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Sony Frees Entire Music Catalog on PlayLouder ISP

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Postby david33850 » Sun Aug 28, 2005 10:19 am

Also, ISPs are also are selling phone service, but why would I want to buy their service when Skype exists. Skype may not be so free to use in the future?


The radio stations didn't like internet radio because a lot of radio stations aren't any good and would go out of business so they bribed congress to make it illegal. The phone companies didn't like voip so they bribed congress to make it illegal based on a computer could never figure out it's home address to use 911 service. They'll make skype illegal for for no back door listening sevice for the government or whatever reason they can think of. First they'll offer to let skype charge for any service offered. Kind of a no brainer. I think it all will be based on bandwidth used and the funds will be distributed to the radio stations that would have otherwise have been in business etc.
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Postby Afn » Sun Aug 28, 2005 11:33 am

david33850 wrote:The radio stations didn't like internet radio because a lot of radio stations aren't any good and would go out of business so they bribed congress to make it illegal.


Wrong. Streaming of radiostations ended when a union of radio advertising talent forced radio stations to stop streaming webcasts unless each streamed webcast was a paid royality.

The 911 issue is interesting. More people are using voip. There was one lady who DID have an emergency and when she dialed 911 on her netphone, she did not get a response. So, requiring 911 on net phones is a good idea, and as voip replaces toll calls, will be needed as people drop the phone for voip.

In reality, the phone network and the internet are one in the same network.

You are correct that in the end the people that capture the market of a product or service, will turn it from free into a painfully restructed pay as you go system.

As for hollywood content, Hollywood floods products and has distribution, any attempt to alter distribution and you get the wraith of the Hollywood system. In the end hollywood will become a minor player in global entertainment.
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Postby david33850 » Sun Aug 28, 2005 2:42 pm

I'm really surprized that every city doesn't have 50 water departments to choose from so every well to do family in town could own their own water department and send out their own special colored invoices and offer specials to switch.

I remember in the days of napster I use to listen to internet radio and liked it until it was suddenly yanked off the net. At the time I remember reading that thousands of radio stations were going to go out of business due to the wild popularity of one Los Angeles station. Of course, after the fact they were breaking the law yet to be made that stated they should pay 4 to 6 cents per song per listener on the internet. If it would have taken 12 cents per song to get them off the internet then sufficent bribes would have been paid to make it 12 cents per song. They were very concerned about the thousands of radio station bankruptcies to come and that was the main issue. They simply worked it backwards from there to get the right question and answer.
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Re: Sony Frees Entire Music Catalog on PlayLouder ISP

Postby Al » Mon Aug 29, 2005 8:39 pm

Drake, I think this is the key part of the doctorow writing you are looking for:

"PlayLouder MSP's customers' license includes Sony music sourced from P2P networks, ripped from CDs, or digitized from vinyl, cassettes, or radio broadcasts."


"They're also filtering traffic TO the Internet to prevent SONY music tracks that Audible Magic recognizes from leaving its network via recognized P2P protocols and going to ISPs whose customers have not paid a license fee. However, they will not be stopping any tracks that Audible Magic fails to recognize, nor will they be resticting traffic using unrecognized protocols."

I don't think there is any reason to believe that they are going to be blocking all p2p traffic out of the network. The audible magic system is to protect the material of the licensor.
Obviously for money to be apportioned there has got to be some kind of filtering going on. I think to view this as something scary is naive, given that things like "deep packet inspection" are already feasible and quietly going on at ISPs. P2P traffic is already being recognized and service speeds reduced for such traffic at some ISPs. What this does is take this phenomenon and use it in a way that frees up the consumer rather than simply restricting him.
I think it is wrong to call this DRM. It is traffic control, but DRM implies a locked down control on my machine that carefully limits access and use of files on my own system. It increasingly turns my machine into a closed black box over which I have little control. This is a radically different thing from limited traffic control to keep the material of a licensor from moving outside the isp network.
If the isp let users send licensed material out of the network, the economic model would fall apart. A massive number of external users costs, who are not paying into the pool of money, would have to be borne by the small isp and its paying customers.

This is a small price to pay for the ability to rip cds, record disks, trade files already obtained from p2p networks as much as one wants in network, on any software one wants, in any format one wants.

That is a stunning level of freedom compared to the present industry model, such as itunes, and at a very small fraction of the cost.

I have been a bitter critic of the industry and refuse to participate in any scheme which involves drm.
I would sign up for this in a heartbeat.
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I'm forced to follow up...

Postby Al » Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:25 pm

because I came across this more disappointing report:

"The Sony BMG deal follows a string of deals with indie labels, who have provided music unencumbered by DRM. Sanders wouldn't say if the Sony content would have DRM or not, but we inferred it would.

"I've some sympathy with people who value freedom on the data networks and in everything they do. I’d say with a network such as ours to fulfill our obligations we’d have to report properly and accurately on the music you’re using – so freedom from DRM might not be the best choice."

from the register
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/08/26 ... interview/
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Orlowski confused?

