Australia Taking Piracy Fight to Airports?

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by dw426, Jul 31, 2008.

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  1. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    According to leaked documents, a proposal is floating around in Australia to check MP3 players at airports for pirated music. If caught, fines and jail time may be dished out. And, they aren't the only ones. This is possibly an international idea that is including the U.S.

    http://blogs.pcworld.com/staffblog/archives/007358.html

    *cough1984cough*:D
     
  2. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

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    How exactly are they gonna know if the music is pirated or not? Thats what i'd like to know.
     
  3. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    Well, personally I don't see this happening.

    1. You can't tell legit MP3 from pirated, unless somebody knows something I don't.

    2. This would only work for Australia or another country with a similar law as it is illegal I believe to copy even a purchased CD to an IPod in Australia.

    3. Anyone who has been through an airport/Customs lately sees the last reason this will fail. Too many people and too time-consuming.

    My comment about 1984 was meant as a "See how far governments try to and will go to control data?" comment. Data is power, whoever controls data controls the world. There's your daily "Dw426 Paranoia" quote of the day.
     
  4. ChrisP

    ChrisP Suspended Member

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    I would guess this is untrue / false - because as has been stated here, 1) how would they know it was pirated 2) They wouldnt have time / resources to check 3) diferent countries have diferent laws - eg in the UK, the law allows you to have one copy (backup) of any copyrighted CD as part of the price of every CD sold includes a fee for this backup right -which would strictly speaking, makes copy controled CDs illegal - thats why those discs do not have the compact disc logo on them. 4) Didnt think Australians had iPods or MP3 players yet :)
     
  5. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    I doubt the story is false, think of all the other hair-brained ideas governments have come up with. But yes, I agree, I can't think of any technical and logistical way this could be implemented.
     
  6. ccsito

    ccsito Registered Member

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    The only way that I can see to identify pirated music would be to have a specific list of songs/songwriters to look out for. You would need a specific tracking system of every CD or download of that music for that list. If the MP3 device has a CD not registered on the list or is not on the download list, then you have a suspect music item. ;)
     
  7. jrmhng

    jrmhng Registered Member

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    Not good for civil liberties. Maybe there will be a market soon for encrypted devices.
     
  8. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    1. The music industry as it is right now can't afford to implement such a system (the government would be highly unlikely to take on the cost).

    2. Having a specific list would leave too many artists and therefore record labels out, and that would not go over well.

    The main ingredient for failure here is the logistical side. Airports already have too much going on to have to deal with that kind of thing. Besides, it is not the airline industry's job to tackle an issue the RIAA/MPAA and whoever else can't handle on their own. The airline industry's job is to transport people safe and sound across the world, not check millions of passengers for unauthorized copies of Barry Manilows' Greatest Hits....though I don't think blank CDs are that big of an issue :D

    @Huangker: In my own opinion, the more methods of encryption that come out for public use, the more regulated that tech is going to get. I won't get too political and cause another problem for the mods, but I just can't help but truly believe that the days of the general public being able to encrypt their communications and data they store are slowly but surely coming to an end.
     
  9. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

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    LOL! Yes, us aussies have finally traded our gramophones in for ipods :).
    I travel quite often and i always carry an mp3 player so i guess i'll find out sooner or later if its true or not.
     
  10. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    Well... ccsito was on the right track. Any program that can read MP3 tags can detect if a copy is pirated or not. Take Mp3tag, a universal Tag Editor.

    I buy a lot of MP3s from Amazon.com and while it's true that their songs are really DRM-Free, using Mp3tag, one can see (in the Comment column) that Amazon injects an unique ID number on every track.

    Example: Kirk Franklin - Looking For You - 2005 - Amazon.com Song ID: 203888643.

    If a CD song is converted from WAV to MP3, using Audiograbber 1.83, the Comment column is blank and that's how the authorities will know that the song was not legitimately purchased thus "pirated" in their eyes.

    And if one thinks that it's just as easy as adding something in this Comment column, I'm sure that their computers will have an installed database of legitimate MP3 sellers where any number can be checked against a known ID song.

    Australia's plan is all well and good until someone piggybacks a virus on an MP3 that disables their system, then, back to the drawing board.
     
  11. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    Using that argument though wouldn't re-encoding down the line be deemed an act of piracy, thus illegal? And the virus thought is interesting.
     
  12. ChrisP

    ChrisP Suspended Member

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    All the attempts by the music industry etc to prevent piracy are doomed. Their attempts to restrict distribution and copying will fail as the technological solutions they inplement will always be countered and the legislation they try to introduce will in many cases thrown out due to its questionable legality.

    only last week, I heard a Suggestion put forward by the BPI that everyone in the UK with an internet connection should be charged £30 / year to compensate artists for loss of earnings due to copyright breach by P2P etc. The idea being that I would be forced to give someone my money for something I have not used / done or just in case I do it or to compensate them because someone else has stolen their work. I think NOT!

