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EFF Gets Animated About DRM with The Corruptibles

CowboyNeal posted about 8 years ago | from the fair-use-and-fairly-usable dept.

202

Lurker McLurker writes "An animation from the EFF shows DRM technology as a group of supervillans who aim to invade your home, interfere with your devices and stop you from using your digital media the way you want to, even if it is legitimate. Doesn't say anything about the subject most of us wouldn't know, but a great link to send to your friends as an introduction to the issue."

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202 comments

Nice link (1, Insightful)

orta (786013) | about 8 years ago | (#15554539)

It'll be good at educating the masses, though it does seem really dumbed down, feels a bit abstract to me.

Way too dumbed-down ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15554654)

My daughter caught a glimpse over my shoulder and asked "What are you doing? Why are you watching a cartoon?" It would seem that a serious subject would deserve a serious presentation. EFF could have done better.

Re:Way too dumbed-down ! (1)

Ithika (703697) | about 8 years ago | (#15554875)

Well, it was a cartoon. But so are South Park and Oruchuban Ebichu. It doesn't mean the content is in any way aimed at the under-fives.

I think it's a nice follow-up to the Creative Commons promotion tool that was released last year some time. I can't remember what it was called, but it was a nice, public-friendly rendering of the ideas that CC stands for. Unfortunately when I just watched the video for this EFF animation my sound wasn't working, so I don't know if it had funky sounds or amusing commentary.

Re:Nice link (2, Insightful)

vingt (191705) | about 8 years ago | (#15554658)

It didn't look like something that'll engage the attention of anyone that matters. By that, I mean that it isn't a particularly well-done, entertaining cartoon sequence that also raises questions or drives a call to action. It's boring, the characters are uninteresting, the "story" is only the message. No wordplay, no good characterisation, no hook. The items that are destroyed are so generic and undetailed that they carry no identity, conveying no sense of loss when destroyed. I don't come away from it feeling that anything personal and valuable is under threat. So it remains a little cartoon sequence, easily forgotten. It certainly won't lead anyone not already fired up to go learn more, write a congresscritter, etc.

Outside of the geek universe, this is worthless. It's the difference between the MPAA, RIAA & other lobbies and the "good guys". The bad guys know their marketing - they successfully sell their policies to those who can mandate them. The good guys are really ineffective at selling resistance to anyone that could be heard - including "the masses".

  Perhaps this would have gotten some attention if it was done as high-def, burned to Blu-Ray, and handed out at the locations where the Samsung player is launching this weekend?

Re:Nice link (2, Insightful)

script_daddy (846338) | about 8 years ago | (#15554928)

It didn't look like something that'll engage the attention of anyone that matters. By that, I mean that it isn't a particularly well-done, entertaining cartoon sequence that also raises questions or drives a call to action. It's boring, the characters are uninteresting, the "story" is only the message.

I tend to agree. Simplified, hyperbolic, and in the end, unengaging. I think the talk Cory Doctrow gave to the Microsoft Research Group [craphound.com] about DRM is a much better way to introduce friends and relatives to the issues at hand. Of course, it requires a slightly longer attention span than what's required from the animation linked to in TFA, but I find that I often underestimate my non-tech friends ability to absorb information. Especially when it comes to issues that very much concerns them. Excerpt:

Here's what I'm here to convince you of:

  1. That DRM systems don't work
  2. That DRM systems are bad for society
  3. That DRM systems are bad for business
  4. That DRM systems are bad for artists
  5. That DRM is a bad business-move for MSFT

And he does just that..

Re:Nice link - IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH (5, Interesting)

evanism (600676) | about 8 years ago | (#15554761)

Its not really too abstract, as it reflects how these DRM people see themselves.... somehow fighting villainy in all its forms, but not realising that they themselves are corrupt due to the legal violence they commit against others.

Given their druthers, these people would have your brain or body micro-chipped, and if you believe otherwise, many here would think you are not playing with the full deck.

Decent copyright, and decent IP is understandable and even desirable, but when these SOB's enter every part of every transaction and sanction what I can, or cannot see, and monitor my every trivial activity - I keep hearing the soft bell of a Certain Story.... 1984... O'Brien: "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- for ever."

Its a disturbing read, and for who're BRAVE enough to download (free from Australia) it, you may see the very similarities in the book and what DRM is.... the ability to "re-write history" the ability to make un-people or un-events (revoke DRM to your demographic/country/voting area).....

This is not a political issue, but a human freedom. Its a form of pseudo fascism, as in 1984... the owners of the content will be The Ministry Of Truth.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four [wikipedia.org]

Everyone understands cartoons (2, Funny)

Foktip (736679) | about 8 years ago | (#15554541)

THATS AWESOME! Now i can show little kids why theyre screwed in the future.

Re:Everyone understands cartoons (1)

ThePengwin (934031) | about 8 years ago | (#15554626)

My god! it all makes sence now!

But this tale needs a hero!!

Analog Hole (3, Insightful)

Feneric (765069) | about 8 years ago | (#15554544)

I think I personally would have visualized the character of "Analog Hole" as a lot older... certainly not a kid.

Re:Analog Hole (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | about 8 years ago | (#15554556)

Well.. whatever his age should be.. he's a real "a hole"

Re:Analog Hole (1)

rackrent (160690) | about 8 years ago | (#15554608)

True...the real "analog hole" is based on the old RCA jacks, the coaxial cables, etc. The day I see the RIAA/MPAA successfully eliminating those from new consumer electronics, that's when I know we've lost.

