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Music Media

OpenSource Alternative to CDDB 141

RUAOK writes "I put up a page dedicated to creating an OpenSource alternative to the CDDB system. The CD Index project (working name) is already up and running, ready for CDs to be submitted. All the code and submitted data will be covered by the GPL to protect this from happening again. "
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OpenSource Alternative to CDDB

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  • Althought IANAL, I think it would be perfectly legal to mine the CDDB for data. Escient does *not* own the data in the database. In fact, they cannot even make a case that they spent the time entering the data in, because they didn't even do that. For the database to be copyrighted there must be some original/novel way of arranging the data. As far as I know the data is not even arranged. (This is the same reason why the phone book is not copyrighted.)

    So I say we mine CDDB, or at least start with the last time we could download the contents of the CDDB (anybody?). Then if Escient decides to pull some legal crap we can pound them into the ground.
  • This is true, you can't photocopy phonebooks, but you can take the data in the phone book, and make a new compilation yourself. A guy did this, took all the phone books in the US and put them on a CD and sold it for thousands of dollars. As far as I know the phone companies tried to stop him, but couldn't.

    The information in the database is something we might call "common knowledge" (IANAL). You can't own common knowledge, because it's pretty much public domain. Think of compiling huge lists of email addresses and putting a copyright on it. If the database were copyrightable it would only be if they put significant investment into it. And as far as I'm concerned asking members of the community to enter in data, or buying an established database does not constitute significant investment.
  • Now THAT would lead to intense competition in the field of software using the database. "My users generated 30,000 hits, I get 30,000 gift certificates". Damn! I think it's time to write the ultimate CD player. ;)
  • It's not even that complicated. I've already -got- CDDB information for all the CDs that I own (and a few that my friends own) sitting on my hard drive, because I only query CDDB about any particular CD once - the information gets saved into ~/.cdtooldb at that point. So I can upload information about every CD I've ever listened to on my computer (which includes a couple that CDDB doesn't have anyway, and with typos fixed on some of the ones they do have) to the new database without ever hitting CDDB.
  • hmm, this seems like what you're looking for:
    freecddb.freecddb.org (port 888)
  • I like this too, because for those of us behind firewalls, it "just works" (assuming websurfing is allowed, which is generally true). Currently some of the CDDB-compliant apps support HTTP fetch, and some don't--makes it a pain.

    -Doug
  • UDP would be nice from a resource usage standpoint, but most firewalls block it out. I think HTTP should always be an option (is CDDB-over-HTTP subject to license restrictions?)

    -Doug
  • Maybe a ./ aid fund would be appropiate or perhaps a list of casualties and their configurations...?

    Well, considering the answer to this is normally a change of OS and software... And the answer software wise is normally a free one....

    The fund could just consist of a simple FTP site directing victims to various Linux distribution sites.. :)

    -Erik-
  • I'm getting it, but I had to view the html source to see it. For some odd reason, NS4.5 just gave me a blank page with a red vertical margin along the left side.

    On a different subject, I want the cdindex program to have a switch to just print out the encoded url, and not launch the browser. (I wouldn't mind pasting.) I've got a wrapper script to set up to provide netscape with a special environment, and it breaks the url-passing that cdindex relies upon. And it insists on launching a new instance of netscape, rather than passing the url to an existing instance.

    P.S. I thought the "shameless rip" comments in the source were amusing.

    P.P.S. The first CD I tried to index was the Steve Morse Band, an instrumental guitar/bass/drums trio. Would that count as a single-artist CD, or do Van Romaine and Dave LaRue count as "artists"? ;-)

  • > there's a danger that things'll get messy if everyone just downloads the whole
    > CDDB and re-uploads it to cdindex.

    End users have no licensing agreement with Escient, so it isn't clear that there is any problem here.
  • This URL might be asking for trouble. While it doesn't look like Escient have any legal claim on the protocol, the *have* trademarked CDDB.
  • I had to add:
    #define CD_BLOCK_OFFSET CD_MSF_OFFSET
    to the top of the source file on my 2.2.2 system (yes I know I'm a version behind :-)

    I took this from the 2.0.36 sources. I'll e-mail them now and tell them.

  • For those interested I'm in talks with Rob (the guy behind this CD Index project) about possibly using a new format that's different to CDDB. Don't fret though - it's quite possible that it could also support the CDDB protocol too.

