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Making and Detecting Illegal Music 246

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the sampling-is-bad-mmmkay dept.
Demona writes "Long-time music aficionado Dave Marsh has an article in the latest edition of Counterpunch entitled Sampler's Delight. Giving rave reviews to "Nothing to Fear", the latest in a long line of so-called illegal music, he also describes a "'major label waveform CD database,' which is capable of recognizing materials allegedly owned by the record label cartel." This database is allegedly why a UK pressing plant rejected the initial attempt at publishing "Nothing To Fear", which is comprised almost entirely of sampled material."
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Making and Detecting Illegal Music

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  • cd mp3; ls *

    Cheers,
    • This is Slashdot. Don't you mean:

      cd ogg; ls *

      ;-)
    • Most MP3 files downloaded via a P2P service are illegal no matter what. However, possession of a copy of one of these recordings is illegal even if you have purchased a CD because they're "derivative works" of 1. a musical work and 2. a sound recording. Copyright owners have won infringement lawsuits over four notes from a musical work [everything2.com] and over one note from a sound recording [music-law.com]. (The latter link will tell you that the four-note rule does not apply, but the four-note rule applies to musical works, which are independent of any recording of such works.)

      When there are fewer than 50,000 possible melodies, how can anybody write new music? "Apparently, they just do" does not answer the question.

      • A clarification: while there was a lawsuit over four notes, that does not mean there is a "four note rule." As the second article you link to states, the test is for the tune being "substantially similar." It can be one, four, or whatever.
        The "four note rule" is in many ways equivalent to the "24 hour rule" and "after X years it's abandonware rule" for pirated software - an urban legend that can prove dangerous to people who put faith in it.
        • As the second article you link to states, the test is for the tune being "substantially similar."

          However, even though I know that "substantial similarity" is strictly not a statistical measure, four notes is the best statistical approximation of "substantially similar" that I have ever found. Do you have a better one? And how does a songwriter determine whether or not a work that he or she created is "substantially similar" to at least one of the million or so musical works still under copyright?

          • Goddammit, I used the notes C, D, E, and F again! Those `Happy Birthday' ladies (as well as everyone else) will probably sue me.

            As a songwriter, I often wonder: How the F*** am I supposed to compare my songs to the other one-million songs out there to see if they are `substantially similar?' Hell, any three-chord song sounds `substantially similar' to any other three-chord song.

            I hereby renounce my title as a creator. Everything I could ever make (as music, as art, as writing, as code) has already been done and been copyrighted and/or patented. I will now slave away in a factory. Thank you for your time.

            No, this is not a troll. This is simply a scared U.S. citizen. :-( *

            *=Registered trademark of despair.com

      • The thing that worries me the most about this topic is the mention of "waveform tetectors" its all fine if someone can say "hey thats my music" but if now they have patents on simple waveforms its going to be VERY hard to write your own music and i DONT think its because we have founbd all the melodies
      • there are 12 intervals in an octave, assuming that sounds separated by one octave or multiple of are musically identical, that leaves us with eleven useable intervals, so the number of possible melodies is 3^11 == 177147.


        But then, every copyrighted music out there may not be copyrightable, due to prior art. For each sequence of four notes, search all melodies whose copyright has expired. If you can find that sequence in an old melody, then that music is not copyrightable.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Purchasing laws deosn't work. Technology doesn't work either. Freedom is a bitch, isn't it Valenti and Rosen?
  • Illegal? (Score:2, Funny)

    by nastro (32421)
    Pac-Man Fever should have been illegal. They dropped the ball on that 15 years ago, however.
  • by sleeper0 (319432) on Sunday September 15, 2002 @02:45PM (#4261555)
    quote from the article:

    Seems there now exists a technology called the "major label waveform CD database," which is capable of recognizing materials allegedly owned by the record label cartel. I thought this was a hoax, just something added to spice up the story, until I read a story in J@pan Inc Magazine (June 26) about a company called Gracenote, which specializes in "music recognition service," the software that lets your CD player tell you which artist and track are currently playing. It's pretty easy to see how the RIAA and its international counterpart, IFPI, could use the same technology to track "bootleggers" [...]


