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Posted: 5/3/2003 2:54:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/3/2003 2:55:17 PM EDT by warlord]
[url=http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/04/business/04MUSI.html]Software Bullet Is Sought to Kill Musical Piracy[/url] May 4, 2003 Software Bullet Is Sought to Kill Musical Piracy By ANDREW ROSS SORKIN Some 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 that 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. -- continued --
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 2:54:56 PM EDT
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." Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 2:55:48 PM EDT
won't work the piracy nerds will find a way around it like they do everything else
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 3:01:22 PM EDT
I'm with Red_Beard. The record companies still don't understand the power of the internet. The people that download music {i]will[/i] learn about it, and quickly figure out how to avoid it. - Matt
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 3:03:52 PM EDT
You can never stop the Spanish Inquisition!!
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 3:06:05 PM EDT
"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." Oh my, im shaking in my boots![:O] too bad windows does that for me already.
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 3:06:17 PM EDT
So they fire the first "bullet," they better be sure that bullet won't turn around and hit them in the ass.
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 3:09:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/3/2003 3:12:48 PM EDT by Pale_Rifle]
I'll never buy another Dixie Chicks cd... ...kazaa-m exercising ma freedom of speech.[rofl]
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 3:10:01 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 3:11:58 PM EDT
Bullshit. There's more of us and we are better than they.
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 3:12:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ColonelKlink: No, the record companies dont understand that the people doing this are a lot more intelligent than they are. A lot of the file sharing people run more secure operating systems than windows. And are capable of launching retaliatory attacks greater in magnitude.
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yup
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 3:16:20 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 3:17:46 PM EDT
Hackers aren't gonna be too happy with this crap...
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 3:34:10 PM EDT
What these idiot record companies need to do is use the resources and money they are using to prevent and sabotage users' computers to advance their own distribution methods. They are so behind the technology curve and got caught out. Downloading music is so much easier and allows an almost unlimited access to less popular recordings. There is a segment of the population that is tired of paying huge margins on media and limited access to desired recordings that are not distributed to the media outlets and they are giving payback. Instead of fighting the techology, why not join them? IMHO, these record companies are too lazy to capitalize on the technology and give the consumer what they want. Instead they have been telling the consumer what they want and a very poor way of doing business. -934
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 3:44:46 PM EDT
If a Trojan were massively distributed with intent on f*ing up a computer, then it is ILLEGAL.
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 3:47:21 PM EDT
Originally Posted By racer934: What these idiot record companies need to do is use the resources and money they are using to prevent and sabotage users' computers to advance their own distribution methods. They are so behind the technology curve and got caught out. Downloading music is so much easier and allows an almost unlimited access to less popular recordings. There is a segment of the population that is tired of paying huge margins on media and limited access to desired recordings that are not distributed to the media outlets and they are giving payback. Instead of fighting the techology, why not join them? IMHO, these record companies are too lazy to capitalize on the technology and give the consumer what they want. Instead they have been telling the consumer what they want and a very poor way of doing business. -934
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Yep, you're right. The record companies have to have doing this for years and they plan to do it for more years. In the past if a musician or band didn't go thru the big music labels they were pretty much out in the cold. The record companies today are on the verge losing control of the market they so tightly controlled since the beginning of the entertainment industry. ColonelKlink: It is not just the cost of the blank CD/LP etc. The record companies have people, studios, taxes etc they have to pay etc, and lot of times they hit some real bombs, so the hits have to make-up for the bombs. I forget exactly but the record labels put out something like 10 CDs, only 1 to 2 will actually make money, and a few will break-even, the rest will lose money.
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 6:48:48 PM EDT
yep, just like the time they shut down napster to end music theft. that sure worked for um, 10 programs (all better than napster) have filled the vacume. im with red beard. the guys behind the sharing software will remain 3 steps ahead.
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 6:58:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ColonelKlink: I think the recording industry is finally realizing that they cant get away with the fact that it costs them .25 to manufacture one cd and the fact that they mark it up to 20 dollars while giving the artist a measingly $.03 per cd, it's called a monopoly. This is why so many artists support peer to peer file transfer software.
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The world revolves around money. If you really want to make them cry, don't let anyone buy any music....thats what the radio is for.
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 7:04:19 PM EDT
For every encryption, there is a decryption. For every bullet, there is a vest. What costs the record companies millions to develop will be undone for free by the open source community. They need to spend their millions putting out better product, because the catalog has absolutely been for shit the past couple of years.
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 8:24:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By warlord: ColonelKlink: It is not just the cost of the blank CD/LP etc. The record companies have people, studios, taxes etc they have to pay etc, and lot of times they hit some real bombs, so the hits have to make-up for the bombs. I forget exactly but the record labels put out something like 10 CDs, only 1 to 2 will actually make money, and a few will break-even, the rest will lose money.
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Apple seems to be do(iTunes)ing pretty well selling tracks for $.99 each - they sold just under 300,000 tracks in the first 18 hours. Granted, it's a pilot project, but that's a perfectly reasonable price, and remember that's only the Apple market they're targeting at this point.
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 8:26:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By warlord: a problem that the IFPI, an industry group, estimates costs the industry $4.3 billion in sales worldwide annually
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This figure is [b]GROSSLY[/b] over estimated. Just because I downloaded the song does not mean I would have bought the CD. These company's can rot in hell for all I care. Metallica can go with them.
