[icecast] Re: mp3pro and the mp3 streaming license]

Jack Moffitt jack at icecast.org
Sun Jun 10 06:27:31 UTC 2001

> >There's still a possibility that the DMCA will be dismantled before the
> >arbitration is even finished.  You shouldn't have to pay the RIAA
> >anyway, and the fact that they are even involved is astrocious.
> I think having the DMCA repealed would be too much to hope for, but one can 
> dream right.. :)  

At the very least section 1201's days are numbered.  That's the
anti-circumvention section.  The most evil.

> And I'm honestly excited about all of the Ogg stuff.. I really hope to see 
> winamp support for it as a built-in, but if that doesn't happen, there are 
> always plugins.  I only want to see that because I'm sure everyone agrees.. 
> the vast majority of clients that connect are winamp.

Well this has already been the topic of much discussion :)

We finally disontinued our Ogg Vorbis plugin for winamp, because the
Winamp team has created an official Nullsoft one.  It will be shipped
with an upcoming release of winamp, but which one, we don't know.  So at
least this part is already done.

I've been working all day on a Windows Media Player plugin too.

> Huh.. I wouldn't have guessed that, but it could be true.  What is MPEG 
> going to do, go after Thompson?

Well MPEG is just a blanket organization.  You can license the MPEG
technologies in whole or part from them (I think) but there's nothing
stopping you from going to each technology provider and getting just the
pieces you need.  I guess it all depends on the hassle, the
negotiations, and the price.  With MP3, people have just dealt with
Thompson. I'm not sure why.

> Well "for now" it's a done deal.. yeah the licensing could evolve into 
> something alot uglier.. I just hope you guys are a ways past beta when that 
> happens so I never have to look at mp3s again.  Honestly I pretty much hate 
> them myself, and can't stand listening to them if I have a choice.. I'm 
> just forced to so I can monitor my stream. :)  Other people don't seem to 
> have as discerning tastes, or they just have crummy PC sound setups I guess.

The Ogg Vorbis Release Candidate should be out this summer (maybe this
month), which will be 100% feature complete on the decode side.  1.0
will follow shortly after, but probably won't be too different (we have
to allow at least a small cushion to let the community test and see if
anything major is missing or wrong).  

> If the consumer mind were that simple.. FreeBSD would've long ago replaced 
> windows and the linux-based oses a long time ago.. there is a lot to be 
> said for entrenchment and peoples desire to not 'relearn' things they're 
> already familiar with.

Exactly. That's why Vorbis is in the tools people already use.  Hell,
Tord is even adding it to Bladeenc :)  There's a few major tools left to
go, but we'll get there.

> >Oh really?  So since icecast does niether encoding nor decoding, why is
> >a person using icecast getting charged?  See my point here?
> icecast is getting charged?  I think the person using it is getting 
> charged, usually they are the same person.  If you just set up a repeater 
> on port 8000 that allowed an authorized user to connect and just send raw 
> data, and then others to connect and have that data copied to them.. could 
> they charge you?  I don't think they could, especially if you didn't 
> directly present the data.  If they could.. could they start charging 
> anonymous ftp sites because they -could- be a transport for mp3?  What 
> about the admins of any random http server?  Maybe they could start 
> charging the people that create INN as well.

Of course they'll charge you (maybe it's only if you make money from
it).  And if you run an FTP site, the RIAA will certainly claim that you
owe them money.  Why do you think they get shut down?  Makes since that
if there are financials involved FhG would be after them too, although I
don't know of many ftp sites that make money, although maybe those weird
signups on hotline servers would be liable for royalties.  Who knows
what they will do.  The RIAA _does_ go after individuals, usually by
shutting off their accounts, calling the school IT team, etc.  The RIAA
is pretty small too, and Thompson is much larger.  So who knows how it
will all work, or even if they'll do anything at all.

> That's what I'm saying.. I don't think it would hold water in court.

It doesn't have to usually. Going to court is an expensive enough
deterrant to most people.  Why do you think they make these claims? :)
The risk factor is not worth it for most people, and they will back
down.  I'm already trying to figure out if I could be liable for any
contributory infringement, although I don't think there's an issue.

> I don't.. I'm just somewhat comforted by there being other big corporations 
> who will eventually fight them, by choice or by force.  I've heard the only 
> reason the CD-R drives have escaped this so far is because they can be used 
> (and their primary market target is) for normal data archival.. they are 
> mostly not designed or marketed as "mp3 burners."

There's been some interesting discussion on possible 'computer media
tax' based on teh fact that Apple's main campaign (or one of them) is
Rip.Mix.Burn.  Kudos to apple for assertingi the legitmacy of Fair Use.

Like I said before, the recording industry is tiny compared to the
internet industry, and they've all but killed online entertainment as we
knew it.  Even MP3.com and EMusic are now owned by universal.  Ick.

There will be people to fight, but the RIAA is entrenched, but good.

> I'd rather not discuss Napster in great detail.. they basically drew a huge 
> bullseye on their chest and then taunted the music industry.  "I dare you 
> to try anything.  You can't stop us.  We're going to keep doing this for as 
> long as we like, and since we ourselves don't do anything illegal, you 
> can't stop it."  It's one thing with believing that and being prepared to 
> actually defend it; It's quite another to yell at the top of your lungs and 
> then not have a plan besides "we have faith that our voice, no matter how 
> small or underfunded, will be heard."

I didn't bring up napster to discuss napster, only commenting that one
of the most well known media companies wasn't even around when the
'media laws' were passed.  So how could there have been any kind of fair
representation?  Congress passed the DMCA much much too quickly, and we
are seeing the fallout of this premature and awful law now.

> I will say something is really whacked with the DMCA though in the DeCSS 
> case..  There is a clause in the DMCA that gives expressed -permission- to 
> reverse engineer and then reinvent software if the purpose is to provide 
> support for some media or device on a platform that currently lacks that 
> support.  I don't see how, having demonstrated that clause, the MPAA has a 
> foot to stand on vs. DeCSS at large.. yet they seem to wrap enough 
> doublespeak and buzzwords and money around their lawsuits to actually get 
> them to trial.

IIRC, one of the defendants was DVDCopy.com.  At least in the New York
case.  Hard to claim they were porting the code :)

In any case, the fact that a professor is suing the RIAA in order to
publish his research should make it clear to even the most ignorant,
that the DMCA is a bad piece of legislation.

> I think the bottom line is that the humans are flawed creatures.. there 
> isn't a system around that is going to make up for the flaws in those that 
> designed it, or those that desire to exploit it.  So what's left?  Educate 
> the people, try and raise a higher percentage of decent ones, and hope that 
> in a few generations, we'll have weeded out all the corrupt crooks that 
> currently run things.:)

There are certainly systems that can compensate for flaws, and those
than can expose them frequently.  The florida ballots are one example.
In any case, education is good, but difficult.  I think having it get
this bad will be a good incentive to make it better.  But who knows.

> Take it easy.. this discussion has been pretty interesting so far.

Yep :)


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