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Sun Spearheads Open DRM

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the better-to-embrace-then-be-destroyed dept.

Sun Microsystems 579

Steve from Hexus writes "If DRM is the future of controlling our media files, then perhaps the open source community can at the very least ensure that the dominant delivery system is an open standard. Hexus.net reports that Sun is spearheading a new open DRM project, which their lab workers and the open source community can contribute to. More information on project DReaM can be found at the Open Media Commons website." Tough call - DRM is coming (Or is already here), one way or another, and is better to work on creating something done right, or to object to it on moral grounds?

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579 comments

tilting at windmills? (1)

ummit (248909) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370773)

Nice idea, but how likely is it that the Big Media Companies will want to work with a scheme that isn't (a) closed source and (b) controlled by the likes of M_______t?

Oh good grief... (4, Insightful)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370801)

Hate to see open source DRM developed. That will guarantee DRM improves until it actually works. We're looking at the death of file sharing as we know it...

If you can't beat 'em ... (1)

El Cubano (631386) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370803)

Tough call - DRM is coming (Or is already here), one way or another, and is better to work on creating something done right, or to object to it on moral grounds?

If you can't beat 'em, and you can't join 'em, you might as well head them off at the pass.

Decisions, Decisions... (1)

yotto (590067) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370822)

Hmmm... Let me think... I'ts so hard to...

Object to it on moral grounds.

Already suggested on slashdot and laughed at (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13370826)

This idea won't work because people have suggested it on here many times and it was laughed at.

Will the media companies buy in? (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370828)

with it being an open source item, I'm thinking that the media companies won't want to use it as savvy users could just comment out any real calls to rights management thus kidding the program that the user is authorised to view the media or whatever.

Dream on (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13370838)

This doesn't stand a chance in hell; there is too much potential profit and control at stake for whoever comes up with whichever proprietary solution that is ultimately accepted, not to mention the obligatory backdoors that will have to be implemented. (And I'm not even wearing my tinfoil hat today.)

Wait-a-minute (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370840)

Are we talking "Open Standard" or "Patent and royalty free openly published specification"? Also it MUST include precautions to disallow non-patent-and-royalty-free "additions".
Until those conditions are met; I'm not wasting another second on this one.

You lost me at "Hello" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13370844)

"If DRM is the future of controlling our media files..."

You lost me right there. If I can't crack it, I'm not using it. There is plenty of unencumbered content available. Who needs Britney Spears when you have a free ogg online from that band down the street? This is the real threat to the established content moguls. That Star Wars quote about "the more you tighten your grip" sounds like a cliche, but in this instance it is absolutely true.

Lock me out of your content such that once I lawfully possess it, I can't do whatever I want with it? GOODBYE! Thanks to the Internet there are so many more fish in the content sea, which will see an altruistic advantage, or a competitive advantage, to not using DRM.

broken DRM to break (1)

AceJohnny (253840) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370846)

An odd thought occurs:

Would one not prefer a broken DRM scheme that we can break, rather than build our own perfect prison?

That said, remember another thing about DRM: to work, it has to be a complete chain, starting at the DRM'ed media file. It'll won't prevent you from playng a non-DRM file*. So speak with your wallet, folks, and don't go around making the marketers believe people will accept DRM. (iTunes)

*Except of course if the device will only play that type of file. But who'd be stupid enough to buy one?...

I Object! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13370847)

Object of course, why would you want to help contribute to tools of corporate control!

You'd have to be an idiot to want to help in this. It would be like being asked to build a prison that is going to be used to lock you in. Even more than that, Sun are asking you to help them make this prison better, and for free. Normally people will do objectionable things for enough money (sadly), but hopefully no-one is stupid enough to do this for free.

Why would you want to help them build shackles for you!

wow suns keeps pumping out usefull stuff (1)

qaq (908831) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370851)

Can they add random word replacement to staroffice?

"Open DRM"? (2, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370853)

Eh? How exactly can you even talk about "open-source DRM"? It's one of strongest oxymorons here, DRM by definition is about restricting access, while openness is about allowing it.
Even if you mean openness of only the software itself, you can't go much farther than Microsoft Shared Source -- the "look but not touch" way. What is source worth if you can't even compile it and have it working?

Will F/OSS support make it work? (2, Informative)

jgaynor (205453) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370860)



"is better to work on creating something done right, or to object to it on moral grounds?"

