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The Almighty Buck

Courts Gives Napster 72-Hour Deadline 290

Several folks have submitted a variety of stories proclaiming that Napster has been given 72 hours to remove copyrighted materials from its servers. Meanwhile, websites are cropping up everywhere to encode filenames to simple things like Pig Latin, as well as more complicated stuff. No doubt open-source Napster clones will have that built in within a few days.
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Courts Gives Napster 72-Hour Deadline

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  • "...Napster Inc. has just 72 hours to block any copyright songs."

    Thanks goodness! If it had said they have to block all copyrighted songs they would be in trouble. Now, they just have to block two and they will be ok. My nominations are "REM - Shiny Happy People" and any of the songs by Souxie(sp?) and the Banshees.

  • by john_many_jars ( 157772 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @09:56AM (#381080) Homepage
    People who claim that Gnutella and Freenet can't be shutdown are kidding themselves. The way they will be shutdown will be more horrific than any kind of censorware out there. There will be outrage and there will be shock at the step and those who think that this scenario won't happen are kidding themselves.

    Follow my logic. The legal system is all about suing who has the money. Even those who have a passive role in the commission of a crime are obliged to pay damages. Who has money and facilitates the commission of these crimes? ISPs. With the advent of "technologies" like Carniwhore or POS-2000 or whatever its name is, those who are in court will realize (mistakenly) that ISPs can filter information passing through them. Thereby, injunctions will be slapped on the big ISPs like @Home, etc. (but not AOL, for some mysterious reason). The ISPs will then start filtering for known patterns of bytes of Freenet, Hotline, etc. traffic and block them in either direction. Of course, this solution is ridiculuous to think of, but then again, judgements of law are often unencumbered by the thought process.

    Of course, there are obvious ways around this. They will be implemented until the ultimate work-around (use of encrypted packets) at which point entire ranges of ports will be banned. Probably, even worse--everything but port 80 from a list of "registered web servers".

    If you think this is absurb, try this on for size. Broadcast something for 24 hours at about 100MHz. Yep, that's right, the FCC will be on you in a heartbeat to shut you down.

    To think that these cannot be shutdown is absurd. To think that the government will not try to regulate the Internet in an absurd fashion is hubris. They have done it before (from the sinking of the Titanic onward, the US has regulated airwaves) and they WILL do it again.

    The fact that we have licensed radio stations is proof enough for me.

    PerES Encryption [cloverlink.net]

  • This is all getting very hypothetical, but why should it be easy for the RIAA or any one else to scan the contents what someone chooses share via Napster? Perhaps you'd also be in favour of writing all your correspondance on postcards, banning encryption and reverse phonebooks to make it easier for people with automated processing tools? After all, what have you got to hide?

    Um, it should be easy for them to see what you're sharing, BECAUSE YOU'RE SHARING IT. If you don't want other people to see it, don't share it on something like Napster where you know anyone else can get to it.

    And people shouldn't feel sorry for the poor old record companies. They make billions every year, of which only a tiny percentage goes to the artist. They'd just rather use lawsuits to protect their cartel rather than riding the wave themselves. If they sold songs online for 50 cents a download from a reliable server then no one would even bother with the likes of Napster.

    Why am I the only one to see what would happen if this were the case. You buy a CD and what is the first thing you do? You rip it and share it on Napster. Why would it be different if you downloaded it for 50 cents? You are going to put it with all your other MP3s, in the big folder that is shared by Napster. Then everyone else goes and gets it from Napster and saves 50 cents.

  • If Napster is somehow at fault for facilitating the sharing of copyrighted music, shouldn't Dell also bear some responsibility for manufacturing the computer I use to download? Shouldn't Microsoft bear some responsibility for providing the operating system I use to download? Shouldn't all the people that download the music bear some responsibility? Shouldn't all the people that actually SHARE their music bear some responsibility? We can go forever.

    The issue is that even though Napster doesn't store any files on its servers, it is an easy target. Hence the RIAA goes after Napster. Napster doesn't do anything but say, "Hey, you want this file, well he has it". You then go there and download it. Shutting Napster down, in my opinion, is therefore a violation of its rights to free speech. Everyone knows this but somehow, the powerful RIAA has gotten the judicial system to buckle.

    The funny thing is that they will be unsuccessful if they think that they can curb the flow of information. What in the entire Universe is easier to share than information? They are also very wrong if they think that somehow they will make more money by doing this.
  • by dillon_rinker ( 17944 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @09:57AM (#381084) Homepage
    In a democracy, it really is true that 50,000,000 people can't be wrong. The music industry has two choices: give people what they want, or get screwed. People will do what they want to do. The law is not an abstract entity; it is a formal codification of the will of the people. When the formal code disagrees with the will of the people, guess what has to change.
  • Chalk one up for the RIAA, by the time Napster could prevail in appeals they'd be so much recycled paper and office furniture.

    Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.

    But it's (©) copyrighted so don't even think of trying to share with with your budz.


  • by Aqualung ( 29956 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @09:07AM (#381098) Homepage
    Aren't they already done? Since Napster doesn't store anything on it's servers...

    MicrosoftME®? No, Microsoft YOU, buddy! - my boss
  • "Why couldn't Napster block all songs except songs on an approved list? Therefore, all of the Metallica songs would be blocked, but all of the independent artists that Slashdotters seems to care so much about could get their songs registered and promoted on Napster. It's very difficult to produce a filter based on every permutation of artist, album, track names, but it is quite easy to have an approved list. The approved list could have IP address and track name, plus possibly some MD5 signature attached to it. It also makes it easier to check for violations."

    How do you maintain that "approved" list when you're not checking the content of the files? My "Parody of Metallica" could just as easily be a pirated copy of a Metallica album as not, regardless of whether I'm part of the "registered" system or not. An "approved" list like that is effectively what's already in place (and being largely ignored). When you create a Napster account you're agreeing to their Terms of Service, which _explicitly_ state that trading pirated mp3s is not allowed. Your "approved" list doesn't do anything to prevent illegal mp3 trading, and is simply another barrier in the path freely and easily exchanging _legal_ mp3s online. Sure, you get their ip address and username, but they _already_ have that information. That's how Metallica was capable of dumping thousands of Napster users in the first place.

    Also note that MD5 sums are useless in the mp3 world. Adding a fraction of a second's worth of dead air onto the end of the mp3 changes the MD5 sum. So does changing the ID3 tag information. MD5 sums are very, very easy to get around, and are only useful for verifying that the file you're looking really is, in fact, the file the person sending it claims it should be. The contents of the file are completely unknown.

    The real problem here is not Napster's service. The problem here is that the recording industry is going after the people with money, rather than the people actually comitting the crime. I hope this gets appealed to Supreme Court, as it would be a very interesting and very pivotal case for the coming years in regards to Internet freedom.

  • Sure, why not? I would truly, truly, truly love to see the RIAA attempt to sue every individual Napster user who has ever posted or downloaded a piece of copyrighted music.

    me too, but what would actually happen is this: the riaa might sue a couple people. the rest of the people would see this and back down-being that they are willing to stand on the civil disobedience pedestal until it becomes inconvenient. this is typical of the apathetic populous here in the us.

    alternatively the riaa might threaten the isp's who will cut the cords of their users. reguardless of wether or not the riaa has a legal leg to stand on is irelevent. many of the ips would cut the users so that they dont have to go through the legal hassels. not to mention the aol/tw connection. the folks at time warner call over to aol and say: "hey cut the user who had this ip address at this time. he's a violator".

    the us legal system can take alot. look at the "war" on drugs. in the last decade the number of people in the us prision system has increased dramatically. many of these folks are in for minor drug charges and come out alot worse than they went in.

    in my opinion the us has become a subsidiary of corporations and the population is happy to be told how to live by watching mtv/suvivor/etc. anything that might be worth the time will infringe on their convenience and we cannot have that.

    give me convenience or give me death.

    use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that
  • "Once all the free online music services for the masses have been eliminated the RIAA can step in to fix the MP3 cravings with an online service that charges a mere $10 - $20 a month. "

    All hatred of the industry aside, I might be willing to pay a subscription fee for unlimited high quality downloads of a huge database.

