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UCB Researchers Critique DRM, Compulsory Licensing

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the problem-is-compulsion dept.

Music 158

An anonymous reader writes " In this paper, Berkeley researchers critique a host of cockamamie DRM schemes, and they also question the compulsory licensing approach recently being promoted by the EFF. They get into some of the practical details about compulsory licensing that no one else seems to be talking about like technical feasibility, incentives to cheat, monitoring for compliance, efficiency of collection and distribution of funds, privacy, fair use, feasibility of legal enforcement... Anyway, it's worth a read and is a useful contribution to the debate, whatever side you're on. "

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GNAA ROX (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439022)

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Re:GNAA ROX (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439059)

gay niggers own you

DRM? Chjoose GNAA! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439025)

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Req:GNFOS Torrent (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439049)

TIA

Re:Req:GNFOS Torrent (-1, Troll)

CptChipJew (301983) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439057)

http://www.bytemonsoon.com/download.php/9677/Gay_N iggers_from_Outer_Space_(1992).DCP.ShareReactor.mp g.torrent

Bytemonsoon DNS is teh fux0r (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439104)

I want to see the movie!

UCB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439029)

As in Upright Citizens Brigade?

Damn, I missed that show.

Haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439042)

That's what I thought at first. I was like "What are they researching?" At least Amy Poehler is on SNL, and she's fun to look at. I'm just happy a bunch of people from The State will soon be on Comedy Central in Reno 911.

Re:UCB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439347)

Considering Cal has been around since 1868, the university gets first dibs on the letters.

DRM? Choose GNAA instead! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439031)

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| ______________________________________._a,____ |
| _______a_._______a_______aj#0s_____aWY!400.___ |
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YRO? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439033)

You have no rights online!

Re:YRO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439044)

In SOVIET RUSSIA, online rights have YOU!

Re:YRO? (0, Offtopic)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439054)

Unfortunately, that is becoming more and more the case.

It's time to stop implementing these schemes! Block Microsoft netblocks at the border routers, Same goes for Intuit, RealPlayer, and anyone else that compromises users rights for profit.

I got one DRM system that's ... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439038)

...worked well for 30+ years.

UNIX File Permissions.

DRM? choose GNAA instead (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439046)

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If you are having trouble locating #GNAA, the official GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA irc channel, you might be on a wrong irc network. The correct network is EFNet, and you can connect to irc.secsup.org or irc.isprime.com as one of the EFNet servers.

If you have mod points and would like to support GNAA, please moderate this post up.

This post brought to you by a proud member of GNAA
________________________________________________
| ______________________________________._a,____ |
| _______a_._______a_______aj#0s_____aWY!400.___ |
| __ad#7!!*P____a.d#0a____#!-_#0i___.#!__W#0#___ |
| _j#'_.00#,___4#dP_"#,__j#,__0#Wi___*00P!_"#L,_ |
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| ________"#,___*@`__-N#____`___-!^_____________ |
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| ____!4yaa#l___________________________________ |
| ______-"!^____________________________________ |
` _______________________________________________'

Wow.. (-1, Troll)

HyperColor Underware (628462) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439076)

These homosexually oriented African-Americans are certainly doing an excellent job of getting first-posts. Extremely commendable, if you ask me.

GNAA Blows, bow down to CPT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439051)

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Req:Gay Niggers... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439055)

Plz repost GNFOS torrent.
THX

Call for Helpathon, Hour 18 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439061)

"Ugh... UGH!" Chris Pirillo moaned as he squatted over the ThumbDrive. He eyes darted back and forth like a stone man and he sighed gay breaths as he attempted to shove the device filled with the entire line of eBooks into his anus. His geek house trembled with fag vibrations coming from his crack but then- his doorbell rang, whistling the tune from "Matlock" throughout his hovel. "Damn" he howled in a gay sepulcher voice and slipped on a pair of pastel slacks. He trapped to the threshold of his cold abode and grabbed the greasy doorknob that was shaped like Birdman. With a slavish sigh, he opened the door to see none other than Adam Sessler himself! A gay gasp escaped from Chris's dork lips and Adam began to speak. Quickly, Chris snapped at him. "Damnit for the last time you vagabond, you're not supposed to be here!" The revolting nerd slammed the door in Adam's face, but the Game Master quickly shoved his iron boot inbetween the door and the wall, wedging it open. "I have come for you," he spoke in a cold tone; electric arcs coursed between the spikes in his cockneyed bleached hair. He howled as a blast of mystic Boohbahs emanated from his busy shirt and slammed Chris down the hall and into a Microsoft Digital Picture Frame. Chris grunted and swiped nerd dust and sheetrock from his arms. He rose to his feet and watched in horror as Adam brandished a weapon made from 3 Xbox controllers tied at the ends. "Oh my word! Game peripherals!" the dork bellowed; the stench of Cheetos and Diet Dr. Pepper wafted from his geek teeth. Instantly his palms began to sweat at the very sight of them, as if the grease from his McGriddle hadn't slicked them up enough. Chris tried to run, but it was too late. Adam swung the weapon above his head and threw it at the King of Nerds, entangling his legs and forcing him to the floor. Adam pulled a cestus made from PS2 DVDs out of his Spice Girls backpack and rushed Chris. He swiped at his turdly back over and over, causing streams of cold blood to squirt from his flesh. "Oh god, the horror, the HORROR!" Chris moaned as Adam butchered him relentlessly. A old Brit with one eye and a cockneyed accent burst into the room and started kicking Chris in the side. Chris was just about do die when... he rose from his bed. It was just a dream! He laughed and took a sip of more Brawls Guarana, hoping he wouldn't fall asleep again. "Time to plot..." he grumbled and shoved yet another pin into his Leo Laporte voodoo doll.

==-ATTENTION-==: I Will be gone for a week and will need a new Chris Pirillo troller (CPTer). Email me at lieberman5@hotmail.com and I'll hook you up as the official CPTer of /.

Format this shit (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439075)

Then maybe I can help you

It should be obvious by now (3, Insightful)

banal avenger (585337) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439063)

All DRM is inherently unbeneficial. Systems such as Pallidum only collude the issue by pertorting to offer benefits to the end user. Want to protect your files? Run PGP. Want to prevent other people from reading them? Don't give them to people you don't trust. It's simple.

As for the RIAA, I strongly disagree with their methods and their tactics. But, in the end, they are protecting the companies who fund them. And quests such as not buying CDs in order to protest the RIAA only result in more justification for the RIAA to encourage cracking down.

In my opinion, the only legitimate option that the RIAA is pursuing is litigation. Litigation is where the Copywrite battle is fought, and it should have remained in the first place.

Re:It should be obvious by now (2, Interesting)

Klimaxor (264151) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439136)

the way the RIAA is going now is nothing but a complete circle jerk. "we want more of our money, so lets spend money, attack these people who give out our music for free, thus putting us deeper in debt (legal costs), and then, we'll continue to sell our CD's at $15-$25USD, although our brand new techology will stop them from stealing, since the CD's won't work in half of the cd players on the market..ha ha ha ha"
MY thoughts....no way they are going to stop people from getting music for free. Encode everything anyway you want, someone is going to be bored enough, and have the time enough, to simply run a patch cord from Audio Out from a CD player that works, to Audio In, on sound card...and sit and wait 74 minutes for the CD to be recorded. There is NO way to get around it. What they SHOULD do, is encourage people to BUY their shit. Drop the prices, what the fuck is the point of celling a 25cent piece of plastic for almost 100% more then what it's worth. Ya gotta give people more. Offers, coupons, buy 1 get one, discounts, free clothing...etc etc. People will buy if people get what the money is worth. Pay the damn bands more then 5 cents per CD sold. People are also willing to support these bands. They aren't willing to support some fucking company that takes 95% of the profits, and throws the bands pocket change.

*coughs* okay, i feel better now i think

Hey tard! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439271)

Regarding your atrocious use of "collude": 1) It's a transitive verb, and 2) It doesn't mean what you think it means. Buy a dictionary, why don't ya!

Also, the word "pertorting" does not exist in the English language. Perporting, perhaps? Definitely not a typo, however, since "t" is 4 keys from "p".

You sir, are a tard.

Thank you.

Re:Hey tard! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439343)

Perporting? You should take your own advice and get a dictionary for yourself.

You sir, are also a tard.

Thank you.

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?r=2&q=pur po rting

Re:Hey tard! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439608)

Yeah? That's fucking fantastic! But, before you comment about the made up word, ask yourself if the comment actually:

(1) Has anything of value
(2) Says anything that hasn't been said before
and
(3) has been moderated up, WAY UP, because the moderation system sucks.

Re:Hey tard! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6440255)

you're still a hypocritical tard :)

Re:Hey tard! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6440331)

Sorry, wrong tard. I thought you were making fun of the use of "pertorted." Didn't see the -1 post you were replying to. Much obliged.

Re:Hey tard! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6440347)

Somebody doesn't know the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs. Fuckhead: he is using it transitively -- albeit incorrectly -- since issue is the direct object of collude. You are correcting him and telling him that he should be using it as he is using it (vis-a-vis transitivity). YOU FAIL IT!!.

Second of all, it can be both transitive and intransitive. Yes, so you were both wrong in what you said, and wrong in what you meant to say if you hadn't been quite so ignorant as to not know the difference between a transitive and intransitive verb. YOU FAIL IT AGAIN!!

p.s. If your dictionary doesn't have both senses, I suggest you get a decent dictionary. The OED has both.

I'm getting pretty tired of giving you this ass whiping, but I thought I'd point out just one or two more failures. To wit: 1) "Buy a dictionary, why don't ya!" FAILS IT. This is known as a comma splice; and 2) "You sir, are a tard" sort of FAILS IT, as it would be better with another comma before 'sir' (it is clearly parenthetical).

Don't worry about thanking me for the grammar lesson. It's been my pleasure. I do this as a public service.

