Geek magazine hacker daily blog

3 years, 5 months ago
The person who impaired a little blood to musical business. Part 1

In Saturday day 1994 Benny Lidell Glover (Bennie Lydell Glover), the hired worker at factory of compact disks PolyGram located in Kings Mountain in the north of California came to a party to the house of one of colleagues. He wanted to get a job on a permanent basis, and this party was an excellent opportunity to communicate to heads. In the evening the host turned on the music and arranged a disco. Glover, though the frequenter of clubs of the city of Charlotte located in an hour of driving from his house never heard these songs, but recognized contractors because it liked creativity of these people.

Later Glover understood that the owner of a party played music which was stolen from factory and strongly was surprised. The policy of the company demanded from all permanent employees of signing of paper "about inadmissibility of theft". He knew that heads of the company were concerned by information leakages and heard that some employees were arrested for assignment of property. But here it was obvious that music from the stolen disks, despite presence of the manual plays. At that moment Glover was disturbed by scales of underground trade in music to its official release. "We are going to let out a product during a week, and it begins to be on sale on flea markets already during week-end, – he told. – From factory very often something "flows away".

The person who impaired a little blood to musical business. Part 1
Dell Glover worked at factory on production CD to earn to himself a living, but he began to wonder: "If the MP3 is so good, then why to bother with disks?"

The factory works all the year round and occupies hundreds of acres of a lesomassiv among which 300 000 square meters are made by the working area of plant. New albums get to musical shops on Tuesdays, but make them, seal and pack for several weeks before. In other day the factory makes a quarter of one million disks. The PolyGram factory was child division of outstanding manufacturing company of consumer Phillips electronics which is with - the inventor of the CD format.

Tony Dokeri (Tony Dockery), the same hired worker was one of Glover's colleagues. They worked at two opposite ends of the wrapping device, in twenty steps from each other. Glover gave disks to the device, and Dokeri took the brilliant cases which are wrapped up with polyethylene and packed up them in boxes for sending. Works were paid for $10 per hour.

Glover and Dokeri quickly made friends. They lived in one city – Shelby, and Glover began to give a ride to the workmate before work. They liked the same music. They earned identical quantity of money. Moreover, both of them liked computers – at the beginning 90kh it was a rarity for two workers from Carolina. The average inhabitant Shelby would purchase to himself the fowling piece, than the personal computer rather. The father Glovera was a mechanic, and his grandfather – the farmer who in combination earned additionally the technician on repair on television. In 1989 when Glovera there were 15 years, it went to Sears and purchased the first computer with the one-color monitor for 203 dollars. His mother subscribed as the guarantor on the credit. Pottering with machine, Glover quickly became the expert in assembly of "iron" and began to earn additionally repair of computers of friends and neighbors.

By the time of that party he began to study the arising Internet culture, investigating news systems and America Online. Soon Glover purchased the CD drive – one of the first, made for house use (then it cost about 600 dollars) and began to write and sell to friends musical disks, making playlists of that music which it had. "Near my house many traded in footwear, notebooks, CD, movies and even stolen goods, – Glover told me. – I did not think that will pay attention to me". But "burned" one disk took 40 minutes therefore business went slowly.

Glover began to consider option of sale of the stolen CDs from factory: he knew couple of workers who took out them from the territory. Release of an album before official release, by its copying on "pigs", could be the profitable enterprise (labels saw in it the biggest danger). But the musical disks PolyGram did not approach. The company won first place among adult audience, and those people who buy stolen CD from a luggage carrier of the car do not listen to Bryan Adams and Cheryl Crowe. They needed Jay Z, but the factory did not let out its albums.

In 1996 Glover who was named Dell got permanent job at factory, with a bigger salary and privileges, and also an opportunity to work overtime. It began to work in two changes, being caused by the volunteer on each free. "We did not allow it to work more than six days in a row, – Robert Buchanan (Robert Buchanan), one of the former heads says, – but he tried".

