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How DRM Won

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the subliminal-messages-in-all-those-FBI-warnings dept.

DRM 221

Nerval's Lobster writes "In 2009, when Apple dropped the Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions from songs sold through the iTunes Store, it seemed like a huge victory for consumers, one that would usher in a more customer-friendly economy for digital media. But four years later, DRM is still alive and well — it just lives in the cloud now. Streaming media services are the ultimate form of copy protection — you never actually control the media files, which are encrypted before delivery, and your ability to access the content can be revoked if you disagree with updated terms of service; you're also subject to arbitrary changes in subscription prices. This should be a nightmare scenario to lovers of music, film, and television, but it's somehow being hailed by many as a technical revolution. Unfortunately, what's often being lost in the hype over the admittedly remarkable convenience of streaming media services is the simple fact that meaningfully relating to the creative arts as a fan or consumer depends on being able to access the material in the first place. In other words, where your media collection is stored (and can be remotely disabled at a whim) is not something to be taken lightly. In this essay, developer Vijith Assar talks about how the popularity of streaming content could result in a future that isn't all that great. 'Ultimately, regardless of the delivery mechanism, the question is not one of streaming versus downloads,' he writes. 'It's about whether you want to have your own media library or request access to somebody else's. Be careful.'"

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XBMC (3, Interesting)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#44243175)

XBMC takes care of alot of that. it is a grey area of course but for the time being legal.

Re:XBMC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44244049)

Well that's just, like, your opinion, man.....

Re:XBMC (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44244307)

XBMC gives you all of the shiny shiny of something like iTunes but with the possibility that you can own and control your own content. You only have to pay for something once and it's yours forever and you never have to worry about some disguised cable TV company going out of business.

Of course it has to work against the framework that large corporations have lobbied for. Although that's not necessarily a show stopper.

Re:XBMC (0)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#44244245)

I use Jaksta Streaming Media Recorder [] myself. Some may balk at the $50 price tag but you get updates including and I've seen plenty of sites where everything else would balk but Jaksta worked just fine. You can also set it to auto-convert to the format you prefer, set it to ignore files under X size so you don't end up capturing the annoying music or beeps and boops some sites have when you click on things, and I've run it on everything from a Conroe Celeron to an AMD hexacore and it just purrs like a kitten. Oh and as a nice bonus you can use any browser you like, no need for browser integration or toolbars or crap. all in all highly recommend.

As for DRM? all those that bought apple products frankly ought to be ashamed, because its Apple that is gonna end up ramming through HTML DRM and making sure nobody but the big three has access to shit. Its just like how they rammed through H.26x under the "its open!" yeah my aunt Fanny, its run by the biggest trolls since SCO, its all about making sure nothing runs that corporate doesn't get a cut of.

The only positive is that i have switched my family off the consoles and proprietary boxes so if these companies want to be douchebags at least we have choices. Don't like Steam, which i personally love? GOG and many Humble Bundles, don't like all these streaming bullshit sites? Tools like jaksta let you get around a lot of their bullshit. this is why I don't like ARM boxes, too often they are "DRM in a box" one trick ponies and if corp drops support you are royally fucked, whereas that first gen Conroe box I'm using at the shop can still play the latest media under Windows 7 with nothing but an $8 HD2400 card slapped in.

1st (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243201)

Its not that bad if you think of the cloud streaming more as a service, like XM or your cable service you pay to have access to be entertained by there content for the duration of your subscription

Re:1st (4, Insightful)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#44243367)

Saying it's 'OK' because it's like your cable company may not be the best argument...

Re: 1st (4, Insightful)

i_ate_god (899684) | about a year ago | (#44243379)

How is streaming online any different than streaming over The air?

Re: 1st (0)

Steve_Ussler (2941703) | about a year ago | (#44243605)

Slower bandwith, no?

Re: 1st (3, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about a year ago | (#44243657)

There are no ways to track what people are doing OTA. There are also no ways for people to interact with the content.

OTA is monodirectional communication. The two are totally different mediums.

Re:1st (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243481)

We already had that same service before the internet ( but with the ability to record for later viewings ). Why won't they evolve with the new technologies instead of trying to re-implement the old model of television subscription on new technologies ?
It just renders their services less attractive than alternatives.

Re:1st (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243763)

do these services block the ability to record "what you hear"? recording the most likely low-bitrate stream is still gonna be heaps better than recording radio to tape, plus no further degeneration.

The Battle Continues (5, Insightful)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | about a year ago | (#44243209)

There's hundreds of plug-ins, extensions, and rip programs to grab the content. It has to be de-coded to be played, moving to streams only turns the tide slightly.

It seems we're coming to a middle ground though, as most streaming DRM does not significantly get in the way of most (read:Windows) users.

Re:The Battle Continues (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year ago | (#44243257)

There's hundreds of plug-ins, extensions, and rip programs to grab the content.

Indeed, but they all suck (ones I have tried anyway).

Re:The Battle Continues (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#44243359)

This is why you should not listen to non-free music. Only listen to free as in speech music. There. Problem solved.