Open-source developer support or not, I don't [nanocrew.net] think [lemuria.org] it matters [eff.org].

I spearhead first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13370864)

This is my firstage postage speeearhead! sun it!

Sun has difficulty with open projects (1)

joelparker (586428) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370867)

Sun has a strong history of providing software and ideas to the community. But at the same time, Sun seems to have tremendous difficulty with follow-through on these kinds of projects. Remember the Liberty Alliance?

Possibly this is a silly question... (1)

zenmojodaddy (754377) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370868)

... but how can DRM possibly be open? Isn't that like saying that Nazi Germany was free because they made no attempt to hide the fact that the ruling party was a bunch of thugs?

I like the link to the slowing growth (1)

suezz (804747) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370874)

story about how drm is slowing growth of music sales.

"At the heart of the problem are dueling digital-rights-management (DRM) systems from bitter rivals Apple Computer and Microsoft. Files using either company's DRM are incompatible with players that support the other DRM."

and there you have the real reason for DRM - LOCKIN pure and simple - you have to buy my piece of drm trash software or you can't read it.

the riaa is in microsoft's pocket. riaa has no technical clue so they are getting all their crap from microsoft. doesn't that give you the warm and fuzzies. just look at cnn free video - microsoft crap format - iptv will be microsoft drm crap software. I am sure they patented the hell out of their codecs too.

I think the open drm is a good idea we need to have a base so that EVERYONE can read all video/audio formats.

DRM is being pushed by companies just to lock customers into their crap software. PURIED!

ofcourse... (1)

rovingeyes (575063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370878)

object it. Just because everyone is doing it or following it doesn not mean they are informed or are acting in every one's interest. The backers of DRM are strong advocates of protecting the content provider's rights. Fine, what about me?

Awsome (1)

qbitus (886494) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370883)

It is really a good app. Installed it, spent 2 minutes configuring it and downloading 2 new "applets" and the whole thing is already really useful and doesn't show any serious bug. Oh yeah, I saw this post, in my "Web Clips" (read "Web Feeds" you microsoft people ;) window ... The GDS API also includes samples for the sidebar and the whole thing doesn't seem too complicated. Bye bye Konfabulator ... Good stuff. Once again.

I don't care. (3, Insightful)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370884)

I don't care if it's Open Source DRM with sugar on top, I don't like it and I refuse to use products that restrict the use of something I paid for. I'm doing fine just listening to my old CDs all day.

Possibilities of Open DRM (5, Insightful)

Mobile Unit of the G (862058) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370889)

"Open DRM" at first sounds like a contradiction, yet, the modern approach in cryptographic systems is to design systems so that security depends on secret key material, not secret algorithms. It's a rule of nature that any piece of hardware that falls in the hands of the enemy will give up its secrets, and algorithm secrecy didn't stop Jon from cracking DVD encryption.

In an open DRM system, anybody could create their own DRM "universe" by generating their own set of keys to initialize the system -- this opens the possibility of using DRM to do different things than today's systems, such as protecting privacy: Sun is quite interested in providing storage records for medical records and such, and some kind of DRM would help with HIPPA compliance. (But when I look at the privacy policy I get from my Doc, there are so many people that can see my records that she could save money and just leave them on the curb.)

It's hard to picture media companies getting behind Sun, but other companies that want to build their own systems for protecting information might get on board -- Sun hopes that this will help them sell storage systems.

Can't even protect Java (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13370891)

Right, Sun can't even protect Java from 1) decompiling, and 2) Bytecode injection.

Hmmn, If it gives me MAC it might be cool. (2, Insightful)

davecb (6526) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370894)

A digital rights management system depends on a system of mandatory access controls (MAC), and a means by which I grant an untrusted remote sender certain limited rights, those needed to turn on and off access to a device.

This could be used to grant strictly controlled untrusted access to downloaded content in general, included downloaded content ranging from cookies to SETI at Home.

The OS that supports that will need to be somewhere arround B2 security, something I know Linux, BSD and the commercial Unixes can and have acheieved, but which I strongly suspect VMS and Windows can't reach.

--dave (biased former securitroid) c-b

Tough call ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13370895)

Tough call - DRM is coming (Or is already here), one way or another, and is better to work on creating something done right, or to object to it on moral grounds?

Object to it.

