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U.S. Backs Apple's iTunes DRM

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the support-from-the-top dept.

327

breun writes "The U.S. has asked foreign governments to consider the effects of interfering with popular new technologies, pointing to recent scrutiny of Apple's iTunes Music Store as an example of bad judgment. The U.S. Justice Department's antitrust chief Thomas Barnett cited recent foreign proposals to impose restrictions on Apple's iTunes service as an example of strict regulation which could discourage innovation and hurt consumers." From the Washington Post article: "In prepared remarks, Barnett said the scrutiny of Apple 'provides a useful illustration of how an attack on intellectual property rights can threaten dynamic innovation.' Barnett said Apple should be applauded for creating a legal, profitable and easy-to-use system for downloading music and other entertainment via the Internet."

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Or maybe it's just a GOOD government in action... (2, Insightful)

saleenS281 (859657) | about 8 years ago | (#16108572)

Really? And here I thought it just represented some government's that are *shock* looking out for their constituents right! THE HORROR!

Re:Or maybe it's just a GOOD government in action. (-1, Troll)

Black-Man (198831) | about 8 years ago | (#16108614)

Since when is stealing copyrighted music a "right"?

Right makes might! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16108662)

Ever since pirates were found to be way cooler than ninjas.

Re:Or maybe it's just a GOOD government in action. (5, Insightful)

MustardMan (52102) | about 8 years ago | (#16108666)

Sure, because DRM never interfered with fair use, or anything... and all countries have the exact same copyright laws as the US.

To throw your own argument back in your face - since when is artifically limiting my ability to use something I bought as I see fit a "right" of some company?

Re:Or maybe it's just a GOOD government in action. (2, Insightful)

captnitro (160231) | about 8 years ago | (#16108778)

When you agreed to their license, which was a binding legal contract. If you don't agree to their license, and therefore don't get their product, you're not affected.

DRM doesn't intrinsically interfere with fair use, because non DRM'd media is not affected. The license, not the technology, is what harms your rights.

Q. Since when is it the right of the company to do anything?
A. Since I agreed to it.

Re:Or maybe it's just a GOOD government in action. (3, Informative)

Vancorps (746090) | about 8 years ago | (#16108864)

Sorry, no contract is legally binding if you're not allowed to read it before purchasing. With a music even after you buy it you never agree to their terms since they are never presented to you. Besides that, it's a license not a contract which has to be signed by an individual one way or another. What if I'm a company and buy a bunch of cds with a company credit card. No identity ever signed a contract, no person is responsible.

DRM does intrinsically interfere with fair use as I'm explicity allowed to format shift and resample. The minute I have to break DRM to accomplish either of those then my fair use is comprimised without my consent.

Re:Or maybe it's just a GOOD government in action. (1)

LocalH (28506) | about 8 years ago | (#16108871)

Shrink-wrap licenses are not contracts. There is no consideration, and you don't even see the contract before you have to "agree" to it.

Re:Or maybe it's just a GOOD government in action. (4, Insightful)

jevvim (826181) | about 8 years ago | (#16108948)

Shrink-wrap licenses are not contracts.

This isn't in the iTunes license, but rather in the customer agreement to create an iTunes Store account. iTunes is fully functional without the ability to purchase music from the iTunes Store; it's not like Apple requires you to get an iTunes Store account... well, unless you want free tracks from them, or want to buy something from them. But that's definitely not a shrink-wrap or click-wrap deal.

Re:Or maybe it's just a GOOD government in action. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16108910)

Yeah, in that binding contract that was only presented to you after you shelled out your money for the product, which is by the way, non-returnable by any means.
Your argument "DRM doesn't interfere with fair use is, because non-drm'd media is not affected." is complete BS. DRM interferes with fair use on the object to which it was applied, the only way your logic would work is if there was a secondary choice of equal value/options available to which DRM was not applied. Your argument is like saying, these apples taste JUST like these oranges, and as such cease to be apples.

Contract Illegal (1)

Ahnteis (746045) | about 8 years ago | (#16108922)

Assuming that their license equals a contract--if a government declares that the terms of the "contract" are invalid because they violate consumer rights, then BLAM, contract IS invalid.

But don't look to the US government to watch out for its citizens like that.

Re:Or maybe it's just a GOOD government in action. (1)

Tim C (15259) | about 8 years ago | (#16109041)

When you agreed to their license, which was a binding legal contract.

Are you sure that applies throughout the EU?

Re:Or maybe it's just a GOOD government in action. (3, Interesting)

mypalmike (454265) | about 8 years ago | (#16108934)

Sure, because DRM never interfered with fair use, or anything... and all countries have the exact same copyright laws as the US.

