punishment.

"Are you thinking, in some foggy stupor, that it's only material values that your morality requires you to sacrifice? And what do you think are material values? Matter has no value except as a means for the satisfaction of human desires. Matter is only a tool of human values. To what service are you asked to give the material tools your virtue has produced? To the service of that which you regard as evil: to a principle you do not share, to a person you do not respect, to the achievement of a purpose opposed to your own-else your gift is not a sacrifice.

"Your morality tells you to renounce the material world and to divorce your values from matter. A man whose values are given no expression in material form, whose existence is unrelated to his ideals, whose actions contradict his convictions, is a cheap little hypocrite-yet that is the man who obeys your morality and divorces his values from matter. The man who loves one woman, but sleeps with another-the man who admires the talent of a worker, but hires another-the man who considers one cause to be just, but donates his money to the support of another-the man who holds high standards of craftsmanship, but devotes his effort to the production of trash-these are the men who have renounced matter, the men who believe that the values of their spirit cannot be brought into material reality.

"Do you say it is the spirit that such men have renounced? Yes, of course. You cannot have one without the other. You are an indivisible entity of matter and consciousness. Renounce your consciousness and you become a brute. Renounce your body and you become a fake. Renounce the material world and you surrender it to evil.

"And that is precisely the goal of your morality, the duty that your code demands of you. Give to that which you do not enjoy, serve that which you do not admire, submit to that which you consider evil-surrender the world to the values of others, deny, reject, renounce your self. Your self is your mind; renounce it and you become a chunk of meat ready for any cannibal to swallow.

"It is your mind that they want you to surrender-all those who preach the creed of sacrifice, whatever their tags or their motives, whether they demand it for the sake of your soul or of your body, whether they promise you another life in heaven or a full stomach on this earth. Those who start by saying: 'It is selfish to pursue your own wishes, you must sacrifice them to the wishes of others'-end up by saying: 'It is selfish to uphold your convictions, you must sacrifice them to the convictions of others.

"This much is true: the most selfish of all things is the independent mind that recognizes no authority higher than its own and no value higher than its judgment of truth. You are asked to sacrifice your intellectual integrity, your logic, your reason, your standard of truth-in favor of becoming a prostitute whose standard is the greatest good for the greatest number.

"If you search your code for guidance, for an answer to the question: 'What is the good?'-the only answer you will find is 'The good of others.' The good is whatever others wish, whatever you feel they feel they wish, or whatever you feel they ought to feel. 'The good of others' is a magic formula that transforms anything into gold, a formula to be recited as a guarantee of moral glory and as a fumigator for any action, even the slaughter of a continent. Your standard of virtue is not an object, not an act, not a principle, but an intention. You need no proof, no reasons, no success, you need not achieve in fact the good of others-all you need to know is that your motive was the good of others, not your own. Your only definition of the good is a negation: the good is the 'non-good for me.'

"Your code-which boasts that it upholds eternal, absolute, objective moral values and scorns the conditional, the relative and the subjective-your code hands out, as its version of the absolute, the following rule of moral conduct: If you wish it, it's evil; if others wish it, it's good; if the motive of your action is your welfare, don't do it; if the motive is the welfare of others, then anything goes.

"As this double-jointed, double-standard morality splits you in half, so it splits mankind into two enemy camps: one is you, the other is all the rest of humanity. You are the only outcast who has no right to wish to live. You are the only servant, the rest are the masters, you are the only giver, the rest are the takers, you are the eternal debtor, the rest are the creditors never to be paid off. You must not question their right to your sacrifice, or the nature of their wishes and their needs: their right is conferred upon them by a negative, by the fact that they are 'non-you.'

"For those of you who might ask questions, your code provides a consolation prize and booby-trap: it is for your own happiness, it says, that you must serve the happiness of others, the only way to achieve your joy is to give it up to others, the only way to

Re:music ip? (0, Offtopic)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677123)

John, I read your book and I want my money back, you boring bastard!

Re:music ip? (0)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677429)

Rommel, I read your book, you magnificent bastard!
Name that movie, using other obscure movie references. Go.

Re:music ip? (1)

NuclearError (1256172) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677935)

Get out of here, you damn dirty apes!