The money earned overtime needed to be spent somewhere. In the fall of 1996, Hughes Network Systems provided the first consumer broadband satellite Internet in the country. Glover and Dokeri were connected without delay. Service offered the speed of 400 Kbps that exceeded the speed of the best modem seven times.

Glover quickly forgot about AOL. He understood that all most interesting occurs in chats. The Internet Relay Chat networks, usually, were non-commercial and contained universities and certain people who were not responsible for what in them occurs. You created the account and joined the channel marked with tags: #politics, #sex, #computers. Glover and Dokeri became Internet and dependent, sometimes, after the whole working day, they together "hung up" in one chat room after work. In Dokeri's chat sat under St nickname. James or, sometimes, Jah Jah. Glover preferred ADEG nickname, and, a little more rare, to Darkman. Glover had no passport, and it seldom left the southern part of the country, but the chat gave it the chance to communicate with people worldwide.

The person who impaired a little blood to musical business. Part 1
"Look! New emodzh"

Also it had an opportunity to exchange files. Piracy online copies of media files were called "варез" (warez from the word software) and extended subculture of Warez Scene which originates in 1980. Scene consisted of several commands untied with each other which competed with each other in attempts the first to lay out material in a network. The software became available in day of official release. Sometimes it was possible to crack servers of the companies or to receive a piece of a code from the employee of the company and "to fill in" it to an output of the program. Capability it is regular to get pre-release versions in every possible way it was approved by community – it was considered as "elite".

To the middle of the 90th, Scene went further copying of the software and began to be engaged in logs, a pornography, pictures and even fonts. In 1996 the participant of Scene with a nickname of NetFraCk formed new team under the name Compress ’Da Audio (in abbreviated form CDA) which "piratit" the first a MP3. The new MP3 standard, could squeeze musical files more than for 90%. On August 10, 1996 CDA loaded into IRC first "official piracy" a MP3: song "Until It Sleeps" of Metallica group. For only several weeks there was a set of the competing commands which flooded community with thousands of "piracy" songs.

The first visit of Glover to the chat devoted to a MP3 took place soon after this event. He did not know what is a MP3 and who did these files. It just downloaded the software for a MP3 player, and started bots that they loaded to it music. Several minutes later the small library gathered on its hard drive.

"California Love" of Tupac Shakur was one of songs – this single became popular after death of the author who died several weeks in September, 1996 earlier. Glover loved Tupac's songs and when its album "All Eyez on Me" got on PolyGram factory, by the special order of Interscope Records, it even packed several disks on the pipeline. Glover started on the California Love computer. Roger Troutman's introduction began to reach through computer columns, it was followed by a remix of Dr. Dre on a piano batch from Joe Cocker's song "Woman to Woman". Soon Tupac's voice squeezed and digitized was heard it sounded in the same way as on CD.

At work Glover made CD for mass consumption. But it spent more than two thousand dollars for CD drives and other hardware to make disks in house conditions. Its earnings depended on demand for a product. But Glover reflected: if the MP3 can reproduce Tupac's voice of all on the one eleventh frequency bands if this file then can be distributed for free via the Internet, then the compact disk is why the hell necessary?

In 1998 Seagram Company purchased PolyGram and integrated it with Universal Music Group. The network on production and sale of disks began to include also factory in Kings of Mountain. Workers were nervous, but the manual told them not to worry, the factory was not closed, and extended. The musical industry enjoyed the uncompetitive period, requesting more than $40 for CD which cost value made $2. Bosses of Universal thought that such state of affairs will last eternally. In the prospectus completed at acquisition of PolyGram among essential threats to business of a MP3 it did not appear.

Production lines were improved and made half a million CD a day. There were more changes, it is more than overtime more music. Universal switched to a rap. Jay-Z, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Cash Money – their albums Glover packed personally.

In six months after merge Sean Fanning, the 18-year-old student deducted from Northeast university provided to public the file exchange Napster network. Fanning carried out the youth in the same a chat underground as Glover and Dokeri, and was struck with inefficiency of means of distribution of information. Napster replaced IRC bots with the server centralized by peer-to-peer allowing people to exchange files directly. Everything in a year the number of users of service reached 10 million people.