    I believe the BPI argued that the average teenager in the UK had an average of 600 pirated tracks on their ipod. My argument is that this may well be the case, but does not mean that otherwise they would have purchased these 600 tracks - of course they wouldnt. They probably would have purchased about one tenth of them or less.

    The fact of the matter is that their business model will have to change. Already, many in the industry understand the only way they can securely make money is by events and sponsorships etc - as this cant be pirated / revenue stream circumvented etc.

    Not sure about Australia, but I would have thought it was a breach of privacy having an ipod searched. All these proposed legislations are just an excuse for governments to remove our rights as humans and pass power to the state.

    As I said earlier, I dont believe it would be possible to introduce what was proposed as the subject of this thread, but its an example of how governments use a "problem" to justify a "solution" and these solutions invariably involve some curbing of our freedom or removal of rights.
     
  13. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    dw426, in the United States, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is the group that represents the U.S. recording industry and most of the lawsuits against copyright infringements, here and abroad, are started by them. So I visited their site to see what the RIAA had to say about the Piracy issue.

    Here are their views on The Law and I bellieve the section on Copying CDs could answer the question of Australians' rights because if it's good for the United States, it "should" be good for the rest of the world. Here are the authorized Legal Music Sites where you can download music from.

    The way I read this is, as long as one is not selling, giving away or lending a copy of a song from a CD that you bought, you can encode and re-encode to your heart's content, so that blows my previous argument out of the water. The key being: Personal Use. Anything commercial is a no-no.

    The authorities still would be able to tell if the MP3 was bought or copied by the tag and if copied, you better have the original source as proof of ownership when court time came around, otherwise you would be labeled a pirate. I would type "CD Bought by Me" in the Comment column, just in case.

    About the virus thought, I can't be the first to think that way. I bet that someone already has a plan to thwart whatever Australia comes up with.

    @ChrisP, I do agree with you about government's intrusions in our lives. Let us live; we are only here for a short time!
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2008
  14. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    Well, the problem is what Chris said, which is nothing they have tried to prevent privacy so far has worked. So, the RIAA/MPAA start changing rules as they go along, and inevitably, some judge ends up siding with them. As far as what's being good for the U.S is good for other countries, it doesn't work like that. Most of the developed countries have their own version of the RIAA/MPAA, each having different sets of rules in accordance with each individual countries laws.

    The problem with the Personal Use section is that they keep re-defining what personal use is because every effort they attempt doesn't work. Really the RIAA's main weapon, suing, is a non-threat. In reality very very few (in population terms) people have ever been sued since they started threatening to. The real threat from the RIAA and other organizations is the changing and removal of individual rights to fit in with their fight against piracy.

    @Chris: Might you be referring to the plan to tack on a yearly charge for unlimited downloads of music that is being tossed around by many ISPs, including the U.S? I somewhat like this idea, if the price doesn't fly up, which it will once it catches on and the music industry realizes it can make up its lost revenue and more. They are merely hallucinating if they think this will stop piracy however, people will continue to download illegal music until ISP servers are wiped of P2P websites and newsgroups. This may eventually happen, it's feasible to do as already here in the U.S ISPs have wiped their servers of child porn sites and deleted all related newsgroups. In fact, unless I am missing a very important point, that method could spell the end of piracy.

    Can websites crop back up? They sure can, and will. However, would it not take nothing more than a filter ISP-side to prevent access to these websites? Think for a moment about OpenDNS. If you have used them, you know that client-side you can manually filter out certain categories and not be able to access them. Well, what happens when an ISP does that on their own without the option for their users to change it?
     
  15. ChrisP

    ChrisP Suspended Member

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    @dw426, yes, I believe the idea was that the compulsary fee would allow downloads. The point is, its unreasonable - no different to making me pay £30 / year so I can watch my local football team play every weekend - even though I hate football and will never go to see a match and would rather gouge my eyes out using a spoon than watch them.

    The problem for the industry is that they cant effectively identify all the people who illegally download copyrighted material. Instead of accepting this and altering their business model, they would rather effectivey apply a tax to everyone - even those who dont use download their music or want it, so they can maintain their revenue. Its completely unreasonable. Im a director of a business process outsourcing company so I have a real interest in the business - would be lovely for me if I could charge every company in Europe a small fee so I maintain our revenue levels as there is a depression coming and business may get tough! Alternatively, I could do my job and work out how I can maintain the value of our business by tarheting new vertical markets and introducing new products. I will ask all the businesses in Europe if the will make a £30 donation to us and see what they say....
     
