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Philips & Sony To Purchase Intertrust DRM Tech

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the which-cup-is-under-which-ball dept.

The Almighty Buck 191

tuxlove writes "Reuters is reporting that Philips and Sony Corp, the parents of the compact disc, teamed up on Wednesday to buy InterTrust Technologies for $453 million -- a deal expected to speed up copyright security for digital media. The acquisition by Philips Electronics and Sony of the leading U.S.-based holder of intellectual property in the field of 'digital rights management' technology is widely seen as a way to prevent Microsoft, which has been embroiled in a legal battle with InterTrust, from grabbing control of the potentially lucrative business. Philips and Sony, the electronics giants who introduced the CD format 20 years ago, said the deal would enable secure distribution of content as more films and music are sold over the Internet and other media in digital format."

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191 comments

first post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666510)

w00t!!

I just saw beck and the flaming lips (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666511)

you just saw an infomercial for dianetics.

If... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666515)

If their DRM is simply preventing people from illegally sharing or possessing copyrighted works, then I'm somewhat in favor of it.

The slightest breech of my "rights" to make backups and view them on any device I wish ends that feeling.

Re:If... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666729)

So, in other words, you're not in favor of it. Because you can't have both!

Corrupt CDs (5, Interesting)

yerricde (125198) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666519)

So does this mean that Philips and Sony are now endorsing the production of digital audio discs that partially violate the Red Book standard?

Re:Corrupt CDs (1, Funny)

Flyskippy1 (625890) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666553)

What's this? Another attempt to limit the power of our computers? When will they learn that our computers will do whatever we tell them to do.

Re:Corrupt CDs (5, Interesting)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666555)

I consider it much more likely that Sony and Philips will try and figure out a decent(1) copy protection scheme(2) that will not violate the Red Book standard. I mean, after all, they created the standard.

(1) I.e. something that can't be defeated with a Sharpie.

(2) As in a plot, which will no doubt raise prices of CDs or at least keep them from dropping, like they should be.

Kierthos

Re:Corrupt CDs (3, Funny)

Chris Johnson (580) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666963)

There's no such scheme. The 'foo' Book standards were from back in the day when media formats were invented to be read, not invented not to be readable :D

Re:Corrupt CDs (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666972)

What? If format is meant to be read, then it is readable. Readable = able to be read.

Now, if you meant "read-writeable", as in those days of yore when CDs could only be played and not recorded by every 1.43 college students, then that's different.

Kierthos

Re:Corrupt CDs (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666578)

So does this mean that Philips and Sony are now endorsing the production of digital audio discs that partially violate the Red Book standard?

No, not really. Read Philips' whitepaper on the subject [shorl.com] for more details on their position.

Re:Corrupt CDs (2, Interesting)

JeremyALogan (622913) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666589)

It might, very well, mean that they're buying it up to squash it. They have done much for the consumer in the way of our rights (such as forcing the different labels to NOT put the Compact Disc logo on discs that don't meet the Red Book standard). Maybe they're stepping up in support of THEIR technology.

Re:Corrupt CDs (5, Insightful)

sconeu (64226) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666673)

I haven't seen too much of that from Sony, just from Philips, and then only because CDDA on non-Red Book silver disks with music on them would be a trademark violation. Trademarks are "defend it or lose it", unlike other forms of IP.

Re:Corrupt CDs (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4667099)

I think that means they will be releasing a new standard soon.

This may not be bad after all (5, Interesting)

myov (177946) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666525)

"We come very much from the side of the consumer and we believe the consumer should have the right to reproduce content for their own use," said Philips spokesman Jeremy Cohen.

Your sig (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666688)

Does that include a boost in cockgobbling?

Re:This may not be bad after all (1)

1WingedAngel (575467) | more than 11 years ago | (#4667403)

Later that day, Cohen announced that Philips would also be marketing a full line of proprietary hardware and software designed to reproduce the new copy-protected CDs. TCO is expected to top $400.*

*This did not happen but if it does, I get to drop the obligatory "I told you so".

Chess (-1, Offtopic)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666527)

Bill is smart, but he's playing on a new board - in a different league.

The monopoly, playing black, put it's Queen in to play too early, and the Cartel, playing white, sacrificed a Bishop to put the black King in check...

Re:Chess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666616)

I'm like, totally impressed by your smartness...

css for CD's ? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666535)

Why do I get the feeling that this "inovation" will
end up with sony and philips adding css-like access methods to CD's. Goodby mp3 players.

Re:css for CD's ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4667056)

CSS-like? You mean like region-codes but zero copy protection?

Question... (0, Flamebait)

TheQuantumShift (175338) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666540)

Who thinks they'll notice us open source nutjobs not buying their "protected content"? Oh wait, I forgot, all us open souce nutjobs just want to "steal". Damn, I feel dirty...

Re:Question... (3, Insightful)

Centinel (594459) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666560)

Who thinks they'll notice us open source nutjobs not buying their "protected content"? Oh wait, I forgot, all us open souce nutjobs just want to "steal". Damn, I feel dirty...

Actually, the collective buying power of us "open source nutjobs" is a mole on the ass of the buying public. Whether we boycott or not, it won't be noticed in the aggregate against the masses buying Britney Spears and N'Sync.

Re:Question... (2, Interesting)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666569)

All too true. However, perception of artists can drastically influence album sales. Look at the whole R. Kelly thing. He had an album, which by industry and buying standards, should have been a major seller. Throw in a sex scandal, and it bombs.

It's all about perception. If the record companies, etc. perceive the "open source nutjobs" as a more significant force in the market then they actually are, then they will take notice. Of course, based on prior actions, they will unilaterally label all of them as "pirates".....

Kierthos

Re:Question... (2, Insightful)

F13 (9091) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666587)

while I agree with your sentiments I still think that change can affected. History shows that Superpowers can be defeated, the Vietnam war and the war in Afganistan with USSR. Global economics can be change, something people see as unstoppable but global economics changed after WWI and then WWII. So is it not possible to change the current path of DRM.

While open source nutjobs might not make up much buying power they can help promote a different point of view and educated others.

Re:Question... (3, Insightful)

TheQuantumShift (175338) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666626)

That's why I said "who thinks they'll notice". I'm also curious as to how many ACTUAL RETAIL sales of Brittney Spears and N'Sync (amongst others) there are. I'm sure any numbers the RIAA throws at us are doctored a little, not including those extra that retailers had to buy to get any at all... Aw hell, I'm drunk...

Re:Question... (2, Interesting)

SJ (13711) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666678)

Actually, the collective buying power of us "open source nutjobs" is a mole on the ass of the buying public. Whether we boycott or not, it won't be noticed in the aggregate against the masses buying Britney Spears and N'Sync.

Don't forget though, that all of us NutJobs are usually the "Technical Person" in our respective companies.

When I found out about BMG, I distributed a company wide email saying to be careful of anything produced by BMG because of copy protection.

