September 28, 2002
4:54 PM   Subscribe

Use P2P? You might be unknowingly stealing money from one of your favorite websites. Add-on software that come with the programs divert commission money from affiliate sales on popular websites like to the creators of the file sharing programs. Follow the link for instructions on how to uninstall the software. Yet another reason I use KaZaa Lite. I've got to get those MST3K episodes from somewhere.
posted by Pinwiz (17 comments total)
So... you want us to get upset about inadvertently stealing profits from various companies while deliberately stealing music from other various companies? Not following you.

What do you mean, do I have a fire extinguisher on me? What a strange que- uh oh.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:15 PM on September 28, 2002

Kazaalite , em, rawks!
posted by dash_slot- at 5:17 PM on September 28, 2002

Ahh, good old KaZaa Lite. Otherwise just use AdAware from Lavasoft. Sharman networks really are bastards, aren't they?
posted by Mossy at 5:17 PM on September 28, 2002

You know, X-etc., that there's plenty of legitimate stuff available for download on P2P networks. Granted, most users are downloading illegally, but I've been using Kazaa Lite for a while now for legitimate uses. It's especially good for downloading TV episodes.

Well, that's actually illegal too, I think. But I don't have any problems with it, unless the series has been released on video or DVD. And besides, P2P is a great way for finding rarities, live music, etc. It's just a shame that the programs always seem to come bundled with such nasty spyware (but, as was said above, AdAware and Kazaa Lite are a knockout 1-2 punch).
posted by UKnowForKids at 6:32 PM on September 28, 2002

I'm still confused as to why the increasingly ubiquitous practice of including spyware, adware, and various other malicious bits of software is seen as "a peer to peer thing." Yes, a couple few high-profile P2P clients were or are distributed with this stuff, but it's been going on for ages before the popularization of these particular programs. Hell, Real Networks fired one of the first shots in the spyware war, and questionable adware has been plaguing ActiveX-capable browsers for years!

A fair bit of what people use most of these systems for can be done with a decent NNTP host, proper spam filters, and a little patience, and frequently the end result is more satisfying than the frequently corrupted or incompetently categorized and named files on the peer mesh networks. Of course, gnutella is still a pretty fine tool for some of the basics like porn, and the various fasttrack networks have quite acceptable file transfer performance.
posted by majick at 6:44 PM on September 28, 2002

"[T]he copyright community has reshaped and redefined the debate is almost biblical in its reach. The entire theme of the copyright community is that downloading off the Web is both illegal and immoral.

"But is it either? I submit it is neither.

"Despite the assertions of the Justice Department, downloading is not illegal [because of fair use rights]".

link via Aaron Swartz.

Related: mp3isnotacrime, a weblog devoted to fair use rights.
posted by gd779 at 6:52 PM on September 28, 2002

It's amazing all the justifications people will try to make for why they're stealing an artist's music and not paying them any money for it. Do whatever you want, but don't try and claim some moral ambiguity on the matter; you're taking someone's art and possibly affecting his/her livelihood. You can talk until you're blue in the face about the cost of cds, the fact that record companies screw artists, the lack of talent in today's music industry, or that you wouldn't buy their cds anyway, but it still boils down you screwing over somebody who makes their living selling art.

It's a useful tool for previewing music, etc., but to simply suggest that it's not illegal and fight the good fight for keeping your lazy self connected to free music is ridiculous. And, if by some loophole in the law it can be deemed legal, the law should be changed to make it illegal. Not mp3's, per se, but the ramant and unregulated piracy that comes with them.
posted by The God Complex at 8:54 PM on September 28, 2002

A fair bit of what people use most of these systems for can be done with a decent NNTP host.

Hardley; I've had a look through mp3 binaries newsgroups from time to time and have been depressed at what I see. It might be useable if you're looking for the latest Britney single, and even then only if you're quick enough to catch it passing through (how much does a long-retention NNTP service cost these days?), but it's completely the wrong medium for searching for decent, diverse music. How long will I have to wait until St. Maria by the Gotan Project, Rutti by Slowdive, or a classic Bill Hicks sound bite appear in alt.binaries.mp3?
posted by Jimbob at 9:04 PM on September 28, 2002

how much does a long-retention NNTP service cost these days?

About $7.95 a month at GigaNews to start with. I have an account with them because my local ISP's newsfeed sucks.

I've peeked in on the MP3 groups on occasion myself, and while they're terrible if you're searching for something specific, I was pretty amazed at the kind of obscure stuff that gets posted on alt.binaries.sounds.mp3.prog, for instance. Someone recently posted the Giraffe performance of Genesis' "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" and someone else posted a bunch of "pastaprog" (Italian progressive rock). That stuff is damn obscure (often for good reason, it must be admitted).
posted by kindall at 10:51 PM on September 28, 2002

I've got a popunder ad that keeps showing up. I close it, and then it shows up again! Is Kazaa doing this too?
posted by scudder at 11:35 PM on September 28, 2002

kazza lite is good, but shouldn't be needed, you know what i mean? sherman indeed are bastards.
furthermore, i've never been able to find what i want on fast track.. music i use soulseek (hope no one gets to mad at me for mentioning it) and winmx every once in awhile. direct connect for other stuff (if you know certain hubs).
posted by the aloha at 12:00 AM on September 29, 2002