I'm clinging to my turntable and my cassette decks. We might be the only ones left standing.

Re:Analog Hole (2, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#15554697)

Every portable mp3 player has a headphone jack by nature.

. . . consumer electronics . . .

The ultimate tool in the war, stop being a consumer. Learn to make your own . . .including music and video. Fill the world with "hole."

KFG

Re:Analog Hole (1)

iminplaya (723125) | about 8 years ago | (#15555017)

Fill the world with "hole."
And then count them all...

Re:Analog Hole (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 8 years ago | (#15554940)

They've already done it. With the new HD-DVD and BluRay players, they still have the analog jacks, but the movies can contain flags such that only standard definition content is output when using the analog jacks. They will be able to control which content it put out on which jacks. Even some digital outputs won't be able to get HD content. Only HDMI, which is absent on quite a few HDTVs.

Re:Analog Hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15554640)

I'm sure the RIAA and friends visualize "Analog Hole" (or a. hole) as an older man too, sort of like this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goatse.cx [wikipedia.org]

Re:Analog Hole (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about 8 years ago | (#15554732)

Well, that part didn't really deal with the "analog hole" at all. She was trying to copy a short clip from a DVD - aka "fair use", but on a computer you're normally dealing with digital copies. Nevermind that audio/broadcast flag are anti-consumer, analog hole is pro-consumer and something they are trying to eliminate. Then again it's a teaser, not trying to be technically accurate.

Anyway, the concept of analog "hole" only makes sense in the context of trying to stop digital copies. If we say A is an analog copy and D is digital, we started out with:
AAAAAAAAAAAAA = crap

Then we got CDs, but there was noone who had CD burners at the time:
DAAAAAAAAAAAA = crap

Nobody gave a damn that there was an "analog hole", I don't think the concept even existed. Then everybody and their mother got computers and CD burners, and suddenly you got all-digital copies:
DDDDDDDDDDDDD = perfect

Then they started inventing DRM, and got that protected through the DMCA. That was supposed to stop digital copying, with varying degrees of success. However, in those cases where they succeeded you still had the analog hole:
DADDDDDDDDDDD = near perfect

So the concept of an "analog hole" is very young, because it makes absolutely no sense without digital copies and DRM.

Re:Analog Hole (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 8 years ago | (#15554952)

I remember when they first came out with DVD drives for computers I saw a few reviews in magazines, and most of them were saying, sorry, no screen shot, because the included software blocked the ability to take screen shots somehow. Which really sucks for those trying to do a review and push the product. Yeah, we'd like to show you how nice these new DVD's look, but they won't let us. I'm sure you'll see a lot of this smae stuff again with the new HD formats.

Re:Analog Hole (1)

macemoneta (154740) | about 8 years ago | (#15554994)

You forgot the false premise of DRM and the analog hole - the last step is always analog, because human media I/O is analog. So in reality, a perfect copy is:

DDDDDDDDDDDDDA = perfect

As a result, no matter what the protection is or how impervious to compromise it is, you can always:

DDDDDDDDDDDDDADA = near perfect

This is why those selling the concept of DRM to media companies are selling snake oil. Until experiencing media requires an implant, an acceptable quality copy can always be made, stripped of all DRM. It's not the answer that the guys in suits want to hear, so until someone with two brain cells gets control of the the media company this nonsense will continue as customer abuse.

Spot on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15554553)

What a great cartoon, gets the point across very well.

Great Introduction to the Perils of DRM (4, Interesting)

Jazzer_Techie (800432) | about 8 years ago | (#15554555)

I think this is a nice piece of work from the EFF. There are plenty of people who would be more concerned about DRM if they understood its potentials. I know I've talked with my father (who is very low tech) about DRM, and he certainly was legitimately concerned about what I told him. I've made backups of some of his CDs for him, and he likes knowing that he can keep the originals safe. We talked about how breaking DeCSS to make a legitimate backup copy of a DVD is illegal under the DMCA, and he thinks something like that is unreasonable. Right now, non-tech people just aren't running into deep issues of DRM. The most DRM they've probably run into is iTMS FairPlay, and thanks to Apple's 'generous' terms, they rarely, if ever, run into something they can't do. I think more people would be concerned about DRM if they understood what it's potential consequences are, and I think this animation does a good job of doing that.

Re:Great Introduction to the Perils of DRM (5, Interesting)

babbling (952366) | about 8 years ago | (#15554585)

One problem I run into when trying to explain DRM to people is that they think I'm mistaken or don't believe me. They think they will always be able to record TV shows, and that nothing can stop them from doing so. They think that they will always be able to find a way to break encryption and use music they've purchased however they like.

Re:Great Introduction to the Perils of DRM (2, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | about 8 years ago | (#15554810)

The video is very cool and well done. But along the same lines as what you were saying, the video seems to assume that people understand copyright law, including fair use, and then goes on to explain how DRM can prevent you from doing things that are perfectly legal. The thing is, most people don't understand copyright law, and have never heard of fair use. The video uses the example of a kid trying to put a video snippet in her electronic school report. Although that clearly falls within fair use, I think most people, who don't know about fair use, would either think (a) the kid should be stopped from doing it, because it's illegal, or (b) it's illegal, but the law is stupid, so it's ok for the kid to break it. Same thing on the personal use exception, which would be relevant for the DVR example. I was unclear myself on the example of the mix CD -- is the EFF saying it's legal under personal use? Would it depend on whether the woman is his wife, who lives in the same house with him, or his girlfriend, who doesn't?

