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MySpace to Use Audio Fingerprinting 210

dptalia writes "MacWorld reports that MySpace is going to start implementing audio fingerprinting to prevent copyrighted material from appearing on their site. The new technology will be used to review all uploads and prevent 'inappropriate' material from ever seeing the light of day."
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MySpace to Use Audio Fingerprinting

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  • when their songs are (wrongly either because it's their original song and it's copyrighted by them or because of a technical glitch) forbidden from being uploaded.
  • I takes forever for a video feed to start with a 6Mb/s downstream. WHat going to happen when they start analyzing that data on there end also?

    Here's to hoping MySpace bloats their site out of existence.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by joshetc ( 955226 )
      Its ok because they analize it when it is uploaded and block it from being uploaded.. not every time the file is downloaded.
  • I am absolutely certain that this audio-fingerprinting software is aware of the concept of fair use and has embedded logic to handle cases where fair use is employed.

    Ok. I'm having troubles writing that without losing my face.

    • Show me where it's codified into law, that I am able to take any copyrighted piece and place it onto an open network for all to take free of charge?
      • In the last 100 years, has anyone ever been sued over clipping out pictures from magazines and pasting them into their scrapbooks, then showing them off to friends? That's really what myspace is, isn't it? Or have I missed some part of Myspace where the majority are carefully crafting elaborate display spaces and using them for significant profit*? Copyright is intended to be a commercial restriction, though I'm sure every content provider organization would like to make it otherwise.

        *as apposed to using th
        • by shark72 ( 702619 )

          "In the last 100 years, has anyone ever been sued over clipping out pictures from magazines and pasting them into their scrapbooks, then showing them off to friends? That's really what myspace is, isn't it?"

          In the way that putting stuff on P2P is sharing music with your "friends." Yet I've run into people who (incorrectly) understood that copying a CD for a friend was fair use, and thus putting it in a share directory to share with their 10,000 closest friends was the same thing. Really.

          At any rate, t

          • I'll give you the scalability argument - that's a hard one to reconcile (which is why I conveniently ignored it ;-)

            In the meantime there's the issue of some MySpace users effectively turning their pages into unlicensed radio stations, and that makes some copyright owners mad. I

            Yes, it's the few "bad apples" problem...again. As always, I wish we had the NRA on the consumers side in this one.
        • I ask for something concrete and I get "But you can cut pictures out of a magazine for your scrapbook!!!1"

          When that BMW I cut out of the Car and Driver can actually drive me to work, then I'll be impressed.
      • by trezor ( 555230 )

        You obviously missed the point about "Fair use" when I mentioned "Fair use", as I never mentioned full blown copyright infringement.

        Better luck next time.

        • You're a teacher. You can use some material to educate your students.

          You're a punk ass high school brat who likes Britney Spears.

          One is Fair Use. The other is infringement.
  • by in2mind ( 988476 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @08:12AM (#16655831) Homepage
  • by Paul Lamere ( 21149 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @08:15AM (#16655851) Homepage Journal
    I wonder how well this will actually work. Audio Fingerprinting is designed to be insensitive to most 'naturally occuring' music distortions such as encoding artifacts, noise and changes in equalization, but I don't know of any audio fingerprinting system that will work well when faced with people who are actively trying to evade detection. It won't be too difficult for a properly motivated MySpace user to find a set of filters that can be applied to any song that will allow the song to get a unique fingerprint, without actually changing how the song sounds. A quick trip through Audacity to apply a micro-pitch change, a little equalization, and perhaps a slight tempo change will probably do the trick. Of course, the folks over at Gracenote are pretty smart and may be able to adapt to evasions, but this will no doubt lead to even more sophisticated evasions. In the end I don't think it is possible to create a fingerprinting system that will be able to deal with people who are actively evading the system. In the end, the evaders will win.
    • One way around that would be to increase the tolerance to distortion until the filter matches everything from white noise to Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.

      They'd have to add a whitelisting mechanism to allow legitimate music through, but I don't suppose News International will see a problem with tighter control what content they allow on MySpace. All in the interests of protecting their users, obviously.

      • They'd have to add a whitelisting mechanism to allow legitimate music through

        How's it gonna cope with a recording of a symphony done in 1920 and a recording of the same symphony done in 1990??? the notes are the same. What about me doing my own performance of a blues number written way back in 1920 and (say) a recording of Stevie Ray Vaughan doing the same blues number??? (apart from the fact I couldn't possibly hope to fill SRV's shoes though)

        the problem is you have the copyright on the recording and the

        • by mgblst ( 80109 )
          Block em all. What difference does it make to MySpace - none at all. You may be bothered, but who cares what you think? Go use another site, if you aren't happy. We don't have to let you upload anything.
        • by jZnat ( 793348 ) *
          Judging by the MySpace demographic, I'd have to say that you're going to the wrong site if you want to hear or share jazz or symphonic music.