    As a lot of readers probably know gracenote uses simple metrics about the length of the songs and their position on the cd to check a database to find likely matches. Gracenote maintains nothing of the sort of a waveform database.

    While i believe there is/was at least one startup that was working to match music using a beats & tone analysis method that could match to songs that had been shifted or obscured in some way, i'm not sure this technology has ever been in real use.

    The idea that there is some huge waveform database that cd pressing plants now use is pretty suspicious. I think working in the industry i would have heard about it, even if it was kept secret the storage capacity and processing needs would be astronomical. 11,000 albums heavily compressed to 160kbps still takes approximately 600gb, I understand that the amount of in print US albums is somewhere between 200,000 - 300,000 and more like 600,000 for world releases (in print only). Searching through a collection like that would easily take days or weeks depending on how small a segment you were trying to match
    • by sleeper0 (319432)
      I should note that it would be easy to use such a database to detect pure pirates... ie people pressing exact duplicates of commercial albums. But the article is about a recycled beats record, something made presumably by tens of thousands of samples put together. Certainly not going to match in gracenote, unless it was a random false match which does happen.
    • While i believe there is/was at least one startup that was working to match music using a beats & tone analysis method that could match to songs that had been shifted or obscured in some way

      That was Relatable [relatable.com].

      i'm not sure this technology has ever been in real use.

      Napster 10.x used it. MusicBrainz uses it [musicbrainz.org].

      11,000 albums heavily compressed to 160kbps still takes approximately 600gb

      Relatable claims that its tech can identify songs down to 16 kbps.

  • by _aa_ (63092) <j.uaau@ws> on Sunday September 15, 2002 @02:46PM (#4261558) Homepage Journal
    What more blatent example of satire can there be than an artist scrambling and re-arranging the works of other artists for the sake of mockery. I myself enjoy warping and "Mashing" otherwise lame recordings. If someone can take one creation, and turn it into another, it should be respected as a seperate work of art. Besides, I haven't seen an original concept in popular music for years. Most modern music is just recycled chords, lyrics, and beats.
    • Did you read the article? The artist in question was not trying to mock or satirize the music he sampled. Rather, he created a CD by mixing hundreds, and probably thousands of samples.

      Like it or not, if someone takes something that an artist created (and copywrites) and turns around to use that to make money, I think there is a valid complaint to make.

      This is entirely separate than the argument against music sharing. If I download a song by Pearl Jam, not only is it marked as being done by the original artist, but, more importantly, no one makes or loses money on the deal.

      Suppose I take a bunch of downloaded music, burn it to disk, and give it to a friend. While the artist might lose money that he/she is otherwise entitled to, no one actively makes money on the deal.

      On the other hand, if I take a bunch of downloaded music, burn it to disk, and then sell it, then the artist is missing out on his/her valid right to his or her share.

      I am not saying that what the artist in the article did was not deserving of money, and definitely required artistic talent, but I do think that some of any money he makes off the music should go back to the original artists.

      As far as the waveform library goes, I think it much more likely that someone at the pressing factory simply listed to the music and realized that the CD contains.
      • I can't honestly presume to know wether the artist's intent was to satire or not. Legality aside, I stand by my statement that the artist's output is a wholly seperate artwork and should be treated as such. This may not be the most valid or noteworthy artwork, but someday, an artist will create something beautiful and intelligent and thought-provoking, that the public may never be able to enjoy because the tools the artist used are copyrighted by a large company. In my opinion, art is not a product, and every effort should be made to make all artworks, regardless of their "quality" as available as possible.

        I do agree that an artist's work should not be used to make money, however, I don't beleive that any artwork should be used to make money. There's a difference between selling a song for profit and selling it to fund an artist's survival and future work. An ARTIST does not create to make money. If you get into hip-hop for the $$$ and the booty and the ***BliNg***BlInG***, then what you are outputting is a product, not an artwork, regardless of your talent. And furthermore, you are not an artist, you are an entrepreneur.