I then defined copy protection as

1) Won't play on your car CD player
2) Won't play on your computer
3) Won't play on your older CD player
4) Can't be put on your favourite MP3 player
5) Can't be played on your DVD player
6) May not even work at all.

Sure some of it is FUD on my part, but I now have about 50 people consciously not buying BMG stuff.

We may only be a small group of people, but we have the ear of many many more consumers. Don't forget that simple fact.

Re:Question... (1, Flamebait)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666692)

Sure some of it is FUD on my part

I'm having a hard time understanding how this doesn't make you evil at all.

Or is it just that it's okay for you, but not okay for them?

Re:Question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666761)

Thank you. I just wanted to write something like you did.

The worst case scenario works like this:

1. You tell someone not to buy something because of X.

2. S/he will buy it anyway.

3. She will run to you for help (it doesn't work in my fooplayer!).

4. "I told you so, why didn't you listen to me?"

5. She is screwed and will remember to listen to you next time.

Don't believe the hype (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666975)

Online retail sales of cds are down according to a widely reported recent survey [bayarea.com] . The riaa of course blame "piracy," but the Mercury article points out that this claim is controversial. And they talked with John Steup of cdbaby [cdbaby.com] , a source of independent, non riaa recorded music. Steup claims his sales are up dramatically over the last year.

My take is that the riaa boycot is definitely in effect. The effect is being felt most strongly on net-based retailers, naturally so, because the people most in the know about riaa evildoings are also most likely to buy things online.

Do not believe the hype. Do not doubt your collective power.

The outrage is spreading beyond geeks. I am not a geek, and I won't touch a commercial cd nowadays--mostly because I don't want to be bothered with having to return it when it doesn't work. I also deplore RIAA politics and the way they cheat musicians. But mostly I just don't need the hassle. A LOT of people I know feel this way. Keep spreading the word.

Who would waste their money buying music... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666544)

...when people are dying of cancer?

Donate now! [cancer.org]

Re:Who would waste their money buying music... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666607)

we are born
we live
and we die.

get over it

This is more disturbing than goatse (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666551)

Warning! This is seriously disturbing.

Michael Jackson [reuters.com]

Link obtained from Drudge Report [drudgereport.com]

Re:This is more disturbing than goatse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666834)

Actually, you are correct, that is more disturbing than goatse...

What does this mean for future digital media? (5, Insightful)

Bjarne Bula (11937) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666556)

So far, it seems that Philips has been on the side of consumers when it comes to copy-protection on CDs. The big question now is what effect their acquisition will have on their stance.

More specifically, was their earlier stance just posturing until they could lay their hands on some "good" technology of their own, or will they continue to defend the CD standard?

Now, I don't expect Philips to be in the game to befriend the consumers, so it might just be that they want to keep others from doing too much with the CD format before they (and Sony and their other usual bedfellows) can launch their New and Improved(tm) digital media with a DRM system of their own, to secure future income and sew up the market...

Oh well, I pretty much decided to give up on buying music after BMG's announcement the other week. If they're so intent on actively trying to make it hard for me to use the music I pay for, I might as well just save me the money and trouble.

Re:What does this mean for future digital media? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666631)

Philips on the side of consumers? Uhhh.. Why the fuck haven't they done anything significant about other companies producing "CD's" which aren't really CD's? They may say, "Oh don't do that it's naughty" but as long as their pockets are getting lined, they don't give a rats ass.

Peacocks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666575)

Peacocks rule all over the place, a more ruling animal there is not.

Peacocks rule all over the place, a more ruling animal there is not.

Peacocks rule all over the place, a more ruling animal there is not.

Peacocks rule all over the place, a more ruling animal there is not.


yaaaaaa-hoooooong! (peacock call)

Re:Peacocks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666665)

Why was this modded 'troll' instead of 'offtopic'?

The only reason I can think of is that the moderat has a strange anti-peacock fetish, and believes some other animal is greater then the peacock. If this is true, I have only 1 word to say:

HEATHEN!

Repent, and mod this up!

Lesser of the evils (2, Insightful)

DeathPenguin (449875) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666581)

DRM's coming at us no matter what. The first standard to be adopted, good or not, will be what stays with us. I'm glad someone other than Microsoft may be the ones introducing it, as I'm certain that MS would do everything in their power to make it incompatible with rival operating systems. It seems to me that Sony and Philips would be more consumer-friendly with DRM than Microsoft would ever be.

Re:Lesser of the evils (3, Insightful)

muzzmac (554127) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666606)

If DRM can do what it SHOULD do and stop illegal trading, fine. The reality is most technologies stop me from using what I pay money for in VERY legitimate ways.

In FACT most often they don't actually stop me copying. They stop me from reading on something that CAN copy. Stupid.

Re:Lesser of the evils (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666614)

lesser of the evils.

whatever dude.

how about I say i'm going to take a hatchet to your left nut....or drive an 12" pike up your ass.

what are you going to say????

"well umm....let me analyze the lesser of the two evils"

while you are sitting their thinking about it...i'll whack your left nut AND drive the pike up your ass.

that's what happens to sheep like us.

we are nothing to these corporations....and they are going to squash you flat when you are already in the mind set that one is acceptable..because it's not quite as bad as the other.

we're fucked.

Lucrative business? The gatekeeper returns! (5, Insightful)

Ogerman (136333) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666594)

widely seen as a way to prevent Microsoft, which has been embroiled in a legal battle with InterTrust, from grabbing control of the potentially lucrative business

Q.) Why exactly would hardware companies spend almost half a BILLION dollars on a company developing technology that makes products less useful to consumers? Why would they go out of their way to conform to Hollywood's interests? A.) To become the new gatekeepers of media of course! Of course it's a "lucrative business.." not a very ethical one... but hell, it's all about the money these days, right?

Hopefully people will boycott this garbage and it'll go the way of the Divxsaurs. At very least we now have the beginnings of a new format war. Maybe competitors will crack each others DRM systems to prove them insecure and "leak" code through 14-year-old kids in northern europe. (:

Strange times we live in. Vote with your dollars folks!!

OPERA HAS REACHED BETA 7! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666652)

Re:Lucrative business? The gatekeeper returns! (2)

zurab (188064) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666660)

Maybe competitors will crack each others DRM systems to prove them insecure and "leak" code through 14-year-old kids in northern europe.

Competitors? I thought it was the function of the RIAA (and similar groups worldwide) to make sure there are no competitors and/or competition.

While it looks like this is another DRM solution, I don't think it will matter much for consumers. Nothing will prevent both DRM implementations to interoperate within each other and/or charge additional fees to consumers for such interoperation.

Vote with your dollars?? (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666747)

``Vote with your dollars folks!!''
I am a 14 year old kid in northern Europe and don't have any dollars, you insensitive clod!

