Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

BitTorrent "Bundles" Create Cash Registers Inside Artwork

samzenpus posted 1 year,24 days | from the to-pay-or-not-to-pay dept.

Music 97

cagraham writes "BitTorrent has released a new file format called Bundle into closed alpha-testing today, according to VentureBeat. The format allows artists to embed a paywall inside of their work, and then distribute the art for free over BitTorrent. When users open the work they can listen or view part it for free, and are then prompted to either pay a fee, turn over their email address, or perhaps share the work over social media, in order to see the rest. The new format may ease artists concerns about releasing work for free and having to hope for compensation in the future. Artists who have already signed on include Madonna, The Pixies, and author Tim Feriss."

cancel ×

97 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

If we have the choice... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44958299)

'When users open the work they can listen or view part it for free, and are then prompted to either pay a fee, turn over their email address,...'

My email address is fuck.you.suckers@mailinator.com, gimmethatthing.

Re:If we have the choice... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44958883)

10minutemail.com

Let me translate that into English: (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44958317)

They've reinvented demoware.

Re:Let me translate that into English: (4, Funny)

_KiTA_ (241027) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958459)

They've reinvented demoware.

You're forgetting the magic words that summon Venture Capitalists:

"It's Demoware... IN THE CLOUD"

Re:Let me translate that into English: (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958495)

Funny how those three little words turn a used idea into something that seems brand new? Unfortunately, 90% of the things we put in the magic cloud were never appropriate for the cloud to begin with. Still amazed the VC crowd hasn't learned that lesson yet.

Re:Let me translate that into English: (2)

Adriax (746043) | 1 year,24 days | (#44960241)

Bah, these are the risk takers that think beyond your puny limitations. The ones who will get in on the next trillion dollar idea because they dared to dream.
The ones who live on daddy's dime and if in any lower economic class would be sitting in a 3rd rate casino somewhere plunking nickles in a slot machine all day...

Re:Let me translate that into English: (1)

omnichad (1198475) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958893)

"It's Demoware... IN THE CLOUD"

Nope. Pretty sure that's already been done.

It's Demoware...In the cloud....ON BITTORRENT!"

Re:Let me translate that into English: (1)

DickBreath (207180) | 1 year,24 days | (#44959809)

> You're forgetting the magic words that summon Venture Capitalists:
> "It's Demoware... IN THE CLOUD"

I thought the magic words were "dot com". Am I behind or something?

:-)

Re:Let me translate that into English: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44961103)

You're forgetting the magic words that summon Jews:

"It's Demoware... IN THE CLOUD"

FTFY.

Re:Let me translate that into English: (3, Informative)

eieken (635333) | 1 year,24 days | (#44962407)

This comment was made gold by having the essential "cloud-to-butt" chrome extension [google.com]

Re:Let me translate that into English: (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44963323)

They've reinvented demonware.

Fixed that for you.

What stops people from redistribution? (4, Insightful)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958343)

Unless there is yet another crappy DRM scheme buried inside these "bundles", what stops people from simply redistributing a paywall-free version?

Seeding CRM protected files has newer been difficult. It just so happens nobody wants to download them ...

- Jesper

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (3, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958451)

The honour system. Bittorrent users would never pirate music from independent artists, they only go after labels' output where the economics don't favour the artist or the consumer.

Stop laughing.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (0)

_KiTA_ (241027) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958483)

The honour system. Bittorrent users would never pirate music from independent artists, they only go after labels' output where the economics don't favour the artist or the consumer.

Stop laughing.

You laugh, but to be fair, when things are readily available digitally, piracy does drop off quite a bit.

Yes, there's always going to be cuntrags that bitch -- the whining blubbering mass of entitled manchildren that cry every time Viz shuts down another Naruto / One Piece / Bleach piracy site being the example that immediately comes to mind -- but for the most part, people pirate not because they don't want to pay, it's because they want convenience.

Relevant Oatmeal link. [theoatmeal.com]

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (1)

cdrudge (68377) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958593)

but for the most part, people pirate not because they don't want to pay, it's because they want convenience.

Until shows are released a. free of cost, b. free of DRM, and c. almost immediately available via a simple link, piracy will always be a significant issue. With applications like SickBeard, CouchPotato, and HeadPhones that automatically scour and download content, it's hard to compete against that for convenience.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44958931)

Haha. Not really.
Oh, (a) can play a part, but cheap is good enough. (b) is dumb. No one (statistically speaking) gives a fuck. (c) is the biggest point. Don't believe me? Guess how much my bit torrent use has fallen off since I got a roku and netflix account? I think that Gravity Falls and Game of Thrones are about the only things I bothered hitting torrent up for. So yeah, point c is valid, but the other two are plain wrong.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | 1 year,24 days | (#44959623)

(b) is dumb. No one (statistically speaking) gives a fuck.

You have mistaken giving a fuck out of principle for giving a fuck out of annoyance.

I have quite a few gamer friends. Most of them couldn't give the least damn about the ethics or long term implications of DRM in games. Every single one of them understands what it means when they can't play (for example) a single-player game offline on their laptop in a waiting room or on a plane. And the majority (sometimes with a bit of help, admittedly) of them have "fixed" those problems by grabbing a crack off the internet.

So no, most people have no idea they should oppose DRM. Despite that, most people do hate everything about it without even knowing the target of their ire.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44961271)

Piracy isn't a problem. The people who have money and genuinely enjoyed a pirated product will pay for it, if even just for pride or boasting rights. The people who don't have money and the people who didn't like the product wouldn't have paid anyway and therefore don't count as lost sales.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (3, Interesting)

Urza9814 (883915) | 1 year,24 days | (#44959895)

I pirate a lot of stuff -- movies, TV shows, video games...