Before emergence of Napster the stolen album caused only a local loss. Now it was accident. Universal intensively advanced the albums and waged expensive marketing campaigns: created videos, gave advertizing on radio and TV including at night. Availability of pre-release music on the Internet spoiled everything, doing vain months of work and forcing actors to feel devoted.

Even before start of Napster the factory began to implement new rules for prevention of leaks and theft. Steve Van Byyuren (Steve Van Buren) managing safety at factory took additional precautionary measures even before merge to Universal, and now entered system of accidental checks. Each worker had to carry out by the magnetic card on the reader, before an output from factory. Most often the green bulb lit up, and the worker could leave. Sometimes, the card lit a red spark, and the worker was exposed to examination by the metal detector reacting to a thin aluminum covering of disks.

Van Byyurenu was succeeded to cover outlets of a couple of "bootleggers". The manual of factory heard about the technician who played pre-release songs at parties, and Van Byyuren asked about test on the lie detector. The technician failed him and was dismissed. But Glover all the same had people who took out albums from the plant territory. One even managed to take out the whole block from three hundred disks, each of which was on sale for $5. But he sold them secretly, and only the elected workers knew who is involved in it.

By this time Glover made a tower of seven CD drives which stood near its computer. Such quantity of the equipment allowed to make about 30 copies of disks per hour that did a butlegerstvo by much more profitable occupation therefore it began "to sherstit" other underground networks with "varezy" in search of material for sale. It took games for PlayStation, the application for the PC, MP3 – everything that could be written on a disk and to sell for couple of dollars.

Special emphasis was put on movies which brought everyone for $5. The new technology of compression allowed to find room for the movie on one CD. Quality of video was lost, but business all the same went quickly, and soon it bought empty disks for record by the whole mountains. Glover purchased the printer of stickers by means of which printed directories which stored in the nylon black folder, and a color printer to print posters. It stored all stock in a luggage carrier of the Jeep and sold movies from the machine.

The person who impaired a little blood to musical business. Part 1
"We could not find vegansky bezglyutenovy cake without GMO and sugar on your birthday therefore brought to you "nothing"

Glover still considered that to sell the stolen CDs from factory too risky. However he liked to write and sell that music which it already had, and smugglers welcomed it as the. At factory he was the permanent employee who is interested in technologies and with the faultless characteristic, but beyond its limits, it was not so pure. Glover purchased the Japanese racing motorcycle when there came to the Black Bike Week festival on the beach Mirtl. He purchased also several guns, and on a shoulder typed a tattoo with the Death in a loose overall walking a pit bull terrier on a chain.

His colleague Dokeri strongly contrasted on its background. It was pure, shaved as the priest and too fair for smuggling. But he began to be engaged in a butlegerstvo too and exasperated Glover with requests to share stolen records. In addition to all Dokeri found files which Glover could not find in a network: movies which still went at movie theaters, games on PlayStation which output was planned only for several months ahead.

Some time Glover exchanged disks for the software and Dokeri's movies, but then was tired to act as the courier and asked why it is so important for it? Somehow at the night Dokeri invited him to the house where he showed all underground world of "varez". The last year or about that it loaded pre-release records which Glover, in a "dark" network of online enthusiasts gave it. It was the Scene network, and Dokeri joined in IRC one of elite groups under the name Rabid Neurosis, or just RNS (Dokeri refused to comment on this part of history).

Instead of "piratit" separate songs, RNS rewrote the whole albums, having turned it into races, by analogy with the software. The task was – to overtake official release, and it was for this purpose necessary to implement the people in the leading labels.

The leader of RNS was known under Kali nickname. He was the master of supervision and implementation and, seemingly, spent a set of hours every week, investigating the confused network of corporate acquisitions and agreements on where and when these CDs are made. Thanks to this information he managed to create a network from people who for the next eight years could be implemented into a chain of deliveries of each big musical label. "It was business of all his life, he knew everything about all dates of releases", – Glover says.

