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CDDB Shutting Down Media Jukebox

CmdrTaco posted about 14 years ago | from the remember-when-cddb-was-cool? dept.

News 156

shaun writes: "According to this thread on the Media Jukebox Talkback site, CDDB is refusing connections from Media Jukebox until the Media Jukebox guys sign an "exclusive agreement" to use CDDB's database. Taking a shared public resource private has destroyed their karma, but what can be done?" Are grip and xmcd next? How do you enforce exclusivity for an open source program? Everyone should use FreeDB instead anyway: It's everything that was once good about cddb, including that little free part that made cddb itself the defacto standard before it got too big for its britches.

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Filling up FreeDB (2)

grahamsz (150076) | about 14 years ago | (#822507)

What we need is a local proxy for CD requests that users can install (and use with all the same software the cddb does). This proxy could then randomise the agent string (if required) and firstly search FreeDB and then CDDB if FreeDB aint got it.

In the instance that FreeDB doesn't have the album in question then the proxy will automatically fill it in using the cddb info. Nothing wrong with that since they cant copyright the data - only protect the service.

Re:Successor for CDDB ? (1)

Vakor (8219) | about 14 years ago | (#822508)

www.cdindex.org is what you're looking for. It's flexible, open, and nice. Unfortunately, it's not terribly complete, and also (mostly because of that) doesn't have a very large database yet.

OT: Attaboy (1)

Luminous (192747) | about 14 years ago | (#822518)

Though there are far greater injustices out there that need to be corrected, this is a good place to start.

This isn't sarcasm, I just want to thank you for this sentiment. You are right, there are greater injustices that need to be solved, but you don't fix the world in one fell swoop.

I think you are absolutely right that this is a perfect project to test the mettle of this community. Let's see how big of an impact we can make. Then we can realistically scale our efforts towards other 'good causes'.

Some notes about FreeDB (2)

mkaiser (20342) | about 14 years ago | (#822519)

Hi, please, don't use the web-based search. It's a "proof of concept". Nothing more.

Re:use freedb as primary and cddb.com as sec. (1)

evilquaker (35963) | about 14 years ago | (#822520)

I've been doing that for months as well. The only complaint I have is that often the CDDB entries are rather shoddy in quality, so it's good to check them for typos before sending them on.

This part of the developer FAQ is just hilarious: (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 14 years ago | (#822521)

I am a freeware developer. Why should I sign the commercial license agreement?

In almost all cases, you should authorize the commercial license agreement - even if your application is distributed as freeware. Here's why:

First, remember that the commercial license is still completely free of charge as long as you do not exceed 250,000 users registered with the CDDB2 service. If you deliver your application upon payment, or deliver your application as a shareware application where users voluntarily send you a fee, you are clearly a commercial developer and should sign the commercial license agreement. However, there is no charge if you stay under 250,000 users registered with CDDB.

If you deliver your application for free ("freeware") but derive some indirect revenue such as banner ads on the web site where you are distributing your application, then your application is considered a commercial application by CDDB and you should authorize the commercial license agreement. However, again, you are not charged unless you exceed 250,000 users.

If you deliver freeware, don't have banner ads, or any other way of deriving revenue from your user base, but there is a possibility you might do something to derive revenue in the future (emphasis mine), you should still sign the commercial license agreement. Again, this costs you nothing if you are under 250,000 users.

---clip---

Once an application exceeds 250,000 users registered with the CDDB2 service, there is a modest licensing fee. Simply, our fee schedule is as follows:
0 to 250,000 registered users - Free
250,000 to 1 million registered users - $9,500US
Each additional million registered users - $9,500US

Talk about sweeping statements... so, if I write a free-as-in-speech CD player, it becomes popular and over 250,000 users register with it, I have to cough up a cool $9,500?!?

Re:Trends (2)

Luminous (192747) | about 14 years ago | (#822522)

I'm one of the first people to agree that making money is a good thing. I like having a roof over my head, food in my belly, the ability to have luxury in my life, and all of this comes about because companies are making money.

I think the element of this that really sticks in people's craw is the fact a good portion of the labor that went into cddb was volunteer with the idea that contributing that labor guaranteed free access to all the information. The correct way for cddb to handle this would have been to have clearly stated their business model, giving those who contributed the option to contribute knowing that they would eventually be paying for their own labor or to contribute to a different project.

I also believe there are other ways for cddb to make money off of that information (which I don't mind them doing, I just mind them earning money off of the free labor from the very people who performed that labor).

I agree. (1)

rdnzl (60280) | about 14 years ago | (#822524)

That should be "TOO big for its britches..."

nk

Wasn't CDDB populated by people like us?? (4)

erat (2665) | about 14 years ago | (#822525)

All annoyanced with CDDB aside, I question the ethics of taking information submitted by people around the globe and making it closed/proprietary.

Did Network Solutions buy them when I wasn't looking? This sounds like something they would do...

The other cool thing about FreeDB (4)

Bwah (3970) | about 14 years ago | (#822528)

is that the source code and the database contents are available for FTP. This means I can setup a server on my local net to avoid slow disc IDs at work (due to overloaded links) and to avoid having to go online at home. (of course i guess this is only a problem for us poor schmucks who still only have dialup access ... :)

dv

Successor for CDDB ? (3)

Nachtfalke (160) | about 14 years ago | (#822530)

I like CDDB as much as the next geek, but I think it's a little too limited, for example when it comes to samplers. Are there any other, free alternatives to CDDB that offer more flexibility, like a different artist for each track ? Maybe even something using XML, so it's buzzword-compliant *g*

Trends (1)

r2boston (222949) | about 14 years ago | (#822532)

Sadly, this is the trend with all free things - and understandable, because they DO have to make money. It's just a pity that they can't make money in a way that's more beneficial to the community as a whole.

Chris

Techies hiring techies. Recruiting done right. [r2services.com]

Re:Database Copyright Laws (4)

happystink (204158) | about 14 years ago | (#822533)

Wrong. Absolutely wrong. Unless CDDB are threatening to sue anyone for making a similar database, this has nothing to do with copyright whatsoever. They just want to be paid to let mediajukebox use their service. I am saying this is right or wrong, but this has NOTHING to do with copyright.