But in the past couple years I've completely stopped pirating music. Why? Well, if I can get a guaranteed high-quality, DRM-free copy of the album in ten seconds for $5, why would I bother spending more time to pirate a copy of unknown quality? Particularly considering how hard to find much of the music I listen to is -- you can find it on Amazon, but it's not on TPB, not on GNUtella, not on slsk, often not even on iTunes...

I'd use Netflix if I could use it the way I wanted -- i.e., integrate it into my custom home theater system. But until Netflix will run on a Raspberry Pi, I'm going to be pirating my movies and TV shows. Of course, the ones that offer a paid download option (or even a donations appreciated download option) get my money. As for video games -- those I usually pirate just because I can't find them anymore. Pirated a bunch of N64 games because I don't have an N64, you can't find the game cartridges anywhere, and they don't offer those games for sale on the Wii store (the ones they do offer I've already purchased)...so I hacked the Wii and pirated the roms. Trying to do the same for Gamecube games now, for the same reason -- I just can't find the game discs even if I wanted to buy them. Give me a $5/game download option and I'd GLADLY skip the freakin' *weeks* I've spent trying to get the damn pirated copies to work...

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | 1 year,24 days | (#44962707)

GIve me a break. Buy a $35 Chromecast if you want netflix. I have some of the first Pis made and they make terrible media players even with XBMC. Far too weak compared to the competition.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | 1 year,24 days | (#44963305)

I don't want Netflix as it currently exists, that's my point. I don't use XBMC (which is the single slowest media player I've ever seen,) I use omxplayer and some custom PHP and Bash code on a model B Pi. Works great. Plays all my media just fine, kicks on the news as I walk in the door from work, turns the projector and stereo on/off as I start or finish watching something, handles YouTube subscriptions, torrents...Next project is integrating it with my room lighting and gaming systems. It does more than the usual HTPC at a fraction of the cost. Does *far* more than Chromecast, for the same price (plus a couple wires, diodes, and relays.) In fact, my projector has no audio output, so if I were to use Chromecast I coudn't use a cheap dongle, I'd need either a full PC or a $35 dongle plus a $100+ device to split out the audio signal...

Point is, when I buy music, I give them money and they give me a high quality MP3 that I can do whatever I want with. And all the meta tags are perfect, which by itself is worth the price. Give me a system that works the same way for movies and I'd gladly pay for it. Give me a high quality video file, preferably in a known format (by which I mean both codec and file naming convention/meta tags) that doesn't require a whole stack of proprietary locks to play it and I'll gladly pay. Would be well worth it as such a system would have literally saved *months* (and counting) of work on my media center setup.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44965789)

If you can find the music your are listening to on Amazon, you're listening to mainstream. Sure it's easier to buy mainstream, but almost impossible to find underground stuff in a central store.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (1)

odie5533 (989896) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958777)

Does Viz release these shows in DRM-free downloadable formats? I'd imagine not. So even that one falls under the convenience category.

Only very rarely is media released in DRM-free downloadable formats. Baen Ebooks, Tor/Forge, and Louis CK's shows are the most popular examples I know of, but it is very rare. I can think of no broadcasted or cable television show that allows it.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (2)

_KiTA_ (241027) | 1 year,24 days | (#44963957)

Does Viz release these shows in DRM-free downloadable formats? I'd imagine not. So even that one falls under the convenience category.

Only very rarely is media released in DRM-free downloadable formats. Baen Ebooks, Tor/Forge, and Louis CK's shows are the most popular examples I know of, but it is very rare. I can think of no broadcasted or cable television show that allows it.

I was actually speaking of the comics, not the cartoons. The great unforgivable sin was that Viz wanted something like $0.25 a chapter and had a 2 week delay (which has since been lowered to same day) release lag. The "pro-piracy" arguments were hilarious, and stupid. [mangafox.me]

Or as I said before -- blubbering, entitled Manchildren. Especially when you consider the company they're defending, NOEZ, has made a fortune ripping off Japanese and US IP for years now. [batoto.net]

Anyway, DRM is no excuse. If a company wishes to sell you something with some restrictions, well, that's their right. It might be considered wrong, but oh well. That's where we're at as a culture right now -- casual theft has led to the point where companies have to put at least a token effort into protecting their goods.

It does not mean people have the right to steal it just to spite them.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (0)

ultranova (717540) | 1 year,24 days | (#44964403)

If a company wishes to sell you something with some restrictions, well, that's their right.

A company has a right to make an offer. But I have no obligation to accept. Nor do I have an obligation to care about corporate wishes. Why on Earth should I?

And no, just because they paid good money to get laws passed does not oblige me to do anything besides laugh as they fail to have any effect.

It does not mean people have the right to steal it just to spite them.

We're talking about copyright law, not property law. Copyright violation is not theft, nor is it morally wrong, and that's why copyright law is ignored by pretty much everyone. It does, however, serve as a fine case study just where the limits of coercive authority are.

It'll also be interesting to see how the society is affected as generations who're used to simply ignoring unjust laws make up larger and larger proportion of people.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44959341)

Having bought a number of Naruto DVDs once available after downloading the fansubs, I'd argue part of the whining is that the fansubs were often higher quality translations. For series that I downloaded while a broke college student, I generally tried to buy the legitimate DVDs once I had a job, but for some (Prince of Tennis being the most egregious) the official subtitling was so much poorer than the fansubs, that I started to feel cheated paying for an inferior product.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44959831)

Having bought a number of Naruto DVDs once available after downloading the fansubs, I'd argue part of the whining is that the fansubs were often higher quality translations. For series that I downloaded while a broke college student, I generally tried to buy the legitimate DVDs once I had a job, but for some (Prince of Tennis being the most egregious) the official subtitling was so much poorer than the fansubs, that I started to feel cheated paying for an inferior product.

