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Kindle, Zune DRM Restrictions Coming Into Focus

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the lie-down-with-dogs dept.

Books 311

It's not news that the media you buy for both Kindle and Zune are protected by DRM. Readers are sending in stories of some of the ramifications of that fact. First, Absentminded-Artist notes an account at Gear Diary recounting what an Amazon rep told one user about download limits on Kindle books. "One facet of the Kindle's DRM has reared an ugly head: download limitations. Upgraded your iPhone recently? Bought a new Kindle? You may not be able to reload your entire library. There's an unadvertised flag: 'You mean when you go to buy the book it doesn't say "this book can be downloaded this number of times" even though that limitation is there?' To which [the rep] replied, 'No, I'm very sorry it doesn't.'" Next, reader Rjak writes "DRM is a bad idea, poorly implemented. One of the many many valid reasons to drop Zune and its marketplace is the DRM validation error you see below. The vast majority of the music I had purchased last year is completely gone. There's no refund, the music doesn't exist on the service anymore, the files are just garbage now. Here's the error (screen capture): 'This item is no longer available at Zune Marketplace. Because of this, you can no longer play it or sync it with your Zune. There might be another iteration of it available in Zune Marketplace.'" Update: 06/23 00:28 GMT by KD : The Gear Diary blog has been updated with what may be more definitive information from Amazon on how the Kindle DRM behaves.

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When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413171)

DRM has not been implemented correctly to date. While you might hope that your iTunes or Kindle--being a popular product--will have flawless DRM that will not inhibit you, this is simply not the case. It's always just a time bomb waiting to go off in your face.

If you gotta buy digital books or music, don't fall for any DRM scheme. Here's an example that even the biggest digital retailers can't get it right. I await a flawless DRM that will work on multiple pieces of hardware--hardware that I choose! I fear I will be waiting for quite some time ...

And please, I'm sick of responses to my posts with some snide remark that you don't have DRM and yours is free with a link to the Pirate Bay. It's getting old. I want to support the content providers but I don't want to give up or inhibit my rights to access that content.

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (5, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413189)

Buy it once, use the pirated copy thereafter. After all you're purchasing a "license" and a "service" not a product, so all that matters is the license.

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (0, Redundant)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413221)

It's times like this I wish I had mod-points.

Sadly though, I doubt the record companies will see things quite the same way when they bust you for using the evil bittorrent.

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (0)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413351)

It doesn't matter. If you bought the CD, you have the right in the US under the fair use clause to download it. Maybe you just don't want to rip it. Maybe your CD was defective from the store as sometimes happens. Maybe you can't remember where you put it and don't want to dig it out. Maybe it was lost. Once you bought the rights, you buy the rights to it in all forms for your own personal use . This has been true since the days of vinyl.

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28413485)

It doesn't matter. If you bought the CD, you have the right in the US under the fair use clause to download it.

Really? Could you point me to the case that was decided that set the precedent for this? After all, issues like this in US law are based on precedent. Or failing that, can you point me to the exact phrase in the clause that unambiguously gives me the right to download copyrighted works if I already have a license for them?

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (-1, Troll)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#28414015)

I just read that the Earth is spherical. Can you point me to a precedent? If you don't do my homework for me I'll just DIE!

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (2)

stabiesoft (733417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413511)

and this is precisely why I still buy CD's. It is physical media, with no DRM. I can make a copy for my phone's memory, I can stick it on a hard drive to make playlists for the house, I can stick it in the car (and even record it on the CTS's hard drive) all legally. And the really really nice part is that CD has 16bit/44KHz sampling, so it sounds good on a good system. Of course the copy squished into the phone doesn't sound that great.

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413809)

"and this is precisely why I still buy CD's. It is physical media, with no DRM."

You are misinformed. Buying a CD in no way guarantees lack of DRM [wikipedia.org] . It guarantees lack of DRM on Linux . Windows is still open to DRM techniques not indigenous to the kernel.

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (5, Informative)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413877)

This is precisely why I -don't- buy CDs anymore. I used to faithfully buy CDs from a band published through EMI. I play all my music from my PC and it's Very Fine (TM) sound system I spent a bunch of cash putting together. I do not own a stereo. One day, I bought the latest CD by this band and was surprised and confused as to why it stubbornly refused to play... turned out that EMI had put some copyprotection shit on the CD that resolutely refused to work with my CD playing software.

Now, I'm technically literate so it was a simple thing to rip the CD bit-wise and produce lossless files from it and burn them to a CD, but I was so incensed by the whole experience that I swore an oath never to buy from EMI again, nor any company that put protection on its CDs. I PAID for that CD, dammit - I did the right thing because I wanted to support what they were doing. And yet I, the person who actually paid cash for it, was the one who couldn't enjoy it while Teh Evul Piratez could.

Not only was their copy protection a waste of time, it was also lost them a faithful customer.

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (5, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413609)

Sorry, but it doesn't really (technically) work that way. When you buy the CD, you haven't bought any rights to anything. You've just bought the CD. According to copyright, you have no right to copy that CD. Fair use says that you can copy that CD, so long as it's copied in certain ways for for certain purposes.

Where this has gotten confusing is that when you "buy" a song online, what you've really bought it a license to copy that song under additional circumstances not normally granted under fair use. Of course, that license probably has terms in it that say the online store can revoke the license and deny you access to that song at any time for any reason.

For this reason, I think someone should really sue these companies for false advertising or deceptive practices (IANAL, so I don't know what you would technically sue them for). Companies using DRM shouldn't be allowed to advertise that they're "selling" music, and they shouldn't be permitted to use the word "buy". Instead of "buy", they should be forced to use words like "rent" or "license". And the terms of the license should be in simple language and displayed prominently, not just when you first install or run the software.

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (1, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413865)

No. Where you are getting confused is that if you buy the CD, you don't need to "buy" it online, but DRM is trying to break this. It (The DRM Movement) is an attempt to circumvent fair use by controlling your computer, such that it cannot play music which you have the right to play under fair use unless you pay for it again. ... and again, and again, and again ...

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (5, Insightful)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413953)

When you buy the CD, you haven't bought any rights to anything. You've just bought the CD. According to copyright, you have no right to copy that CD.

Really though; who cares? If the law is out-of-synch with reality, should I play along? I think not... Do what's *right* not what's legal. You'll cause less damage / hurt less people and be much happier.

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (0, Redundant)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413957)

... According to copyright, you have no right to copy that CD. Fair use says that you can copy that CD, so long as it's copied in certain ways for for certain purposes.

Fair use is a copyright clause, but according to Copyright I have no right, except for that part about fair use. Got it ...

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (-1, Flamebait)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413991)

Moderators: The RIAA shills are at work on this (parent) post!!

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28414047)

So because I actually have an understanding of what the limits of fair use are (which you clearly don't due to your repeatedly not-backed-by-law-in-any-way claims) I'm now an RIAA shill? Wow, talk about misguided.