    The idea revolves around using XML. The CDDB protocol is not very flexible - it allows you only to have a disc title, and track titles (and extinfo for each track - but that's unspecified). What we would have with XML is much more flexibility, so you can have a compilation CD and the protocol will support having a different artist for each track, and you can have lyrics in there too.

    The whole system just works as a web server, the XML files are stored as their discid, so you request the file http://server.com/cdids/e453f35 and you just get the raw XML back. This is very easy for the applications to parse. We can also support http://server.com/cdids/cddb/e453f35 to return the cddb format for older player, but the XML format is more flexible.

    The XML format also supports indexing and searching using sgrep or other freely available tools (e.g. harvest/glimpse can be easily adapted to work with this format). This solution is infinitely more scalable than anything based on a database backend (don't believe me? Why aren't any of the web search engines run on MySQL?).

    Anyway, I think it's a good idea. I know Rob already has something working, but if this is to be a truly scalable solution, with lots of different servers, then it needs some extra thought IMHO.

    If you want some further info on what I am thinking about, contact me at msergeant@ndirect.co.uk
  • Checkout their notices on their web site. It quite clearly states that any data you submit to them becomes their property.
  • I think it's GPL for the server code only - not the protocol. That wouldn't exclude anything.
  • by Matts ( 1628 )
    Absolutely not - we can have "fuzzy" searches too - it just takes a bit of extra work. There's absolutely no reason why it wouldn't support a superset of the currently available features of CDDB. In fact I've been investigating search tools for this, and sgrep is looking very interesting because it does stemming automatically and some other cool stuff.

    Different discid's are supported by having >1 XML file for the same CD. No problem there. That's no different to the current scheme either.
  • There is CD Extra described in Red or Blue book (don't remember) that contain informations for the CD (Artist, songs, may contain lyrics, ...), but
    most CD currently don't use this and almost no
    program currently use this either, adding support for CD-Extra would be a good thing...
  • Technically, the content is the intellectual property of the respective Record Labels or Arists (depending on contract).

    This is a good thing, actually-- it can be used to weaken Escient. I work for a Record Company. We've already told Escient to either compete through quality of service rather than restrictive licensing, or remove our intellectual property from their database.
  • Escient cannot claim ownership of data you submit if that data is already owned by someone else-- in this case, the data is owned by record companies or artists (depending on contracts).

  • I work for a record company, and I have had a long discussion with Escient. They are unwilling to change the terms of the license. The compromise you suggest is not possible unless Escient is willing to change. They are not. So there is no choice but to move forward with free alternatives.

    I would like to add that the folks at Escient do not appear to be music fans or record collectors. They do not seem to have any respect for the rights of the artists and labels from whose work they seek to profit. And they certainly did not consult with an attorney familiar with the music industry before attempting to execute their business plan.
  • X11amp plugin. Scan the covers and you're off to the races. No need for covers to be stored on the cdindex.

    Hmm, now that I think about it, it might be nice if we had thumbnails of the cover art next to the database listings that are displayed on the web page. It would also be nice for "lookup then shop" kind of activities.

    I wonder if the copyright holders would object to this form of free advertising? I guess we could always try it and then if someone objects, pull their thumbnail.


  • I think I understand why the CDDB is being "licenced", even if I don't agree with how the company is going about it. They want/need money to support themselves, and the best way to do that is to draw attention to thier web site.

    If this project succeeds, it'll need financial support for internet connections, servers, system administration, etc...

    Add revenues aren't a bad way to go about it, and asking the developers "Pretty please, will you provide a button, plug this site in your About box or something?" sounds like a better approach than "YOU WILL DO THIS DAMNIT!" Maybe even make a deal with the advertisers to award developers for fully complying, like for every month that your player generates more than X hits, you get X gift certificates for CD's.

    It pays to be nice about things like this.
  • Heh, I'd be willing to help, but apparently, the only OS's in existance are Linux and Microsoft versions...

    One day, I envision most GPL'd software being released with non-linux specific code. But it may be a cold day in hell before that happens... (Oh look, it's 33 degrees....)

    The real point is that with a little careful planning, OS-specific code can be greatly reduced, modularized, or even eliminated, making porting easier. I shouldn't have to look at the source code, and realize that it will take far more time than it is probably worth to port over, and that I have other things demanding my time (like writing that compiler, or working with NACHOS. Or working, or writing essays. Or posting on /. :)

    Just remember that there are other free OS's out there (HURD, *BSD), and that just becuase you are running solaris or something else, doesn't mean you can't contribute.

