Napster "Exploit" is mehh

You may have heard of that Napster "exploit" where you download songs from Napster, play them, and as they're playing, re-record them. It's not particularly groundbreaking, and I don't know why it's getting around so much. When a guy goes into a theatre with a camcorder, and re-records the movie, that's the exact same concept.

When you do the Napster thing digitally, then you should have an exact copy of the original song you're trying to copy. That's like doing a DVD-rip for movies. But when a guy is in a theatre with a camcorder, the signals are no longer travelling digitally through the wire. There's some lost of information, and degradation of quality. A similar thing would happen if you played the Napster songs on your computer and re-recorded the sound using a taperecorder or something. You'd probably have a lost of quality there too.

The issue is that with DRM, doing the recording digitally will no longer be possible. The FCC tried to add a broadcast flag to digital television transmission. When a show is played with the broadcast flag turned on, devices will refuse to record it. The broadcast flag could just as easily be associated with music as with television.

It's conceivable that someone might device a DRM system to prevent you from even using your camcorder or taperecorder to make a copy of a song that way: Televisions and movie theatre might send an invisible infrared beam which tells DRM-compliant camcorders to refuse to record the show or movie in question. The radio might play something on the ultrasonic frequency that tells DRM-compliant tape recorders not to record the sound. And when that happens, it'll be against the law for companies to manufacture non-DRM-compliant camcorders/tape recorders.

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