I certainly would like the current state of copyright to change. But pulling the way I'd like it to be out of my ass and saying "this is how it is" doesn't exactly make it so. I really hope you can see that. And I really hope you take the time to educate yourself a little bit on how copyright law actually works before proclaiming anyone who doesn't agree with your little fantasy world an "RIAA shill".

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (5, Insightful)

oneirophrenos (1500619) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413457)

Buy it once, use the pirated copy thereafter. After all you're purchasing a "license" and a "service" not a product, so all that matters is the license.

I don't understand why you would pay for DRM-infested products, if you don't even intend to use them after purchase. What you are effectively doing there is rewarding the company for making user-unfriendly products. It might seem the "moral" thing to do, but it really just enables the company to remain "immoral" and continue with their anti-consumer policies.

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413517)

Did you notice that whooshing noise?

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28413715)

...their anti-consumer policies.

I think you misspelled "customer."

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (5, Insightful)

Whillowhim (1408725) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413577)

I completely disagree. Buying an item you don't intend to actually use is sending the wrong message. You're rewarding the book publishers for their insane DRM when you should be discouraging them.

Finding pirated books can be a pain in the ass. If they're going to force me to spend time looking for a copy with bad proofreading and odd line-breaks, I'm going to ask for a refund on the money I spent on the book. Or better yet, just not spend it in the first place. Its not that I'm unwilling to buy ebooks, its that I value my time and spending 10-60 minutes looking through various websites/peer to peer applications is more valuable to me than the cost of the book in the first place.

And for the record, I've spent just under $1000 at Baen's online store over the last 3 years, because the books there are unencumbered by DRM and are easy to find and buy. I'm more than willing to buy books if I'm given a fair deal. It just seems that a lot of book publishers are so scared by the piracy boogieman that they piss off their real customers.

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (1)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413643)

(I am not the GP). Many books I am interested in reading, don't have a decent "downloable version" on PirateBay. The lack of a decent non-DRM service does hurt.

I have a ebook reader (Hanlin v3), and I am also at point in my life where I have the surplus income to buy all books I want without problems. I could and would pay for books for it. The books I want are not in PirateBay, or just have crappy scanned copies.

Specially when going on vacations, I would really rather the Hanlin than 10 dead-tree books. Even if willing to download, and pay for the dead-trees, I can't have decent files for my e-reader.

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28413835)

demonoid.com has a better selection than TPB. But, yes, downloading anything like that is illegal and there is a moral obligation to purchase anything you download and enjoy.

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (1)

Klistvud (1574615) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413817)

you're purchasing a "license" and a "service" not a product

Good point! You're purchasing nothing more than a "permit to listen". I wouldn't even go as far as suggesting to buy it once: better wait until they come up with a "product" -- "permits" are usually not worth the paper they're written on... But, hey, these are paperless, so let me guess how much must THEY be worth?

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn?$1.9M FINE (4, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413921)

Buy it once, use the pirated copy thereafter. After all you're purchasing a "license" and a "service" not a product, so all that matters is the license.

Jamie Thomas just got fined $1.9M for having files on her computer that were never proven to be shared with anyone unauthorized (MediaSentry is a fully authorized download) and owned all the CD's of the songs in question. So just what did she purchase?

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (1)

Ruie (30480) | more than 5 years ago | (#28414035)

Better yet - buy it once [webscription.net] , download in HTML or other format and read as much as you like.

There are people who get it.

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (5, Funny)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413195)

DRM has not been implemented correctly to date.

The idea is almost zen. How to screw the user yet not screw the user?

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (1)

Spaham (634471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413341)

something like how many lightbulbs does it take to screw a user ? :)

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28413593)

I think I've seen an xray of a guy with two lightbulbs in his rectum, so I guess the answer is 2 ;)

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (1)

beckett (27524) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413763)

The idea is almost zen. How to screw the user yet not screw the user?

and the Koan Master replied, "zorro."

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413951)

The answer is actually really simple. DRM encumbered media should simply be quite a lot cheaper than unencumbered media. If I could by a novel on an e-reader for $2, I'm only going to be worried about it working for around a month, after that, I couldn't give a shit.

Same thing with movies. Less so with music as my behavior tends to be to listen to things multiple times.

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (1)

ljaguar (245365) | more than 5 years ago | (#28414055)

The idea is almost zen. How to screw the user yet not screw the user?

very gently

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413199)

He won't.

It works when he buys it, so he buys it. When it stops working, he gets angry, but that doesn't stop him. He will buy the next DRMified content because, hey, it's working. Maybe from another vender ("because I'll NEVER buy with those again, they ripped me off!"), but that doesn't mean he won't buy with someone else.

Netcraft confirms: *BSD is dying (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28413243)

Suicide is Painless

In 2000, chief *BSD developer Matt Damon left the project after penning a long, meandering suicide note, loosely based on a novel by renowned playwright Buzz Aldrin.

        FreeBSD used to be fun. It used to be about doing things the right way. It used to be something that you could sink your teeth into when the mundane chores of programming for a living got you down. It was something cool and exciting; a way to spend your spare time on an endeavour you loved that was at the same time wholesome and worthwhile.

        It's not anymore. It's about bylaws and committees and reports and milestones, telling others what to do and doing what you're told. It's about who can rant the longest or shout the loudest or mislead the most people into a bloc in order to legitimise doing what they think is best. Individuals notwithstanding, the project as a whole has lost track of where it's going, and has instead become obsessed with process and mechanics.

[edit] Netcraft Weighs In

Not long after Matt's suicide, the United Nations Commission for Wresting Control of the DNS Root Servers from the Imperialist United States ("UN-USA")'s Netcraft project weighed in with its final judgement. In typical Netcraft fashion, the writer kept to the facts and looked to the numbers:

        It is now official. Netcraft has confirmed: *BSD is dying

        One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

        You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

        FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

        Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

        OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

        Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

        All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

That crippling bombshell sent *BSD fans into a tailspin of mourning and denial. However, bad news poured in like a river of water.
[edit] Commission for Technology Management

In 2003, the widely respected Commission for Technology Management completed a year-long intensive survey that concluded that *BSD may as well already be dead.

        Yet another sickening blow has struck what's left of the *BSD community, as a soon-to-be-released report by the independent Commision for Technology Management (CTM) after a year-long study has concluded: *BSD is already dead. Here are some of the commission's findings:

        Fact: the *BSDs have balkanized yet again. There are now no less than twelve separate, competing *BSD projects, each of which has introduced fundamental incompatibilities with the other *BSDs, and frequently with Unix standards. Average number of developers in each project: fewer than five. Average number of users per project: there are no definitive numbers, but reports show that all projects are on the decline.

        Fact: X.org will not include support for *BSD. The newly formed group believes that the *BSDs have strayed too far from Unix standards and have become too difficult to support along with Linux and Solaris x86. "It's too much trouble," said one anonymous developer. "If they want to make their own standards, let them doing the porting for us."

