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More Napster Than You Can Shake A Copy-Protected MP3 At

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the make-it-stop dept.

Music 180

An assortment of Napster news. Napster put out a press release, mirrored below, talking about their plans for the subscription Napster service to include strong copy protection - so you can pay Napster in subscription fees, storage space and bandwidth for files you can't use, and you can transmit them to other people who can't use them either. What a great business plan! The RIAA submitted their proposal for the injunction against Napster - it isn't pretty. Napster may have to block all 2.5 million of the RIAA's songs, as soon as the RIAA can figure out all their names. And Lessig sounds the battle cry for peer to peer - nothing you haven't heard before, but perhaps inspiring nonetheless.


Napster Announces Key Building Block of New Business Model Bertelsmann Subsidiary Digital World Services Will Work with Napster to Enable Secure Management of Transferred Files

Redwood City, CA and New York, NY (February 16, 2001) -- Napster today announced progress on the development of a key aspect of the technology necessary to implement a new, membership-based business model supported by the recording industry. The solution, which enables secure administration of transferred files within a peer to peer structure, has been in the works for several months and will be implemented by Digital World Services (DWS), a Bertelsmann subsidiary with extensive experience in innovative digital rights management solutions.

"Today's announcement underscores one key fact: the real questions about Napster's future are economic, not technical or legal. Our alliance with Bertelsmann and the Bertelsmann eCommerce Group was our first important step toward a model that makes payments to artists, songrwriters and other rightsholders. This solution is further evidence of the seriousness of our effort to reach an agreement with the record companies that will keep Napster running, reliable, and enjoyable," said Hank Barry, Napster's Interim CEO.

Barry reiterated that Napster hopes to move to a membership-based service as soon as possible.

The solution the two companies have been working on will maintain the peer to peer structure of Napster, but will allow in the future restrictions to be placed on what can be done with the transferred files, such as limits on the ability to burn music files onto CDs.

"To work with Napster on the design and operation of a key component of its new business model is an extraordinary opportunity for DWS," said Johann Butting, CEO of Digital World Services. "The successful combination of Napster's very compelling user friendliness and popularity with an architecture that addresses the needs of rightsholders will be a very significant step for secure sharing of content over the Internet."

The technology will enable the sharing of MP3 files to which a protection layer will be added as the file is transferred from one Napster user to the other. The Napster client will be enhanced to support this protection. The solution will not use any existing multi-purpose DRM but a new security architecture that is specially tailored to the requirements of file-sharing.

"We are extremely pleased to partner with Digital World Services in bringing together and operating a key aspect of the technology we need to preserve file sharing and build an industry-supported business model. Through this agreement with DWS and the work we have done together to date, the architecture for one important component of our new model is now in place; we are building out this aspect of the system," Hank Barry added.

"We have been working with Digital World Services for several months to design this solution. They really understand the technologies involved and are sensitive to the user experience. We are confident that the new system will allow us to accomplish key goals of the record companies in terms of restricting use, while still maintaining and improving the performance and service levels of the Napster system," said Napster CTO Eddie Kessler.

About Napster Napster is the world's leading person-to-person file sharing community. Napster provides music enthusiasts with an easy-to-use, high quality service for discovering new music and communicating their interests with other members of the Napster community. Napster's software application enables users to locate and share music files through a user-friendly interface, and features instant messaging, chat rooms, and Hot List User Bookmarks. Shawn Fanning, then an eighteen year-old freshman at Boston's Northeastern University, founded Napster in 1999. In October 2000, Bertelsmann AG and Napster announced the formation of a strategic alliance to further develop the Napster person-to-person file sharing service. In January 2001, edel Music and TVT Records joined the alliance. This year, Napster won several Wired Magazine Readers Rave Awards, including Best Music Site, Best Innovative Start-up, and Best Guerilla Marketing.

About Digital World Services Digital World Services provides Digital Rights Management (DRM) solutions and services enabling the convenient use to digital works by making the process transparent for the consumer, retailer and publisher while protecting the owners' copyrights. The company offers clearinghouse services such as rights clearing, financial settlement, and administration of usage information. Digital World Services are experts in the digital delivery of music, content hosting, system integration, project management and distribution platforms. Based in New York City and Hamburg, Germany, Digital World Services is a Bertelsmann subsidiary.

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It won't work. (2)

localroger (258128) | more than 13 years ago | (#424643)

OK, for free you get to listen a few times or for a few days. We all know how easy it is to break a system like that, and they are counting on most people being to lazy or computer-illiterate to bother. Maybe they're even right.

For a fee, which will have to be reasonable (and they seem pretty smart about this part) you get to burn CD's or download to your Rio, but not to email the unencrypted file to your friends. Anybody see the problem here? A CD is the unencrypted file. The most clueless newbie can take this CD, re-rip it, and walla, one unencrypted .mp3 goes right back onto Napster.

The job is even easier if the fee-paying member downloads it to his Rio, because chances are his Rio requires an unencrypted .mp3 (and they must realize, as they seem to realize re: CD's, that users will not accept a system that requires them to buy new hardware).

Then of course there are the spoofing and ID problems mentioned by others. Napster cannot use watermarks or music-recognition software because, remember, Napster itself never sees the music file. The music goes straight from my 'puter to yours, without passing through their server, so if I named the file "medieval - king's singers - greensleeves" but it actually plays Jennifer Lopez, how are they supposed to figure that out?

I don't expect the forces arrayed against Napster to accept their proposal because, clueless as they are, they are smart enough to see how easy this system will be to circumvent. No crypto system has ever lasted long with millions of messages being passed, and it won't be long before someone will build an easy to use bypass and distribute it to 50 million of their closest friends.

Filename copyright? (1)

really_blurry (163189) | more than 13 years ago | (#424644)

"If they can figure their names" Does this mean that they will claim copyright on the filenames? If my band is called Sandman and we make a song called Metallica will "Sandman-Metallica.mp3" be blocked because I have used an illegal filename?

Re:boycot (1)

eostrom (14923) | more than 13 years ago | (#424650)

I'm more inclined to boycott the bad, and support the good. I just wish the lines dividing the two were clearer...

Actually it's not that hard to spot the RIAA productions. The RIAA mostly represents five companies: EMI, BMG, Warner Brothers, Sony, and Universal. If you look at the outside of the CD, the name of one of those companies will almost always be somewhere in the fine print. If there isn't, it's probably not a major-label CD, and you should buy it.

