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RIAA Unveils Net Tracking Tag for Online Sales

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the oh-nothing-just-watching-you dept.

Music 301

openbear writes "A story over at MSNBC talks about the Global Release Indentifier (GRid). It is a code akin to the Universal Product Code (UPC) bar code found on a CD or cassette tape in stores. Each track will be distributed online with an individual GRid serial number and will be reported back to rights societies and collection agencies sold or transferred."

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Net Tracking on Slashdot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5273926)

Your Rights are being violated by Slashdot editors.


MAKE IT STOP ARRGGHH (644754) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274083)

I have come to masticate the unwashed masses! Fire up your doakies and grab your grundles! Or pack up some lip-candy for all those locked down! Hippity dippity with scandalous hoes for all and to all a big FAH Q!

The Complete Military History of France (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5274309)

Gallic Wars - Lost. In a war whose ending foreshadows the next 2000 years of French history, France is conquered by of all things, an Italian.

Hundred Years War - Mostly lost, saved at last by female schizophrenic who inadvertently creates The First Rule of French Warfare: "France's armies are victorious only when not led by a Frenchman."

Italian Wars - Lost. France becomes the first and only country to ever lose two wars when fighting Italians.

Wars of Religion - France goes 0-5-4 against the Huguenots

Thirty Years War - France is technically not a participant, but manages to get invaded anyway. Claims a tie on the basis that eventually the other participants started ignoring her.

War of Devolution - Tied. Frenchmen take to wearing red flowerpots as chapeaux.

The Dutch War - Tied

War of the Augsburg League/King William's War/French and Indian War -Lost, but claimed as a tie. Three ties in a row induces deluded Frogophiles the world over to label the period as the height of French military power.

War of the Spanish Succession - Lost. The War also gave the French their first taste of a Marlborough, which they have loved every since.

American Revolution - In a move that will become quite familiar to future Americans, France claims a win even though the English colonists saw far more action. This is later known as "de Gaulle Syndrome", and leads to the Second Rule of French Warfare: "France only wins when America does most of the fighting."

French Revolution - Won, primarily due the fact that the opponent was also French.

The Napoleonic Wars - Lost. Temporary victories (remember the First Rule!) due to leadership of a Corsican, who ended up being no match for a British footwear designer.

The Franco-Prussian War - Lost. Germany first plays the role of drunk Frat boy to France's ugly girl home alone on a Saturday night.

World War I - Tied and on the way to losing, France is saved by the United States. Thousands of French women find out what it's like to not only sleep with a winner, but one who doesn't call her "Fraulein." Sadly,widespread use of condoms by American forces forestalls any improvement in the French bloodline.

World War II - Lost. Conquered French liberated by the United States and Britain just as they finish learning the Horst Wessel Song.

War in Indochina - Lost. French forces plead sickness, take to bed with the Dien Bien Flu.

Algerian Rebellion - Lost. Loss marks the first defeat of a western army by a Non-Turkic Muslim force since the Crusades, and produces the First Rule of Muslim Warfare: "We can always beat the French." This rule is identical to the First Rules of the Italians, Russians, Germans, English, Dutch, Spanish, Vietnamese and Esquimaux.

War on Terrorism - France, keeping in mind its recent history, surrenders to Germans and Muslims just to be safe. Attempts to surrender to Vietnamese ambassador, fails after he takes refuge in a McDonald's.

The question for any country silly enough to count on the French should not be "Can we count on the French?", but rather "How long until France collapses?"

Observations: 1.)Going to war without the French by your side is like going deer hunting without your accordian.. You are leaving a lot of noisy useless baggage behind. 2.)Europe caused WWII by trying to appease Hitler during the 30's and refusing to enforce the Treaty of Versailles 3.)With "friends" like this...Who needs enemies.

Could this technology (5, Interesting)

Rudy Rodarte (597418) | more than 11 years ago | (#5273932)

... be embedded in CD audio tracks and used to track piracy or... Used to show which versions of songs are crappy quality, RIAA Fakes, etc....

Re:Could this technology (1)

m_cuffa (632043) | more than 11 years ago | (#5273964)

possibly. But the article states that this
is not the intended use of the technology.

You call yourself a geek?!! (5, Insightful)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274138)

A real hacker has no concern about any purported "intended use" of a technology.

He just wants to find out what nifty stuff he can do with it.


Seeing how the media companies solutions are always half-baked, it'll be quite interesting to see how this bites them in the ass. And who they point the finger at while trying to deny their own crapulocity.

Re:Could this technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5273973)

From the article:
Jessop cautioned that GRid is not designed, nor is it intended for, keeping track of songs that wind up on online file-sharing networks, a major source of music piracy.

