Snapster 2.0

from the let's-try-this-again dept

So, last week Bob Cringely wrote up his idea for <a href=”””>Snapster, a legal music downloading service – except, of course, that it wasn’t anywhere close to legal. It appears that many many many people pointed this out to him – to the tune of one email per minute. So, Cringely has gone back to the drawing board and come up with an even more convoluted plan which he refers to as Snapster 2.0 which still doesn’t look anywhere near legal. The idea now is to tie each songs download to a physical CD (any physical CD) and use as some sort of “trade”. Thus, if you want to download a song, you have to “loan” a CD of your own into the system. He suggests that this is completely legal, because you are allowed to loan control of your CDs. Thus, the playing of any song is still tied to a single CD, and no song is being downloaded that isn’t somehow tied to a CD that isn’t in use somewhere else. Confusing? Sure is. It still doesn’t pass the legality test in my book (though, I’m sure lawyers will have different opinions) because you’re still copying multiple copies of the same song – which is infringement, and not fair use. There are also a bunch of other problems from the technical side – including how such a system scales, but it’s not even worth bothering with since it doesn’t appear to be legal in the first place.

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Comments on “Snapster 2.0”

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Anonymous Coward says:


Makes sense to me. You lend out your music (CDs, tapes, records) and you’re not able to listen to them until you get them back.

The problem is, just like with your music tapes, when do you get them back? You persistently ask for your tapes back and your friend promises to do so, until you just give up and buy the tape again.

Ah, the 80s.

frankiejr (user link) says: did this a LONG time ago. tried this three and a half years ago. the RIAA quickly dropped suit on them and they had to pay a crapload of money. all that after putting tons of labor into ripping and cataloging (sp?) 45,000 CDs.

basically, the RIAA accused them of “creating an unauthorized digital music catalog of up to 45,000 CDs *. i doubt this would result in a different outcome.

check out the article:

* – [ source: C|net ]

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: did this a LONG time ago.

yes, but… Bob is talking about de-centralizing the process of Fair Use. Making software that enables (with in the Fair Use frame work) *individuals* to share their CDs, one at a time, with other peopel.

There’s a very big difference between and what Bob has proposed.

Richard NC Arsehill says:

Re: Re: Re: did this a LONG time ago.

Yes, but I think it’s fair to point out that the RIAA has bee wrong before, and will be wrong again. I think it’s also fair to say that legal or not, bob’s legal fees are going to be incredible. It’s a great way to employ a lot of lawyers. I’ll give him that.

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