Feeds

Snocap opens P2P music tracker to all

Sign up and protect your shared content

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing security risks from open source software

Snocap, Napster founder Shawn Fanning's attempt to turn P2P into a legitimate sales channel, has opened its content-monitoring registry to a wider range of content providers.

It's a major step not only in establishing Snocap as a key tool in preventing online copyright infringement but also in building up the company as a business.

Snocap's system essentially leverages existing P2P networks as a distribution and commerce tool for the company's customers. They upload audio files, and Snocap tracks and controls their usage across the network.

The company already has deals in place with major labels Universal, Sony BMG and EMI - it's still talking to Warner - along with a number of the larger indies, such as Rykodisc and Artemis, and this week's announcement opens the door to smaller companies and individual copyright owners.

The services on offer range from a free content distribution blocker through music distribution via retailers and activity tracking, to service customisation. The basic package costs $30 a year, with a 25c per track database fee and a 2.5 per cent royalty from each sale made through Snocap's retailer network.

Snocap's pitch is that P2P networks can still be used by consumers to find new or rare recordings, and be sure they're getting what they're asking for, only this time they have to pay for the privilege. Buy a CD, rip it and upload the tracks. This time, however, anyone who downloads one of the songs using an Snocap-enable client gets anything from a lo-fi version to a play-once high quality version. It's the content owner who decides what file you get and what you can do with it. Every time a downloader clicks on a 'purchase track' link, it's registered and everyone gets their cut.

To become a success, of course, Snocap needs not only to encourage users to adopt P2P networks that are Snocap aware but also to persuade labels to register their content and P2P software companies to start thinking of themselves as music retailers. All of these efforts depend on offering as broad as possible a range of good, registered/protected content, and that's what this week's move is about.

It's also about growing its own sales, of course - Snocap's system may benefit music owners and labels, but it's not being done out of altruism.

There's still a long way to go. So far the only Snocap-aware P2P app out there is Mashboxx, and it's still in beta testing. Still, Snocap only launched its service last December, though the company has been working on the technology since 2002.

With Snocap now up and running as a broad commercial offering, it will be interesting to see what if any effect it has on the legal challenges to P2P file-sharing. One of several arguments advanced by P2P companies is their inability to check their networks for illegal content distribution. Kazaa's battle in Australia has already been undermined somewhat by the release of internal company documents that show it can monitor shares, but Snocap's system shows that these facilities are available to all. It's not a clincher, but it will make it harder for P2P firms to maintain that what they are powerless to prevent piracy. ®

Related stories

Mashboxx opens beta test scheme
Shawn Fanning's Snocap touts vision of P2P heaven
Grokster, Sony BMG to do legit P2P service?

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
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
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
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
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
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
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
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.
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.