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FTC Warns Against Deceptive DRM

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the we'll-come-calling dept.

Government 159

Jane Q. Public writes "At the Federal Trade Commission's Seattle conference on DRM, FTC Director Mary Engle started off by referencing the Sony rootkit debacle, and said that companies are going to have to get serious about disclosing DRM that may affect the usability of products. She also said that disclosure via the fine print in a EULA is not good enough, and 'If your advertising giveth and your EULA taketh away, don't be surprised if the FTC comes calling.' Transcripts and webcasts are available from the FTC website." Update 18:13 GMT by SM: as Jane Q. Public was nice enough to diplomatically point out, the webcasts are no longer functioning, but transcripts are still available.

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159 comments

Isn't all DRM Deceptive? (5, Insightful)

quangdog (1002624) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360137)

Is there any DRM that is not deceptive at some level? It seems that the makers try very hard to gloss over what the DRM actually does/restricts when they are trying to sell you their stuff.

Re:Isn't all DRM Deceptive? (3, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360219)

Digital Rights Mismanagement

Doesn't seem too deceptive to me, pretty descriptive actually.

Re:Isn't all DRM Deceptive? (2, Insightful)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360245)

Digital Rights Mauling

as in the DRM software mauls your digital rights.

Re:Isn't all DRM Deceptive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27360549)

Digital Rights Management--because it "manages" to fuck over your digital rights.

Re:Isn't all DRM Deceptive? (4, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360583)

Digital Rights Mauling

as in the DRM software mauls your digital rights.

Ah, I thought that was when you make an unapproved use of the media and a bear comes and mauls you.

That's about the only way DRM could be worse. On the plus side, that would totally get Colbert on our side of the fight.

Re:Isn't all DRM Deceptive? (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360593)

No no, see it's all about who's rights are being managed.

One clue: not yours.

Re:Isn't all DRM Deceptive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27360875)

Or maybe "Digital Rental Management".

Re:Isn't all DRM Deceptive? (1)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360535)

There are no such things as Digital Rights to be managed. There are just rights. Whether the information is in electronic form or affixed to physical form in meatspace, it is your right to use it how you deem fit, not to be managed by the one with an exclusive right to sell it.

Re:Isn't all DRM Deceptive? (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27362903)

I agree with you in principle, but the law says otherwise.

Re:Isn't all DRM Deceptive? (4, Informative)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360805)

Digital Restrictions Management.

Re:Isn't all DRM Deceptive? (4, Insightful)

ameyer17 (935373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27362219)

Fair Use Circumvention Kit?

Acronym's so much better.
"I got FUCKed when Microsoft shut down their FUCK servers."

Re:Isn't all DRM Deceptive? (1)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#27361015)

Technically "Digital Rights Management" is correct, as it allows the copyright holder the RIGHT to RESTRICT what can or can't be done with the product. It also shows which side of the copyright holder / customer equation it's designed for.

Re:Isn't all DRM Deceptive? (3, Insightful)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27362639)

1: DRM has nothing to do with Rights. It can enforce restrictions that are, or are not covered by copyright equally well.

2: The software is being used(run) by customers, not publishers. Therefore, the software is restricting it's user.

Re:Isn't all DRM Deceptive? (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 5 years ago | (#27361217)

The correct term is Digital Restrictions Management.

Re:Isn't all DRM Deceptive? (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360389)

I agree. At first I thought that this could be a great step forward. But at it's core, DRM - at least when it ties content to specific hardware or prevents fair use - is deceptive. I don't see the FTC fixing that issue anytime soon.

Re:Isn't all DRM Deceptive? (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360437)

Sure. Remember the games like Monkey Island that required a code wheel of sorts? It didn't have to be deceptive, because it didn't try to manipulate your computer to prevent copying. Simply, if you didn't have the code wheel, it was a pain in the ass to make your own, so a copy wouldn't do you much good (until everyone learned about Neverlock and the likes)

Re:Isn't all DRM Deceptive? (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360623)

Combine DRM with an EULA written by a lawyer trying to skin you for your arm and leg for any conceived wrongdoing and when the EULA also states that you use the application/data on your own risk and no responsibility for hardware or anything else and you are toast.