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 8:55:20 PM EDT
This figure is [b]GROSSLY[/b] over estimated. Just because I downloaded the song does not mean I would have bought the CD. These company's can rot in hell for all I care. Metallica can go with them.
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EXACTLY! Of all the 1000 or so dollars worth of music I have, I would not have purchased ONE SINGLE CD if I hadn't downloaded it. Number one I don't like most of it that much, and number two the bands that I do like and [i]might[/i] buy I would have never even heard of them otherwise. They aren't losing any money on me....
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 9:01:20 PM EDT
I'll tell you why their losing money. It's because their used to putting out cd's that have one hit and a shitload of filler and costs $20.00. Everyones getting tired of it. For years I borrowed cd's and recorded just the song(s) I wanted instead of buying them(with some exceptions). I'm still doing basically the same thing it's just a little easier now. By the way anyone hear about Madonna's website getting hacked? In response to her faked songs on Kazaa that said "What the fuck do you think your doing?" when downloaded, someone captioned her site with "This is what the fuck I think I'm doing" and provided links to real quality downloads to her newest releases. LMAO!
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 9:05:27 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BenDover: For every encryption, there is a decryption. For every bullet, there is a vest. What costs the record companies millions to develop will be undone for free by the open source community.
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Like that sony copyprotecion that was defeated by a magic marker.
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 10:09:01 PM EDT
In theory at least, I’m sympathetic to the music industry over this. Imagine spending weeks or months on a project, just to have someone steal it!! However, this is counterbalanced by the fact that the music industry abounds with miserable and selfish low-life’s that will themselves do anything for money (I think someone already mentioned Maddona!). So, even though it’s wrong, I’m delighted to see what’s happening to them and I hope it continues!! [:D]
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 10:28:56 PM EDT
We've finally found a way to hurt these holywierd types. Hit them in the pocket. I for one will sleep soundly knowing I am depriving record execs/bands with political agendas of much needed cash to fund their little "disarmament" campaign. But seriously, I have bought MORE music now that I can get a good preview before I drop 20 bucks on a CD.
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 10:34:38 PM EDT
I agree that the value of the downloaded music actually doesn't actually cost the industry as much as they think it does. They're taking the estimated number of songs/cd's downloaded and assuming that everyone who downloaded a song would have purchased its cd if they hadn't the means to download it. Anecdotally, I know that simply can't be true for a large portion of the file swapping public. While there are probably many who look at it as a cheap way to get all the music they'd endeavor to acquire regardless of the means, someone here has already mentioned and I fall into the category of people who download MP3s, but wouldn't have bothered to buy the cds otherwise. Just because I bothered to download them doesn't mean I would have paid for them. Idiots. Besides, they'll never be able to totally eradicate piracy. The hardcore bootlegging junkies view this kinda thing as their mission in life to defeat. If they'd spend half the effort they are lobbying the government to restrict the capabilities of consumer electronics and sabotaging online networks they could have already had a good new business model worked out. Personally, I think 99 cents per song is a bit high, but I'd certainly pay for cd quality MP3s.
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 10:37:05 PM EDT
I agree that the value of the downloaded music actually doesn't actually cost the industry as much as they think it does. They're taking the estimated number of songs/cd's downloaded and assuming that everyone who downloaded a song would have purchased its cd if they hadn't the means to download it. Anecdotally, I know that simply can't be true for a large portion of the file swapping public. While there are probably many who look at it as a cheap way to get all the music they'd endeavor to acquire regardless of the means, someone here has already mentioned and I fall into the category of people who download MP3s, but wouldn't have bothered to buy the cds otherwise. Just because I bothered to download them doesn't mean I would have paid for them. Idiots. Besides, they'll never be able to totally eradicate piracy. The hardcore bootlegging junkies view this kinda thing as their mission in life to defeat. If they'd spend half the effort they are lobbying the government to restrict the capabilities of consumer electronics and sabotaging online networks they could have already had a good new business model worked out. Personally, I think 99 cents per song is a bit high, but I'd certainly pay for cd quality MP3s.
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 10:40:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DoomPatrol: By the way anyone hear about Madonna's website getting hacked? In response to her faked songs on Kazaa that said "What the fuck do you think your doing?" when downloaded, someone captioned her site with "This is what the fuck I think I'm doing" and provided links to real quality downloads to her newest releases. LMAO!
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Fucking outstanding, I was thinking about DLing American Life just to make sure ANYONE can get a free copy. Fuck the recording industry (who support anti gun measures) and fuck liberal millionaire celebrities crying about "lost profits." They don't care about me, I don't care about them.
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 9:12:48 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SuperAlpha: If a Trojan were massively distributed with intent on f*ing up a computer, then it is ILLEGAL.
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Yep. It will identified and blocked by anti-virus software, then those companies responsible will be liable for spreading an illegal virus. But hey, maybe the Republican-controlled congress will push for an amendment making it legal for Big Media to create and spread viruses? They seem more than willing on giving big companies more and more legal access to your personal info, etc.
Link Posted: 5/8/2003 4:02:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/8/2003 4:03:26 PM EDT by nightstalker]
[url]http://archive.salon.com/tech/feature/2003/02/01/file_trading_manifesto/index.html[/url] Embrace File-Sharing or Die Long, but interesting article on file-sharing with an different point of view.
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