AlienIt’s been a mixed season for copyright champions and opponents. On the side of copyright maximalism are the Supreme Court’s upholding 6-figure filesharing fines and the revelation that astronomer Carl Sagan had to get copyrights before beaming songs into space.

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Mi c With i Phone and i pad illIt’s never been easier to get music onto a phone, whether it’s yours or someone else’s. These tools help you find and record music–and even bust out an app for your band using HTML5.

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India taj MahalCall centers? Check. Custom software? Check. Music videos? Yes, now creative work can be outsourced to Bangalore.

Does this threaten the livelihood of North American artists, or just give them more options to choose from?

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Have you recorded a podcast, or written songs? These internships may be for you.

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Lay down some trippy tunes with a $1 Moog while the offer lasts. Plus, Sim City meets music looper in the addictive Isle of Tune.

This vintage-looking virtual instrument resembles Zoran Djuranovic’s New Media capstone from last year.

The Animoog takes the familiar, spaced-out sound profile Moog is famous for and warps it, using the iPad’s multi-touch interface and some very cool animated visualizations to create a unique instrument. It’s simple enough for anyone to play, but also deep enough to encourage extended experimentation. On top of that accomplishment, the Animoog is just about the trippiest sound-thing available for the iPad.

The app debuts in the App Store this week for an introductory price of $1. After a short while, it will go up to $30. If you’re at all interested in making music on your iPad, you should download this and start playing with it….

The musical instruments company, founded by electronics pioneer Bob Moog in the 1950s, makes keyboards that sell for thousands of dollars and are used in studios and on stages by the biggest names in rock and pop. Radiohead, Rush, Air, Stevie Wonder — they’re all Moog devotees.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/sRCqMKQKiYE/

Back in the 1990s there was a grid-based looper called Absolut DJ. Musicians like DJ Spooky would add arrows and other symbols to the matrix, steering the music around like virtual traffic cops. That site is long gone, but this sounds like a worthy successor.

We haven’t seen anything remotely like Isle of Tune for iPad, which was released Friday, with the exception of the web-based Isle of Tune, which impressed us late last year with its utterly unique approach to songsmithery.

Both apps let you draw roads, populate them with houses and trees to indicate beats and notes, and then activate the whole thing with cars that drive down the streets in predictable patterns, “playing” each thing they drive past.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/0aCzKJ7PAcg/

And speaking of New Media capstones, this throwable camera is reminiscent of Jesse Melanson’s Club Ball capstone.

Jonas Pfeil, a student from the Technical University of Berlin, has created a rugged, grapefruit-sized ball that has 36 fixed-focus, 2-megapixel digital camera sensors built in. The user simply throws the ball into the air and photos are simultaneously taken with all 36 cameras to create a full, spherical panorama of the surrounding scene. The ball itself is made with a 3D printer, and the innards (which includes 36 STM VS6724 CMOS camera sensors, an accelerometer, and two microcontrollers to control the cameras) are adequately padded, so presumably it doesn’t matter if you’re bad at throwing and catching.

http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/11/10/14/1840224/throwable-36-camera-ball-takes-spherical-panoramas

Demonstrating the power of many-to-many image- and sound-making, artist Aaron Koblin and his collaborators stitch compelling interfaces from huge data sets. Watch Koblin transform airline flight data into global travel patterns, frame-by-frame drawings into an animated tribute to Johnny Cash, and Google Street View into an Arcade Fire video personalized for each listener.


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As new laws force ISPs to become copyright cops, the ramifications of intellectual property in the digital age just get more and more absurd.

Anti-Piracy Lawyers Accuse Blind Man of Downloading Films

“As the mass-lawsuits against BitTorrent users in the United States drag on, detail on the collateral damage this extortion-like scheme is costing becomes clear. It is likely that thousands of people have been wrongfully accused of sharing copyrighted material, yet they see no other option than to pay up. One of the cases that stands out is that of a California man who’s incapable of watching the adult film he is accused of sharing because he is legally blind.”

