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The Day Against DRM

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the you-have-nothing-to-lose-but-your-chains dept.

320

Qubit writes, "DefectiveByDesign.org, a campaign by the Free Software Foundation, is making Oct 3rd a Day Against DRM: 'Defeating DRM is all about awareness. The direct actions that we have taken are all about this. Today we are asking you to let the people around you know that DRM is bad for our society. Let's create space for the debate. Do we want handcuffs and locks on art and knowledge? As our friends at Disney recognize, if there is this debate, we will have won.'" Bayboy adds an article from eWeek mentioning that members of DefectiveByDesign.org are going to descend on flagship Apple stores in New York and London to protest the company's embrace of DRM. And Another AC writes, "In honor of the Day Against DRM, DreamHost has released a new service called Files Forever (for Dreamhost customers only during beta) This seems to be basically an iTunes Music Store that anybody can sell any sort of files through... as long as they have no DRM. Dreamhost handles all the payment processing and stores the file forever, offering unlimited re-downloads to end users who buy files through the service. When somebody buys a file they're even allowed to 'loan' it to others for free!"

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320 comments

pr0n (4, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297805)

Let's create space for the debate. Do we want handcuffs and locks on art and knowledge?

As a master debater, I can say that I do enjoy handcuffs and locks on at least *some* of the art. That is, if you call pr0n "art".

Re:pr0n (4, Funny)

The Real Toad King (981874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297831)

If you are suggesting that porn should be illegal, then I assure you at least 50% of all web users will become criminals, if they weren't already. Probably even you. Yes you, the person reading this.

Re:pr0n (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16297927)

If you are suggesting that porn should be illegal, then I assure you at least 50% of all web users will become criminals, if they weren't already. Probably even you. Yes you, the person reading this.

It's pretty obvious that he meant something else. Begins with a 'b'...

Re:pr0n (5, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298079)

If you are suggesting that porn should be illegal, then I assure you at least 50% of all web users will become criminals...

To (probably mis-) quote Dr. Cox (Scrubs), "If you got rid of all the porn on the Internet, there'd probably only be one site left and I'm pretty sure it would be called 'Bring back the porn'".

Re:pr0n (1)

Arcane_Rhino (769339) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298203)

To (probably mis-) quote Dr. Cox...

No. That is a pretty close quote. And, it is right in line with my belief that the estimated claim of 50% is a tad low.

whats this about? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16297875)

whats this about? i didnt read tfa :D

shitendo piss

fony piss3

microshaft shitbox360

Re:pr0n (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297881)

That is, if you call pr0n "art".

That depends a good deal on what you call prOn.

KFG

Re:pr0n (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298039)

> > That is, if you call pr0n "art".
>
>That depends a good deal on what you call prOn.

I may not know art when I see it, but I know what I like!

Re:pr0n (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298183)

I may not know art when I see it, but I know what I like!

I have a certain fondness for Varga(s) and Cartagena myself, although Cartagena rather overdoes the supernaturally long legs. . .in my humble opinion, of course.

KFG

Very useful... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16297815)

Wish I had known about it before today....

Re:Very useful... (1)

Lukano (50323) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297987)

If you're referring to the DreamHost 'Files Forever' service, as far as I'm aware it was just launched today.

Over the span of the day today, they have completely revamped their site, added new services, and bolstered existing plans (birthday celebration).

The service itself (Files Forever) looks to be a VERY interesting service, which if it works as planned - is bound to garner a lot of interest and hopefully popularity.

As you can tell from my sig, I'm a big fan of DreamHost. This is just one of many things that they've done to prove to me that they're worth working with. Just remember, shared hosting is not the same thing as dedicated hosting - but they do offer both.

Great... (5, Insightful)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297845)

...but thanks for telling me at 22:22 hours. An hour and 38 minutes before its the 4th of October!

Re:Great... (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297909)

Build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to . . .the door of guy who marketed first.

KFG

Re:Great... (1)

GC (19160) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297929)

Quite.

If you're going to have a campaign day for something, don't announce it 30 minutes before the end of the day (I'm one hour ahead of the Parent Poster).

Re:Great... (1)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298209)

Don't worry, you can still spend the rest of the day on thepiratebay.org or similar fun places.

P.S:
I don't want to confuse piracy advocates with stop-being-screwed-by-DRM advocates, but there are times where we must team up for the general public good. I don't fancy red meat that much, but I eat it alot just to piss off PETA. This is the same kind of situation, matey! Arrrrrrrgh!

Re:Great... (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298401)

Dude it's no problem, you just fly over here to Portland where it's only 3pm! See, plenty of time to go visit the local Apple store today.

Too late. (2, Informative)

PhakeDC (932887) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297869)

It's already October 4th in my time zone. See ya next year then, that is if DRM won't already have become a de facto with Vista, the PS3 and God knows what else.

Why Apple? (4, Insightful)

Bones3D_mac (324952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297877)

It seems kind of weird that they'd target Apple, especially when there are far worse companies out there with much more draconian DRM policies they could make an example of. (Sony, anyone?)

My guess, it's all about location and convenience, rather than actually going after some of the really bad DRM offenders. Apple just happens to be the one unfortunate enough to have stores that are visually appealing and easily recognizable to consumers.

The intentions here may be good, but the execution is nearly at hypocritical levels.

Re:Why Apple? (0)

Anonymous Meoward (665631) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297959)

Agreed. Apple is an offender, but not the worst offender by a long shot.

Arguably, their use of DRM was to placate the RIAA enough to allow iTMS to happen. Compare and contrast with Microsoft and Sony.

Oh well. Nice idea, dumb execution.