    I would _never_ pay for Napster. It relies on the lowest common denominator; a bunch of kids, more or less :). You get mis-titled songs, you get poor sample rates, you get songs cut off half way through, and you get the limited selection of people who happen to be online when you're online, and happen to like what you like. That's why I'll never pay for Napster. It's a novelty, at best. I have used it to find nostalgic 80s singles, to grab TV theme songs, and to grab 1-hit wonders (instead of taping them off the radio) who sit on my hard drive for about as long as they last on the radio. Would I pay $100 a year for that novelty? Never.

    Would I pay 100$ a year for a legal substitute for buying CDs? Perhaps.

  • Not really. Practically every single significant record label is in the RIAA. There are only 5 majors, but there are several hundred labels in the RIAA. The only ones who aren't are the type of labels where the operation consists of some guy in his garage pressing a couple dozen seven inches of each title.
  • If Napster can't list music that RIAA owns, it's pointless for them to list music that it doesn't. Indy labels in Napster are like the little CD in the bin next to the 500 copies of something popular. You might grab the little CD because it looks interesting, but you never would've come to the store if the 500 copies of something popular weren't there.

    Besides, it's pointless. Copyright is dead. If Napster doesn't survive, something else will. It's like making laws against picking your nose or spitting on the sidewalk. You can scream like howler monkeys every time someone does it and maybe even try to arrest people for it, but you'll never actually make any significant dent in the number of people doing it.

    The only solution is to realized that copyright based models for paying artists are dead and think of something better. Here are some links to a couple I've seen:

    None of those guarantee money to an artist for every person who gets a copy of a work. My suggestion as to how to deal with this is to get over it. I think many of them will work well enough that decent artists will make a good living. All of them significantly diminish the role of the middleman.

  • I used to use a program that very recently instituted a policy very similar to what you describe. The program is called Peer Genius and was really a more robust version of Napster. It did auto resuming, multiplexing of downloads from diff hosts. It made for some slammin transfer rates, and best of all, searches by checksums (they call it eDNA) so searches are REALLY fast. I'm extolling Peer Genius but I thought of it as 'Napster Done Right'.

    At any rate, it was a good source for every media format in existence and now the whitelist is enabled there's nothing to download anymore. I would call it nothing more then a better version of FilePlanet but it depends on the hosts hosting all those files, not servers. My point is that in effect the PG network is now a POS not only because I cant d/l music through them but cuz it's only a source of shareware/freeware which I can get off the web (which I'd rather do) instead of using a custom app that has no guarentee that someone will host the file I want and (more importantly) give me a decent transfer rate.
    "Me Ted"
  • So Napster's effectively gone away. If Mr. Berry's figures are to beleived, this means that the RIAA doesn't have a few ingenious crackers and hackers on their hands trading MP3z on undergound IRC and Usenet channels. They have 30 MILLION FRUSTRATED, ANGRY, PISSED OFF users from all classes and races! Worse, they have a veritable legion of crackers and hackers who want to support these people's dirty MP3 habits in order to make money/points/karma/etc...

    Your analysis would be correct if the RIAA had no plans to create an online music distribution system similar to Napster. But we all know that various RIAA members have expressed interests in online music delivery including Sony [wired.com], BMG [zdnet.com] and EMI [bizreport.com]. The reason the RIAA has cleared the scene of Scour.net and Napster is so that people stop getting used to the idea that online music should be free. Once all the free online music services for the masses have been eliminated the RIAA can step in to fix the MP3 cravings with an online service that charges a mere $10 - $20 a month.

    As for hackers creating a rival service, as long as the RIAA owns the copyrights on the music that people want to hear the law will be on their side. This means that any hacker(s) who create(s) a popular online music distribution system must be ready to contend with lawsuits and harassments from law enforcement and RIAA lawyers. Since most hackers already know where to get MP3's without the common tools (Gnutella, Napster, Scour, etc) it is unlikely that any hacker will put himself through the RIAA wringer just to enable other people to be able to download free music. Corporate investors will also tread warily with regards to facing the RIAA after what has happened to Scour and Napster.

    Quite frankly, the RIAA is about to prove that "He with the most lawyers wins".

  • And if the judges have a brain in their head, that's exactly what will happen - once the RIAA demonstrates what a farce this "filtering technology" is.

    This whole thing is funny. All the Napster users that expect free music are doing so for various reasons, but I've seen many complaints about the RIAA's unfair pricing/payment practices. Yet, these same people insist on slaying this dragon with the equivalent pea shooters. Everyone's so busy shooting the dragon with peas, they fail to see (or use) the arsenal of rocket launchers right at their feet. There's a word for this arsenal - BOYCOTT. Yes, it may take the cooperation of more people to get the desired results, but it CAN be effective. If the RIAA doesn't HAVE to change, why should it? It seems like the only effective solution would be to create an environment that makes this so. Otherwise, stock up on the peas - it's going to be a long ride.

  • 3 Napster related articles on /. within 9 hours of each other. There's something fundamentally wrong with the universe today.

    Yeah. The RIAA is what's fundamentally wrong with the universe today...
  • Very good point you made here.

    The scary thing is, using agent and downloading all your mp3's from newsservers is a piece of cake, and MUCH less frustrating than using napster ever was. Of course, you sometimes have to be patient, because you can't get everything all at once, but given a short length of time, everything eventually becomes available.

    However, as easy as using usenet is, its way beyond most of the the internet users who were bred on AOL and still think that Internet Explorer IS the internet. The entire concept of usenet probably escapes them and even if they decided to investigate it, they would be initially overwelmed and forget about it, rather to spend hours a day desparately searching on webpages, sifting through numerous porn banners and such.

    Thats why napster was such a hit. Just type in the name of the song you want and keep clicking on the name until one of them downloads. It saves the users the trouble of thinking too much.

    This is no big loss. Frankly, I'm tired of hearing about it. But there probably WILL be a backlash. The public as a whole has gotten a taste of what the internet CAN offer, and its going to be very hard for them to be pacified. Even the whole Pig Latin thing probably won't take off. Thats more complex than they want to deal with. They're going to want it to be as easy as it was before. And if market forces have their way, they may actually succeed.

  • This has to be one of the most insightful comments that I've ever read on the whole situation regarding Napster, MP3's and the general public. Honestly, I've never given it a thought as to what the public outcry will be if Napster was to go away. I've had people at work in the last several months come up and ask me, "What's this Napster thing? How does it work?" I'd tell them to go to Napster.com and download the software and they'll see just how easy it is. The next week I'd see them and they'd be telling me how amazed they were at it all. Genuine Napster junkies now. These are computer professionals in their 30's and 40s' (and one I know in her 50s), not the "1337" gen-x hacker types like myself who live on the net. They are the prime example of the general public using Napster. I say that because even though they work with computers at work, many of them barely use the internet at home. Chances are many of you know these type of Napster users.

    Regarding the motives of Napster use? Well, that's always a tough call. I do know that all of the people that I helped with Napster were interested in previewing albums before buying. These folks are still in the CD age. They still like their music in CD-Audio format. The wouldn't have a clue how to convert an MP3 back to CD-Audio. (Even though it's easy.) Crap, I'd say it's a fair estimate based off my own observations that most of those 30 million napster users don't even own a CD writer.

