Oct 18, 2000

Recording industry launches project to develop sound ID
Music & MP3
10/18/2000; 9:09:44 AM

'The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on Thursday announced a project to develop a worldwide, standardized system for identifying digital music files so that the owner of a recording's copyright can easily track its use and collect royalties....

'Sherman likened the system to the bar codes on merchandise bought in stores, but instead of appearing in print on the package, the code would be embedded in the digital content. It would include any limitations on the use of the music, such as an expiration in a set number of days. The code would present a range of opportunities for offering music over the Internet in different ways, Sherman said. For instance, a user might want to buy one-time access to a database of 100 songs that can be played during a party.'

Sound familiar? That's SDMI, except it's from RIAA, not SDMI (the group). Somebody else believes SDMI was hacked too. I wonder why they think they can do better?

There's reason to believe a song can be uniquely identified, but encoding extra information directly into a song in a way that it can't be removed has proved impossibly difficult to do in the real world. 

Oct 18, 2000
10/18/2000; 9:05:36 AM 'BountyQuest is the world's first high-stakes knowledge marketplace, on a mission to strengthen the patent system.   We pay large cash rewards to people who can help find evidence critical to issues of patent validity....

'Simply put, BountyQuest offers monetary rewards for hard-to-find information.  We support an on-line community of scientists, engineers, and professional researchers who have valuable knowledge that can help their field, their industry, and the world community.'

Hate patents? Do something about it and get paid. It's an interesting site. I wonder who will sue it first?

Oct 18, 2000

Privacy Treaty a Global Invasion?
Surveillance and Privacy from Government
10/18/2000; 9:00:53 AM 'Civil liberty groups are vexed over a proposed treaty that would grant more surveillance powers to U.S. and European police agencies, and expand copyright crimes.

'Thirty groups -- from North America, Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe -- said this week that the treaty "improperly extends the police authority of national governments" and places the privacy of Internet users and the freedom of computer programmers at risk.'

There's just no other way to say it: This treaty sucks. It criminalizes anything that looks vaguely criminal, but the problem is, everything looks vaguely criminal to someone.

Oct 17, 2000

SDMI Cracked! Probably! (The Register)
Music & MP3
10/17/2000; 6:04:26 PM

'The Salon story as a whole however provides one of the two main indicators that SDMI's efforts may all be toast - it has too much detail in it for it to be plausible that someone, somewhere had just made the claims up. The other indicator, of course, is Chiariglione's bizarre insistence that nobody can possibly know until after November 10th - if he believes this, and is sure nothing will leak out beforehand, he's been around recording industry PRs for way too long. The author of the Salon piece, Janelle Brown, actually undermined this anyway in an earlier article published while the challenge was still running, on October 3rd. "One SDMI member" is quoted as saying: "From what we're hearing, it sounds like the technologies that have been broken so far are using fairly easy means, [like] audio software that's easily available for download. This isn't rocket science."

'That indicates that information on entries, as you might expect, has been available since they started coming in - contrary to Chiariglione's claims to Inside. These claims overall are somewhat difficult to credit.'

Please forgive me if you think I'm posting this too much... I'm just amused, and I feel for the poor SMDI techies that have been telling the execs for months that what they want isn't possible. Anybody who's ever been in the position of telling management that what they want isn't possible shouldn't find it hard to sympathize.

Oct 17, 2000

Court: Unsigned Net postings unprotected
Free Speech
10/17/2000; 9:58:15 AM 'In a ruling that challenges online anonymity, a Florida appeals court declared Monday that Internet service providers must divulge the identities of people who post defamatory messages on the Internet.... 'The ACLU had wanted the court first to rule on whether Hyde had actually been defamed before identifying the defendants, named in court papers only as John Doe. If there was no showing of defamation, the ACLU reasoned, the critics should remain anonymous.'

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