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Hardware Copy Protection Battles

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the shot-heard-round-the-world dept.

Technology 375

substatica writes: "Law.com is running this article on the content industry working to convince congress that not introducing hardware copyright protection ( as well as copy protection built into OS, Software, Web Browsers and Routers ) would eventually lead to the "industry's destruction", as put by Michael Eisner. We've been able to copy VHS for over a decade and they're still making movies. Does anyone really think that the movie industry will be eradicated due to copyright infringment?" Consideration of the SSSCA has been put off a few months, but it will be back. The Register covers one part of the split between content and hardware with this story about Philips getting more uppity about their Compact Disc logo, a follow-up to this story. The Reuters article that the Register refers to is here.

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375 comments

Calculus (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2864880)

Once again, I must admit to being in love with integration.

Re:Calculus (-1)

Tasty Beef Jerky (543576) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864905)

Damn, I'm losing my touch.

Probably because my brain didn't engage when I woke up this morning

Speaking of which, I had another strange dream last night. This time I was in an airport talking with some friends about watermellons of all things. Suddenly, the scene changed from an airport to the middle of a large field in Alaska (Don't ask me how I knew it was Alaska, I just did in my magical dream logic). And my friends weren't my friends anymore, but were caribou. However, we were still rabidly continuing our discussion about watermellons. For some reason they seemed to think that the japanese style of growing watermellons in boxes make them sweeter.

Now this was all pretty strange, until one of my friends/caribou said that they couldn't agree until the Kaiser of Prussia called his mother and told her when to put the kettle on. Shortly after that my alarm clock started blaring, and I was awake.

Strange, huh? Well, now that I've told everyone this story I'm going to go ahead and claim this FP in the name of all trolls who experienced strange dreams last night. That is unless someone else has claimed it before me. If so, I submit to their claim and offer this strange dream up as a topic of conversation.

That is all.

Re:Calculus (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2864956)

Obviously, the first post is mine. It was my 104th first post. Wire Tap is the name, first posting is the game. I conserve my karma now, though, as the Slashdot editors are obviously against free speech now. What hypocrits.

Calculus posts, Katy posts, and Lum posts! All from me! :)

Re:Calculus (-1)

Tasty Beef Jerky (543576) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864983)

Sorry, but you were too slow to claim it. Much like all of the Americas in the 16'th Century, the weak faceless locals must be pushed aside by stronger colonial powers. It's all for the best.

If you valued your FP, you would have fought for it more strongly with an account. Because you did not, it was claimed by a stronger force. Your pathetic attempt to claim it now makes me laugh.

Unfortunately, that's a bad thing as I have to pee.

I'm sick of first posts (-1)

Tasty Beef Jerky (543576) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864882)

Therefore I refuse to get one.

Wait, I did

That's cause you all just suck

So essentially... (2, Insightful)

MiTEG (234467) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864892)

they're admitting there is no way they can beat the media pirates without a law requiring hardware copyright protection? Is it just me, or is that like admitting they already lost?

KAOS, ontopic this time (0, Informative)

kiwipeso (467618) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864967)

This is something my KAOS operating system deals with, I plan to use DeCSS as the DVD player part.
This doesn't help piracy, it gets you past the stuff you can't skip. (copyright notice, adverts)

It also tells the CD Rom drive to behave like a CD player when playing a CD.
It should then work like a charm, but if you want to rip a protected CD, just play from an external CD player and plug the audio out into your computer's audio in port.
You can then rip Mp3's or OGG if you're a /. freak

Good old Walt (1, Insightful)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864897)

I often wonder whether Walt would have wanted it this way. I remember doing a bio in 6th grade on him and how he grew up pretty much out of nothing in KC. He was an incredible businessman and loved to make a dollar but he also wanted to make people happy. I wonder if he would have been as possesive over Mickey Mouse as Michael Eisner is.

Re:Good old Walt (2, Offtopic)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864916)

I don't know. Let's thaw him out and ask.

Re:Good old Walt (1)

Tattva (53901) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864930)

I have read Walt Disney described as a control freak: he wanted to create a perfect, sanitary environment. I think digital piracy would have seemed far too out of control for him.

The real problem is that democracy in America is bought and sold, we don't notice it when two coporations with opposed interests battle it out, because they usually end of achieving a synthesis somewhere in the middle and the laws do not change very much. In situations where it is coporate interests versus the interests of individual citizens, we have the free rider problem: a company is big enough that it pays to spend some money on a politician to change a law, but no one individual has enough to gain from a law change (or to prevent a law change) to make it in his economic interest to contribute to politicians. Some people do it anyway of course, for idealistic reasons, but not enough to win against the likes of Disney.

Re:Good old Walt (2, Interesting)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864971)

I had heard differently about him. I heard that he really never had too much control over his company and that in the end his brother (Roy) was pretty much running everything. I also heard that he was an artist first and foremost. He may have had incredible business sense but he still was just an artist at heart.

I find that most talented artists care more about sharing their talent with the world than they do about protecting it to the point of hiding it. It is those with less talent (i.e. Mettalica) that insist on holding all rights. I think a lot of the business that is Disney nowadays is all Eisner. He saved Disney from the crap Roy had done but at the same time he changed it from an artists studio to a multinational conglomerate.

Re:Good old Walt (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2864945)

Correction: he wanted to make white people happy. He was a nice little racist and anti-semite. I know that in some of his writings he talked about what Epcot (Experimental something Community of Tommorrow) was meant to represent. It was meant to represent a future community which was free of the criminal blacks and mexicans which infest the inner cities. He quite specifically mentioned blacks and hispanics; this is not a troll or an exaggeration. I believe he also mentioned some stuff about taking away control from the jews, but I'm not sure on that. Yes, he was a great businessman, incredibly detail-oriented and perhaps altruistic at heart, but he had some character flaws.

