Friday, January 06, 2006

An Answer for Tyler

The Viktoria Institute in Gothenburg, Sweden, is working on a concept they call PUSH MUSIC, which is software that automatically shares music files with nearby users who have similar tastes. It monitors the listening history of the user, and develops awareness about what kind of new music he might like. The concept envisions Wi-Fi-enabled music players that automatically establish a peer-to-peer connection, enabling people to either "browse" the music collections of others and take a copy of whatever they like, or -- here's the magic part -- just automatically receive music the software has selected for you.

Here is the link, and comments are open for those who know more about this.  Here are the comments from  Can you be liable if some other listener "pushes" stolen property onto your computer?  Will the risk of passing malicious code make this unworkable?

It depends is the answer to both of these questions.  If the nearby listener is merely broadcasting the music – i.e. the bits of the song are on your computer for no longer than it takes to generate the sound – I wouldn’t regard that as any different than internet radio or similar offering.  If the song gets copied to your computer and you retain possession of it after the song is over, I would view that as a copyright infringement.

The second question has a very similar answer.  If the music is just streamed, there is no inherent risk in the data, if it becomes a file that can be launched on your system then the risk is very large.  

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