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A very strange but interesting new anti-piracy technique

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 03 Mar 2005 20:15 User comments (11)

Up until now, we have seen copy protected music CDs and Digital Rights Management attempt to stop unauthorized copying of music files (or CD ripping). Now two New Yorkers, Mark Bocko and Zeljko Ignjatovic, have come up with a new method that may seem like more of an annoyance than a copy protection. Their invention could make it possible for you to hear a disturbance on a pirated file when played back.
Details of the this method are scarce so far, but to give an example of what you might get, imagine just simply using an Audio Ripper to rip from a CD or something to MP3. Now imagine playing back that MP3 and hearing the artist give out to you for ripping the music to MP3. That would be a pretty weird experience wouldn't it? But this new invention could maybe make that a possibility.

With help from the US Air Force Research Laboratory, the inventors found they could bury around 20kb of speech data in a song without affecting how it sounds. Their technique exploits the fact that the tones of a musical instrument are made up of a complex pattern of randomly phased harmonics. These phase shifts are so small they are imperceptible to the ear. But a software decoder, which could be built into MP3 players or file-sharing applications, detects the phase shifts and turns them into speech.

Weird huh? Remember that the example I gave above could very well be false, as I couldn't find more details. I thought I'd write it to spark some interesting comments from you guys however, so come on then, hit the Post Your Comment button ;-).

New Scientist

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11 user comments

13.3.2005 20:39

What happens if you buy the CD and you want to rip it to your hdd, (which u have the rights to because you own it( does it do that ?

23.3.2005 21:06

What happens if you buy the CD and you want to rip it to your hdd, (which u have the rights to because you own it( does it do that ?
Technically yes you have the right to rip your CDs to MP3, FOR NOW.... However, one country (Norway) is proposing copyright laws that may change that. For example, the new law would make it legal to copy a CD for use as a personal backup, but wouldnt allow you to rip it to MP3 to listen to it on a portable MP3 player because apparently it would not be seen as an "appropriate medium". And what is an MP3 player? It could be seen as a computer yes? It's just a stupid law to try and make more money off legal digital downloads by making it illegal to rip your own personally owned CDs. Check it out :

33.3.2005 22:00

When you make an MP3, the encoder removes freqs that the human ear can't hear, some artis use those freqs to bounce of some that can be heard to create unique sound effects. If their technology works on putting them in pieces between some of this freqs, which end up sounding like one, I see how thats posible. Unfortunally what could just happend is that people will switch to a lossless codec, or modify the lame codec(since its open source) to avoid having that problems, there is always Windows Media Audio, OGG, RA, all which do use different techniques.

44.3.2005 3:45

Is it a Water Mark like in DVD-Audio or is it only to affect MP3 audio? If it is a Water Mark then it would stop people from using the analog way of recording to your HDD. But if it only affects rips then you could still make copies of the CDs via Iso-Image.

54.3.2005 4:11

COOL! More source matereal for remixes! Remember what happened to Madonna????

64.3.2005 4:55

no. what happened to madonna?

74.3.2005 5:07

>no. what happened to madonna? She posted a message on P2P services bitching about downloading disguised as one of her tracks, so several people made song remixes using that message. Pretty funny stuff. I think Boycott-RIAA even had a contest for the best one.

85.3.2005 4:53

Guys...the bottom line is this. The cd wave track format where people pay 12.00 for 12-17 songs is just out of date. Honesetly, I have not paid for a cd sense college in 1996 when mp3's were shown to me. Sorry, paying a dollar per song or more is crazy when a cd can hold like 50-100 and maybe more. Now a blank dvd could hold hundreds. I think the cd industry needs a new standard. Maybe a dvd format with mp3's that can hold hundereds of songs. Now that I would pay for. The industry is just behind the times that is all. Maybe they don't want to pay to have all there factory eq go to a new stadard. But come on...paying for a cd is robbery. Get a new standard and show me something for my money. Until then...sorry.

99.3.2005 1:12

fair enuf madgreek. why pay 20 30 dollars when you dont have to. its not like any musicians have gone broke.

Thermaltake.... cool all your life

1011.3.2005 12:54

Actually, somewhat on this note, I just bought Moby's new CD 'Hotel', and XP won't open it up, which blows as there is PC content advertised on it, my brother tells me his old ME OS machine plays it no problem, does XP have sort of special copyright setting or something? Anyone know anything about this? Thanks


1113.3.2005 6:27

I should not say this but I will. Going into a store and having a store ask me to pay for software...dvd''s....its such robbery. Even video should get way more for your money.

The MadGreek
Rig #1..ehhehe
Celeron 2.4 (non D) oc'd to 3.2ghz
idle 38..load..44
1.0 gig 2700 ram
8x lite on dvd burner and dvd reader
Dvd Players- JVC Progressive scan and Cyberhome 300
Rig #2
Celeron 2.4 (non d) not overclocked yet heheh
512 me

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