Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
What Can Be Done About "Piracy" Tracking?

By Eloquence in Internet
Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 08:42:42 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

In the past, several efforts have been made to track "pirates" who distribute copyright-protected data, especially music, on p2p sharing networks like Napster. eMusic, for example, has recently decided to do regular searches on the Napster network and send instant messages to users who share files "owned" by eMusic, asking them to unshare the files. The eMusic bot otherwise reports the user to Napster.com, asking them to delete the account. (As shown in the past, Napster usually complies.) What dangers do "trackers" pose, and what can be done against them?


Other efforts have been made to track copyright infringements: MediaEnforcer wants to track all major networks (by looking for filenames and creating user databases), the site is currently undergoing an overhaul. Efforts have also been made to block traffic of file sharing applications.

Now security company BayTSP has announced "BaySpider" to track copies of files on the different networks and automatically notify ISPs. It uses the "electronic DNA", as the company calls it, of files to identify them. It is unclear how the generated checksum reacts to changes in the file, although BayTSP says that it is preserved in lower bitrates, which suggests a new content-based algorithm. This is supported by the fact that BayTSP has succesfully tracked digital images in the past.

Copied verbatim, here is their press release for the BaySpider:

BayTSP Set to Sink Online Music Pirates

SAN JOSE, CA, December 19, 2000 - San Jose-based BayTSP, a copyright security firm, today announced the release of breakthrough technology designed to track digital music files across the broad expanse of the Internet. BayTSP's software application, BaySpiderSM, will revolutionize the music industry online because it will give the "Big 5" record labels, or any music producer the ability to track MP3, .wav, or other types of music files regardless of the original distribution date, and method of distribution.

BayTSP's patent-pending technology extracts the electronic DNA from a given file, and scans the Internet on a 24-hour, 7-day a week basis identifying web sites, news groups, and peer-to-peer groups like Napster or Gnutella that host music files which match the originals. BayTSP's patent-pending Adaptive Search TechnologySM allows the identification of a digitally encoded music file regardless of the file's compression methods or sampling rates.

In addition, once a file has been located, BayTSP takes a digital snapshot of the URL, date and time stamps it, and automatically sends infringement notices to both the host and the ISP. The spiders will repeatedly "hit" the site until the infringed material has been taken down.

Recent announcements have highlighted audio file tracking technology, which, according to Mark Ishikawa, CEO of BayTSP, is inevitably short-term and incomplete. He believes, "The current tracking techniques, using watermarking or encryption, are inadequate and will inevitably fail. When the code [to the encryption or watermark] is broken users will redistribute these music files throughout the Internet without the slightest fear of reprisal."

The most distinct feature of BayTSP's technology, and that which sets it apart from other online "content tracking" technologies, is the ability to track files regardless of their original distribution date or method. For example, if a music CD was purchased in a store one year ago, and the tracks subsequently redistributed illegally across the Internet, after extracting the DNA from the original CD BayTSP can locate the digital files.

BayTSP originally developed the technology to track copyrighted photos and text. To date, in only 6 months of operation the company's spiders have found more than 22,000 infringements; of those found, BayTSP has recorded nearly 100% compliance, and all of the infringed material has been summarily removed.

About BayTSP.com, Inc.

A San Jose, California based corporation, BayTSP is the developer, patent holder, and provider of the only truly effective means of branding and tracking online content over the Internet. These software products and services are aimed to deter theft of online content as well as aid in the prosecution of those who engage in copyright infringement. To learn more about BayTSP and its products and services, visit their web site at http://www.baytsp.com

Personally, I think centralized sharing services will always have problems with automatically generated infringement reports. But what about the decentralized ones? Gnutella, for example, has recently received a new boost with the release of BearShare, a client that makes better use of bandwidth and improves the network architecture. The only thing a bot like BaySpider can do in this case is send an e-mail to the ISP asking them to delete the user's account.

Is this a real danger? Perhaps, it depends on how ISPs deal with it. They probably are more afraid of lawsuits from big corporations, but if they know they're dealing with a bot, they can assume that it's more likely that they will face legal action by the customer. What I see as a problem is the increased number of static IP addresses, this makes identifying users much easier. I am afraid of a future where you could lose net access forever if found guilty of a copyright violation. How realistic is such a future? What can we do about it?

(And to those who feel like busting the millions of Napster users is a good idea to teach them morals, perhaps you might consider what else can be busted using such technology. Posting the wrong article to the wrong mailing list, using the wrong image on the wrong web site, forwarding the wrong song lyrics to the wrong friends. Am I exaggerating? I don't think so.)

[Note that this article has also been posted to infoAnarchy.]

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Poll
Are you afraid of the trackers?
o Yes, very, very afraid. 4%
o No, they can kiss my ass! 45%
o No, I don't infringe on anyone's copyright. 7%
o No, but if you share the wrong files, you should be, bastard! 6%
o No, there are ways to defeat them. 24%
o Can't we all just get along? 12%

Votes: 82
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o eMusic
o past
o MediaEnfor cer
o block
o BayTSP
o http://www .baytsp.com
o BearShare
o I
o don't
o think
o so
o infoAnarch y
o Also by Eloquence


Display: Sort:
What Can Be Done About "Piracy" Tracking? | 49 comments (39 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
"Justified" Denial of Service? (3.88 / 9) (#2)
by jesterzog on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 03:25:15 PM EST

The spiders will repeatedly "hit" the site until the infringed material has been taken down.

I wish they'd stated this a bit clearer. From reading it, it's as if they're saying they'll launch a Denial of Service attack on anyone they find hosting a music file that their robot thinks is illegal. I'm not sure if this is a particularly intelligent thing to do if that's what it says. Does anyone have any more information?

BayTSP's patent-pending Adaptive Search TechnologySM allows the identification of a digitally encoded music file regardless of the file's compression methods or sampling rates.

I think this part is optimistic. It's not hard to identify and unzip a file before checking it, even if some evil person has disguised the file extention. But the equilibrium is more likely to be people encrypting files before distributing them, and then distributing the decryption keys in a non-formal way that a robot would have to be very intelligent to understand.

Peer-to-peer systems might even move to a system requiring you to be "brought in" by a friend, and keep records of who invited everyone else. This would just make it more difficult (not impossible) to get bots onto the networks.

Given the current and likely future state of AI, I'm not sure how they could get around this. Any ideas?


jesterzog Fight the light


Not necessary (4.25 / 4) (#17)
by spacejack on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 05:17:09 PM EST

Peer-to-peer systems might even move to a system requiring you to be "brought in" by a friend, and keep records of who invited everyone else. This would just make it more difficult (not impossible) to get bots onto the networks.

This wouldn't be necessary. Pirate boards have existed since modems were invented. No one really worries to much about them, since they're not widely known, they have little effect (except maybe if an app/game has a limited market where everyone knows about this pirate board).