Re:The Battle Continues (5, Funny)

chuckinator (2409512) | about a year ago | (#44243525)

I listened to an OpenBSD release song once. I will never make that mistake again.

Re:The Battle Continues (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243607)

If you don't like it, change it! That's what Open Source is all about! The tools are available, even if they are sub par and you don't have the time or skillz.

Re:The Battle Continues (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year ago | (#44244203)

I am kind of partial to Systemagic myself.

Re:The Battle Continues (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44244297)

Why is this moderated funny? This is true. There really isn't any good music that is free.

Re:The Battle Continues (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243613)

In the tiny world of industry execs and sales hype, DRM won. In the real world it has failed miserably and is hated by the people. Somebody is gonna adapt or die, and let's just say it won't be the consumers.

Popularity of streaming content? (3, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year ago | (#44243221)

I hate streaming content because my home internet is too crappy to keep up. I'd much rather download the file and watch it off local storage.

Forget TV shows, it is incredibly hard to find a downloadable high-def movie trailer, all websites seem to insist on streaming even that.

Re:Popularity of streaming content? (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44243249)

Sounds like you should hate your home internet not the streaming content.

Re:Popularity of streaming content? (4, Interesting)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year ago | (#44243381)

Sounds like you should hate your home internet not the streaming content.

It's a use case regarding the "popularity" of streaming content. There are others -- I also tend to travel (watching things on a train is great). If these streaming clients had at least allowed a "local cache" option, they would be far more usable.

Re:Popularity of streaming content? (1)

TyFoN (12980) | about a year ago | (#44243555)

Both spotify and youtube can cache files locally for travel. I'm pretty sure the apple stuff can too, but I'm not familiar with that eco system.

The best of course would be no drm, but then you could just download the whole shebang and never pay again.

If I at any point feel that the paid content offers less than the "free", I will chose the free one. And that happens quite often :)

Re:Popularity of streaming content? (0)

The End Of Days (1243248) | about a year ago | (#44243749)

I like that you append a smiley to the end. It's important to be proud to be a scumbag.

And I know, I know.. the real scumbags are the jerks trying to make money on entertainment. How dare they not give you everything you want for free!

Re:Popularity of streaming content? (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#44243849)

Indeed they are. I am happy you can finally see the truth.

Re:Popularity of streaming content? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year ago | (#44243401)

AT&T always seems to be present in any story on corporate excess.

Re:Popularity of streaming content? (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#44243505)

Well my connection is finally fast enough to stream one BluRay quality stream, but with 4K around the corner that'll quadruple (maybe only double with H.265) again soon. It's not that hard to tell your computer the night before that hey, tomorrow I'd like to see movie X so you've got 24 hours to download - at least my torrent client understands that just fine. It also has the best offline mode I ever saw. I'm a paying HBO Nordic customer, but they must wonder... I still prefer getting Game of Thrones from my one-stop shop for everything, the subscription is just to have paid some. Usually my guilt trip has been BluRay boxes, I've many that I've never even played. The biggest change is still going from the TV model where I get fixed channel packages with fixed air times to the on-demand model where I get what I want when I want it without fiddling with a DVR.

Re:Popularity of streaming content? (1)

peragrin (659227) | about a year ago | (#44244051)

you can stream blurry? crap I am in Massachusetts and I can only sometimes stream 720P HD.

Most of the time I am limited to SD. Which is generally fine as SD is cheaper and 90% of the stuff I watch SD is fine.

I only switch to 720P HD when I want to. of course I have an older LCD TV so it's not like I can watch 1080P anyways.

Re:Popularity of streaming content? (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#44244303)

4k isn't around the corner, unless you've got a theater around the corner. 4K has so many pixels that you would need a huge TV mere inches from your face in order to observe the difference between it and bluray.

In practice, few Americans, Europeans or people in general have rooms large enough to house a TV that would permit one to appreciate the difference.

Re:Popularity of streaming content? (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#44244217)

Sounds like every streaming video device should have enough local storage to hold at least one whole movie. Streaming isnt the problem, its the implementation that sucks. Every one of the streamers should have local caching ability.

You're an ass (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44244231)

Dude I know you are one of the asshats around here always screaming about how people out in the middle of no-fuck-where are just shit out of luck with regards to services, that is their penalty for moving out there, and that you want no part whatsoever in helping them change it. And now you turn right the fuck around and tell them to go blame thier ISP. The free market you preach on about will not accomodate Mitreya until they are profitable so you know that isn't going to happen. I modded you troll. I encourage others to do so. Someone already gave you an Insightful, and there is nothing insightful about your simplistic statement. Fuck right off!

If you can view it .. (1)

aliquis (678370) | about a year ago | (#44243465)

.. you know the rest.

Re:Popularity of streaming content? (1)

Master Moose (1243274) | about a year ago | (#44243677)

Our FTA broadcasters all have a streaming catch-up service. .

The quality of broadcast is comprable to a VHS that has been re-dubbed a few times. If the stream fails/cut out then there is the issue of restarting and rebuffering and refinding the content.