What's stopping you from doing analog recording off the headphone jack to get your fair use? Or using a microphone if they eventually manage to close the "analog hole"? Fair use isn't the same as "convenient, unadulterated, pristine copies that preserve track info."

To throw your own argument back in your face - since when is artifically limiting my ability to use something I bought as I see fit a "right" of some company?

High performance cars artificially limit your top speed. Heck, 50cc scooters in some markets do this. There are workarounds.

But a more pressing example is how food is genetically modified so that the seeds of the produce you buy are infertile, so you can't plant those seeds and grow your own. Recently, I saw a bamboo tree for sale at a garden center with a warning that said that copyright law made it illegal to make offspring of the plant (however that is done with bamboo?). It makes me wonder why there is so much debate about mere entertainment.

car analogy alert (3, Funny)

Jussi K. Kojootti (646145) | about 8 years ago | (#16109128)

Car analogies. They need to go, ok? We definitely need a car-analogy equivalent of Godwin's law.

Re:Or maybe it's just a GOOD government in action. (1)

Jugalator (259273) | about 8 years ago | (#16109055)

To throw your own argument back in your face - since when is artifically limiting my ability to use something I bought as I see fit a "right" of some company?

Well, since corporations started to be able to heavily influence politics for their needs.

Re:Or maybe it's just a GOOD government in action. (3, Insightful)

MBraynard (653724) | about 8 years ago | (#16109091)

Let me throw it back in your face - since when is it your right to use someone else's creation in violation of the terms to which they agreed to sell it to you?

Re:Or maybe it's just a GOOD government in action. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16108745)

while(1)
{
            print "copyright infringement != stealing" . "\n";
}

Re:Or maybe it's just a GOOD government in action. (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | about 8 years ago | (#16108808)

Technically it's fraud. In any case, it's still illegal.

Re:Or maybe it's just a GOOD government in action. (3, Insightful)

MustardMan (52102) | about 8 years ago | (#16108750)

You know what, this ignorant-ass troll post pisses me off so bad, I feel compelled to further correct your idiocy.

The french itunes DRM fiasco, which spawned this whole debate, wasn't about stealing music. It was about buying some shit on itunes, then having the right, as a consumer, to play it on devices other than the freaking ipod. The original law in france was that companies (such as apple) would have to "share DRM secrets to allow competitors to create compatible devices, eventually allowing other music services to offer music for the most popular music player" (from macnn.com).

Of course, don't let that stop your knee-jerk "goddamned hippie pirates want everything for free" trolls.

Re:Or maybe it's just a GOOD government in action. (1)

thedrunkensailor (992824) | about 8 years ago | (#16108849)

and dont let your "too high and mighty to pirate some software" stance cloud your vision to seen that the government and some companies (RIAA, not Apple) are p0wning you

Re:Or maybe it's just a GOOD government in action. (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 8 years ago | (#16108982)

The original law in france was that companies (such as apple) would have to "share DRM secrets to allow competitors to create compatible devices, eventually allowing other music services to offer music for the most popular music player" (from macnn.com).

Of course, all this is irrelevant because it ignores the fact that the French law was a bad law anyway, because what it really ought to be doing is outlawing the DRM in the first place!

Re:Or maybe it's just a GOOD government in action. (2, Insightful)

MBraynard (653724) | about 8 years ago | (#16109130)

You are a dirty hippie pirate.

Apple created Itunes and Ipod to work with each other, and people KNOWING THIS agreed to buy them. Property rights are causal. The reason corporations/peopel create things is because they can control them/profit from them. If they could not control/profit from them, the creation would have been nonexistent or greatly diminished.

Don't be so obtuse. These kinds of anti-intellectual property rights arguments so often come from those who create nothing.

Re:Or maybe it's just a GOOD government in action. (1)

topical_surfactant (906185) | about 8 years ago | (#16108892)

Since when did "anti-DRM" start meaning "pirate?"

LAME.

Good government? (1)

gettingbraver (987276) | about 8 years ago | (#16108789)

Now that's an oxymoron. (Like military intelligence.)

Re:Or maybe it's just a GOOD government in action. (1)

TalkingWire (1002401) | about 8 years ago | (#16108811)

government's that are *shock* looking out for their constituents

And I thought that I, the iTunes one-click sucker shopper, was the constituent. Silly me. I should have realized it was a large multi-national corporation that forces indentured servitude upon Chinese women.

Re:Or maybe it's just a GOOD government in action. (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | about 8 years ago | (#16108868)

apparently you misunderstood, I was referring to the french people looking out for their people's rights...

Re:Or maybe it's just a GOOD government in action. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16109086)

Hey, you can't put a CD in a VCR, is that infringing on your ability to use the material as you see fit.

one word makes a difference (5, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | about 8 years ago | (#16108573)

'a useful illustration of how an attack from intellectual property rights-holders can threaten dynamic innovation.'

