Do Your Rights To Listen To Legally Licensed Music Stop At The Border?

from the rights-holders-fuck-up-everything dept

Two rather successful venture capitalists, Brad Feld and Fred Wilson, have been at the forefront of bucking the ridiculous claim that VCs only invest in companies that have patents, as both have spoken out about how patents tend to stifle innovation, and how their portfolio companies are often held back by patents, rather than helped by them. It looks like both of them are also quite aware of how copyright gets in the way of basic innovation as well. Brad Feld has a post up about how he created a Pandora station based on Fred's blog post detailing his top albums of the decade. Pretty cool, right?

Well, the problem is that Brad sent Fred an invite to this "station," and Fred is traveling for the holidays in Argentina with his family. So, because of ridiculous demands from copyright holders that make it so Pandora is only available in the US, Brad gets informed that Fred cannot access the station that Brad created for Fred solely due to ridiculous copyright holder demands. Yes, even though Fred almost always accesses Pandora from the US, but just happens to be in Argentina this week, Pandora says he can't listen to the station that Brad created for him. Brad makes a good point, that any human can understand why this situation is silly, but computers still can't quite figure it out, noting: "The level of interaction of human and machine is high, although the level of sophistication is pretty low." As for Fred's summation of the situation? "Rights holders fuck everything up." Indeed.


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  1.  
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    The Anti-Mike, Dec 28th, 2009 @ 9:13pm

    Plenty of things stop at the border

    It's a remarkable thing, while borders are just human constructs rather than anything real and solid, they are important in the way our world works.

    There is nothing new in this story, just a realization by two guys with unrealistic expectations that borders aren't just lines on the map.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2009 @ 9:25pm

    Re: Plenty of things stop at the border

    You mean borders are a way for evil rich people to exploit the public by using them as a way to control them via needless government regulation? Wow.

     

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  3.  
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    Laurel L. Russwurm (profile), Dec 28th, 2009 @ 9:41pm

    Why should they stop at the border?

    If I have a CD in my car radio, it doesn't stop playing if I drive across the border. If I have a book-- a real book, not one on a Kindle-- I can still read it when I cross the border.

    If I buy a book, I can do with it what I want.

    Where did this twisted idea come from that corporations can get paid over and over for the same thing?

    Copyright laws certainly do need to be reformed, but in the opposite way that the copyright lobby wants.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2009 @ 10:05pm

    Re: Why should they stop at the border?

    "Copyright laws certainly do need to be reformed, but in the opposite way that the copyright lobby wants."

    Since government seem to increasingly ignore the public interest uniformly I don't see this happening anytime soon.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2009 @ 10:11pm

    Re: Plenty of things stop at the border

    Here are two sentences that have nothing to do with the post.

    That was the first one, this is the second one.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Dec 28th, 2009 @ 10:12pm

    Control Freaks.

     

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    Ray2Jerry, Dec 28th, 2009 @ 11:05pm

    You talk as if you have to be far away for this to be an issue. I'm in Canada and can't access 80% of US streaming content (including Pandora, Comedy Central, sports games, even the Playstation Network movie store!).

    I could understand if I were in some European country with vastly different laws but I can drive to the US in a couple of hours but am not worthy of accessing that content.

    I'm not sure if it's because of US or Canadian laws or policies (the CRTC, our version of the FCC, has a very nasty habit of keeping these things out so that Canadian companies can monopolize and bleed us dry instead) but it's no less bullsh*t anyway!

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2009 @ 11:06pm

    Re: Re: Why should they stop at the border?

    Vote Libertarian!
    Keep the government out of your personal life.

     

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  9.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 28th, 2009 @ 11:47pm

    Re: Plenty of things stop at the border

    Ignorant ramblings from somebody I assume is an insular American and thus isn't affected by unavailable content. Borders exist, but they should not be enforced for trade between trading nations - that's just dumb.

    I can buy a CD from Amazon but I can't buy an MP3 from them. The same distribution is involved, why should national restrictions apply in one case and not the other? Why is the expectation of free trade between trading nations unrealistic?

    As for the case of Pandora itself, I've argued against it many times. I used to listen to the service, and bought at least 6 albums based on recommendations it gave me. Then the record industry stepped in and Pandora had to close off its service outside of the US. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

     

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    Doctor Strange, Dec 28th, 2009 @ 11:48pm

    Can you believe I saw a police officer arresting two Dutch guys for smoking hash and banging hookers in Chicago the other week? I mean, seriously, WHERE WILL IT END?