Re:It should be obvious by now (1)

steve_stern (686745) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439311)

All DRM is inherently unbeneficial. Systems such as Pallidum only collude the issue by pertorting to offer benefits to the end user. Want to protect your files? Run PGP.

Yeah, if you want an extremely clunky solution that relies on the user specifically encrypting and decrypting files he wants to protect, but still be able to use once in a while. While you're at it, why don't you run a firewall by having every incoming or outgoing packet pop up on the screen with "yes" and "no" buttons?

I prefer code solutions to human solutions for problems as large-scale, but with easily-defined rules. Code isn't bug free. It will never be bug free. BSD has their solution, by marking virtual pages as "executable" or "memory", and not letting the second run any code. DRM is another (and, in my opinion, more effective) way to implement this abstraction.

Then again, maybe we should just have a dialog box pop up with each assembly instruction with "yes" and "no" buttons, if you think humans can (and should) do this job.

Re:It should be obvious by now (4, Insightful)

randyest (589159) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439357)

More importantly, it just doesn't work. My favorite part of the paper:

No proposed technical protection measures are strong enough to sustain a determined attack. Only in combination with models where the incentives to circumvent are limited, can technical solutions succeed.

So, I read that to say that if you don't allow for reasonable legal alternatives (like, say, charging less than $20 for one decent song amidst some filler and/or providing some handy online distribution system), nothing you can do technically to prevent copying will work in the long run. Of course, that leaves legal recourse (as we've seen from the RIAA lately), but the fine article also addresses the (in)feasibility of that option.

Of course, I'm guessing the *AA will read it more along the lines of: we've gotta use the opposite approach by providing an incentive to NOT circumvent: (1) try to convince everyone that file sharing is the moral equivalent of eating the baby you just molested, (2) utilize ridiculous and broken copy protection schemes that hassle the honest-end users, thereby creating a peer-pressure factor, and (3) emit a constant barrage of shotgun-style lawsuits to maintain a nice atmosphere of fear.

I dunno why these nice smart folks bothered to make this fine paper. For some of us they are preaching to the choir, for others their words fall on deaf ears.

Re:It should be obvious by now (2, Insightful)

hazem (472289) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439773)

I dunno why these nice smart folks bothered to make this fine paper.

3 words: publish or perish

It's how you get a job in academia and it's how you keep it. But, it IS interesting... often the results of research seem really obvious - but someone had to take the time to put it in such a way.

Re:It should be obvious by now (0, Troll)

geekee (591277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439378)

The only mistake the RIAA made was not using strong-encryption on cds in the 1st place. How do you think all those songs got onto napster, etc. in the 1st place. It's because there was no DRM and people have proven they can't be trusted. Sure DRM can be cracked, but if it prevents 90% of piracy, that less lost revenue than before.

Re:It should be obvious by now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439715)

Except it only takes ONE copy to spread to a limitless number of others. There is no digital scarcity no matter what kind of DRM is invented.

Re:It should be obvious by now (2, Insightful)

Ozric (30691) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439409)

"All DRM is inherently unbeneficial"

Amen ... it adds another layer of bs on top of all the other bs. What is the benefit to the consumer?

There are places that could use that level of protection I am sure. But lem them choose for themselves!

DRM is nothing more vender lockin on a grand scale. Be it software or a distribution channel.

All this talk of DRM and IP are giving me heart burn. I remember when people in the "computer biz" and "software game" wanted to be better then then the common 1900's businessman. Well in that we have failed... we have take unethical to a new level. God help us all.

You don't need to boycott them to hurt them (3, Interesting)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439527)

I don't actively boycott them, rather I just actively look for good metal that isn't affiliated with them. Century Media is clean according to the RIAA Radar. They've got lot's of good stuff like Novembre, The Gathering, Lacuna Coil, Lullacry, Strapping Young Lad, Sentenced, Moonspell and some others. If you're into non-metal goth stuff, Projekt seems to be RIAA-clean too.

Re:It should be obvious by now (4, Interesting)

blowdart (31458) | more than 11 years ago | (#6440151)

All DRM is inherently unbeneficial

Bullshit. Perhaps you mean to say DRM is unbeneficial in its current form to consumers? Even then bullshit.

DRM has benefits right now, ask Apple, they seem to be making a few million dollar benefits out of a system which includes a form of DRM.

Want to stop users running as root or deleting your files on a shared system? That's a form of DRM, which has benefits?

Want to stop recruitment agencies chopping your CV into pieces, editing it around and submitting it for jobs for which you are unsuited and wasting your time? Produce your CV as a PDF which stops that. There's a benefit for you.

Want to produce a game for the PS/2, the XBox or any other console? Want to make sure that people buy it and you actually make some money from your effort? DRM again, woah, profit as a benefit? How unlike slashdot.

Just because something annoys you does not make it unbenefical to everyone, nor does making blanket statements of your political beliefs as fact provide any benefit to an arguement.

Re:It should be obvious by now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6440349)

>Want to protect your files? Run PGP. Want to prevent other people from reading them? Don't give them to people you don't trust. It's simple.

Want to go back to the days when all information was considered proprietary and protected by guilds? "It's that simple".

If you make it unprofitable to share new ideas, don't imagine that there aren't other ways to reward creativity. New ideas and implementations have value. Value means "worth money". If you aim to destroy the current system, you'd best be thinking what will reasonably replace it.

I haven't read the article (2, Funny)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439068)

Because I refuse to use proprietry file formats. So, I shall refrain from passing uninformed comment on this senseless drivel. Please don't let that stop anyone else though.

Re:I haven't read the article (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439077)

ahem. the pdf format has been made publicly available by adobe, and open source viewers are available. like xpdf.

moderators, troll this luser.

Re:I haven't read the article (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439083)

Don't try and bring your so-called "facts" into this.

Re:I haven't read the article (1)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439126)

made publicly available by adobe

So which meaning of proprietary are you using?

Re:I haven't read the article (4, Informative)

Dr. Photo (640363) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439150)

This pdf was apparently generated by pdftex [tug.org] ,
which is GPL'd.

So you probably won't go to GNU/Hell for reading it, in your friendly local xpdf or konqueror or whatnot.

Re:I haven't read the article (0, Flamebait)

tealover (187148) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439157)

I don't know about you, but I like Microsoft. I used to be a Microsoft hater but then I realized I was just following the crowd. I've used Linux for years and while I think Linux is a nice niche, it will never replace Microsoft. Linux is plagued by the same problems as Unix --- too fractious.

Microsoft establishes standards, and believe it or not...standards are good. If someone comes along and establishes better standards, then so be it. I don't think it will be Linux, however.

Re:I haven't read the article (2, Funny)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439190)

Microsoft establishes standards
And what high standards they are too.

Re:I haven't read the article (2, Funny)

AdEbh (468372) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439331)

That has to be one of the worst cases of trolling I've ever seen. The trick is to be subtle, to make it not look like your trolling.

Bringing MS into a discussion that has nothing to do with MS is a bit of a give away.

Try again and this time remember subtle

-Alex

Re:I haven't read the article (1)

CharterTerminal (199214) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439883)

That has to be one of the worst cases of trolling I've ever seen.

Oh, I don't know about the worst, really. I've seen some pretty clumsy trolling in my day, although I agree that this one is pretty inept.

I have to admit, though, that I'm almost hypnotized by his use of the word "fractious." I assume the poor word just got caught in the crossfire between a freak-ass typo and his spellchecking program, but it's hard to say. Nevertheless, "fractious" is a delightful word that simply doesn't get used as often as it deserves.

As a troll, both he and his "Word A Day" calendar deserve to die horribly, of course. But I have to give him credit for vocabulary, at least.

Re:I haven't read the article (1)

AstroDrabb (534369) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439381)

Damn, you are one clueless dork! MS does not make standards. They only break them. All the major protocols, document formats, etc that MS makes, they keep locked up so that only MS can interoperate with them. It is not too hard to be standards compliant with yourself.

Re:I haven't read the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439692)

I don't know about you, but I like Linux. I used to be a Linux hater but then I realized I was just following the crowd. I've used Windows for years and while I think Windows is a nice niche, it will never replace Linux. Microsoft is plagued by the same problems as Apple --- too fractious.

Linux establishes standards, and believe it or not...standards are good. If someone comes along and establishes better standards, then so be it. I don't think it will be Microsoft, however.

Re:I haven't read the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6440220)

Standards like POSIX and Single Unix Specification? Oh, oops.

Or maybe you mean Adobe PDF... Funny. Didn't Adobe do a lot of stuff for Unix?

Re:I haven't read the article -- from the Author (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439564)

I can provide you the raw LaTeX if you'd like that better (or a PS or DVI file for that matter).

Fredrik Wallenberg

Re:I haven't read the article -- from the Author (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 11 years ago | (#6440019)

And yet, one can't help but notice that none of those formats are present in this directory... http://www.sims.berkeley.edu/~rachna/papers/

I don't care, I use Win2K and Adobe Products, but I just thought I'd tweak the usual crowd here a bit.

In 100 years, it won't matter what OS you used or what computer language you authored software in... hell in my career none of those have mattered more than 4 years!

UCB (0)

CrazyJoel (146417) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439080)

The Upright Citizens Brigade [uprightcitizens.org] ?

That makes sense.

I'll laugh at you before you laugh at me because your pennies have been in my ass!

Re:UCB (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439596)

Does that mean that if I watch pr0n through a hole in a sheet, it's OK?

Re:UCB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6440011)

Dude, I wouldn't put my eye that close to the crusty sheet, know what I'm saying?