In Soviet Union ... (-1, Offtopic)

Rocky Mudbutt (22622) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274014)

Audio tracks You!


Re:Could this technology (5, Informative)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274132)

Not likely. MP3 is a lossy compression. The "secret bits" would be at the mercy of the MP3 compression scheme rendering them useless.

Play, recapture audio, (1)

Gentoo Fan (643403) | more than 11 years ago | (#5273933)

encode to OGG/MP3. No problem.

Re:Play, recapture audio, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5273974)

Assuming they will even play in your computer in the first place.

I haven't bought an album since Metallica defiled fair use.

Tim Russert Is My Cousin (5, Interesting)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274003)

Did you read the article? This isn't an attempt to curb piracy. While the MSNBC article is a bit unclear as to why this needs to be done, here's what was said, "But music officials have complained that sales-tracking systems in place at the moment need to be standardised so that online sales, though small at the moment, can be better recorded." This isn't a way to put a tracker in an mp3 so the RIAA can track down the person who is distributing it but merely a way to keep track of sales.

Re:Tim Russert Is My Cousin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5274067)

This isn't an attempt to curb piracy.

Did you believe the article?

Re:Tim Russert Is My Cousin (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5274139)

Did you read it you AC fucktard? Suck my dick you fat faggot. Go have sex with your mother. Fuck a goat. Fuck you asshat. You are a fag. Make a fucking point next time you post you fucking clown. You eat shit from the anus of your father. Fuck you. You have sex with men. You will get AIDS.

Re:Tim Russert Is My Cousin (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274374)

but merely a way to keep track of sales

Why would they need to tag the files to track sales?

Take credit card number
Person downloads file
Confirm transaction

So each copy is going to have a unique tag? That sounds more like a method to track sold copies rather than sales.

Re:Play, recapture audio, (1)

supun (613105) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274221)

Lossy to Lossy = crappy. You'd be taking an MP3, a lossy format, and converting once again to a lossy format, MP3 or OGG. The quality would less than the original.

Re:Play, recapture audio, (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274363)

Theoretically, if recording to the exact same format as the source file (in terms of kbit/sec and khz), shouldn't the quality be exactly identical?

Re:Play, recapture audio, (1)

ejdmoo (193585) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274373)

All other things (read: audio components, compression rate) being equal, the copy should have no loss at all, assuming it's the same algorithm. mp3 works the same every time, so the same song would sound the same.

Either that or someone prove me wrong, because this is what I always understood about audio compression.

and they intend to do this how? (3, Funny)

inteller (599544) | more than 11 years ago | (#5273945)

and exactly what kind of file format can this tag be imbedded into? in order for it to work you have to have a transport medium. Yet another brilliant idea from the people who brought us Hillary Rosen.

Re:and they intend to do this how? (2, Interesting)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274142)

Unlikely they will go for a new format - that approach has failed in the past. More likely they will embed the tag in the music, inaudible to humans but detectable for computers, like is already being done for images. Of course, any tag _they_ can detect can also be detected and garbled|stripped by others, something which is likely to happen when songs are encoded as OGG Vorbis or MP3.

Re:and they intend to do this how? (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274167)

It's format agnostic -- 105 seconds of DTMF tones mixed in the song.

Which side is MSN on? (5, Insightful)

feepness (543479) | more than 11 years ago | (#5273946)

Look at the header from the article:

A music industry trade body launched on Monday electronic identity tags to keep tabs on Internet music sales in a bid to compensate musicians and song writers as more of their works become available online.

If that isn't leading I don't know what is. They specifically do not mention the RIAA and are trying to portray it as compensating the poor artists as opposed to saving music industry executive's asses.

Re:Which side is MSN on? (2, Insightful)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274127)

Sorry, they did. 7th paragraph: International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) have been developing the standard for the past two years.

Re:Which side is MSN on? (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274290)

I'm sorry I must have been a bit a unclear. I meant they were hiding the connection.

It seems obvious from both the header and the tone of the article that they wish to minimize the connection.

too much... (1)

NudeZiggy (635825) | more than 11 years ago | (#5273950)

trouble. Really, the best way to stop music piracy is to keep releasing crappy music, no one will want it anymore, not even for free. (oh yeah, and release everything that's at least 10 years old into the public domain, that'd be real swell)

As an artist, I want to keep my rights. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5274091)

10 years into the public domain? Are you on crack? I might as well just keep the music to myself, forget you leeches.

I write music for me. I sell to YOU. That's how it works.

Re:As an artist, I want to keep my rights. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5274306)

Semantically, that makes you not an artist then. Please don't label yourself with a term that obviously does not apply.