    I guess I should wrap up my rambling... I never thought about Napster being a martyr, but the commenter is right. Napster will make a wonderful martyr. The RIAA (and the MPAA for that matter) is outdated. The time is up. I believe they are fighting this to delay the inevitable. Why delay? Because they are still making money the old way. If it costs $100 million in lawyers to keep them making $1 billion, then they do it. The problem is that such a large percentage of the profits go into the pockets of a very few. And those very few don't want it to stop. Their time is up.

    Shawn Pack

  • The problem here is that if anonymous luser can find encrypted titles, so can the RIAA. This is a big problem, because you can't allow anonymous searches and at the same time prevent the RIAA from searching.

    BTW, I don't think that everyone is going to go through so much inconvenience. Only the hardened Napster-criminals will do so, the average Napster-luser will not bother. Then they have a convenient way of identifying the hardcore thugs, and they can lock 'em up and throw away the key.

    Likewise, if they move off shore, the thing to do is go after the users. If napster appear to be making good faith efforts to make their service legit, it's not really fair to blame them for the actions of their users.

  • Actually it's not YOUR responsibility not to share copyrighted material. It's Napster's responsibility to make it unavailable to the other users. Which mean they won't block what you share, they'll block what users are searching by filtering the different queries in accordance to a database of song titles.

    "When I was a little kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun...
  • Actually, as a consultant, I would use a variation on the streetperformer protocol. In fact, most consultants already do. Very rarely does a consultant impose any distribution or copying restrictions on what they produce for their client.

    That is NOT a 'panhandling' style protocol. The closest an artist has come so far has been Stephen King with "The Plant", but he didn't follow it precisely. The streetperformer protocol tends not to let you reap as many rewards from popularity as some other ideas, and apparently either Stephen King didn't know about the streetperformer protocol, or he wished popularity to still figure strongly into how much money he got, so he used a variation that was less likely to succeed, but more likely to reap rewards proportionate to popularity.

  • No, the government rules with the consent of the majority of the people. Your not consenting to copyright does not make you any more free to violate it than my not consenting to anti-murder laws makes me free to kill you.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @10:21AM (#381163)

    I've talked to a knowledgeable person who works in the record industry and they tell me that the feeling there is that music sharing has already won. The music industry may be able to shut down Napster, but they've lost the war. There are hundreds of ways to share music files now and more are on their way. There is not just an entire generation of music fans who have begun to think differently about intellectual property laws, there is now Joe and Jane six-pack who want to share Led Zeppelin MP3s.

    Those of you who whine about musicians being ripped off by online music sharing are still missing the bigger point. This controversy is about music *distribution*. Napster and others like it are a new, easy-to-use technology which removes the middleman from between artist and fan. Nobody is crying over the record companies and the profits they are missing out on. More and more people are beginning to understand that music distribution is controlled by 5 to 6 companies and perhaps a few more retail outlets (i.e. WalMart). If anybody has been ripping off artists it's been record companies and their monopoly. If a small band lose its contract, it is destined for oblivion because the alternatives are few. We all know who bland FM radio is with its limited playlists that are designed to sell us a select few artists. Never mind the fact that most of the FM dial is owned by 4 or 5 major companies.

    What can you do? Keep sharing music. Buy CDs from small labels and distros. Go to a concert and pay to see a band. If you are a programmer, help develop open source P2P software. Set up a server to host MP3s and movies. Turn off that corporate radio station and start your own pirate station. Several years ago there were hundreds of pirate stations on the air in the U.S. It takes less than $1000 to start a station with your friends.

    Finally, don't get depressed about this because our side is winning!

  • OK, let's make an analogy. I'm overcharged by a company for some product or service. I take them to court.

    While the court proceedings are going on, I tell you about how the company screwed me over. You say, "the bastards! I'm going to steal from the evil company and keep the pilfered items for myself."

    How does this help me?

    If you want to attack record companies by violation of copyright--regardless of whether or not they're abusing copyright--I won't stop you. Just don't pretend that you're somehow helping the artists by this action.

    If record companies are screwing over musicians, then it's up to musicians to lead the revolt.

  • Yes, and the 72 hours starts after Napster has been given the list of filenames. (presumably on disk). I hope that Napster lets people know which files (that they are sharing) are being filtered out. There are two reasons for this:
    1. where the RIAA accidently (or maliciously) asks for the blocking of legitimate works that the artist does want shared.
    2. so that researchers can figure out whether banning a song from napster affects it's popularity in the stores.
    3. so that people have the ability to respond appropriately when they learn that the RIAA (or others) don't want their songs listened to. (or don't mind).
    (don't bother telling me that I can't count)
  • Doubtful. The RIAA said that napster must be given a list of FILENAMES to block. I doubt they can conceieve every possible filename to block. And i don't think the courts would go as far as to let the RIAA say they must block all files with Metallica in the title. I should be allowed to share a song called 'I hate Metallica.'
  • by doorbot.com ( 184378 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @01:30PM (#381174) Journal
    Have one system (Napster) that you can control easily, rather than one which is distributed and you cannot control at all.

    If I may give a terrible example, if I want to stop a bicycle from moving easily, should I remove the wheels or the pedals? Well, let's say killing Napster is like removing the pedals. It is still possible to (somewhat comfortably, albiet at a greater inconvenience) ride the bike around by pushing it with your feet.

    Even if you remove the wheels (which are a bad metaphor for the Internet as a whole), one could still carry the bike on their back.

    That's not to say I think Napster is good. The legality of their business is mired in an endless gray area ("How gray?" "Charcoal." -- Fletch) but the RIAA needs to understand that they are going to lose out (not legally, tho) anyways. When you can't beat em, join em. But the RIAA has gone too far, too long to turn back now (which, IMHO, is why Metallica got on the anti-Napster bandwagon... the RIAA needed a "hip" band, and probably managed to convince poor weak-minded Lars... by the time they were getting hit from their fans' backlash, it was too late to back out).
  • Nah the headline is wrong. The ruling is to BLOCK songs.
  • I object to 'masses ripping you off'. It presupposes a mindset that copyright is 'right' in some ethical sense.

    And I guess that I mean it should be dead in the case of people giving copies to random other people or friends, but not in the case of someone selling many copies to large numbers of people.

    Whether or not Napster falls into that category is highly questionable. They don't sell copies. They 'sell' a way for people to find other people who are willing to give them a copy, which isn't quite the same thing.

    I also think the unenforceability problem is a very big problem. It really can't be enforced unless you want to wage a 'war on pirating' like we already have a 'war on drugs'. Even then, it can't be enforced. You'd practically have to have a police state if you wanted to enforce it.

  • If anybody has been ripping off artists it's been record companies and their monopoly.

    And how is this rectified by listeners ripping off the artists and record companies alike?

  • Meanwhile, websites are cropping up everywhere to encode filenames to simple things like Pig Latin, as well as more complicated stuff. No doubt open-source Napster clones will have that built in within a few days.

    I'm wondering, why is it necessary to encode song names? Since the vast majority of Slashdot are law abiding citizens who would only use Napster to trade non-copyrighted music this should be an issue.

    Is the encryption being used to allow people to keep trading copyrighted material? If so, why not give the artists the pay they deserve the purchase their MP3 or CD?
  • In hindsight we can more easily see what is right and wrong.

    And one day, in an enlightened future, IP legislation will be cast off as the backwards barbarism that it is.


  • You are hilarious and an idiot. Copyright is dead. Think of a different way to make the money. It only really helped the middle man anyway.

  • no matter WHAT they do, they will lose. Even if the mow everyones lawn and bring democracy to Cuba, they will STILL lose. on the other hand, its not whether you win or lose, but how many you drag down with you.
  • A far-fetched hypothesis, but not totally out of the question:

    1. Napster implements a filtering system that blocks the exact names given to them by the RIAA.

    2. Ten minutes later, some kid renames all of his Metallica tracks to Meta11ica.

    3. The RIAA goes to court saying that Napster is not complying.

    4. Napster claims that the people doing this are violating the DMCA by circumventing copyright protection mechanisms and shifts the blame to the people trading the songs.