          At least MySpace doesn't recompress your audio files you upload so that you can encode at a better bitrate for jazz or classical music to get the same quality as ~128k pop/rock/whatever.
      • by makomk ( 752139 )
        One way around that would be to increase the tolerance to distortion until the filter matches everything from white noise to Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.

        They'd have to add a whitelisting mechanism to allow legitimate music through, but I don't suppose News International will see a problem with tighter control what content they allow on MySpace. All in the interests of protecting their users, obviously.

        Yeah, but once a load of small/local bands find they can't upload their own tracks and quit the site
    • I'd agree with you if, for some strange reason, MySpace were the best way of trading music online. Even as things stand now, it is far from that. Once the fingerprint censors step in, the reaction I expect is: "Oh, fine, we'll just trade music in some other way" - and that will be the end of it. So I think this is a smart move by NewsCorp (parent of MySpace).
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )
      if ytou want to know how this works, watch an animal planet special on primates. See how they puff up and beat their chests to intimidate each other? that is exactly what is going on. Lawyers are very much identical to primates as in they rely solely on intimidation by making themselves look bigger or make it look like they actually have an advantage when they in truth do not. It's a bunch of huffing, puffing and making each other look bigger to the wild pack of roving lawyeramotous primates that seem
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by upeters ( 1008355 )
      I developed a system using AudioID technology ( from IIS Fraunhofer (the people who created MP3) during the past year. I can assure you, a few distortions won't harm the audio recognition at all. The company I developed the project for works with commercials which should be aired several times each day by radio stations. To check if the commercials were actually broadcasted, the whole radio programming was recorded during 12 hours, and then analyzed with AudioID. Note that some radio st
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by (H)elix1 ( 231155 )
      I wonder how well this will actually work.

      The technology works surprisingly well on a cell phone. One of the guys I work with in the UK showed me Shazam. I picked a random track from his vast MP3 collection, he dialed a number and held out his phone for a half a minute, and shortly thereafter they SMS'ed him the artist. Not a quite background either... /html/user/anon/page/default/template/what_is_tagg ing/music.html []

      Take that same technology and do it on
    • In the end, the evaders will win.

      There is a serious limiting factor that has to be accounted for - listeners. When you uploading music you want your listeners to enjoy it, right? If you add too much noise or other distortions, the music will sound like an old scratched vinyl. I worked with this audio fingerprinting system []. The hash space is huge. The false positives are very rare. The rate of false negatives can be controlled by tweaking parameters. Then MySpace doesn't need 100% recognition. Even if the

  • ... a death sentence to the Weird Al's MySpace page to me.
    • I would imagine anyone as famous as him would be able to just call up MySpace and ask them to make an exception.
  • That thinks this is a GREAT development? No more music playing when I visit someone else's page...finally! Why people think they must play a song when I visit their page is beyond me. It was popular back in '95 or so, when the web first became popular, but then common sense broke out and everyone stopped doing it...until MySpace came along. (And don't get me started on the awful designs people use - backgrounds that make the text impossible to read and slow to scroll, etc...)
    • by ahsile ( 187881 )
      Maybe it's because you're the only one here who likes myspace?
      • by Skater ( 41976 )
        Actually, I don't, but friends keep directing me to their pages, so out of curiousity I look at their friends' pages...
    • by Eccles ( 932 )
      I admit it, I occasionally use myspace too, just because several members of the cast of "The Office" have pages. I've exchanged messages with Angela, the dour accountant. So I agree, not having music play when I check another user's page -- usually because they're an attractive young woman, I have to admit -- would be a good thing.
  • What's to stop someone from simply (drum roll):

    posting an off-site link to illegal content

    ripping and saving under a different file type

    stop using MySpace and moving on to the next big hype It's their money let em waste it how they want. They should know by now its only a matter of time before whatever solution they use will be defeated.

