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U.K. Group Wants DRM'd Media Labeled

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the like-with-toxic-substances dept.

244

peterfa writes "The BBC reports that the U.K. 'All Party Parliamentary Internet Group' wants companies to label their DRMed products. Consumers will see a label on the product before they buy. The label will spell out clearly just how easy it is to copy media, and what they can and cannot do. This is in response to Sony BMG and their virus-like DRM. The group claims the industry is turning media into a rent system, rather than a purchase system."

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go even further (5, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470493)

I wonder what their response will be to the request to label their products and how their DRMed, and make it "crystal clear" (nice irony) to the consumers. I propose they go even further.

I've encountered a couple of CDs which had some message to the effect, "while every attempt has been made to ensure an enjoyable experience, blah, blah, blah, ... we cannot guarantee this disc will play on every and all of your devices." And, all of those (btw, the print is so small, it's unreadable) actually did play on my computer, and not in my car, and I had to go through a few hoops to return what the store claimed was "non-returnable".

Since they are knowingly creating a corrupt version of what is or should be a standard format (compact disc), it should be their responsibility to allow the consumer to know positively for sure what devices and manufacturers their product will be guaranteed to play on. This, in addition to the clear and explicit list of how the tracks may be copied, .... all of the other suggestions in the article.

From the article: "The group claims the industry is turning media into a rent system, rather than a purchase system." If that's the case, and it does appear that's the industry's direction, they're changing the rules as they previously existed, even more reason they should list the constraints and restrictions of their product. By visual inspection alone, it is impossible to look at a CD and know whether it is of the "corrupt" ilk.

Does it seem ironic there are laws requiring "explicit lyrics" warnings on CDs, and not information that explains whether or not you can even play the damn things?

(would have posted this a moment sooner, took me a second to find the "Read More..." link. ;-) )

Re:go even further (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470521)

I think that the DRM sticker would be more welcomed on the face of the CDs than the Explicit Lyrics one, since DRM, as proven by Sony, can be much more damaging to the consumer than swearing in songs.

Re:go even further (3, Interesting)

bmc152006 (939255) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470664)

even further still, keep all the DRM'D crap in a completely different display.

Re:go even further (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470676)

Well, I think they are probably committing an offence in displaying DRM'd stuff on a stand marked "CDs and DVDs". Someone ought to complsin to Trading Standards about false advertising. Complain about fraud.

Re:go even further (4, Funny)

hcpxvi (773888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470739)

Someone ought to complsin to Trading Standards about false advertising.

Don't forget, boys and girls, that when you are dealing with the UK retail trade, the phrase "I'll call in the Trading Standards people" is the magic spell that converts "Sorrimate, not our problem" into "Here is your money back, sir." I have seen this demonstrated on at least one occasion.

Re:go even further (2, Interesting)

Cicero382 (913621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470756)

"I'll call in the Trading Standards people" is the magic spell that converts "Sorrimate, not our problem" into "Here is your money back, sir."

Believe it or not I've done this when I wanted to return a copy of Windows XP. It wouldn't load on my system (some sort of motherboard problem).

Anyone else had such luck?

Re:go even further (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470540)

consumer to know positively for sure what devices and manufacturers their product will be guaranteed to play on.

The best way to do that would be, IMO, Label all devices capable of playing DRM'd content.... with similar stickers.

Re:go even further (2, Informative)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470720)

But labeling it won't work.
Especially considering that your DRM might not be compatible with my DRM.

Re:go even further (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470895)

Cigarettes in the UK have a large government health warning saying 'Smoking Causes Lung Cancer,' or similar. This takes up about a third to a half of the front of the packet.

I propose the same system for DRM's media. Not less than one third of the front of the box should carry a warning saying one of these things:

  • The disk may contain a virus.
  • May not work on existing equipment.
  • Time limited. May stop working at any time.
  • etc.

Re:go even further (5, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470590)

I had to go through a few hoops to return what the store claimed was "non-returnable".

I think perhaps phrases like "not fit for the purpose for which it was bought" may have been helpful, along with "I'll see what trading standards has to say about that then" if that doesn't work.

It's being sold as an audio CD. You have a reasonable expectation that it will work in your audio CD player(s). If it doesn't, then as far as I'm concerned either the CD or the player(s) is faulty. Assuming your player(s) work(s) with other CDs, the implication would be that it's the CD that's faulty. Therefore, you're entitled to a refund, end of story.

I don't buy very many CDs anymore, but if that happened to me and the store refused to accept the return, I'd definitely be contacting trading standards.

Re:go even further (5, Interesting)

Itsacon (967006) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470672)

It's being sold as an audio CD. You have a reasonable expectation that it will work in your audio CD player(s). If it doesn't, then as far as I'm concerned either the CD or the player(s) is faulty. Assuming your player(s) work(s) with other CDs, the implication would be that it's the CD that's faulty. Therefore, you're entitled to a refund, end of story.

Actually, right from the beginning, Philips has made a stand that these copy protected CD's are never sold with the 'CD-Compact Disc [wikimedia.org] ' label on it, since they do not comply with the Red Book standard Sony and Philips published back in 1982.

So if you're shopping for a CD and the logo is not on it, it's a good signal to read a the small print. In my experience, you'll often find copyright notices for the copyprotection on there somewhere. :-P

However, it seems to me that right from the beginning this stuff has gone the wrong way. Hackers and pirates are way more inventive that 'regular' consumers, so any copy protection will be cracked (after all, if it was IMPOSSIBLE to get the audio off there, it would never sell), while Joe Average will never get it to play on his car stereo.