They think that they will always be able to find a way to break encryption and use music they've purchased however they like
I've heard a lot of speculation about how the analog hole could be plugged, for example, but so far I haven't seen it happen. It seems likely to me that any analog copy-protection system could be worked around by a sufficiently sophisticated digital or analog filtering system. Then the question is whether the media industry can make the relevant filtering software or hardware illegal. If it's as simple as a band-reject filter, then it doesn't seem likely.

Re:Great Introduction to the Perils of DRM (1)

Krimszon (815968) | about 8 years ago | (#15555040)

Well, they are looking at it the wrong way. You need to explain that having to break the encryption is exactly the problem.

Re:Great Introduction to the Perils of DRM (2, Interesting)

martinultima (832468) | about 8 years ago | (#15554588)

I'd have to agree – that was one of the most well thought-out animations I've ever seen, even compared to the ones that weren't propaganda against digital rights management. Definitely great attention to detail, too (at least with all the parody titles) – hopefully this will make people realize that this actually will affect them, and isn't just something that super-techies and/or Slashdot readers don't like because it doesn't work on Linux. Disclaimer, I'm a super-techie and a Slashdot reader who does the kind of thing they want to ban all the time on Linux...

Re:Great Introduction to the Perils of DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15554595)

Disclaimer, I'm a super-techie and a Slashdot reader who does the kind of thing they want to ban all the time on Linux...

You did animated kiddie pr0n?

Re:Great Introduction to the Perils of DRM (1)

martinultima (832468) | about 8 years ago | (#15554695)

Let me clarify a bit for idiots like you and everyone in Hollywood: The type of thing the MPAA/RIAA wants to ban that the EFF is objecting to in this particular video. Creative misinterpretation is not your friend.

Re:Great Introduction to the Perils of DRM (1)

evanism (600676) | about 8 years ago | (#15554833)

Sick shit like this doesn't need a technological solution like DRM, it needs a sharp knife.

Re:Great Introduction to the Perils of DRM (2, Interesting)

Maelwryth (982896) | about 8 years ago | (#15554702)

IMHO there would be a lot more public outcry if the laws weren't enforced selectively. Currently the method is to prosecute a small number of people to put the "Fear of God" into the rest. Imagine the outcry if all the people breaking the law were sued. I could see quite a few things becoming legal very quickly (or the collapse of the court system)
Personally, I found the animation to be a little too vague and in the future. I can imagine people watching it and saying, "Oh. that will never happen to me."

progress stops at the cost of capitalism (3, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | about 8 years ago | (#15554566)

Wasn't a free market and capitalism supposed to drive innovation and technology? Oh wait, yeah, Microsoft, never mind.

Really, reading some of these proposed laws the clear message from the RIAA/MPAA is, "To ensure our continued hand-in-the-cookie-jar obscene money making machine, we demand the government enact protective legislation." Guess what? They're "gettin' 'er done"! Innovative ideas and extensions and forks of cool, useful, for-the-betterment-of-man technology fall by the wayside by fiat, at the entertainment industry's prompt.

Again, ignoring the thesis for the moment that increased use of all of these digital technologies actually serve the entertainment industry spurring new growth in unexpected demographics, the new and improved technology traditionally has been the keystone of other new technologies. Often, as mentioned in a recent slashdot article, new directions are discovered accidentally. Squelch digital devices and you squelch potential new and rich fields of devices.

The RIAA and MPAA, what a bunch of fucktards.

Re:progress stops at the cost of capitalism (4, Informative)

dcollins (135727) | about 8 years ago | (#15554610)

Wasn't a free market and capitalism supposed to drive innovation and technology?

I think that's old-school thinking. It's what I heard when I was growing up, but I haven't heard industry spokespeople argue that in many years.

Nowadays the reasoning seems to be that "free market" indicates an intrinsic right to do whatever you can to make money, period, good or bad. They don't even bother with a how-it-helps-society argument anymore. As a citizen, you're supposed to just suck it down and shut up.

Re:progress stops at the cost of capitalism (3, Insightful)

Kaimelar (121741) | about 8 years ago | (#15554843)

As a citizen, you're supposed to just suck it down and shut up.

Corporations don't see people as "citizens" anymore. We're not even their customers -- we're consumers. Language always gives one away.

Re:progress stops at the cost of capitalism (1)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | about 8 years ago | (#15554990)

Wasn't a free market and capitalism supposed to drive innovation and technology?

Yes, and it does. Bittorrent, warez, mp3s are all products of the market. But the RIAA/MPAA doesn't want to compete and decrease their profit margins, so they push for laws that make their competitors illegal, thus resulting in a market that certainly is not free. If you want an example of how things go when the cartels can't legislate their competitors away, look at China where they had to drop their prices to compete with piracy.

Excellent! (3, Interesting)

elgee (308600) | about 8 years ago | (#15554576)

That is excellent and I hope it gets widespread exposure.

Now what I would really like to see is it broadcast on the major tv channels. Let me know if hell is freezing over.

Subtitles (3, Insightful)

Rekolitus (899752) | about 8 years ago | (#15554584)

I think this is a good idea, but I really wish more people would put subtitles on their flash videos, the EFF no exception.

Seriously, how hard would it be to spend some 10 minutes adding subtitles?

I do like the idea, though.

Re:Subtitles (2, Informative)

pjbgravely (751384) | about 8 years ago | (#15554628)

I think this is a good idea, but I really wish more people would put subtitles on their flash videos

Do you mean like this? [gprime.net]
Sorry I couldn't find a flash version in a hurry.