You won't have a perfect success rate:
  • There are smaller labels that are in the RIAA but are independent. You can learn what these are, or you can decide they probably don't deserve your boycott because they're not the ones that hold the reins.
  • There are always changes in the music industry, and you may pick up a CD from a label that was independent when it was printed but has since been absorbed.
  • There are some CDs with no copyright notice on the outside. Most of these are from tiny labels, but some of them might be from major labels.

But you'll still be right ninety-some percent of the time.

I'm not, incidentally, taking a position on the morality or pragmatics of an RIAA boycott. (I tend to avoid the major labels, which is why I know how to do it, but I'm not thoroughly consistent, and I do it mostly for non-napster reasons.) But if you want to do it, it's not that hard to do a pretty good job.

Re:Can they fight the haX0rs? (2)

jmp100 (91421) | more than 13 years ago | (#424652)

You can calculate a metaphone key. This is a reduction of the word to a more abstract pattern. It's how dictionary.com knows that when you type "thier" you really mean "their".

You can't kill information piracy (1)

Korth (50341) | more than 13 years ago | (#424661)

Peer-to-peer is here, and it's here to stay. And there's nothing anyone can do about it.

Napigator shows over 200 non-napster.com
servers. And Napster is only one of the many peer-to-peer sharing utilities.

Napster clones may be the most convenient way to download music, but they are not the only way. You can still download music via HTTP, FTP, NNTP, E-mail, IRC and so on... if you're bored you can look at some of the ways suggested at http://decss.zoy.org/ .

Re:I bet record sales actually go down (2)

Idolatre (197068) | more than 13 years ago | (#424663)

It will hurt, but it's not the RIAA labels that will be hurt. It will hurt the smaller labels that make true music that's not advertised on radio. That's what the RIAA wants because the smallers labels are "stealing" profit from them by making their artists known.

The RIAA claim they are against napster for piracy, but their real threat is loosing market share because of better artists than theirs.

It's probably true that people who "pirate" mp3s
buy more CD's because of napster, but that's because they found something better to listen to than the music they heard on the radio, in which they were not interested at all. Since they like what they download, they are more likely to want to buy it.

boycot (2)

joss (1346) | more than 13 years ago | (#424664)

The record companies can judge for themselves how much napster has hurt their sales if the majority of former napster users immediately boycot all CD purchases from major record labels. I believe napster users spent far more on CDs than average. Personally I have vowed to not buy any CDs for at least 3 months. I urge other people who are irritated by the RIAAs handling of this affair to do likewise. If they think they will see a surge in sales as a result of declaring war on their best customers, we need to reeducate them.

A Way round this? (4)

GC (19160) | more than 13 years ago | (#424666)

You could just number the songs you share 1.mp3, 2.mp3, 3.mp3 and so on.

To get an Index of what 1, 2 & 3 are you have to offer a copyrighted song to that user who shares those files.

Both parties can then generate trust.

It would be really interesting to see an article on game-theory specifically looking at strategies for peer-to-peer music Exchange.

Prisoners Dilmma... :-)

Re:It won't work. (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 13 years ago | (#424667)

Then of course there are the spoofing and ID
problems mentioned by others. Napster cannot use watermarks or music-recognition software because, remember, Napster itself never sees the music file. The music goes straight from my 'puter to yours, without passing through their server, so if I named the file "medieval - king's singers - greensleeves" but it actually plays Jennifer Lopez, how are they supposed to figure that out?
They can build the watermark checking algorithem right into napster.

Can they fight the haX0rs? (3)

stomv (80392) | more than 13 years ago | (#424676)

So, once they get the names right, what will they do about permutations?

How many people misspell Springsteen as Springstein?

You get the drift. Can't users just misspell, and do it intentionally? Sure, its not a total solution, but it seems like it would work out some of the time...

For the love of god (4)

wuice (71668) | more than 13 years ago | (#424682)

The RIAA has won the battle, but they've lost the war. If we can't use Napster anymore, we'll find another way to rip off our favorite artists in peace. It's an inconvienence, but no agency, business or industry can stop us from our god-given right to rip people off. They should ask the software world how successful they've been with warez. After that, they should give the fuck up and let us steal in peace.

Let them block the names... (1)

Operandi (231803) | more than 13 years ago | (#424686)

We can just md5 the names of the mp3s on our HD and search for the md5 version of what we're looking for. Or something

(Slightly OT) Napster inspired initiatives... (5)

Leon Trotski (259231) | more than 13 years ago | (#424687)

Say what you will about the ethical justification of copying other peoples music, but at least Napster has sparked off an impressive amount of innovative projects. Here is something I came across recently: Docster [oss4lib.org] .

For the goatsex paranoid, here's a short abstract:

Imagine all the researchers you know, with a new bibliographic management tool that combined file storage with a napster-like communications protocol -- docster. Instead of just citations, docster also stores the files themselves and retains a connection between the citation metadata and each corresponding file. Somewhere in the ether is a docster server to which those researchers connect. They're reading one of their articles, and they find a new reference they want to pull up. What to do? Just query docster for it. Docster will figure out who else among those connected has a copy of that article, and if it's found, requests and saves a copy for our friendly researcher.

Of course, we cannot do this. Libraries depend too much on copyright to attack the system so directly. But what if we focused instead on altering the napster model enough to make it explicitly copyright-compliant? After all, many cases of one researcher giving another a copy of an article are a fair use of that article. Fair use provides us with this possibility and it's not a giant leap to argue that perhaps coordinated copying through such a centralized server could constitute fair use, especially if docster didn't compete with commercial interests.

Well, it's still a big leap, but think of the benefits. Say there's an article from 1973 that's suddenly all the rage. It doesn't exist online yet, so a patron request comes to you from some other library, and you've got the journal, so you fill the request. But forty-eight other researchers want that article too. If that first patron uses docster, any of those other folks also using docster can just grab the file from the first requestor. If others don't use docster, they can request a copy from their local libraries, who -- I hope -- do use docster. Nobody has to go scan that article again, and suddenly there is redundant digital storage.

Sounds good, no?

My current choice for P2P alternative. (2)

Operandi (231803) | more than 13 years ago | (#424690)

ALPINE. No matter what you guys say, it is a damn good solution. The best thus far IMO. *You* get to control the number of peer connections you maintain, the number of queries you make, the rate at which those quries are distributed to the peer network, the number of queries you will respond to from other peers, the number of file transfers, etc. Also the proxy idea sounds damn cool.

