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Father of MPEG Replies To Jobs On DRM

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the way-forward dept.

Encryption 234

marco_marcelli writes with a link to the founder and chairman of MPEG, Leonardo Chiariglione, replying to Steve Jobs on DRM and TPM. After laying the groundwork by distinguishing DRM from digital rights protection, Chiariglione suggests we look to GSM as a model of how a fully open and standardized DRM stack enabled rapid worldwide adoption. He gently reminds Jobs (and us) that there exists a reference implementation of such a DRM stack — Chillout — that would be suitable for use in the music business.

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234 comments

Completely Moot (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17963970)

It has already been established that DRM is bad. It doesn't work and it hurts everybody.

So frankly, who cares about this small part of Jobs' argument?

His main point -- that there shouldn't be DRM -- is correct.

Re:Completely Moot (3, Interesting)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964064)

Another big influence in the market thinks differently. According to Microsoft [forbes.com]: "Our view is it's our job to provide the technology and the content providers can tell us what kind of restrictions and policies they want to apply to that."

So Microsoft could choose to go a more flexible route with DRM. That might change the market. But I think we all know that's not going to happen.

Re:Completely Moot (5, Insightful)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964240)

"Our view is it's our job to provide the technology and the content providers can tell us what kind of restrictions and policies they want to apply to that."

That's an interesting opinion to have. If party X is in charge of dictating the restrictions and policies in your product, isn't party X your real customer?

Re:Completely Moot (4, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964386)

But the thing is, if Microsoft says, We are going to implement Y system which has XZ restrcition capabilities. The content owners only have XZ as options. But MS choose to have as many restriction capabilities as possible.

DRM: IMHO (1)

robyannetta (820243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964972)

I think DRM _should_ exist... but as a user-controlled management solution.

DRM was originally designed to allow YOU, the USER to manage your own rights. It's a scheme to allow you to trust something of your own free will. The power was in YOUR hands.

However, the vendors took over the control of 'rights'. The problem here is that they don't trust YOU and hence, DRM is hated because we lost the ability to control it.

If DRM was back in the USERS hands, everyone would be singing the praises of DRM.

Sweden and a few other European countries are now showing their backbone impling (not saying it outright, they don't want to piss off big business because that means less money for their economy) that business-controlled DRM is bad. Notice that they've never said anything about user-centric DRM...

What should we believe? (3, Insightful)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964476)

What should we believe? Microsoft's claims -- that they favor and aim to provide an open platform --, or our lieing eyes, which are currently witnessing a thing called "Zune" which is the exact opposite of open.

Re:What should we believe? (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965430)

The exact opposite of open would be Muzak. Zune isn't as bad as Muzak. Let's try to remain less ridiculous than the crankiest 'anti M$ zealot.'

DRM doesn't kill music; people kill music. (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964970)

"Our view is it's our job to provide the technology and the content providers can tell us what kind of restrictions and policies they want to apply to that."

"Our view is it's our job to provide the weapons and the warlords can tell us what kind of restrictions and policies they want to apply to that." Where's the difference?

Re:DRM doesn't kill music; people kill music. (3, Funny)

JazzLad (935151) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965138)

Well, shoot, when you put it like that MS/other DRM creators seem in the right ...

Re:DRM doesn't kill music; people kill music. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965256)

Well, shoot, when you put it like that MS/other DRM creators seem in the right ...
Two issues here. First, Microsoft is using its monopolistic weight to require that all input and output hardware drivers allowed to load on Windows Vista are compliant with its weapon technology. The certification process can be cost prohibitive for hardware developed and sold by small businesses or non-profit organizations. Second, the ten members of the MAFIAA (Bertelsmann, WMG, Vivendi, EMI, Sony, Time Warner, Disney, NBC Universal, Fox, and Paramount) are using their oligopolistic weight to keep the public from learning of the existence of other publishers' quality works not subject to digital restrictions management. All nationwide cable TV news outlets in the United States are MAFIAA owned.

Re:Completely Moot (4, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964996)

So Microsoft could choose to go a more flexible route with DRM. That might change the market. But I think we all know that's not going to happen.
When I buy a song from iTunes, I know *exactly* the rights and restrictions applied. Everything in my iTunes library has exactly one of two restrictions: the FairPlay DRM set and none.

With Windows Media Player, I have no fracking clue. Will this track self-destruct in 3 plays? Will this track play indefinitely? Can that track only be used while my subscription is active? Can this one be burnt to a CD?

MS's approach to DRM is the same as their approach to Windows PC technology and is the exact reason their ecosystem, while vast in scope, is also vastly inferior. It's precisely this issue that has led MS to go with the more vertical approach with the Xbox and Zune. It's interesting to note that these two markets where MS is the underdog, where they must woo the consumer with a superior experience if they are to have any hope of success, they take the more controlled, limited approach (the type of approach, in fact, that they deride Apple for taking with their PC hardware and their iPod).

Re:Completely Moot (1)

tapehands (943962) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965370)

They already have went with a more flexible DRM on the Zune.