        Fact: DragonflyBSD, yet another offshoot of the beleaguered FreeBSD "project", is already collapsing under the weight of internal power struggles and in-fighting. "They haven't done a single decent release," notes Mark Baron, an industry watcher and columnist. "Their mailing lists read like an online version of a Jerry Springer episode, complete with food fights, swearing, name-calling, and chair-throwing." Netcraft reports that DragonflyBSD is run on exactly 0% of internet servers.

        Fact: There are almost no FreeBSD developers left, and its use, according to Netcraft, is down to a sadly crippled .005% of internet servers. A recent attempt at a face-to-face summit in Boulder, Colorado culminated in an out-and-out fistfight between core developers, reportedly over code commenting formats (tabs vs. spaces). Hotel security guards broke up the melee and banned the participants from the hotel. Two of the developers were hospitalized, and one continues to have his jaw wired shut.

        Fact: NetBSD, which claims to focus on portability (whatever that is supposed to mean), is slow, and cannot take advantage of multiple CPUs. "That about drove the last nail in the coffin for BSD use here," said Michael Curry, CTO of Amazon.com. "We took our NetBSD boxes out to the backyard and shot them in the head. We're much happier running Linux."

        Fact: *BSD has no support from the media. Number of Linux magazines available at bookstores: 5 (Linux Journal, Linux World, Linux Developer, Linux Format, Linux User). Number of available *BSD magazines: 0. Current count of Linux-oriented technical books: 1071. Current count of *BSD books: 6.

        Fact: Many user-level applications will no longer work under *BSD, and no one is working to change this. The GIMP, a Photoshop-like application, has not worked at all under *BSD since version 1.1 (sorry, too much trouble for such a small base, developers have said). OpenOffice, a Microsoft Office clone, has never worked under *BSD and never will. ("Why would we bother?" said developer Steven Andrews, an OpenOffice team lead.)

        Fact: servers running OpenBSD, which claims to focus on security, are frequently compromised. According to Jim Markham, editor of the online security forum SecurityWatch, the few OpenBSD servers that exist on the internet have become a joke among the hacker community. "They make a game out of it," he says. "(OpenBSD leader) Theo [de Raadt] will scramble to make a new patch to fix one problem, and they've already compromised a bunch of boxes with a different exploit."

        With these incontroverible facts staring (what's left of) the *BSD community in the face, they can only draw one conclusion: *BSD is already dead.

[edit] Wired Writes an Epitaph

In 2004, Wired Magazine published an article in which it declared *BSD dead, once and for all. The article also declared Linux superior to *BSD.

        IT IS OFFICIAL; WIRED NEWS CONFIRMS: LINUX IS SUPERIOR TO *BSD

                * BSD is Dying, Says Respected Journal

        Linux advocates have long insisted that open-source development results in better and more secure software. Now they have statistics to back up their claims.

        According to a four-year analysis of the 5.7 million lines of Linux source code conducted by five Stanford University computer science researchers, the Linux kernel programming code is better and more secure than the programming code of *BSD.

        The report, set to be released on Tuesday, states that the 2.6 Linux production kernel, shipped with software from Red Hat, Novell and other major Linux software vendors, contains 985 bugs in 5.7 million lines of code, well below the average for *BSD software. NetBSD, by comparison, contains about 40 million lines of code, with new bugs found on a frequent basis.

                * BSD software typically has 20 to 30 bugs for every 1,000 lines of code, according to a group of Carnegie Mellon University's pot-smoking hippies. This would be equivalent to 114,000 to 171,000 bugs in 5.7 million lines of code.

        The study identified 0.17 bugs per 1,000 lines of code in the Linux kernel. Of the 985 bugs identified, 627 were in critical parts of the kernel. Another 569 could cause a system crash, 100 were security holes, and 33 of the bugs could result in less-than-optimal system performance.

        Seth Hell, CEO of Covertitude, a provider of source-code analysis, noted that the majority of the bugs documented in the study have already been fixed by members of the Linux development community.

        "Our findings show that Linux contains an extremely low defect rate and is evidence of the strong security of Linux," said Hell. "Many security holes in software are the result of software bugs that can be eliminated with good programming processes."

        The Linux source-code analysis project started in 2000 at the Stanford University Computer Science Research Center as part of a large research initiative to improve core software engineering processes in the software industry.

        The initiative now continues at Covertitude, a software engineering startup that now employs the five researchers who conducted the study. Covertitude said it intends to start providing Linux bug analysis reports on a regular basis and will make a summary of the results freely available to the Linux development community.

        "This is a benefit to the Linux development community, and we appreciate Coverity's efforts to help us improve the security and stability of Linux," said Andrew Mumpkins, lead Linux kernel maintainer. Mumpkins said developers have already addressed the top-priority bugs uncovered in the study.

[edit] The Obituary

On September 9, 2005, *BSD was finally declared dead. The following obituary appeared in the Berkeley Observer:

        * BSD Obituary

        * BSD, 28, of Berkeley, CA died Monday, Sept. 19, 2005. Born July 3, 1976, it was the creation of a cluster of pot-smoking hippies who went to Illinois and came home with a reel of tape. Rather than smoke the tape, they uploaded it and hacked on it a little.

        * BSD was known for its C shell and early TCP/IP implementation. After being banished from UC Berkeley, it was ported to the x86 platform, where it fell into the hands of heavier pot-smokers who liked to argue. Soon, the project had splintered into 12 different Balkanized projects. Until its death, there was almost constant fighting in and amongst these groups, sometimes degenerating into out-and-out fistfights.

        * BSD is survived by its superior, Linux, as well as several commercial unix implementations. It may be missed by some who knew it, although most of them are said to be mere OS dilettante dabblers.

A funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, at the Berkeley Chapel on the UC campus, with interment to follow via the burning of the original *BSD tapes and scattering of the ashes over the San Francisco Bay. The Rev. Lou "Buddy" Stubbs will officiate.

The family will receive friends from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, at the funeral home.
[edit] Enemies of *BSD

        * Microsoft enjoyed this. Steve Ballmer claimed that he would Fucking Kill(TM) BSD and now it finally is happening. Bill Gates is doing the happy dance.

        * Linux was very happy, and a new version of Super Tux was made with the BSD Deamon and other BSD characters as the new enemies. Except for Rinux which seemed to only have Mario type games with enemies named Billy and Bally and Mario had to break Windows instead of boxes.

        * Apple knew that they no longer had to pay royalties for using *BSD technologies, not that they really contributed anything important to *BSD like that nifty GUI based on Aqua, or Safari, or Sherlock, or Doctor Watson, or Moriarty, or even iTunes, or those special screen savers that Apple made. In fact, Mac OSX no longer uses any *BSD code, and Steve Jobs took up Kitten Huffing after counting the profits Apple made from sales of the iPod and new Macintosh systems.