Fixed that for you, Barnett.

Re:one word makes a difference (1)

ezzewezza (84083) | about 8 years ago | (#16108777)

Except that that was two words.

bush quote on the subject (2, Funny)

thedrunkensailor (992824) | about 8 years ago | (#16108578)

"All your music are belong to us" -GW

Re:bush quote on the subject (1)

Fallen Mongoose (982517) | about 8 years ago | (#16109118)

I believe the actual quote was: "All your music are belong... All your musi... Can't be fooled again."

Gift Horses (-1, Offtopic)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 8 years ago | (#16108601)

In related news, Bush is giving nuke tech to India.

In other news... (5, Funny)

ijakings (982830) | about 8 years ago | (#16108613)

The U.S. Government has recieved and gratefully appreciates Apples donation.

Re:In other news... (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | about 8 years ago | (#16108781)

The U.S. Government has recieved and gratefully appreciates Apples donation.

Apple is mentioned, but you can add the hords of RIAA, MPAA and any other entity who has financial interests with regards to DRM. I thought the senate and the president ran the country, I should have remembered it is the lobbyists and those with deep pockets.

idiots... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16108615)

YES! I love when companies are applauded for creating and maintaining a monopoly!!! Yes, they had a great innovation for DRM (whatever), now let's keep that proprietary for as long as humanly possible! Shouldn't it be just like anything else, when enough products are sold, it's opened up so other companies can join in on the fun and make some compatible players?

I Smell Something Fishy... (1)

creimer (824291) | about 8 years ago | (#16108620)

So how much is Apple paying into the "Inside The Beltway" lobbying fund to get this level of government support?

Re:I Smell Something Fishy... (1)

thedrunkensailor (992824) | about 8 years ago | (#16108661)

maybe they lobby by giving out DRM-free downloads the congress...sure is hard to prove they came from. They ain't DUMB (Abramoff ~cough~)

Re:I Smell Something Fishy... (4, Insightful)

Necroman (61604) | about 8 years ago | (#16108675)

I highly doubt it is Apple doing this. I'm thinking if Apple had a choice, they would not put DRM onto their files. This is most likely a push from the Music Industry to protect the files so they cannot be easily copied between computers.

Re:I Smell Something Fishy... (1)

thedrunkensailor (992824) | about 8 years ago | (#16108722)

touche

Re:I Smell Something Fishy... (2, Insightful)

AusIV (950840) | about 8 years ago | (#16108900)

I'm sure Apple would just love to get rid of DRM so people can play their music on non-apple products... Or maybe not.

The Music Industry demanded DRM in order to prevent piracy. Apple went right along with that because it means that if people want to use the biggest (legal) online music store, they have to get an iPod if they want a portable music player. Apple won't allow their music to be distributed without DRM any more than they'll license Fairplay to their competitors (which I believe is what was being demanded in European countries, not that Apple sell DRM free music).

Re:I Smell Something Fishy... (2, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 8 years ago | (#16108924)

I'm thinking if Apple had a choice, they would not put DRM onto their files.

What? If they had a choice? Umm, newsflash: They have a choice. There is a side effect to that choice, but choosing to do something that is wrong because you make money at it is not the same as not having a choice.

Re:I Smell Something Fishy... (1)

ben there... (946946) | about 8 years ago | (#16109071)

I'm thinking if Apple had a choice, they would not put DRM onto their files.

I think you drank a bit too much of the Apple-flavored Kool-Aid.

DRM doesn't just protect the interests of the RIAA. It also locks you into Apple's product. That benefits Apple, perhaps even more so than the record companies.

Re:I Smell Something Fishy... (1)

p!ssa (660270) | about 8 years ago | (#16108761)

Considering Hillary Rosen (former head or something of the RIAA) is now employed by the U.S. Govt to write the laws for Iraq, and the considrable lobbying power of the RIAA, I would say it is more these companies: http://www.riaa.com/about/members/default.asp paying into the fund.

"Intellectual property" inhibits innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16108637)

provides a useful illustration of how an attack on intellectual property rights can threaten dynamic innovation

Of course, if it wasn't for the absurd excessive strength of intellectual property rights in the west today, we'd have had this "innovation" six years ago. The technology and market was ready for something like the iTMS years before the iTMS itself. The only thing holding it back before that was the pride of the IP holders.

The real problem these people have isn't that limiting intellectual property "rights" inhibits innovation; the problem is that limiting intellectual property "rights" lets innovation happen in ways that the power brokers in America can't control.

Call me stupid.... (3, Interesting)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | about 8 years ago | (#16108642)

Isn't the whole point of DRM to restrict what consumers can do, thereby harming consumers?
How TF can restricting DRM then harm consumers?