Re:music ip? (1)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677937)

crap through a goose

Re:music ip? (1)

dwbassett42 (752317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27678533)

I'm not sure what it says for my taste in movies that I instantly recognized this quote, but none of the earlier ones.

Re:music ip? (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 5 years ago | (#27681063)

"I'll be back."

Re:music ip? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27678589)

Screw you guys, I'm going home.

Re:music ip? (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677709)

If the first 30 seconds of a song are missing- maybe that makes youtube confident that it could be considered fairuse.

Nope. The principle of CYA says that if there's any possibility of a lawsuit, nuke it from orbit.

Re:music ip? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27677789)

nuke it from orbit.

it's the only way to be sure.

Re:music ip? (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677965)


Re:music ip? (0, Redundant)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27681743)


Re:music ip? (2, Interesting)

Joe Snipe (224958) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677819)

If the first 30 seconds of a song are missing- maybe that makes youtube confident that it could be considered fairuse

Or if 30 seconds of additional blank footage were tacked on to the beginning?

And FWIW, there is a very valid reason for assumming they aren't using this fingerprint system: They already had their own in-house created system that they based off of their thumbnail maker program. It is also limited to within 30 sec of a clip if I recall.

Re:music ip? (1)

Nova77 (613150) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677857)

There's also fingerprint library which is open source: svn://

This makes it pointless right? (2, Insightful)

Rayeth (1335201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677083)

I thought the purpose (however misguided it may be) was to prevent people from uploading copyrighted songs/music videos and re-mixing them. So if I only use portions of the song that aren't in the first 30s I'm home free? That seems silly, the system must still be under refinement or is only there to stop the most blatant offenders.

Re:This makes it pointless right? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677339)

So if I only use portions of the song that aren't in the first 30s I'm home free? That seems silly, the system must still be under refinement or is only there to stop the most blatant offenders.

I'm inclined to believe the latter. If a video doesn't use more than about 30 seconds of a recording at a time, it's likely that the video's author attempted to use the work fairly [] . I guess my video [] got flagged because I opened with a vocal-cut version of one of the songs on which I was commenting.

Whew! (5, Funny)

Serenissima (1210562) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677093)

It's a good thing no one at Youtube reads Slashdot. Otherwise they might come up with a fix! So, everyone keep this a secret! SHHHH!

Re:Whew! (2, Interesting)

Tsunayoshi (789351) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677539)

There-in lies the rub with the "all information should be free" mindset...EVERYONE gets to look at it.

I think that is a feature, not a bug.

Re:Whew! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27678621)

Which leads to the metaphysical question bugging us all: does a WHOOSH count as information?!

What is the sound of one cock slapping? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27677095)



Re:What is the sound of one cock slapping? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27677285)

* Actual size.

Re:What is the sound of one cock slapping? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27677599)

** In 248 pt.

Re:What is the sound of one cock slapping? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27677957)

** In 2.48 pt.

There fixed that for you.

Slashdot brainstorm here (5, Insightful)

eclectro (227083) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677129)

Here's an idea. Start out the video with a useless narrative for the first thirty seconds "blah blah blah skip until :30 and ignore this intro blah blah" then start the music. That way everybody is happy. All google employees are too elitist to read slashdot, right?

Re:Slashdot brainstorm here (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27677271)

lah blah blah skip until :30 and ignore this intro blah blah" then start the music. That way everybody is happy. All google employees are too elitist to read slashdot, right?

Re:Slashdot brainstorm here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27677301)

I think what they meant is that you should not use the first 30 seconds of the copyrighted material anywhere in your video, not that you shouldn't put any copyrighted material in the first 30 seconds of your youtube video.

Re:Slashdot brainstorm here (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677427)

That may not be the case as it may be too computationally intensive to process the whole five minute video that is uploaded.

Re:Slashdot brainstorm here (4, Funny)

spydabyte (1032538) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677615)

Sounds like packaging copyright material between thousands of papers and delivering it in PDF format to my university printing service to print out all my textbooks for free... except with less wasted paper.

Re:Slashdot brainstorm here (5, Funny)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677763)

Heh. I think people have already tried that.