Re:membership-based service (1)

ByTor-2112 (313205) | more than 13 years ago | (#424691)

Actually, someone should create a napster "proxy" that will make queries on your behalf. Since a connection TO napster is not necessary to exchange files, you can still trade for free. The SDMI/DRM requirements will be what "kills" napster

Re:Let them block the names... (1)

kodiar (226287) | more than 13 years ago | (#424692)

I'm sure there will be some freeware decoder*cough*DeCSS*cough* available so you can fix your mp3s soon after this happens anyway.
Billion dollar industry, somebody will hack it for free.

Re:What exactly is going to be blocked? (1)

Idolatre (197068) | more than 13 years ago | (#424693)

Considering a file copyrighted by default might be a solution to this. To mark a file as freely distributable, an artist would have to sign it with a digital certificate and indicate what kinds of right he would like to grant.

An audio CD could include a data track with a digital certificate that can sign only the tracks on that CD, or also all of the artist's previous works.

Since copyrighted music has been around for decades, making it the default case isn't really wrong. It would however have to be implemented in a way that can't be circumvented, while still giving to the purchaser the rights to unlimited backups and transfers to other media. The only thing that would really need to be disabled is the wide spreading of copies of the works.

Re:What exactly is going to be blocked? (1)

Bob Costas (234537) | more than 13 years ago | (#424695)

The point isn't to actually block them, but just to make napster a giant pain in the ass (moreso than it already is). Forcing users to rename files in order to share them, and by that also making them difficult to search for, is one way to effectively decrease the usability of napster.

Re:DRM storage (1)

rking (32070) | more than 13 years ago | (#424696)

I agree that most napster users will move to other apps to get their free music fix. But what if the hard drives and other storage mediums don't allow files to be stored that aren't signed with some sort of industry certificate?

What, any files at all? How would you sell hard drives that are that crippled?

Or you mean files stored in a particular format? In that case you'd just use a different format. Once encrypted the hard drive can't possibly know what's in the file.

Re:What exactly is going to be blocked? (1)

rking (32070) | more than 13 years ago | (#424697)

It would however have to be implemented in a way that can't be circumvented

Presumably you mean a way that would take more effort to circumvent than you'd expect anyone to be willing to put in? I don't see how a copy protection system that can't be circumvented could even be possible. If something can be made in the first place then it can also be copied.

Re:boycot (3)

kennylives (27274) | more than 13 years ago | (#424712)

I believe napster users spent far more on CDs than average. Personally I have vowed to not buy any CDs for at least 3 months. I urge other people who are irritated by the RIAAs handling of this affair to do likewise.

I'm not sure that it has been proved that there is a causal relationship between Napster usage and the increased sale of CDs. In fact, I doubt that that point can be sufficently proved to lay the argument to rest. Personally, I have purchased more CDs as a result of discovering new things on Napster, but I'm employed, and make enough money to be able to afford to purchase CDs to be 'legal' with the music I have (I subsequently re-rip the CDs to have high-quality MP3s on file). I seriously doubt that this is the norm; I suspect that most folks who grab just the tracks they want are not doing the same. Many are, but many != most.

That said, I think the reverse is also true - it's very difficult, if not impossible, to define a causal relationship between Napster use and a percieved loss of CD sales. But, as is so often the case, perception is reality, and the RIAA uses this perception to justify the lengths to which they're willing to go to prevent the sharing of 'their' content, as we're all aware.

I'm also conflicted over this proposed boycott of CDs. Clearly, I'm never going near the 'new, improved' version of Napster, and I will encourage all those I know to stay away from it as well. I suggest that we'd all stay away from an encumbered, crippled version of Napster. However, CDs, as a competing technology, are very open. I can rip 'em, copy 'em, combine tracks onto 'mix' CD's, and so on. Aside from who 'owns' the content, and what the're doing, CDs are a nearly ideal carrier for the music.

I'm also envisioning a future where a couple of trends collide to create a very undesirable situation:

1. The 'new' Napster becomes successful, even profitable, on the backs of J. Random Consumers. The RIAA/Napster declares it a victory in bringing digital content to the masses.

2. The 'rest of us' boycott CDs, causing sales to drop noticeably.

3. The RIAA, in their lust to remove 'unprotected' media from the market, use the drop in CD sales to declare that CDs are a dying media and use this as justification to stop shipping certain titles, and eventually most titles on CDs, instead favouring more restrictive (and more profitable) media.

I'm concerned that an all-out boycott of the one unencumberd technology we have is not the most effective way to handle this. I'm more inclined to boycott the bad, and support the good. I just wish the lines dividing the two were clearer...

Re:It won't work. (1)

rking (32070) | more than 13 years ago | (#424713)

They can build the watermark checking algorithem right into napster.

So everyone would have access to the program that creates the watermarks, everyone would have access to the program that checks the watermarks, evryone would be able to take unwatermarked tunes and run them through the system as many times as they chose to analyse the effects... how long would you expect such a system to remain uncracked?

trusted client software doesn't work (1)

Victor Ng (18609) | more than 13 years ago | (#424715)

If I'm reading the article correctly, the Napster II client relies on trusted clients so that once a P2P connection is made to transfer a file, the MP3 is 'tagged' as a copy. What's to stop people from compromising the clients so that the tagging process simply doesn not happen? All MP3's would then be listed as 'original' and the whole copyprotection scheme goes down the toilet. Com'on Napster. EVERYBODY knows that trusted clients are a bunch of hooey.

Screw sharing then... (2)

kosipov (218202) | more than 13 years ago | (#424716)

Alright, suppose Napster II becomes a reality and due to some magic, groundbreaking encryption the system survives long enough to function. Why should I share files (music that I paid for) with million other subscribers who I don't even know? If incredibly smart music companies think that I will agree to make my PC a free distribution channel for their music they are very, very wrong.

Kay, how about this... (3)

Adam Schumacher (267) | more than 13 years ago | (#424717)

For Immediate Release:

At a press conference this morning, Napster CEO Hank Barry officially conceded defeat to the RIAA.

"It's obvious that we cannot afford to fight this battle any further. Alright guys, you win. You've shut down Napster. Enjoy your victory."

Sources indicate that a fruit basket was delivered to RIAA HQ from Shawn Fanning at roughly the same time as Barry's announcement was made.

"Seeing as we no longer have any use for the napster.com domain name, we have opted to sell it to Bornagainnapster Inc., based out of <insert name of country with good Internet connectivity, loose copyright laws, and little respect for American lawers here>.