Re:Call me stupid.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16108700)

How TF can restricting DRM then harm consumers?

It's simple. Only Hollywood can create entertaining things. Hollywood is expensive, Jennifer Lopez's shirts cost $500 apiece at least. To pay for those kinds of threads, entertainment must be paid for, extensively, on a per-copy or better yet per-view basis. By restricting DRM, people can see entertainment without paying per view or per copy, which means that Hollywood will have to stop releasing digital entertainment or go bankrupt. And if that happened, Jennifer Lopez might starve and die, which would make consumers everywhere very sad.

No consumer can live without consuming entertainment. Entertainment only comes from Hollywood. Soon, entertainment will cure cancer. Consume!

Re:Call me stupid.... (1)

Amouth (879122) | about 8 years ago | (#16108764)

"Jennifer Lopez might starve and die" heh , heh... now i would pay to watch that...

Re:Call me stupid.... (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | about 8 years ago | (#16108829)

"Jennifer Lopez might starve and die" heh , heh... now i would pay to watch that...

It doesn't seem to be the poor trying to starve themselves in Hollywood.

Re:Call me stupid.... (1)

servognome (738846) | about 8 years ago | (#16108738)

Isn't the whole point of DRM to restrict what consumers can do, thereby harming consumers?
How TF can restricting DRM then harm consumers?

Because then the RIAA/MPAA can say electronic distribution systems aren't doing enough to protect their IP, pull their material, and sue the distributors into obscurity.
Until artists stop signing away their souls to the **AA, DRM will be a necessary evil for legal non-physical distribution schemes.

Re:Call me stupid.... (2, Insightful)

Simon80 (874052) | about 8 years ago | (#16109004)

This is complete bullshit. The *AA will never, ever "pull their material", because if they did, they'd be shooting themselves in the foot, and not be making money. If you mean pull just the internet sales, don't forget, the CD fallback has no copy protection at all. Imagine MS complaining that it's going to pull Windows from the market. Oh no, are they really? At the expense of huge market share? I think not. Also, if any of these lobbies (RIAA, MPAA, MS) actually followed through with such a threat, it would be great for consumers, because the resulting market vacuum would open the way for lots of competition and innovation as people try to fill it. Why do people take any of the lobbyists' arguments seriously? They lie through their teeth! I can see it now:"Are you google-eyed with confusion over your rights? No wonder. It's all just clever mumbo jumbo. Your rights are nothing more than a scheme by the multi-billion dollar silicon valley tech companies to get you, the consumer, to pay more for their services. Forget all the mumbo jumbo, your rights simply mean you pay."

Re:Call me stupid.... (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 8 years ago | (#16109007)

Until artists stop signing away their souls to the **AA, DRM will be a necessary evil for legal non-physical distribution schemes.

You keep using that word... I do not think it means what you think it means.

yer stupid (5, Insightful)

kwerle (39371) | about 8 years ago | (#16108770)

If governments don't allow companies to create cool new stuff and sell them however they want, then consumers won't get to buy cool new stuff. That'd be free market thinkin.

If you don't like Apple's DRM, go buy a CD. It's not like Apple is a label and is keeping music from being released for other platforms (yes, I meant it that way).

(Someone correct me if I'm wrong - is Apple Computer doing exclusive media deals with anyone?)

Finally, if you don't like Apple's DRM, then burn the tunes to a regular CD and do whatever you want with it. (someone is going to say "yeah, but that's not really CD quality audio", to which I say "yeah, but CDs aren't vinyl quality audio")

Re:yer stupid (1)

oggiejnr (999258) | about 8 years ago | (#16108839)

(Someone correct me if I'm wrong - is Apple Computer doing exclusive media deals with anyone?)

Judging by their ads on UK TV then yes. There was something about unreleased Miles Davis or similar available exclusively on iTunes. Whether this is online exclusive or genuine excluse I'm not sure and I also don't know if I dreamed it all

No sovereignty for you! (4, Insightful)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about 8 years ago | (#16108645)

IOW: Only the US has the right to make laws.
Only the USA can liberate things, people and oil.
No country is allowed to break USA-created-DRM.

Now I understand... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16108656)

...why Microsoft has been getting such a mild treatment...

Too easy to see... (3, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 8 years ago | (#16108658)

Too easy to see whose side our government is on. And this from an Anti-Trust Chief of all people!

Now I've seen everything... (4, Insightful)

ResidntGeek (772730) | about 8 years ago | (#16108659)

The US GOVERNMENT is warning other governments against too much regulation?