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (5, Informative)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413381)

iTunes
You mean that totally 100% DRM free music service?

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28413995)

I wish I'd kept some mod points for you. Slashdot is beating a dead horse with this music DRM. Can /.ers name a major online music store that sells DRM'd files? I can't.

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413385)

If you gotta buy digital books or music, don't fall for any DRM scheme. Here's an example that even the biggest digital retailers can't get it right. I await a flawless DRM that will work on multiple pieces of hardware--hardware that I choose! I fear I will be waiting for quite some time ...

Collectively, we generally don't appreciate and value what you describe there. The minority who does is probably small enough to be marginalized, though it does appear to be growing. That's the reason why (at least in the USA) it's so difficult to use any cellphone with any carrier's network, or why the most widely-used office software doesn't actively try to produce documents in a format that any other office software can use. There are many other examples.

And please, I'm sick of responses to my posts with some snide remark that you don't have DRM and yours is free with a link to the Pirate Bay. It's getting old. I want to support the content providers but I don't want to give up or inhibit my rights to access that content.

Just as you have your frustrations with that, the phenomenon itself is born of a frustration with the media companies and their refusal to work with us instead of against us. That refusal is why the very interoperability you describe is not the norm. I will neither defend nor condemn piracy, but I will say that it sums up to a "fuck them then" sort of reaction that, from the perspective of human nature, is rather understandable or at least predictable. The media companies seriously believe that they can view their customers as a resource that they may take for granted, like so much lumber or iron ore.

They believe they can do so with impunity, and if not for piracy, they would mostly be correct. Again I am not going to say whether it's right or wrong, only that the very companies which complain about piracy have done much to set the stage for it and to create the ill will that makes people feel justified when they infringe these copyrights. No one does anything unless they believe, verily or falsely, that it is the right thing to do, or at least that it is wrong but either justifiable or serves some kind of greater good. Those snide remarks you mention come from this sense of feeling justified, though of course there are better expressions of the same sentiment.

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (3, Interesting)

HiThere (15173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413699)

I pretty much agree. I don't see anything wrong with piracy against the very companies that bought the law that made it a crime. Buying the law was, itself, corruption, so they don't deserve ANY profits as a result of it.

OTOH, I consider it a reckless lifestyle choice. I'd prefer to just not purchase anything that supports DRM. So I don't. I've also stopped going to movies. I've also stopped buying music CDs. (Except from local bands without contracts with the RIAA or any member company.) And my software CDs are Linux & GPL (plus the occasional GPL compatibly licensed software). I made this choice before the DMCA was passed, though I'll admit that that reconfirmed my decision. (The Sonny-Bono copyright extension act was part of my reason. The rest came from reading the MS EULA for either Windows2000 or Office2000 at work. [My reaction to it was "This is a suicide note for any business that signs it!". The company lawyer's attitude was "No court will uphold this". He wouldn't realize that MS was capable of enforcing the EULA via technical measures, and that this was only to make their actions legal.])

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28413453)

"DRM has not been implemented correctly to date."

That can be a good thing. DVD's DRM? Cracked. I've read HD-DVD and Blu-Ray were cracked but maybe the keys were revoked; I haven't tried.

"I want to support the content providers but I don't want to give up or inhibit my rights to access that content."

I agree, and I don't quite understand DRM, even though I favor when it's nonexistent or thoroughly broken (and they still release stuff). I buy more DVDs then ever, because I can get access to the content. The more they phrackin limit me, the less I buy from them (hey, Sony, that's you; I buy downloadable content because it's easy and I get it now, you're pissing me off by DRM'ing, so I look elsewhere). The companies complaining the most are often the ones with the more notorious track records.

The Kindle DRM, from what I understand, is cracked, at least the popular form of it, although I haven't tried to see if that is still the case. This is one of the reasons why I bought a Kindle DX. There were other reasons (emergency web access for when Comcast bonks, pdf reader hopefully for O'Reilly's offerings, instant gratification of starting to read a newly downloaded book, samples), but the DRM was largely why I had put off buying one.

The problem with the Kindle download flag is that, I haven't tried this yet, you can backup your Kindle on your own PC. Does that "count" for certain or is it unclear? What is Amazon going to do if I can't download a book I bought rights to and I complain? What is a court going to do?

Really, the ball is in Amazon's court, as well as the copyright holder. The more DRM is a problem, the more it stalls Kindle sales with massive negative press, esp. as the Kindle gains more and more momentum which it seems to be doing. Kindle is so large now that's Amazon's customer service for the Kindle generally sucks. (They don't seem to read the emails.) Also, this inhibits Amazon too as if the Kindle is popular and there are more restrictions, esp. with the DX going to academia more, people will turn to other avenues as well as free textbooks (which exist and some are damn good) and other readers, like Sony's.

This can also provide furor against Amazon, which is more than the Kindle--people will start to pull sales of other things Amazon sells because they're pissed they're getting screwed on their $30 digital copy of a speciality textbook.
I've already done this myself to them on another issue; I bought my LCD TV recently from Dell, not Amazon, because last summer Amazon pulled their pricematch guarantee. Amazon lost that big purchase sale because of a policy change, and I emailed their Bezos email (whatever it was back then since it changes) telling them so, and got a response. They've since modified and partly returned the price match guarantee (for large purchases, so I've heard); in any case, while I still buy from Amazon now, I'm less likely to pull the trigger, and for a few months, didn't purchase around $1,500 from them, in addition to the TV. For example, all my sanders are Ridgid, instead of Bosch. I completed my pocket screw setup by buying the rest of the Kreg equipment from a local dealer. And I bought a few Hitachi replacements at Lowes instead. It affects them even today, as I check locally more instead of just buying online (and I've noticed some of Amazon's prices going up as well).

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (4, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413471)

DRM has not been implemented correctly to date.

Are you crazy?

There IS no correct implementation of DRM.

When a manufacturer puts DRM into a device, it means they want to control the device even when they no longer own it. And that means that at best, you're renting the device with a one time charge that they call a "purchase"... at worst, they're just laughing at you behind your back because you gave them money for nothing.

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (1)

Klistvud (1574615) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413761)

Decades ago I had close to 3,000 LP's. To preserve them from wear, I copied many of them to blank cassette tapes (which, IIRC, included a special overprice to cover "copyright damages" incurred by taping music). Then the CD arrived, with allegedly better sound, so I re-purchased many of the albums in CD format. After that, downloadable DRM-ed music came out. Hmm, that would be like re-purchasing the same music for the (counting the "copyright tax" on cassette tapes) FOURTH TIME OVER??? I said no, thanks. I prefer to buy CD's and convert them to ogg/mp3 myself. I'll never buy a DRM-ed piece NO MATTER how perfectly DRM is implemented. Does this make me a consumer that has learned or...?

