Music Distribution System PlayMPE: Hacked

Music Distribution System PlayMPE: Hacked

In this day and age an album leaking early isn’t usually big news. Hell, two “big name” albums leaking on the same day isn’t something to bat an eye at. But what happens when all of a sudden it seems as though the digital seas have parted? If you were online, and follow music, Monday was dripping manna from heaven. A number of high-profile releases seemingly fell out of the sky. Our message boards exploded, and it got me thinking just how this could have happened. Like the proverbial cat, I got curious. The answer? PlayMPE was hacked.

PlayMPE is a digital delivery system that plays a key behind-the-scenes role in the music industry — it’s one of a handful of technologies that record labels use to distribute advance, watermarked albums, to blogs, magazines, and a variety of other publications. PlayMPE (and its parent company, Destiny Media) charge record labels to “securely” deliver their music to its intended recipient. But now, their system has been compromised by a hacker. In an email being sent out to labels and managers the company claims, “A hacker managed to obtain a Play MPE account last week and found an exploit in the Play MPE Direct-to-Web player that allowed him access to your release, even though he was not on the recipient lists. We promptly disabled the offending account and closed this exploit on Monday but by then your album had been accessed.”

We have learned that this hacker has been identified. According to PlayMPE, they “already have his first and last name, country and city of residence, photo, and an array of other identifying info.” We’ve also heard he is a teenager, from overseas, and that legal action is being looked at by all involved. It looks like he probably shouldn’t have been bragging about his exploits online.

And just like that – everything changed for hundreds of people.

In today’s music world we know leaks are a part of the release cycle. They happen. However, I’d like to personally urge everyone who does come across early leaks to remember when the album does hit stores to pick it up. Maybe grab a vinyl copy. Head to a show and grab some merch. All of these things are important to make sure that the music we love goes on. I think the one thing everyone has learned is that even the best laid plans … oft go awry.

via Absolutepunk

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