Not entirely a joke (ITV / SKY Digital) (1)

Duds (100634) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666889)

Maybe competitors will crack each others DRM systems to prove them insecure and "leak" code through 14-year-old kids in northern europe. (:


A company owned by Sky (Rupert Murdoch satelite pay tv) were implicated in the cracking of the protection used by direct competitor ITV Digital amoungst others.

No-one prooved anything as such but it is seriously possible.

Repost (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666595)

By Jana Sanchez

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch group Philips and Japan's Sony Corp, the parents of the compact disc, teamed up on Wednesday to buy InterTrust Technologies for $453 million -- a deal expected to speed up copyright security for digital media.

The acquisition by Philips Electronics and Sony of the leading U.S.-based holder of intellectual property in the field of 'digital rights management' technology is widely seen as a way to prevent Microsoft, which has been embroiled in a legal battle with InterTrust, from grabbing control of the potentially lucrative business.

Philips and Sony, the electronics giants who introduced the CD format 20 years ago, said the deal would enable secure distribution of content as more films and music are sold over the Internet and other media in digital format.

Philips said the companies would start an open licensing program and would encourage content providers to use the technology, which can protect all digital formats, including CDs, MP3 and DVD.

The two firms said in a statement they would pay about $453 million, or $4.25 per share, for InterTrust Technologies Corp. The price offered is at a 26 percent premium to Tuesday's closing price for the digital rights management firm.

InterTrust shares in New York rallied 25 percent to $4.21 in early trade. Philips shares were little changed in Amsterdam.

Sony, the world's largest electronics group and a major provider of entertainment content, and Philips, Europe's largest maker of consumer electronics, formed a vehicle called Fidelio Corporation to purchase the company.

BOARD MEMBERS TO TENDER SHARES

InterTrust's board of directors unanimously approved the acquisition and board members, holding about 20 percent of outstanding InterTrust shares, agreed to tender their shares.

Some analysts say Microsoft may lose if Philips and Sony are successful at promoting the InterTrust technology throughout the entertainment industry because Microsoft's technology, called "Palladium," would have a tougher time making inroads.

InterTrust filed a patent infringement suit against Microsoft in April 2001. Philips declined to comment on the future of that lawsuit.

All the major music labels, in particular BMG, Sony Music and Universal Music have been investing heavily in copy-proof technologies to protect their artists.

As creators of the CD, the pair have previously locked horns with major music companies over the insertion of errors that prevented consumers from making a copy.

"We come very much from the side of the consumer and we believe the consumer should have the right to reproduce content for their own use," said Philips spokesman Jeremy Cohen.

Analysts said the deal would probably revive the technology of InterTrust, which has struggled to survive due to a very slow uptake of digital sales.

"All of the music the major labels produce is available now for free online, so there has been little call for digital rights management technology for online distribution," said Simon Dyson, analyst at London-based publisher Inform Media Group.

"But the joint involvement of these companies could mean a faster development of copyright protection and that's very good for the music industry," he said.

Dyson points out that Sony in particular, as the world's second-largest major music company, would benefit in terms of sales of the technology and protection of its CD format. (Additional reporting by Christopher Borowski in Amsterdam and Bernhard Warner in London)

Philips and Sony - A new era of coopetition? (4, Interesting)

krazyninja (447747) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666597)

As the originators of the CD format, Philips and Sony have been worried about the shifts in the market, due to undue restriction of the music distribution by DRM. This affected their revenues from royalty on CDs on one side, and affected the content market owned by Sony on the other side. With this deal, they can now hope to level the playing field. Till now, Philips has been seen to side with the customers [rollingstone.com] , but Sony has traditionally stood for copyprotection with its key2audio technology. It would be interesting to see how the two merge their interests now.
This should also be seen in perspective with the recent news of Macrovision's acquisition of Midbar recently.

Re:Philips and Sony - A new era of coopetition? (3, Insightful)

runenfool (503) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666620)

Even though they cocreated the standard - they do seem to be strange bedfellows in this one. Perhaps they really will reach a middle ground, a scheme where the average person (we all know people who really want to will always crack media encryption) can use their purchased goods as they see fit - up to the point where they want to violate copyright law (sidestepping the issue whether locking down internet music downloads helps the industry).

I have hope in that Philips has been seen as the good guy in this fight, but Sony? Im not too sure what their corporate take on this is.

Still, its funny how these companies are spending all this cash to prevent consumers from stealing music. I have an idea, drop the price. You wont lose revenue because people will buy a lot more music if its fairly priced. Heck, some of my friends and I have been buying movies like crazy at 10 bucks a shot - movies I would never have paid 15 or 20 for. Pretend like there really ARE market forces in the music industry and COMPETE dammit!

Where's the Federal-Judge-in-a-Box? (3, Insightful)

Convergence (64135) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666910)

The problem is that the only thing that can determine what is and isn't copyright infringment is a federal judge. Unless you can mass-manufacture a box with a federal judge in it, any system for 'digital control' will either be too permissive, or too restrictive.

I highly doubt it'll be too permissive; there are too many fair uses that could require the full decrypted output (legacy hardware, backup on more modern media, etc)

Given that, then there's a legitimate fair use need to break *ANY* encryption or other access controls on controlled media. If this is explicitly made legal, then at that point, there's no point in bothering. There'll be controlled media, but it'll be legal to sell products to break the protection. Those products will be very lucrative and sell extremely well as people won't want controlled and restricted media. (See playstation or other modchips.)

It'll be a pointless war, but a war the controllers can't win. Thats why they'll fight tooth and nail against this.

Re:Philips and Sony - A new era of coopetition? (1)

chthon (580889) | more than 11 years ago | (#4667421)

The difference between the two is that Sony is in technology and media, while Philips shed a couple of years ago it's media division.

As I work in Philips, I know that they're primary goal is to sell technology, and things based on new technologies.

Working in development, I see and hear nothing about DRM on our technical horizon. A television with a 40 Gb HDD has just been introduced, if there were DRM issues here, I would surely have heard about it.

If there are patents on the bought technology, then I think Philips will use it more to add it to their portfolio, than to really use it.

drm everywhere ....WHEN ...not IF (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666602)

we are all screwed.

fair use rights is definitely holding it's own...but the end could be in our lifetimes...and everything will be encrypted and locked up tight.

the whole idea of distributing 1's & 0's right now is soooo in it's infancy.

50 years from now...we will be laughed at...and digital freedom will be a fleeting memory.

enjoy it now.

"Media convergence" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666603)

You can expect this move to be closely tied to the acceptance of mpeg4 by large companies. This will signal companies that it is ok to jump into the water. The pool had been too cool for many of companies up till now, factors in the anemic acceptance rate being: MPEG 2 is ok for now, MPEG 2 is widely entrenched (lots of equipment)

If a large enough coalition of companies accept certain DRM features from MPEG 21 [telecomitalialab.com] We'll be seeing this in our toaster-ovens winthin a decade, not to mention our TVs.

