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Google to peer file sharing from i-hacked
September 6, 2006 11:10 AM   Subscribe

Locate open mp3s with Google! From I-Hacked, where the author describes this as "p2p file sharing, but Google is one of those people." At this point, the interface allows you to specify an artist or song name and it returns a google search of files with that name and an mp3 suffix. The peer to peer weblog says that the trick relies on a default behavior of the Apache webserver.

Is it legal? Since the files in question were "left open in a public place" and since the application isn't necessarily limited to copyrighted materials, at least one blogger thinks it could pass the key legal test of having "substantial non-infringing uses." What do you think?
posted by jasper411 (49 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
You'd still be one of the 'P's in P2P. Google's acting more like the search client (a la Kazaa, etc.).

In any event, I think calling this P2P is being pretty loose with the definition.

I seriously doubt the RIAA would care where the files come from, just that you're listening to music that you don't have a valid license for.
posted by owenkun at 11:23 AM on September 6, 2006


great way to look for free porn though
posted by poppo at 11:24 AM on September 6, 2006


See also: AltaVista's audio search.
posted by sciurus at 11:24 AM on September 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


dammit why must i always think of porn first?
posted by poppo at 11:25 AM on September 6, 2006


This will work until the RIAA uses it to find the poor bastards putting up those files in the first place.

*downloads furiously*
posted by LarryC at 11:27 AM on September 6, 2006


Google's the 2.
posted by smackfu at 11:27 AM on September 6, 2006


"intitle:index.of" is a google trick to access apache filesystem which is usually protected on decent webservers. The answer to your question is that it still remains completely illegal. The place where the mp3 lays does not matter. The song is copyrighted, downloading it without paying is illegal.
posted by nims at 11:28 AM on September 6, 2006


P2P file sharing will destroy the world, much sooner than global warming, mark my words!!

Oh, and Poppo, you might want to go here (NSFW).
posted by Vindaloo at 11:29 AM on September 6, 2006


The RIAA is probably setting up honeypots right now just to catch and sue a few more customers. They hate customers.
posted by caddis at 11:30 AM on September 6, 2006


lately i've been stealing music just to piss off the RIAA.

they can eat a fat dick.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 11:32 AM on September 6, 2006


the google results are mostly worthless
- 95% 404.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:37 AM on September 6, 2006


Vindaloo, I shall save that for later, trusting I will not find the goatse waiting for me :)
posted by poppo at 11:39 AM on September 6, 2006


well a seach for 'ohler' finds a lot of my band Ohler's music, which is all free as in beer for everyone, so there is one noninfringing use right there.

but as far as this being news...... it's really not. I've been doing similar searches with google since there was a google. they used to work a lot better than they do now.
posted by n9 at 11:44 AM on September 6, 2006


nims writes 'downloading it without paying is illegal.'

...in some countries.
posted by signal at 12:03 PM on September 6, 2006


Is it legal?

No.

Should I care?

Not really.

Because a major percentage of people with ears who listen to music aren't doing it. If they were, then it's a problem.
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:07 PM on September 6, 2006


Because a major percentage of people with ears who listen to music aren't doing it.

Ah, but those of us who listen to music through our direct neural taps are...we're the ones you have to watch.

(Hides port under hair, looks around nervously)
posted by bitmage at 12:16 PM on September 6, 2006


(hides sherry under hair)
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:19 PM on September 6, 2006


Why! Why must I like bands with names like Loop or Can?
posted by stinkycheese at 12:24 PM on September 6, 2006


Is this something you would need ears to understand?
posted by blue_beetle at 12:25 PM on September 6, 2006


This is stupid. "OMG I'm so l33t I can find mp3s using Google!!11"... except with pretty much anything you search for, the results are useless. They're either long-gone, mistakes, or deliberately trying to game the results.
posted by reklaw at 12:29 PM on September 6, 2006


ummmmmmmm.......I declare this awesome.

Just downloaded a bunch of shins, belle and sebastion, the who, etc that I've been meaning to transfer to my work laptop in about 20 minutes.