Postby jbond » Tue Aug 30, 2005 2:23 am

Orlowski's description of DRM doesn't make sense. None of the reports have said that Playlouder would be providing content. Cory has said the content could come from anywhere including CD Rips. In which case there's nowhere for the DRM to be attached to the track. And the deals with the independents seem to be purely a roylaty distribution agreement, where Playlouder passes money to Sony and Sony then passes it to the independent. This is a good deal for Sony if they can do deals with all the other record companies to collect and distribute their royalties as well. They become an alernative to the PRS and could skim almost pure profit off the top of everyone's transactions.

So I really think Orlowski has confused DRM with filtering and there's nothing explicitly about DRM in this scheme.

I'm still concerned about the questions I asked above. Most of the answers haven't come out in the wash yet.

BTW. Just Say No To DRM!
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But...

Postby jbond » Tue Aug 30, 2005 2:40 am

Reading the PlayLouder FAQ again, I came across this.

and all the music licensed by PLMSP is continuously available in the highest quality encoding for subscribers to download...

...files are guaranteed quality, with full information


Now maybe this is misleading but it seems to suggest that Playlouder (in conjunction with Sony and the signed independents) would be providing an AllOfMp3 style service that had Sony's entire catalogue (including back catalogue) available. This seems pretty unlikely! There has to be a catch here and/or it's lying in advertising. One possibility is that it's done via Sony's download service so that PlayLouder's customers have free access to the download service. This might be with the normal WMA c/w DRM (or ATRAK Bwaahahah!) or it might be no DRM for Playlouder's customers. But then it's still not going to be anything like "all the music licensed by PLMSP" if file sharing of back catalogue is legal.

Too many unanswered questions. Here's another one.

PLMSP is the first ISP to optimise P2P file-sharing to improve the consumer experience So fast upload speeds?
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Postby Al » Tue Aug 30, 2005 11:07 am

I agree there are still a lot of unanswered questions.
I'm afraid a lot of the confusion may be because, I'm beginning to suspect, we will see two different approaches simultaneously. The indie material will follow the original playlouder model of non-encumbered files available from any source distributable over any p2p application and the Sony material, distributed over a more controlled traditional model and encumbered with drm. It may be that both orlowski and doctorow are right, in that doctorow may be extrapolating from the freedom of the indie content and simply assuming it applies as well to the sony content.
The very fact that the site and spokespeople are so vague is troubling. When I see one of the playlouder founders interviewed and saying " so freedom from DRM might not be the best choice." it again leads me to believe that what will happen with sony content will be profoundly different than the model for the rest of the content.

If this is true it is deeply disappointing. The model for indie content has been pretty clear for a long time. The exciting news was the possibility that a major label would release most of its content, including big name acts, under a similar model.
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Postby Not Sure, But... » Tue Aug 30, 2005 12:55 pm

Where's the Slyck interview?
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Postby Al » Tue Aug 30, 2005 7:14 pm

If you mean the interview I referred to, that was the register link I gave above.
So far as I know, slyck has not had an interview with a playlouder spokesman.
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Re: Sony Frees Entire Music Catalog on PlayLouder ISP

Postby Drake » Tue Aug 30, 2005 8:27 pm

Al wrote:Obviously for money to be apportioned there has got to be some kind of filtering going on. I think to view this as something scary is naive, given that things like "deep packet inspection" are already feasible and quietly going on at ISPs.


There's a big difference between the way normal ISPs monitor traffic and the way this ISP does it. The relationship between this ISP and the major record labels alone should make people suspicious.

If the RIAA asks them to reveal the identities of people who have broken copyright laws do you think this ISP would put up a fight? I don't.

Al wrote:I think it is wrong to call this DRM. It is traffic control, but DRM implies a locked down control on my machine that carefully limits access and use of files on my own system.


Definition of DRM from http://webopedia.com

Short for digital rights management, a system for protecting the copyrights of data circulated via the Internet or other digital media by enabling secure distribution and/or disabling illegal distribution of the data. Typically, a DRM system protects intellectual property by either encrypting the data so that it can only be accessed by authorized users or marking the content with a digital watermark or similar method so that the content can not be freely distributed.



Al wrote:It increasingly turns my machine into a closed black box over which I have little control. This is a radically different thing from limited traffic control to keep the material of a licensor from moving outside the isp network.


That's just it - you have no control over how you can share files detected by audible magic. The record labels control how you can share it. If that's not digital rights management, what is?


Al wrote:This is a small price to pay for the ability to rip cds, record disks, trade files already obtained from p2p networks as much as one wants in network, on any software one wants, in any format one wants.


To me, that's a huge price to pay. People already have the ability to share with each other and support artists as well. They don't need the RIAA controlling their sharing behaviour.

Al wrote:That is a stunning level of freedom compared to the present industry model, such as itunes, and at a very small fraction of the cost.


I completely disagree. This ISP confines you to what they call a "walled garden". I don't equate this confinement to a stunning level of freedom. At least with iTunes, you can download an app that cracks the DRM and then you can share it freely.

Al wrote:I have been a bitter critic of the industry and refuse to participate in any scheme which involves drm.
I would sign up for this in a heartbeat.


I'm sure you're not the only one. If you don't mind having other people dictate how you can share files and if you don't mind the price, this service is for you.

If these lawsuits become even more out of hand, there are several options such as incorporating i2P or Freenet. It seems that this services big selling point is avoiding lawsuits. Each pay service has their own little "attraction" to pull people in. Peer Impact has the "earn money" scam going on. iTunes...well iTunes is just huge and doesn't really need to come up with ridiculous gimmicks.