Mind that most EULA:s aren't worth the paper they are written on.

DRM = Digital Rape Method.

Re:Isn't all DRM Deceptive? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27360833)

First you have to define DRM. Stardock claims they don't have DRM, but I dare you to try to copy the game to another computer without activating it or installing it again (or re-installing a new version of Windows with a new key.)

Even though the game runs (as proven by hackers) it will not "legally" run because of their protection mechanism that happens to be digital.

Re:Isn't all DRM Deceptive? (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 5 years ago | (#27361189)

Agree. But why? It's just so foolish.

Misleading your customers - even by omission - is just bound to be counter-productive in the medium term. Or even - in this age of virtually instant communication - the very short term.

If you can't justify selling your product, with all its features and restrictions, then you've got a serious problem with your business model.
Oh wait...

Re:Isn't all DRM Deceptive? (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27361993)

Of course DRM is deceptive since it's impossible to design "good" DRM. This is the four factor test for fair use:

  1. What is the character of the use?
  2. What is the nature of the work to be used?
  3. How much of the work will you use?
  4. What effect would this use have on the market for the original or for permissions if the use were widespread?

DRM does not know the character of use, because you can copy the whole by parts it does not know how much you'll use and finally it has no way of determining the market impact of your use. It's not in any way possible to make DRM that could support fair use. So you can err on the side of the consumer or the copyright holder, and erring on the side of the consumer was the old way - no DRM, but if you did something that was not fair use they could take you to court. The other is to err on the side of the copyright holder, disallowing any use that might be used for nefarious purposes. That means blocking you from doing many things that you want and that would be fair, because a machine could never make that determination and even if it could, what you use it for can only be determined after the fact. Designing "good" DRM is therefore a theoretical impossibility.

Say what you want. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27360139)

Sony will just buy a few more congress-critters and pass some laws to shut that down.

Does this have anything to do with... (5, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360175)

...when a certain US president accidentally bought some region 1 DVDs for a certain UK prime minister?

Re:Does this have anything to do with... (4, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360647)

Mod parent up.

Awhile back I was trying to explain to a stickler-for-the-rules nothing-to-hide trust-the-system colleague why dvd regions were stupid. He didn't see the problem. Until he brought back some DVDs from overseas.

If our heads of state and legislators actually experienced DRM for themselves, DRMs days would probably be numbered.

Re:Does this have anything to do with... (4, Informative)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360763)

The ironic thing here is that while it is also something of an attack on the consumer, region locking is a completely seperate issue from DRM.

Region Locking = You can only use content on devices sold in or for the same region you purchased the content in.

DRM = You can only use content if you agree to give up certain rights you otherwise had and agree to allow the company selling the content to place technological locks in place on your property to ensure your compliance.

Re:Does this have anything to do with... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27360939)

eh? region locking is a form of drm. it forces you to lose your right to watch videos outside your location. Normally, you are allowed to import products and use it. The region locking do have technological locks (hence the locking in the name) as by your definition, it's drm.

the only difference is, is that it doesn't affects as many people since not too many import videos or go overseas (which is doesn't make a difference to it being drm, just like the old itune files, just because you don't notice it doesn't mean it's not there).

Region locking (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27361139)

the only difference is, is that it doesn't affects as many people since not too many import videos or go overseas

Region-locking affects millions of people every day, because it is a barrier to open competition in the markets and allows charging different rates for the same product via artificial means. Perhaps those in the US may be less aware of this because they tend to get things first/cheapest, but don't tell anyone from, say, Europe or Australia that.

Now, I'm not saying a company shouldn't be free to sell a product in one country at one price and in another country at another price. Sometimes, this may be justified, for example if the costs of manufacture/transportation are different in the two cases.

However, blocking someone who is willing to buy where the price is lower and deal with any extra logistics themselves has no ethical or legitimate commercial basis. It doesn't even have an economic argument like copyright, unless you believe in protectionism. So why should the law say that anyone who circumvents such provisions is wrong?

Oops (1, Offtopic)

hax0r_this (1073148) | more than 5 years ago | (#27361275)

Meant to mod that insightful, hit redundant by accident. Slashdot: please come up with a better way to undo moderation!