        That being said, if it is not illegal to use a Campbell's Soup can [poster.net] (a product) in your artwork, it should conversly not be illegal to use some record company's product in your artwork.
    • Most modern music is just recycled chords, lyrics, and beats.

      Most of *all* music is just recycled chords and beats. Drummers have always recycled each other. Beethoven and Mozart recycled Haydn, Stravinsky recycled Tchaikovsky. The middle ages troubadors recycled each other. Gregorian chants recycled elements of other Gregorian chants. Jazz players float improvisations on familiar phrases from other tunes.

      All of this was once *fluid and free*. Sometimes major ideas got recycled. Sometimes that was subconscious, sometimes not. The point is, it was *accepted practice*. How many famous classical pieces are titled "Variations on a theme by...".

      *A degree of familiarity is an essential element of the music most people like.* That familiarity comes from the recycling of musical elements created by other musicians.

      The corporations fighting sampling are trying to control artistic expression to maximize profits. This attempt is seen by many as a direct attack on the musical tradition. The idea of "fair use" was supposed to protect such creativity bottlenecks.

    • But that does not make it unoriginal. Most Western music for the past 400 years has been created using the same essential building blocks. An infinite number of works can be made using this system. All the sounds, rythyms, etc may have existed before, and may have been used in another work before, but that does not mean entirely new combinations cannot be created. What you say is akin to dismissing a painting as unoriginal because the artist used the color red.
  • by Vic (6867) on Sunday September 15, 2002 @02:49PM (#4261569) Homepage
    If major labels are bothering you all so much, why do you keep supporting them by talking about their bands, trading their music, grudgingly BUYING THEIR CDs??

    Sometimes I just don't get the Slashdot crowd... Many of us use Linux and have given up on using Microsoft stuff, but when it comes to the latest crappy mainstream music, we whine that we can't pirate it? Come on.... If you really feel that major labels are screwing you, give them up. Support inedepent musicians and labels.

    There's a whole world of music out there that is cheaper, more interesting, more cutting-edge, etc..etc... You just have to look a little harder to find it, just like you had to try a bit harder to get Linux installed and your closed-source applications replaced by Free Software.

    Sorry for the rant...you might mod me down, but really....If some big companies are doing something you don't like, forget about them and move on to something better.

    Cheers,
    Vic
    • Come on.... If you really feel that major labels are screwing you, give them up. Support inedepent musicians and labels.

      Peoples tastes in music, no matter if they post on Slashdot or not are very deeply entrenched in conventional, monopoly music.

      Music is so much a part of a persons life that you are basically asking people to stop being who they are overnight, for a cause. Choosing to listen to non cartel music is not like switching between Windows and OSX, or choosing to use Open Source software exclusively. Can you imagine a Led Zep fan choosing to give up Led Zep because they are on Atlantic? Impossible. Thats what you are asking people to do.

      Because The Monopoly has control of essentially the entire spectrum of music culture, for the majority of people, even people on Slashdot, dropping Monopoly music means cutting yourself off from that mainstream music culture, which is unthinkable to all but the truest of believers.

      Of course, people who have already made this decision, for whatever reason, do not miss Mainstream Monopoly Mush at all, but its impossible to convince people that they would be "better off", because, like learning a new OS, it takes some work to reap the huge benefits.
      • Can you imagine a Led Zep fan choosing to give up Led Zep because they are on Atlantic? Impossible. Thats what you are asking people to do.

        This is a non-sequitir. Music this old can easily be had cheaper [ebay.com] than [ebay.com] retail [ebay.com]. The second-hand market is way underexplored.

        Giving up something that a person has been listening to for decades is difficult, I grant you, but I simply can't imagine that it's that difficult to make a conscious decision to not buy the latest top-40 dreck--or to at least wait a few weeks for it turn up on the second-hand market.

