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Music Industry Develops Centralized File-Sharing System 241

pearljam145 writes "A new file-sharing standard designed to distribute copyrighted music and movies legitimately has been developed by a technology consortium. The system could deliver any content format to any computer, and users might even earn rewards points for sharing the files. Using the new standard, computer users could share small files containing information about music, video or other data, but not the content itself. The Content Reference Forum (CRF), founded by Universal Music Group backed by technology companies including Microsoft, is hoping the sharing file standard will be adopted by technology companies and incorporated into software music players."
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Music Industry Develops Centralized File-Sharing System

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  • by tcopeland ( 32225 ) * <tom@thomaslee[ ] ['cop' in gap]> on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:12PM (#7701510) Homepage
    ...can be downloaded right here [] in a zipped PDF. There's an XML Schema on the last page of the "Core Specification 1.0".
    • by Beautyon ( 214567 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:26PM (#7701702) Homepage
      The banner image on the site says everything about what the companies involved think about themselvs.

      They are living in a dream world. And that is a good thing.
    • by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @02:53PM (#7703658) Homepage
      Quotes from the first design specification:

      while ensuring compliance of the appropriate commercial terms for a given consumer - while ensuring DRM is enforced on you.

      Content Refference data package can capture such information as [] what is the technical environment of the consumer e.g., [] content protection methods - Your "technical enviornment" means Trusted Computing reporting what software you are running, in particular securely reports if your computer will enforce DRM.

      There is a core set of functional requirements that the CR Architecture must meet in order to enable content refferences-based content distribution and commerces
      The files only work if you have HARDWARE (architecture) that meets the following requirements:
      content registration
      The content is encrypted/locked to your specific machine.
      expression and enforcment of rights and conditions for distribution or use of content
      Trusted hardware with Trusted software that securely expresses (reports) its DRM enforment policies and that undrestands DRM enforcement instructions.
      description of user context relevant to aquiring and processing content
      Securely reporting your Trusted Computing hardware and software (context).
      clearance of content related transactions
      Making payment (clearance) of the purchase (transaction).

      And that is just from the first 4 pages of the first secification document. The second document defines "Contract Expression Language". That is a laguage to define DRM rules. For example the language allows them to write a CONTRACT object where your Trusted Computer SIGNS a PROMISE that will GRANT you the ability to copy the song to a Trusted iPod on the CONDITION that you first meet the DUTY of making a payment to the copyright holder. The contract could demand a payment every time you play the song, or it could require a monthly payment ro "rent" the song.

      Section 5.2:
      1. This specification does not specify how and where the contracts expressed using the defined profile is enforced....
      2. This specification does not define the root of trust or any trust model for that matter.
      3. This speciication does not specify how trust is established or validated

      Yeah yeah yeah, they are trying to claim that this has nothing to do with Trusted Computing - but #1 does expect the contracts to be enforced, #2 does expect a root of trust and a trust model to exist, and #3 expects the trust to be established and validated. This crap lives on top of Trusted Computing, it is a part of the Trusted Computing chain.

      5.3 specifies the contracts must support OBLIGATIONS, PROHIBITIONS, and PERMISSIONS. In particular they must support An event that represents that a monetary payment is due. It must represent a fee amount and to whom it must me paid and how it must be paid.

      Now here's their Big Idea. You buy one of these songs. You can then share this song on ANY P2P service or post it on any website. Anyone who downloads this song MUST BUY IT before they can play it. That purchase can include a payment to YOU for hosting, advertizing, and transmitting the file. You become part of the "value chain", you may get paid. The copyright holder could define a fixed commission to you, or he could allow you to tack on any payment contract of your own. YOU get to decide how much someone has to pay you for downloading the song from you.

      This is their Big Idea. They are all excited about "Viral Marketing". Each person hosting a file on P2P is free advertizing for the song, each person hosting the file is offering them free bandwidth to send the song.

      Don't get too excited about getting paid - that part is pure pyramid-scheme. You have to buy the music then hope a butt-load of people buy it from you. Ponzi would be proud.

