An idea spawned by anti-Napster Mark Gunderson: label MP3s as popular songs, but have the only actual content be dogs barking or some other silly thing like that.

Hmm. Is there something wrong here?

Well, let's see. A fan wants, say Intergalactic by the Beastie Boys. They do a search, pick a host, and download. Happy happy. Yet, instead of them crazy rappas talkin' they rhymes like it ain't nobody's business, they hear a cuckoo clock. OVER AND OVER AND OVER.

Reaction? Deletion. Napster relies on the fact that people share the songs they download to increase volume. If eveybody deletes the Hello Nasty bomb, there will be exactly one copy of the bomb in circulation. The odds of anyone downloading it are miniscule.

Silly Gunderson. Trix are for kids.

Suck proposed a variant on this, called Crapster, that would need to be propageted by someone with Record Company resources. In this case, the Record Company would hire a building floor full of people to do nothing but open free Napster accounts all day, until about 1/3 the open accounts on Napster are actually being served by stooges for, say, Virgin Records. Each phony account contains desirably-titled songs, but all mp3s downloaded from these accounts are actually recordings of Achey Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus.

An even more diabolical move for these companies could be to serve mp3 files that start off as advertised, but after about 15 seconds or so, launch into ABH, so that sullen teens would be forced to actually listen to each track they download, and get exposure to the song, to verify its authenticity. And to be even MORE diabolical, they could add some watermarking and extra bytes to the music to make sure that the size and checksum are the same as the real thing.

Barenaked Ladies did exactly that with their first single for their new album. It starts as the song, and then about 20 seconds in Ed and Steve (the bands co-lead singers) start talking about how this is actually an advertisement for the song. Back to the song for another verse and chorus... more Ed and Steve. It's done with typical BNL and humor, but the first time I heard it I remember why I used to like those guys. Of course within a day of the actual studio release of the song...

Gunderson, who later coined the phrase Napster Nugget, is not quite the Napster player hater of Kubla Khan's characterization. Gunderson did not devise the Napster Bomb just to frustrate the pop music fans. His Napster Bombs were disguised as songs such as: Aphex Twin - Rocked By Rave (bootleg).mp3 or XTC - Sunshine Bonnet Pylon (bootleg - rare).mp3. The song users would receive was really Rocked By Rape, by Gunderson's own Evolution Control Committee.

Deceptive? Yes. But Gunderson's intentions (see, were to "ensure maximum distribution" of his own Evolution Control Committee song, not to shit on the Napster users' desire for free music. Furthermore, the artists whom he masqueraded as were similar in some regards to his own music, and each mp3 correctly identified in the ID3 as Rocked by Rape (incidentally, Gunderson had problems distributing this track legitimately, after television network CBS threatened to sue Gunderson because the track usese streams of samples of anchor Dan Rather. It's good.)

Napster Bombs do call attention to the fact that Napster is not good code. It's search functions, for instance, are just crap. Remember when etoy hijacked search engines so that anyone searching for the XXX PORN FUCK ASIAN BLOWJOB SUCK COCK PUSSY CUNT sites would find hundreds of links to a lecture about sexism? Very soon thereafter, search engines started getting smarter with metatags, and began to become useful. Napster needs to spend some time getting smarter. Of course Napster has other problems at the moment.

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