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Offlinepattern
multiplayer

Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 2,183
Loc: Canada
Last seen: 1 year, 8 months
Software Bullet Is Sought to Kill Musical Piracy
    #1528101 - 05/07/03 05:57 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Software Bullet Is Sought to Kill Musical Piracy

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/04/business/04MUSI.html?ex=1052625600&en=dadf74c45d5ecb89&ei=5062&partner=GOOGLE

Software Bullet Is Sought to Kill Musical Piracy
By ANDREW ROSS SORKIN


ome of the world's biggest record companies, facing rampant online piracy, are quietly financing the development and testing of software programs that would sabotage the computers and Internet connections of people who download pirated music, according to industry executives.

The record companies are exploring options on new countermeasures, which some experts say have varying degrees of legality, to deter online theft: from attacking personal Internet connections so as to slow or halt downloads of pirated music to overwhelming the distribution networks with potentially malicious programs that masquerade as music files.

The covert campaign, parts of which may never be carried out because they could be illegal under state and federal wiretap laws, is being developed and tested by a cadre of small technology companies, the executives said.

If employed, the new tactics would be the most aggressive effort yet taken by the recording industry to thwart music piracy, a problem that the IFPI, an industry group, estimates costs the industry $4.3 billion in sales worldwide annually. Until now, most of the industry's anti-piracy efforts have involved filing lawsuits against companies and individuals that distribute pirated music. Last week, four college students who had been sued by the industry settled the suits by agreeing to stop operating networks that swap music and pay $12,000 to $17,500 each.

The industry has also tried to frustrate pirates technologically by spreading copies of fake music files across file-sharing networks like KaZaA and Morpheus. This approach, called "spoofing," is considered legal but has had only mild success, analysts say, proving to be more of a nuisance than an effective deterrent.

The new measures under development take a more extreme ? and antagonistic ? approach, according to executives who have been briefed on the software programs.

Interest among record executives in using some of these more aggressive programs has been piqued since a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled last month that StreamCast Networks, the company that offers Morpheus, and Grokster, another file-sharing service, were not guilty of copyright infringement. And last week, the record industry turned a "chat" feature in popular file-trading software programs to its benefit by sending out millions of messages telling people: "When you break the law, you risk legal penalties. There is a simple way to avoid that risk: DON'T STEAL MUSIC."

The deployment of this message through the file-sharing network, which the Recording Industry Association of America said is an education effort, appears to be legal. But other anti-piracy programs raise legal issues.

Since the law and the technology itself are new, the liabilities ? criminal and civil ? are not easily defined. But some tactics are clearly more problematic than others.

Among the more benign approaches being developed is one program, considered a Trojan horse rather than a virus, that simply redirects users to Web sites where they can legitimately buy the song they tried to download.

A more malicious program, dubbed "freeze," locks up a computer system for a certain duration ? minutes or possibly even hours ? risking the loss of data that was unsaved if the computer is restarted. It also displays a warning about downloading pirated music. Another program under development, called "silence," scans a computer's hard drive for pirated music files and attempts to delete them. One of the executives briefed on the silence program said that it did not work properly and was being reworked because it was deleting legitimate music files, too.

Other approaches that are being tested include launching an attack on personal Internet connections, often called "interdiction," to prevent a person from using a network while attempting to download pirated music or offer it to others.

"There are a lot of things you can do ? some quite nasty," said Marc Morgenstern, the chief executive of Overpeer, a technology business that receives support from several large media companies. Mr. Morgenstern refused to identify his clients, citing confidentiality agreements with them. He also said that his company does not and will not deploy any programs that run afoul of the law. "Our philosophy is to make downloading pirated music a difficult and frustrating experience without crossing the line." And while he said "we develop stuff all the time," he was also quick to add that "at the end of the day, my clients are trying to develop relationships with these people." Overpeer, with 15 staff members, is the largest of about a dozen businesses founded to create counterpiracy methods.

The music industry's five "majors" ? the Universal Music Group, a unit of Vivendi Universal; the Warner Music Group, a unit of AOL Time Warner; Sony Music Entertainment; BMG, a unit of Bertelsmann; and EMI ? have all financed the development of counterpiracy programs, according to executives, but none would discuss the details publicly. Warner Music issued a statement saying: "We do everything we feel is appropriate, within the law, in order to protect our copyrights." A spokeswoman for Universal Music said that the company "is engaging in legal technical measures."