  • Dupe? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:12PM (#7701511)
    From two days ago []?
  • by rootofevil ( 188401 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:12PM (#7701518) Homepage Journal
    its called usenet. and people share huge files there anyway. if this catches on little jimmy is going to be learning about tar archives pretty quickly.
  • by akaina ( 472254 ) * on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:14PM (#7701534) Journal
    so... this program will help me correctly fill in the ID3 tags of all my MP3's? Thanks :)
    • Musicmatch will do that if you can force yourself to use windows. That's one of musicmatch's few decent features.
    • by Alan ( 347 ) <arcterex@ufie s . o rg> on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:42PM (#7701910) Homepage
      Check out MusicBrainz [], it will fingerprint your ogg or mp3 files and compare the fingerprint against their database (all OSS btw) and send back the correct id3 tags, and save the music files into the directory structure you set up. If it can't find the files you can import missing albums in from freedb or put in albums yourself. It's gotten a lot better in the last year or so as far as the number of fingerprints it has. It's a very sweet system, I just finished tagging a collection of >100G of mp3s and oggs (from various sources) and it performed fantastically.

      Right now the tagger program is only for windows, but the author just got a grant and will be working to develop linux and os/x taggers. The libraries are all OSS and there are a few (not as good) taggers written with them for other OSs.
      • I've been looking for something exactly like this for months....Thanks!
      • (Score:4, Interesting)

        by real_smiff ( 611054 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @01:02PM (#7702197)
        Not tried MusicBrainz, but I've just discovered "freedb". available as a plugin for foobar2000, so you can just right click a bunch of songs and choose "get tags". Most albums i've tried were found. Fast. Recommended. - seems to be well supported aswell.

        • Sweet, I'll have to check it out! The advantage of MB is that because they have specific style guidelines (and moderators to enforce them) data has consistancy. I've imported a lot of albums from freedb to MB and there is a lot of inconsistancy as far as capitalization, format (ie: disc 1, disk 1, disk 1 of 3, etc) and even naming of bands (The Eagles, Eagles, Eagles, The, etc).

          Will check it out though!
        • If you want an other freedb interface I wrote a simple command line perl script that is insanely configurable. You give it a directory of a full album, it looks up the freedb info and renames it in a whatever way your particular fetish is.

        • sorry, here's the homepage of the freedb plugin for foobar []. You just drop foo_freedb.dll into your components directory. This is of course only an interface between the freedb [] and the player []. There are, as per link in parent, many others.
      • This guy knows what he's talking about, MusicBrains correctly identified approxomately 80% of my extreamly unscientific sample (100 mp3s). I suggest you give it a try.
  • The point is? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:14PM (#7701535)
    What's the point of this if I can't actually share the content itself? Why would I want to share a description only?
    • Re:The point is? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by webwench_72 ( 541358 )
      I would guess (given the article seems to be slashdotted) that it allows the same sort of referencing, playlist-sharing, and new-music-recommendation capabilities of existing music-sharing services, without the problematic issue of sharing the copyrighted content itself. IN other words, they're getting their users to do their advertising for them, without giving anything back. But it does seem to me to be a step in the right direction.
    • Re:The point is? (Score:4, Informative)

      by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:25PM (#7701687) Homepage Journal
      Well, if it contains the descriptive info from tracks, this could be a very useful addition to any ripper. The problem is that the CDDB doesn't seem to contain anything other than the title of a track. There's none of the usual info (tune composer, people playing, instruments, where they learned the tune, etc.) that ever shows up. This info is also missing from iTunes, which also shows you just the track title.

      If there's an online DB giving the "liner notes" on the track, maybe we can get this info onto our disks next to the MP3 or ogg of the music.

      I for one, welcome any source of info about the music that I'm "stealing" (i.e., putting into a form that I can play on my own equipment). It'd be real handy when I want to, say, make my own cover of a song or perform it at a paying gig, and I'd like to contact its owners for permission. When they hide this info from me, I either don't use the music, or I use it without the proper permissions and attributions because I can't find them.

    • Re:The point is? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by grub ( 11606 )

      Why would I want to share a description only?

      That's what I was thinking when I read the article. It's just silly, for example: would anyone even consider sharing book reviews from Amazon? What is the point?

      Of course when music sales drop further the RIAA will blame teh intarweb and not the fact that they sign (mostly) unoriginal, boring musicians.
      • Why would I want to share a description only? -- It's just silly

        If I interpret the article correctly, if you bought a CD, they would give you free and legal files for any music player you own. There could be some value.

        Albhy Galuten, chairman of the CRF, says: "This would essentially say, if you have the rights to this piece of content, we don't care what kind of device you're using. It would say, tell me the device, and we'll send you the correct file.

