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Old January 17th, 2006
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verdyp verdyp is offline
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Join Date: January 13th, 2002
Location: Nantes, FR; Rennes, FR
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Default McDonald offers = download through Sony software

I've seen these McDonald offers in France too. It was clearly stated that this was a free offer to promote the Sony's online music shop. So what you won was a ticket number, with which you coulddownloadthe music fromthe Sony's online music store. But to activate this number, you first needed to accept the EULA for the Sony's downloader kit, and register it with your email address and true name (verified by sending back a confirmation number through your email) which was needed to validate your number. The kit also permanently assigns you a UUID alsoassociated to a personal cookie used in your browser.

So, you could download free MP3's, but these MP3s contain watermarked fingerprints with your personal registration number or Sony transaction number encrypted in it. If you later share these MP3s on the net, your digital fingerprint is visible in it.Sony assumes that such a file present on the net is a proof that you have violated their EULA, because such fingerprint uses a strong enough cryptographic algorithm which should be impossible to generate randomly by someone else. But Sony ignores the fact that fingerprinted files may be stolen on user's harddisks by hidden softwares using the same technics that Sony used to install their rootkits.

Until it is proven that Windows is reliable for its storage, I don't think that any DRM fingerprint found in a downloaded MP3 file can be used as proof of any EULA violation by users. It can only be used within investigations to detect which users may beviolating EULA, but then the act of counterfeighting still requires other proofs, notably the correlation of other fingerprints and Internet access logs collected by ISPs.

But the bad thing is that fingerprints are also inserted within all the legitimate MP3 you create yourself with addons implemented in your player (WMP, RealOne Player, QuickTime/iTunes, WinAmp), and as well in your photos and video made by your camera, or documents created with your favorite office application. These fingerprints, are also correlated externally within undeclared databases each time you send orshare these files legally.

Today, third party databases are so powerful things that they can really spy on your whole life: just ask yourself why you start receiving personal adds in your snailmail letterbox just afewdaysafter you have moved to a new location, from merchants you evendid not know before, and you'll seethat new database recordsadded by your bank or post office or phone company or travel agency or cable TV provider (or even public services like health care, tax services) are sold to advertizers.

With so much information about you, it's not difficult to correlate many things about new contents on the net. But the dangerous way is now to use these data,often collected without your knowledge or control (whichmay contain errors or incorrect correlations) as evidences for alleged illegal activities. Media companies consider that this type of proof is insufficidently strong to create proofs, sothey want to justify this with even more spying on your daily activities, as if we were not already too much spied often illegally.
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