(AK)

Lucrative? (4, Funny)

Quaoar (614366) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666605)

...to prevent Microsoft, which has been embroiled in a legal battle with InterTrust, from grabbing control of the potentially lucrative business.

The lucrative business of screwing over the customer? Sounds like Microsoft already has the bases covered.

Kinda ironic (5, Funny)

llamaluvr (575102) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666618)

"We come very much from the side of the consumer and we believe the consumer should have the right to reproduce content for their own use," said Philips spokesman Jeremy Cohen.

So you purchased a company that deals in copy protection?!?!

Re:Kinda ironic (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666912)

well.. 'embrace and extend' :P

companies should be doing this to ms to.. buying rights to use some office format for example.. then making a buggy implementation of it that will criple randomly when read on ms office..

Nothing wrong with copy protection..... (1)

acidvoid (603114) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666946)

So long as the CD works in all machines/players that take the format!
Why do you want to copy music anyway? (ok, I know, mp3 it for your computer...)

That's easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4667026)

They simply want some control - some leverage.

By buying this heap of junk (like, where IS the IPR????) they can control the market. The studios/labels/MPAA play one company off against another. Philips and Sony, like my company, only want to build boxes. To hell with these small IPR companies.

YOU CALL THIS NEWS??!?!?!? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666622)

HOW ABOUT MENTIONING THAT OPERA HAS REACHED VERSION 7 BETA! Now thats what i call news. Go to OPERA.COM [opera.com] to find out more.

Re:YOU CALL THIS NEWS??!?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666674)

Hopefully, they will do an opera story ,
Maybe they are waiting for it tobe beta 2 or 3,
or til Opera for linux hits 7.0 beta.

Re:YOU CALL THIS NEWS??!?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666697)

Irrelevant web browser #4 reaches meaningless milestone. Industry analysts outraged and bored. Film at eleven.

One basic problem (2)

jki (624756) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666630)

I have not yet understood how any DRM or copyprotection will overcome the problem, that when the content is downloaded/played through legitimate HW&SW it can at the same time be resaved without the copyprotection - atleast in the case of video and audio. The case for software is not much more easier, as long as the software is run a non-trusted environment. Ofcourse DRM is not just about this , and it might be very much useful for collecting money from those who want to pay for what they use and not steal the content. But I don't think there's any more magic in it.

...there needs to be some more elegant solution for this.

Re:One basic problem (5, Informative)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666687)

I have not yet understood how any DRM or copyprotection will overcome the problem, that when the content is downloaded/played through legitimate HW&SW it can at the same time be resaved without the copyprotection - atleast in the case of video and audio.

I just posted a long-ass dissertation on how Intertrust works, and I'm not going to repeat it here. But the short version is that Intertrust doesn't care about your ability to copy the encrypted media. In fact, making it easy for customers to copy encrypted media from each other is a big selling point for Intertrust, because it lets the content providers focus on what they like to do: sell licenses. If you copied the Britney Spears CD from your friend but bought your license from us, then we just saved money manufacturing, storing, and shipping that particular CD. Yay.

So copying encrypted content is good and fine. So Intertrust spends is energy instead trying to make sure that encrypted content stays encrypted all the time, up to the point where it goes analog and hits your screen or your speakers or your whatever.

It's not too hard, in principle, to do this. The ancient PGP client had an "eyes only" mode that did the same thing: it decrypted the data, displayed it, then wiped the memory where the cleartext had been, never writing anything to disk. It would have been impossible to get the cleartext out of PGP without some really intrusive method, like somehow reading the actual memory pages of the PGP process, or trojaning the PGP binary itself. So that basic methodology is not a terrible idea.

The key to this is that Intertrust isn't meant to be a general-purpose content encryption system. For example, it wouldn't work for something like stock photography, where you need to be able to place the photo-- unencrypted-- in a page layout program and do all sorts of interactive stuff to it. Intertrust wouldn't work for that at all, because as soon as you decrypted the image, the system would stop protecting it.

But think of Intertrust instead for something like video-on-demand. The set-top box and the upstream servers have Intertrust bits in them that allow you to download (or stream) HDTV-resolution movies to your home over fibre or whatever, with all sorts of customer-friendly rights features. For example, you might be able to spend $5 and get the right to download a movie to your (Intertrust-savvy) PVR and watch it all you want until you feel like deleting it. Or you might be able to spend $19 to be able to download it and burn it (with your Intertrust-savvy disc burner) to a disc that you can own and watch whenever. Or-- and this is the cool part-- you might be able to spend $1 and only have the right to watch the movie in real time once.

In general, instead of saying "you can't do that" to the customers all the time, Intertrust could (in principle) let media distributors say "you can do that, if you buy the rights to" instead, and the system would enforce the arrangement in both directions.

Re:One basic problem (2)

jki (624756) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666716)

So copying encrypted content is good and fine. So Intertrust spends is energy instead trying to make sure that encrypted content stays encrypted all the time, up to the point where it goes analog and hits your screen or your speakers or your whatever.

This is exactly the thing which puzzles me - is there really the common interest to provide encrypted ladders to the level, that it is not easy or feasible to snoop and copy the data - as any phase where the content is in non-encrypted (digital) form will do. Maybe it works, but I am sceptical.

Re:One basic problem (3, Insightful)

ives (23634) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666765)

The ancient PGP client had an "eyes only" mode that did the same thing: it decrypted the data, displayed it, then wiped the memory where the cleartext had been, never writing anything to disk. It would have been impossible to get the cleartext out of PGP without some really intrusive method, like somehow reading the actual memory pages of the PGP process, or trojaning the PGP binary itself.

Actually it's a lot simpler: use a terminal program that allows you to save the output to disk and you've got your perfect copy.

The same thing can be done for any music format that can be played on a computer. Just create a sound device that saves the digital music stream to disk instead of playing it. It has been done and it's pretty easy (see this page [ex-parrot.com] ).

The only way around this is to handle the decryption of the data in the audio hardware or to make it impossible to use non-official drivers like Microsoft tries to do with Palladium.

Re:One basic problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4667100)

like somehow reading the actual memory pages of the PGP process, or trojaning the PGP binary itself
If the consumer is in control of his own computer as is the case today, then all you need to do is run a debugger. Getting pages out of memory is pretty trivial.

And, again in the case of PGP, you aren't trojanning the binary if it is your own binary. It is trivial to modify PGP in this way, or just run it in script(1) [gw.com] .

IIRC, the pgp documentation explicitly states that that mode is only useful as a hint to the receiver of the document that it is more confidential and should be treated with greater care but provides exactly no guarantee that the contents will not be saved in plain text.