For instance [cliczune.com], Sony & Universal have chosen to disallow "squirting" (IE: Zune's wifi sharing feature) of some of their music collections. All of this and Universal [nytimes.com] even gets a cut of the Zune sales. Before music is even loaded on the device.

That bears repeating. A music company that did not have a hand in producing the hardware receives part of the sales of that piece of hardware, before any music even touches said hardware. Yet this same company will not allow some of its songs to be shared, even under an already restrictive DRM scheme (a "squirted" song lasts 3 days or 3 plays).

Additionally, this device 100% does not support the PlayForSure DRM scheme that Microsoft championed right up until the Zune launched.

If that isn't flexible DRM (in favour of very large, very ignorant companies), then I don't know what is.

I think it was either PA, or a Slashdot comment that stated something like, "eventually DRM will force hardware to a point where the major music player-companies put out a box with one button on it. When you press this button nothing will happen. Fortunately, the hacker community will get a hold of it and make it open garage doors or some such madness."

Re:Completely Moot (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965484)

Another big influence in the market thinks differently. According to Microsoft: "Our view is it's our job to provide the technology and the content providers can tell us what kind of restrictions and policies they want to apply to that."
Which is exactly what has structured the market so far. In Europe at least, when you look at downloadable content available for sale (or rental) movies or TV series, they are always wrapped in MS DRM. The services even typically have a little note up saying that they apologize for not being able to serve users of non MS platforms but that content providers insist on strong protection and that only MS DRM provides that.

This not only pushes the corresponding DRM technology but also the only platform that supports it. All in all it's fairly devious and certainly not a coincidence.

Re:Completely Moot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17964078)

His main point -- that there shouldn't be DRM -- is correct.

Since he sticks "FairPlay" even on music copyright holders don't require DRM on, I'd say he's also hypocritical.

Re:Completely Moot (2, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964468)

To be successful in anything, one needs to know when what you believe in is going to be practical or not. Different permissions on music bought from the same store are going to be confusing for both consumers and music labels. A user will not be happy if he brings a CD full of AACs to his friends place and only 1/3rd of them play. Let him burn a plain CD instead and be able to play everything. Big labels will complain that Apple is promoting other people's songs as superior to theirs and withdraw, or demand that Apple also allows them to set custom, more or less restrictive permissions, or variable prices.

In the same way, Apple ties OSX to their hardware, because otherwise it would be either widely pirated or need Windows-style activation. But they are willing to sell upgrades and even expensive pro software without copy protection. All in all, they are making an effort to minimize DRM and its side effects for legitimate users.

Re:Completely Moot (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964840)

"To be successful in anything, one needs to know when what you believe in is going to be practical or not. "

Sure, that's a practical POV. It's just not one that is consistent with believing DRM is bad. As I said in a related discussion, nobody forced Apple to open the iTunes store. If Jobs realized that it couldn't be successful without DRM and he really believed DRM was bad, he would have decided against opening the store in the first place. If Jobs was correct when he claimed that only a small percentage of iPod users buy songs from iTunes, the iPod would be a success without iTunes.

His actions are inconsistent with the philosophy he claims to have.

Re:Completely Moot (3, Interesting)

shmlco (594907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965598)

"If Jobs realized that it couldn't be successful without DRM and he really believed DRM was bad, he would have decided against opening the store in the first place.

Or he could, you know, like, open the store and let the MARKET decide how they felt about it.

Being "consistent" would have removed OUR choice in the matter. It's one thing to get on your high horse and make a decision. It's quite another to do so and assume that what you're doing is right for everyone else. For example, I've no doubt that a pro-life individual would be happy to stand up and make your decsion for you in that matter, but that ignores you right to choose for yourself.

Further, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. Steve could well have accepted the idea that DRM is a neccessary evil and now, after years of actually running the business that's the iTMS and seeing the results, decided that it's no longer needed.

I "expect" people to be able to look at the world and have the wisdom and courage to change their minds if needed.

Re:Completely Moot (4, Interesting)

arose (644256) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964854)

Different permissions on music bought from the same store are going to be confusing for both consumers and music labels.
You certainly don't want to confuse customers with all that freedom, why, they might start asking why they can't do all the nice things with all tracks they buy. And we wouldn't want them to learn about the evils of DRM, no sir, they should just think thats the way the world now works.

Re:Completely Moot (1)

limecat4eva (1055464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964080)

The way to express it to the suits is "DRM hurts your sales." I think that was the real thrust of Jobs's argument, that music companies could stand to expand their market presence immeasurably if only they promoted interoperability and ease of use—and that's just impossible as long as they insist on DRM.

Re:Completely Moot (5, Interesting)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964388)

The way to express it to the suits is "DRM hurts your sales." I think that was the real thrust of Jobs's argument, that music companies could stand to expand their market presence immeasurably if only they promoted interoperability and ease of use--and that's just impossible as long as they insist on DRM.

Jobs and Gates are essentially doing the same thing here. They both understand that DRM is pretty bogus, they are both supporting it since that is the only way to bring the content providers onboard at the moment.

