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Author Topic: Would you buy me a $0.99 track on Amazon?  (Read 5366 times)
tranglos
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« on: February 03, 2012, 04:48:08 PM »

On the margins of the recent wonders of SOPA / ACTA... I buy tons of (e-)books from Amazon, and every so often I check whether they let me buy anything else. There is one track (pretty niche) I specifically want to buy, but no, I can't:



That's free market for ya. A friend recommended I try emusic.com. They have the album, but (a) they want me to install their crapware first (it's Rovi Corporation, it cannot not be crapware) just so that I can download their mp3s, and (b) they don't just let you buy an album, you must buy a "plan", beginning at €12 a month. No can do to both.



From iTunes I wouldn't buy a cup of water if I was stranded on the Kalahari, because they are fascist and they make you buy the cup and the cupholder and you can't drink anybody else's water in their drinkware or their water in anyone else's glass - but, politics aside, they don't even have that track on iTunes. Good for them!

So would you buy me a single $0.99 track on Amazon? For DC credits or a PayPal transfer? And would that be a crime?
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2012, 04:58:29 PM »


It shouldn't exactly be a crime, I don't recall the laws outlawing (yet!) that the purchaser must be the listener.

However the funny part is, "how do we deliver it to you?"
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tranglos
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2012, 05:07:18 PM »

It shouldn't exactly be a crime, I don't recall the laws outlawing (yet!) that the purchaser must be the listener.

Right, so as long as you promise not to listen smiley

Quote
However the funny part is, "how do we deliver it to you?"

Email, if it's not too big (it's a single 3-minute track; not sure what bitrate Amazon uses).  If you have a website, you can upload it under some convoluted name. As long as nothing links to it, it won't be accessible from the outside. Or I can create an account on my ftp server where someone could upload the track (no public access there). Or it could be attached to a private messge on the DC forum, but (a) PMs don't support attachments here, and (b) we don't want Mouser to end up like Kim Dotcom, that would just be harsh. I even feel dirty discussing this purely theoretical concept here!
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2012, 05:15:03 PM »


Email, if it's not too big (it's a single 3-minute track; not sure what bitrate Amazon uses).  If you have a website, you can upload it under some convoluted name. As long as nothing links to it, it won't be accessible from the outside. Or I can create an account on my ftp server where someone could upload the track (no public access there). Or it could be attached to a private messge on the DC forum, but (a) PMs don't support attachments here, and (b) we don't want Mouser to end up like Kim Dotcom, that would just be harsh. I even feel dirty discussing this purely theoretical concept here!


Exactly, you walked into my trap!

"How do I deliver it to you ... without making a copy?"  Cool

I, the good law abiding citizen, do not wish to engage in felony infringement of a song! smiley

A little heavy on the satire, but that's what SOPA and ACTA are all about.
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tranglos
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2012, 05:22:34 PM »

And would you believe (of course you would) that this thread is already indexed by Google? It's the top link for "Rovi Corporation crapware" :-)



(And link #4 is to Wikipedia. Does that mean Wikipedia agrees with me that Rovi makes crapware?)
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 05:40:02 PM by tranglos » Logged

Stoic Joker
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2012, 05:26:01 PM »

I, the good law abiding citizen, do not wish to engage in felony infringement of a song!

@40hz - Yepp, that "Avoidance Conditioning" thing does seem to be working...
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2012, 05:36:35 PM »

Heh Joker, I have a small hobby of matching up news stories to former tin foil hat theories.

Look above you - "This thread already indexed by Google" (though I didn't see it listed top on Startpage even though they say they borrow Google results.)

If SOPA 1 and _____ followup had passed, in X years we really would get "real time crime and punishment" like in Judge Dredd. You think I'm kidding. I'm not. I clicked on a silly link in Sidereel and got a copyright notice three days later from my ISP.

It really isn't "make me a mix cd" days anymore.
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40hz
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2012, 05:47:35 PM »


I, the good law abiding citizen, do not wish to engage in felony infringement of a song!

@40hz - Yepp, that "Avoidance Conditioning" thing does seem to be working...

@SJ - Yep! That's why they do it.  Grin

Hmm..I'm just wondering...under the provisions of these laws...are threads like this one now also illegal since they're discussing ways to get around distribution restrictions? If it's illegal to attempt to circumvent, it might now be considered an act of conspiracy to even suggest ways. Even if they're presented with the old "purely for educational purposes" disclaimer and warnings.

It's a whole new post-ACTA world out there boys and girls! Wink

(Note: I'm only half-joking. I really do wonder if it is a violation of some law even having this discussion now. Cry )

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tranglos
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2012, 06:03:32 PM »

Hmm..I'm just wondering...under the provisions of these laws...are threads like this one now also illegal since they're discussing ways to get around distribution restrictions?

It doesn't matter. What matters is we don't know whether it is or it isn't. That serves the purpose.

Quote
If it's illegal to attempt to circumvent, it might now be considered an act of conspiracy to even suggest ways. Even if they're presented with the old "purely for educational purposes" disclaimer and warnings.