        • Re:The point is? (Score:3, Interesting)

          If I bought the CD, can't I just rip it into the appropriate format, at the bitrate I want, and not have to host the RIAA's advertising files? Sure, it may require a sharpie or holding the shift key, but it isn't that hard. From what I gathered from the article, they basically want people to share files, which contain the info about a track, and where to download it legally, and in return they give me points. If I all I wanted was points, I have plenty of games where I can rack up points, and they will p
          • Obviously, in the future, you wouln't be able to rip anything, because it's going to be DRM protected in hardware. But the bigger point is that you wouldn't need to. Once you bought a piece of music, you should be able to get from this new service a copy-protected file playable on the device of your choice. Hopefully, you'll be able to select the bit rate you want.

            I think Sklyarov's software was intended for the purpose of making encrypted eBooks readable on devices other than the computers. Now, with this
    • Because the music industry wants to control the content, and wants the public (their customers) pay for it again and again, without actually ever getting it into their grubby, theiving hands.
    • Why would I want to share a description only?

      A central place where people could comment on pre-recorded music would be the greatest benefit of the Napster/file-sharing phenomenon in the long run.

      With the radio formats encased in epoxy, and the music industry focusing on 'one hit wonders', it is becoming more difficult to get exposure to new music that you'll believe that you will like before hearing it. If people with similar interests to yours recommend a certain new title, then you are more willi
  • Points! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by onyxruby ( 118189 ) <onyxruby&comcast,net> on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:18PM (#7701584)
    They want me to host the files that will link to their servers and get them paid! This is nothing more than a distributed bandwidth reduction process. In return you get these imaginary points with no cash value. This isn't file sharing people, this is bandwidth redistribution.
    • Wasn't something like this proposed a year or so ago, by one of the filesharing networks of less than stellar ethics?

      The principle of "share a file, get paid for your trouble and bandwidth" is sound enough in itself. But in my experience, "points" that have to be redeemed are mainly a way to avoid ever having to pay anyone, since typically they either expire before you can accumulate enough to have value, or you need an unreasonably large amount (or must add some cash yourself) to get anything for 'em.
    • Sounds like BitTorrent [].
      • Sounds like BitTorrent and had a bastard child. You distribute bandwidth, and in return, you get points of no value.

        Gee, and when the service goes out of business, and you can't redeem your points, well "Thanks for the bandwidth"

    • The whole process is even funnier if you compare it to the number of branded logos people wear.

      T-shirt - ogo, brand name name; Hat - small logo; Pants - brand name; Shoes - logo on the side, and brand name on the bottom so there's a chance to leave little brand names on the ground while you walk.

      People pay for the right to advertise for another company. There's all this jokes about people walking around with "your logo here" written on them. This is just a variation of that. Now, just write it inside yo

  • by Ubergrendle ( 531719 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:19PM (#7701590) Journal
    I basically end up hosting 'links' on my computer that point to a pay-as-you-go service.

    Essentially, I offer spam on my file sharing connection to other users.

    Because each file has meta-information about myself, perhaps I can earn 'bonus points' and get free credit to download the latest Britney Spears single.

    A simpler model of this system would be "we'll pay your for legitimate e-mail addreesses of your friends to whom we can send corporate spam."

    The article is light on details, but as a business model I think this is one of the worst I've read about in months. The value proposition is so low I can't see anyone participating in this.
    • If I share a CD with a friend, part of that is because I want them to enjoy the CD and part of that is because they don't yet like the band enough to pay for the CD. A big part of trolling around on P2P apps is looking for new and unique music that you may not have heard of before, and certainly wouldn't be willing to pay for until you decided that you liked it.

      On the other hand, what the Music Industry is offering, is a way to tell people what music is good, but not a way to actually show them. It's a f
  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:19PM (#7701592) Journal
    Sure keeping an open mind is a good and noble thing but I am a suspicious bugger and fail to see the WOW factor.

    So now I can send you a small file that will allow you to get an album or movie after you pay for it. Exactly how is this different from me linking you to say amazon with my referer number?

    Sure if you can get a lot of people to take note of your recommendations you could make some money perhaps but this type of stuff has existed for years.

    Oh well. NEXT

  • by holy_smoke ( 694875 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:19PM (#7701597)
    once again, they clearly demonstrate their non-grasp of the file sharing concept, and for this target market's desires and needs.

    *Bzzzt* Sorry, try again please.