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/08/16/2346248/Anti-Piracy-Lawyers-Accuse-Blind-Man-of-Downloading-Films

Maybe he just liked the music?

Can a Monkey Get a Copyright & Issue a Takedown?

“Last week, the Daily Mail published a story about some monkeys in Indonesia who happened upon a camera and took some photos of themselves. The photos are quite cute. However, Techdirt noticed that the photos had copyright notices on them, and started a discussion over who actually held the copyright in question, noting that, if anyone did, the monkeys had the best claim, and certainly not the photographer. Yet, the news agency who claimed copyright issued a takedown to Techdirt! When presented with the point that it’s unlikely the news agency could hold a legitimate copyright, the agency told Techdirt it didn’t matter. Techdirt claims that using the photos for such a discussion is a clear case of fair use, an argument which has so far been ignored.”

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/07/13/0033214/Can-a-Monkey-Get-a-Copyright-amp-Issue-a-Takedown

“Dice Age,” sounds like…?

Dice Age — Indie Gaming Project vs. Hollywood

“Dice Age, a independent game project that raised nearly $35K through Kickstarter, is apparently facing some scrutiny from a certain movie studio that has produced movies with a similar name. From the latest project update: ‘As if the Ice Age was exclusively the name of a movie, or if Dice Age was a movie itself, the 20th century fox has just asked for an extent of time (till 10-26-2011) to oppose to the registering of our beloved Dice Age game name. My point of view, as a scientist, is the Ice age is a geological era before it is a movie.”"

http://games.slashdot.org/story/11/07/29/2114234/emDice-Ageem-mdash-Indie-Gaming-Project-vs-Hollywood

Wendy Seltzer is an ace cyberlawyer who’s worked with Still Water to craft more enlightened forms of intellectual property law.

ISPs Will Now Be Copyright Cops

“Wendy Seltzer, Fellow at Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy, talks about the new plan by ISPs and content providers to ‘crack down on what users can do with their internet connections’ using a 6-step warning system to curb online copyright infringement.”

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/08/06/235206/ISPs-Will-Now-Be-Copyright-Cops

Looks like six is the new three:

“American Internet users, get ready for three strikes^W^W ‘six strikes.’ Major US Internet providers — including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Cablevision, and Time Warner Cable — have just signed on to a voluntary agreement with the movie and music businesses to crack down on online copyright infringers. But they will protect subscriber privacy and they won’t filter or monitor their own networks for infringement. And after the sixth ‘strike,’ you won’t necessarily be ‘out.’” It’s not suspicious at all that most of the ISPs signing on for this are owned by or own media companies.

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/07/07/1644240/Media-Companies-Create-Copyright-Enforcement-Framework

On the pro-sharing front:

A federal judge ruled Monday that publishing an entire article without the rights holder’s authorization was a fair use of the work, in yet another blow to newspaper copyright troll Righthaven. It’s not often that republishing an entire work without permission is deemed fair use.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/SDLVTXCwy2k/

A federal judge backed the music storage-locker business model Monday while ruling that companies may develop services that store their customers’ songs in the cloud. The closely watched case brought by EMI against MP3tunes comes as Amazon and Google recently launched similar services without the music labels’ consent. Apple is expected to launch a cloud-storage service… http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/XGIJztQaOPw/

Who knew? Maybe the Pirate Bay should start an ecommerce site called Arrrrmazon.com.

Suppressed Report Shows Pirates Are Good Customers

“The movie and music industry think pirates are criminals and parasites who cost both industries billions of dollars in lost sales. In order to prove this fact a number of studies have been commissioned to help demonstrate the effect a pirate has on sales of entertainment. GfK Group is one of the largest market research companies in the world and is often used by the movie industry to carry out research and studies into piracy. Talking to a source within GfK who wished to remain anonymous, Telepolis found that a recent study looking at pirates and their purchasing activities found them to be almost the complete opposite of the criminal parasites the entertainment industry want them to be. The study states that it is much more typical for a pirate to download an illegal copy of a movie to try it before purchasing. They are also found to purchase more DVDs than the average consumer, and they visit the movie theater more, especially for opening weekend releases which typically cost more to attend.”