"Of course, hypothetically, if Bornagainnapster Inc. decided to use the napster.com domain name to point the millions of existing Napster clients to their own Napster root servers, the source for which we released earlier this morning, the service would appear to continue uninterrupted to current users of Napster's service. Please note however, that this is entirely the prerogative of Bornagainnapster Inc., and Napster Inc. of America has no remaining control over what happens to the technology we've released into the community.

"It's been a slice. Thank you."

Napster Co-founder Shawn Fanning then announced his plans to relocate to <insert name of country with good Internet connectivity, loose copyright laws, and little respect for American lawers here> to accept a position as CTO with "an unnamed Internet media company".

Okay, so it's a bit far-fetched, but if Fanning and Co. are really interested in seeing Napster continue to survive, wouldn't this be a feasable option? The main reason why Napster continues to dominate other file-sharing media such as Gnutella for MP3 distribution is the existing user base, and simple presentation to the user. It is still, IMHO, best-of-breed for it's purpose, which is providing access to MP3 files. The reason the RIAA has been able to go after Napster, is because of the centralized root servers. Why not just move those servers out of the RIAA's reach? Sure, it will take a little maneuvering to prevent legal difficulties, but I think it could be done...


- Adam

My prediction and an analogy (3)

image (13487) | more than 13 years ago | (#424718)

First, the RIAA will, in the near future, have some success at stopping Napster, as one particular service, from distributing copyrighted material. They will accomplish this because Napster is a corporate entity and Napster will cooperate with the courts, because that is in the best interest of their shareholders.

Second, other services, whether they are OpenNap servers, Gnutella, FreeNet, or whatever, will emerge from Napster's ashes and allow people to distribute copyrighted material.

Third, the RIAA will notice that there is not one particular corporate entity to go after in this case, and will take the issue to the legislature instead.

Fourth, the legislature will pass unambiguous laws that declare distributing copyright material online illegal, and there are medium penalties (like fines, and possibly jail time for multiple offenses).

Fifth, some people will continue distributing copyright materials online. Most won't.

Sixth, some people will get caught. Most won't.

The parallel I am making should be clear. This is analogous to the United State's so-called war on drugs.

No, the US can never "win" the war on drugs. Nor can it win the war against distributing copyrighted material. However, it can certainly scare the majority of people into not participating. And that is all the RIAA wants to preserve its profits.

Change the filenames! (1)

Erk (17215) | more than 13 years ago | (#424731)

I guess all of my songs will have to become 3l33t!

Mmmmm, br1tn3y sp34rs - 00ps 1 d1d 1t 4g41n

Re:boycot (1)

dohmp (13306) | more than 13 years ago | (#424732)

i started thinking back to my "post-college" days when i:

1) had sufficient money (no different than today)
2) had little time (no different than today)
3) didn't have a p2p facility.

i bought about 5 cds between 1993 and 1999.

between 1999 and 2001 i've purchased probably 30.
the difference is that between 1999 and 2001 i've had the luxury to very conveniently try before i buy without hassle (say, waiting for it on the radio, wasting my time buying a single. hate those)

i can *NOT* be that much in the minority. every person i work with is in identically the same category. granted, we're still in the minority in that our demographics are slightly askew from the "typical" worldwide, but i refuse to believe there's not crossover into other demographical strata.

there has got to be some legitimate studies that have been performed to illustrate once and for all that they (RIAA members) are NOT in any way hurting from this.

just my 0.02.


Script Kiddies Revenge (3)

DoorFrame (22108) | more than 13 years ago | (#424733)

So the time is finally here that the script kiddies will raise to the upper echelon of society.

Since I think we all know Napster and the RIAA will not introduce any competant means of blocking copyrighted songs beyond a simple name check on the title of the MP3, the day has finally arrived when that stupid script kiddie hacker type will come in handy. Sure, Napster will block any songs that have Metallica in the filename (ignoring the fact someone might write a song called "I hate Metallica") but will their filters catch:



No, they certainly will not. In the future the only people who will be able to use and understand the songs available through napster will be these ever-present script kiddies.

It's kind of like encryption, for the stupid.


As soon as the RIAA can figure out all their names (2)

Bill Daras (102772) | more than 13 years ago | (#424734)


U2- Mysterious Ways.mp3

U2- Mysterious_Ways.mp3

U2- Mysterious Ways.MP3

U2- Mysterious_Ways.MP3

U2- MysteriousWays.MP3

U2- MysteriousWays.mp3

U2- Mysterious-ways.MP3

U2- Mysterious-Ways.MP3

U2- Mysterious Ways.mP3

U2- Mysterious_Ways.mP3

U2- Mysterious Ways.Mp3

U2- Mysterious_Ways.Mp3

U2- MysteriousWays.Mp3

U2-Mysterious Ways.mp3


U2-Mysterious Ways.MP3






U2-Mysterious Ways.mP3


U2-Mysterious Ways.Mp3



U2Mysterious Ways.mp3


U2Mysterious Ways.MP3






U2Mysterious Ways.mP3


U2Mysterious Ways.Mp3



U2- Mysterious Ways.mp3

U2- Mysterious_Ways.mp3

U2- Mysterious Ways.MP3

U2- Mysterious_Ways.MP3

U2- MysteriousWays.MP3




Mysterious Ways.mP3


Mysterious Ways.Mp3



Only 47,000 variations on this track, and 2.5 million songs to go.

I guess they'll have to listen to each one of the last variation just to make sure. Or else face a shitstorm when anther band gets banned for having a song with the same title.

I thought *my* last data-entry job could get mind-numbing.

What are they going to do... (1)

SkyIce (184974) | more than 13 years ago | (#424736)

...when I run a wire from my sound card's digital out to the digital in and hit record? Who cares about the encryption? This is even easier than it was with DVD's because with audio, (unlike video) every person with a sound card has the ability to easily record what's being sent to their speakers. Until they get a decryption processor in the speakers there is no use in encrypting what they're distributing.

Re: Not really that hard (1)

ActMatrix (246577) | more than 13 years ago | (#424738)

Come on now, it would be trivial for the RIAA's track "search engine" to convert everything to lowercase and strip punctuation. Then the only real variations would be whether the artist's name appears before or after the track name. Sure, there are still more variations but this definitely would eliminate tens of thousands of possibilities.

Well dammit, that's not right. (1)

Gray (5042) | more than 13 years ago | (#424739)

"Napster is going subscription? No, that's great, because you'll probably be able to pay a little subscription fee and then you'll get access to good proper ripped copies of all BMG artists.. That would be so worth it.."