Re:Good old Walt (2, Insightful)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865032)

I apologize for whatever moderator rated you a Troll. The truth is that I think that some of what you say may be true but you have to remember he came from a different time. You have to remember that he grew up before Martin Luther King, before Rosa Parks and the other great black leaders who helped make the US (and the world) a better, more tolerant place to live. That doesn't make it right but it does explain a little.

You also have to know that a lot of the controversial stories he based his cartoons on (Tarzan, Brair Rabbit, etc.) were not written by him.

Re:Good old Walt (-1)

Carp Flounderson (542291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864988)

I heard he had an enourmous gaping ass hole... in fact I seem to remember some pictures going around... anyone have the link?

Re:Good old Walt (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865045)

as possesive over Mickey Mouse as Michael Eisner is.

That's Mickey Mouse©

--Mike

Argh!! (5, Insightful)

b_pretender (105284) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864898)

It's not Copyright protection!! It doesn't protect copyrights.

Call it Copy prevention because that's what it does!! Perhaps Copy interference even.

Re:Argh!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2864982)

You're making my nipples hard, Clark. Just thought you'd like to know.

Re:Argh!! (2, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865086)

Sure it is, it's supposed to muck up your ability to copy it right!

The question is... (5, Insightful)

ILikeRed (141848) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864907)

does the industry deserve saving? Maybe it's destruction would not be all bad. I guess we can all be thankful that there was no big scribe's union when the printing press was invented.

Re:The question is... (5, Insightful)

Cato the Elder (520133) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865087)

Parent got modded up as funny, but it actually makes a serious good point. One of the people interviewed for the article said that without this hardware copy prevention, "music could become a cottage industry in a few years." Guess what: tough shit. How would the world be a worse place if music was a "cottage industry" run by many small independant companies? Would we really lose anything?

I'm in favor of copyright, generally. I think it's worth it to have people who can spend their entire lives producing entertainment. But that's not what this battle is about. If piracy _actually_ started making it too hard to produce new content, then there would be a public backlash that would fix things with either a cultural or technical solution
This battle is about maintaining record companies and big studios place in the revenue stream. And they are becoming obsolete. This is like professional letter writers (yes, they actually used to exist) lobbying against public education because it would doom there buisness.

Re:The question is... (4, Interesting)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865128)

How would you classify N'Sync and Britney Spears? They have no musical talent of their own. They rely on others writing the lyrics and the music, yet many millions enjoy their music. In this case, the major record labels are needed in order to bring together a large number of people to produce the content. It's not like it's some garage band that already has talent, but lacks exposure.

P.S. I don't condone the existence on the above mentioned bands, it's just an example.

Re:The question is... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865101)

Maybe it's destruction would not be all bad.

Well, they did bring us N'Sync and Britney Spears, without whom I'd only have Lars Ulrich to boo.

As for Scribe's Unions, you've been reading The Truth, eh? Good book, but it's copyrighted, same way as lame crap is.

Re:The question is... (5, Insightful)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865131)

I guess we can all be thankful that there was no big scribe's union when the printing press was invented.

This analogy is broken. The problem isn't the unions. In fact, many of the entertainers' unions hate the RIAA/MPAA as much as the tech crowd does. Many performers (I have personal experience with musicians) are going broke while the RIAA/MPAA use their labor and creativity to rake in the dough.

The RIAA/MPAA are not the scribes, they are the purveyors; they take what the scribes do and distribute it to the public. The RIAA/MPAA are the ultimate triumph of the bloodsucking middleman out to make a buck, nothing more, nothing less.

Please don't blame unions.

Hardware and content companies usually the same (5, Interesting)

Ryu2 (89645) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864911)

If you've noticed, the trend in the past 10-20 years or so has been for the entertainment hardware companies and the content companies to be acquired/merge/etc by one another. For instance, Sony owns Columbia, Matsushita (parent company of Panasonic) owns at least a stake in universal, etc. Or on the PC side, Microsoft is doing a lot with NBC.

It's possibly scary because now, instead of facing inertia from the electronics firms in terms of integrating DRM, now it changes the economics of the sitation, because now it will be in the hardware companie's best interests.

I don't know about this, but could this be perceived as possible anti-trust violation? Could you imagine if Microsoft bought a stake of a major PC maker?

Hmmm.

Re:Hardware and content companies usually the same (0, Interesting)

Paradoxish (545066) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864949)

I don't know about this, but could this be perceived as possible anti-trust violation? Could you imagine if Microsoft bought a stake of a major PC maker?

Wow, and if they modified their OS to only run on that PC Maker's hardware they'd be almost as bad as Mac.

Cringes and waits for the flames and mod downs

Re:Hardware and content companies usually the same (-1)

kiwipeso (467618) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864990)

I wouldn't be sure about that, Darwin is originally intel based FreeBSD, all you need is to port Aqua and put Virtual PC in the system then you can get Coccoa OS X apps, windows apps & linux apps going in the same OS.

Good point (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865003)

Microsoft, bad as it is, is no where as restrictive and closed as Apple is.

"Think different", but only with our hardware, our OS, our approved dealers.....

Re:Hardware and content companies usually the same (1)

anonymous_wombat (532191) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865024)

Say what you want about Apple, but noone ever accused them of being a monopoly. Your business strategy is irrelevant if you aren't the dominant business in a particular area. If you don't like them, just buy something else.

Re:Hardware and content companies usually the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865107)

They're the only ones that make Macs. Doesn't that make them a monopoly?

The only thing that will destroy the movie indstry (1, Interesting)

ArcadeNut (85398) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864914)

The only thing that will destroy the movie industry is itself. They keep pumping out crap movies, over charging for movies, and trying to restrict every right we have when it comes to using movies. This will eventually come back to haunt them. Greed kills.