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (1)

RMingin (985478) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413885)

I have a Kindle, and on occasion I even buy books from the Amazon store (Note: Amazon: Please make sure Kindle price tracks book price. Knowing that Kindle price is less than hardcover (10$ vs. 30$) means nothing at all once the paperback is out at 1/2 to 2/3 the Kindle price.

The books I do buy from Amazon, I strip the DRM and use the stripped copy thereafter. I also archive all my books to a NAS with redundancy, and I burn a DVDR of all my books once a year. It works very well, my digital books are probably more disaster-resistant than my paper ones.

Re:When Will the Average Consumer Learn? (2, Funny)

node 3 (115640) | more than 5 years ago | (#28414051)

While you might hope that your iTunes or Kindle--being a popular product--will have flawless DRM that will not inhibit you, this is simply not the case.

I think iTunes current music DRM is pretty much flawless.

I don't see the problem (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413175)

But then I have all my music in a format which can be read pretty much anywhere.

 

Hate to say this, but... (4, Insightful)

nausea_malvarma (1544887) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413179)

Honestly, if you don't like it, nobody's forcing you to buy a zune or kindle. Boycotts are the only way these companies are gonna learn that customers won't tolerate DRM.

Re:Hate to say this, but... (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413293)

Honestly, if you don't like it, nobody's forcing you to buy a zune or kindle. Boycotts are the only way these companies are gonna learn that customers won't tolerate DRM.

The possibility that concerns me is the other way that companies could handle that realization. They could design a DRM system that is generous on all counts, such that the average person has no pragmatic or material objection to its restrictions. This would make its adoption by customers much more widespread and would present the very convincing illusion of nullifying the arguments against DRM. Certainly it would nullify the reasons against it which are not rooted in principle. Effectively, that would cause people to willingly cede control to those companies so long as those companies put a smiling face on this process that is convincing enough, and that's a shame. In this way does our addiction to convenience and our superficial appreciation of only the most immediate concerns render us weak and able to be manipulated by those who claim to serve their customers.

Re:Hate to say this, but... (1)

Drakonik (1193977) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413469)

I have no problem with DRM until it stops me from being able to use my media legally as I see fit. If a DRM scheme somehow prevented me from giving a file to my friends, but let me listen to the song on my ipod, Sansa, or Zune as I wished, that'd be perfectly okay. I don't mind buying products/services/licenses. The DRM that is demonized is the DRM that preemptively treats you like a criminal and unfairly restricts your usage of a PRODUCT THAT YOU PAID FOR THE USAGE OF.

Your post makes it sound like DRM is bad. BAD DRM is bad. Whether or not it can be effectively implemented is another issue; I know you couldn't magically detect the difference between a new media player and a friend's thumb drive.

Re:Hate to say this, but... (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413607)

"Your post makes it sound like DRM is bad."

DRM _IS_ bad because there's no way to allow me to use media I purchase in any way I choose (e.g ripping DVDs to my MythTV server) while preventing me from giving those files to someone else.

DRM simply cannot be 'implemented properly', because it's broken by design; either I control my use of purchased media or the IP Robber Barons do... there's no middle ground.

Any effective DRM will cripple my use of media so much that I simply won't buy it. For example, I would have bought a few hundred Blu-Ray disks by now if it weren't for the DRM... if it's cracked to the point where I can use those disks as easily as DVDs, then I'll start buying them, but not until then.

Re:Hate to say this, but... (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413683)

I have no problem with DRM until it stops me from being able to use my media legally as I see fit. If a DRM scheme somehow prevented me from giving a file to my friends, but let me listen to the song on my ipod, Sansa, or Zune as I wished, that'd be perfectly okay. I don't mind buying products/services/licenses. The DRM that is demonized is the DRM that preemptively treats you like a criminal and unfairly restricts your usage of a PRODUCT THAT YOU PAID FOR THE USAGE OF.

Your post makes it sound like DRM is bad. BAD DRM is bad. Whether or not it can be effectively implemented is another issue; I know you couldn't magically detect the difference between a new media player and a friend's thumb drive.

All DRM is in fact bad because all DRM carries the assumption that you are incapable of doing the right thing and thus, must be actively prevented from doing the wrong thing. A DRM scheme that prevents you from giving a file to your friends is treating you like a criminal because the assumption behind it is that you WOULD give it to your friends -- they are so certain that you would do this, that they paid programmers to design a system to prevent it. To say that this restriction doesn't bother you because you wouldn't do that anyway misses the point. The point is that your morality means absolutely nothing if you have no ability to be immoral. To support any form of DRM is akin to saying that they are right to treat their customers in this adversarial, dehumanizing fashion.

DRM is power. It's power to control markets, to micromanage customers, to dictate obsolescence, and to hold content hostage. It's a power that comes with no concept of due process or innocent until proven guilty. It's a power that is "justified" by the fact that media companies have chosen not to create a business model suitable for the Information Age, which is no justification at all. It's a power that was not given to the companies willingly, but rather was one that they have taken for themselves. It was born not of overwhelming customer demand, but rather, a desire to control.

DRM is also a sad alternative to restoring the balance that once existed between the temporary monopoly granted by copyright and the benefit of society. Copyright was once only twelve years in duration, and this was when a mechanical printing press was the most technologically advanced method of distribution. We now have the ability to create and sell many more copies of a work in twelve years than we ever could have done before, yet copyright now has a ridiculous duration that has no concept of balance. It is plainly evident that you are dealing with people who are never going to be satisfied, for whom enough is never going to be enough.

The reason why so many no longer respect copyright is because it is no longer respectable. Those who choose to respect it anyway give it a benefit of doubt that the media companies are not willing to extend to their customers. Restoring the balance that once existed could create a world where people again respect copyright because they can see that it is reasonable and good. Such people would not want to infringe it, and thus, would need no restraints to prevent them from doing so. The fact that this simple, self-evident truth is so hard for so many to imagine is evidence enough that we have gone too far down this negative path that we are on. More DRM, no matter how benign, could only take us farther down that path.

Re:Hate to say this, but... (1)

vidarlo (134906) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413823)

have no problem with DRM until it stops me from being able to use my media legally as I see fit. If a DRM scheme somehow prevented me from giving a file to my friends, but let me listen to the song on my ipod, Sansa, or Zune as I wished, that'd be perfectly okay.

That system can't excist. If you are able to play back content with the player of your own choice, you can surely just use a open source one and dump audio to disk again after the DRM is dealt with? Or you could simply strip away the DRM straight away.

That's the inherit problem with DRM: It tries to give you access to content whilst at the same time restricting access to the very same content. It can't be done. Not now. Not tomorrow. Not ever. There won't be a DRM system that ever lets you use media as you see fit.