I've said that quiet a few times in the last few months.. Now I find out the chunderheads aren't really embracing the future, they're throwing a bunch of bad close crypto at it..

I'm really suprised a big company like that doesn't have a better evil-master-plan then this.. Napster had a chance to use its userbase to lead the new mediaverse, now they're just going to be a hickup on the road.

Re:Uh duh (1)

bad-badtz-maru (119524) | more than 13 years ago | (#424741)

His logic on the second paragraph makes no sense, but the first question of "If I copy something that I wasn't ever going to pay for any way, and it doesn't cost the owner anything to let me have it, is it really theft ?" is interesting. I have scores of "evaluation" Akai-format sample CDs that I would've never actually purchased. So did the industry incur any loss?


Re:What are they going to do... (1)

mike_g (24445) | more than 13 years ago | (#424742)

For a losslessly compressed file, this would work great. The only inconvience would be that you would have to wait each track to be played to decrypt it.

But this won't work as well with mp3's. The quality of the mp3 will go down each time you reencode it. I'm sure that artifacts would be apparent after a few encodings.

Re:What exactly is going to be blocked? (1)

bad-badtz-maru (119524) | more than 13 years ago | (#424743)

I canot imagine that they will attempt to identify a song by the filename. I suspect they will introduce some sort of technology that scans the actual file's sonic characteristics in an attempt to identify material. This was discussed on slashdot a few months back.


That's not a copyright; it's a trademark (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 13 years ago | (#424744)

and we make a song called Metallica

Except many modern acts (Billy Joel, *NSYNC, etc.) are trademarking their names.

All your hallucinogen [pineight.com] are belong to us.

we will never run out of Song Names (2)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 13 years ago | (#424745)

Hell you think song titles are exausted? their are always long title names like the band Anal Cunt. With names like "song titles are fucking stupid" "all our fans are gay" "i made your kid get AIDS so you could watch it die" and a ton more so song titels wont run out just be more creative.

Privacy (1)

IceCreamBrain (219210) | more than 13 years ago | (#424757)

What about privacy? You won't have any if you are paying napster. They will know who you are and that is not good if you are trading illegal music. I was pro file sharing before but now I am angry. Napster will die; P2P file sharing must survive. Go to other services even if they DO suck. Just use them for the sake of popularization.

I'm actually surprised.... (1)

RickG485 (169326) | more than 13 years ago | (#424758)

Sadly, I kinda find this whole thing funny, after all the pro-Napster evangelization I read on this site, paired with the open source evangelization.

After all, blatantly stealing an artists work IS unethical (yeah, yeah, we've all done it, but still). An artist should have the right to be compensated for their work (or at least have a say in how their work is distributed). Perhaps artists like Metallica who sue their own fans are a bunch of $%*&$-heads, but a vast majority of the non-MTVophile artists haven't done that. Technically isn't that equivalent to violating the GPL? (Here's a really stupid example)Consider if Microsoft created Openster, where evil software corporations could openly trade open sourced pieces of software, then blantly violate the copywright. That would certainly suck.

I'm not saying that the RIAA is right in charging exorbitant prices and taking away an artists rights, but perhaps Napster should give an artist credit where credit is due.

(In a perfect world) Maybe if users paid a low low monthly fee for unlimited usage. All the fees are put into a central pot, and once Napster has paid off it's expenses/shareholders, the monies are distributed proportionally to artists based on a percentage of how many users have that artists songs. Just an idea, probably won't happen. Oh well.

And for all the evangelization, I wonder if Napster ever was about providing free content. Consider, exactly how DID Napster corp pay off expenses before it was bought by Bertslemann?

Lets all get real (3)

AntiBasic (83586) | more than 13 years ago | (#424760)

Whether or not the actual storage of illegal music is on napster servers, or user computers, is immaterial to this argument. The real question is does the napster service knowingly facilitate the illegal distrobution of copyrighted materials through their service, and to what extent should they be required to fulfill their responsibilities under the law.

I would like to see someone argue to me that ebay should be allowed to list auctions for cocaine or nuclear materials because they're only "listing" and not involved with the actual transfer. That is utter bullshit; by that logic Osama Bin Ladin, or Moammar Khaddafi, aren't responsible for american deaths just because "they werent involved in the actions, they only indirectly facilitated what happened." Try and make a loophole through that and you end up justifying more than you want to eh?

If you want realistic discussion lets be realistic, we all know what napster is about. It's obvious that anytime napster wants, they can go through their servers and find listings of copyrighted materials by the thousands. So, to answer the first question; yes, they are knowingly facilitating the download of illegal material.

The real argument here is: what should napster be required to do to comply with copyright restrictions? _That_ is what i'm interested in hearing argued here. Should they be required to set up a system for copyright holders to request listings removed? Or should it be more restrictive where they are required to compare song names with a database of copyrighted songs? I havent heard much discussed beyond this.

I use napster, and I pirate software, but I would never make such foolish arguments for such selfish reasons. I'm sick of these discussions about pirating and how stupid the RIAA is. Maybe the RIAA is stupid, but they have the law on their side. Why not discuss the merits of copyright law instead?

Cover songs and "derivative works" (2)

yerricde (125198) | more than 13 years ago | (#424761)

Even worse, if I want to be the 500th person to make their own recording of "Yesterday" by McCartney and distribute it via Napster I guess I'm screwed too.

Except this time it's by the publishers not the labels. Composers' and performers' rights organizations such as ASCAP, SESAC, and BMI in the US (along with a host of organizations in other countries) control cover rights, as a cover can be considered a "derivative work" and/or a "public performance" of a copyrighted work, and there is no longer a public domain to speak of [everything2.com] .

All your hallucinogen [pineight.com] are belong to us.

Simple solution to this solution: encryption (3)

knarf (34928) | more than 13 years ago | (#424762)

OK, so Napster (and related services) will have to block RIAA-owned songs? And they plan to recognize those songs by name, and maybe (in the future) by some digital fingerprint? The solvent for this solution is obvious: encrypt everything you share, using some asymmetric algorithm. If someone wants to leech a song from your box, let them first get your key (from some keyserver, somewhere). Obfuscate the filenames. Whatever... This is just to say that the proposed method of keeping Napster/P2P RIAA-'clean' does not work. And I can not see how they can make it work either. The cat seems to be out of the bag, it has produced many litters, and its offspring now roam the planet in search for a home...

