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Can P2P Filter Copyrighted Content?

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the more-importantly-should-they dept.

Music 373

scubacuda writes "DRMwatch reports that technologists acting on behalf of porn publisher Titan Media reported to Congress that P2P networks could (if they wanted to) use "fingerprinting" (aka "hashing") to detect copyrighted works and then filter them with the "spyware" installed on all nodes in the network."

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A DRM Parable (4, Funny)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021487)

First they took away the movies. I didn't complain because I never downloaded them anyway.

Then they came for the music. And I didn't speak up because I was a leecher and never shared my songs.

Finally, they came for the porn. Nobody touches our porn. And that's when we got REALLY pissed off.

Re:A DRM Parable (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021509)

the internet without porn is like... errr... sex... without paying for it!

It'll never work (5, Insightful)

radionotme (742163) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021557)

For every man hour of time that's put into 'protecting' their work, there's a thousand man-hour's worth of effort that will freely be contributed from the "public" to try and break it. All encryption like this can and will be broken over time, the only way to beat it seems to be for the companies to try and repeatedly adapt and stay one step ahead. Unfortunately that's very expensive and can't be maintained for long. Regardless of your stance on the argument of p2p, this is the way it looks like continuing for the near future.

Re:A DRM Parable (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021563) domainname has been pulled by the .cx administrator. Slashdot feels that this isn't worth of a news story.

Re:A DRM Parable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021693) domainname has been pulled by the .cx administrator. Slashdot feels that this isn't worth of a news story.

How can you hae a story about a domain that's no longer there? There needs to be a site to slashdot!

News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters (0, Offtopic)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021707)

Slashdot once again scooped by metafilter: []

" Complaint to [] results in being suspended [] . Obligatory online petition [] is started. Screams and sobbing are heard on a regular basis on Slashdot. Links are SFW, but any investigation further may not be. This is truly a dark time for the internet. "

This deserves it's own story under YRO. Whether the slashdot editurs like it or not, is (was?) a high-profile website on many online forums. The fact that they ran afoul of their TOS, and whether those TOS were changed specifically to shutdown should be of interest to many in the slashdot community.

Victims of porn (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021606)

You know, porn is a disease [] for our times.

First of all let me start off by saying, I gave my life to Christ when I was 14 years old. I grew up in a household with an abusive father. He was not physically abusive, just emotionally and verbally abusive. I lived as normal of a life as I could, the typical teenager over at a friend's house and finds a porn movie or magazine. You and your friends start to giggle and hope not to get caught. This is my earliest recollection of porn.

The enemy (Satan) picks his moments very carefully. I joined the US Army right from high school. It was an escape from my father. I was stationed as far away from Ohio without leaving the continental United States, Washington State. I was not on base for more than 2 days when I started getting the thoughts of loneliness. So I went to the local convenient store on base and picked up couple of pornographic magazines. For some strange reason, I did not feel lonely any more. This was Satan planting the first of many lies.

As my time grew longer in Washington State, I started to make friends and the loneliness went away. My buddies all had porn movies and magazines and it was no big deal. In the back of mind, I knew it was wrong. I started to rent movies on my own, about once a week. I was hooked. No girlfriend or acquaintance could fill my desire. It was not a need, it was a want/desire. I would go long periods without renting porn or purchasing magazines, but always went back to the habit. Then it was time for me to come back to Ohio.

I have been back in Cincinnati for 8 years now. Six of those years I have had Internet access. This only threw gas on the fire. Porn was easily accessed and if you knew where to look, it was free. I thought when I got married the porn would stop. Well, it stopped for only a few months. I thought when I had my first child it would stop, again for a few more months. With my second child, same thing. My anger only increased. I snapped at everything that moved. I started to exercise my faith and get involved more at church. I repented for my sins and started to feel better, but kept coming back to the same habit. My addiction was affecting my worship. I chose this point to use the word "addiction" because it was so hard for me to come to grips with it. It took me 6 years to realize I had a problem. I went to a church service earlier this year (2003) and heard a sermon on sexual purity. God convicted my heart and told me that it was time for me to listen to him instead of him listening to me. Satan planted many lies in my head like, "No one will ever know", "It's not hurting anyone", "What makes you think God will listen to you", and finally "Go ahead, you can ask for forgiveness when you are done". The last lie put me over the edge and I told my wife for the first time I had an Internet porn addiction.