Re:Subtitles (1)

Cal Paterson (881180) | about 8 years ago | (#15554814)

I just seriously wish someone would figure out a way to play videos inside a browser without having to use flash. This functionality is really badly needed. I'm not a web developer, but no Free alternative comes to mind.

Well, at least they were cool enough to provide an MPEG4 option.

Re:Subtitles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15554920)

What, like the mplayer plug-in [sf.net] ? It's free, but it relies (obviously) on mplayer, which is far from perfect IMHO.

Re:Subtitles (1)

Cal Paterson (881180) | about 8 years ago | (#15554984)

I happen to think that mplayer is perfect. :p

The mplayerplug-in actually does sound like the trick for the job. Pity it doesn't have wider use.

Re:Subtitles (1)

stonefoz (901011) | about 8 years ago | (#15555008)

http://..../ [....] grabs a text, small? text file and maybe some pictures. It's even names after what is does, grab text files from somewhere else. Video, audio, flash and other multimedia realy need some new type of link system so I know that lynx isn't going to be happy from the start. Embeding everthing-under-the-sun aproch also limits choices to all but the great people that have enough knowlage to monkey with firefox internaly and is anti-competitive because of this fact. Personaly I'd like to see hyper-multimedia-tranfer-proto:// inplemented in an at least semi-standard way instead of replaceing my browser with a huge flash player (which I'm not about to try and make work for amd64, I already have to have two copies of enough things), or worse yet, an activex who-knows-what. I'm not saying that there isn't a place to put new and intovative media in the public, but convoluting a well working standard to do so just isn't the way.

In a recent survay, Jack Danials beats a Gramernatzi, at 3 to 2 odds.

Don't forget... (4, Informative)

spiritraveller (641174) | about 8 years ago | (#15554586)

The bad guys [internetofthefuture.org] can make cartoons too.

Re:Don't forget... (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about 8 years ago | (#15554624)

Hey! That movie ripped off a sound effect from The Jetsons!

Re:Don't forget... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15554680)

I think what you meant to say is that that movie licensed a sound effect from the Sound Forge library.

That's kind of the whole point of this debate. Idiots like the EFF paint DRM as some kind of evil monster, when the truth is that it's just an effort on the part of the people who own things and want to be able to sell them without having them stolen to find a technological solution to what's clearly a societal problem.

Re:Don't forget... (4, Insightful)

spiritraveller (641174) | about 8 years ago | (#15554793)

That's kind of the whole point of this debate. Idiots like the EFF paint DRM as some kind of evil monster, when the truth is that it's just an effort on the part of the people who own things and want to be able to sell them without having them stolen to find a technological solution to what's clearly a societal problem.

The problem with DRM as a technical solution is that it uses my computer against me. My computer works for me. It doesn't work for anyone else without my permission... and that's why I don't use DRM.

DRM isn't "evil" until people no longer have the choice of refusing it.

That is why the EFF's campaign is important. It educates people about it, so that the market will make the right decision before DRM becomes an inescapable de facto standard.

Re:Don't forget... (2, Insightful)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | about 8 years ago | (#15555004)

when the truth is that it's just an effort on the part of the people who own things and want to be able to sell them without having them stolen

The problem is that these people want to sell the things they own and still own them afterwards.

Re:Don't forget... (1)

Roger Wilcox (776904) | about 8 years ago | (#15554651)

This video is ludicrous! It is a very misleading propaganda piece that does not provide anything near the whole story. The logical holes in it are so large that I can't imagine anyone could take it seriously.

Either there is enough bandwidth to handle all Internet traffic, or there is not. If there isn't enough bandwidth, then something is going to give. Dividing up the traffic and dedicating "lanes" to specific services won't stop a bottleneck from occurring - it will only ensure that the most profitable services are given prefrence, relegating content that the telcos can't profit from to whatever bandwidth is left.

And all of that is ignoring the enormous potential for censorship that comes with the end of network neutrality. It is a grim future indeed.

Re:Don't forget... (1)

rjdegraaf (712353) | about 8 years ago | (#15554728)

The bad guys [internetofthefuture.org] can make cartoons too.

Indeed 'bad guys', the movie is in favour of stopping net neutrality [slashdot.org] .

Re:Don't forget... (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | about 8 years ago | (#15554794)

Did you watch the cartoon?? They're in favor of not regulating the Internet and keeping cool technologies like HDTV or on-demand movies or VoIP from our homes. They're in favor of very high bandwidth fiber optic links coming into our houses and being able to properly segment those links to ensure quality of service for the services in question. I think that's an awesome idea so I can ensure my VoIP phone from my cable company gets the QoS it needs to function without being choppy while I'm watching on-demand video or streaming content from an authorized content provider like my cable company or one of its authorized affiliate service providers.


Why should companies like Google or Slashdot get a free ride to use MY bandwidth that *I'm* paying for just to serve me streaming video or geek news? Shouldn't these sites pay their fair share instead of offloading the costs to me? Sure, Slashdot buys bandwidth from some provider, but what about *my* provider? Who is going to offset the burden on their network to provide me with Slashdot's services? Why should I be forced to pay for that content?

/devil's advocate view of the completely ludicrous stance the telco and cable monopolies are portraying

Re:Don't forget... (1)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#15554763)

Forget? It's what provided the stimulus for the EFF's efforts along this line.

It's an information war and this is the firing of a return volley.