    Whee, that was fun.
  • I am not entirely certain of this, and a legal type expert would need to be consulted, but...

    I do not believe that you can copyright a database of information. Especially in this case since the database contains information of artists and song titles which are already copyrighted by the perspective record label/artist.

    You can copyright the presentation and format of the database, however as that is an implementation of an idea.

    Anyway, I believe that the information which has been contained within the CDDB archives could be extracted and put into a new format for use with another project. I notice that CDDB no longer has this available for download, but they did six months ago and I would think someone has an old copy lying about.


    However, I guess I feel this project is a waste of time and money. Unless you think you can improve this service somehow, I am unsure why you feel it is necessary. Remember you'll need dedicated internet resources to host this. How are you going to pay for that?

    Steve
  • I've also got a site, mailing list, working code, and a protocol specification set up for this stuff.


    Please visit www.cdin.org [cdin.org] for info.

  • by acb ( 2797 )
    If Escient owns the CDDB data and want to be bastards, they can put in copyright traps, i.e., listings for nonexistant CDs. That way, they can tell if cdindex uses their data, and if so, sue the servers. Even without explicit copyright traps, things such as spelling mistakes, idiosyncratic use of upper/lower case, punctuation, &c., could make a case.
  • I recall hearing that some phone books include copyright traps (i.e., bogus entries, often for fictional characters). This would suggest that phone books can be copyrighted. Street directories and atlases certainly can.

    If this goes to court, it will be interesting. Someone sold the database to Escient, and presumably the question would become whether that someone owned the data.
  • Given that the US patent office seems to employ crack smokers in its application checking department, who's to say that something cannot be patented?

    Case in point: Microsoft's style sheet patent.
  • The guy's app fails on my Win98 laptop with 'Error Reading TOC'

  • Windows users must *close* the audio CD autoplay app that comes up by default, not merely stop it.

    Great idea no buts!
  • From: The Doctor What
    To: support@cddb.com
    Subject: Please remove my entries

    I have submitted entries to CDDB in the past, however, upon checking your
    web-page I see that you have added a section saying that any entries into
    the database become your property.

    I never have (and never will) agree to these terms. I added my data, in
    good faith, with the idea that it is free (like speech) not restricted or owned.

    Since this policy is different then it was when I entered CD data, I fully
    expect you to remove all the data entered under my email addresses:
    docwhat@gerf.org
    and
    docwhat@uiuc.edu

    Thank you for your co-operation,
    Christian Holtje

    --
    "There are monkey boys in the facility."
    --Yoyodyne Comm System (Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai)

    The Doctor What: "What, Doctor What" http://www.gerf.org/~docwhat/
    docwhat@gerf.org (finger docwhat@gerf.org for PGP key)
  • As an alternative to storing the images on the CD index - in the client program you could retrieve an image from one of the CD shopping sites like amazon, cdnow, etc.

    Might be an easier solution with no copyright issues...

    --erik
  • Hmm.

    I'm trying to submit one of my CD's, and after it goes to the "check for previous artist" page, I get a blank page.

    Slashdotted again?

    --
    John Kramer
  • Actually, Escient purchased CDDB from the original developers. Who had formed a company and who did in fact own the CDDB database. It has always been the policy with CDDB that data submitted became the property of the original LLP and now Escient. The only thing Escient is doing is requiring developers who wish to use CDDB to follow the licensing guidelines. It does not seem to be a big price to pay for a free service for the user.

    Really, you and other are making a much bigger deal of this than it really is.

    Troy
  • He is one of the original developers of CDDB and explains the situation very well. Take a look and understand, think, then act.

    Troy
  • Take a few minutes to figure out what is going on. Escient just ask developers to follow a license, if they were going to use CDDB. Effectivly, Escient is asking for a little advertising for a free service to the user. What exactly is wrong with that?

    Take a look at the post by Krynos, he is one of the original developers of CDDB. He explains things well.

    Troy
  • Escient bought CDDB quite sometime ago. They have not patented anything. They own the data in CDDB. Check out the comment submitted by Krynos at the top of the page. He is one of the original developers and he explains thing rather well.

