Dumbfounded One

Trying to understand it all.

I’m slow… Demonoid is back up up!

My favorite Torrent site is back up. Click picture for link.

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June 1, 2008 Posted by | Downloading Rights | , , | 2 Comments

It’s about time

Hacker breaks link between iTunes and the iPod

Software letting iTunes users copy music and video to mobile phones has been released by the hacker known as DVD Jon

A notorious Norwegian hacker known as DVD Jon is preparing for another run-in with the music industry after he released software that lets iPod owners copy music and videos bought from iTunes and play it on other devices.

The program allows people to drag and drop songs from iTunes into a folder on their desktop, which in turn copies the files to other devices such as mobile phones and games consoles via the web.

In doing so, the software breaks the copy protection – known as ‘digital rights management’ or DRM – that is built into all music that is bought from iTunes. Music bought from iTunes can be played only on the iPod.

DoubleTwist, DVD Jon’s company, maintains that its service is legal, but lawyers said that Apple would almost certainly seek to shut it down because the law now specifically targeted technologies which attempted to circumvent measures such as DRM.

function pictureGalleryPopup(pubUrl,articleId) { var newWin = window.open(pubUrl+’template/2.0-0/element/pictureGalleryPopup.jsp?id=’+articleId+’&&offset=0&&sectionName=NewsTechWeb’,’mywindow’,’menubar=0,resizable=0,width=615,height=655′); } The hacker has previously enabled iPod owners to play music bought from websites other than iTunes.

DoubleTwist’s new software will initially enable files to be copied to Nokia N-series mobile phones, Sony Ericsson’s Walkman and Cybershot handsets, as well as any smartphone powered by Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system.

The program gets around Apple’s DRM software by replaying a song in fast-forward and taking a copy of the audio track, using a process similar to that by which a CD is ‘ripped’ – or copied – to a computer.

About a hundred songs can be converted in half an hour, doubleTwist said, although there is a 5 per cent loss of sound quality – about the same as when a CD is copied.

A spokesman for the San Fransisco-based company said that its software was legal, because it only allowed a user who has already purchased music to copy it. “All we are facilitating are friends sending things to one another,” Monique Farantzos, doubleTwists’s chief executive and co-founder, told Reuters.

Lawyers today cast doubt on Ms Farantzos’s claims, however, saying that the law had taken steps to protect Apple’s efforts to control the way its music could be played, and that anyone circumventing measures such as DRM risked being found guilty of copyright infringement.

“I would be astonished if doubleTwist doesn’t get a call from Apple,” Paul Jones, a partner in intellectual property law at the London-based firm Harbottle & Lewis, said.

DVD Jon, whose real name is Jon Lech Johansen, has been an arch-enemy of the music and film indutries ever since he released software which broke the copy protection on Hollywood films, aged 16.

In 2003, Mr Johansen, now 24, developed the first of several programs which attempted to bypass the system developed by Apple for synchronising its iTunes store with iPods, leading to one of a series of run-ins with the firm.

February 20, 2008 Posted by | Downloading Rights | , , , | Leave a comment

Fuck the RIAA

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Originally here.

Sides chosen in royalty tussle

By Brooks Boliek

WASHINGTON — Music publishers, the record labels and digital music distribution outlets began a three-way legal wrestling match Monday over just how much songwriters and the publishing houses should get paid for digitally delivered music.

The case before a panel of copyright judges is different from the usual squabbles over money that pit the major record labels against new-media companies because it also features a family fight between the music publishers and songwriters and the rest of the music industry.

At issue is the so-called “mechanical royalty” — payments made for copies of sound recordings, including those made by digital means, to songwriters and publishers.

In a twist for royalty fights, such new-media players as Yahoo, Apple and Napster and major record labels agree with one another and want the royalty they pay to the publishers and songwriters to be lowered.

The labels contend that the music publishers have gotten fat as their business has starved and want the payment method rewritten. According to papers filed by the RIAA at the Copyright Royalty Board, the labels want the board to reduce the rate to 8% of wholesale revenue. The current rate is about 9 cents per song, but it often is lowered in negotiations with the record companies. That money usually is split 50-50 between the publisher and the songwriter.