KFG

And y'all DID notice.... (1)

Nick Driver (238034) | about 8 years ago | (#15555012)

...which of those two cartoons easily allows you to save a copy, and which one does not? Or did anyone miss that?

Stupid, like everything from the EFF (0, Flamebait)

BlackTriangle (581416) | about 8 years ago | (#15554587)

PS I love the pictures from when those gun nut EFF freaks blasted the shit out of a koran.

Racism, it's an American institution.

Dirty smelly backwater libertarians who eat colloidal (sp) silver and have that nice hue to them, these fuckers who don't know shit, gotta love em.

What a bunch of jokers. Noone in normal life cares, you assholes. Your animation sucks.

My friends, my REAL WORLD, NORMAL friends, 19-25 years old in age, would think I was a freak of nature if I showed them this animation.

You're in your own little fantasy world. Get out of the fantasy world and join the rest of us here in reality. And Grow up, assholes.

What good is it... (2, Insightful)

a_greer2005 (863926) | about 8 years ago | (#15554590)

if the only people who see this are already in agreement with the EFF on this one?

Re:What good is it... (2, Insightful)

hasbeard (982620) | about 8 years ago | (#15554599)

Maybe the idea is to put something out there so that people can show it to other people or give them a link to it...

What good is your post... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15554621)

if the only people who see it are already in agreement with what you're saying?

Conclusion: your post is either useless or wrong. In either case, why post it?

Re:What good is it... (3, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | about 8 years ago | (#15554669)

if the only people who see this are already in agreement with the EFF on this one?

Post the link on your blog. Email it to your family members. Print the link on business cards and hadn it out to strangers on the street.

Really cool cartoon! (2, Interesting)

Per Wigren (5315) | about 8 years ago | (#15554594)

What would be REALLY cool is if it can be shown on the major TV channels (during commercial breaks) every once in a while... How much money would be needed for that?

Re:Really cool cartoon! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15554637)

I am ready to spend some money on that!

Re:Really cool cartoon! (0, Offtopic)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#15554805)

How much money would be needed for that?

Doesn't really matter. Everytime you buy any of their shit you participate in insureing that "they" have a lot more.

. . .TV channels (during commercial breaks)

Ahhhhhhhhh, Grasshopper. You have failed to follow the money and come to the logical end of the trail. You will not be ready until you can snatch the media outlet from my hand.

KFG

If only they could get it shown in cinemas (3, Interesting)

Zane Hopkins (894230) | about 8 years ago | (#15554596)

Just before the warning about how piracy is putting the movie industry out of work.

Re:If only they could get it shown in cinemas (1)

canuck57 (662392) | about 8 years ago | (#15554938)

Just before the warning about how piracy is putting the movie industry out of work.

Or another way to look at it is that the movie industry is price fixing and the market is balking. Resorting to extorting it's paying customers to keep prices artificially high is just alienating it's customers.

While the big companies like Sony, BMG, MGM and others are behaving like this, smaller more efficient and creative upstarts are happening all over the place, outside of the USA. It will not be long before this breaks the big monopolistic practices of the RIAA/MPAA.

I also believe they underestimate the consumer resistance to this. Very few people actually will buy a Blu-ray device in the first few years because of cost. The high cost will delay it's deployment. Reliability issues will plague it. The devices will be DRM laden and restrictive. The industry will spend millions to hype it's acceptance but in the end it will be broken.

No boobs? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15554597)

Boring animation. Where's the tits, nudity, sex, etc? There's not reason to spread such rubbish.
And I wonder to what 'senator' I would send the message. We don't have senators in my country. But maybe this is us-only. Maybe that explains why it's censored from things that mean something. Like boobs.

Bah.

Perfect opportunity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15554607)

This should be the perfect opportunity a company to differentiate - by not selling DRM-tainted products.

Re:Perfect opportunity! (1)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#15554812)

. . .differentiate - by not selling DRM-tainted products.

That's why "they" are working on getting it required by law.

KFG

Captain Copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15554622)

I wonder what Captain Copyright would say?

Re:Captain Copyright (1)

saskboy (600063) | about 8 years ago | (#15554646)

Stupid Captain Copyright would probably make some stupid about his nemesis the EFF.

Captain Copyright: Ma'am, you can't buy that used CD, the artist doesn't get royalties from it!
EFF: Don't worry Ma'am, buy the CD, I'll PROTECT YOU!
Captain Copyright: Oh you're mean EFF! Meanie! Don't make me throw lawyers at you and this woman!

Many people just dont get it! (5, Insightful)

rehashed (948690) | about 8 years ago | (#15554633)

I have shown this clip to a few colleagues, and they just dont understand how these things effect them.

Talking about HDTV, mixing down from Digital Radio, and Digitizing commercial products for school projects is not the way to appeal to the mass consumer market.

Recording TV shows and making a favorites CD out of your music collection are more accessble principles to the mass market, and these are what should be highlighted.

Re:Many people just dont get it! (1)

The Cisco Kid (31490) | about 8 years ago | (#15555043)

Er, 'recording tv shows', and 'making a favorites CD' (also known as a 'mix CD') is exactly what the first two topics were about.

HDTV (actually DTV) is what everyone is talking about migrating to, and the FCC is mandating. Existing analog broadcasts would be gone. And using a DVR is exactly about recording TV shows. VCR's certainly wont be useful, since big media wouldnt let anything digital have an unprotected anlog output.

And while you could certainly make a mix CD from existing current standard CD's, big media would very much like to only offer music in a DRM format, which wouldnt include standard CD's.