I sought out professional counseling with a local Christian counselor (member of the Christian Counselors Association). Over the next few months, my life changed dramatically. I learned through a process lead by the Holy Spirit, that anger and pornography had been in my family for many generations. When I was healed from this dangerous addiction, it was like God ripped something from my body. God let me know the truth, "I am not in this battle alone", "I am here, just call upon me", and "I sent my son Jesus to bear all of your sins". I have been set free!!!! But...just because I had been set free does not mean the sins of the flesh do not reappear. When inappropriate thoughts enter my head or I am tempted, I ask the Holy Spirit to take the thought captive and be bound by the authority given me by the blood of Jesus Christ. Amazingly, the thought is removed, I praise God and get on with my day.


Re:Victims of porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021637)

stuff it, troll

Help, help, I'm being oppressed!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021660)

Religious oppression!!

Re:A DRM Parable (0)

lasmith05 (578697) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021744)

I vaguely remember the original quote. It was something like they came for the jews, and I was not one so I stayed silent. (Or something like that) Could anyone tell me what the passage was and who the author was?

If you install the spyware, sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021490)

I suppose it could work - if people install the spyware.

Now why would they do that?

Who are these guys? Underpants gnomes?

Re:If you install the spyware, sure (1)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021635)

This would be great until everyone realized what was happening and just zip'd it up to change the hash.

Then we'd move to .tar? .rar? .lzh? What else? :P

They'd Better Not (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021491)

Slackware is Copyrighted, and P2P, more specifically Bittorrent, is one of its official distribution channels.

Re:They'd Better Not (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021526)

Ok, but since nobody installs Slackware anymore your point is purely academic.

Re:They'd Better Not (0, Offtopic)

turgid (580780) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021548)

Ok, but since nobody installs Slackware anymore your point is purely academic.


Re:They'd Better Not (4, Informative)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021642)

It's a classic example of public assumption. Everybody assumes that if something is copyrighted, it can't be distributed legally. In truth, it depends on the will of the copyright holder. I don't remember how many times I've heard people say "Linux isn't copyrighted" or "BSD isn't copyrighted." They both are, but the copyright holders choose licenses that don't include the phrase "All rights reserved."

But trying to clarify that is like telling an internet user that a "cracker" broke into their computer, not a "hacker." (However, I'll note that the copyright legality clarification is probably more important than that of the cracker/hacker.)

Doomed to fail. (5, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021494)

Did common sense go on holidays?

Load a fingerprinted file.

Change one bit.

It has a new fingerprint.

The eDonkey/eMule network already identify files by an MD4 hash to ensure you get what you ask for. For instance: if a file has many sources then that means they have the same hash, you can be quite sure that it isn't a bogus loop of a pr0n flick when you really wanted that latest DVD rip.

If this goes through you'll see a new kazaa-compatible P2P client appear that pops a few random bytes into the ID3 tag of an MP3, the comment section of a JPG or in the headers of a video file. Each one will then have a new hash. Oops.

Oh, the new KazaaDRM(tm) ignores comments & tags and only looks at the actual data? OK, the new client toggles a bit that won't cause any visual or audio degradation of the file. Oops.

That all said if 100 people rip an MP3 or DivX file they won't generate the same byte-identical file. This is doomed to fail at the expense of your computer's CPU cycles as it generates these useless hashes.

Re:Doomed to fail. (5, Funny)

Rhubarb Crumble (581156) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021527)

That all said if 100 people rip an MP3 or DivX file they won't generate the same byte-identical file. This is doomed to fail at the expense of your computer's CPU cycles as it generates these useless hashes.

OK, I have a better idea.

In order to check whether any of the porn files on kazaa (or wherever) are identical to copyrighted porn, all we need is someone who watches all the porn on kazaa and then compares is with their library of copyrighted porn.

Can I have the job?

Re:Doomed to fail. (2, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021549)

Can I have the job?

You'll need an assistant... :)

Re:Doomed to fail. (1)

Dreadlord (671979) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021613)

you two guys fail it, I've already done the first part (watching kazaa pr0n), I only need to do the second part, I qualify :)

Re:Doomed to fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021621)

You'll need an assistant... :)

Cool... can I fluff?

Re:Doomed to fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021626)

With a mop and tissues presumably...

Re:Doomed to fail. (-1)

Hypocritical Guy (674824) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021701)

You'll need an assistant... :)

What, are you looking to be his jack buddy or something?