    There are free alternatives to Pandora that are not so restricted. Jamendo has radio stations and plenty of free content to stream. If people like it better, they will go there instead, right? Isn't the Free Market going to magically solve this problem?

    Oh, I know, I know - the Free Market will solve this problem, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't ALSO browbeat rightsholders and Pandora from being so short-sighted.

    But wait a second, is this one of those cases where it's the greedy rightsholders fucking society in the ass for their own gain? Because then you'd have to make the argument that they would do worse if they opened up a little more.

    Or is it one of those cases where the rightsholders are being dumb, and if they just opened the sphincter a little more they would make more money too? In that case, everyone here is smart and every one of the rightsholders is an idiot, but the rightsholders are not being as greedy as they could be.

    It's a dilemma. Oh, well, let's just make both arguments simultaneously and call it a day!

     

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  11.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 28th, 2009 @ 11:53pm

    Re:

    "Can you believe I saw a police officer arresting two Dutch guys for smoking hash and banging hookers in Chicago the other week? I mean, seriously, WHERE WILL IT END?"

    Dumb analogy is dumb. Last time I checked, the music mentioned wasn't illegal in Argentina, it's just being blocked.

    "Jamendo has radio stations and plenty of free content to stream. If people like it better, they will go there instead, right?"

    No, because it's a totally different service and doesn't have any major label content (or many of the larger indie labels). it's like saying "well, sirloin and chuck steak are both beef, people will be happy with the chuck if they can't get the sirloin".

    "Oh, I know, I know - the Free Market will solve this problem, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't ALSO browbeat rightsholders and Pandora from being so short-sighted."

    There is no free market here - it's being prevented by those rightsholders. That's the problem.

    As for your anal obsession, I'd see someone about that.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2009 @ 11:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Why should they stop at the border?

    Libertarian and pirate partisan.

     

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  13.  
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    Doctor Strange, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 12:45am

    Re: Re:

    Dumb analogy is dumb. Last time I checked, the music mentioned wasn't illegal in Argentina, it's just being blocked.

    So streaming the music from the United States to Argentina is legal, then?

    No, because it's a totally different service and doesn't have any major label content (or many of the larger indie labels). it's like saying "well, sirloin and chuck steak are both beef, people will be happy with the chuck if they can't get the sirloin".

    For all intents and purposes, it's an identical service. To the extent that there are small differences in the service itself, to my knowledge nobody is stopping anybody from creating a Pandora workalike service based on Jamendo content.

    Your sirloin-to-chuck analogy is telling. Clearly you're of the opinion that free music (the "chuck") can't be as good as that held by major labels (the "sirloin"). Interesting.

    You have a tremendous resource at your disposal. Twenty-THOUSAND albums' worth of music. I wonder whether Pandora has that much, especially as often as they repeat stuff on the stations I have. AND you don't have to pay a cent for it. Pandora has to actually pay to play their music.

    "Waah I can't compete unless I can play Paparazzi by Lady Gaga in Argentina waah."

    But I guess 20,000 free albums that you can do anything you want with and zero international competition from Pandora isn't enough of an advantage to get you started. What other advantages would you like in entering this market? Maybe some free marketing or something?

     

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  14.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 1:09am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "So streaming the music from the United States to Argentina is legal, then?"

    Yes, it is as long as the music is licensed. The problem is the licensing, which is under the remit of the music industry.

    "Pandora has to actually pay to play their music."

    Only because the major labels freaked out about the fact that people were using it to listen to their content. Rather than leverage the extra free exposure to generate sales, they demanded massive payments and caused it to be locked to 95% of the world. Again, stupid.

    "Your sirloin-to-chuck analogy is telling. Clearly you're of the opinion that free music (the "chuck") can't be as good as that held by major labels (the "sirloin"). Interesting."

    Nope, and actually I've been boycotting major labels for many years. I was an eMusic customer till they screwed the pooch, and since then I've mainly been using AmieStreet. However, you're saying that people should flock to a similar (but in no way identical) service that many would consider inferior just because the "better" one is unavailable. That's silly.

    OK, we've established that you like Jamendo's service, which is fine. You also have a way to compare it to Pandora, which I don't thanks to the dumb licensing (in the same way that I can install the Last.fm app to my Xbox 360 but am not allowed actually listen to any music).

    But, that doesn't change the point of the article. An American businessman wanted to share his favourite music with a colleague but wasn't allowed to do so because his colleague happened to be sitting on the "wrong" patch of dirt at the time. Jamendo might not have the albums he wanted to share, and if so, that service would be useless to him.