The God Complex, it is not as simple as you make it out to be. The very concept of intellectual property, the idea that a copy of a recording of a song is actually a thing that can be stolen, is still being worked out. Right now the laws are pretty clear in their general stance, but the issues are not entirely legal, but cultural as well. Digital medial is something fairly new, and unlimited nearly cost-free copying is also new. These things change the dynamic that grew out of media that was expensive and time-consuming to copy, like books. Much of our copyright precedent is based on books. I don't mean recent case law, but rather the moral issues. Books take a long time to write, and writers cannot give live performances. It is a different situation, and I am not certain musicians have a moral right to be compensated for the original transfer of every copy of a musical performance. I'm not sure they don't, either, I think it is an issue that needs more serious consideration, and flat statements like "downloading mp3s is stealing" are not serious consideration. Over the past hundred years (a little more, actually), the corporate world took the concept of intellectual property and ran with it, and that was a good thing, a sign of a healthy system, but now we have all these issues and the fact that we have been living with them for some time creates the illusion that that they are already worked out and that the answers are self-evident. Copyright is not a right, it is a granted monopoly, a limited monopoly, and it is both granted and limited by our government. As such, we have the responsibility to administer it properly, to change it when it needs changing, and to update it when it needs updating. Because copyright infringes on our freedoms, our freedom to copy, to make derivative works, to share mp3 files. We give up those freedoms willingly and gladly in order to make sure our artists and creators are compensated for their contributions, but we must be careful that other freedoms are not taken as well, freedoms we did not intend to relinquish. We must make sure that, as the world changes, both socially and technologically, we respond to those changes by updating the system of intellectual property to match the new environment. These are laws that have the potential to hamper progress as much and even more than they help it along if they are far enough out of tune.

I know that was kind of off topic, but it does tie nicely into the following, which is not. Some of the same issues come up in the cases of spyware and redirection of affiliate money. The laws are just figuring out how to deal with this kind of thing, and it is important that we make sure the laws come to reflect what we think is right. Right now spyware companies are taking advantage of an opportunity that exists because we have not yet decided how to handle these kinds of things, much like the RIAA is taking advantage of the fact that we have not yet decided how to modify copyright to respond to digital technology. Of the two, the main difference is that it seems like the RIAA has a chance of getting away with it in the long term.
posted by Nothing at 3:25 AM on September 29, 2002

[off topic]
check out this site: You might want to pay a visit to AdAware too.
[/off topic]

posted by MzB at 7:47 AM on September 29, 2002

How long will I have to wait until St. Maria by the Gotan Project, Rutti by Slowdive, or a classic Bill Hicks sound bite appear in alt.binaries.mp3?

Nitpicking, but for starters, there's no such group. But you'd be lucky to find anything in alt.binaries.sounds.mp3 just from the sheer volume going through there.
I've never heard of Gotan, so I don't think I'd notice them being posted, although it's quite possible it's happened at some time. I have several Slowdive albums, including a rare single in MP3 format. As for Bill Hicks, you're just not paying attention. There's a guy who posts his entire catalog, plus bunches of bootleg material from TV appearances and such, quarterly in absm.comedy.
posted by Su at 8:46 AM on September 29, 2002

while deliberately stealing music

amateur porn, thank you very much.
posted by tolkhan at 10:11 AM on September 29, 2002

Last night I bought two copies of a CD from a local band whose mp3s I've been listening to in the car for almost a year. How'd I get their music? From From free CDs they were literally handing to fans during earlier performances. However, had I downloaded their music from Kazaa, the end result would have been the same. I love their music. I actively sought them out. Took awhile, but last night I put my money where my mouth is, and will continue to do so when it's warranted.

Last night was the first time I had money on hand at the same time they had their full CDs available and with them. I bought a copy and gave one to a friend who was standing beside me. I'd meant to do that for awhile and last night was my first opportunity. It's the least I can do, for a band whose music has gotten me through a lot of rush hour traffic with a smile on my face.

I'm not saying I'm gonna buy the CD of EVERY band or artist whose mp3s I have, but mp3s are like commercials. You listen to them, and if they stay with you and cause you to want the product, when you have the chance to actually buy the product that mp3 represents, you will. If the mp3 doesn't instill within you a desire to buy the actual product, you won't. Arguments about mp3 proliferation are akin to arguments of controlling where flyers on car windshields end up. You can't control where a copied tune ends up any more than you can control how many flyers end up in people's hands and how many end up on the ground.

It's not a question of copyright theft. It's a question of proliferation control. Corporate interests want to be able to control where mp3s go, like they've taken control of America's airwaves. The corporate oligarchy of radio stations is pathetic, and has homogenized the radio industry. That's what makes me sick. They want to do the same thing to mp3 usage and streaming audio on the Net. It can't be tolerated. We've already lost the airwaves war, despite a grassroots movement of "radio pirates." I don't want to see the same thing happen to the Internet, but it's already happening. It's sickening.

People telling me I'm stealing by using mp3s are like people who tell me enjoying a television commercial but not buying the product it espouses is stealing. In other words, people who claim mp3 use is theft are idiots. This is not rationalization. I'm on the side of common sense. The sooner the world learns and understands the true benefits of mp3s in the marketplace, the better for everyone concerned. If the posse of mp3 fighters get their way, yet another action which is not unethical or immoral will become illegal. We got enough laws.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:03 PM on September 29, 2002

+1, Sanity
posted by holloway at 3:50 PM on September 29, 2002

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