Re:Why Apple? (5, Insightful)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297989)

The point here is not to punish the offenders, but to make the public aware of the offense. They pick apple because everyone knows about iTunes and the iPod and all things apple. If they had gone after, say, Microsoft for DRM on the Zune or something, people would say 'thank god I have an iPod and don't have to worry about that crap'.

Re:Why Apple? (2, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298325)

It works too. I brought an "Eliminate DRM" sign with me to classes today, and most people hadn't even heard of DRM, much less know what it is. So now we've got fifty or so more people that are enlightened, and one asked if I had any extra signs so she could have one too (printing error in her favor, collect one sheet of propoganda!), not including anyone who read the signs I tacked up in the dorm hall message board.

As someone at one of the big companies (Universal?) said, "once consumers know about DRM, we fail" (or something like that). The only reason there isn't outrage at iTunes is that it's pretty transparent unless you're trying to convert away from iPods. Unlike a great number of the other stores out there, especially pre-PlaysForSure. My dad bought a track, it wouldn't work, spent all of $0 more there. If that had ever been the case with iTunes, Apple certainly wouldn't have the same market share (and, more likely than not, the media companies would have just given it up). Now that it's effectively little more than vendor lock-in, most people are pretty much screwed no matter what.

Re:Why Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16298013)

Well, of course! You don't think McDonalds' food is less healthy than any of the other burger chains' (Actually compared to Burger King or Wendy's, it's practically health food!) or that Nike treats its subcontracted workers worse than any other shoe maker does, do you?

Re:Why Apple? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16298063)

I can see why they'd pick Apple's DRM. With the millions of people that have bought stuff from iTunes they are probably one of the largest amount of people encumbered by the same DRM. Most people don't consider their DVDs as encumbered by DRM because the vast majority of people expect to play their DVDs on a DVD player. MP3s on the other hand have been advertised as 'portable' at nearly every step of the way--from smaller, more 'portable' file size to all the different 'portable' players for them.

I honestly don't think that DRM will make mainstream dissatisfaction with people until a true "ipod killer" come out and suddenly Aunt Susie gets mad and feels 'ripped off' that her Apple DRMd music won't play on her non-ipod.

Re:Why Apple? (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298153)

It's only hypocritical if you think that 'a little DRM' is better than 'a lot of DRM'. There are plenty of people who think that *any* drm should be avoided.

Re:Why Apple? (2, Informative)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298295)

It seems kind of weird that they'd target Apple, especially when there are far worse companies out there with much more draconian DRM policies they could make an example of. (Sony, anyone?)

There's a very good reason for this.

How many people own iPods? How many people have used the iTunes music store? Lots. Even people who don't have iPods know what they are, and lots are probably planning to buy one.

Now, how many people have Sony music players with Sony's DRM? Anyone? Anyone? Offhand, I couldn't even tell you if Sony has any MP3 players, let alone what kinds they have or what they're called. And I've been looking into buying an MP3 player recently, so it's not like I'm blissfully unaware. No one cares about Sony any more. Sure, their DRM may be "worse" than Apple's, but it doesn't matter because they're so unimportant.

DFD demonstrating against Sony would be like someone demonstrating against Peugot in the US because they think their cars are bad for some reason. No one here would care, because no one buys those cars here.

Re:Why Apple? (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298595)

So, the effect will be:

People see Apple being protested because of nasty DRM. So they think "Hmmm, I shouldn't buy an iPod. I'll buy something else." So, they go and buy a Sony player, or a Microsoft player with even worse DRM. Net result: more DRM-based units are sold. Great strategy!

How many portable MP3 players don't have some sort of DRM support? I doubt that people are going to go out of their way to find one. They'll just buy something other than Apple, thinking it has no DRM, because that's an "iPod thing."

Re:Why Apple? High visibility (1)

ChaosDiscord (4913) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298553)

It seems kind of weird that they'd target Apple....

Apple may be the "least bad" of the lot, but they're certainly the highest profile. If the point is to get publicity for the anti-DRM cause, protesting high visibility cases is a better idea than protesting low visibility cases.

The only way is through economics. (4, Insightful)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297885)

People aren't going to care until it starts costing them money. Take iTunes for example. Right now, they have DRM that's loose enough that most people won't care that their songs are DRM'ed. People who buy iTunes songs will probably buy another iPod when their old one breaks, so they won't run into a DRM problem.

There is a very good possibility that in the near future, people will start changing their music players, like the new MS Zune. When this happens on a mass scale, and people have to re-buy their music, there will be a huge number of pissed off people, and people will finally realize why DRM is bad. Until something threatens people's wallets, no one's going to care.

Re:The only way is through economics. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297947)

People aren't going to care until it starts costing them money.
Do people still go into Apple stores and copy programs off the Macs and onto their thumbdrives/iPods?

Re:The only way is through economics. (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298065)

To tell you the truth, I have no idea what you're talking about. You can go into Apple stores and copy programs off their computers? I never thought of doing that, that's pretty funny.

What I'm saying is that people are used to buying CDs once, and using it in whatever way they like. With CD's, you don't re-buy the music, unless you're being careless and damage the CD. When they realize the artificial restrictions on DRM'ed files, I would hope that people will get angry and just stop buying DRM'ed products.

Re:The only way is through economics. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16298639)

You don't really have to "install" or "uninstall" a program onto/from a Mac.

If you delete the program folder, you've deleted the program.

If you copy the program folder, you have the program.
All that is left is to find the username/serial number to register the program

The Captcha for this post was "informed"

Re:The only way is through economics. (1)

lakeland (218447) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298473)

Yep, they still do that.

I don't think the stores care that much - pirates will get their illegal software through bittorrent just as easily as via an apple store. The stores are there to help the customers, not the pirates.