I rip all my CD's to my harddisk, since I like variation, and a big harddrive with WinAmp [winamp.com] is a much better CD-changer than a real CD-changer ever will be. I have over time bought several DRM'ed CD's, and none of them have EVER given me much trouble ripping them. Most work was one that required the 'black marker on the outer ring' [interesting-people.org] trick.

My two cents...

Re:go even further (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470866)

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, but I have returned quite a few copy-protected CDs.

It's on the rack with the other audio CDs, in a record store. You therefore have a reasonable expectation that it should play.

Despite any labelling, if you didn't notice the labelling (and many copy-controlled discs in the UK - including all of the sample ones I have from Sony BMG UK containing XCP "Aurora" - are NOT labelled as such in any way, other than the absence of the Compact Disc(TM) logo, which also happens on a huge variety of unprotected audio CDs as well), or if you noticed the labelling and queried the retailer and they said it ought to play, then you can return it under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended) on the grounds that it's not fit for purpose.

They cannot refuse a refund on the grounds that it has been opened. (After all, you're not psychic, you don't know it was faulty until you try to play it, and it's going to be mighty difficult to do that without opening the case.)

They can offer a refund or replacement - at YOUR option. (They can only refuse one and offer the other if it's highly disproportionate, but no CD costs even remotely enough to bring that argument into play.) Obviously, choose the refund, as of course any replacement would be very likely to be protected as well, and would be no better than the first.

It's a criminal offence to display a sign saying "No Refunds", or to have (and stick to) a no refunds policy.

If you get any problems, threaten to call Trading Standards, and if they persist, do so.

Re:go even further (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470989)

You'll find a slight problem with your approach in that many new CD's are *not* being sold as 'Compact Disc Digital Audio' (CDDA) discs at all so there is no legal requirement for them to be compatible with 'Digital Audio' players (as per the specification).

The record companies practice of making broken discs lead to Philips (controler of the standard) forcing them to remove the CD Audio logo from their products. I am sure the record companies would argue that you shouldn't assume that because music is delivered on a compact disc it is a CDDA disc. Lots of other incompatible products (VideoCD, DVD, Playstation, etc) are delivered on CD and you don't expect them to play on your Audio player either.

"Buyer beware" as they say.

Re:go even further (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470605)

it should be their responsibility to allow the consumer to know positively for sure what devices and manufacturers their product will be guaranteed to play on.

Okay, the wording you referred to was slightly weasley but I think it was still clear that the CD wasn't guaranteed to play on anything. So it did meet your requirement.

Re:go even further (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470662)

Wrong - the requirement was to play on the CD devices they had. It met the *displayed* characteristics, so it cannot be said it was mis-sold. However, it isn't suitable for the use to which it was purchased. If the shop owner refused because the buyer didn't tell them the makes of CD player, then the shop owner would have to show that this information could have been used to decide whether this was an appropriate purchase.

Re:Look for the logo (5, Insightful)

Technician (215283) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470656)

By visual inspection alone, it is impossible to look at a CD and know whether it is of the "corrupt" ilk.


I look for the Philips Compact Disc logo. If it's missing, then the product may be incompatible. I wish more people refused to buy stuff without the logo. It would enforce a standard upon the industry. Use the logo or don't sell.

The logo use requires technical standards to be met. When the standards are met, then it should play with no issues an any compliant device.

Look for the logo. Get the clerk to help you look.

Hmm, what to name that program... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470657)

it should be their responsibility to allow the consumer to know positively for sure what devices and manufacturers their product will be guaranteed to play on.

Well I've got a great name for the effort - "Plays For Sure"!

And sell it under a misleading, standard name... (3, Interesting)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470680)

Since they are knowingly creating a corrupt version of what is or should be a standard format (compact disc)...
...they should go to jail?

Unfortuately that's not disproportionate by their own standards: There are countries where (for several years already) one could not go (or take one's kids!) to the movies without being exposed to media companies' threats of detention and rape [heise.de] .

Re:And sell it under a misleading, standard name.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15471002)

Considering how many of these posts à la "I hope the spammers get raped in prison! (laugh, it's so damn funny)" can be seen highly moderated on slashdot, the majority of the peeps here probably wouldn't mind the movie industry advertising that pirates will be raped in prison, too.

Re:go even further (2, Insightful)

julesh (229690) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470701)

I had to go through a few hoops to return what the store claimed was "non-returnable".

Interestingly, CDs (and other digital media) are exempt from the returnability requirements of a few laws (e.g. the Distance Selling Regulations, which require you to be able to return within 28 days for a full refund just about anything you buy online or via mail order) because of the possibility that you can copy them. Clearly this exclusion should not be extended to DRM-laden discs.

Re:go even further (3, Interesting)

farnz (625056) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470737)

Just to be clear: the Consumer Protection Distance Selling (Returns) Regulations allow you to return anything you buy at a distance (i.e. mail order, online, telephone) within 7 days of receipt for any reason, at no charge. They're aiming to give you the same chance to inspect the goods as you'd have in a retail store. Some items (such as CDs) are exempted from these regulations, and all other regulations that don't need a specific reason to return goods.