Re:Region locking (4, Informative)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27361341)

The thing about region locking is

A: It's trivial in most cases to get around
B: It actually serves a purpose, just not one that is immediately appearent to the consumer.

In most cases, region locking is used for one and only one purpose, to allow a producer to find a distributor who is willing to sell the product in a specific region. Very few (if any) companies do their own worldwide distribution. Distributors want exclusivity in a region, and they have good reason for this. No one wants to sign a deal to distribute your product for $X if the guy next door is doing it for 1/2 $X because their area is too poor to be willing to pay $X.

Because you know what'll happen? Your 'official' distributor will get his lunch eaten by a mob of opportunists who buy the product next door in mass quanities and then sell it in his area.

And they'll be selling it not for 1/2 $X but $X minus a couple of cents, since they know the folk in his area are willing to pay more.

Now that's not a defense for region locking as much as the reason why it exists. But frankly I'm alot more tolerant of DVD's that need a region unlocked player than I am of DVD's that require I uninstall programs from my machine and will only install three times before I have to jump through hoops with customer service.

Region locking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27361685)

It does serve a purpose, as does all DRM, but that purpose is artificial segmentation of the market. There is nothing about official distributors not wanting competition that is in the customer's interest. The system is in place so that media producers can produce their product where it is cheapest (at a single fixed price per unit) and sell it at a different price in each "local" market.

So while they can shop around for the cheapest source for production, you can't shop around for the cheapest product.

Re:Region locking (2, Insightful)

AtomicJake (795218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27361803)

I call BS. There are many items (and media items) available without region locking and different pricing in different regions - and surprisingly this is working.

Now, region locks have been invented to bring the movie in one region (US) to cinema, but follow the other regions only 6 months after. What, if those people could get the DVD before the official cinema release? So, in order to support their broken business model, the studios required region codes.

BTW: I don't own DVDs for exactly those region codes. I know that breaking them is trivial. But why the heck can I only use a tool (DVD player) after hacking it? And then there are those great countries that made it even illegal (that's actually the real joke here).

Re:Region locking (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27362169)

Yes, there is the element of time control as well, after all if you can't get your movie in the theaters everywhere till six months after it's premier in the country you 'made it for', then it'd be foolish for you to sell your DVDs in those places the day before the movie actually comes out.

The fact that there exist people out there who are not paranoid does not exclude the existance of those who are. Since region locking is an optional component in most cases, there will be people trusting enough to go without. In fact both region coding and CSS is absent on about half of the DVD's I own. That doesn't negate the arguement that was put forward.

Re:Region locking (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27361393)

PS. I know of zero laws anywhere that prevent someone from getting around region locks other than in the cases where you are hit as a byproduct of a real DRM issue and the region lock just got swept in as part of that.

Re:Region locking (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#27361545)

That's probably because breaking the DVD regions is the DMCA equivalent to jaywalking: It's just not ususally worth the effort to prosecute.

Re:Region locking (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27361963)

That, and unlike DRM, there is not even the pretense that a region lock fights copyright infringement thus they aren't protected under the DMCA or it's worldwide clone brothers.

Re:Region locking (1)

Comboman (895500) | more than 5 years ago | (#27362099)

In the US, DCMA anti-circumvention laws prevent you from bypassing any kind of DRM, even if the thing the DRM is preventing you from doing is perfectly legal (like watching a foreign DVD or refilling an ink cartridge).

Re:Region locking (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27362215)

And as I stated, DRM != Region Coding, Region Coding != DRM

Re:Region locking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27362603)

For some people it is not even about cheaper, but access and "life". I have over 1000 DVD's, half purchased in the UK when I lived there, half here and a few others from NZ...

If I play by the rules I lose access to half of my collection... I'd also miss out on purchasing legally and watching great movies from "foreign" countries such as the UK, Australia and New Zealand simply because I live in the US and have a region 1 player.

Stupid.

Re:Does this have anything to do with... (1)

heritage727 (693099) | more than 5 years ago | (#27361553)

They're not completely separate. It's just that with region locking the DRM comes conveniently pre-installed on your DVD player. No need for root kits and other such unpleasantness.