Re:The only way is through economics. (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298603)

That's how I got Quicktime 2.0 when I was a kid before we had Internet access. I really wanted to hear the music in Marathon... those were the days. (Of course, we didn't have thumb drives, just plain ol' floppies.)

Re:The only way is through economics. (2, Funny)

untouchableForce (927584) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297995)

"There is a very good possibility that in the near future, people will start changing their music players, like the new MS Zune." I'll caution against this line of thinking, in order for that to prove your point people will actually have to buy the Zune.

Re:The only way is through economics. (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298163)

I used Zune as an example of a product that might compete well against the iPod. So far, iPods have weak competition. But it's guaranteed that in the future, there will be other products that compete well against the iPod, and will most likely not play the DRM'ed content.

Re:The only way is through economics. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16298145)


> When this happens on a mass scale, and people have to re-buy their music, there will be a huge number of pissed off people, and people will finally realize why DRM is bad.

Excellent point.

Ideally, then, we would end up with dozens of incompatible DRM schemes in the marketplace, overwhelming the public with obstacles and confusion.

Thus, each time a new and incompatible DRM scheme is introduced, it will help to cause the collapse of all of them.

Here's a case where the failure of the industry to converge on standards could actually help us.

Re:The only way is through economics. (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298481)

You know, this is part of the reason I like iTMS. I've always said that iTMS is a good stepping-stone towards getting rid of DRM and the big media cartels.

The reason I say this is, the DRM is loose enough that people will buy it. Online distribution grows, and people get to be unaccustomed to the idea of movies and music being stuck on physical media. This loosens the grip of the RIAA/MPAA as their distribution channels become more or less obsolete.

Then, someday, someone comes out with a better store than iTMS or a better device than the iPod. No matter how much a fan of these things you are, these things are going to one day be obsolete, replaced by something else from either Apple or someone else. Or maybe there will be another service altogether that compliments these things-- but how it happens is not the point. The point is that someday, there will be massive numbers of people with large iTMS libraries that want to do something with their libraries that the DRM doesn't allow. There will be a big stink, and public pressure will mount.

So I predict that, whether it's by a gradual process of loosening DRM or by an immediate halt, DRM will go obsolete because of large numbers of people who find it unacceptable. However, in order to get to that point, you first need three things to happen:

  • physical media to become rare enough that people don't think of a song as a physical item that has meaningful replacement costs
  • large numbers of people who are going to find themselves restricted by a given DRM scheme
  • a new technological or cultural development that causes that DRM restriction to become extremely irritating to that large number of people.

What?! (0, Redundant)

CaffeineAddict2001 (518485) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297891)

"DreamHost has released a new service called Files Forever (for Dreamhost customers only during beta) This seems to be basically an iTunes Music Store that anybody can sell any sort of files through... as long as they have no DRM."


.. and explain to me why I would buy anything from this store rather than just download it from somebody else for free?

Re:What?! (2, Interesting)

Lukano (50323) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298021)

The service can be used to offer files, in a permanently available format, for free as well. You do not need to charge-to-download if you so choose.

Re:What?! (2, Insightful)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298051)

A basic sense of good will towards your fellow man, perhaps, since the files would be offered by the creators and not an Evil Distribution Company (tm). It's nice to be paid for one's time, especially if the intent of the creation was for commercial purposes anyway.

Same reasons you'd buy a book (4, Interesting)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298133)

... and explain to me why I would buy anything from this store rather than just download it from somebody else for free?

Same reasons you'd buy a book, rather than scan one you borrowed from the library:
  - You want a non-infringing copy. (You CAN still be sued for copying outside fair use, you know.)
  - You want to reward the creator and distribution channel (either out of principle or to promote creation of more stuff you like).
  - It's convenient.

Content producers in a number of media have experimented with copy inhibition technologies and generally found them unnecessary and often counter-productive to good business results. Why should music be different?

(The current rash of "piracy" is, IMHO, primarily a reaction to broken distribution and pricing policies, and recording companies will do a lot better once {if?} they get over it.)

Re:Same reasons you'd buy a book (1)

CaffeineAddict2001 (518485) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298215)

Yet none of those reasons are the reason why I don't.

The only reasons I don't scan books I get from the library is because it's too time consuming. It would be exactly like using the analog loophole with DRM music. In a way books have innate DRM simply by not being digital.

same as allofmp3 and the like (1)

PAPPP (546666) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298179)

Convienence? Quality Assurances? and in this case, Wanting to support the author?
I currently use one of those lovely russian mp3 sites for the first two reasons; they have a vast catalog, and I can always get files in my prefered (encoding-error free, DRMless, 192kbit LAME MP3) format. I would even go as far as to say I would jump ship to another (even if slightly more expensive) one if it (somehow) found a way to recompensate the artists without bowing to label pressure to cripple the files. It's worth a few bucks per album (to me at any rate) to be able to simply click and get what you want, instead of having to hunt through crapflooded P2P networks and fields of broken links.
From the look of the FilesForever site, if it takes off it will also have a huge advantage for finding things from little/obscure sources (music and otherwise), which would be overlooked in a more centeralized system.

Re:What?! (2, Insightful)

cliffski (65094) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298195)

because you realise that a lot of effort went into creating it, the author needs to eat too, you enjoy it, and your not just a leech?

Re:What?! (1)

Ragzouken (943900) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298201)

Explain why someone would buy from iTunes instead of downloading for free. People do and people will.

Re:What?! (2, Insightful)

regular_gonzalez (926606) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298211)

Your comment is the exact reason DRM exists.