Hi, I'm am amateur movie critic. Today I'm going to show you an example of poor film-making. blah blah blah ...

*Plays entire Star Wars: Episode I*

So, as you can see by the [cinematography jargon] and [screen writing jargon], this movie sucked and I hope you learn from it in making your own movies.

One week later:

"No! You can't take down my video. This is CLEARLY fair use, since I have OBVIOUSLY used it for educational commentary, and the entire clip was VITAL for showing how much Episode I sucked."

Re:Slashdot brainstorm here (3, Funny)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677791)

Here's an idea. Start out the video with a useless narrative for the first thirty seconds "blah blah blah skip until :30 and ignore this intro blah blah" then start the music.

Like on the radio?

Re:Slashdot brainstorm here (2, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677829)

...and then you realize, that YouTube changed the algorithm, and that its compression makes your song sound so shitty anyway, that you actually want all the uploads to be taken down. ^^

Re:Slashdot brainstorm here (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27678011)

I see where you're going with this: put an advertisement at the start :-)

Re:Slashdot brainstorm here (3, Insightful)

VeryLargeNumber (1394367) | more than 5 years ago | (#27678713)

Even better - upload the video backwards.
Someone should make backward youtube plugin for firefox. It even might autodetect backward songs and play them properly.

Re:Slashdot brainstorm here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27678829)

blah blah blah, skip this comment and go straight to the next one modded 5.

pHash (5, Interesting)

b1ng0 (7449) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677135)

This seems like a good time to pump my own open source project: pHash [] . pHash is a perceptual hashing library that computes hashes for audio, video and image files, with text and PDF hashing coming soon. We use an algorithm similar to YouTube's audio fingerprinting method but we do not only take into account the first 30 seconds. Although, it's impossible to tell from this basic test whether their algorithm truly only looks at the first 30 seconds, or if the algorithm considers them to be different audio files. If the song is only 1 minute in duration, and 30 seconds is blank, is that really the same audio file as the full 1 minute version? At some point the audio files are not really the same anymore, although the perceptual hashes should be somewhat close to each other. Please give pHash a try. We could use some feedback from the OSS community and would appreciate it greatly.

Re:pHash (3, Interesting)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677191)

Out of curiosity, how well could pHash be used to find similar songs from a list of songs? Maybe not actually similar, but similar sounding (or same mood)...?

Any ideas how one would go about doing this sort of thing?

Yeah (3, Interesting)

Brain-Fu (1274756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677827)

Music Genome []

Re:Yeah (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27678853)

Dear Pandora Visitor,

We are deeply, deeply sorry to say that due to licensing constraints, we can no longer allow access to Pandora for listeners located outside of the U.S. We will continue to work diligently to realize the vision of a truly global Pandora, but for the time being we are required to restrict its use. We are very sad to have to do this, but there is no other alternative.

If you believe we have made a mistake, we apologize and ask that you please contact us at

If you are a paid subscriber, please contact us at and we will issue a pro-rated refund to the credit card you used to sign up. If you have been using Pandora, we will keep a record of your existing stations and bookmarked artists and songs, so that when we are able to launch in your country, they will be waiting for you.

We will be notifying listeners as licensing agreements are established in individual countries. If you would like to be notified by email when Pandora is available in your country, please enter your email address below. The pace of global licensing is hard to predict, but we have the ultimate goal of being able to offer our service everywhere.

We share your disappointment and greatly appreciate your understanding.

Re:Yeah (2, Informative)

ausekilis (1513635) | more than 5 years ago | (#27678949)

Perhaps a better link for information: Music Genome Project [] . A little more detail from Pandora's blog [] .

Re:pHash (4, Interesting)

ash211 (1177227) | more than 5 years ago | (#27678049)

The problem you're describing is known in the Music Information Retrieval (MIR) world as content-based recommendation (CBR). There are a number of ways to do it, but they're all based on measuring similarity.

The idea is that people perceive songs as similar based on the characteristics they have, which are termed features. By representing a song's features in a model you can compare the models to see how "distant" they are, and then choose songs from a set that are least-distant. The work that my research group is pursuing represents songs based on timbral features (MFCCs) and rhythmic features (bpm, pulse clarity, syncopation, etc).