Re:Doomed to fail. (5, Funny)

loserbert (697119) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021565)

Did common sense go on holidays?

Youre talking about the mass media industry. Common sense retired about 25 years ago.

Re:Doomed to fail. (1)

cjpez (148000) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021571)

Well, yeah, using MD4/MD5 hashing, if you change one bit you've got a brand spankin' new fingerprint. That's the hole point of MD[45]. That doesn't mean that *all* hashing schemes are guaranteed to change half their bits when one bit of the original source is changed.

Re:Doomed to fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021615)

If the hash (fingerprint) doesn't change when altering a bit, then it's not much of a hashing scheme, is it?

Re:Doomed to fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021659)

That's why the people who understand the technology (not the pornographers) are implementing watermarks, not hashes.

(I hightly suspect that everything from iTunes is watermarked, but that's all speculation based on SDMI proposal.)

Hmm.. (4, Informative)

ParadoxicalPostulate (729766) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021601)

Yes, I agree with you for the most part - that was the first thought that came to my mind as well.

However, for the average Kazaa user, it just might work. Most of them seem to think that if you uninstall kazaa your music is gone...or that you can't play the Kazaa music outside of the Kazaa client.

Keeping this in mind, then, we can give a little bit of credit to these guys in that they may succeed in fooling the idiots who use Kazaa.

Of course, people like that usually aren't the ones to come up with "original" content anyway.

Its actually amusing to think of the cat and mouse game this could develop into :)

Re:Hmm.. (1)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021622)

Its actually amusing to think of the cat and mouse game this could develop into

What.. you mean like copy protection? That's worked well. ;)

Re:Doomed to fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021614)

The real question is, where are they going to get a hashed database of every single copyrighted piece of video, music, text, photo, software, etc? And can you imagine the computing power that would be necessary to hash those trillions of terrabytes of data? And how would a P2P development group afford to buy every piece of copyrighted material on earth (that which they can still find being sold, at least) so that they could then generate a hash of it for their database?

Re:Doomed to fail. (2, Insightful)

turnstyle (588788) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021699)

"Did common sense go on holidays?

Load a fingerprinted file.

Change one bit.

It has a new fingerprint."

Actually, no. Changing one bit should affect a uniqueness hash, but not necessarily so a fingerprint.

As a simple example, think of the little logo that you sometimes see down in the corner of a video as a fingerprint -- changing one bit of that doesn't remove the fingerprint.

Again, you'll change the hash but not necessarily the fingerprint...

Re:Doomed to fail. (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021727)

Really? MD4? Anyone tell them that algorithm is fundamentally flawled and should not be used?


Re:Doomed to fail. (1)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021778)

Good question. When one starts a download (in eMule) the link passed contains the file size (in bytes) as well as the hash and other info. I don't know if it compares the size as well as the hash. Actually that would make sense, the change of a hash collision in 2 files of identical sizes would be fairly rare. Not as rare as using SHA1 or something stronger but hey.. I didn't write it. :)

Re:Doomed to fail. (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021753)

For instance: if a file has many sources then that means they have the same hash, you can be quite sure that it isn't a bogus loop of a pr0n flick when you really wanted that latest DVD rip.

That's true, but it doesn't do any good if you spend 2 days downloading paris_hilton_sex_video.mpg only to find out some asshole simply renamed shemales_volume_2.mpg.

Re:Doomed to fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021760)

So what? As long as it dooms P2P to fail they are happy. If everyone starts putting random bits into their mp3s then when you go to get britney_spears_yadda_yadda.mp3 you will find thousands of different copies with no way for your client to figure out that the difference between them (the id3 tag) is unimportant. So if they can get rid of the biggest most heavily traded copies what remains (combined with the slow uploads of most broadband customers) will be hard to get with any reasonable download rate.

Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021496)

Now p2p app program downloads will be upwards of 600MB each, just to satisfy every single publisher who wants other people to protect their works for them.

Didn't AudioGalaxy try this? (5, Informative)

MarsBar (6605) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021500)

The courts decided that it wasn't enough to remove works known to be copyrighted: rather they must know that works were not copyrighted.

Porn Moguls, File Sharing, Spyware Oh my! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021503)

Sounds like a fun time to be had by all.

DRM technolgy hacked even before production! (1)

HansF (700676) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021504)

1) Include a random text-file 2) compress the files again 3) ... 4) Profit !