Having attended one of Leonardo's SDMI meetings I would not trust him as far as I could spit. He was the architect of the SDMI fiasco. I have no confidence in either his technical or his political skills.

Incidentally the title father of MPEG is somewhat overblown.

Re:Completely Moot (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964088)

As long as you have the complete understanding, could you please go explain this to Mr. Gates and that man with the chair?

Re:Completely Moot (4, Insightful)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964108)

He's right that redefinitions of digital "rights" "management" to suit the speaker is pernicious, but in my opinion it's because the people trying to implement the stuff are almost always being deceptive.

If "management" *could mean (as TFA suggests) just attaching stuff to your work that indicates what you think your rights are, I'm all for it I guess. Attach it, be honest, and I'll avoid most of your crap like the plague.

But what many technologies do is actually digital rights *enforcement (i.e. of what your rights are) on people who might not share that opinion; in a great many instances, the federal government agrees with the *recipient about what is allowable.

Re:Completely Moot (1)

martin (1336) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964236)

I agree, until the DRM algorithms get implanted in the brain there's always a way around it - microphones!

Waste of time and effect.

In fact the current situatuio is worse than no DRM, as the music co.s think they some "security" when they in fact don't.

Re:Completely Moot (1, Insightful)

FauxPasIII (75900) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964322)

> I agree, until the DRM algorithms get implanted in the brain there's always a way around it - microphones!

(USian-centric post follows)

Used in that context, microphones are already illegal under the DMCA. It's not hard to imagine a near future where it's illegal to sell speakers or mics which are not DRM-enforcing, with a short grandfathering-in period for already-owned analog-fed gear.

The legal chains are complete. The enforcement machinery isn't in place yet, but it's coming.

Re:Completely Moot (1, Informative)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964908)

Luckily, my home country is smarter than this. Norway is already pounding on Apple and when DRM is gone, thank Norway!

Re:Completely Moot (3, Insightful)

VertigoAce (257771) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965312)

If they're targetting Apple, you can look forward to a version of iTunes that doesn't work with iTMS and an iPod that is incapable of playing any DRM-protected songs. Apple does not have the right to remove DRM from the songs it sells. The real target should be the companies that license the songs, since they are the only ones that can control the terms of distribution for their content.

Re:Completely Moot (1)

JAFSlashdotter (791771) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964318)

It has already been established that DRM is bad. It doesn't work and it hurts everybody.
Not true! It doesn't hurt the snake-oil-salesmen who peddle the DRM technologies! They're getting rich off of selling a product they can't possibly believe will work for more than a few hours. I don't get how anyone falls for it anymore, but I guess Barnum was basically right, even if he had the frequency a little low.

Re:Completely Moot (1)

Stocktonian (844758) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964448)

I hate DRM, but that's only in its current form. DRM isn't intrinsically bad. Only when used to steal rights that would otherwise be afforded to the customer is it "wrong". In fact it should probably be illegal. Here in the U.K. it's still illegal (as far as I'm aware) to format shift. So having DRM that prevents that isn't "a bad thing" on it's own. We should change the law and ensure that DRM is used within the limits of that law. Format shifting is necessary in this day and age, should be legalised and DRM users should be made to respect that. The idea that media companies can suddenly decide what "rights" you're going to have based upon how much you pay them is insulting.
If anyone out there actually wants Chillout to take off then they should start looking for holes in it.... Then fix them!

Re:Completely Moot (2, Informative)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964872)

Here in the U.K. it's still illegal (as far as I'm aware) to format shift.

Yes it is. For example it's technically illegal to use a video recorder or Tivo or to rip a CD that you own into itunes (the apple 'rip, mix, burn' advertising was in fact an incitement to break the law - a crime in itself).

However a law has to be backed up by enforcement to by effective. Nobody has ever tried to jail someone for recording Eastenders for example.. and they would look pretty damned stupid if they did. It's unlikely such a prosecution would succeed anyway.

The a recent report [hm-treasury.gov.uk] proposed making format shifting legal, and having a specific exception on copyright law for parody (another thing we don't have that the US has).

(btw. it's written for politicians so has cheesy things like a 'what is IP' section.. it does mean it's readable though).

Parody == defamation? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965028)

The a recent report proposed making format shifting legal, and having a specific exception on copyright law for parody (another thing we don't have that the US has).

I'm not sure what good such a copyright-only exemption would do, given that defamation law in the UK is much stricter than it is in the United States. There would have to be usable exemptions in both copyright law and defamation law.

Re:Completely Moot (2, Informative)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964654)

It has already been established that DRM is bad. It doesn't work and it hurts everybody.

Also, Chillout isn't the only open-source DRM project, Sun has (had?) their DReaM [wikipedia.org] initiative. But none of these attempts seem to be gaining any traction. The only widespread DRM scheme is Apple's, and Jobs himself says they would rather not be using it at all. The media companies should listen to him and finish the entire embarrassing affair.

chillout (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17963992)

Open source... DRM...

I don't know how to feel just now!

Re:I don't know how to feel just now! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17964024)

Does it feel like when you realized you were gay for Naked Snake? That's normal. Don't worry, you're still a geek.