        • This is a non-sequitir. Music this old can easily be had cheaper [ebay.com] than [ebay.com] retail [ebay.com]. The second-hand market is way underexplored.

          I think you misunderstood what I was trying to convey; the original poster is asking people to give up something that they really love. I used Led Zep as an example of something that would be too good to give up just because it is on a monopoly label. You can substitute something contemporary that a young ignorant whippersnapper would love as much, that is of a similar quality on a monopoly label....ummmm....that isnt doable is it?!
      • Can you imagine a Led Zep fan choosing to give up Led Zep because they are on Atlantic? Impossible. Thats what you are asking people to do.

        If Zep fans found out (and this is completely for the sake of example) that Atlantic was funding Al Qaeda, don't you think they might at least stop *buying* Atlantic products?

        The question is, how onerous are the actions of the RIAA, and at what point do your principles override your cultural conveniences?
        • The question is, how onerous are the actions of the RIAA, and at what point do your principles override your cultural conveniences?

          Anyone that knows the facts realzes that the RIAA is beyond intolerable. From the DAT tax outrage, to the killing of Napster to the DRM that they are trying to force into every device, it should be clear to everyone that these people are a threat, to creativity and innovation as well as free expression in music.

          The question is not at what point do the actions of the RIAA become too onerous. That point has already been passed. The REAL question is when are people going to stop buying and file trading monopoly music? It is important that the file trading of monopoly music stops, because the act of listening to it takes away attention from non monopoly music.

          Non monopoly music needs to be distributed and listened to far and wide. This is essential. Many labels are taking the bold step of uncopyrighting their materials, but this alone is not enough.
    • problem is, for the most part, independants are not w/a major label b/c they play music that is not good for the ears of most.

      I listen to plenty of bands that are independents and I know (from the complaints of my gf, roommate, and friends) that the music sucks to them (mainstreamers, shessh).

      Linux was something that the community could improve on. Music is more individual, we can't help the artists to get that much better (yeah, monetarily, but nothing else).
    • actually.. (Score:2, Informative)

      by gl4ss (559668)
      ..if it was impossible to trade mp3's(or .ogg or such), i'd be listening to .mods, .xm's , sids, and maybe midi's. i listened mostly to those (+radio) before mp3's.. great amounts of music available and cost was only downloading from some bbs, and those included some really good songs too.

      streaming nectarine now..

      • by yerricde (125198)

        if it was impossible to trade mp3's(or .ogg or such), i'd be listening to .mods, .xm's , sids, and maybe midi's.

        Turning a recording into a .ogg file and distributing it infringes both the songwriter's and the performer's copyright.

        Turning a song into a module file (mod, s3m, xm, it, mid+sf2) won't draw any fire from RIAA labels but will still infringe the songwriter's copyright. You still need a license from BMI or Harry Fox, depending on the intended use.

        Writing your own music is harder than it looks because it's nearly impossible to avoid "substantial similarity" to the millions of songs out there.

    • Most objections I hear against the big record labels is not that they are preventing us from making illegal copies of their music, but that they are taking away several of our rights in the process.

      "Forget about them" as you say, and you'll find that one day that the movie you taped will no longer play at your friend's house, or that you no longer can transfer the CD you bought to Minidisc for your walkman. Worse, you may also find that DRM has effectively barred independent labels from the market. The measures proposed by the RIAA aim to prevent piracy, but they will also assert a large measure of control over the distribution of music. I bet the RIAA is fuly aware of that.

      Simply stop buying their music, and they'll probably claim their slumping sales on piracy, and call for even harsher measures. Don't lose sight of the bigger picture!
      • If people stop buying big-label music and buy unknown bands, the big labels will go out of business. But it takes effort to break our advertising-induced buying habits. Most people would rather rationalize their own laziness.
    • Sometimes I just don't get the Slashdot crowd... Many of us
      What do you mean "us"? Slashdot is not a person, it's not a coherent statement of belief. It's a bunch of people, with a bunch of different opinions, having a bunch of different conversations about it. I'm sure there are people from one end of the spectrum (hate RIAA/MPAA and don't give them a cent) to the other (don't see what the problem is and want to get the music any way they can).