Re:DRM technolgy hacked even before production! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021556)

everyone is getting worked up about this. theres no need to be. p2p networks are made for pirating, they arent going to implement drm technology. hahaha

Re:DRM technolgy hacked even before production! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021722)

Wait until the hardware and software gets locked up and regulated.

Yes. It can and most probably will happen if you believe this article [] .

Another anti piracy method (1)

HMA2000 (728266) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021507)

This one shouldn't be too hard to get around at all right? Can't you just append a couple of random bytes at the end of the file and change the hash?

Re:Another anti piracy method (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021530)

Or just zip or rar the file...

Fuzzy Fingerprinting? (3, Insightful)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021517)

However, anyone who has used a P2P network knows that for any given file people are looking for, there are about a dozen variants with very slight differences (encodings, cropping, someone added a few frames of "encoded by..."). Since we don't have digital purchase of data, there is no "authoritative" version of a file to fingerprint in the first place.

Doubt it. (4, Interesting)

BassZlat (17788) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021520)

It is possible only according to the suits in the government. The p2p traffic accounts for ~2/3rds of the internet traffic nowadays, so unless you have an echelon-type system good luck!

(and that is not counting all the anonimity-protecting nets such as freenet [] , MUTE [] , and the new i2p (don't remember link, sorry).

Re:Doubt it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021658)

..and the new i2p (don't remember link, sorry)

invisiblenet []

Wait, wait...GOT IT! (1)

GTRacer (234395) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021522)

"hashing" - it's a good Buzzword Bingo!

P2P, hashing, DRM, fingerprinting and spyware, diagonally from top right! Yay! What do I win?

- Oh yeah, more crap on my PC

New terminology for porn purveyors (3, Funny)

y2imm (700704) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021524)

"Providing creatively-driven, strategically-sound marketing solutions designed to help your business grow."

That ain't all they wanna make grow

Re:New terminology for porn purveyors (1)

whittrash (693570) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021711)

A smart company would launch i-porn...

If it was truly peer-to-peer... (2, Interesting)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021531)

Couldn't it NOT be shut down?

Just like with Napster, there's a core that they can shutdown and be done with it. Are any of the popular P2P networks truly independent?

Likewise, (-1)

Steve 'Rim' Jobs (728708) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021536)

Operating systems could, if they wanted to, impose restrictions on what you can and can't copy, and use hashing to keep track of it. (Think Palladium) The solution to either of these situations is to simply use software (OSS?) that doesn't have these "features" Duh.

Exactly. (1)

FrankoBoy (677614) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021687)

I've always wondered why copyrights conglomerates like the RIAA and the MPAA put millions into attacking the most popular network ( once Napster, now Kazaa ) ; people will just switch to other networks if they can't go to Kazaa. Gnutella ? OpenFT ? BitTorrent ? Name it.

Information wants to be free, suckas. Get it into your head.

I Don't think so. (1)

Viceice (462967) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021537)

As it is Kazza is doing a decent job poisoning the town well with all those mp3 that have a horrible screech in them.

I think the hash will simply suffer the same fate of being broken up and reassembled in the wrong way, rendering it useless.

won't work (2, Interesting)

Dreadlord (671979) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021538)

filtering files based on hashing values won't work, especially for audio and movie files, you can always modify the file a bit, add a black frame to the beginning of the movie for example, so the hash value changes, and the file passes the filter.

napster anyone? (1)

whysanity (231556) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021541)

didn't napster try to block certain files by name? what happenedis people renameg George Acosta to something like G0rge Ac0sta. What to stop people from creating the same file with a different hash (by repacking the file or chaning some bits. .mp3 is lossy, so I'm sure a hash could be completely different by changing a few bytes without a noticable difference.

Comments, questions?

Considering the vast amounts involved... (4, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021542)

The person making the statement that the apps can filter anything doesn't realize the sheer volume of fingerprints, etc. that the app has to keep track of.

Nice try- better than most, actually... But it still doesn't resolve the real problem which is that most of what the labels are selling is crap and grotesquely overpriced at that. People swapping all of that music is more a response to that than anything else.