Re:The only thing that will destroy the movie inds (1)

anonymous_wombat (532191) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864978)

The quality of movies may go down, but profits continue to rise, which is all the studios really care about.

Doubleungood (1, Redundant)

Mike Schiraldi (18296) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864922)

Don't call it Copy Protection. Call it Copy Restriction or Usage Restriction.

Don't call it Copy Restriction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865044)

Don't call it Copy Restriction or Usage Restriction. It ends up doing neither. There are always ways around this thing.

However, I'm not looking forward to having to park a camcorder on a tripod in front of the HDTV in order to copy a movie (until they force watermark technology to prevent screen filming...)

Better names? "Copy Annoyance". "Digital Rights Hindrance" (after all, they are trying to get in the way of you excercising your fair use rights over the files).

My favorite? "Piracy Encouragement". The non-working Fast and the Furious CD from Universal only helps convince you that it is a good idea to not buy it and instead get cracked files off Gnutella.

My dick is hardware. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2864926)

damn it's already been copied [rubberddicks.com] . I can't fathom the idea of butt ugly women [tippergore.com] and dykes [rosieodonell.com] ordering my penis replica and using it with their friends in an orgy [lesbiangirls.com] fuckfest [slashdot.org] .

Oh wait, I like that VERRY MUCH! You go girls! W00t!

Disable Copyright Protection (1)

crumbz (41803) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864936)

Well, they have it half right. Hardware copyright protection is a pain to disable or bypass and would help [their] cause. That would work for DVD-RAM and the like imported into the U.S. But what about optical devices manufactured and sold overseas? How are you going to control that market, without resorting to shenanigans like strong-arming countries like the Ukraine. U.S. industry has to realize that it cannot dictate it's will to the rest of the world. See Microsoft vs. Chinese Linux.

important news for /. readers (REALLY!) (-1, Offtopic)

xX_sticky_Xx (526967) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864937)

2002-01-18 21:50:48 Xbox emulator trojan confirmed (articles,security) (rejected)

Well...I tried to submit this as a story but it was rejected within 10 minutes. It seems that the Xbox "emulator" featured on Slashdot a few days back contains a trojan (though it must be said that it is relatively harmless).

The trojan in question is called Badcon and causes unpatched Win9x boxes to crash to the point of requiring a restart. Info and removal instructions can be found here [symantec.com]

Well...so much for my karma.

-1 Offtopic

Let me get this straight... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2864942)

The worst terrorist attack in recorded history occurred four months ago, and now we're involved in a WAR and you people have the gall to be discussing the content industry working to convince congress that not introducing hardware copyright protection ( as well as copy protection built into OS, Software, Web Browsers and Routers ) would eventually lead to the "industry's destruction"???? My *god*, people, GET SOME PRIORITIES!

The bodies of the thousands of innocent civilians who died (and will die) in these unprecedented events could give a good god damn about the content industry working to convince congress that not introducing hardware copyright protection ( as well as copy protection built into OS, Software, Web Browsers and Routers ) would eventually lead to the "industry's destruction, your childish Lego models, your nerf toy guns and whining about the lack of a "fun" workplace, your Everquest/Diablo/D&D fixation, the latest Cowboy Bebop rerun, or any of the other ways you are "getting on with your life" (here's a hint: watching Cowboy Bebop in your jammies and eating a bowl of Shreddies is *not* "getting on with your life"). The souls of the victims are watching in horror as you people squander your finite, precious time on this earth playing video games!

You people disgust me!

Re:Let me get this straight... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865006)

Huzzah!

The return of a classic. I've really missed this one during its absence.

what's the real point? (1)

synq (55040) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864951)

The point here is that no matter what law gets passed we'll always find a way to get around it.

Do you really believe the record labels and film producing companies can get enough momentum to create an un-crackable copyrights protection system? I don't.

Maybe the big companies can pay expensive lawsuits, but I'm sure not going to buy a harddisk or other media that check's the content of whatever I want to put on it.

Re:what's the real point? (5, Informative)

Lysander Luddite (64349) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865075)

Sure there'll be a way around it. But it will be illegal. The way the system is heading everybody will do illegal things all day long. When you can't watch anything without fear of being arrested or paying a hefty fine, what do you do? When a population becomes subject to arrest at any time, what happens?

Bad laws have the effect of making more people criminals while simultaneously lowering the respect for laws.

Funny, I just got a letter from my Senator (5, Informative)

firewort (180062) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864952)

I just received a letter from my senator, John Edwards (D-NC) on this very matter.

He says "Thanks for contacting me to share your thoughts on the Security Systems Standards and Certification Act (SSSCA.) I appreciate hearing from you."

"As you know, this legislation, which has not yet been officially introduced in the Senate, would prohibit the manufacture of digital devices which do not include government-sanctioned copyright-protection technologies. A number of people have expressed concerns that this proposed measure is overbroad and that its restrictions on the duplication and distribution of digital content could be harmful to the technology industry. I understand your concerns."

"As a member of the Commerce Committee and the Judiciary Committee, I will keep your thoughts in mind should the SSSCA or similar legislation come before the Senate. I will also continue to consider ways to improve our copyright and internet security laws so they better serve the public. Your letter will help me in that work."

"Again, thank you for contacting me. Please let me know if I can be of assistance in the future."
"Yours sincerely, John Edwards"

What scares me here is, the continued work to improve our copyright and internet security laws....

Re:Funny, I just got a letter from my Senator (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865009)

You're making my nipples hard, Clark. Just thought you'd like to know..

Re:Funny, I just got a letter from my Senator (5, Interesting)

Lysander Luddite (64349) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865028)

This is the *exact* letter I got from my Senator that bothered to write me. I haven't heard from the other one (Senator Dayton) nor my Representative.

Is it possible that the industry already has a form letter written for the legislators or do all legislator's staff write the same thing?