Done right? (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370898)

"and is better to work on creating something done right, or to object to it on moral grounds?"

To me, if it's done right, I still have complete control over my system. Can anything be done to "protect content" in that environment? It doesn't really seem so. I just don't want someone else to control my stuff - if you think thats somehow a moral issue, you're quite misguided.

**AA just need to make their own special players that they trust and keep their hands off broadcast television and my computer. It's as simple as that. Any other solution involves me/us giving up something to help them, which is not in the public interest.

Open standards are not bad (1)

exi1ed0ne (647852) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370899)

Opening up DRM to the opensource community is a good step forward. It is still up to the artists to use it or not. If this is not embraced, then the community will suffer.

While I agree that stuff should be open, it is up to the artists to protect their work. Giving them open source alternatives is additional choice, and choice is always good.

it isn't rejected in moral grounds. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13370905)

DRM can be rejected on several grounds:

1) Cost - who pays for this? How much
2) Effectiveness - will it work?
3) Legal - DRM changes the legal framework of purchases
4) Utility - DRM a worthwhile goal?
5) Supportability - is DRM unsupported by legal or material need?

I think the submitter has a bit of a hidden agenda here. Why can rejection of DRM be on moral grounds only?

Who Would Work on It? (1)

TheGreatDonkey (779189) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370907)

I guess I don't understand who would really work on this? I am a horrible programmer these days, so I admittedly have little to contribute to open source development, but if I were a participant, why would I want to dedicate my own personal free time to helping build a DRM product for Hollywood and all the music companies to use? I can see the incentive for the media companies or computer companies to put money up to come up with something like this to profit. I can only imagine someone would be interested in working on this with their own time and resources only under the condition that it became a viable standard that was actually being actively used, in which case there would be interest in seeing Linux or the likes capable of handling it.

That being said, it would be nice to have a documented standard openly available for anyone to understand and code against.

will the media barons buy in??? (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370908)

especially considering that the project is open source and any savvy user can simply comment out vast chunks of code to kid the client program that the user is authorised to view the content...

Moooo (-1)

infojack (25600) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370910)

Very cattle like mentality. I know it has been said before, but if you don't like DRM don't buy products that use DRM. People that stay there is no stopping something are stupid consumer whore cows that can't stop themselves from buying every wizbang thing that comes out.

Missing Option (1)

Noxx (74567) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370914)

Tough call - DRM is coming (Or is already here), one way or another, and is better to work on creating something done right, or to object to it on moral grounds?

I choose to absent myself from the discussion, so that I can bitch about the result later with the proper level of detachment and self-righteousness.

What? You mean I'm the only one?

Free DRM? Isn't that an oxymoron? (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370915)

If a DRM framework is available to implement as free software, then how can people be prevented from modifying the software to leak the cleartext of the work and then using the modified software?

Any idea how this would be effective? (1)

Art_Vandelai (596101) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370916)

While I'm all for the idea of a non-proprietary DRM standard that works with all kinds of files and all kinds of O/S, I can't see this ever getting buy-in from the content industry.

With it being completely open source, how could this be implemented so that the DRM cannot be reverse-engineered to just bypass whatever checking mechanism is put in place?

If it's using some kind of connection to the file's creator or some kind of authorization agent, then I can't see it being reliable enough to make the DRM'd content worth buying - for example if it doesn't work while the computer is offline.

Bad Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13370925)

Personally i'm against any form of DRM.

Anything that restricts what/when or how i can use files on my own PC is wrong.

I have no intention of buying into M$'s DRM scheme, or anyone elses.

ass lickers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13370927)

ass lickers! all of you!! you are all a bunch of dirty asslickers!!!

If you can ready it, you can break it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13370930)

There is no such a thing as protected content.

OpenBSOD (2, Insightful)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370931)

The moral argument against someone else owning my data will die when I do. I think the open source community needs this about as much as an open source blue screen of death.

I don't use DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13370935)

Anything that has DRM I've found I can live without. I don't want to be dependant on anything that can't be replaced if the hard disk dies.

Sun must be pretty hurting . . . (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370936)

. . . to be staking its future on open source Digital Restrictions Management "technology." That's like taking a stand for pro-life murder.

Darn, that will knock out my backdoor. (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370940)

I was gonna get all my sh*t in MP3 for free (from YOUR machines.)

Yeh, its closed source, you can't know...