Call for Helpathon, Hour 18 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439082)

"Ugh... UGH!" Chris Pirillo moaned as he squatted over the ThumbDrive. He eyes darted back and forth like a stone man and he sighed gay breaths as he attempted to shove the device filled with the entire line of eBooks into his anus. His geek house trembled with fag vibrations coming from his crack but then- his doorbell rang, whistling the tune from "Matlock" throughout his hovel. "Damn" he howled in a gay sepulcher voice and slipped on a pair of pastel slacks. He trapped to the threshold of his cold abode and grabbed the greasy doorknob that was shaped like Birdman. With a slavish sigh, he opened the door to see none other than Adam Sessler himself! A gay gasp escaped from Chris's dork lips and Adam began to speak. Quickly, Chris snapped at him. "Damnit for the last time you vagabond, you're not supposed to be here!" The revolting nerd slammed the door in Adam's face, but the Game Master quickly shoved his iron boot inbetween the door and the wall, wedging it open. "I have come for you," he spoke in a cold tone; electric arcs coursed between the spikes in his cockneyed bleached hair. He howled as a blast of mystic Boohbahs emanated from his busy shirt and slammed Chris down the hall and into a Microsoft Digital Picture Frame. Chris grunted and swiped nerd dust and sheetrock from his arms. He rose to his feet and watched in horror as Adam brandished a weapon made from 3 Xbox controllers tied at the ends. "Oh my word! Game peripherals!" the dork bellowed; the stench of Cheetos and Diet Dr. Pepper wafted from his geek teeth. Instantly his palms began to sweat at the very sight of them, as if the grease from his McGriddle hadn't slicked them up enough. Chris tried to run, but it was too late. Adam swung the weapon above his head and threw it at the King of Nerds, entangling his legs and forcing him to the floor. Adam pulled a cestus made from PS2 DVDs out of his Spice Girls backpack and rushed Chris. He swiped at his turdly back over and over, causing streams of cold blood to squirt from his flesh. "Oh god, the horror, the HORROR!" Chris moaned as Adam butchered him relentlessly. A old Brit with one eye and a cockneyed accent burst into the room and started kicking Chris in the side. Chris was just about do die when... he rose from his bed. It was just a dream! He laughed and took a sip of more Brawls Guarana, hoping he wouldn't fall asleep again. "Time to plot..." he grumbled and shoved yet another pin into his Leo Laporte voodoo doll. :==-ATTENTION-==: I Will be gone for a week and will need a new Chris Pirillo troller (CPTer). Email me at lieberman5@hotmail.com and I'll hook you up as the official CPTer of /.

Like (1)

Jason_says (677478) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439101)

"no one else seems to be talking about like technical feasibility"

like totally man

SHUT YOUR FUCKING FACE UNCLEFUCKER! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439118)

Re:SHUT YOUR FUCKING FACE UNCLEFUCKER! (0, Flamebait)

Jason_says (677478) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439208)

that wasnt very nice

but im going to be the better man and not respond to that.

mumble...mumble stupid bitch..mumble

Re:SHUT YOUR FUCKING FACE UNCLEFUCKER! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439867)

You should just ignore trolls like this. If it's any consolation to you, I thought your original post was not only Funny, but also Interesting and Insightful. (I wouldn't go as far as to call it Informative, though.)

You mean I actually need to read? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439112)

Dude, this thing is like 5 and a half pages before the bibliography, and all of that is actually well-considered and thought out, which means it takes a long time to read. As an average slashdotter, being asked to read the article before trying to express my ill-thought-out-opinions seems unreasonable. That involves actual thinking and effort. Couldn't you give us, like, a sound bite in the story blurb next time that we could misinterpret and fight about? Has Microsoft said anything stupid on this subject lately?

Re:You mean I actually need to read? (1)

Klimaxor (264151) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439174)

i read a couple pages of it, but eh...i dunno..It's not as though i'm bad at reading..i just don't like reading something with so many lengthy words. It's bloated. It's good, yes, wish i could write that well, but damn bloated.

That and i'm reading it at work, and I'm tired of looking at PDF's, since my job revolves around opening them, looking at them, exporting them.

betrayal is betrayal (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439168)

doesnt matter your belief

Yes, (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439170)

but is that UCB full speed or high speed?

Text of the PDF paper (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439205)


As someone who hates that disgusting Adobe PDF format (why people can't publish in HTML after all this is the web right ?) here is the text of the pdf..

A Framework for Evaluating Digital Rights Management Proposals
Rachna Dhamija
UC Berkeley, SIMS
rachna@ sims. berkeley. edu

Fredrik Wallenberg
UC Berkeley, SIMS
fredrik@ sims. berkeley. edu

Abstract
In this paper, we analyze the strengths and weaknesses
of the various solutions to compensate intellectual property
rights holders. Specifically we look at digital rights manage-ment
(DRM) based systems, extensions to DRM to support
fair uses, monitor-and-charge schemes, compulsory licens-ing
schemes and alternative business models.
Our main contribution is to provide a framework from
which current and future proposals may be evaluated. In
order to realistically evaluate any compensation scheme, we
suggest that the following questions are important to ask:

Is the proposal technically feasible? What are the incentives to circumvent legal and techni-cal protections for all parties in the transaction?

What is the burden of monitoring for compliance in the system, and on which parties does this burden fall?
What is the efficiency of the collection and distribution of funds from consumers to rights holders?
What are the impacts on user privacy and fair use? What is the feasibility of legal enforcement, both do-mestically and internationally?

1. Introduction
Over the last few years the debate over protection, or lack
thereof, of copyrighted works has flourished. Proposals on
how to reimburse the creators of these works range from
strict proprietary encryption locks to new business mod-els
that rely on revenue streams from ancillary products.
Each new proposal points out the shortcomings of previ-ous
schemes and highlights the benefits of its own solution.
However, no consistent framework exists for analyzing the
different solutions.
In this paper, we analyze the strengths and weaknesses of
the various solutions. Specifically, we look at DRM based
systems, extensions to DRM to support fair uses, monitor-and-
charge schemes, compulsory licensing schemes and al-ternative
business models. From this comparison, we extract
important dimensions such as technical feasibility, incen-tives
to cheat, burden of monitoring, privacy, and the feasi-

bility of legal enforcement. Our main contribution is to pro-vide
a framework from which current and future proposal
may be evaluated.

Digital Information as a "Public Good" Economists
sometimes refer to certain goods as public. This does not
imply that they are in the public domain as defined by intel-lectual
property law. Rather, a public good is a product or
service that has two properties. First, it is non-rival, which
simply means that consumption by one person doesn't limit
consumption of the next. Second, it is non-excludable, im-plying
that once the product exists, the benefit cannot be
limited to those that have paid for it.
Ideas and information captured in physical media tradi-tionally
fall into some middle ground. While the informa-tion
itself certainly has the characteristics of a public good,
the physical media that it is tied to is rival and exclud-able.
This gives rise to business models involving the sale
of physical artifacts whose only value is the embedded in-formation
such as books, CDs and DVDs. These business
models have taken a serious blow with the introduction of
information in digital form combined with communications
media such as the Internet. The question at hand is whether
or not it is possible to devise a scheme under which money
can be transferred from those consuming information goods
to the providers of the same.
We use the characteristics of a public good to distinguish
between the following classes of proposals to compensate
intellectual property rights holders:

The first approach is to make the product rival. So-lutions in this category use DRM copy protection to make sharing of information goods hard (or impossi-ble).

The second approach is to make the product exclud-able. This includes watermarking schemes that allow owners to monitor who is using the product in order to
charge for its use and to pursue those who don't pay.
A final approach is to accept that a product is a public good that is non-rival and non-excludable. This cate- 1
1 Page 2 3
gory of solutions relies on financing through a general
collection system (such as levy or tax schemes) or on
revenues from alternative business models and volun-tary
contributions.

The three classes of solutions present different chal-lenges
from the standpoint of incentive compatibility. They
also differ with respect to cost and enforceability, and who
bears the burden of each.
For example, DRM systems that artificially make a prod-uct
either excludable or rival invite circumvention activi-ties
by end users (who realize that, if they could remove
the technical barriers, the product is neither excludable nor
rival). In compulsory licensing schemes, which tax users in-dependently
of their actual consumption, there is less incen-tive
for users to cheat. However this scheme invites another
problem. If the disbursement of funds to rights holders is
based on the observed consumption of their products, rights
holders now have a strong incentive to bias the observed
traffic in their favor. With either solution, there is one party
that will have to be monitored for cheating unless techni-cal
barriers are put in place that cannot be circumvented, an
unrealistic assumption.
In section 2, we summarize the general and specific pro-posals
that have been made for compensating rights holders.
In section 3, we analyze how the different solutions fare in
areas such as technical feasibility, incentives to cheat, bur-den
of monitoring, efficiency, privacy and fair use. Finally,
we present our conclusions in section 4.

2. Proposed Solutions
2.1. Creating Rival Goods
Traditional DRM Digital rights management (DRM)
systems aim at protecting ownership and copyright of elec-tronic
content by restricting what actions an authorized re-cipient
may take with respect to that content. In traditional
DRM systems, content is distributed in protected form and
relies on a compliant device or secure execution environ-ment
to allow the user to make use of the work. In these
schemes, the content may be protected through encryption
(as is the case with the DVD Copy Control Association
Content Scrambling System 1 and cable and satellite trans-missions)
or through labeling (as is the case with Macro-vision 2
) and the Digital Television Broadcast flag [1]. In
permissions-based systems, the encrypted content is deliv-ered
with a machine-readable license, which specifies the li-cense
terms and specific permissions for which a user is au-1

http:// www. dvdcca. org/ css/ 2
http:// www. macrovision. com/

thorized to make use of the work (as is the case with eBooks
and many audio and video players). For examples, see the
Windows Media DRM 3 , the RealNetwork Helix DRM 4 and
the Apple FairPlay DRM 5 .

