iTunes Match and Pirated Music

Discussion in 'Apple Music, iCloud and Apple Services' started by bro1357, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

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    Dec 4, 2011
    #1
    Hi everybody -

    all right, so I have a question. nobody is going to know this for sure, I don't think, but I'm interested in your opinions.

    I know that amazon and apple put purchase info in the headers of the files they sell so they can tell who has what files. but do you think that if you clean that data out that there is any way for itunes match to detect pirated music?

    i was having an arguement with a friend of mine about this, and he said no way that they could detect this kind of info if you cleaned the headers. I said that maybe they could, but i wasn't sure.

    what do you think?
     
  2. macrumors 68020

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    Feb 19, 2011
    #2
    Either way it's an entirely moot point.

    iTunes match just matches whatever is in your library. It looks at track title, Artist, Album, possibly the year and that's it. Hence why tracks ripped from a CD (or any other source) are matched too.

    I don't believe that amazon does add headers. Their files are DRM free, so why would they bother with that? Even if their files get spread on wares sites there's nothing they can do about it.

    Regardless, Apple certainly isn't scanning files to check whether they are purchased online.
     
  3. macrumors 68020

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    #3
    The second point is that once matched, you can delete your versions and download apple's version. Which then at that time has apple's headers :)
     
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 4, 2011
    #4
    well, first, amazon does put metadata about the individual purchase in the header file of the mp3 - check this out: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200422000

    so does apple, so all the files you download from match are 'personalized' to you and you alone. if you fileshare them, they can be traced back to you.

    second, match has to use some kind of fingerprinting and not just tags and filenames.

    what i was wondering was - do you think they can detect by just the fingerprint of the song if the song is not legit? i say yes, others say no.

    thoughts?
     
  5. macrumors member

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    Mar 8, 2011
    #5
    Apple doesn't give a **** whether your music is pirated or not - the service just matches the songs and stores a copy of the id3 tag so that it'll maintain how you organize your media.

    How and where you built your collection is meaningless. And yes, songs you redownload of iTM will have your account email embedded in the id3 tag, but that can be erased easily enough should you choose to do so.
     
  6. macrumors 6502

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    texas
    #6
    i second endless17

     
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    so you really think they don't care whether the music is pirated? what if the riaa sues to get the info? i'm not so sure.
     
  8. macrumors 68020

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    Feb 19, 2011
    #8
    Fair enough, but it still doesn't matter because Apple isn't checking for it.

    If it did, the songs people ripped from CDs wouldn't work because they have no 'fingerprint', that's something that Apple would have to add, and obviously they can only add it to what you download from them.

    It works based on metadata...

    Well, if you remove the purchase ID and your email address there's nothing in the file left to link you to it, then there's nothing left to trace it back to you.

    Again, no one is checking because it makes no sense. If you rip a CD it does not have purchase information yet it's just as legal. What if your amazon email is different to your iTunes email address? Doesn't make it any less legit but they still won't match up.

    Exactly! They have your money already, and in turn so do the record labels.

    Apple signed contracts with the record labels themselves, they agreed to it. The RIAA is there to police the unauthorised use of copyrighted music, but the labels agreed to this.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 4, 2011
    #9
    personally, i think that if you have pirated music in your library, if apple has a way to detect it that you're only tempting fate if you use match.

    they very clearly say in the tos that you can only use match for legally acquired content.

    i mean, honestly, most people have some pirated content in their collections, right? i don't know if anybody here will fess up, but it's gotta be true. aren't you nervous that apple/riaa/whoever will knock at your door in a month/six months/a year down the road saying that they know you have illegally downloaded music?

    hmm? honestly?
     
  10. Tinmania, Dec 6, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011

    macrumors 68030

    Tinmania

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    #10
    Not only are you wrong, your argument for that position is ridiculous.

    I know for a fact that iTunes Match not only uses audio fingerprinting (wave analysis) but that it ONLY uses it--it does not use metadata whatsoever.



    Michael
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    no. honestly.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 4, 2011
    #12
    okay, so if it uses only fingerprinting, is there any way it can tell a pirated track from an unpirated one? the only way i could think is if an online music retailer placed a digital audio watermark in them. i hear the labels put those in so they can distinguish what retailers sell what music.

    so, do you think they can tell? do you think that many match users have pirated content in their collections?
     
  13. macrumors 601

    PNutts

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    #13
    The horse is dead and the this thread's well has run dry, but I'll try one more time.