Then there are issues with Flash, meaning I can not watch it on all of my devices (without much messing around)

And to think, I could get a torrented file much quicker, easier and with less compatibility issues. I can even use that on my devices when there is no internet connection availble - but that would be illegal.

I think they need to go the You Porn model where you can choose to stream, or download.

get_flash_videos and rtmpdump (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243229)

subject says it all start building you OWN media collection and store it in the TOR cloud :)


Islands in the stream, that is what we are (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243243)

Every note of music and frame of video ever created in the history of the world is available virtually on demand. What is this media collection you speak of? A playlist of favorites stored on a server somewhere. Please, peddle your FUD elsewhere.

EMusic and Bitrot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243263)

MP3's being compressed, are pretty vulnerable to bitrot. You can buy DRM free music from EMusic, but they no longer offer the 4 redownloads per song. You better hope it transfers perfectly first time and never corrupts. Backups usually don't help here unless you are keeping alot of backups, which most house holds have at most one or two backups at a time. It is unlikely that one would notice bitrot before the backup is overwritten with the corrupted file.

This is why I've been working on getting FreeNAS+ZFS working so I have some bitrot protection on my mp3's.

Since they've removed the redownload option, I've stopped buying from emusic. Their prices have gone up much faster than inflation, and the value and features of their offering have decreased.

Re:EMusic and Bitrot (4, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44243285)

Amazon lets you download the music over and over.

You can simply download it again if it gets corrupted.

Re:EMusic and Bitrot (2)

systrace (865054) | about a year ago | (#44243373)

And Amazon is guaranteed to last forever and never change the terms of service.

Re:EMusic and Bitrot (3, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44243427)

Not at all.
I am just presenting one current option.

Keep your backups on something like ZFS and odds are it will never matter.

I personally do not keep collections of media, I own a little bit and do not intend to add to it. I don't tend to watch anything more than once or twice, nor do I want to listen to the same song over and over.

Re:EMusic and Bitrot (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44243567)

It is? That's good to know, thanks!

Re:EMusic and Bitrot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243699)

Good to know, looks like they are DRM free as well.

Re:EMusic and Bitrot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243313)

Delicious ZFS... mmmmmmmmmmm

Re:EMusic and Bitrot (3, Informative)

stoploss (2842505) | about a year ago | (#44243495)

This is why I've been working on getting FreeNAS+ZFS working so I have some bitrot protection on my mp3's.

Just an FYI: plain ZFS has bitrot detection, not protection. You need something like ZFS mirroring or ZFS RAID-Z for bitrot protection.

Furthermore, if you're using external USB drives then I strongly suggest you consider double-parity RAID-Z2 that can withstand the loss of any two drives. ZFS is very, very robust, but I have had USB 3.0 flakiness cause more than one drive to be simultaneously dropped during a scrub.

Oh, and if you are considering FreeNAS and are considering using their GELI-based disk encryption support then be very careful. As of a few months ago there were code paths in the FreeNAS GUI that would nuke your array by destroying volume keys. Be aware that the FreeNAS (GELI-based) encryption uses both a keyfile *and* a passphrase... and you need both in order to be able to mount the volume. By default, FreeNAS manages the keyfile for you behind the scenes so that it appears that all you need is the passphrase. However, FreeNAS's GUI configuration silently nuked the associated volume keyfile one time while I was attempting to bring a disconnected volume back online.

Anyway, the "sharp corners" were so bad that I eventually abandoned FreeNAS and ended up using a straight FreeBSD 9.0 configuration instead. It's not that hard to manage and it's very stable once it's setup. If you choose to use FreeNAS encryption then be sure you keep backup copies of your keyfiles and be sure you understand how GELI works behind the scenes.

Good luck in your efforts; I'm very happy with my BSD/ZFS NAS. Now that it's setup it's hassle-free.

Re:EMusic and Bitrot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243661)

Yeh, hopefully FreeNAS with be a smoother learning curve for me, but eventually I'll probably use straight ZFS on other machines where I want ZFS as the root of a machine with other purposes besides shared storage.

It's alot easier to learn something like this when you can easily getting to a working point, and then ease yourself into learning the command line as needed.

I actually am setting up 2 disk Mirror with copies=2 setting to withstand loss of a disk plus encountering some corruption during rebuild. This is the more common scenario that has made raid6/raidz popular, because often during a mirror or raid5 rebuild, you discover corrupt data that is thus unrecoverable. With copies=2, the remaining drive will have enough redundancy to correct the data during rebuild. It'll be less space efficient than raidz, but buying two large harddrives is usually cheaper than buying 3 or more smaller harddrives.

Re:EMusic and Bitrot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243855)

Everything written by the poster above is exactly why 99% of people will just buy/rent/stream whatever they want from major outlets like Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Best Buy etc...

The average consumer has no clue about bitrot, does not care about it and is not going to spend all that effort to store and protect media.