DRM Extension Proposals One of the strongest criti-cisms
of DRM systems has been their inflexibility in allow-ing
end users to make fair uses of works. U. S. Copyright
laws give copyright owners the right to prohibit others from
making some uses of the work, such as copying, distributing
or making a derivative work. However, there are many ex-ceptions
to this rule that allow users to legally make further
uses of the work, even when such uses are not authorized
by the copyright owner (for example, the ability to make
private backups, or the ability to make excerpts for com-mentary
or criticism). The term fair use strictly refers to the
four factor test given in 17 U. S. C. 107. Here, we use the
term more loosely to refer to other exceptions that apply
to copyright, e. g., Special Rules for Libraries and Archives
(17 U. S. C. 108), narrow exemptions (17 U. S. C. 110), first
sale rights, term expiration, public domain, privileges for re-verse
engineering and backup of computer programs.
In their "Fair Use Infrastructure" proposal, Burk and Co-hen
examine how fair use can be retained under a DRM sys-tem
that provides strict access control [2]. The proposal has
two components. First they suggest that there is a subset of
all possible cases of fair uses that can be well-described and
encoded as automatic defaults into DRM systems. For the
cases of fair use that cannot be easily encoded in this way,
the authors propose that users could make a request for ac-cess
to the work with a trusted third party. The third party is
responsible for determining if the requested use falls under
fair use, and if so, it is able to grant access to the encrypted
work via a key escrow system (in which keys to decrypt
works are deposited by copyright holders).
Mulligan and Burstein propose modifications to Rights
Expression Languages (REL), i. e., XrML, in order to bet-ter
support fair uses [3]. They argue that REL syntax and
vocabulary should enable rights holders to express license
terms in a way that more closely matches copyright law.
Specifically, rights holders should be able to express fair use
exceptions, as clearly and easily as they are able to express
restrictions on the use of a work. Furthermore, they propose
that DRM systems should be designed so that all parties in
a rights transaction (both the rights holders and end users,
for example) can express their rights through REL. Erick-3

http:// www. microsoft. com/ windows/ windowsmedia/
drm. aspx 4
http:// www. realnetworks. com/ products/ drm/ 5
http:// www. info. apple. com/ usen/ musicstore/
musicstore. html? topic= music_ authorization 2
2 Page 3 4
son proposes a DRM architecture in the same vein [4]. In
his model, users can make rights requests (such as a fair use
request) to a third-party licensing authority. Like the other
proposals in this section, he argues that a third party licens-ing
authority will be more impartial than the rights holders
in deciding whether to grant a use request. Also, like Burk &
Cohen, his solution to achieve a closer approximation to fair
use depends upon giving users the opportunity to engage in
a rights negotiation with rights holders.

2.2. Creating Excludable Goods
In order to provide monitoring and tracking, some DRM
schemes rely on watermarking, which embeds a visible or
invisible mark in content such as audio, images and com-puter
software. Fingerprinting is similar in concept and usu-ally
refers to embedding a unique serial number in content
(as opposed to general copyright information). Fingerprint-ing
can also involve the extraction of unique features from
a particular piece of work in order to identify it.
There are a number of examples of the use of ex-post
monitoring by copyright holders to detect unauthorized uses
of their work. For example, some companies have proposed
an automatic system to detect unauthorized distribution of
images that consists of a watermarking scheme and a web
crawler that downloads pictures to check if they contain the
watermark (for example see Digimarc MarcSpider 6 image
tracking). In their attempts to stifle piracy, the music and
motion picture industries are using the services of third par-ties
such as BayTSP 7 and Ranger Online 8 to track down in-fringing
copies without the need for a-priori watermarking.
BayTSP claims to have detected 10,000 infringements with
a 95% compliance and removal rate resulting from take-down
notifications.
In his "ISPs as Digital Retailers" scheme, Sobel proposes
to use watermarking and fingerprinting techniques, not only
to find copies of work but also to charge consumers di-rectly.
In Sobel's proposal, ISPs can license content from
copyright holders at wholesale prices and then re-sell the
content to their customers, with whom they have an es-tablished
billing relationship [5]. He suggests that digital
fingerprinting (and/ or watermarking) could be used by the
ISPs to monitor the flow of copyrighted materials over their
networks. In order to ensure that the transaction costs asso-ciated
with negotiation are minimized, the author proposes
a statutory license that forces the copyright owner to pro-vide
a license, however, it does not regulate the prices that
copyright holders may charge.

6 http:// www. digimarc. com
7 http:// www. baytsp. com
8 http:// www. rangerinc. com

2.3. Public Goods
Even among those who agree that digital information should
be treated as a public good, there is a wide discrepancy in
the solutions proposed with respect to government regula-tion.
At one end of the spectrum, we have proposals that
rely on legal intervention, typically in the form of compul-sory
licensing schemes. At the other end, we have abolition-ists
who suggest that doing away with intellectual property
rights will best allow market solutions to flourish.

Compulsory Licensing One conclusion of accepting that
digital information goods have the characteristics of public
goods is that creation needs to be subsidized through com-pulsory
licensing policies. In this case, the rights holders are
required to license their works at a set rate and under certain
conditions. One way to characterize the problem is how to
"collect a pool of money from Internet users, and agree on a
fair way to divide it among the artists and copyright owners"
[6]. In this paper, we use the term "compulsory licensing"
as von Lohmann does, to refer to the taxation model that
is commonly used for public goods. However, other com-pulsory
licensing models are possible, see for example the
Music Online Competition Act of 2001 9 and U. S. Copyright
Office's Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel 10 .
Specific compulsory licensing proposals, such as those
by Netanel and Fisher, suggest that the money should be
collected based on consumption of devices (such as CD and
DVD burners), media (blank CDs and DVDs) and services
(such as ISP access) [7, 8]. The efficiency of any collection
scheme will depend on how close the consumption of prod-ucts
and services that are taxed is to that of the digital goods
that are consumed. Funds raised in this manner would then
have to be disbursed to the rights holders based on some
approximation of the use of their respective products.
Netanel's Non-Commercial Use Levy (NUL) proposal
builds upon the basic concept of compulsory licensing
by specifying that the license should only be for non-commercial
use and should not include all forms of digital
goods [7]. Specifically he intends the model to cover "liter-ary
works" that are not primarily tools. That is, he expects
creative content such as music, movies, text and graphics to
be covered, but not computer programs.
To refine the collection mechanism, he proposes that the
levy should be imposed upon "commercial providers of all
consumer products and services the value of which . . . P2P
file sharing substantially enhances" [7, page 32]. He further
proposes that the NUL should strive to raise as much money
as the sales supplanted by P2P sharing.

9 http:// www. house. gov/ boucher/ moca-page. htm
10 http:// www. copyright. gov/ carp/ 3
3 Page 4 5
While the remuneration should ideally be tied closely
with the users' aggregate private value of the goods, Netanel
acknowledges that such monitoring would imply high trans-action
costs and privacy costs. He suggests that metering of
downloads, streams and uses should be done both at the ISP
level and, in some cases, on user devices and be supported
by digital fingerprinting and sampling techniques.
Fisher proposes that we replace the current copyright
model with a government administered reward system [8].
In order for creators to collect revenue under this system,
they are required to register with the copyright office and
will receive a unique filename in return (that would allow
the work to be tracked). Similar to Netanel, Fisher proposes
that the government put a tax on devices and services that
are used to access digital entertainment.
The distribution would be determined through the analy-sis
of a number of metrics including surveys and usage data
provided by file sharing systems, such as KaZaa. Fisher also
recognizes that the amount of compensation needs to differ
depending on the type of good, thus the fact that both a new
Britney Spears song and the recent Spielberg movie have the
same "market share" doesn't mean that they should receive
the same remuneration.

Alternate Business Models Boldrin and Levine, among
others, believe that copyright (or other intellectual prop-erty
rights) is unnecessary in order to stimulate the creation
of information goods [9]. There have been many calls for
the development of new business models that don't require
control of the content per se, but where the revenue comes
from excludable actions such as showing a movie in a full
size theatre or giving live concerts. Further, just as the con-tent
drives demand for "performances", it may also provide
room for merchandising. However, a number of artists have
expressed skepticism about such ancillary revenue streams
[10].
Finally there are those that suggest that voluntary pay-ments
may work. There are plenty of examples within the
shareware industry of products that are made available for
free (without any limitations on functionality) and of "con-tributions"
that are sufficient enough to support the devel-opers.
Yet, there are examples where the "tips" were insuf-ficient
to pay for the development of the product. For exam-ple,
Stephen King's novel The Plant was originally offered
under the "tip model" but the model failed to raise sufficient
revenue and the book was withdrawn [11].
As an enabler for alternative business models, Creative
Commons licenses can be used by authors to indicate that
their copyrighted works can be copied and distributed, usu-ally
under certain conditions (for example, only with attri-bution,
or only for non-commercial use). Related efforts are

The Free Software Foundation's General Public License for
software licenses and the Electronic Frontier Foundation's
Open Audio License for digital sound recordings.

3. Discussion
In this section, we compare and contrast the proposals for
compensating rights holders along the following dimesions:
technical feasibility, incentives to cheat, burden of monitor-ing,
efficiency of collection and distribution of funds, pri-vacy,
fair use, feasibility of legal enforcement and flexibil-ity.

Technical Feasibility A number of security researchers
have commented on the technical futility of copy protection
and DRM [12, 13, 14]. One cryptographer has stated that
DRM approaches will never be successful because "all dig-ital
copy protection schemes can be broken and, once they
are the breaks will be distributed" [12]. Other security re-searchers
are more optimistic that DRM models can have
more success by focusing on risk management and the abil-ity
to adapt to security compromises [15].

All of the attacks that traditional DRM system are vul-nerable
to also apply to the DRM extension proposals.
While the DRM extension proposals aim to provide better
support for fair use, they acknowledge that it is impossi-ble
to create a DRM system that will allow all fair uses.
A fundamental technical challenge is how to create excep-tions
that are flexible enough to allow legitimate fair uses,
but not so flexible that they can be exploited as loopholes by
infringers.

The centralized key escrow scheme proposed by Burk &
Cohen would be an enormous technical undertaking. Many
of the technical criticisms of key escrow systems in gen-eral
also apply to this proposal [16]. For example, a cen-tralized
key repository creates a very high value target and
introduces many new vulnerabilities and threats regarding
the improper disclosure of keys. Due to the large number of
users and copyrighted works, such a system would be ex-traordinarily
complex to administer and extremely costly to
implement.