I recall this being somewhat true for Full Metal Alchemist as well (though I think they may have upped their efforts on Brotherhood). I'm not a fan and really haven't seen anything but a few 5 minute clips on Adult Swim, but I've heard the official Bleach translations are bad enough that they literally have changed the story. Even if you aren't a fan I can see how that would piss them off.

Fansubs are a lot of work, this is work people are doing for free, because they love the product. Often these titles weren't available back when the fans jumped in. Many sites pulled them once Funcom or whoever started selling them stateside, but it's a bit like Warner Brothers going around and crushing every 9 year old's Harry Potter fansite before the release of the first movie. You simply don't do stuff like that if you don't want to alienate a large portion of your most passionate fans. In most cases these companies are not even the source of the material, they've just paid the actual producers a lot of money to sell it. It's bad enough to be just a middle man, if you're a middle man that attacks fans, I'm pretty sure you're going to be universally disliked.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | 1 year,24 days | (#44960121)

I would agree with that...to a point. One thing we have seen over and over in economics is there is a "sweet spot" when it comes to pricing and ease of use and when that sweet spot is ignored then a black market appears to serve those customers you are foolishly ignoring.

Take video games as an example. While of course lower prices equal more sales there is a point where continuing to lower the price doesn't increase sales simply because all of those that want the product have gotten the product by then. Watching game sales that release sales figures here is what I have observed...for indie games the sweet spot seems to be between $2-$5, unless its mobile in which case its a buck. For big name titles it really depends on how niche the game is, for example a Mirror's Edge or a God sim like Populus seem to do best in the $10-$20 price range while something more accessible to a general audience, your Saints Rows and Borderlands seem to do best in the $20-$40 but the SMART publishers go for the lower end of that curve and make up the difference in impulse buy DLC, your costumes in both and expansions in Borderlands.Finally you have those games with a VERY short shelf life, your Call Of Honor: Gears Of Killzone Halo Edition where everybody buys it for the MP which is quickly dead when the next come out and those can sell a huge amount in the $40-$60 range simply because if you don't buy at release when the next title comes out the previous one quickly becomes a ghost town.

But if you ignore those sweet spots then piracy WILL jump off the scale because time and time again we have seen when a large part of the market isn't being served a black market WILL arise to serve those customers. We have seen this in everything from piracy to Chinese knock offs of popular electronics, if the people think the price for a tablet should be between $100-$150 and the big names all push $400 then somebody WILL come along and give all those potential customers what they want.

I think where most industries seriously fuck up is by saying "Oh if you refuse to bend over and give us every cent we think our precious shit is worth (or that we require to pump up our stock price, see the former head of EA saying games should be $100) then you are the evil and should be destroyed" when in reality a black market is simply a signal that you are doing SOMETHING WRONG, your price is too high, your product has ease of use issues, there is something driving your potential customers across the street to the black market, you fix that issue? Watch the money train pull in.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (1)

cristiroma (606375) | 1 year,24 days | (#44964547)

Piracy drops because sharing on torrent is pointless (unless you are a linux distro or some sort of big chunk of data).
In my experience most people don't WANT TO PAY! And that's why 99% of the torrents are breaking copyright rules.
Because an album costs between 15$ and $40 in countries where average salary is $250 and where is $2500 (and gives $1 to the artist). Would you pay like 10% of your montly income for an album?
I'm very sure the way of distributing music will change [theoatmeal.com]

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958765)

I'm not (yet) laughing, but a certain independent artist named Madonna is reported to be among the first to sign on.

capcha: unionize

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44958857)

she is like 50, has a grown daughter, yesterday's news, etc

way past her coolness and needs any way she can to get some hype

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44958827)

Nobody is laughing. The moment some publishers like Tor started distributing e-books without DRM, there was an increase in e-book sales from these publishers. The Amazon Gateway sort of distorts this a bit, but outside the kindle world (i.e. in the open epub world) it is easier to notice such things.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (2)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | 1 year,24 days | (#44961081)

If, without warning, software stops me halfway through to demand money (i.e. partway through the game or music) I'll pirate it every time out of spite. That's a giant "fuck you" to the consumer.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44961723)

I don't know, there are definitely better ways than other to do this than others. Spiderweb software actually does this well I think. After something like 20 hours of gameplay you get to a point where you can't go past. You know this ahead of time though. If it's a timed event, that does stink, it's jarring and degrades the product. The key is to make you want to give them the money. Make it an emotional buy and it bypasses the logic filter.

Is this the same honor system that keeps artists (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | 1 year,24 days | (#44962947)

Is this the same honor system that keeps artists from becoming tax dodgers the moment they got it make?

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958453)

Well, either there is a crappy DRM scheme (which won't actually stop anybody for very long) or there isn't, in which case people won't be stopped at all.

So, sounds like bullshit to me either way.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958847)

I would imagine that they hold the decryption key on the servers for the pay content, and only send it to you when you fulfill the terms of the bundle. That's not DRM, that's encryption, and it works.

Or they could be stupid. Either way.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (1)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958929)

I would imagine that they hold the decryption key on the servers for the pay content, and only send it to you when you fulfill the terms of the bundle. That's not DRM, that's encryption, and it works.

Or they could be stupid. Either way.

Unless that encryption is built into the media players (ie "DRM"), it can obviously only protect the content as far as the first decryption. After that, the content is free from decryption and it can easily be redistributed.

- Jesper

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958965)

Sure. Pirates are gonna pirate, after all.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (1)

MtHuurne (602934) | 1 year,24 days | (#44960825)

True, but is that really a problem? DRM has, as far as I know, never been successful in preventing pirate versions from being posted. The goal should be that artists get paid, not to have zero piracy. Having an additional way to distribute content which includes payments to the artist will help, if it is convenient enough.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (1)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | 1 year,24 days | (#44960947)

Question is: is it convenient enough?