I guess anytime anyone does anything that could involve IP in any way whatsoever, Slashdot readers have been conditioned to start crying, shouting "this is evil!" and threaten to start 5 sourceforge projects copying whatever product they are currently angry at, so don't feel bad, it's not your fault for getting this wrong.

sig:

CDDB claims a protected algorithm (5)

Karmageddon (186836) | about 14 years ago | (#822534)

Many posters here are talking about having entered songs into the CDDB and they wanted the info shared.

Just to clarify, CDDB doesn't claim to own the song titles (the record companies do?), they claim to own the encoding that turns the length of all the tracks on a disc (the "uniqueness") into a code number to be looked up in the database. You are free to take the song titles from their database. What they'll try to stop is any use of that algorithm.

I just thought I'd clarify because it makes a difference to how to circumvent their theft of everyone's hard work. The distributed.net idea would not suffer from this problem, BTW, not to mention it would be fun. SETI@CDDB! :) I'm sure d.net would never go for it, though, they'd rather bore us all to tears with a yet longer attempt to crack some obscure n-bit variant of a public key system. (d.net: we know that things can be cracked by brute [yawn] force. do something more interesting!]

Re:CDDB took others' work and sold it. (1)

raygundan (16760) | about 14 years ago | (#822535)

The safeguard, as I understand it, is the ability for anyone to FTP themselves a copy of the FreeDB database and software, and to set up shop on their own.

The erosion continues (4)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | about 14 years ago | (#822536)

The CDDB is a great concept, but poorly executed. Some of the information is woefully inaccurate, particularly on my obscure CD's. Typos abound in the listings as well.

An "open source" (for want of a better word) replacement would need to have a verification step. Any data submitted, before being added, should be checked by someone. Maybe have a crew of volunteers (hell, I'd volunteer) who spend a few minutes a day verifiying entries. Maybe have the volunteers list their musical preferences so they would get music they know. With enough volunteers there would be a good chance that 95% of CD's would be already known. Failing that, a simple verification system to check spelling before admission would be good. (Okay, so some songs are spelt wrong deliberately...)

I hope someone with the resources decides to run with this "open source" idea.

It's too bad that a boycott wouldn't do anything. The only people with a clue as to what these corporate types are doing make up a real small percentage of the user base. *sigh*

Mark my words. Google will be next.

---

Re:CDDB took others' work and sold it. (3)

Tough Love (215404) | about 14 years ago | (#822537)

Are there safeguards to prevent FreeDB from doing the same thing some day?

From the FreeDB site [freedb.org] :
As Escient has been changed the terms of licence for accessing CDDB, some programmers complained that the new licence includes certain terms that threatens them in a way they cannot accept: If you want to access CDDB, you are not allowed to access any other CDDB-like database (this one, for example) and - while accessing the database - the programmer has to ensure, that a CDDB-logo is displayed (Funny sidenote: One programmer told me, that his cd-player will be banned if he is refusing to display the CDDB-logo. His software is a console-based program (it does not produce any graphical output) for blind people...). Always being able to choose is one of the advantages if the internet. If Escient forbids the use of other sources now, you can easily think of things coming next... Furthermore, many people submitted the information without charging anybody and they thought their help would remain free, because the initital licence was GPL (see: www.gnu.org for more information on GPL). Everything submitted to this site will be GPLed
Looks safe to me.
--

Easy to fool (2)

akey (29718) | about 14 years ago | (#822538)

Unless Media Jukebox is CDDB2-enabled [cddb.com] , it would be a simple matter to fool the server -- just substitute a different user-agent. No problem. The only way CDDB can know that the client is lying is to 1) reverse engineer (ie. use an http spy) the software in question, or 2) force everyone to use CDDB2. Eventually, the original CDDB is supposed to be turned off in favor of CDDB2.

My ripper [sourceforge.net] (win32 only...), can be configured to use any CDDB out there, but I'm hesitant to disable the "official" *.cddb.com servers, since it should be the user's decision what to use.

---

Re:As shown by Judges Kaplan and Patel (1)

happystink (204158) | about 14 years ago | (#822539)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I can't believe the amount of hyperbole in this post. If you were just to read comments like this on slashdot you'd think programmers were treated like second class citizens and persecuted by the government constantly.

"man, those poor programmers, they make more money than anyone and get huge job perks, but apparently the government is right on the cusp of outlawing them! it must be true, i read it oni slashdot.org!". Simmer down buddy, the government doesn't care about you.

sig:

Re:The erosion continues (1)

Knightmare (12112) | about 14 years ago | (#822550)

I don't understand you people... companies have to make money. I want to know what fairy land you are living in that people the size of Google can just survive without income. Have you read what kind of hardware they have backing up their search engine? Eventually the bill has to be footed somehow and how dare them try to do it by pulling in revenue!

Re:Filling up FreeDB (2)

akey (29718) | about 14 years ago | (#822551)

What we need is a local proxy for CD requests that users can install (and use with all the same software the cddb does). This proxy could then randomise the agent string (if required) and firstly search FreeDB and then CDDB if FreeDB aint got it.

Randomizing is good, but it would be better to randomly pick from the list of valid user-agent strings, taken from their list of "approved" applications. CDDB would be forced to either scrap the original service -- which I don't think they'll do until they reach critical mass of users for the second-generation (read "proprietary extension designed to snuff out the competetion") software -- or they would simply have to deal with it.

The question is, would they sue? Could they sue? The original server was GPL'ed, and any application can use the original documentation or source code to talk to a server based on the original protocol.



---

There is the other alternative... (4)

sheldon (2322) | about 14 years ago | (#822552)

They could just shut off their servers and go home.

Bandwidth costs money. The number of applications which support the CDDB concept has increased tremendously since it's initiation. Consider for instance Microsoft's media player which ships with Win98/Win2000 now includes CDDB access.

We're talking millions of users out there. Do you seriously think someone's home DSL can handle this?

There is no way that the service could ever be sustained without some sort of commercial venture.

Although it's certainly a service which the RIAA could take up as a free value-add to the music community. Not sure why they don't do it on their own since they already have access to this information without having to deal with people hand entering it and getting it wrong.