If you're interested in the approach, see []

Re:pHash (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27677229)

fucking pHashist...

funny not troll (1, Funny)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677507)

I dont care who ya are that there's funny

Re:pHash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27678637)

fucking cOward...

Re:pHash (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27678679)

This seems like a good time to pump my own open source project: pHash. pHash is a perceptual hashing library that computes hashes for audio, video and image files, with text and PDF hashing coming soon.

Cool! The history of these algorithms, and of databases like CDDB, is kind of depressing to an open-source guy like me. It's great to see someone doing this as an open-source project. How stable is the algorithm? If I compute a pHash today, will it still be compatible with pHashes computed next year? Any plans to make a database of pHashes? I have a music collection that contains a lot of digitized LPs, and music that's sometimes one album per file but sometimes one track per file. It would be really convenient to be able to crank out pHashes for them and get useful data automatically.

Tragic (2, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677177)

That cool tech like this is being used to prevent "piracy" instead of something more useful.

Re:Tragic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27677795)

you mean like the other cool tech that's being used for piracy instead of something cool? let's at least try to have a shred of honesty here, piracy caused an issue that made people throw money at the problem. if you think it was a waste of money than don't give them cause by supporting piracy.

or is this just another ill-considered swipe at an industry that is trying to do what any other industry would do if their product was threatened? it has all the cool factor of the 15 year old kid wearing a dead kennedys t-shirt smoking a 'boro in protest to cigarette bans.

Re:Tragic (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#27678877)

Put the horse before the horse shit, alright? Blatant abuse of copyright "law" caused a problem that was addressed by piracy, then in turn,the abusers of copyright "law" attempted to address THEIR problem with piracy.

And, your holier-than-thou attitude toward cigarettes goes hand in hand with the abuse of copyright. Some kid wants to smoke, but "THE MAN" has the badge, the gun, the club, and all the money to back up his dictates that the kid can't smoke.

Why don't you smoke a doobie and chill out with that kid, and listen to some of his pirated headbanger's music? Some head banging might do you some good, LMAO

Doesn't really matter for most people (3, Interesting)

American Terrorist (1494195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677205)

The big issue here is what Lessig talked about years ago: Free Culture

Then a car commercial parody I made (arguably one of my better videos) was taken down because I used an unlicensed song. That pissed me off. I couldn't easily go back and re-edit the video to remove the song, as the source media had long since been archived in a shoebox somewhere. And I couldn't simply re-upload the video, as it got identified and taken down every time. I needed to find a way to outsmart the fingerprinter. I was angry and I had a lot of free time. Not a good combination.

The guy who wrote TFA is upset that his largely unviewed videos didn't pass an automated test.

My beef with the system is that when culurally significant videos such as the Chinese "Caonima [] " get taken down because the song violates some copyright of a company I've never heard of on a song I've never in a million years think of buying.

Hope that link works, I had to copy it from Google since I can't even access Youtube anymore here in China.

Re:Doesn't really matter for most people (1)

American Terrorist (1494195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677217)

It's 2:30 AM, srry typos

Re:Doesn't really matter for most people (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27677289)

My beef with the system is that when culurally significant videos such as the Chinese "Caonima" get taken down because the song violates some copyright of a company I've never heard of on a song I've never in a million years think of buying.

So copyrights only apply to companies you've personally heard of and it's a song you'd buy? That's pretty stupid.

Re:Doesn't really matter for most people (1)

American Terrorist (1494195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677397)

I'm drunk and tired waiting for the English Premier League games to come on, no claims to being super insightful right now. I just meant that it pisses me off even more than it already does. If that makes any sense.

Re:Doesn't really matter for most people (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677485)

So copyrights only apply to companies you've personally heard of and it's a song you'd buy? That's pretty stupid.

