CD-checksums, watermarking, metadata, etc, so one can find the artist.

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From: Eirikur Hallgrimsson (
Date: Sun Aug 20 2000 - 17:12:14 PDT

On Sun, 20 Aug 2000, Dan Brickley wrote:
> Could a site manager write
> SOAP-IDL that expressed mechanically the fact that it sold T-shirts for
> bands, when the band is identified through (say) Compact Disk checksum
> (or mailbox or homepage for that matter.

I like the idea, but I wonder how long (not very long) it would be
before spoofing of many sorts would happen. Every CD e-tailer
and j random pr0n site would be sporting all of those IDs in order
to show up on the searches. You'd probably end up needing some kind
of ugly artist authentication, shades of public-key crypto.

But, I like the idea, because, regardless of the provenance of the
MP3 file I can easily find more material by the artist and
purchase it, which is what Dave Winer has been driving at.
Shouldn't matter if it's a stream, a downloaded MP3, or a burned
CD-R, or whatever. I want more, I'm willing to pay, it should happen
easily. Hmmm. Dang. Nothing prevents any random person from
creating bogus MP3s with bad pointers or just missing due to
lassitude. I was halfway to inventing SDMI (secure digital
music initiative) from a pro-artist perspective. The music
industry's version is at

Actually, for digital master recordings, there could be watermarking
which would take work to remove (and doesn't incriminate anyone
anyway). When works are released as digital originals, the format
should be designed to support all kinds of metadata and digital
signature by the artist. Such release is (from a business
standpoint) essentially promotion, much like radio airplay.

Oh, weird, follow me into this strange take....the digitally released
material is intended to be widely copied and's the
promo concept. Now, what that means, is that the actual, direct from
the artist copy of material that is not released for free sharing
does not have the artist's digital signature. It's unsigned. Can't
be signed because it could then be shared/pirated as authentic. You
probably get it on a secure channel of some kind, but it itself can't
be signed. I can drive trucks through the holes in this, myself,
but it's sort of interesting.

The music industry is obsessed with the past, but we shouldn't focus
on that when thinking about future formats. I really do like the
idea of original digital works which include metatdata and signature.


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