If they do become big enough, and widely know, then they will get shut down. i.e., it's not much different than sharing tapes of an album amongst some friends.. eventually it's too much of a hassle, or you can't get what you want and you just go out and buy the thing.

[ Parent ]
Must anything be done? (3.62 / 16) (#3)
by fluffy grue on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 03:27:07 PM EST

What's wrong with piracy tracking? What's wrong with a copyright holder enforcing their copyright? Since when is theft legal and condoned?

If you really want to keep information free, don't pirate commercial information - instead, encourage information creators to make their information free to begin with. Support mp3.com artists, use Free software, support non-mainstream starving artists. Don't whine about how proprietary content providers are trying to enforce the license on their proprietary content, especially when they're in the legal right to do so and there's so many non-proprietary content providers out there who are just begging to be heard, watched, supported, whatever.

Learn how capitalism works, and work around it, rather than whining and moaning when capitalism prevents you from stealing from capitalists.

I'm sick of people who insist on non-free information being free. It makes those of us who want information to be free to begin with look like thieves.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

Where do you draw the line? (4.00 / 7) (#6)
by Eloquence on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 04:00:06 PM EST

What's wrong with piracy tracking?

The fact that the possibilities that are given to the individual by the Net are restricted under the disguise of protecting "intellectual property". The fact that copyright is little more than censorship, enforced by the government on economic grounds, and that this censorship poses a great threat to our freedom as the relevance of the Net increases.

What's wrong with a copyright holder enforcing their copyright?

The fact that "ownership" of information is in itself a flawed concept, that the "creator" of a particular piece of information wouldn't have been able to create it without copying -- with his eyes, ears, and sometimes with more sophisticated equipment -- information from others, recombining it and extending it. Everything is a derivative work; lock a baby up in a sensory deprivation tank and see if it'll come up with a rap song.

The fact that in a world where science is supposed to thrive without borders, copyright requires governments to introduce the borders of the old media world, throwing us back to a time where publishing was only possible with a professional background and a good lawyer. How far do you want to go to control copyright violations? E-mail surveillance, instant message control, outlaw Usenet, outlaw Freenet, pass a US version of RIP law, control router traffic, ..?

Since when is theft legal and condoned?

Theft of physical property is neither legal nor condoned, this includes physical property which serves as a substrate for information (say, I steal the only copy you have of an importan text you wrote). "Intellectual property", and theft of it, is an oxymoron; if I copy something you have created, you don't lose anything.

If you really want to keep information free, don't pirate commercial information - instead, encourage information creators to make their information free to begin with.

Surely having free art & science is a good thing, and I do my best to support them wherever I can. However, with the majority of the material produced within a capitalist framework, it is about time to allow a transition to a non-copyright-world without either mass prosecution or loss of income to artists and authors. Along with changing the system on its own terms, it may be a good idea to change the terms altogether.

I'm sick of people who insist on non-free information being free. It makes those of us who want information to be free to begin with look like thieves.

Only if you think that people like myself should be called "thieves". If you do think that, and are unwilling to review that position, there are few things we can say to each other, as you consider people like me common criminals. I find that insulting and preposterous, it is a claim that is even more insulting than that of bands like Metallica and the RIAA, who have been careful to attack corporations and organizations, not individual users.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Facts (4.66 / 6) (#14)
by meeth on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 04:57:44 PM EST

The fact that the possibilities that are given to the individual by the Net are restricted under the disguise of protecting "intellectual property". The fact that copyright is little more than censorship... The fact that in a world where science is supposed to thrive without borders, copyright requires governments to introduce the borders of the old media world, throwing us back to a time where publishing was only possible with a professional background and a good lawyer.

Calling something a fact, no matter how stridently one does so, does not make it one. From a purely argumentative standpoint, it tends to alienate people who do not already agree with you. Instead of listing these spurious 'facts', why not give a well-structured argument for why intellectual property law 1) restricts the possibilities for individuals on the net, 2) is little more than censorship, 3) makes publishing possible only with a professional background and a good lawyer, because the connections are not that clear otherwise.

For the record, 1) intellectual property may enhance the possibilities for individuals on the net by giving them control over content they have produced and might not produce if they could maintain control over, 2) has an entirely different purpose than censorship (IP provides incentives for artistic activity or scientific research; censorship attempts to block the dissemination of ideas that the censor disagrees with), 3) it is unclear how detecting people who pirate other's work will make publishing possible only with a professional background and legal assistance.

My impression is that current IP and patent law does go too far. IP law has become increasingly biased towards large corporations in ways that do not serve the initial purpose of IP (to protect artistic or scientific work). Disney's lobbying to protect Mickey Mouse every couple of years is a case in point. But to claim that this makes piracy good or okay strains reason and may tend to push people who do not hold fairly extreme anti-IP views toward the unfortunate belief that there is nothing really wrong with IP law.

[ Parent ]

Not always right, not always wrong. (4.16 / 6) (#21)
by Eloquence on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 05:31:06 PM EST

Calling something a fact, no matter how stridently one does so, does not make it one.

Of course not. I use the term "fact" if I am able to provide evidence or conclusive arguments.

why intellectual property law 1) restricts the possibilities for individuals on the net

For a lot of reasons, but it depends on the degree of enforcement. If totally enforced as interpreted by the large industry associations, the Internet could not continue to exist as we know it. It would be necessary to watch each and every individual's actions in order to spot copyright violations, and this is only possible in a much less open environment. See my reply to fluffy for some legal changes that might be necessary.

With a lower degree of enforcement -- where copyright violations aren't spotted, on average, until hundreds of users are concerned -- the possibilities of the individual are restricted regarding his/her ability to publish on the Net. I have seen a lot of articles that I would have loved to repost elsewhere but could not because of intellectual property law. Sometimes, a link is a solution -- when the material is online, and when it will probably remain so in the future -- but oftentimes, it is not. This is the case in spite of the fact that nobody would lose any money if it were different.

2) is little more than censorship

Simple, it restricts access to information, and those who don't follow these restrictions can be prosecuted. Whether I say "You can't copy it because it's immoral" or "You can't copy this because it's copyrighted" is not really relevant.

3) makes publishing possible only with a professional background and a good lawyer,

See 1.1.

intellectual property may enhance the possibilities for individuals on the net by giving them control over content they have produced

Such control cannot realistically be exercised by an individual.

and might not produce if they could maintain control over,

That should probably be "could not" . The problem with that logic is that anyone who is able to maintain this control -- because he has enough money to do so -- usually doesn't need to -- because he has enough money to ignore non-commercial copying. OTOH, those who don't have the funds to maintain control -- because they are not as popular -- usually depend on non-commercial copying to increase their popularity -- because they are not as popular.

has an entirely different purpose than censorship (IP provides incentives for artistic activity or scientific research; censorship attempts to block the dissemination of ideas that the censor disagrees with)

Check your history book.