I believe the point wasn't the significance of the company filing the complaint, but the content of the video being removed. If a video has a significant contribution, a larger company might be more willing to let a small infringement slide on the basis of good will, since they have other sources of income. A small company would be more likely to be zealous, since even small infringements represent a significant portion of potential income. Of course, that paradigm hardly applies in all situations, probably not even most. However, there is a point there to be made. If someone has something significant to contribute, should an allowance be made for small infringements made in pursuit of that contribution? How many would be silenced for fear of stumbling afoul of copyright issues? How many would be too many? If I'm making a free video, and am earning absolutely nothing from having made it, should I have to pay for the use of a song that provides the perfect counter-point to what I'm saying? Then again, if I'm making any kind of revenue from it, even ads on the page, yes, you should have to pay for the right to use it.

Research? (2, Insightful)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677231)

but it's something that merits further research.

Why exactly does it merit any research? This is not riddle posed by Nature — people devised this device (ha-ha), and know all the answers perfectly already, they just don't want to tell you. You are not advancing scientific progress by figuring out somebody's scheme.

You may be advancing your own knowledge and skills, but calling it "research" has no more merit, than paparazzis' "research" into celebrities' lives...

Re:Research? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677865)

So, anthropology is not research?

Re:Research? (4, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677921)

This is not riddle posed by Nature

This is one of the wonderful things about science: it doesn't matter where the puzzle comes from, the same techniques work to solve it.

Reverse engineering of this kind is one of the most useful areas of applied science, and it is as much research as any other area of scientific enquiry. It is frequently the case that there are many ways to find the answer to a puzzle, and this guy has chosen one of them based on the resources he has available. More power to him for demonstrating how good science can be used to discover what others want to keep secret.

away pedant! (1)

mkcmkc (197982) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677943)

Why exactly does it merit any research? This is not riddle posed by Nature... You are not advancing scientific progress by figuring out somebody's scheme.

Good grief. If you're trying to find out something that you can't just go look up at the library, and you're forming and testing hypotheses to do so, that could reasonably be called "research". Don't be so pedantic. :-)

(Anyway, it may well turn out that Nature is just stuff that someone already knows all the answers perfectly to and just doesn't want to tell you.)

Re:Research? (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#27678133)

The "research" only leads to working around the content filters, posting material the site operators explicitly do not want.

It would be more interesting if there was a productive application for this knowledge. Putting Rihanna songs on Youtube does not fit my idea of "productive".

Re:Research? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27678691)

It would be more interesting if there was a productive application for this knowledge. Putting Rihanna songs on Youtube does not fit my idea of "productive".

Why is it that so many people are so ready to condemn others because of their own lack of imagination?

My niece is a working print model and aspiring actress who has starred in a few very high profile music videos (the kind that get nominated for MTV's annual awards) and been featured in a few national commercials. She has put together a youtube channel to promote her career - the goal was to include a copy of very video work she has been in and title it so that her name was explicitly associated with the video or commercial. That tactic works very well for google searches - search on her name and the first page of searches includes a list of every youtube video with her name in the title.

Unfortunately, some of the videos are blocked. Some are fine - recognized as copyrighted but the nominal owner has entered into a revenue sharing agreement with youtube - but not all of them. Turns out that most of the blocked ones are already posted on youtube via official channels with very poor video quality (letterboxed and pillarboxed for example). So my niece is not able to upload high-quality versions (or even identical copies downloaded with one of the billion youtube downloaders) of those videos to her own channel in order to use them as part of a modern day portfolio/reel.

If she's able to use this guy's research, it will improve her ability to promote her career by showcasing the work she has already done.

Re:Research? (1)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#27678801)

Turns out that most of the blocked ones are already posted on youtube via official channels with very poor video quality (letterboxed and pillarboxed for example).

So, the copyright belongs to someone else, and they chose to use a lower-quality version. I don't see, how this gives your niece — although she appears in the video, she is not the owner of it — the right to post her own version...

Back to the point about advancing human progress, I don't think, a particular fashion model's success or failure have any effect on it...

Re:Research? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679163)

You are clearly unfamiliar with how hollywood works and the concepts of reels and portfolios.

Back to the point about advancing human progress, I don't think, a particular fashion model's success or failure have any effect on it...

Did I say she was a fashion model? Or are you just projecting your own pejorative attitude about the entertainment industry? Ironic you are so dismissive of the industry and yet so quick to defend an entirely bogus preconceived notion about some of their rights.