    Troy
  • MySQL is free for all use, you just can't sell it. So I could setup a CD indexing server and charge for each connection and still use MySQL for free. However, if I tried to sell a CD containing the CD indexing software, I'd have to pay the nice MySQL folks.

  • Are other people getting this reply when they try to find a CD that they just entered?
    Is there a delay in the database processing the
    info that comes in?
  • Perhaps in your constant-reloading-to-get-first-post fervor, you forgot to actually READ Slashdot yesterday?
  • One way around this is to only mine your *local* CDDB database - that way there'd be no nonexistant CD traps, and for all they know, you just re-typed the data for YOUR CDs. Should be safe, even in the unlikely event that they have any sort of hold over the data in their database. A script should be able to do this quickly.
  • If anyone is interested in joining a mailing list for putting together a new, open, CDDB-like database, please send me email at jwb@cp.net.

    I expect to have a list up by the end of the day.

  • XML goes beyone Unicode UTF-8, implementing the entire ISO 31-bit character set. It describes, according to the specification, "all human languages and some non-human languages."

    That ought to be good enough.
  • List is at:

    majordomo@bigred.lcs.mit.edu

    freecddb-developer
  • Soon enough it's going to take major funding before ever thinking of posting our sites on Slashdot.

    I can easily see an order form for more memory & bandwidth for your server on the same form as the submit story page. Or a "minimal server requirements" section on the submit story form...

    Maybe a ./ aid fund would be appropiate or perhaps a list of casualties and their configurations...?
  • umm.. they could patent it. In fact, I think a CDDB-like system is probably even a valid patent, instead of the horseshit patents that are usually granted.

    However, unless the CDDB guys filed a patent a while ago, it doesn't matter because it's been out for more than a year now, and there's plenty of prior art. So this should be safe from new patents.

    -Erik
  • But, if it was your business (money) what would you do in their shoes?

    I would be flexible, find ways of extending my technology and resources into new markets instead of grasping at their "IP" as a would-be cash cow; that's a cowardly, static strategy. I would create a Nielson-like service that distributed special CD-players to certain people to collect playing data about CD's for market research.

    That's their ticket to success - become the Nielson of CD audio data, collecting, interpreting, and selling reports on who is listening to what, when. All they need are broadcasting CD players.

    Grasping too greedily has affronted the free software folks, and they may be losing their chance to build a unique market-research firm.

    This who affair is an interesting object lesson on the whole "oh, who cares about licenses, it's free enough" attitude, too: sometimes, the slippery-slope suspicion is accurate.

  • I'm not telling them what to do. I'm telling them what the BEST thing to do would be, the opportunity that they are screwing up. I assure you, there's a lot of money to be made in the strategy I just described.

    Look,just because you make an investment doesn't mean that you have a right to a guaranteed return. I could invest millions of dollars in a device to sell oxygen, but that doesn't give me the right to make money of it by making it illegal to breathe free oxygen.

    This has nothing to do with "beer/speech" freedom anyway, it has something to do with the ownership of community-created content and the fact that people believed they were contributing to a project that was less free than they thought it was.

  • The discussion in the developer's mailing lists are gearing toward maintaining the old protocol for a while (a long while maybe) and develop a new one, both using the same dataset.

    This way, we can accomodate old clients while the new clients arrive.
  • Mysql was used because it was available. But note that even though Mysql is not GPL, it is free for non-comercial use (and source code is available). CD-Index certanly qualifies as non-comercial and the guys over Mysql are very open about these things (they are one of "us", not one of "them":)).

    As for MD5, it only being discussed. Nothing is hardwired for now.
  • The main point of the effort seems to be coming up with a protocol. Protocol use is obviouly free of concern.

    The reference libraries for database access will not be GPLed, for the reasons you stated. They will probably be LGPLed or something, allowing free use even in proprietary software. The objective is to disseminate the protocol.

    Any full implementation (reference clients, server software, etc) will probably be GPLed.

  • Seems odd to me that they can limit access to datat *I* typed in. They never asked for my permission, so how can it be ripping off if I decide to submit my data to a different database?
  • silly people. license changes are NOT retroactive. RSA couldn't do a thing to prevent the use of MD5 now; they would be laughed to hell and back if they tried to patent it after years of prior use. And it's not in their interest at all.
  • See the recent /. article on this. [slashdot.org]

    Basically Escient, though not trying to restrict user access to CDDB, is trying to strongarm developers of CD applications that use CDDB into complying with their terms, which include displaying the CDDB logo each time the CDDB is accessed and prohibiting the application from using any alternative databases.