When speaking of torrents, why download the "paywalled" version if the free one is right next to it?

I know I would opt for a paid version; albeit from a different channel. But I just don't see the current bunch of torrent users picking the paywalled version over a pirated. They're often (with exceptions naturally) people who don't care about the ethics and morality concerning intellectual property...

In fact, some of them will go to great lengths defending their position by claiming it's really all just "data" and "information" which should be "free" to begin with, so the evil big corporations really should burn in hell for wanting money for it in the first place ... ish.

I welcome any initiative which has the potential to channel money to the artists. But this? I just don't see it.

- Jesper

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44961825)

Torrents can be distributed through sources other than TPB. Some larger software already uses a distributed model, it could just be a private tracker and a separate client like the Amazon downloader. Building the tool doesn't mean the same as building the platform. It's just a protocol enhancement, not a platform. You'll probably see this used more as a way for bigger fish to offload their bandwidth usage to the end user so that the cost gets transferred to the infrastructure.

Re: What stops people from redistribution? (1)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | 1 year,24 days | (#44963131)

I tend to agree with the basic premise of your argument.

It remains to be seen if they will find enough people downloading and seeding it though. Without people actually downloading these files and seeding them the whole plan is dead in the water.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (1)

MtHuurne (602934) | 1 year,24 days | (#44962157)

Question is: is it convenient enough?

There is not enough information out there yet to say. I think a lot will depend on how well the client is written and how easy the payment procedure is.

Another question is whether they will insist on people using their client or open up the format for inclusion in third party media players etc.

When speaking of torrents, why download the "paywalled" version if the free one is right next to it?

I know I would opt for a paid version; albeit from a different channel. But I just don't see the current bunch of torrent users picking the paywalled version over a pirated. They're often (with exceptions naturally) people who don't care about the ethics and morality concerning intellectual property...

I don't think these bundles would be very popular on The Pirate Bay, but they could be distributed via the artist's own site or via a store/portal/search engine that only contains these bundles etc. Studies have shown that a lot of the big media consumers both pay and pirate. Of course there are people who will never pay for anything, but there are also a lot of people who will pay in the right circumstances.

In fact, some of them will go to great lengths defending their position by claiming it's really all just "data" and "information" which should be "free" to begin with, so the evil big corporations really should burn in hell for wanting money for it in the first place ... ish.

A lot of people don't realize how much effort it takes to create something of decent quality, because they've never tried it themselves. As for opposing the megacorps, that sounds like an excuse to me. If you're really serious about undermining the power of the MPAA/RIAA, don't pirate their stuff, but buy from indies instead.

I welcome any initiative which has the potential to channel money to the artists. But this? I just don't see it.

I have no idea whether it will be successful. It does have some advantages: The peer-to-peer nature of BitTorrent means artists without a big budget can get their works distributed without having to pay for a lot of bandwidth. And if the unlocking works as I expect - buying a decryption key from a server - the reward for buying the content is immediately available, since the files are already on your harddisk.

Re: What stops people from redistribution? (2)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | 1 year,24 days | (#44963085)

Perhaps.

But buying a key means everybody gets the same key (since they have the same file) or that the decryption is a mix of home brew stuff - and such things are eventually cracked. Especially on the PC.

The only argument I can find against cracking the key system or distributing the key, is the fact thatost likely someone will distribute the decrypted content anyway, so perhaps nobody will take the time to crack the system.

It's not a very compelling argument though ...

Re: What stops people from redistribution? (1)

MtHuurne (602934) | 1 year,23 days | (#44967361)

The key distribution system can be secured, since it resides on the server side and the server is in the hands of someone trusted by the rights owner. The key itself cannot be secured, since it is needed on the end user's machine to unlock the content. It could be hidden within the client, but that could be cracked. This comes down to the fundamental problem of DRM: you cannot both let the end user have the content for the purpose of playing it and not have the content for the purpose of copying it.

But looking at it from a security point of view is the wrong approach: there is no direct harm from unauthorized people accessing the content; these are not secret documents. The harm comes from too many people deciding not to pay for it. The solution therefore is in influencing the decision to pay for the content.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (1)

ultranova (717540) | 1 year,24 days | (#44964507)

The goal should be that artists get paid, not to have zero piracy.

In that case, why have DRM at all? Simply ask for donations. Since DRM is not effective, people are not going to pay anyway unless they feel like it, so why annoy them and lower your chances? Instead, focus on making as many payment methods available as possible, from credit cards to Paypall to Bitcoin.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (1)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958933)

Meant DRM ... obviously ... :-)

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (1)

The Cat (19816) | 1 year,24 days | (#44961119)

Piracy has failed.

Digital music is being sold well into the ten figures on iTunes/Amazon.

Digital games are being sold well into the nine figures on Steam/Google/iTunes.

Digital books are being sold well into the eight figures on Amazon/BN/iTunes.

Then there's Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, satellite radio, game consoles, etc. etc. etc.

If piracy were such a big issue, all of these things would be downloaded free, and nobody would be making money. The truth is piracy is very small, and the market for digital entertainment is very large.

Plus, keeping up with all the entertainment the market wants is a hell of a lot of work. Not many people want to do a hell of a lot of work for free. Even for piracy.

So go ahead and pirate all you want. The people making those products are still making money every day.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (1)

SigmundFloyd (994648) | 1 year,24 days | (#44961531)

You really don't know what the fuck you're babbling about.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (1)

The Cat (19816) | 1 year,24 days | (#44961897)

Sounds like butthurt.

