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CRIA goes to court

OH CANADA, it seemed for a while like things were going to be a little bit more rational up there, but now the CRIA (the Canadian RIAA) has gone to court to obtain the identities of 29 suspected filesharers, in preparation for filing lawsuits. Even though downloading is legal in Canada, apparently the record companies think uploading is not. If there are any Canadians out there who would like to help with press, please drop us a line. Of course, the lawsuits aren’t going to do anything but make a few random families miserable for a while, and stimulate innovation in the lawsuit-proof- filesharing department.

We’ve already written about MUTE, the filesharing network completely obscures the identity of sharers. Now the people at The Big Hack are tackling the lawsuit problem from another angle, by playing Zen games with the very premise of digital copyright. A music file, after all, is just a very large number. So if a Metallica song is the number 5, for example, you could break it up into 3 and 2 (3+2=5). But a Madonna song could also be broken up, into 3 and 8, let’s say. Since 3 can be a part of both songs, no one can claim a copyright on it, and the same goes for 2, 8, and every other number. Combine uncopyrighted numbers in the right way, and you end up with a copyrighted song. The result could be a brightnet where all the information is out in the open, but where nobody can claim exclusive ownership of any one piece (and no one would have grounds to file a suit).

The troublemakers at The Big Hack are starting off by releasing two demo CDs full of completely legal content stored such that each block (like the number 3 in the example above) is used by multiple files. They’ve hinted that, once the two CDs have been distributed, they’ll show users how to rearrange the blocks into copyrighted information. The first CD, Shock, is already available for download (guess what the second CD is called).


Downhill Battle web buttons and banners have been quickly filling the new Sandbox— including this little beauty from our boy Andrew:

T-shirts and bumper stickers are in the works, and should be arriving very soon.

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