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/07/20/2119232/Suppressed-Report-Shows-Pirates-Are-Good-Customers

The music industry is infiltrating private weddings to crack down on music piracy, and even artists with gold albums can end up owing their label a half-million bucks. But you don’t need the industry to bust out a fly remix.

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Francis Ford Coppola may be best known for directing blockbusters like The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, but he’s giving over control of his latest flick to a digital DJ.

While Coppola’s remixable film may sound outlandish to some, in new media circles it’s almost old hat. Mike Figgis remixed his 2000 film Timecode–already unusual for its four screens of the same footage shot in one take with no editing–live at the 2006 Zero One festival curated by Steve Dietz. And a self-remixing film has been the subject of a number of U-Me capstones.

Timecode (2000) Four cameras. One take. No edits. Real time. http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0220100

Compare Twixt:

Coppola turned members of the Hall H crowd into test subjects for his wild idea to turn movies into live entertainment. Accompanied onstage by musician Dan Deacon and actor Val Kilmer, Coppola used a touchpad to select scenes from Twixt on the fly as Deacon tweaked the soundtrack.

Coppola said Twixt was conceived as a way to inject a live feel into cinema.

“What I’d love to do is go on tour,” he said, “like a month before the film opened, and go to all the cities myself, with my collaborators, with live music and actually perform the film for each audience uniquely for them — a different version for each audience. That’s what opera was like.”

Twixt centers on a horror writer who stumbles onto strange goings-on, and maybe vampires, in a small town. During one segment screened Saturday, the writer, played by Val Kilmer, brainstorms alone in his hotel room. Coppola and his tech crew spliced together different mixes of the montage, during which Kilmer assumed various personas.

“Theoretically, I could push the Shuffle button,” Coppola said.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/uSwOEiYQREI/

Ohm StudioAn “ohm” may be a measure of resistance, but I can’t see musicians resisting this latest stab at online music production. According to the promo video, anyway, Ohm helps you sharing tracks, find collaborators, and, ehem, sync asynchronously.

Did some bungler lay down bogus vocals on your killer bassline while you were asleep? No problem! Thanks to my favorite Ohm feature, you can roll back your song to a previous version stored in Ohm’s cloud.

If you try it, let us know if it delivers. Ohm Studio real time collaborative music workstation

Remember that meme going around a few years back where certain dance beats could hack teen brains? Well, apparently it works for cars.

http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/03/12/0114219/Hacking-a-Car-With-Music?from=rss via Byline

“Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Washington have identified a handful of ways a hacker could break into a car, including attacks over the car’s Bluetooth and cellular network systems, or through malicious software in the diagnostic tools used in automotive repair shops. But their most interesting attack focused on the car stereo. By adding extra code to a digital music file, they were able to turn a song burned to CD into a Trojan horse. When played on the car’s stereo, this song could alter the firmware of the car’s stereo system, giving attackers an entry point to change other components on the car. This type of attack could be spread on file-sharing networks without arousing suspicion, they believe. ‘It’s hard to think of something more innocuous than a song,’ said Stefan Savage, a professor at the University of California.”

So next time your car doesn’t start or insists on turning right instead of left, blame those tunes you downloaded from Limewire.

In seemingly unrelated news, the music industry is suing Limewire for 75 trillion dollars. I imagine if the RIAA got wind of professor Savage’s research, they would up the number into the quadrillions.