On the other hand, no goods are exempted from the Sale of Goods Act requirement that goods are "fit for purpose". This means that if they're selling something that the legal "reasonable man" would expect to be a CD, they have to make it clear to you at time of sale (before you hand over your money) that this is not a CD, and you can't expect it to play in all CD players. If it doesn't play (and therefore is faulty), it's up to them to demonstrate that it's your equipment at fault, not the "CD".

Re:go even further (2, Informative)

Eivind (15695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15471010)

You're talking of unconditional returnability. Even if you don't have unconditional returnability for a product (as in, you may return it and demand your money back without stating a reason, and without the product being faulty) you can offcourse still return a product that is faulty.

If you buy something you reasonably expect is a CD, then try to play it in your standards-compliant cd-player in your car, and it fails. Then the product is faulty. It's unfit for the purpose for which it was bougth, and for which the buyer had a reasonable expectation it would be fit.

I'd say it's pretty reasonable to expect a CD to play in a CD-player. I'm betting judges would see it that way too.

Re:go even further (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470734)

"Does it seem ironic there are laws requiring "explicit lyrics" warnings on CDs, and not information that explains whether or not you can even play the damn things?"

where are there laws requiring parental advisory stickers? isn't it the same as ESRB, voluntary so you can get your product sold in the Wal-Mart.

In simple mode the FONT SUCKS (-1, Offtopic)

EQ (28372) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470498)

Sorry - the new serif font is unreadable against the blinding white expanses of the new sparse layout.

Did you guys even TEST this with the simpel and the low-bandwidth layouts?

And Blue with Green? Come on, lets select the 2 most common colorblind combos out there.

The msg/text density is WAY low - making a ton of scrolling neccesary, and the most immediate criteria on read-worthy-ness for a message are no longer colocated nor do they scan quickly: topic is there on the left margin, but the Moderation results are WAY the hell over - farther right than even Rush Limbaugh would look. And far seperated form the rest of the message data, completely forcing the eyes to dart back and forth.

So your layout was idiotic, and so was your font choice. How about letting us overide it?

Fix this -or at least give us the option to go back to the old CSS. This shit is giving me a headache. If I wanted Digg, I'd go there.

Re:In simple mode the FONT SUCKS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470591)

As someone who is color-deficient, I'll say that I personally don't seem to have a problem with the new look. The colors seem very bright, so I may change my mind if my head starts to hurt. I'd also like to ask that you don't mod the parent down(and no, I am not him), since this is a big issue for usability.

There are a few different types of color-deficiency, though, and as such, I think the old theme should be an option. Please add it back to be sensitive to people who have problems with colors.

You can see how slashdot might appear with different types of color deficiency by going here. [wickline.org] Thank you.

Re:In simple mode the FONT SUCKS (-1, Offtopic)

EQ (28372) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470711)

It may have been off topic - but where the else are visual acuity and color-deficiency (color-blindenss) and other usability ("handicapped") issues to be raised?

They conveniently did NOT leave a topic for these sorts of posts.

Re:In simple mode the FONT SUCKS (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470780)

There's green?
I see blues and gray

I agree the sans serif of the none simple mode looks much better, but I do quite like the colour sceme

It's about time. (1)

Charcharodon (611187) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470499)

This is about as fair they can make it. Label it as crippleware so we can all know what not to buy.

OFFTOPIC BUT IMPORTANT! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470500)

Look! Google is retarded! [google.com] how's your wonder company now?

Re:OFFTOPIC BUT IMPORTANT! (-1, Offtopic)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470517)

Nah, they simply disagree with you.

Labelling suggestions... (2, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470508)

1. "Infected with DRM".
2. "Statutory warning: DRM is injurious to your sense of fair-play".

etc... and meanwhile:

Why not label devices and products that support DRM? That would be a more effective step to 'inform' consunmers, one would've thought...

-

Re:Labelling suggestions... (1)

DMiax (915735) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470533)

I would not label the devices, would seem some kind of "standard compliance" advice. People would buy them because they just "work".

Crack information (4, Funny)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470509)

They should go one step further and include information on how to crack the DRM on each label.

Re:Crack information (1)

Basehart (633304) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470637)

And then how deep to stuff it up ones crack (on a scale of one to fourteen inches, depending on how crap the CD is).

Re:Crack information (1)

LockeOnLogic (723968) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470646)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shift_key [wikipedia.org]

probably too complicated for the average computer user...

Re:Crack information (1)

whathappenedtomonday (581634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470902)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shift_key


Another key combo that they will outlaw - just like CTRL-C!

Seriously, I bought Meds from Placebo... no BY Placebo, and only noticed afterwards that it has some DRM on it. Without Autorun, it's completely useless because as long as you don't execute what's in the data track, you can rip the whole album to mp3 without the slightest problems.

There are lots of postings on the net about that album, and most don't fail to mention that "I cant rip it to play on my IPod". So the result is: a key combo defeats their DRM, but the average unknowing joe is left with a crippled product. Shame on you, EMI.

I just noticed, they put the blame on apple:

Question:
Can I export tracks to my iPod?

Answer: "Content protection technology does not work with iPods that use iTunes for Windows, as Apple is still not licensing their proprietary rights management system that is used on iPod." (http://www.emimusic.info/us_EN/cds300.html#a6) [emimusic.info] )

Re:Crack information (1)

Dr Damage I (692789) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470882)

Wouldn't that make reading the cover of the CD a violation of the DMCA

Demand a refund. (4, Insightful)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470512)

I have never bought anything that contained DRM, but if I did accidentally buy something, I would simply demand a refund.