Re:Research? (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679657)

Why exactly does it merit any research? This is not riddle posed by Nature -- people devised this device (ha-ha), and know all the answers perfectly already, they just don't want to tell you. You are not advancing scientific progress by figuring out somebody's scheme.

So as long as somebody knows exactly how the system works, that's good enough for you? Fine, but that's not how all of us are wired [] . Google's knowledge of their audio fingerprinting scheme is useless to me if I want to know how it works and they won't tell me.

Making the details of these kinds of systems publicly available is a valuable service to society as a whole because it means each person who is interested in similar technology or systems doesn't have to waste his/her time repeating the same experiment. It also provides extremely useful information for average Google YouTube users who want to upload videos but don't want said videos unconditionally muted because Google's algorithms can't distinguish between fair-use samples and blatant copyright infringement.

Yes, but who analyzes the analyzers? (5, Funny)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677253)

And who fingerprints the analyzers who analyze the analyzers?

Re:Yes, but who analyzes the analyzers? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27678073)

Simple. Make it a recursive loop.

In Haskell you would do it like this:

import Helpers (loadAudio,Analyzer)
mkAnalyzer a =
  let aa = Analyzer a
  in aa : mkAnalizer aa
analyze (audio:[]) = audio
analyze (analyzee:as) = (analyze as) analyzee
main = do
  audio <- loadAudio "someAudio.wav"
  let safeAnalyzersChain = mkAnalyzer audio
  analyze safeAnalyzersChain

Of course this is verbose and not optimized, because I am still a Haskell amateur. And of course this program will never end, because I am not an idiot. ^^ But if you change the second last line to

let safeAnalyzersChain = take n (mkAnalyzer audio)

where "n" is the number of analizers you think are enough,
it should end.

Re:Yes, but who analyzes the analyzers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27679407)

But if you change the second last line to

let safeAnalyzersChain = take n (mkAnalyzer audio)

where "n" is the number of analizers you think are enough, it should end.

Hm...what about n=0?

Re:Yes, but who analyzes the analyzers? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679991)

Hmm... This would give you an empty list. So it would definitely not compile, but complain about not all cases being handled.
But the missing case could easily be added with

analyze [] = []

Of course, you would then have to handle this is the code following the last line in "main" too.

Or you limit "n" to >0.

JAVA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27677275)

J2EE Java Enterprise Edition
WSDL Web Services Description Language
EJB Enterprise Java Beans
JSP Java Server Pages
JSTL JavaServer Pages Standard Tag Library
JMS Java Message Service
JTA Java Transaction API
JAF Java Activation Framework
JAXP Java API for XML Processing
JAX-RPC Java API for XML-based RPC
SAAJ SOAP with Attachments API for Java
JAXR Java API for XML Registries
DOM Document Object Model
SAX Simple API for XML
JNDI Java Naming and Directory Interface
JAAS Authentication and Authorization Service

Please, help expand

Great. (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677291)

Now we are going to have a ton of 30sec Ops of soundless Text about how cool the author is now.

Re:Great. (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677505)

You misunderstand. It's not the video. It's the song. So cut in after the first verse, even right at the start of the song, and it's likely to pass inspection.

Fair Use (1)

Paul Slocum (598127) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677293)

There is also an option to claim fair use (although I think it uses different words) after it identifies a song. I did this for an artwork of mine on Youtube that included the first 30 seconds of a Cure song, and the video stayed. I really do think that in my case, it was fair use. But if you're just trying to upload an old Pearl Jam video, then this probably won't help.

New song padding service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27677345)

I'll release a new app that will pad all your pirated songs, and at only $10 per album it's a great deal!

Easily solved. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27677367)

From the article:

"I couldn't easily go back and re-edit the video to remove the song, as the source media had long since been archived in a shoebox somewhere."

This is easy to do. Avidemux can separate the video and audio streams and recombine them.
You don't need to go back to the raw files in your NLE to do this.

I'd rather lose the last 30 seconds (5, Insightful)

Knave75 (894961) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677403)

An unfortunate result. The last 30 seconds of most songs are not usually as interesting as the first 30 seconds.