    Would it stand up? I don't know. I would have never imagined that anyone providing a service on the Internet would be held liable for content that they don't produce, store on their servers, or even have pass through their network. But it has happened.

  • interesting interpretation. i thought it ment any songs whos subject was copyright, or songs who used copyright as a medium. like a banjo with a big C on it or something. man this ron harris has a horrible writing style. i'm an engineer-i wonder what his excuse is.

    use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that

  • Similarly, the Beatles' White Album. I bought that on vinyl, and later on cassette. Am I really required to buy it AGAIN to legally download MP3s that other licenseholders have made?

    One would think that this would be legal.

    However, the ruling in mp3.com says precisely the opposite: even if the downloader/listener already has legal license to that music, the person who bought the CD that the streaming bits came from is the only person allowed to hear them.

    see... oh... this press release from mp3.com [mp3.com]
    wired news article [wired.com] about a congressman trying to create legislation that says "if they already bought it, they can listen to it!"
  • by bughunter ( 10093 ) <bughunter@@@earthlink...net> on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @11:30AM (#381204) Journal
    block all ifnringing materials from being searched for

    Now answer me this: how can they tell it's "infringing?" Just because it's copyrighted doesn't mean it's being infringed upon. There's a possibility, yes, but... well, here's a ferinstance:

    I bought Blue Man Group's album, Audio [blueman.com], last month. It plays fine on my portable CD player, but put it in the CD-ROM drive, and it misbehaves. I can't even rip it. I have a license to make fair use copies of it, so presumably, if I can find MP3s of this album, aren't I entitled to download them?

    Similarly, the Beatles' White Album. I bought that on vinyl, and later on cassette. Am I really required to buy it AGAIN to legally download MP3s that other licenseholders have made?

    Forget the technical problems for a sec, and just look at the legal presumption of guilt here.

    I'm offended. I really am.

  • Now that it is clear that Napster has to try to stop the swapping, nobody seems to be interested in trying to do a really good job of it. Letting renaming of a file get around the swapping ban is just too lame.

    Shouldn't the filter for copyrighted stuff be like an antivirus? Changing the name, or even making insubstantial changes to the content should not evade the filter.

  • So we send packets with just ACK set and hack the TCP/IP stacks. Perhaps they could make it so packets need at least one of source and destination being a "registered" IP. There are still ways to hack it. On cable modem send a ping with a forged source of your intended destination to a registered IP. You destination gets back the reply which has N bytes of your original packet in it. It is VERY hard to prevent 2 entities from communicating data that a third party does not want sent. Look into mandatory access control (military grade security, Orange book ratings B1, B2, and B3). It is very complicated.

    Or one could encode data in email messages. Make it look like English, at least close enough to confuse filters (i.e. something more subtle than uuencode). Not that hard to do.

    Plus ISP's (which include telco's) might not appreciate blanket injuctions denying user-to-user rather than user-trusted server communication. Could hurt their bottom line. Telco's are mostly sleeping giants, but they'll wake at this. They've got WAY more money than Hollywood or the RIAA or the software police.
  • Yah... gnutella.. that great, always reliable, always fast, always find what you want program. Yah, thats it..

    log on to OpenNap servers. they're just as good as napsters own server, and actually have more people more often than not. Fuck gnutella, that shit is for chumps.
  • by mindstrm ( 20013 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @09:12AM (#381211)
    1) That's misquoted. Napster doesn't have anything on it's servers.

    2) What Napster is required to do is block all ifnringing materials from being searched for.

    3) The Record companies must furnish napster with a list of what to block.

    So.. what the court ordered was that napster had to bock all infringing materials the record companies told it about. Isn't that what napster said they would do in the first place?

    Sounds fair to me anyway.
  • by commodoresloat ( 172735 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @11:31AM (#381212)
    At the risk of repeating myself [slashdot.org], I must say that while the RIAA thinks they have won this round, in the long term they will lose to the march of technology. They can't legislate it out of existence. And frankly, if Napster continues to operate with all the RIAA's list of songs blocked, it is still a terrific tool. Perhaps more so - and here is where the RIAA's egos are getting in the way of them having a clue about what they are doing. The RIAA's list of blocked songs? Guess what: I can buy that crap in stores. I don't need Napster to find my precious Britney songs. If I want super-leet pirated copies I can tape that sh*t off the radio. If the only music I could get on Napster was indie labels, bands that support napster, and unknown artists -- well, that's a lot of great music. I say let the RIAA take their stuff off Napster; we're better off without it. Sure I like a lot of that stuff too but my point is that Napster (or a Napster-like clone that adequately filters copyright violations) is a great means of distribution and of discovering new artists. And guess where the RIAA labels will come looking for hot new bands to sign in a couple years? Having already built followings via Napster, these new artists will be in a lot better position to call the shots of their contracts, and some may even tell the RIAA to f*ck off.
  • Napster, sure, they're done, you don't even need to stick a pair of chopsticks in 'em, like the symbolism in a bowl of rice.

    But the movement of sharing music will live on, like the words of Obi-Wan "If you strike me down I shall become more powerful than you could ever imagine"(or thereabouts) Watch the RIAA even try to take on all the servers which will now fire up.


  • no, they don't use the street performer protocol at all as a means of compensation. They bill an hourly rate. IOW, they have a depedable source of income that is not based on the goodwill of people who remain anonymous.

    You're selectively misinterpreting the streetperformer protocol. I kinda wonder if you've actually read the paper.

    Consultants often negotiate a specific compensation for a specific product. That's exactly what the streetperformer protocol is about. It's actually sort of misnamed. Go read it.

    You are right in that they usually work for an hourly rate, but the kind of contract I talked about is not uncommon.

    A great success that was, huh ? I find it implausible that the failure of it was due to his not following it precisely (rather it was due to the classic "free rider" problem). Why do you believe his version was less likely to succeed?

    The streetperformer protocol stipulates that you ask for a specific total donation before you will release your work to the public. You then provide the work to people who've donated more than a certain amount for free, and charge everybody else to download it. You're only guaranteed to make the original required donation. As I said, that particular method doesn't do well for generated increasing returns for increasing popularity. Only in the sense that you can start asking for larger guaranteed donations. Combining (but not replacing) the protocol with one of the reputation and social pressure based protocols would result in more popularity based revenue, and still guarantee you the initial donation.

    In the hopes of generating the more familiar popularity based revenue, Stephen King just sold it without requiring a fixed initial total donation. He based whether or not he'd release the next chapter not on getting a certain amount of money, but on the 'free rider' rate on the current chapter. Not the same at all.

    Also, the success of his venture depends on how you measure. He made a great deal of money that way, and I think he got a much larger cut of it than he would've from a print publisher's royalties. I think, given that he largely set himself up for failure in the first place, that he did surprisingly well.

    IOW, it reduces the artist's compensation -- "win-lose".

    I think they have a chance of increasing compensation because the middleman is less able to demand a large cut, which is what happens now.

  • by Yottabyte84 ( 217942 ) <(ten.emohtfos) (ta) (etybattoy)> on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @09:14AM (#381225)
    Yes, but can they do anything about stuff on opennap? I've found that the MusicCity cluster (20 Terrabytes) usualy has more stuff on it then the offical servers (8 Terrabytes), and there's far less idiots on it. (join a chat room on an offical server) Anyways.... I alyas say, if the cat gets let out of the bag over the internet there's no way to put it back in. (Think DeCSS). The RIAA is wasting thier time.