Anything with DRM should have a message on it similar to the "WARNING: SMOKING KILLS" warning. I don't want a small label I have to search for - it should be big, clear, and standardised. The exact same logo/warning message should appear on every product. Something like "Warning: This product uses Digital Rights/Restrictions Management" would do the job.

Anyway, if anyone accidentally buys a product with DRM, they should be entitled to a refund. It is for all intents and purposes a defect, if you thought the product you were buying was a movie/music that you could use however you like.

Re:Demand a refund. (2, Funny)

joeykiller (119489) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470530)

Isn't this exactly what the All Party Parlamentaric Group in the UK is proposing?

Re:Demand a refund. (2, Insightful)

Jaruzel (804522) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470620)

It is for all intents and purposes a defect, if you thought the product you were buying was a movie/music that you could use however you like.

Except you can't. Re-read the copyright disclaimer when you play a DVD. By buying it, you have paid for the right to watch it, that is all. Even then you can only watch it in certain circumstances (less than 20 of you, not on an oil rig or in a pub etc...). The DVD disc may be be yours to do with what you want, but the data on it is not, and never has been. DRM is simply one step further in enforcing those already existing rights.

I don't agree with DRM, but then I don't agree with Piracy. However I also feel that most movies and music certainly arn't even worth the blank media they are printed on. So what do I do ? I vote with my wallet - I don't buy the disc. At some point down the line I'll watch the movie on Sky, and with the music - well there's plenty of other music out there that isn't DRMd and is far better quality (as in ability not bit rate).

-Jar.

NB. Is the new Slashdot CSS for myopic people? I'm sure everything is now 30% bigger? Plus this input comment box is too shallow.

Re:Demand a refund. (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470663)

Except you can't. Re-read the copyright disclaimer when you play a DVD. By buying it, you have paid for the right to watch it, that is all.

They can't arbitrarily change the terms after you've bought it. It's a purchase. You have all the rights you had when you bought it, which are restricted by copyright but still give you a certain amount of ownership. All they can do is grant more rights after the sale.

Re:Demand a refund. (1)

RinzeWind (413873) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470791)

NB. Is the new Slashdot CSS for myopic people? I'm sure everything is now 30% bigger?

You kidding? The print is much smaller now, I have to tell Firefox to make it bigger in order to read it without having to get my face closer to the screen.

Re:Demand a refund. (4, Insightful)

Eivind (15695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15471018)

Nonsense.

Whatever conditions appear when you play the disc are not part of your agreement to buy the disc. You bougth one copy of the DVD, you own it. No question about it.

It's still true that you cannot do everything you migth like with it. But that's because of copyrigth-law, and not because of any legal-sounding bullshit on the disc itself.

Copyrigth-law prevents you from, among other things perform the work in public and make new copies of the work.

Re:Demand a refund. (3, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470951)

I have never bought anything that contained DRM,

Wow! I can't remember how long it's been since I've heard from someone who has never bought a single DVD (CSS).

Or any digital audio recorders (SCMS).

Never owned any videogames.

Doesn't subscribe to digital cable or satellite TV...

etc.

Konqueror Broken on new Slashdot.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470516)


Oh well. SO much for QA.

label (5, Interesting)

radicalnerd (930674) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470528)

The label will spell out clearly just how easy it is to copy media
I'd suggest a color coded advisory system.

Re:label (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470586)

Blackwatch Plaid!

Re:label (1)

Lectrik (180902) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470806)

The label will spell out clearly just how easy it is to copy media
I'd suggest a color coded advisory system.

EITHER

but what about those poor colorblind souls that just want to listen to their damn hippie... errr... DRM'd music?

OR

Yes we should use a color coded system ranging from 640nm to 645nm to denote just how difficult the crack is

I can't decide...

Re:label (1)

Bega (684994) | more than 8 years ago | (#15471021)

http://nyami.1g.fi/kuvat/Japani+2005/IMGP1797.jpg
That would rock -- green for things you can copy like any other non-protected CD, yellow for discs requiring tape/felt tip pens, red for a completely crippled CD and purple for a CD requiring extra amounts of l33t H4X.

Whoopsiedoodles (3, Funny)

MrSquirrel (976630) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470531)

"The group claims the industry is turning media into a rent system, rather than a purchase system." Uh oh, I hope they don't give out late fees (knowing Sony, they probably would). Or "ripped the songs and shared them all over the internet" fees.

Re:Whoopsiedoodles (1)

TWooster (696270) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470626)

Oh, well they do. It's called "RIAA extortion lawsuits."

We'd all do well to remember: Nobody expects the RIAA inquisistion!

What's the RIxx group over the big pond?

Re:Whoopsiedoodles (1)

Crizp (216129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470888)

What's the RIxx group over the big pond?

IFPI [ifpi.org] , I believe. Locally in Norway we have TONO [www.tono.no] as well.

Nice idea (5, Insightful)

rpdillon (715137) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470538)

Well, this is refreshing. I mean, lets face it, vendors are peddling crippled products for their convenience, not the customers'. Often, people don't even realize what they're buying, so it would be nice to have a notice.

This reminds me of a prediction I made about the iTMS - I think a lot of people are OK with paying $.99 per song *now*, but in a few years when perhaps they've gone through a couple more computers, and the iPod isn't as in-style as it is now, there will be a backlash of customers realizing that they paid for something they cannot easily use on "other" players (the burn-to-CD-and-rerip technique notwithstanding). I can visualize a similar diffculty with these crippled CDs - they will want to play them in a laptop or similar device that won't handle the DRM gracefully, and only then will they discover they paid for something only to find that it doesn't provide the value expected. It makes sense to notify the customer of what they are buying up front, rather than hiding it and hoping they never notice (obviously, some never will).