Re:Funny, I just got a letter from my Senator (2, Insightful)

lunenburg (37393) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865051)

I got the exact same letter yesterday.

I actually talked to some John Edwards staffers in Raleigh back in September, and they didn't have any sort of problem saying with a straight face "So what's wrong with the current copyright laws? We don't have a problem with creators getting copyright protection for upward of 150 years."

They also didn't seem concerned about DMCA levels of protection given to copyright holders at the expense of the citizens. When I brought up the problem of DMCA-protected copy prevention mechanisms and a theoretical expiration of copyright, they shrugged it off with "I'm sure something will take care of that." Fits along well with the recent story about the last whatever kind of reel-to-reel tape drive that was being made. In 150-ish years when the copyright expires on stuff made today on digital media, do you really think the technology to salvage it will still be around?

So I'm not too thrilled with Sen. Edwards cluelevel, and would encourage my fellow North Carolinians to continue to try to either show him the light or vote for someone else.

Right...did you peer into his crystal testicles? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865053)

Or did he wank at you with extreme prejudice?

Re:Funny, I just got a letter from my Senator (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865058)

Well by security, he could mean many things, one being privacy, and and maybe a few things you wouldn't totally agree with, because like it or not, comprimises have to be made, the internet is no longer an anarchy.
And of course, improving copywrite could only be done by removing the DMCA because I personally can't think of anything that would improve it more. (Ok on that part I'm just fishing, but its possible)

reply! (1)

joshuaos (243047) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865114)

What scares me here is, the continued work to improve our copyright and internet security laws....

Agreed. I hope you replied with a sufficiently scathing and eye-opening letter, threating to contact every geek you know in his district, and recommend never voting for him again. ;)

Cheers, Joshua

Our industry under threat (5, Funny)

Sanity (1431) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864961)

With the recent advent of the "motor car", the horse and cart industry is seeing a new and fundamental threat. Our industry is responsible for a significant portion of US exports to our neighbours, and if the government does not take some measures to protect us, that revenue will be lost. We also employ thousands of skilled trades-people who will also lose their jobs if action is not taken to prevent these "motor cars" from destroying our industry.

We propose that all motor cars be limited to 5 mph, redesigned to eat horse-nuts, and regularly drop excrement on the road where others might slip on it. Only through this can our industry, essential to the American economy, be protected from these new dangers.

Re:Our industry under threat (1)

Tessera (551890) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865000)

Wait, aren't cars supposed to eat horse-nuts? Maybe that's why it won't run...

Re:Our industry under threat (1)

ender81b (520454) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865091)

<FLASHBACK>
1980's

RIAA say's Casette Players will Destroy their Business
by jOe Schmoe

RIAA has launched a major campaign to ban the use of casette players across america saying that the players will "disatrously impact the music business and put thousands of Americans out of work" according to the RIAA spokesman Mr. Iam Evil. He also goes on to say that those who do are 'thieves' and out to be punished to the maximum extent of the law.

The new casette player technology allows people to freely copy music off the radio, or from their friends tapes, without purchasing anything from record company's. The RIAA maintains that such flagrant copyright abuse is stealing and will doom the entire industry and demands that the US government immediately enact legislation forbiding the copying of music off of the airwaves and off of other tapes.

Sen. Owned b. RIAA (R-Ar-kansas) says that he immediately intends to introduce a bill aimed at putting all of these thieves behind bars and forcing radio stations and tape deck manufactures to introduce copy protection schemes into their products. Says Sen. RIAA "This bill is needed to protect the music industry and the American people from those who would steal music without paying for it."

Opponets of the law point out that such regulations would interfere with consumer's right to fair use of a product. Sen. Owned and the RIAA dismiss those claims by pointing out that "All this means is that you will have to buy a new tape for every place you want to play it, in the car, your home Tape player, a special "XP" version to play on your new walkmen, really nothing abnormal."

In other news today he Motion Picture Association of America began its campaign to ban VHS recorders across american saying that the new technology would ruin the music business...

</FLASHBACK>

Re:Our industry under threat (3, Interesting)

2Bits (167227) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865124)

It might seem funny to you, but don't underestimate the lobbyist of the horse and cart industry. They actually ended up winning something.

The vehicle code in California (can't remember the article number on top of my head) states that all vehicles (including motor vehicles, obviously) must carry a bunch of straw in the trunk (for the horse, what do you think?)

I stumbled into this when I moved to California 4 years ago, and had to go to the department of motor vehicle for a written exam. There was a question which asked about this obscure article, and the choices were true or false. I thought someone must be kidding, and obvisouly, I got it wrong.

Us vs. Them (5, Insightful)

phatdawg (22373) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864966)

Taken to the extreme, the only way they will ever ensure rights management (whatever that means) is to encrypt the data stream from head to tail. This is a boon for everyone involved. Hardware manufacturers will build new hardware to support encrypted content, software manufacturers will write software to run on that hardware, chip makers will make chips fast enought o support the new software. It's a win from top to bottom in the industry. People will pay per view/listen and the rights stream will be assured. The government will love it because they get to collect taxes. This is a Orwellian Utopia. Of course Michael Eisner loves it. The only person who gets screwed is the consumer.

Screwed is the right word. This will kill independent/non-commerical artistic work (you won't be able to use that perfect U2 song for your student film). It will cause a huge social detriment (If I hadn't pirated everything I could get my hands on ten years ago, I would be a administrative assistant instead of a network architect. Side note: I would also not be recommending the purchases of volume license of the program to businesses).

This is our society marching towards a new caste system. We are already being turned into one big sheep, consuming what we are given.

There is a huge solution, though... Let's turn the TV off and stop listening to commercial radio. Expand your horizons and listen to indy media. Take a walk or read a book, or hell, write a book. Stop playing video games and watching TV. Stop wasting life with instant gratification.