Anyway, I think this service is crap and I'm really surpised someone from the EFF would endorse this garbage.
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Re: Sony Frees Entire Music Catalog on PlayLouder ISP

Postby Al » Wed Aug 31, 2005 10:22 am

Drake wrote: The relationship between this ISP and the major record labels alone should make people suspicious.


With a voluntary collective license such as this, the isp is going to have a key role to play in helping to assess traffic patterns in order to apportion compensation. Unless you expect that every artist whether Mr. I don't know who or whether Ms. Spears should get exactly the same compensation, there is going to have to be some mechanism for determining what material is being passed around. The eff understands this. For example

http://www.eff.org/share/?f=collective_lic_wp.html

"The Money: Dividing It Up

The money collected would then be divided between artists and rights-holders based on the RELATIVE POPULARITY of their music.
Figuring out what is popular can be accomplished through a mix of ANONYMOUSLY MONITORING WHAT PEOPLE ARE SHARING (something companies like Big Champagne and BayTSP are already doing) and recruiting volunteers to serve as the digital music equivalent of Nielsen families."

There would have to be some type of filtering/monitoring of traffic to determine what is p2p traffic and what is being traded.


On the issue of the walled garden: Certainly that isn't ideal but, at this point, only one small uk isp is doing a serious experiment with this. You can't expect that the industry is going to license material to the paying customers of that isp and then simply let them legally distribute that content to millions of non-paying internet users around the world? They will expect some effort to keep the p2p activity within the isp and it's paying customer base. Hopefully, such a scheme will be accepted more broadly and such a walled garden will be able to disappear as many ISPs follow the lead of this one. In the mean time certain concessions have to be made.

Drake wrote:If the RIAA asks them to reveal the identities of people who have broken copyright laws do you think this ISP would put up a fight? I don't.


Nor do I. The reality is most ISPs wouldn't put up a fight. They might try to delay, but in the end most ISPs are going to give away information on identities if push comes to shove. There is no indication yet that this isp is going to be more closely monitoring non-licensed material or acting as some kind of spy for the industry. It isn't in their interest to do such a thing.

Drake wrote:Definition of DRM from http://webopedia.com

Ok, I'll concede the point on the definition. I will continue to claim, however, that there are levels of intrusiveness and that this is much less intrusive than the model we have seen up to this point. For example, itunes installs software on your machine, it stores encrypted files on your machine over which access is carefully controlled by the apple application. It tries to dictate how you can use the files. Support for such controls is even going to be embedded in future hardware such as intel processors. By comparison with playlouder there is filtering in the network to ensure licensed material is not being sent out to non-paying customers. Beyond this you are not limited or controlled in what you do with the files, nor are there controls being installed on your machine. This is MUCH less intrusive and it is not acceptable to simply ignore the profound differences there.
Drake wrote:That's just it - you have no control over how you can share files detected by audible magic. The record labels control how you can share it.


It's not yet clear how the sony content will be handled. This may or may not be true. If the sony material turns out to be handled in the traditional way by locking it down into proprietary encrypted format then my attitude toward this will change profoundly.


Drake wrote:
People already have the ability to share with each other and support artists as well.


I think you are being less than candid about this. However much one supports p2p, I don't think you can claim with a straight face that it has found a mechanism for compensating artists. Perhaps you mean that you believe recordings should be free and all money should be made from touring. That implies a radical change in the nature of the industry that is not happening and is not likely to happen.

Drake wrote:I completely disagree. This ISP confines you to what they call a "walled garden". I don't equate this confinement to a stunning level of freedom. At least with iTunes, you can download an app that cracks the DRM and then you can share it freely.


Sure you can crack iTunes, but we are then back where we started because that is illegal. The point is to create an environment where p2p sharing becomes legal, so that file sharers are no longer functioning outside of the law. I consider the walled garden with unlimited legal filesharing of unencrypted files using whatever application you want and being usable in whatever way you want(so long as you stay in the garden) to be a far greater level of freedom than anything we have seen before from a major player. You can't measure this against what is possible in illegal p2p or what is happening with indie bands with no major public following. This is a big step for a major player with big name acts and it is a big step in the direction we want. Complaining that it isn't a run entirely into our camp is pointless.

The music industry is not going to die, so some accomodation will have to occur. I think you have a very purist attitude about this. At some point though, if you want real change, you have to accept something that is less than 100% of what you want. The problem with demanding all or nothing is you will often end up with nothing.
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Re: Sony Frees Entire Music Catalog on PlayLouder ISP

Postby Drake » Wed Aug 31, 2005 11:31 am

Al wrote:
Nor do I. The reality is most ISPs wouldn't put up a fight. They might try to delay, but in the end most ISPs are going to give away information on identities if push comes to shove.


In Canada, all but 1 ISP decided to fight the CRIA. The only one who didn't fight is Telus and that's because they have ties to the Entertainment industry. Several American ISP's, such as Verizon, also forced the RIAA to take them to court.

Al wrote:There is no indication yet that this isp is going to be more closely monitoring non-licensed material or acting as some kind of spy for the industry. It isn't in their interest to do such a thing.