Re:What?! (1)

CaffeineAddict2001 (518485) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298247)

Yes, I realize that. That's why I wrote it.

Re:What?! (1)

regular_gonzalez (926606) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298275)

Ah, the old problem of sarcasm not coming across on the intarwebs. ;) Helped considerably by the fact that your comment is held in all earnestness by a significant percent of people ... hence the problem, which the RIAA solves by creating another problem.

Re:What?! (2, Insightful)

Penguinoflight (517245) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298231)

They probably had independent productions in mind when they made this service. Unless dreamhost moderates this (not likely, they're kind of lazy) people will probably just sell hard to find files, like the SmartStart CD for your compaq server, a driver for your tv card and a bunch of other illegal stuff.

Re:What?! (1)

user24 (854467) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298277)

because selling music etc is fine and legal, downloading it from other people is illegal. If people present the only alternative to DRM as piracy, then business will choose DRM every time, but if there's a viable business alternative then hopefully we will start seeing non-DRM'ed (paid) filesharing popping up.

What is your point? (5, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298593)

The same reason that the vast majority of people currently buy their music on CD when they could just steal it from a store, or copy it from a friend, or download it online. The same reason that thousands of people buy music from independent artists online, when they could just download it.

If you're trying to assert that most people would pirate music rather than paying for it, unless they physically prevented from doing so by their own property, then you are wrong. Contrary to the RIAA's twisted statistics, piracy is not decreasing sales. At the peak of napster's popularity sales at the register were rising, not falling. The falling numbers the RIAA liked to quote were wholesale numbers. This can be traced to the stores streamlining their inventory and stocking systems as a result of the internet. At that time, music stores near colleges did have falling sales, but so did book stores near colleges, and both correlate strongly to increases in internet sales of the same item. Subsequently, the decrease in sales that have been seen, are largely in the "oldies" adult market - and yet if you look at the statistics for what types of music is being pirated, it is clear piracy is not to blame for that. The threat of piracy is overblown, and unsubstantiated.

So no, most people are not selfish assholes, just you. But hey, congratulations! It is the minority of people like you that have given the RIAA leverage to strip away the fair-use right of the rest of the people in this country, and bias the laws in favor of further consolidation of the market. You sure stuck it to The Man.

I'm not all that impressed.... (4, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 7 years ago | (#16297975)

As much as I dislike DRM, I can't really get too worked up about these protests either. For starters, I get the idea that Apple stores are being "picked on" because they're seen as "high profile" in the mass media. In reality, I don't think Apple was all that "pro DRM" at all. They simply agreed to it in order to successfully get the whole iTunes music store off to a start with major record labels on-board.

Until Apple did this and proved the business model was really viable, the only other real visible options for people were illegal downloads of MP3s (of sometimes dubious encoding quality) from p2p networks like Napster.

It seems obvious to me that somewhere in the development process, Apple did some bargaining for rights of the end-users of the music ... since to this day, they *still* offer one of the most flexible set of usage rights on the DRM'd files. (As many as 5 computers can be authorized to use one user's purchased music, and anything purchased can be burnt to audio CD format as many times as you wish - as long as you create new "playlists" of tracks every so many times first, etc.) In fact, although it's not advertised, there are several documented cases of users losing all their music due to drive crashes, and upon emailing Apple support, were granted the ability to re-download everything they lost at no charge. They also allow you to reset your computer authorizations up to once per year, in case you forget to de-authorize systems before wiping the drives on them and selling them to someone else.

Microsoft's "Fairplay" DRM and its upcoming use in devices like the Zune seem like a much more worthy target of attack. Fairplay is used by practically all the music services BUT Apple - and is getting more and more restrictive in every update to Windows Media Player that's released. Unlike Apple, MS seems to think it's ok to keep "turning the screws" to lock it down beyond what early adopters were told the rules were.

Re:I'm not all that impressed.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16298105)



I don't think Apple was all that "pro DRM" at all.


Perhaps you need to review the evidence that your Apple juice is spiked [blogspot.com] .

There's more to their embrace of DRM than whatever is happening in ITunes. The TCPA shit is on the Intel chips too.

Re:I'm not all that impressed.... (1)

LochNess (239443) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298107)

"Fairplay" is the DRM used by Apple. "PlaysForSure" is Microsoft's. I do agree with you, tho.

Re:I'm not all that impressed.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16298199)

In reality, I don't think Apple was all that "pro DRM" at all. They simply agreed to it in order to successfully get the whole iTunes music store off to a start with major record labels on-board.
Actually, they LOVE their DRM, especially when it helps them fight of competitors.
http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jh tml?articleID=183702073 [informationweek.com]

Re:I'm not all that impressed.... (1)

Penguinoflight (517245) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298309)

And Syria wasn't really all that in to Hezbolla-style terrorism, they just wanted the free security that they provided. There really isn't a difference morally between starting something and just going along with it. If something is wrong, it's wrong. By not using DRM you are on the side of good, but using it, evil.

Please don't tell me Apple didn't understand what they were getting themselves (and their users) into when they signed up. Apple is easily the biggest distributor of DRM material, and they make little effort to educate their users about the limitations of DRM. How can you just let them off the hook?

Re:I'm not all that impressed.... (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298685)

Apple is easily the biggest distributor of DRM material,

What a crock! Sales of DRMed DVDs dwarf sales on iTunes. And what about Windows and Microsoft's applications? They are DRMed. Why do people pretend that Apple is the biggest kid on the DRM block?

burn them (1)

pbjones (315127) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298031)

attack defacto DRM! force material locked into CD-ROM to be released on LPs. Attacking DRM is admitting that the commercial interests have won. You have such a desire to have the material released in DRM format, but cannot afford etc, that you want to break laws to get at it. You want Disney Movies? Even if you remove DRM, you still have to buy a copy, to not pay for the material is theft, or is that the ultimate goal of many? to have a format that is easy to illegally 'share'? just a thought.