Whether the record companies decide to unleash a tougher anti-piracy campaign has created a divide among some music executives concerned about finding a balance between stamping out piracy and infuriating its music-listening customers. There are also questions about whether companies could be held liable by individuals who have had their computers attacked.

"Some of this stuff is going to be illegal," said Lawrence Lessig, a professor at Stanford Law School who specializes in Internet copyright issues. "It depends on if they are doing a sufficient amount of damage. The law has ways to deal with copyright infringement. Freezing people's computers is not within the scope of the copyright laws."

Randy Saaf, the president of MediaDefender, another company that receives support from the record industry to frustrate pirates, told a congressional hearing last September that his company "has a group of technologies that could be very effective in combating piracy on peer-to-peer networks but are not widely used because some customers have told us that they feel uncomfortable with current ambiguities in computer hacking laws."

In an interview, he declined to identify those technologies for competitive reasons. "We steer our customers away from anything invasive," he said.

Internet service providers are also nervous about anti-piracy programs that could disrupt their systems. Sarah B. Deutsch, associate general counsel of Verizon Communications, said she is concerned about any program that slows down connections. "It could become a problem we don't know how to deal with," she said. "Any technology that has an effect on a user's ability to operate their computer or use the network would be of extreme concern to us. I wouldn't say we're against this completely. I would just say that we're concerned."

Verizon is already caught in its own battle with the recording industry. A federal judge ordered Verizon to provide the Recording Industry Association of America with the identities of customers suspected of making available hundreds of copyrighted songs. The record companies are increasingly using techniques to sniff out and collect the electronic addresses of computers that distribute pirated music.

But the more aggressive approach could also generate a backlash against individual artists and the music industry. When Madonna released "spoofed" versions of songs from her new album on music sharing networks to frustrate pirates, her own Web site was hacked into the next day and real copies of her album were made available by hackers on her site.

The industry has tried to seek legislative support for aggressive measures. Representative Howard L. Berman, Democrat of California, introduced a bill last fall that would have limited the liability of copyright owners for using tougher technical counterpiracy tactics to protect their works online. But the bill was roundly criticized by privacy advocates. "There was such an immediate attack that you couldn't get a rational dialogue going," said Cary Sherman, president of the recording industry association. He said that while his organization often briefs recording companies on legal issues related to what he calls "self help" measures, "the companies deal with this stuff on their own."

And as for the more extreme approaches, he said, "It is not uncommon for engineers to think up new programs and code them. There are a lot of tantalizing ideas out there ? some in the gray area and some illegal ? but it doesn't mean they will be used."



--------------------
man = monkey + mushroom


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Invisiblefailbot999
Registered: 02/18/02
Posts: 590
Re: Software Bullet Is Sought to Kill Musical Piracy *DELETED* [Re: pattern]
    #1528434 - 05/07/03 08:13 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Post deleted by ski_stoned

Reason for deletion: delete



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Offlinepattern
multiplayer

Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 2,183
Loc: Canada
Last seen: 1 year, 8 months
Re: Software Bullet Is Sought to Kill Musical Piracy [Re: failbot999]
    #1528460 - 05/07/03 08:19 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

I dont get how they can calculate losses based on mp3 downloads.

They assume people would buy a CD because they can't get an mp3. Which is total bs.


--------------------
man = monkey + mushroom


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OfflineExtravagantDream
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 User Gallery

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Re: Software Bullet Is Sought to Kill Musical Piracy [Re: pattern]
    #1529548 - 05/08/03 02:18 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

haha wow what a bunch of crock... damnit I like free stuff.. and if I cant get free music online.. guess I'll just have to get it from friends. those damn bastards.


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Offlineskiddlincat
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Registered: 04/05/03
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Post deleted by Administrator [Re: ExtravagantDream]
    #1529570 - 05/08/03 02:27 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)



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Invisiblematts
matts

Registered: 01/28/02
Posts: 3,649
[Re: skiddlincat]
    #1529674 - 05/08/03 03:04 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)



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OfflineSeussA
Error: divide byzero

Folding@home Statistics
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Re: Software Bullet Is Sought to Kill Musical Piracy [Re: pattern]
    #1530164 - 05/08/03 09:05 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

There is a story from way back in the early days of computing that the recording industry needs to learn...

