Canadians target filtered Napster fans for profit

Clones Aimster's Pig Encoder, adds ad spam

Canadian Web site development company PulseNewMedia has followed Aimster and released code to undo Napster's attempt to block 135,000 songs from its network.

Meanwhile, Aimster has updated its own PC encoder with a Mac version.

PulseNewMedia's software, called NapCameBack Encoder, 'encrypts' MP3 filenames on the user's hard disk, pulling out the first letter of each word and dropping it at the end of the word.

But this is no philanthropic attempt to preserve Net freedom of speech. PulseNewMedia is hoping to make a shedload of cash flogging advertising space on its NapCameBack.com Web site and through NapCameBack Encoder itself.

Aimster, the company that developed an extension that enables AOL's Instant Messenger application to host Napster-style file sharing, released software to do exactly the same thing a little while back on 4 March. PulseNewMedia's code was launched last Friday.

Napster recently introduced filtering technology to prevent songs for which it has no permission to copy from being shared using its software. Since then, the music industry has submitted a list of 135,000 songs it claims are being traded via Napster's servers. Napster has to block all of them by Wednesday.

Whether it will block the name-changed files remains to be seen, though Aimster claims that to do so is an infringement of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which forbids the circumvention of any copyright protection mechanism. Not that we expect Aimster to go to court if Napster does block its simple encoding method.

If it does, PulseNewMedia claims its software will immediately auto-download an alternative encoding scheme. The company "is already working on a new version of our software that will generate new encryption schemes for protecting your files as needed". ®

Related Links

NapCameBack Encoder
Aimster's Pig Encoder page

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