Re:Does this have anything to do with... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27362675)

Accidentally? Apparently you have never heard of the word "snub."

Deceptive ... like goatse (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27360221)

Deceptive [goatse.fr]

As opposed to what, nice friendly DRM?

Be 0wnz0r3d by DVD (5, Insightful)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360239)

'If your advertising giveth and your EULA taketh away, don't be surprised if the FTC comes calling.'

Does this include, "Own it on DVD"?

Re:Be 0wnz0r3d by DVD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27362165)

Does this include, "Own it on DVD"?

lol, that's right

you could only own the dvd, the 'it' is not for sale, only license.

Well, well. (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360253)

I'm absolutely delighted to have the FTC's assurance that regulatory capture could never ever happen to them.

In fact, I would argue, it already has. Let's be real clear here: what Sony, for instance, did with their rootkit was a crime. If I had done it, I'd probably still be sharing a cell with Bubba. Because it was done by a corporation, under a layer of legalistic obfuscation, to "consumers" it was treated as a fairly minor civil matter. Sony handed over some money, offered to replace a few CDs, and mumbled something about being sorry if anybody was offended. Pathetic.

Re:Well, well. (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360465)

The problem appears to be that corporations being imaginary beings and not physical are rather hard to put in a jail.

Re:Well, well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27360537)

Thats why the standard sentance for corporate entities should be the death penalty.

Re:Well, well. (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360653)

Gangs are also imaginary beings and somehow we manage to work past that and charge the humans inside them. One or more people inside Sony decided that criminal conduct was a good idea; they should be rotting in jail. If we actually cared, we could certainly do this(probably more easily, in fact, since gangs probably have worse email retention than corporations).

Re:Well, well. (1)

Ironica (124657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27361735)

Gangs are also imaginary beings and somehow we manage to work past that and charge the humans inside them.

Gangs are not legal entities specifically designed to insulate the humans inside them from responsibility for their actions.

Re:Well, well. (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#27362057)

My gang is. We call ourselves the Double Winzer Knot Crew, we've even got tax exempt status though we are a for-profit. Fortunately, the IRS doesn't hear much about our income coming from the 'individuals' we provide the service of getting rid of 'trouble' for.

Re:Well, well. (3, Interesting)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 5 years ago | (#27362969)

That must be why the drug cartel leaders personally escort the drugs across borders because they don't care about being shielded from the responsibility for their actions.

Of course gangs are specifically designed to insulate those at the top from legal responsibility for their actions. That's why there are drug mules that carry the drugs, a chain of intermediaries that carry orders (assumed to be from their boss, but can't be proven legally) to the people executing them. The whole point of being a higher-up a well-run gang is that the people below you get busted and you escape being charged.

Re:Well, well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27362009)

Gang members (at least the ones who go to jail) do not generally play golf with key politicians nor do they contribute to political campaigns. Corporate executives do both.

These and other differences (such as employing thousands of "average working Americans") give corporations a much more privileged position than gangs enjoy.

Re:Well, well. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27362159)

That person probably wasn't in the US.

Punishing corporations (4, Insightful)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360679)

The problem appears to be that corporations being imaginary beings and not physical are rather hard to put in a jail.

Put the highest level manager who cannot produce written proof this was ordered by somebody higher up the chain in jail. Next time, the CYA chain will go all the way to the CEO.

Re:Punishing corporations (0, Redundant)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360813)

Nope cause anyone above a line supervisor isn't that stupid especially after it is illegal. What you will have is a bunch of verbal orders which your job will hinge on or worse.

Re:Punishing corporations (2, Interesting)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360877)

So line managers will have to decide between risking their jobs and risking jail time. It sucks for them, but it will reduce the chance of corporations performing crimes.

Re:Punishing corporations (1)

Apaine (1517315) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360925)

Dealing with verbal orders is easy - this is how gangs operate, and they put them behind bars after one guy wise enough decides (with police help) to record such an order on tape.... Issue with making every order coming from CEO is - that it will never happen... too many lobby groups would oppose it, and they have a strong say on what goes on the hill. And every corporation would back them.