    Is 1GHz 1000MHz, or 1024Mhz?

  • I gave your system a try today, and got nothing from it. Am I doing something wrong, or is in such a fledgling phase that a search across 34 servers will yield no 200k images?

    I set up the server after reading this post and went on to get a feel for how much information is currently accessible with Mojo Nation. I wanted to start with something nice and broad, nice and vague, to see what kind of information is available and accessible. So I searched for images across 34 other machines and came up with squat.

    I also searched for audio, and got a whole lot of mp3 listings (predictably). But none would download. Not a single one. For every one I was left with an empty file on my machine. I tried about 10. Also, every time I tried to download for some reason, the files didn't have extentions. What the heck is up with that? And none (and I mean not a single file) had the standard "musician - song title" format. It was always just the name of the song. Can you explain why this is happening? I think I followed the instructions just as the are described. After all, I can search. I'd normally just contact you from the Mojo Nation page, but since you posted this to slashdot, I thought I'd ask you here as others might be interested too.
  • I hope this gets appealed to Supreme Court, as it would be a very interesting and very pivotal case for the coming years in regards to Internet freedom.

    You mean THAT Supreme Court? Surely you don't want to entrust Internet freedom to those jokers do you?
  • I am very surprised that RIAA would have agreed to them having to supply filenames to block. Sounds very impractical for them.

    The RIAA didn't agree to anything. This is part of the court order. And you can understand why... if Sony says "Remove Leonard Cohen's I'm Your Man" and there's a copy that someone has which is inexplicably mislabeled (both in the file name and the ID3 tag) "Weird Al Yankovic - Dancing Queen", it's absurd for Napster to be expected to recognize it without being explicitly told about it.

    What I'm curious about is the status of bootleg remixes and bootleg live versions. When Joe Basement Producer makes a megamix of Pink Floyd (on Capitol) and Underworld (on TVT), who needs to contact Napster? Capitol? TVT? Joe Basement Producer?


  • 1) the song is beyond the original copyright period (14 years or so) and you disagree with the extension.

    According to the internationally signed and agreed Berne copyright convention [cornell.edu], the lifetime of the copyright is that of the lifetime of the artist plus 50 years [cornell.edu], and has been that way since 1971.

    When was it last 14 years or so? When Jefferson was around?

  • The music companies are never going to be able to make an effective list. I know that a) the songs that I rip for personal use (legal under fair use) are either named wierdly by RealJukebox, or named by me with filenames like 'somegoddamnsong.mp3' because I'm lazy. This is going to be a serious thorn in the side of the record companies. YAY!
    The RIAA won't care about that sort of thing because no one else is going to be able to find what they're looking for anyhow. It's not like anyone will ever search for 'somegoddamnsong'.
  • Um, it should be easy for them to see what you're sharing, BECAUSE YOU'RE SHARING IT

    I didn't say it should be difficult to share, I said it should be difficult for automated tools to see what you're sharing. Napster obviously needs to know what's on your machine but third party tools should be deterred. Napster could implement a number of measures that hardly inconvenienced the average user but made life considerably more difficult for automated tools:

    • Directory sharing could be an opt-in setting. If you don't set it, no one can see your entire list.
    • Directory listings results could be delayed by a few seconds to slow down the rate they can be gathered at.
    • Searches and listings could be limited to 5 a minute to again slow down the rate they could be gathered at.
    • A daily maximum search limit could be set (e.g. 300 searches) per user.

    In fact many of the same measures that the likes of Slashdot, Hotmail etc. employ to prevent spammers could be utilised in Napster.

    Why am I the only one to see what would happen if this were the case. You buy a CD and what is the first thing you do? You rip it and share it on Napster.

    The thing with CDs is that their high cost makes ripping and sharing worth it. When songs are sold electronically for 50 cents or few bucks for an entire album then there is considerably less motivation. Freeloaders will still use it of course, but for the sake of a few cents I suspect a great many people would rather use a reliable commercial service than waste their time with broken downloads, bad encoding and copyright theft via Napster/Gnutella.

  • by Bonker ( 243350 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @09:16AM (#381241)
    One of the only things that has kept the general non-evils-of-copyright-aware public out of this mess up until now is the fact that it has been relatively difficult to trade MP3's online.

    I mean, if you know more than absolutely nothing about the internet, you can download agent or x-news and point it at the MP3 binaries groups and get a wealth of high-quality audio, that has usually been encoded by people who know what they're doing. The same goes for IRC channels.

    What Napster has done is to remove that first little bit of knowledge necessary to start yourself down the good-intentioned road to MP3 hell. It's all point and grunt. Even Journalism Majors can use it. My step-dad can use it, and that's pretty damn scary.

    So Napster's effectively gone away. If Mr. Berry's figures are to beleived, this means that the RIAA doesn't have a few ingenious crackers and hackers on their hands trading MP3z on undergound IRC and Usenet channels. They have 30 MILLION FRUSTRATED, ANGRY, PISSED OFF users from all classes and races! Worse, they have a veritable legion of crackers and hackers who want to support these people's dirty MP3 habits in order to make money/points/karma/etc...

    What's the old saw? If one man owes you a lot of money and won't pay, then he's in trouble, but if many men owe you money and won't pay, then you're in trouble.

    This applies here. It was one thing for RIAA companies to pick on the hackers. Now they have visibly, audible, and a finacially insulted the American Public as a whole. Now all that's left is to whip the addled mob into a blood-thirsty frenzy.

    Good bye, Napster. You'll make a wonderful martyr.
  • Popularity is irrelevant when it comes to right and wrong.
    You are absolutely correct.

    However, I'm not talking about right and wrong. I'm talking about the law. Far from disagreeing, you are proving my point. Note that the law changed regarding ALL the things you mention when enough people wanted it to change.

  • Something must be wrong you should be able to download mp3 files and they should have the extension.

    As far as not having the artist in the mp3 file name; Mojo Nation has seperate XML metadata describing files and for Audio that includes Title, Artist, Genre, and others. There is no need to put all of this information in the file name with Mojo Nation.


  • Try this one [localhost], it's a full concert. "TJ Kirk" who takes the music of James Brown, Thelonious Monk, and Roland Kirk and mixes it all up and rearranges it in the new school jazz funk sound. Featuring Charlie Hunter who plays bass and guitar simultaneously on an 8-stringed instrument.

    When you open that (youll need to have Mojo Nation running on your box) you'll get an html page with info about the show and links to the individual tracks. This is freely redistributable music.


  • Once the MP3 passes a quick listen test, the MP3 would be approved. The MD5 is only there to verify that the server/user has not replaced the song with another one. While this is a costly means of control - and by no means foolproof, it is better than trying to filter based on filenames.

    I agree it's better than trying to filter based on filenames. I think filtering based on filenames is doomed to failure, as the RIAA, Courts, and Napster are already demonstrating. However, the system you describe simply wouldn't be feasible, either in theory or in fact.

    Napster is so popular, in part, due to the fact that it is so damn easy to use. Somebody in another comment mentioned that even his Uncle could do it. Requiring a submissions process for getting your uploads approved immediately destroys the ease-of-use that Napster currently has. Your standard "newbie" Napster user isn't going to have any idea what bitrates are or what an MD5 sum is. If you kill off the ease of use, you kill a lot of what makes Napster so popular. It's not popular because it has the best search algorithims, or the best network protocols... It's popular because it's easy!

    Audibly listening to each mp3 submitted would be a nightmare as well. Lets say you listen to the first minute out of each mp3 submitted. That means, if you do _nothing_ but listen to mp3s one immediately after another, you can do 60 in an hour, per person. Except, you can't do that, because the listener also has to indicate whether it's acceptible for the system or not, and if it is, go through the process for approving it and contacting the user to let them know that it's been accepted and that they can start serving it.