Not only that but with the deluge of media in terms of new songs, movies, tv why do we even bother storing anything anymore? In my household and many others I know of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon take care of eyeball entertainment. It's also far easier and cheaper to pay Amazon the $1-$3 to rent a movie that you want to see than dealing with loading it over the network from your NAS.

Pandora and soon to be iTunes Radio for me takes care of all my music, however, I am not a playlist kind of person so I do not care about having all my songs wherever I go even though I pretty much always do between 4G data and wifi.

I have a large collection of mp3's dating all the way back to Napster days sitting on a Windows Home Server (because WHS just works) and I have not listened to any of them in years. I may just delete them all because if I need to listen to any of those songs I can get it easy enough.

Re:EMusic and Bitrot (2)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | about a year ago | (#44243805)

MP3's being compressed, are pretty vulnerable to bitrot.


Re:EMusic and Bitrot (1)

babymac (312364) | about a year ago | (#44243961)

I'm using FreeNAS with ZFS-RAIDZ2. I've got twelve 1 TB drives in it and a total usable space of about 10 TB. It's very nice. It's an older server so it's loud though, even in my basement. I love it! Super convenient.

This is why... (1)

Nutria (679911) | about a year ago | (#44243267)

we buy what we want to watch.

Seems like an over generalization... (4, Insightful)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about a year ago | (#44243277)

I use iTunes Match which means all my files are stored in the cloud. But, before the cries of "evil lock in!", iTunes lets me download all my cloud files at any time DRM free, so I can listen to them offline or even archive them.

Am I upset I can't download rented media DRM free? No. Why would I be upset about that? It's the same deal I had with movie rental stores. If I buy it to own, I definitely want a download. But I haven't run into many services at all where I purchase something and I can't download it.

Re:Seems like an over generalization... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44243341)

Many are upset because generally those services only work on OSX and Windows. I don't remember rental stores have DRM that failed to work on other operating systems, what sort of thing were you renting?

Re:Seems like an over generalization... (1)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about a year ago | (#44243383)

Many are upset because generally those services only work on OSX and Windows. I don't remember rental stores have DRM that failed to work on other operating systems, what sort of thing were you renting?

I remember rental stores renting Super Nintendo games that didn't work on my Genesis, or DVDs that didn't work on my VHS. I never felt the need to start an online crusade about it.

Re:Seems like an over generalization... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44243445)

Those were not limitations of DRM.

Comparing them makes no sense.

Re:Seems like an over generalization... (1)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about a year ago | (#44243797)

Those were not limitations of DRM.

Comparing them makes no sense.

How so? Linux (in theory) lacks the right player software, much like how my console didn't have the right components for playback.

Re:Seems like an over generalization... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44243951)

Because those carts and tapes could not be made compatible.

Linux has many software players that could handle it. The software could be made in minutes quite likely. This is not a hardware limitation.

Re:Seems like an over generalization... (1)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about a year ago | (#44244023)

Because those carts and tapes could not be made compatible.

Linux has many software players that could handle it. The software could be made in minutes quite likely. This is not a hardware limitation.

That's not a great distinction. In theory, I could put an emulator on my Genesis to play SNES games. So there isn't a hardware limitation there either.

I think the weakest part about this line of reasoning as that at that point it makes codecs DRM. If H.266 shipped tomorrow with Mac and Windows players, would you define H.266 movies as DRM encumbered?

Spotify (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243293)

Streaming services such as Spotify let you make local copies of the files if you want. There's no real downside.

Re:Spotify (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44244265)

But if Spotify suddenly no longer exists, do the local copies still work?


Just shows what we already knew (4, Insightful)

Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) | about a year ago | (#44243299)

DRM is only an issue if it gets in the way of letting the user do what they want. Make a service that is convenient and easy to use, that works the way the user wants it to work and they won't care about DRM. e.g. Steam, Netflix, Hulu etc.
Music streaming services have the nice feature of me not needing to worry about storing, tagging, organizing my music collection. If the service is good and people are willing to pay for it that's all that matters.

Before responding about how much you personally care about and dislike DRM please note that you are not a part of the "they" I was talking about.

Re:Just shows what we already knew (2)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | about a year ago | (#44243417)

DRM is an issue, because it targets the paying customer. It can only get in the way, it has no other purpose.

If they could make DRM that didn't get in the way, they wouldn't need DRM in the first place.

Re:Just shows what we already knew (3, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#44243589)

DRM on streaming services does not get in the way of the paying customer.

For example, I subscribe to netflix. It uses DRM. I can still watch the movies in their collection, repeatedly.

The thing is that I do not pretend to own any of the movies. I am paying for the service, not particular movies. I also subscribe to Pandora. I am paying for the service, not particular songs.

In neither case does either party pretend to transfer ownership of any specific content.

Seems like a lot of slashdotters dont seem to understand streaming services, equating them with iTunes purchases and other stuff that are not streaming services.

I would gladly pay $50/month for a service that had everything on demand, and I wouldn't give a flying fuck about DRM that prevents me from copying the content, because I am paying for the service specifically so that I do not need a copy of the content.