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/03/23/1930238/Limewire-Being-Sued-For-75-Trillion?from=rss via Byline

“13 record companies are trying to sue Limewire for $75 Trillion. The NYC judge in the case thinks it is ‘absurd’. Its almost like these media companies are their worst enemy trying to make themselves look ridiculous. From the article: “The record companies, which had demanded damages ranging from $400 billion to $75 trillion, had argued that Section 504(c)(1) of the Copyright Act provided for damages for each instance of infringement where two or more parties were liable. For a popular site like Lime Wire, which had thousands of users and millions of downloads, Wood held that the damage award would be staggering under this interpretation. ‘If plaintiffs were able to pursue a statutory damage theory predicated on the number of direct infringers per work, defendants’ damages could reach into the trillions,’ she wrote. ‘As defendants note, plaintiffs are suggesting an award that is more money than the entire music recording industry has made since Edison’s invention of the phonograph in 1877.’”

Record labels agree to settle a class-action lawsuit by paying songwriters $47.5 million for tracks the labels themselves pirated. Oh, and Sony et al. didn’t make the 300,000 copyrighted songs (which they didn’t own) freely available on a filesharing network–they *sold* them.

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/01/11/0615258/Record-Labels-To-Pay-For-Copyright-Infringement?from=rss via Byline “Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc., EMI Music Canada Inc., Universal Music Canada Inc. and Warner Music Canada Co. have agreed to pay songwriters and music publishers $47.5 million in damages for copyright infringement and overdue royalties to settle a class action lawsuit. ‘The 2008 class action alleges that the record companies “exploited” music owners by reproducing and selling in excess of 300,000 song titles without securing licenses from the copyright owners and/or without paying the associated royalty payments. The record companies knowingly did so and kept a so-called “pending list” of unlicensed reproductions, setting aside $50 million for the issue, if it ever arose, court filings suggest.’”

Not to be outdone, Microsoft is trying to patent the idea of a “fan.”

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/01/07/2130218/Microsoft-Lays-Claim-To-Patent-On-Fans?from=rss via Byline theodp writes “A USPTO filing made public Thursday reveals that Microsoft is seeking a patent for something it calls ‘One-Way Public Relationships’ in social networks and other online properties, lawyer-speak for what’s more commonly known as being a ‘fan’ of something online. It’s unclear whether it’s a goof on Apple, but Microsoft curiously used the example of a U2 fan named Steve to explain its ‘invention’ to the USPTO. Purported patent reformer Microsoft, which has called for the US to change from a first-to-invent patent system to a first-to-file system, filed the patent application in July 2009. Microsoft is a partner with and investor in Facebook, which first established its fan pages back in November 2007.”

Maybe these old media companies should be looking at newer, “free-to-play” business models.

http://games.slashdot.org/story/11/01/07/2220228/emLotR-Onlinesem-Free-To-Play-Switch-Tripled-Revenue?from=rss via Byline Last June, Turbine made the decision to switch Lord of the Rings Online from a subscription-based business model to a free-to-play model supported by microtransactions. In a podcast interview with Ten Ton Hammer, Turbine executives revealed that the switch has gone well for the company, with game revenues roughly tripling. The active player base has also grown significantly in that time. Executive Producer Kate Paiz said, “This really echoes a lot of what we’ve seen throughout the entertainment industry in general. It’s really about letting players make their choices about how they play.”

The Entertainment Software Association inserts a pirated video game into the console of an Xbox modder. The recording industry is marketing music on a peer-to-peer network it also happens to be suing. Tandberg patents open source code. There are just too many candidates for this week’s Worst Misuse of Copyright award.

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Six-year-olds can be sued, lawyers pirate each other, Apple’s App Store won’t accept GPL’d software, and yet another jury awarded the RIAA huge damages against filesharer Jammie Thomas. But at least the US government no longer thinks genes should be patented.

http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/10/30/1435222/New-York-Judge-Rules-6-Year-Old-Can-Be-Sued

“A girl can be sued over accusations she ran over an elderly woman with her training bicycle when she was 4 years old, a New York Supreme Court justice has ruled. The ruling by King’s County Supreme Court Justice Paul Wooten stems from an incident in April 2009 when Juliet Breitman and Jacob Kohn, both aged four, struck an 87-year-old pedestrian, Claire Menagh, with their training bikes. Menagh underwent surgery for a fractured hip and died three months later. In a ruling made public late Thursday, the judge dismissed arguments by Breitman’s lawyer that the case should be dismissed because of her young age. He ruled that she is old enough to be sued and the case can proceed.”