      That said, personally, I'm torn -- I don't like what the RIAA is doing, but still like some of their music. I mostly buy independent music these days. When I do want some RIAA stuff, I generally pirate it because it subverts their business model. They spend a lot of music up front to produce and promote music, and then I get it without giving them any money. I don't see any point in complaining about their attempts to stop this -- they're futile anyway.

      -Esme

      • I don't like what the RIAA is doing...When I do want some RIAA stuff, I generally pirate it...I get it without giving them any money

        Jesus, I don't think a post more clearly outlines the anti-RIAA/pro-P2P hypocrisy so often brandished here than this post. You're pirating the stuff because you're cheap. I, for one, am not convinced by your self-righteous post that you're going to PAY as soon as the RIAA makes it easier for you to get it for free.

        If you really want to change the RIAA's policy, try sending them money after you pirate something. Maybe if enough people who were supposedly willing to pay for alternatively-distribued content DID so, the RIAA could be convinced that the P2P world isn't mostly populated by mostly-thieves.
        • You're not listening to what I'm saying -- I'm not going to pay the RIAA when they change their policy. For one thing, they won't change it. For another thing, I don't want them to change, I want them to go out of business altogether. Giving them money -- any money -- prolongs their lifespans and makes it more likely they will successfully squash p2p.

          Maybe I'm cheap. I'm perfectly willing to admit it's a factor.

          But if you knew me at all, you'd also know that I've got very deeply held beliefs about intellectual property. I think charging for intellectual property is immoral -- whether its music, video, software, books, etc. Charging for media, charging for performance, charging for tech support, charging for a really nice theatre environment, etc. -- these are they way media producers should make their money.

          As an academic, I am most interested in supporting organizations exist for the good of society, research, advancement of knowledge and the like. Those types of organizations tend to be OK with giving away IP because they know it helps everyone in the long run. I'm even happy with small record labels who exist mostly to propagate their artists' music (i.e., not exploit them). I don't mind paying $5 or $10 for a CD from places like this.

          And as a realist, I do sometimes give money to the media companies. I try to avoid it, but when they make movies out of LotR, of course I went to see it. I had to talk my wife out of buying both DVD versions. This isn't hypocrisy -- it's the real world. No moral is absolute, and you have to weigh morality with expedience, long term ideals with short term realities. If you think you don't do this every day, you're lying to yourself.

          -Esme


    • good comment

      if you don't give yr power away
      then ppl can't use that power to oppress you
    • If more people would put their money and effort where their mouths are and take the time to look for non-label bands, they would find bands they like just as much as the ones that have been spoon-fed to them. There is a ton of excellent music freely available from the bands themselves, which the labels have absolutely no control over and can't touch you for downloading. Finding it on doesn't even take that much more effort than bitching on /.

  • Doesn't Gracenote work by track lengths on the CD? I always thought that was why Windows Media Player said my Rogue Spear CD was Hell Freezes Over by The Eagles.
    • From what I remember, Gradenote (or CDDB.com) looks at the catalog track. It takes the number of tracks and the checksum of the catalog to determine an ID for the disk. It then takes this ID and looks it up in its database. I have had some CDs present me with a list of 8+ possible matches, asking me to resolve the conflict.
    • Just because gracenote runs cddb, doesn't mean that they aren't allowed to run other business ventures using different technology.
  • Such releases are quite similar to flamebait on slashdot, except that the flaming that follows is written in legalese, and, well, karma isn't what they should be afraid of losing... =)
  • I'm not sure exactly how it works, but is there not a certain degree of freedown allowable in reference parodies? Negativland may have gone a bit far in this case by using clips from the songs, but I've seen lots of other parodies that seemed to go father...
    • Have any of those other bands released an album with the name of the band they copied music from in big bold letters on the cover, and their own name in fine print at the bottom?
      • Have any of those other bands released an album with the name of the band they copied music
        from in big bold letters on the cover, and their own name in fine print at the bottom?

