Earlier this month, news of an upcoming piece of music software began to cause waves.
Centered around a media player supporting a wide array of audio formats, Aurous will leverage content on the BitTorrent network and other web sources to bring a Spotify-like experience to users.
With its clean and tidy interface, it’s no wonder that Aurous has already been likened to a “Popcorn Time for music”, a branding that could yet prove to be both blessing and curse in equal amounts, depending on one’s perspective.
The software, which TF tested in pre-alpha, is not yet available to the public but that hasn’t stopped anti-piracy outfit Rightscorp jumping into the fray with both feet. Last Friday the troubled company issued a press release, claiming to have a solution to the threat supposedly posed by Aurous.
Highlighting the decentralized approach taken by developer Andrew Sampson, Rightscorp warned potential customers that Aurous could not be dealt with by regular means. Monetizing piracy will be their only chance, the company argued.
“Aurous’ technology will be unaffected by take-down notices, site blocking and will not use Pirate Bay or any domain names that can be blocked,” the company warned.
“It will distribute the music search metadata via the peer-to-peer networks, allowing the ability to stream large amounts of free music illegally and providing a very easy-to-use interface to the BitTorrent network.”
Rightscorp CEO Christopher Sabec added that there is a “lot of concern” over the impending Aurous launch but noted that his company can provide a solution.
“The Aurous app allows for access to a large amount of free music, acting like a Spotify, however, offering zero payments to the rightsholder,” Sabec said.
“Rightscorp’s ability to get individual seeders to stop seeding will be the only scalable way to stop this next explosion of free music,” he added.
TorrentFreak asked Sampson to comment on Rightscorp’s announcement and the somewhat irritated developer responded.
“Rightscorp has no idea how our technology works, nor our plans at protecting right holders from copyright infringement and giving copyright holders the tools for managing their content, monetizing and/or protecting work their work,” he told TF.
“We announced earlier through Twitter [well before the Rightscorp announcement] that we will be creating a content-id system and DMCA portal so we can ensure Aurous does not infringe on anyone’s copyrights. Because this system is still so premature in its development, we can’t give more details, however, we can assure you Rightscorp is wrong.”
Sampson insists that first and foremost Aurous is a music player, albeit one with search engines that leverage existing APIs from “completely legal and licensed services” backed up by the power of P2P.
“The P2P portion of Aurous is nothing more than a comprehensive and cached list of these searches so results can be delivered faster to users as spoken about in our tech blog. While you can search across P2P, it is not a default option, our P2P search option is there for hard to find copy-left content, but in that regard, is still a search engine.”
Sampson feels that by announcing an anti-piracy solution for a product that hasn’t even been released yet Rightscorp has jumped the gun somewhat. However, the likelihood that this is almost certainly an attempt to grab publicity isn’t lost on the developer.
“The fear mongering by Rightscorp is nothing more than babble and attempts to garner clients to ‘protect’ them from our application which hasn’t even been released,” Sampson says.
“Maybe Rightscorp should read this piece. A French economist predicted the current state of music 40 years ago. The music industry is killing itself. We live in a world were licensed material can be streamed close to 200,000,000 times from Spotify and the writer for that song receives a pitiful $5,600.
“But according to many studies, sells are still at an all time high. Aurous is here to change the music industry for the better,” Sampson concludes.
This isn’t the first time that Rightscorp has attempted to ride on the tails of a ‘new’ sharing phenomenon. Late August the company launch its Popcorn Time ‘mitigation service’ but in reality its offering was the same old model with a new coat of promotional paint.