Re:Easy to fool (1)

Ayon Rantz (210766) | about 14 years ago | (#822553)

The only way CDDB can know that the client is lying is to 1) reverse engineer (ie. use an http spy) the software in question, or 2) force everyone to use CDDB2.

Or 3) only accept connections from registered clients. Which would be way worse than the blocking of a single bloated windows-only toaster/coffee-machine.

Not that I care much since I've been using FreeDB for all this stuff as long as I've been able to anyway.
--

Re:Although not every judge has a functional logi. (1)

the_other_one (178565) | about 14 years ago | (#822554)

MS Judge 2000

Fully RIAA and MPAA compliant

Can :CueCat with FreeDB? (2)

GeekLife.com (84577) | about 14 years ago | (#822555)

Is anyone working to get :CueCat coding cross-referencing with FreeDB? I want a MyCDCollection.com account so that I can scan in my UPCs and get the song listings and other info that's currently in CDDB/FreeDB (savable and searchable).

(Slashdot story combining...Off-topic or insightful?)
-----

useless link (1)

mosch (204) | about 14 years ago | (#822556)

do you have a link to 'cddb2-enabled' that doesn't get us non-developer folks a username/password prompt?
----------------------------

Re: I'm off topic now, but read me anyway. :) (1)

tycage (96002) | about 14 years ago | (#822565)

I'm sure d.net would never go for it, though, they'd rather bore us all to tears with a yet longer attempt to crack some obscure n-bit variant of a public key system. (d.net: we know that things can be cracked by brute [yawn] force. do something more interesting!]

I've got to disagree with this. d.net is now working on the Optimal Golomb Ruler (OGR) project [distributed.net] . This is a project which has actual uses beyond just proving that it can be done. I'll leave the site above and it's links to explain it further.

Re:Rape the cddb, make it ours again. (2)

bk1e (176877) | about 14 years ago | (#822566)

Too bad that violates the CDDB license agreement, which says that if your program accesses CDDB then it cannot access any other databases.

Re:Database Copyright Laws (1)

MyopicProwls (122482) | about 14 years ago | (#822567)

I guess my point would be along the lines of unfair competition. If the database were uncopyrightable, then MediaJukebox could sue CDDB for unfair competition (refusal of service unless they sign an exclusive contract). But if the database is copyrightable then CDDB could actually sue someone who tried to get the information. This IS an issue with how much protection we give to database companies.

MyopicProwls

If you can't beat them, litter them ... (2)

thomasj (36355) | about 14 years ago | (#822568)

I have come to the conclusion, that the worst thing that can happen to CDDB is that the database is littered with erroneous entries.

If we all decided to fill in data that wasn't correct, the base would render to be totally useless.

Just an idea.

Re:Rape the cddb, make it ours again. (1)

Laplace (143876) | about 14 years ago | (#822569)

Fine, have it dump the contents into a file on your hard drive, then use another program to upload the values (maybe DeCDDB?), and delete the file on your hard drive. No database, no liscensing problems, and you can let CDDB burn in it's own greed.

Boycot CDDB (2)

molog (110171) | about 14 years ago | (#822570)

One easy way to take care of this for Media Jukebox and everyone else. Don't use them. If everyone says uses some other service they will have no customers. Don't use clients that use it. If you have a favorite client write them and ask to not use CDDB and use FreeDB instead. If they want to be like this then they should be left behind.
Molog

So Linus, what are we doing tonight?

Re:Rape the cddb, make it ours again. (1)

BJH (11355) | about 14 years ago | (#822571)

Tough luck. Grip will let you set any database you like; when ripping a CD, use CDDB for the first retrieval of CD/track titles, etc., switch the settings over to FreeDB, and submit them. I do it all the time.

Re:Rape the cddb, make it ours again. (2)

ethereal (13958) | about 14 years ago | (#822572)

I don't recall agreeing to or signing any license agreement when I installed Linux, fired up the KDE CD player, and added freedb.org to the setup info. I don't see how a license which the user never sees can be enforced; if CDDB doesn't want to send me CD track info, they have the power to have their server bounce me. As long as they make the info available publicly, the public will make use of it, license be damned.

This copying from CDDB to FreeDB sounds cool - I would do that but apparently all of my CD's are already in FreeDB. I haven't had a failed lookup in months.

Re:CDDB claims a protected algorithm (1)

Rural (136225) | about 14 years ago | (#822573)

Great idea! We could just use Gnutella, and have the CD player program search it for the disc ID. As a transition a free portal that emulates a CDDB host but actually searches Gnutella (also CDDB or the free one so there are more chances you'll get a disc) could be set up.

A few things... (2)

mosch (204) | about 14 years ago | (#822574)

Firstly, they do have other ways of making money. They're owned by escient [escient.com] who makes all sorts of "convergence" entertainment products.

Secondly, you're right, they took over cddb after a useful amount of seed work had been done for free. Quite ingenious, and quite evil of them. And like most evil things, it's been quite profitable for them too.

The reason for the exclusvity clause in their contract is so it's hard to compete. I think the open source community should take the time to use freedb, or help on cdindex, so escient doesn't end up being the only purveyor of this information in the world, in which case I think we can all be sure that it won't be free anymore.
----------------------------

Re:A few things... (4)

Golias (176380) | about 14 years ago | (#822575)

It seems to me that what we need is a new boiler-plate agreement for stuff like this... just like the GPL and BSD licenses are set up to easilly protect free software.

An Open Database Contract would clearly what uses are allowed to the company or individual that maintains it, and protect the rights of those who contribute to it.

We should perhaps get an FSF lawyer or somebody to help us draft such a document, and then refuse to contribute our efforts to anybody who does not use it (or something very much like it).

If we don't come up with something like this, future publicly-contributed content will suffer, because nobody will be able to be sure that the product of their labor will not suddenly become unavailable to them.

Solution? Ask CDDB ... send to FreeDB (1)

Spoing (152917) | about 14 years ago | (#822576)

I've used CDDB enabled programs, some that have support for multiple databases (both CDDB and FreeDB if you like).