I wonder if he tried mangling the first 30 seconds at all. For example, keep the first 5 seconds, mess up the 6th and 7th seconds, and then continue on. Or perhaps adding in a base line that would be hard to hear. Or something at the high end of the audio frequency spectrum, to annoy all those teenagers while I listen to my free music in peace.

Re:I'd rather lose the last 30 seconds (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677801)

And to make your animals go crazy? And I mean pathologically crazy, as in If it were a human, it would need strong medication an a padded room.".

If you'd have to go through all that trouble... (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677887)

...just to pass some filter, then you must think the song's very well-worth listening to.. which, to me, implies it ought to be worth buying.

If it's just some background music piece - I dunno, try another song.. plenty of royalty-free and even completely free ones (nope, they're probably not in the billboard top 100 right now - so sorry).

I'm more curious about the cases where there really IS fair use involved.. what happens in those cases.. do you get to hit a checkbox saying "I believe this is fair use, please proceed to accept my upload and continue with any potential infringement processes you believe are required."?

I'd rather lose the first 30 seconds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27678157)

As a music lover of all genres, I say that the first 30 seconds sets the mood for the rest of the track. I can't properly get into some tracks without the intros.

The last 30 seconds of most songs is a wind down, repetitious chanting of the chorus, or random instrument bashing session anyway.

Cutting off the first 30 seconds (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677413)

This hole doesn't really indentify a hole in the technology itself, just in the implementation. I'm more interested in hearing some audio that sounds the same while defeating the fingerprinting scheme. Much more interesting.

Re:Cutting off the first 30 seconds (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679151)

Hearing audio that sounds the same doesn't seem that interesting to me.

Being able to generate it, on the other hand...

Shazam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27677453)

Does anyone how how Shazam works? it does a remarkably good job of song identification, even based on small samples from the middle of a song

Acapellas are flagged! (1)

Riceo (702999) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677491)

I've noticed that is picks up vocals very well. There are some songs on Youtube that have had their individual parts lifted from guitar hero and uploaded for people to learn each part. Instrumental parts are fine, as are most full instrumental songs. However, vocal parts ARE picked up by the fingerprinter. (Search Muse acapella for examples)

least harmful alteration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27677517)

do the phase shift. A little phase shifting won't ruin the song much more than the compression already does.

MusicBrainz (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27677697)

MusicBrainz works exactly as described.

Two comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27677805)

First if this is really how the system works, why cut the first thirty seconds, when you can just pad the beginning with 30 seconds of..introduction?

More importantly, I can't believe they'd design the fingerprinting to be that trivial to fool. We have tons of knowledge about fingerprinting methods and there are dozens of ways to make this smarter.

A much more robust system will take a random sample of small clips from the entire video. The sample can still be 30sec long (total), but harder to fool. We can take N random samples from each of the original songs, create fingerprints and put them in a data structure which makes retrieval efficient. When a video is uploaded we choose at random one of the N fingerprinting schemes and check against the fingerprint database. Even if users learn all of the N schemes, they can succeed only with probability 1/N for each clip - much worse if they don't know the schemes. Also a user can be blocked if an attempt to upload the same (unauthorized) thing twice is detected. This is nothing like crypto security but it's better than fingerprinting a fixed prefix of the video. I am not taking into account the error probability of the fingerprints themselves.

With reasonable N efficiency should not suffer much (in particular the efficiency of checking a new video will be about the same as in the single fingerprint system - making the fingerprint databases can take longer, but it does not have to be in real time).

I am not saying that the thing I wrote above is that good or let alone sophisticated. Just pointing out that it is very easy to do better.

Who Cares?? (0, Troll)

jowilkin (1453165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27678007)

I didn't read TFA, but why should I care how YouTube does this??? It's not any kind of AI breakthrough, and the only reason to subvert the system is to do something illegal...

Re:Who Cares?? (1)

gobbo (567674) | more than 5 years ago | (#27678179)

the only reason to subvert the system is to do something illegal...

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

1: There are many fair use possibilities that this system could infringe on.

2: Copyright infringement's illegality varies depending on your local legal system.