To One Side (-1)

Rydia (556444) | about 8 years ago | (#15554641)

It's a nice introduction to one side of the issue. I understand that /. is all about knee-jerk reactions and huge generalizations, but DRM itself isn't (if anything actually can be) evil. The concern is with the current use of it, along with a large echo chamber of people who are upset that it would destroy their ability to pirate.

DRM to constrain legitimate use = Bad
DRM to constrain piracy = Good
DRM written poorly and given too much control = Bad

Re:To One Side (3, Insightful)

crhylove (205956) | about 8 years ago | (#15554661)

Now see, I had mod points today, and unfortunately there isn't a mod "wrong", otherwise I'd have used it right away.

DRM IS WRONG. In any form ever for anything. It stifles the advance of human progress, be it technologically, in the arts, or even politically. Advocating DRM ever for anything is like advocating AIDS ever for anything. Sure occasionally some real fucktard like Dick Cheney might get AIDS and that would be great. However, AIDS itself still sucks, and I'd advocate taking him out another way.

Specifically in this case prison time for purjury and election rigging until his pace maker gives out. Over all AIDS is still bad. Just like DRM.

Re:To One Side (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15554713)

You know what I think? I think this post was written by an RIAA astroturfer to make all of us look like drooling assholes.

And if I'm wrong, STAY OFF OUR SIDE, you cretin.

Re:To One Side (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15554678)

A 'legitimate' use would be to copy part or all of some media for personal use, like shifting to other formats. As long as you don't give the copies to somebody else, there should not be a problem. You can't stop the 'hardcore' pirates from making copies, DRM just hurts legitimate users. The only people with a 'problem' are the media sellers who would love it if you had to buy more than one copy of the same movie/music for each of your locked down devices. If your device breaks, too bad. Buy a new one and repurchase all of your media. Think of the starving artists, I mean companies! I have read about this debate too many times and it gets old.

Re:To One Side (2, Insightful)

tddoog (900095) | about 8 years ago | (#15554717)

I watched the cartoon and it doesn't say anything about DRM. It talks specifically about the law being pushed through congress that infringes on fair use rights.

The real problem is that it is almost impossible to constrain piracy while not infringing on fair use. These same types of things were brought up with the advent of VCRs and there has been no companies that have gone bankrupt (to my knowledge) because of VCRs. In my opinion, DRM is not necessary, and companies could make even more profit without it if they gave the consumers more options to get what they want, how they want it. Take a tip from Burger King, "Your way, right away."

Re:To One Side (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15554740)


DRM to constrain piracy = Good

Yeah, if anything actually can be universally, unanimously considered good or bad...

Personally, I'm all for intellectual property as a concept.

BUT

I wouldn't be so quick to condemn people about it. Following the law (or any law for that matter) is not the right thing to do, it is one thing to do, just like there are other things to do.

No piracy = Good sounds awfully like (and I loathe this term with a passion) a knee-jerk reaction.

Oh, and also, there is the debate about whether the **AA is using DRM to monopolise distribution channels, therefore eliminating competition, but I withold my judgement on that one.

Re:To One Side (3, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | about 8 years ago | (#15554755)

DRM to constrain piracy = Good

Well DRM does not constrain piracy. It only hurts the

Zip. Nadda. Not one bit.

If a pirate wants to copy something or get a copy of something, he already has the tools to bypass whatever DRM you throw at him. Those who end up being hurt all the time is Joe Six packs who buy a copy and then the company that sold him the media goes bankrupt or his drm copy goes bad and he couldn't make fair use backups of it.

The "truth" about DRM is to make people buy media twice when they already own a licence for it.

And guess what happens to DRM when the copyright expires in 100 years from now? You still have DRM and may heaven help you if you are a historian trying to research early 21st century history and can't seem to find tools to read archaic DRM schemes (although I'll give our descendants the benefit of the doubt with computer skills by 2100.)

Not to mention this media is supposed to go into public domain once the DRM expires... But DRM is cheating the spirit of copyright law by making this impossible.

Re:To One Side (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15554967)

DRM to constrain legitimate use = Bad
DRM to constrain piracy = Good
DRM written poorly and given too much control = Bad

Add

DRM + RIAA = Extortion + Price Fixing

Me, I wait until I can rent it for $5 or less.

Re:To One Side (0)

Rydia (556444) | about 8 years ago | (#15555045)

I'm glad the subject got a such a vigorous debate.

Constraining piracy is good. Piracy is bad, it hurts the economy, it hurts businesses, not to mention it's against the law. You can try to justify it, but it's not yours to say that it is therefore right. It isn't.

And I agree, there should be a -1 Wrong moderation. For factual inaccuracy. As it were, we have someone with Excellent Karma at -1 for a post without getting either flamebait (it's obviously not) or troll (which, again, it obviously is not) simply because that user dared to play devil's advocate and bring up the unpopular argument.

And, for the record, I am completely against DRM. I'm just too intellectually honest to pretend that just because I believe something the opposite argument is utterly without merit.

I'll say this very slowly... (2, Insightful)

Kihaji (612640) | about 8 years ago | (#15554645)

DRM is not evil. DRM is not wrong. Improper application and bad laws are.

Fight the laws and bad applications of DRM, not DRM itself.

Re:I'll say this very slowly... (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 years ago | (#15554797)

Fight the laws and bad applications of DRM, not DRM itself.

But isn't almost every use of DRM in a work distributed to the public a "bad application"?