How many support queries to both CDDB and FreeDB, and sending an updated entry to FreeDB if it doesn't have it?

Re:Ug... paying (1)

ethereal (13958) | about 14 years ago | (#822577)

Well, at least most Internet companies don't have a business model that involves charging your users for info they freely submitted to you. Even Napster had a better plan than that!

CDDB GPL? (2)

Matt2000 (29624) | about 14 years ago | (#822578)


On the FreeDB site they say that the CDDB server was GPL'ed originally. Is this the case? Is that source code still available or have they attempted to change the license?

Other than that, it is my firm belief that a company will reap what it sows and once enough people get sick of them then things like FreeDB will take off.

Re:The erosion continues (1)

wirefarm (18470) | about 14 years ago | (#822579)

Actually, I was just a bit surprised to find out that I was expected to do their work for them. When do I get my check? If they've decided to go commercial, using whatever small percentage of their database that I populated, shouldn't I expect a cut?
We all submitted CD information in good faith, expecting it to remain free. Why didn't it?
Face it. They took something that used to be free and turned it commercial. They can now go promptly to hell, for all I care.
Good riddance. Once this community turns against them for this kind of behaviour, they're pretty much screwed, unless they go into heavy karma-repair mode.

proprietary and closed are not interchangeable (1)

kaisyain (15013) | about 14 years ago | (#822580)

Closed and proprietary are different things. When you submit a patch for GCC you have to assign copyright to the Free Software Foundation; it becomes proprietary. Then it is up to the FSF to decide whether or not it will be open or closed.

I'm sick of this attitude. (1)

tswinzig (210999) | about 14 years ago | (#822581)

All annoyanced with CDDB aside, I question the ethics of taking information submitted by people around the globe and making it closed/proprietary.

I question the ethics of relying on CDDB to put up the resources to house the entire known database of CD's and to allow anyone to search this database of knowledge FOR FREE.

In exchange, I estimate less than one percent (probably WAY LESS than one percent) of the people that use this resource have actually contributed to it by submitting the tracks on their current CD. Why is this number so low? Because the number of CD's is far outweighed by the number of people using CDDB's service.

So, what exactly is the problem with CDDB trying to make money off of this venture? Just because you may have submitted the track list of one or two CD's -- not an original work by you, I might add -- you expect to get this service at no cost.

Well that's fine -- but someone must pay for it. If it's not going to be you, it's going to be the maker of your music software. And last I heard, the only "payment" CDDB required was that you use them exclusively in your software, and you show the CDDB logo for a few seconds while the information is downloaded.

Stop being so selfish.

-thomas

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

Re:Offtopic: slashdot blocking RCN? (1)

kisrael (134664) | about 14 years ago | (#822588)

As far as I know, I'm not using a proxy. My computer is directly connected to the cable modem, though I'm running WinProxy so my girlfriend can connect with her laptop.

Too Bad for MJ (1)

chow (111336) | about 14 years ago | (#822589)

I don't know how many people around here use it, since it's a Winblows program, but MediaJukebox is just about the coolest freaking MP3 player/organizer I've used since Digital DJ and Grip. They kept the product free until CDDB and Thompson started beating them up on licensing fees, and even though they charge now, you only have to pay if you want the services depending on the licensing fees (MP3 encoder and CDDB). Admittedly it's still Beta, but these guys really interact with their user community and are super commited to fixing any bugs. I'm not used to Windows software where I can regularly chat with the engineers and have them fix my problems within days and auto-update the software for me. If you do need to use a dreaded Redmond product, I highly recommend them, and I hope they switch to FreeDB.

Re:Database Copyright Laws (2)

BJH (11355) | about 14 years ago | (#822590)

Don't bet on it. I seem to remember a ruling a while ago where a database can be copyrighted even if the information it contains is in the public domain.
The gist of the ruling was that the creation of the database in and of itself resulta in a copyrightable work, thus making it a breach of copyright to copy the database without the owner's permission.

Re:Rape the cddb, make it ours again. (3)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 14 years ago | (#822591)

agreed.

its what I've been doing for yrs now.

I point, primarily, at freedb. if that doesn't resolve, I point at cddb. if there's a match there a dialog pops up and says "should I submit entry to freedb?". I always say 'yes' unless the data is so wrong its just not worth it.

the neat part of opensource is that I can change the 'id string' to say whatever I want. there is NO way to block my queries.

they collect the work of The People yet try to band some for ridiculous reasons. I don't agree with this logic so I ignore their 'rules'. and I suggest others do too.

(if I was going to write or publish my cddb lookup app, I would never hardcode in the db servernames. I'd hint/suggest to the user that they can set whatever env vars they want and that will be the search order. the app, then, would not be making policy and can't be sued or harassed; only the end user could. that would be my solution to this whole madness)

--

Re:This part of the developer FAQ is just hilariou (1)

BJH (11355) | about 14 years ago | (#822592)

I like the "modest fee" bit. How many people make that much money from banner ads anyway? They're living in a dreamland...

Or, try CD Index (2)

Booker (6173) | about 14 years ago | (#822593)

cdindex (www.cdindex.org) was another one that got started when the first CDDB fiasco appeared...

---

Re:The erosion continues (1)

Fourthstring (50094) | about 14 years ago | (#822594)

Google is getting free feedback from people who complain... Companies in the past would have almost died for such barometers. I'm sorry if you don't think consumers should voice their opinions.

I do understand that one danger is that the vocal ones are inevitably the complainers. But those working at Google, who specialize in understanding information, should understand this fact.

CDDB mirror sites (4)

mattdm (1931) | about 14 years ago | (#822595)

In the old days, when the original cddb was free, there were a few dozen CDDB mirror sites. A co-worker and I ran one for a few years. When the thing went proprietary, they of course closed down all of the mirrors. They promised to send us a gift in exchange for all of the work we'd done for them (and bandwidth we'd given them), and asked for our address, which we gave (along with a request to reconsider the decision). Never got anything.