Re:What stops people from redistribution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44961217)

Seeding CRM protected files has newer been difficult. It just so happens nobody wants to download them ...

- Jesper

How do you protect content files using Microsoft Dynamics?

Spent 5 minutes looking for details... (1)

malakai (136531) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958419)

Anyone know how this works? Is the content encrypted in such a way that there are millions of secret keys that can unlock the secure payload?

Re:Spent 5 minutes looking for details... (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | 1 year,24 days | (#44961571)

Well, the details are sparse. Being that it's bettorrent what we know is that there will be two versions of the content, the secure payload, and the superior ripped version without DRM which is freely available from ThePirateBay.

Nope (1)

Flipstylee (1932884) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958431)

This is a step back. This will be exploited/cracked/patched to hell and back, especially if the bulk is kept client-side. This is DRM. Every lock is built around the key, nothing is perfectly secure.

I hope it helps the artists though, i know musicians everywhere get fucked severely by the "record companies".

Re:Nope (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958485)

This is a step back. This will be exploited/cracked/patched to hell and back, especially if the bulk is kept client-side. This is DRM. Every lock is built around the key, nothing is perfectly secure. I hope it helps the artists though, i know musicians everywhere get fucked severely by the "record companies".

Theoretically (especially for 'release promotion' type stuff, where longevity is not a concern and awful 'analytics' people are probably salivating over the numbers) the plan might call for a server-side component(which would allow both tracking of interested users and allow the bittorrent-distributed component to be incomplete and thus not crackable on its own). That wouldn't stop the trivial redistribution of de-crippled copies once one person takes one for the team and complies with the demands of the package; but if 99% is distributed as a torrent, for cost reasons, and the last 1% has to be obtained from the TLS-authenticated server of the distributing party, it might not be possible to open the package without jumping through whatever hoops that server stipulates. Not that it really matters, though, since it's either all client-side, and thus breakable, probably easily, or it's partially server-side, in which case you just need one good copy in the wild and then you distribute that.

Re:Nope (1)

Shavano (2541114) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958523)

If it's partly server side, the file you download after paying can be digitally marked with your identifying information and when thousands of copies of that turn up in the hands of third parties or on a torrent, they can go after the person who paid for it for illegal file sharing.

Re:Nope (1)

Lumpy (12016) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958811)

Yeah, that fingerprint crap is easy to strip out. Amazon mp3 files have it and you can easily download several tools to scrub the watermarking information out.

Re:Nope (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958947)

If it's partly server side, the file you download after paying can be digitally marked with your identifying information and when thousands of copies of that turn up in the hands of third parties or on a torrent, they can go after the person who paid for it for illegal file sharing.

True enough, which creates the embarrassing perverse incentive for the hypothetical release group to pay with the credentials of the most hapless, sympathetic, ma_and_pa_clueless@AOL.com people they can find, just to see if the rightsholder will take the bait and sue the ostensible leakers...

Re:Nope (1)

Shavano (2541114) | 1 year,23 days | (#44969517)

Which has the side effect of potentially drawing down a world of shit on innocent third parties. Classy.

Re:Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44958531)

But this is more of a system that is used to make it simpler for people TO get stuff in the first place.
People generally turn to torrents because it is a no-fuss system.

If this adds a very simple layer on top of it, it might lessen "the damage done", you could say.
It is still a better system than the publishing mafia.

Personally I would prefer some new digital currency that could be used to buy these things trivially.
So the longer you keep the program running to seed, the more money you will also get from it to buy paywalled content too.
It is win-win since everyone gets what they want without any hassles.

Spl (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44958439)

I think its 'Ferriss'

Prediction (1)

GeekWithAKnife (2717871) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958465)

IMHO this will fork BitTorrent.

Re:Prediction (1)

blueg3 (192743) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958741)

Fork what? BitTorrent the client? There are already tons of BitTorrent clients. BitTorrent the peer-to-peer sharing protocol? It's already a protocol built mostly out of optional extensions and client-specific additions. BitTorrent the conceptual network in which the protocol operates? The "networks" of different torrents are completely independent except for DHT. There is zero benefit to splitting it up whatsoever.

Re:Prediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44958749)

This isn't part of the BitTorrent specification or uTorrent. Rather it's a separate specification and program made by the company BitTorrent.

Ya Good luck with that (1)

CimmerianX (2478270) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958477)

If the entire encryption mechanism is stored in the 'bundle' it will be cracked. If the 'bundle' must phone-home to validate payment or something similiar, it will be cracked by the crackers, it will be abandoned by the normal public who don't want to have an 'always on' connection to listen to music. Back in the early 90's I would download these single level demos of games to 'try'. Looks like we've come full circle.

Re:Ya Good luck with that (2)

TheCarp (96830) | 1 year,24 days | (#44959003)

However it doesn't necessarily matter if its cracked, if the distribution method is easy enough and the content cheap enough (this cuts out a lot of palms) then its likely enough people will just pay for it to make a decent profit. After that, who cares about the deadbeats who share it for free? Its all gravy after that anyway.

I think one thing many don't realize, and some like the RIAA base their entire job on not realizing, is what LL Bean seems to have realized with their return policy: trying to stamp out every possible abuse alienates customers. Take a little with a smile and you look better and may come out on top at the end. It makes you look better to other customers.

Put it another way, it may be your right to put whatever restrictions you want in place, and you may be able to run a store where nothing is stolen and no merchandise returned unfairly, but if achieving that drives away customers and gives you a reputation as a pain in the ass that nobody wants to deal with, its not really good business practice is it?

In short, they don't have to stop abuse, they just need to make profit. If they can delay the abuse a bit and make it easy enough that people with money opt to pay for it.... then it hardly matters what the crackers do.... they and the people who download their warez were not going to pay up anyway.

