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Newspaper Calls iPod A Device For Downloading Music From P2P Networks [Updated]

Newspaper Calls iPod A Device For Downloading Music From P2P Networks [Updated]

by , 3:45 PM EDT, October 3rd, 2002

[Update: Reference to the iPod as a device for downloading music from the Internet has been removed from the Portsmouth Herald article to which we referenced. Our screen shot remains for those who wish to see what the fuss was about.]

What happens when a non-technically savvy reporter tries to cover things like peer-to-peer file sharing for a local newspaper? You get captions under a staff image of an iPod that read:

Apple's iPod is just one of the many ways to download music from the Internet.

Seriously. We took the opportunity of securing a screen shot from the Portsmouth Herald, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, for posterity's sake, in case the newspaper retracted or corrected their factual inaccuracy.


Click the thumbnail for a larger image

The article is an attempt to explain the nature of peer-to-peer file sharing, and the dangers it holds for copyright owners and musicians. It contains many of the small, and some not so small, mistakes inherent in articles where the author tries to apply his or her limited knowledge to broader areas where that knowledge does not apply.

For instance, we are told that gnutella is the "particular protocol used in file sharing" networks when it is only one of many, it is implied that the majority of musicians have come out against peer-to-peer file sharing when many musicians have actually come out against their own labels in support of file sharing, and it is also said that legislation allowing copyright holders to interrupt peer-to-peer networks would only allow one particular form of that interruption, when legislation being proposed would actually allow the media companies to wage full scale warfare on the Internet without any due process. We are also told that "In some cases, audio files, generally referred to as MP3 files, may sound hollow or skip repeatedly."

You can read more in the full article at the Portsmouth Herald.

The Mac Observer Spin:

Reading this article was painful, but seeing the iPod held up as a device for downloading music from the Internet was downright infuriating. We suggest you take a moment to let the editor of the paper know of their error.

For those who may not be familiar with the iPod, the device is an MP3 player that can play MP3 files, but can not connect to the Internet or any P2P networks in any way, nor download files from the Internet in any way. The newspaper's characterization of the iPod is false.

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