Sobel's monitoring and charging scheme is also infea-sible
to implement securely. It is simply too easy for users
to alter digital fingerprints and watermarks, especially given
that they have a strong incentive to do so. For example, users
may easily be able to remove the mark, or to place a water-mark
from one work into another [17, 18, 19]. Another sim-ple
attack is for users to encrypt their files to prevent detec-tion
of the watermark. It would be difficult (or impossible)
for the ISP to differentiate between legitimately encrypted
content and encrypted copyrighted content without banning 4
4 Page 5 6
encryption entirely.
The main technical challenge in the compulsory licens-ing
schemes is how to track digital copies of content. Fisher
suggests two approaches to tackle this problem [8, Ch. 6,
p. 6]. The first is for the creators to imbed digital watermarks
into copies of their work, which could then be tracked and
replicated in each copy of the original work. Unfortunately,
as discussed above, the watermarking approach is subject to
a number of attacks that may make such a plan infeasible.
Fisher's second approach relies upon the existence of a
centralized registration system, which would require artists
to register their work in exchange for a unique serial num-ber
for that work. Again, Fisher does not provide any details
for how the serial number would be tracked. One possibil-ity
is to embed the serial number as a watermark, but this
is subject to the problems discussed above. Any centralized
registration service of this type will be an enormous techni-cal
undertaking.
Even if watermarking systems were impossible to defeat,
both the monitor-and-charge schemes and the compulsory
licensing schemes are subject to "distributed" cheating at-tacks,
where the consumption of a good is artificially in-flated
across a large number of (real or illegitimate) users.
These types of attacks are challenging to detect, and any us-age
monitoring or sampling scheme must be designed with
this in mind.

Incentives to Cheat DRM schemes that tie payment di-rectly
to consumption inherently give users a larger incen-tive
to circumvent copy-protection or monitoring devices
in order to avoid payment. Also, onerous security restric-tions
on DRM-wrapped content make compliance less at-tractive,
given the availability of unrestricted content [20].
DRM schemes that allow a certain threshold of private use
copying may be perceived as more "fair" and may therefore
enjoy wider adoption and higher compliance rates. Apple's
recently announced Fairplay DRM allows more private use
copies to be made compared to other DRM schemes [21].
DRM extension proposals, such as those proposed by
Mulligan & Burstein and Erickson, may increase user com-pliance,
because users are now able to engage in fair use
without circumvention. In the Burk & Cohen model, the in-centive
for the users to comply is that those who fail to ob-tain
access via the escrow agent would be subject to prose-cution
for circumventing technical measures. Under Burk &
Cohen the incentive for rights holders to deposit keys with
the escrow agent is that they would otherwise be unable
to invoke legal protection against circumvention. If they
choose not to escrow their works, users would be given a
"right to hack" as a substitute for access to the work via es-crow
keys. One problem with these proposals is that rights

holders currently have no economic incentive to express fair
use terms or to allow user negotiation in DRM enforced li-censes,
as proposed by Mulligan & Burstein and Erickson,
absent a change in the law [22].
In a monitor-and-charge model, such as that proposed by
Sobel, users have the incentive to under-report consump-tion
to avoid payment. Irreputable rights holders also have
an incentive to push unrequested information to the user to
increase their revenue. In fact, spammers could potentially
construe their spam as copyrighted material and be paid for
it.
In compulsory licensing schemes, which tax users inde-pendently
of their actual consumption, there is less incen-tive
for users to cheat (users may still have an incentive to
skew the reporting, either because they would like to fa-vor
certain artists or because they are concerned about the
tracking of their specific consumption.) This is one of the
prime motivators for any compulsory licensing scheme as
outlined in section 2.3. Fisher recognizes that, under these
types of schemes, it is now rights holders that have the in-centive
to cheat, or engage in "ballot stuffing." This bal-lot
stuffing is very similar to the spamming problem that
monitor-and-charge schemes are subject to. However, in the
compulsory license case, cheating will be more challeng-ing
to detect since end users are not being directly charged
and therefore have less incentive to complain about products
they have not consumed. As discussed above, cheating that
artificially inflates the consumption of a good over a large
number of (real or illegitimate) users, will be hard to detect
in both schemes.

Burden of Monitoring Under DRM-based systems, the
burden of monitoring user compliance falls on the rights
holders.
In the monitor-and-charge environment, as proposed by
Sobel, the monitoring burden falls on the ISP. The Sobel
proposal correctly identifies that the ISP is in the best po-sition
to monitor individual users [23]. What the author
fails to acknowledge is that the ability to successfully mon-itor
depends on the effectiveness of the tracking mechanism
(which isn't very effective) and the user's incentive to cir-cumvent
the protection (which is high). The security respon-sibility
for the former falls entirely on the shoulders of the
rights holders who insert the watermarks. The incentive for
users to cheat will depend on price and usage restrictions,
both of which are also determined by the rights holder. With
that in mind it isn't surprising that the ISPs are less than
thrilled about the proposal. Furthermore, while ISPs do bill
their individual users, the complexity implied by this system
(where everyone can be a copyright holder and consumer)
would result in "the worlds most complicated billing sys- 5
5 Page 6 7
tem" (Sarah Deutsch, council for Verizon, at the UC Berke-ley
Law and Technology of DRM conference in February
2003). 11
In compulsory licensing schemes, the burden of moni-toring
falls on the government to ensure that rights holders
do not "game" the system. One concern is that this vests a
large amount of power and discretion over creative culture
with a government agency. In this case, public monitoring
will be critical to ensure that the rules established are fair.
For example, what criteria will be used to determine who
is authorized to register as a legitimate artist with the copy-right
office? How do we ensure that organizations, such as
RIAA and MPAA, who have large lobbying power, will not
tilt such a system to their advantage and to the disadvantage
of smaller independent artists? How will the agency respond
to the opposition that is sure to arise over the funding of
politically unpopular art? For example, The South Carolina
House of Representatives passed a bill to renounce the Dixie
Chicks for their "unpatriotic" criticism of President G. W.
Bush prior to the second Gulf War [24]. As another exam-ple,
we cite the legal battles that arose over "standards of
decency" in government funding of artists by the U. S. Na-tional
Endowment for the Arts [25].

Efficiency of Collection and Distribution of Funds In
the case of DRM-based solutions, the revenue received by
the rights holders is a direct function of the value assigned
by the users (specifically, we know that the user's value is
at least as high as the price). In the case of a monitor-and-charge
system like Sobel's, the fact that the payment is made
well after the decision to consume tends to have an impact
on purchasing behavior.
Under compulsory licensing schemes, direct ties be-tween
funds collected and true consumption cannot, per def-inition,
be established. The precision of the estimate of what
is consumed can be improved by tying the collection of
funds to the consumption of (non-public) goods that have
a high correlation with the public information good. In this
context, Netanel's proposal fares better than most compul-sory
licensing schemes, because funds are raised based on
levies on (non-public) goods whose values are tightly linked
to the digital work.
A further effect of decoupling collection and consump-tion
is that "sales" can no longer be used to determine how
funds are disbursed. Rather, some metric must be used to
estimate the aggregate value of the consumption of a partic-ular
work. When users no longer "vote with their wallets",
even perfect observation of every copy acquired (through
downloading or otherwise) is unlikely to yield a perfect es-11

http:// mindjack. com/ relay/ archive/ 2003_ 02_ 01_
index. shtml

timate, because consumption patterns are changed. That is,
when the marginal cost is lowered (to near-zero), not only
will the users consume more, but the mix will most likely
change since the user will consume goods with a value to
them lower than the previous cost but higher than the new
marginal cost. The further away from the individual actions
that the sampling is done (by, for example, monitoring the
traffic on the backbone), the worse the precision becomes.

Privacy There is an inherent tension between the goals of
DRM copyright-enforcement and the privacy goals of end
users. Rights enforcement technologies may compromise
user privacy through the restrictions they place on users, by
tracking and monitoring users and their usage patterns, and
also through the data that is collected by network operators
[26, 27, 28].
The DRM extension proposals also present a serious
challenge to user privacy by creating a centralized database
of user requests for access. The most privacy-optimal solu-tion
would fulfill fair use requests (or under Burk & Cohen,
release escrow keys to applicants) without retaining any per-sonally
identifying records. However in order to prevent
abuse and prevent would-be infringers from exploiting such
a system, it is likely that records will be kept. The danger
is that copyright industries will demand the ability to match
keys with identities so that pirated materials can be linked
to the suspected infringers. In their proposal, Burk & Cohen
recommend that identifying information be released only
pursuant to a court order and only on a showing of actual
piracy. This issue is currently being tested in U. S. courts. As
of this writing, ISPs are required to turn over subscriber in-formation
to copyright holders upon "reasonable suspicion
of a violation", a much lower standard than that suggested
by the authors. See The U. S. District Court (DC) opinion in
RIAA v. Verizon, holding that the issuance of a subpoena
by a Clerk of the District Court to obtain the identity of an
anonymous peer to peer infringer from his ISP does not vi-olate
either the First Amendment of the Constitution, or the
justiciability requirements of Article III [29]. Furthermore,
Burk & Cohen acknowledge that in any scheme where users
must request access, even the most stringent system of pri-vacy
protections for fair uses is likely to chill some lawful
uses. For more treatment of the chilling effect, see [30, 26].
Under a monitor-and-charge scheme, such as that pro-posed
by Sobel, the impact on privacy should be expected
to be much higher than Sobel acknowledges since all copy-righted
traffic to and from an identified user will be moni-tored.
The observations on the chilling effects of monitoring
apply here as well.
In general, compulsory licensing models would require
less precise monitoring of individual activities than DRM- 6
6 Page 7 8
based or monitor-and-charge models. Even if file usage is
monitored at the same level, metering for the purpose of re-distribution
of funds does not require identification of the
end user. Neither Netanel nor Fisher provide any details of
their watermarking schemes, if they will embed any person-ally
identifying information, for example. But presumably,
such a scheme could depend on aggregate sampling and
would not require ISPs or P2P operators to record how much
any particular individual has downloaded or uploaded a par-ticular
file (however, ISPs and P2P operators could choose
to record this data, as it would be commercially valuable).
Netanel's approach is more problematic than Fisher's from
the perspective of privacy since he, in an effort to improve
precision, suggests that usage should be tracked not only on
the network (down to the individual user level) but also on
the user's devices.