    Blocking cross-border internet traffic is silly, especially when the entire point of a service like Pandora is to expose listeners to new music and encourage them to buy it. This can be fixed by stopping the doomed attempts to enforce physical borders on the internet. The ball's in the record industry's court.

     

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  15.  
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    Doctor Strange, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 1:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, it is as long as the music is licensed.

    So, in other words, no.

    Rather than leverage the extra free exposure to generate sales, they demanded massive payments and caused it to be locked to 95% of the world. Again, stupid.

    Then how do you resolve the fact that record labels are well-known to be maximally evil and greedy with the fact that they are deliberately cutting off profitable revenue streams?

     

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  16.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 1:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Yes, it is as long as the music is licensed.

    So, in other words, no."

    No, in other words yes. The music is legal, the activity is legal. The only problem is the licences. It's only illegal because the labels have opted to make it so, and thus your drug analogy is inappropriate and misleading.

    "Then how do you resolve the fact that record labels are well-known to be maximally evil and greedy with the fact that they are deliberately cutting off profitable revenue streams?"

    Because they:

    a) don't correctly understand the internet.

    b) are trying to impose a regional business model on a market where traditional regional areas do not exist.

    c) don't recognise that internet radio is a potentially lucrative advertising platform (despite their history of payola, they don't seem to understand how to leverage non-standard radio), and seem to regard it as tantamount to piracy.

    d) cannot control internet radio stations in the same way they control ClearChannel's output.

     

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  17.  
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    Doctor Strange, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 2:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, in other words yes. The music is legal, the activity is legal. The only problem is the licences. It's only illegal because the labels have opted to make it so, and thus your drug analogy is inappropriate and misleading.

    So, in other words, it's illegal. Got it.

    Forgive my skepticism, but your reasons for why this situation exists all boil down to "I, PaulT from the Internet, am smarter than every decisionmaker at every major label and even most indie labels who could be involved in changing this situation." I don't discount that this is statistically possible, but why should I believe it's even likely?

    I mean, do you know that any of these things are true, or are you just guessing?

     

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  18.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 2:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    OK, let's break this down about what we know:

    - It is legal to transfer music from the US to Argentina via the method of shipping a CD, no additional licenses are required.

    - It is legal to stream or send music from the US to Argentina via the internet, as long as the music has been licensed.

    - Due to licensing decisions, Pandora are not allowed to stream their service to Argentina, although many other stations are (e.g. those without major label content).

    - Therefore, potential customers are inconvenienced, as per the above article and my own experiences.

    - To the best of my knowledge, there is no legal reason why such music cannot be licensed, and in fact it was until the major labels started demanding massive fees from Pandora. After this happened, they were forced to block traffic originating from outside the US. Also to the best of my knowledge, there is no similar service offering a complete catalogue that's available in both the US and Argentina.

    Please correct me if any of the above is wrong or misleading, but I don't believe that it is. If not, then the issue is with record label licensing decisions, which is what I've been saying. As a victim of such decisions, I know for a fact that it regularly prevents me from buying the products I wish to buy, or use the services I wish to use. I cannot see how this can be good for business, but I can see how it drives many to "piracy" once the legal alternatives are blocked. I'm always open to be corrected, but the situation is clear from my point of view.

     

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  19.  
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    Dan Tentler, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 2:37am

    Fix'd!

    I had this problem last year when I went to the UK to visit my girlfriends family.

    This year, I'm here now for the last 2 weeks of the year - I got around the problem.

    I decided to start a small business - and one of the products I created is an IPSec VPN using cisco equipment.

    Cant listen to pandora? I turn on zipline (my vpn product) and away I go. :D

    My endpoint is in my home on business cable - assuming the thing actually sells, I'll be moving it to a datacenter.

    www.atenlabs.com/zipline :)

     

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  20.  
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    Doctor Strange, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 2:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You need to license several rights to stream music within in the United States. The DMCA (section 114) makes it possible to do so through a compulsory licensing scheme for Webcasting. Yes, that DMCA. The evil one. Because the licensing scheme is compulsory, you do not have to negotiate with each individual rightsholder for each individual composition. Other countries do not have similar compulsory licensing schemes.

    Not all the rights needed to stream a song are held by the major labels. The labels may control only a portion of the necessary rights.

    You can read more about this here.

    Had each individual rightsholder provided these rights in advance, put their music in the public domain, or licensed them permissively, then those compositions could be streamed without much difficulty. But they didn't.

     

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  21.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 2:52am

    Re: Fix'd!