I call BS (3, Insightful)

hendrik42 (593357) | about 8 years ago | (#16108660)

This is obviously more business interest than concern for foreign consumers speaking.
How does openness and interoperability between different devices discourage competition? Of course it discourages Apple from donating money to "a top U.S. antitrust official" :-)
And how exactly am I as a customer being hurt by being able to play your music where I want? I'll probably get a heart attack from overenjoying myself.

Re:I call BS (1)

Vancorps (746090) | about 8 years ago | (#16108717)

This is just another phase of the war on heart disease man. They are only trying to protect you from yourself.

Re:I call BS (1)

Hap76 (995519) | about 8 years ago | (#16109121)

Why would the USG care about foreign consumers? The USG is only supposed to care about its citizens and their interests; it may choose to care about others insofar as caring about them helps its citizens and businesses either directly or indirectly, but caring for other peoples isn't their job.

This is likely to hurt people everywhere, however - while I probably don't mind Apple's DRM, if consumers have no choice but to accept DRM to get products they want, the restrictions imposed by DRM will likely become more onerous (or people won't buy our stuff, but I'm guessing the USG doesn't think this could happen). By encouraging the rest of the world to accept the company line on DRM, they want to make sure that everyone in the world is subject to the same restrictions as US citizens, who probably like the restrictions as much as we do. Once everyone plays the same DRM-encrypted tunes, it becomes easier to broaden the scope of DRM encrustation to other materials that either the USG, other governments, or large companies would like to control.

The emphasis on corporate or government control over consumers/citizens is a depressing trend, but not particularly surprising.

They're right (4, Insightful)

swarsron (612788) | about 8 years ago | (#16108710)

Many here on slashdot will attack them for their viewpoint but basically they're right. So what do i mean with "basically"?
You, the consumers, should have no obligation to go into contract with anyone if you don't like the conditions. But the people offering stuff have exactly the same right. So if they choose to use terms like "we have the right to fuck you in the ass if you purchase this music file" then they have every right to do so and if you accept those contracts you gonna have to put up with something you most probably don't like. But this is your CHOICE.

This hole topic is just not a problem. If you don't like big corporations using DRM to violate your rights (the way you percive them) then don't use their services. It's not like we're talking food or other essential stuff, just ignore their offering and they'll learn by themself. Any other behaviour either encourages them or weakens your standpoint.

Re:They're right (4, Insightful)

bunions (970377) | about 8 years ago | (#16108732)

> it's not like we're talking food or other essential stuff

thin end of the wedge. GM foods are basically IP, and I see no reason you couldn't try to make the precedent from one area fit another.

Re:They're right (2, Informative)

swarsron (612788) | about 8 years ago | (#16108816)

I can see a reason. IT'S FOOD!

Music just isn't the same. It's not that important. And if it's as important to you than make you're decision by voting with your money (which would be a good idea IMHO)

Re:They're right (1)

bunions (970377) | about 8 years ago | (#16108953)

> I can see a reason. IT'S FOOD! Music just isn't the same.

Well, but it is, in the way I'm talking about. They're both intellectual property. Why should the IP laws that apply to one be different than another? Music and software are pretty different too, but we're still stuck with the same IP laws applying to both.

Re:They're right (1)

swarsron (612788) | about 8 years ago | (#16109084)

But you're not stuck with them. You chose to accept them. If DRM on music is so bad then boycott it. If you think that IP on seeds is bad then boycott the companies which use IP to protect their seeds.

It's just the illusion that we need a perfect boycott to hurt companies that much that they'll give in that makes people passive. You don't have to be a supermoral person on every decision you make. Buy dvds and boycott companies which use IP to protect "their" seeds. Boycott dvds and buy from imoral food companies. At least you're doing *something*. There are enough of us so that will show up as real lost money for the companies so they'll change their tactics.

Remember companies especially corporations are only keen on profits. So either we change this basic system or we play by their rules and defeat them within them.

Re:They're right (1)

bobstaff (313564) | about 8 years ago | (#16108768)

"This hole topic is just not a problem."

Maybe not for you it would be for me ... hold on ... you meant "whole topic".

Re:They're right (1)

swarsron (612788) | about 8 years ago | (#16108861)

yes i meant that, english is not my first language so i (sometimes|usually) mess it up.

If it's a problem for you than act on it. I didn't say that i think that it's a good idea to accept it just that you don't have a *right* to accept those contracts and then bitch about it (not you personally)

Re:They're right (4, Insightful)

Vancorps (746090) | about 8 years ago | (#16108800)

Bold statements considering you couldn't put such a clause in contracts. Believe it or not there are limits to what a contract can do. The one exception is military service but that contract isn't your standard intellectual property license. They do not have the right to restrict my fair use of their product no matter what their license agreement is. I never signed a contract for any music I've ever bought so we don't even have to worry about that.