Mass media is the new religion (how many people attend the church of the West Wing every Wednesday?) and religion is a tool to keep the masses in check. How does that make you feel? How does it make you feel that Michael Eisner is using the money you paid for your kids to see the lastest proprietary disney fable as a detriment to their creative futures?

Re:Us vs. Them (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865046)

Stop playing video games and watching TV.

Don't stop playing video games, just the newest ones. http://www.mame.net

Re:Us vs. Them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865098)

Another thing: couldn't this make it more or less impossible to use alternative software like Linux also? I am quite sure they wouldn't give the codes that approves content to the public...

So one day we might wake up to a world where we are forced to run Windows and listen to Britney Spears? I will bulid myself a cottage in the forest and move there...

Also, what give the US goverment the authority to decide this for the rest of the world? It will affect the rest of the world but we will not be able to give our opinion in the matter.

Re:Us vs. Them (0)

Merconium (551470) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865111)

The reality is that Disney hasn't made a movie worth watching since Beauty and the Beast. That's exactly why they decided to do an IMAX release, IMHO. Must see TV is dead. ER won't last much longer with no stars. Friends has seen a small revival, but only b/c they shifted the market to the 30-smoethings that were watching 5 years ago. Consumerism is weeding out the shit, and in the end, will do the same for all of this stuff. You can easily buy excellent region-free/macrovision free DVD players, DVD-A just announced a digital output standard.... $$ talks and in the end WE WILL WIN. The real question is whether or not the artists involved will survive the debate to the end (read :Natalie Imbuglia, for example.)

Re:Us vs. Them (2)

IronChef (164482) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865122)

There is a huge solution, though... Let's turn the TV off...

Can I wait until 24 is over?

Movies make money (3, Insightful)

w.p.richardson (218394) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864969)

Movies will not be "put out of business" because there is a value added aspect of seeing a movie in a theater. The scents, sounds, and the experience are something that can't be duplicated at home currently. Even if I could copy movies perfectly and view them at home, I would still go to the theater because I like it, it's that simple.

Creating crippled hardware wont make any difference in my behavior, and I suspect that it won't change anyone else's either.

The added experience of the movie theatre (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865066)

Yes, there is that.

The stale popcorn covered with a gooey amber liquid related somehow to Johnson's baby shampoo.

The ticket-taking twit who directs you to the wrong theatre #4 where you wait for a half hour before finding out that the film you paid for started 16 minutes ago in #6.

Goobers. $4 a box. Can't beat that!

What is that stuff on the floor?

Give your lungs exercise yelling "Focus!" at the blurry screen.

Re:Movies make money (2)

realdpk (116490) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865130)

(Slightly off topic)

However, movies don't make a lot of money in the box office. From the MPAA's 2000 US Economic review [mpaa.org] , they state the new high is only $7.66 billion. Videocasette sales [mpaa.org] , at an average of say (guessing) $20 each, were only $12.4B (rental casettes are charged differently thanks to Blockbuster's efforts.)

Compared to telecom, Internet, autos, pharmecuticals(sp), etc, at $20B this is a *very* small industry. It's simply amazing how much control they wield.

Unbelievable shit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2864975)

It is absolutely amazing there still exists those idiots who believe something can be copyprotected. History has shown us that there is nothing you can copyprotect. Let's keep it cool and forget the morons!

Do they promis.. (2)

Weezul (52464) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864976)

..that they will go away if congress dose not pass this law? :)

Re:Do they promis.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865036)

You're making my nipples hard, Clark. Just thought you'd like to know.

The biggest problem I have with protection... (1)

malfunct (120790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864981)

...is that the proprietary schemes will be lost and we will have boatloads of information that we can no longer read. It is rather scarey that I might need to keep around my sdmi (or whatever scheme) player around forever because nothing else will be able to play those disks/tracks.

Life for Indie Films! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2864985)

No hardware protection will:
kill about 5% of Hollywood's business

However it will make the customers bigger consumers because we will finally be able to see:
1. Indie films!
2. Films from overseas (all those region 2-8 DVDs)
3. Films with original ideas and scripts

And seeing all those things will make us crave quality, and Hollywood will be forced to hire WRITERS, who can WRITE.

Film is an art form, dammit. Some art that is popular sells, but all that sells is not art.

Re:Life for Indie Films! (1)

Tessera (551890) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865038)

Yeah, which is why Hollywood opposes it. If we could actually see good Hong Kong films, why would you buy their newest mass-market packaged crap? They'll lose business when people see that there's better choices out there. "...and Hollywood will be forced to hire WRITERs, who can WRITE." Why would they want that? They might actually have to spend some money to get a real writer, and that cuts into profits. Keep the limitations to the viewing public doesn't know what they're missing, so they'll watch whatever Hollywood puts in front of them. We can't have artistic freedom or anything like that...

Has there ever been successful micropayment system (1)

gpinzone (531794) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864991)

The alleged upside of DRM to the consumer is supposed to be access to lots and lots of media that can be tightly controlled at a cheaper price. While there have been lots of failures (e.g., Divx), I have yet to see one succeed.

This kind of system might work. The problem isn't the hackers. It's the ridiculously high prices they try to squeeze out of the consumer vs. any perceived "convenience" their product is supposed to yield. Divx failed because no one in their right mind would go through all the trouble and expense to watch a disposable DVD when a "regular" DVD was cheap enough to own in the first place.

The only company that might be able to pull it off would be Microsoft with the introduction of their .NET architecture. That is, if they don't get greedy and expect to collect $199 per user to upgrade.

Providing shit for us to do since 1823 (2, Interesting)

mgandhi2 (455480) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864992)

As the article said, the process of setting the standard is going quite slowly. I find it quite humorous that the process for setting the standard is rarely fast enough to keep up with the process of hacking it. Granted, it may be more difficult to hack hardware. But it's still done. Take a look at how long a game console is released before it's hacked. I don't think that they can implement the hardware copyright on all digital media before a solution for this kind of corporate fascism takes hold.