Historically copyrights grew out of the same system as royal patent grants, by which certain authors and printers were given the exclusive right to publish books and other materials. The purpose of such grants was not to protect authors' or publishers' rights but to raise government revenue and to give governing authorities control over publication contents. This system was in effect in late 15th-century Venice as well as in 16th-century England, where the London Stationers' Company achieved a monopoly on the printing of books and was regulated by the Court of Star Chamber.

(Britannica.com)

Surely it has been argued to create an "incentive to create" (which doesn't mean that it cannot be censorship at the same time), however, this purpose is increasingly lost with ridiculous term extensions and more and more borderless flow of information.

But to claim that this makes piracy good or okay

Whether "piracy" (a term historically used for muderers, plunderers and rapists), i.e. copyright-infringement without compensation, is morally OK certainly depends on the situation at hand and I wouldn't justify it in every case. However, the general assumption of it being bad is clearly wrong.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

It's not a hard line to draw. (4.20 / 5) (#19)
by atrodo on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 05:19:31 PM EST

First off, Copyright is not censorware. Copyright is there to protect those that have created something original that they don't want other people to use, and such copyright is not a threat to our freedom on the net. I have total freedom on the net, i can do what ever i want, and that's scary. With maybe a day research, i could learn how to send a massive denial of service on you. Also in a day, i could distribute all the music i wanted to and have hundreds of downloads in not to short of time, and there is no way that copyright is going to stop that ablity. Copyright is not censoring anything. By someone having IP on say an image compression program, and enforcing it, does not make such technology censored. Instead, it creates competetion by inciting other people to create a better compression technique. I am accually close to babling because i can not figure out how copyright would be censorship, it just doesn't make sense. And if you don't believe in copyright, then don't copyright anything you make. Yes, IP has been taken too far, and i think most of us will agree on that, and the fact that it lasts 75 years when it will be outdated in less then 10 is kind of silly, but never the less, it is STILL the way the system works, and no matter what you do, trading mp3's when you or the reciving end do not legally own in in today's sense, are still doing something illegal, no matter what you think is legal or not. Ask a lawyer, he will tell you is still illegal. The line you have to draw is not that hard to draw today, because of the way the system works. It's the old saying that Two wrongs don't make a right.

-Jon Gentle(atrodo@geocities.com)

[ Parent ]
Where to begin... (5.00 / 3) (#32)
by fluffy grue on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 08:12:50 PM EST

If you want to prevent material to stay under the license it's released under, then don't whine when the license-granter wants to prevent you from doing so.

If you don't like the license that material is released under, then use material which is under a license you agree with. Piss-fighting over what constitutes "property" is a semantic argument, but that still doesn't make you legally right, even if you believe you're morally right. Yes, many people who download music off of Napster then go and buy the CD it's on later. This is not a failing of the concept of IP, however, this is a failing of those who hold the IP to take advantage of Napster.

If you're offended by the notion of IP, then support those who don't enforce it.

Nobody puts a [projectile weapon] to your head and forces you to listen to Metallica or Dr. Dre or whatever. There are many artists who are fine with you putting their stuff on Napster; Phish, for example, has explicitly licensed their concert performances to be shared and enjoyed, and their label is fine with this.

See, what I'm saying is that you're going about this the wrong way - you're going under the assumption that proprietary content should be made free, whereas a much saner approach (IMNSHO, of course) is to go about making the content free to begin with.

I haven't made any money off of my music on mp3.com. Do I bitch about this? No, it was my choice to make my music freely-available, and I'd rather my music be out there making no money than my music to be unknown and forgotten (not that the current state of affairs is any better). For me, music is a hobby, not a way of life. Granted, it's not exactly the best stuff in the world either, but that's besides the point; see 303infinity on mp3.com, for example - I haven't bothered to listen to any of their noise but they apparently suck, and yet they make plenty of money off of mp3.com in a sort of self-sustaining cycle. Am I jealous of them? Of course. But I'm not going to pull my content from mp3.com just because I'm not making money off of it. It's my choice, it's my perogative. I am fine with people sharing my music on Napster.

However, I am fine with this choice because I MADE THIS CHOICE. By subverting the license away from artists who didn't make the choice, you are pulling the same sort of atrocity as if, for example, Microsoft were to use GPLed code in some proprietary product of theirs.

Nobody has the right to steal code, music, or whatever. If you want things free, then only take them from people who make them free. Don't force your socialist doctrine on those who haven't made that choice.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Redundant (3.00 / 2) (#34)
by Eloquence on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 08:54:29 PM EST

Sorry, but you haven't really said anything that you haven't already said in your first post, and there is nothing I could reply that would change your opinion. In my opinion, the best way to fight IP is to do this:
  1. release your own works under something GPL-ish or in the public domain,
  2. use GPL'd works where available and useful,
  3. support technology that makes the free exchange of information possible,
  4. fight laws that hinder the free exchange of information.
I believe that not doing c) and d) would, in the long term, make a) and b) impractical or impossible. In a world where everything is closed and controlled, openness is harder to implement, as the Linux DVD developers have learned.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]
I'm aware of that (4.00 / 3) (#37)
by fluffy grue on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 09:38:40 PM EST

I quite purposefully didn't answer any of your points directly. This is because your points rely on having a mentality which I don't share, and your point-by-point response to me seemed to be assuming far too much about the correctness of your opinion. I was also attempting to answer the various 'points' you've told others regarding Napster, sharing leading to buying, and the sort.

As far as your four-point methodology, yes, I agree with you totally. But those aren't the sorts of things I was replying to - I was replying to your whole notion that "piracy tracking must be stopped," because it is under the (false) assumption that we have the right to piracy. That is what I was replying to, NOT any notions of what constitutes IP or the like - but that piracy tracking is necessary in a world where piracy exists as a concept.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Necessity (4.33 / 3) (#40)
by Khedak on Sat Dec 23, 2000 at 11:44:00 PM EST

As far as your four-point methodology, yes, I agree with you totally. But those aren't the sorts of things I was replying to - I was replying to your whole notion that "piracy tracking must be stopped," because it is under the (false) assumption that we have the right to piracy. That is what I was replying to, NOT any notions of what constitutes IP or the like - but that piracy tracking is necessary in a world where piracy exists as a concept.

Actually, he wasn't talking about "rights" or the lack thereof, he is simply discussing the fact that promoting (or opposing) piracy tracking can and will have an impact on the state of intellectual property around the world. You're arguing that we shouldn't oppose it because it is legal. I won't get into another civil disobedience debate, but suffice to say that we can take many fronts at once. I can lobby for IP law reform, boycott the companies which support piracy tracking, and at the same time actively combat piracy tracking through (illegal) means such as those outlined.

Then you go a step further and say that we shouldn't oppose it because it's not only legal, but "necessary." Since piracy tracking hasn't existed until just recently, and the music industry hasn't collapsed, you'll have to be more specific in the use of that term. If you mean "necessary to promote the goals of IP laws" then I might disagree with you, but at least that's a cogent argument. If you mean "necessary to ensure the profit of huge media corporations", I agree that it's so, but disagree that we should support it. If you mean "necessary for music and other copyrighted material of desirable quality to exist", then I flat-out disagree, because, as mentioned elsewhere, Intellectual Property (as we understand it today) is recent, whereas art and music have existed (in very refined forms) for millenia.