Re:Just shows what we already knew (5, Interesting)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year ago | (#44243569)

The thing with the rising popularity of streaming is not DRM. The real problem is (as usual) the way they'll ruin it with advertisements, and then DRM will come into play, making sure you cannot edit out or skip ads. And thanks to technology, it's now super easy to inject all manner of interstitials and pop-ups and pop-overs and watermarks and other crap on top of the content.

That is why I hate streaming, and it's why I will cling to media that I *own* for as long as I can. Until they start ruining that with ads too (like Disney and their infamous unskippable trailers).

It depends on the type of content (3, Insightful)

Serenissima (1210562) | about a year ago | (#44243305)

And it depends on your tastes. I used to have a remote job traveling around the country. I have several hundred DVD's that I purchased and have since ripped onto a hard drive. I have instant access to hundreds of movies and dozens of TV shows that I legally paid for. But honestly, I watch Netflix and Hulu more than any of the giant library I have because...well, I've already seen my movies and TV Shows. At this point in my life, I don't have a burning desire to watch every video I have again. So, I have a giant video library that gets used rarely. Streaming content is significantly better in this area for me because I don't have time/want to watch video again after I see it once.

Now music, on the other hand, is completely different. If there's music that I like, I go out and actually by the CD's and rip the music myself. Music IS something I consume repeatedly and it is very worth the money for me to have a big library of my own music. Pandora has its uses, I've found several artists I like through it!

Streaming isn't destroying anything and as long as there are people somewhere who are willing to pay to watch or listen to something as many times as they want, other people will sell it that way. If there is a demand, there will be a supply. And demand is generated by your tastes. It's kind of silly to think of a future where EVERYTHING is ONLY streaming ALL THE TIME because that won't happen as long as there is money to be made!

Re:It depends on the type of content (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44244181)

It's kind of silly to think of a future where EVERYTHING is ONLY streaming ALL THE TIME because that won't happen as long as there is money to be made!

People don't understand this distinction between streaming and owning. They'll see streaming access as a feature, an extra value, not as a risk that the servers will disappear. There might well not be money to be made at all.

If all else fails.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243307)

Plug your line out into a line in somewhere else and record it. So fucking hard, I know...

I couldn't put it better myself (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243315)

> It's about whether you want to have your own media library or request access to somebody else's

I'm as much in favour of digital rights as the next /.er, but I was so happy to drop my music collection for a streaming service. No more backups, not more stress recovering the collection from an old hard drive when my main computer dies, no more "oh I don't have that song copied to this device yet". Oh, and it's cheaper too! I spend about 50% as much each year on music and listen to a much wider variety.

One word. Steam. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243321)

DRM won the day Steam started selling games that you can't install without connecting to a server that you do not control, and people didn't descend upon Valve with torches and pitchforks. They proved that if you make it convenient enough, people will put up with unreasonable restrictions.

If I buy something, I expect to receive in exchange for my money everything I need to make use of it in perpetuity. If I still have to rely upon their servers, I have not received what I paid for.

Re:One word. Steam. (2)

Compuser (14899) | about a year ago | (#44243503)

Disagree. Most of entertainment is rarely reused and ultimately disposable.
Do I want to replay a game I already played through? Usually no. So I would rather rent it for a few hours (until I win or get bored).
Do I want to watch a movie again after I saw it once? Usually no. So rent makes sense.
Do I want to play a piece of music again? Usually yes, but if it is not available I will shrug and move on. So rent makes sense but it gets borderline. Some people are attached to their music.
Do I want to use a piece of mission-critical software repeatedly? Usually yes, and in many cases if it is not available then productive life is basically over. So DRM-free ownership makes sense.

DRM is winning (2)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#44243327)

For the same reason the NSA has a mic and camera up everyones bunghole. We are a nation of apathetic, vapid, content consumers whose primary concerns are trivial and shallow.

Re:DRM is winning (-1, Troll)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44243977)

For the same reason the NSA has a mic and camera up everyones bunghole. We are a nation of apathetic, vapid, content consumers whose primary concerns are trivial and shallow.

No. We're currently being run into the ground by Baby Boomers who have sucked the life out of the country's economy, destroyed the environment, let critical infrastructure rot, and have made education and healthcare nearly unattainable for anyone but themselves. As a result of that "we" (as in the non-boomers) are living hand to mouth, and the only thing that gets us through our meager, shitty, two-part-time-jobs-60-hour-a-week lives is the mediocre entertainment products that we can no longer afford to own but merely "rent" at exorbinant fees under the guise of its convenience.

We're not apathetic, vapid, trivial, or shallow -- we're simply working ourselves into an early grave trying to support the dead weight of the assholes that bankrupted our country to support their own vanity and selfishness... which means we hardly have the energy to give a damn about anything but whether we'll make it to the next paycheck and wondering exactly how many pounds of ramen noodles a person can eat before it kills them.

They keep trying and failing (4, Interesting)

davecb (6526) | about a year ago | (#44243351)

The first DRM I saw was funny formats on Apple ][ floppies, followed by DOS format misfeatures, followed by dongles, followed by own-code in apps, followed by ... ite ad infinitum.