Ideally, an artist is someone that creates an expressive work because they feel an innate need to do so - not because they get paid for it at the end. Those people that get paid to create are businesspeople that can compose or create, not artists. A successful artist may be able to leverage her/himself into the latter; the latter trying to be the former is what defines the music industry today.

Following the more traditional models of experiencing art, you can then choose to (a) make it available to me on per-visit basis, like a museum, and charge me a nominal fee for my visiting duration there, or (b) make a proof or copy available to me for a more substantial amount of money so I can enjoy it at my leisure. Be aware that the amounts in (a) and (b) will be quite small (and possibly even 0) until you are accepted by broad peer review.

Combined with freedom of choice and a generally capitalist society, good artists are floated to the top, while poor artists are sent back to school to learn something they can handle.

Re:too much... (2, Insightful)

Lawbeefaroni (246892) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274224)

This isn't designed to stop piracy. All it is is an inventory/sales tracking mechanism. The unique ID is generated and saved for each download of a particular song. So at the end of the month they can say song "X" had such and such amount of sales. From there they can divy up the money.

The problem with electronic files (say MP3) as commodity isn't just piracy. A retailer could easily sell of 4 copies of a song and only report selling one. 3x free money. Or an interrupted download might be counted twice. Etc.

You would think there is a better way, but this is what they came up with.

Ahhhaaa (4, Funny)

T3kno (51315) | more than 11 years ago | (#5273960)

The G stands for Get, as in GetRid of the RIAA.

Re:Ahhhaaa (1)

IanBevan (213109) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274012)

OK, offtopic I know so mod me down if you really feel you have to, but please explain this your signature to me...

(B) + (D) + (B) + (D) = (K) + (&)


Re:Ahhhaaa (1)

T3kno (51315) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274108)

Type it into MSN messenger, they're codes for MSN emoticons.

in other news (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5273968)

the code to remove the tag has already been written and is avilable for distribution.

Why Thankyou RIAA (4, Funny)

jamesjw (213986) | more than 11 years ago | (#5273970)

Yet another reason not to buy CD's anymore!

Not that there is much worth buying these days anyhow :)

Wonder whats next?

"Sir, we're happy to sell this new album to you - just piss in this specimin jar and supply a drop of blood on the application provided..."


Re:Why Thankyou RIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5274070)

I was thinking sperm sample. To speed up the process they will make available 8x10's of Rosen naked.

Re:Why Thankyou RIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5274077)

good, fuck them, I hope it comes to that. Less and less people are going to put up with expensive shitty music with more and more controls. I would rather listen to the national conglomerate boring DJs on local radio stations talk about traffic than buy a fucking CD that the RIAA sponsered.

Hopefully more and more people will do the same.

So, You Think RIAA Music Is Crappy? (1)

mrs clear plastic (229108) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274244)

Why do you think that RIAA music is crappy?

Have you heard me sing in the shower lately?
That would change your mind.

I just got a $200.00 surcharge on my rent because the landlord had to replace the full length bathroom mirror that broke while I was singing.

Such as life

Re:So, You Think RIAA Music Is Crappy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5274357)

Property damage usually comes with a bill.

I have no problem with intellectual property. But if they can sue me for damages, I should have the right to sue them for damage that Britney Spear's songs do to kids.

Combined with the WinXP license... (1)

EvilSporkMan (648878) | more than 11 years ago | (#5273979)

Great. Now will Microsoft search my hard drive for files without this tag and call the FBI?

This is news? (5, Insightful)

the_verb (552510) | more than 11 years ago | (#5273988)

It sounds like an industry-approved ID3 field. I'm assuming this 'net barcode' would be paired with some new file format, something that weaves the ID into the music itself rather than tagging it on as an afterthought.

I'm not sure how they plan on compensating artists with this plan, since there doesn't seem to be a *payment* mechanism. It strikes me as a first step towards 'Music Audits' in which a hard drive is scanned for the works of particular artists.


Re:This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5274143)

I'm not sure how they plan on compensating artists with this plan, since there doesn't seem to be a *payment* mechanism.

The answer is simple: They will take a bigger cut of the profits from the artists by stating that it now costs more to produce the CD by implementing this new technology. Less money for the artist.

Re:This is news? (2, Funny)

leonardluen (211265) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274219)

so what happens when i alter the id3 tags and they Audit my hard drive to find i have 20,000 copies of "Hit the Road Jack"?

It dosnen't work with gnu/hurd (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5273992)

hahaha. get the ps/2 bus supported first.

Proper terminology (2, Funny)

cheezus_es_lard (557559) | more than 11 years ago | (#5273997)

Indentify? What, is the unique ID so that the RIAA can indenture you while you work off the money you owe from your MP3 collection?

Re:Proper terminology (1)

JivanMukti (589480) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274327)

Indentify? What, is the unique ID so that the RIAA can indenture you while you work off the money you owe from your MP3 collection?