Re:Ya Good luck with that (1)

Shagg (99693) | 1 year,24 days | (#44965283)

but if achieving that drives away customers and gives you a reputation as a pain in the ass that nobody wants to deal with, its not really good business practice is it?

It is if phase two of your plan is to either eliminate or buy out the majority of your competition.

Re:Ya Good luck with that (3, Insightful)

Somebody Is Using My (985418) | 1 year,24 days | (#44959189)

Alternately (and more likely), people simply won't bother with these bundles.

In other words, expect to see something like this for all these "bundles" on your favorite torrent site:

HOT TORRENTZ* FOR MADONNA'S NEWEST SONG!!!!
          Comment 1: Hey, this is just a demo and it asks for money after 1 minute. Anyone know where I can download the full song?
          Comment 2: yeah, go to http://www.piratestuff.com/torrent1234.html** [piratestuff.com]
File size: 12MB Total downloads: 1 Seeds: 37*** Leechers: 0

Meanwhile, the usual torrent of the MP3 or AVI files without the bundled DRM will have thousands of downloads. Why should people waste their time downloading these bundles and then looking for a crack when it's available elsewhere without the hassle?


* purposeful use of "z" to make it seem cool and illegal, just like a real pirated song!
** not a real link so don't even bother
*** seeders are all the copyright owners wondering why nobody is downloading

Re:Ya Good luck with that (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | 1 year,24 days | (#44963171)

I have one benefit to society this brings about: It gives us a convenient source of IPs to blacklist from our REAL torrent applications.

Re:Ya Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44965815)

This!

why would i pay for anything on BT? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44958493)

the whole point is to get stuff for free
if i want to pay, i'll go to apple

So people will only hear part of the music (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44958503)

Then, if they like it, go pirate it from one of the MANY sites that hold the full version. Music is the easiest thing to pirate, simple "index of" search on Google.

Yuo Fail It.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44958527)

Sharing as a true "free-advertising" model (4, Insightful)

taikedz (2782065) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958533)

Describing the mechanism as a pay-wall probably does the feature a disservice - of course, one way of unlocking is pay, but it is stil possible to view free, and a more useful corollary as demonstrated in the article is that the artist can more effectively drive the user to a retailer of their merchandise (and a preferred one at that), or to their own store.

As usual, persons who specifically do not wish to pay money will not have to, but ensuring a store link for that particular content accompanies the piece in an otherwise free-distribution format

  1. -allows sharers to share, and recipients still have a no-pay way of viewing the material
  2. -enables artists to edge persons amenable to the idea of paying towards a store, removing the requirement of said consumers to proactively locate a retailer
  3. -which subsequently would make the act of sharing a real free-advertising mechanism

This could work really well, so long as sharing gratis and libere is still possible, and if artists using this can provide direct access to the specific item in an international store.

Re:Sharing as a true "free-advertising" model (1)

Sockatume (732728) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958713)

I'd modify you insightful if I hadn't already posted here, that's terribly astute. Ensuring that there's as little barrier as possible between the arrival of a copy of the song, and actually paying for it, is all this needs to do to be a success.

Once again, it is proven... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44958553)

...that the Internet is ALL ABOUT THE MONEY!

It wasn't always that way...

mod 0p (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44958589)

f;ucking percent of worthwhile. It's 3 simple steps!

artists, get over it! (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958691)

Artists who fear copying need to get over it. They fear the loss of what they shouldn't have at all. The ability to monetize a work by charging for copies was entirely dependent on the primitiveness of our copying methods. When good quality copying was an operation took lots of expensive equipment, material, space, and time, it was possible to regulate it. Now copying takes very little of any of that. There's no turning back the clock.

This DRM idea is ridiculous. It's Blu-Ray with unskippable commercials and previews all over again. Any one who accesses the walled off part, whether by paying or cracking, can instantly share a superior version with the world. What the heck were the creators of this file format thinking? Stop listening to the snivelings of these "great" artists who profess being completely unable to envision any other way to make a living from art, despite being so brilliant. Madonna banged out #1 hits and moved art in directions that no one else could, but she can't, or more like won't, understand that monetizing copying is dead? Is she stupid? Well, the creators of Bundle were stupid to listen to those artists. Of all the problems humanity faces. they went and wasted time trying to "solve" something that is both unsolvable and good. Now they will learn the hard way, as they watch their file format be ignored.

Re:artists, get over it! (2)

taikedz (2782065) | 1 year,24 days | (#44959039)

I consort with artists. I talk with them often. Small fry, who want so desperately to make a living from doing what they love. They fear for their work being lost on the net with no trace back home, and therefore no commissions, and therefore no pay.

I talk to them about Creative Commons. All you need is to submit to advertising and get page views. How many, when anyone can be an artist? Just get a part time job to tide you over. A job to afford making art, that takes so much time away from making art?. It's not as easy a sell as the more famous (and already rich) proponents would have you believe. Artists who are still starting out have to get every penny they can - not out of avarice. Out of necessity.

They're not in a big Studio. They're not funded by organisations. They don't have a paycheck. They operate independantly. Freely. Wihtout agenda. Isn't that the type of art we want to see? Isn't that the type of art we hold up as ideal? Is that not worth paying artists a living for?

I believe artists should be able to monetize the dozens of hours and materials they spend to create a work we can share at the push of a button.

The artists who are my friends: I also feed them the hot meals they still can't afford.

Re:artists, get over it! (1)

bussdriver (620565) | 1 year,24 days | (#44959851)

We are in a slow transition; but still in the old capitalist model so I'll address it from that perspective:

1) You can't always do what you want. A highly visible and vocal minority says otherwise (plus there is a lot of money to be made from all the attempts people make to join that minority.)

