Feeds

EMusic to track Napster music swaps

Not a big deal now, but is the way of the future digital music biz

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Internet music company EMusic has developed what it claims is a solution to the 'Napster problem' - the availability of unauthorised copies of songs on the MP3 sharing software companies' service.

EMusic's system monitors Napster traffic and if it detects one of the company's tracks - indicated by a watermark it is now stamping into all its downloads - sends a message to the user making the track(s) available. The message basically tells them to stop sharing the song or face being blocked by Napster.

Of course, the lynchpin here is Napster itself. It may well choose not to block the users at EMusic's request. Right now, the MP3 sharing company maintains its users are not infringing copyrights - it argues that by doing so without commercial motives, its users' actions are legal under US law. That said, if EMusic got stroppy and started firing off lawsuits, Napster might change its mind, as it did with Metallica.

In any case, there's nothing to stop alleged infringers logging on again under multiple user IDs. And it only applies to music offered by EMusic. The online distributor has some big names on its roster, but they all also offer music on CD, so there's nothing here to prevent discs being ripped and shared.

However, EMusic's system highlights one way music companies can monitor Napster usage and build up a record of their tracks' distribution for the purpose of collecting royalties. As such it provides an indication of the how music sharing systems, whether they're free to the user or subscription based may eventually work.

Once labels get out of their retail business model and into a rental or radio mind-set, you can imagine vast numbers of tracks being shared across Napster-style networks, all monitored by the labels who bill the sharing companies accordingly. That cost will be passed on to the user as a subscription fee, covered by advertising sales or both. Sharing services might even cut their costs by doing bulk distribution deals with specific labels. They might even bill downloading users directly on a 'buck a track' model.

In such a system, it makes no odds whether a track is legitimate or not - the labels and the artists still take their cut, the sharing companies have a viable business model, and users get access to all the music they want for little or no cost.

Once all this is ticking over nicely, everyone's happen and they'll all wonder why such a fuss was made over Napster back in 2000. ®

Related Stories

Full coverage: The Napster Controversy

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Twitter: La la la, we have not heard of any NUDE JLaw, Upton SELFIES
If there are any on our site it is not our fault as we are not a PUBLISHER
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?