Don't worry. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17964354)

Slashdot will tell you what to think and how to feel, and you will comply. Such is the way of life at Slashdot.

What's with the Pro DRM Articles? (0)

jdb8167 (204116) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964018)

What's with all the pro-DRM articles recently? I thought /. readers were generally opposed to DRM. I think that is 4 in 2 days.

Re:What's with the Pro DRM Articles? (5, Funny)

limecat4eva (1055464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964050)

Yeah, what's with all the opposing viewpoints lately? We come to Slashdot to turn off our brains, not to actually think.

Re:What's with the Pro DRM Articles? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17964104)

God forbid we try to actually understand the various facets of the argument! Being a zealot is based on blind faith that your view is right!

Re:What's with the Pro DRM Articles? (5, Funny)

Loadmaster (720754) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964278)

Exactly right. If you have a view you better have no doubt, because once you doubt you could be wrong. Which makes your stance untenable. It's like back when God existed. He doubted the logic of his existence and *poof* he disappeared. Do you want to disappear? Then never doubt what you think. Ever.

42

Swi

Re:What's with the Pro DRM Articles? (1, Informative)

Loadmaster (720754) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964248)

I don't think anyone here is anti-DRM. In that. DRM just means the artist gets paid for his work. What everyone is against is that the RIAA and MPAA make DRM incompatible, unwieldy and unuser-friendly as possible and name it the "Thrusting Spear of Pirate Killing" so as to make them seem in the right. I doubt anyone here would have a problem if DRM allowed them to use material they legally purchase how they want instead of having their fair-use rights infringed upon.

Basically, the RIAA/MPAA is tilting at windmills and stabbing the legit consumer. I have no problem with a well implemented DRM (possible?), but I do take offense to having a lance thrust into me midsection every time I want to buy a movie or song.

I hope this makes sense. I'm drinking, and no power in the verse can stop me!

Swi

Re:What's with the Pro DRM Articles? (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964660)

Count me as anti-DRM.

You put DRM in your stuff, I don't buy it, that simple. There's no such thing as good DRM.

Re:What's with the Pro DRM Articles? (3, Informative)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964820)

You put DRM in your stuff, I don't buy it, that simple. There's no such thing as good DRM.

I'll second that.

If I can't buy a product without DRM, I'll download it from a torrent site, or I'll go without. If I crack the DRM to get a copy in a different format, I'll be a "criminal" anyway, so might as well go the path of least resistance.

Re:What's with the Pro DRM Articles? (1)

XnavxeMiyyep (782119) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964716)

I don't think anyone here is anti-DRM.

I am anti-DRM. If I buy a song and want to play it on 1000 computers simultaneously, that's my right, because I have BOUGHT a copy of the song, not RENTED one.

Re:What's with the Pro DRM Articles? (4, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964734)

Based on many past threads and discussions- you are making a bit of an overstatement.

Lots of people here are anti-drm / information wants to be free. In varies from the college student being as ethical as they can afford to be (buy a few CD's and then pirate the rest when they run out of money) to the folks who have absolutely no respect for copyright to people like me that have no respect for the extended copyright periods that I feel were bought by media companies (If it's over 28 years old, I'll pirate away unless i can get it for a *reasonable* price).

For example: I put down $200 smackers five seasons for get smart. On the other hand I ahoy'd some 1960-1966 comics in cdisplay format vs paying $50 for them in hardback format. I'll also download things so I can take them on a trip with me- for example I downloaded Moulin Rouge (which I own on DVD) because I wanted to take it with me and not risk losing my original.

I have a problem with DRM period. I think we have a temporary window where these products are grossly overpriced. I completely disagree that an "artist" should get paid for the rest of their life for a song when the rest of the world gets paid by the hour. The purpose of copyright is not to provide artists/ creators retirement but to encourage them to create works for the public. Given how many artists there are striving to create entertainment today- I really doubt they need any more encouragement.

Re:What's with the Pro DRM Articles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17964966)

> I don't think anyone here is anti-DRM. In that. DRM just means the artist gets paid for his work.

Funny, it used to work pretty darn well before DRM-- when I would pay the store, the store would pay the distributor, the distributor would pay the recording company, and the recording company would pay the artist!

Re:What's with the Pro DRM Articles? (1)

arminw (717974) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965010)

...I have no problem with a well implemented DRM (possible?).....

Unfortunately DRM, that is preventing digital copying, is IMpossible, even in theory. Like Jobs wrote, such DRM is based on keeping a secret. That secret is the whereabouts of the key which MUST be given to each user in order to unlock the content so it can be seen/heard. Like Mr. Jobs rightly said, secrets cannot be kept from a large number of people. AFAIK there has NEVER been a digital copy-lockout system that has NOT been broken. Digital Rights can be "managed" till the cows come home, but NOBODY will EVER prevent the secret location of the key from being found. If more than one person knows a so called "secret" it is no longer a secret. If I want to let you into my house, I can give you the key. Once you have the key you are able to give that key on anyone else and they too can walk right in. I am truly surprised that the other wise assumed to be smart record company executives don't understand something simple like that. They have been brainwashed by the sellers of copy protection schemes.

