[Flac-dev] Piracy and FLAC

Declan Kelly flac-dev at groov.ie
Fri Jan 7 16:03:26 PST 2011

On Fri, Jan 07, 2011 at 11:59:26PM +0100, cygon at nuclex.org wrote:
> > I also agree with you on these points you mention. If you guys are familiar on how the piracy groups work on the internet, you are aware that they have "releases" with their names on it. In the piracy "scene", some groups are competing on getting the first release out, and could only be beaten by another group releasing another higher quality release.

Even if 2 groups were racing to be first out the door with the latest
Katy Perry CD, something like lower FLAC compression is going to make
less of a time difference than using a faster computer, or doing encodes
in parallel across more than one computer.

> > Some of these groups or individuals are young people, tinking that they know everything. My idea was based on this. It would be fun stopping this

It would be absolutely futile stopping "this"! Most people enjoy a
puzzle or a challenge, and many in the pirate "scene" take pride in
breaking (or, to coin a phrase, cracking) every puzzle and challenge
that gets in their way.

Tarring everyone with the same brush who shares music online isn't going
to help FLAC in any way. That's supposed to be what this list is for.

> ... that really sucks. Pirates giving a genuinely great codec a bad name 
> because of the way their ecosystem promotes treachery. Though I wonder 
> if they wouldn't self-regulate by requiring EAC .logs or something like 
> that?

It doesn't take much "research" to go onto pretty much any torrent (or
other sharing) site, search for FLAC files, and look at all the comments
from MP3 fans (and iPod owners) who do not want FLAC files and cannot
understand how anyone would bother with such a big file format, for the
sake of some improvement in sound quality that most people don't notice.

And they usually aren't polite about it.

When the ARJ format became popular, software pirates started using it in
preference to ARC or ZIP. Then whatever had the tightest compression was
the flavour of the week, leading to the popularity of RAR for many years
and now 7Zip is becoming as popular. At least according to NNTP server
stats that I have been reading for more than 10 years...

None of those data compression formats were made "for" pirates, they
just happened to be used by a lot of the "scene", and any "bad name"
that they might have had by association was/is entirely subjective.
The same should go for FLAC in audio.

> I think an simple tool that is run on existing FLAC files and gives a 
> clear good/bad answer (perhaps with a probability to remain fair) could 
> spread like wildfire amongst audiophiles if publicized in the right 
> channels.

There have been a few such tools, and some of them show up in the
comments of FLAC releases on that Swedish torrent site as indicators of

And there will never be a clear good/bad answer. Which is in itself a
form of "copy protection"! Personally, if I want to hear music at its
best resolution and dynamic range, I go out and hear it played live.


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