Feeds

Napster Metallica ban proving hard to enforce

Band fans slip back onto the service, non-fans get booted off

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Napster's attempts to block over 300,000 alleged Metallica pirates are proving rather difficult to enforce.

Despite releasing an update to its MP3 'seek, locate, download' software that blocks those accused of copyright infringement, many blocked users are sneaking back onto the service - and they're spreading the word to others how they did it on the company's own BBS.

Napster's response, according to CNet, has been to warn BBS users that anyone posting this information will be blocked too. Get real, Napster. If they're not going to use your own BBS, expect a host of Web sites and Usenet newsgroups to spring up in its place. And attempting to block individual IP addresses, as Napster is threatening to do, is doomed to failure when switching IP addresses is so easy - just use a different machine or sign up with an ISP that dynamically issues IP addresses on dial-up.

As one user told The Register: "My account just stopped working, so I had to reapply with a new name, and happiness returned."

That will provoke ever more draconian moves from Napster, and that could see its users increasingly turning against the company.

Which is, of course, exactly what Metallica wants. Band drummer and chief spokesman Lars Ulrich has said that he'd like to see Napster shut down, and at this rate he may get his wish. Like MP3.com's MyMP3.com service, Napster has always been a hostage to fortune, and if Metallica hadn't sued, some other band - right or wrong; it's certainly a moot point - would have done so sooner or later.

And there seems some confusion over who is and isn't a Metallica pirate. Our emailer wrote: "I can't stand their music. Is Metallica guilty of falsely inflating their own perception of their popularity by throwing all Napster users into a heap... and then labeling that [heap] as... 'metallica pirates'. If the term means 'I wouldn't pay for this crap', then so be it - I am a mettalica pirate. But please don't accuse me of actually liking them enough to download any MP3s by them. I used Napster that weekend, but wasn't one of the maybe five or so people that actually did download any metallica."

Metallica submitted over 343,000 names. Napster blocked just over 317,000 of them, suggesting it found no evidence of piracy among the missing 26,000 - assuming it found the right 26,000.

Right now, users' ire remains targeted at Metallica, not Napster, but the software company's actions, if they continue, could so easily turn that around. Particularly now that rapper Dr Dre is said to be preparing his own list of alleged pirates he wants Napster to block. In short, this is all going to get very messy indeed. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.