    A portion of the $25 yearly fee goes to the record labels for the very purpose of providing them the revenue they lost due to pirated songs. When you pay $25, the songs become legitimately "yours". Nobody can "come after you" because you've paid for them. The songs aren't pirated any more.
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    Bernard SG

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    Jul 3, 2010
    #14
    It's one of these instances where what's theoretically possible isn't just workable in the real world.
    I will venture with a totally baseless estimate that at least 90% of iTunes match users will have illegally acquired music that will be matched. That's a lot of people to sue and, would the RIAA or the labels decide to do so, the judicial system would just implode... Not to mention there would be violent riots and, perhaps, the end of civilization as we know it.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 4, 2011
    #15
    okay, so you've convinced me ... except one thing. why would apple specifically put in the TOS:

    "You hereby agree to use iTunes Match only for lawfully acquired content. Any use for illegitimate content infringes the rights of others and may subject you to civil and criminal penalties, including possible monetary damages, for copyright infringement."


    if they didn't care, then why would this be in there, especially if, as you say that the industry was compensated for this already? doesn't make sense to me. if it didn't matter, why didn't they leave it out?
     
  16. macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Covering their ass in case something unforeseen arises. Legal neccessities.
     
  17. Mal
    macrumors 603

    Mal

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    #17
    Not even remotely true. Songs that were originally acquired illegally don't become legal just because of iTunes Match. See the language from the TOS posted just before this post.

    jW
     
  18. macrumors 68030

    Tinmania

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    #18
    Just having songs acquired illegally are not how people get in trouble. It is when they upload and download them that they are targeted. To my knowledge no one has been arrested or fined for just "having them" (unless it involved true counterfeit physical media). There also should be no reason to still "have them" as you can download them from Apple and delete the originals. And, ironically, iTunes Match is NOT uploading those matched tracks. So you can't even get in trouble there. Heck I would be more concerned about using Amazon or Google music services as in those case everything other than what you buy from them is uploaded.

    So if you have nothing to do with P2P sites, never download copyright material, and certainly never upload it, there is truly little to fear. No one can say "nothing to fear" no more than one can guarantee you won't get hit by lightening. But I view the odds about the same.

    You also don't need to "own" the songs to be legal. It is perfectly legal, for instance, to record songs from (internet) radio for personal use (USA and many other countries). I did just that--with a few thousand of them--a decade ago with an old music streaming service that is now long defunct. But these were crappy tracks: 64kbps in many cases and virtually no metadata. I was just about to purge them because of low quality when iTunes Match came out. Over 90% of them have been matched, downloaded in 256kbps AAC DRM-free format, and the original crappy versions deleted. That alone was worth the price of iTunes Match.




    Michael
     
  19. Mal
    macrumors 603

    Mal

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    #19
    Oh, I'm well aware of that. The question wasn't whether they'd get caught, though. It was whether it was legal. The answer to that (in the US, at least) is quite clear.

    jW
     
  20. macrumors 68030

    Tinmania

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    #20
    No it is not. What is the legal infraction involved with merely possessing copyrighted music with no proof of where it came from or how? It is the act of copying and/or distribution where copyright violations most occur as far as recorded music. Show me, in the below US code, where possession is illegal (emphasis added):
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/usc_sec_17_00000106----000-.html




    Michael
     
  21. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 4, 2011
    #21
    the really interesting question is: can itunes match tell the difference between pirated mp3 and legitimate ones? (other than by looking at the metadata stored in the tags placed there by online music vendors)

    is there some kind of acoustical fingerprinting that can identify these mp3?
     
  22. macrumors 6502

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    Dec 6, 2011
    #22

    -delete-
     
  23. macrumors 68030

    Tinmania

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    #23
    No. And as I stated iTunes Match does use audio fingerprinting but I suspect you think that is more of a watermark which it is not. Audio fingerprinting or wave analysis does not identify a song to a specific user. It identifies the song, no matter where it came from.

    Now, when you download matched tracks they are 256kbps AAC DRM-free. The metadata is not changed from whatever the track had that was matched to (your track, not Apple's). However, your name and iTunes ID is inserted into the downloaded tracks. This is no different than iTunes Plus tracks. Amazon does similar. So if you left that metadata in there, and shared your downloaded matched tracks with the world, you might indeed have a problem.




    Michael
     
  24. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 4, 2011
    #24
    no, you misunderstand me. what i'm asking is if the file is already watermarked with an audio watermark, like the record labels themselves admit to doing, so they can tell which online retailers sells it, will this be detectable?

    the labels admit to putting inaudible watermarks into files that are changed based on the retailer (itunes, amazon, etc).

    the question is, are they storing the 'digital fingerprint' they use to identify the song on the itunes match server, or just storing that they matched it. i wonder ....
     
  25. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    #25
    It's not entirely ridiculous at all. I stated that match identifying music based on a unique tag added to file isn't how it worked. Analysing the contents of the file itself is entirely different.


    Thank you for the correction :)


    Are you serious? The past 24 posts have answered your question more than once.

    If I rip a track from a CD and upload it to the web, and someone else downloads it, my legitimate copy is the same as their pirated copy. How can you possibly differentiate between them?
     

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