It's called your Social Security Number. They already own Congress. QED.

firewall. (5, Insightful)

Kewjoe (307612) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274009)

and thats why having a nice firewall that blocks programs from outbound transmission is crucial.

Steganography? (2, Funny)

Nathan Ramella (629875) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274013)

They should just have the artist repeating a watermark chorus.

"This mp3 was stolen.
This mp3 was stolen.
This mp3 was stolen.
This mp3 was stolen... and she loves me!"

Bad Journalism 101 (5, Insightful)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274019)

industry that is reeling from lost sales compounded by a slumping global economy and the growth in online music piracy.

Industry "fact sheets" make reporting so much easier. Now I have time for another nap.

Re:Bad Journalism 101 (4, Insightful)

Stanl (646331) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274354)

You couldn't be more correct. The music industry and it's partners consistently disseminate its news releases with prepackaged quotes, phone numbers of "friendly" experts and hand-selected excerpts from related technical and legal documents to make writing these types of stories "easier" for the press. It saves the writers time from having to do indepth interviews and actually reading up on what they are writing about. My news writing professor is spinning in his grave.

It's totally different from a UPC (5, Interesting)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274024)

The article seems to get the basic premise of this wrong. A UPC code describes only the product; the buyer is still anonymous. The only reason a reseller would have to buy millions of GRid's would be if each track sold was unique (as opposed to each type of song sold). Either the RIAA's layers did a good job of fooling Reuters, or they just didn't understand the implications of this... and the implications are exactly what they deny-- that songs bought on the internet could be tracked to the buyer if they ever end up being shared.

riaa lawyer, not layers (1)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274160)

Sorry - I meant lawyers, not layers. But, it could be their PR people spinning it, too, so maybe it's appropriate.

Re:It's totally different from a UPC (1)

Basilius (184226) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274239)

And, you know, I have no problem with this. If:
  1. The price per song is reasonable ($0.50US or less).
  2. I've got complete freedom to make as many backups as I wish, copy onto portable players, etc.
  3. I still have the option to purchase full-quality copies of music I really like and use the money I've already paid as a discount.
If they can implement that, I might actually think about buying reasonable amounts of music again. For now, I only support my favorite bands and don't experiment much.

Re:It's totally different from a UPC (4, Informative)

the_quark (101253) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274242)

No, this is a legitimate issue. I was VP of Technology for EMusic prior to their purchase by Universal. We licensed our MP3s to other resellers. We had at least 125,000 tracks when I left.

We tried to use actual UPCs, but they are only 12 digits. 6 Are the manufacturer ID, 1 is the classs of the item and 1 is a checksum. That only leaves 4 digits for the SKU - only about 10,000 items. We called UCC (the UPC equivilant of ICANN) and asked for 400,000 numbers, because we figured that would cover something like 90% of the music sold in the US. UCC said, "You realize, if you have a bin of screws, you don't put an individual UPC on every screw, you just assign a number to the bin, right?" We explained that we knew that, and that we really did expect to have 400,000 individual, unique items for sale. They said, "We don't think UPC is the solution for you." So we made up our own SKUs, and gave those to our licensees.

Remember that you need one for the album and one for each song - an an average of 13 per album. Every format you provide that in gives you another set of numbers. So, for example, if EMusic wanted to license its 150,000 song catalog in 128kbps MP3, 256kpbs MP3 and Windows Media, in songs and albums, it'd need nearly 500,000 numbers. And EMusic isn't very big, in music terms. If they need half a million, it's very easy to imagine someone really big might need millions. As all programmers know, you should figure out what the maximum amount you could every possibly need and then increase it by at least an order of magnitude. ;) If we'd hit our goal of 400,000 songs, that would've been 1.3 million in the above formats.


Subject Line Troll (581198) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274328)

Re:It's totally different from a UPC (2)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274378)

Thanks - that's a good analysis; I didn't realize that the number could be so high. But I still worry....

The aim is to track each time a record label, online retailer or distributor such as Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) MSN or Italian Internet service provider Tiscali (MI:TIS) sells a song in the form of a Web stream or download. (emphasis mine)

It's still tracking each sale, and by extension, each buyer. Also, they are charged for their ID's annually... that's either the licensing model (fixed number of ID's, yearly cost), or they expect to sell millions of ID's per year (which I'm not sure the music industry puts out millions of songs/format combinations per year).

You're right....but could this be a compromise? (1)

siskbc (598067) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274282)

You know, as much as I usually hate this crap, I don't really have that much of a problem with it (as long as it isn't paired with spyware). If they do this, then they could do away with copy protection, because they wouldn't need it.