Re:One basic problem (1)

pavera (320634) | more than 11 years ago | (#4667122)

So, whats to stop me from putting a recorder inbetween my pvr and my tv?? that is very very easy to do, and dropping a computer in there would be very simple to keep it all digital, and walla, set hacked, drop it on p2p and the world has it. Intertrust's mechanisms are vaporware, the analog hole is still as great as ever, and just as easily exploitable, and because of the internet, you don't need an army of people doing this, only 1 or 2, because distribution (the great inhibitor of piracy up to this point has been the cost of distribution, not the ease/difficulty of making copies) is now free.

Somebody you trust disagrees with you... (2)

Goonie (8651) | more than 11 years ago | (#4667254)

The PGP documentation also emphasises that such a scheme is trivially vulnerable as, once the data is decrypted, the program has no actual control on where its output goes. It can be redirected to a file, to a printer, anywhere.

In principle, any similar scheme is vulnerable to the same hack - intercept the unencrypted data, transfer it to disk. Whilst I am aware that *in practice* this can be made harder, cryptography is no defence because, by definition, the data has to be encrypted somewhere between the data source and the output device. Ultimately, you might put the decryption in the DAC - but then somebody will either hack that chip to crack the encryption or, at last resort, just point a camera at the screen.

Of course, if the cryptography is broken directly, none of this is necessary, and according to an apparent authority on the matter that's quite likely:

Time and again, it's been demonstrated that any crypto system that precludes resourceful and clever people from getting at stuff they want will be subjected to scrutiny, attacked, and finally broken.
Who said that? You did. [slashdot.org]

Why the massive change of heart?

As for your views on the consumer-friendliness of Intertrust's scheme, I have to say the whole things sounds like a) a usability nightmare, and b) a chance for content providers to nickel-and-dime consumers into the never-never. For both reasons I would recommend consumers avoid it like the plague (at least until somebody hacks around it like CSS and region coding).

Invest in security, DRM! (3, Interesting)

Fastball (91927) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666638)

Win this war on two fronts my fellow geeks. Of course oppose DRM, get your felt-tip markers out, brush up on your hexidecimal. But don't miss a chance to siphon off some dollar bills from these jokers. Companies that in the security and DRM business are going to be doing swift business whether any of us like it or the stuff they produce works. Seriously, consider buying stock in small-cap companies that show iniative in this industry.

Why? Because secure digital media is a contradiction in terms. It's one of those rarities in life that are so misunderstood and unviable that people are going to wage a war of attrition in its name. I, for one, am going to capitalize on that. All while burning my CDs to Ogg. :)

in retrospect... (2)

dollargonzo (519030) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666639)

look how easy it is to copy and pirate stuff now compared to, say, 20 years ago. DRM is coming, and it might have the effect of setting us back into some analogous form of tape copying in the 80s. it won't STOP piracy by any means, but it might be more difficult for the avg consumer to pirate, so the average consumer might not be as interested anymore. did tapes hurt the industry? NO. Did piracy ruin the industry? NO. so...will this ruin us? ofcourse not. those who think so are paranoid.

Re:in retrospect... (2, Interesting)

pavera (320634) | more than 11 years ago | (#4667097)

I disagree that DRM will make it more difficult to pirate, the difficulty in pirating in the 80's wasn't so much making the copies of tapes as it was the distribution of said copies, same today, how many people really spend hours ripping their cd's to mp3?? I've only done maybe 15 of my cds (my favorites that I want to have everywhere) I own more than 200 cd's, so already making copies is too much of a hassle for the average joe. The difference now is that distribution is free, so you only need 1 person to go through the trouble of exploiting the analog hole, and walla the world has the stuff anyway. It is advances in distribution not ease of copying that has created more piracy today than 20 years ago, and DRM will not remove the ease of distribution.

I've worked with Intertrust (5, Informative)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666655)

My former employer had a strategic alliance with Intertrust. Guess this is bad news for them. Good.

Here's an overview of how Intertrust's stuff works, what's right with it, and what's wrong with it. This is really complex, but it's not hard to understand at all.

Intertrust's system basically works like this: the seller encrypts the media (video, picture, audio, whatever you want) into what they call a "package." The process also generates what they call a "rights package," which gets stored on a net-connected machine called a "rights server." Rights packages are, of course, also encrypted like crazy. Everything in this system is, with digital signatures like you wouldn't believe. Forgery of a rights package or of an authorization is the biggest vulnerability to the system, and Intertrust knows that.

When you buy the media, you download what they call an authorization. The authorization contains information about what rights package you bought (one media package can correspond to more than one rights package). The thing you're using to do all this-- it could be a computer running special software, or a set-top box, or an MP3 player in your car... whatever-- takes the authorization and downloads the content package from what they call a "content server," along with getting the rights package that defines what rights you bought from the rights server. At this point, you have three things: the content in its package, the rights that define how you can use that content in its package, and an authorization that ties them all together. The authorization, of course, contains some information that uniquely identifies your device, which means that only whole set-- the combination of the content package, the rights package, the device, and the authorization-- can work together.

All of that downloading and transacting is supposed to happen behind the scenes. To the user, it looks like this: Hmm, I think I want that song. Here I go, choosing a rights package from this list of three or four, and putting in my credit card number. Tap, tap, poof! Now I have the song on my MP3 player (or whatever), and I can listen to it according to the rights I bought. It's designed to be easy for the end-user and the provider both, with all the hard stuff happening in software.

Now, the interesting thing is the rights package. A record company might give away free authorizations for single-use rights packages. For instance, you might be able to go to RecordCo's web site and download any song for free and listen to it once; sort of a "try-before-you-buy" thing. If you decide you want the song, but you'll probably get sick of it, you can buy the rights pack that lets you listen to it all you want for a month, and then expires. Or you can buy an unlimited rights pack that lets you listen to it all you want forever. It's really flexible, which is something that DRM systems in general haven't been thus far.

It's worth mentioning, too, that Intertrust does not depend on a new, proprietary media format. You can encrypt anything as an Intertrust package. Intertrust controls how and when you get to access the data-- according to the rules defined in the rights package-- but what that data is and how it's formatted it is entirely flexible. You could wrap an Ogg file up in an Intertrust package if you wanted to, just by running it through the packager tool.

Also interesting is the idea that all of the pieces-- the content package, the rights package, and the authorization-- can be duplicated to your heart's content. Wanna make a copy of a CD so you don't have to worry about scratching the original? Go right ahead. But it'll only play in your CD player, because that's what the authorization says. You can make a copy and give it away, but your friend can't play it in his player because he doesn't have an authorization. He can, however, download an authorization for it quickly and easily. Intertrust calls this "superdistribution," and it's a big selling point for them.

All in all, I think Intertrust's model is the best I've seen. If the world ran on Intertrust, I think it would probably be pretty okay.

But there are problems. Intertrust's system depends on a hell of a lot of infrastructure: every device-- and I mean every device-- that interacts with the Intertrust system has to have an Intertrust client running on it, either in software or in hardware. If your MP3 player isn't Intertrust-compatible, you can forget being able to play those MP3s you downloaded from RecordCo. They simply won't work, because the device won't be able to decrypt the package. This basically means that Intertrust's system can never be used for general-purpose media content protection, because it relies too much on client code ubiquity.