    Song approval would very, very quickly lag behind the number of requests being filed, and the cost of hiring more people to satisfy the approval requests would _far_ outweigh any potential revenue gains as a result. And it still doesn't solve the sticky question of bootleg music, which some bands allow for trade online. The Dave Matthews Band, for example, has a fairly liberal bootleg trading policy. What if I want to register my bootleg archive of several hundred bootleg DMB songs with the new system? There are bootleg collections out there that could occupy a single person for _days_ on end to ensure that they're all valid, and that doesn't even raise the issue of whether or not the system would allow bootleg recordings at all...

    Song comparisons performed by humans, while being a fairly accurate means of determining whether a song is pirated copy or not, are far, far too costly and time-consuming to ever be used in the online music industry.
  • The fundamental problem with democracy is its core assumption: that what is good for the majority of people is automatically good for all.
    Actually, the core assumption of democracy (see previous post in this thread regarding difference between technical and conversational usage of the term) is that people should govern themselves. The "tyranny of the majority" is an unfortunate but necessary side effect which must be controlled.
  • And having given this post further thought, (puts on CYNIC hat), we're not any form of democracy. We're an oligarchy.
  • Remember, the courts don't have to decide how napster is going to do this. What the courts have asked for is fair and just.

    They've said that if the record companies want napster to block a file because it infringes, then they have to give napster the name of the file, and napster has to block it.

    Whether that is PRACTICAL or not isn't the issue. The court merely says that if napster will do this, then they can continue to operate.

  • by mindstrm ( 20013 )
    Napster is in the business of selling advertising. That's how they try to make money, selling banner ads and such.

    They attract viewers by encouraging the unlawful trading of music. Yes, their system can and is used for other things, but napster inc. knows they will have tons of users because people want to pirate music. This is the flaw in their business model; the chief way they attract viewers is by encouring/helping them do something illegal.

    A website based on the same principle would be just as bad.

    Now the courts have said that Napster can stay in business, as long as they block searches that the record companies tell them to. What's unfair about that?
  • by jovlinger ( 55075 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2001 @06:35AM (#381258) Homepage
    So the sole discriminant here is title?

    i know about the aimster pig latin stuff, but my question is who has the burden to identify a particular song as copyrighted, and who is responsible in the case of false positives and negatives.

    I would like to see a system where the RIAA has to implement servers to answer go/nogo for each song to be listed by napster -- with answers in reasonable time frames and with reasonable penalties for false positives. I guess any song they haven't flagged in 1 minute is assumed to be ok.

    So each time a user logs on with a list of songs, Napster's servers sling a bunch of URLs to the RIAA and they go through and flag any they disapprove of. Since the SDMI watermarks worked so well, they already have a technology they claim can do this.
  • Well, it seems that the *majority* of U.S. internet users seem to be voicing their opinion on the issue with each download.
    Remember, Napster has more users than George W. Bush got votes.

    I do not give a shit what the *majority* of U.S. internet users want - I care what the *majority* of the country wants. If indeed these Napster users form more votes than George W. Bush got, why didn't they vote for someone else? Merely expressing an opinion does not impress me - you need to work within the system to vote representatives in who agree with your causes. If you get outvoted, too bad. For the record, the majority of U.S. citizens support copyright laws (and other intellectual property laws).

    Napster is not, nor ever will be, murder. Don't push the arguement to extremes. This is the reason for Godwin's Law.

    The argument I was responding to was the "consent of the governed" argument. I was using an extreme case to illustrate the how ludicrous the claim that one may disobey a law one disagrees with is. It is equally invalid reasoning with less extreme cases, but since the author of that claim made a broad claim about "consent," I used one of the cases in which it is easier to understand its error. In effect, the author of that claim had really meant to say "I can break laws only relating to Napster because I disagree with them," but instead attempted to invoke grand (but flawed) principles (which are flawed for the reasons my examination of an extreme case indicates).

    And Godwin's law has nothing whatsoever to do with this subject - it involves ad hominem attacks on people calling them Nazis, and it not a "law" so much as a general response to the over-use of such attacks.

  • You aren't actually interested in thinking, you're interested in calling people names. A great deal of the software I write is under GPL. I purposely do this so that people will be free to make copies and distribute it widely. I've purchased my music library. You wish to call people names simply because they have a different opinion than you.

    Tell me then, do you want a 'war on copyright infringement'? If there isn't a different model, that's exactly what will happen. It'll be a nasty war, and a lot of people will end up in jail, and you'll end up having to feed them, and their contributions will be lost to society. Is that the right thing? Even then, it won't stop 'freeloaders'. They'll exist in even larger numbers.

    Trying to stop the free flow of information is like trying to stop people from having kids. It just isn't going to happen. You can call people names all you want, but that fact won't change.

    Copyright has now become a horrible solution to the problem it was meant to solve. Attempting to make it fit will cause some of the most horrible civil rights degredations that this country has ever seen. The DMCA was just the beginning. If that's what you want, just go right ahead and keep on being righteously moralistic about it, and above all, avoid thinking about something that might actually work.

  • I posted a reply to this that got lost.

    I wouldn't object to Napster if they charged. I think they'd just become as banal and marketing driven as radio then though. And all the money would go straight to the middlemen's pockets, not to artists.

    As for the GPL Quake thing... I think the guy should be treated as a social outcast for doing what he did, but in my world, it wouldn't be legally actionable.

    Once a piece of work has been released into the world, the artists wishes should be respected, but the artist shouldn't have legal control over whether they are or not. It should be based largely on reputation and social pressure.

    Perhaps, after we'd done this for awhile, some conventions would arise that would be possible to enforce and maybe then laws should be enacted then. I think the incredible ease of digital copying changes the equation so fundamentally that a 'destroy the old and let a new arise' approach is the only thing that will work.

    If you have to become a police state to enforce your law, the law is wrong.

  • 285 million (current US population)- 50 million = 235 million who didn't want Al Gore to become President. Of course, the same holds true for George bush.

    New law:
    You must win, not a majority of the votes cast, but a majority of the votes of eligible voters in order to unseat the current president.

    New law part 2:
    A sitting president may not in any way attempt to influence the outcome of a presidential election - NO CAMPAIGNING TO STAY IN OFFICE!
  • Yes it does, and my use of mp3 files would never get me a conviction. The preeminence of the constitution (U.S.) means that 'fair use' has trumped all the wankers time after time.

    Copying multiple full albums and then offering those same pirated albums up for download by other people is most certainly not covered under "fair use" by any definition of the term. Look up what fair use actually is before you start spouting nonsense.

    Intellectual 'property' is not property unless is has a corresponding physical objectivity.

    Do you have any backing for that claim? Why should I respect your physical property but not your intellectual property? Keep in mind that there are plenty of people who disagree with you on both sides - on one side a communist would disagree that either sort of property is really a right to have, while many people think both are. Why should I accept your claim that physical property is and intellectual property is not (rather than either of the other two claims)?

  • by Masem ( 1171 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @09:17AM (#381264)
    From what I've read, once the RIAA companies hand a list of the songs on Napster that are theirs, Napster has only 72hrs to block them. But, this appears to be a final warning, thus they have to COMPLETELY block them, even, for example, the name was changed or the like.

    Which means that Napster is pretty much screwed, as they cannot filter anything else beyond names, and therefore will have to resign to shut down their server completely, or face further penalties for disobeying the injunction.

  • According to the article, the record companies will have to give the artist name, song name, and the name of the file. Then, Napster will have 3 days to block it. This should not present too much of a problem to Napster users, since the record companies will have to provide specific file names. Napster users will just have to keep changing the file names.