Docker, known Kali as St. James, became its first big misfire. If to trust judicial documents, Dokeri met Kali and several other members of RNS in a chat room. There he learned about desire of group to publish pre-release songs. Soon it joined RNS and became one of their best sources. But when family life began to disturb it, he decided that Glover will be able to take its place.

Glover reflected. What it it could give it?

He learned that Kali is the "gatekeeper" standing at gate to the confidential servers forming Scene skeleton. Superfast servers contained the best piracy media of all types: they were well hided, and only the predetermined IP addresses could be connected to them. Scene vigilantly monitored the goods, perhaps even Universal is more vigilant.

If Glover agreed to give stolen CDs from Kali factory, then would get access to these servers, and any more would never pay for media. He could listen to an album Outkast for a week before release. It could play Madden NFL on the PlayStation how game will appear in shops. He could receive those movies which were downloaded earlier for it by Dokeri.

The docker organized a chat session for Glover and Kali during which they exchanged numbers of cell phones. During the first call Glover mostly listened. Kali spoke briskly with the Californian accent, embellishing the speech gikovsky words and the slang borrowed rappers from the Western coast. He loved computers and hip-hop, and also knew all cherished secrets and all parts of hostility between actors of different labels. He also knew effects of murders of Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. – the intensity of emotions already fell down. Def Jam, Cash Money and Interscope signed contracts with Universal. The research Kali constantly conducted it to factory of Kings of Mountain.

It and Glover discussed partnership parts. Kali will trace dates of releases of the future albums and to tell Glover what material he would like to purchase. Then Glover will take out the necessary CDs from factory and to transfer CD to a MP3 format that on encrypted links to transport records on the home computer Kali. Kali will format an album according to the Scene standards and will load it on confidential servers.

Terms of transaction suited Glover, but to fulfill requirements of Kali, it had to take out new albums from factory much more often than normal – three or four times a week. It was a problem. In addition to accidental examinations, around the parking at factory built a fencing, and emergency exits supplied with signaling. The manual prohibited to pass on the enterprise territory with notebooks, stereosystems, players, boomboxes, that is everything that could read CD disks.

Every time when production of sign release, say, of "The Eminem Show" or "Country Grammar" Nelly prepared, album arrived on a limousine with tinted glasses, was transferred in a suitcase straight from studio, and the courier never issued the master copy from a type. When the lot of albums was produced, Van Byyuren organized check by the metal detector of all staff of factory.

The devices making CD disks were controlled digital controllers and worked unmistakably. Account of the sealed disks by means of barcodes was kept. The managing system created the report, tracing what disk was printed and what was sent, and someone bore responsibility for each mismatch. The factory could issue more than half a million copies of a popular album a day, at the same time considering and carefully tracing each disk.

Such workers as Glover, occupied on the packaging line which in the technical plan became more difficult, had the last opportunity to drag off a CD disk. Passing further across the line, disks were marked with a barcode and entered into the monitoring system. It was impossible to get access to them further. An opportunity to take a physical entity in hands was the main benefit of a compact disk over a MP3. In fact, Universal sold packaging. Covers of albums became more sophisticated. Disks were poured by gold, brilliant cases were dark-blue or violet color, envelopes for albums represented the thick booklets printed on high-quality paper. For each batch tens, sometimes hundreds of additional disks which served as replacement of the damaged copies were created.

The person who impaired a little blood to musical business. Part 1
"I just pretend that I look after them"

At the end of each change working factories poured out excess disks in recycle bins which contents belonged to a crusher and was destroyed. Many years Glover put disks in such baskets and knew that the crushing automatic machine does not possess memory and does not keep account. If in a basket there were 24 disks, and only 23 of them got to millstones, then none of the manual knew about it.

On the way from the conveyer belt to a crusher the worker of factory could take off a medical glove from a hand, envelop it around a disk and stick. Then it was possible to hide a disk, having destroyed the others, and at the end of change to take away it.