But, as my sister told me when we discussed this, they will likely chalk it up to "technology has moved on" and view it the same way they view VHS as not playing in DVD players, and simply rebuy the same movie/album, again. I sure hope that doesn't become the mainstream attitude - it will give the record companies and movie studios yet-another-reason to implement DRM any chance they get.

Re:Nice idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470597)

Of course people will move on. Many of them purchased recordings on vinyl, then went on to purchase the same recordings on cassette, CD, and even mp3. People will buy into the notion that the newest thing is the best and will go out and will buy the product if they can't have it for free. If the major labels can succeed in releasing higher quality digital music with DRM, they may be able to squeeze a few more dollars out of those old recordings, and convince people to buy the releases for new recordings. We all know it's a losing battle though, because people already have analog lines out and will always have ways to convert digital-->analog-->digital. Anything that's already been released, well, I hope people realize that they can't hear the difference in quality with real high bit rates, except that we may get slightly warmer sound as digital sampling rates, etc., increase and approach true analog. Then again, most recording (in fact, nearly all of it) is done digitally these days (I don't know about video...). So at this point, we're not going to see a drastic increase in quality. The only way for the major labels (and the same goes for studios) to succeed with the old business model is to convince people that they must buy buy buy and can't live without the newest technology/format.

It IS a nice idea. But it will remain just an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470608)

Any label which baldly (and boldly) states that the CD or DVD is somehow crippled may lead to reduced sales of that CD or DVD. So it will never be permitted. The MPAA/RIAA/EtcAA won't have to try very hard to make sure it doesn't happen.

Or tapes (3, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470674)

But, as my sister told me when we discussed this, they will likely chalk it up to "technology has moved on" and view it the same way they view VHS as not playing in DVD players, and simply rebuy the same movie/album, again.

Another even closer example is cassette tapes, many people had huge collections when the switch to CD's was made...

I'm not sure either how consumers will respond to the natural evolution of digital music. With ITMS stuff they would still be able to play it on a computer even if a newer kind of non-iPod came along that people really wanted, so in a way it's not as lost as tapes were after players were really phased out.

The question I have though is what would really come along that would be compelling enough to supplant the iPod for the market at large? The iPod grew because you could rip CD's and easily get them on your iPod where they are more accessible... and now the library grows through ITMS purchases (for many people, not all). So that would indicate that in the future the iPod lockin effect Apple seeks would indeed grab hold as many people's whole music libraries are digital now and they'd be more likley to buy a player that would work with it, probably a lot more likley. Between tapes and CD's you had the change to random access, but what is compelling about a change from one digital format to another? With video you can go with quality but with audio a lot of people really can't tell if an MP3 is better or worse than FLAC and so efforts for improved digital audio formats are stillborn, like SACD.

Once in digital form I don't see any given player offering so much of an advantage that it overcomes the simple ability to use all the music you already have. The only way for anyone to break Apple's hold on the market is to start selling all music in MP3's, then that allows people to choose whatever player they like and possibly have even more players, some of them more specialized. But the music industry itself is steadfast in actions that ensure Apple will remain at the helm - and they've just given Apple a few more years by contract to work on pulling the noose tighter.

Perhaps if eMusic really takes off we'd see more record companies finally wake up and sell MP3's (like Werkshop). If enough major labels did that it would free up the logjamm, and then Apple could release an official version of JHymn to unlock all the ITMS music so it would just be straight-up AAC.

Re:Or tapes (1)

Lectrik (180902) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470974)

Another even closer example is cassette tapes, many people had huge collections when the switch to CD's was made...


Bah, the only tapes we had (but boy were there a lot) when I was young were bootlegs of concerts. Actually my parent's still have them along with a nearly non overlapping selection of CDs. Usually from when the car ate a tape. Now if the RIAA could somehow figure out how to get car audio equipment to occasionally eat a CD for no reason, then they'd be set... well the people who make CD-Rs would be set, I don't know any smart people who use the original CDs in the car. The only person I do know that does that has had his car broken into on a [relatively] large number (>10) of occasions and all his CDs stolen.

I think I rambled

Re:Nice idea (2, Interesting)

Wabbit Wabbit (828630) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470755)

...[when] the iPod isn't as in-style as it is now, there will be a backlash of customers realizing that they paid for something they cannot easily use on "other" players

Which is why I stopped buying from iTunes once JHymn stopped working (although apparently you can install iTunes 5, open a new account, never upgrade the software, and JHymn will still work).

Hmmm...maybe I should just try that.

Re:Nice idea (2, Interesting)

kkiller (945601) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470760)

But, as my sister told me when we discussed this, they will likely chalk it up to "technology has moved on" and view it the same way they view VHS as not playing in DVD players, and simply rebuy the same movie/album, again. I sure hope that doesn't become the mainstream attitude - it will give the record companies and movie studios yet-another-reason to implement DRM any chance they get.

Just my 2p, but I found that when you actually explain what DRM is and how it restricts bought music content to a new user, it puts them right off it from the start. Recently my sister was looking for somewhere to purchase some songs, but hadn't yet bought an mp3 player. I told her that if she used iTunes or any other equivilant service she could find that the mp3 player on eBay for £30 that she wanted would not play it. She forgot about it in the end and got the track off a friend.

