MusicDish e-Journal - September 25, 2018
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Tackling the Issues: Peer-to-Peer & Security
A Look at Flycode, Preview Systems & Vedalabs
By Margee Fagelson
(more articles from this author)
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With all the brouhaha over Napster and BMG, some former Napsterites are quietly and diligently working their way into an active business model. Flycode (formerly AppleSoup) is another peer-to-peer filesharing network created by Napster co-Founder Bill Bales. Flycode announced a strategic partnership with Preview Systems' digital rights management system - ZipLock. Flycode is the first to 'endorse and license' this new platform. 

Bales' agenda was to make a 'Hollywood-friendly' video peer-to-peer system. The company was originally named AppleSoup until Apple Computer sent them an unfriendly letter, suggesting they change their name...or else! So AppleSoup became Flycode. Flycode hopes their system will offer media companies a way to track and control their media assets. The partnership with ZipLock means they hope to add the verb 'secure' to that laundry list. 

Preview Systems' ZipLock network was launched in two pieces back in June of this year. They introduced the ZipLock Server, an inventory and license management system; and the ZipLock Gateway, the merchandising and licensing commerce system. The two hope that their marriage will make them an obvious choice for p2p companies looking to go legit. 

This is all well and good considering for those out there who are in favor of some sort of Digital Rights Management system (DRM). However, it has yet to be proven that there is actually a company out there who can deliver absolute security. Even at CMJ Music Marathon 2000, during the Debate Club panel, the Reciprocal (another DRM company) representative assured the audience that there was no way that digital music could be secure, if it could be heard. That's the refrain! So, what do Preview Systems have that no one else has? 

ZipLock is a solution. They are not a DRM technology and they are anxious to clarify that. A discussion with Murali Dharan, Executive Vice President was quite helpful in his explanations. Their solution features the Intel Software Integrity System, a patented, tamper-resistant technology, which is also deployed in the DVD format which explains the partnership with Flycode's video distribution share. However, the actual purpose of the system is what I like to think of as a universal converter - that thing you add to the plug on your blowdrier/radio/curling iron/shaver when you travel overseas. The ZipLock and other Preview Systems solutions offer the consumer a facile and worry-free bridge to all DRMs out there. The end user doesn't want to worry about which DRM their music/video player or vendor has selected, they just want to get what they want. And Dharan - among others - admits that there is no absolute, secure from anyone and everyone technology but believes that there are technologies which offer 'reasonable security to keep honest people honest.' 

There are some companies out there who think they have mastered the conundrum of near-absolute security. Vedalabs has been a member of SDMI (Secure Digital Music Initiative) since early this year. Vedalabs' agenda is to fully comply with SDMI specifications for an open architecture. Vedalabs' Scott Campbell - former Director of Audio Initiatives for Lucent Technologies, veteran of the music and software industries, as well as founding member of SDMI - was named President in April of 2000.  

Campbell's coup is the Vedalabs Media Engine, which is customizable for most (if not all available) operating systems. The key to the VME's success is the 'Media Management Agent' which provides support for all CODEC and digital rights management (DRM) technologies.The interoperability of their technology ensures that the end user can access content from any source, as an entire, personal content library. And in support of SDMI, Vedalabs has developed a strong 256-bit key encryption technology to securely store, serve and stream content.

Supposedly, there is a company out there with a technology which contradicts the theory that if it can be heard, it can be copied. They're called Infraworks and I will be discussing this further, later. Meanwhile, their CEO, George Friedman, had this to contribute:

"We are encouraged by the announcement of the deal between Preview Systems and Flycode, but we question their ability, by themselves, to create a secure commercial peer-to-peer application acceptable to both consumers and content owners. Consumers are looking to access digital entertainment from familiar and convenient peer-to-peer applications such as Napster, while content distributors [creators and owners] are looking for a robust security solution to conditionally allow the redistribution of digital property. While this relationship is an affirmation of the evolution of peer-to-peer networks to viable, sustainable business models, it does not fully take advantage of the success of popular peer-to-peer applications nor the advances in digital property protection technology that will foster the next revolution in the distribution of digital entertainment."


  Apple -
Flycode -
Infraworks -
Intel -
Lucent Technologies -
Napster -
Preview Systems -
Vedalabs -

Related MusicDish e-Journal Articles:
» The New Kid on the Block: - Open-Source, File-Sharing Program (2000-11-07)
» My, Have Times Changed! BMG and Napster in a Partnership? (2000-10-31)
» The Digital Economy: How Digital Goods are Reshaping the Rules of Commerce - Introduction (2000-11-01)
»'s Peer-to-Peer Solution Automates Notification of Copyright Violations According to DMCA (2000-09-29)
» Story of a Revolution: Napster & the Music Industry (2000-09-06)
» Get Your MP3s With Newtella - The New Napster? (2000-09-03)
» - Their Technology Could End the Napster War (2000-08-08)
» Early Napster Founder and Investor Form New Company AppleSoup - It's The Difference Between Apples and Oranges (2000-07-25)

Related News from Mi2N:
» Flycode And Preview Systems Join Forces To Deliver The First, Secure Peer-To-Peer Video Distribution Network
» Preview Systems Powers Secure Delivery Of Music And Video Over Peer-To-Peer Networks
» SDMI Continues Evaluation Of Proposals For Phase II Technologies
» Bertelsmann And Napster Form Strategic Alliance

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