Re:Hate to say this, but... (1)

Naturalis Philosopho (1160697) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413529)

If the DRM is so good that "the average person has no pragmatic or material objection to its restrictions" then objecting to it on "principle" alone becomes an exercise in, well, juvenile-wish-fulfillment. In fact, the "average" person has no problem with DRM schemes such as those that "lock" down DVDs or VHS (macrovision), nor those that iTunes had or most software has. I'm not saying that most DRM schemes are there yet, but if DRM is that unobtrusive, then I'd consider it an acceptable part of the real-world compromise necessary when dealing with the owners. I leave to each person to decide if that deal is Faustian or not.

What I'd fear more is the DRM schemes that are designed not to control but to outright discourage the use of digital media. Put on your tin-foil hat with me and ask for a second why content owners would allow online digital providers such as Wal-Mart, Amazon, MicroSoft, and Audible to run a service which can disable your ability to use a license not due to breach on your part but just because they don't want to maintain their servers anymore (and in some cases this has already happened, see Walmart). Any good contract between owner and provider would require that the customer be allowed continued use of the product as sold. Not having those provisions smacks of a scheme by the owners to be able to say "oh, your product doesn't work anymore, well, that's digital downloads for you. Aren't CDs so much nicer!"

Re:Hate to say this, but... (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413709)

"In fact, the "average" person has no problem with DRM schemes such as those that "lock" down DVDs or VHS (macrovision),"

The average user has no problem with them because they're trivially crackable.

Re:Hate to say this, but... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413943)

They could design a DRM system that is generous on all counts, such that the average person has no pragmatic or material objection to its restrictions. This would make its adoption by customers much more widespread and would present the very convincing illusion of nullifying the arguments against DRM.

Well, they couldn't. Because it would be the opposite of DRM. DRM and convenient usage exclude each other. I would even say that it's the point.
I think they already work the hardest, to even get to that level, from the insanity that the requirements of the media industry demand. :)
When this is not "enough" for the industry anymore, that is when the fun starts. ^^

It's a vicious circle. Just wait for them, destroying themselves, by attacking the very source of their survival, instead of fixing themselves.

Re:Hate to say this, but... (3, Insightful)

Drakonik (1193977) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413493)

Amen. Nobody seems to understand that we (at least in America) live in a hugely capitalistic society, and that means that we as the consumer hold IMMENSE power. It's all well and good to buy an ipod and then write to Apple complaining about DRM, but that doesn't mean much, because they've got your money already.

Exercise your capitalistic rights to control the market.

tl;dr ROW ROW FIGHT THE POWAH [youtube.com]

Re:Hate to say this, but... (3, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413617)

Right on! I don't feel the slightest bit of pity for the suckers that bought the crap. It's got Digital Restriction Management! DUH! It's crippled. Why would you buy crippled equipment and content? The beauty of it is that M$ could ditch the Zune and it's DRM format for another crippled device with a new DRM system totally invalidating all previous downloads....and people would buy it! "A fool and his money are soon parted." -Thomas Tusser

Eating their cake and having it too (4, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413185)

DRM is a fundamentally broken concept. It relies on the argument that you're purchasing a service and not a product, but then you're treated as though you purchased a product and not a service. In effect what's happening is that the consumer expends money and then literally has no rights whatsoever and, thanks to TOS/EULAs, no recourse either.

DRM as service treated like product -- well said (3, Insightful)

schwaang (667808) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413597)

Which is why I find it misleading when Amazon shows the price of the kindle version and directly compares it to the price of the deadtree version. They are really two completely different animals, and this hidden download limit is one great example of what makes the comparison false.

(I try to use my kindle and kindle iphone app with open eyes, but I didn't know about this download limit until now.)

Re:Eating their cake and having it too (2, Insightful)

AnEmbodiedMind (612071) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413731)

Great point.
I generally hate DRM, unless as you say, the process really fits a service model.
Zune has since moved away from DRM when you buy music - they now generally give you unprotected MP3s. But if you get a subscription it really is a service - you can download all the music you want but it will expire if you don't keep up the subscription (although you do get to keep 10 songs a month in MP3).
I think that model of DRM is the only one that I've seen that actually seems fair and works.

My old PDA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28413191)

I still use my old PDA for ebooks.

It's got a color screen circa 2004 but hey,

I can't throw it away and eBaying it would only get me five bucks :(

Euphamism? (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413229)

It's not news that the media you buy for both Kindle and Zune are protected by DRM.

I hope it doesn't sound like too minor of a gripe, but I greatly prefer to call it encumbered by DRM.

Re:Euphamism? (4, Funny)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413253)

I hope it doesn't sound like too minor of a gripe, but I greatly prefer to call it encumbered by DRM.

I prefer to call it infested with DRM.

Re:Euphamism? (5, Insightful)

mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413611)

Perhaps you shouldn't. When you say infested by DRM you have made an unnecessarily combative statement as though accusing the producers of something heinous. Granted, you are right, but it makes it harder to carry on a discourse with people who aren't already aligned with your view of thinking. Ditto for almost every alternative to Digital Rights Management listed on the GNU website. I particularly like "Digital Shackles" as a proposed alternative. I mean really? It just makes the whole conversation less civil and people more likely to dismiss your views as those of a zealot.

Re:Euphamism? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28413903)

Parent makes a good point, one that a lot of us -- especially on slashdot or in political discussions -- tend to miss. Mod up.

Surprised... (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413237)

The Zune still exists?

I'm genuinely not meaning to trash MS, I really thought that the Zune was a dead product. I've never actually even seen one.

Re:Surprised... (2, Insightful)

Sirusjr (1006183) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413387)

I prefer the zune to the IPOD because I never was a fan of the clickwheel and the way the IPOD tends to organize your music. I've had my 30gb zune for years now and it still works great. I'm hoping that it will live long enough so that the ZUNEHD comces out and I can get the 120gb zune for cheap. Plus the zune has a better quality audio jack when it comes to the output you get to regular headphones. Now if only they would come out with a 300gb version that supports FLAC and cue sheets.

Re:Surprised... (1)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413789)

I never use cue sheets, it was my understanding that they are only useful for burning .flacs back to CD, or can they also be used for playback on a computer/media player?

Re:Surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28413963)

The headphone jack on the Zune is made by MonsterCable?

DRM is not the solution (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413245)

For music, the DRM is all but gone. That Zune still carries DRM proves that to MS the end user is never the customer.

The emerging problem is certainly books and video. Niether of these is going to be trivial to convert to electronic format anytime soon, and the files don't seem be trivial to burn to an unprotected format either. This means that video and books are still on the list, as music used to be, of only be useful as long as the files stay in good shape. It is interesting that Amazon has chosen to take this one step further and limit it to a number of devices. As the article states, since one is to upgrade often, and the files are owned by Amazon, this puts an effective lifetime on the books. Where on can buy a hardback and refer to it for a lifetime, the Kindle will eventually break.

I think this is a good argument against most e-book readers. The publishers are not going to fully support them, and unless there is special need, the consumer does not get the value. Movies, are another issue, but pretty much I don't buy movies to download. Better value with $5-10 dvd.