Re:Considering the vast amounts involved... (1)

surprise_audit (575743) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021746)

Well, it could be possible for the client to generate a fingerprint before uploading a file, and bang out a request to a central repository to check it to make sure it wasn't registered. That still runs into the extra/missing frame/byte/overlay problem - the fingerprint wouldn't match if the data were subtly altered.

too easy to defeat (4, Insightful)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021545)

just change a random bit or two somewhere in the general data section (ie - where the actual video or audio is stored) and the hash gets defeated easily. (yes - an oversimplification, but it'll do)

Yeah, they could try.... (4, Insightful)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021546)

Well, he's wrong. If they used hashing, then people would only have to change a few bytes of the files to get around the filter. In audio and video, this could be done without any notice at all. And it would require people to have a huge hash database on their computer. Tens of Megabytes at least, if not hundreds. It would make performance really slow.

So, watermarking? Well, so far all watermarks that have been tried have been broken, and it would be much easier to figure out how the watermark worked if you had a binary file sitting on your computer that checked it. Just disassemble to find out how it's checked (and once one person does, this everyone will be able to). Plus, you could always just zip+password any file anyway, to prevent watermark checking.

Of course, that doesn't mean they wouldn't try to include this stuff, but why would anyone ever download something so restrictive in the first place?

Re:Yeah, they could try.... (1)

uucp2 (731567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021740)

And it would require people to have a huge hash database on their computer. Tens of Megabytes at least, if not hundreds. It would make performance really slow.
Yeah, and just think about the poor fella at Sharman who has to generate the hashes. You would need to download ALL of the copyrighted porn. Now that's some database!

Yeah (1)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021569)

P2P networks could (if they wanted to) use "fingerprinting"

That would give fingerprinting a whole new meaning :D

Re:Yeah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021645)


And what's so funny?

Are you kidding me? (0, Redundant)

bigberk (547360) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021570)

Put aside the fact that all DRM can easily be bypassed anyway. But filtering 'copyrighted' content based on a hash? Give me a break. I'll padd my AVI withone byte and throw your hash completely off. This is like editing MP3's ID tags -- it changes the hash, makes it impossible to automatically identify a file.

Another ridiculous measure (5, Interesting)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021577)

Wow, so now all the Divx rippers will have to chop a few frames off of each divx they rip so each hash is different. Companies should really stop worrying about what their customers do with the materials they have purchased and figure out a way to actually encourage them to purchase said materials in the first place. And no, I'm not just talking about pr0n, but CD's and DVD's in general. If it's a quality movie or CD I'll buy it because I know I'll want to watch it over and over and add to my 'collection.' I've spent more on Peter Jackson's works in the past two years than I have on any other media combined. (at least that I own... not counting all the Blockbuster rentals)

I mean seriously, how much money is Blockbuster making right now renting movies (some of which get ripped by the Divx kiddies 'cause they have way too much time on their hands) while the music industry bemoans their inability to sell records like they did in the late 90's?

Re:Another ridiculous measure (1)

RoLi (141856) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021723)

Wow, so now all the Divx rippers will have to chop a few frames off of each divx they rip so each hash is different.

Well since every ripper uses a different bitrate, different cropping, different codec and other differences, (almost) each rip is different in the first place.

The pure amount of "forbidden" hashes that have to be stored would be prohibitive and it also is impossible to automate the process (somebody has to watch each file and tell the program which are illegal and which are legal. There is absolutely no way a computer can figure out wether some file is copyrighted or not) so it's not even remotely realistic.

Yay. (2, Interesting)

elmegil (12001) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021579)

Glad to hear Congress is listening to and believing sleazeballs from the porn industry blowing sunshine up their collective legislative butts. It's a shame we can't make congresscritters refer to an unbiased (hahahahahaha) technical agency who can tell them when these kinds of things are full of it.

This *is* possible... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021590)

... at least in the music genre.

I used to work for a small company called Relatable (, which was working with Napster back in the day to identify the music being traded over the network.

Relatable's technology recognizes music by the acoustic properties of the audio itself regardless of how it was recorded, encoded, etc.

Obviously there are still ways around this, but it is a fairly solid solution.

It is important to recognize that "fingerprinting" does not equal "hashing". We all know that hashing will *not* work. But there are other techniques, at least for audio, that can work.


Re:This *is* possible... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021767)

Simply fliping each bit in the data stream would put an end to that technique.

Checking (2, Insightful)

Beer_Smurf (700116) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021597)

Realistically, how much storage space are we talking about for fingerprints for all know copyrighted works and how much processing power to check against them for every file you up and or download?