    Nice going, except for the fact that by doing that you're technically committing IP infringement by having and also violating Pandora's terms of service:

    "Terms:

    * Thanks to the way our music licensing works, you have to live in the United States to use Pandora. You also have to be at least 13 years old. Pandora can only be used if you are in the United States."

    I'd also suspect that you'd fall afoul of numerous laws if you're planning to sell a service that bypasses these restrictions on to foreign 3rd parties.

     

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  22.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 2:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ...so, your point?

    Again, it's legal to stream correctly licensed music. The laws you're citing were lobbied for by the major labels, and that's where I'm placing the blame. Where am I wrong with this?

     

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  23.  
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    Doctor Strange, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 3:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Without Section 114, Pandora could not exist even within the United States unless it located and individually negotiated webcasting rights with every single rightsholder. Do you want to do that? How do you want to start? How about the Ds? I'll call Dan Fogelberg and you call Don Henley. It does not matter if you are a major label or not because major labels do not hold all the rights.

    Other countries do not have the same compulsory licensing scheme. So if you want to stream to those countries you need to start making a lot of phone calls.

    If you are implying that the record companies could have simply lobbied for laws that permitted Webcasting without licensing of all the rights, that is a very interesting argument but I think you would have gotten some resistence from the disenfranchised rightsholders.

     

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  24.  
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    MadJo (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 4:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Without the DMCA Pandora would just be legal. It wouldn't need a special exemption in the law for it.
    The DMCA has been known to squelch innovation and competition in favor of the "old businessmodel".

     

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  25.  
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    EH, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 4:33am

    Rights to listen to music

    Your headline implies that you ever had a right to listen to legally licensed music in the first place.

     

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  26.  
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    mike allen (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 4:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Streaming any thing anywhere is legal it is the playing of msjor label content that is not but should be the whole system needs a review.
    DRM needs outlawing.
    Here in the UK we have Spotify but i cant see any differance between that and Pandors. Except i cant stream my playlist to friends on spotify.
    But then we wont be able to do anything like that in the UK when Mandy's bill is law.

     

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  27.  
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    Simon Cast, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 5:37am

    BBC iPlayer is even more ridiculous

    The situation with the BBC iPlayer is even more ridiculous. I've paid for my TV license which gives me the right to view BBC shows including iPlayer. Unless of course I happen to be on holiday. When I can't view the content that my license fee has paid for.

    The ridiculousness is simply having a verified account would address the problem. I create an iPlayer account and then verify that account with the Tax people saying I've paid my license fee. Then I should be able to log in anywhere in the world watch shows I've paid for (compulsory payment as well).

     

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  28.  
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    john, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 5:40am

    Re: Re: Plenty of things stop at the border

    Truth be told, your second sentence is a run on sentence. You need a ";" in place of the comma.

     

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  29.  
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    bla bla bla, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 6:37am

    i'll explain this to you lawyers and noobs

    i will:
    1)buy or acquire my tunage whatever way
    2) fuck you for telling me what and how to listen to it
    3) BIG FUCK YOU for telling me where i can listen to it

    and remember FUCK YOU

     

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  30.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 7:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    for the love of god, stop this back and forth. after 8 posts, we are still at square one!

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 7:24am

    Re:

    "I'm in Canada and can't access 80% of US streaming content "

    If you would have enacted DMCA style rules you would be able to listen, that will learn you!!!

    /sarcasm

     

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    senshikaze (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 7:26am

    Re: i'll explain this to you lawyers and noobs

    I second this explanation.

     

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  33.  
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    wallow-T, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 7:29am

    Once again, a demonstration that pirates have the superior consumer experience.

    I keep saying: the future of music is all pirate, all criminal, all the time.

     

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  34.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 7:32am

    Re: Re: Fix'd!

    Funny thing we are adding encrypted streaming to the Linux build we are doing. Which would allow for exactly this sort of use.

     

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  35.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 7:35am

    Re: Re: Fix'd!

    > violating Pandora's terms of service: I'd also
    > suspect that you'd fall afoul of numerous laws
    > if you're planning to sell a service that bypasses
    > these restrictions on to foreign 3rd parties.

    Pandora can't legally bind every person on the planet to their terms of service. They can only bind the people who actually *use* their service. Creating a product that spoofs a person's geographic location isn't using Pandora's service. If someone buys that product and uses it to violate Pandora's TOS, then Pandora would have a case against *that* person, but not against the person who created the tool that was misused.

    What you're suggesting would be roughly akin to a wife suing Black & Decker because someone used one of their hammers to beat her husband to death. It's the person who used the tool that's responsible, not the person who made the tool.

