By George Ziemann Having become totally disgusted with the music business, I'm about to go offline forever and pursue a more noble career, like flipping burgers at McDonalds or becoming a mental patient in a padded cell. But I've been asked to write one last article. I've seen the ridiculous explanation the national media has bought into hook, line and sinker describing the RIAA's "ingenious" and "surprisingly technical" approach to identifying how to tell the difference between mp3 files which were obtained from legally purchased CDs and those which came from "pirated" sources. The RIAA's explanation of how they've made their technical deduction is exactly the same sort of misdirection that's apparently fooled the entire country. I've watched on the pages of even Boycott-riaa, which I thought comprised humans with a speck of intelligence, as they ponder the technical wherewithal and mystery surrounding the RIAA's brilliant masterpiece, which allows them to trace the origin of a file back to the time of Napster, using this as their "evidence" of wrongdoing. To put it bluntly: How stupid are you all? The fact there's post after post of concern and worry over this magical technological marvel, concocted by one of the world's most technologically inept organizations, led only in their ignorance by the US Congress and the US Copyright Office, makes me certain that the RIAA will win this battle because no one has asked the incredibly obvious question. In all the news articles, television reports, comments and posts, not one of you has asked this magic question. You have all bought into this misdirection like trout going for bait. You have given the word of known liars more credence than you would give a streetcorner magician. Let me run the important phrase of a previous story past you - "By comparing the fingerprints of music files on a person's computer against its library, the RIAA believes it can determine in some cases whether someone recorded a song from a legally purchased CD or downloaded it from someone else over the Internet." Although this lie has already propagated to such lengths that it will now be impossible to convince anyone of the truth, allow me to explain how everyone has been baffled by this bullshit. Since a digital copy of an mp3 is not a perfect copy of a CD track, as the industry has led so many to believe, once it's been created and placed on the Internet, each recurring copy of this file WILL be an exact duplicate of the original mp3. If this were not true, the RIAA's statement would fall apart at this point in the logic. If it were altered in any way, this entire wild theory about hashes and digital fingerprints would be quickly proven false. While you've blindly accepted this theory, no one has raised the issue of where that original mp3 came from. I don't want to be overly technical here, but ask yourself this: If the mp3 was not created from a legally purchased CD, where the hell DID it come from? What can the origin of an mp3 file be if no one possessed the physical CD? Magic? It just appeared on their computer one day? They hacked into the recording studio's computer? Broke into the studio in the dead of night and stole the master recordings? If an mp3 was not created from a legally purchased CD, then there's only one other possible source - the record label itself, if not the artist. Oh wait, there's another possibility. If the song is out of print, and NOT available on CD, it may have come from a legally purchased vinyl album. With more thought, myriad possibilities come to mind, none of which point to the consumer as the guilty party. Were they recorded off the radio? If so, the Home Recording Act comes into play. Do the $4 billion a year in free promotional copies have different digital fingerprints that the legal CDs? Can you tell a shoplifted CD from one which was legally purchased? Unless the recording industry itself is responsible for creating mp3s from the master recordings and distributing them over the Internet, ALL mp3s MUST, by definition have come from purchased CDs. To entertain any other definition is blind ignorance. There is no magic. Just more lies and deceit. And everyone fell for it - again. You've been arguing everything over the past week since this announcement except the obvious. Has the lowest common denominator really fallen faster that the recording industry's sales? It would appear so.