[ Parent ]
WTF? (3.00 / 2) (#44)
by fluffy grue on Mon Dec 25, 2000 at 12:23:00 AM EST

When did I say piracy tracking was necessary? I only said it was justified, and that "What can be done about piracy tracking" is to make it useless, by going AROUND the IP system!

So far this whole 'discussion' has been based on would-be freedom fighters responding to things I didn't say. That only reinforces my beliefs about the "information wants to be free" zealot camp.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

What you said (none / 0) (#45)
by Khedak on Mon Dec 25, 2000 at 01:22:10 PM EST

When did I say piracy tracking was necessary? I only said it was justified, and that "What can be done about piracy tracking" is to make it useless, by going AROUND the IP system!

Here is a link to your comment. The last sentence reads in part "piracy tracking is necessary in a world where piracy exists as a concept." It sure sounds like you said it to me.

So far this whole 'discussion' has been based on would-be freedom fighters responding to things I didn't say. That only reinforces my beliefs about the "information wants to be free" zealot camp.

Yeah, you caught me, I've got my zealot decoder ring all set up now, we're going to conspire to put words in your mouth some more tomorrow night. Read your own comment. If you didn't mean to assert that yourself, then I'm obviously not arguing with you, but with that point of view.

Information doesn't want or not want anything. Now you're putting words in my mouth. I don't call your perspective the "Piracy wants to be tracked zealot camp" now do I? I was responding to what it looked like you said. I'm sorry you are so offended by that.

[ Parent ]
Argh (none / 0) (#46)
by fluffy grue on Mon Dec 25, 2000 at 07:48:36 PM EST

Okay, I misspoke there. I meant in the proprietary-content world. That being the world where piracy, as a concept, exists. The world in which the IP folks live.

And I wasn't referring to just the last reply with "putting words in my mouth." I'm talking about the whole thread. But whatever.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Take another example... (3.00 / 1) (#39)
by pin0cchio on Sat Dec 23, 2000 at 03:15:44 PM EST

If you don't like the license that material is released under, then use material which is under a license you agree with. ... Nobody puts a [projectile weapon] to your head and forces you to listen to Metallica or Dr. Dre or whatever.

But the current state of the software industry is pretty much doing that. Money speaks louder than any weapon that will be pointed at your head: "Use Microsoft® brand Windows® brand operating systems, or you'll lose your job; without money, you can't afford food, water, clothing, or shelter."

If you're offended by the notion of IP, then support those who don't enforce it.

What if the entire industry you work in is based around one piece of copyrighted, DMCA'd, patented up the ass, trade secret software? Do you really expect us to go back to college for four years and blow USD $120,000 on a B.S./B.A. in another field?


lj65
[ Parent ]
Old fashioned tech (3.30 / 10) (#4)
by Signal 11 on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 03:38:39 PM EST

Jargon.

These spiders depend on searching for particular phrases and words. So the simple an elegant solution would be to stop using those words. It's like marijuana - if you know where to look it's not hard to find. But to someone who hasn't regularily used it, it would be impossible because that person doesn't know what to look for. You've probably tried finding information about a new topic before online. Say, chemistry. You want to know how to do chemical equations, and what it all means. So you go digging online. After about 3 hours you'll probably have a few pages bookmarked, alot of dead ends and irrelevant information, and quite frustrated. However, if you were a chemist, you'd know exactly what you're looking for and would find it in seconds, maybe a few minutes tops.

These spiders can be defeated by a very simple method - the use of jargon. Computer geeks are often accused of "speaking their own language" by non-geeks. Well, that's actually somewhat accurate! We use lots of jargon to accurately describe to each other what we're talking about. So, maybe it's time we start "encoding" these things to make it difficult for the suits to "decode". It's wetware encryption!


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.

WTF? (3.50 / 4) (#7)
by delmoi on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 04:01:45 PM EST

Did you even read the artical? They are searching content files, not the text. There is no textual data associated with a file on gnutella or napster save the file name. Nothing to jargon up. No amount of jargon in the file name is going to change the psychacustic properties of a file.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
... and you said *I* didn't read it? (3.42 / 7) (#9)
by Signal 11 on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 04:16:54 PM EST

eMusic, for example, has recently decided to do regular searches on the Napster network and send instant messages to users who share files "owned" by eMusic, asking them to unshare the files.

Well, not only did I read the article, but I know several people who have been hit with these automatic reports. I even ran a sample test against Napster to see how it works. Basically the bot uses keywords in the filename and in the ID3 tags. When it finds a match, say artist::*"Metallica"*, it will dispatch an automatic notification from infringement.napster.com to the user, notifying them that they have 48 hours to unshare that file. One report is generated for as many files as it declares "infringing" as possible.

As an experiment, I told my friend to rename the file (which was for Dr. Dre) to "Dr. Dr3", but keep the date and filesize identical, as this is what the Napster client pushes into the Napster database.

The infringement bot decided that there was no more infraction, and continued happily on. A few hours later, we renamed it back, and haven't heard from it since.

The eMusic bot otherwise reports the user to Napster.com, asking them to delete the account. (As shown in the past, Napster usually complies.) What dangers do "trackers" pose, and what can be done against them?

And I dutifully posted my answer - kill the keywords, use jargon. Dr. Dre can become "0019283" in the database, and those files are periodically renamed. Or create a dummy artist name and masq it to Dr. Dre, along with a few "real" songs so that it can be contested if they try to say they "own" that artist's work.


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

Sure (2.66 / 3) (#22)
by spacejack on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 05:33:50 PM EST

And I dutifully posted my answer - kill the keywords, use jargon. Dr. Dre can become "0019283" in the database, and those files are periodically renamed. Or create a dummy artist name and masq it to Dr. Dre, along with a few "real" songs so that it can be contested if they try to say they "own" that artist's work.

This would probably be acceptable to most copyright enforcers. It will force piracy back into the basements of the l33t.

[ Parent ]
No. (2.66 / 3) (#35)
by Signal 11 on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 08:58:01 PM EST

It will force piracy back into the basements of the l33t.

Hardly. People only need a central, easy-to-find site with the latest numbers, and maybe even something semi-automated to help them. The key is to make the cost of performing searches prohibitive for mass-searching, but cheap for personal use.


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

And.. (4.00 / 3) (#36)
by spacejack on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 09:29:10 PM EST

Hardly. People only need a central, easy-to-find site with the latest numbers, and maybe even something semi-automated to help them.

There's that word "central" again. IOW a piracy index. That's legally different from Napster itself (which got beaten into submission) in what way?