     

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  36.  
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    Dah Bear!, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 7:42am

    Re:

    getting something for nothing without restriction is always the better consumer experience. Except then they aren't consumers anymore, then they are just mooches, leeches, and potentially thieves.

     

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  37.  
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    IANAL, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 8:01am

    Why is it that some people think violating a license agreement is illegal ?

    Illegal: not according to or authorized by law
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/illegal

    A license agreement is between two or more parties and when broken is a civil matter.

     

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  38.  
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    The Anti-Mike, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re: Plenty of things stop at the border

    Ignorant ramblings from somebody I assume is an insular American and thus isn't affected by unavailable content

    Sorry Paul, just another point that you got wrong on this one. I am not an American (and wouldn't want to be one either).

    Pandora can operate in other countries, provided they work out licensing in each country. They aren't doing it, so they are not available outside of the US. The record industry didn't step in and stop a legal product, the record industry required Pandora to honor and respect a musical license that it operates under.

    You sort of so missing on this one (reading your comments further into the discussion).

     

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  39.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 8:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's because your rights to listen to legally licensed music stop at square two.

     

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  40.  
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    The Anti-Mike, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 8:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Fix'd!

    It's called intent.

    If B&D made a special "head smashing hammer", that assures "a solid kill on every swing", their intent would come into play.

    Someone selling VPN service as a way to "appear to be in the US" has intent. They don't need to go any further.

    The question: "Why are you using a VPN, which is often a much slower way to access the internet"

    Answer: Umm, I like a slower connection because it is somehow more secure.

    Yeah, right.

    Intent, the same wonderful concept that is sending IsoHunt to the bit bucket.

     

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  41.  
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    chris (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 8:18am

    Re:

    Once again, a demonstration that pirates have the superior consumer experience.

    I keep saying: the future of music is all pirate, all criminal, all the time.


    if you having streaming problems i feel bad for you son. i got 99 problems, but gettin my hands on free content ain't one.

     

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  42.  
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    chris (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Why should they stop at the border?

    it won't change a bloody thing, but you'll feel like you did something.

     

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  43.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Fix'd!

    You seem to be confusing the two points I made, so here they are again:

    1. Pandora specifically restrict their service to the US, so using that service outside of the US would risk some kind of penalty. Presumably, this would involve the user having their account removed.

    2. Then, my next point. If this gentleman is going to try and make money by selling a service to people that specifically bypasses regional control, he is then at risk of stiffer penalties. I'm not sure if some part of the DCMA or other laws would be involved, but I'm positive that he would be breaking some actual law. After all, these regional protections wouldn't exist without some kind of legal protection, would they?

    If so, then somebody selling a service superficially designed to get around those laws would be at risk unless they're extremely careful. That was my major point, especially since he's here specifically pimping his service.

     

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    Vincent Clement, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Plenty of things stop at the border

    Pandora can operate in other countries, provided they work out licensing in each country.

    You mean "work out licensing from the same US company in each country".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 9:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Plenty of things stop at the border

    "Sorry Paul, just another point that you got wrong on this one. I am not an American (and wouldn't want to be one either)."

    Fair enough. The comments you were making are those typical of people who live in a country fully serviced by things like Hulu, Pandora, Amazon and Netflix and thus have no concept of the frustration that comes when you're blocked from 90% of digital content. I jumped to conclusions and I apologise for that.

    "Pandora can operate in other countries, provided they work out licensing in each country. They aren't doing it, so they are not available outside of the US. The record industry didn't step in and stop a legal product, the record industry required Pandora to honor and respect a musical license that it operates under."

    OK. My argument is that if the music industry had spent the last decade and a half making the licensing easier, and stopped pretending that the online business models can be the same as offline, then Pandora and other services like it would have no problem obtaining those licenses worldwide. Instead, we have a situation where users are constantly penalised and frustrated, and where artificial restrictions make licensing a nightmare of a minefield. I accept that licenses are necessary, it's the way they are implemented that's the problem.

    ...and as I always try to point out, this makes "piracy" much more attractive. After trying the "legal" service and failing, there's plenty of infringing methods to share music. Yet again, the industry inadvertently encourages people to learn how to do that instead of using a legitimate service. The VCs in the article could quite easily have set up an unlicensed private stream or used an online filesharing service to send copies of the full albums. Illegal perhaps, but the legal services are literally having to refuse their business.

     

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  46.  
    icon
    The Infamous Joe (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 9:17am

    Bit Torrent.

    Look on the bright side: If you can't stream the music you want outside the US, you can always power up your favorite BT Client and just download the music.