    Record companies will need to keep searching Napster, and provide them new with lists of file names that they want blocked. There are a hell of a lot more of us than there are of them.
  • Has anyone been able to connect to their servers in the last few days? I sure haven't. I'm now on Swaptor.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    1 GHz is 1000 MHz. If we are talking about bytes, 1 GB is 1024 MB.
    Hertz is different than bytes, hertz is a measured frequency...
  • One of the best things I have seen recently was a TV summary of European Napster usage. The Spainish came out top with a wopping 31% using Napster to get an average of 3 hours audio a month! Figures throughout Europe suggested an average of about 14% usage at an hour and a half of audio a month. Sounds like enough to make Napster a martyr and to ensure that free music sharing will have a prominent place in our society for longer than the internet has already existed. Long die the Music Industry, Long live the Music!

    Just when did Music become an industry anyway? Did Mozart or even the Beatles create their works for controlled distribution and maximum profits or were they just happy to be paid to do what they loved, and perhaps even happier still when they actually saw a fair return for thier work/it's results?

  • You aren't actually interested in thinking, you're interested in calling people names.

    No, I call a spade a spade, someone who freeloads a freeloader, and someone who commits crimes a criminal. The remarks weren't necessarily directed at you.

    A great deal of the software I write is under GPL

    Good for you. I write free software too, though I prefer the LGPL (for *everything*, so I'm not scrwed when I want to factor code into a library)

    If there isn't a different model, that's exactly what will happen.

    I don't mind if there's a different model -- but obtain it without vandalism. If your model depends on vandalising the current model, and forcefully redistributing authors works against their will, it's unacceptable. I agree that looking for new models is desirable. I don't believe we need a techno Khmer Rouge to do it.

    nd a lot of people will end up in jail,

    Bad idea to put too many people in jail, especially if a lot of people are doing it. Lock up the big offenders, give the others small fines. Since they're only in it to save money, they'll quit if it causes them to lose money.

    Trying to stop the free flow of information is like trying to stop people from having kids.

    What, inconvenient ? They managed to stop people having kids in China. I object to the napsterites talking about "free flow of information" when what's really going on is freeloading. The napsterites aren't interested in information at all, they want to be entertained for free.

  • Well, so far both a search for Etallicamay and Octorday Edray have come up empty.
  • > Civil disobedience also normally entails being willing to turn yourself in and submit to punishment.

    It doesn't mean "willing to turn yourself in", but it does mean "willing to get caught and prosecuted for what you believe in"

    Big Difference

  • Let a Million Napsters Bloom!
    Thanks, Monkeys-In-Robes! You just fertilized the market to cause a Million Napster to bloom!
    I'm a big advocate of evolving Napster into a legitimate means of distribution that rewards individuals as bona fide distributors of entertainment. I'm in the Napster Action Network and I have dutifully phoned and emailed my representatives to "change the system from within."

    However, my position is that word of mouth has always been among the most powerful means of advertising and the least compensated, monetarily. Accordingly, the legacy financial models of entertainment distribution seem to violate fundamental principles of economics. Those who are creating value in the form of word of mouth marketing and sales have not ever received their proper cut.

    Enter Napster, creating vastly more perfect market information in this regard. I think that it should be incumbent upon the entertainment industry to keep up with the times and create new business models that spur technology rather than defending oligopolies and stifling innovation.

    In the meantime, we the community must scatter in a number or random directions now that the feds have effectively shackled Napster.

    I feel really bad for Shawn, but the only way to keep the spirit alive is to abaondon Napster altogether and go somewhere else ... and we must keep migrating and scattering like this until the feds get the hint that file sharing is not going away simply because the RIAA pays them to prop up their anachronistic institution.

    Here are some starter ideas - LET A MILLION NAPSTERS BLOOM!

    Hotline [bigredh.com]
    Gnutella [wego.com]
    Fidelio [ee.auth.gr] - Hotline for Linux
    Gnucleus [gnucleus.com] - Another Gnutella for windoze
    BearShare [bearshare.com] - Another Gnutella for windoze
    Aimster [aimster.com]
    And lots more on ZeroPaid [zeropaid.com]

  • by miracle69 ( 34841 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @09:20AM (#381287)
    What if you log on with copyrighted material in your personal database, and you send your song list to the server, but you aren't allowing any uploads?

    Are you doing anything wrong?

    Will you be banned from Napster?
  • you're right of course. it's only confusing when you're talking about bytes, not any other SI measurement.

    a few years ago, in an effort to bring "bytes" back to the SI norm, the units kibibyte, megibyte, and gigibyte where introduced. nobody seems terribly interested in following this standard, but for what it's worth:

    1 Kilobyte (KB) = 1000 bytes
    1 Megabyte (MB) = 1000 KB
    1 Gigabyte (GB) = 1000 MB

    1 kibibyte (KiB) = 1024 bytes
    1 Megibyte (MiB) = 1024 KiB (1,048,576 bytes)
    1 Gigibyte (GiB) = 1024 MiB (1,048,576 KiB)

    there used to be a site on the 'net about all this, but the only references i could find in a quick google search was this page [tinet.ie] (at the bottom) and this message [uts.edu.au].

    so needless to say, it's not commonly used :)

    - j

  • for anybody who actually cares, i just noticed that there's a related entry on everything2.com [everything2.com]. apparently it's gibi, kibi, mebi, etc.

    - j

  • freenet - the next problem - but they can't locate the people who share files - forbidding the use of freenet is the best solution

    Yeah well, that is going to be a lot harder than folks think. If they start outlawing code based on what it could do (and I mean original code - not code reverse engineered ala DeCSS) they'll realize it useless. You can't do it.

    Freenet is in its infancy. They do have a new MP3 sharing client called Espra [espra.net] If it works - the RIAA may be in trouble. Sure they could try to ban Espra - but that'll be harder (Just see all teh DeCSS mirrors out there) I'm surprised the RIAA isn't shaking in their boots. FreeNet CAN cause them major heartache. Admins have NO idea whats on their servers, it is encrypted. No central servers except for key servers, etc. They can go after key servers, but again, they aren't the sole distribution medium for keys.

    Yes, Freenet is in its infancy and the media has shrugged it off, but I'm impressed by the advances they've made. Give it 6 months and more resources in development as Napster as a protocol faces the 'music' (which IMHO is a shame since P2P is so much more than MP3)

    Run a Freenet Server [sourceforge.net] today!


  • by alprazolam ( 71653 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @09:23AM (#381299)
    because they don't deserve pay:
    1) the song is beyond the original copyright period (14 years or so) and you disagree with the extension.
    2) you own the tape and shouldn't be required to also buy a cd
    3) you own the cd but don't have the ability to rip it

    since you got rated up instead of down i thought i'd reply, probably should be rated down as a troll though.
  • i think a better solution would be the artists have to contact napster, instead of the riaa. what if something is on the list they don't have the right to block. what if the artist doesn't want it blocked and their contract doesn't forbid alternative distributions? is somebody going to doublecheck this list?
  • Don't be condescending. I've had my share of copyright nonsense and WON. Now, just read here , and see my offensive yet untouchable web site here. Really read it beyond the context. Read the snips of Supreme court opinion. Serving the PUBLIC interest is the purpose of copyright. Having files on one's disk is not copyright violation (see Sony vs. the Movie Pigs), and neither does being on a network, even if they are passively available for copying. Only if you put those files on a disk and give or sell that DISK to another do you violate copyright.

    There's a big difference between free speech (even if it's offensive) and replication of someone else's speech in full. You can make an offensive movie - you cannot make copies of someone else's movie.

    Do you have backing that it is not? There has never been a case before the Supremes that has dealt with IP without corresponding physical representation of that IP. The corporate piggies are going to get a rude awakening when their lame software patents and excessive music/literature copyrights get dumped by the Supremes because their is no objective property to protect. If Napster goes all the way to the Supremes, they will win.