Re:Punishing corporations (1)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 5 years ago | (#27361053)

Issue with making every order coming from CEO is - that it will never happen...

Not every order - that will kill corporations, and kill the economy. Just orders that are likely to be illegal.

If my boss tells me to add a few topics to a course, I don't need written orders. I don't expect that to be a crime. But if he tells me to write a DRM module that takes over a computer, I think I should protect myself.

Re:Punishing corporations (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27362247)

You just need to be crafty. report progress via email in the form of friendly FYI's.

Re:Punishing corporations (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27362031)

The problem isn't just that Corporations are non physical beings. It is the dual complication of Corporations having the same legal rights as physical beings or citizens, while enjoying the benefits of limited liability sheltering those who make decisions from taking responsibility for those decisions.

If I poison a well causing death to people, if I am caught, I get criminally prosecuted, and jailed if found guilty. A corporation, poisoning wells ( many documented instances ), is sued and fined, perhaps (in their eyes) maliciously, but no-one is held accountable, or criminally prosecuted.

Moral of the story - using a corporation to abuse, or create an environment that will kill actual humans is a civil offence, that if conducted by a private individual would constitute Domestic Terrorism.

Solution: revoke the corporations right as a human being and citizen, and reintroduce liability for corporate behaviour.

And for those who will whine about it being bad for the economy, try thinking of peoples lives for once instead of simply your portfolio.

Re:Well, well. (2, Interesting)

Manchot (847225) | more than 5 years ago | (#27362345)

Since people are so big on having corporations having the same rights as people, I would love to have a justice system that actually treats them equivalently. Did a corporation knowingly break the law? If so, send it to "prison:" revoke its corporate charter for a certain period of time, and prevent it from doing business. Better yet, force it to make license plates for the state.

Re:Well, well. (2, Funny)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360685)

If I had done it, I'd probably still be sharing a cell with Bubba.

"still"?

How is Bubba doing these days, anyway?

Re:Well, well. (4, Insightful)

swb (14022) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360937)

What needs to happen is that the chief officer of a company or the chair of the board needs to be the one that is physically accountable should the corporation be convicted of a crime. "I didn't know" or "they didn't tell me" won't be excuses for lack of oversight or management involvement.

I can guarantee you that should highly placed corporate officers be held personally accountable for criminal actions of the corporation they WILL get involved enough to ensure it doesn't happen.

Re:Well, well. (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27362183)

So you are saying if I put code in my next software release that opens up a hole into your computer for me, the CEO should go to jail?

That doesn't seem right.
The level of involvement they would need would stifle all production.

Re:Well, well. (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27362283)

Actually, I'm fairly sure that's exactly what being an officer of the company is about, you are legaly responsible for the actions of your company.

Re:Well, well. (1)

metalcoat (918779) | more than 5 years ago | (#27362445)

I thought Sarbanes-Oxley actually deals with this. Company officers can no longer claim they didn't know.

Re:Well, well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27361019)

Well... Sony IS a corporation, and a corporation IS a group of people.

If a SINGLE individual committed this crime, they are SOLELY responsible.
Since it was a GROUP that the guilt was distributed among, the per capita
responsibility was widely distributed. There is no single person to point to.

Unless, of course, you think the CEO of such corporations actually run them.
In which case, I'm sure you think they should be held accountable. They don't.
The shareholders via the board run the corporation, and if you don't like the
business practices of said corporation, YOU NEED TO SELL THEIR STOCK.
Simple.

The FTC and WTO and everybody else will lose their impetus when "the economy"
is basically held for ransom by these major corporations who answer to no one.
They will eventually lay back down again when the public eye is distracted.

Hit them in the wallet, where it matters to them. That's our only recourse, really.

Stop buying SONY products. Stop buying RIAA music. STOP! For real this time.

Re:Well, well. (1)

JaneTheIgnorantSlut (1265300) | more than 5 years ago | (#27361331)

Sony handed over some money, offered to replace a few CDs, and mumbled something about being sorry they got caught

Fixed that for you.

hey hey hey (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27360299)

yoyoyo!

bio173-w-am@umich.edu

SLASHDOT IS BROKEN (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27360363)

The little "javascript slider to display all comment" thing is FUCKING BROKEN.

STOP MESSING WITH SLASHDOT and TEST your damn SHIT before putting it online you dumb fucks.

It's like you're using Slashdot as your personnal testing ground for all your javascript and CSS skills (or lack thereof).

STOP IT ALREADY.

Re:SLASHDOT IS BROKEN (2, Insightful)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360391)

Uh - your complaint is what the Bugs link is for, nobody from /. is going to read it here.

Re:SLASHDOT IS BROKEN (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360533)

The guy does have a point though, for the last few months it's been like they're not even testing their modifications before putting them online.

But yeah, submit a bug report, buddy.

I'll believe it when I see it (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27360409)

It is nice that the FTC has admitted a few of the problems with DRM but them actually stopping or changing or even challenging it seems a bit out there. Enough money and all government problems seem to go away.

wtf (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27360429)

WTF has the FTC to do with the linux Display Rendering Manager? Jim gettys and Keith Hewlett Packard have been working their asses out to make this thing wokring again and have the kernel provide decent acceleration and VT switching. Sure the FTC may be better than the old RTC approach but you don't break backwards compatible APIs every day for no serious reason despite what people do these days. It's up to the distributions if you ask me. And people know that. And that's it.

Re:wtf (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360803)

Sure the FTC may be better than the old RTC approach but you don't break backwards compatible APIs every day for no serious reason despite what people do these days.

What does the Resolution Trust Corporation have to do with Linux drivers? (Actually, I would not be surprised to see them come back!)

Re:wtf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27361289)

What does the Resolution Trust Corporation have to do with Linux drivers? (Actually, I would not be surprised to see them come back!)

I would. Compared to these ass clowns, the RTC was the epitome of efficiency, which is strictly verboten in the Bush-Obama era. Also, the RTC bondholders actually got paid back.

Re:wtf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27361461)

Dot com crash boom all over again. That's it. I'm going to Japan.

Make sure to complain to the FTC (4, Informative)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360493)

I once was at a seminar where an attorney from the FTC was there. To make a long story short, it takes quite a bit of complaints before the FTC takes action. So, if anyone comes across a deceptive DRM, file a complaint with the FTC and then submit an article here on Slashdot and everywhere else you think folks would be interested, and tell them about it.

The FTC won't act unless they know about it and if it's affecting a lot of people.

Notice how those small time telemarketers who violate the Do Not Call List never seem to get caught even when you file complaint after complaint with the FTC; whereas, the big corps who do it are caught and paraded around the media?

Re:Make sure to complain to the FTC (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27362441)

Yep. The FTC DOES care, however they can't act on a single complaint for various reasons not the least of which being they don't have the resources to investigate everything. I've sent them stuff on domain slamming mail and they said they are interested and every report helps. Don't expect them to jump at your word, but they'll add you to the file and when there's sufficient evidence, they'll move on it.

TO READERS (5, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360603)

The Slashdot editors chose to change my article to state that webcasts are available at the FTC site. They are not. There were live webcasts but (at least on my Mac) the links only worked when the talks were live.

So if you try to access the webcasts and it doesn't work, please don't blame me. The editors wrote that in.

Re:TO READERS (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360971)

And yet, somehow, you were able to use the word "editors" without sarcasm dripping from your tongue. Congrats. I haven't been able to do that on this site for many years! :)

(And thanks for the clarification. I was a little puzzled why they would have been pulled. Now that I know they were never actually posted, things make a lot more sense.)

Re:TO READERS (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27362207)

oh sure they did. Do you have a paper trail~

Please Note (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27362873)

I am not trying to "blame" anybody else... but I am trying to avoid others blaming me for something I did not do.

FTC Comes a Callin' (5, Insightful)

davegravy (1019182) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360643)

don't be surprised if the FTC comes calling.

Sony: "Hello?"

FTC: "Hi, this is the FTC, you have some deceptive DRM in your latest product"

Sony: "Oh?"

FTC: "Yeah, so we're just calling to let you know"

Sony: "I'm not surprised that you're calling"

FTC: "Wonderful. Have a good day, sir. Goodbye."

Re:FTC Comes a Callin' (4, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27361033)

Sony: "I'm not surprised that you're calling"

ITYM Sony: "We'll send someone over right away with a big bag of money and a van full of hookers and blow."

Re:FTC Comes a Callin' (2, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27361925)

Except instead of the FTC, it's the Minerals Management Service, and it actually happened. [nytimes.com]

about. darn. time. (4, Insightful)

swschrad (312009) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360651)

they should require a prominent logo of a broken CD if DRM is in use.

Re:about. darn. time. (3, Funny)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#27362237)

Or they could just put physically broken discs in the cases, and be done with it when you open the case.

Bullshit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27360729)

Is the FTC actually going to *DO* anything? Or are they just paying lip service?

A quick search reveals the FTC handling of the rootkit debacle [wikipedia.org] .

Basically, $5mil to the government and $175 to each person who's computer was fried by the rootkit (though I'm sure you had to jump through hoops to get it the money, can't tell now though because the website to make a claim was taken down).

Talk is cheap, I want some real action from the FTC.
Where are the >$100mil punitive damages lawsuits? THAT would put an end to subversive/invasive DRM.

OTOH, the libertarian side of me would just like to see better press coverage of events like this to raise consumer awareness of the issues of DRM.

Re:Bullshit! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360903)

The heck with suing for damages. If they break the law, we "manage" their freedom, so to speak.

Sounds great! (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360841)

So when are they going to kick the arse of all the movie studios?

They advertise "OWN IT TODAY" on all their dvd releases. Yet they claim in courts and elsewhere that you dont own anything but are merely licensing it.

I want them forced to advertise "Get your limited, conditional and revokeable without warning license to view it today!"

Re:Sounds great! (4, Interesting)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 5 years ago | (#27361213)

Mod parent up! Along with the own it/license it false advertising, the entire current format for blu-ray media discs needs to scrapped, along with HDCP. The blu-ray java engine just means I need to run windows to play blu-ray discs as they should be and the HDCP means that I can't play my legally purchased discs using my legally purchased blu-ray disc drive except at a crummy resolution. I need to break the law and remove the copy protection just to view them. I would say this is a huge joke, but at $30 a disc, it isn't funny.

Re:Sounds great! (1)

Shagg (99693) | more than 5 years ago | (#27361797)

HDCP means that I can't play my legally purchased discs using my legally purchased blu-ray disc drive except at a crummy resolution.

There is a flag that will restrict you from viewing HD over the analog outputs, but as far as I know none of the studios are using it. Do you know of one who is, or are you referring to "HD over component" vs "HD over HDMI" as "crummy resolution"?

Re:Sounds great! (1)

PRMan (959735) | more than 5 years ago | (#27362193)

Try it on a Vista PC with an old VGA monitor. You'll see what he means.

Re:Sounds great! (1)

Shagg (99693) | more than 5 years ago | (#27362539)

You can't display HD on an old VGA monitor anyway, that has nothing to do with HDCP.

Re:Sounds great! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27362311)

Who the hell pay
s 30 bucks a disk? There isn't a movie you can't get for 22 bucks or less on Blu-Ray. Barring boxed sets, naturally.

Of course, price is besides the point. I don't care if they are charging a buck, this is a deceptive practice, and the FTC should bring it to an end.
Contact them and let them know.

Re:Sounds great! (1)

davegravy (1019182) | more than 5 years ago | (#27361597)

I want them forced to advertise "Get your limited, conditional and revokeable without warning license to possibly view it at some point in the future!"

Fixed that for you.

Re:Sounds great! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27362227)

Have you complained to the FTC, or do you just expected them to know all this stuff using magic elf farts?

I covered it on TeleRead (1)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 5 years ago | (#27360865)

I covered the FTC meeting for TeleRead.org (though since I'm connected right now through an iPod Touch from a hospital exam room I don't have any way to fetch the link).

I also was credited by name for a question asked at the beginning of the last panel. :)

In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27362761)

In Soviet Russia, DRM manages Y... oh right.
We're good nevermind.

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