As I understand DMCA (but IANAL and I probably don't), it's illegal to attempt to circumvent technical measures. Is it a technical measure? 

Amazon doesn't sell Kindle Touch outside the US. (Well, today they do, but until last night they did not.). So if you bought a Kindle Touch as a gift for someone abroad, would that count as some sort of infringement? Reasonably, it should not, and if you mailed it, there would be a customs duty to pay, but reason has little say when corporate profits are at stake. Personally, I can't really see how **not** selling a product shores up profits, but like I said, reason has no domain there.

Other than that... I cannot delete threads on DC, but if Mouser does, as maybe he should, the story will be complete :-)

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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2012, 06:17:55 PM »

Right, the mere under-the-breath asking if this is illegal highlights the insanity of it all.

A long time ago there was a discussion about the breaking of the "CSS" aka the "Content-Scrambling System" of DVD's. Discussion arose that if a working copy was illegal, how many steps could you remove the algorithm before it became legal? There were music songs, tshirts, and more made.

Someone even coded it into a number, thus theoretically making some number such as 32656265462565456256525552 illegal. (Because it was a 3rd generation removed key to restore the algorithm.)
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mahesh2k
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2012, 06:21:57 PM »

I can't use amazon either because I'm not from US. I prefer to use Juno downloads for trance (or any other electronic) music singles. What is the genre of that track? I might suggest a better shop that accepts international users.
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40hz
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2012, 06:24:49 PM »

Hmm..I'm just wondering...under the provisions of these laws...are threads like this one now also illegal since they're discussing ways to get around distribution restrictions?

It doesn't matter. What matters is we don't know whether it is or it isn't. That serves the purpose.

Not in the USA unfortunately. "Ignorance of the law" is not allowed as a defense argument in US courts - although it is sometimes viewed as an extenuating circumstance when determining penalties to be imposed.


Quote
Quote
If it's illegal to attempt to circumvent, it might now be considered an act of conspiracy to even suggest ways. Even if they're presented with the old "purely for educational purposes" disclaimer and warnings.

As I understand DMCA (but IANAL and I probably don't), it's illegal to attempt to circumvent technical measures. Is it a technical measure?  

Who knows? I'm not sure of anything any more. But that's also probably part of the idea behind these new laws.


Quote
Other than that... I cannot delete threads on DC, but if Mouser does, as maybe he should, the story will be complete :-)

@StoicJoker: See that? There's a perfect example of what I was talking about. People are beginning to wonder if maybe they should consider self-censoring themselves.

Brave new world indeed! TaoPhoenix was spot on when he characterized it as insanity.  ohmy

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tranglos
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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2012, 06:29:05 PM »

A long time ago there was a discussion about the breaking of the "CSS" aka the "Content-Scrambling System" of DVD's. Discussion arose that if a working copy was illegal, how many steps could you remove the algorithm before it became legal? There were music songs, tshirts, and more made.

And before that, there were signatures (and t-shirts) with shortest-possible versions of strong encryption algorithms whose export from the US was banned. That was when Phil Zimmermann was dragged around courts for his PGP. Same story, except now we all are or are about to become Phil Zimmermanns, in a way. Not that I could ever code something as cool as PGP, but the funny thing is, you don't have to.
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tranglos
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« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2012, 06:30:28 PM »

Hmm..I'm just wondering...under the provisions of these laws...are threads like this one now also illegal since they're discussing ways to get around distribution restrictions?

It doesn't matter. What matters is we don't know whether it is or it isn't. That serves the purpose.

Not in the USA unfortunately. "Ignorance of the law" is not allowed as a defense argument in US courts - although it is sometimes viewed as an extenuating circumstance when determining penalties to be imposed.

Oh but that's what I meant. The fact that we even wonder about this with some seriousness serves the purpose of those who don't want us to do the kind of thing we're talking about. Even if it's still somehow legal.

And it certainly is not unethical. In my little experiment I want to buy the track, or the album. My only condition is I want to pay for the track (or the album), without having to sign up for umpteen Euros a month for a service I don't want.

It would be easiest to send my money directly to the artist, but I a pretty sure this is precisely what the powers behind ACTA/SOPA fear the most.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 06:35:50 PM by tranglos » Logged

4wd
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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2012, 06:34:30 PM »

"How do I deliver it to you ... without making a copy?"  Cool

Going theoretical, if:
a) You purchase it and download to a directory only you and tranglos have full access to, (by the magic of ftp, etc);
b) tranglos logs in and encrypts it into a multipart archive, wiping the original;
c) then downloads it to his machine and decrypts the archive.

There is only one digital playable copy at any one time and thus no law has been broken.

@tranglos: Is Amazon complaining because:
1) Your IP appears from outside the USA?
2) Your account shows that you live outside the USA?
3) Your means of purchase, (ie. credit card), shows you're outside the USA, (which really shouldn't matter)?

Something to try next time.
1a) Use a free VPN, (eg. TunnelBear).
2a) Change your home/delivery address, (FakeNameGenerator).  Address doesn't matter for digital download.
3a) Purchase a Gift Card and then change your home/delivery address.
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40hz
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« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2012, 06:36:28 PM »

Zimmerman's case was particularly sad. The government didn't have a leg to stand on. The legal theory they went after him under wouldnt have gotten a first year law student a D if they presented it in class. And they frankly admitted as much.