When I... (1, Troll)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964082)

When I look at the Wiki, I think of something 'a person' in the security field says time and time again:

"Any person can invent a security system so clever that she or he can't think of how to break it."

                            -Bruce Schneier

As a wireless/microwave engineer (4, Interesting)

LM741N (258038) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964086)

Despite disliking DRM, GSM is the most sophisticated communications protocol that I have ever seen. I have read the standard (dispite getting a headache in 5 minutes) and it is totally locked down using encryption, session keys, etc. Perhaps I am in error, but I doubt the standard itself has ever been cracked- unless via law enforcement with the complicity of the companies involved.

Yet it is the most widely used wireless personal communication standard in the world. Woe are the hackers and crackers who try to attact it directly. But like any encrypted system, the weak points usually lie elsewhere. Those would be the point of attack.

Re:As a wireless/microwave engineer (2, Insightful)

sidz1979 (993099) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964138)

Despite disliking DRM, GSM is the most sophisticated communications protocol that I have ever seen. I have read the standard (dispite getting a headache in 5 minutes) and it is totally locked down using encryption, session keys, etc. Perhaps I am in error, but I doubt the standard itself has ever been cracked- unless via law enforcement with the complicity of the companies involved.

However, it is important realize that there isn't as much motivation to crack/hack a communications protocol as there is to break the DRM on music/video. I can bet that there are a lot more "attempts" on Movie-DRM schemes than there would be on GSM encryption.

Re:As a wireless/microwave engineer (1)

limecat4eva (1055464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964446)

You must be joking, right? The big bucks don't go towards cracking Kelly Clarkson's latest single when it's already available DRM-free on compact disc. Much more valuable is the encryption on phone conversations between private citizens—you know, people like the President, the CEO of Exxon, the owner of Sony, his easily-kidnapped young daughter, etc. And also much more likely to be targeted by "real" criminals.

Re:As a wireless/microwave engineer (5, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964188)

GSM is very secure, but is a communications protocol, not a DRM protocol. GSM allows Andrew and Betty to talk, without Charlie hearing. As has been stated often before, in DRM, Betty and Charlie are the same person.

MOD PARENT UP (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17964268)

Security protocols can be proved secure (given a few mathematical assumptions on the complexity of the underlying math).
DRM is provably unsecure, since it implies that one party which shares the secret must never learn the secret.

Re:As a wireless/microwave engineer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17964646)

GSM is not secure on most mobile networks it is primarly used as an encoding not as an encryption.

There is a big difference. It is very easy to decode GSM content and control traffic. I suggest if you want security you run your own network. Do you really think your GSM mobile network has encryption turned on? dont be silly.

Re:As a wireless/microwave engineer (3, Interesting)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964582)

I don't know if you would call 40 bit encryption [hackcanada.com] a lockdown, especially since it doesn't protect your conversation from the phone company, even if you are calling the other person with a GSM phone. Furthermore, they weaken or turn off encryption in most countries. Sounds like a typical effect of a DRM scheme on users all right.

Re:As a wireless/microwave engineer (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964664)

Well, I'm sure GSM has a bunch of optimizations to be more suitable for voice communication over wireless, but it isn't like there aren't really strong encrypted communications protocols out there (such as openssl). As others have pointed out only the wireless portion of the conversation is encrypted at all.

Re:As a wireless/microwave engineer (4, Informative)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964700)

There are briefcase-sized portable systems that allow easy eavesdropping on GSM communications. IIRC, the encryption is weak, and the tower can be actually told to turn it off anyway.

Re:As a wireless/microwave engineer (1)

arminw (717974) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965230)

....and it is totally locked down using encryption, session keys, etc.....

There is a major difference in protecting an on-going communication system and a write locked, read-only system, such as recorded entertainment material. In a communication system each recipient gets a unique temporary key for that one time. For recordings the key has to be tied to the recording or the device or some combination. Once that is done and the secret of the key is out, the key can be used on all recordings using that key. The cable and satellite systems are secure because the key can be different for each customer and for each program and can be changed any time. The only hole left here is the fact that the decrypted material can be intercepted and stored. That will always be the case in any communication system destined for human senses. In any case, the GSM style system will not work for entertainment unless each song/movie is encrypted with a unique key for each user and that key is sent over a secure link EACH time it is needed when the user wants to view/listen to the material on whatever device(s) he/she wishes.

Re:As a wireless/microwave engineer (1)

AdamInParadise (257888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965350)

Perhaps I am in error, but I doubt the standard itself has ever been cracked

Early versions of some encryption "algorithms" were "cracked" and soon replaced by updated versions. BTW, those encryption algorithms are proprietary and not officially part of the specification: only the encryption protocols are. The new algorithms used for 3G are based on standard algorithms (AES, SHA-1) and were designed through an open process.

unless via law enforcement with the complicity of the companies involved.

"Lawful Interception" is actually defined in the spec (which is composed of thousands of very tersely prosed Word documents). Beside this issue, some networks disable encryption from time to time for various reasons (network issues, terrorists ...). At this point every Joe Six-Pack with a digital scanner can listen to conversations.