    Not that I condone pirating, mind you, I'm just saying that it seems that they intentionally drive people to pirate music. Probably because it's far more lucrative to sue for copright infringement than sell digital copies. (Or stream them!)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    wallow-T, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 9:35am

    meanwhile, about DVDs and regions

    This is about movies, not music, but I had to pass it along.

    In her selection & essay for the best movies of 2009, New York Times movie critic Manohla Dargis says, "You should" own a region-free DVD player if you are a dedicated movie lover.

    Because many of the world's best films just aren't available here in the USA.

    Let me re-emphasize: one of America's pre-eminent movie critics is telling readers of a leading newspaper that it is imperative that they possess & use equipment to defeat technical region-restriction measures on DVDs.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/20/movies/20dargis.html?_r=3

    (A digression: if you love movie reviews, start paying attention to Manohla Dargis. I believe she is going to be Roger Ebert's successor as the best film critic. Not, mind you, that I am trying to hurry Roger along; I am so delighted to have Roger back at writing full time.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    staff1, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 10:03am

    mean

    "Brad Feld and Fred Wilson, have been at the forefront of bucking the ridiculous claim that VCs only invest in companies that have patents, as both have spoken out about how patents tend to stifle innovation..."

    What they mean is patents stifle the copying of innovation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 10:46am

    this is why people use proxies and VPNs :D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2009 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re:

    You spelled freedom fighters wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    harbingerofdoom (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 12:12pm

    ya know whats really funny?

    20 people all tossing around the term "illegal" when there are absolutely zero laws regarding anything described as being illegal in said discussion.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 7:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Fix'd!

    > It's called intent.

    Which is only one necessary element of a crime. In order for crime to be complete the mens rea or guilty mind (intent) must be accompanied by actus rea or guilty act. One without the other results in no crime.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 7:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Fix'd!

    > Someone selling VPN service as a way to "appear to be in the US" has intent.

    The only intent they have is to create a way to appear somewhere other than where you are on the internet, not to specifically violate Pandora's terms of service.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Fix'd!

    > If this gentleman is going to try and make money by selling a
    > service to people that specifically bypasses regional control

    He's selling a service that allows someone to appear somewhere other than where you are on the internet, which is not in and of itself illegal. If someone else buys that product and uses it violate Pandora's terms of service, then they have a case against that person, but not against the person who made the (perfectly legal) tool in the first place.

    > I'm not sure if some part of the DCMA

    The DMCA doesn't make this illegal and even if it did, the DMCA only applies to America. The internet exists in many other places where the DMCA has no effect.

    > but I'm positive that he would be breaking some actual law

    You'd be wrong. There's no law requiring every person on earth to authentically broadcast their true geographic location when using the internet.

    > After all, these regional protections wouldn't exist without
    > some kind of legal protection, would they?

    The only legal protection they have are the contractual obligations people agree to when using the service. As I said, Pandora would have a valid case against people who use their service inappropriately but they have no case against the person who makes some software that spoofs a user's real location because that person is not in privity of contract with Pandora.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Amir, Dec 30th, 2009 @ 1:32am

    You Americans live on another planet

    Pandora has been blocked outside of the Us for a few years now, and the amazing fact just struck you now.

    The Internet wasn't invented for Americans to trod all over the worlds and feel at home. It actually serves a purpose and needs to be regulated world wide, hence these "ridiculous copy right rules".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), Dec 30th, 2009 @ 9:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Fix'd!

    Your argument fails because you cannot answer the very simple question:

    "why would anyone, with a reasonable internet connection in their home, need to appear to be somewhere else than where they are?"

    The answer: To bypass geo based security or legal restrictions put in place by sites,to bypass restrictions to access in the home country, or to try to disguise or hide illegal activities.

    There you go. Without a good answer to the basic first question a lawyer would ask in court, the rest is pretty much meaningless.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Dec 31st, 2009 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Fix'd!

    > Your argument fails because you cannot answer the very
    > simple question:

    How do you know I can't answer it? You've never asked it of me before, genius.

    > "why would anyone, with a reasonable internet connection in their
    > home, need to appear to be somewhere else than where they are?"

    Your argument fails because I don't need to answer a question like that if my product is not illegal.

    As I said above, there's no law against making or using a product that masks one's true geographic location. Absent any such law, the answer to your snide little question is irrelevant because people don't have to justify their legally produced products to others merely because those others don't like them.

    But just for shits and giggles, here's a legitimate use: human rights workers could use it to thwart the ability of totalitarian regimes to track them down for exposing their abuses. Corporate whistleblowers could similarly use it to mask their identity to avoid retaliation.