3: The fuzzy areas of fair use can arguably be extended pretty far into mashups and remixing.

google is not able to crop anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27678281)

probably google has to create the fingerprints itself and it's slightly more promising to ask for the first 30s seconds of each track than saying to the rightholders "give us a full copy of every song you ever made, we want to build a copyright tool"

I can't reproduce this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27678291)

I tried this for myself. I muted the first 30 seconds of a copyrighted song and tried uploading it, but it didn't made any difference. Same for adding 30 seconds of silence in front, changing the pitch, etc.
Meh, I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Maybe YouTube just doesn't have 433 in its database yet.

Re:I can't reproduce this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27678659)

That should have been 4'33". You ruined it, /.!

Patent filed with explanation of fingerprinting (3, Informative)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 5 years ago | (#27678335)

Youtube uses Audible Magic's audio fingerprinting technology, which is based on this patent by MuscleFish: []

Re:Patent filed with explanation of fingerprinting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27678467)

Absolutely correct. From the Audible Magic website ( ) :

Google's video sharing site, YouTube, has partnered with Audible Magic for content identification. Audible Magic provides content identification services that identify copyrighted music on user videos uploaded to YouTube.

Re:Patent filed with explanation of fingerprinting (2, Informative)

BabyDuckHat (1503839) | more than 5 years ago | (#27678793)

This is actually very useful information for someone looking for ways to defeat the filter, in that is lists the features of the audio that are used for generating the fingerprint. A successful work-around would most likely require modifications to several aspects of the signal.

From the patent:

The feature vector thus consists of the mean and standard deviation of each of the trajectories (amplitude, pitch, brightness, bass, bandwidth, and MFCCs, plus the first derivative of each of these). These numbers are the only information used in the content-based classification and retrieval of these sounds. It is possible to see some of the essential characteristics of the sound by analyzing these numbers.

If you cut off the first 30 seconds.. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27678749)

Its called fair use.

Auditude (1)

hitfu (1480309) | more than 5 years ago | (#27678987)

I met the founder of, a competitor to the company that supplies audio fingerprinting for YouTube. Fascinating guy, but even more fascinating technology. They claim they can identify any clip as short as 5 seconds from any portion of the original recording.

You can test them out on myspace, I'd be interested to see how well they stack up in real world tests to YouTube's provider.

30 seconds of silence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27679001)

what if you added 30 seconds of background noise to the beginning of the audio file (instead of deleting 30 seconds)?

Rick Roll Tragedy (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679603)

The real tragedy is that a rickroll is no longer as easy. You never know how long a link might work.

Here's a thought... (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679779)

Don't submit videos with music by the big labels. Using creative commons music or music from labels who approve of the free advertising will simultaneously keep you from having your videos taken down and provide more visibility to non-RIAA-label artists, helping to make their cartel useless.

Re:Here's a thought... (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 5 years ago | (#27680193)

I once uploaded a vid with music by Ulrich Schnauss, published by Domino Recording Co. I don't know if they're a big label or not but they were cool with me using the soundtrack because they get to post an iTunes 'buy now' button and an 'buy now' button on my movie's page.

On the plus side, an enlightened record company can use this as a means of getting free advertising and driving sales as long as they don't find the video objectionable.

On the negative side, who's to say that all record companies are going to be so enlightened, and who's to say that their idea of objectionable is the same as the end user's? I'd hate to upload a video criticising, say, George W "shit for brains" Bush only to have it taken down because some record label executive happens to be a Fox News fan.

Someone should do this for (2, Interesting)

illectro (697914) | more than 5 years ago | (#27679919)

imeem have been doing this for the last few years, and they don't use audible magic, they used the Snocap fingerprint system which apparently was good enough for them to buy Snocap. Their business model has always been built around using the content identification system to make sure the right people get paid for audio played on the site.

imeem is primarily used by people uploading and sharing audio, so using an audio fingerprinting system seems more appropriate than youtube relying on an audio fingerprinter for video content.

What about Shazaam? (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 5 years ago | (#27680115)

If they start using whatever Shazaam uses, we're screwed. In any case I'm sure this is the start of an arms race in which the fingerprinter keeps getting more and more elaborate to counter the effects of people trying to fool it.

Obligatory cynicism (1)

drwav (577314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27680401)

Any use that doesn't result in me getting obsene amounts of money is NOT FAIR!
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