Yes, a lot of the links suck, but a lot are pure gold
posted by slapshot57 at 12:35 PM on September 6, 2006


I just found a Mark Kozelek that I never knew existed, and iTunes doesn't have.

Thanks.
posted by docpops at 12:44 PM on September 6, 2006


Welcome to the Cory Doctorow School of Law.

Is it legal? Since the files in question were "left open in a public place" and since the application isn't necessarily limited to copyrighted materials, at least one blogger thinks it could pass the key legal test of having "substantial non-infringing uses."

Copyright law isn't that complicated. Google may be legal, becuase it has substantial non-infringing uses, but you who download a copyrighted song are breaking the law because, wait for it, you are copying a copyrighted song.

In the eyes of the law, there is absolutely no difference between photocopying the latest Stephen King bestseller and handing it out to anyone who wants one, and downloading mp3's of copyrighted music.

Note that in the case of downloading, it's actually worse for you, because the downloader is the one making the copy (on the downloaders hard drive). In the book example, someone else makes the copy.

Just because it's easy, or because you think making a digital copy does not reduce the supply of copies etc. are meaningless irrleveant arguments. Is the music copyrighted? If yes, then did you make a copy? If yes, you lose.

From the blog:
Given all the music on the net legally placed their by artists.. blah blah

Here's news for you - most artists do not own their own works. Especially pop stars, the manufactured ones, do not own their own publishing, the record copmanies do. So it doesn't matter if the artists says it's okay, because in a lot of cases they don't own the copyright, or aren't the majority owner.

From the blog: Its hard to see how anything left in a public space where it could be easily found and copied is illegal.

The owner of the copyright owns the right to copy. You can't leave a right in a public space. That's why the expression is "copyright infringement" or "violation of copyright" - By copying the file, you are infringing or violating someone else's rights. You can own a copy of the music (on CD, mp3 whatever) but you do not EVER EVER EVER EVER have the right to copy.

With exceptions for fair use, which using this clearly is not.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:48 PM on September 6, 2006


You forgot the most relevant argument: hardly anybody cares.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:51 PM on September 6, 2006


i have been using this for years, but you don't need a special site, just a search engine. it can be useful for finding specific fonts. i used to use metacrawler and put "Parent Directory" and the filename i wanted in my query.
posted by snofoam at 12:54 PM on September 6, 2006


If I find a CD laying on a park bench and I take it home and listen to it (without contacting the copy right holder and paying the MSRP for the disc) am I breaking the law?
posted by wfrgms at 12:58 PM on September 6, 2006


oh, fwiw, Google does not return results for a lot of "exploitative" queries that will work better on other engines...
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:58 PM on September 6, 2006


wfrgms: No, because no copy has been made. Unless the owner of the CD ripped it to their PC and then left it lying around, in which case they have probably broken the law because you can only make a rip if you own the CD.
posted by Orange Goblin at 1:06 PM on September 6, 2006


Just do an advanced Google search:

with all the words: mp3 Last-Modified bandname

exact phrase: intitle:index of

without the words: htm html php asp

return the results: that are not filtered by license
posted by ?! at 1:18 PM on September 6, 2006


Hmmmm... I searched for Zongamin and it returned Nat King Cole.
posted by Dr-Baa at 1:24 PM on September 6, 2006


Downloaded music sounds like shit.
posted by wfc123 at 1:34 PM on September 6, 2006


"Downloaded music sounds like shit."

Beer tastes awful. and sex is not fun.
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 2:15 PM on September 6, 2006


if you really need some tips for searching try searchlores by the man FRAVIA. quite messy website but great content; it will be more useful than a lame internet-noob formlet.
posted by nims at 2:33 PM on September 6, 2006


I found out someone once hosted music on a site called 'p2pjihad.com'. Now I can die happy.
posted by delmoi at 3:27 PM on September 6, 2006


If I find a CD laying on a park bench and I take it home and listen to it (without contacting the copy right holder and paying the MSRP for the disc) am I breaking the law?