    > There you go. Without a good answer to the basic first question
    > a lawyer would ask in court, the rest is pretty much meaningless.

    Actually, the first basic question the *court* will ask your hypothetical lawyer (usually during a summary judgment motion by the defense) is whether what the defendant has done is illegal (in this case producing and selling the product in question). If the answer to that question is "no"-- as it would be here-- the defendant is entitled to summary judgment and a dismissal of the case.

    The court would never even reach your precious question before the case was dismissed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Dec 31st, 2009 @ 1:24pm

    Re: You Americans live on another planet

    > The Internet wasn't invented for Americans to trod all over the
    > worlds and feel at home.

    Actually, it was. It was invented by and for America.

    > It actually serves a purpose and needs to be regulated world wide

    No, it doesn't. The last thing we need is some kind of European version of "free speech" regulating the internet, where you can say what you want so long as you don't offend anyone anywhere at any time, and you can be criminally charged if you do.

    Any world-based regulation that conflicts with the US Constitution, for example, would be void in America.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    E.O. BarcampSD, Jan 3rd, 2010 @ 7:10am

    ZipLine could be Dangerous!

    Hi Dan,

    Your product idea seems intriguing, but I have some concerns. Specifically, it has one basic architectural flaw which leads to two related but distinct security risks.

    You wrote (emphasis mine):

    "Zipline is an IPSec VPN tunnel to *a* secure network *that I admin*. This solves for baddies *on the LAN* doing anything nefarious[…]"

    It does indeed protect Zipline users from LAN attacks. In particular, the choice of IPSec instead of SSL tunnels is a good one. But such a system inherently places its users at extreme risk of any “baddies,” as you say, who may gain or have access to the Zipline servers themselves.

    For the benefit of readers without a background in network security, the basic issue is this: a normal user in a coffee shop, browsing the web on the wireless connection, is engaging in insecure network behavior that looks like this (--- is an insecure connection, === is a secure one):

    [laptop]---[router]---/internet/---[website]

    Note that the route between the coffee shop router and the website in question could be through all sorts of different combinations of network resources, varying per request. But all of your traffic is going through the coffee shop router, so if an attacker takes it over, you are hosed.

    Dan proposes to securely route your traffic through Zipline, after which it proceeds insecurely:

    [laptop]===[router]===/internet/===[zipline]---/internet/---[website]

    Zipline now assumes all of the same problems that the coffee shop’s router had before: if an attacker takes Zipline over, you are hosed. But it’s actually worse than that, because it’s not just one Zipline user that gets hosed. They all do. Actually, by aggregating many users’ traffic to a known and shared network location, Zipline itself becomes an attractive target for hackers, thus exposing its users to many more hacking attempts than the mostly-empty coffee shop they frequent. With Zipline, you don’t have to worry that there’s one person *in your coffee shop* sniffing your traffic, you have to hope that there’s not one person *in the world* that’s decided to attack the Zipline servers.

    The product is very aptly named—while a zipline enables its users to skip past potentially dangerous terrain, ziplines are major sources of danger in their own right.

    By aggregating user traffic to one known service, Zipline itself becomes a *much more attractive target* for hackers. The benefit of Zipline (slightly increased protection against boneheads in coffee shops) doesn’t justify the cost of aggregating user traffic, inserting a known network route and server into the packet path, and (presumably) having to secure a new codebase of cert management. And having to trust an unknown third party, which brings me to the second basic security issue with Zipline.

    Putting aside the increased risk of attack from outside, the Zipline scheme also requires its users to trust the Zipline network operators. You’re asking your users to put all of their security eggs into one basket—your basket—which is basically the same as asking your users to trust you *completely*. A service such as Zipline would have to have mint-level credibility for users to trust it sufficiently.

    Earlier in your email, you rhetorically asked:

    "Do you find yourself in coffee shops, or other public wifi frequently and sometimes wonder who is watching your traffic?"

    This is a really interesting question, because it highlights this second core security problem precisely. Dan, you’re a well-known perpetrator of *exactly the kind of exploit* you claim to protect Zipline users *from*.

    No one can be sure how frequently you engage in such behavior. I’ve heard of several incidents, at least one of which is well-documented[1]:
    on 27 December 2008 you attended a meeting of the Linux Users of Southern California, at which you performed a man-in-the-middle attack on the coffee shop’s wireless network.