    It's not clear at all whether they actually own the contents or format of the database in any meaningful way, as the original program (xmcd) which used the protocol is GPLed, and the CDDB relies on user contributions to work. We made the database, now Escient wants to take it away.

  • OK, CDDB is not the perfect format. But it already works. I don't really believe that Escient has the legal ground to stand on here, particularly with regard to the format. It is based on xmcd, which is GPLed. They can't take that away. There are also older versions of the CDDB server which are GPLed, I believe. So if someone were to build a new database which uses CDDB format and solicited new contribution, I doubt that Escient could do a thing about. They might try, though, and the potential legal costs are likely to scare people away. That may be what they're counting on.

    If someone wants to make a better format, fine, but anything that uses it ought to be backwards compatible with CDDB (which is one of the things Escient is trying to prevent happening). Then it could be pointed at either an "official" Escient CDDB server or a new database which uses the same protocol.

    Where it could run into problems is from submitting entries which were downloaded from CDDB originally. It's not clear whether Escient can own those, but most CDDB users explicitly or implicitly agreed to their terms.

    Anyway, my point is that backward compatibility is important. It should only be abandoned as a last resort. There are a lot of CDDB aware players out there already.
  • Graham Toal wrote:

    > Competition never hurt anybody.

    It is the anticompetitive part of the original post that I find most disturbing. Escient is trying to exclude applications from using another database if they use an official CDDB one.

    They may have a right to protect their data (thogh the fact that it all came from volunteers doesn't give me too much sympathy for their ownership of it), and I don't really think it's unreasonable that applications display the CDDB logo while accessing the database, but this anticompetitive part is what's way out of line.

    For the most part, I think Escient has been doing a good thing making the database freely available, and I don't begrudge them trying to make money on it. But if they are too obnoxious about it, we won't use it anymore.
  • The theory is that someone took the time to organize and compile data for a phone book. Therefore, you cannot simply copy (physically or electronically) it and use it for other purposes or sell it. I think 'copyright' is the correct term in this case.

    IANAL, but my wife is a librarian who must deal with these issues all the time. If you want, you can go through and compile your own list and organize/present the data in your own way and sell it. The information itself is not under copyright protection.

    ~afniv
    "Man könnte froh sein, wenn die Luft so rein wäre wie das Bier"
    "We could be happy if the air was as pure as the beer"
  • Let me first say I'm not familiar with CDDB. But if they provided the internet access, hardware, and software to store the database, this could constitute a significant investment. I think the sticky issue in this case is the public contributing data. That fact IMHO complicates things. But I would lean towards CDDB having some sort of copyright on the database though. I wonder what their stated policy was when people signed up at CDDB?


    ~afniv
    "Man könnte froh sein, wenn die Luft so rein wäre wie das Bier"
    "We could be happy if the air was as pure as the beer"
  • This sounds like an excellent idea! I like the idea that we can already upload data in the current format, with a utility to convert the compiled data to XML when it is ready. If this is the approach Rob and you are looking at, may I suggest you make that explicitly known so we know whether we should go ahead and upload our CD info now or wait. Obviously, for compilation CDs waiting is in order, as the current format doesn't support artists/track yet. If this is a bad idea from your perspective, that would be good to know also. Good luck!
  • the checksum algorithms which identify a CD do not ensure a one-to-one mapping between checksum and CD. they are one-way calculations. this presents a difficulty for exporting the data from the old CDDB database to an alternative database that implements a different checksum algorithm (such as that proposed by the cdindex project). the two algorithms will desire different data from the CDs, which protects the cddb database from an outright conversion.

    in other words, you need to stick a CD in the drive, calculate the cddb checksum, download the cddb info, calculate the cdindex checksum, and then upload the cdindex info.

    but i don't know the cddb algorithm. maybe one is a subset of the other.
  • someone please tell me that these will not come back to haunt us later.

    1) The project is using MySQL - it was my understading (after reading the MySQL liscense) that MySQL was not GPL and that it is only free for non-commercial use. Could this (or other restrictions) cause a problem?

    2) I found this notice on the Cd Index page - "Note: The MD5 algorithm is copyrighted by RSA, but there are no restrictions on its use." This seems like a much bigger problem. Sure, RSA has no restrictions on its use *now*, but wait till CD Index is the dominate CD database on the net and its web site gets more hits in a week than most portals hope for in a month. You can be sure that RSA will want some sort of kickback then - even worse, all the data is indexed using their algorithm.