The solution to the problem would be pretty simple if everyone would just stop purchasing content that is DRM protected. This is not a realistic goal however so please, find another method. Getting 300 million people to agree is impossible. Hell, even getting a million people to agree on something is quite difficult. This method would never work here in the real world. The solution is to break the DRM time and time again until they realize the method won't work and they actually need to give people an incentive to move to new formats when the old format is not deficient. Why should I pay for music in digital format when I already have a cd with music stored in a digital format? It doesn't make sense. If I vegetable oil I am not required to use it to grease a pan or use in a cake. I can do whatever I want with it including throwing it into a diesel engine. I don't need their permission to render in into another substance. It's a reasonably bad example in terms of copyright but fair use exists and DRM is a blatant violation of that fair use.

Re:They're right (-1, Redundant)

swarsron (612788) | about 8 years ago | (#16108918)

>Believe it or not there are limits to what a contract can do

i know but i don't think that this is a good idea

>They do not have the right to restrict my fair use of their product no matter what their license agreement is

if you feel this way you shouldn't accepted their contract. It's not like you didn't know

>The solution to the problem would be pretty simple if everyone would just stop purchasing content that is DRM protected.

I agree

> This is not a realistic goal however so please, find another method

Why should i? There is a perfectly simple solution, why should i be forced to show another solution just because of the ignorance of other people?

>Why should I pay for music in digital format when I already have a cd with music stored in a digital format? It doesn't make sense

I didn't contest that. I think you're right in this point so why would you accept a contract which states that you're not allowed what you think is right?

Re:They're right (1)

Vancorps (746090) | about 8 years ago | (#16109016)

I didn't accept anything. I am not informed of what I am getting into before I get into it. Thus the agreement is not legally binding.

The simple solution sounds great but as I said, it is not realistic, I can say for certain it will not happen. That is why you should consider a different solution. The simple solution to all computing problems is for every one to use Linux. It's not going to happen though. There will always be alternatives and some will pick some and some will pick another. It is a complex problem which does not have a simple solution. It would be easy to just kill all people convicted of violent crimes for instance. It's not practical though because the system isn't perfect. There are those convicted but are innocent.

Re:They're right (2, Insightful)

swarsron (612788) | about 8 years ago | (#16109124)

>It is a complex problem which does not have a simple solution

You're right with that. But there is a simple solution for everyone who really thought about DRM. Boycott it. So 80% of people will accept it and major corporations will continue to use DRM to screw those 80%. SO WHAT? They'll have to live with it. Maybe the other 20% can make up a new market where you don't have to accept those terms (and probably we'll have much, much better music. I don't see losing the opportunity to listen to Britney Spears as a real loss.)

Are massive boycotts impossible? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | about 8 years ago | (#16109088)

>>Getting 300 million people to agree is impossible. Hell, even getting a million people to agree on something is quite difficult

How many Indians boycotted English cotton?

I think the whole ipod fad is insane, I'll stick with mp3s.

Re:They're right (1)

lucas_picador (862520) | about 8 years ago | (#16108814)

So if they choose to use terms like "we have the right to fuck you in the ass if you purchase this music file" then they have every right to do so and if you accept those contracts you gonna have to put up with something you most probably don't like.

Actually, a contract binding one party to participate in anal sex is unenforceable. A similar principle is at stake here: copyright is a heavily regulated system, and the interaction of contract and copyright is much more complex than you describe.

Google "first sale doctrine", "fair use", and "antitrust copyright misuse" for an intro to these complexities.

(Oh, whoops! I should have said, "Use the Google search engine - a trademark of Google Corp. - to find information on...")

That, until food becomes "intelectual property" (1)

knightmad (931578) | about 8 years ago | (#16108904)

And they start to DRM it too .... Aw, wait .... Nevermind [wikipedia.org]

Why you think that they would stop at basic needs is a mistery to me. We have to fight the wrong things even in the most insignificant levels (entertainment, for instance) because, if not, once we accept it there, we have no moral grounds to fight it where it really matters.

Re:That, until food becomes "intelectual property" (1)

swarsron (612788) | about 8 years ago | (#16108965)

I didn't say that they would stop there. I think it's a good idea to resist now to show them that we won't accept even that so they don't even consider expanding it onto other, more important areas.

I said that you don't have a *right* to first accept the terms and then complain about them. Start fighting now by just refusing their contracts. Not by discussing the terms afterwards.