So, how about this - mp3's have tags in them, and if your stuff shows up repeatedly online, then you eventually get busted. In return, NO copy protection is used, and you can have copies anywhere you want, so long as you don't share them. No spyware either.

Honestly, I think that's the best deal we're likely to get.

Re:It's totally different from a UPC (2, Interesting)

jeremiahstanley (473105) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274319)

Given that you'd have to download them you can modify the file on the way out to be a hash of your user id, address, etc AND the song information. This hash does not have to be one way either. This could be encoded onto the file in the form of a watermark. RIAA, if they wanted to, could even impose that you would have to know a secret key to be able to play the file as well (this requires support from the OS, or software). I'm sure at some point RIAA will try some scheme like the MPAA has on DVD encryption.

This way RIAA/whomever can see who "owns" that track in both senses. Who gets paid for it, and who paid for it.

Don't any of you fools read the article? (3, Insightful)

Samurai Cat! (15315) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274026)

"Jessop cautioned that GRid is not designed, nor is it intended for, keeping track of songs that wind up on online file-sharing networks, a major source of music piracy."

All this is is a way to track online sales of individual tracks. Nothing to do with CDs, P2P, etc.

Yeah right! (1)

T-Kir (597145) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274035)

in a bid to compensate musicians and song writers as more of their works become available online

Oh wow! They're expressing concern that the money goes to the artists... did I miss something here?

More like they want to be able to track exactly how much is due to them, while still screwing the artists concerned... funnily enough 'GRid' sounds like an Aussie way of telling the RIAA to go crawl back down into the hole they came from.

this really isn't a threat to p2p music sharing (2, Insightful)

johnny_4_president (635478) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274037)

correct me if i'm wrong, but this only tracks the distribution of tracks online, i.e. from "the Man",

the same folks who still can't develop a business model that allows for quick and easy digital delivery of songs.

the mp3s i make from discs i buy, on the other hand, will have no Grid tags, so this really isn't a threat to p2p music sharing as we know it; it means that we (theoretically) won't be able to trade tracks we've downloaded from

well, who needs them anyway?

besides, this stuff is pointless, they'll never be able to close the anolog hole.

I RTFA and see that... (2, Interesting)

Rudy Rodarte (597418) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274041)

its not for tracking files on file networks, so far. But if this is used to track files downloaded from a certian place, say and it ends up on Kazaa or whatever, would get charged more?
But honestly, once it hits P2P, that doesn't matter since it'll be all over the place in a matter of hours.

Online sales? What online sales? (1)

dcavanaugh (248349) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274044)

Doesn't this presuppose that RIAA allows a viable online sales model to develop? Given the overpriced, crippled vendors of music feebleware, I just don't see it happening.

Dude, yer goin' to jail! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5274046)

-- NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actor Benjamin Curtis, the Dell Computer Corp. pitchman "Steven" who says on television, "Dude, yer gettin' a Dell," was arrested for possessing marijuana in New York, officials said on Monday.

Curtis, 22, was charged with criminal possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor that carries a prison sentence of up to three months if he is convicted, a spokesman for the Manhattan district attorney's office said.

Curtis, who lives in New York and was arrested on Sunday night, was scheduled to appear in Manhattan Criminal Court later on Monday.

A spokesman for the Round Rock, Texas-based Dell said he was not familiar with the details and declined to speculate on future plans for the advertising campaign.

"We're following the situation closely and working with our ad agency to understand what's transpired here," spokesman Venancio Figueroa said. The ad agency is DDB of Chicago.

Dell, the No. 2 personal computer company, makes most of its money selling to businesses and schools. It began the TV and print commercials featuring the wise-cracking "Steven" three years ago.


MAKE IT STOP ARRGGHH (644754) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274136)

The blonde haired bitch in the Dell commercials is off the chain!@# Not that any of the butt pirates around here would know @;^)-|--(

Oh, that;s good then (4, Funny)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274047)

Excellent! Finally someone has stepped up and provided a nice, complete solution to the record companies prob... hey, hold on:

Jessop cautioned that GRid is not designed, nor is it intended for, keeping track of songs that wind up on online file-sharing networks

... oh. I guess you can just... rename the file, or something.

So really, they have just figured out a way to do this:

resellers would be charged an annual fee of 150 pounds ($245.10)

Yeah, that sounds about right.

Umm. Okay... (1)

MacOS_Rules (170853) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274057)

Valient effort from the "other side" to track^h^h^h^h^h spy^h^h^h protect consumers, but what prevents "rogue pirates" (aka consumers) from ripping to WAV/AIFF and then converting to lossless/lossy format of choice?

This looks like a last ditch effort to regain control of the digital media revolution, if you ask me.

So... (1, Insightful)

chunkwhite86 (593696) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274062)

What's preventing users from transcoding the audio file into another format which doesn't have this serial number "feature"?