But there were still security guards on an output. Though here it was possible to contrive. The belt buckle helped to take out disks from the enterprise territory. Factories, many of the employees, carried big oval metal plates with stars and strips. In gilded metal the false diamonds which are laid out in the form of the word "BOSS" were inlaid. Generally, they looked as cowboy's buckles in typical westerns, with long-horned skulls and gilded finishing. On these buckles metal detectors always worked, but protection never asked them to remove.

All action took place so: it was necessary to wrap a disk in a glove and to hide it near a crusher. At the end of change, it was necessary to take away it and to thrust for a belt, having tightened a belt so hardly that it pressed on a bladder, then to locate a disk behind a buckle and to cross fingers when passing a tourniquet. If you were selected for examination, it was necessary just to keep indifferently.

Since 2001 Glover became the world leader in release of pre-release music. He swore that CD independently never took out. For this purpose he organized group of low-paid hired workers, offering money or movies in exchange for the taken-out disks. Transfer took place far from factory on refueling stations or in supermarkets. Through some time of Glover raised that gave it the chance to manage changes on the packaging line. If the profitable release was prepared, then it could make so that his person precisely appeared on site.

Gain of protection at Universal factory led to emergence of hit albums and songs on production therefore Glover always received hot innovations of year for a week before others. It copied albums on the PC by means of programs which were sent it by Kali, and then sent it ready musical files. Every week they called up to approve the schedule of new leaks.

Glover left problems of distribution of Kali. Unlike many participants of Scene, it did not uchuvstvovat in discussions about different technical advantages of permanent and variable bitrate. He listened to musical disks, but they quickly bothered him. When it finished listening, put a disk in a black sports bag and cleaned in a cabinet a bedroom.

By 2002 in a bag more than 500 disks including almost all sign releases passing through factory to Kings Mountain accumulated. "500 Degreez" of Lil of Vane and "The Blueprint" Jay Z, "Rated R" Queens of the Stone Age and "Away from the Sun" 3 Doors Down was succeeded to catch Glovera. It got Björk's disks, Ashanti, Ja Rule, Nelly, and even "Take Off Your Pants and Jacket" performed by Blink-182.

Glover had no access to such cult actors as Celine Dion and Cher, but those albums which it got were the most popular among "Eminem's generation". The typical participant of Scene is a kompyyuterozavisimy man of 15 - 30 years. The ideal example is Kali whose favourite contractors were Ludacris, Jay Z, and Dr. Dre. The grandiose success waited for Glover in May, 2002 when it managed to take out from The Eminem Show factory in 22 days prior to official release. The album did the way from the Scene servers to P2P-networks in several hours, and even despite it the album became the best-seller though Eminem was forced to move date of an output.

Each release of Scene was followed by the description – the text in the coding ASCII which served as a tag of the group which loaded an album on the server. These files were method to brag of the achievements, to thank participants and to attract new members. By info file of Rabid Neurosis it was put into a frame from the psychodelic puffs going from the burning sheet of marijuana.

The RNS command represents
Contractor: Eminem
Name: The Eminem Show
Label: Aftermath
Creator of a rip: RNS
192 Kbps – the Rap
1 hour 17 minutes – 111.6 MB
Date of release: 04.06.2002
Date of a rip: 10.05.2002

The line "Date of a Rip" placing emphasis on date of leak was the most important part. Kali wrote many of these notes independently and in a sarcastic manner, often teasing competitors. The note to "The Eminem Show" came to an end with a question: "How you think who else will be able to receive it?"

Whom was Kali? Glover of it did not know, but in process of communication with it managed to draw some conclusions. The region code in a phone number of Kali was 818, and it meant that Kali from Los Angeles. The voice at a background which he sometimes heard in talk with it could belong to his mother. An official emblem of RNS – the sheet of marijuana, and Glover considered that he can understand on conversation with Kali when that is smoked. In conversation of Kali kept very important, and a manner to speak reminded hip-hop of the contractor. He named Glover by "Dee". More nobody so called it.

"In conversation he used a set of slang words, – Glover told me. – Phrases like "it is quite cool" and "couples strictly". Glover knew that Kali was not black, but to it was thought, as white it was not.