I mean you can't be serious.. the average joe is going to memorize M3taLLic4? You aren't going to get the masses to universally agree to some code like this -- remember, the guy providing the song will also have be religiously anal about this. Even if they eventually did, Napster will ban M3taLLic4. It'll go back & forth like this until people get fed up and just lay down the measly $10-$15 bucks at their nearest CD shop. And yes, $15 or even $20 (I never see regular CDs for $20 even in Canadian semi-dollars) is measly for anyone who can afford a PC + PC sound system/mp3 player + cable/DSL.

[ Parent ]
The problem with wetware encryption .. (3.00 / 3) (#8)
by Eloquence on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 04:08:10 PM EST

.. is the low number of wetware decrypters. Technically minded people can usually find a way around restrictions, but when we talk about a future where 90% of the population in industrialized countries have broadband Net access, say 10-20 years from now, the question is what the majority can and cannot do.

So any solution we can offer must appeal to a large number of users to be useful. That's why I was so impressed with Bennett Hasleton's 1-click-censorship-disabler. That's the kind of software that is necessary. A really easy-to-use and fast Freenet client could change the Net as we know it, just like Napster did.

That's the question I asked myself with copy-protected HDDs as well. Most of the people on this site will probably be able to circumvent such restrictions, but what about the majority? How can we make sure they are not left behind?
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Napster (3.25 / 4) (#11)
by trhurler on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 04:32:45 PM EST

Napster did not "change the net as we know it." The web did(and arguably for the worse,) but Napster is a soon-to-be-dead corporation whose contribution to society was to briefly offer a way for bored students to avoid paying for their entertainment. They're about to find out that those students would just go out and buy the damned songs if they had money and/or were willing to spend it, and therefore they are about to go out of business.

Freenet won't "change the net as we know it" either. First off, the technology Freenet uses, while it contains interesting elements, simply will not scale. The id tags have no regular format - that's fine for a few computer oriented people who can impose discipline on themselves, but a global unordered flat namespace simply isn't going to work for most people. Secondly, even if it was a sound technology, there would be nothing to stop companies from suing anyone and everyone who participates on the grounds that he is knowingly engaged in the transmission of illegal materials. There is no plausible deniability, regardless of any encryption, because the whole point of joining Freenet is to swap things you otherwise could not - things that are illegal to swap. As soon as they found illegal materials - and make no mistake, they would, having a Freenet node would be roughly the same thing as having a back room in your bar full of guys who carry in poker chips and cards - merely saying "I haven't seen anything illegal" isn't going to save you.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Wrong, again. (4.40 / 5) (#15)
by Eloquence on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 05:07:54 PM EST

Napster did not "change the net as we know it."

Yes, it did. It was one of the first applications that made massive use of user's individual bandwidth to form a peer2peer information exchange network, and such technology will be likely used on all kinds of devices in the future. With increasing bandwidth for home users, more and more traffic is going to be user to user.

but Napster is a soon-to-be-dead corporation

Napster as a corporation may die, but with OpenNap and dozens of networks, Napster as a network is likely to grow and thrive.

whose contribution to society was to briefly offer a way for bored students to avoid paying for their entertainment.

It is a way to listen to music without paying for it, nobody denies that. In its existing form it is certainly less than perfect, because there are no built-in ways to support artists, big or small one. Still, it will mark the beginning of important cultural and economic changes. I am pretty sure that Napster will find its way into history books.

They're about to find out that those students would just go out and buy the damned songs if they had money and/or were willing to spend it, and therefore they are about to go out of business.

Certainly many of Napster's users don't have the money to buy a lot of music, certainly many others do, certainly some of them will be willing to pay for a subscription-based service. Lots of Napster users clearly use Napster as a tool to find music that they want to buy, as studies have shown.

Freenet won't "change the net as we know it" either. First off, the technology Freenet uses, while it contains interesting elements, simply will not scale.

Simulations have been conducted to guarantee maximum scalability. The heterogenity of current networks is a problem, which may lead to an exclusion of very-low-bandwidth-users from server operation. Other than that, a limited TTL, the general lack of broadcasting in the protocol and the lexicographic optimization algorithm should guarantee nice scalability.

The id tags have no regular format - that's fine for a few computer oriented people who can impose discipline on themselves, but a global unordered flat namespace simply isn't going to work for most people.

Keynaming conventions exist and are being improved, they will be part of future GUI-clients without a requirement for user input.

Secondly, even if it was a sound technology, there would be nothing to stop companies from suing anyone and everyone who participates on the grounds that he is knowingly engaged in the transmission of illegal materials.

Maybe, but first, a lawsuit against thousands of individuals is unlikely, second, "knowingly engaged" is wrong because a Freenet node owner has no way of knowing what is stored on his node, third, actually finding a lot of nodes is not that easy since the network topology cannot easily be discovered.

There is no plausible deniability, regardless of any encryption, because the whole point of joining Freenet is to swap things you otherwise could not - things that are illegal to swap.

That is simply one of your many false assertions. There are many reasons to use Freenet, for example, its increased efficiency for highly popular material -- no Slashdot effect, ever. Its anonymity can be good for posting controversial material whose legality is not clearly defined, or that would be otherwise dangerous to the author if published non-anonymously. It can be used as an archiving site for important material that isn't mirrored already. etc. etc.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

WHAT? (2.80 / 5) (#20)
by spacejack on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 05:27:46 PM EST

Certainly many of Napster's users don't have the money to buy a lot of music.

WHAT?? Napster users are the most coddled, spoiled, affluent group of music listeners on the planet. If they can afford the DSL/Cable required to use it, they can certainly afford to buy a few CDs/month. Heck, if they know how to use Napster effectively, they are more than likely computer-savvy enough to get a decent paying job.

Why are so many people rallying for the "right to free music" of the richest people in the world, while so much of the world can't even afford the playback devices?

[ Parent ]
not so (3.66 / 3) (#24)
by Wah on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 05:46:32 PM EST

Heck, if they know how to use Napster effectively, they are more than likely computer-savvy enough to get a decent paying job.