Meanwhile, the App Store restrictions irk makers of popular video player VLC:

http://apple.slashdot.org/story/10/10/31/1351243/VLC-Developer-Takes-a-Stand-Against-DRM-Enforcement

“The GPL gives Apple permission to distribute this software through the App Store. All they would have to do is follow the license’s conditions to help keep the software free. Instead, Apple has decided that they prefer to impose Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and proprietary legal terms on all programs in the App Store, and they’d rather kick out GPLed software than change their own rules.”

And those anti-piracy lawyers turn out to be pirating each other. http://entertainment.slashdot.org/story/10/10/03/2135202/Anti-Piracy-Lawyers-Caught-Pirating-Each-Other

“We would like to think that the lawyers that are prosecuting alleged copyright infringers are practicing what they preach, but it looks like one of the most high profile firms involved in such cases are just as guilty of stealing others’ work as those who are downloading illegal media.” The Obama administration makes a 180 on patenting genes.

http://science.slashdot.org/story/10/10/30/1140235/US-Says-Genes-Should-Not-Be-Patentable

Geoffrey.landis writes “A friend-of-the-court brief filed by the US Department of Justice says that genes should not be patentable. ‘We acknowledge that this conclusion is contrary to the longstanding practice of the Patent and Trademark Office, as well as the practice of the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies that have in the past sought and obtained patents for isolated genomic DNA,’ they wrote (PDF). The argument that genes in themselves (as opposed to, say, tests made from genetic information, or drugs that act on proteins made by genes) should be patentable is that ‘genes isolated from the body are chemicals that are different from those found in the body’ and therefore are eligible for patents. This argument is, of course, completely silly, and apparently the US government may now actually realize that.”

And it’ll blow your wallet too, to judge from the pricetag. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want one of these crazy electronic saxiPhones that look like something out of the cantina scene from Star Wars.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/LRvEH3tTULg/

It’s nerdier than a theramin and even harder to play. Meet the Eigenharp Pico….

A plastic breath pipe with a reed curves from the top of the Pico. Two columns of nine keys each run parallel down its body, flanked by a touch-sensitive “ribbon” controller used primarily for pitch-bending and for bowing a software-modeled cello.

Each LED-decked, pressure-sensitive key of the Eigenharp is actually three keys in one: The concave center triggers a standard note, while the upper edge triggers a sharp and the lower edge a flat. Octaves can be raised or lowered by tapping on two smaller, circular buttons below the keyboard.

Two identical buttons above the keyboard serve different purposes. One turns the drum loop on and off, and the other — when held down — turns the keyboard into “main mode”: cycle through instruments, change scales, record and edit loops, add or subtract to the percussive beat, and manipulate a slew of other parameters.

Animators using open-source 3D software have begun sharing the code, data, and even tutorials on how to make technically accomplished shorts. But meanwhile, musicians wanting to share their work suffered a setback in Canada when it was revealed that industry lobbyists pressured the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (a public utility) into agreeing not to play Creative Commons-licensed music over their podcasts. Will Hollywood someday pressure theaters not to show movies made with Blender?

http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/10/02/215257/Creative-Commons-Video-Challenges-Hollywoods-Best?from=rss

A short film entitled Sintel was released by the Blender Foundation under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license (YouTube link). It was created by an international team of artists working collaboratively using a free, open source piece of 3D rendering software called Blender. No Hollywood studio was involved in its making….

“Next on our todo is wrapping up the 4-dvd box release, NTSC/PAL discs with extras and documentary, and 2 DVD-ROMs with tutorials,and all the data to reproduce the film entirely.”