2) Hobby. When did hobbies die? Far fewer people have hobbies today. It is either a career path or nothing - when your hobby becomes an attempt at a career it is no longer a hobby. Many so-called hobbies today are just consumer activities; pure forms of entertainment - not hobbies. Video games are not a hobby, TV especially is not... TV isn't even brain activity (sleeping is a hobby if watching TV/movies are.)

3) Art and culture existed since cave paintings. No jobs or copyrights existed. There is zero reason it must exist in a way somebody could subsist upon it. It won't stop. Sure, we will have less bland manufactured pop... some of us would be ok with that.

Re:artists, get over it! (1)

taikedz (2782065) | 1 year,24 days | (#44960179)

.... a fair retort. May I respond:

1) Indeed you can't just do "what you want" - but when what you do is lauded and desireable, is it really that much to ask to be able to make a living from it? From a zen buddhist perspective, we could also simply do what we do and let people benefit from that without thought of reward, be that making art, tables, or farming the land. It works when everyone is as altruistic and zen-buddhisty - but it doesn't pay bills that are at a baser, more real level than idealism and philosophy.

2) I'll wager you never actually talked to an artist beyond firends who "like to draw." I'll also wager that you've never earnestly talked to someone who had an goal that was not aligned with your ideals for goals. Saying what they want to do is merely a "hobby" is rather belittling - we may as well state that anything we do before it becomes an idea of a career - planting tomatoes in the garden, knitting... installing an experimental Linux - is a hobby and should just be left as such. When a hobby becomes a career goal, you can't just brush it aside in your head. No, TV is not a hobby, and my hair is black, the point is moot. TV is however an industry that employes lots of technicians, accountants, writers, actors, cleaners, builders, journalists, etc. And in small doses is no bad thing either. If you can temper yourself, good on you.

3) Many activites came from humble roots, farming, sewing, washing, hunting, all of which were community activities that weren't "careers" or "employ" and were performed to maintain a community with no exchange of funds but the share in the fruits of labour. But hey, things changed, we operate differently. On the point of art, even if we disregard the "masters", there were also small time painters and sculptors milennia before the Internet. They still wanted to make it a living. They provide stuff we like, why shouldn't we give them something in return?

I guess in all of that, it can still be argued that things change, and the age of the paid artist may be drawing to an end. But isn't the point of our modern society to find better ways of being, to allow everyone the ability to work towards a dream - especially if its product is something we admire? (not that that is a requirement - we have scientsist spending vast amounts of cash on research that won't amount to anything useful but the sheer act of learning).

Re:artists, get over it! (1)

taikedz (2782065) | 1 year,24 days | (#44960537)

[allow me to apologise for my wagers - they are the snide insinuations of a slightly bemused person...]

Re:artists, get over it! (1)

bussdriver (620565) | 1 year,23 days | (#44973271)

There is a wide range of opinion and only the top few ever get attention anymore. I'm not heavily invested in this topic. I'm not happy with the 1 sided nature of the debate and how over the years the industry is turning Ideas into property; like some big land grab... after the wealthy claimed most everything else they are now taking away ideas... something intangible and more valuable to humanity than money. I'd make a ridiculous claim about religious ideas becoming private property someday...except Scientology has basically done that already.

2) I have had friends over the years who were poor starving artists (or at least quite underfed.) Stubbornly trying to make a living while following a dream that the society heavily promotes. A lot of people, MOST, don't have their dreams come true - repeating the farce may motivate a segment of the population who wouldn't be otherwise but it sets up the majority for disappointment. Naturally the few lucky ones are out there saying "it can come true" but it really is exactly the same as the winners of the lottery put out by the marketing departments with the same message.

I've known people who will answer "Movies" are their hobby with a straight face. TV is addicting, it does more harm than good - small doses isn't what happens. I'm not saying it should be an illegal drug but it's really not that far from drugs... and the attitude towards it should be more like recreational drugs.

keyword: WANT. We'd all love to do things we like and somehow making a living from it. I'm sure some people liked delivering ice to housewives during the day... but refrigerators took that career away.

Dreams by definition have no need for any form of realism. I've dreamed of being a superman like character; naturally, I grew up - I knew it wasn't realistic then but I don't fantasize about it now or use proxies like comic book characters to help satisfy the dream subconsciously (but such behavior is heavily promoted/exploited today.)

Our economic system and our technological progress are going to conflict more over time. Artists may be one of the many wage earning professions to DIE early... along with all the low level labor machines have taken over already. More jobs will be lost to the machines and the population continues to rise. If nobody needs to work for a living - eventually if we don't kill ourselves off, that will happen. Then artists can do their thing all the time... along with the rest of us. (although realistically, it'll be a combination of techniques from 1984 and Brave New World-- because there will always be alpha male control freaks until we start using eugenics. and control freaks will need to keep us busy doing something so they can get their control freak jollies.) Unless it's a war between nerds and killer robots (well, that is if we have any chance because only nerds would stand a chance.)

I wouldn't have bothered but you said I didn't know any artists. I do. I can make the argument and not be ignorant of the issues involved. Is life fair? nope. Are things going to continue as they were forever? nope. The end of wage supported art may only be temporary but should we be bending over backwards to preserve old things?? A new way may be found it might be quick, quite different, or it may take centuries. I personally don't find the mass produced "art" all that beneficial to society or culture - we have more than enough of it -- and especially TV/movies -- a 99% decline wouldn't harm humanity significantly. Jobs... sure, those people would have to find new jobs; but if you want to talk economics-- that is the issue I was trying to not get into... people will need job protectionism to maintain the system we have because there are not enough meaningful jobs--- most jobs are meaningless and necessary to our existing economy already.... we cant consume at these rates for much longer and surely not enough to properly employ the 2/3 of the world who are already improperly employed.