P2P (2, Funny)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021600)

So, P2P no longer means Porn 2 People. Sigh

Easily Defeated (3, Insightful)

akpoff (683177) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021603)

This sounds all well and good but there are so many ways to defeat this: encoding using different formats or different bit rates, segmenting files, flipping random bits, truncating silent sections from the front and back of the track, adding "throw-away" garbage to the end of the track and I'm sure numerous others.

It's also predicated on the idea that the hashes exist. Taking the first example of encoding at different bit rates and using different formats. Who's responsible for providing a reasonably exhaustive and authoritative list of the hashes? If Sharman et al. implement these schemes do they get bullet-proof immunity from criminal and civil liabilities?

Also, who says users will continue to use these "spyware" enabled P2P products once it becomes widely known that blocking has been enabled?

There are just too many excpetions to this idea to be really workable.

Just flip/add/subtract a bit (1)

jonasmit (560153) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021609)

Hashes are designed to prevent collisions. No two files will reproduce the same hash. Change a single bit and the filter no longer works. A better "fingerpring" technology would look for similarity not exactness. Hashing can help but not by hashing the entire file.

I guess someone forgot to tell them (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021610)

P2P technology is worldwide, what is illegal in one place might be perfectly legal elsewhere, good luck trying to enforce it

of course the USA can have their own crippled P2P, the rest of us in the other 191 countries and 95% of the worlds population shall just carry on

you have to laugh at the stupidity of americans sometimes

Typical slashdot anti-DRM article.. (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021611)

  • find some DRM piece. check.
  • make sure DRM is associated with porn. but not the good side of it, but rather with those evil sleazeball pornographers. check.
  • make sure that DRM is associated with spyware. check.
  • and then, in the comments section...
    • insist that P2P, as it is currently implemented, has multiple legitimate uses that are realistically not better handled by other means (like web pages)
    • insist that government should keep their hands out of technology but at the same time complaining that the RIAA has no right to do (enforcement/investigative/blocking action) that's what the police are for.
    • in soviet russia ...
  • and then..
    • go back to downloading pr0n, isoZ, and wareZ, and mp3z using k-lite.

Two "Duh" Fallacies (5, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021612)

There are two fallacies with the proposal:

  • Never trust the client.
    Spyware on the nodes? Even if you could somehow ensure that all compatible clients comply with the spying requirements, how long will those clients be left unmolested? Any P2P "server" is really just a client of many other "servers."
  • Math cannot define a human concept
    This depends on a mathematical hash performed on a given rendering of a copyrighted sample. Resample and the hash is broken. Hell, even a second-rate email spammer knows how to avoid hash detection: just tweak an unused ID3 field.

This... (3, Insightful)

xankar (710025) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021623)

..will be roughly as effective as shutting down napster.

That is to say, not effective at all.

Can you just not give ideas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021625)

Some stupid fuck might just take it seriously.

oops (1)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021627)

What's that I hear??? Is that the sound of 500 Congressmen rushing home to learn more about P2P?

This whole time they thought it was just for trading Metallica MP3s.

Re:oops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021661)

500 congressmen 200 of whom are multi-millionaires

lets hope they have shares in media companies and maybe we will see that figure reduced

This is the future of P2P (1)

tuxlove (316502) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021628)

It's the future and will happen. However, I doubt "hashing" will be a big part of it. Digital fingerprinting will involve one of the many emerging audio and video recognition technologies, to avoid issues that come with applying a filter to a media file (or even changing a single byte). True recognition will be required, and will become a part of P2P life.

Whether this is used for good or evil depends upon who prevails in the courts and the moral disposition of the P2P developer. But media file recognition will eventually be an inseparable part of the P2P landscape.

I can think of at least *one* good use right off: wouldn't it be nice to look for a particular song and be able to find it without having to try various spelling variations, including pig latin?

Re:This is the future of P2P (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021697)

Pig latin?

Dude, people haven't done that since Napster started filtering.

Searching for music is easier than you make out. If it ain't spelt correctly then it ain't worth getting.