--

Re:FreeDB (1)

Mr Shark (18717) | about 14 years ago | (#822596)

From the grip README:

CDDB notes
==========

I have declined to sign a license agreement with Escient, the company who owns "www.cddb.com" and runs the CDDB server "us.cddb.com". Their license would (among other things) have required me to place advertisements in Grip and restrict you, the user, to use only their databases. I am against this commercial use of the track information submitted by users such as yourself. For this reason, I encourage you to use free servers, such as "freedb.freedb.org".

Re:CDDB took others' work and sold it. (2)

tswinzig (210999) | about 14 years ago | (#822597)

CDDB is a perfect example of the disingenuous (but all too common) practice of taking work done (typing in track names) by many in a cooperative effort

You act as if CDDB ripped you off. Look at the flipside -- did you ever offer to pay CDDB for the service they provided? Why not? It's useful isn't it? It costs them money to run that service. Why should you get it for free?

the work was given with the understanding that it would continue to be available free without condition

Work? Well, I suppose typing in 10-15 track names by way less than 1% of the people that use CDDB constitutes work. Anyway, why did the people doing this "work" think CDDB would continue to be free without condition? Was there a clause that I am not aware of that said it would be so?

Again, why should it be? They provide a useful service.

BTW, where's the RIAA? Surprised their panties aren't in a knot about lists of album names, titles, and track times being available for download. Or has Gracenote paid them off?

Another stupid comment. Ever heard of "fair use." A list of track names is not a copyright infringement if the work being sold is the MUSIC described by the track names, and not the track names themselves.

Why am I not surprised by the attitude on slashdot? The linux-mentality is that any service should be free, just because there are some people in the world that COULD or WOULD set it up for free.

Try arguing on the merits here and face facts. You want CDDB to continue to provide and pay for an absolutely free service for you and your friends.

Why should they?

-thomas


"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

Re:annoyed at cddb... (1)

tswinzig (210999) | about 14 years ago | (#822598)

i entered in over two dozen of my cd's into cddb back in it's early days. i did it with the intention of sharing that info with everyone

And you have, thanks to CDDB.

i'm not sure that there was a notice at the time saying that the data could be taken into a closed form, but maybe there was.

Ummm... you submitted track names to a company, whose sole service is to respond to search requests and send your info to those people. You don't even own the right to those track names. If anyone, the artist does.

You submitted that data in exchange for the service that CDDB provides. It's that simple.

-thomas


"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

Whats this about CDDB being GPL? (1)

infra-red (121451) | about 14 years ago | (#822599)

Saw this on the FreeDB site [freedb.org]

Furthermore, many people submitted the information without charging anybody and they thought their help would remain free, because the initital licence was GPL

Was CDDB GPL'ed when it started or at some point during its life? If so, does that version contain this "encoding" in it?

Re:I'm sick of this attitude. (1)

erat (2665) | about 14 years ago | (#822600)

Here's the deal... CDDB has solicited data from users for quite some time w/o telling them (in my observation) that what they're giving to CDDB is going to be sold back to them at a later date. This, my friend, is questionable.

I have no qualms with people making money for providing a service. Be up front about it, though. CDDB has received "donations" from me, and at no point in time was I made aware of the idea that I or someone else would have to purchase back this data. In my opinion, that's like borrowing your friend's lawn mower and then asking that he pay you to get it back. I put my information in CDDB so I would not have to store it in some other way. I also figured my info was going to be shared with others. Just like many companies offer resources to house mail lists w/o expecting compensation, I figured CDDB was going to share my information in an open fashion. Had I known they were going to lock down the data and sell it at a later date, I would have taken my info elsewhere.

If that makes me selfish, so be it. I still think it's wrong to ask for info w/o stating that it's going to be proprietary at some point in the future.

Re:proprietary and closed are not interchangeable (2)

erat (2665) | about 14 years ago | (#822601)

The example you used isn't the greatest... If you submit a patch to the FSF, it's going to be open and available to the general public. If someone offers a patch to the FSF and asks that it remain closed, the FSF will reject it.

If a service is up front about how it will handle information, people who have information to submit will be able to make a solid judgement on where they would like to direct their info. If someone does not want a patch to GCC to be open to the public, they will know not to submit it to the FSF. Likewise, if I had known that my contributions to CDDB were going to be locked down at a later date, I would have directed the data to a service that would not put restrictions on it.

Re:I'm sick of this attitude. (2)

tswinzig (210999) | about 14 years ago | (#822602)

Here's the deal... CDDB has solicited data from users for quite some time w/o telling them (in my observation) that what they're giving to CDDB is going to be sold back to them at a later date. This, my friend, is questionable.

To me, it's not questionable. You submit data for your one or two CD's that aren't in there. In return, you get the CDDB service for the rest of your CD's which are... seems INCREDIBLY FAIR to me. By the way, since when are they "selling" the data back to us? They are simply setting rules for programmers that use the CDDB with their programs. That is how they will advertise and make money.

I have no qualms with people making money for providing a service. Be up front about it, though.

How aren't they being up front about it? What if they had no idea how popular and expensive it would be to run CDDB back when they started it? Maybe they planned to make money off of advertising on their site, and it hasn't worked out. Are companies not allowed to change their minds?

I put my information in CDDB so I would not have to store it in some other way.

So you're trying to say that you find the CDDB service worthless, and that you only submitted your info to share it with others that also find it equally worthless?

-thomas

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

The annoying thing about CDDB (1)

vperez (162398) | about 14 years ago | (#822603)

Just wondering if most of the info on FreeDB is actually correct. I've put in CDs and had them lookup CDDB and come back with people's handles and URLs as Album names. Or something even more annoying is people labeling track names with the track number in them (ex: 01.song 1, 02.song 2). Talk about annoying... This is the main problem when you let anybody submit data. The data is only as accurate as the people submitting it...

Rape the cddb, make it ours again. (4)

billcopc (196330) | about 14 years ago | (#822604)

Why not just start a mass backup of the CDDB into FreeDB and pick up where it left us off ? Just query every single possible disc-id and keep it somewhere warm. IANAL, but since this is information that was publicly submitted in the first place, I don't think they can sue anybody for copying what they copied in the first place. Although not every judge has a functional logic module in his/her brain.