Jennifer Lopez Is My Cousin (4, Informative)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274098)

Nothing! RTFA!!! This isn't an attempt to stop piracy!! This is a means of tracking sales - so once it has been sold from an online retailer, the ID number isn't an issue. You can encode it into mp3, upload it to Kazaa, and distribute it to your heart's desire. Why can't anyone read the article???

Re:Jennifer Lopez Is My Cousin (0, Offtopic)

pi radians (170660) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274156)

Now where's the fun in that?

OT Post - Latest on Dell Dude (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5274085)

In other news, did anyone hear about the dell dude, Ben Curtis, getting picked up for MJ possession in New York? Dude, you're getting screwed.

Damn eyes.. what are they good for? (5, Funny)

Bizaff (443681) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274086)

On Monday, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) reported a 3.7 percent decline in recorded music sales in the fourth quarter of 2002...

When I first read that, I thought it said British Pornographic Industry.. that sure changed the tone of the article...

this would be cool.. if it worked (2, Funny)

Lxy (80823) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274103)

The basic idea (because I know you didn't read the article) is that online retailers can issue unique IDs to track online sales. If used properly, this could prove that internet sales DO work and MP3s are GOOD for the industry. The article also states that it's not an attempt to curb/track file sharing.

Now, the flipside is that this is the RIAA. They probably have a devious use for the ID, probably just so they can prove they have a system in place. Whether or not they'll be manipulating the numbers in their favor and implementing a tracking system is another question, but knowing their past history, it wouldn't surprise me.

And finally, was I the only one, or does "International Federation of Phonographic Industry" look like "International Federation of Pornographic Industry" on first glance?

Re:this would be cool.. if it worked (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274205)

``Phonographic''? Where did you get that from?

Re:this would be cool.. if it worked (1)

Lxy (80823) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274292)

``Phonographic''? Where did you get that from?

It's called "reading the article". You should try it sometime....

I want to buy individual songs online Already! (1)

digitalgimpus (468277) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274104)

I would be more than willing to participate if someone were to start a business with the RIAA to allow us to buy individual songs online in a copyright protecting format (provided compression keeps it small, and sound quality CD or better)...

The technology is out there, many have demo'd the ability already. What we need are a few to start partnering up, and battling for our love.

Guess it's partially the recession that people don't want to start these risky dot com businesses, but I think it has a chance.

I would gladly pay a small price for a digitial copy of a song I liked, so that I can get the song, not the entire album that sucked.

Would also like to see a system implemented where bands official fanclubs can get discounts on that bands music, the ability to purchase for download high quality video (so that we can burn them to DVD)...

There are endless posibilities, if someone had the confidence to go out and implement the technology rather than just showcase.

I don't think so... (5, Insightful)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274105)

These "tags" will be stripped out the day this hits the wires.

These people seriously underestimate the resolve of teens.

My kid is 17. Here is what he tells me. He won't buy CD's because if a CD has a song that he likes there will be 12-15 songs on there that he thinks SUCK. In other words he's paying ~$15 for ONE SONG. He would rip that one song to HDD and compile his own CD to use in his car with only the songs that he likes.

But, at ~$15 each and being limited by law to only working a max of 20 hours a week at minimum wage he can't afford too many CD's.

Thus enter Kazaa. He can leech all the songs he wants for free and burn his own mixes for his car that suits his taste.

And forget that stuff about buying music online, he can't do that as a kid and I don't have or use any form of banking system. I live strictly by GREEN CASH ALONE and have nothing at all to do with any financial institute in any form. Despite that fact, even if I did have credit cards or bank accounts I would never use them online for any reason, ever. Nor would I permit him to use my accounts.

Kids are smart, far smarter than the people that try to maintain their grip on the music industry.
NOTHING that they can devise will stop piracy, ever. If something must be paid for there will always be someone that will find a way to get it for free.

The digital age is Pandora's box. It's been opened and there is no closing it now.

I predict to see a tool to strip the tags on freshmeat the next day..

Re:I don't think so... (4, Funny)

HisMother (413313) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274295)

> ... I don't have or use any form of banking system. I live strictly by GREEN CASH ALONE and have nothing at all to do with any financial institute in any form.

Cool. If this gets out, I bet he'll have LOTS of friends who want to come over and play -- say, dig in the yard, play hide and seek in Dad's bedroom...

Similar to a Custom Watermark (4, Interesting)

mrs clear plastic (229108) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274109)

Could this be similar to a custom watermark on each individual song or piece that's sold?

How tamper-proof will this be? If all of the on-line sources that will be selling musing/videos/whatever are to be expected to issue these watermarks, the standards would have to be public, or at least very darn near public.