Would some one please explain... (4, Interesting)

laxcat (600727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298071)

Would some one please explain what exactly it wrong with DRM? If you have a problem with concept of copyrights in general, then I can understand. But is there anyone out there that is cool with copyrights, but thinks DRM is bad?

I'm not trying to be an apologist for the corporations. I know they don't care about the art or the artist, only money. That's given. But do they not have a right to protect their intellectual property? Are the detractors of DRM against the concept of intellectual property altogether?

The way I see it is there is nothing wrong with the concept of DRM, only with the abuse of DRM. Is this a "slippery slope" argument?

I'm serious in my plea here. Someone please fill me in on what I am missing!

Re:Would some one please explain... (3, Interesting)

cliffski (65094) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298147)

your not missing anything, I agree with you 100%. I dislike DRM, and dont use it for my games, but I absolutely see why it is used. As a content creator, I know what its like to see people happily taking your hard work for nothing, and then even giving you a hard time if you suggest that people should pay for it. (esp as I make free demos available, there are really no excuses).

The trouble is, for even daring to suggest that DRM has its place, and that file sharing copyrighted material is illegal, you can expect to be criticised, insulted, and generally modded down to oblivion. Thats the current slashdot philosophy. All companies are evil (unless they are somehow connected to linux), everyone who is caught coopying files illegally is absolutely 100% innocent, and anyone who disagrees is some evil, stupid luddite.
Welcome to slashdot. Not a friendly place for the creators of digital content.

Re:Would some one please explain... (2, Interesting)

codepunk (167897) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298497)

That is not true at all, it ain't about linux at all. I want to play some music I bought that is DRM protected in the GM stereo in my car. It ain't just about linux it is about fair use of a product I paid for in the device of my choosing. There is not feasable way today to technically do this without greatly impacting fair use. When you come up with the magical DRM method you let us know.

Interoperability, for one (1)

themushroom (197365) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298161)

I'm not going to stir the shit much, I will only say that one problem with DRM is that it causes the music you bought to not be able to be played any way you want. We're not talking public broadcast, we're talking about downloading a WMA file and putting it on your personal player, or burning to CD, or any use other than using Windows Media Player at your computer to hear it. Also, some DRM schemes are broken and won't even play on the equipment they're supposed to be geared for. With DRM you're renting music.

Re:Interoperability, for one (1)

laxcat (600727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298417)

See, to me, the senario you put forth would be a clear case of abuse of DRM. It's true people need to be aware of systems that are so unfaily restrictive. But this isn't a problem with DRM itself. The problem is the company abusing a technology to try and screw the consumer. This is a free market after all, and there are companies out there that treat you much better than that. Consumers know this and there's a reason Apple is the runaway leader in the digital music market.

Re:Would some one please explain... (5, Insightful)

codepunk (167897) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298221)

Well yes it is fairly simple you see, and this from a guy that is not a music lover and could really
care less about drm on music since the most I do is listen to the radio. The issue is that people only want fair
use of the product they bought. They want to be able to play it a unlimited amount of times in the device of their
choosing. Say for instance I want to listen to some tunes and I can only get it in MS DRM protected files which don't work in my car stereo or on my linux machine, you see now we got a problem.

You cannot technically DRM protect content in a way which will allow legal fair use for the purchaser of the product.....period.

Re:Would some one please explain... (1)

SnprBoB86 (576143) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298643)

"You cannot technically DRM protect content in a way which will allow legal fair use for the purchaser of the product.....period."

Sure you can. I purchased several Xbox Live Arcade Games. They only work with my Xbox Live account, but I can play them on any console I may access provided that I store my account on a memory card. And I can play them at my friends house on his 360, I can delete them and re-download them free of charge (eliminating the need for backups). If I do not have my account on a memory card, but my 360 is lost, I can easily call Microsoft support and they will easily help me through recovering my account on another box.

DRM is great for XBLA games. It enables companies to sell their games -- the modivation for making them in the first place -- and it frees me from manually backing up my games. Hurray DRM!

Re:Would some one please explain... (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298655)

You cannot technically DRM protect content in a way which will allow legal fair use for the purchaser of the product.....period.

Well, ok, but that only applies to a certain type of DRM, like what Apple is doing in the iTunes music store. So you're basically agreeing with the original poster there, that DRM is only bad when it's abused.

If I use DRM to (for example) prevent my PDF file from being printed, do you have a problem with that? If so, why? What about Windows XP preferring signed binaries for device drivers? That's a type of DRM.

Re:Would some one please explain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16298257)

DRM never stops the people violating the law. It only penalizes paying customers by removing Fair Use rights. If there is a technology that only ever has a (potential or real) negative effect and no (potential or real) positive effect to you as a consumer, why shouldn't you protest it?

Of course, that protest should come in the spread of wide boycott since we are dealing with the free market, after all. The only way to get truly widespread boycott though is to educate the consumers in channels the offending technology is put out through. iTunes and Apple are readily the most recognizable DRM laden music distributor I can think of, so it does strike me as a good choice.

And for the record, no, I don't think any amount of DRM is fair. If technology is built to keep technology from being convenient, then it is an unnecessary hindrance exactly as I stated above. I understand that copyright holders want to make money on their product, but I find it grossly offensive that they treat paying customers like criminals while criminals continue to do as they like.

That, in a nutshell, is why DRM is always wrong.