FreeDB (1)

Znork (31774) | about 14 years ago | (#822605)

Well, last I looked, grip already uses FreeDB by default (or maybe that's just the default Helix config), and I hadnt even noticed. So, if cddb goes the way of self-annihilation through irrelevance, no big loss.

Ug... paying (1)

Policetape (226370) | about 14 years ago | (#822606)

This seems to be the way internet companies do business. First offer the product free until you have a large enough customer base, and then start charging them, and lose your whole customer base. If they were going to charge for their service they should have started from the begining, because now people will just flock to an alternitive, and they will lose whatever little revenue they would have gotten by going down a diffrent route for revenue (ie. advertisements)

Re:The other =sad= thing about FreeDB (2)

nickol (208154) | about 14 years ago | (#822608)

I'm sorry. I'm practical
Just went to FreeDB and entered 'Queen' as request. Here's what I got :
1: Deacon Blue / Queen of The New Year (Single)
2: Queensrÿche / Greatest Hits
3: Queens of the Stone Age / Rated R
4: Queens of the Stone Age / Rated R
5: Queensryche / Rage For Order
... 17: Element / Red Meat & Beauty Queens E.P.
23: Freddie Mercury / Queen
25: The Royal Philarmonic Orchestra / Queen's Rhapsody
This means that they have bad db format. Or wrong query format. Why didn't they just copy CDDB's format ?

Time to test our power (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 14 years ago | (#822611)

Why not just start a mass backup of the CDDB into FreeDB and pick up where it left us off?

Right on. This looks like an absolutely clear example of good versus evil. Though there are far greater injustices out there that need to be corrected, this is a good place to start. Lets test our power.
--

use freedb as primary and cddb.com as sec. (3)

scraggles (15540) | about 14 years ago | (#822613)

I use grip with freedb as primary. If freedb doesn't have it and cddb.com does, grip will prompt to update your primary server with the data off the secondary. That way freedb will become as good a hit rate as the proprietry one. Scrag.

CDDB took others' work and sold it. (4)

alecto (42429) | about 14 years ago | (#822615)

CDDB is a perfect example of the disingenuous (but all too common) practice of taking work done (typing in track names) by many in a cooperative effort without permission (the work was given with the understanding that it would continue to be available free without condition), then closing it off for commercial gain. See also Deja (Usenet posts--older archive removed).

Are there safeguards to prevent FreeDB from doing the same thing some day? Had CDDB been required to pay authors some sum ($1?) for each CD cataloged, they likely would never have dared to choke this stuff off.

(As an aside, if I had written MediaJukebox, I'd randomize the client identifier or masquerade various "authorized" clients (just like changing the user agent field to avoid sites that discriminate based on browser (or block wget)) Then if cddb (now <puke&gtGracenote&lt/puke>) blocked MediaJukebox they'd have the people who paid (or tagreed to conditions or kowtowed in some way) them upset. Then they could sue, causing more publicity for FreeDB :>)

BTW, where's the RIAA? Surprised their panties aren't in a knot about lists of album names, titles, and track times being available for download. Or has Gracenote paid them off?

I was just wondering about this recently (1)

wirefarm (18470) | about 14 years ago | (#822618)

I'm tempted to write a perl program to begin querying cddb with random ID's and populating FreeDB.
IIRC, cddb used to be freely available.
I used to submit enties and I once or twice downloaded the whole cddb file to use as sample data for database projects. (Maybe it was IMDB...)
How exactly do things like this become private?(CDDB, IMDB, whois...)
People contribute their time and effort to building a public database and some ########s turn it into some private business. Then they limit who can see it.
(Probably it boils down to who owns the hardware.)
I guess there is no more good will good faith efforts when the pointy-haired set get involved.
I don't get it. These things THRIVED before there were restrictions - why do these petty little dotcoms think they can change the rules and expect to remain viable?
I expect that I'm not the only one who no longer types in song titles and submits them to cddb - Let them do their own typing from now on...
Tell me more about FreeDB - I'm listening.

Jim in Tokyo

Re:Rape the cddb, make it ours again. (2)

mindstrm (20013) | about 14 years ago | (#822619)

No need for this. No need at all...
freeDB is already highly populated.. and if it's missing something.. submit it!

That's how CDDB got populated in the first place. It's easy, and the cumulative effect is amazing.

Just turn your back on CDDB. This behavior is rediculous.

What about open directories? (1)

icqqm (132707) | about 14 years ago | (#822620)

Not that it would happen, but if they wanted to, could a directory like Dmoz [dmoz.org] (which apparently cannot respond to emails from prospective editors) shut out their site from those who would use it freely? What do we have to ensure that something like this won't happen? What about a site that doesn't distribute its content all over, like SourceForge?

Re:use freedb as primary and cddb.com as sec. (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 14 years ago | (#822621)

yes, I have to admit that I started with the sources from 'grip' and hacked on it.

I haven't yet added the auto-randomize of the client-id, but if I ever get rejected simply by my client-id name, I'll certainly strike back by either emulating one of the standard agents or just rotating between random names.

cddb: give it up and free the database you got FREE from your users!

--

cddb ref in kenwood car audio ad! (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 14 years ago | (#822622)

while looking for a head car audio head unit ('radio') I found that kenwood is releasing an mp3 player that uses regular iso cd images.

they referenced the cddb logo and said something like 'use our software to label your discs'.

so if cddb has got kenwood's attention, you know it went mainstream.

--

Re:There is the other alternative... (1)

thomasj (36355) | about 14 years ago | (#822623)

They could just shut off their servers and go home.

Bandwidth costs money. The number of applications which support the CDDB concept has increased tremendously since it's initiation. Consider for instance Microsoft's media player which ships with Win98/Win2000 now includes CDDB access.

We're talking millions of users out there. Do you seriously think someone's home DSL can handle this?

There is no way that the service could ever be sustained without some sort of commercial venture.

The problem came into this world, when CDDB decided that you could not mirror it. If it could freely be mirrored, it would be mirrored by anyone, who just thought it could be fun. A simple Perl script could direct request to the nearest.

Distribution is really the answer here, but this is insane. The Danish telephone company, Tele Danmark, thought that they could charge people for using there web based phone books, but immidiately a number of portals began to build up the same service, and they eventually had to give in and make it a free (sponsored) service.