My mind,heart and soul are clean as is my computer (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021630)

Porn is no longer confined to the seedy areas of town as it once was, in smelly buildings with men who don't dare make eye contact with one another. It's in our homes and living rooms now, and a porn addict can spend hours upon end online with his addiction and never spend a single cent. What are called "tgp's" refresh their pictures daily and compete for millions of hits from middle aged porn addicts with computers. They don't require any money at all. I once told a minister that

I could give him a search word that would keep him in free porn for the rest of his natural life. I also told him he didn't want to know what that word was. He didn't ask. I have been one of those porn addicts. I have fought porn addiction for most of my teenaged and adult life. I was molested at three and beaten and punished severely for my subsequent curiosity with neighborhood girls. A vacuum on correct sexual information and not having any sisters of my own created a mystery and insatiability to my views of the female body and the sexual world. I have been married for 25 years. It doesn't matter. Until one comes to know the dreadfulness of his sin nature, there is little hope of giving up such a strong compulsion, and one must also come to know what women truly are in the eyes of God to even begin recovery. Solomon wrote that there is nothing new under the sun. So it is with sexuality. But porn promises never ending variety and stimulation. If a nyarea of our lives is vacant or unsatisfied, the lust for porn has room to take up residence. It is a terrible compulsion and there are indeed victims and consequences. I used to measure my time away from porn as I do my sobriety time from alcoholism, which is now 12.5 years. One can live without alcohol, but not without food and affection.

So now I know that my progress is not based on time measurements, but on the amount of my flesh that can be affected by sin during any given period. The only answer is the armor of God, discussed in the book of Ephesians. I was called to the ministry in 1995 and promptly swore off ever going into another adult bookstore. I have kept that vow to this day, and trashed one of the best porn collections you'd ever find anywhere. But what happens when your computer screen can bring up millions of pornographic images as a temporary cure for loneliness, fatigue, rejection, everyday problems, and anxiety? What then? The answer for me has also been the discovery of the true preciousness of women, not of what their outsides consist of, but of what is inside. I am becoming faithful with both my wife and a dear female friend about this affliction. Some day I hope to be sufficiently fit and secure that I might show other men the way to the same freedom I am finding, day by day. Laws against these adult websites are not the answer. Such barriers only create resentment and curiosity, just as the beatings I received as a child did. God wants us to do the right thing for the right reasons. Sex in it's blessed form is sanctioned by God, but few people even address that. If we begin to teach the masses that the human body is a beautiful and divine thing, that the women in pornography and the men who view it are equally enslaved, and that wonderful sex at its best is the product of deep intimacy and God sanctioned relationships, we might spare future generations in our brave new world the despair of the sins of their fathers. As for now, my mind, heart, and soul are clean and so is my computer.

Copyrighted Porn? (1)

sameerdesai (654894) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021634)

ARgh!!! What would they think up of next??? Can't even let a guy wank in peace....

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021643)

People are saying we should just change one bit. Sure, that would change the hash (probably) but wouldn't it be a hella lot easier to just tar or zip at 0 compression? Encapsulating the file in some container format would change the hash easily, leaving the original file intact.

I don't think those progs are going to de-tar files on the fly over the net... way too much work. Maybe at the client side... But then again, why would they de-tar/de-zip every file?

Let's say you install the spyware... (3, Interesting)

YinYang69 (560918) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021648)

If they use md5sum hashing, which the RIAA has already admitted to, all I have to do is change the comment entry in the ID3 tag of an Mp3 and I have a brand-new hash that they'll not be able to identify. That is unless they download it, test it for copyright (listening to it), and then add that hash to their md5sum DB.

But I can change my ID3 tags all day. Can they match me (hypothetically, of course ;)) md5sum to ID3? I highly doubt it.

User hostile software... (4, Insightful)

hanssprudel (323035) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021650)

This would end up working about as well Kazaa's user rating (or whatever it was called) thing. It had been out for how many days before people started showing up with their points maxed out? And it is worth noting that the second and third most common file sharing tools, dc++ [] and emule [] are both open source, so that anybody who feels like removing the controls can do so, and recompile.

Peer to peer networks that control what people communicate are possible. As are ones that control who talks to whoom, that people really allow the uploads they purport to, etc etc. As is any software that acts against, rather than for, the person that is running it. We just need to get Palladium in place first. What are you waiting for Microsoft!!!

Re:User hostile software... (2, Funny)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021776)

so that anybody who feels like removing the controls can do so, and recompile.
Dude, seriously, if that is your definition of anybody, then... you've been reading slashdot too much :D
People have been fighting over microsoft using IE as default online shopping link browser and you are talking recompiling to remove controls?

