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Re: [xml-dev] Principles for an Ethical and Sustainable Internet -XML

On Fri, 2012-08-31 at 20:01 +0100, Pete Cordell wrote:
> [Maybe off topic?]
> Original Message From: "Liam R E Quin"
> > Let's see a W3C Business Group for tracking music downloads via Web
> > browsers so that ISPs can pay royalties. You know where the door is.
> > Stop throwing rotten eggs and come inside.
> I'd be interested to know if the W3C is a suitable place for this.  For me 
> this process would require a large element of cryptography in addition to 
> XML.  Would that be within the W3C's scope?

We already have XML Encryption, so I wouldn't preclude it.

I think XML and distribution is on topic.

> If I were in the music industry and I were to tackle this I would arrange 
> for each label (e.g. Sony, EMI etc.) to develop their own software library 
> that supported semantics like "<Download-track>15267438326</Download-track>" 
> and  "<Play>15267438326</Play>".  These libraries would be responsible to 
> storing the music on a system in a secure way, employing encryption and 
> striping the data across multiple files and so on.  Possibly limiting the 
> lifetime of the data and re-keying from time-to-time etc, maybe even 
> changing the algorithms from time to time.

In some countries if you buy something you have a right to keep it, and
to make copies of it for personal or family use.  You have to balance
the rights and needs of the artists and creators, the rights and needs
of the people enjoying the works, and the rights and needs of the people
who provide the service of connecting the artists with the listeners.

For that matter lots of people live out of the range of cell phone
towers or high speed Internet and still listen to music.

You also have to assume that people will break any encryption - it
doesn't even have to be about money as there are people who really enjoy
breaking encryption... but if it _is_ about money then brute force
solutions also have to be considered.

If you sow a thousand wheat seeds and only one hundred grow, you'll
still have enough seeds for another year but you'll be disappointed.

Here in Canada the big labels really fight hard against independent
music and always have. They want to make sure that new bands can't start
up and reduce sales of the formulas. For example, record stores are not
allowed to sort independent record label music in with mainstream
big-label music in the alphabetic section, and yes, they go round
inspecting stores. Put Nine Inch Nails too close to Nirvana and kiss
your store goodbye.

In software licensing it turned out that _telling_ people that the
software is not paid for is often (not always) more effective than
making the software not work unless you pay, because the encryption gets
broken and people use pirated copies. In other words, don't fight a
battle you can't win, but change the battle.

The music industry would need the cooperation of media players - and
soon that will mean basically Web browsers - to display that

> One big use for XML would be in the cataloguing
Today there are "standards" for cataloguing music, but they are really
really sucky and badly done, and get misused. Also, the big record
labels started putting out deliberately mis-tagged and incomplete songs,
so there's a big distrust of the tagging now. (and it never really
worked for classical music because the models were always too

> Presumably someone supplying the music service (along the lines of Spotify) 
> would act as a broker between the user and the label.

I think the labels would do this if they had a fucking clue. Some do,
some don't. Some would rather bomb railway stations than lose the
profits in their canals.

> Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I think it would require an entire 
> architecture rather than a standalone XML vocabulary.  Could the W3C develop 
> that sort of thing for either this case, or a similar case in general?

I don't know, but if we don't try, an architecture will evolve. One of
the biggest things in the past 15 or 20 years to reduce music piracy was
Apple opening itunes. If you make it easy for people to pay, guess what?
Most (not all) people do pay. And the ones who don't pay often don't
have the money, so it's better for them to hear the music and be able to
pay when they're older, or to tell other people about it.

The same sorts of discussion are happening in other industries too of
course, from stock images to fonts to movies...


Liam Quin - XML Activity Lead, W3C, http://www.w3.org/People/Quin/
Pictures from old books: http://fromoldbooks.org/
Ankh: irc.sorcery.net irc.gnome.org freenode/#xml

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