Re:CDDB took others' work and sold it. (1)

rblum (211213) | about 14 years ago | (#822624)

You want CDDB to continue to provide and pay for an absolutely free service for you and your friends. Why should they?

Because we'll make them. Information will be free.

As to why they should provide it for free - they got users to enter information under the false pretense that the service would be free.

The linux-mentality is that any service should be free, just because there are some people in the world that COULD or WOULD set it up for free.

Exactly. As long as somebody WOULD set it up for free, let him set it up for free. If he relies on user input to make it into a valuable service, he's morally bound to keep it free. (Ugh. Moral. Ethics. How do you convert that into cash?)

Re: I'm off topic now, but read me anyway. :) (1)

Karmageddon (186836) | about 14 years ago | (#822625)

you're mostly right, and I'm clearly out of date -- thanks for the correction.

distributed.net did get very boring for a long while and I stopped paying attention. OGRs are hard to find and there's no substitute, so it's good to see all the effort being put to something useful. It is a little bit boring still, but that shouldn't be a measure of the hard work of science.

Re:Wasn't CDDB populated by people like us?? (1)

TokyoBoy (217214) | about 14 years ago | (#822626)

I Agreed - 100%. I have also contributed to CDDB and feel that my effort is not rewarded by making it closed. I feel it is unfair, and unethical. My understanding was that it was free and I was contributing to a free resource.

This almost sucks as bad as CmdTaco's bias against Caldera 8^)

It bothers me greatly that this would happen with CDDB.

--

Re:Easy to fool (1)

akey (29718) | about 14 years ago | (#822627)

Or 3) only accept connections from registered clients. Which would be way worse than the blocking of a single bloated windows-only toaster/coffee-machine.

... which is unfortunately exactly what cddb2 does. It forces each application to register to get developer and application IDs, and then each user must in turn register. This is also the reason why I'm not going to ever implement it.

And just FYI, they're putting a linux client for cddb2 out to beta...

---

Does this mean... (2)

Greyfox (87712) | about 14 years ago | (#822628)

The CDDB guys hate blind people? There's a headline for you...

Well, That might be the cure...;-) (1)

wirefarm (18470) | about 14 years ago | (#822629)

They are abusing our trust - so what can we do?
Start submitting 'corrections' to entries...
If they are relying upon public input for their bread and butter, start putting flies in the butter.
I would guess that a fair percentage of slashdot's readership *built* their database and have the ability to render it unusable.
What legal obligation do we have to keep paying their salaries by populating their databases? Let's say I stick in a CD by the backstreet boys (supposing I owned one,) What if I decided that the the first song was called 'Some crappy song by backstreet boys' and the next was called 'Another crappy song by backstreet boys'.
Who's to say that there is anything wrong with that?
In another way, it's been happening - If you pop in a CD of J-Pop, half the time, the song titles come back as 'Japanese' since the title is written in Kanji. Is one more subjective than the other?
CDDB - I know you are reading this. Don't alienate this group. You'll regret it.

Jim in Tokyo

(PS - If you're right about google being next, I will sell my computer...)

Re:CDDB took others' work and sold it. (1)

delysid-x (18948) | about 14 years ago | (#822630)

You should relax, sounds like you have alot of anger.

Re:CDDB took others' work and sold it. (1)

tswinzig (210999) | about 14 years ago | (#822631)

Because we'll make them. Information will be free.

The information *IS* free. Why should their *service* be free as well?

As to why they should provide it for free - they got users to enter information under the false pretense that the service would be free.

It was the users themselves that formed this false pretense. How is that the fault of CDDB?

Exactly. As long as somebody WOULD set it up for free, let him set it up for free.

True enough.

If he relies on user input to make it into a valuable service, he's morally bound to keep it free.

Why? That is absurd. You are providing input to CDDB. In return, you get to use CDDB for free. If a programmer wants to use CDDB's service to enhance their program, why shouldn't they have to adhere to CDDB's rules?

And since when has CDDB cost you a fucking dime?

-thomas


"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

Re:Successor for CDDB ? (1)

mini me (132455) | about 14 years ago | (#822632)

What about examining the individual song for certain sound patterns or something and use that to query to database server? That would work for any media, (CD's, MP3's, Radio, etc., etc.)

Please ask them to remove your subscriptions (1)

sporri (70882) | about 14 years ago | (#822633)

Well they might not be able to but send your email to support@cddb.com telling something like.

I have submitted some query's to your database because I thought it to be GPL'd or running under similar licence. I am not happy with your change of licence and want my submissions out of the database.

Please remove all my submissions

Sincerely yours.

Re:Wasn't CDDB populated by people like us?? (1)

extar-bags (161628) | about 14 years ago | (#822634)

you know what? i don't think media jukebox is who you should be worrying about, since CDDB is the one banning them, and not the other way around.

----------

FreeDB needs help (5)

Jamie Zawinski (775) | about 14 years ago | (#822635)


I agree with others who have said that all this whining about CDDB is pointless, since FreeDB exists, and has a huge amount of data in it already.

However, FreeDB very much needs help. There are a number of bugs and horrible misfeatures in it, and the main developer seems to have close to zero time to work on it. Pretty much any time I've found a problem, his response has been, ``yeah, too bad I don't have any time.''

Not that there's anything wrong with that: he's doing a big service to all of us by keeping it running at all. But, if any of you do have the time and ability, it seems to me that FreeDB desperately needs a co-developer.

Re:CDDB took others' work and sold it. (1)

rblum (211213) | about 14 years ago | (#822636)

And since when has CDDB cost you a fucking dime?

I don't know about fucking dimes - mine just sit'n'wait. But I guarantee you (want to bet?) that this is only the first step. Once they nailed you to CDDB as the only provider (That's one of the requirements to get the license!), they'll start charging the user. Just give it time.

First law of the open market - if you CAN charge for something, you WILL

Re:Rape the cddb, make it ours again. (1)

Ayon Rantz (210766) | about 14 years ago | (#822637)

Why not just start a mass backup of the CDDB into FreeDB and pick up where it left us off ?