Project Name? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13370943)

More information on project DReaM can be found at the Open Media Commons website.

Am I the only one that read that as Project D-Ream? Isn't that what DRM will do to us?

If you're going to be hung... (1)

msully4321 (816359) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370944)

If you're going to be hung, why do you care if you get to help select the type of rope? Assuming of course that you won't be able to get away with picking one that won't hold your weight...

No DRM! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13370945)

What part of the word "No" did they fail to comprenend?

Won't Fly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13370953)

The (RI/MP)AA has a choice:

  1. Issue media with no DRM -- people can seamlessly rip content
  2. Issue media with "open" DRM -- people can find hack that is applicable to all DRM'd media (difficulty: easy) and rip content
  3. Issue media with "super-secret-sneaky" DRM -- people must find multiple hacks (difficulty: depends)

No surprise which one they'll push for.

Not a tough call (1)

tclark (140640) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370955)

On the receiving end, DRM'd media doesn't do anything for me, so I'm not interested and I won't waste my time, even if the protocol is open.

As a distributor of media, DRM doesn't do anything for me - it just makes my stuff less accessible, so I'm not interested and I won't waste my time, even if the protocol is open.

Other distributors of media may want to use DRM, and that's fine. They are within their rights to do so. To me, it's a way for them to put a big red flag on their stuff telling me to avoid it, and I assume that's what they want.

The solution to the DRM problem is pretty simple. Don't buy/borrow/download/play/touch the stuff. Send a clear message to the producers and distributors of media that you don't want DRM'd stuff. The smart ones will adapt, and the dumb ones don't matter.

But But But (1)

DeadMilkman (855027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370958)

as if millions of geeks suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced

There is no enemy, Who are we supposed to be upset at!?!?!

Support OS, Support DRM
Against DRM, Against OS

Open or not... (1)

GamblerZG (866389) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370960)

...this "technology" should not spread. It should be rejected at the very beginning, because afterwards it will be next to impossible to stop people from using it. Silently swallowing it, and writing OSS implementation is not the answer.

Maybe just not to follow created hype? (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370962)

No, DRM is not HERE. It is not in my computer. It won't be. It won't be in most computers. Because people don't care about which OS they use, but what about they DO care is their freedom to listen music and watch movies.

So, simply forget it. There is no fishes to fool in this pool. It is just hype of coorporative droids to create a market which RESISTS to exist.

They can have my drm when they pry it from my... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13370966)

The only way this is going to work is if *I* (read: end-user) use drm for my files and activetly use it to distribute.

Does anyone besides the media giants we all love to hate use this in a practical way?

~Gildas

No Digital Restrictions Management Please (1)

KnightMB (823876) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370967)

My opinion, DRM is a bad idea all around. No matter if it's OSS or the next best thing from Microsoft, the only thing that will happen is those that buy music/video/whatever have more hoops to jump through while those that sell the same media illegally, continue to do so without another thought. Somehow, I don't see DRM working on Linux or any OS for that matter if the source code is open source. It only takes so long for those bright computer geeks to figure out the closed source DRM protection and they want to make it open source? LOL Media companies need to focus on customer trust and giving what the customer wants instead of worrying about people that record music off the radio or television, or wherever they get the copy from. I have a friend who has thousands of DVD movies, that he could have easily found online, but wants the "finished" and polished product. DRM = Bad implementation of an even worse idea!

DReaM eh? (1)

virgil_attack (744501) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370972)

All this DRM stuff sounds more like a nightmare to me.

PS. I swear I just posted this but it didn't come up so here I go again!

Why help? (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370979)

> Tough call - DRM is coming (Or is already here), one way or another, and is [it] better to work on creating something done right, or to object to it on moral grounds?

Why do it right?

If you do it right, all the DRM'd media will eventually appear on the open standard, and everybody will be able to use it.

If you let them do it wrong, there will be multiple competing closed standards for DRM, and companies that adopt only one or two of these standards will have their support costs raised by dozens of consumers saying "my music won't play on your machine", or their engineering costs raised by the necessity of supporting all the standards, and their sales reduced by negative customer experiences.

DAT vs. Cassettes. CDDA vs. Sony's Minidisc/ATRAC. CompactFlash vs. Sony's MemoryStick. DVD vs. Circuity City's DIVX. The slow growth of DVD(plusorminusorslash)R(sometimeswithaW) vs. CD-R. The friggin' 1.44M 3.5" floppy vs. everything that proprietary vendors threw at it over 20 years, and which is only now slowly being eclipsed by USB storage.