What about the "other" DRM? (4, Informative)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | about 8 years ago | (#16108906)

This hole topic is just not a problem. If you don't like big corporations using DRM to violate your rights (the way you percive them) then don't use their services

This works in theory and practice with itunes: You still can buy in other online music stores or even buy the CD

It's very different in the case of DVD, though. Because the companies who make movies are the same companies who control the "electronics" market, consumers didn't have a choice, they were imposed what format they should use, like if they were living on Russia when Communism was still there. I just don't understand why companies are allowed to be big enought that they control EVERYTHING on a given market. It's like the companies who make petrol would also make cars and would make their petrol compatible only with their engines, and if other company tried to build a car compatible with their petrol would get sued. IMO this is anti-liberal and goes against capitalism. Should people be allowed to create big enterprises that create jobs? Hell, yes. Should those companies be allowed to control the market and lock out competitors? Hell, NO.

Remember that the ONE reason why you can see DVD in Linux is because someone broke the DRM protection. In the case of Itunes, it's clear that its DRM isn't dangerous, since you can buy other players and use other music stores. But if itunes would got 99% of the online music market, it WOULD be a problem. So DRM can be both good and bad - it's up to the government to make laws to stop it from being bad.

Re:What about the "other" DRM? (1)

swarsron (612788) | about 8 years ago | (#16109006)

>It's very different in the case of DVD, though

no, it's not. It is not a critical sector to substain your life and we just choose to accept the limitations those firms impose on us.

>Because the companies who make movies are the same companies who control the "electronics" market, consumers didn't have a choice

We did have a choice. It's really a sign of the weakness of our society (or our race) if the outlook of not being able to consume videos leaves most with the impression that they don't have a choice.

Just don't buy dvds. Just for one year. What do you think who will be hurt more by that. You or the media industry?

Re:They're right (3, Insightful)

9mind (702505) | about 8 years ago | (#16108926)

Parent post is THE only true insightful one I've read yet. I don't like EA's business practices, thus, I haven't bought an EA game since the days whe nthey refused to support the Sega Dreamcast. People think I'm crazy, because I miss out on "cool" games! But if I don't like something in principle, the easiest way to voice my distaste is with my dollars! Not with some bullshit legislation... I wish I could mod you up.

Re:They're right (3, Interesting)

cronius (813431) | about 8 years ago | (#16109058)

In my opinion that's a naive response, more of a kneejerk reaction than thought through.

These battles have been fought countless times in the past, this is nothing new. Corporation X gets big and gets lots of power. The executives use that power to get what they want leaving them even more power.

Take childeren's factories in third world countries. You could say "hey, they didn't have to work there you know," but it shows that you don't get it. In the west it's illegal to hire small children to work because we've learned the hard way that even if they have a "choice" not to work, the choice to actually do it is always a bad one and thus shouldn't be legal in the first place. It's illegal in order to protect those who can't make that decision/don't know any better/don't think they have a choice etc.

The same thing goes here. Some european countries are putting their foot down in order to protect their citicens. They're not idiots, they understand that agreeing to the terms of Apple (in this case) will always leave the consumer loosing. By forcing the corporations to not play that game, you've automatically protected whoever that would have agreed to those unfair rules. In doing this, it's not possible to do business which are unfair to the customer, and as such those business pratices simply disappear: It's illegal.

What's left? Business that treats the customer fairly. Instead you want less fair business, traded away in exchange for more yet unfair choice.

The playing field is equal for everyone. If Apple can't survive without treating the customers unfairly, they're doing a shitty job, since it's no problem for everyone else to play nicely and still have a pretty fine profit.

Ouch! the irony... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16108718)

Isn't this the pot calling the kettle black?

Posted Anono for no reason whatsoever...

It's better like this: (2, Insightful)

delta_avi_delta (813412) | about 8 years ago | (#16108720)

Apple 'provides a useful illustration of how an attack on intellectual property rights can threaten dynamic innovation.'

Third party manufacturers cannot make Wi-Fi or UPNP streaming devices since they can't decrypt the DRM, programmers can't write plugins to dynamically mash-up your favourite tracks, etc etc etc, since Apple impedes your property rights with their digital restricitons.

Innovation? (1)

wframe9109 (899486) | about 8 years ago | (#16108734)

I'm sorry, but I fail to see how regulations that prevent Apple from restricting consumer rights are a problem, and how they might be stifling innovation. I'm a bit dismayed by society succumbing to Corporations.

Necessary (1)

Azarael (896715) | about 8 years ago | (#16108756)

Some innovations should be stifled. 'Innovation' itself is neither good or bad, but particular innovations sure can be one or the other..

Funny, isn't it (1)

overshoot (39700) | about 8 years ago | (#16108771)

That VOIP and peer-to-peer are technologies that threaten life on Earth itself -- or so the Administration has contended -- while Apple's DRM should be exempt from regulation because regulation is bad for innovation.

Can someone explain this to me? I'm just not getting it.

Your Head A Splodes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16108779)

arrghhh...attack sacred apple cow...or defend drm-happy u.s. govnt.....apple...govnt...apple..govnt.