Re:I'll say this very slowly... (2, Interesting)

Kihaji (612640) | about 8 years ago | (#15554829)

But isn't almost every use of DRM in a work distributed to the public a "bad application"?
Almost every isn't every. Document dissemination by governments/companies where you want to absolutely verify that either they sent it to you, or you are the only one who can manipulate/read it are one case where well implemented DRM would be beneficial. Or, any place that the artist(not the publisher) wants to protect their work. Companies internal documents, to aid in ensuring that they don't get "leaked".

DRM will not fix all the problems in the above senarios, but it would be helpful as a piece of the overall solution.

The same thing going on here is what happened with research into nuclear energy. Nuclear bombs == bad(bad application), nuclear power plants == good(well, psuedo good now, all good when fusion gets worked out)

Re:I'll say this very slowly... (2, Insightful)

The Cisco Kid (31490) | about 8 years ago | (#15555011)

Preventing someone else from reading something the government sent me without *my* permission would be fine. The government, preventing *ME* from showing someone else what the government sent me, *IS* abuse of power. If the govt sends me an illegal threat, I have *every* right to show that to my lawyer, the press, or whoever I want.

DRM can never be open, becuase if it were, it would be defeatable.

DRM isnt about protecting rights, its about taking yours away so that big media can prevent you from moving from one platform to another without having to pay them again each time.

'Registering' a media player so that it can track what you listen to and when smacks of invasion of privacy.

Big media would love digital downloads to take off in a form they can keep a tight fist on, if only so that they can start phasing CD's out or start charging more for them, since in their current form (as long as you don't run MS OS's that ignore the audio CD part and run the DRM programs on the data part) they don't trample on fair use rights such as the ability to make backups and to media and format shift.

Re:I'll say this very slowly... (2, Informative)

tddoog (900095) | about 8 years ago | (#15554851)

DRM is only referenced in the summary. The cartoon does not say that DRM is bad. It notes the aspects of the PERFORM law that infringe on fair use rights and how they can be used against consumers. What the EFF is trying to do is make sure that (more) laws aren't made that take rights aways from the unsuspecting public.

I sure as hell wish the EFF was around during all those stupidass copyright extensions.

What DRM needs... (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | about 8 years ago | (#15554657)

Is a unifying standard. You should be able to use a DRM'ed piece of media in every electronics device you own, not one or two which happen to share a DRM standard out of chance. MS to be fair seem to have made reasonable efforts to unify DRM with it's 'plays for sure' thingy (although I've no experience on how restrictive it actually is) If you can register devices as belonging to a household and buy a variety of different forms of DRMed media that understands you're just switching it between devices in your own home, I think most people would be fairly accepting of it. However at the moment we've endless forms of DRM that don't recognise owners as needing to play something on more than one device (ESPECIALLY a competitors device). VHS, CDA, DVD all were successfull because they'd play on devices you'd want them to play on (if you had the equiptment/software), DRM'ed digital media needs to recognise that people don't care if it's sony, apple or MS' software. They just want to play their games/videos/music when they want and how they want.

Re:What DRM needs... (2, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | about 8 years ago | (#15554660)

MS to be fair seem to have made reasonable efforts to unify DRM with it's 'plays for sure' thingy (although I've no experience on how restrictive it actually is)

And if I have a Mac or Linux box?

Re:What DRM needs... (1)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | about 8 years ago | (#15554706)

I think the answer might be, "be prepared to either pay to keep a Windows box (or other high-priced proprietary equipment) around, or just accept that you can't enjoy certain types of media." So just save yourself some trouble, become a pessimist, and know that there will always be more American Idol-watching, mouth-breathing, "if you're not a pirate you have nothing to worry about" types than you, and that DRM will become part of access to popular media in the future no matter how hard we little peons argue against it. Don't you feel better now? :)

Re:What DRM needs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15554749)

Yeah! Everything's futile. No one should bother doing anything about DRM because it's here to stay, of course.

PlayForNever (1)

AnyThingButWindows (939158) | about 8 years ago | (#15554846)

Play For Sure only works on Windows, therefore its not a standard, and never will be. If it doesn't work on everything, like my Apples, and Linux boxen, then its not a standard. PDF is a standard, just because Adobe happens to sell software that works with Postscript Document Formats doesn't mean that Adobe's software is a standard. I don't think DRM will ever be a standard. This is mostly becasue of greed, and all the companys like Sony want to do their own thing to fulfill their twisted motives. Sony doesn't want to you use your own devices. Sony wants you to buy the same media again, and again. IANAL. But there are actually laws against those practices believe it or not.

It's probably just me... (1)

cp.tar (871488) | about 8 years ago | (#15554667)

... but I read that as "indoctrination to the issue".

But let me ask you just one thing: if people are so disinterested and/or uneducated that the have to be introduced to the rights they are about to lose... how does that portray democracy?

From where I stand, I just see sheeple... all the rest of us only differ in the power we wield or do not wield. But most people, sadly, don't really give a damn.

I do hope EFF will bring more people to their senses... it's just the fact that this is the method needed to do it that peeves me.

Re:It's probably just me... (1)

tddoog (900095) | about 8 years ago | (#15554803)

In the late 1700s there were people who didn't really care that much about taxation without representation and all that. Although, there were some others who were able to foresee the downsides to having a distant king controlling everything they could do. Naturally, the small minority of those who had some understanding did their best to mobilize the people to start a revolution. If you want to see propaganda, read Common Sense by Thomas Paine. But that was one of the tickets that informed the people and started the revolution.