Re:DRM is valid for some instances (2, Insightful)

Kopiok (898028) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413747)

From what I remember, the Zune pass allows you access to anything in the Zune store library as long as you pay the subscription. Removed from the library? Can't listen to the music. Stop paying? Can't listen to the music. You are not purchasing any music, you are paying money to access a library. The Zune marketplace is a completely different service than outright purchasing music. I believe they give you 10 un-DRM'd downloads per month along with the subscription, so you can see they do see the fact that their customers want DRM-free tracks.

Don't by DRM protected media... (3, Interesting)

-noefordeg- (697342) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413263)

To those complaining. Do NOT buy DRM media.
Every time you pay for an item you support DRM.

And when things go awry, you come here complaining?!

Re:Don't by DRM protected media... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28413443)

> To those complaining. Do NOT buy DRM media

Exactly.

And more over, who *are* these idiots still buying DRM encumbered content in 2009? Seriously. Haven't we learned this lesson a few thousand times already? If I do X, and I get hit in the face, and next time I do X I also get hit in the face, and I keep reading news about people who do X and get hit in the face, and my buddy Bob did X and got hit in the face... pretty soon wouldn't you stop doing X?

Don't buy DRM content, and it won't be an issue. It's that simple.

Re:Don't by DRM protected media... (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413717)

Please note that this also includes buying things on Steam.

Re:Don't by DRM protected media... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28413749)

> Please note that this also includes buying things on Steam.

Absolutely. DRM exists because people support it, in whatever form. Don't support it, and it will die.

Re:Don't by DRM protected media... (1)

influenza (138942) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413851)

I think the point of complaining about DRM to is raise awareness about the issue amongst people who don't yet understand the ramifications. And complaining is pretty fun... this is Slashdot after all.

And the lesson, children, is... (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413265)

Always be sure that, if you buy DRMed content, there is a crack for it out there. Strip the DRM as soon as you buy it. Problem solved.

Re:And the lesson, children, is... (2, Insightful)

jisatsusha (755173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413587)

No, the lesson is don't buy DRMed content, stop encouraging them.

Re:And the lesson, children, is... (1)

influenza (138942) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413875)

You're right that we just shouldn't give them our money, but there's something to be said for cracking DRM and making all the work they did irrelevant. Developing DRM becomes less and less attractive when every time a new system is used it gets broken.

Why buy encumbered books? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413273)

When the library of classic works available so dwarfs what you can expect to complete in a mere few years anyway?

http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page [gutenberg.org]

F*ck DRM! F*ck it right in its stupidd a55! (4, Insightful)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413277)

The first thing I do when I download media with DRM these days is strip the DRM. If I can't figure out how to strip it before I lay down my money, I pass. DRM does nothing to enhance my experience and can only serve to detract from my experience.

Back 7 or 8 years ago, when ebooks were making their first surge, I bought about $50 worth from various vendors and didn't strip the DRM. It was a bit of an experiment to see how it would turn out. One of the vendors shut down just weeks after I made my purchase. I hadn't even activated one of the titles yet so it was a total loss. The other one was only readable as long as that computer lived. Same happened with the rest of the titles eventually. So $50 worth of ebooks I purchased just a few years ago are gone forever. Meanwhile, paperbacks I purchased when I was a kid still work just as well as the day I bought them. Nevermind the hassle of keeping track of each vendor's authentication system and the crap-ton of different software packages I had to install to handle all of those methods.

The funny thing is this isn't even the first time a major online music "seller" has screwed people by revoking access to purchased media. Wasn't it just a few years ago that some big seller shut down or changed their authentication system and the users got a big FU for all of their lost music?

Re:F*ck DRM! F*ck it right in its stupidd a55! (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413343)

Walmart wanting to shut down their DRM servers?

Re:F*ck DRM! F*ck it right in its stupidd a55! (1)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413347)

I would do the same thing, if I could figure out how to make complete copies of the 100+ DVD disc collection I have.

Re:F*ck DRM! F*ck it right in its stupidd a55! (2, Insightful)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413369)

There are tons of DVD rippers and 1.5tb drives are regularly on sale for $120. Sometimes even $110. Dual layer burners are $20-25.

Re:F*ck DRM! F*ck it right in its stupidd a55! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28413759)

For any media that you want to keep long term, you need to revise your thinking. You cant STORE DVD movies on a single hard drive. You need at least 2 more for backups so now your cost has ballooned to $360 plus infrastructure to run/store them.

Re:F*ck DRM! F*ck it right in its stupidd a55! (1)

z4ckpete (1108053) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413703)

DVD Decrypter >> VOBBlanker (to remove the stupid FBI Warnings and stuff) >> DVDShrink (To Shrink the rest to 4.4Gb) I've done about 70 DVDs this way.

Re:F*ck DRM! F*ck it right in its stupidd a55! (2, Insightful)

Sirusjr (1006183) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413353)

This is the same reason why I buy all my music in CD format and all my games in Disc format. I am already into some Niche genres as it is (Movie scores, euro-style power metal, heavy metal, Japanese-Pop; and on the game side JRPGS) so what is to stop these companies from removing the Niche stuff from their services because they don't think very many consumers are going to miss them? Sadly one of my cds I picked up used was one of those old DRM'd cds from Sony that I can't rip, but at least I can listen to it as much as I want. The point of all this is that in the end the physical media is the better bargain regardless of the online options.

Re:F*ck DRM! F*ck it right in its stupidd a55! (0)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413513)

Welcome to Slashdot. We don't censor here (ahem: shit piss fuck cunt cocksucker motherfucker tits), so self-censoring just, well, makes your title look stupid. No offence intended.

Also, there's a solution to your problem: Don't buy anything that has DRM. I don't, and I do quite well. CDs are still sold, you know, and so are books.

Zune Marketplace not Zune device (2, Interesting)

silmarilwest (724433) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413325)

is the problem in this case. The device is not without flaws, but it seems unfair to blame the device for a flaw with the app store (I'd criticize it more for not being able to handle naturally occurring dates). The majority of users won't use their player for DRM protected content although they should clearly have the ability to do so without worrying about this scenario. Pathetic doesn't even begin to describe these types of restrictions.

Re:Zune Marketplace not Zune device (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413793)

At the danger of angering the iPhone fans, why the outcry over Zune and Zune marketplace, and not Apple and its DRM. It's not on the music anymore, but isn't it still on the video and the apps? My apologies if they don't use DRM anymore.

Rent, or buy? (1)

Staticnumeric (1407543) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413363)

I'm wondering, did Rjak buy his music from the Zune store, or rent it with the pass? If the former, I thought that all Zune music was DRM-free, unless Microsoft is being idiodic and didn't or doesn't allow users to upgrade their previously purchased music to a non-limited format after the change. If the latter, then he really shouldn't be complaining at all. Either way, this is why I don't bother with DRM-laced music stores anymore. Far too much hassle.