  • I've been talking to escient about the licensing
    issue a good but. They have real concerns - not from the OpenSource community, but from the MS's in the world (IMHO).

    here's what they had to say:

    ------------ begin snip ----------------

    Hi Roger:

    Here's the clear case. This clause helps protect our data aggregation from
    being ripped off. We don't own the data (ie. a song title), but we do own
    the service that provides the disc recognition and related CD data. We have
    real costs associated with aggregating data and providing the service. Not
    all of our data comes from contributions....a great deal of our data
    submissions come from record labels and artists. This all costs money and
    we need to protect it so that we can continue to offer the service for free.

    -------------end snip -------------------------------


    The GPL was never intended to limit this kind of business. In fact, it actually encourages this. (Make your money from the service). The whole thing is that we want them to compete on level and quality of service, instead of the exclusionary license.

    They plainly admit to their stake in the IP. They're pretty cool with all of that. They just want some insurance to their longetivity (ie show us the money).

    As far as a database backend, I think OpenLDAP is a better choice than MySQL. (Speed, and configureability). You could configure the attributes (fields) to the cddb format, and provide a cddb compatible server.

    Also, OpenLDAP provides for replication and alot of backends. Very stable IMHO.

    I think all of this could be worked out, but escient is at a critical point... they have to be able to say, We own something, and it's worth something, and someone can't just come and take it away. Personally, I think that they have such a 1) niche, and 2) recognition (cddb) that they are realy OVERLY protective. But, if it was your business (money) what would you do in their shoes?

    Roger
  • Hrm, wouldn't it be better to create some sort of setup that really didnt care if it was a actual database, a bunch of text files named by index, or what? More of a format for storing the information, and less for how to get it. I'd kinda like something that would be easy to keep a local copy of for my own CD's. But who's to say I'm not insane and this could be addressed somewhere already.
  • Thanks, I had the exact same problem and couldn't figure it out.
  • CD covers are indeed copyrighted and it is a serious concern. The main problem is that if you have copyright on your work and don't enforce it, it can lapse. If enough people start throwing your artwork around, people can (legally) challenge your right to it and take it away from you, putting your work in the public domain. This can *really* hurt artists.

    On the other hand, a small (say, 64x64 - 100x100 pixels) icon of the cover art *might* fall under "fair use". You'd have to talk to a copyright lawyer, though.

    The same applies to lyrics and liner notes -- they are copyright the original authors, and cannot be used without permission. And there, you don't have the option of doing low-res versions.

    Some artists don't have a problem with their stuff showing up online (like The Residents, who's site I created, http://www.residents.com/), others are very uptight about it.
  • A URL linking to an image of the cover would certainly be more efficient to store. My only concern would be with the volatile nature of such things, and keeping the URL current and linked somewhere meaningful.
  • There's several efforts underway, most seem to be supporting backward compat.

    The new / extended protocols would better support more complete data such as artist for each track of compilations, release dates, country of origin, maybe liner notes, maybe links, maybe a voting system, who knows?

    Bravery, Kindness, Clarity, Honesty, Compassion, Generosity

  • They can't patent it, the protocol and the server code are GPLed!

    They only own the data, and that's debatable.

    Bravery, Kindness, Clarity, Honesty, Compassion, Generosity

  • Sure, there's prior art, but it is (mostly at least) their prior art. So, maybe they can and will patent it. But as I understand the GPL (IANAL) the code is available for free forever, without licensing fees. So it's a bloody useless patent.

    Bravery, Kindness, Clarity, Honesty, Compassion, Generosity

  • If Escient owns the CDDB data and want to be bastards, they can put in copyright traps, i.e., listings for nonexistant CDs

    There's only data that makes it from CDDB onto peoples local CD info caches. They put a CD into the drive, and retrieve the data. So people only have real CDs locally stored.

    This data may or may not belong to Escient. If users were to upload that data to a free server that converts the data to XML, we should not be in any trouble.

    Analogy: I can take the phone company's directory, reformat it, and sell it myself. The phone numbers are sort of public, but the directory is copyrighted by TPC. If my directory has enhancements, I'm entitled to roll my own. IANAL, of course.