Arrrrrrghhh....

BOOOSH!

Re:Your Head A Splodes (1)

Jupiter Jones (584946) | about 8 years ago | (#16108928)

That's sacred dogcow.

Arrrrrghhhhh...

MOOF!

Cheap, fast, good (5, Funny)

aramael (892701) | about 8 years ago | (#16108802)

... legal, profitable and easy-to-use system for downloading music

I get to pick two, right?

Riiiiiiiiiight... (1)

easter1916 (452058) | about 8 years ago | (#16108833)

Just as soon as you all stop interfering with us, we'll do that. Thanks so much.

???Net Neutrality??? (3, Insightful)

NoSuchGuy (308510) | about 8 years ago | (#16108840)

"The U.S. has asked foreign governments to consider the effects of interfering with popular new technologies,"
What about trying to regulate the web via "Net Neutrality"?

oh, certainly (1)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | about 8 years ago | (#16108851)

Oh sure. I agree. The DRM is an excellent example of how the property rights of the public domain can be violated. Since the stated purpose of copyright is to encourage innovation, it's illogical (and an ex-post facto law) for the copyright extension to be applied retroactively to works already created.

The DMCA "discourages innovation" by preventing people from referse engineering their software, even for the purpose of interoperability. Why doesn't congress reflect on that for a while.

Re:oh, certainly (1)

JohnnyComeLately (725958) | about 8 years ago | (#16108981)

It seems you've taken the concept of copyright out of context. It is supposed to encourage creativity by LOCKING up rights to just copy a product. We (my company) isn't going to spend thousands of dollars to make something if another company can just reverse engineer and release the same product at a fraction of the cost (since they only had to reverse engineer an existing product).

I am on the fence on this one. Yes, on the one hand you want stuff to work with everyone else, but to me it's also same as getting pissed at GM because a Ford transmission doesn't hook up to it.

the right to restrict rights? (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 8 years ago | (#16108882)

This argument in favor of DRM sounds rather like an old argument over slavery. Did a slave owner have the "right" to bring slaves into free states? And once there, did the slave owner have the right not be deprived of his "property" should said property escape? Indeed, the state might be obliged to assist the owner in recovering his property. Anyone who saw a fugitive slave and didn't report it might even be in trouble for negligence and dereliction of duty. Any state that granted such property rights would be a de facto slave state, no matter whether it was labelled a free state. That was the fundamental argument over Kansas and Nebraska, and that "solution" was being pushed as a "compromise". This argument in favor of DRM sounds every bit as disingenous as that so-called compromise over slavery.

And the US is on the bad side. W's government sure ain't the government of Abraham Lincoln.

Irony can be pretty ironic (2, Insightful)

kindbud (90044) | about 8 years ago | (#16108999)

Excessive government interference can deter innovation and encourage rival companies to "devote their resources to legal challenges rather than business innovation," he (Barnett) added.

Exactly. When the DMCA was passed, it open a floodgate of lawsuits by the recorded music manufacturing industry against its own consumers. This consumed valuable resources, and stifled the market's ability to force the recorded music vendors to innovate and come up with new products that their consumers wanted to buy.

I can't find any fault with this statement of his.

iTunes DRM allows us to legally download music (4, Insightful)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | about 8 years ago | (#16109034)

Without iTunes DRM, the major music companies wouldn't allow Apple to sell music in the iTunes store. Same holds true for other online music sales sites (think of the ones that the RIAA is okay with). If you get rid of the iTunes DRM, we'd all still be paying for an entire CD instead of just the songs we want to listen to.

Some of you will claim that the solution is to purchase non-RIAA music, which is fine. There are some RIAA bands I enjoy, however, so for me that's not a solution. Obviously in the case of iTunes, DRM is actually helping consumers. It may not allow us to do everything we want, but it gives us one additional choice in how we get our music.

Hypocrisy in our midst (1)

1ooser (769343) | about 8 years ago | (#16109042)

I hope they cc all the Music and Movie executives on that memo.

monopoly DRM format support == innovation ?? No (1)

GodWasAnAlien (206300) | about 8 years ago | (#16109111)

How exactly does government support of monopolies of proprietary, encrypted information formats encourage innovation?

From the nature of DRM, you cannot compete directly, by creating compatible products, especially when DMCA type laws attempt to make such competition illegal.

Also, by the nature of current DRM, there is no expiration, so this leads to infinite copyrights, which ultimately lead to less inovation, and more disposible information/data/discoveries/art.

DRM, if mandated by the US Government violates the "limited time" nature of information monopolies allowed by the Constitution.

Pot meet Kettle (1)

Wovel (964431) | about 8 years ago | (#16109119)

If anything ever needed to be tagged as absurd.
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