There isn't? How about the audible magic filter coupled with their specially configured routers? Everything must go through that filter.


Al wrote:I think you are being less than candid about this. However much one supports p2p, I don't think you can claim with a straight face that it has found a mechanism for compensating artists. Perhaps you mean that you believe recordings should be free and all money should be made from touring. That implies a radical change in the nature of the industry that is not happening and is not likely to happen.


I should have explained myself better. If you like any indie bands in your area, you will know that the best way to support them is to go to their concerts and buy their merchandise. A lot of indie bands realize that file sharing helps them rather than harm them.

Compensating bands that are signed to the big labels doesn't concern me much. These labels are part of the RIAA and are suing people. Why should I care about them? Still, the best way to support these artists (if you want to) is by going to their concerts. That's what I meant about having the ability to support them while downloading and sharing for free.


Al wrote:Sure you can crack iTunes, but we are then back where we started because that is illegal. The point is to create an environment where p2p sharing becomes legal, so that file sharers are no longer functioning outside of the law.


Yes, this ISP does make it legal but it also puts a lot of restrictions on what you can do. Another thing that hasn't been clarified is exactly how much Audible magic will filter.

Their Website claims that customers can't be sued for sharing files. But since this ISP only has a deal with Sony, how can they stop lawsuits from other big labels such as EMI? Aha...could it be that audible magic will filter out songs from other big labels as well? If that's the case then these customers can say goodbye to file sharing.

Al wrote:I consider the walled garden with unlimited legal filesharing of unencrypted files using whatever application you want and being usable in whatever way you want(so long as you stay in the garden) to be a far greater level of freedom than anything we have seen before from a major player.


I call it crap. :) Do you ever send MP3's to friends through MSN or another IM app? If you're using this ISP and your friends are using another ISP, you won't be able to share any songs with them. I guess you can always direct them to iTunes or some other pay service.


Al wrote:You can't measure this against what is possible in illegal p2p or what is happening with indie bands with no major public following. This is a big step for a major player with big name acts and it is a big step in the direction we want. Complaining that it isn't a run entirely into our camp is pointless.


This is a big step alright...a big step backwards. This gives the RIAA complete control over how you share music. If the EFF ever officially supports this I really think they have lost track of what they are fighting for.

The only reason why audible magic is being used is to prevent people from sharing. They can use a service like Big Champagne to track downloads. Their prime objective is to stop file sharing, not track the amount of times files are downloaded so that artists can be paid. I don't think we should lose sight of that.

Al wrote:The music industry is not going to die, so some accomodation will have to occur. I think you have a very purist attitude about this. At some point though, if you want real change, you have to accept something that is less than 100% of what you want. The problem with demanding all or nothing is you will often end up with nothing.


I agree. I've never thought they were going to die. For me, it doesn't really matter if this service takes off because it won't effect me. If one day it will be impossible to share files online because ISP's monitor everything the RIAA still won't get a dime from me. I can do without.

What I won't accept is that they're trying to make this service seem like such a great thing when in fact, it's anti filesharing. I hope people educate themselves and learn how it works before buying into it.

I'm not against a voluntary collective licensing scheme, but I am against any system that prevents people from sharing. This is essentially what this service is all about. The RIAA is trying to see if people will accept being put in a "walled garden" (prison) detached from the rest of the Internet when it comes to file sharing.

Why should people accept such conditions just for the sake of change? This service is B.S. How about real solutions such as a reduction in price. The RIAA charges iTunes 65 cents/song. To start with, they can drop their price by 15-20 cents AND drop the DRM. That would be progress.

With this system, they are taking much more than they are giving. This is not a fair system for file sharers.
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Re: Sony Frees Entire Music Catalog on PlayLouder ISP

Postby Not Sure, But... » Wed Aug 31, 2005 6:52 pm

Drake wrote:
Al wrote:Sure you can crack iTunes, but we are then back where we started because that is illegal. The point is to create an environment where p2p sharing becomes legal, so that file sharers are no longer functioning outside of the law.


Yes, this ISP does make it legal but it also puts a lot of restrictions on what you can do. Another thing that hasn't been clarified is exactly how much Audible magic will filter.

Their Website claims that customers can't be sued for sharing files. But since this ISP only has a deal with Sony, how can they stop lawsuits from other big labels such as EMI? Aha...could it be that audible magic will filter out songs from other big labels as well? If that's the case then these customers can say goodbye to file sharing.


How does the ability to share anything they represent in any way you want within their service equate to a lot of restrictions? That makes absolutely no sense.

Why should you be exempt when sharing other companies files just because you have this service. If the other companies were worried about creating a climate that allows you to have these same freedoms, then they would jump on the bandwagon and you would have nothing to worry about.

Same with the other ISP's. When and if they join this service you will be open to more sharing.

They still have not said you will be blocked from sharing other material outside their network, just their own stuff. Can't say as I blame them.

Why should they be eager to allow you to give their stuff to your friends and family outside the network for free? That doesn't make any sense either.

What it all boils down to IMHO is that these arguments are just more grasping at justifying the current theft that is taking place. If you can't be happy with a service that will give you free reign of their files for a low price, do you expect them to believe you would pay for (cd's etc.)it if only it was cheaper?