Way to go DRM, you missed a sale.

Grassroots DRM Labeling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470550)

They should just label it as it is...or perhaps people can just produce a few hundred thousand labels and label the products on their own. Here are some anti-DRM labels [defectivebydesign.org] from the Defective By Design folks.

Take a lesson from our Canadian friends... (4, Funny)

spentrent (714542) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470556)

Copy this media and face the wrath of Captainnnnnnnnnnnnn COPYRIGHT!

Reminds me... (1)

jbrader (697703) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470559)

of cigarette warning labels.

Re:Reminds me... (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470589)

General Musician Warning: Using this CD may lead to lawsuits, bankruptcy, deafness and imprisonment.

Re:Reminds me... (2, Funny)

Wooster_UK (963894) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470659)

The usual consequences of listening to the Rolling Stones, in fact.

Evil geinus 101: Market it right (1)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470567)

Who want to bet that Recording industry will make "DRM" labeling the next 'fad' like "Explicit Lyrics" or "Rated R"?

Yeah, I can see those assholes rubbing their hands together now... (petting white fluffy cat is optional)

Re:Evil geinus 101: Market it right (2, Funny)

Gogo0 (877020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470609)

If they call it Dope-ass Rap Muthaf*ckas on CD packaging, I'm sure it would sell!

Re:Evil geinus 101: Market it right (3, Insightful)

MassEnergySpaceTime (957330) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470614)

I'm not entirely sure how they would do that.

What's so cool about...
1. Rated R? Because it's what only adults can see.
2. Explicit Lyrics? Because it's how only adults can talk.
3. DRM? Because it's, um.. adults can, um...

I'm sure they'll try, though.

Re:Evil geinus 101: Market it right (5, Funny)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470654)

I'm sure some sold-out artists will do something like promoting DRM in their subliminal lyrics like;

"my juice is flowin' like a man with a mission / my words are blowing your minds into a submission /
you can't copy my style 'cuz you ain't an original / DRM on my record 'cuz my lyrics aren't replaceable"

Of course, there are reason why I am not a rapper... or a poet...

Re:Evil geinus 101: Market it right (1)

spentrent (714542) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470621)

How much will you lay? Let's do it.

Three-Pronged Evaluation (5, Interesting)

ewhac (5844) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470579)

I thought about this idea some time ago, and came up with a system where the media's friendliness was measured according to three aspects:

  1. Ability to Copy
    The media should contain no measures to prevent or deter duplication, nor should it require measures on the part of the playback platform to support such deterrents.
  2. Ability to Distribute
    The media should contain no measures to prevent or deter redistribution, nor should it require measures on the part of the playback platform to support such deterrents.
  3. No Usage Monitoring/Metering
    Usage of the media should not be monitored, metered, or compromise the user's privacy or usage habits in any other way, nor should it require measures on the part of the playback platform to support such monitoring.

Each aspect would represent one leg of an iconic triangle. The triangle logo (and sub-permutations thereof) would be trademarked so it could only lawfully be used by the authority performing the evaluations. So all you'd have to do to know which media were safe would be to look for a complete triangle.

Schwab

Definitely, DRM products should be labeled. (3, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470592)

Definitely, DRM products should be labeled.

Notice, however, that genetically modified food is not labeled. That was accomplished by corrupting the U.S. government. Probably that will happen in the case of DRM, too.

Re:Definitely, DRM products should be labeled. (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470772)

Before I can really state my responce, I need to issue a slight bio-tech rant. Please stick with me here, as it will form the basis of my responce.

Notice, however, that genetically modified food is not labeled. That was accomplished by corrupting the U.S. government.


Actually, it has less to do with curruption/stupidity/general governmental stuff... There is no such thing as a non-genetically modified organism. Virtually every time plants cross-pollinate, animals (including people) breed, viri mutate.. a genetically modified organism results.

This is basic biology.

Now, some scientists have used natural processes to produce plants that can produce more product per given space (read: more corn per acre). This is good, and also can occur naturally.

On the other hand, some other scientists have crossed genes from, say rat assholes, with corn, for example. They do this to see what effect a single gene has. This is good for their research, however, it is very very very very bad if they should ever introduce rat asshole enhanced corn into the food supply.
(end of rant)

Definitely, DRM products should be labeled.


I agree. I think "This album has been enhanced and/or contaminated with rat assholes, MSG, radioactive waste, raw sewage, highly infectious biological agents, anything Sony, Chlorine and/or Mustard gas, rusty nails, farm runoff, or the equivalent DRM." has a pretty good chance of providing consumers the proper notification that the album in their hands contains DRM.

Re:Definitely, DRM products should be labeled. (3, Interesting)

Russellkhan (570824) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470852)

I have heard this (the GMO argument) or at least similar arguments before. This points to a problem with the term 'Genetically Modified'. Is there a better term? One that would make it clear when one is speaking of rat asshole corn, and not of things that occur in nature?

Re:Definitely, DRM products should be labeled. (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470985)

Maybe the problem can be reduced by adding a descriptor. Artificially Genitically Modified Organism vs. Naturally Genitically Modified Organism. The former is the rat asshole enhanced corn, the latter is the stuff you get from Orville Redenbacher's popping corn.

Although, now that I think of it, this enhanced system of descriptors could be applied to DRM... Artificial DRM vs. Natural DRM. The former is, for example, Sony's XCP, while the latter, for example, is a duet of William Hung and and Yoko Ono with a chorus of flatulent dogs and glass bottles getting smashed with hammers.