With the possible exception of Microsoft's WMV, RealMedia, and Apple's iTunes, every instance of a closed standard has been roundly rejected by the consumer marketplace. (And even including those three, you can live a pretty full life without ever dealing with any of 'em. Open video codecs and MP3 are all the market really wanted.)

Consumers don't like vendor lock-in. And they vote with their dollars.

Yes, the DRM gangs will eventually win, but why help them speed up the process?

Moral objections? (1)

Alranor (472986) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370981)

On what moral grounds are people objecting to DRM as a concept, as opposed to the objections i've seen raised about specific implementations in the past.

Conflicting Goals? (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370988)

Q. What is the goal of DRM?

A. I would propose that it is presented to allow the content distributor strong control over access to content. If someone gets a hold of content through improper channels (not approved by the distributor) that person should not be able to access the content. This implies that there must identification of a user's credentials to access the content. And THAT implies a centralized clearinghouse for access.

Q. What is the goal of Open Source DRM?

A. Ostensibly, the goal is to provide everything listed above, but in an environment where the mechanisms that perform the DRM are exposed and can be modified or duplicated. I would have to assume that this holds true up to and excluding the authentication data held at the central clearing house. However, it still implies control over what content can be accessed. This implies that some users are more equal than others which is counter to the Open Source ideal (and especially the GNU GPL ideals).

Is it possible that people are beginning to confuse DRM with security? Imagine a world where there was a centralized NIS for every person on the planet. Imagine all binaries being held on one gigantic super powerful cluster of machines to which every person on earth had controlled access. Imagine that bandwidth is not a limitation and everyone had 10 gigs to the desktop anywhere all the time. You could then set user and group rights to control access to data and applications. DRM is just a band-aid fix for a problem that was already solved a long time ago.

THIS IS CRAP (1)

OneMan (142505) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370993)

This is total crap, no one should have anything to do with this. Would you build your own cell?

Why? (1)

jesterpilot (906386) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370996)

I simply don't see why OSS-people would contribute to it. They know, better than anyone, the whole IP system is flawed. IP has always depended on a physical product (books, lp's) which takes at least some industrial scale to produce. Now this is no longer the case, it's no use wasting time on attempts to prolonge the old situation. Like the Dutch say: stop pulling the dead horse.

Fake "open source" headlines. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370997)

Other articles in this arena have been headlined "Sun pushes for Open Source DRM".

I really don't appreciate the fact that these articles are setting the stage for the malignment of real honest GPL software by claiming it will be "open source".

From where I sit I don't believe any GPL software will be able or even allowed to include this.

That said, I'm sure those fake headlines will become the basis for the next push by these cartels for laws which will further threaten open source... and now those advocates for open source will be slandered as simply being "obstinate" because after all.. according to headlines sun had developed "open source" drm.

I'll leave the rants about how NO CONSUMER WANTS THIS to other people.

Personally, i'd call this project "nightmare" rather than "DReaM".

Nothing Wrong (1)

koreaman (835838) | more than 8 years ago | (#13370998)

IMO there's nothing wrong with DRM if it's done right, as long as the purchaser is warned about it before he or she purchases a copy of the intellectual property.

This is definitely the way forward.

Does it work? (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#13371004)

Are open source and DRM compatible? Is there even a theoretical way in which the end user can have access to the decryption algorithm and the decryption key (presumably this must be present somewhere), and not be able to remove the DRM? The linked web sites were both somewhat thin on details.

known technology? (1)

gninnor (792931) | more than 8 years ago | (#13371009)

I don't get it. Wouldn't a company interested in DRM want to be hidden under another layer of secrecy? Even if open source can produce a safer system, once their files were out there, Eventually some one would find a crack.
Having a major backer does take care of the concern that the project will stay supported.
Over all, to me, it seems like a clash of ideology (which the business may or may not care about) and trading a known technology for an unknown one (which they do care about).

Flawed prospectus (5, Interesting)

uprock_x (855650) | more than 8 years ago | (#13371014)

I don't wish to take easy potshots at slashdot but why do you ape the language of big news corporations in your story:

If DRM is the future of controlling our media files

There is no 'our' media.