Glover was not allowed to communicate with other members of group, even with that person who "coordinated work of rippers". Its nickname was RST, and a name – Simon Tye (Simon Tai). The son of the Chinese emigrant, he lived in South California before arrival to University of Pennsylvania in 1997. As the beginner to whom carried out the Internet recently, he admired RNS. It constantly "hung" the whole year in their chat before he was invited to join command.

The person who impaired a little blood to musical business. Part 1
"Technical progress gives benefits to all and equally not at once"

Tye also became a DJ on school radio. In two years of Kali warmed Tye's interest in a rap and asked to adjust communication with people who are engaged in release of music on different labels. In 2000 Tye who passed into a graduation class was raised to the musical director of radio station and received a key from office, thereby having purchased access to an audioteka of station. Every day it checked mail and when found something interesting, ran to the hostel at top speed to load an album into a network. To manage to bypass competitors in Scene, the account went on seconds.

Tye managed to find two main albums of year: "Back for the First Time" from Ludacris and "Stankonia" from Outkast. After that, according to the mandate of Scene, it was fixed as the managing director of all sources of RNS the next two years. Together with Kali he monitored the schedule of releases of large labels and sent people to get certain disks.

RNS had international contacts at all levels and used them on complete. On the basis of the resolution of court and interview with participants of Scene, I know that among them were: the radio DJ of BiDi working at the South and the DJ of Rhino working at the Middle East. Also the British journalist with a nickname of KSD whose largest jackpot was a "lost" album "Power of the Dollar" 50 cent’a which had to leave in California in 2000 participated in it, but the release was cancelled after reference point hit. Also there was a fan a house music of DaLive1 which lived in New York and used the communications in Viacom for receipt of music with Black Entertainment Television and MTV. Still two brothers of the Italian working under one alias Incuboy for two participated in grouping. Brothers did musical business and had access to works of musicians of Sony and Bertelsmann studios. In Japan, sometimes, albums go on sale for a week before release in America and, often, with bonus tracks. To receive them, Tye relied on kewl21 and x23. Well and at last, there were Aflex and Ziggy which just legally bought music on Tuesdays when it came to shops.

Glover was the only participant of community who was not controlled by Tye – Kali kept its existence a secret even from own members of group. Glover was indignant with similar isolation, but for the sake of an opportunity to be an exclusive source of Kali, it was possible and to undergo. The community Scene totaled no more than couple of thousands of people. Kali was at the top. The typical pirate of Scene bribing the staff of musical shops and cracking software could get access to three or four Scene servers. By 2002 Glover had an access to two tens servers.

Its contacts made him the incomparable film bootlegger. He constructed one more tower of DVD drivers to replace old. It improved Internet connection, having changed on the cable Internet. For last several years it downloaded the most popular movies and "burned" several tens copies of each of them. Having expanded client base (now not only colleagues entered there), it began to meet people on the parking near a supermarket. In Cleveland Glover's district it became known as "фильмомен". He could sell DVD with the movie "Spiderman" one week prior to its emergence in Blockbuster for five dollars. Sometimes the movies sold to them still went at movie theaters.

Glover began to sell more than two hundred (but less than three hundred) DVD in a week, often earning more than one thousand dollars by cash. It assembled the second computer and one more tower with drives to keep up with demand. Glover knew that it is illegal business, but felt that he completely took away from himself suspicions. All goods were always handed over, no records were kept, and money never got to bank. He did not sell music, DVD were not made at Universal factory, and he was sure that his clients never heard about Scene.

[Part 2]

This article is a translation of the original post at geektimes.ru/post/251336/
If you have any questions regarding the material covered in the article above, please, contact the original author of the post.
If you have any complaints about this article or you want this article to be deleted, please, drop an email here: sysmagazine.com@gmail.com.

We believe that the knowledge, which is available at the most popular Russian IT blog geektimes.ru, should be accessed by everyone, even though it is poorly translated.
Shared knowledge makes the world better.
Best wishes.