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Thread: MP3 Inventor Develops Tool to Fight Piracy

  1. #1
    NeoTheOne's Avatar Poster
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    Jun 2003
    raunhofer Institute has developed prototype technology to help curb the sharp rise in online music piracy, which, ironically, has been enabled through another invention of the renowned German research group: MP3 audio compression.

    Researchers at the Fraunhofer Integrated Publication and Information Systems Institute have successfully tested a software system, based on the group's own digital watermarking technology, for tracking pirated audio files in peer-to-peer file-sharing networks, says Michael Kip, a spokesperson for the institute.

    Kip referred to the Fraunhofer approach as an alternative to DRM (digital rights management) systems, which he says require special players and are prone to hacking.

    While watermarking technology isn't new per se, this is the first time it has been used in a system to automatically track pirating in P-to-P networks, according to Kip.

    The system lets content providers, such as music studios, embed a watermark in their downloadable MP3 files. Watermark technology makes slight changes to data in both sound and image files. For instance, the change could be a higher volume intensity in a tiny part of a song or a brighter color in a minuscule part of a picture. Even the best trained human eyes and ears, according to Kip, can't detect the change.

    The digital media watermark used in the Fraunhofer system also contains a "hash value," which creates a link between the content provider and registered purchaser. "The hash value is like a fingerprint; it contains unique information about the user," Kip says. "The software that we've developed can automatically search for fingerprints."

    Uploads Versus Downloads

    The Fraunhofer approach differs from others in that it doesn't monitor the individuals who illegally download music but rather scans for content that has been illegally uploaded.

    "If, for instance, you purchase and download a CD, burn a copy and give it to a friend and that person puts it on a file sharing network, our system will trace that music back to you and, depending on the legal system of the country you're in, you could be [hit] with an expensive fine," Kip says. "This could certainly help deter online music piracy."

    Fraunhofer envisions the prototype software as an application that content providers can install on their own servers for automatically monitoring P-to-P networks around the clock.

    The institute will demonstrate the technology next month at the Cebit trade show in Hanover, Germany, according to Kip.

    Asked if widely used MP3 technology isn't partly to blame for online music piracy, he says: "Yes and no. You can use a knife to cut bread or kill someone. It's a tool that can be misused."

    Research on compression of music files was conducted in the 1980s by a team of scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits. Their development, the MPEG-1 Layer 3 algorithm, was first shortened to MPEG Layer 3 and later to MP3.

    Last edited by tesco; 02-10-2006 at 03:02 AM.

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  3. News (Archive)   -   #2
    twisterX's Avatar Poster
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    Jul 2003

  4. News (Archive)   -   #3
    4play's Avatar knob jockey
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    Jan 2003
    so what happens when you run your mp3s through a normalizer and it reduces the volume down a tiny fraction. will their hash value still work ?

    This will never take off its just too easy to abuse.

  5. News (Archive)   -   #4
    Hairbautt's Avatar *haircut
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    Jul 2004
    So like...if it gets out it'll get cracked or something. Why try?

    Can't we all just have a freedom of information policy?
    Last edited by Alien5; Jun 6th, 2006 at
    06:36 PM..

  6. News (Archive)   -   #5
    matt526's Avatar Poster
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    Apr 2004
    this will never work
    all you have to do is load the mp3 into a mp3 editor
    I use cool edit pro, make some changes and save as.

  7. News (Archive)   -   #6
    Chewie's Avatar Chew E. Bakke
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    Feb 2004
    It doesn't address disc ripping though.

  8. News (Archive)   -   #7
    zapjb's Avatar Computer Abuser BT Rep: +3
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    Nov 2002
    IF ... it's good enough DVD Jon will turn it into a toy.

  9. News (Archive)   -   #8
    suprafreak6's Avatar Suprafreak6 is Back!
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    Apr 2005
    have the noticed they are spending more money to stop us then they are losing by allowing us to fileshare alone?

  10. News (Archive)   -   #9
    Busyman's Avatar Use Logic Or STFU!!!
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    Apr 2003
    Washington D.C.
    Quote Originally Posted by suprafreak6
    have the noticed they are spending more money to stop us then they are losing by allowing us to fileshare alone?

    Do you think it's wrong for them to want to keep their music from being shared on the internet?
    Silly bitch, your weapons cannot harm me. Don't you know who I am? I'm the Juggernaut, Bitchhhh!

    Flies Like An Arrow, Flies Like An Apple

  11. News (Archive)   -   #10
    Think it may have its pluses for them such as making the average share concerned though not having effect on any scene type release or anything thats ripped apperantly. Seems though that this could possibly put them into the online purchase community which would be a plus for the company and might fetch some cash selling this also...

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