Ubuntu One Music has No Watermarks

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http://popey.com – This is just a short blog post to note that Matt Griffin has updated the FAQ for the Ubuntu One Music Store that I previously blogged about. Most notable is probably this update:- There will be no embedded ‘watermarks’ of any kind on the MP3s in the Ubuntu One Music Store. Which is of course good news. This came up in a recent bug filed against the Ubuntu Community and later the Rhythmbox Plugin. In it Ryan expressed concern that music files purchased in the store might be tagged or watermarked. This would be to enable back-tracking should the files be copied contrary to the license under which they were distributed. This pre-dates the edit Matt made to the wiki, so at the time of the bug comment nobody really knew the answer. I asked around a few fellow beta testers to see if we could compare songs and identify if the files were indeed watermarked. The theory being we could each use a tool like sha1sum to generate a fingerprint of the file and see if they were the same or not. Luckily I found one beta tester online and he provided me with a sha1sum of a file he’d bought from the store. Unfortunately there was a bug in the store today which prevented me from buying the same track! Foiled! I did however find a friend on IRC who wasn’t a beta-tester of the Ubuntu store, but was a 7digital store customer. I convinced her to buy a song from 7digital that I already had purchased from the Ubuntu One store. As it turned out she didn’t need much convincing (even refusing my offer to pay her back the ¬£0.59 in costs ) and bought an Amy MacDonald song which we compared sha1sums on. As you can see in my comment on the bug report (reproduced below), the files seem identical. 20:54:17 alan@wopr:~/.ubuntuone/Purchased from Ubuntu One$ sha1sum Amy\ MacDonald/This\ Is\ The\ Life/This\ Is\ The\ Life.mp3 20:54:17 b576a6695cce410521c862301f74deeb3ced22e4 Amy MacDonald/This Is The Life/This Is The Life.mp3 20:59:38 [dee@jane Dropbox]$ sha1sum Amy\ MacDonald\ -\ This\ Is\ The\ Life.mp3 20:59:38 b576a6695cce410521c862301f74deeb3ced22e4 Amy MacDonald - This Is The Life.mp3 We’ll set aside the statistical unlikely-hood that both files were fingerprinted but still came up with the same sh1sum. While friends still pointed out to me that the sample size of one wasn’t exactly comprehensive proof, now we have Matts wiki edit I think that concern can be put to bed. (Distributions)