I know lots of people that use Napster and can barely turn on their machine without tech support. One of the resons for its explosive growth has been simplicty of use. (The)Gnutella(system) is moving in that direction.
--
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]

Freenet issues (3.75 / 4) (#28)
by trhurler on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 06:47:12 PM EST

Yes, it did. It was one of the first applications that made massive use of user's individual bandwidth to form a peer2peer information exchange network,
RFC 765 and successors describe a p2p scheme which was in wide use among net users a couple of decades prior to the advent of Napster. You might have heard of it. It is called FTP. (Unless you've read the RFCs, don't even bother telling me it isn't p2p, because I'm intimately familiar with this particular protocol, and it most certainly IS p2p, although current implementations usually look less p2p than older ones did.) There is nothing new under the sun.
Lots of Napster users clearly use Napster as a tool to find music that they want to buy, as studies have shown.
Can you point out such a study? The ones I've previously been told about all said precisely the opposite - that most users' CD purchasing drops off dramatically when they find Napster.
Simulations have been conducted to guarantee maximum scalability.
The number and scope of the assumptions any such simulation makes are such that you can guarantee only one thing: the real network will not perform as the simulation did.
Keynaming conventions exist and are being improved, they will be part of future GUI-clients without a requirement for user input.
Presuming this goes off without a hitch(hahaha,) then you will have a well ordered flat global namespace. Still a really, really bad design.
a lawsuit against thousands of individuals is unlikely
Have you ever heard of a fisherman who caught ALL the fish? You don't need Freenet to make it unlikely that you will face legal action.
"knowingly engaged" is wrong because a Freenet node owner has no way of knowing what is stored on his node
I quote here from the Freenet FAQ:
Hashing the key and encrypting the data is not meant a method to keep Freenet Node operators from being able to figure out what type of information is in their nodes if they really want to (after all, they can just find the key in the same way as someone who requests the information would) but rather to keep operators from having to know what information is in their nodes if they don't want to.
In other words, this statement of yours is a flat out falsehood.
actually finding a lot of nodes is not that easy since the network topology cannot easily be discovered.
Have you ever heard of a port scanner, by any chance? These days, you can efficiently scan large IP blocks, and it is perfectly legal to do so.
no Slashdot effect, ever
If there were as many Freenet users as there are Slashdot readers, then we might have some empirical evidence. As yet, we have only predictions based on simulations whose assumptions are not even all known, much less clearly stated. I'll believe it when I see it.
Its anonymity can be good for posting controversial material whose legality is not clearly defined, or that would be otherwise dangerous to the author if published non-anonymously.
Its anonymity is known to be breakable, whereas simply going to a public library and dumping your material on some site or other that allows anonymous uploads is essentially foolproof as long as you're a bit careful.
It can be used as an archiving site for important material that isn't mirrored already. etc. etc.
The key attributes of an archive are integrity and availability. Freenet might meet the integrity requirement if it got to be big enough. However, most serious peoples' idea of availabity involves personally controlling the archive or putting it in possession of a bank or other insured agency known to be trustworthy.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Nope (4.00 / 4) (#33)
by Eloquence on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 08:30:16 PM EST

RFC 765 and successors describe a p2p scheme which was in wide use among net users

Sure, I know about early p2p developments like UUCP and Usenet, and direct transfers between users are not a new thing, however the concept to massively enhance the appeal of p2p transfers by making users' shared files collectively searchable is a new one.

Hashing the key and encrypting the data is not meant a method to keep Freenet Node operators from being able to figure out what type of information is in their nodes if they really want to (after all, they can just find the key in the same way as someone who requests the information would)

Yes, the question is, however, whether they can in fact find the key. This depends on whether and where it has been published. If someone stores kiddy porn on Freenet and just tells a couple of guys where to find it, the Node operator has no way of knowing that he his storing the respective data.

These days, you can efficiently scan large IP blocks, and it is perfectly legal to do so.

Sure, but there are several ways to make this more difficult, for example by using "trap ports", if the port scanner tries to connect to these, a connection is not accepted on any port.

If there were as many Freenet users as there are Slashdot readers, then we might have some empirical evidence.

My statement referred to the network architecture, not to Freenet as it currently is used. Freenet right now is little more than a proof of concept.

Its anonymity is known to be breakable, whereas simply going to a public library and dumping your material on some site or other that allows anonymous uploads is essentially foolproof as long as you're a bit careful.

a) Many libraries require registration and they will give out your data if asked to do so.
b) Even if they don't, every free-space provider I know will immediately delete any content if asked to do so in a sufficiently legal looking letter.

However, most serious peoples' idea of availabity involves personally controlling the archive or putting it in possession of a bank or other insured agency known to be trustworthy.

You can personally control subspaces within Freenet, and in many cases, you don't want any "bank or other insured agency" involved. Of course, you can call anyone who would want to use Freenet "nonserious", but by doing so you again reveal your arrogance, ignorance and contempt of free speech.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

file sharing (3.00 / 2) (#48)
by trhurler on Tue Dec 26, 2000 at 04:27:44 PM EST

however the concept to massively enhance the appeal of p2p transfers by making users' shared files collectively searchable is a new one.
You should do a bit of research into the early ftp servers. This is precisely what they were used for. Security problems changed all that. Of course, the present crop of software will have its own security problems, and they won't be solvable by just throwing more crypto at them.
Yes, the question is, however, whether they can in fact find the key.
As I understand, right now there are protocol and data storage issues which make finding keys for material on your own drives fairly trivial. In any case, the absolute most that is required in order to obtain the keys for any and all data on your drive is a modified node program that tracks requests against the data. You could probably protect against that, but the protection would involve making Freenet basically unsearchable and also highly inefficient - you'd have to split all files across multiple nodes with no one node having the whole file, and then you'd have to use a fragile and complicated key splitting scheme. The keys would be enormous and the odds of a protocol design error, seeing as nobody has ever successfully done this, rise to near certainty.
for example, by using "trap ports"
If you use trap ports, you have a whole new world of DoS attacks coming. Right now, the tools to autodetect and abuse this aren't widely available, but they will be. Port scanning is and will remain a reasonable way to identify services on large numbers of hosts, at least for the forseeable future.
My statement referred to the network architecture,
Precisely. You do not seem to understand this point, but it is nevertheless correct: projections of efficiency in various metrics for new network schemes are notoriously unreliable. What you have is not knowledge of Freenet's scalability - you have a belief, at best borderline justifiable, in that scalability.
Many libraries require registration. . .
While I'm sure you can point out one that does, the idea that most libraries even know what software their machines are running, much less how to track users or secure their machines, is absurd. Anyone borderline competent can make a mockery of any attempt they make to control or log access. The libraries where I live don't even try - unless someone complains about something you're doing, they basically will never know. And in this case, nobody's going to complain until you're long gone. (As for your snipped comment about free space providers, they're not the only places you can put stuff, and some of them WILL fight requests to remove material, although these are usually not the US ones.)
You can personally control subspaces within Freenet
I'm still waiting to see someone with a modicum of talent in computer security - particularly protocol design and analysis - do a bit of looking at Freenet. As yet, we have a bunch of people with no credentials whatsoever fighting for a "good cause." I'm in agreement with their cause, sort of - but I am not of the opinion that security-critical software designed by part timers which breaks new ground in terms of capabilities is what I want to protect me against "The Man." This is not to say I am opposed to such software being open sourced - but I'd rather see someone like Bruce Schneier designing it. The reason I mention this here is that I'm particularly not confident that you can actually "control" subspaces of Freenet - as in, I don't really believe that the protocol is secure such that my data cannot be modified or replaced, and I don't believe that the protocol is secure such that I can prevent others from accessing that data in any reliable manner. Keep in mind that the protocol has to resist attacks from modified nodes or it is useless - and the authors themselves admit that presently it does not do this very well at all. Contending that "you need lots of malicious nodes to hack Freenet" is pointless - the government can and will deploy as many nodes as it needs to do whatever it wants to do, as you well know.
in many cases, you don't want any "bank or other insured agency" involved
No, actually, if I want an archive then I DO want them involved - because paying them and trusting them is cheaper and easier than getting my own insurance, which is a necessary part of any respectable risk management scheme. Maybe you just mean you want backup copies. That's all well and good, but it hardly requires Freenet, and there are obvious simpler ways to achieve that goal.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
You mean other than that you can be convicted?:) (4.60 / 5) (#26)
by trhurler on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 06:21:05 PM EST