Fair Use The legal definition of what constitutes a fair use
is ambiguous in U. S. copyright law, and only a court can
determine with authority whether a particular use is a fair
use. It is unlikely, therefore, that we will be able to build
DRM systems that can reason about what uses are fair in
the foreseeable future.
One solution to resolve the tension between rights hold-ers
desires for copy controls and users desires to make fair
uses is to encode special exception cases of fair use into the
DRM system. The exceptions must be broad enough to be
useful, but cannot be so broad as to allow infringement to
occur. Regardless of how broad the encoded exceptions are,
there is always the spectre of future fair uses that have yet
to be thought of [31].
All of the DRM extension proposals in section 2.1 enable
the introduction of a third party decision maker. The aim is
to approximate case-by-case determinations, which cannot
be emulated by fair use defaults alone. In particular, the pro-posal
by Burk & Cohen strives to encode some flexibility to
handle borderline cases as well as new uses.
Solutions that rely on ex-post monitoring have an inher-ently
better chance of supporting fair uses. The difficulty in-herent
in Sobel's monitor-and-charge model is that the ISPs
must determine which uses are fair use. The likely result
would be a very strict interpretation by the ISPs resulting in
severe limitations on fair use, because the ISPs would face
legal liability for infringing uses and they do not benefit fi-nancially
from fair use copies.
Compulsory licensing schemes will also inherently more
easily allow fair uses to be made. However, one criticism
of the compulsory licensing schemes is that the cost that is
borne by users will account for all uses, whether they are
licensed and authorized uses or whether they are unautho-rized
fair uses.

Feasibility of Legal Enforcement Even if we can track
and identify infringers from a technical standpoint we still
have to worry about whether or not we can enforce laws
effectively.

Currently, with DRM based systems, there is a very
large set of possible entities that the rights holders may
pursue when infringement is discovered, including individ-ual
users, providers of circumvention tools, operators of
file sharing networks and ISPs. Little changes under the
monitor-and-charge proposal. However, the rights holder
can now prosecute one entity, the ISPs, for failing to en-force
copyright laws, and it will be up to the ISPs to pursue
everyone else.

The major difference is seen under a compulsory licens-ing
scheme. In this case, the rights holders only have to con-cern
themselves a smaller subset of users that infringe the
license, such as unauthorized commercial users under Ne-tanel's
NUL. The entity in charge of disbursement of roy-alties
will have to monitor the rights holders, but it benefits
from having the means to punish them by virtue of with-holding
funds [8, Ch. 6, p. 29]. Penalizing individual users
who do not explicitly act on behalf of a rights holder, but
are simply trying to distort the system, will be much harder.

Another obvious problem stems from international users
(and content). DRM-based systems can function well in-ternationally,
however, prosecuting infringing uses in other
countries presents a challenge. For example, in the DeCSS
case, Jon Johansen was acquitted by Norwegian courts [32].
Similarly, the monitor-and-charge and compulsory licens-ing
schemes only contemplate raising money from U. S.
users, without any concern for how foreign users would be
induced to pay or how the U. S. would handle payments to
foreign entities.

Currently, rights holders are seeking broader legal anti-circumvention
legislation in the U. S., European Union and
other countries to protect DRM-based business models [33].
It remains to be seen whether rights holders would also seek
legislative protection in the case of compulsory licensing
(for example, in the form of prohibiting users and network
operators from circumventing watermarking schemes).

Flexibility There is another important consideration when
choosing a mix of market based solutions and government
intervention. In general, government mandated solutions
foreclose development of many new solutions. Adopting a
compulsory licensing solution will lock us into a specific
solution and may halt the evolution of new business models
for distributing digital goods. 7
7 Page 8 9
4. Conclusions
Based on the analysis in the previous section, it is quite
clear that there are many tradeoffs to consider when eval-uating
proposals to compensate intellectual property rights
holders. In order to realistically evaluate any compensation
scheme, we suggest that the following framework of ques-tions
be applied:

Is the proposal technically feasible? No proposed tech-nical protection measures are strong enough to sustain a determined attack. Only in combination with mod-els
where the incentives to circumvent are limited, can
technical solutions succeed.

What is the feasibility of legal enforcement, both domestically and internationally? It is easy for re-searchers and market actors to forget that a solution
that requires significant government intervention and
enforcement is inherently bound to the confines of
country boundaries and international treaties. Reduc-ing
the reliability on legal enforcement may improve
the chance of international effectiveness.

What are the incentives to circumvent legal and tech-nical protection for all parties in the transaction? The incentives for users to cheat will depend on the price
per copy of digital works and the restrictions that are
placed on usage. Decoupling revenue collection from
the act of copying may reduce incentives for the user
to cheat. Privacy concerns may also affect these incen-tives.

How efficient is the proposed solution? Efficiency is a concern in the collection and disbursement of funds from consumers to rights holders. It is also a concern
when analyzing the burden of monitoring for compli-ance
and where that responsibility is placed.

What are the impacts on user privacy and fair use? Privacy concerns frequently run counter to desires for economic efficiency. Therefore, any proposed solu-tions
must acknowledge that there is a trade-off to be
made. Fair use is important on its social merits alone,
however, a broader adoption of fair and private uses
will also serve to reduce user incentives to circumvent.

How flexible is the solution? Some proposals will, if adopted, foreclose other types of solutions. It could be that it is better to support an inferior solution now, but
one that leaves us with an opportunity to adapt other,
better solutions in the future.

References
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[8] W. Fisher, "PROMISES TO KEEP: Technology, Law,
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[10] J. Toomey and K. Thomson, "Virtual Tip Jar or Char-ity
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[12] B. Schnier, "The futility of copy prevention," Cryptogram,
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[13] P. Biddle, P. England, M. Peinado, and B. Willman,
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krasic/ cse585/ darknet. pdf
[14] E. W. Felten, "A Skeptical View of DRM and Fair Use,"
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8 Page 9
[15] P. Kocher, J. Jaffe, B. Jun, C. Laren, and N. Lawson, "Self
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[16] H. Abelson, R. Anderson, S. Bellovin, J. Benaloh,
M. Blaze, W. Diffie, J. Gilmore, P. Neumann, R. Rivest,
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[17] F. A. P. Petitcolas, R. J. Anderson, and M. G. Kuhn, "At-tacks
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[18] S. A. Craver, A. Perrig, and F. A. P. Petitcolas, "Robustness
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[19] S. A. Craver, M. Wu, B. Liu, A. Stubblefield,
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[26] J. E. Cohen, "DRM and Privacy," Communications of the
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[28] J. Feigenbaum, M. J. Freedman, T. Sander, and A. Shostack,
"Privacy engineering for digital rights management systems," Dig-ital
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[32] "Den offentlige p atalemyndighet mot Jon Lech Jo-hansen,"
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April 2003. 9

CRACK DOWN ON THIS PIRATE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439333)

I bet he used some password cracking thingee to post this intellectual property of the citizens of California. Fucker.

Re:CRACK DOWN ON THIS PIRATE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439494)

shaddup biatch, go away and suck your grandmas dick.

Disgusting PDF format?! (0, Offtopic)

Rob Simpson (533360) | more than 11 years ago | (#6440046)

As someone who hates that disgusting Adobe PDF format (why people can't publish in HTML after all this is the web right ?) here is the text of the pdf.


WTF? PDF is a format that renders the same regardless of the program used to view it, and can be generated by open-source linux software. HTML is a format that is viewed differently depending on the program and settings used, especially since the majority of people use IE (not exactly standards compliant). Moreover, PDF files can be easily saved and viewed later without worrying about saving every single image in the same path - which is often useful for research papers with charts and graphs all over the place (ejournals often have PDF files which, when printed out, are identical to the articles in the paper-based journal...try doing that with HTML.

Re:Disgusting PDF format?! (0, Offtopic)

Chmarr (18662) | more than 11 years ago | (#6440280)

WTF? PDF is a format that renders the same regardless of the program used to view it, and can be generated by open-source linux software. HTML is a format that is viewed differently depending on the program and settings used, especially since the majority of people use IE (not exactly standards compliant).... etc

THat's all very well and fine if the layout of one's document was important. But... this is a research paper for crissakes... there is NO need for pixel-perfect rendering. HTML is just fine.

Re:Disgusting PDF format?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6440299)

PDF is perfect for something that will only ever be read off of a printed page, or must be identical to the printed version.

HTML is better for something for which the content is useful regardless of the layout, and which may be read on a number of media, even audio. If SVG is ever fully supported, even all those graphs can be perfectly preserved.

ejournals often have PDF files which, when printed out, are identical to the articles in the paper-based journal...

woohoo. Who cares?

It's possible to zoom an HTML page and still not require horizontal scrolling. Try doing that with PDF.

Re:Text of the PDF paper (1)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 11 years ago | (#6440276)

Guess they should have used DRM to protect their article from being cut and pasted into slashdot.

Re:Text of the PDF paper (3, Informative)

fwallenberg (689486) | more than 11 years ago | (#6440289)

Thanks for the work of creating a text version of the document for those that don't like PDFs. We've made an HTML version available (see separate post). As to why PDF (and why two columns)? Conference submission requirements... it could have been worse, they seemed to prefer Word documents ;-)

Well, So What? (5, Insightful)

iamatlas (597477) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439218)

Yes, current and as yet forseable DRM systems are of laughable or at best questionable quality and even legality (consumers do have have rights to purchased material)But....

The bathwater should be carefully checked to make sure no baby is contained therein before throwing it out. DRM often being overly restrictive, easily bypassed, or otherwise inneficient does not mean that there should not be some _Rasonable_ system in place that prevents misuse, and only mis-use. In the slashdot crowd-- and I find myself, as part of it, falling victim to this at times-- DRM is often spoken of in a context of its being inherently bad and undesireable. Truthfully, and effective and fair DRM system just might be what is truly needed.