On the other hand...if they do...we'll have plenty to keep us busy for a couple years!

Question about this... (5, Insightful)

SmurfButcher Bob (313810) | more than 12 years ago | (#2864997)

Philips had the great insight that it isn't copy protection, it's actually a "mechanism for stopping the playback of music", which it is.

"The Music Industry's" intention is to thwart PC playback until a later date, when CDDrives that enforce copy protection will be available.

My question - this obviously forces a spurious obsolence of existing CDDrives, for the sole purpose of forcing the above upgrade which has no actual benefit to consumers, and screws every existing CDDrive Mfg on the market. Doesn't this border on a predatory innovation under anti-trust laws?

I'd love to hear some insight on this.

-SBB

Re:Question about this... (2, Insightful)

coltrane99 (545982) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865021)

"Doesn't this border on a predatory innovation?" Only if there's a monopoly. These are oligopolies, so the antitrust laws don't apply.

Re:Question about this... (1)

acceleriter (231439) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865034)

It also makes all those spare 8X CDRW's you have now worth ph@t bux on eBay should this ever come to pass.

Mandatory Computer Upgrades? (5, Interesting)

e1en0r (529063) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865011)

"the Hollings bill would make it a civil offense to develop a new computer or related technology that does not include a federally approved security standard preventing the unlicensed copying of copyrighted works. In at least one version, the law would make it a felony to remove a watermark or flag from copyrighted content. It would also outlaw logging onto the Internet with any computer that removes or sidesteps the copy protection technology. "

So, if this gets passed, would we all be forced to upgrade our computers before we can legally log on to the internet? I can't imagine that most Americans would be able to afford this. Will the Cyber Police haul away Joe Poorman for not being able to afford an upgrade? And what about people in other countries? Could they use their old computers?

Re:Mandatory Computer Upgrades? (1)

SmurfButcher Bob (313810) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865082)

Actually, if they're really stupid and use the phrase "logging onto the internet", we'll be all set. My connection does not require any authentication for outbound connections.

heh, keep pushing that phrase :) Logged on! Logged on!

- SBB

Re:Mandatory Computer Upgrades? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865088)

Heh. Money can buy a senator and by proxy internet legislation, but not a senator with a clue about how the internet works.

~~~

Scary quote (2)

GreenCrackBaby (203293) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865014)

"It would also outlaw logging onto the Internet with any computer that removes or sidesteps the copy protection technology.


Tell me that doesn't scare every one of you.

Well then (2)

sulli (195030) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865060)

call me a crook, and throw me in jail, because I will NEVER, and I mean NEVER, obey this proposed law.

Re:Scary quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865081)

That's OK. I'll just "log into the internet" with that machine sitting next to the machine that removes or sidesteps the copy protection technology. Or, more likely, I'll be so irritated with the "content" "industry" that I'll ignore what they produce. Oh, wait. I already do that.

~~~

Hummm ... (3, Insightful)

TheViffer (128272) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865117)

sounds like a good time to buy Cisco since all routers, hubs, etc would also have to get destroyed.

I guess the old saying (joke) "The Internet is Down" would actually mean something.

Somehow I disagree.. (1)

glh (14273) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865022)

with one point-

"... not covered by the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, and lays the ground for the mother of all sue-fests with the number of large and rich companies who are most certainly not going to agree with him. Tin hats all round. "

Somehow I have a feeling whoever has the deepest pockets is going to with the lawsuits. Isn't that just about how it always works?? That and whoever squeals the loudest... Well we all know how the RIAA is!

They have a long hard battle .... (5, Insightful)

TheViffer (128272) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865025)

to get such "cops" into hardware.

Case in point, the serial numbers in Pentium Chips. Everyone from the biggest geek down to your 90 year old grandma was screeming bloody murder about it. So much that (I believe) Intel has stopped the practice. Or if they havent, the bios can quickly disable this "feature"

The problem with hardware is "who is going first". Answer? No one. Its suicide. If Intel came out today and said our chips have the new "super-duper-clipper-dipper-chip" in it that stops all copying of copyright material (work with me on this one). AMD's stock would FLY through the roof, people would flock to AMD processors, and AMD would be king.

Until there is either an extremely fierce law or just one vender who makes hardware X, it is nothing but talk and wants by some very uneducated people who believe that a computer can do anything. Well there partially correct, computers can do anything, but others (programmer, hardware manufactors, etc) can do anything to stop there "anything". Nothing is "unbreakable".

Re:They have a long hard battle .... (1)

alecto (42429) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865050)

You mean like IBM being out of the hard disk drive business for having supported CPRM? Don't get me wrong--I agree with you that this would be what happened in an ideal world. But, unfortunately, this issue isn't on the radar of the vast majority of people buying a Mac or a PeeCee with which to "get online" and to "help the kids in school."

The challenge before the community is to get the issue on their radar.

Vice President for WHAT?? (1)

The Cat (19816) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865037)

There's a Vice President for Government Relations at Disney?? o.O

Important words and phrases noted:

"control"
"undetectable yet traceable" (eh?)

I especially liked the delineation between "consumers" and "users" I think the term "consumer" is demeaning and borders on insulting.
Consumers don't make choices or think, they simply consume. bleh.

This debate must have the purpose of restoring balance to public policy regarding copyrights. One guy in the article had the answer, but no time was taken to explain it further: having a good site with the features people want, etc. will be popular. Agreed. Where is it? Until those services are available, the "content companies" should be working on them, not complaining about some grainy DivX somewhere, or some 20-year out-of-date disco mp3s.