No, because the Net unifies media.
Why would I want to use a computer, which is notoriously unreliable, in place of my simple, reliable, durable, predictable home theater system? You like it, because you're a computer guy and you have yet to realize the downsides of what you're doing. I'm a computer guy, but I saw early on that my existing equipment was far and away better than anything you could do with a computer for this purpose. You might have a case for the net killing off certain companies, certain newspapers, and so on, but this pipedream of all media being sent through the Internet is little better than the ravings of those loonies who think it is going to bring world peace or emerge as an artificial intelligence.
Something that is illegal is not necessarily immoral, as hundreds of dumb laws clearly demonstrate. One way to force changes of laws is to break them massively.
Civil disobedience is fine - but the point of it is that you have to get convicted. Merely breaking the law and expecting to get away with it is reprehensible, because even if the action is moral, you undermine the rule of law by taking it.
I would both hide a witch to protect her from being burned and publicly advocate an end to witchhunts.
Saving someone's life is an entirely different proposition from freely swapping songs. The insinuation that it isn't is pretty sick.
"slightly above the level of the common script kiddie"?
I'm talking about the evangelists, not the authors. The authors are often quite intelligent, although I think most of them are somewhat misguided.
In other words, I could tell you whatever I want, you would always claim that I'm just a thief.
If you so much as gave a few bucks to someone to support a legal battle, or participated in a demonstration, or whatever, I'd gladly give you the benefit of the doubt. Right now, what I see is a guy who admits to breaking the law and claims to be proud of it - and practically every other p2p user is exactly the same way. Big talk, no action except to break the law. At least most of them aren't self-righteous about it.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

Argh (none / 0) (#29)
by trhurler on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 06:51:43 PM EST

Somehow, this reply to Eloquence's quoted post elsewhere in this story's comments made it here instead. I do not know quite how, but my browser crashed immediately after posting it, so I suspect that has something to do with it.

Damn Netscape...

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Civil Disobedience (3.50 / 2) (#41)
by Khedak on Sun Dec 24, 2000 at 12:05:34 AM EST

Civil disobedience is fine - but the point of it is that you have to get convicted. Merely breaking the law and expecting to get away with it is reprehensible, because even if the action is moral, you undermine the rule of law by taking it.

You're catching on. The whole point is to undermine the rule of law. Like witch hunts and prohibition, when enough people have undermined the rule of law, it can have an effect on whether that will remain the law. You wouldn't tell a witch that she has a right to Civil Disobedience so she can be burned at the stake, right? Ah, but you said that was different, because the witch was in mortal danger.

Fine, what if, like copyright violations, being a witch was punishable by a $500,000 fine or 5 years in prison. Would you say that practicing witches must be willing to accept that punishment to practise their religion? This is hypothetical, but the point is that asking someone to take the penalty, regardless of whether that penalty is fair or not, doesn't make sense. If you charged me the cost of the CD for having an illegal copy of a CD, then invoking the morals of civil disobedience would make sense. Even twice or five times the cost might be reasonable. But that is not the case. The case is that a single mp3 (for arguments sake about a tenth of a CD, which retails US $15) can cause you to be prosecuted for $500,000 in fines. That's more than three hundred thousand times the prorated cost of that track. And yes, violations are counted on a per mp3, not per-CD, basis. If their punishment is unreasonable, then I am not going to stand for it any more than I stand for unreasonable laws.

Right now, what I see is a guy who admits to breaking the law and claims to be proud of it - and practically every other p2p user is exactly the same way. Big talk, no action except to break the law. At least most of them aren't self-righteous about it.

Some of us are, for reasons outlined. It's easy to take your position because it's the legal one. But the fact remains that I can oppose the law by breaking it, and I can oppose the punishment by avoiding it, and that does not make me morally reprehensible. It makes me moral, yet sensible.

[ Parent ]
Clarification on "rule of law" (none / 0) (#47)
by trhurler on Tue Dec 26, 2000 at 03:15:43 PM EST

What you mean, which is to say, undermining one particular law, makes sense given your position. What I meant, and what I stand by, is that if you break the law and then flaunt the fact that you "got away with it," you have undermined law as a principle - you decrease respect for the idea of a limited government of laws, and promote rule by whim - "I like this law, so we'll enforce it. I don't like that one, so we'll just try to pretend it isn't there." The rule of law is worth more than any copyright issue. That is not to say you shouldn't fight for your views - but you should not do it in a way that tends toward regression towards arbitrary government.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Interesting (4.25 / 4) (#27)
by Nyarlathotep on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 06:41:58 PM EST

First, it is worth mentioning that you can stop this thing with a simple song adjuster, i.e. adjust the mp3 file in ways to prevent automatic identification of the file. Clearly, they can just lissen to the file to identify the song, but that requires downloading the whole file and maybe requires 1 min of a trained monkies time. Adjusting the mp3 will also prevent them from tracking the flow of mp3s so they do not know who they really should spend the money taking to court. Anyway, there are a few very simple things we can do to make them spend a LOT more money to track mp3s.

Second, automatic nasty lawyer letter should not mean crap, i.e. they need to have their lawyer send you a real certified letter asking you to stop before they can bring you to court (IANAL). Plus, many mp3 sharing protocols will not give them access to your email address. Also, you can have your computer modify and rename your mp3s when you get a nasty letter which will force their automated systems to start over.

Third, we can simply black list their spiders. It's not really that trivial for them to get a new IP address. Plus, this companies stock price would tank if they went a few months without an effective spider because there was a group of people who were counter tracking them and getting them blacklisted. The only real problem here is who do you trust to blacklist IP ranges.

Finally, there is always the "elite" style mp3 network where all system allow anyone who is not blacklisted to connect, but they will not share their list of nodes with you until they trust you, i.e. the nodes owner has DLed from you. All systems would search every system who they know, but they would all be limited by who they know. This type of system would be essentially impossible to spider any faster then the network could grow (unless you had a real slowdown in network growth).

Jeff

BTW> Actually, I think it would be a great thing for the music industry to buy into this companies claims because it might mena that they would go after the copyright offenders instead of the "new technology" which makes copying easy. It would also mean that he music industry would loose since going after someone who dose not have any money will always be a loosing battle.

Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
Bot-Killing 101 (4.66 / 9) (#31)
by J'raxis on Fri Dec 22, 2000 at 07:43:47 PM EST

My experience in keeping bots out of websites:

User Agent. Check the user agent, return alternative, linkless content or nothing for user agents you don't like. Redirect 'em to goatse.cx. ;)

This bot could masquerade as a browser (like spam harvester bots often do), using a user agent that emulates MSIE or Netscape or some other bot like Google, but I think those respective companies would have something to say about a third party misrepresenting itself and using their name.

IP Address. If the bot is coming from a certain IP address or IP range, you can do the same thing. IP-blocking is better done in the webserver config than in a script, however. Take advantage of Apache's allow and deny directives.

No Links, Posted Forms. Don't even link to any content you don't want spidered. Publish the locations in a human but non-machine readable format, such as how you munge an address to keep the spambots away:

Go to www.mydomain.org, and get: /my/file.mp3

If you still want something "clickable," make a form and use the POST method; using a CGI which returns the real URL.

401 Authorization Required. Password-protect all your files except the main/index file using HTTP Basic Authentication. Publish the "password" on that site. ("You must log in as guest:guest to go any further.") To go directly to a file on the site, the URL would be:

http://usernm:passwd@www.mydomain.org/file/here.mp3

Use that if you want to hand out a URL, but don't publish it as a link or it can be spidered, and the bot would end up logging itself in!

Stinking bots...

-- The Bot-Killing Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]

Explanation of "electronic DNA" (4.33 / 3) (#38)
by pin0cchio on Sat Dec 23, 2000 at 03:05:04 PM EST

When checking a file for content, it's often easiest to look for its dominant numerical attributes (a cute marketing name for a type of fine-grained checksum). This type of system is often used in computer diagnostic programs to detect changes to system files.

Why not CRC/MD5/SHA1?
Such checksums can only tell if two files are identical, not whether they are similar.

Why not compare against the actual file using pattern matching?
1. This would require the diagnostic software publishers to license the entire contents of the file (system files in a proprietary operating system can be quite expensive). 2. This would take a lot of space, as diagnostic software for several system versions must often fit on the same CD. A so-called "DNA" checksum is essentially an abstraction of this type of pattern matching. It can also be thought of as a sort of lossy data compression method.


lj65
Looking at the wider issue... (4.00 / 1) (#42)
by pak21 on Sun Dec 24, 2000 at 09:26:55 AM EST

As I see it, there are really two questions here:

  1. How do we stop the trackers? IMO, a pretty tedious technical question, which will just turn into your standard arms race, with the trackers and anti-trackers continually coming up with new ways to out-do each other.
  2. Should we be trying to stop the trackers?

    Eloquence's view is clearly `Yes' - people should be allowed to distribute what they want. As I see it, distributing copyrighted MP3s is wrong, but I don't think that's the important point here: I don't want everything I ever do being tracked, and how should we try and prevent this from happening in the first place? One answer is just to encrypt everything we do, but that's not perfect - are there better ways?


My view.. (4.00 / 1) (#43)
by spacejack on Sun Dec 24, 2000 at 02:09:34 PM EST

I'm against trackers, HD copy protection and regionalized DVDs. That said, I am pro copyright. IMHO, I think it's important that companies like Napster that go too far with the copyright owner's material, or websites that redistribute copyrighted material without permission should be liable.

Most other "traditional" copying -- putting files up on obscure ftp sites temporarily, emailing files, burning CDs for friends, etc. would be better left endured as somewhat inevitable. Admittedly in some cases it's desirable, and the copyright owner may choose to let it go (key word: choose). But the effects of fighting it fanatically everywhere run the risk of escalating to the ridiculous.

Some would argue that other rogue distribution methods will emerge, but I don't think they will grow to nearly the same extent as Napster. Napster was "tamed" and I think the example will dissuade other companies from attempting or facilitating such blatant, widespread piracy; particularly not as a business-model (which, IMHO would be a Good Thing). Once Napster becomes a paid-for service, there won't really be any comparable outlets for mass unauthorized distribution of copyrighted work. So I don't think that copyright laws will be as indefensible as others believe they will be (Freenet & Gnutella notwithstanding; they have yet to prove themselves as significant forces, and if they eventually do, that's a bridge to cross when we get to it).

Actually, I think that when Napster goes to a subscription model, it will be a fairly major turning point on the web. If they can charge for it, and people stick with it, it will be, I think, an important step towards showing that artists can make money from their work online without having to make nice with some corporate sponsor, or resort to begging or selling tacky nick-nacks. i.e., they will be able to sell their work for its own sake, rather than as a sales tool for some other harder-to-steal product -- which can only be bad for the integrity of the work.

[ Parent ]
Its easy to defeat them (none / 0) (#49)
by danielwang on Tue Jul 16, 2002 at 01:41:50 PM EST

Duh, it easy. Thees a project on the internet called CAPTCHA, it's a truing test that used jumbled numbers and letters to prevent computers from recognizing the code. IT is possible to use a dynamic DNA pattern search to identify the characters but with existing computers it takes tremendous amounts of time. Simply serve an image up and someone will HAVE to enter a code for every single filesharing user they try to scam. BayTSP, MediaForce, and Ranger all use static IP blocks. Some media companies use dynamic IPs provided by people like Sprint but they leave in meta tags that identify the servers. gnucleus.sf.net Has a IP subset range-based blacklist feature... On a newsgroup article a long time ago for Zorflex Anime (dvd piracy community) I discussed how it could be possible to hide the files and make sure no one could access them. My solution proposed a java app be downloaded and used to spy (crack.ws uses this, but not to spy). No one consented, but fortunately I did figure one thing out... YOU CAN SCAN WITHOUT JAVA APPS! use a little something like this UserAgent fuzzy matches: *MediaSentry*, *BayTSP*, *Ranger*, BaySpider*, BaySentry*, BayCrawler*, *Mediaforce* IP Ranges: USe blacklist at gnucleus.sf.net Netbios name: Same as UserAgent One very unintelligent tracking company did this: Names have been changed.... UserAgent: DumbCrawler/4.27/A/SP1 BLACKLISTED IP: 255.255.255.255 BLACKLISTED Resolved: spider1.badpiracyguys.net BLACKLISTED Owner Resolved: Bad Piracy Guys, Inc. BLACKLISTED Provider Resolved: Sprint for BadPiracyGuys BLACKLISTED Contact: (800)555-1212 BLACKLISTED Email, Address: ALSO BLACKLISTED NetBios Name: spider1 BLACKLISTED They changed their ways quite quickly, btw... But they never quite got aroung that owner resolve problem... They can't use dialup, DSL, etc... but they did try to make their IPs look inconspicuous again! Still, blacklists were updates daily at a site which they tried to take down, they couldn't. They tried to force the site to capture the IPs of the blacklist downloaders. They even tried to get them to put up fake blacklists, unsuccessful... TO THIS DAY, if you can find them, there is a site full of blacklists for each and every company there is that does this.

What Can Be Done About "Piracy" Tracking? | 49 comments (39 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!