        Warrant released an album in 1992 entitled "Dog Eat Dog"
        Subsequently Dog Eat Dog released an album in 1993 entitled "Warrant"
    • by yerricde (125198) on Sunday September 15, 2002 @03:18PM (#4261688) Homepage Journal

      but is there not a certain degree of freedown allowable in reference parodies?

      Under United States copyright law as interpreted by the courts, parody is only parody when the parody ridicules the original work itself. That's why The Wind Done Gone [findlaw.com] is legal but The Cat Not in the Hat [virtualrecordings.com] isn't.

      • Yeh, which will eventually put editorial cartoonists out of business.

        Someday, I wish to have my own pet judge. But they cost almost as much as spider monkeys, and aren't as clever. Maybe I'll get a monkey instead.
  • It's about time. (Score:2, Interesting)

    I was hoping to hear from these guys. In the early 90's Hip-hop was very much on its way to becoming the next big thing.(Yes I'm a white boy, but I liked it OK?)

    There was a big arm-wresting match over sampling rights. In the end the record companies won by suing and threatening artists who used samples in thier music. The practice was further erased by requiring artists to "clear" thier samples ahead of time with the recording studios, many of which required the artist to pay royalties on each sample used.

    This was a very real and demonstrable case where RIAA-like tactics destroyed a promising art form. I think it's another reason why digitally traded music should be allowed to flourish...simply because it re-creates an environment where this type of music can start again where it left off.

  • From the Plunderphonic site:
    Note: It costs us quite a bit of money to afford the bandwidth so that we can offer these files to you. Please consider a donation [detritus.net]. Thanx for your support!
    I'm sure a good slashdotting will really hit their pockets hard.
  • If you read the article it says Marsh didn't believe the database possible ..."until I read a story in J@pan Inc Magazine (June 26) about a company called Gracenote, which specializes in "music recognition service," the software that lets your CD player tell you which artist and track are currently playing."

    As many of you know, Gracenote offers the CDDB service. It does not do any fancy music waveform checking. It checks song lengths and a few other points of data off a CD. It is only useful for CDs. CDDB, though it is handy for getting CD info, contains user-entered data, and often has duplicate entries. Using it for such a system as the author described would be a bad idea. At this point, the chances of a certain CD "matching" another in CDDB's eyes is higher than you might think. Sometimes, I'll put in a disc and have three or four separate albums come up.
  • by beebware (149208) on Sunday September 15, 2002 @03:52PM (#4261815) Homepage
    I know in the UK there is a service called Shazam [shazam.com] which you call up with your mobile phone, point your phone at a 'music source' for around 15 seconds and then you get a text message/SMS back around 30 seconds later showing a) the artist name (handy for 'cover versions) and b) the track name. It also has the facility (if you register) to 'store' your requests on its website and give appropriate links to online music stores.
    It seems to work quite alright as well, I tested it by playing 2 tracks at once out my speakers - it correctly identified one of them (I thought it'll fail complete), I've tried it via the radio on a bus - again success, admiteddly it failed in a very crowded and noisy nightclub - but it's still damn good (and resonable cheap) for identifying music.
    The claim that they can recognise 1.5million [shazam.com] different tracks from just a 15 second second sample - I don't know how they do it though, but I know *I'm* impressed by the technology!
    • It's true - Shazam is really quite impressive. It's never failed on me, and I've tried it with some *really* obscure stuff. Of course, the next thing to do is to screenscrape the shazam personal page (or forward on the SMS), and link that to a p2p network, so you can shazam something, and when you get home your machine has downloaded it.

      If you're in the UK, dial 2580 on your mobile...
  • by jocks (56885)
    I'm sorry guys, but anyone who thinks that the solution to the scourge of intellectual property is to simply steal it, is either an idealist at best or simply a fool at worst.

    The solution to the problem is to stop buying the product in the first place, if the album is good you will buy it, if it is bad you will not. Get rid of your illegal MP3s and OGGs and simply have music that you own. Wanna listen to some new music? Pay for it, or learn to play it.