The other obvious down-side is that the system is complex. I don't think it's needlessly complex, per se, but it's complex, and that means there are lots of ways that something could go wrong. That could mean inconvenience to the customer, which is death in this market.

So while it's an okay idea-- probably one that would work well for both sellers and customers if universally deployed-- it's got some serious flaws, too.

Just my two cents. I may have some of my facts wrong-- I never worked for Intertrust, but I got a ton of technical info from them under NDAs and shit, so I think I'm right in the broad sense on all of this. Hmm. NDAs. Oh, well. Fuck it. They can sue me, if they can find me.

Re:I've worked with Intertrust (4, Insightful)

WasterDave (20047) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666683)

I hate DRM, and all but ... fuck me, a DRM system designed by someone who knew what they were doing? No wonder it cost the wrong end of half a billion.

Dave

system emulation? (1)

pwarf (610390) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666720)

Your post was very interesting, and it sounds like you've had more experience than most with a good DRM system.

I was wondering what keeps you from emulating a system that could play the original. (What keeps you from lying to the software about the identity of the parts on your computer.) If Windows can be run in Linux as a window using programs like Win4Lin, why couldn't you run Windows under Linux with fake identifiers given to the Windows install?

I imagine I am grossly oversimplifying what it would require, but I am curious about whether an implementation of this approach could beat the system.

Any thoughts/corrections about the above?

Re:I've worked with Intertrust (1)

ecki (115356) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666737)

As far as I understand it, InterTrust has basically stopped developing software and turned into a IP-only company earlier this year. The whole deal seems to be more about the infamous InterTrust patent (sorry, don't have a reference right now, but it's the longest patent in history) than the actual software. With all the developers gone, I wonder if the software could be resurrected anyway...

Re:I've worked with Intertrust (2, Insightful)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666743)

...it'll only play in your CD player, because that's what the authorization says. You can make a copy and give it away, but your friend can't play it in his player...

So not only can't I play music that I paid for in my friends player, but also that I can only listen to it on just one of my players too. That's just plain ridiculous.

Re:I've worked with Intertrust (3, Insightful)

Proc6 (518858) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666744)

The thing you're using to do all this-- it could be... an MP3 player in your car... takes the authorization and downloads the content package from what they call a "content server"...

How many repeaters and miles of Cat5 cable will you need to drive around town connected to the internet?

Is all this bullshit really worth listening to N*Sync, or watching the latest Lord Of the Rings? I mean seriously. Was any movie you saw or song you listened to so important to you that you're willing to be bent over repeatedly, downloading licenses and calling 800 numbers with special ID codes, and keying them in on your little chiclet sized remote for your DVD player and all the other complete nonsense you're going to have to do to listen to "Oops, I did it again."? I stopped paying for cable a couple months ago, and I haven't missed it at all. Maybe the upside to all of this is we'll realize the best things in life are indeed free, and they have nothing to do with pop culture teen idols and special fx hamburger seller mega-movies with budgets the size of most small countries.

Re:I've worked with Intertrust (1)

JazFresh (146585) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666757)

That system sounds pretty good. If we look ahead 5-10 years, it's conceivable that net connections would be as ubiquitous as phones, so it'd be feasible to require hardware to have a net connection. Sony have the clout to add such network features to their consumer products, and in the past their technologies have been successfully licensed to other consumer product manufacturers (CD, Minidisc, etc)


This system would mean some serious changes to the way people think about possessions. You don't 'own' a thing, you 'own' a right. You can't necessarily sell your 'possession' to anyone else.

The analog hole is not a problem either. Say the players can play "regular" content (like today's CDs/DVDs/MP3s) as well as digitally encrypted content. The player would only play InterTrust content (which it knows is safe) or normal content with no detectable watermark. This allows legitimate users to create and use their own stuff, but they can't transfer copyrighted content to their friends using the analog hole (which transfers it to the domain of "regular" content) because their friend's (InterTrust compatible) players won't play any "regular" content which contains a watermark.

Re:I've worked with Intertrust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4667180)

Since when did they create a watermarking scheme that actually works?

Re:I've worked with Intertrust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666772)

Gee, you sound like a badly written brochure.

Forgery of a rights package or of an authorization is the biggest vulnerability to the system, and Intertrust knows that.

I think re-recording the content onto non-encrypted media would be the biggest vulnerability.

Sure, the quality won't be quite the same as the original, but once it gets on the internet, the media corps will have to spend the same effort blocking it as they do for MP3s (which are also not perfect copies). And on top of that, they paid extra for this Rube-Goldberg-esque technology.

That's what really gets me about this DRM stuff. Copyright law applies the same to an imperfect copy as a perfect one. Besides, the first copy may be lower quality, but each subsequent copy is the same. So the corps will still have to go out and block the copies.

That's the problem with all these schemes. Just a bunch of buzzwords and bullshit. When you get down to it, information can always be copied, unless they destroy every existing media recorder and put out government-mandated models. Even the Taliban couldn't pull that sort of thing off.

The authorization contains information about what rights package you bought

"rights package" ... *rolls eyes*

getting the rights package that defines what rights you bought from the rights server.

I don't "buy" rights, I have them.

the combination of the content package, the rights package, the device, and the authorization-- can work together.

How do I play it in another device? What if my device breaks? How do I loan it to a friend? How do I GIVE it to a friend? Do I have to buy a "right to have a friend" too?

All of that downloading and transacting is supposed to happen behind the scenes.

Yeah, with my new wireless Discman I guess. Will this work at the top of a mountain? In a tunnel? What kind of Terms of Service will these companies give you? I mean, your POSESSIONS will depend on these companies. That means I have to put more trust in them then I do my own government (they are nice enough to let me use my own things how I please). I guess the libratarians are saying "hey nobody forces you to listen to music". Yeah, I'll be exercising that choice pretty easily. No DRM CD player for me, thanks.

To the user, it looks like this: Hmm, I think I want that song. Here I go, choosing a rights package from this list of three or four, and putting in my credit card number.

Now you're really sounding like marketing dreck. I think the user wants it go like this: "Hmm, I think I'll push the play button, and then music will come out."

Or you can buy an unlimited rights pack that lets you listen to it all you want forever. It's really flexible

Oh wow! So I can use the thing I paid for forever? Why isn't everything sold like this? Oh wait, IT IS!

It's worth mentioning, too, that Intertrust does not depend on a new, proprietary media format. You can encrypt anything as an Intertrust package.

Uh, if I can't play this "package" in my MP3 player, it is now in a proprietary media format.

But it'll only play in your CD player, because that's what the authorization says.

What if I get a new CD player?

You can make a copy and give it away, but your friend can't play it in his player because he doesn't have an authorization.

Again, how do I loan a CD to a friend?