    How about a closed P2P network that you pay a monthly fee to access via secure clients, and that network would have actual files that you could download? Nah... too simple. *rolls eyes*
  • Centralized (Score:5, Funny)

    by paul248 ( 536459 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:19PM (#7701599) Homepage
    Haven't we learned that centralized file sharing isn't a good idea? This'll get shut down by the music industry in no tim-- oh, never mind.
  • by rjstanford ( 69735 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:21PM (#7701626) Homepage Journal
    Actually, it wasn't pearjam145 who said it. Allow me to annotate his submission slightly:
    First story paragraph:
    A new file-sharing standard designed to distribute copyrighted music and movies legitimately has been developed by a technology consortium. The system could deliver any content format to any computer, and users might even earn rewards points for sharing the files.

    Third story paragraph:
    Using the new standard, computer users could share small files containing information about music, video or other data, but not the content itself.

    First half of second story paragraph:
    The Content Reference Forum (CRF), founded by Universal Music Group backed by technology companies including Microsoft,...

    Last story paragraph: hoping the sharing file standard will be adopted by technology companies and incorporated into software music players...

    The real story was written by Will Knight of the New Scientist news service, for the record.

    Come on now... Or was this just an amazing use of plagerism to illustrate the point in a story about fair use rights and legal music sharing (note that quoting verbatim half the story without attribution is not fair-use, at least not in the US)?
    • (note that quoting verbatim half the story without attribution is not fair-use, at least not in the US)
      It was attributed. In fact, there's a link to the story as published on the original source site right there!
  • Wheee! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jefu ( 53450 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:21PM (#7701628) Homepage Journal
    This has been attracting a fair amount of attention recently but it doesn't look to me like they've done more build an XML schema for sharing meta-information.

    It really just looks like they've found a way that they think will work to reduce their advertising costs.

    This does not address in any way the real problems of the music industry, the copyright issues and the like, but has been hyped recently as exactly that - probably to distract the public attention from those issues.

  • by TheSHAD0W ( 258774 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:21PM (#7701634) Homepage
    Step 1: Create a really stupid P2P system.
    Step 2: Convince Congress to outlaw everything else.
    Step 3: Profit
  • by coinreturn ( 617535 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:22PM (#7701635)
    If you RTFA, you'll see it's not about content sharing it's about advertising sharing. Users can share information about the content, but not the content itself. This is a non-event.
    • Advertising (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jefu ( 53450 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:50PM (#7702023) Homepage Journal
      It suddenly occured to me to wonder what would happen if you actually put out a bad review about something. Do I really believe that these guys will assist in moving such negative information around? Somehow I doubt it.
    • Wragg thinks the entertainment industry could

      offer bonuses to people who send a certain number of files on to friends. "It could be that you would earn reward points for the number of people you recommend a film to," he told New Scientist.

      It sounds like Spamming to me. What else does a spammer do ? And who is your "friend" - anybody whom you send stuff to so that you can earn rewards ... ?

      This is nothing but a concerted effort to monetize and eventually collect tax on spam by hijacking the legal sy

      • Lordy Lordy! Not more "rewards programs" involving "points" Everybody from the AMWAY corporation on through the whole credit card industry down to the WinnDixie Grocercy store has a friggin rewards program based on points where you can get "cool stuff" (crap I'd never buy at really bad prices) for points-(a point has some "value" associated with it that is rumored to be linked to a currency on a formula basis that when converted to real money is very very small.)

        I don't have credit cards with "rewards" sy
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:22PM (#7701642)
    Let's look for a moment at the benefits of abolishing copyright. We're all familiar with public libraries and how they make information available to everyone. Such libraries currently do not exist on any computer network, except in a very limited way. The main reason: copyright concerns, and the unwillingness of publishers to allow the works they control to become available electronically. This is one of the costs of copyright law.

    Imagine your ultimate stereo system. Don't be bashful - if it's really the ultimate, it should include a music library containing every piece of music ever recorded, and a program which can use your past music preferences to suggest new pieces of music for you to listen to. It would be an incredibly mind-expanding device, and one which is technologically not far off - but the introduction of the personal music library will likely be delayed by a decade or more because of copyright problems.

    Electronic magazines; special interest news programs which are compilations of the most interesting articles from diverse sources; computer program libraries so programmers don't have to reinvent the wheel; information devices such as an encyclopedia you can wear as a pair of earrings - all of these things would be made much easier and less expensive by the elimination of copyright.

    If we abolish copyright, it will be much harder for authors and performing artists to get paid. Absolutely true. Some will say this is a fatal objection. I disagree strongly.

    Sometimes changes in technology lead to changes in the economy. The invention of the steam shovel put a lot of ditch-diggers out of work. And the advent of the information age is going to make it impossible for authors to retain strict control over the distribution of their work. Should we then pass laws to try to allow authors to regain that control? Absolutely not. If the authors find life more difficult in the information age, that's the way the cookie crumbles.

