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RIAA-Proof Filesharing Software

OUR BUDDY JASON Rohrer (who programmed the Peer-to-Peer Legal Defense Fund)
has just released version 0.2 of MUTE, a new filesharing program that is extremely resistant to spying by the RIAA or anyone else. This is real privacy, not the psuedo-security that a lot of other programs brag about: no one on the network can tell what anyone else is downloading or sharing.

The corporate record industry is banking its future on a risky two-part attack: lock down music with DRM, and use lawsuits to scare people away from the troves of unlocked music on p2p networks. In this context MUTE could be a very very big deal. Once filesharing becomes safe and anonymous again, the DRM music peddled by the labels will be more inconvenient than the free alternative, and the labels are back where they started.

The program is still in beta, so it can be a little shaky at times, but it’s getting better quickly. You can download it for Mac, PC, or Linux on the MUTE website, which also has some interesting info about how it works (ants! ants!!!). When you get the program running, let it sit for a couple minutes to establish some connections and then search for "mp3" and see what you can find. Thanks to the recent slashdotting, there’s plenty of anime and Weird Al Yankovic mp3s. We’re counting on Downhill Battle readers to, um, diversify the musical offerings. You can share your whole music library 24/7–there’s no way the monopolists can find out who you are.

And you can help the cause by giving Jason a couple bucks to keep on working.


Downhill Battle switched webhosts last week. We’re now using Crisis Host which has been very fast and reliable. Best of all, their prices are almost unbelievably low.


Today we talked with Ian MacKaye, who’s in the band Fugazi and runs the label Dischord Records. We’ll post the interview shortly.

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