Re:artists, get over it! (1)

SigmundFloyd (994648) | 1 year,24 days | (#44961503)

3) Art and culture existed since cave paintings. No jobs or copyrights existed. There is zero reason it must exist in a way somebody could subsist upon it. It won't stop. Sure, we will have less bland manufactured pop...

Sure, and no "Dark side of the moon", and no Beatles.

The world envisioned by parasites sucks.

Re:artists, get over it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44967113)

Bad examples. Neither The Beatles nor Pink Floyd ever had a problem selling out stadium shows or selling merchandise.

Re:artists, get over it! (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | 1 year,24 days | (#44959937)

You make the same mistakes they do. I didn't say they shouldn't make a living from art. I said, they shouldn't try to make a living from monetizing copying. It doesn't work. It asks too much of us, that we should honor-- honor, since force does not work-- a system based on artificial scarcity, to the detriment of us all.

Freely. Wihtout agenda. Isn't that the type of art we want to see? ... Is that not worth paying artists a living for?

Of course it is. Are they and you totally unable to think of any other way to compensate artists for their efforts? You know, patronage? National Endowment for the Arts? Kickstarter? Indiegogo? Humble Bundle? Musopen, with projects to set Chopin free [slashdot.org] ? Ah, but you don't believe in any of those, don't think they work well enough. Or they work, but only for big names. Maybe right now they aren't very good, but I think they can be. Your artist friends should be asking themselves how to grow those methods, not asking how water can be made to flow uphill, how a spaceship can be made to travel faster than light, or how copyright can be forced to work.

They fear for their work being lost on the net with no trace back home, and therefore no commissions, and therefore no pay.

Now you mix in separate issues. Copying is one issue. Plagiarism is another. A 3rd is "anonymizing", the loss of information about the art. Copy protection can't protect against any of those. Many file formats, even old ones like mp3 and JPEG, have means to tack on a little arbitrary text data, but this can of course be easily stripped out. Automatic stripping becomes desirable the moment such features are used abusively, to add viruses or spam. What can protect against plagiarism and anonymizing is the storing of digital hashes of the works. Don't know who produced some work of art? Compute the MD5 or SHA256 sum, and search for that on digital notaries, which will have all the records. The notaries can date stamp and digitally sign the hashes as well. It really would not be difficult to set up free digital notaries. Biggest problem might be how to prevent them from being overwhelmed by spam, but if a search engine can do it, they should be able to as well.

Re:artists, get over it! (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | 1 year,24 days | (#44960749)

I believe artists should be able to monetize the dozens of hours and materials they spend to create a work we can share at the push of a button.

I agree completely. They just need to do it before they distribute the work. Once it's been distributed, short of an (impractical) NDA, it's out of their hands.

I would suggest a Kickstarter campaign. Set a target for public release under an open license, e.g. CC-BY-SA. Offer some bonuses, like signed prints—or whatever is appropriate for your medium—for serious backers. Post some watermarked thumbnail images so people know what they're getting. When and if the target is reached, distribute full-quality copies to all the backers.

Re:artists, get over it! (1)

geekoid (135745) | 1 year,24 days | (#44960863)

Some of the best art in the world where funded by outside sources, so I"m not sure what you think you are driving towards.

I am going to be blunt: that vast majority of 'art' isn't any good, and the vast majority of artists aren't any good.

If you want to make money doing art, then you have to do what people will pay for, or getting funding elsewhere.

" Wihtout agenda."
Of course they have an agenda

You can't stop redistribution; STOP ASKING (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,24 days | (#44958977)

All of you who are asking how they will stop redistribution of the unlocked content are missing the point entirely. [Many] unauthorized copiers have long been saying that they use bittorrent not because they won't pay, but because it's better. This is an attempt to find out if that is true. The content will wind up on bittorrent networks regardless of how it is distributed, so there is really no drawback. There's no reason why this should fail spectacularly because while this doesn't make it any harder to distribute illicit copies via torrent, it also doesn't actually make it any easier.

Re:You can't stop redistribution; STOP ASKING (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44960197)

It still may be annoying, and that will be enough friction to push people to prefer a stripped version.

I'd suggest they need some way to display/suggest payment information after the content. This would not be as annoying to people, and have a greater chance of spread rather than bypassed.

Whats the "bundle" format? (2)

mounthood (993037) | 1 year,24 days | (#44959085)

Does this bundle format need their client? Is there an embedded scripting engine? (what about security issues?) Is the content encrypted or just blocked? Does it phone-home to unlock? (on every use?) Do you know the price and terms before downloading it, or only after downloading and trying to use it?

I can't find anything on the technology at bittorrent.com or bittorrent.org, either with Google or browsing. I guess this is just another closed-source extension pretending to be "bit-torrent" so they can claim 170 million users.

Re:Whats the "bundle" format? (1)

cockroach2 (117475) | 1 year,24 days | (#44959461)

I was wondering the same thing. If it's some kind of DRM it's going to require its own proprietary player and will fail. If it's just a gentle reminder that, should you feel so inclined, you can buy this piece of music over there it would seem that this could have been solved with a simple ID3 tag.

DRM does NOT work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44959107)

Can we please move on now?

Jailbroken within a week (1)

kheldan (1460303) | 1 year,24 days | (#44960639)

Need I say more?

been there, had it done to me (1)

cellocgw (617879) | 1 year,24 days | (#44961251)

Really -- who here hasn't torrented something which turned out to be in an encrypted zip file or some such, with a little note that said "Just go to www.imasucker.com" and answer the brief survey to get the password to unlock this file" ?

Re:been there, had it done to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#44964575)

Yeah those are instant deletes and imasucker.com is more like www.IreallyWantToSee50VirusInstallAttempts.com

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?