Re:Definitely, DRM products should be labeled. (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470900)

Notice what happened with the parent comment. It was correct, and it sparked an interesting interchange of other comments, but it was moderated down to -1 in an attempt to hide it from readers. Why? Because it criticized the U.S. government.

There are many people who claim to be Republicans who are only angry.

It was definitely government corruption that the public was never allowed to participate in the dialogue about the genetic modification of food. Now perhaps 30% or more of food in the U.S. has been genetically modified, with unknown results. The results are unknown because the big companies are doing things that never occurred in nature.

Re:Definitely, DRM products should be labeled. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15471004)

It was correct, and it sparked an interesting interchange of other comments, but it was moderated down to -1 in an attempt to hide it from readers. Why? Because it criticized the U.S. government.


Or maybe because it's offtopic - the discussion is about DRM Labelling in the UK, not the USA - and GM labelling is, IIRC, mandatory there and in the rest of the EU.

AllofMp3.com (3, Interesting)

okster (913316) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470613)

In the old days I'd buy records and copy them to tape - only play the record once. Later I'd buy the cd's and rip 'em to mp3's. Until I bought a few 'unrippable' cd's. I can't be bothered searching for notices, stickers etc... got burnt to many times.
Now I just obtain unrestricted mp3's wherever I can eg AllofMp3.com. They say the return royalties to the artist, and that's good enough for me. I'm sure the RIAA etc.. are more than willing to sue if they think they have a case :-)

I'll buy from the labels when they make media that's usefull to me.

Knowledge is power (5, Interesting)

Swifti (801896) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470630)

"If consumers even know there's a DRM, what it is, and how it works, we've already failed"

- Peter Lee, Disney executive [economist.com]

quote taken out of context (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470667)

Right after that he says, "The same goes for codecs." After that a person from Comcast says: "The user shouldn't know or care what format they're using, because consumers don't want to be IT administrators for their own home."

What they are getting at is that the entire system must be so simple, even a moron will not have any confusion using it.

Re:Knowledge is power (3, Interesting)

donaldm (919619) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470702)

I think the average person (say 99% and I am being optimistic - sigh!!) knows nothing about DRM and most likely will not care until they want to save their purchase to a different format because their original purchase is now obsolete, but by then it is far to late. Think vinyl records and pre-recorded tape (ie. cassett, cartridges and real-to-real tapes).

At least with ogg or even mp3 you have a chance of preserving your record collection. Still the best way to get around DRM is to record off free-to-air music channels and then rip this to ogg or mp3. This does take time but you can get a good selection and it is free although the Music Industry would love to stop this as well.

Now we know that as soon as the music goes to your ears then it is fair game for copying until the Music industry comes up with something that can stop this. It would be interesting or should I say horrifying to see what the "spin" from the Music Industry would be to do this and it would be sad indictment on our species if they did not rise up against any proposal to limit the listening of music to those who have paid for it. I am not condoning piracy but no one is going to stop me listening to music on a radio or TV and taping it if I choose to do so.

Labal proposed (1)

jsse (254124) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470634)

To be fair, wordings on these labals should be made as remarkable as those we found on cigarette packs:

"It can induce heart disease, nerve breakdown, breakage of furniture such as chairs, and ultimate humiliation from friends, after the content within crashes you computer into miserable useless mess...."

Upholding the law? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470648)

For instance, she said, UK law allows people to make copies of parts of copyrighted works for the purposes of critiquing or reviewing them.

"That's an exemption thwarted by DRM systems," she said. "The technologies are extending beyond the law they are supposed to uphold."


Uhh.. I was under the silly impression that it was the duty of the police and the courts to uphold the law. If you're going to start talking about DRM as "upholding the law" then shouldn't the government be doing it? Ahh shit, I just made the case for government mandated standardized DRM didn't I? Bugger.

Re:Upholding the law? (1)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470797)

I think government DRM would be awesome, because knowing governments they would pick an out of date and easily broken DRM scheme and then force everyone to use it. Consumers win!

At least someone is thinking about the consumer... (2, Interesting)

MassEnergySpaceTime (957330) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470655)

...in the UK, anyway.

It's better that the consumer be forewarned about what they can and can't do with the movie/music that they bought, than to buy it first, and then frustratingly run into it later.

But are there going to be different versions of the same CD?
1. Paul Oakenfold, with DRM copy protection
2. Paul Oakenfold, without DRM copy protection
Are they going to be the same price? If so, then what incentive would a consumer have to buy the DRM version?
Maybe what will happen is that ONLY the DRM version is sold. But then what do you do if (as the article mentions) you need to copy it to review it (which is allowed in the UK)? Buy the same CD twice? "Yeah right. I can't do my job because I can't make a copy of the CD. What do I do? Thank god for the PirateBay!"

But at least somone is thinking of the consumer so that he's not smacked in the face by DRM.

Re:At least someone is thinking about the consumer (5, Interesting)

iainl (136759) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470741)

When the first wave of "enthusiatic" DRM measures for CDs came out in the UK, a few major magazines took to making note of it in their album reviews. e.g.

Major Artist - New Album
Doesn't actually work in the office CD player due to "rights management". So we've no idea. The boxart is nice, though.
0/5

and so on.

Re:At least someone is thinking about the consumer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470880)

I like to obtain my music honestly, but DRM is making me reluctant to continue to do so. Music companies that insert DRM "crippleware" (I love that word) are making the illegal, DRM-removed versions preferable. Who would want to pay for a hazardous CD when a safe one is available for free?