And finally, GSM has nothing to do with DRM. The goal of DRM is to restrict the use of piece of media to some arbitrary conditions. Encryption in the GSM network is used to protect the customer against eavesdropping and the telcos against phone cloning.
 

Standards adoption in an existing marketplace (3, Insightful)

appleguru (1030562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964114)

DRM isn't necessarily evil; it's the unfair enforcement of such DRM that is, which is his main point. He's also saying also that a standard unencrypted mp3 can have DRM merely by being bound by a license agreement; it's once you start employing a digital means to enforce those terms that DRM begins to become intrusive. Chiariglione goes on to talk about open DRM standards and how the music industry should adopt one to promote interoperability. The problem there is that not everyone will adopt the standards, be it for their own personal gain (IE, Apple), or because they're existing technology lacks the capability of supporting a new standard (IE, retroactive compatibility wont be there). This is the main argument for completely open and free MP3 files; anybody with a player since 1992 can play mp3s. Granted, if apple were to ever go DRM-Free, it'd be with unprotected AAC (MPEG-4) files, but the idea is the same.

Re:Standards adoption in an existing marketplace (2, Insightful)

JAFSlashdotter (791771) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964606)

DRM isn't necessarily evil; it's the unfair enforcement of such DRM that is, which is his main point. He's also saying also that a standard unencrypted mp3 can have DRM merely by being bound by a license agreement; it's once you start employing a digital means to enforce those terms that DRM begins to become intrusive.
Mr. Chiariglione differentiates between DRM (management), which would be that unencrypted MP3 with license notice attached, and DRM (protection) which enforces.

Chiariglione goes on to talk about open DRM standards and how the music industry should adopt one to promote interoperability.
And when he does, it seems to me that he's in favor of the (protection) form, because here's what he says (from TFA):

Indeed most people are unaware that this 20-year old communication system is based on a very sophisticated DRM (protection) technology that has been standardised by ETSI which also handles the governance.
and then soon after:

The way to go is to have a standard system like the one used in GSM that anybody can practical implement and anybody can use to enjoy the content that they legitimately purchase.
Now, I could be misreading that, but if he says GSM is based on DRM (protection) and music content should use a system like the one used in GSM, then he is advocating DRM (protection), isn't he? So doesn't that land us in the same-old-situation where at some point, my DRM (protection) encumbered content will be inaccessable to me? Will I still have my fair use rights? Will I be able to take a 3 second fair-use sample and attach it to my research paper multimedia presentation on vulgarity in contemporary culture? If the answer is no, I would call that "unfair enforcement".

Re:Standards adoption in an existing marketplace (1)

appleguru (1030562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964720)

No, I agree, Chiariglione is definitely advocating DRM (Protection). I was interjecting my own opinions on the matter based on what he said in the article... I'm disagreeing with him to an extent and pointing out why his idea of an open DRM standard wouldn't work quite as well as he thinks it might given the already established marketplace/mullions of devices in use, as well as the optional nature of adopting the 'standard'.

Fair use doesn't have to be convenient (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965108)

Will I still have my fair use rights? Will I be able to take a 3 second fair-use sample and attach it to my research paper multimedia presentation on vulgarity in contemporary culture?

Under United States copyright law as interpreted in the DeCSS cases such as Universal v. Reimerdes, fair use doesn't have to be convenient or full quality in order to be constitutionally sufficient. Line-out is still available.

Re:Standards adoption in an existing marketplace (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965444)

if he says GSM is based on DRM (protection) and music content should use a system like the one used in GSM, then he is advocating DRM (protection), isn't he?

It's impossible to determine what he means, because he's basing his argument on untruths.

His assertation that digital signatures are a form of DRM is bogus. DRM refers to schemes that either restrict hardware to prevent it from acting as a general-purpose computing device, or that restrict freedom of speech and of the press to prevent certain "secret keys" from being distributed.

His assertation that digital signatures are a form of DRM is simply bogus.

GSM has fsck-all to do with DRM. GSM uses an encryption scheme, yes; DRM uses an encryption scheme also. So what? My knife and my guitar both use steel in their construction.

Re:Standards adoption in an existing marketplace (1)

div_2n (525075) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964952)

DRM isn't necessarily evil; it's the unfair enforcement of such DRM that is

The very intention and implementation of DRM is unfair. DRM is a fancy way of saying "We're going to do our best to force you to abide by copyright laws even while potentially interfering on your rights because we care more about our rights and/or think our rights are more important."

You cannot conceivably enforce DRM without infringing on the rights of consumers. Period. This is because the process of copyright infringement--copying the content you've purchased and giving it or selling it to someone else--is not defined by the copying of the content which fair use allows you to do for yourself, but rather the handing over of the copied content to others. DRM will never ever be able to stop that. But it can make it more difficult at the expense of fair use.

please define your terms .. (4, Insightful)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964164)

"he uses the term DRM without defining it"

If I was on Usenet I would assume the OP was doing the meaning of the word shuffle. Pretending to misunderstand what the other fella meant and addressing a made up meaning instead.