This is a serious move in the right direction and common sense tells you they need some way to monitor it so the right people get their share of the fees.

Can't have it both ways.[/quote]
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Re: Sony Frees Entire Music Catalog on PlayLouder ISP

Postby Drake » Wed Aug 31, 2005 8:08 pm

Not Sure, But... wrote:How does the ability to share anything they represent in any way you want within their service equate to a lot of restrictions? That makes absolutely no sense.


It equates to a lot of restrictions because you're confined to sharing only with users on that ISP. If you're looking for music on Gnutella, instead of being able to share with 1.5 million people, you'll only be able to share with up to 40,000 people.

Not Sure, But... wrote:Why should you be exempt when sharing other companies files just because you have this service. If the other companies were worried about creating a climate that allows you to have these same freedoms, then they would jump on the bandwagon and you would have nothing to worry about.


Apparently, audible magic can detect up to 96% of the songs in their database. If this database consists of only Sony's music catalog that's one thing. However, it's only logical that once the other labels add their catalog to audible magic you won't be able to freely share their music either, outside this ISP.

Not Sure, But... wrote:Same with the other ISP's. When and if they join this service you will be open to more sharing.


But it won't be more open. This is the worst part about this service. If it catches on and major ISPs begin to use filters, it will almost ruin file sharing.

Not Sure, But... wrote:They still have not said you will be blocked from sharing other material outside their network, just their own stuff. Can't say as I blame them.


How can you blame them? They've been looking at ways to kill P2P for a long time now. This is just another one of their angles.

Not Sure, But... wrote:Why should they be eager to allow you to give their stuff to your friends and family outside the network for free? That doesn't make any sense either.


It's called sharing. It makes sense to people who like to share. From the RIAA's perspective it doesn't make sense because they want people to pay each time they share songs.

Not Sure, But... wrote:What it all boils down to IMHO is that these arguments are just more grasping at justifying the current theft that is taking place. If you can't be happy with a service that will give you free reign of their files for a low price, do you expect them to believe you would pay for (cd's etc.)it if only it was cheaper?


Sharing files is not theft. Copyright infringement and stealing is not the same thing. If you believe sharing copyrighted files is theft you would have to also believe that copying a CD borrowed from a friend is also theft. Copying tapes would also be theft. It's not...please give that ridiculous "it's theft" argument a rest already.

Just to make myself clear, the points I made have nothing to do with justifying anything. There are several alternatives to P2P. People can buy music on allofmp3, iTunes, napster...etc. They can rent music on napster and rhapsody. The problem I see with this service is that it prevents people from sharing certain files completely. It doesn't aim to provide an alternative, it aims to allow you to share within their environment while completely cutting you off from the rest of the Internet.

This service does anything but give you free reign over the files it allows you to download.

Not Sure, But... wrote:This is a serious move in the right direction and common sense tells you they need some way to monitor it so the right people get their share of the fees.

Can't have it both ways.
[/quote]

If you believe this is a good thing then sign up for it when something similar becomes available to you. In my opinion, the recording industry has no business dictating what people can do online. Unfortunately, this service gets them one step closer to realizing their dream of controlling P2P.

I'm not against providing an alternative way for people to download music. I'm against services that aim to destroy or completely replace P2P with their own pay service.
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Postby tm, » Wed Aug 31, 2005 9:41 pm

Apparently, audible magic can detect up to 96% of the songs in their database.

If that's true, then they could be using a method that P2P apps might do well to employ. Simply changing an entry in the MP3's ID3 tag will change the file hash, even though the music itself remains identical.

I once used to find it annoying to discover a full-album MP3 (in the days when these were common) with many different hash values, but all copies having the same filesize, which meant that they could not all be used as sources for a single download.

Hopefully some day a P2P app would recognize MP3s with changed ID3 tags as the same file - and that would make searching and downloading much easier.
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Postby Not Sure, But... » Thu Sep 01, 2005 1:46 am

Copying your friends music with no intentions of buying it is theft. Many people who say they are dl'ing a file say they want to try it before spending money. But many of those same people have no intentions of ever actually paying for a cd.

Look at how many people on these forums lay claim to 500 disc collections they got off of p2p. Is that really sampleing? Of course not.

This system is only stopping you from sharing their music outside their network. This is so they can give money to the appropriate people. If they were to just look the other way about it, others would not be encouraged to join a similar connecting system.

If more isp's join as well as more labels, you are free to share with more people. Your argument about being more limited is just plain silly. It has to be better to be allowed to share files freely within their (and eventually many more/all isp's) then it is to be tracked/sued for the same thing in others.

When this comes my way (for movies) I will more then gladly sign up. Not only that, but I would pay an additional $15.00 a month to my isp for the built in convenience of no renting or returning and getting it when i want it. If most production companies sign on and i can get pretty much all I want, I would even pay as much as $50.00 more.

Why? Because as much as I would like to go to the theatre, it costs me an arm and a leg. And I haven't even paid the baby sitter yet :shock: When I want to rent a movie, I have to return it on time or pay even more. If I lose the movie, forget it. The convenience factor alone makes this worth a lot to me. And the fact I can do it legaly...
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Talk like a pirate

Postby jbond » Thu Sep 01, 2005 2:23 am

Copying your friends music with no intentions of buying it is theft.