    As it turns out, though, the information age contains more benefit than harm for authors. The process of getting published becomes as easy as pressing the 'return' key, and anyone can participate. The result will be to make the authorship process much less elitist.

    'How can we arrange for authors and artists to get paid? I think we're up to it'
    We still have a challenge: how can we arrange for authors and artists to get paid? I agree that it's a challenge, but I think we're up to it. They could:

    - get grants;
    - hold an academic position where reputation counts;
    - give live performances;
    - market their recordings themselves;
    - publish 'shareware';
    - produce a new work and charge a publisher a moderate up-front fee for being the first on the market with the work;
    - embed advertising in their work and distribute it widely for free.

    We can also design alternative institutions to support artists - for instance:

    - A 'book of the month club' which pays artists to contribute their work. True, without copyright you can't arrest freeloaders, but if the service is worth a lot and only costs a little, people will join it.
    - People are willing to pay a little money to feel good. An on-line entertainment service which pays authors a small royalty and brags about it may be more profitable than one which doesn't.
    'The maintenance of copyright laws is just a finger in the dike'
    But even if it becomes harder for authors to make money (and I'm not convinced that will be the case), the benefits to information consumers far outweigh the costs. And really, there's no other choice. The maintenance of copyright laws is just a finger in the dike. People familiar with computer technology understand that, in the computer world, "bits are bits." A piece of music, a book, a picture, a computer program - they're all just information, and the only technological way to prevent my copying any of them is to outlaw computers altogether.
  • Wow, what a wonderful advance over the days when I could share actual content. Sign me up today. Reformat my computer to make sure I don't inadvertantly allow any form of content sharing. Install the surveillance camera to make sure I don't attempt to fall back into my old habits. Give me the brain implant to ensure I don't contemplate doubleungoodthink.
  • I dunno... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Yakko ( 4996 ) < minus city> on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:23PM (#7701660) Homepage Journal
    I tend to not want to reward the content industries like RIAA and MPAA by using my bandwidth to share metadata. Also, they mention something about device independence. I'll believe that when I see content play on a FreeBSD machine (for example) without having to install special software.

    It's way too late for these industries to be asking us to trust them at all. For the bulk of us, I'm sure that trust is gone for good.

    This won't really do much to protect content. I think it'll be just like all other protection schemes -- subject to transcoding into a format that can be used (and shared) by anything.

  • by onyxruby ( 118189 ) <onyxruby&comcast,net> on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:25PM (#7701677)
    Points are given out based on how many people you can get suckered into paying to download a license for these files. Payments for getting friends and family to spend money on a third party product, how long until you get more points for getting them to also become a distributor. Tis nothing more than a pyramid marketing scheme. Pyramid schemes were once known for things like filter queen and herbalife. Perhaps we should call this marketing program "needalife"?

    If they were being honest about they could just market to the masses with commercials and have honest downloads like itunes or the like. Instead they are trying to get the masses to go astroturfing on their behalf. Expose this for the lie that it is.
  • Sick and tired (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Pergatory ( 596016 )
    I don't think there's anything wrong with /., I think everyone is just sick and tired of hearing about the poor music industry losing their iron hold on creativity. Boo hoo. At least they finally realized that they can't sue us into their way of thinking. Too bad it's too late, unless they've received SO much bad publicity that it perpetuates their evil empire through fear rather than genuine market profit. Bye bye, RIAA, we won't miss you.
  • "computer users could share small files containing information about music, video or other data,"

    sounds a bit like bit torrent to me.

    Embrace and extend it , slap on some DRM and voila redmond does it again and now has even more power than it did before.

    Of course if I cant play the movies or mp3's on my new computer because I havent bought the latest DRM enabled motherboard and installed a non-pirated legal version of the redmond operating system. Im not interested! Microsoft's new Motto should be ...

  • After reading the article, this appears to be nothing more than some kind of perverted searching application. Basically a user will search for content and see links that the user can then select to download the material after paying for it. They should save the trouble and simply pay Google to incorporate this into their search engine.
  • There needs to be some element of the music that can be sampled or shared -- and I mean for every single track on the system. The whole reason people have to share music illegally is because it's impossible to sample every track on an album without buying the album first. People are wise to the fact that a lot of the time, albums have one or two good songs, and no one's dumb enough to go out and buy an album like that without sampling it first. For this system to work, you need to be able to sample any and all tracks that you want, and to share those samples with everyone, and then get kickbacks if those shares are turned into sales... like an affiliate program.
    wow, my brain is working today!
  • The industries still don't get it.

