"Sony is going to take aggressive steps to stop this,"
August 23, 2000 6:14 AM   Subscribe

"Sony is going to take aggressive steps to stop this," Heckler told the Summer Forty-Niner. "We will develop technology that transcends the individual user. We will firewall Napster at source -- we will block it at your cable company, we will block it at your phone company, we will block it at your [Internet-service provider]. We will firewall it at your PC."

Please tell me I'm not the only one who finds this really, really disturbing.
posted by CrayDrygu (13 comments total)
It's not disturbing at all to me... this weenie obviously has NO clue about technology --

"We will firewall Napster at source"? That doesn't even make sense... and "we will block it at your cable company, your phone company, at your ISP. We will firewall it at your PC"... He's smoking a little too much crack... after he comes down I think I'll mail him a copy of TCP/IP Illustrated. Then I want to watch him cry himself to sleep every night. The only thing I find disturbing, is that idiots like this are getting press and breeding.
posted by chiXy at 7:16 AM on August 23, 2000

Idiots getting press is a good thing, it shows them to be the frothing-mouthed fools they are.
posted by cCranium at 8:40 AM on August 23, 2000

The guy has no idea how the Internet works. The data that constitutes an MP3 file doesn't look any different than any other data coming across the pipe. If you tried to shut it off at the established port numbers, they would be changed. If you tried to get ISPs to recognize and block all MP3 downloads, they would be scrambled. You could even piggyback something like Napster onto port 80 as HTTP traffic.

Any music company that is basing its business plan on the ability to stop Napster and its ilk is completely fucked.
posted by rcade at 9:32 AM on August 23, 2000

The data containing an MP3 file may not look any different than any other data. However, data to/from Napster is unique from all other traffic, because it has Napster IPs in it.

Do I think he's been smoking something? Yes. Do I think this is impossible? No. Just highly improbable. It's easy, in theory, to tell your firewalls and routers "deny everything from this subnet." It's damn near impossible to get all the owners of the equipment to do so.

What disturbs me more is the fact that Sony (or at least, this guy from Sony) seems to honestly believe they have the power to do such a thing.

posted by CrayDrygu at 11:02 AM on August 23, 2000

I'm not referring strictly to Napster Inc. You don't have to use Napster Inc.'s servers to exchange MP3s, and even if Sony could figure out how to shut down Napster and all the clone servers, they couldn't do anything to block peer-to-peer file sharing using firewalls at every ISP in the world.
posted by rcade at 11:19 AM on August 23, 2000

"I'm not referring strictly to Napster Inc."

Heckler, on the other hand, is, as is the article.

Napster is, if not the most popular way of trading MP3s, certainly the most visible. If Napster gets shut down, I'll just go back to IRC. Thousands of other people, however, don't know what their other options are, or even that they have any. Sony's goal will be accomplished.

So, while nobody's saying they can stop the trading of MP3s completely, there's a better chance that they can get it back to a pre-Napster state, where it's all but invisible.

(Ignoring the fact that it's so popular now that an alternative is bound to show up rather quickly.)
posted by CrayDrygu at 12:18 PM on August 23, 2000


When the shutting down of Napster was stayed, the Globe & Mail (arguably the top business paper in Canada) listed on it's front page urls for gnutella, freenet, and opennap.

I don't think it's ever going to be all but invisible again.
posted by cCranium at 12:31 PM on August 23, 2000

I guess this gave Sony the bravado (and a bit of spare cash) to go after Napster.
posted by Markb at 5:22 AM on August 24, 2000

The usual firey dialog expected from a top ranking member of the music industry mafia. Read: 'We WILL not let go of our monopoly. We will do everything in our power to keep prices high, our pockets filled, and complete control of the industry' I wouldn't be too worried, because naturally when any company gets like this, the majority says FUCK YOU, as they have, and as they will continue to do. There will always be a way around these greedy assholes, and people will always take it. 'Imagin if your speakers only played watermarked audio'? Then i'll BUILD speakers that dont. Corporations are not going to dictate to me how I purchase from them for large sums of money. Who will buy a sony audio player, if they have to 'Check Out' audio onto it.. isn't simplicity and speed what made audio tapes so popular? not to mention bootlegging.. . to the point, they wont get away with this. Even if they win legaly, they can't control us individually.
posted by cmicali at 6:44 AM on August 24, 2000

Heckler, on the other hand, is, as is the article.

If Heckler is only talking about Napster Inc., why is he bringing up all this firewall stuff? Could he really be so stupid as to miss the obvious point that killing the company's central servers using the courts is an easy and direct way to stop them?
posted by rcade at 7:12 AM on August 24, 2000

Yes, he really could be.

Although he's probably more ignorant (and not willing to do anything about that ignorance) than stupid.
posted by cCranium at 10:35 AM on August 24, 2000

"If Heckler is only talking about Napster Inc., why is he bringing up all this firewall stuff?"

Um...because that's how he plans on blocking Napster? Let's go read the quote again.

"We will firewall Napster at source..."

"Could he really be so stupid..."

Do you really need to ask?
posted by CrayDrygu at 1:42 PM on August 24, 2000

Is this guy for real? And even if he could do what he claims the fact is that Napster while it has made my MP3 seraching a LOT easier especially for New Zealand( my countries) songs which are so hard to find,it WON'T stop me getting them. I am an old hand at ftp irc etc searches as I am sure many MP3 users are...So the point is that Sony might win a small battle but will never win the war and will only alienate people who do buy cd's (including myself)
posted by Nalico at 6:52 PM on August 29, 2000

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