Interesting comments wanted; trolls need not reply

Re:Well, So What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439296)

Interesting comments wanted; trolls need not reply
You're only saying that becuase you're a GAY NIGGER!!!

Re:Well, So What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439907)

Even worse than that - He's a GAY NIGGER FROM OUTER SPACE [216.239.51.104]

Re:Well, So What? (3, Insightful)

RickHunter (103108) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439490)

Yeah, but to be fair, it has to respect the entire letter of the law. Not just "you can't copy/modify this, its mine", but everything. From (mostly theoretical, these days) copyright expiry to provisions made for fair use exceptions and changing legislation.

DRM as often spoken of is useless at best and harmful at worst. There might be some gems hidden there, but I doubt that allowing Holywood and Microsoft to follow through with their Evil Scheme of the Month is going to bring them to the surface.

Re:Well, So What? (4, Interesting)

drwav (577314) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439693)

DRM often being overly restrictive, easily bypassed, or otherwise inneficient does not mean that there should not be some _Rasonable_ system in place that prevents misuse, and only mis-use.

I would like to point you to this article [slashdot.org] and follow up by submitting that what you ask is either not possible or so impractical that we should not waste our energies on such a project.

To summarize the article, it basically states that because of the complexities of society, only humans should be allowed to decide the implication of the law in a case by case basis. Such decisions are not for the cold logic of a computer unless a sophisticated AI is created for DRM, which is the impractical part I was referring to earlier.

The key word in the article is "leeway", something that machines are completely incapable of.

Look at it this way, do you really want your computer telling you what you can and can't do? Now you can say that this is important for security and to prevent damage to the machine (e.g. Don't allow other users to access the machine, don't allow users to delete system files), but those are simply bad analogies and I encourage you to avoid them since they will only hinder this discussion.

ok so thanks (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439230)

it's a good idea to point out the flaws early, so it can be fixed rather than if they do a massive deployment of shitty tech.

Companies are serious about DRM. It's not going away.

As if.. (2, Insightful)

wfberg (24378) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439248)


they also question the compulsory licensing approach recently being promoted by the EFF. They get into some of the practical details about compulsory licensing that no one else seems to be talking about like technical feasibility, incentives to cheat, monitoring for compliance, efficiency of collection and distribution of funds, privacy, fair use, feasibility of legal enforcement...

As if these problems magically do not exist with voluntary licensing. I'm quite sure the EFF never claimed a compulsory licensing scheme would be perfect. It's a least bad kind of thing.

Re:As if.. (0, Flamebait)

geekee (591277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439440)

"I'm quite sure the EFF never claimed a compulsory licensing scheme would be perfect. It's a least bad kind of thing."

Compulsory licensing is socialism. I'll take DRM over it any day of the week. I'd rather not be able to look at certain memory locations in my computer for data that Im not supposed to have free access to anyway (except for fair use purposes, which can be accomodated) than not be able to write a song and sell it at a price of my choosing.

a price of my choosing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439534)

You don't have the option to sell your song on KaZaA for a price of your choosing. DRM is easily worked around since it only takes one person to buy the file and record it as an mp3 and make it available on Gnutella. You are advocating for control (so you can set the price) which doesn't exist.

Re:As if.. (5, Insightful)

TephX (54484) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439649)

Compulsory licensing is socialism.

Intellectual property is fascism.

Now, I'm sure we both realize that the previous statement was roughly meaningless and designed only to incite emotion. The point is that yours is the same. Copyright is a legal construct in the first place. It does not exist independent of the government's creating it.

But moreover, I don't see how it is socialism in any case. Socialism implies that the means of production are owned by the government. Umm, in this case I guess that would mean that the content producers were owned by the government? Or their equipment, perhaps? Nope, none of this is making any sense.

I'll take DRM over it any day of the week. I'd rather not be able to look at certain memory locations in my computer for data that Im not supposed to have free access to anyway (except for fair use purposes, which can be accomodated) than not be able to write a song and sell it at a price of my choosing.

Well, you've made it quite clear what your opinion is, but you haven't really given any reason for anyone else to accept it. My point of view is that compulsory licensing has at least this benefit: it stops the "arms race" between file sharers / traders / copyright infringers (however you want to look at it) and the RIAA / MPAA. While I think the technological aspect of this "arms race" may actually produce technologies which are interesting and useful in their own respects, the legal "arms race" is much more troubling, as very questionable law is being enacted at the request of the side that evidently donates more money to political campaigns.

Compulsory licensing does mean that you can't "write a song and sell it at a price of [your] choosing", but the way I look at it, you didn't have a right to do that anyway. You currently have the ability, yes, but that ability is only justified (in the USA, by the Constitution) to be granted to you to "promote the progress of science and useful arts".

And yes, I realize you were probably just trying to get a rise out of me and the many Slashdotters who think as I do, but the point is that there are real, legitimate issues here. Most people accept copyright law because it's what they're used to, but the fact is that when you look carefully, the foundations for it--especially in its present form--are pretty shaky.

One interesting point raised by the linked-to article, which you did not address, is that in a compulsory-licensing system, the producers have an incentive to try to fake the system. That honestly hadn't occurred to me. I think this can be solved, say by having rankings signed with a public-key system, and I think the solution would be simpler and less Draconian in implementation than trying to get DRM on everything, but it is worth thinking about.

Re:As if.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439816)

Copyright is Government interference in the free market. Compulsory licensing limits the extent of that interference.

To call compulsory licensing "socialism" betrays a lack of understanding of copyright.

(un)Fair (2, Interesting)

joq (63625) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439280)

No proposed technical protection measures are strong enough to sustain a determined attack. Only in combination with models where the incentives to circumvent are limited, can technical solutions succeed.

Odd how companies are spending so many resources in hopes that they'll score a home run. What I find strange is, that when other technologies which where hip where introduced (eg. cassettes, vhs tapes, etc), I don't recall the same effort as the 400lb gorillas running around with an attache of lawyer goons. Why not just go back to the basics and protest against those technologies, they're still being used... Odd...

What is the feasibility of legal enforcement, both domestically and internationally? It is easy for researchers and market actors to forget that a solution that requires significant government intervention and enforcement is inherently bound to the confines of country boundaries and international treaties.

Comments such as these rather scare me into thinking that at some point companies will come together and force their own private hell with a one world order rule on the net. Sure it would be a difficult task, but money talks, and I'm sure if the top ten companies in every country got together and lobbied for something like this, they might actually get it going.


What are the impacts on user privacy and fair use?
Privacy concerns frequently run counter to desires for economic efficiency. Therefore, any proposed solutions must acknowledge that there is a trade-off to be made. Fair use is important on its social merits alone, however, a broader adoption of fair and private uses will also serve to reduce user incentives to circumvent.


Situations such as these make some purposely circumvent policies and rules. Especially when they're (rules and policies) shoved down someone's throat.

Re:(un)Fair (5, Interesting)

poptones (653660) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439529)

Odd how companies are spending so many resources in hopes that they'll score a home run. What I find strange is, that when other technologies which where hip where introduced (eg. cassettes, vhs tapes, etc), I don't recall the same effort as the 400lb gorillas running around with an attache of lawyer goons.

You don't recall that because you weren't a radio station in the 70's and 80's being sued by the RIAA for playing whole sides of LPs instead of talking over single tracks. You weren't Philips, trying to grow your new compact cassette format while the RIAA tried to get it banned in the US market.

The reason it's different now is purely because of the technology. Unlike those other battles - over physical technologies like the LP, the compact cassette, the reel to reel, DAT, Elcassette and so forth - or with established businesses that could be held economically accountable for breach of contract - this time the RIAA is forced to deal with a technology that is available to everyone and travels at the speed of light. This battle is purely a game of whack-a-mole, which the old order can never hope to win.

Compulsory licensing is a copout. It's also inevitable. My guess is the EFF is just hoping this "olive branch" will help them to build a dialougue with the industry. That could help build credibility for the EFF in established circles, but I suspect it still may be too early to play this card without alienating the hard liners (like myself). The music industry may be on the ropes, but it has a very long way to fall and I don't want to see anyone catch them before they hit the mat.

(BTW I was going to link you to a story about the RIAA and the LP, but trying to connect to RIAA.ORG returns me http://"""....""""" - it would appear they are, yet again, succumbing to a DNS attack...)

bad jokes ahoy (0)

leedo (555011) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439302)

I didn't realize the Upright Citizen's Brigade was so well respected. har har har.

Wipe that meme: The EFF isn't promoting licencing (3, Insightful)

geekotourist (80163) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439434)

If you read the EFF's File-Sharing campaign site [eff.org] you'll see that they list and link to multiple ways that could be used to pay artists. Of these, only one is written by an EFF-related person, although Brad Templeton is not a staff member. His proposal- microrefunds [templetons.com] - doesn't require DRM.

Other EFF board members include John Perry Barlow [eff.org] [also associated w/the Grateful Dead] and John Gilmore [toad.com] , neither of whom would endorse systems that require DRM. Beyond that, the EFF's general vibe of promoting online privacy and the right to anonymity would make the EFF incompatible with DRM systems.

I think that this bad meme (that the EFF wants C.L.) got into Slashdot a few months ago when an article covered the talk an EFF staff member gave on compulsory licencing. Talking about it or listing it as one method of compensating artists != endorsing it, but that confusion was made.

Re:Wipe that meme: The EFF isn't promoting licenci (3, Informative)

SiliconEntity (448450) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439890)

the EFF's general vibe of promoting online privacy and the right to anonymity would make the EFF incompatible with DRM systems

Compulsory licensing is not DRM, so your comment doesn't make sense. Compulsory licensing means that license holders (the "evil" record companies) are compelled to license their material - and compensated for it, of course. It is basically what makes radio possible.

How it would work in P2P is that there would be some measure of which songs are being shared, a sort of Nielsen Ratings for P2P. Then the license holders for those songs would get paid in proportion to how popular they were.

