AfterDawn: Tech news

Fingerprinting P2P files

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 20 Feb 2003 12:43 User comments (12)

A company called Audible Magic has launched a product to fight against illegal file-swapping in similiar manner that now-defunct Napster tried to implement in its final days.
Company develops a product that will sit in ISP's, school's or company's network and actually analyzes the P2P traffic that flows through the network, comparing the file details -- not just filenames, but the actual content of the files -- against a database that contains lists of illegal files and blocks the transfer if such file is found in the traffic flow.

Problems with this type of products are obvious: so-called "false positives" that mean that totally legal file has the same characteristics as the illegal file and can't therefor be transferred at all. Other problem is that if such mechanism will find its way to ISPs, it is 100% certain that P2P developers will start encrypting the files transferred in the P2P networks, making the product useless immediately.


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12 user comments

120.2.2003 16:42

They better find a way to crack this.

I like Troma.

220.2.2003 17:00

Ah thats not the end of p2p at all!! I wouldn't worry about that. Like it said in the last paragraph, if the files are encryted then this is useless!

322.2.2003 1:50

This is simply a way of asking the P2P networks to start encrypting their file transfers. Once this happens, they can forget about tracking trying to track whos hosting copyright music. If the music Industry don't find a proper way of getting people to switch back to purchasing music, e.g. knocking down CD prices rather than scaring away its customers, then they can expect layoffs, further sale losses, etc., kind of what like Sony are currently facing.

422.2.2003 20:19

Music and Movies that's the problem. Music is priced way too high, while Movies(namely DVDs) come out with different ones. I'd rather have a dvd once without paying for it than having to decide between director's cut with bonus stuff than a regular cut with a lot of commentaries.

I like Troma.

523.2.2003 11:15

can dvd x copy create a film on a blank dvd that is saved in mpeg format on a computer's hard drive from off the internet?

624.2.2003 9:46

Stebird - how does that relate to fingerprinting P2P files? And no, it can''s designed to back up movies only. Use Nero to do that...

724.2.2003 10:47

Could not agree more with SeanByrne. For each action, there is a reaction. MPAA, RIAA and derivatives would better start understanding this simple principle.

824.2.2003 15:09

It's all BS ......just how is the music/movie industry going to make ISP's from all over the world install this tracking software in the first place? Before we even get to encryption!

925.2.2003 2:49

Not only that, but also think in how easy would be to add encryption capabilities to p2p software, because only the file names and the keywords in the searches would need to be encrypted, actually. The contents, i.e., the peer to peer transfers themselves, wouldn't need to be encrypted, saving computing time, while ISP's would be shamely overloaded trying to track them out. Why not creating a database of hashcodes of known illegal binary streams of data to be able of detecting suspicious transfers? Well, even if we assume that this would be an efficient approach (it actually wouldn't, because of the eventual false-positives mentioned above) let's think in the unlimited range of ways available for encoding a file. I can encode a mp3 at 128, 160, 192 kpbs or any other bitrate, even variable, I can use joint stereo or not, I can do it with lame, musicmatch, eac, I can not use mp3 encoding at all, but ogg, mp4 or wma instead, and so on. The same thing applies to video files, but in an even more complex fashion. After that, I can compress and/or encode the "filez" using ZIP, ACE, RAR, PGP, or even my own brand new algorythm and then share the encoded stuff all over the net without being noticed. The suggested software wouldn't be able of detecting anything so far, just overwhelm the ISP (the crazy enough ISP to install such a resources-killing-machine). The point is the music and movies industries have the ultimate solution for this problem in the palm of their hands, but they are very short-sighted. Here are some free clues for your income levels to rise, dear friends at RIAA and MPAA: 1.- Stop wasting money in trying to ass-f*ck us, customers! 2.- Decrease the prices to something reasonable! 3.- Stop bugging us with zillions of releases of the same album/movie! 4.- We are not criminals, we are just sick and tired of your obsolete commercial policy! Have I said before this is one of my favourite topics? :)

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 Feb 2003 @ 3:05

"You know, it seems that quotes on the internet are becoming less and less reliable." -Abraham Lincoln.

1025.2.2003 8:34

Dali, good points! I'm with you 100% Has anyone seen a recent breakdown of where the cost of a CD or DVD goes? I'm just curious where the majority of the money goes...

1125.2.2003 9:10

Thanks, TLH2. So, you also think I should become a member, don't you? Just kidding. It's easy to figure out where does that money go. It's required to pay their lawyers. You know, they need to sue (it must be really addictive), and trials are expensive!

1225.2.2003 16:43

What a distorted, cynical view of the industry you have........ I'm with you all the way!

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