    Similarly, users should be able to voluntarily give us the CDDB data (which after all is actually owned by the artists and record companies), and we can enhance it by offering more fields to be filled in, etc. The enhanced data becomes ours, not Escient's, and we give it away with a viral free license (copyleft).

    Bravery, Kindness, Clarity, Honesty, Compassion, Generosity

  • 1) Pop a disc into your drive
    2) Query CDDB
    3) Upload results to new database while playing disc.

    I don't think this would be legal under the license, since it contacts another non-CDDB database.
  • I submitted a patch for this last night and it's
    available in the 0.2.0 version on the website.
    You can also now use '-l' to get the url line
    without launching the browser (going to be
    necessary for interfacing with scripting tools
    or existing apps).
  • by Fizgig ( 16368 )
    He says he plans on releasing the CDindex code under a free/GPL license. Is that wise? The GPL will basically cut it out of anything commercial, which though good in many cases, might not be such a great idea this time. That means that it would be just us filling up the database, which might take a while. Then again, who knows. If it doesn't take long, then this would be a good time for the GPL. If it's slow, maybe the LGPL is in order.
  • It will be an improvement in that it will not have the licensing restriction that the CDDB people just added (2-second splash screen, plus icons that link to them). The cost would not be that much at all. CDDB got other people to mirror their database for free. I'm sure these people will have an even easier time. Think about it, there are maybe 50,000 CDs that people are going to need to store information on. Assume they have average of 13 tracks, plus artits and title, all of which might average 40 characters. So that's 50000*15*40 = 30000000 ~= 28.6 MB. And that's plain text, which, as we know, compresses mighty well (though you probably wouldn't want to do that). As for bandwidth, we're talking 1k per request. Sure, there might be a lot of requests, but even so, it wouldn't add up to too much.
  • Good choice for the inaugural CD. I'll be indexing all the CDs in my office today - about 30 or so. Good luck.

    Jason Dufair
    "Those who know don't have the words to tell
  • If we have legal dilemmas for getting the CDDB data directly, then how about harvesting local, personal copies of CDDB. It wouldn't be hard to write a parser and upload helper. (hmm, I might even volunteer).

    I *REALLY* like the XML idea.

    bnf

  • I spent the last two hours submitting my cd's to the site. The only issue I found was the linking of not found cd's to already existing lists appears not to work. A couple of my cd's were already listed, but the id generated by the program was different for my disc. Supposedly you can link the other id to the tracklist that's already there... but when I did this, the search function on my id didn't work.

    I think the above comment on the cover art is a great idea. The Music Match Jukebox already has this feature - all my mp3s are matched with their covers (ripped from CDNOW). It would be really cool of a cd player did this too.

    - Jeff
  • by Otto ( 17870 )
    You can patent whatever the hell you want, but if that patent wouldn't hold up in a court of law, then it's worthless. Don't worry about patents where you KNOW you can get them tossed. In this case, there's enough "prior art" to get it overthrown.

  • For the new format, please make sure it's extendable.

    I'd love not only to get the tracknames, but
    the lyrics too.

    /%/)+Eddy
  • It seems that Slashdot is becomming more and more of a political tool. I say exploit it. Let's all work _TOGATHER_ on this one and show 'em what for!

    If you love your source code, set it free!
  • I can't speak for anyone else here, obviously, but I can speak for myself. And personally, I do not like this. It's not the advertising that I mind. I agree with you (and Krynos) completely on this matter.

    However, I do have a problem with the part that states that you are not allowed to use the CDDB in conjunction with any other database. Sounds like they're trying to put a stranglehold on the market to me. Advertising is fine. Unfair restrictions to gain market share at the expense of everyone else are not.

    Anyway... that's $1/50.
    --
    - Sean
  • Excellent idea. I've been digging into XML over the past few weeks, and this is a perfect application for it. Make XML the canonical form for storing the data. All other formats are translated from XML. For example, it would be a snap to write Java servlet that read the XML and returned the info in CDDB format. Ok, we need an XML DTD tailored for CD data. And of course it should be open and publicly reviewed. Randy Weems rweems@nospam.hotmail.com
  • It's already done.
    Try telnet freecddb.freecddb.org port 888
    It's running version 1.3.1 of cddb and has about 120,000 CDs online but it lacks the web/cgi-interface.

If all the world's economists were laid end to end, we wouldn't reach a conclusion. -- William Baumol

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