In the early days, when programs were stored on rolls of paper tape with holes punched to represent the data, the language BASIC was invented. Some company wrote an implementation and started selling it for several thousand dollars. (Back when gas was a dime a gallon, $2k was a lot!) The company was upset because people could easily duplicate their paper tapes and not have to pay out any cash. The implementation was very buggy, so a group of guys (from MIT?) got together and wrote their own implementation. They gave it away for free to anybody that wanted it. A few weeks later they were amazed as envelopes with anywhere from 10 to 50 bucks in them would show up. Usually a letter would explain that their software was great and the people using it felt that the authors deserved something for their trouble.

If you charge too much for something, people will find a way around it.
If you try to protect something from being copied, people will find a way around it.
If you are reasonable in your prices people will pay you for it.

The RIAA will learn, eventually. I wonder how many billions of dollars they will throw away first trying to fight something that cannot be won. The really sad part of this is the RIAA lobby which bribes congress to toss out our constitutional rights so that the RIAA can hold on to their inflated, monopolistic profits.


--------------------
Just another spore in the wind.


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InvisibleTackleBerry
Im working forthem.
Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 701
Re: Software Bullet Is Sought to Kill Musical Piracy [Re: Seuss]
    #1530177 - 05/08/03 09:17 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

I agree, if a CD, tape, album, 8track..etc didn't put an automatic $14.99 dent in my pocket I would buy more.


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OfflineMurex
Reality Hacker

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Re: Software Bullet Is Sought to Kill Musical Piracy [Re: TackleBerry]
    #1537380 - 05/10/03 06:44 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

I agree, cds cost to much.

And is file sharing illegal? Last time I checked it wasn't.

Masking viruses as mp3 files is legal? I don't understand.

Musicians make most of their money from touring anyways, so why are they bitching about the sales of their cds when their record company makes all the real profit?


--------------------
What if everything around you
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you think you know,
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection,
Is it all you want it to be?



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Invisibledjfrog
omgws!!!1!

Registered: 10/23/00
Posts: 3,710
Re: Software Bullet Is Sought to Kill Musical Piracy [Re: Murex]
    #1537408 - 05/10/03 06:54 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

All your Next Generation Secure Computing Base are belong to us.

Yeah anyhow this is a case where people are going to have to vote with their pocket books. Don't buy music with DRM technology, just keep buying CDs and use CD rippers that are available. The consumer can only be forced out of that by law.

Now here's the catch. Eventually Sony and Warner Brothers or some combination of the major media owners will have subscription services where you can access all their music for like $5-$10 a month. But there will be DRM and restrictions, perhaps on how long you can play the music you download or if you can copy it to another computer or archive to non-DRM CD. It will be cheap so it will be compelling. But with people paying $5-$10 continuously for a huge stockpile of music, the individual artists not supported by Sony/Warner Brothers/etc will be cut off from that revenue stream.

They say the technology is intended to protect the creative talent, but really its to protect the monopolies held on that creative talent IMHO


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OfflineStrumpling
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Registered: 10/11/02
Posts: 7,571
Loc: Hyperspace
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Re: Software Bullet Is Sought to Kill Musical Piracy [Re: djfrog]
    #1537544 - 05/10/03 08:03 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

they're going to start policing the internet more and more, and soon it will be just as lame as THIS reality


--------------------
Insert an "I think" mentally in front of eveything I say that seems sketchy, because I certainly don't KNOW much. Also; feel free to yell at me.
In addition: SHPONGLE


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OfflineMurex
Reality Hacker

Registered: 07/28/02
Posts: 3,599
Loc: Traped in a shell.
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Re: Software Bullet Is Sought to Kill Musical Piracy [Re: Strumpling]
    #1540497 - 05/12/03 02:03 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Download the track 'Delete Yourself' by Atari Teenage Riot. It's a good one.


--------------------
What if everything around you
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you think you know,
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection,
Is it all you want it to be?



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