This sounds like a nice effort for distributed.net [distributed.net] :) The disc-id is an 8-digit hex number, making for ca 2.6 billion combinations.

Although not every judge has a functional logic module in his/her brain.

Implying that they have a brain in the first place...
--

annoyed at cddb... (3)

kevin lyda (4803) | about 14 years ago | (#822638)

i entered in over two dozen of my cd's into cddb back in it's early days. i did it with the intention of sharing that info with everyone. i'm not sure that there was a notice at the time saying that the data could be taken into a closed form, but maybe there was.

it certainly solidifies my resolve to publish my code under the gpl and not any other license. this kind of crap pisses me off and the leeches out there don't even get the moral equivilant of heartburn when they close off access to the very people that built their system. yet another reason to hate suits.

Re:Wasn't CDDB populated by people like us?? (2)

Hammer (14284) | about 14 years ago | (#822639)

Official notice to Media Jukebox!
The data I have submitted to CDDB belongs in the public domain and you cannot ban the free use thereof.

Re:Wasn't CDDB populated by people like us?? (1)

TheReverand (95620) | about 14 years ago | (#822640)

It's too late now.

Database Copyright Laws (3)

MyopicProwls (122482) | about 14 years ago | (#822641)

See now this is the problem with allowing a company to 'copyright' a database which contains otherwise uncopyrightably data. The fact that the president's name is Bill Clinton is obviously public domain knowledge, but if I put his name (and, say, all the other presidents' names) in a database, all of a sudden it's copyrightable?

In the same way, cddb is full of information which is not only public domain but which was largely submitted by users of the system anyway! I know I've submitted CD track information to cddb before.

How have lobbyists been /so/ successful in convincing lawmakers that everything needs to be protected by copyright?

MyopicProwls

This is bad (1)

Ummite (195748) | about 14 years ago | (#822642)

This should be open source code, open database, and we should be able to be mirror at any time.

GraceNote going for the banknote (1)

hrieke (126185) | about 14 years ago | (#822643)

Humm... it's all coming down to the almighty dollar.

Although I did check out their faq that they claim that they recieve about 200 new entries / corrections to their database from "dedicated users". [cddb.com] Since so much of their IP is from 3rd parties, maybe a class action lawsuit should occure from the unpayed workers asking for a piece of the pie...

Interesting quote from freedb.org's site... (5)

grunby (90338) | about 14 years ago | (#822644)

From: Freecddb's Why page [freedb.org]
"(Funny sidenote: One programmer told me, that his cd-player will be banned if he is refusing to display the CDDB-logo. His software is a console-based program (it does not produce any graphical output) for blind people...)."

Re:I'm sick of this attitude. (1)

SquidBoy (208635) | about 14 years ago | (#822647)

So you'd see it as okay if someone borrows you lawnmower and starts renting it out to people, or if GNU take software you've contributed to thinking it was Free, and start selling it?

Without the users CDDB would be nothing, and by attacking open-source development, CDDB are attacking their users.

Re:As shown by Judges Kaplan and Patel (1)

gantzm (212617) | about 14 years ago | (#822649)

> Simmer down buddy, the government doesn't care about you.

Are you sure?

M.G.

Re:CDDB claims a protected algorithm (5)

rcw-work (30090) | about 14 years ago | (#822651)

Just to clarify, CDDB doesn't claim to own the song titles (the record companies do?), they claim to own the encoding that turns the length of all the tracks on a disc (the "uniqueness") into a code number to be looked up in the database. You are free to take the song titles from their database. What they'll try to stop is any use of that algorithm.

Whether this is true or not, it's pathetic. FreeDB uses the same algorithm.

Anyway, this is a description of the algorithm just so you can see how stupid it is:

The discid looks like a 32 bit hex number, but in reality it's not - it's an 8 bit checksum, a 16 bit number representing the total length of the disc in seconds, and an 8 bit number representing the number of tracks on the disc.

It's mind-warpingly simple. Ignoring MSF offsets for the sake of discussion, this is how it's done:

Get the length of all the tracks in frames, like so:
22047 44492 69957 85152 113637 129910 148045 165852 178462 200282 215427
Divide them all by 75 so you have track lengths in seconds:
293 593 932 1135 1515 1732 1973 2211 2379 2670 2872
This is the really really brilliant part - Add all the decimal digits together like so:
2+9+3+5+9+3+9+3+2+1+1+3+5+1+5+1+5+1+7+3+2+1+9+7+3+ 2+2+1+1+2+3+7+9+2+6+7+0+2+8+7+2
It's 161 or 0xa1. Convert the length of the disc and number of tracks to hex too (0xc87 and 0xc) and put them together - 0xa10c870c. This is only a little bit off from the real discid (a30c850c), and only because of the MSF offsets I skipped over.

Read the cd-discid source code [lly.org] for the full algorithm.

I would be utterly amazed if they could protect this algorithm in court - it's literally just addition.

Re:Successor for CDDB ? (2)

logicTrAp (2864) | about 14 years ago | (#822659)

www.cdindex.org is trying to come up with a flexible alternative, but I don't think they have anything usable yet.

CDDB is ok for what it wants to do - given a cd in a drive, id it, but it's way too limitted as a generic media database. Hopefully a better effort will succeed.

microsoft site locked me out (1)

mantis78 (170556) | about 14 years ago | (#822660)

i guess soon we will not be able to log onto microsoft and friends' site using netscape hehehe... sorry stupid joke (not even funny)

Re:Rape the cddb, make it ours again. (5)

nickol (208154) | about 14 years ago | (#822661)

No need to ' query every single disk-id '. Patch software to use FreeDB as primary source, CDDB as secondary and to COPY contents found in CDDB into FreeDB.
Then just sit down and listen.

Offtopic: slashdot blocking RCN? (1)

kisrael (134664) | about 14 years ago | (#822662)

Hi- sorry for an offtopic post...
when I try to hit slashdot from home, I get an Apache screen saying "You don't have permission to view / on this server" or somesuch, whether I'm in Netscape or IE. From work it's fine, from my old academic account via lynx it's fine. My home connection is a cable modem via RCN. Any idea if I'm being blocked at the slashdot server level for some reason?
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