That's as maybe and is as much an artifact of the legal system as anything else. Unfortunately there's an element of scale here as to whether it's a problem or not. Ever since the tape recorder people have been doing this on a small scale and it really didn't hurt anyone. The difference now is that file sharing, CD burners, portable hard disks, PVRs, thumb drives have made this trivially easy with file sharing programs being the hardest of the new techniques. This has changed the landscape and it devalues the first sale.

Where all the file sharing techniques fall down (with the possible exception of CD copying) is the sheer hassle involved. Actually finding a decent rip, downloading, cleaning, retagging and renaming a whole album is hard work. So speaking purely for myself, it's a toss up between using a paid download service like AllOfMp3 and getting the same files from the file sharing networks. So for me at least, the break even point is somewhere around $2 per album. Now I happen to believe that a friendly paid download sevice that sold me what I want (Mp3, No DRM, LAME -presetstandard) at those sort of prices could make a vast amount of money. But unfortunately it doesn't look like it would make enough money or at least is too disruptive for the record companies to be happy.

I think we should really look at this as an experiment with a new way of licensing that is much more like the sort of performance rights tax that has worked (with numerous flaws) in radio. What's depressing is that I don't think Sony or Playlouder are being entirely straight with us about the details. Which may well be because they don't actually know them yet.

As a child of the 70s who remembers the explosion of independents with punk, I think the real long term solution is the disintermediation of the record companies. What really needs breaking is the sign over copyright to a label, spend the advance, promote, fail cycle of the current band business model.

Which is why I'm most interested in how they propose to handle music that is from small labels or distributed from a musician directly. Is it Playlouder, Sony or someone else who is going to take the role of the PRS and distribute the money? Or is it going to be the way radio payments work now where the money goes to the owners of the top 10 tracks in proportion and the long tail of 11-10m is simply ignored.
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Postby Al » Thu Sep 01, 2005 3:20 am

I'd like to touch on the limitations again because there seems to be some misunderstanding.
Certainly at the early stage there are limitations in ability to freely trade with anyone. If this experiment goes no further, subscribers to this isp will be more limited than those of a traditional isp(though they will also be able to LEGALLY trade within their isp). Of course, if this happens, the service will probably die and people will move to other service providers.

If all the major players were to enter into licensing of their catalogue with playlouder it would, in one sense, be even more limiting since there would be little p2p traffic allowed out of the isp network. On the other hand it also means that those on the inside could legally get anything they want and I think they would very quickly feel no need to go outside the garden. This could be viewed as a cage, but is unlikely to be perceived as a cage by insiders. In fact it is more likely to be seen as an elite party that a lot of people from outside will be clamoring to get in on. I suspect, in such a situation, many ISPs would be screaming to get in on the action.

Which leads to what would happen if all ISPs were to get in on this. I don't see how this latter possibility could be seen to kill p2p. Under those circumstances you wouldn't have each isp with its own little walled garden anymore. The walled garden is to keep licensed and unlicensed separate. At that point, since everything is licensed and everyone is covered under the license all the walls would come down and anyone could freely trade with anyone on the planet. The industry would have little to gain by crippling the network effects/benefits under such circumstances.
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Postby AussieMatt » Thu Sep 01, 2005 9:57 am

Heres a Email Interview from the Commons Music Blog with Playlouder's Paul Sanders one of the co founders it should claify many issues this of concern in this thread

Maybe you should do an Interview Drake .

PlayLouder MSP (Q&A with a co-founder)

UPDATE: Below, there seemed to be some confusion over DRM’d files being seeded and counted around the network. To clear this up, I asked this:

You said, “In some cases, where our licensors ask us to, we will use access controlled file formats to ensure that there are high quality versions of a very broad range of music available to our subscribers. Our reporting and edge-blocking however works on all audio file formats.”

Now, does this mean that DRM’d files of certain songs could co-exist on your network with non-DRM’d files? For instance, let’s say there’s a band called “The Hippo Group,” and they have a song called “Pigeons” (yes, I know, just go with it). Let’s say your deal with whatever label they have requires the use of DRM’d files on the network for those songs. Now, you said the fingerprinting technology could also identify ripped files, not just directly-encoded files, so it could identify non-DRM’d versions of “Pigeons.” My question to you is this: Would your network then prevent download of files that aren’t using copy protection technology? Would it only allow downloads of DRM’d versions of “Pigeons”?

He said:

Again, I am not able to speak about specific deals or licensors. Our network however is configured to block only transfers out to other ISPs’ networks. We are seeding the network, serving centrally, and monitoring and reporting on subscriber-to-subscriber transfers in whatever formats our subscribers choose to use. Access-controlled and open formats could certainly co-exist, so if we seeded Oggs of ‘Pigeons’ by The Hippo Group, served access-controlled files tied to a user profile from central servers, and if our subscribers were Hippo fans and shared ripped files in AAC or MP3, for instance, all three classes of file could co-exist and all transfers of those files would be counted in order to share the royalty pool fairly. As I said, in some cases our licensors have asked us only to seed or centrally serve access-controlled files.