If the standards are even close to being public, perhaps someone could figure out how to remove and or alter these watermarks.

Hmm, very interesting. I buy a song from MSN. I read the file into a scrip that I hacked. I change the watermark in some way. I then turn around and sell it under the table. The buyer takes the song and then in turn sells it, or whatever.

Sometime later, someone gets raided by the SPA,
MPAA, or whatever. They audit the songs. They find a few with the watermark that I altered. Their trail will be lost or steered into some poor victim whose watermark I 'stole' to alter my songs.

A possible solution to this would be to have a secret algorithm to generate the watermarks. This would have to be implemented in tamper-proof chips or, perhaps, a tamper-proof device that goes between your computer and the network; ie; a special NIC card. The card would know who you are and what song you are about to release. It would then generate and record the water mark in it's secret way before the song is sent on its way.

The logistics of this solution would be challenging. The devices would have to be distributed, cataloged, and recorded. Who has which special NIC card would have to be recorded in RIAA'a TIA infrastructure. Of course, this same infrastruction would have to record each subsequent sale/disposal of the card. The security of the cards would have to be impeccible.

Good luck to you all!



Who's Taking Bets? (2, Insightful)

LookSharp (3864) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274110)

Estimated time before a "DeGRid" app appears on the 'net, completely removing the offending number from the file?

I say 6 days from first retail release!

You're pessimistic (1)

Mathonwy (160184) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274188)

I vote 6 *HOURS*...

conspiracy central... (4, Interesting)

MarvinMouse (323641) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274128)

Everyone here is freaking out because this is another way to track people, and man it's a blatantly obvious one. But do you really believe that the techies and people working at the RIAA are that stupid? Like really?

The RIAA wouldn't do something so obviously usable as a tracking method and then deny it. They didn't in the past. When they were violating your rights, they were up right and in your face about it. That's why so many people despise them. They don't try to hide what they do.

I think this may be a legit way for them to just track for internal records and all, and yes, I am pretty sure they as well as you have thought about the possibility of tracking individual downloaders with this. But like someone already said.

MP3 -> Wave -> MP3 , no more tracking code.

Or even better

Clean CD -> MP3 , No tracking code.

I think that logic would be clear to anyone. Including the RIAA.

The sky isn't falling, the RIAA is just playing some games.

Hrmm.. Yes, I'll buy music on line now.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5274134)

Do I really want some slimy company/association of companies knowing that I like Switched on Beethoven, Vivaldi, Creem, and Elvis? And what times I like to play them on what machines on my network? I think not. No matter what the developers of this tag say, it will evolve to that use as the RIAA gets even greedier, and the artists will still be enslaved.

If they want to implement a solution that works, they must make the music affordable to the point where it is not worth the cost, not the effort, but the cost, to pirate it. There will always be those who accept the challenge to break whatever encryption/tagging scheme they come up with. As long as the potential profit for the professional music pirates to produce their product is greater than the cost of the equipment and the materials, large scale industrial music piracy will occur.

Watermarking MP3's (3, Interesting)

Superfreaker (581067) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274137)

We run an ASP with music sales where they are watermarking mp3 files during the encoding process. That way they can see if their files make it onto file trading networks. Since the watermark is encoded into the actual track, you can't remove it by converting to Ogg. It's already an mp3.

I don't think it is a bad idea. At least they are selling the files in MP3 format. The only people who would have anything against this would be those who download music they haven't paid for.

Re:Watermarking MP3's (1)

EvilSporkMan (648878) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274208)

The only people who would have anything against this would be those who download music they haven't paid for. Right, so why does anyone care? :P

Their method is uncrackable to resampling (5, Funny)

merlyn (9918) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274149)

From what I understand, it's an audible voice that comes on at 15-second intervals reading the serial number "This is copy three... one... five... four... one... nine... one".

True enough, the RIAA spokesman reportedly said "This will have no effect on the quality of the recording".

GRID was first name for AIDS (0, Troll)

uiil (413131) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274154)

In the early 80's wasn't the name GRID "Gay Related Immune Deficeincy" renamed AIDS "Accuired Immune Deficeincy Syndrome"

RIAA maybe trying to imply something?

hmm we dont want to track p2p filesharing (1)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274161)

yeah right then why a GRid on downlaods and web streams from MS andothers if you are not afraid that conetent will not end up on P2p networks?

typical RIAA FUD!

Point of sale ID (4, Interesting)

RichMan (8097) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274176)

The GRid is a point of sale identification so that the seller can identify which track has been sold and then send the appropriate $ to the recipient (RIAA member).

You can view this as the thin edge of the wedge in a scheme that will probably work to get a "Palladium" like system in place.