But that didn't stop Uncle Sam's cowboy prosecutors from making Phil's life a living hell for a few years.

And that was enough to put the kabosh on most serious homebrew and independent academic cryptography projects.

Once again - your basic avoidance conditioning strategy.  undecided
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 06:44:48 PM by 40hz » Logged

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tranglos
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« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2012, 06:47:28 PM »

@tranglos: Is Amazon complaining because:
1) Your IP appears from outside the USA?
2) Your account shows that you live outside the USA?
3) Your means of purchase, (ie. credit card), shows you're outside the USA, (which really shouldn't matter)?

Who knows. I guess it's not the IP, since if it were, they might just not show the listing to me at all. It's not the cc number, because they haven't asked for it yet (though they have it on file). I browse logged in, and they almost let you complete the purchase, until the page where you would enter or pick your cc. So I suppose it's (b).

When I browse audible.com (which is also Amazon) logged in, they don't show the audiobooks not available to me. But Amazon.com does, the teasers that they are.

Quote
Something to try next time.
1a) Use a free VPN, (eg. TunnelBear).
2a) Change your home/delivery address, (FakeNameGenerator).  Address doesn't matter for digital download.
3a) Purchase a Gift Card and then change your home/delivery address.

I suppose one of these could work. For (1a), I would be wary of completing a secure transaction through an unknown (to me) entity's network. (2a) doesn't work; I tried that once when I wanted to buy a Kindle book that was "US only" as well.

But I have an ethical (kind of) block against workarounds like these. Perhaps using the combined brainpower of Donation Coder regulars (and ir-) we can figure out a way to make this happen. Whatever we came up with, it would have to involve lying to Amazon about who the buyer is, so in the end it might be problematic in one way or another. But more importantly, we should not have to do this in the first place!

It's like discussing personal privacy against state and corporate snooping. Techies will say, just encrypt your email, or use Tor - and yeah, it'll work (up to a point), but it will only work for the techies and those lucky enough to have friendly techies nearby. If we have to resort to these sorts of techniques, we've already lost. Everyone has.

Do tell me if my horse is high enough already :-)

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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2012, 07:29:32 PM »

Quote
Other than that... I cannot delete threads on DC, but if Mouser does, as maybe he should, the story will be complete :-)

@StoicJoker: See that? There's a perfect example of what I was talking about. People are beginning to wonder if maybe they should consider self-censoring themselves.

Brave new world indeed! TaoPhoenix was spot on when he characterized it as insanity.  ohmy

I know, that's why I played off the line (to draw attention to it). Wink
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2012, 07:31:23 PM »

Hence the corruption, once you allow that it becomes fairyland.

Heh do I have to spend $1.98, one copy for me and one for Trianglos? : )

Edit: Heh I have been saving hard to catch up on debts, maybe I can afford that : )

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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2012, 07:36:19 PM »

Playing with my tinfoil hat, I have been glacially designing a Whitelisted Media computer, where (almost) every piece of IP on it is categorized according to copyright legality.

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4wd
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« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2012, 07:49:30 PM »

For future reference if anyone's interested:

VPN + Address + Gifted = Job Done!

 Grin
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tranglos
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« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2012, 08:10:36 PM »

And here is where it all began. You can listen to about 15 seconds of that song, before the talk begins, on one of my favorite-ever radio programs, "Flashpoints" on KPFA with Dennis Bernstein. Every few days Bernstein invites the singer/guitarist Francisco Herrera to co-host the show, and on those days he starts off with his song in place of the regular signature music. Most recently, on January 27:

http://aud1.kpfa.org/data/20120127-Fri1700.mp3

(Go ahead, try it. It's legal, a daily podcast from KPFA :-))
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 02:30:56 AM by tranglos » Logged

Renegade
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« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2012, 01:54:06 AM »



And they wonder why The Pirate Bay is popular... Sheesh...  undecided


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Edvard
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« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2012, 10:03:56 AM »

Are there any other outlets you can use, like 7Digital?
http://www.7digital.com
Based in the UK, so the chances are better.

How about Rhapsody? I don't think you need to be signed up to buy tracks, and it doesn't look like it uses Amazon for the checkout.
http://mp3.rhapsody.com

There are others, but I can't vouch for their catalog or availability.
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Renegade
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« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2012, 10:06:31 AM »

Are there any other outlets you can use, like 7Digital?
http://www.7digital.com
Based in the UK, so the chances are better.

How about Rhapsody? I don't think you need to be signed up to buy tracks, and it doesn't look like it uses Amazon for the checkout.
http://mp3.rhapsody.com

There are others, but I can't vouch for their catalog or availability.


To be honest, if it takes people much more than checking a couple stores, I can't really blame them if they would just go to TPB.

At some point, the Media Mafia needs to be willing to accept money when people try to pay them.

But then again, I'm just some radical freak that things refusing to accept money is just stupid...




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