    Stealing it weakens the argument for cheaper music and enforces the perception that p2p networks simply share music for which people have no license. Rather than providing people with a useful way to share files on a heterogenus network.

    I don't like MS products and licensing so I don't use them. I hate when people tell me that they think MS Office is much better than StarOffice, when the copy they have is stolen. If it's that good pay for it. The same is true for all intellectual property, we all think it is theft, we all would like to live in a state of pure anarchy, but none of you seem to be able to get to that enlightened level because of your greed. Free your mind and free your wallet, don't pay, don't listen.
    • The solution to the problem is to stop buying the product in the first place, if the album is good you will buy it, if it is bad you will not. Get rid of your illegal MP3s and OGGs and simply have music that you own. Wanna listen to some new music? Pay for it, or learn to play it.

      In a word in which the sheeple have the numbers and thus rule, I will occasionally hear entertaining songs everywhere I fucking go. I feel that the fact that I am essentially forced to listen to these songs when I go out into the wide world because they are played on Clearchannel commercial radio stations which play what idiots want to hear somewhat entitles me to download it and listen to it all I want. They're actually paying people to play it for me, I'm not going to pay them for the privilege of being fed crap.

      Note I say it's crap, you are probably saying 'then why listen to it'? Well, even an idiot can make a beautiful mistake. And some of this shit is awfully catchy :)

  • Waveforms R Us (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mulletproof (513805) on Sunday September 15, 2002 @04:46PM (#4262027) Homepage Journal
    Just curious, but doesn't MP3 signifigantly alter a waveform when it chucks the parts you normally can't hear? It'd be like fingerprinting with half the prints missing or otherwised changed around, I'd imagine. Oh, I'm sure they could make a close approximation, but the an approximation isn't nessisarily going to hold up in a court.
  • The capability to automatically identify the music from the waveform may be one of RIAA's priorities. However, is it a good thing? If a software can tell which music it is, it can also tell if someone is saying "I love the Al Qaeda", so it will be promptly adopted for counter insurgency purposes as well. Given this, can the ability to detect "No, I didn't vote for Dubya" be far behind?
  • by rweir (96112)
    Seriously, why should they be able to stop people?

    If I buy a copy of some mix CD that happens to sample Britney, surely records companies don't actually think they're missing out on a Britney sale? I'm not even a 'potential' customer, so they're not even losing a pretend "if it weren't for napster we would have sold 10 trillion copies of the latest Backstreet boys album, therefore napster has to pay us <pinkypoint to="mouth">one hundred trillion dollars</pinkypoint>"-type sale.
    • Seriously, why should they be able to stop people?

      If I buy some commercial software that happens to undisclosed GPL'd mplayer code, surely the authors of mplayer don't think they're missing out on their rights? I'm not even a 'potential' mplayer user, so they're not even losing a pretend. . .

      You get my point, I hope.

      Financially speaking, they -are- due royalties for the use (even in small part) of their work. Sometimes, these royalties can be quite affordably tiny, almost a token jesture. Other times they can be hideously enormous.

      Or should Sigma Designs or whoever the latest GPL-violating proprietary software vendor be permitted to use bits and pieces of GPL'd mplayer code, on the basis that they didn't steal much, and that their customers aren't mplayer users anyway?

      Copyright is copyright, and he who holds the rights makes the rules, with obvious exceptions for fair use. Some people write under GPL, others LGPL, while others pick the BSD or Artistic licenses.

      Most copyrighted materials are licensed under a "you may make no use of this material except as specifically defined by the laws of Congress, and even then, we'll sue you if you try." But, such draconian terms don't change the scope of copyright protection, and of compensation for rightsholders.
  • btw... (Score:2, Informative)

    by jothenull (141276)
    mp3s of Negativland's original "U2" single is available here [negativland.com]. Top of the page. "The forbidden single"
  • http://www.negativland.com/audio.html

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