Fingering (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021652)

.. I mean, digitally...

question (1)

sewagemaster (466124) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021653)

>> publisher Titan Media reported to Congress that...

were the porn people part of the MPAA or is it just the mainstream hollywood movies?

renaming files? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021666)

maybe just rename the *.avi file to sumething
like * to get around the
water/mark hash detector ...

if (ah! IF!) the spyware watermark/hash detector
is programmed to search in *.avi *.mp3 etc. files
only that is ...

you can host *.mp3 on free tripod website as
long as you rename the file to sumething like

This won't work (2, Interesting)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021679)

There are systems by which the network cannot possibly detect whether material travelling over it is under copyright or not. Freenet is an example. Everything that goes over the network is encrypted. Nodes may not necessarily have decryption keys. There is then no way for a node to recognize a particular work.

Porn Will flow (0)

slashblog (741067) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021682)

Until someone can combine face recognition and hashing algorithm on the client side.

Filter? Of course (1)

surprise_audit (575743) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021685)

I'd be very surprised if the various P2P clients couldn't filter out files listed on some master list. The problem is, though, what do you filter on? Some mystical hash of the contents? Changing one byte would change the hash without seriously damaging the content...

More to the point - a ripped file probably wouldn't match the officially distributed checksum anyway, and if you use some kind of "more or less matches" algorithm in the file deletion robot/spyware, someone will eventually lose something vital.

I don't know about you guys..... (1)

zippity8 (446412) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021696)

But I think that this is a GREAT idea!

I mean...Everyone knows that there's a billion ways that each file on P2P networks will have a different hash (different encoding, a ID text file, or even just ending the file 1 second early). Regardless, this hash will differ, and they won't be able to filter out what's out there.

But -- what about the garbage taht the RIAA is putting on kazaa? I haven't tested this theory - but do teh RIAA files all have the same hash? Would it, theoretically, be possible to block the tainted files using this same idea? It would just mean that someone would haev to keep a database of RIAA mp3 hashes.

time will tell (1, Interesting)

bbowers (596225) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021702)

So how long before the come up with a solution that actually works? If they do there will be ways around it of couse... our file sharing went down at school once for a few days and all you had to do was walk down the halls in the dorms and yell asking if anyone had such and such software/movies/music/porn, someone would stick their head out the door and you'd go burn it or run a cable down the hall

Hmm (3, Insightful)

adrianbaugh (696007) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021708)

I assume this is more than a worthless md5 sum: certainly in terms of the images that this guy is talking about it should be possible to steganographically hide a watermark in the image. If the p2p bots checked for this there might be a chance his scheme could work: some watermark techniques are apparently quite robust to re-encoding of the image, etc. Where all this falls down is that it'll be 5 seconds before some w4r3Z d00d releases a p2p client that just lies about having checked for the watermark and allows distribution regardless. That's the thing about the p2p model: there is no central server where the running code can be verified - to implement any kind of workable security model you have to assume that everyone on the network is going to be trying to defeat it and design it so that it's core to the whole application - unless the security validates, and other machines can prove to themselves that it validates on your machine, no transfer should work. I suspect something along those lines is possible albeit very difficult, but the fact that that kind of application isn't what p2p users want would still render the entire thing useless. Nobody would use such an app.

one byte (1)

vlad_petric (94134) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021716)

Change it (e.g. add 1), and the whole checksum is completely different.

Sure, you might lose a couple of frames (at worst), but who cares ?

Will AD-Aware become a circumvention device? (4, Interesting)

Ilex (261136) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021719)

detect copyrighted works and then filter them with the "spyware" installed

So under the DMCA AD-Aware and all other spyware removal tools will be illegal as they could be used to circumvent DRM.

Sounds like a ploy by the pr0n industry to install more crapware on our pc's.

Come to think of it *nix will be illegal too as their spyware will only run under wind0ze.

usefulness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8021736)

Sure you can hash a file, but once something is changed, it won't match the official hash. Say I rip a song at an odd bit rate, that would definitely change the hash, and would easily get around this stupid DRM bullshit. It's just great when idiot business guys with absolutely no clue try to make a statement about technology. The best solution so far is still iTunes and iPod.

business men are just a bunch of useless greedy asswipes, who really can't do shit. Instead they indenture programmers to make something they can sell and steal. The whole non-compete BS should be banned as retarded and illegal.

Problem. (1)

Raven42rac (448205) | more than 10 years ago | (#8021769)

The only problem with hashing is that it is not unique. You and I could rip the same song, on the same platform, with the same settings, and get the same hash.
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