Moving root servers out of RIAA's reach (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 13 years ago | (#424763)

The reason the RIAA has been able to go after Napster, is because of the centralized root servers. Why not just move those servers out of the RIAA's reach?

They already have [napigator.com] .

All your hallucinogen [pineight.com] are belong to us.

Isn't this good too? (1)

Mortimer Snerd (157091) | more than 13 years ago | (#424764)

Isn't everyone always saying how napster can provide a legitimate service to swap non-commercial MP3's? If all the copyrighted MP3's are removed (yes it's going to be hard to do, but humor me here) then napster becomes 100% legitimate, and this whole mess can pass. Why people are so concerned with our "right" to download copyrighted music is way beyond me. No one here argues that windows should be free because we have linux. But when it comes to music, for some reason it should all be free. Can someone please help me understand that view?

here is an idea (1)

kz45 (175825) | more than 13 years ago | (#424765)

I wonder if the encryption of the music will be client->client or if it will actually go through the nappy servers (I would think this would be way too much bandwidth). If it's client->client, someone could just figure out the login string, pay for an account, and release a client that can share "free" music. Anyone else using the service and this client would be able to "pollute" the environment with un-encrypted MP3S.

Re:A Way round this? (1)

ahaile (147873) | more than 13 years ago | (#424766)

You could just number the songs you share 1.mp3, 2.mp3, 3.mp3 and so on.

To get an Index of what 1, 2 & 3 are you have to offer a copyrighted song to that user who shares those files.

Sure this would defeat the copy protection, but it would also defeat what makes Napster useful. The "value" of Napster for the user is its unified index of music. Obfuscating song titles like this would effectively deunify that index. Napster's index would become useless -- it would just tell me that there were 23,328 "1.mp3" files out there -- and I would have to go to the owner of each of those files (a fragmented process) in order to find out what all those files were. How would this be any different from the pre-Napster days, when mp3s were put up on web and ftp servers with obfuscated names, and you had to have the owner's private index to know what they were?

Re:What exactly is going to be blocked? (2)

bwt (68845) | more than 13 years ago | (#424767)

How about this: everyone knows that the formula is something like
mp3name := md5(song_name XOR password)

and the password is emailed around until "they" figure it out and then it changes.

Oh, and you have to scramble the song itself so that you have to know the password to hear it, so that "they" can't figure out what song it is unless they know the password.

You claim never to have heard of Soundex (2)

yerricde (125198) | more than 13 years ago | (#424768)

Only 47,000 variations on this track, and 2.5 million songs to go.

I guess you've never heard of Soundex [nara.gov] hashing. (Of course, PayNapster would use something more advanced, but this illustrates the point.) It would also have the side effect of keeping illegal (under US "derivative work" copyright law) cover songs off PayNapster.

All your hallucinogen [pineight.com] are belong to us.

Re:Screw sharing then... (3)

Anoriymous Coward (257749) | more than 13 years ago | (#424769)

The same reason people do it now. At some point those mp3s were paid for, probably in the form of a CD. The person who bought the $20 CD was willing to share the mp3s with millions of people he didn't know, why should he worry about doing the same with a $1 mp3 file?

Re:Let them block the names... (1)

kil_666 (230932) | more than 13 years ago | (#424770)

Can't see how anyone thinks they can enforce digital rights management on the current hardware that is out there and that we all have.
I'm sure there's a freeware equivalent that I don't know about but High Criteria's Total Recorder [http://www.highcriteria.com/products.htm ] allows you to convert any audio stream into plain vanilla wav [or directly to mp3] by quite simply intercepting the direct audio data feed to the sound hardware.
Until the RIAA plug that hole it will be very hard to prevent people from unlocking any secured digital media format, and IMO probably impossible especialyl if someone produces an Open Source equivalent. And I can't see how those of us that count can be forced to hand over the hardware we currently have that will always allow us to do that.
Napster II will be a complete joke if they try this - we'll all be rolling about in the aisles in hysterics.

Didn't Trent use to be on TVT Records? (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 13 years ago | (#424771)

NI started out on TVT Records, and TVT's partnering with Napster. There's a TVT logo on halo 2 (pretty hate machine).

Record labels' promises of fame and fortune are a nine inch nails - terrible lie.mp3
All your hallucinogen [pineight.com] are belong to us.

membership-based service (1)

furchin (240685) | more than 13 years ago | (#424772)

Barry reiterated that Napster hopes to move to a membership-based service as soon as possible

Mission accomplished! Everyone on Napster has a username and password :)

Re:Let them block the names... (1)

keesh (202812) | more than 13 years ago | (#424773)

How many people know what MD5 is? Not many, I'd guess... I doubt that would work, simply because the majority of people don't have the technical knowledge to use it. Unless there's an MD5 checkbox which is selected by default it'll never work.

Re:Can they fight the haX0rs? (1)

keesh (202812) | more than 13 years ago | (#424774)

What makes this even more amusing is that CDDB have already patented that, so they can't use it. Earlier slashdot story:

http://slashdot.org/articles/00/12/08/2254214.shtm l

Re:Let them block the names... (1)

Operandi (231803) | more than 13 years ago | (#424775)

How many people know machine code? And yet, millions of people per day use computers. So quite obviously there would be a more elegant and transparent method of implementing my quick and dirty idea.

Re:Let them block the names... (1)

keesh (202812) | more than 13 years ago | (#424777)

Which Napster would be legally required to block as soon as it becomes publically available.

Sure, it could be done automatically or in some user-friendly way, but then Napster couldn't pretend they didn't know about it.

Re:Can they fight the haX0rs? (2)

Dust Puppy (63916) | more than 13 years ago | (#424779)

Gracenote have patented mis-spelling? They'll be preparing a big lawsuit against /. users then!

Napster makes money, but the users do all the work (1)

Oberon (29982) | more than 13 years ago | (#424785)

I really don't see what Napster would offer to paying customers. I mean they plan to charge you to download songs that are stored on other users' computers, using other users' bandwidth, and perform their encryption using users' cpu time.

If it costs me nothing to download a song, then I don't mind allowing people to download songs from me - a mutually beneficial thing. But why should I upload a song to someone else just so Napster can make money off it.

It sounds like a raw deal to me.