    Its not about sharing. Its about getting what you want, when you want it. A.K.A., Now. File sharing was simply a piece to fill the void of online distributors. Look at iTunes. There is no sharing involved to distribute the files.

    I'm actually glad the industries still don't get it. It means they may still be on their way out.

  • by Rick Richardson ( 87058 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:32PM (#7701770) Homepage
    I guess I don't get it. There has to be some value to the metadata in these files over and above what you can get from freedb (currently about 250MB compressed with about 1.1M CDs cataloged).

    Otherwise, why would people want to host and share this information? Maybe they are going to give away the lyrics for free? Song snippets? Music video snippets? Somebody who has bothered to RTFA, please give us a clue!

  • If it would allow people to share legitimate, free music (live concert recordings and indy groups who want their music available, as well as music old enough to not be copyrighted (Bach, for instance) assuming the performers are willing), they might have something worth using. Otherwise, they'll never get a user base.
  • The Content Reference Forum (CRF), founded by Universal Music Group backed by technology companies including Microsoft, is hoping the sharing file standard will be adopted by technology companies and incorporated into software music players.

    RIAA: "Here, sucker, use our system that doesn't do squat and keeps you from doing what you were doing."

    User: Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha *gasp* hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

    These people beleive their own propaganda. What dupes.

  • I said they should have done this, but I figured after Napster was the time. They've peed in too many bowls of cornflakes for folks to forget
  • by cpn2000 ( 660758 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:44PM (#7701941)
    Music labels need to understand that the only way for them to discourage file (copyrighted music) sharing in a meaningful way is to offer people better, legitimate alternatives, not some half assed gimmick like this.

    Apple has demonstrated that when you give people the choice to buy music in the form they want, and at a reasonable way, people will buy. There are no gimmicks in their offering, and you simply pay for what you want.

    Today, when I walk into a record store and look at the prices of CDs, I usually end up not buying anything at all, not because I cannot afford them, but because I do not think I am getting value for my money. 18 dollar CDs with 2 or 3 songs that I really want, is not a good deal in my book.

    I wonder if they'll ever figure it out ... sigh

    • I do not think I am getting value for my money. 18 dollar CDs with 2 or 3 songs that I really want, is not a good deal in my book

      No, no! You're paying 18 dollars for the 2 or 3 songs you really want and the rest of the music is free. Is this a better deal?

      Anyway, real men don't buy CDs with songs. They buy CDs with "movements" [] *wink wink*

    • Today, when I walk into a record store and look at the prices of CDs, I usually end up not buying anything at all, not because I cannot afford them, but because I do not think I am getting value for my money.

      Do you then sit down in front of your computer and download them, free of charge, because you feel that they're worth having, and worth listening to, but not worth paying for? Even if you don't, I would bet that this describes a rather common mentality among those who advocate file sharing as a "solut
      • I would bet that this describes a rather common mentality among those who advocate file sharing as a "solution" to this problem.

        Nowhere in my post did I mention any justification for file sharing, and btw, I dont (and never have) done it.

        What I am saying is that suing 14 and 15 year olds is not going to solve the problem, do you think it is? File sharing is wrong period; but price gouging by record labels is only making things worse.

  • by subjectstorm ( 708637 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:46PM (#7701972) Journal
    You know what's really SO great about this proposed file sharing system?

    What's so great is that it doesn't actually allow you share anything. OH . . . MY . . . GOD! SIGN ME UP!!!

    Now i can make "metadatas" that say things like "Britney Speerz r0XX0rZ! sHe 0wnz j00! loolollllol!!1!!11! omgroflbrb!!111!!!1" and . . . and . . . OMG! i can SHARE these with all my friends!!!

    and then, presumably, because they had that metadata, they would now have the permissions necessary to purchase her music from some online music store without getting to listen to it first! Man! I WISH that wal-mart worked that way, but they'll let just ANYBODY come in and buy music without listening to it first, or, or, they try to make you preview it on those nasty headphone things? ew?

    And they don't even give you POINTS for it.