Don't look down on people because they are not tech savvy and don't spend their time babysitting their senator. Public representatives are supposed to be people we can trust and some people still believe they can trust them.

If you really care about this issue then educate people about it (like the EFF is trying to do) and make them care about it too.

Re:It's probably just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15554854)


But most people, sadly, don't really give a damn.

It's probably true (I haven't read the studies on apathy), but is it sad?

Most people on /. would say "yes" without hesitation, but if you think about it, what kind of harm can you do to the die-hard oblivious and the apathetic?

You take away their rights, they don't care. They just do what they do.

What about the law, you say? The best resistance for people against opposing powers is to not care. They can't be expected to follow laws if they are completely unaware, and laws that the people don't like would become meaningless text. Where would you find the manpower to enforce these laws if no-one cared?

So, I propose the last form of activism: inactivism! I promise that, if you do it right, you will be truly happy for the rest of your life.

Re:It's probably just me... (1)

cp.tar (871488) | about 8 years ago | (#15555029)

What about the law, you say? The best resistance for people against opposing powers is to not care. They can't be expected to follow laws if they are completely unaware, and laws that the people don't like would become meaningless text. Where would you find the manpower to enforce these laws if no-one cared?

Ignorantia legis neminem excusat, if my Latin serves me.

As long as there is a silent minority which not only cares, but actively passes laws which restrict other people who are, at the time, completely unaware of the fact, there will also be the apparatus which will enforce those laws. Which is what I'm talking about.

It is your right not to care... but when most people do not care, what good is democracy?

To complete the collection (2, Informative)

Bromskloss (750445) | about 8 years ago | (#15554675)

...combine with similar movies about software patents [ffii.org] and trusted computing [lafkon.net] .

Propagandhi? (1)

Distinguished Hero (618385) | about 8 years ago | (#15554724)

If the RIAA were to put out something like this, it would be (rightly) referred to as propaganda. Does propaganda automatically become acceptable if you support the message being propagandized? Is such a thing really "a great link to send to your friends as an introduction to the issue"? Inquiring minds want to know.

Re:Propagandhi? (1)

aleander (95485) | about 8 years ago | (#15554772)

Stop spreading your anti-propagandist propaganda!

[*sigh* yeah, that's propaganda. Your point being?]

Re:Propagandhi? (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about 8 years ago | (#15554873)

If the RIAA were to put out something like this, it would be (rightly) referred to as propaganda.

You mean kind of like that inane 'Matrix' themed cartoon that the RIAA put out a couple years ago?

Re:Propagandhi? (1)

MrSteveSD (801820) | about 8 years ago | (#15554893)

Propaganda isn't necessarily bad or about spreading lies. It got those connotations during WWII when the NAZIS used it. Prior to the war, companies and governments were happy to use the word propaganda to describe what they were doing. I mean, you wouldn't think of a poster describing the dangers of unprotected sex as being propaganda would you? but it is. These kind of animations/videos can spread around very quickly with little cost to the producers. If you can make your animation cool enough and funny enough you can deliver your propaganda payload to a large audience. Propaganda isn't wrong or evil, but the message can be. What I would like to see though is the creators of these films to cite references (or provide relevant links) and to encourage viewers to find things out for themselves. Perhaps that would make it a little less propagandistic.

minus 2, Tr0ll) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15554748)

Obligatory Simpsons (1)

LM741N (258038) | about 8 years ago | (#15554834)

Homer: "Hmm, DRM eh?" He starts thinking: "Mmmm Donut Rights Measure- aaaaahhhh."

OK, I just made that up.

That's not an animation! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15554860)

It's some kind of unviewable Flash nonsense that doesn't work on my operating system, and which I wouldn't enable even if it would work.

When are sites going to start posting actual videos instead of the pseudo crap that is Flash?

Re:That's not an animation! (3, Informative)

Phil John (576633) | about 8 years ago | (#15555031)

Second link under the "Watch" title is an XVid MPEG4 file, XVid being an open source video codec.

I don't like it (3, Insightful)

Godji (957148) | about 8 years ago | (#15555054)

As much as I love the EFF and everything they do (I donate every month), I don't like the movie on its purely presentational qualities.

1. It presents too many things too fast. Everything happends too fast. I showed it to someone unfamiliar with the issue, and who had only vaguely heard some of the terms used (analog hole, fair use, and the like). Her reaction was in the lines of "Huh? What the...? Can you play that again?"

2. It uses a foolishly cartoonish "superhero" style. When I see those overly comic-style "superhero" images with sharp lines, simple colors, and dumb logos on their chests, I find them stupid. They look stupid. This gives the whole video a comic feel, taking away any seriousness it might have wanted to imply. It fails to shock the unsuspecting viewer with what should be a shocking revelation. Don't get me wrong; the problem is not any crude drawing, but the adherence to the "comic superhero" style. Even the voice-over sticks to it...

3. It doesn't explain anything. What's going on? This is the most difficult one to get right, but a video has to at least try to explain part of the issue. You could say it only tries to turn your attention to the issue, but it doesn't... the video, as it is, requires one to do some serious background reading. How many people, who have never bothered with the issue before, are going to just stop what they were doing and start reading about DRM?

Number 2 is the biggest flaw in my opinion. Most people would oppose DRM if they knew about it, but if I send the link to anyone who's even a little sceptic about the importance of opposing DRM and the magnitude of its danger, that person would laugh at me. One already did, saying "What the hell is this bullshit?". The question was about the cartoonish guys, not the issue presented. I love the idea though, and hope they will come up with something better next time.
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