So what? (2)

fhwang (90412) | more than 13 years ago | (#424786)

I'm not sure why we care so much what happens to Napster. Every part of the network has been cloned open-source, so Napster the company can go bankrupt tomorrow and it won't change a thing. Here's my prediction of what will happen:
  1. Under legal pressure, Napster implements subscription fees, anti-RIAA-copying measures, etc., etc.
  2. All the users say "Damn, Napster sucks now."
  3. The few clueful users who know about using a Napster client with Napigator [napigator.com] and OpenNAP [sourceforge.net] tell their friends about it, and the word spreads quickly.
  4. The RIAA tries to sue, but realizes that since all the technologies they're trying to control are open-source, stopping every service provider is a nearby impossible demand.
  5. The RIAA is crushed under the weight of its litigation staff, and ceases to be. The end.
The RIAA might have done better to be a little friendly to Napster and just try to control it. There's going to be a day when they miss having one central enemy to push around.

Re:What are they going to do... (1)

porges (58715) | more than 13 years ago | (#424787)

If you do that you can only digitize in real time, which limits the amount of "damage" you can do, so in the long run it's not easier than CD's (which I presume you really meant.) No more ripping a whole album in 5 or 10 minutes.

Re:Can they fight the haX0rs? (1)

[wy1d] (166365) | more than 13 years ago | (#424788)

Even better, just start naming files backwards! (don't forget those ID3 tags, either)

Re:Probably not (1)

elflord (9269) | more than 13 years ago | (#424789)

I think the point is to steer the more law abiding folks in the right direction. It's pretty hard to stop the hardened criminals. (and indeed, the ends would not justify the means)

Re:So what? (2)

ShinyObjectsAndYarn (258031) | more than 13 years ago | (#424790)

In a case like this, I imagine the RIAA would pick one of the bigger OpenNap servers and make an example by taking them to court. I'm sure some guy with a DSL line won't be able to put up with the RIAA's unlimited legal fees, and most other OpenNap servers would fear the worst and close.


Re:Audio Fingerprinting (1)

kju (327) | more than 13 years ago | (#424791)

Remember we are taking about things napster may do, because they are enforced to do. So if the RIAA will force them to use for example audio fingerprinting, they can also enforce them to not accept files "which do not make sense". By doing some short analysis you can find out, if a file is actual music or only crypted data.

Secure Audio Path prohibits digital loopback (2)

yerricde (125198) | more than 13 years ago | (#424792)

...when I run a wire from my sound card's digital out to the digital in and hit record?

You'll get nothing useful. The Secure Audio Path (available in Windows ME and Windows XP) won't play through unsigned drivers, signed drivers turn off digital outputs when Secure Audio Path is open, and some labels may require Secure Audio Path for playback. You'll have to use analog, but with a good setup, analog doesn't suck as much as the sheeple think it does.

All your hallucinogen [pineight.com] are belong to us.

Re:Name scrambling client? (2)

elflord (9269) | more than 13 years ago | (#424794)

How would you decrypt the names ? If you couldn't do this, it would be useless. The problem is, how could you allow joe bloggs to do it without allowing Napster inc. to do the same ?

Re: not anymore! (1)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 13 years ago | (#424795)

Trent ditched TVT. The last official NIN album to bear the TVT logo was Further Down the Spiral. Now, his official publisher is Nothing/Interscope.

Maybe the RIAA could use CDDB. (1)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 13 years ago | (#424796)

Napster may have to block all 2.5 million of the RIAA's songs, as soon as the RIAA can figure out all their names.

Hey, maybe the RIAA could use CDDB to do that!

Oh, wait a minute, they refuse to use anything associated with mp3. Too bad, they'll have to toil for years then.

Put your band on MP3.com (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 13 years ago | (#424797)

Isn't everyone always saying how napster can provide a legitimate service to swap non-commercial MP3's?

If you want people to hear your non-commercial MP3s, get hosted [mp3.com] . I helped my brother's metal band [mp3.com] get on MP3.com. The high-powered MP3.com servers and connection are much more reliable than the 56K modem of some Napster user in Zimbabwe.

All your hallucinogen [pineight.com] are belong to us.

Re:Lets all get real (1)

PastTense (150947) | more than 13 years ago | (#424798)

Let's get real. Do you know of any search service which does not include illegally copied copyright material in its listings? Do you really think you won't find any in Google, Altavista, Yahoo or your favorite search service? So why are you just talking about Napster? Should these sites exclude any listings about Windows except the official Microsoft sites to make sure it doesn't list any warez? It is just not economically nor technically feasible for search engines to deal with copyright issues.

file obfuscation server (1)

Coward Anonymous (110649) | more than 13 years ago | (#424799)

It is conceivable to have a name obfuscation server to allow secure file renaming such that the original name cannot be easily deduced from the obfuscated name. Usage would be as follows:
  1. user opens 'obfuscate' client, types in title and performer name: Enter Sandman, Metallica.
  2. client server exchange
  3. 'obfuscate' client returns the obfuscated name: '12f64723ff.mp3'
  4. user uses Napster to search for '12f64723ff.mp3'
  5. user renames to whatever he likes
For the absolutely paranoid, the following steps could be taken to disallow 'abuse' by big labels:
  1. strong cryptography for the name obfuscation.
  2. to disable rapid mapping of files - deliberately slow server response or a client intensive authentication mechanism such as Hashcash.

It would be possible to map part of the renaming scheme and ban certain files but if the implementation is done right, it would be too difficult to do on a massive scale.


Too much (3)

florin (2243) | more than 13 years ago | (#424800)

Going to subscription based would've been enough of a viability challenge. Most people will already forget Napster when that happens, but I hope that some would stay, and it might well both become profitable as well as still be an enjoyable experience.

Now this announcement comes and for the first time ever I'm really starting to worry about Napster's future. Everyone wants real MP3s and the flexibility that comes with them. Computer users may already be beaten into submission when it comes to dealing with copy protection (insert your cd now) but it won't fly that easily in the audio world. This kills any intention I had of joining their service.

Worst is the record companies will claim 'Look, we tried to sell music online, and it didn't work'. Not surprising when what you buy online comes with restrictions that aren't present in other media.

Audio Fingerprinting (1)

kju (327) | more than 13 years ago | (#424802)

Don't take this too easy. Of course the RIAA will not be able to identify their songs on a name base, this will not work reliable. But audio fingerprinting techniques are on the way, and that might really work...

Free Song Archive? (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#424803)

Given this story [slashdot.org] earlier this morning here on slash about the existence of an Internet free Movie Archive, does anyone know of the existence of an Internet Free Music Archive?