Intertrust calls this "superdistribution," and it's a big selling point for them.

I call it "stupid".

All in all, I think Intertrust's model is the best I've seen. If the world ran on Intertrust, I think it would probably be pretty okay.

I don't want "okay". I want "good".

So while it's an okay idea-- probably one that would work well for both sellers and customers if universally deployed-- it's got some serious flaws, too.

Yeah, that's what everybody says about Communism too. But markets can't be centrally planned, and neither can technology.

Whew!

I hope they hurry up and put this stuff out, so it can die faster, and we can all have a good laugh the way we used to have a laugh at dotcoms giving away free stuff and hoping to make money from it. These guys are doing the opposite: getting you to pay for something you already had for free.

Re:I've worked with Intertrust (4, Insightful)

devonbowen (231626) | more than 11 years ago | (#4667005)

If the world ran on Intertrust, I think it would probably be pretty okay.

Except for the following problems:

  • It eliminates the fair-use rights (affirmed by the Supreme Court) that encourage creativity and make life fun. You can no longer mix your own music or add sound tracks to your home movies.
  • It gives the media companies the power to render local law useless. A country no longer has the ability to decide how they feel about rights management because the technology itself mandates it. Might makes right.
  • It gives the media companies the power to micro-control your use of the content. They can "nickle and dime" you to death by making you pay per listen if they want. Your discription even mentions this ability specifically.
  • It gives the media industry the ability to influence the futures of other technologies or even other companies by deciding who gets approved to use it and who doesn't. Microsoft anyone?
I admit it's my own little dream world, but I believe that technology is supposed to enhance our lives, not restrict them. Sounds like a huge leap backward to me.

Devon

Re:I've worked with Intertrust (1)

Oscaro (153645) | more than 11 years ago | (#4667054)

You say "Or you can buy an unlimited rights pack that lets you listen to it all you want forever"

Mhh, but "forever" = "as long as the system is up and working"

Re:I've worked with Intertrust (2, Insightful)

pavera (320634) | more than 11 years ago | (#4667081)

You've still got the huge gaping analog hole, that only 1 person has to employ and then the stuff is on gnutella/kazaa/choose your favorite p2p and insert here. If the music comes out of my speakers and I can hear it I can make a near perfect digital copy. Simply insert line from line-out to line-in on computer sound card, fire up your favorite wav recording utility, record, convert to ogg/mp3 whatever, and wait a second, copy your now copy-protectionless file to your /share directory, and walla the world can benefit from your 5 minutes of work.
This cannot be stopped, unless the music cannot be played on speakers. (same goes for video btw, a little more involved but not a whole hell of alot more)

I worked FOR Intertrust (4, Informative)

Longing (23218) | more than 11 years ago | (#4667083)

After the stock market collapsed - we'd gone public in October and couldn't sell until April, a month after March collapse, shattering most of our paper-millionaire dreams - lots of people started leaving for various reasons. When I started working there in the beginning of '98 there were just over 100 employees. By the time we'd gone public, we'd more than doubled, and many of the people we'd hired were blubbering idiots. I didn't interview a single person who was worth hiring, and yet somehow, people kept getting hired. Stock price plummeted, layoffs, layoffs, layoffs. Last I checked, it was just a handful of people. All of my ex-coworkers from there have moved on, willingly or not.

The technology was good, and somewhat complex, but not frighteningly so, but when I was maintaining running instances of the software it was not terribly stable, in ways that would make most sysadmins cry. Instead, I quit in Dec '00, as the developers weren't putting in the features I requested - needed! - to know if the software was even running properly. Makes me laugh now, but it wasn't that funny then.

Intertrust had been around for years, and in it's beginnings was staffed primarily by folk with PhDs in Computer Science and related fields. They had a research team that was brilliant, and Intertrust has such an impressive patent portfolio that I am surprised that they didn't manage to successfully sue Microsoft, as has been commented here in slashdot before. Several references in google, and there's a techdirt.com and a kuro5hin article around for those who are interested.

Oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666676)

DRM? Is my Forth system ready?

Ridiculous, they lose more money with their deceptive "copy-protection" than piracy does.

Why people with entanglented situations hav their rethorics taken without real scrutiny, critique?

Of course, with a Forth computer, I will not have those stuppid problems and DRM cannot seriously be implemented on something like that.

Defending their back catalog ... (3, Interesting)

LL (20038) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666693)

The internet has suddenly exposed the distribution mechanism wide open. Historically it was easier popping down to the music store rather than advertising for the music you wanted. The sale of old CDs/vinyls through auction sites such as eBay means that what the major studios/distributors throught of as consumable good suddenly becomes a capital good. This is the difference between lease v sale and it is impossible to radically change the pricing least the consumers revolt. Attempts so far to move towards a licensing model (a la software) have been resisted by courts (cough*DVD*cough) and experiments in alternative protected media formats indicate dawning awareness that their knowledge in the retail distribution channel is at risk.

Digital Rights Management (or restrictions for the cynical) is a mechanism for asserting their traditional control which has been weakened by P2P and parallel importing. This is a logical business decision but I suspect that defending back catalogs means less attention being devoted to new services. Why can't people mix tracks to accompany their video handhelds? Why don't people dub skits to satirise stupid commercials? Why don't people create new GC sequences of Doom-like spoofs?

Hopefully we will be entertained by novel and innovative forms of media rather than being bombarded with rehashed old forms.

LL

Spam me please! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666705)

My email address is gapingred@hotmail.com

Any Nigerians looking for help moving funds?

strategic veto (1)

SystematicPsycho (456042) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666707)

Sounds like the two got together to discuss microsoft's megalomania world domination and devised a plan to block that from happening to there interests. Rivals (I believe) doing this is significant, or is there yet another merger pending. I thought merger season was over, went out with the dot.com boom.

back to the scene (1)

dextr0us (565556) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666719)

Does anyone remember the mp3 scene? when groupz would release mp3s with their headers all fucked up? yeah, i remember it before the days of good cd extraction, and it was almost quicker to download it than to rip it, (especially with my 2x cd). Doesn't this mean that cds might go back to the "scene" mentality, where groupz release albums again? I'm interested to hear others' thoughts on this too.

attempt backfires.. (2, Funny)

DraconicFae (600508) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666741)

The acquisition by Philips Electronics and Sony of the leading U.S.-based holder of intellectual property in the field of 'digital rights management' technology is widely seen as a way to prevent Microsoft, which has been embroiled in a legal battle with InterTrust, from grabbing control of the potentially lucrative business.


Microsoft responds by buying Philips and Sony for 453 billion, grabbing control of a different potentially lucrative business.

Philips & Sony vs Microsoft (5, Insightful)

Cheese Cracker (615402) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666752)

"Philips said the companies would start an open licensing program and would encourage content providers to use the technology, which can protect all digital formats, including CDs, MP3 and DVD."