Note that you don't see these forms of DRM any more. What you do see is that, each time a new format of anything comes out, some DRM vendor talks the publishers into "protecting" their work[1].

As long as new publishers are suckers, the DRM vendors will suck them in, and make lots of money off a technology that motivates people to not buy the publications.

The publishers lose two ways!

[1. One of my former employers almost got taken in by this scam, but the techies caught it. ]

Re:They keep trying and failing (3, Interesting)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | about a year ago | (#44243377)

I agree, those whose business is DRM are the ones who benefit, not anyone else. My bet is that far more money is lost to DRM, than to piracy.

Re:They keep trying and failing (1)

davecb (6526) | about a year ago | (#44243583)

The price of a DRM package for a 286 DOS application was approximately the size of our profit margin, and would have pushed the total cost into a whole different bracket (:-))

Re:They keep trying and failing (1)

BitwizeGHC (145393) | about a year ago | (#44243735)

The cost to develop the copy protection in the original Atari ST Notator app -- the predecessor to Apple Logic -- was as much as the cost to develop the entire rest of the program. It is still uncracked today, despite there being intense cracker interest (Notator is still in use by pro and amateur musicians).

Enough people have purchased Notator who would otherwise have pirated it, to make that cost worthwhile.

This is like cable/satellite (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243397)

Streaming content is much akin to having satellite or cable. You don't own or control the content. You pay for access to content. Sometimes you can access content on-demand, sometimes you have to catch it when it streams. In current models you are paying for access to an ever changing catalog of entertainment. Streaming Netflix is great. I don't have to buy or rent a movie to check it out. If I want physical media I can go to the store or online and buy it. I know that with a streaming service, like any online service, that there is a chance that one day the content will not be there. I do not foolishly assume I'm buying the media, only that I am buying access to a library of content that can change or go away.

If you don't like streaming, go buy the physical media, or simply don't support the service.

I'm sticking with discs (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year ago | (#44243403)

With CDs and DVDs / blu-ray discs I can rip my own formats, I get to keep it and between UV and amazon I can get "free" streaming versions of most of my films and music anyway.

It shouldn't be a case that the new way is worse than the old way of doing things but that's the case, imo.

Re:I'm sticking with discs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243515)

Yup, physical media is the way to go for non-trivial amounts of money. Not only do you have full control, you can give it all away (or sell, of course). Downloaded media will evaporate from family estates, a wet dream for media mega-corps. There is no resale value (illegal in Europe but no mechanism is available), there's no real lending, swapsies, or just giving stuff away. Technically it's all easy, but the media mega-corps have bribed the right people to ensure this altruistic act is illegal.

tldr; buy the disc, stupid.

War on DRM? (1, Informative)

abroadwin (1273704) | about a year ago | (#44243453)

The idea of DRM winning or losing is a bit too black and white here. I'm not against DRM; I'm against *bad* DRM. You've probably seen one of the images showing the difference between watching a pirated movie and watching a paid DVD/blu-ray, showing that the pirated viewing experience is far better. Similarly, most early attempts at DRM resulted in a far worse media/game consumption experience for paying customers. That's what I'm against, and when that proliferates with complete acceptance I will consider the war lost. Services like Spotify, Steam and Netflix get it right, though. Yes, they use DRM, but they found a balance where the paid, rights-restricted solution is actually more convenient than the pirated solution. Most common use cases are easy, and I'm happy to pay. In my opinion, when the legal option becomes nice enough to use it doesn't matter if it includes DRM, and I don't blame content distributors for doing so. The issue of DRM is really pretty different from the issue of rent versus own, though. If you rent a digital item it necessarily has DRM, but DRM isn't the issue there.

Re:War on DRM? (5, Insightful)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#44243593)

All DRM is bad. DRM is not and never was about protecting content, it is about control. Protecting content from pirates is impossible. Controlling apathetic legal users is feasible and profitable, on the other hand.

A missing past (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243473)

Future historians may call this period the "dark ages', because the cloud is ephemeral, and will fade and be forgetten. The fact that only 10 percent of silent film still exists is a good example from the recent past. And when the digital copies are gone . . . what then.

Re:A missing past (1)

chromas (1085949) | about a year ago | (#44244107)

And when the digital copies are gone . . . what then.

Then apparently nobody with access to the copies felt they were worth preserving. It's okay, though—their stories'll eventually be recreated, even if unintentionally.

Re:A missing past (1)

Dins (2538550) | about a year ago | (#44244327)

It's okay, though—their stories'll eventually be recreated, even if unintentionally.

What if all the monkeys and typewriters are also gone?

Mmmm really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243489)

Where's the "DRM" in streaming music? All the formats I play outside of my CD's and records (namely digital) are streams. They may be local but that's just a formality - they're still streamed. What's the point here?

The deal has changed, and for the better (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243529)

The old system: I pay 10 dollars for an album (lets call it $1 per song, to make the math easier), and if I ever lose the album, I lose it forever. I can make a copy of it to back it up, but if I lose all copies, it's gone forever.

The first DRM system: I pay $1 for a song, I can only play it on one (or 5) devices, and if I ever accidentally delete it, it's gone forever and I never get it back. This is the DRM system that sucked, and everybody hated.

The "new" DRM system: I pay $1 for a song, and I can play it on anything that supports the DRM mode (not everything, granted, but all of my devices, so it's cool with me). If I lose the file, I just download it again. If I want to listen to it on my second device, I just download it again. When I'm connected to the internet (most of the time for me) I can access and download every song I've ever bought in seconds. This is a good deal. I am willing to pay the same amount I used to pay for a song and accept the risk that apple might someday disappear in exchange for this convenience.

It all comes down to a trade off, but this "new" deal seems fair enough for me. It is more convenient than either of the old systems, and this way I don't have to carry around a 50GB external hard drive to have access to all of my songs on my 8GB iPhone. It costs more long term, but it is a better system.

Apples and oranges here (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | about a year ago | (#44243685)

I'm not looking to get the same functionality/features from a streaming service than I am from purchasing digital copies of media. I go in knowing that terms/prices can change at will, but I accept that for an "all I can eat" service.

what are you talking about? (1)

theRunicBard (2662581) | about a year ago | (#44243729)

while this is an issue, I don't see it as a serious one. Who do you know that actually pays for online content? Sure, some of my friends use Netflix but they routinely complain that their selection sucks. Whenever this happens, we log onto my computer, watch a movie [TOTALLY legally] and if I liked it, I download it when we're done. Sure the law sucks, but if it's that easy to [OBEY], why do you care? A common comeback to this argument is "well, what about the non-tech-saavy people?" to which a PhD friend of mine has replied "I don't see why those who can't use the Internet should have access to it." It sounds mean, but it's akin to letting people who can't pass the citizenship test vote. If you're so dumb that the only way you can get media is by paying money to hollywood to rent it, that's your problem.

The fight hasn't even started yet really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243787)

I think the average person is starting to realize what it really means to have extremely restrictive caveats on their media or even question the basics of media "ownership".

People who can't understand why they can't transfer things between iTunes and other systems or just get any content they want on Netflix. These are the people that have started to care if their game console is profiling them or if the remote hosted software they use every day is building a complex profile around them without their knowledge.

When DRM gets in the way of the average consumer they will choose rightly and harshly. When privacy is very obviously violated, people will fight.

The subtle growth of all this mess has now gotten so ubiquitous there is no hiding it, and so people have finally taken notice.

Alternative Solution? (2)

timmyf2371 (586051) | about a year ago | (#44243841)

I subscribe to Spotify and I'm well aware of the consequences of its DRM; if I stop paying the monthly fee, I don't get access to any music I may have listened to during my time as a customer.

My question is - what is the alternative to DRM for services like Spotify? It seems to me that for such a service to exist, DRM must exist unless you choose to rely on an honour system.

As long as I pay them £10 per month, I get unlimited access to a massive library of tunes on my PC, as well as my phone. I can be on the train home and decide I want to listen to song x by artist y, and within seconds it is streaming to me. Best of all, it doesn't cost me whatever the going rate for an MP3 is these days.

If we lose the DRM, the proposition changes quite significantly. It becomes £10 for unlimited music with no DRM - why would I do anything other than subscribe for one month and download their entire library onto a massive hard drive, for later playback at my leisure?

For me, it's a trade off between cost and no DRM. Let's say I listen to 50 new tracks each month using Spotify Radio. At the iTunes price of 99p per track, this will cost me just short of £50. It's great that these tracks come without DRM, but for that same £50, I can get a return flight to Europe with a low cost airline. Or feed myself for a week.

Why is DRM a nightmare for me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243857)

I legally purchase music, movies and TV shows when I want them. The OWNERS of that content. The people who PAID MONEY to develop the content are then fairly compensated. After I pay a trivially small $3-$4 I am then able to watch a $200 million dollar movie on my Apple TV.

Where exactly did I go wrong? How is it a nightmare for me? Just STFU and watch the movie and stop being cheap assholes who annoy the rest of us.

Re:Why is DRM a nightmare for me? (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#44244017)

If you paid for the content, you can only watch it on your anointed device, due to DRM. If you're a 'cheap asshole', you downloaded the content from a pirate site for free and you can watch it however you want.

See the problem?

DRM punishes your customers, while having little to no impact on pirates.

Of course you presumably know all that, which is why you're posting anonymously.

Re:Why is DRM a nightmare for me? (1)

Maestro485 (1166937) | about a year ago | (#44244165)

Except customers aren't being punished, they actually really enjoy the service they are getting.

DRM is a non-issue for the vast majority of people who are streaming their stuff. I think Netflix is great. If I really like a movie I'll sometimes buy the DVD too. I also like being able to "rent" movies on iTunes for a few bucks and maybe purchase later if I choose.

Streaming services are just one of many options available today and none of them are mutually exclusive.

Streaming also works for consumers... (1)

Videospike (2897665) | about a year ago | (#44243897)

...because the large library of available content, whether that's legacy items like 80's TV on Hulu, or user-generated stuff from YouTube. Newer content competes with a vast amount of less expensive older content, which diminishes its value. Once "newness" becomes a content's major selling point, dramatic savings can be realized: I've finally managed to monetize obstinacy and apathy. A move ticket rivals the monthly cost of Netflix, where I can watch many movies a month, so all I have to do is wait long enough or not care and watch something else. Some of those "Classic" films are pretty good. Video games are fun too. When file sharing began, content lost value due to its availability from free sources. Then everything was put into digital, and now it has lost value due to the availability of other content. In this manner, media approaches its actual value: I'd really have to love something to want to own a hard copy, when realistically I'm only going to watch something once. So I think we really pay content hubs for breadth of selection rather than delivery. As long as the fees remain affordable and the advertising doesn't get too aggressive, it's an epic win for consumers. On top of all that, I still view entertainment as a luxury. I could get a hobby. Or read a book. Or go outside. Boredom may be unpleasant but it's not fatal, so all this stuff is only as valuable as I allow it to be. I can always just turn it off and walk away.

Streaming isn't replacing records (2)

rcharbon (123915) | about a year ago | (#44243933)

Streaming doesn't replace ownership. Streaming replaces radio.

The post answers its own question. (1)

Dputiger (561114) | about a year ago | (#44244101)

From the submission: "meaningfully relating to the creative arts as a fan or consumer depends on being able to access the material in the first place. "

But you can.

This was the Giant Fucking Issue that the RIAA/MPAA have still only dimly figured out. People were perfectly willing to pay for convenience. "How do you compete with free?" You make paying more convenient than not-paying. So in 2000, could you listen to music digitally? Not legally -- not easily -- so people pirated. Then iTunes came along, and buying got easier -- so people bought.

Now, you can listen to that Rihanna track or NiN, or Justin Bieber any time you want. If you want to grab a version to mash into something else, that's easy. The services that are winning are winning because it's become easier to pay a pittance and grab a song from "the cloud" than to carry a digital file around with you or buy a CD. All three may well be preferable to pirating a copy when you don't know what you'll get or if a threatening letter will arrive six weeks later.

Re:The post answers its own question. (1)

Dins (2538550) | about a year ago | (#44244225)

...pirating a copy when you don't know what you'll get or if a threatening letter will arrive six weeks later.

You're doing it wrong...

Re:The post answers its own question. (1)

Dins (2538550) | about a year ago | (#44244259)

Excellent point overall, though. I'd mod you up if I hadn't already posted.

I don't think streaming necessitates DRM (1)

Irick (1842362) | about a year ago | (#44244103)

Streaming can be genuinely convenient, but it doesn't mean it is married to DRM. I would very much like the option of being able to stream and download content that I paid for in a non DRMed version for when I want to have the content now and save it for later. Just because current streaming services popularly use DRM does not mean it has "won".

2 different things (2)

Endophage (1685212) | about a year ago | (#44244125)

You're basically calling streaming services a replacement for owning a digital copy, but they're not the same thing. As everything, distribution of content especially has move online, streaming services are replacing Blockbuster and other video rental services. For the amount of content you can consume they are considerably cheaper than buying the content.

There are plenty of services, iTunes and Amazon particularly, that sell you digital media and can't revoke your access one you've purchased it. You can download it and burn a physical copy. There are various ways of removing the DRM (ignoring the legalities of whatever country you happen to be in). Netflix hasn't killed iTunes and isn't likely to, neither has Spotify.

DRM doesn't have to always be evil (2)

jetkust (596906) | about a year ago | (#44244127)

I don't see DRM as the issue here. If you purchase something and the terms of the purchase are that you can access it "as long as the company allows you to access it", this is different from a legal agreement that requires the company to provide access to it indefinitely. Something like Netflix has nothing to do with DRM because you are not purchasing content, you are buying access to it. The idea that companies can just on a whim take content away that you purchased, no they can't, unless you agreed to this when you purchased it, or if you never actually purchased it in the first place. And why would companies go away from "selling" content and move completely to a subscription model. Last time I checked, they make a lot of money off sales. Why would they want to stop doing it? A lot of people claim they want to own physical or digital copies of everything locally. That's fine. But I think more and more people are moving towards just wanting "access" to things, and not having to worry about managing files and discs themselves. And if a digital purchase is guaranteed to be permanent, it may be even more valuable to some than a local copy (which can be broken or lost).

Whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44244261)

Frankly, I don't even care anymore. I don't pay for anything that's DRM encumbered unless I don't care about it. That is to say, I just opt to not fall in love with anything that supports DRM, because it doesn't want my love, just my money. It's easier than I expected.

There's plenty of free stuff out there, and if you're going to pretend that all this DRM-encumbered stuff is the highest quality stuff out there then you have bigger problems than DRM.. you're delusional! I don't even mind if we lose the bulk of this garbage forever.

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