Bob buys track 9 from CD X from Amazon. Amazon records the GRid and forwards the appropriate share to RIAA member reponsible for producing the track. Bob is happy because he was able to access the track.

Later Bob will be investigated for file shareing. He will not have the GRid's to prove he bought the file. The GRid's are not part of the music track. The RIAA will say but "Palladium" can solve that. Bob will ask to have "Palladium" implemented so that he does not have to go to jail.

Wasn't GRID what they originally called AIDS (-1, Troll)

skitz0 (89196) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274186)

Gay Related Immune Deficiency

Vegas Odds (2, Insightful)

BigGar' (411008) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274194)

Anyone got the bookie odds on how long it'll take to figure out how to strip this off a downloaded file?

I Predict: The Next Slammer... (1)

killmenow (184444) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274241)

...will be a worm that randomly generates GRids and sends them back to the RIAA. Thus killing two birds with one stone: screwing with all the M$ L0z3rz, and DDoSing the RIAA.

I think, therefore I Troll (-1, Offtopic)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274246)

I wonder if my new system would work. You see, I embed my foot in Hillary's ass, and then see if you can identify her. I'll probably need to do some test runs first.

Just... (1)

JohnnyBigodes (609498) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274253)

... what exactly is stopping me from removing said identifier from a track I download?

Great idea..... (1)

tabhitter (635298) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274272)

how is this going to stop people from encoding the sound into an mp3 file? even if there is a digital lock on encoding you could still go from you speaker out to line in on your sound card and encode the track. (much like making mp3's from cassette tapes...)

My thought (1)

mpost4 (115369) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274284)

Yes this seams nice to be able to get the music just as you buy it, but what happens when your hard drive crashes (yes people should back up, but they don't) That is why a CD will still be best, you can rip it and have it, but if you lose the mp3 you still have the hard copy to recreat the mp3.
Infact since I have the CDs I don't bother to backup my mp3's if I lose them I just re-rip, I do backup my other user files (anything in /home/mpop nothing in /mnt/jukebox will be backedup)
Now maybe if they will charge maybe $1 more for a cd and let you download the music now, so you get the music now, and still get the hard CD later, for backup reasons.

This is only a problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5274288)

...if you are stupid enough to use Windows Media Player and/or the .wma format.

Don't worry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5274315)

Remember it's just data. Eventually the codes will be stripped out of the song. It's just like DVD encryption.

Do I have this correct? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5274332)

With the GRid initiative, resellers would be charged an annual fee of 150 pounds ($245.10), for which they can issue an identity tag to millions of songs sold online.
Each track will be distributed with an individual GRid serial number. Like a bar code, it will be reported back to rights societies and collection agencies so that artists can be compensated for sales.

So, a retailer must pay the RIAA $250 a year to track and compile how much money the retailer must pay to musicians?

Wow! It's the official RIAA we'relosinggroundsoletsscrewthellittleguys get-rich-quick scheme!

Somehow, I don't think that this is going to catch on. Or stop one of the main problems in the industry, price inflation.

and if it does, this is just going to hurt the independants even more. Peachy.

Yet another... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5274343)

Yet another 11 million dollar invention in an attempt to catch the next 11 year old theive.

Well I guess RIAA's new CEO, whoever it is, has got to show SOMETHING, right?

Solution without a problem? (3, Insightful)

nolife (233813) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274385)

Anyone actally read the article? Either the article is missing some information or the listed planned usage for this thing is far from what they actually plan on doing with it.

It appears this is supposed to be used so that a retailer can be charged correctly for every download they offer. Meaning a standard method of keeping track of online retail sales. To do this they will encode some unique bits in every file sold online. Sounds bogus already. I do not see the connection between me having a unique coded file and tracking total sales from retailers. Where is the discussion about how my number is reported or disclosed to anyone? Seems to me the real goal is to track a specific file after it is downloaded. They find your file on KaZaa, track it to the retail source, they release your name and bingo, full swat team visit. Maybe you would become the retailer and they will charge you the original downloader for every instance of the unique indentifier they can find online.

I'm not some consipracy theory nut but I can not honestly see the connection between tracking sales and a unique number embedded in a file.

Identifier Tags (1)

flogger (524072) | more than 11 years ago | (#5274386)

I'm not worried about tracking. When I go and buy a box of brownies at the suppermarket and use my "Kroger Plus" card, I've been entered into the database, and they know that on February 10th I bought a box of brownies mix.
They do not know that I've taken the brownies and made "Magic Brownies" with some THC stashed in the closet.
I don;t see the GRiD being used to track who downloaded what individual song. All it will show when it shows up on Kazaa is that someone bought this song legally and is sharing a song with a friend or three.
How long will it take for a utility to be released that removes the GRiD from an MP3 or song track?
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