    For the benefit of any of your potential customers reading this list, here are some of the details from Dan’s victims that evening:

    David Kaiser wrote, in [2]:

    "Right. ARP spoofing made everyone’s laptop on that network send their packets to Dan’s laptop instead of to the router. ARP spoofing can be done with a number of little tools that any script kiddie can download and run. And that’s the problem with script kiddies - they actually haven’t done anything innovative… I don’t think Dan Tentler actually wrote any code or ever did anything original - certainly nothing educational to the group - he just ran someone else’s application and harvested everyone’s packets looking for personal information. Any one of us could do that (but none of us have except for him.) The big issue I have with his actions is that at the end of the night we all had a big question mark about what amount of our information was exposed. It would be different if we saw his screen and saw when he started & stopped the capturing, and were able to audit his equipment and personally verify what of our personal data he either did or didn’t have at the end of the night - but instead we have a big question mark. Yes, Dan Tentler says he didn’t log any of the data and that he erased his capture session - but I don’t know him well enough to trust his words on face value like that. I certainly don’t find his actions (either online or in person) that trustworthy. So in my mind that means that any personal data (username, password, IP numbers, etc.) that anyone transmitted to the network on Saturday night is under a big question mark - we can’t verify that he didn’t retain it - no matter what he says about the issue.

    He continued in [3]:
    When the issue with Dan Tentler being dishonest and stealing people’s passwords first arose on Saturday night, he had numerous chances to be honest, contrite, forthcoming, and at least try to explain himself properly - and he didn’t.[…]

    When Chris really found that he was the culprit, he passed it off as if it was some research project. When the issue of having intercepted gmail passwords and such came up - he made the comment that it was all harmless because he wasn’t going to save the log of his capturing activity. Yet he didn’t - he kept right on capturing other packets, and didn’t actually demonstrate that he had cleared the captured log. […]
    there were numerous chances during the conversation as it developed that evening, where he could have provided us with a reason to supply that benefit, where we would be generous with our opinions of him - but every time he chose the wrong course, with either denial or dishonesty. […] If you want to give him the benefit of the doubt, please do - but people that started off trying to give the benefit of the doubt were quickly convinced that he didn’t deserve it based on his actions.[…] He has not provided any proof of deniable culpability - and when someone like him is observed doing the activities he was doing - proving to everyone that he was clean should have been the very first thing he did.

    All in all, it’s a shameful act for someone who claims to be a security professional. Security professionals only do what’s within their bounds, and don’t shrug at legalities like Dan Tentler did. Security professionals don’t infringe on people’s privacy for sport like Dan Tentler did.

    Loren Cress said, in [4]:

    He claims to be a “security professional” but Dan Tentler’s unprofessional actions demonstrate his *inexperience, immaturity, and dishonesty*. This kind of thing might have been fun in high school, but it is not the kind of thing I’ve come to expect from a 29-year old adult. […] Dave said “[…] they have the right to be upset about the potential serious loss of privacy.” I disagree - this was not a *potential* loss. It was a *violation of privacy*, period. […] Anybody sitting in that cafe had a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” Dan Tentler violated that privacy, and by being associated with the group, violated the trust of the members.

    In summary:

    The architecture of Zipline is dubious from a security standpoint, and moreover, we have every reason to believe that its operators are precisely the sort of script-kiddies Zipline purports to protect people from.

    Dan, you are the fox, offering hens your services as henhouse manager. Moreover, you expect them to pay for it! The mind boggles.

    Ted

    1. See the email thread beginning with:
    http://socallinux.org/pipermail/linuxusers/2008-December/005946.html
    2. http://socallinux.org/pipermail/linuxusers/2008-December/005952.html
    3. http://socallinux.org/pipermail/linuxusers/2008-December/005965.html
    4. http://socallinux.org/pipermail/linuxusers/2008-December/005978.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2010 @ 9:57am

    zipline

    sounds like friends don't let friends use Dan Tentler's Zipline service.

    oh, and it sounds like Dan Tentler of Aten Labs just got pwnd!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Edward O'Connor, Jan 7th, 2010 @ 11:34am

    I'd really appreciate it if my email in comment #59 were removed from this page

    Hi,

    I didn't authorize the re-posting of my email above, and would appreciate it if it were removed. Thanks!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Edward O'Connor, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 7:19pm

    nevermind

    It is authorized....nevermind.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Fernando Catania, Oct 6th, 2010 @ 11:00am

    I had the same exact problem...

    During a visit to Argentina, I was so excited to show my father Pandora. I talked it up to him and booted up my computer to launch Pandora while connected to his internet connection. And BAM! a message came up stating that I was in Argentina and service was not available. To my 69 year old father, who was a huge fan of the internet, it was realization that the internet had become as convoluted as everything else.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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