    • by cerelib ( 903469 )
      The problem is not linking to copyright content, it is the upload of copyright content. For example, somebody really likes band X, so they create a MySpace page either claiming to be band X, or as a fan forum. The account they create is a musician/band account which lets them upload music to MySpace. This music is hosted by MySpace and served up through their Flash music player. So if that content is being distributed against copyright, it is possible that MySpace could be at fault. Hosting an HTML pag
  • Is there any chance at all this will work? Myspace can't even handle basic uptime issues, let alone complex audio fingerprinting technology. I'm not even 100% sure they have a test environment yet (for many years they didn't). Half the time you go to the site at least one part of it is completely broken. Will we start getting messages from Tom, "sorry guys, every song thinks that it's hey ya. We'll fix it. In the meantime don't email us. We know.".
  • The story says:

    MySpace will review all music audio recordings uploaded by community members to their profiles, identifies that which is copyrighted, and blocks the uploading of such music as appropriate.

    It says NOTHING about how this will be implemented. For all we know, they are not cutting the human out of this process. It's very, very possible that they'll be using fingerprinting to flag potential copyright violations, and have a human review it before deciding to reject an upload.

    Besides this, audio fin

  • Millions of 13-year-olds will no longer be able to spread plastic, manufactured "build-a-songs" puked from the mouths of talentless indivduals elevated to stardom by millions of brainless Pop Idol fans...

    I'll never be able to sleep soundly again!

  • ...and not on, say, responding to emails from my friend. He's being stalked on the Internet by a ruthless AOL-using lunatic who has conjured death threats against his ex-girlfriend while faking his identity, using publicly available information from Yahoo & Facebook & a personal blog. Whoever this is has convinced the police in three different states that my friend is writing these death threats (and thereby gotten him questioned and an investigation ongoing) and has convinced my friend's ex-girlfri
    • I agree. The programmers working on integrating music fingerprinting technology into their website really should be more involved in making sure your friend doesn't get harrassed online.

      Just like all of the theoretical physicists out there should be working on a cure for cancer. Dumbass.
      • by AEton ( 654737 )
        I guess to clarify without sounding like I know anything about the company's organization:
        The problem I identified is managerial, not technical. The people involved in hiring programmers to do fancy RIAA CYA business should also hire more customer service representatives to handle "CYA from federal law" business. It just makes sense. Even PayPal had to do this eventually.

        I apologize for sounding like I was blaming somebody (a computational audio expert) for doing their job. I meant to suggest that somebody
  • Maybe it could block a few of the jackass wanabee videos by mistaking pain screams for Celine Dion.

    Not that I care anyway. When they are trying to remove themself from the gene pool, at least, they're not playing M-rated videogames.
  • Apart from a few dusty 78rpm shellacs, pretty much all music recordings are copyrighted, so MySpace is going to find itself pretty barren.

  • We can only hope that myspace puts as much effort into this feature as they did into all the other great and well-designed features on their site. BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHA
  • We have officially invested more brainpower, money and technology into correcting and restricting technology compared to simply using it to its own best expression.

    Why can't someone somewhere do something like this for identity theft? Oh yeah I forgot, because WE'RE ALL FUCKING SHEEP BEING LEAD AROUND BY CORPORATE ATTORNEYS !!!

    My bad.
  • I've wondered about this, ever since buying a Neuros mp3/ogg player, which theoretically could identify for you which song from the radio you were recording.

    It seems like the most naive approaches would be far too brittle: a bit-by-bit comparison or an MD5 sum, for example, would be thrown off by just eliminating or adding one audio sample in the song.

    Even something like spectral analysis would be subject to errors: unless the reference copy they kept of a spectral analysis was produced using exactly the sa
  • Until they fix their media player this doesn't really matter - you can't play any track that's been added in the last six months or so where the uploader hasn't marked it as available for download. So about 80% of all tunes on various MySpace artists' pages are now completely unlistenable anyway.
  • Does MySpace actaully permit users to upload MP3s to their servers? I've seen dozens of MySpace users upload their MP3s to our webserver and then MySpace leeches the bandwidth from us instead of MySpace servers. Am I seeing this wrong or are the users loading their MP3s to our servers to avoid MySpace TOS problems? I am not a MySpace user.
  • good this fingerprinting is - will it detect the Beastie Boys / Dan the Automator mashup I've posted on my own Myspace page, which is two copyrighted tracks combined?
  • MySpace has created whole industries around it and this will be another. People will setup sites using Adsense as a revenue source. The sites will input a sound clip and output the same clip in a way that will bypass the audio fingerprinting.
  • MacWorld reports that MySpace is going to start implementing audio fingerprinting to prevent copyrighted material from appearing on their site.

    Which is clearly not true; anything subject to copyright is copyrighted simply by the act of creation, so unless "audio fingerprinting" can somehow identify that a work is a original creative work legally subject to copyright, it won't "prevent copyrighted material from appearing" anywhere. Even the slightly more detailed Gracenote press release [] (or perhaps the MySp

System checkpoint complete.