DRM is coming

Look, all of this is a nonsense. Really the world is splitting into two directions; those who believe passionately in freedom and control over their own lives and those who haven't quite woken up to the value of, or understood what that means.

There is nothing else. DRM is haxx0r bait to be circumvented and stamped on. It's there to protect the traditional structures, the big corporations primarily. Some smaller outlets may find a use for it occasionally, but it's not there for them. There is so much good media out there with no DRM and those outlets manage to survive and thrive so I think that reveals quite a lot.

Forced DRM is not compatible with any concept of normal use or freedom or control over one's own systems and files as far as I can ascertain.

As far as Sun goes, to be honest it's preferable in the sense that an open standard is probably better than a closed one, but all said it's working under the erroneous presumption that some sort of wooly, cowering compliance and affection for DRM is about to take over the world, which it won't.

What does "open" mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13371015)

Open DRM? I truly don't understand. I think the problem here is that Sun's definition of "open" is not the same as mine.

The express purpose of DRM is to be closed. DRM exists for no purpose other than to stop you from doing certain things with files.

There are different levels of closed, of course, and perhaps what Sun is proposing is a "less closed" DRM. However, DRM that is open is not DRM.

There can never be a genuinely open source DRM solution - that's to say, no working DRM system will let you take the source, make the smallest tweak you want, and recompile it and make it work. Why not? Because then it would be trivial to make the tweak be "write the media file to disk." Oops, it's not DRM anymore!

DRM is all about promising that software on your computer won't do something. Open source, and especially free software, is all about you being able to make your computer do whatever you want.

One thing that you must remember about DRM: It is a mechanism that allows the controller of the system to enforce an _arbitrary_ policy upon you. Apple's iTunes DRM is nice right now, but that is _only_ because Apple is nice to you right now. If Apple decides that you need to have MacOS 10.7 to play your music, then you are powerless to stop that.

DRM is designed to give somebody else control over what your computer does. If there are multiple DRM standards, then the ones that are more abused will fall away. If there's a single standard, there's the risk that it's much harder to go away from. You have less choice.

Open DRM? It's as open as Microsoft's XML file formats. It's buzzword compliant, without actually fulfilling the meaning of the words in any real sense.

I don't object to DRM on moral grounds... (3, Insightful)

tunabomber (259585) | more than 8 years ago | (#13371016)

...I object to it on consumerist grounds. DRM just doesn't provide enough value for what I'm paying for.

Despite owning a Mac, I have yet to buy anything on iTMS but will still happily buy dinosaur digital audio (a.k.a. "Compact Discs"). Why? Compact discs provide me with several things that DRMed digital audio can't:

  • A pre-burned hard copy backup (that lasts long- the dye in CD-R's starts to go after a few years).
  • Some nice cover art/liner notes
  • Complete control of the data itself

Considering that a digital album costs about the same as a CD on Amazon, the decision is a no-brainer.

DRM is scary, period (1)

jmo_jon (253460) | more than 8 years ago | (#13371019)

I don't think it really matters if it's open or not. The idea of DRM is wrong and scary and is against freedom. 'Us' making it won't make it a good thing.

Embrace, but not for the reason they think (2, Interesting)

realmolo (574068) | more than 8 years ago | (#13371030)

Let them settle on *one* standard for DRM, so that the usual suspects can crack it, and we don't have to worry about DRM anymore. Just like we don't have to worry about CSS.

One advantage (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 8 years ago | (#13371032)

is OS FRM would make it unnecessary to reverse engineer it in order to circumvent it. Of ocurse, that will mak eit less acctractive to copyright owners.

DRM is here, but the problems are just starting (4, Insightful)

tentimestwenty (693290) | more than 8 years ago | (#13371035)

We already have a number of DRM schemes and consumers are adopting them without too much fuss. Unfortunately, we're still in the early adopting phase which means there hasn't been enough time for things to go wrong for individual users. No massive loss of music/movie collections due to hard drive failure or ending a subscription. No incompatibilities between Gen 1 and Gen 2 hardware devices (and interfaces). The industry is betting that they can just slip this stuff through as fast as possible so that when all the nasty stuff goes down, users won't remember DRM-free media or will no longer have a choice.

As I see it, an OpenDRM is worse than regular DRM and should be resisted as strongly as any other DRM. It will only make it easier to for everyone to push DRM because of the common platform. At least there's the chance that competing DRMs will piss off enough people to ALL fail, or that the competition alone will force less restrictive models (a la Apple vs. Microsoft currently).

