Feeds

Carphone's music service to seek and destroy freetards?

We know where you've been

3 Big data security analytics techniques

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.