"while it makes sense to claim, based on empirical evidence, that protected music does not sell, it remains to be demonstrated that managed music does not"

What's the difference between 'managed' and 'protected' in relation to Jobs meaning of DRM and your version of DRM.

'That would be like saying that the Creative Commons movement is a hollow shell'

False analogy and strawman .. :)

"Curiously Steve Jobs restricts his analysis to just one option: how can Apple safely license its DRM technology to other manufacturers and be able to keep its obligations vis-à vis the record companies"

Well he can only speak for Apple after all.

Re:please define your terms .. (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965140)

The problem is that the Jobs missive simply looks to be a pass-the-buck scenario. Jobs doesn't want to share Fairplay, based on the claim that it's too hard and makes it too insecure.

Jobs also seems to ignore the possibility of an industry standard system as well.

Being unwilling to compromise and blaming others for the problem when a reasonable solution exists is not what I call the mark of a reasonable person. Maybe there are

The letter also ignores the fact that much of the issue the Norwegian consumer groups had is that English law governs the transaction when the store and customer is in Norway. There is also the issue that Apple can change the terms of the contract after purchase. Apple has not made any movement to fix that problem.

I will probably not be buying music downloads unless it is either unprotected or it will at least work on any music device I own without hassle or another stage of recompression. I also don't want to buy into a format in which the copyright owner can revoke my purchases or change the terms of the contract without due process or renegotiation or compensation.

I rather like the CD format in that for the most part, it usually gets me what I want, an unentangled delivery system and a built-in archive, because I usually rip/copy once and store the original. There are so many CDs out there that I haven't listened to, that I don't think I really have to go to a new delivery system.

They are scared. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17964224)

The content industry wants one universal DRM. Everyone thought that would be MS and they were happy. When Apple won the battle, they were not happy. What you are seeing by calls for Apple to license their DRM is this frustration made public and an attempt to allow MS to embrace, extend and extinguish Fairplay. Jobs called their bluff and they realize they just may well be fucked on this. Interesting times.

Difference between a comm protocol and content (2, Informative)

JAFSlashdotter (791771) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964272)

Mr. Chiariglione suggests GSM as a model of an open standard that everyone has been using for years to perform sophisticated DRM. I don't know much about GSM, but when I enter into a service agreement with a communications provider, I am doing so for live communications. Perhaps the market is morphing to providing content on mobile phones, but the success of GSM was not built on that model. I pay my mobile phone service provider monthly for access to their network, and if my phone was to stop working because my provider locked me out of their network, I would stop paying them. The agreement would be at an end, and there wouldn't be any content locked in the DRM that I want. I'm not paying them for the right to use their network in perpetuity. On the other hand, I purchase CDs and DVDs so that I may enjoy the content FOREVER. I do not pay them monthly to keep listening to the music or watching the movies, and I am not willing to enter into that sort of agreement. DRM on my music or video content is locking ME away from the content I have legally licensed, especially if the vendors disappear. So while the DRM in GSM might be acceptable, it is not acceptable on the content I purchase.

DRM TPM GSM... bwahhh??? (3, Insightful)

jhealy (91456) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964306)

People... PLEASE unabbreviate your abbreviations at first mention in an article. To those that don't know what TPM or GSM are (isn't GSM for cell phones?), this article appears completely ridiculous. I thought it was a joke at first.

Re:DRM TPM GSM... bwahhh??? (1)

Sneeper (182316) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964384)

To those that don't know what TPM or GSM are (isn't GSM for cell phones?), this article appears completely ridiculous. I thought it was a joke at first.

He is talking about the GSM for cell phones. That threw me off at first too -- I asumed he was talking about some DRM system I was unaware of.

Re:DRM TPM GSM... bwahhh??? (2, Interesting)

hogfat (944873) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964420)

At least I wasn't the only one who felt the GSM reference seemed completely unsupported. While I know what GSM is, I have no personal familiarity with the GSM stack or how it has anything to do with restrictions on the use of digital content in computers. Why can't the author explain those things? Simple journalism: who, what, where, why, how.

Re:DRM TPM GSM... bwahhh??? (2, Funny)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964496)

Why can't the author explain those things? Simple journalism: who, what, where, why, how.

You seem to be new here. Welcome to Slashdot!

Re:DRM TPM GSM... bwahhh??? (2, Interesting)

Mr. Shiny And New (525071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964676)

The reason the author brings up GSM is because it has some similarities with iPod DRM: Devices have a key, the key authenticates the device to the network, and there is encryption support for content. However, there are lots of major differences:

1. with GSM, your "key" is in your SIM, which means you can take it with you from device to device.
2. Wtih GSM, you only need the key to access a particular network. To switch networks, you throw away the old key and buy a new key. Now that the US (and soon Canada, yay!) have number portability, you don't even lose your phone number when you switch. Unlike DRM on music, where switching brands means losing all music.
3. With GSM, encryption is used to PROTECT your conversation and service; the idea is to prevent thieves from cloning your phone or eavesdroppers from listening in on your converstaions.