Wonderful. (1)

Starker_Kull (896770) | more than 8 years ago | (#13371038)

Let's make sure the handcuffs are forged as well as possible, under the scrutiny of as many eyes as possible, so that NOBODY can break out of them. What a great use of the talents of the open source community.

Isn't this a contradiction? (1, Interesting)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#13371040)

DRM == closed, by necessity, since if you can see the code or understand the protocol, you can break it.

That's why Linux will never be DRM compliant (which doesn't bode well for the future.. with DRM Bioses and processors on the horizon we may end up having to stockpile old hardware to run it on).

In the 'drm future' there isn't supposed to be any idea of 'open' just dumb devices that are little more than souped up DVD players.

is there anybody out there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13371044)

Is this thing on???

open source DRM? (1)

RasendeRutje (829555) | more than 8 years ago | (#13371046)

Open source DRM? That's like... euh.. like... a prison without a fence? spreading democracy to start a war?
jeez, I don't even understand myself...

fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13371049)

my first first post on /.

I'll happily object on moral grounds. (1)

reality-bytes (119275) | more than 8 years ago | (#13371053)


I (personally) do not want to contribute to software designed to attempt to strip my rights to fair use of material I purchase and prevent digital backups etc.

Not to mention, I doubt even the most ingenious of open-source engineers could come up with reliable *software* DRM which automatically allows public-domain type rights to any given media when that media's copyright expires.

Media sans DRM please.

Hmmm I agree! (1)

MrShaggy (683273) | more than 8 years ago | (#13371058)

It is a *very* tough call. When DIVX came out I remember most of the folks were pointing at the lack of level of encryption. Most folks were saaying that if they had provided a 'better lever of security', somehow pointing the blame at them, now yu have your chance.

You can get your hands dirty and help them in their folley. Very interesting.

As a more personal note, I still can't understand why the blame for breaking htat format lays with them. They didn't force you to sit and crack their code. I mean here in Canada, if I buy the smallest tiniest lock I can find, its still breaking and entering. Im sure that this will be modded to troll, but I am serious. I want to understand.

"open source DRM" in an oxymoron (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 8 years ago | (#13371059)

I dont see how this can work without closed source components being present (if you can see any of the code that handles the audio/video between the locked down media file and the write out to the sound/video hardware, you can copy the data)

This is a wonderful dilemma (1)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 8 years ago | (#13371062)

This is a clash of ideology if anything is. Open Source versus... Open Source? Enter Oroborus.
Hackers rejoice. If this project gets off the ground it will be smashed to pieces and rebuilt time and time again until we have the most stable software on the face of the Earth or we have proven that 'security' such as this is a mathematical impossibility.

It actually is a good thing ! (2, Insightful)

dreez (609508) | more than 8 years ago | (#13371066)

Eventhough DRM is the tool of the devil, linux should have a solid implementation. If not loads of media can't be played on linux in the (near) future, well at least not legally.. . Embedded linux would be used less and less since it is not possible to make a legal device baded on linux. There will allways be hacks and cracks around DRM, and that's a good thing, but ignoring DRM in Linux would be a major mistake. Embrace and Extend .. .

The perfect union! (1)

strider44 (650833) | more than 8 years ago | (#13371068)

Open source and DRM, then the creators could ensure that noone can modify or copy their work!

firs tpost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13371069)

30 minutes afterwards

frist post? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13371072)

indeed

Sounds like a contradiction in terms to me (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13371073)

As has been stated numerous times, the "open source community" wants to control their own computers. That's why they/we behave the way we do. Having these people tackle a DRM project is like Having Adbusters run your marketing campaign (This, by the way, happens all the time, I think)

Average camcorder user + home video + DRM!? (1)

280Z28 (896335) | more than 8 years ago | (#13371082)

DRM is far from perfect, but it's encouraging to see that I have a chance of someday releasing a mini-video to the internet without it ending up stripped and hosted on some site like they are the ones that made it. Current options are unreasonably expensive ($100's/year) for some who only releases one short, free e-video per year. I already am _paying_ money to host it, too.

I'm sure you know the sites I'm talking about. I hate seeing someone post a link on the forum and you go look and it's your video with someone else's name on it.
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