What would fund them? Possibly the good old modem tax, or some similar measure that charges people who do a lot of file sharing more than people who do less. Read this article by EFF attorney Fred von Lohmann [dailyprincetonian.com] to hear it from the horse's mouth.

You are totally off base in thinking that the EFF does not support compulsory licensing. They have been pushing that "solution" for quite a while now.

Personally, I think it is a terrible idea, and I'm glad to see someone has finally given it a good public roasting. Hopefully the concept will die a quiet death and the EFF can get back to protecting people's privacy instead of forcing them to pay a modem tax and putting the government in charge of paying artists.

Go Bears! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439518)

Go Bears!

Re:Go Bears! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439739)

That's Go Bears Football Presented by Bank One [dailysouthtown.com] to you!

when the problem is out of hand, check assumptions (5, Interesting)

vnv (650942) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439618)

The customer is sitting here in the middle of a great struggle. The music industry is trying their best to come up with a one-sided application of police technology, laws, and law enforcement to squeeze more money out people they think are cheating them by sharing music with others.

First of all, let us observe that it is very rare that hitting your customers with a massive hammer (filing lawsuits against them and treating them as criminals) ends up helping your business. And it's quite uncommon if you make someone's life a living hell (with Microsoft style Palladium DRM) that they are going to buy more product from you, much less have any positive opinion of you.

Secondly, let us look at what is really going on with music today, not what the music industry likes to say is going on.

1. Most people like music.

2. Most people buy music.

3. There is an amazing amout of music available on many labels from many geographic regions.

4. There is no easy way to a consumer to listen via radio to all the music that is available.

Today for radio we have:

- very little variety left in big radio

- in the US, big corporations dominate most of radio, further reducing choice and variety

- very hard to find little radio stations

- very few internet radio stations

- internet radio is hard to find

- internet radio is hard to use for many

- radio stations of any sort cost money to run

- commercial radio has many ads, reducing the desire of someone to listen for very long

5. Outside of radio, the ability to listen to music before purchase in a commercial environment is even more limited. Some few music stores offer listening stations, but many times the equipment is broken or dirty.

6. In reality, most people listen to much of the music they end up purchasing via their friends. In fact, many friendships are made because people have common tastes in music.

7. The music industry's method of retailing is incredibly anti-customer and does not respect local laws and customs (try before buy, returns).

Imagine you have a product that sells wrapped in a tough plastic wrapper with an additional sticky plastic security wrapper and often all that itself inside a hard plastic shell. This product obviously cannot be inspected. Whatever is inside the wrapper is unknown to the consumer.

Now let's say you want to come up with a successful way of selling your wrappy product in stores and you come up with the following strategy:

a. You don't sell your product uninformly in all stores so the consumer has to guess what store your product is available in.

b. You don't provide a way for consumers to check if your product is in a local store.

c. You always charge your customer full price, often over list price, if they buy it in a local store.

d. You don't let your customer have any way to try (or even inspect) their merchandise before purchase.

e. You don't allow your customer to return the merchandise if they don't like it. Or even if you do allow returns, it is for a fraction of the purchase price.

8. The music industry has made very little effort to revamp their sales system.

a. There are few record stores with vast libraries of music that you can listen to via your own headphones or speakers.

b. There is usually no volume discount.

c. There are almost never special deals on the music you want -- only the music the retailer wants to move/dump/promote.

d. Most music stores have hours that are incompatible with work. As more people have to work longer hours, music stores should take this into account.

e. Many music stores are hostile to customers that spend a long time there.

f. Most music stores do not offer comforts such as nice chairs, coffee, or things to eat.

9. The existing online music stores all require that you register to listen to music and then spy on you, keeping a tally of what you listen to. You have no power as a customer over what an online music store does with this information. If you then buy music, it has all sorts of booby traps and secret fingerprints and restrictions, making managing your music painful and slow.

10. The "vast library" that is available for listening to music in a way that respects the customer is in fact, the global community and music sharing. It is the only way a person can relax in their home and listen to the music they want to in a easy non-commercial manner.

11. Most people want to support the bands that make the music that they like.

12. The music industry has yet to try selling music in a way that respects the customer and enables the customer to easily see that they are doing what is important to the customer -- owning the music and supporting the band. The customer does not care about the label.

If you've made it this far, it's fairly easy to see that the big problem is that the current form of the music industry is broken beyond belief. It is being run by greedy people who would rather bludgeon their customers than change their business to meet the needs of their customers. There has been little to no improvement in the music industry's business approach for a long time. The industry is full of ego and power and is out of touch of what the music customer cares about.

In fact, we've seen price-fixing and outright lies from the music industry. Witness the lies told to the early adopters of CD's -- "prices will come down soon. help us build the CD industry." Prices never came down in any major way for CD's, but rather kept going up (for the most part).

Why should the customer pay a grievous cost (DRM/Palladium) to fix a problem that they have no control over? A DRM music system is going to be far more of a headache to manage than a simple system.

All in all, the whole discussion on DRM has to go back to beginning. There is no compelling consumer problem that it solves and it seems to benefit only giant incumbent monopoly businesses (music, Microsoft, etc) that show little interest in improving their offerings.

If DRM does not solve a problem that is important to people, it should be resisted as strongly as possible through the political system. It is a cost -- in effect a tax -- that is being placed on the consumer for the benefit of big corporations, not for the public benefit. It is time to speak and let government now that music, Microsoft, and other incumbents have to solve their problems some other way.

Re:when the problem is out of hand, check assumpti (1)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439925)

First of all, let us observe that it is very rare that hitting your customers with a massive hammer (filing lawsuits against them and treating them as criminals) ends up helping your business.

Hey, it's working for SCO, you insensitive clod!

yours litigiously,
Darl McBride

Re:when the problem is out of hand, check assumpti (1)

vnv (650942) | more than 11 years ago | (#6440203)

Dear Darl,

We've been over this many times. Just because something is working in your head, doesn't mean it's working in the real world.

If you want to be able to clearly see the consequences of your actions in the real world, you must take your medicine.

Please take your medicine, Darl! These crazy lawsuits and criminal charges are not a healthy way to ask for attention.

Sincerely,
Your Shrink

UCB Researchers!? (1)

utexaspunk (527541) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439640)

I wouldn't trust any research done by the Upright Citizen's Brigade [uprightcitizens.org] . This stuff isn't nearly as entertaining as their other works, anyway...

Cal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439703)

Roll on you Bears!

DRM - Damn Rapacious Marketers (4, Insightful)

jefu (53450) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439758)

The linked article was pretty good (though I agree with the poster who would prefer it not be in pdf, a format that I find seriously hard to read - especially with two column layouts).

It really comes down to how much it will cost to do DRM and the cost of getting around it. The costs are not just monetary - but may include a complex tradeoff of penalties and benefits in many areas - including culture, the legal system, personal privacy, fundamental human rights and so on.

Since corporations and hence their hired thugs in government don't much care about things like human rights, personal privacy or culture (realisticly, things are not set up to encourage them to do so, so why would we expect it), they will always make their decisions on the basis of corporate self interest - which is usually short term profit these days.

There is almost certainly a place for DRM on some level - it encourages and rewards creative artists of all sorts (though the best artists seem to do their thing anyway). The problem is that as soon as we allow any serious IP protections (as DRM or whatever), there's no control on what the people who want to make profits can do with it.

I worked for a company whose game plan was to sell a product for less than $100 - the product was in large part IP of one sort or another. Once the marketers got hold of it, the price was inflated to the $1500 range. Not because it was worth that - but they thought they could charge that much and get away with it. I had figured out how to do a cheap DRM scheme that would be just hard enough to break to make it cheaper to just buy the product (at the $100 mark). Shortly thereafter I left the company - with the DRM scheme still unimplemented.

That kind of thinking "We can get away with charging that much" is pervasive. But its also problematic - just by charging that kind of inflated price, the marketers are providing higher motivation for people to find ways around paying the prices. Monopolistic practices (even in the small - one company holds the contract for the current top musical sensation) tend to exacerbate the problem. Now they want to impose DRM - worse yet they want to do it with the government's legal system - which means that they get the benefits (ability to raise prices, impose conditions...) but everyone else gets to pay the price.

If there were no serious DRM, but downloading a permanent copy of a song cost (say) a dime, there'd be no incentive to break DRM - and most people (I suspect) would go along with it and its not hard to believe that the music industry would be the better and with smaller distribution costs, the artists would probably be better off. But when we allow and legally support DRM it is both an incentive to the industry to charge as much as it can, and an incentive to consumers to find ways to break it.

Worse yet, we now have corporations that seem to have determined that they are owed a certain amount of money every year - and who are willing to pass laws to ensure that they get it. Essentially they want to tax us to ensure that their incomes stay where they'd like them to be.

Given all this, I see no reasonable alternative but to ban DRM completely - but I suspect the corporations will have their own way and we'll end up spending $10 to listen to a single song three or four times. The interesting thing is going to be the underground that springs up to counter them - who knows what that will result in? I do quite love the law of unintended consequences.

Ugh (1)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 11 years ago | (#6439779)

Is it just me or is reading a two-column, page-by-page layout PDF on the web a huge pain in the ass? Why did they chose this formatting? Ugh.

Re:Ugh (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 11 years ago | (#6440122)

Digital Reader Management... they want to annoy users to the maximum possible so people just assume they wrote a decent paper on the topic without actually reading the whole thing to check.

Re:Ugh (1)

fwallenberg (689486) | more than 11 years ago | (#6440281)

It is simply the required format for the conference. An HTML version is now available as well (see separate post).

In case of slashdotting... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6439836)

There's a mirror here [ulta.com] that you can check out in case this gets slashdotted.

HTML version now available (2, Informative)

fwallenberg (689486) | more than 11 years ago | (#6440278)

In response to those that (for good reasons) do not like PDF files we made a quick and dirty conversion into HTML. The HTML version is avalable here [berkeley.edu] .
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