Re:Would some one please explain... (1)

Aeron65432 (805385) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298301)

I think copyrights are fine. Intellecual property is great, and copyrights stimulate innovation by providing an incentive to produce something original.

The concept of DRM is pretty much clearly wrong. If I buy a Van Gogh (unlikely), I own that painting. I can take pictures of it, copy it, move it around my house, do whatever I want. Now, I don't have the right to sell it or anything, but it shouldn't come in a case that disallows pictures, copying, or moving it.

I understand this isn't popular with companies because it requires some kind of good faith or trust in the consumer but DRM is inherrently wrong, if someone buys music, they should be able to do whatever they want with it in personal use.

Re:Would some one please explain... (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298419)

Um, you're quite wrong about the Van Gogh. He's been dead for a long time, and any copyright he ever held is long since expired. If you have the money to pony up for an original Van Gogh, you can copy it and sell those copies all you want.

If you buy a print of a modern artist, however, this is probably not true.

Re:Would some one please explain... (1)

timerider (14785) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298465)

If I buy a Van Gogh (unlikely), I own that painting. I can take pictures of it, copy it, move it around my house, do whatever I want. Now, I don't have the right to sell it or anything, but it shouldn't come in a case that disallows pictures, copying, or moving it.
Like almost any example, this is a bad one. If you buy a painting, you own it. Of course you can sell it. You can't sell copies of it. Compare with a CD: You can sell a CD you bought. You can not sell copies.

Except for that glitch in your argumentation, I agree... If you buy something, you shouldn't get it in a wrapper that prohibits fair use. Or to put it ore bluntly:
If I buy a music CD from sony, I want to be able to play it on my Sony in-car cd player. If it's a "un-cd" (which is what "broken" audio cds are called over here in germany [you know, cds that don't follow the CDDA standards, to prohibit copying]), I can't. Luckily, i can still rip it (with the right software, which runs on the right OS... you know, the one with the penguin...), then put the mp3 files on a data cd, and play those... on the very same sony in-car cd player.

Re:Would some one please explain... (5, Informative)

John Miles (108215) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298311)

But is there anyone out there that is cool with copyrights, but thinks DRM is bad?

Here's the problem: copyrights are a limited monopoly offered by the government as one half of a bargain with creators. The other half of the bargain lies in the creator's agreement that the protected content will become available to the public domain when the copyright term expires.

DRM allows publishers to evade their half of the copyright bargain. In particular, the DMCA anti-circumvention law in the US is unconstitutional because it does not require publishers to disable their DRM protection, or arrange for it to disable itself, upon the expiration of copyright protection. That means that the DMCA explicitly sanctions perpetual copyright protection... a clear violation of both the letter and intent of the Constitution's clause that authorizes that protection in the first place. With a combination of traditional copyright law and hypothetical DRM technology that remains unbreakable after copyright expiration, a publisher will enjoy an unlimited monopoly at the public's expense.

But do they not have a right to protect their intellectual property? Are the detractors of DRM against the concept of intellectual property altogether?

Some are against the whole concept of IP, but not being an ideologue, I can't speak for them. I do, however, believe that publishers and creators should have to choose between self-enforced protection (DRM) and government-enforced protection (copyright law). They should not be able to leverage both at the same time, because the two legal concepts of DRM and the "copyright bargain" are diametrically opposed to each other.

Re:Would some one please explain... (1)

mjtaylor24601 (820998) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298615)

I whole-heartedly agree.

I have no particular problem with the concept of copyright, but the problem I see with DRM is that it allows the content distributors to essentially rewrite the "copyright bargain" however they see fit.

Not only do they not have to release the work to the public domain after the copyright expires but they can also add on other arbitrary restrictions that have no basis in copyright law at all. There is nothing stopping them from say making the DRM only let me playback the file on an "approved device" or have it prevent me from playing it back on the second Tuesday of the month. There is nothing in copyright law that gives them the right to do this.

That being said, I don't (yet) see the need to outlaw DRM. So far my policy on draconian DRM restrictions is to just not buy the offending media, and that seems to be working ok for me so far. In fact if it weren't for the RIAA/MPAA/Microsoft monopolies I think market forces would pretty effectively keep DRM restrictions from becoming overly burdensome. But to answer the GP's original question I can totally see how someone could be ok with copyrights and not cool with DRM because DRM allows you to do much more than just enforce your copyright.

Re:Would some one please explain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16298321)

Personally, I'm of the opinion that DRM isn't bad but the current implementations of DRM are bad.

The way I see it a fair DRM set-up for Movies (as an example) would require two different movie releases, one for rental and pre-release and one for purchase by a consumer. The rental version would be as locked down as they are trying to make all movies today, in other words you can't copy the movie in any way shape or form. The consumer version would allow you to make copies from the original movie; digital to digital copies, or copying a copy would not be allowed.

The result of this would be that the wide scale piracy (through P2P networks and what not) would be eliminated, but people would be able to use the movie that they purchased in the way that they wanted.

Re:Would some one please explain... (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298365)

Would some one please explain what exactly it wrong with DRM? If you have a problem with concept of copyrights in general, then I can understand. But is there anyone out there that is cool with copyrights, but thinks DRM is bad?

Okay look, copyright is supposedly a two sided contract. Content creators get a limited monopoly for a limited time that lets them easily make money. Society gets more content, and content is not lost because the distribution was limited y those afraid it would be copied. So in this two sided contract are a whole series of clauses that define the rights each party has, what they can and can't do. Over time, this contract has changed and become very one sided in favor of content producers. That sucks, but is not the problem with DRM. The problem with DRM is it is another way, besides the law, to remove from the populace some of the few rights the contract still guarantees them.