    God, i love points. One time, i got like, a millions points on pac-man, and i almost creamed my shorts.

    iTunes is so dead.
  • On the plus side, the music industry appears to be getting away from expecting that people will share their DRM'd files with no compensation. A reward structure in terms of merchandise or better access to the network is absolutely necessary for them to leverage a peer to peer network. Also, the music industry having been involved in these sorts of standards helps contradict the automatic demonization of any peer to peer network.
  • It won't work (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Frennzy ( 730093 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:49PM (#7702007) Homepage
    How long will it be before folks who use the service realize they can imbed links to free versions of the music in the metadata? For that matter, how limited is the metadata? How about an mp3 converted to a long ascii string inserted into the metadata, which can then be reconverted back into a binary mp3/ For me, I wouldn't mind paying per song to download quality material...I do believe that artists should be compensated for their work. What I don't understand is why so many of them DON'T jump off their label contracts and embrace the largest global market, with next to no production costs. Create music. Record music. Post music to website with shopping cart. Wait for money to roll in. Sure, the fabulously wealthy 'stars' probably wouldn't make as much money this way...but what about the folks that don't have a contract/label? Why not go straight to publishing? Hell, there are tens of millions of 'writers' out there in blogland publishing their own written works...
  • by teklob ( 650327 )
    if they had thought of this before they started prosecuting everyone in sight, then it would probably have worked a whole lot better
  • After that article about Steganography on FreeBSD awhile back, I think I finally found a use for it!
  • by Hangtime ( 19526 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @01:21PM (#7702447) Homepage
    (AP) Paris - 12/12/2003 10:53 AM
    Vivendi Universal today was among the host of media companies with record company subsidiaries reporting record profits for the third quarter. Jean-Marie Messier, CEO of Vivendi, attributed the stellar quarter to the company's partnership with the Napster Inc. Napster, a software program used to share and download music, started out as a way to pirate music, but turned legitimate in December 2000 with a broad licensing agreement between each of the five major record labels. Since that time, Napster has made agreements with 6 of the 7 largest US ISPs and OEM deals with computer manufactuers Hewlett Packard and Dell Computer to either install or give users the right to download music from the network. In the case of AOL and Earthlink subscribers, each customer pays an additional $10 a month to share and download from the network. In addition, deals with most of the top indie record labels have followed since 2000 giving Napster users the right to share and download those record label files from the Napster network.

    "While we ceratinly were anxious at the beginning of the Napster "experiment", it has truly taken off. It is our hope that even more users will join the network, we are already seeing wonderful penetration in Europe." This past spring, Napster opened its gates to European users in one of the biggest product launches in history. "The network almost doubled the day we opened up to Europe. We are now seeing concurrent usage approaching over 500,000 users with nearly 100 Terabytes of files being shared on the network." explained chief technology officer Shawn Fanning. "With our improved distribution system, we hope to push on into Asia sometime in the 2nd quarter of 2004 once we reach deals with many of the labels there."

    The success of the music industry stands in dark contrast to the rest of the economy which grew at an annualized rate of 1.2% this quarter while revenue among the five largest record labels was up 11% from last year. When questioned about Napster Messier replied "Napster has truly been an innovative product and has rewarded Vivendi shareholders and most other media company shareholders immensely."
  • by oohp ( 657224 )
    Why share metadata files when you can share the *content* itself, legally or not. Why would anyone use this?
  • by eyenot ( 102141 )
    if i could say anything to the music industry, i would say: "you want it all, but you can't have it! yeah, yeah, yeah."

    here is the final solution:

    1. entire music industry decides to represent music, not recordings. "recorded music is dead!" they finally cede, joining ranks of some of the best musicians in the world as improv artists. recording industry part of the music industry dies.

    2. music industry re-assesses the value of the poor instrument makers, sound technicians, and studio owners who underpinne
  • would be a good piece of metadata to share. And I'd get *points* for it too? Oh man... Napster with Pepsi Points.

    I want me a Harrier jet!

  • Using the new standard, computer users could share small files containing information about music, video or other data, but not the content itself.

    What point is there in doing this? to make the masses feel like they are sharing something? People want music. Making information about the music available is fine but that's icing on the cake. The cake is the music.

    The music industry just can't let go. They just can't bring themselves to do it.

    They'll soon be marginalized into oblivion.

  • If all the content is to come from a centralized location, why should I have to search around through someone's computer for what is essentially an alias/symbolic link/shortcut/whatever? Wouldn't it make more sense to just have a big, searchable list of availible content instead of poking through everyone's computer looking for what I want?
  • Clearly, this spec is a sham to allow for free advertising for the music industry, while utilizing our bandwidth and processing power.