"Some analysts say Microsoft may lose if Philips and Sony are successful at promoting the InterTrust technology throughout the entertainment industry because Microsoft's technology, called "Palladium," would have a tougher time making inroads."

The above says it all. It's all about battling Microsoft's Palladium. Of what I know, Philips and Sony haven't signed up for Palladium, and since they're big time players on the entertainment hardware market, they can afford to develop their own standard without having Microsoft involved in the equation.

"All the major music labels, in particular BMG, Sony Music and Universal Music have been investing heavily in copy-proof technologies to protect their artists."

It's not so much about protecting the artists as it is about protecting their companies. The music industry has been used to having a steady monetary growth each year until P2P was made popular among the general public. Now they won't make as much profit as they used to. What the artists actually gets is peanuts compared to what the record companies gets. The artists sell all their rights to the record companies, and these companies can continue to make money on their music even after the artist has disappeared from the charts. (eg. collection albums)

Intertrust software doesn't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666768)

Some time ago I purchased the new of Daftpunk. It had a some sort of creditcard which made you member of the DaftClub. Here you could download songs (special versions) of their music (they also said clips, but I've never seen them) They were protected by that Intertrust and you needed a special player to play them. It would connect to the internet to play them. So I thought "yes, it's an extra from DaftPunk, sorry I cannot play it my dvd player, but it still is nice of them to do this".
No why do I say their software doesn't work?
Simple, the player could only be installed in windows and still then I had a lot of problems. So much in fact that I couldn't install it under XP. I needed to have Win98 only for this music. Too stupid it seemed to me, so I copied the songs to a normal wav file just by running a program like TotalRecorder. Took me 1 minute per song!

Their technology is not user friendly (only on net-connected device and at the moment only winpc) and not even safe! Only losses for both consumer and distributer. No wonder that DaftPunk soon changed the format online to just a secure website with mp3's. Gotta love those guys.

Best solution I've seen so far... (4, Interesting)

leabre (304234) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666774)

I've seen a DRM for ebooks that I actually don't have any qualms with, and think it's the best that it can get and still be DRM, though I don't like DRM in the least...

It's called Libronix. Actually, it's primarily for religious publications... Libronix is an e-book reader and format... but I haven't seen any books non-Christian on the format... but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist... http://www.libronix.com

Here's how it works.

The system recognizes the "resources" that you supply it, usually from download or CD-ROM and then requres a license key... license key is keyed to the "activation" of the product. Basically, it says you can access these resources but not those ones...

You can copy the resources to any computer your want but only those PC that have a valid license can access them... if you're friend wants to, they can purchase a license from your copied file and view it themselves.

You can install the Librinix system on any other PC for backups and when it installs, just supply the activation confirmation supplied when originally activated and then "restore" the license key backed up and you can view it on any PC you want, that has your activation code. It doesn't restrict how many times you activate but you cannot use any license that was granted with an activation not your own.

This means you can use it on your 5 computers at home and your laptop but you can't necessarily do so on your friends PC unless you installed and used your activation and supply him your licences for each resource or collection of resources (I have 147 resources licensed to me)...

In all, it's fairly unintrusive but goes a long way against sharing unless you want your personal info distributed on the net...

That's the best (meaning least intrusive) implementation I've seen so far.

Thanks,
Leabre

Re:Best solution I've seen so far... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4667191)

Until you copy the license / activation files along with the ebook file.

How come it seems like most of the intelligent (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666806)

posts on slashdot come in under anonymously? I see so many posts come anonymously that are deserving of a higher moderation. Yet they continue to post in this fashion. Moderators, they are scared of getting you mad when they leave the party line. This is not healthy for slashdot.why/.

Re:How come it seems like most of the intelligent (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666829)

Most /. mods are Microsoft-hating idiots who can be easily fooled.

Example: Put something like "Linux is a fucking pain to use". Result? -1 (Troll).

Put something like "Linux, while technically superior, is not ready for the average user just yet". Result? Pad it out a little and you'll get +3 (Insightful).

The mod system isn't working. Still doesn't stop me trying, though. And I've gone through about 25 modpoints, so I know what I'm on about.

Watch as this either a) gets marked as a troll or b) modded up by people who have a clue.

The real fallout from the MS antitrust case (4, Insightful)

nickco3 (220146) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666884)

This about Philips and Sony deliberatly excluding MS from a business area they are interested in.

It might look like MS walked away clear from the antitrust case, but this is the real damage that was done. The trial dragged up all sorts of things MS had been up to, it has been reported widely - in the techie news, of course - but also in places that the suits read. Now world+dog knows what sort of man billg is to do business with, we all now what he done to the PC market. The vendors are just bill's box-shifters, living on razor-thin margins, while MS exceeds its own earnings expectations - during a recession. This is the reason Passport fell on it's face, this is the reason Nokia and all the others have frozen MS out of the phone market, and this is the reason that Philips and Sony are pre-empting them on DRM.

453 Million!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4666987)

Damn, thats going to hurt them when I implement a marker pen or the latest 2cent hack to bypass there audio degrading "security" measures.

DRM & Copy Protection... (1)

El Scripto (625931) | more than 11 years ago | (#4666997)

Hi,

there is a difference between DRM and "Copy Protection." Messing with CDs is nasty but it's Copy Protection. Some methods are worse than others. Either you mess with the formatting (and break the standard) or you mess with the audio.

At least you still GET A DISK.

DRM could be horrible - look at MovieLink. The studios / MPAA want to sell you the same rubbish 1000 times over. DRM will allow new "business models" (yuck). Content that evaporates after a day, direct payment to HolyWood every time you watch "Gone With the Wind."

The MPAA/studios are putting pressure on Europe. They are lobbying the EC. They are lobbying DVB, the makers of digital TV.

We need to wake up to this - now.

philips & sony vs. Microsoft (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4667112)

Philips and Sony both refuse to use Microsoft products whereever humanly possible. it's even strange that the Philips and Sony DVD+R/RW was accepted by Microsoft. maybe it was a reaching out from Microsoft trying to make themselves appear friendly.

As for you folks worried about DRM, i wouldn't worry too much. These companies know that they can never completely stop copying of data. In the case of Philips and Sony, it would even harm their income since they both still make money from recordable CDs.

I think this is more an attempt just to attempt at being overcome by Microsoft when it comes to electronic music. Even, if Philips and Sony do nothing with DRM, they prevent Microsoft from building a market around it and forcing those two companies to license it.

It's worth pointing out that BluRay has already been speced out and the first products are expected to arrive next year sometime so the next big format on the market isn't going to deal with this unless there are last minute big changes which i seriously doubt. it's too late in the game for this format.

bunk (1)

hpavc (129350) | more than 11 years ago | (#4667234)

i dont see the problem with playing the cd, capturing the analog out (if need be) and running that into your run of the mill line-in filter of your computer or simular capture device.

worked for records and tapes for a long time.
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