For example, society has the right to use excerpts of copyrighted works in education to teach our young, free of charge. That way, just because someone is making money does not mean children can't still be taught about it. DRM, does not remove that right, it just makes it technologically difficult or impossible. The second thing to remember is that DRM is not always obvious to the purchaser. Often it is hidden and intentionally deceives the user. For example, you go to the store and buy a CD. The plan is to listen to it on your laptop while you fly to Europe. After you buy it yu find out it isn't really a CD. It is a disk that looks like a CD, pretends to be a CD, is sold with CDs, but in truth does not play in your computer. Or maybe it plays in your computer, right up until your plane leaves the uS, then it stops working. This is simply using technology to stop you from exercising your rights, to listen to what you bought where you want how you want. Technology has taken away rights granted to you by the law. That is what is wrong with DRM.

The way I see it is there is nothing wrong with the concept of DRM, only with the abuse of DRM.

I've never seen DRM that was not an abuse. Have you? Can you cite an example of DRM that in no way removes some of the rights copyright law has granted you?

Re:Would some one please explain... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298377)

Since I make my living writing copyright protected software, I guess I qualify as "cool with copyright".

I have no problem with copyright holders stopping piracy. The actual tactics are pretty evil, but I accept the principle.

So, I guess the question is if there was a DRM mechanism, that never called back, expired in a certain number of years, somehow magically detected changes is legislation, and also allowed a certain amount of copying that was clearly above and beyond fair use, would I be okay with it?

Which is tricky.

I don't have any fundamental objection to the anti-copying technology on a DVD, apart from the fact that it prevents legitimate free DVD players. But in principle, and for all practical purposes, it's fairly harmless. So I suppose if there was DRM that allowed me to do anything I could conceivably want to do I'd not object to it.

Of course, current DRM doesn't fit these criteria. Fairplay doesn't even allow people to copy music to a non-Apple mp3 player.

Re:Would some one please explain... (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298421)

I'm all for copyrights, though I think that the current duration is a little long. However, I am against the concept of DRM on anything except for things which are explicitly rentals.

DRM is what keeps me from having a nice application that I can just put in a DVD player and have it ripped and stored in a library for later viewing on my computer, just like music I rip from a CD. DRM keeps me from listening to iTunes songs on my Linux box without having to burn it to a CD. DRM keeps me from reading my ebooks on any platform I choose on any hardware I choose. On the flipside, it does not stop copyright infringers from distributing illegal copies of those copyrighted works. It only has to be broken once. So while it has done nothing to stop the copyright infringers, it has stopped the paying customers.

So there is what is wrong with DRM. I didn't mention abuses like Sony's rootkit even.

I also realize that there are ways to circumvent most DRM to do the things I described above, but for most people those aren't even an option due to lack of technical skills, and for a lot of people in the world the circumvention itself is illegal.

Re:Would some one please explain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16298455)

The way I see it is there is nothing wrong with the concept of DRM, only with the abuse of DRM. Is this a "slippery slope" argument?

DRM schemes and abuse of DRM two are like fecal-matter and and malodor, whenever you have the misfortune of coming across the former you also have to suffer the latter.

Re:Would some one please explain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16298489)

I am against DRM but support copyright. There are some here that are at the extreme of being against intellectual property as a whole. But as with all extreme views, they are purported by mostly the uneducated and naive, and fail to address concerns and criticisms that are based on real world facts and figures.

Re:Would some one please explain... (4, Interesting)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298609)

The way I see it, there's nothing wrong with DRM in principle, the principle being protecting content against unlawful use. If DRM makes it hard or impossible to use content in unlawful ways, while putting no restrictions on lawful use, I would be all for it. However, in practice, DRM is usually not like that.

In practice, DRM implementations usually make it difficult to play/view/... the content, except with proprietary and secret tools, while doing nothing to stop copying the content without authorization (unlawful use). To play/view/... the content, you are usually required to use proprietary and secret tools (locking you into using some vendor's products), and reverse-engineering the format (e.g. to create a player for a platform not supported by the official player) is a criminal offense. Also, DRM implementations sometimes involve yielding control of (part of) your computer to another organization, sometimes going as far as allowing said organization to cause your hardware to self-destruct (e.g. Blu-ray players).

The fundamental problem of DRM is that "trying to make bits uncopyable is like trying to make water not wet." When you have a song/movie/ebook/... in a file on your computer, or even when you can only access it by streaming it from the Net, you can make copies of it, burn it on CDs, give it to your friends, etc. The only way you can be prevented from doing so is by taking your control of your computer away from you. Alternatively, vendors could let you copy the files at will, but restrict access to the actual content (e.g. through encryption). However, once your computer has enough data to decrypt the content once, you could save that data, share it with your friends, etc. Again, the only way you can be prevented from doing this is by taking away your control over your computer.

It's absolutely out of the question that DRM could go together with open source software. OSS means that you're allowed read and modify the source code to the software. This makes it very easy for you to find the DRM code and change it, so that restrictions are not enforced. It would make DRM trivial to break, defeating its purpose. Sure, it's illegal (under the DMCA/EUCD/...), but so are speeding and copying works that you don't hold the copyright to; that doesn't prevent these things from happening.

Re:Would some one please explain... (5, Insightful)

khayman80 (824400) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298645)

You asked why some of us who support copyright do not support DRM. I support copyright, but my problems with DRM can be summed up as follows:

(1) DRM never expires. Ideally, copyright is a legal device used to enrich society, to encourage artists to create works based on the understanding that they will be able to profit from said works for a limited amount of time. After this time period expires, the creative works get released into the public domain. Unfortunately, DRM'd files don't do this- the music you bought on iTunes in 2003 will still be restricted in 3003.