    BUT... this is a step in the digital, p2p direction from the music industry. Granted, this spec doesn't make much sense, but it could be seen as an indicator that the music industry is realizing it must embrace these technologies instead of shunning and destroying them.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @01:43PM (#7702724) Homepage
    It's a hideously inefficient method of distributing a rather modest volume of material. The music industry only generates a few tens of megabytes per day of new content, expressed as MP3 files. If it were legal, it would be minor traffic in the USENET binary groups. Even as cacheable HTTP traffic, the server load would be minimal.

    Instead, horrendously inefficient "file sharing" systems are chewing up vast amounts of bandwidth.

    It might pay for some Internet or computer company to buy out the music industry, just to get the overhead down. The entire music industry is considerably smaller than Compaq was, after all. At one point, Red Hat had a much bigger market cap than the entire music industry.

  • Mundane Musings (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KaiserZoze_860 ( 714450 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @01:57PM (#7702907) Homepage

    I can safely say that regardless of price (including free)or method of delivery, I'm not buying anything from Brittney Spears, 50 cent, Creed, or whatever "superstar" they have this week. Its not my music. And that is the fundamental flaw in their piracy argument: They are assuming that if it wasn't for file sharing I'd be buying this crap. Personally I stopped buying CDs in any real quantity in the mid-nineties - well before napster. I'm not going to start again anytime soon. Its still not my music.

    iTunes and Napster 2.0 aside, I can understand why it's so difficult for the record industry to develop a truly unique offering that we would be willing to pay for: We can't even think of one and we are the target audience. There are still compromises in those services which we would love to do without (like proprietary file formats) and the selection needs to be significantly larger.

    Perhaps, instead of trying to build a new service using existing content, we should build a new service for musicians and writers where they can post new works not belonging to a publisher and get paid by a subscription fee. If the content was worthy, people would pay. Eventually, it could become the method of choice for emerging artists, thus cutting off the record industry's supply. Or we can just keep downloading illegally...


    A musician friend of mine once summed it up as "All the record industry is good for now is creating rock stars. And who needs more rock stars?"

  • by hysterion ( 231229 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @02:04PM (#7703021) Homepage
    From the article:
    Because the files contain no content, they could be distributed in any way without concerns about piracy.

    Contain no content?

    Someone ought to suggest them Write-Only Memory as a better solution to the p2p problem.

  • Someone downloading the file would then use it to retrieve the actual content from a "Content Reference Server". The content would be in a copy-protected format, designed not be shareable.

    DRM'ed content, no surprise there...

    Albhy Galuten, chairman of the CRF, says: "This would essentially say, if you have the rights to this piece of content, we don't care what kind of device you're using. It would say, tell me the device, and we'll send you the correct file."

    OK, so then I can put it on my portable mp3 pla

  • by popo ( 107611 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @02:28PM (#7703346) Homepage

    This is like trying to stop underage drinking by offering teenagers free O'Douls.

  • by TyrranzzX ( 617713 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @02:54PM (#7703685) Journal
    Or is the network just for works acquired by monopolies?

    The standard looks like a big bad advertising service, it's funny that they even call this a P2P network. What about sharing other legitimate files too?
  • by Tazzy531 ( 456079 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @03:08PM (#7703825) Homepage
    If you read through the veil of marketting mumbo-jumbo, you can see what this really is. Basically, they are going to have a system like iTunes. You buy a song and have the rights to it. Now by using this CRF file, they are letting people think it's P2P [but not]. Secondly, this in the end helps out the music industry, without much benefit to the users.

    To the music industry this idea has 2 functions. First it helps spread the word on particular music. [ie FREE ADVERTISING] It's viral marketting all over again. Secondly, it helps them reduce cost. Instead of building a search engine and maintaining the bandwidth to support the users similar to iTunes, they can piggy back off of other P2P systems and use the bandwidth of the users.

    What they save in technical costs they pass a part of it back to the users through these "rewards."

    In the end..this is just smoke and mirrors... Instead of all these gimmicks, why don't they just start moving towards the iTunes concept instead of fighting all the way. They are going to end up there's time that they face the facts...
  • by serutan ( 259622 ) <snoopdoug AT geekazon DOT com> on Friday December 12, 2003 @04:09PM (#7704533) Homepage
    Essentially this is merely a new way to distribute banner ads, with possible discount points for spamming your friends. The freely downloadable files are merely promos with BUY buttons.
    Strangely, the article does not mention at all that the content itself will be pay downloads. Who wrote this, the RIAA? Not that it's wrong to pay for something, but the article makes it sound like the industry is giving something away, which they definitely aren't.

I go on working for the same reason a hen goes on laying eggs. -- H.L. Mencken