Ah, I see. So if they ask to centrally serve files that are access-controlled, then those are the only files they’ll seed (meaning those would be the fastest files to get to the people who want them), but that people could still rip and share and the artists would still get a piece of that. They only block inter-network file-sharing, and nothing else.

Y’know, I’ve been trying, and I just can’t see a downside to this. PlayLouder MSP has the Commons Music Seal of Approval.

Now, let’s all hope for its success so more networks like these can spring up.

————————————

EXCLUSIVE! (I think)

Awhile ago, I said I e-mailed Paul Hitchman, co-founder of PlayLouder MSP (which you can read all about here), and asked him a variety of questions about their new service.

Well, Paul forwarded it to another co-founder, Paul Sanders (apparently, the Paul-to-other-name quotient there is high), and he has graciously taken time to answer all our queries about the service (and says he’d be happy to answer more if you have them).

So, here we go:

Hi John

Thanks for your interest. I am a co-founder of PlayLouder MSP, and Paul Hitchman has passed on your email to me as I am probably better able to address your questions. As a preamble, we have not yet announced the final details of the service, so I am reluctant to go into fine detail on how various elements of the service will work. And of course as technology changes so will our policies and systems in order to provide the best music service we can to our subscribers while ensuring that use of music gets monitored so the royalty pool can be fairly divided.

A fine start.

Here was my first question:

My name is John Holowach, and I write for and operate CommonsMusic.com, which has been very supportive of the creation of a system much like the one PlayLouder is creating. However, I have a few questions that I hope you might answer, so that I can clarify things for my readers on the nature of the ISP.

1. The FAQ says: “We aim to prevent close to 100% of P2P traffic from going outside the MSP ‘walled garden’.”

This statement strikes me as quite broad, and I hope you can expound on that. Does this mean that all other files (or just music files) in P2P software will be blocked unless there’s an audio fingerprint for them? Or just ones that are clearly copyrighted? What about indie groups that have no label or otherwise?

He responded:

We should clarify that part of the FAQ - it’s not at all clear. Our goal is to prevent music we have licensed from being transferred via our network to other ISP networks. The blocking happens in the context of a licence, which enables us to make and keep the audio fingerprints which we use to identify licensed sound recordings, so we can report and operate the walled garden.

We announced deals with indie record labels last year, which brought in the greater part of the UK’s non-major music. Now, with the SonyBMG deal complete we will be continuing to discuss licensing the other majors, as well as working to provide systems that will allow anyone with rights in a sound recording to register and benefit from royalty payments.

There are a number of challenges here that we need to address, not least the issue of how to identify sound recordings and musical works that are not currently part of the ‘administered’ end of the music business - in other words, that are not in either the works or recordings databases, and most likely don’t have any industry standard identifiers. It may be that some collective vehicles would be the most efficient way of helping those rightsholders.

Sounds like a fine system, and, of course, you’re all working out the bugs in the system, fine-tuning it as you go alone. Which, in my opinion, is the best way to do it. Can’t have all your chickens laying eggs right from the start.

Question the second:

2. The Fact Sheet says, “Audio-fingerprinting technology is used within the PLMSP network to ensure that all licensed downloads within the network are tracked enabling accurate accounting back to music rights holders” and the FAQ says “The music will be digitised and fingerprinted by Consolidated Independent, a company with a track record in managing digital music and catalogue information for some of the UK’s most dynamic indie labels.”

Does that mean that people will not be able to rip and share their own files, with the Audible Magic technology able to identify them, or only the files you provide? Does this further mean that there will be DRM on the files, as specified by SonyBMG, or will they be file types of all kinds (for instance, unrestricted MP3s instead of protected WMA files)?

Also, does this restrict what P2P services will be used? What about encrypted services, like WASTE? How will Audible track them, since the cleartext is no accessible?

Here’s where things may go south for some people:

The Audible Magic technology is extremely good at identifying sound recordings no matter what the source of the file in which they are contained. We have been achieving high 90s percentage identification rates in noisy ADSL network conditions, which is impressive. Moreover many of our licensors allow us to distribute music in whatever format we feel is best, so in most cases there will be a choice of formats for our users.

I cannot specifically comment on the SonyBMG deal. In some cases, where our licensors ask us to, we will use access controlled file formats to ensure that there are high quality versions of a very broad range of music available to our subscribers. Our reporting and edge-blocking however works on all audio file formats. [emphasis mine]

Uh oh. I can hear Cory’s blood boiling from here.

Although, he does say that those identifier tools will work on “all” file formats, and with his later proclamation that it will identify items that were ripped, it would seem DRM would be, more or less, a sort of side concern. Unless they would filter audio files without DRM attached.

That will be for the next round of questions.

He continues:

I do not want to discuss each filesharing protocol in turn. My only comment would be that hiding your use of music from the monitoring systems will simply deprive the creators of their fair share of the royalty pool. It’s difficult to see who benefits from dark networks in a licensed environment.

Heh, that’s cool. He’s saying that, “We trust the users to do the right thing.” How ’bout that?

Third up to bat:

3. How does Audible Magic’s technology function here? You say the files will be digitized and fingerprinted by an outside company, but does that mean files ripped and shared from CD will not be identified unless they were fingerprinted from the company, or does “fingerprinting” mean scanning and being able to identify the audio content of files, without any need for an audio identifier embedded within them?

