Feeds

Carphone's music service to seek and destroy freetards?

We know where you've been

Security for virtualized datacentres

Carphone Warehouse's music streaming and locker service has plenty going for it - not least the price. The £29 a year subscription offers much more than Spotify, but at a quarter of the price. But one small item in the terms and conditions has caused a fuss.

The service uploads the metadata from your music library to Music Anywhere's servers. Music Anywhere is the service provider for Carphone Warehouse. If a song is licensed and part of Music Anywhere's catalog of six million songs, you can then hear it streamed to another PC or a mobile device. You can listen to any of the songs on that device. If one of your songs isn't licensed, or is unrecognized, then it's still stored in the locker.

So far, so good. The alarming T&C is this one:

"In extreme cases where it becomes apparent that most of a person’s music collection has been fact pirated, Music Anywhere reserves the right to terminate the service."

So, er… how can they tell that your MP3s have been illegally obtained?

We asked, and didn't get a clarification - the technical process remains a mystery. So we'll continue to ask. But a spokesperson told us:

"Catch Media / Carphone Warehouse will abide by all privacy laws, and do not pass any private information to any entity including music labels or retailers."

Of course, to terminate your service, they don't have to. Many rippers who upload to Torrents, P2P services or unlicensed lockers such as Rapidshare can't help boasting about it: they leave an indication of the file's origins in the MP3's ID3 tags - "R1pp3d by Wa77ock", for example. Presumably, if you've been helping yourself to the large collections on the Torrents, then many of the files will bear this telltale mark. At what point Carphone or Music Anywhere decide that you're not merely a casual infringer, but have gone the whole nine tards, remains unclear.

With lockers becoming more popular, the paranoid may wish to clean out their ID3 tags using one of the tools listed here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.