Re:Vice President for WHAT?? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865062)

Yep. They used to have a Senator for Government Relations, but thanks to a well-placed tree, they don't anymore.

~~~

they'll do anything but pay for better scripts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865039)

Have you noticed? They put effort into every
area except writing better scripts. Special
effects? Yes. Fancy actors? Yes. Executive
bonuses? Yes. Better scripts? Absolutely not.

copyright is dead (5, Insightful)

joshuaos (243047) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865043)

We've been able to copy VHS for over a decade and they're still making movies. Does anyone really think that the movie industry will be eradicated due to copyright infringment?

The power of the internet is very different than VHS tapes. As bandwidth grows, and storage increases, no technology, with the possible exception of hardware protections (I for one think that widespread use of hardware protection would lead to an underground hardware market), copyright will not be able to survive. Copyright is a concept that only works when the medium and the media can't be separated. You can't separate a book from it's words, or a VHS tape from it's movie. Sure, you can copy it, but only to another medium. We now have a medium that is flexible enough to functionally separate the two.

I don't understand why anyone but the music industry cares if technology has made the business model of the industry unprofitable and unnecessary. I'm' sure the horse and buggy industry was pissed about cars, but I don't hear them still complaining (overused example, I know, sorry). Yet a lot of people actually seem to buy this whining about the death of the recording industry.

The internet is a big leap in human technology, and it's made a lot of our laws unaplicable. That's okay, lots of the laws that the founders of this country thought were a good idea, but we don't have around anymore. Why? Because things change, and the laws have to change with them. Copyright (and eventually the pattent system), are over. Deal with it, and move on hardware manufacturers/music industry/everyone else.

Cheers, Joshua

Left behind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865068)

Remember the dot-com boom? What if the politicians don't want to be left behind? They didn't pick up on "XML" as fast as they could have so that sort of venture went down the drain. Now this new "DRM" thing can cause all kinds of good stuff. Right? Let's help them understand, by writing our congressmen/women, that DRM is bad for us all and they will only be left behind if they buy into it all.

The politicians are there for YOU and ME, not for some self serving interest of a corporation. Make the point across that you aren't willing to give up your Fair Use rights for some corporate bully wanting money. If that corporation can't make money in the free market, they should revise its business model to fit that market. Not devise laws to fit that business model.

Get your popcorn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865077)

This might be mroe entertaining than some of the films the entertainment industry has put out lately (except Lord of the Rings)!!!! It will be fun to watch the lawsuits fly!

Good for Philips (1)

xX_sticky_Xx (526967) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865085)

I'm glad to finally see them finally protecting the CD logo. When I go to buy CDs I want to know that the profuct I'm buying is what I'm actually getting. IMO, a "CD" that won't play on any of my CD players but contains this logo is nothing less than deceptive and misleading advertising.

oh great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2865092)

Well performance goes out the window now doesn't it then? Open media file and computer then will: decrypt file, check for watermark, check to see if I am legal user, call home to super corporation that I am looking at the media file (also noting in a database what media I like to look at for business tracking), write a letter to my mom asking if I am of legal age to watch this media file, take my finger print/blood test to see if I am who I say I am, and then ask me politely if I am legal user. What the hell happens to the performance people?!

Re:oh great (1)

SmurfButcher Bob (313810) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865110)

You forgot the part where your webcam takes a look around to see if anyone else will be watching with you...

- SBB

Add some value to what they sell (1)

filtersweep (415712) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865093)

All they need to do is ADD VALUE to what they pedal- MAKE people WANT to buy it. Already there are audio cards that sample at over four times (@192 khz) CD quality audio - and at 24 bits... (and I'm NOT talking about oversampling... I'm talking hi-res audio, deeper bit depths) next we'll have surround sound. If they keep the quality so high and the files so huge, any digital portable copy will be a pathetic compressed comprimise.

As someone who works with audio production, I can only imagine the nightmare of production... production is all about manipulating and editing audio. I can't imagine having to unlock each audio track to edit it... but alas- when DATs hit the street years ago, there was a "consumer" version that was hardware locked with copy protection. All of my DAT interfaces now have a software switch to override this protection... and its entirely legal. I can switch over to the "pro" setting. I'm sure we'll eventually see the same thing.

Just a thought (1)

Faile (465836) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865096)

There's a lot of discussion about "watermarking" digital content in the article so the VCR or DVD player knows it's legal and plays it, if no watermark is found it wont play it.

What is there to keep people from faking watermarks? Or hacking the DVD player to play it anyway. Is there anything anyone can do to keep "the public" from bypassing something if they're given enough time and have the patience? Doubt it. Protection on protection over the protections, doesnt matter - someone somewhere will break it and then everyone else has a piece of the cake as well. Will they release a "new" and "better" DVD player then? And force everyone to buy it, because as we all know it's illegal to bypass digital rights - even if it's not done on purpose.
"But honest to God sir! I didnt know the DVD I bought was illegal, you told everyone that the new system with watermarks would make it impossible to pirate a DVD and since it played fine I didnt think more about it."
"You've broken the law according to the DMCA, you circumvented our protection when you played that DVD, and no excuses can save you."

I dont like the future, at least not this future.

The Great Lie (4, Interesting)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865103)

I keep hearing the same argument over and over again that I figure it deserves some recognition.

The Great Lie is as follows: Without us (your friendly neighborhood content conglomerate) the entire well of human creativity would dry up!

Let me elaborate. They're saying that without the RIAA and it's member companies, nobody would create any more music! Without the MPAA and the big studios, we'd never see any more new movies. The Lie is that without big, greedy corporations continuing Business As Usual, nothing new or original would ever produced, ever.

History proves otherwise, though. Already we've seen small bands create their own music and give it away online, just for the exposure. In a few years of technological advancement, any talented bunch of people will be able to make their own "Hollywood style" movie at home. Writings? Ha! People will gladly write free work on any subject imaginable [fanfiction.net] .