Yes, it's called theft.
posted by delmoi at 3:30 PM on September 6, 2006


:)
posted by ruelle at 3:46 PM on September 6, 2006


Or....


http://www.google.com/search?num=30&hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=%2B%22index+%2Bof%2Fmp3%22+music&btnG=Google+Search
posted by klangklangston at 4:21 PM on September 6, 2006


Pastabagel: Surely Apache is creating the copy? You're just receiving it. Receiving a copyrighted work would then be no more illegal than buying a bootleg tape.
posted by bonaldi at 5:30 PM on September 6, 2006


It should be illegal for pure-profit-seeking distributors to gain financially from someone else's artistic (or scholarly) creation, or to determine how said person shares his or her own work. Goddammit why is it that all those Christian values keep the gays down but don't stop this kind of thing? I'm pretty sure Jesus wouldn't approve.
posted by Hildegarde at 6:26 PM on September 6, 2006


It should be illegal for pure-profit-seeking distributors to gain financially from someone else's artistic (or scholarly) creation, or to determine how said person shares his or her own work.

I hope you're kidding. You know what's more ridiculous than a major label recording contract? People who complain about them and act like people are forced into these things. This is all about choice.
posted by dhammond at 6:36 PM on September 6, 2006


It may or may not be legal, but copying a file is never theft. It's only theft if when you take something, it's lost to someone else. If you take something from someone, and they still have it, that cannot possibly be, by definition, theft.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:01 PM on September 6, 2006


It still won't help me find a copy of Ugly Duckling's "Energy Drink".

...and I want to groove to that song, badly. It never failed to get me moving, and now that I'm out of earshot of the one station that would play it, I can't find it anywhere.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:33 PM on September 6, 2006


Wow, nice, pretty fast too. Google both awes and scares me.

And TechnoLustLuddite, you got me laughing.
posted by fenriq at 10:17 PM on September 6, 2006


While it is theoretically legal to purchase a CD, and to own a CD that you have purchased, actually listening to your CD is quite another matter. The copyrighted material on that CD is subject to a wide variety of use restrictions. To assure compliance with the multitude of intellectual property laws, it is probably safest to leave that CD in its shrink wrap on a shelf far away from any audio equipment, or (god forbid) a computer.

Public performance of copyrighted material is also something that we as good citizens need to be conscious of. For instance- you may be in the habit of singing in the shower, but if your bathroom window is within earshot of those passing by on a public thoroughfare, you could find yourself in violation of any number of statutes governing the distribution of copyrighted material. When in a setting where you may be overheard by others, play it safe by only singing, humming, or whistling works that are in the public domain.
posted by squalor at 11:21 PM on September 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


bonaldi - No, your computer is creating a copy - apache is distributing it.

In a purely technical sense, the server is reading the hard drive file and sending the data onto the network in packets. No "copy" is creted at this point because the network devices - the wire, the ports, the ethernet interfaces, do not make copies (I think, let's ignore buffering, which is a copy too). But wehn you get it, you are receiving those packets and reassembling them into a file. In fact, you coputer likely makes a number of copies, first in RAM, then in a temporary folder, and then finally whatever directory you actually wanted to put it in.
posted by Pastabagel at 6:33 AM on September 7, 2006


I'm not sold on that. When the server is reading the hard drive file and sending on to the network, it's not removing the original file from the hard drive, is it? Ergo it is creating the copy. If I sell you a movie in one-minute chunks I've still copied it.

Copyright also takes a very dim view of distribution, too. Moreso, probably, than just copying.
posted by bonaldi at 6:44 AM on September 7, 2006


Well, the copyright law treats copying and distribution equally (i.e. theiy are both equally infringing acts) so in the end it doesn't rally matter, but I see your point.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:06 AM on September 7, 2006


Squalor makes an interesting point.

If I remember a copyrighted song that I just heard, haven't I sort of made a copy of that song on my head?

If I sing it, am I not reproducing it?

Does the quality of the copy matter?

The fact is, making a copy of something is fine (in my mind) as long as you don't profit from someone else's work.

The RIAA (and the MPAA) need to realize that economic and technological forces are at work, over which they have little control. You can't close Pandora's box.
posted by tadellin at 12:47 PM on September 7, 2006


But there's hell to pay if you copy Pandora's box.
posted by filchyboy at 9:33 PM on September 7, 2006


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