Here’s a link to the CBC story:

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/10/08/2346236/CBC-Bans-Use-of-Creative-Commons-Music-On-Podcasts?from=rss

A game developer / musician releases musical snippets as though they were object-oriented code.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/wa8_KyJXKgE/ via Byline Web game developer and musician Gabriel Walsh released his album, The Earthly Frames, Volume 1 in a unique fashion, supplementing his musical content with audio samples for remixing and a series of unique “fragment” files on fifty USB drives for the album’s release. While the fragment files may be enjoyed in isolation, assembling the disparate fragments spins a narrative that is partially autobiographical and partially fictional.

Meanwhile, blog-turned-MTV-rival Pitchfork is making music videos more interactive.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/VSEEXRqEIVU/ via Byline The influential music blog Pitchfork continues its expansion into video with the launch of six-camera webcasts that let you choose your view, while listening to high-fidelity audio too often missing from live online music, and they’re financing it all with their own revenue.

It’s hard to believe that a high-schooler wouldn’t know about copyrighted music–but then it’s amazing what high-schoolers don’t know these days. Not to mention how little the recording industry seems to know about public relations, given how much they are asking per song. (At least it’s not the full $150,000 bizarrely permitted them under US copyright law. Is this a kinder, gentler RIAA, settling for a mere $30,000 because the defendant is a cheerleader?)

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/09/22/1717245/Supreme-Court-May-Tune-In-To-Music-Download-Case?from=rss via Byline droopus writes “The U.S. Supreme Court is weighing into the first RIAA file sharing case to reach its docket, requesting that the music labels’ litigation arm respond to a case testing the so-called ‘innocent infringer’ defense to copyright infringement. The case pending before the justices concerns a federal appeals court’s February decision ordering a university student to pay the Recording Industry Association of America $27,750 – $750 a track – for file-sharing 37 songs when she was a high school cheerleader. The appeals court decision reversed a Texas federal judge who, after concluding the youngster was an innocent infringer, ordered defendant Whitney Harper to pay $7,400 – or $200 per song. That’s an amount well below the standard $750 fine required under the Copyright act. Harper is among the estimated 20,000 individuals the RIAA has sued for file-sharing music. The RIAA has decried Harper as ‘vexatious,’ because of her relentless legal jockeying.” As one Slashdot commenter runs the numbers:

Downloading 24 songs -> 1.92 million dollars

Producing wilfully misleading documents in regards to royalties owed to the natives who’s land you are pumping gas from (for 25,949 violation days) -> 5.2 million dollars (65 songs)

Filling falsified audits for 4 years overstating pre-tax income by more than $1 billion (really was 1.4bill). -> 7 million dollars (88 songs)

Causing more than 300 oil spills (the largest being 100,000gallons into Nueces Bay, TX), illegally discharging crude oil totalling 3million gallons of crude leaking into ponds, lakes, rivers and streams across 6 states over a period of 7 years. All due to negligence and improper maintenance. -> 35 million dollars (437 songs)

Seems fair to me. 229 gallons of leaked crude oil into natural environments per mp3 copied. That means that my personal music collection is as bad as dumping 1.15 million barrels of oil across the countryside. To try to imagine how much that is: It is 357 average sized US homes filled with oil.

19livescribe Popup v 2 thuIt’s a pen! It’s a voice recorder! It’s both–and Livescribe’s advocates claim it will revolutionize note-taking in class.

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Sure, sound in a Web page can be horribly misused. But now when it has a legitimate purpose, you won’t have to kill a mosquito with a cannon by drumming up a Flash file just to play a beep.

Imagine if you could grab and manipulate audio with JavaScript just like you can images with Canvas. Firefox experimental builds let you do just that: crazy audio visualizations, a graphic equalizer, even text-to-speech, all in JavaScript! Work in progress; you need a special build of Firefox (videos available), being worked on via W3C.

http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/fnfEngBMfXE/Breakthroughs-In-HTML-Audio-Via-Manipulation-With-JavaScript

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