Simple:

A range of techniques will be used, but at the heart of Audible Magic’s technology is an ‘audio fingerprinting’ system, which creates a unique key for each sound recording irrespective of the file or encoding in which it is contained. This means that we can report and do the edge-blocking on ripped files as well as on ones that we have encoded ourselves. [emphasis mine]

Well, it appears the current proclamations of ripping and sharing were not exaggerated. All the better.

Next:

4. My final question concerns privacy. Does your technology track anything on the user’s home computer (such as music files on the hard drive)? What kind of filters are employed to create the so-called “walled garden”? Does that track the audio content of all files that are downloaded, not just on P2P networks?

Ever important question. Will he crumble under the pressure? Will he sidetrack? Will he bumble?

Nope:

Our monitoring and walled garden technology is designed to identify sound recordings that are passing over our network and prevent them form being transferred to other ISP networks. It can only identify what it already knows about, and works at the network level only. We not not look [sic] at our subscribers computers, or anything else they might attach to our network. It is not specific to any set of applications, and is able to identify close to 100% of transfers of audio files in ideal conditions, and in the high 90s in noisy networks.

I’d like to say in summary that PlayLouder MSP is a music ISP. If your priorities are privacy and anonymity PlayLouder MSP might not be for you. We’re trying to create the greatest music and broadband bundle the world has yet seen. To do that we need the music industry on side, and we need more and greater innovation in music discovery and management technology. We have taken a very bold position in the ISP world, to say that we can help our subscribers have a better music experience than they would get on standard broadband, and we can do that by dropping the adversarial stance and finding common ground with the music creators and rightsholders. The ‘price’ for this, if price is the right word, is that the music needs to be monitored so that the royalty pool can be fairly shared; and the value of the music on our network needs to be protected to that other businesses don’t get the advantage of our hard work and extra costs, so we need a ‘walled garden’.

Thanks

I agree. And I do think it’s more than a fair price.

If anything is not clear please don’t hesitate to get back to me.

Paul

I certainly will, and I’ll post the follow-up on DRM as soon as it becomes available.

The vibe I’m getting, however, is a good one. And, true, “vibes” don’t mean squat, but I don’t think this is a company that is saying, “Do as I say, not as I do.” I think they are genuinely trying to create, as Paul said, “the greatest music and broadband bundle the world has yet seen.”

This project has a thumbs-up from me (although we’ll see where that goes with the DRM issue, more on that later).

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 31st, 2005 at 1:30 pm and is filed under General, DRM, VCL. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
2 Responses to “PlayLouder MSP (Q&A with a co-founder)”

1. Johan Says:
August 31st, 2005 at 8:35 pm

Interesting! This sure shines a light on some of the foggier points and the questions I had about this.
2. CommonsMusic Says:
September 1st, 2005 at 1:01 am

Indeed, and I’m glad to have it all here for everyone to read, especially now that I got a response concerning the DRM. Y’know, I just don’t see a downside here.

http://commonsmusic.com/blog/?p=114

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Postby Al » Thu Sep 01, 2005 10:49 am

Thanks for the very interesting link/read aussiematt.

There are a lot of things in there that I liked hearing.

" and if our subscribers were Hippo fans and shared ripped files in AAC or MP3, for instance, all three classes of file could co-exist and all transfers of those files would be counted in order to share the royalty pool fairly."

This is intriguing. It would suggest that trading rips by the public would be possible. I still feel there is talking around this point though. If part of the royalty pool would go for these ripped files, does it follow that these ripped files would be considered LEGAL ACCEPTABLE practice? He never goes so far as to say that such behavior would be considered legal, only that it would be possible. I want to hear a clear statement that it will be legal for people to possess and transfer files that are not the seeded files.
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Postby Drake » Thu Sep 01, 2005 12:22 pm

Ok...it's clear that my views are held by the minority. I don't want to get into the DRM, control and privacy concerns again because it would just mean going in circles.

Here are a few interesting tidbits about Audible Magic and what it can detect.

EMI, Audible Magic ink anti-piracy deal

Audible Magic Forms Agreement with Universal Music Group

Since Audible Magic can detect music from these record labels (who have not yet signed an agreement with PlayLouder) there is no way in hell PlayLouder will allow people to share music owned by these labels. Since they clearly have the ability to control it they would be risking a huge lawsuit from these labels.

edit: For what it's worth, this press release proves what kind of company this is. Audible magic is clearly against P2P.
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Postby Not Sure, But... » Thu Sep 01, 2005 2:08 pm

Drake wrote:edit: For what it's worth, this press release proves what kind of company this is. Audible magic is clearly against P2P.


I am not sure how you came to that conclusion. Although, I agree, they are against trading files without compensating the rights owners.

That has nothing to do with P2P except that it is the medium being used to transfer the files.
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Interview

Postby jbond » Thu Sep 01, 2005 2:46 pm

Interview that answers some of the questions here and raises others.

http://commonsmusic.com/blog/?p=114
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Re: Interview

Postby Not Sure, But... » Thu Sep 01, 2005 2:50 pm

jbond wrote:Interview that answers some of the questions here and raises others.

http://commonsmusic.com/blog/?p=114


Yeah, look up 4 posts :lol:

Good interview.
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