With everything that is going on, if such at thing does not it exist, it is something that should. And it represents a wonderful opportunity.

I bet record sales actually go down (1)

JohnnyDoesLinux (19195) | more than 13 years ago | (#424804)

From what I understand, record sales actually increased EVEN with Napster "ripping" them off. My group figures that the Napster allowed people to hear what they wanted, and then bought CDs with the tracks they previewed.

Some people that never buy CDs will also not pay for a subscription, that will not affect sales, but not allowing previewing, I believe that will hurt.

(I would gladly bet YOUR life on my ideas)

Re:My current choice for P2P alternative. (1)

spudnic (32107) | more than 13 years ago | (#424807)

So do *I* get some kind of micropayment for each song downloaded from me, using my bandwidth, my cpu cycles, my electricity?

One thing I haven't seen anyone mention.... (2)

Sancho (17056) | more than 13 years ago | (#424809)

It's fairly obvious that only Napster will play back the encrypted mp3s. Sucks to be winamp. And of COURSE there will be no way to play these on alternate OS's....

Re:Not worried. (1)

thatmoron (309497) | more than 13 years ago | (#424810)

I truly hate this attitude. I'm constantly listening to people say things to the effect of "It's illegal technically, but everyone does it" or... "I only do it because cd prices are too high"
I just do not get it. Safety in numbers? This must be the same attitude taken by murders in the city...."Well, I know its illegal to shoot that guy, but all my gang member friends are shooting people, what are the police gonna do, arrest us all?" And no...im not saying that downloading from Napster is like Murder.
Im saying im sick of people with that attitude toward ANYTHING. Be it shoplifting, or downloading music. Im just sick of this Attitude where people DESERVE whatever they want for free.
Come on. I buy my cds, I think the cd prices are a bit high, but not unreasonable. If they were un reasonable I would not purchase them. And I wouldn't steal them.
This rant went a little longer than I intended. Sorry about that.

Re:Uh duh (1)

thatmoron (309497) | more than 13 years ago | (#424812)

In our society just because no actual money is lost, does not mean its ok. Thing about this.
I break into a store, but I don't damage the door or lock or anything, I have received a key from someone on the inside. I walk around inside, and then I leave, but it is clear that someone had been there (items moves, security tapes, etc).
Now, I did cost anyone any money really. I didn't remove any property. Still, when the police find me I will be arrested? What the hell!
In previous examples, just because you didn't steal anything (steal as- you didn't make the property unavalible to its owner) the posters felt it was ok.
I'm not saying what is wrong or right, but it is pretty clear in trespassing and many other laws that just because there is no actual property theft, it can still be a crime.

Re:Secure Audio Path prohibits digital loopback (2)

SmokeSerpent (106200) | more than 13 years ago | (#424814)

  1. decompiler / hex editor
  2. soldering iron
  3. "seti@home" for the MS driver signature

Re:Lets all get real (2)

Darchmare (5387) | more than 13 years ago | (#424815)

Are you telling me that Mitsubishi, Ford, Honda, Chevy, etc. sell cars without the knowledge that they are used in drive-by shootings, hit and runs, drug trafficking, or similar activities?

Don't let them know, otherwise they will have to be stopped and we'll resort back to walking from place to place.

The only difference is percentage (do more Napster users use it to do 'bad' things than car owners use their cars to do 'bad' things?) and by severity (most people would consider so-called piracy much less severe than drive-by shootings).

- Jeff A. Campbell

Re:Kay, how about this... (1)

YKnot (181580) | more than 13 years ago | (#424816)

Talking about root servers: You do realize where napster.COM is based DNS-wise?

DRM storage (1)

Lysander Luddite (64349) | more than 13 years ago | (#424817)

I agree that most napster users will move to other apps to get their free music fix. But what if the hard drives and other storage mediums don't allow files to be stored that aren't signed with some sort of industry certificate?

I'm talking about things John Gilmore's article :http://www.toad.com/gnu/whatswrong.html or Microsoft's DRM built into XP/Whistler.

Doesn't matter if I have the right to do such things if the hardware industry doesn't allow the market to have such things. I'd hate to have to go the China to get such things (and unlikely in the near future given their pending WTO membership status).

Re:For the love of god (1)

Nodatadj (28279) | more than 13 years ago | (#424818)

Then let them win that battle. It is obvious that they either don't know about the other unofficial servers, or they don't care. All they want is to stop Napster (official) from operating, and this is a perfect way to do it. It will drive everyone unto the unofficial servers, Napster goes byebye, the RIAA claims that internet distribution is doomed, blah blah blah, and everyone is happy. The users because there's no more RIAA breathing down peoples necks, and the RIAA because there's no more Napster operating.

Re:Let them block the names... (1)

Operandi (231803) | more than 13 years ago | (#424819)

Resuming, mmm. Is there a win32 port? I'd love to stop using the cludge of an application Napster. Should be called Winster, the fat bitch.

What exactly is going to be blocked? (5)

geophile (16995) | more than 13 years ago | (#424820)

There's a big difference between the song (which the RIAA might want to remove from Napster) and the name on a file that may or may not contain that song. Suppose the RIAA says that "Seek & Destroy" by Metallica is copyrighted and has to be blocked by Napster.
  • If I have "Seek_and_Destroy.mp3" does that get blocked?
  • What about "Metallica_Seek_and_Destroy.mp3"?
  • What about "Metalica_Seek_and_Destroy.mp3"?
  • What about "Metallica_Seek_n_Destroy.mp3"?
  • What if I rot-13 the file name?
  • What about "yortseD_dna_keeS_acillateM.mp3"?
  • What if I one-way-hash the file name with a well-known algorithm?

Napster in space. (1)

somerandomchars (239417) | more than 13 years ago | (#424821)

A recipe for sticking it to the man:

Combine righteous hacker outrage with cheap amateur satellites [stanford.edu] and mix in an open sharing standard [sourceforge.net] that already has the critical mass needed.

Bake for a few weeks, and voila. File sharing for all, without the overhead of legislation.

Song Names (1)

chris.bitmead (24598) | more than 13 years ago | (#424822)

There are just zillions and zillions of different songs with the same name. And if tomorrow I want to write and record my own song with the same name and distribute it via Napster then I'm screwed. 2.5 million songs must almost exhaust the possible name space of possible titles.

Even worse, if I want to be the 500th person to make their own recording of "Yesterday" by McCartney and distribute it via Napster I guess I'm screwed too.

Silly silly courts. Silly silly RIAA.
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