The RIAA contends in its documents that the rate is out of whack with the rest of the world and historical context.

“Record companies are suffering a contraction of their business at a time when music publisher revenues and margins have increased markedly,” the trade group wrote. “While record companies have been forced to drastically cut costs and employees, music publisher catalogs have increased in value due to steadily rising mechanical royalty rates and alternative revenue streams made possible, but not enjoyed, by record companies.”

New-media companies want the rate to go even lower, contending that it should disappear when music is digitally streamed.

According to the Digital Media Assn.’s filings with the board, the digital music companies are seeking half of what the record labels want, telling the CRB that the rate should run in the 4% range for downloads.

DiMA argues that paying a high rate will undermine what is a new business model and exacerbate the piracy problem that has been decimating the labels.

“Fundamentally, this fragile marketplace is showing signs of promise, but it cannot be saddled with additional, excessive costs,” DiMA wrote. “The board should be careful not to impose a royalty that kills the proverbial goose and deprives songwriters and publishers of their golden egg.”

Internet streams should not trigger any copyright royalty, the association contends, saying that they are performances and not covered under the mechanical license.

“Digital music services believe that digital performances are like radio and should require a performance license only,” the association said in asking for CRB action on the issue.

Music publishers and songwriters contend that cutting the amount they get paid won’t solve either the music industry’s woes or the problems of the digital music companies.

“This year’s rate-setting trial is indeed historic because for the first time, the Copyright Royalty Board will set rates for digital products as well as physical products,” said David Israelite, president and CEO of the National Music Publishers Assn. “With business models evolving and technology developing, the financial survival of songwriters and music publishers will depend on the decisions made during this process.”

The NMPA is asking the CRB to raise that rate to 12.5 cents per song for CDs and 15 cents for digital recordings. It estimates that the RIAA proposal effectively reduces their royalty to 6 cents per song.

“The contributions songwriters and music publishers make to the creation of songs, and to the music industry overall, are significant — indeed critical — to the success of the industry,” Israelite said. “The NMPA will fight vigorously in the coming weeks to make sure songwriters and music publishers are fairly compensated for their work.”

Eventually, the three-judge CRB, which began hearing live testimony Monday, will have to sort out the arguments. The board has become one of the key policymakers in the copyright arena as it has set rates for satellite radio and webcasters.

Whatever it finally decides, the CRB and the warring industries are in for a long fight as the process is expected to take months, with all three sides digging in for the duration.

February 5, 2008 Posted by | Downloading Rights | , , , | Leave a comment

Ok… so like… I’m sitting here…

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Everyone that knows me, knows that I have no problem downloading songs from the Internet. Today is no different from any other day. My 4.2Gb download (via bittorrent) of the John PeelFestive 50” Years 1976 through 1991 is now complete. Holy crap! It’s my formative years all over again. Some highlights are as follow…

Smash It Up – The Damned

Teenage Kicks – The Undertones

Where’s Captain Kirk – Spizz Energi

EMI – The Sex Pistols

Twenty Four Hours – Joy Division

The Hanging Garden – The Cure

Poppa’s Got A Brand New Pig Bag – Pig Bag

Man, there is some good shit! This has me asking. In my lifetime, I have seen the 8-track, the vinyl album, the cassette and the CD. If I have bought a retail copy of an album in one format or another, am I entitled to download a copy of said album in digital format using a shareware program for free? I can honestly say that I have ATLEAST 1/2 of the music from today’s downloaded collection on vinyl or cassette. Keep in mind that I collect vinyl and that hearing some of these songs will get me hitting the vinyl shops around Toronto to locate them. This is where it gets confusing. I shop at USED record shops. Which is worse? Grabbing an album from the Internet for free, or buying a used copy of it from a 2nd hand shop? Why are the RIAA and CRIA not going after used record shops, and yet keep trying their hardest to invoke DRM (Digital Rights Media) into anything they can get their hands on? Did you know that some (OK, one) companies actually have a program on their audio CDs that install into your computer when the CD is played on your computer? Look into it.

I can just picture it now. “The RIAA and CRIA go after Goodwill and The Salvation Army for selling 2nd hand albums”.

November 7, 2007 Posted by | Downloading Rights | Leave a comment