Heck, some people [somethingawful.com] even lose money bringing original content to the masses.

So you see, whatever happens, you can't stifle human creativity. No matter how hard you try. We don't need Them to entertain us anymore; and the only reason they're still around - the only reason they were ever around in the first place - is by our good graces.

Technology changes - businesses change (1)

dackroyd (468778) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865106)

The content companies...argue that failure to build copy protection into the very digital environment itself will lead to their industry's destruction.

And if it is built in then large corporation will control how almost completely how we get and watch our digital entertainment.

I will agree with the entertainment industry that the choice doesn seem to be quite simple, either they have complete control of digital entertainment or that they will have practically no control with very few possible levels in between.

However to put the options another way - should we put controls one the much larger electronics and communications industry, limiting their ability to (actually) innovate, restrict how people own their own property by outlawing people breaking in to watch [yahoo.com] DVDs they _own_ or should we insist that the entertainment industry does what every other business has had to do throughout history and adapt to changing times.

The Internet allows more access to information for more people than has ever been anticipated in human history....they must be able to figure out a way to translate bigger audiences, cheaper distribution and less control to make more money.

Top Quote from Telsa Gwynne [linux.org.uk] it's copy protection - protection as in racket.

Hardware copyright protection is already spec'ed (5, Interesting)

leto (8058) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865112)

See trustedpc.org [trustedpc.org] the "Trusted Computing Platform Alliance, or TCPA, formed by Compaq, HP, IBM, Intel and Microsoft.

It "trusts" the hardware from a special chip on the mainboard, which trusts the BIOS, which trusts the Harddisk bootblock, which trusts the OSloader, which trusts the OS, which trusts the software application, which trusts the stream. This is done through a "privacy certificate agency" that just identifies your pc uniquely (and really, we will not keep records of who you are, those will be destroyed after you've submitted your identity and we have checked it!)

Ofcourse, trust here doesn't mean that YOU can trust your PC, but that THEY can trust YOUR PC.

If this standard makes it, the opensource community has a big problem.

To risk stating the obvious (1)

coltrane99 (545982) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865115)

Hardware copy protection will not succeed in the market.

There will inevitably be overhead involved, where the hardware devices perform checks on file save operations to determine that copy protected files are not being saved or illegally modified without authorization.

As a customer, I'm not going to accept performance bottlenecks in my hardware for, say, my database server, just because the movie and music industries need protection against college kids on Napster v.8.

The content companies can't win this one.

killing bambi (3, Interesting)

wfrp01 (82831) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865120)

...not introducing hardware copyright protection ( as well as copy protection built into OS, Software, Web Browsers and Routers ) would eventually lead to the "industry's destruction"

Two things. One, such a statement is gross hyperbole.

But two, so what?! The argument IP proponents always make is that they need more and more government protection or their industry will suffer. Well maybe it should suffer. If you build a business method on an anachronism, you will, and should, suffer. You should suffer, because this is how the economy minimizes the amount of total suffering. Which is what lawmakers should really be concerned about. The economy as a whole - not particular outdated outliers.

The Problem is the "Content Industry" (2, Insightful)

Dan Crash (22904) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865127)

Maybe the problem is the idea of the "content industry" in the first place.

Those words show just how much meaning art has to these executives -- zero. "Content" is a way of referring to art as commodity, and it devalues both the artist and audience into sellers and buyers in a market.

Maybe we don't NEED an industry to feed us "content" anymore. Maybe we can make it up and share it amongst ourselves. Maybe we'll pay those of us who we really like. Maybe we won't be bamboozled by the bright lights of big money spectacles anymore. Without their ludicrously large promotion budgets, the Nsyncs and the Pearl Harbors of the world will fade away, replaced by new choices that mean something.

I think it's this future that we're seeing emerge, and I find a lot of hope in it. I think it terrifies the "content industry". And it makes me glad. Because to be successful, their content will have to become art again.

A Wonderful precedent! (2)

erroneus (253617) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865133)

He argues that the protection system is not a protection system as such, but simply a mechanism for stopping the playback of music. This interesting claim allows him to contend that the protection systems are not covered by the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, and lays the ground for the mother of all sue-fests with the number of large and rich companies who are most certainly not going to agree with him. Tin hats all round.

If they can manage to do damage using that particular argument, then DeCSS cases and anything related to it can also be won. "Playback protection != Copy protection"!! If the courts agree, then DeCSS's arguments will definitely hold the water in the courts. And then it may even break up the whole "playback license" issue as well!

This is an exciting case where two companies butt heads instead of "politician-buying-corporate-interests" vs. 'the people.' Obviously, the people no longer have influence... and that makes perfect sense since the people don't elect the officials any more... clearly, the corporate interests buy their people into office.

Yes! This is HATE SPEECH! I hate where politics have gone and that they forgot where they came from.

The Usual Suspects (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865140)

Companies are willing to spend millions to keep the customer base from saving $100,000.

Excuse me (2)

Convergence (64135) | more than 12 years ago | (#2865141)

`` Supporters of the Hollings proposal
don't couch the legislation in terms of
protecting embattled copyright
interests. They frame it as a measure
designed to promote digital content
and the use of broadband, high-speed
Internet services. If Hollywood could
be assured that its content would be
protected on the broadband Internet,
the argument goes, it would develop
more compelling programs for the
Web and spur greater consumer
demand for broadband.''

Excuse me. The single greatest spurs for broadband *ALREADY* exist; Hell, hollywood is doing their utmost to shut them down. They're Napster, Morpheus, Gnutella.

If it hadn't been for those programs, internet bandwidth would be a fraction what it is now. Furthermore, there'd be much less reason to PURCHASE broadband anymore.

Hollywood: If you don't put your own goods online now, where people want them, then someone else will do it for you. (which is already occurring.)
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