I have a suggestion for the label. (4, Funny)

Ivan Matveitch (748164) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470682)

Something like

WARNING
This product contains popular culture known by the
state of California to cause brain damage. Always
wear earplugs and a blindfold when handling a disc.
In case of accidental exposure, you might as well
just kill yourself right there and get it over with.
rendered in twenty-six languages, just like the please-feed-this-bag-to-babies warning Microsoft prints on its keyboard packaging.

Like smoking warnings (2, Funny)

Alterion (925335) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470686)

I hope they have to do it like smoking warnings in massive black and white letters "DRM while pregnant can seriously harm fair use"

DRM labels could be bad (2, Funny)

NPN_Transistor (844657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470716)

Although DRM labels are probably a good thing, the industry could turn it into a bad thing.

This is what the DRM labels are intended to be like: "Warning! This media has DRM on it. It may not be able to play on all devices and is restricted so you cannot transfer the media to a portable music player"

This is what DRM labels could look like after industry lobbyists change the law: "This media is certified Copyright Safe with DRM technology. Enjoy your media with DRM!"

And this is what DRM labels could look like for kids' products: "This has Captain Copyright's Red Tape of Approval!"

Re:DRM labels could be bad (2, Insightful)

MSZ (26307) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470964)

Which is why the law should define official text, just like cigarette warnings are prescribed. Also the minimum size requirements.

WTF (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470749)

What is up with this new layout.

Is this really /.?

DRM labels will be great (1)

IAmAI (961807) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470751)

I think DRM labels will be great - I'll easily be able to tell which CDs not to buy.

broken fortune cookie (-1, Offtopic)

yerdaddie (313155) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470843)

This is mighty off topic but it seems like the new design hosed fortune:
Usage: fortune -P [] -a [xsz] [Q: [file]] [rKe9] -v6[+] dataspec ... inputdir
Take a look at the bottom of the page. Your fortune: reading a man page?

There already ARE labels for DRM on CDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470860)

So far, only EMI Music in various territories uses Copy Control DRM. Sony-BMG Music too, though they have since quit using DRM after their rootkit fiasco. The labels on both the EMI and Sony-BMG CDs, however, are very ambigious and even when I tell people browsing in CD stores that the CD they're holding is "Copy Controlled", they just look at me funny and buy it anyways.

http://www.fedge.net/emi/ [fedge.net]

Their Website (2, Informative)

WTBF (893340) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470869)

I don't know why this wasn't in the summary, but they have a website here. [apig.org.uk]

"Warning: CRAP inside" (1)

eetu (570604) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470893)

I think that every product that contains C.R.A.P. [google.fi] should have a sticker which advices the consumer not to buy it.

Re:"Warning: CRAP inside" (1)

eetu (570604) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470916)

Aargh, the correct url would of course be <a href="http://news.zdnet.com/2036-2_22-6035707.html ">news.zdnet.com/2036-2_22-6035707.html</a>. Stupid Slashdot doesn't let me edit my own comments.

Launch of the APIG report on DRM (5, Informative)

rimberg (133307) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470932)

Given that the launch of the All Party Internet Group report on Digital Rights Management only started at 10 pm and that the BBC printed this the day before it was out they must have got their hands on a advanced copy some how.

The All Party Internet Group will launch its report on Digital Rights Management at the British Library on Monday June 5th. A press release with the key aspects of the report's findings will be available on the day and will also be posted on the APIG website at that time, along with the report itself and all of the written and oral evidence received by the inquiry.

If you can not wait till 12:00pm UK time the Open Rights Group [openrightsgroup.org] (Think UK EFF) have a lot of information about the APIG DRM Public Inquiry [openrightsgroup.org] here.

More information on the press conference:

Balancing Opportunities in a Digital Age

Keynote speech: Derek Wyatt, Launch of the All Party Internet Group report on Digital Rights Management

10.00 - 12.00pm, 5th June 2006
British Library, Euston Road

Speakers Include:
  • Lynne Brindley, Chief Executive, British Library
  • Laurie Kaye, Laurence Kaye Solicitors
  • Other speakers to be confirmed

As well as launching the All Party Internet Group report on Digital Rights Management, this seminar will look at the different opportunities, and threats, digitisation and new media provide for content creators and information providers, both public and private.

The great promise of the internet is to provide us with all the information and learning materials we might need. Free internet access is now within walking distance of close to 100% of the UK. In many senses, digital inclusion is no longer about access to technology but access to content.

Libraries and archives across the world are currently involved in a number of digitisation initiatives, enabling wider access to the works of cultural and historical importance they stores. At the same time, commercial content and information providers are seeing threats to their existing business models emerge. On the one hand, they wish their content to reach as wide an audience as possible, on the other the commercial model for providing such information is potentially undermined by both content aggregators and consumer demand for 'free' information.

Publishers and libraries both fulfil an important function in our democracy,widening access and inclusion to democratic debate and adding greatly to the public sphere. But all have commercial imperatives to consider, and intellectual property rights to enforce or comply with.

Why is it that... (1)

tonywestonuk (261622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470996)

Its apparently 'Good' that DRM'd media should mandatory be labeled as such,

Its apparently 'Bad' to mandatory tag internet sex sites, as been adult.

Both things are to enable the consumer to make a informed choice, before proceding with purchase / viewing.....
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