    I'm not speaking in a US legal sense, but in a moral sense. We've already established I'm pretty sure that laws are not the same as morals - copyright violation could be legally permitted in the US but still be wrong, and no Supreme Court decision can change that.

    By the way... in spite of your nationalistic indoctrination, this isn't an issue of 'Commies vs. the good guys'. The commies are gone now, remember?

    I'm not speaking of socialist regimes like the former USSR, I'm speaking of communism as a legitimate philosophy. There are plenty of legitimate communists who believe that neither physical nor intellectual property are things you can "own," but merely something that you are allowed to have for the public good. You seem to agree with this position half-way, arguing that it only applies to intellectual property, while physical property is somehow an "inherent right" - my question is why?

    FWIW my personal position is more in agreement with that of the communists, though in practice I disagree with most political communists in my ideas of how property should be allocated. Neither physical nor intellectual property is an "inherent right," but something granted by the government; physical property should IMHO nearly always be granted as a pseudo-right and only rarely taken away, while intellectual property, due to its easy replication, should carry less weight (though certainly it should still carry some weight), and be more open to utilitarian arguments about benefiting the public as a whole.

    So in practice it seems I agree somewhat with your position, but I disagree strongly with your assertion that physical and intellectual property are, in a moral sense, fundamentally different. I see no basis for your claim that physical property ownership is a fundamental right while intellectual property ownership is not.

  • said the recording industry will have to notify Napster of the title of the song, the name of the artist and the name of the file containing the infringing material.

    After which, Napster will have 72 hours to block access to that file. Or, in other words:

    Napster users will change their file names every 72 hours.
  • I think it is is extremely foolish what the RIAA and the music industry is doing. The Napster community is millions strong, it just is not going to disapear no matter what the RIAA wants. By forcing Napster to remove copyrighted material all it is going to do is cause people to come up with more injenious and more clever methods of bypassing the system, prime example the Pig Latin encryption trick. And the harder the RIAA tries to tighten their grip the more people are going to squirm to get around it. It got too big before they did anything about it. Thus, instead of the RIAA just saying 'OK' and allowing the basic Napster technology which is easy for them to keep track of since the servers log all transactions(I believe the main ones do atleast) which the RIAA could use for data anaylsis, instead they foolishly decide to make it even harder on themselves to keep tabs of. Napster is now close if not a household word to alot of people, and alot of people do not see it as being wrong to use. We see a classic example of the old big bad guys versus the shiny new guys, and everyone is rooting for the shiny flashy newcomer. In the end, the music industry is going to lose, maybe not to Napster, but prehaps to another P2P technology that is alot harder to shut down due to a non-centralized network model, or located in a foreign country that does not obey American copyright laws.
  • by paulydavis ( 91113 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @09:34AM (#381314)
    But not int he public out cry Sense. If all the songs are legit and not part of the RIAA little monopoly then maybe (big maybe)the 50 million users that are left will start liking Indy music starting a trend. This would, if it cascaded, really bite into the RIAA's Monopoly. Though I doubt this will happen Napster's backers will say you can't be profitable so bye bye money... Bye bye Napster.
  • Name all your files SCREW-THE-RIAA-DMCA-SUCKS-Enter Sandman.mp3

    That way they have to specify anti-RIAA names.

  • I'm wondering, why is it necessary to encode song names? Since the vast majority of Slashdot are law abiding citizens who would only use Napster to trade non-copyrighted music this should be an issue.

    Simple, really. The RIAA is not bothering to check the actual content of the files they're asking to have banned. They're simply requesting anything with, say, "Metallica" in it's name be banned.

    Now, last I checked, it was perfectly reasonable (through fair-use and parody laws) for me to record my own single called "A Parody of Metallica". Why should it banned from Napster when I could quite legally be selling it from the street corner or playing it on the radio?

    This is exactly what the purpose of the filename encryptors is. They allow you to use the service in both a) the manner in which it was intended and b) in full accordance with your rights as a US citizen (assuming you are, in fact one. Things gett messy in this area when you go internationl :).

    I do find the DMCA references that places like Aimster are using an absolute hoot though. It would be both vastly amusing and incredibly interesting to see it tested in court against the RIAA...
  • Being that the mp3 format is lossy, it is not an exact copy of the original. Does a close approximation count? At what point does it become a "hand drawn facsimile"?
  • On the other hand, the pissed off American Public that you mention, could be anaesthetized very very quickly by the appearance of a low priced, easy to use, high quality industry alternative. Not that I'm advocating this in the slightest, and not that I'm particularly expecting it to happen.


    Given the choice between a legitimate, massively publicised system, and a shady or just downright illegal system, which your mate down the pub recommended, most new users will opt for the one they understand and feel comfortable with. And understanding is built by advertising, in today's sickly consumer environment (no, don't say it isn't true, because it is).

    I think it's easy to see a future where the RIAA and pals would own the predominant music distribution network, despite "free" alternatives. Thankfully, however, I don't think they have enough brains between them to realise this future, so I think we'll have "free" music for quite a while yet.

  • The choice of pig latin is an intresting one, though it would have not been mine. IMO, it would seem more logical to use something like rot 13 [astrian.net]. At least then, it would be easier to move to another "encryption" method (just increase or decrease the rotation factor -- this could even be done on the fly on a client level should someone figure work out the protocal issues).
  • Well, we can see where this is going.

    one big mess where all possible forms of encryption are banned, except for use by megacorporations.

    Criminals, actually.

    Remember, if encryption is banned, only criminals will have encryption.

    hmm ...

    RIAA = ???

    works for me, since their tactics have reminded me of a mafia family protecting their profits.

    This is walking into the direction of one heck of a bloody mess in the coursts and the legal system.

  • And what's stopping someone from writing a program that encrypts, renames, and decrypts mp3s; distributing this program with a UCITA enforced EULA that prevents it's use by the RIAA, the government (any government), their associated minions; and placing these 'new' files over Napster?

    The RIAA would be doublly enjoined from 'finding out' because they couldn't use the program to decrypt the new mp3s under UCITA, and they couldn't break the encryption under DMCA.
  • Gnutella and Freenet both suffer from the problem that users are vulnerable at the ISP level. That is, AOLTimeWarner may simply block, and get other ISPs to go along with blocking, users from utilizing Gnutella/Freenet/etc., and just bounce users that do so.
  • Are you suggesting... maybe a boycott of CD's? Stick it to them hard kinda thing?
    Anyone out there willing to start a petition and boycott??

  • (New York)--

    The whole nation is reeling in ambiguity today, as the Perfected Tenses have disappear entirely from the English language. What was once thought to be restricted to those of lower socioeconomic status has spread viciously throughout America.

    A Dr. Hanfkopf was interview today. He say "Television has probably contribute more to this than anything else. The TV people have let these people be hear without ever having correct them. My God, now it has happen to me!!!

    Moral: There is no excuse for anything less than mastery of the language by those who use it.

    If you love God, burn a church!
  • by CaseyB ( 1105 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @09:31AM (#381334)
    1) the song is beyond the original copyright period (14 years or so) and you disagree with the extension.

    If you consider that a valid reason, then why not just say:

    1) You don't care about laws.

    and have done with it?

  • Have a peek at the Detroit Free Press [freep.com] for Doron Levin's article Music industry won a battle, not the war [freep.com].
  • Because the artists for the most part don't have the right to say it due to contracts with the record companies, who are the members/contributers of the RIAA.

    Wasn't it Tom Petty that put one of his tracks online and Sony or whoever owned his contract made him take it down.
  • by burris ( 122191 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2001 @09:32AM (#381340)
    We think you should give Mojo Nation [mojonation.net] a try. Our system is working and it's engineered not to get shut down by the RIAA or anyone else.


Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong