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Ask Slashdot: Are There Any Good Reasons For DRM?

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the keeps-you-from-accidentally-playing-bad-games dept.

DRM 684

centre21 writes "Having been on Slashdot for several years, I've seen a lot of articles concerning DRM. What's most interesting to me are the number of comments condemning DRM outright and calling for the abolishing DRM with all due prejudice. The question I have for the community: is there ever a time when DRM is justified? My focus here is the aspect of how DRM protects the rights of content creators (aka, artists) and helps to prevent people freely distributing their works and with no compensation. How would those who are opposed to DRM ensure that artists will get just compensation for their works if there are no mechanisms to prevent someone from simply digitally copying a work (be it music, movie or book) and giving it away to anyone who wants it? Because, in my eyes, when people stop getting paid for what they do, they'll stop doing it. Many of my friends and family are in the arts, and let me assure you, one of the things they fear most isn't censorship, it's (in their words), 'Some kid freely distributing my stuff and eliminating my source of income.' And I can see their point. So I reiterate, to those who vehemently oppose DRM, is there ever a time where DRM can be a force for good, or can they offer an alternative that would prevent the above from happening?"

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Lots of good reasons. (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#43569233)

You can obliterate the used market. You can force obsolescence. You can force time limits. You can force re-purchases for multiple devices.

Oh, you mean good reasons for the customer?

Um. No. The "rights management" is about the "owner" of the content; not the customer.

Re:Lots of good reasons. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569365)

DRM could benefit from parts of the bitcoin protocol for signing over ownership of digital content to a new user.

Re:Lots of good reasons. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569493)

I suspect the question is a little more nuanced than that. Certainly DRM isn't a feature for customers, except by way of only the most abstract excuses (people steal = more expensive, and other bs).

From the perspective of whether or not it's worth it for the sellers, I think it depends a lot on what methods you're using, and on what kind of content.

Few people tolerate DRM'd music anymore. At least not the "you pay us, you get a file" kind of arrangement. So the answer there is probably "no", all around.

It's very much tolerated in ebooks, though. And those are usually purchased through a specific channel for a specific device, so it's far less likely to be an issue than with some media. Of course this will still be a problem in edge cases. Here it's a judgement call. If you're interested in selling to Kindle users, well, you'd probably be fine. And yes, it'll prevent most of the casual kinds of cheating. Someone will eventually put it up, drm free, for download though. Most won't see that.

Software. Well, if you're distributing compiled binaries and just employ a key method like Microsoft, again, you'll probably stop the most casual sort of cheating. License keys usually aren't a huge issue. But obviously there's a big, wide world of DRM options out there... and as mentioned in the summary... many are bad enough that they hurt your product. Tread carefully.

Paintings, sculptures, etc. are largely their own intrinsic kind of drm. A photo of a painting is usually not the same as a painting, but digital copies of photos are pretty much impossible to control. So there's that.

I'm sure there's are a 100 more scenarios you'd have to consider, but that's what I've got.

Re:Lots of good reasons. (-1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year ago | (#43569535)

Could you answer the OP original question? And there is an argument that it is good for the consumers?.

No DRM means no income for the artist. No income for the artist, no new art. Consumer losses because there is no new art. This is the simply, strong, argument – the real world is a bit more nuanced, not so black and white – but suggestive. Countries / media that have a lot of unauthorized copying have lower output.

So, how do we compensate artist without DRM? And compensation does matter. I have seen both Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit and a 3 man 1 hour version of it. I liked both – and I want both to exist. Without DRM, how do we compensate Jackson? I am not happy with DRM – but I can’t figure out a better idea.

Re:Lots of good reasons. (5, Informative)

nametaken (610866) | about a year ago | (#43569577)

No DRM means no income for the artist.

We know this isn't true. Look at the music industry, now look at your post, now look back at the music industry.

Is it dead? No. It's still a multi-billion dollar industry. But I can legally buy any song I want without drm. Hasn't killed them.

Re:Lots of good reasons. (4, Informative)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43569599)

No DRM means no income for the artist.

Right. Without DRM no-one would be able to make money selling CDs.

Wait a minute...

Re:Lots of good reasons. (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#43569547)

Oh, you mean good reasons for the customer?

Um. No.

DRM has hurt plenty of paying customers, yes. People have been root-kitted, they've had CDs that won't play in their PCs, you can't make a copy of a CD you own for listening to in your car, or a copy of DVDs for the kids to scratch, etc. Legal, paying customers have to put up with all sorts of crap.

Pirates, OTOH haven't been inconvenienced at all by DRM. The idea that DRM prevents piracy is a fallacy, basing your "Think of the artists!!" sermons on it is disingenuous at best.

Re:Lots of good reasons. (5, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year ago | (#43569593)

You can obliterate the used market. You can force obsolescence. You can force time limits. You can force re-purchases for multiple devices.

Don't forget unskippable DVD ads (i.e. you can also force customers to watch other things first if they want to actually see their legitimately purchased content).

And you get to kick customers in the face by reminding them not to dare copy DVDs without permission.

Re:Lots of good reasons. (1)

wzinc (612701) | about a year ago | (#43569607)

That's what the article was saying; what should content creators do instead?

Question in the Subject? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569235)

Answer is No

DRM is 90% about Obedience/Submission (4, Interesting)

dryriver (1010635) | about a year ago | (#43569243)

DRM is some suits in the corporate world trying to make ordinary people submit to their every demand: We control what you consume, when, how, and for how much. And we use DRM to ensure that you stick to the rules. ------ Anything positive about DRM? Sadly, no.

Re:DRM is 90% about Obedience/Submission (0, Troll)

Malc (1751) | about a year ago | (#43569613)

Careful; I think you tinfoil hat has slipped.

Re:DRM is 90% about Obedience/Submission (1, Funny)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | about a year ago | (#43569643)

I just got back from the store, and im eating a can of Pringles. They don't have any DRM in the can - so I can share them with my friends - re sell them - use them any way I want -even steal them. (which has been illegal for a long time by the way) So how are they still able to sell Pringles by the thousands without DRM? Im sure there is room for a micro controller in the can which can run some form of DRM - perhaps with a GPS module to see where you are eating them. How many your eating. Who your allowing to steal - sorry - share them with.. It will collect this data and send it to the manufacturer via a GSM modem. If conditions are not met the can will self destruct.

Sounds pretty silly doesn't it?

Six minutes in, no comments. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569257)

Says everything, doesn't it?

Re:Six minutes in, no comments. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569289)

Why would anyone bother? There is no rational discussion to be had on a topic like this on this site.

Well..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569263)

I would suggest you explain to them that the industries they work in have been going through a major upheaval in the past three decades despite the protests, lobbying & illegal actions by corporations intent on halting progress. They've had 30 years to adapt and they refused. Their customers tell them what they want but they dont listen. []

As for the question about DRM, I can't think of a good reason for it.

Re: Well..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569521)

This is such crap! People stopped buying whips because they didn't want them anymore. People *want* the latest episode of game of thrones, they just don't want to pay for it. If you oppose DRM - no problem. Can you help the artists though? They struggle on a lower income than most here producing art that people desire and like, but which they don't pay for. So how do you help the artists?

Art doesn't need remuneration (5, Insightful)

willith (218835) | about a year ago | (#43569265)

"Because, in my eyes, when people stop getting paid for what they do, they'll stop doing it."

The creation of art is not, nor ever has been, dependent on remuneration. People don't exclusively create to be compensated. People have always created things. It's what we do.

It may be valid to worry that unrestricted copying of things—be those things paintings, songs, sculptures, stories, programs, or whatever—could potentially lead to a reduction in people who earn a living exclusively from creating those things, but it takes a powerfully broken worldview to even begin to think that people only do create stuff so that they'll get paid.

Re:Art doesn't need remuneration (0, Troll)

brit74 (831798) | about a year ago | (#43569347)

it takes a powerfully broken worldview to even begin to think that people only do create stuff so that they'll get paid.

With that kind of thinking, I'm surprised you aren't advocating the abolition of payment for all jobs. Doctors, teachers, taxi drivers - they should all work for free according to this argument, right?

Re:Art doesn't need remuneration (2)

tsa (15680) | about a year ago | (#43569465)

The word 'only' implies here that there are other reasons why people create stuff. So your argument doesn't hold.

Re:Art doesn't need remuneration (5, Insightful)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year ago | (#43569471)

" Doctors, teachers, taxi drivers - they should all work for free according to this argument, right?"

Not at all.
If a taxidriver drives a client from Manhattan to New Jersey, every other cab driver can copy that drive, even with the same customer.
Teachers mostly teach the same things to the same age groups without any copyright violation.
Doctors can heal the same crabs with the same drugs, even with the same patient.

Re:Art doesn't need remuneration (1)

Lennie (16154) | about a year ago | (#43569501)

As machines and computers do more and more of the work, will such a thing as work, as we know it, still exist in 300 years ?

Re:Art doesn't need remuneration (1)

mprinkey (1434) | about a year ago | (#43569571)

As machines and computers do more and more of the work, will such a thing as work, as we know it, still exist in 50 years ?

Fixed that for you. The answer is no. My child will live to a see a very different world and economic reality.

Creativity doesn't need remuneration (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | about a year ago | (#43569355)

And what about ALL the people who go to work every day? Are they being creative for a paycheck? Or is this argument the exclusive domain of artists?

Re:Creativity doesn't need remuneration (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569635)

I go to work every day. I make programs for my employer. I get paid for that by the people who have commissioned me for the work. I go home and I also make programs there, on my own time, for my own entertainment of creation, that my employer does not have any rights to (this is outlined in my contract with said employer). These are programs that follow my vision of what I want to do. My vision of worlds that I want to create. My own personal "Mona Lisa" or "Last Supper."

I do not expect to ever be paid for these programs, but I do this anyway, because they are practice for my skills, my labor of love. When I release one of these programs, they will have my signature in the code... they will be mine... they will be my vision of elegance that I share with the world. These programs will be my legacy, and I expect not one red cent. There will be few who appreciate the programs for the pieces of art I envision them to be, but there may be many will per-use them, and some may even derive from them and put their own signature into the ever growing piece of coded art.

This is the way Artists have worked in the past, and the way they need to work now. To feed themselves, they offer artwork on commission. To instill their own personal love and vision into their creation, they do it on their own time and pour their hearts into it, without regard to "how much money will this grab me?"

In my eyes, the industry of art has perverted the very meaning of what art is. Art is not what we get paid for. We should never be looking to art as a paycheck. We should only look at it as a tool of expression. Expression of our dreams, our nightmares, the human condition. IMO, our ideas are not really worth much as a service, but as a method to break humanity further from the borders we currently face as a species, they are the greatest asset we have.

Re:Art doesn't need remuneration (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43569359)

it takes a powerfully broken worldview to even begin to think that people only do create stuff so that they'll get paid.

Of course some stuff is created without thought to getting paid. But those things are less likely to use DRM anyway.

But you're going to cut down creation to a fraction of what it is if there's no profit motive. Say goodbye to feature films and big FPS games for example.

Re:Art doesn't need remuneration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569415)

Even if that happens, copyright isn't worth it. Copyright is evil, and everyone who isn't an imbecile knows this.

Re:Art doesn't need remuneration (3, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about a year ago | (#43569499)

it takes a powerfully broken worldview to even begin to think that people only do create stuff so that they'll get paid.

Of course some stuff is created without thought to getting paid. But those things are less likely to use DRM anyway.

But you're going to cut down creation to a fraction of what it is if there's no profit motive. Say goodbye to feature films and big FPS games for example.

Goodbye! Thanks for all the fish! Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!

Re:Art doesn't need remuneration (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#43569367)

Lots of things that are covered by copyright aren't art, yet are still very useful.

Re:Art doesn't need remuneration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569485)

Of course things will be made without anyone getting paid. But the quality can suffer. Ask any musician.

Other ways of getting payed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569505)

There's bloody other ways of getting payed for the work. it does not need to be according current model.
There's other ways of valuating creation then the current model (where the originator is seen as blessed with divine creation apart form flux of creativity).

Re:Art doesn't need remuneration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569527)

"Because, in my eyes, when people stop getting paid for what they do, they'll stop doing it."

The creation of art is not, nor ever has been, dependent on remuneration. People don't exclusively create to be compensated. People have always created things. It's what we do.

It may be valid to worry that unrestricted copying of things—be those things paintings, songs, sculptures, stories, programs, or whatever—could potentially lead to a reduction in people who earn a living exclusively from creating those things, but it takes a powerfully broken worldview to even begin to think that people only do create stuff so that they'll get paid.

WTF? Of COURSE the creation of art (or anything) is dependent upon remuneration - or payment of some kind.

If you can't make a living doing it, you can't do it.

Re: Art doesn't need remuneration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569557)

This too is devious and misses the point.

1. An artist, probably poorer than you creates an artwork.
2. They set a price for a copy of that work.
3. People enjoy the artwork, but refuse to pay.

Other, supposedly rational people, say "people always create - artists need to get with it! No one has a right to an income"

It is selfish and full of shit! If you create a product or service that people use - then you do have a right to get money from it.

Re:Art doesn't need remuneration (5, Informative)

nbauman (624611) | about a year ago | (#43569589)

The creation of art is not, nor ever has been, dependent on remuneration. People don't exclusively create to be compensated. People have always created things. It's what we do.

As a creator, I can tell you that my art is extremely dependent on remuneration. When I get paid enough for my work, I can do it full time, 10 or 12 or 14 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When I get paid a pittance, I have to do my work in my spare time, while I'm waiting on tables or something to pay the bills, and I can't do as good a job.

My work is a lot better when I do it full time than when I have to squeeze it into 4 hours in the early morning before I leave for my real job.

After a few months or years of juggling a schedule like this, a lot of people don't have the energy to create any more. Once you add the time and cost of raising a family, something has to go. Unless you abandon your family, the art is going to go.

Perhaps you're thinking of the 18th century, where art was pursued by wealthy gentlemen who didn't have to work. That's a good system for wealthy gentlemen. Unfortunately it leaves out the rest of us. It would be nice if we were all wealthy gentlemen. Unfortunately our economy has been going in the other direction.

More specifically, I have friends who were writers, actors and musicians, not stars but good in their fields, and are now at the end of their career or retired. A lot of them are getting royalties for the work they've done during their 20, 30 or 40 year careers in which they didn't make very much. It's nice to have a royalty or residuals check of $100, $200 or (rarely) $500 a month to supplement your meager Social Security of $1,000 a month or so. It makes the difference between being able to live with some of the comforts of middle-class life, like the difference between a nice apartment and a furnished room. Sure I'd like to be able to hear their music free on the Internet, but I don't like to see them lose their modest income.

Of course, DRM doesn't work, it's easy to get around, and they are going to lose their modest income, whether it's right or wrong. I don't know about the big picture or long-term consequences, but the little picture of these guys here and now is it seems like an awful shame.

Income (2, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#43569267)

If copyright did not exist, people would STILL pay for art. It just wouldn't be the guaranteed monopoly protection. If you art is truly worthwhile, people will buy it because only you can produce it. If your art is easily reproducible, then it wasnt all that unique to begin with. If you are afraid of your art being re-transmitted across the world, DONT SHARE IT WITH ANYONE. That is the modern reality we live in. Producing art shouldnt be license to seek rent from every human alive.

Re:Income (1, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43569383)

If copyright did not exist, people would STILL pay for art. It just wouldn't be the guaranteed monopoly protection.

History is against you. Most artists died in poverty.

If your art is easily reproducible, then it wasnt all that unique to begin with.

Spoken like someone who never created anything worthwhile in his life.

Re:Income (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569533)

Re:Income (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year ago | (#43569581)

Most creative workers are still not paid enough to live on, and must maintain "day jobs" just to make ends meet. Copyright has not and was never meant to solve that problem; copyright is about protecting business interests.

Re:Income (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569397)

> If your art is easily reproducible, then it wasnt all that unique to begin with

This argument doesn not hold in the digital age when things can be copied trivially.

It can be very difficult to create the original work, but easy to copy it.

Re:Income (2)

tsa (15680) | about a year ago | (#43569513)

If your art is easily reproducible, then it wasnt all that unique to begin with.

I take it you have one book and one piece of music because all the other books and all other music are similar according to you.

They're wrong (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569281)

Many of my friends and family are in the arts, and let me assure you, one of the things they fear most isn't censorship, it's (in their words), 'Some kid freely distributing my stuff and eliminating my source of income.'

Incorrect. Their greatest fear is not piracy, but obscurity.

Copyright. (4, Interesting)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year ago | (#43569283)

How would those who are opposed to DRM ensure that artists will get just compensation for their works if there are no mechanisms to prevent someone from simply digitally copying a work (be it music, movie or book) and giving it away to anyone who wants it?

That's the whole reason why copyright exists. You have to understand that DRM only makes this more difficult, not impossible, and once the DRM has been broken it no longer limits anyone but the legitimate users.

Re:Copyright. (5, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43569413)

You have to understand that DRM only makes this more difficult, not impossible, and once the DRM has been broken it no longer limits anyone but the legitimate users.

It's not black and white. There aren't two distinct camps: those that always legitimately purchase, and those that always pirate. There is a significant band in the middle of people who will pirate if it's easy and buy if it's not. Non-perfect DRM still performs it's function of increasing the number of people who pay for the product.

Re:Copyright. (2)

Stormthirst (66538) | about a year ago | (#43569511)

There's also the band of people who will pirate to try before they buy. There is growing evidence (with varying degrees of bias, so I understand) which shows that this band of people spend more money on music etc than the band who don't pirate at all.

Re:Copyright. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43569539)

"There is a significant band in the middle of people who will pirate if it's easy and buy if it's not."

Multiple studies have shown that the most prolific "illegal" downloaders are the same people who spend the most on media: music, movies in theaters, and DVDs. Yet another study just a month or so ago (discussed here on /.) had the same conclusion.

Re:Copyright. (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year ago | (#43569629)

The claim that "There is a significant band in the middle of people who will pirate if it's easy and buy if it's not" is pure Hollywood Media Cartel Propaganda Bullshit.

People who are willing to buy your product will buy it. People who are not willing to buy your product will either copy it from somewhere, or, simply ignore it and go on their way without it.

Because it doesn't do its intended job (5, Insightful)

Thnurg (457568) | about a year ago | (#43569285)

DRM is really bad at foiling pirates. It only takes one to break the DRM and share the content around the world to render the DRM ineffective.

However it is really good at inconveniencing legitimate consumers. Some DRM schemes have been so annoying to customers that getting a pirated version makes for a better user experience.

No (5, Insightful)

WillyWanker (1502057) | about a year ago | (#43569287)

The key to "creators" getting over this mentality is to forget it exists, and to stop focusing on those that might be illegally sharing your work and instead focus on the ones that are actually buying it.

And here's why: people who choose to illegally copy something won't be deterred by DRM. They will nearly always find a way around it, one way or another. So it very rarely succeeds in what it proposes to do.

On the other hand, DRM treats your paying customers like would-be criminals. It often causes installation or playback problems, denies them their right of fair use in making backup copies or transcoding for different platforms; basically, to freely and fully use the content they paid for. In this way you're doing nothing but alienating your paying customers and pushing them towards finding DRM-free illegal copies in order to avoid all the pitfalls that ultimately accompany DRM.

If you create a good product and offer it at a good price people will buy it and you will make money. If you're shoveling out crapware at an outrageous price then no one is going to buy it. It's been shown time and time again that piracy has very little impact on actual sales. A good product/value will sell, a bad one won't, regardless of how much or little its being pirated.

Re:No (3, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year ago | (#43569439)

The key to "creators" getting over this mentality is to forget it exists, and to stop focusing on those that might be illegally sharing your work and instead focus on the ones that are actually buying it.

Which is exactly what they are doing... Claiming DRM is about piracy is a lie designed to disguise the true reason for such schemes. They know that the pirates will always crack any DRM scheme that is made, or otherwise just do without the content.

The reality is about controlling those who are actually buying it. Controlling how, when, where and on what they can use the content, and charging them over and over as many times as possible, especially selling them multiple copies of exactly the same content.

Re:No (1)

Stormthirst (66538) | about a year ago | (#43569545)

The key to "creators" getting over this mentality is to forget it exists, and to stop focusing on those that might be illegally sharing your work and instead focus on the ones that are actually buying it.

To add to this, the majority of the money made from albums these days doesn't go to the artist anyway; it ends up in the pockets of the lawyers at the RIAA. There is a growing number of artists who are abandoning the traditional models and encouraging copying and providing a DRM free way to enjoy the content without the attack dogs at the RIAA even getting involved.

DRM doesn't work (5, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#43569293)

Maybe you could defend DRM if it actually worked. But it doesn't. Anyone who really wants to can circumvent it, so the residual effect is that DRM merely reduces the value of the product to legitimate purchasers because the utility of the product is needlessly reduced.

DRM hurts honest people and does nothing to restrain the dishonest.

Re:DRM doesn't work (1, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year ago | (#43569463)

It does work, it does exactly what it's supposed to.

It's not supposed to stop the dishonest. They won't pay anyway, they would rather do without the content than pay for it.

It's supposed to control the honest. They have shown they are willing to spend money, so DRM schemes seek to extract more of it from them while also keeping them as tightly controlled as possible.

Re:DRM doesn't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569611)

Its a flawed concept at its core, and even if you could make it work technologically its still flawed, and wrong.

This is why: (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569301)

You say "My focus here is the aspect of how DRM protects the rights of content creators (aka, artists) and helps to prevent people freely distributing their works and with no compensation.", which is an understandable point of view. However, DRM does not actually address this concern - at most they introduce a short delay. At the cost of inconvenience for everyone who actually care and try to use the DRM damaged versions, which raises the question: Why pay for inferior goods?

That is why we don't like DRM, we pay for the goods but get the worst version - or actually scratch that, we get nothing but a non-renewable, non-transferable, rights-removing licensed version.

No (0)

flyneye (84093) | about a year ago | (#43569305)

D for data as in data rights management. Data= knowledge which longs to be free( so to speak).
There is NOTHING new in the world, there are NO new ideas. Protecting ideas that someone gets and holding it to them for a lifetime and a half is the BIGGEST waste of potential innovation I can think of.
Protecting music has shown us that a middleman can harvest musicians for a while until they are discarded. Freeing ourselves from this model will allow musicians to pursue lucrative performance careers while some may still write for hire.
Television and movies? All trickle down through cable, local stations, friends houses, bars, stores, and of course the internet.
Software? Business procedures? Come On! We've all sat here for years and watched the chaos.
Owning ideas is just an illusion that hold us all back and down while making criminals of us.
Time to get over this DRM nonsense as well as Patent and Copyright.

Re:No (1)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about a year ago | (#43569423)

There is NOTHING new in the world, there are NO new ideas.

Which is why there's never going to be another scientific advance or discovery ever again.

Seriously... this is a dumb thing to say. Every idea was new at some point and new ideas happen all the time. The ones that are most enjoyable get repeated a lot. Then someone like you comes along to point at the repetition and loudly, proudly demonstrates their stupidity by repeating a tired cliché that's overused and has never been true at any point in the entire history of mankind.

Re:No (1)

mhajicek (1582795) | about a year ago | (#43569569)

Like all that 1950's dubstep.

Rights vs. rights (3, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43569307)

The problem is it is impossible create a DRM system that both protects the artist's right and respects the consumer's rights.

In any case it looks like the OP is drinking the big media kool-aid. DRM isn't about protecting the artists; in fact they mostly hate it. DMR is about increasing corporate profits buy taking away consumer rights like format shifting, backing up, resale and so forth.

Re:Rights vs. rights (3, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year ago | (#43569407)

The problem is it is impossible create a DRM system that both protects the artist's right and respects the consumer's rights.

In any case it looks like the OP is drinking the big media kool-aid. DRM isn't about protecting the artists; in fact they mostly hate it. DMR is about increasing corporate profits buy taking away consumer rights like format shifting, backing up, resale and so forth.

The claim that "DRM protects the rights of content creators" is false and has been shown to be false a thousand times. DRM is based on the idea that consumers have no rights. DRM assumes, right from the very beginning, that you are a criminal that the content producer must be protected from. DRM is an example of the old saying "if you tell the same lie enough times, you will eventually start to believe it".

No... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569313)

* Breaking news: corrupt Slashdot administration attempted to ban me for blowing the whistle on their illegal activities, while not banning the criminal who stalks, harasses, and impersonates me. Whistleblower abuse is a federal felony. Lunatic Slashdot admin's have been owned by me in so many tech debates over the past decade that they conspire with criminals to effetely & vainly *try* to "hide" my posts and censor me. Jealousy at it's finest.

=> Lawsuit's and criminal prosecution against Slashdot are now inevitable. Moderation+posting records will be sequestered and anyone acting aginst me will be dealt with permanently.

Previous notice:

A corrupt slashdot luser has pentrated the moderation system to downmod all my posts while impersonating me.

Nearly 330++ times that I know of @ this point for all of March/April 2013 so far, & others here have told you to stop - take the hint, lunatic (leave slashdot)...

Sorry folks - but whoever the nutjob is that's attempting to impersonate me, & upset the rest of you as well, has SERIOUS mental issues, no questions asked! I must've gotten the better of him + seriously "gotten his goat" in doing so in a technical debate & his "geek angst" @ losing to me has him doing the:


A.) $10,000 challenges, ala (where the imposter actually TRACKED + LISTED the # of times he's done this no less, & where I get the 330 or so times I noted above) -> []


B.) Reposting OLD + possibly altered models - (this I haven't checked on as to altering the veracity of the info. being changed) of posts of mine from the past here


(Albeit massively repeatedly thru all threads on /. this March/April 2013 nearly in its entirety thusfar).

* Personally, I'm surprised the moderation staff here hasn't just "blocked out" his network range yet honestly!

(They know it's NOT the same as my own as well, especially after THIS post of mine, which they CAN see the IP range I am coming out of to compare with the ac spamming troll doing the above...).


P.S.=> Again/Stressing it: NO guys - it is NOT me doing it, as I wouldn't waste that much time on such trivial b.s. like a kid might...

Plus, I only post where hosts file usage is on topic or appropriate for a solution & certainly NOT IN EVERY POST ON SLASHDOT (like the nutcase trying to "impersonate me" is doing for nearly all of March/April now, & 330++ times that I know of @ least)... apk

P.S.=> here is CORRECT host file information just to piss off the insane lunatic troll:


21++ ADVANTAGES OF CUSTOM HOSTS FILES (how/what/when/where/why):

Over AdBlock & DNS Servers ALONE 4 Security, Speed, Reliability, & Anonymity (to an extent vs. DNSBL's + DNS request logs).

1.) HOSTS files are useable for all these purposes because they are present on all Operating Systems that have a BSD based IP stack (even ANDROID) and do adblocking for ANY webbrowser, email program, etc. (any webbound program). A truly "multi-platform" UNIVERSAL solution for added speed, security, reliability, & even anonymity to an extent (vs. DNS request logs + DNSBL's you feel are unjust hosts get you past/around).

2.) Adblock blocks ads? Well, not anymore & certainly not as well by default, apparently, lol - see below:

Adblock Plus To Offer 'Acceptable Ads' Option [] )

AND, in only browsers & their subprogram families (ala email like Thunderbird for FireFox/Mozilla products (use same gecko & xulrunner engines)), but not all, or, all independent email clients, like Outlook, Outlook Express, OR Window "LIVE" mail (for example(s)) - there's many more like EUDORA & others I've used over time that AdBlock just DOES NOT COVER... period.

Disclaimer: Opera now also has an AdBlock addon (now that Opera has addons above widgets), but I am not certain the same people make it as they do for FF or Chrome etc..

3.) Adblock doesn't protect email programs external to FF (non-mozilla/gecko engine based) family based wares, So AdBlock doesn't protect email programs like Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows "LIVE" mail & others like them (EUDORA etc./et al), Hosts files do. THIS IS GOOD VS. SPAM MAIL or MAILS THAT BEAR MALICIOUS SCRIPT, or, THAT POINT TO MALICIOUS SCRIPT VIA URLS etc.

4.) Adblock won't get you to your favorite sites if a DNS server goes down or is DNS-poisoned, hosts will (this leads to points 5-7 next below).

5.) Adblock doesn't allow you to hardcode in your favorite websites into it so you don't make DNS server calls and so you can avoid tracking by DNS request logs, OR make you reach them faster since you resolve host-domain names LOCALLY w/ hosts out of cached memory, hosts do ALL of those things (DNS servers are also being abused by the Chinese lately and by the Kaminsky flaw -> [] for years now). Hosts protect against those problems via hardcodes of your fav sites (you should verify against the TLD that does nothing but cache IPAddress-to-domainname/hostname resolutions ( via NSLOOKUP, PINGS (ping -a in Windows), &/or WHOIS though, regularly, so you have the correct IP & it's current)).

* NOW - Some folks MAY think that putting an IP address alone into your browser's address bar will be enough, so why bother with HOSTS, right? WRONG - Putting IP address in your browser won't always work IS WHY. Some IP adresses host several domains & need the site name to give you the right page you're after is why. So for some sites only the HOSTS file option will work!

6.) Hosts files don't eat up CPU cycles (or ELECTRICITY) like AdBlock does while it parses a webpages' content, nor as much as a DNS server does while it runs. HOSTS file are merely a FILTER for the kernel mode/PnP TCP/IP subsystem, which runs FAR FASTER & MORE EFFICIENTLY than any ring 3/rpl3/usermode app can since hosts files run in MORE EFFICIENT & FASTER Ring 0/RPL 0/Kernelmode operations acting merely as a filter for the IP stack (via the "Plug-N-Play" designed IP stack in Windows) vs. SLOWER & LESS EFFICIENT Ring 3/RPL 3/Usermode operations (which webbrowsers run in + their addons like AdBlock slow down even MORESO due to their parsing operations).

7.) HOSTS files will allow you to get to sites you like, via hardcoding your favs into a HOSTS file, FAR faster than remote DNS servers can by FAR (by saving the roundtrip inquiry time to a DNS server, typically 30-100's of ms, vs. 7-10ms HardDisk speed of access/seek + SSD seek in ns, & back to you - hosts resolutions of IP address for host-domain names is FAR faster...). Hosts are only a filter for an already fast & efficient IP stack, no more layered b.s. (remote OR local). Hosts eat less CPU, RAM, I/O in other forms, + electricity than a locally running DNS server easily, and less than a local DNS program on a single PC. Fact. Hosts are easier to setup & maintain too.

8.) AdBlock doesn't let you block out known bad sites or servers that are known to be maliciously scripted, hosts can and many reputable lists for this exist:

Spybot "Search & Destroy" IMMUNIZE feature (fortifies HOSTS files with KNOWN bad servers blocked)

And yes: Even SLASHDOT &/or The Register help!

(Via articles on security (when the source articles they use are "detailed" that is, & list the servers/sites involved in attempting to bushwhack others online that is... not ALL do!)).

2 examples thereof in the past I have used, & noted it there, are/were: [] []

9.) AdBlock & DNS servers are programs, and subject to bugs programs can get. Hosts files are merely a filter and not a program, thus not subject to bugs of the nature just discussed.

10.) HOSTS files protect you vs. DNS-poisoning &/or the Kaminsky flaw in DNS servers, and allow you to get to sites reliably vs. things like the Chinese are doing to DNS -> []

11.) HOSTS files are EASILY user controlled, obtained (for reliable ones -> [] ) & edited too, via texteditors like Windows notepad.exe or Linux nano (etc.)

12.) With Adblock you had better be able to code javascript to play with its code (to customize it better than the GUI front does @ least). With hosts you don't even need source to control it (edit, update, delete, insert of new entries via a text editor).

13.) Hosts files are easily secured via using MAC/ACL (even moreso "automagically" for Vista, 7/Server 2008 + beyond by UAC by default) &/or Read-Only attributes applied.

14.) Custom HOSTS files also speed you up, unlike anonymous proxy servers systems variations (like TOR, or other "highly anonymous" proxy server list servers typically do, in the severe speed hit they often have a cost in) either via "hardcoding" your fav. sites into your hosts file (avoids DNS servers, totally) OR blocking out adbanners - see this below for evidence of that:


US Military Blocks Websites To Free Up Bandwidth: []

(Yes, even the US Military used this type of technique... because IT WORKS! Most of what they blocked? Ad banners ala doubleclick etc.)


Adbanners slow you down & consume your bandwidth YOU pay for:



And people do NOT LIKE ads on the web:



As well as this:

Users Know Advertisers Watch Them, and Hate It: []


Even WORSE still, is this:

Advertising Network Caught History Stealing: []


15.) HOSTS files usage lets you avoid being charged on some ISP/BSP's (OR phone providers) "pay as you use" policy [] , because you are using less bandwidth (& go faster doing so no less) by NOT hauling in adbanner content and processing it (which can lead to infestation by malware/malicious script, in & of itself -> [] ).

16.) If/when ISP/BSP's decide to go to -> FCC Approving Pay-As-You-Go Internet Plans: [] your internet bill will go DOWN if you use a HOSTS file for blocking adbanners as well as maliciously scripted hacker/cracker malware maker sites too (after all - it's your money & time online downloading adbanner content & processing it)

Plus, your adbanner content? Well, it may also be hijacked with malicious code too mind you:


Yahoo, Microsoft's Bing display toxic ads: []


Malware torrent delivered over Google, Yahoo! ad services: []


Google's DoubleClick spreads malicious ads (again): []


Rogue ads infiltrate Expedia and Rhapsody: []


Google sponsored links caught punting malware: []


DoubleClick caught supplying malware-tainted ads: []


Yahoo feeds Trojan-laced ads to MySpace and PhotoBucket users: []


Real Media attacks real people via RealPlayer: []


Ad networks owned by Google, Microsoft serve malware: []


Attacks Targeting Classified Ad Sites Surge: []


Hackers Respond To Help Wanted Ads With Malware: []


Hackers Use Banner Ads on Major Sites to Hijack Your PC: []


Ruskie gang hijacks Microsoft network to push penis pills: []


Major ISPs Injecting Ads, Vulnerabilities Into Web: []


Two Major Ad Networks Found Serving Malware: []












London Stock Exchange Web Site Serving Malware: []


Spotify splattered with malware-tainted ads: []


As my list "multiple evidences thereof" as to adbanners & viruses + the fact they slow you down & cost you more (from reputable & reliable sources no less)).

17.) Per point #16, a way to save some money: ANDROID phones can also use the HOSTS FILE TO KEEP DOWN BILLABLE TIME ONLINE, vs. adbanners or malware such as this:


Infected Androids Run Up Big Texting Bills: []


AND, for protection vs. other "botnets" migrating from the PC world, to "smartphones" such as ZITMO (a ZEUS botnet variant): []


It's easily done too, via the ADB dev. tool, & mounting ANDROID OS' system mountpoint for system/etc as READ + WRITE/ADMIN-ROOT PERMISSIONS, then copying your new custom HOSTS over the old one using ADB PULL/ADB PUSH to do so (otherwise ANDROID complains of "this file cannot be overwritten on production models of this Operating System", or something very along those lines - this way gets you around that annoyance along with you possibly having to clear some space there yourself if you packed it with things!).

18.) Bad news: ADBLOCK CAN BE DETECTED FOR: See here on that note -> []

HOSTS files are NOT THAT EASILY "webbug" BLOCKABLE by websites, as was tried on users by ARSTECHNICA (and it worked on AdBlock in that manner), to that websites' users' dismay:



An experiment gone wrong - By Ken Fisher | Last updated March 6, 2010 11:11 AM []

"Starting late Friday afternoon we conducted a 12 hour experiment to see if it would be possible to simply make content disappear for visitors who were using a very popular ad blocking tool. Technologically, it was a success in that it worked. Ad blockers, and only ad blockers, couldn't see our content."


"Our experiment is over, and we're glad we did it because it led to us learning that we needed to communicate our point of view every once in a while. Sure, some people told us we deserved to die in a fire. But that's the Internet!"

Thus, as you can see? Well - THAT all "went over like a lead balloon" with their users in other words, because Arstechnica was forced to change it back to the old way where ADBLOCK still could work to do its job (REDDIT however, has not, for example). However/Again - this is proof that HOSTS files can still do the job, blocking potentially malscripted ads (or ads in general because they slow you down) vs. adblockers like ADBLOCK!


19.) Even WIKILEAKS "favors" blacklists (because they work, and HOSTS can be a blacklist vs. known BAD sites/servers/domain-host names):



"we are in favour of 'Blacklists', be it for mail servers or websites, they have to be compiled with care... Fortunately, more responsible blacklists, like (which protects the Firefox browser)...


20.) AND, LASTLY? SINCE MALWARE GENERALLY HAS TO OPERATE ON WHAT YOU YOURSELF CAN DO (running as limited class/least privlege user, hopefully, OR even as ADMIN/ROOT/SUPERUSER)? HOSTS "LOCK IN" malware too, vs. communicating "back to mama" for orders (provided they have name servers + C&C botnet servers listed in them, blocked off in your HOSTS that is) - you might think they use a hardcoded IP, which IS possible, but generally they do not & RECYCLE domain/host names they own (such as has been seen with the RBN (Russian Business Network) lately though it was considered "dead", other malwares are using its domains/hostnames now, & this? This stops that cold, too - Bonus!)...

21.) Custom HOSTS files gain users back more "screen real estate" by blocking out banner ads... it's great on PC's for speed along with MORE of what I want to see/read (not ads), & efficiency too, but EVEN BETTER ON SMARTPHONES - by far. It matters MOST there imo @ least, in regards to extra screen real-estate.

Still - It's a GOOD idea to layer in the usage of BOTH browser addons for security like adblock ( [] ), IE 9's new TPL's ( [] ), &/or NoScript ( [] especially this one, as it covers what HOSTS files can't in javascript which is the main deliverer of MOST attacks online & SECUNIA.COM can verify this for anyone really by looking @ the past few years of attacks nowadays), for the concept of "layered security"....

It's just that HOSTS files offer you a LOT MORE gains than Adblock ( [] ) does alone (as hosts do things adblock just plain cannot & on more programs, for more speed, security, and "stealth" to a degree even), and it corrects problems in DNS (as shown above via hardcodes of your favorite sites into your HOSTS file, and more (such as avoiding DNS request logs)).

ALSO - Some more notes on DNS servers & their problems, very recent + ongoing ones:


DNS flaw reanimates slain evil sites as ghost domains: []


BIND vs. what the Chinese are doing to DNS lately? See here: []



(Yes, even "security pros" are helpless vs. DNS problems in code bugs OR redirect DNS poisoning issues, & they can only try to "set the DNS record straight" & then, they still have to wait for corrected DNS info. to propogate across all subordinate DNS servers too - lagtime in which folks DO get "abused" in mind you!)


DNS vs. the "Kaminsky DNS flaw", here (and even MORE problems in DNS than just that): []

(Seems others are saying that some NEW "Bind9 flaw" is worse than the Kaminsky flaw ALONE, up there, mind you... probably corrected (hopefully), but it shows yet again, DNS hassles (DNS redirect/DNS poisoning) being exploited!)


Moxie Marlinspike's found others (0 hack) as well...

Nope... "layered security" truly IS the "way to go" - hacker/cracker types know it, & they do NOT want the rest of us knowing it too!...

(So until DNSSEC takes "widespread adoption"? HOSTS are your answer vs. such types of attack, because the 1st thing your system refers to, by default, IS your HOSTS file (over say, DNS server usage). There are decent DNS servers though, such as OpenDNS, ScrubIT, or even NORTON DNS (more on each specifically below), & because I cannot "cache the entire internet" in a HOSTS file? I opt to use those, because I have to (& OpenDNS has been noted to "fix immediately", per the Kaminsky flaw, in fact... just as a sort of reference to how WELL they are maintained really!)


DNS Hijacks Now Being Used to Serve Black Hole Exploit Kit: []


DNS experts admit some of the underlying foundations of the DNS protocol are inherently weak: []


Potential 0-Day Vulnerability For BIND 9: []


Five DNS Threats You Should Protect Against: []


DNS provider decked by DDoS dastards: []


Ten Percent of DNS Servers Still Vulnerable: (so much for "conscientious patching", eh? Many DNS providers weren't patching when they had to!) []




TimeWarner DNS Hijacking: []


DNS Re-Binding Attacks: []


DNS Server Survey Reveals Mixed Security Picture: []


Halvar figured out super-secret DNS vulnerability: []


BIND Still Susceptible To DNS Cache Poisoning: []


DNS Poisoning Hits One of China's Biggest ISPs: []


DDoS Attacks Via DNS Recursion: []


High Severity BIND DNS Vulnerability Advisory Issued: []


Photobucketâ(TM)s DNS records hijacked: []


Protecting Browsers from DNS Rebinding Attacks: []


DNS Problem Linked To DDoS Attacks Gets Worse: []


HOWEVER - Some DNS servers are "really good stuff" vs. phishing, known bad sites/servers/hosts-domains that serve up malware-in-general & malicious scripting, botnet C&C servers, & more, such as:

Norton DNS -> []
  ScrubIT DNS -> []
  OpenDNS -> []

(Norton DNS in particular, is exclusively for blocking out malware, for those of you that are security-conscious. ScrubIT filters pr0n material too, but does the same, & OpenDNS does phishing protection. Each page lists how & why they work, & why they do so. Norton DNS can even show you its exceptions lists, plus user reviews & removal procedures requests, AND growth stats (every 1/2 hour or so) here -> [] so, that ought to "take care of the naysayers" on removal requests, &/or methods used plus updates frequency etc./et al...)

HOWEVER - There's ONLY 1 WEAKNESS TO ANY network defense, including HOSTS files (vs. host-domain name based threats) & firewalls (hardware router type OR software type, vs. IP address based threats): Human beings, & they not being 'disciplined' about the indiscriminate usage of javascript (the main "harbinger of doom" out there today online), OR, what they download for example... & there is NOTHING I can do about that! (Per Dr. Manhattan of "The Watchmen", ala -> "I can change almost anything, but I can't change human nature")

HOWEVER AGAIN - That's where NORTON DNS, OpenDNS, &/or ScrubIT DNS help!

(Especially for noob/grandma level users who are unaware of how to secure themselves in fact, per a guide like mine noted above that uses "layered-security" principles!)

ScrubIT DNS, &/or OpenDNS are others alongside Norton DNS (adding on phishing protection too) as well!

( & it's possible to use ALL THREE in your hardware NAT routers, and, in your Local Area Connection DNS properties in Windows, for again, "Layered Security" too)...




"Ever since I've installed a host file ( to redirect advertisers to my loopback, I haven't had any malware, spyware, or adware issues. I first started using the host file 5 years ago." - by TestedDoughnut (1324447) on Monday December 13, @12:18AM (#34532122)

"I use a custom /etc/hosts to block ads... my file gets parsed basically instantly ... So basically, for any modern computer, it has zero visible impact. And even if it took, say, a second to parse, that would be more than offset by the MANY seconds saved by not downloading and rendering ads. I have noticed NO ill effects from running a custom /etc/hosts file for the last several years. And as a matter of fact I DO run http servers on my computers and I've never had an /etc/hosts-related problem... it FUCKING WORKS and makes my life better overall." - by sootman (158191) on Monday July 13 2009, @11:47AM (#28677363) Homepage Journal

"I actually went and downloaded a 16k line hosts file and started using that after seeing that post, you know just for trying it out. some sites load up faster." - by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday November 17, @11:20AM (#38086752) Homepage Journal

"Better than an ad blocker, imo. Hosts file entries: [] " - by TempestRose (1187397) on Tuesday March 15, @12:53PM (#35493274)

"^^ One of the many reasons why I like the user-friendliness of the /etc/hosts file." - by lennier1 (264730) on Saturday March 05, @09:26PM (#35393448)

"They've been on my HOSTS block for years" - by ScottCooperDotNet (929575) on Thursday August 05 2010, @01:52AM (#33147212)

"I'm currently only using my hosts file to block pheedo ads from showing up in my RSS feeds and causing them to take forever to load. Regardless of its original intent, it's still a valid tool, when used judiciously." - by Bill Dog (726542) on Monday April 25, @02:16AM (#35927050) Homepage Journal

"you're right about hosts files" - by drinkypoo (153816) on Thursday May 26, @01:21PM (#36252958) Homepage

"APK's monolithic hosts file is looking pretty good at the moment." - by Culture20 (968837) on Thursday November 17, @10:08AM (#38085666)

"I also use the MVPS ad blocking hosts file." - by Rick17JJ (744063) on Wednesday January 19, @03:04PM (#34931482)

"I use ad-Block and a hostfile" - by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Tuesday March 01, @10:11AM (#35346902)

"I do use Hosts, for a couple fake domains I use." - by icebraining (1313345) on Saturday December 11, @09:34AM (#34523012) Homepage

"It's a good write up on something everybody should use, why you were modded down is beyond me. Using a HOSTS file, ADblock is of no concern and they can do what they want." - by Trax3001BBS (2368736) on Monday December 12, @10:07PM (#38351398) Homepage Journal

"I want my surfing speed back so I block EVERY fucking ad. i.e. [] and [] FTW" - by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Tuesday December 13, @12:04PM (#38356782)

"Let me introduce you to the file: /etc/hosts" - by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Monday December 19, @05:03PM (#38427432)

"I use a hosts file" - by EdIII (1114411) on Tuesday December 13, @01:17PM (#38357816)

"I'm tempted to go for a hacked hosts file that simply resolves most advert sites to" - by bLanark (123342) on Tuesday December 13, @01:13PM (#38357760)

"this is not a troll, which hosts file source you recommend nowadays? it's a really handy method for speeding up web and it works." - by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday March 22, @08:07PM (#39446525) Homepage Journal

"A hosts file certainly does not require "a lot of work" to maintain, and it quite effectively kills a LOT of advertising and tracking schemes. . In fact, I never would have considered trying to use it for ddefending against viruses or malware." - by RocketRabbit (830691) on Thursday December 30 2010, @05:48PM (#34715060)


Then, there is also the words of respected security expert, Mr. Oliver Day, from SECURITYFOCUS.COM to "top that all off" as well:


Some "PERTINENT QUOTES/EXCERPTS" to back up my points with (for starters):


"The host file on my day-to-day laptop is now over 16,000 lines long. Accessing the Internet -- particularly browsing the Web -- is actually faster now."

Speed, and security, is the gain... others like Mr. Day note it as well!


"From what I have seen in my research, major efforts to share lists of unwanted hosts began gaining serious momentum earlier this decade. The most popular appear to have started as a means to block advertising and as a way to avoid being tracked by sites that use cookies to gather data on the user across Web properties. More recently, projects like Spybot Search and Destroy offer lists of known malicious servers to add a layer of defense against trojans and other forms of malware."

Per my points exactly, no less... & guess who was posting about HOSTS files a 14++ yrs. or more back & Mr. Day was reading & now using? Yours truly (& this is one of the later ones, from 2001 [] (but the example HOSTS file with my initials in it is FAR older, circa 1998 or so) or thereabouts, and referred to later by a pal of mine who moderates (where I posted on HOSTS for YEARS (1997 onwards)) -> [] !


"Shared host files could be beneficial for other groups as well. Human rights groups have sought after block resistant technologies for quite some time. The GoDaddy debacle with NMap creator Fyodor (corrected) showed a particularly vicious blocking mechanism using DNS registrars. Once a registrar pulls a website from its records, the world ceases to have an effective way to find it. Shared host files could provide a DNS-proof method of reaching sites, not to mention removing an additional vector of detection if anyone were trying to monitor the use of subversive sites. One of the known weaknesses of the Tor system, for example, is direct DNS requests by applications not configured to route such requests through Tor's network."

There you go: AND, it also works vs. the "KAMINSKY DNS FLAW" & DNS poisoning/redirect attacks, for redirectable weaknesses in DNS servers (non DNSSEC type, & set into recursive mode especially) and also in the TOR system as well (that lends itself to anonymous proxy usage weaknesses I noted above also) and, you'll get to sites you want to, even IF a DNS registrar drops said websites from its tables as shown here Beating Censorship By Routing Around DNS -> [] & even DNSBL also (DNS Block Lists) -> [] as well - DOUBLE-BONUS!


* POSTS ABOUT HOSTS FILES I DID on "/." THAT HAVE DONE WELL BY OTHERS & WERE RATED HIGHLY, 26++ THUSFAR (from +3 -> +1 RATINGS, usually "informative" or "interesting" etc./et al):

  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  APK 20++ POINTS ON HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 (w/ facebook known bad sites blocked) -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP CAN DO SAME AS THE "CloudFlare" Server-Side service:2011 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2011 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP & OPERA HAUTE SECURE:2011 -> [] in HOSTS:2009 -> [] IN HOSTS:2009 -> [] in HOSTS:2009 -> [] in HOSTS:2009 -> []
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> [] (still says INSIGHTFUL)
  HOSTS MOD UP vs. botnet: 2012 -> []


Windows 7, VISTA, & Server 2008 have a couple of "issues" I don't like in them, & you may not either, depending on your point of view (mine's based solely on efficiency & security), & if my take on these issues aren't "good enough"? I suggest reading what ROOTKIT.COM says, link URL is in my "p.s." @ the bottom of this post:

1.) HOSTS files being unable to use "0" for a blocking IP address - this started in 12/09/2008 after an "MS Patch Tuesday" in fact for VISTA (when it had NO problem using it before that, as Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 still can)... & yes, this continues in its descendants, Windows Server 2008 &/or Windows 7 as well.

So, why is this a "problem" you might ask?

Ok - since you can technically use either:

a.) (the "loopback adapter address")
b.) (next smallest & next most efficient)
c.) The smallest & fastest plain-jane 0


You can use ANY of those, in order to block out known bad sites &/or adbanners in a HOSTS file this way??

Microsoft has "promoted bloat" in doing so... no questions asked.

Simply because

1.) = 9 bytes in size on disk & is the largest/slowest
2.) = 7 bytes & is the next largest/slowest in size on disk
3.) 0 = 1 byte

(& HOSTS files extend across EVERY webbrowser, email program, or in general every webbound program you use & thus HOSTS are "global" in coverage this way AND function on any OS that uses the BSD derived IP stack (which most all do mind you, even MS is based off of it, as BSD's IS truly, "the best in the business"), & when coupled with say, IE restricted zones, FireFox addons like NoScript &/or AdBlock, or Opera filter.ini/urlfilter.ini, for layered security in this capacity for webbrowsers & SOME email programs (here, I mean ones "built into" browsers themselves like Opera has for example))

MS has literally promoted bloat in this file, making it load slower from disk, into memory! This compounds itself, the more entries your HOSTS file contains... & for instance? Mine currently contains nearly 654,000 entries of known bad adbanners, bad websites, &/or bad nameservers (used for controlling botnets, misdirecting net requests, etc. et al).

Now, IF I were to use My "huge" HOSTS file would be approximately 27mb in size... using (next smallest) it would be 19mb in size - HOWEVER? Using 0 as my blocking IP, it is only 14mb in size. See my point?

(For loads either in the local DNS cache, or system diskcache if you run w/out the local DNS client service running, this gets slower the larger each HOSTS file entry is (which you have to stall the DNS client service in Windows for larger ones, especially if you use a "giant HOSTS file" (purely relative term, but once it goes over (iirc) 4mb in size, you have to cut the local DNS cache client service)))

NO questions asked - the physics of it backed me up in theory alone, but when I was questioned on it for PROOF thereof?

I wrote a small test program to load such a list into a "pascal record" (which is analagous to a C/C++ structure), which is EXACTLY what the DNS client/DNS API does as well, using a C/C++ structure (basically an array of sorts really, & a structure/record is a precursor part to a full-blown CLASS or OBJECT, minus the functions built in, this is for treating numerous variables as a SINGLE VARIABLE (for efficiency, which FORTRAN as a single example, lacks as a feature, @ least Fortran 77 did, but other languages do not))!

I even wrote another that just loaded my HOSTS file's entirety into a listbox, same results... slowest using, next slowest using, & fastest using 0.

And, sure: Some MORE "goes on" during DNS API loads (iirc, removal of duplicated entries (which I made sure my personal copy does not have these via a program I wrote to purge it of duplicated entries + to sort each entry alphabetically for easier mgt. via say, notepad.exe) & a conversion from decimal values to hex ones), but, nevertheless? My point here "holds true", of slower value loads, record-by-record, from a HOSTS file, when the entries become larger.

So, to "prove my point" to my naysayers?

I timed it using the Win32 API calls "GetTickCount" & then again, using the API calls of "QueryPerformanceCounter" as well, seeing the SAME results (a slowdown when reading in this file from disk, especially when using the larger or line item entries in a HOSTS file, vs. the smaller/faster/more efficient 0).

In my test, I saw a decline in speed/efficiency in my test doing so by using larger blocking addresses ( &/or, vs. the smallest/fastest in 0)... proving me correct on this note!

On this HOSTS issue, and the WFP design issue in my next post below?

I also then questioned MS' own staff, even their VP of development (S. Sinofsky) on this here -> [] & other places in their blogs, to get them to tell me WHY this seemingly intentional inefficiency was implemented... & I have YET to get a solid LOGICAL answer on this as to why it was done - THUS, @ this point?

I am convinced they (MS) do NOT have a good reason for doing this... because of their lack of response there on this note. Unless it has something to do with IPv6 (most folks use IPv4 still), I cannot understand WHY this design mistake imo, has occurred, in HOSTS files...


2.) The "Windows Filtering Platform", which is now how the firewall works in VISTA, Server 2008, & Windows 7...

Sure it works in this new single point method & it is simple to manage & "sync" all points of it, making it easier for network techs/admins to manage than the older 3 part method, but that very thing works against it as well, because it is only a single part system now!

Thus, however?

This "single layer design" in WFP, now represents a SINGLE POINT OF FAILURE/ATTACK for malware makers to 'take down'!

(Which is 1 of the 1st things a malware attempts to do, is to take down any software firewalls present, or even the "Windows Security Center" itself which should warn you of the firewall "going down", & it's fairly easy to do either by messaging the services they use, or messing up their registry init. settings)

VS. the older (up to) 3 part method used in Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003, for protecting a system via IP Filtering, the Windows native Firewall, &/or IPSEC. Each of which uses diff. drivers, & layers of the IP stack to function from, as well as registry initialization settings.

Think of the older 3 part design much the same as the reason why folks use door handle locks, deadbolt locks, & chain locks on their doors... multipart layered security.

(Each of which the latter older method used, had 3 separate drivers & registry settings to do their jobs, representing a "phalanx like"/"zone defense like" system of backup of one another (like you see in sports OR ancient wars, and trust me, it WORKS, because on either side of yourself, you have "backup", even if YOU "go down" vs. the opponent)).

I.E.-> Take 1 of the "older method's" 3 part defenses down? 2 others STILL stand in the way, & they are not that simple to take them ALL down...

(Well, @ least NOT as easily as "taking out" a single part defensive system like WFP (the new "Windows Filtering Platform", which powers the VISTA, Windows Server 2008, & yes, Windows 7 firewall defense system)).

On this "single-part/single-point of attack" WFP (vs. Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003's IP stack defense design in 3-part/zone defense/phalanx type arrangement) as well as the HOSTS issue in my post above?

I also then questioned MS' own staff, even their VP of development (S. Sinofsky) on this here -> [] & other places in their blogs, to get them to tell me WHY this seemingly intentional inefficiency was implemented... & I have YET to get a solid LOGICAL answer on this as to why it was done - THUS, @ this point?

I'll stick to my thoughts on it, until I am shown otherwise & proven wrong.


Following up on what I wrote up above, so those here reading have actual technical references from Microsoft themselves ("The horses' mouth"), in regards to the Firewall/PortFilter/IPSec designs (not HOSTS files, that I am SURE I am correct about, no questions asked) from my "Point #2" above?

Thus, I'll now note how:


1.) TCP/IP packet processing paths differences between in how Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 did it (IPSEC.SYS (IP Security Policies), IPNAT.SYS (Windows Firewall), IPFLTDRV.SYS (Port Filtering), & TCPIP.SYS (base IP driver))...

2.) AND, how VISTA/Server 2008/Windows 7 do it now currently, using a SINGLE layer (WFP)...


First off, here is HOW it worked in Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 - using 3 discrete & different drivers AND LEVELS/LAYERS of the packet processing path they worked in: []

The Cable Guy - June 2005: TCP/IP Packet Processing Paths


The following components process IP packets:

IP forwarding Determines the next-hop interface and address for packets being sent or forwarded.

TCP/IP filtering Allows you to specify by IP protocol, TCP port, or UDP port, the types of traffic that are acceptable for incoming local host traffic (packets destined for the host). You can configure TCP/IP filtering on the Options tab from the advanced properties of the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) component in the Network Connections folder.

* "Here endeth the lesson..." and, if you REALLY want to secure your system? Please refer to this: []

APK [mailto]

P.S.=> SOME MINOR "CAVEATS/CATCH-22's" - things to be aware of for "layered security" + HOSTS file performance - easily overcome, or not a problem at all:

A.) HOSTS files don't function under PROXY SERVERS (except for Proximitron, which has a filter that allows it) - Which is *the "WHY"* of why I state in my "P.S." section below to use both AdBlock type browser addon methods (or even built-in block lists browsers have such as Opera's URLFILTER.INI file, & FireFox has such as list as does IE also in the form of TPL (tracking protection lists -> [] , good stuff )) in combination with HOSTS, for the best in "layered security" (alongside .pac files + custom cascading style sheets that can filter off various tags such as scripts or ads etc.) - but proxies, especially "HIGHLY ANONYMOUS" types, generally slow you down to a CRAWL online (& personally, I cannot see using proxies "for the good" typically - as they allow "truly anonymous posting" & have bugs (such as TOR has been shown to have & be "bypassable/traceable" via its "onion routing" methods)).

B.) HOSTS files do NOT protect you vs. javascript (this only holds true IF you don't already have a bad site blocked out in your HOSTS file though, & the list of sites where you can obtain such lists to add to your HOSTS are above (& updated daily in many of them)).... apk

Re:No... apk (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569473)

If DRM will ban this ass clown, I'm all for it.

Re:No... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569483)


Paradigm (2)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | about a year ago | (#43569317)

If money is your driving force, then DRM is your answer. If love of your art is your driving force, then DRM is irrelevant.

Borrowing, lending.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569319)

"Having been on Slashdot for several years, I've seen a lot of articles concerning DRM. What's most interesting to me are the number of comments condemning DRM outright and calling for the abolishing DRM with all due prejudice. The question I have for the community: is there ever a time when DRM is justified?

For RENTAL property like what Netflix is doing.

Re:Borrowing, lending.... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43569381)

That's about the only place where DRM not only doesn't bother me, but I never notice it either.

No (1, Insightful)

zenyu (248067) | about a year ago | (#43569329)

Morally DRM is a like murder, even if it helps you earn a buck it is still wrong.

heh (4, Interesting)

moogied (1175879) | about a year ago | (#43569335)

Thats the issue, isn't it? DRM only protects something with a physical value of virtually zero. I can just send a few electrons(ok, a few billion or trillion) to someone and suddenly they too own this thing!

What value does the actual data contain? None really. The IDEA that the data represents? That is the value. You can't stop ideas from spreading, thats the reason they are so crucial.

So... what does DRM do? Nothing. Whats the answer? Services. Goods. The exact same things that people have been selling since day 1.

Sorry "artists" but you don't deserve 10 million for your "creation". You deserve, at BEST, 200k a year for your work. Go put on shows and concerts, sell t shirts, sell vinyl, sell physical objects people want to own. Don't expect to get money for something that is free to replicate.

Yes thats right people. I believe people should get paid *ONCE* for there work. Not a billion times over.

For Artists... of course! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569341)

That is for the artist that is greedy.

Most Hollywood directors come to mind.

Only for yourself and your property (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569353)

Locks make sense for your property do they not?

So imagine you want to let people use your computer, but you know that there's going to be some root hack that will leave your machines undefended and you want to ensure that only YOUR OS boots up on that machine. Then yeah DRM is pretty awesome. It lets you lock down your stuff. Your physical property.

Great for companies to protect against hacks and malicious employees.

For content? Nah.

The problem is ultimately architectural... (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43569369)

There are arguably use cases where DRM would be convenient(eg. media rentals, which are a relatively uncontroversial and popular service in physical media, pretty much need to time-out to work, 'snapchat' and its ilk are designed explicitly, if not effectively, to enforce transience, again only doable with DRM).

The problem is architectural, though. In order for DRM to work, the root of control for a device cannot be its user/owner. It has to be the DRM-enforcing entity, or else the 'DRM' is simply some obfuscation. There just isn't a way around that. Further, to deal with analog hole/leaks from compromised devices or the production chain/etc. there is a strong incentive to make devices 'default-deny' rather than 'default-allow'(compare a PC, which will execute more or less any program that isn't explicitly self-destructive, with an iDevice or console, that will reject otherwise well-formed applications that aren't signed correctly).

And the trouble continues: in order to prevent 'leaky-by-design' hardware from being produced(eg. cheapy DVD players that are... lax about region coding and macrovision), the DRM mechanism essentially has to be legally encumbered in some way('hook IP', DMCA-style laws, etc.) to prevent the easy manufacture of HDCP strippers, region-free DVD players, and other 'claims to be DRM-compliant; but with a backdoor by design' circumvention tools.

This places extraordinary power in the hands of whatever licensing entity controls the DRM scheme: at a bare minimum, it's a steady stream of licensing revenue(even for hilariously broken systems like CSS, they still get their cut per DVD player). It may also include power over who is and isn't allowed to enter a market or exist on a given platform, and substantial control over the activities of everything going on within systems that include a given DRM scheme.

That's the real problem, ultimately. It isn't that there are zero uses for DRM, it's that (by necessity) you have to make some pretty radical changes to get DRM working at all, and once you make them, the uses that you don't want are every bit as available as the uses that you do want, and there is no way of allowing only the former and preventing the latter.

It also doesn't help, of course, that a system sufficiently-robust to be a DRM system is almost certainly sufficiently capable to be extremely useful for fun censorship and surveillance purposes.

Article is trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569391)

I can pull out my SNES anytime I want to show my grandkids an olde game or two. And they enjoy it.

Basically, the new stuff has a set time limit, kinda like an ink-jet printer. You only get so many squirts
before you have to replace the cartridge - even if there's ink/life left. If I can't purchase and use it for its
lifetime, why even bother?

DRM brings nothing for the customer, matter of fact, destroys the actual enjoyment of the product itself.

Also, please don't troll us --

DRM protects the rights of content creators (aka, artists)

DRM does not protect any artists, they are "work-for-hire" and have no rights in the final product
whatsoever beyond their salary in its production.

You know that, I know that, and my cat knows that.

CAPTCHA = 'neither'

Reasons... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year ago | (#43569401)

There are no good reasons for DRM. Such schemes only harm legitimate customers, they are inherently flawed and can therefore always be cracked so those who want to copy the content will always be able to do so. DRM only seeks to extort additional money from those who would buy media, but would then want to do such things as lend their legitimately purchased media to friends or format shift it.

As for protection, there are already protections in place against copying... They are known as "laws", and they already go much further than they should. As technology has become available to distribute media faster and more widespread than ever before, copyright terms have only increased when exactly the opposite should have happened.

Those who want to obtain copies of media for free will always do so...
On the other hand, there are many far more moderate people who would quite happily purchase media if it was available under better conditions, but who feel offended by the ever extending copyright terms, draconian drm schemes and arbitrarily restricted availability imposed by big content.

DRM actively encourages people to obtain their media from an alternative source like thepiratebay... They don't hold you in contempt, they don't try to restrict when, where and on what you can play the media, they don't discriminate against you based on your current location.

Most people won't pirate if the legitimate options are just as, or more convenient. If this were the case, you would have a small core of hardcore pirates, and various people who simply cannot afford to buy media - people who will never pay whatever you do.

Single best way to prevent pirating is (1)

duckgod (2664193) | about a year ago | (#43569403)

Make a better product then the pirates are providing. The problem with DRM is it takes a product and make it worse. So then when a user goes to pirate it not only do they get it for free, but it is also often a superior product that works more consistantly.

So yeah DRM is always bad because it gives your paying consumer a worse product.

You realize you are asking this on Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569405)

You'll get a huge number of answers declaring that there's absolutely no reason whatsoever to use DRM or anything with maybe a token aside to compensation.

Look elsewhere if you want something genuine.

Companies fail to finish the implementation (1)

Marrow (195242) | about a year ago | (#43569421)

It should be possible to have drm that satisfies the needs of both the customer and the vendor. But since the vendor is responsible for the implementation, they think they're done working on it when their needs are satisfied.
Perhaps we as a technological group should create a list to help them. Maybe its hard do see it from the customer's point of view. We should create a list of what would make acceptable drm product and company behavior.

Re:Companies fail to finish the implementation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569621)

I'll bite.

In order for DRM to be acceptable to me as a consumer it must not restrict my ability to use content in a way that does not violate copyright.

Point in time art / content (1)

ehud42 (314607) | about a year ago | (#43569425)

Like ice sculptures, live performances, draft deals, verbal negotiations - there are things that need to be done that lead to better things, but in themselves have no value if kept and (sometimes) can only do harm.

These things would benefit from DRM that render them useless at the will & command of the creator.

First things first (4, Insightful)

michaelmalak (91262) | about a year ago | (#43569427)

Before we can even talk about DRM, copyright needs to be reverted to its original 14 year term with 14 year extension.

Paid, restricted distribution is bad for art (2)

Aviation Pete (252403) | about a year ago | (#43569435)

The consequence of technology has been that a few artists make most of the money. Unfortunately, these are not the best artists, because the winners are picked by the content oligopoly and promoted to the detriment of 99% of all other artists and all of us. When making money from art has an inherent limit on how many people can watch / listen to a performance again, we will see much more variety again and, hopefully, the quality of the art will go up again.

What is necessary for this to happen is that the wide distribution of recorded works of art will not create money for the distributors. Only then will the main source of income be live performances again, and one artist can only entertain so many people at one time. The consequence will be that many more artist will be able to live from their art again, only that any of them won't become a billionaire before turning thirty. A big loss for a lucky few, and an immense win for humanity.

You see, DRM will be one major roadblock on this future of bigger variety and quality in the arts, and therefore is bad. The posts before were all right, and now you know why.

For you, as user? (1)

allo (1728082) | about a year ago | (#43569445)

Yes. Companies won't publish their products without DRM. you want to consume the products. So there is a good reason.

The good ones have nothing to fear (1)

kova.lee (2650343) | about a year ago | (#43569447)

From the point of a view of a musician here...

I'm in the camp that says that there is no good reason for DRM, ever, no matter what situation the artist is in.

For a new musician who is trying to break into the business, DRM tends to be counterproductive b/c what I'm looking for is exposure. I want as many people as possible to listen to my music. At this point, I don't care how they obtain it; as long as they're listening and telling other people about my music, that's fine. In fact, I'd consider it an honor if people put my music up for download via Pirate Bay or whatnot b/c it means that there are people out there who like my music enough that they're willing to go out of their way to distribute it to others. Why in the world would I want to obstruct that process by including DRM in my music?

For an established musician, I believe that DRM still serves no purpose. I believe in the integrity of the fans and that one's art should speak for itself. If my music is good, then people will buy. Period. The artists who support DRM are probably those whose music isn't up to par, whose entire reputation was built on a fluke hit single that they've been trying to reproduce ever since. In that case, of course they'd like to attempt to lock up access to their music - they don't want people trying before they buy b/c what they have to offer isn't worth a nickel.

Basically, those who put forth quality products really have nothing to fear; attempting to restrict access only pisses people off and severely limits the number of new fans that one can obtain.

DRM is more than artists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569451)

For businesses you sometimes want to limit the distribution of sensitive company information and plans. Yes, it is possible for a bad employee to break the DRM, but this requires a degree of willful act that very significantly reduce the numbers of people willing to do it, and risking their job over it.

Blocking one-click forward through DRM do work. I have worked in several companies where this works. Foolproof? No. Having a real significant effect? Yes. Even if not 100%, is 90% better than 0%? Yes.

Doesn't really work (0)

Skiron (735617) | about a year ago | (#43569455)

There are a lot of cases where people put 'on line' stuff, and sales increase.

DRM is really handcuffs - MS do it, Apple do it. What is it with sheeple that make people buy this stuff?

Who says DRM "protects" anybody? (3, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43569459)

"My focus here is the aspect of how DRM protects the rights of content creators (aka, artists) and helps to prevent people freely distributing their works and with no compensation."

This is an assumption that is not borne out by the actual data.

Study after study of various aspects of DRM, in regard to software and published works anyway, belie this assumption.

People who "illegally" download movies and music also happen to be the people who spend the most on music and movies (both in-theater and DVDs).

The fact is that products that are solidly locked up under DRM tend not to sell very well. Look at the latest rebellion against Electronic Arts and Ubisoft over DRM. EA has been laying off employees.

This is not to say it might not be useful under some circumstances. But by and large, it has tended to make products less attractive to consumers.

Dick Pix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569475)

You might want to use DRM to only allow certain people to view nudie photos of yourself.

No. (3, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#43569477)

No, there are no valid uses for DRM. If your audience isn't willing to step up and fund your work because they love it and want it to continue, then whatever is lost couldn't have been of much value anyway. Much of our greatest cultural heritage was created in a time before DRM, and before copyright. We have more ways than ever to patronize the arts. We don't need artificial scarcity.

DRM has no redeeming qualities. (4, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year ago | (#43569515)

Once I buy something, it is mine. You have no natural right to control it afterwards. It removes rights that the OWNER of the media has to use his media as he sees fit, to make copies for personal use, to timeshift, to device shift, and to resell or give away.

DRM is an infringement of digital rights of the owner of the media, not a protection.

And not everyone is a soulless sycophant worshiping the almighty dollar. Artists produce art for the sake of art, to express themselves because of how it makes them feel, and to enrich society as a whole and more often than not to get laid. Slightly reducing the financial incentive will not end art, it will merely remove the posers who are producing garbage for a paycheck from the equation.

You want people to be ok with DRM?
1: make DRM that allows every act that falls under fair use.
2: make the duration of copyright much shorter, 7 years, 14 at the most.
3: make DRM that releases its media after that duration.

OLD discussion/argument here, but .... (1)

King_TJ (85913) | about a year ago | (#43569531)

the bottom line is, LEGALLY speaking, you can implement all the DRM you like on whatever digital content you wish to put out there. All the community (such as the Slashdot crowd here) can do is give you opinions on how ethical or smart such a thing is.

IMO, you're rarely going to find someone trying to make a living doing "creative" things who doesn't like the idea of "locking them down" in some fashion. Sometimes, it's not even the creator, but the purchaser who enforces it! For example, I work for a firm that puts together marketing and creative ad campaigns, plans shows and expos, etc. Even though everything we produce is original material our team came up with and saw through to completion, we're not even allowed to display any of our work on our corporate web site! Our clients practically always demand we sign a contract with them preventing us from sharing what was done.

But as someone who has dabbled on both sides of the fence (as a musician trying to produce material, and currently as a typical content consumer), I'm convinced DRM is a universally bad idea.

The original article's statement that, "In my eyes, when people stop getting paid for what they do, they'll stop doing it." is a big part of the problem. A true artist creates because he or she feels a basic need to do so. Most of the time, whether one is a musician, a sculptor, a painter or an author -- profit is FAR from a sure thing in the beginning. These people produce a lot of material at what's usually a net LOSS for them. (Why do you think you almost always hear musicians tell stories of the crappy jobs they had to work to pay the bills while they performed their music at night, for years?) A good friend of mine is an aspiring author, but he works both a day job for the government and teaches kids Karate on the side for income. His books are his passion, not his income source.

Now, I fully understand and agree that these people are all essentially gambling / hoping that all their time spent on their art will pay off in the long haul .... that it's all part of how the system works that you'll produce and produce without much or any pay, until you get noticed. But my question then is why does that whole mentality sudden;y change when profits eventually come? Why is the same artist suddenly "entitled" to getting paid for every single copy of his/her work that gets passed around?

The truth is, I think we have too many people in the arts who are doing it for the wrong reasons! That's why so much modern music is mediocre, and why so many video games are just rehashes of the same formula. If you're motivated by "getting paid", you need to go work in a job where you earn a guaranteed paycheck for every hour of time you spend working, or an annual salary paid out in bi-weekly installments.

It's just opinion, but I truly believe that the only "right" way to pursue an art (such as music) is to do it out of the pure need to create the best work you can possibly create, and share it with others who get enjoyment from it. If you're good enough at that, people start taking an interest in compensating you financially for it. Great... but don't let that change anything for you. Don't stop to "count your money" or you'll become a lesser quality artist for it.

The real battle is getting noticed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569553)

These days, if you're an author, a composer, a screenwriter, an actor, a game designer, or an app programmer, you face the same hurdle regardless: if you're not popular, you're not getting paid. Traditional patrons like Hollywood, the music industry, and publishers will only take a risk on ventures they're reasonably certain will pay off. For everybody else, you're on your own (though organizations like Kickstarter and Indiegogo can help fill the funding gap somewhat.)

For indies or small-time developers to lay on the copy protection is, at best, solving the wrong problem. Indeed, it's possible to turn off some potential customers forever if it's bad enough. Others deem it enough of an excuse to pirate a title they'd otherwise pay for. DRM only adds friction, and if you aren't close to maximizing your user base (in paying customers and pirates) you may very well lose more customers than you convert pirates... not to mention that you'll be trying to convert enough to justify the cost of the DRM solution as well.

When does DRM make sense? If your customers perceive your product as being a fantastic deal even with the DRM on, such as with online video rental, or if it can be seen as a natural byproduct of how your product is delivered (such as World of Warcraft or Steam, but apparently not SimCity 5), or if you've got so many people using your products that squeezing another couple of percent out of the pirates is worth whatever you lose in current and future customers.

Military/Corporate use (2)

technosaurus (1704630) | about a year ago | (#43569561)

One legitimate use would be for secret military or corporate secret/confidential information dissemination. Maybe to some extent other private entities (terrorists?, paranoid individuals?)... but the existing solutions are far from meeting any such criteria. This message will self destruct in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... j/k

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569565)

And thanks for asking.

In a word: no. Longer answer: hell no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569567)

In a word: no.

Artists who are of differing opinion or waste time on this matter or indeed getting riled up about some hypothetical kid somewhere should redirect their energies to making good stuff instead.

DRM does not work. And if it did, they would alienate the very people they derive their income from (whether just or not; the compensation the Bieb gets is not in the same dictionary as "just", but that's beside the point). It's usually a bad idea to kick your patrons in the nuts. It's an even worse idea to worry about some freckled kid somewhere as a spectre you can pin all your fears and blame to.

Creators have many rights. They even have an overly broad, entirely one-sided copyright lawbook in their favor (death + 70 years? Yeah. Right.) They can already sue said kid or their parents into indentured servitude / utter bankruptcy. They already wield the mighty stick of US trade treaties. They simply do not need any more protection. In fact, they need less.

I, too, have family members who are creators. They get by fine without restrictions management.

Last, but certainly not least, some of my favourite artists are held in high regard by me because they do not worry about this crap. They create stuff, and I buy it. Mind you, I am not forced to buy it, not by a long shot. I can download the entire discography of Amanda Palmer, most of it legally from her own site. I paid for it what I thought fair, and she isn't going hungry any time soon. She wouldn't have seen a cent of my money if here stuff was DRM-laden.
When I buy games, I prefer over Steam or *shudder* Origin or Ubisoft's so-called shop. I'll skip games from certain publishers no matter how good they could be, and I'll buy others blind no matter whether I have seen any hype. And it's entirely down to not treating me like a criminal, and not worrying about that freckled schoolkid.

Finally, if your family members will stop doing something because they can't use DRM, then good riddance. If they make absolutely no income but think there are huge numbers of people making copies of their stuff, they should not delude themselves into believing that a.) it's actually a huge number of people and b.) that any such "pirates" would have paid for their content either way. The sooner they stop worrying about the ingratitude of the youth or the perceived slight to their wallet, the sooner they can get paid for having created great stuff.

Books (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about a year ago | (#43569575)

What prevents people from copying books, or CDs, or magazines, or newspapers, and giving them away willy-nilly? Yet writers and artists and photographers have managed to make a living despite that.

The problem is that DRM only addresses half the issue. It ignores any rights the owner of a copy might have, and declines to enforce those rights against the copyright holder's infringement on them. As long as it does that, it serves no useful purpose from my standpoint. To be useful to me, a DRM system would have to manage and enforce all rights, not just one party's.

Health care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569585)

That file that says you do/do-not have HIV.

Technology giveth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569591)

And technology taketh away, before the ability to record an artist made money by performance. Some clever people gave the artists the ability to record, capitalists then assumed this gift of recording was a right upon which to build empires. Technology when it works is beautiful, when it doesn't work it's valueless, DRM is about making some technology valueless. There is no market for valueless goods.

hogwash (1)

alienzed (732782) | about a year ago | (#43569615)

No matter how creative a person is, they are simply building upon the work of others either by influence, tools, inspiration, cooperation or downright theft. There is no such thing as a truly original work and if any artist would stop 'creating' because they were no longer remunerated for it, they DO NOT have their heart or mind in the right place. Like a lot of jobs these days, artists do not produce anything that is absolutely necessary to life, and while I most certainly believe that very talented artists should gain recognition, I do not think that money is the only/best form of recognition. I am an artist and I create because I love, not because I want money. I find it extremely self-centered of people to claim "this is mine, you have to PAY to experience it", when the cost of sharing the material is insignificant. Any real artist would simply love to have their work appreciated.

DRM everyone likes (1)

Kohath (38547) | about a year ago | (#43569623)

DRM everyone likes:

- Netflix streaming
- Amazon streaming
- Steam

DRM everyone except pirates like:

- DRM on PS3 Blu-ray games
- DRM on Playstation Vita games
- DRM on XBox games

Don't expect much from this thread. It's more important to whine about DRM than think about it.

Do you want an actual answer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569637)

If DRM didn't exist, companies like Netflix probably wouldn't be able to get the licensing deals that they do from the massively paranoid content industry. The whole "video streaming as a paid service" would likely not exist --- or perhaps only with extremely limited content.

Does Netflix's DRM work? Well no --- you can download rips of their House of Cards production, just like any other TV series. DRM served the purpose of allowing Netflix to make reasonable deals. Hopefully it will be removed in the future, like what we saw happen with online music services.

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569639)

As long as it isn't overly-obtrusive.
For example, back when diablo2 came out, I had a legit copy with a cd-key you have to punch in, to ensure it could only run on one computer at a time. I have no problems with something like that. It's convenient enough and I don't have to worry about losing a character or something if someone flips a killswitch on the cracked versions.

Unfortunately most companies don't rely on something as simple as a cd key nowadays, and lately it's becoming more convenient to just pirate a copy.
Basically non-paranoid DRM is good, 'modern' DRM is bad.

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