Legal risk for the vendors if this keeps up (2, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413415)

Vendors who incorporate DRM and who rig it so the songs quit working when certain events happen will be in trouble with the law if they don't advertise this in advance, like "if you buy this song, you may have to buy it again if you upgrade your media device or if it breaks and is repaired."

Failure to do that is breach of implied contract: You bought the music with the understanding it would work at least for the lifetime of the device on which it was originally installed.

I have a hard time feeling sorry... (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413421)

for those that buy DRMed music. E-books are another story.

Every single piece of DRMed music is available in some other format, be it a purchasable CD (my personal choice), or via other, possibly less legal means. Get your music in a non-DRMed format and do what you like with it.

It's not like this is the first time we've heard of customers getting shafted by DRM. It's been going on for years. Learn from it and move on to something you know you can use.

I think this is great (1)

somenickname (1270442) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413427)

Until recently it's only been Slashdot Types that were aware of the evils of DRM. Once the general masses are aware of it, they won't stand for it. Or maybe I give them too much credit...

Geez, at 80K per tune, its a tough sell...... (2, Insightful)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413455)

I guess a crappy DRM ripoff is a better deal than $80,000.00 per download with no DRM.....but not much better. You would think that Microsoft was capable of real innovation, but no.... Once you've got lots of shareholders its all about squeezing every dollar out of a weary market, even if its not a very good experience for anyone. I see DRM as the result of greed mixed with technology and music. Too bad they can't just sell us blank tapes like 20 years ago when copyright infringement was a charge placed against someone who mas produced and SOLD the material, not customers who copied a CD for their car stereo. Hopefully this nonsense will find a balance...once the beast has been adequately fed with our $$, I suppose. D R M = Demand Royalty Money.

How old are these Zune purchases? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28413523)

Zune Marketplace is 90% DRM free currently since 2008. Also with a Zune pass, you get unlimited songs (with DRM), however you get to keep 10 songs DRM free per month.

Source: http://www.twice.com/article/CA6618369.html

Bad idea - no such thing as good implementation (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413537)

> DRM is a bad idea, poorly implemented.

Should be DRM is a bad idea [FULL STOP].

There is no good implementation of DRM and there never will be. There can't be when you assume that EVERY customer is out to rip you off and you wish to enforce it on everyone, some of which are (or maybe were now) loyal customers. The irresponsibility that is being shown in these examples are just the topping on the cake... but it sure gives your a look inside their psyche. Their point of view is "we're big, we don't have to follow the rules and play fair... but you MUST follow our rules or we take our ball home."

P.T.Barnum wrote about them (0, Redundant)

heretic108 (454817) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413551)

According to P.T.Barnum, there's a 'sucker born every minute'. He goes on to say that one should 'never give a sucker an even break'.

To those who actually pay out money for DRM-encumbered media... "Come in, Sir! Welcome, Madam! There's this bridge spanning Sydney Harbour, priced way beneath its value, that you may be interested in buying shares in!"

Personally, I try to acquire my media files - ebooks, music and video - for free. If I can't get them for free, I'm sometimes willing to pay for them. But the only way I'll even think about paying is if I'll be ending up with cleartext files. Hell will freeze over before I'll put down hard money in return for some encrypted copy of a media file. WTF are consumers thinking?!?

Microsoft violating its own EULA. (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413591)

Microsoft seems to be violating their own Zune EULA [zunestore.net] :

Microsoft may from time to time make available for download from the Services certain images, artwork, photographs, videos, and other content (the "Downloadable Content"). Microsoft hereby grants you a limited, non-transferable, nonexclusive license to download such content solely for your personal, noncommercial use in accordance with these Terms of Use. Such license shall be limited to the specific purpose for which such Downloadable Content was made available (e.g. for use as wallpaper or poster prints, as specified in connection with the download), and you may not modify, distribute, perform, transmit , create derivative works of or otherwise use such Downloadable Content or make any commercial or public use thereof. Downloadable Content shall only include content which Microsoft specifically identifies as being available for download, and you agree not to remove of obscure any copyright notice that appears in the Downloadable Content.

Note the words "Microsoft hereby grants you a limited, non-transferable, nonexclusive license to download such content solely for your personal, noncommercial use in accordance with these Terms of Use." Microsoft granted you a license. They didn't provide a provision which allows them to revoke that license. They don't have the option, once having sold you a license, to take it back. The FTC was out to lunch during the Bush Administration, but they're back in business. [ftc.gov]

So if you have a Zune, and it won't play something you paid for, go to the Federal Trade Commission online complaint page [ftccomplai...istant.gov] and start filling out the form.

The FTC was out to lunch during the Bush Administration years, but that's over. They're back in business. [ftc.gov]

I've given the record biz so much damn money... (1)

DreadfulGrape (398188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413695)

...over the years, thousands upon thousands of dollars for CDs, LPs, cassettes and even 8-tracks, for God's sake (yes, I'm old). My feeling is (as someone else expressed above) if I bought it once, I can download it as often as I like. I have no idea how close or far away that is from "the law" or fair use, etc. But I really don't care.

In fact, for most of my older favorites over the years I've bought both the LP and CD versions. In which case I really, really don't lose any sleep over downloading a clandestine MP3, FLC, SHN or WAV version of the same.

RIAA? Come and get me, f*ckers.

Here we go again... (1)

MSFanBoi2 (930319) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413867)

While the DRM part is accurate (and why is it Microsoft's fault the company that provided the music originally pulled its license? Clue: it isn't its the fault of the folks that OWN the licenses to the music, not Microsoft, but its easier to throw rocks at Microsoft than it is some record company right?), the rest of the Facebook (now Slashdot is trolling Facebook to find AntiMicrosoft and DRM rhetoric?), is simply put, bunk, or this fellows crappy computer. I too use a Zune and have NONE of the issues he is having. While the Zune software can take a few seconds to start, mostly due to the login to the Zune Music Store, it does NOT lock up your computer at ALL. And plugging the Zune in works just fine. Closing the Zune software is instant and painless. Pesonally I think its PEBKAC, but again its easier just to blame Microsoft than it is the end user...

Dropping a zune. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28413883)

One of the many many valid reasons to drop Zune....

Really, you should be dropping a zune every day. Constipation is no laughing matter.

The Error Is Informative (3, Insightful)

macs4all (973270) | more than 5 years ago | (#28413907)

"There might be another iteration of it..."

Another ITERATION of it?!?!?!?

This error message demonstrates EXACTLY why Microsoft Just Doesn't Get It(TM).

Most people on /. know what "Iteration" means; but PLEASE find me 10 (non-dev and non-IT) people on the street who can give a definition of "Iteration" in that sentence.

If you have your C++ code jockeys approve Error text, this is what you get.

You would NEVER see the word "Iteration" (howabout "Copy"?) in an Apple Dialog (unless it was in a dev. tool like XCode).

"Iteration", INDEED!
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