(2) DRM will never work correctly without overly restrictive government controls. For example, let's assume that "Brand New Hyper DVD" format is completely uncrackable- the disks can never, EVER be decrypted and copied digitally. So what? Take your camcorder, aim it at the screen, and press record. Voila! Brand new copy without DRM. The only way to stop this would be to force all electronics manufacturers to include complicated measures to insure that they can't be used in this manner- but as we all know the next "DVD Jon" would show up in less than 2 days and crack these measures. The only way to fight this from a corporate/government standpoint would be to force all electronics capable of being used in this kind of pirating scheme to "phone home" on a regular basis to update their DRM software, and to BAN all older electronics without this "feature". See where this is going? Do you want to live in this society?

(3) DRM effectively turns your computer into a police snitch, working AGAINST you rather than for you. Just look at the Sony rootkit fiasco for an obvious example, or read up on the DMCA or broadcast flags or... you get the point.

(4) DRM adds an extra degree of complexity to playback, which constitutes another failure mode. A computer crash can often reduce a DRM'd music library to binary junk unless the user has been meticulous enough to save the mountain of data necessary to identify his/her computer as "the authorized playback device" of said music. Want to switch to a different computer, or swap out some hardware? Good luck- this will probably be interpreted as a "new computer" and your music won't play. Want to play your music on another device like your car stereo or your portable music player? You'd better hope the music vendor was "gracious" enough to bless you with that kind of "privilege".

(5) My fears of a world where DRM has taken over can best be summed up by the following short story. [gnu.org] I'm TERRIFIED that this is exactly the type of world we will wake up to in, say, 2020 if things keep going the way they are...

Our 'friends' at Disney? (1)

themushroom (197365) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298085)

> As our friends at Disney recognize, if there is this debate, we will have won.

DRM is not their thing, but copyright control is. Winnie The Pooh has been imprisoned for way beyond the standard copyright limits. Odd that they'd be for freeing the music but not the cartoons that sang it.

Everyone should put "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" on their digital players. :)

Re:Our 'friends' at Disney? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16298219)

AMEN! How long are they gonna keep "Song of the South" locked up?

In other news... (1)

GC (19160) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298119)

police investigating a series of murders are taking an "incitement to hatred" tack.

Hundred's of people called "Adam" have apparently been drowned by having their heads plunged into water coolers in offices around Australia.

Detective Ron Steele mentioned:

"It's either an incredible statistical anomaly, or we have a even more incredibly prolific serial attacker in our midst!".

The killer left no clues, except this, the only connecting factor in this attack has been this sign [defectivebydesign.org] , carefully placed by each water cooler.

Loan it to a friend!? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298143)

Hey! There's a difference between tolerating and permitting.

This seems a little presumptious of DreamHost. I know full well that if I create something, I have no enforcable means to prevent people from sharing it. But I can still ask. A lot of people, when asked, will do as I request. Why is Dreamhost deciding what I can and can't allow with my creation? Aren't I allowed to decide what I specifically want to permit within the realms of copyright, and leave it to my basic trust in my fans honesty to ensure this?

Re:Loan it to a friend!? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298487)

Why is Dreamhost deciding what I can and can't allow with my creation? Aren't I allowed to decide what I specifically want to permit within the realms of copyright, and leave it to my basic trust in my fans honesty to ensure this?

Absolutely! Feel free to set up your own web site where you distribute your own creations any way you please. Maybe you can even let other people distribute their creations in ways that they choose, instead of ways that you choose, even though you own the site.

Oh please. (1)

Ashen (6917) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298193)

I hate it when companies provide options! Lets protest them! A tyranny of choices, I say.

I don't like DRM so I buy all my music on CD's, but for people who don't mind the DRM, well, that's too bad! We need to stop people from having the option to purchase things how they want, but force them to purchase things how *I* want. Right?

You nerds need to get a life. There are so many more important things in the world than a company that gives you the to option to purchase songs online with restrictions that you KNOW about.

BitTorrent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16298339)

Every day should be a day against DRM. But all that is irrelevant from a isolated point of view (mine, actually) - I won't buy into any content that is rigged in ways that hinder me from using it. I can *already* watch HD movies (warez, ofcourse) in my home theatre with 5.1 sound no less and so can any Joe or Jack who wants.

Now, this deal is presented to me: I can pay premium for stuff that I cannot even use properly (BluRay, HD-DVD) since I don't have "HDCP compliant" setup, yessir, I got one of these "ancient" 50" Plasma displays that only have analogic input (and DVI from the receiver box but think again if it will be HDCP compliant ;)

Heck, I already get *better* quality stuff FOR FREE! Hello, anyone awake there in the movie industry? Give us products we want and we will pay for them (200+ original dvd format movies)

But it just gets better. With DRM it is possible to terminate the "License" at any time someone just thinks about it. Also have to have online connectivity to watch the media (WTF?) to acquire a license for some media for it even play back. Needless to say, my first and last purchase of that kind. Was interesting "experience", learned a lot from it.. ummm, that I am an idiot to go for that scam? There is still hope when learning from one's mistakes, it would be sad if didn't, huh?

Good luck with the DRM scam whoever may be concerned.

DRM=Digital Rights Manipulation (1)

pfz (965654) | more than 7 years ago | (#16298543)

Everyday should be against DRM! Check out this new documentary if you want to know why...

ALTERNATIVE FREEDOM
A documentary about the invisible war on culture.
Features RMS, Danger Mouse (of Gnarls Barkley and the Grey Album), Lawrence Lessig, and more...

http://alternativefreedom.org/ [alternativefreedom.org]

jews (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16298605)

burn this book
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