  16. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    You keep me posted on their answer to that 30 dollar donation request....it would interesting to hear the sound of half of Europe laughing at the same time.
     
  17. ChrisP

    ChrisP Suspended Member

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    I will get some insane judge who is mad as a turnip to pass a law forcing them all to pay me the £30!
     
  18. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    dw426 & ChrisP,

    I believe that this 2007 Report by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, support both yours and most people's viewpoints. While 20,000+ lawsuits are nothing to sneeze at, imagine the millions of dollars that have been spent! Use that money to lower the download fees substantially and you might be able to make inroads into diminishing P2P networks. Instead, they feed the money greed of the artists while the rest of us eke out a living.
     
  19. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    Agreed on all but one thing: Artists aren't the greedy ones, it's their labels. Artists don't even make their money off albums, they make it on tours and merchandise.
     
  20. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

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    I agree. Further, and in addition to the reasons you enumerated, even IF they implemented such procedures, those with "pirated" music would make adjustments almost immediately.

    A rather obvious adjustment is the simplest; they would not take their mp3 players through security - they'd leave them at home instead.

    Another would be to replace their iPod (or similar players) with a device that has the capability of using a removable memory card. SanDisk makes one such player that can accept microSD/microSDHC/SDHC cards with capacities up to 8GB (and growing). For laptops, a ton of stuff can be stored on a USB flash drive. Are they planning to check *every* memory card and flash drive that people take through security checkpoints? Good luck with that! I mean, if someone put, say, an SDHC card in their wallet would the scanners be able to detect something that small?

    Also, if they're going to check mp3 players, they had better plan to check cell phones, PDAs, and other such devices that, although they're not strictly mp3 players, have the capability to play music files and which, again, can use tiny memory cards to store such files.

    Simply put, this plan simply won't work - the design is FUBAR - it will only result in long(er) delays, a waste of money, and won't deter any so-called "pirates" from doing business as usual.
     
  21. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    dw426, let me rephrase my artist comment and I'm going off-topic a bit but still within the ballpark. I agree with you that the record labels (and also the movie studios & production companies for actors) do take grievous advantage of up-and-coming artists. And it is because of management's greed, that "some" artists (not all, and pardon me if I gave that impression), as soon as they make it big, take a position of asking for substantial amounts of money, while the rest of the group or supporting cast gets scale + 10.

    Are these calloused artists because they were raped by these labels and producers on their way up? I don't doubt it. One could even argue the point that it is called "Show Business" and not "Show Art" therefore one has to take the bad with the good, if one ever wants to make a career of it.

    "Show Business" is built on rejection, not the glamorous "new talent discovered" version that is portrayed in the media, because 99% of the artists toil under the radar for many years before the public ever sees them, if at all. Every audition is like going for a job interview and it's a long process: audition, callback, possible second callback, placed on avails, and if one is lucky, booking the job. One can make it all the way to the end after battling hundreds of other artists, think you finally have a gig, only to be called by an agent and told "sorry, you've been dropped." If the unions didn't exist, it would be worse than it is.

    Case in Point. S.A.G. is currently fighting for the rights of actors in New Media, mainly the Internet now and whatever else comes up in the future. The producers want to use a person's likeness, voice, performance, etc., for perpetuity, anywhere they wish without ever paying any residuals. The union's stand is that Royalties and Residuals are the only thing that keeps an artist going, when earning scale wages, and they are not about to give away something they fought so hard for, 75 years ago. Both sides are standing firm and IMO, looks like the industry is headed for another strike.

    I understand why the RIAA fights for the labels, just as the unions fight for the artists, yet in the end, management will always come out victorious because there are people willing to give it all away for their 15 minutes of fame and management is counting on that.
     
  22. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    I have to agree with that. These new men and women in the industry, both music and movie are lucky royalties even exist. Only a few decades ago they did not, hence why many of the "superstars" of years gone by are flat broke or edging close to it.
     
  23. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    The Internet has helped many of these destitute artists recoup royalties (that labels said they didn't earn; yeah, right!) by the mere tracking of song and album downloads. Some artists questioned their label's methodology of disbursing payments, once they started receiving royalty checks from download sources, and gained back pay for years of neglect.

    BTW, the big Cahuna tracking source for the industry is BigChampagne and they made their mark going after Napster so they became the darling of the record labels.

    Here's a good overview of How Music Royalties Work and the sad truth: Artists' best interests? RIAA presses for lower royalties.
     
  24. Fontaine

    Fontaine Registered Member

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  25. Z32

    Z32 Registered Member

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    is there anything that can be done with iPods.. i.e. the iPod Touch?

    you'd think there'd be the ability to password-protect an iPod by now to prevent unauthorised use (a la, with a mobile phone)
     
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