Blocking Illegal MP3's?

from the false-positives dept

A new product from MailZone is definitely going to cause a stir. It claims that it can distinguish legal MP3’s from illegal MP3’s in email attachments. If it determines that an attachment is illegal it will notify the system administrator or whoever the system is set to alert. This brings up a whole bunch of issues, most of which are discussed in the article. I fully expect that one of these days we’ll hear a story of an employee who was emailing a legal MP3 that for some reason wasn’t in the MailZone “acceptable” database and was fired for passing along stolen goods, or something equally ridiculous.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Blocking Illegal MP3's?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Jon Acheson says:

This is nonsense.

There IS NO WAY to tell whether an .MP3 file is in violation of copyright by looking at the file!

That’s because, for instance, I could completely legally rip an .MP3 off a CD I own and mail it to myself at work without violating any copyright whatsoever.

And just how much overload are you building into your e-mail system by doing a bitwise check on the .MP3 files?

How many people have sound cards at work anyway? I’ve never seen it, because of just this kind of problem. No sound cards, no people bogging the net connection listening to RealAudio radio, no .MP3s, no annoying startup sounds. Though I suppose if you run a Mac shop, you’re stuck with sound on all the machines.

For the loser company that needs that extra something to drive away their last few talented employees, though, this could be just the ticket.


Todd (profile) says:


How many people have e-mail systems that can accomodate a 3 to 4 meg attachment anyway? (neither my ISP nor my company allows anything over 2 megs).

I doubt the ISPs want to be seen as doing anything that promotes piracy, but given their economics, I doubt they can afford much for tools like this to “help” them look like they are “preventing” piracy (quotes used until, as Mike says, the html sarcasm tag is perfected).

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...