Feeds

Sony BMG blesses P2P music swapping network

The shape of things to come?

Security for virtualized datacentres

In one of the most significant digital music announcements of the year, Sony BMG has partnered with British digital music outfit Playlouder MSP to make its music catalog available online. Subscribers will be able to exchange licensed music freely, in any bitrate they want, since a portion of the subscription fee goes to a digital pool which is divided amongst Sony and other artists. Playlouder MSP will supply the broadband connection itself, and attempt to monitor leakages.

In essence, it's a privatized attempt to create a "digital pool" of revenue to compensate artists - a time-tested idea applied to radio, public broadcasting and other technologies. Privately, many rights holders accept the idea as inevitable, although they're loathe to voice support for a mandatory compulsory license in public. Or at least, not until they've demonstrated that technical and legal countermeasures to control music sharing have been tried and failed.

"PLMSP's unique position as the world's only licensed music ISP allows it to control the flow of music files over its network ensuring that all file-sharing traffic stays within its 'walled-garden'," the company said in a statement. "By controlling the network on which the music flows, PLMSP is able to effectively and accurately track and monitor the distribution of digital music through a sophisticated method of audio fingerprinting and return the appropriate share of revenues back to the rights owners."

PLMSP will deploy watermarks and "deep packet searches" software on the network in an attempt to stem leakage. In an FAQ, Playlouder's Paul Sanders says, "We aim to prevent close to 100% of P2P traffic from going outside the MSP 'walled garden'.

The British company says it has more deals with licensees to unveil. Playlouder says launch is scheduled for next month and will go live in the UK only. However similar services are expected to launch soon using similar watermarking and counting technology such as Shawn Fanning's Snocap, and Audible Magic, which PLMSP uses. Snocap opened a digital registry to artists and labels back in June, and participants include the 800lb gorilla Universal, BMG and digital rights middleman IODA.

Had such a flat fee, "digital pool" or "alternative compensation system" (ACS) been implemented in the aftermath of Napster, millions of dollars would have flowed to songwriters and rights holders. Indeed in 2000, Senator Orrin Hatch threatened RIAA members with a compulsory license scheme. However, weighed down by their libertarian baggage, digital rights advocates were slow to warm to the idea: the EFF only accepting the notion in February 2004 - and then only in a voluntary framework.

Freenet's Ian Clarke may have helped focus the record industry on the urgency of the situation. He's promised that next generation P2P, undetectable darknets, will be in active use by the end of the year. As these look to an ISP or snooper just like any other secured SSL tunnel, they'll provide the anonymity that Napster, Grokster and BitTorrent have failed to provide music sharers.

We'll be following up with more analysis and an interview with the key participants. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.