Volume 94, Issue 90

Tuesday, March 13, 2001


NEWS

USC gets the budget blues - "Conservative" figures go to council tomorrow

Ex-U of T profs sue for equality

Toronto university plagues by unfortunate incidents

New Web site says no ixnay on the apsternay

Amnesty report sours celebration for Women's Day

Arizona U studies psychics' abilities

Drunk drivers, knives, and crack, oh my!

New Web site says no ixnay on the apsternay

By Joel Brown
Gazette Staff

A few Toronto university students have slid their way through recently implemented Napster filters the best way they know how – using pig Latin.

In an attempt to help users get around a recent US court ruling that forces the Internet music swapping site to block the exchange of copyrighted music material, PulseNewMedia launched a program last Friday that conceals artists names and songs on MP3 files.

By downloading software from NapCameBack.com the encryption of songs in the libraries of Napster users will be translated into a code – for now pig Latin – that music censors cannot pick up.

Users of the software will then be able to type actual song names into the program and will be given back a translated code of what to look for from other NapCameBack.com users. For example instead of looking for an Eminem song on Napster they would look for a song by "mineme."

"We've talked to our lawyers and they've said it's fully legal because all we're doing is renaming files," said Jordan Klassen, director of PulseNewMedia, a subsidiary of the Scarborough College Students Association at the University of Toronto.

According to Klassen, the site has already had over 20,000 downloads of the program.

Klassen said neither the Recording Industry Association of America or Napster has yet approached PulseNewMedia about their product. In anticipation of censors catching on to the new encryption PulseNewMedia is developing an updated version of its program that will periodically change the distortion codes of songs.

"I think the notion of an individual creating a way to get around the filters and helping Napster to get out of trouble is a good thing," said dean of information and media studies at Western, Manjunath Pendakur.

"Major record companies and Hollywood studios are going to have to wake up to the fact the Internet is here to stay and they're going to have to participate in it one way or another," he said.

Third-year Western geography student and Napster user, Jeff Hignett, said he has not yet downloaded the program, but said he hopes it will help maintain the success of Napster. "It seems to me like it's great free publicity for artists," he said.


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