Interestingly, according to the gsm-security website faq, both the authentication and encryption protocols have been shown to be trivially broken, either due to poor implementation (using only part of the keyspace) or because the encryption algorithm wasn't that robust. So much for "GSM is a successful DRM".

Re:DRM TPM GSM... bwahhh??? (2, Informative)

Emetophobe (878584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965274)

You forgot to mention MPEG, which is also an abbrivation, but apparently you don't mind that one.

All lies in the definition here (2, Insightful)

arose (644256) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964330)

The author simply uses "digital content protection" where we would use DRM, and DRM as an all encompasing term for encryption, digital signatures, computer readable copyright licenses and probably a bunch of other things he didn't directly meantion. From this he concludes that DRM is both widely used and accepted. Now whether he is trying to convince poeple that the fight is allready lost and we should work on interoperable lockdowns or is just confused himself I don't know.

Re:All lies in the definition here (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965160)

The author simply uses "digital content protection" where we would use DRM

Only because he is taking the expansion of the abbreviation "digital rights management" at face value.

More detail would have been nice... (1)

sidz1979 (993099) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964370)

Interesting article... the author goes into a fair bit of detail in differentiating between the assigning of rights to digital media and the enforcing the rights on digital media. This is rather unusual, since the the most common usage of DRM has always been about enforcing the rights of the creator.

It would have been nice if he had gone into as much detail about GSM, and what specifically in the GSM system makes it specifically suited to DRM. I am assuming that he is referring to the encryption system used by GSM. If that is the case, there is a fundamental flaw here: as with all other DRM schemes this would require that the "keys" be stored along with the encrypted data, and the devices would know how to decrypt the data. It would only be a matter of time that someone would discover a method to retrieve the keys from the media. It works for GSM because, GSM being a communication system, there are protocols for exchanging keys between two ends of the system.

To me this appears to be an advertisement to use their DRM technology.

Re:More detail would have been nice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17964558)

Not the /rights/ of the content creator, but the /wishes/. Those are much more extensive than their rights under copyright law.

OMA DRM (4, Informative)

kevinbr (689680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964390)

Is a bag of shit. Most phones only implement OMA DRM 1.0 - forward lock. OMA DRM 2 - I doubt it will catch on. How many phones have implemented it and how many content providers are using it?

The issue isn't DRM, it's greed (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17964458)

If music were priced at its real cost plus the same small profit that all other manufacturing enjoys, it would cost $1.00 an album. After all, production costs have already been recouped for 99.9% of popular music, hundreds of times over for anything in the top 40.

And with such low pricing, people wouldn't even think twice about buying every new album that comes out in their genre. Youngsters have no money anyway, so asking them to cough up inflated prices is just completely ridiculous, and counterproductive since kids create much of the music buzz. They'll eventually purchase all the CDs that they really appreciate once they've grown up anyway --- just have patience!

You wouldn't need DRM not only because very low cost would make non-market acquisition pointless, but also because everybody would have all the music they want --- there would be nothing left to copy, in one's area of interest!

[The argument that pricing music logically would make new music cost hundreds of dollars per album is bollocks: like in all industries, development of a new product should be funded from past profits, and amortized across projected future sales. Music should be no exception, and the fact that currently the income from sales of age-old music is pure untouched profit and not reinvested to fund new production just shows the extent to which greed has distorted the music industry.]

DRM is only an issue today because of the artificial scarcity created by artifically high pricing --- greed.

Re:The issue isn't DRM, it's greed (1)

soliptic (665417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965420)

If music were priced at its real cost plus the same small profit that all other manufacturing enjoys, it would cost $1.00 an album. After all, production costs have already been recouped for 99.9% of popular music, hundreds of times over for anything in the top 40.

LMAO. I'm going to take a wild guess and say you don't work or operate in the music industry at any level from the top 40 / big 4 end to the grassroots scene.

Sounds like this guy .... (2, Insightful)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964524)

is even more egotistical than Steve Jobs.

He pretty much restates the overall theme of Jobs' point, in a manner that sounds condescending because we "stupid" people don't understand that DRM can apply to multiple facets of information and technology.

What a prick.

GSM and content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17964644)

DRM on GSM handsets, effective? So far, because there has been little motivation in attacking it - all content is available through other channels.

As a legit user, is DRM on GSM a good thing? Personally I find the prices outrageous for a very short ringtone (2-4 times the price of the full track on iTunes), add to that, that the content you have bought has been locked to the handset, I think that DRM on GSM is a prime example of why content providers should not be allowed to unconditionally control what consumers (you're not a user, remember) are allowed to do.

As a side note, I definetly think that artists and the companies enabling the artists to produce, should be properly compensated. I just don't like to be limited in what I can do, with goods (even intangible) I've bought.

protection vs. management (1)

hhawk (26580) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964656)

I'm sure I could read up on the difference between protection vs. management.
It doesn't seem like one could be much different than the other.

There are two types of people. The RIAA see's customers and priates. The truth is there are customers and meme-speaders. Most people at times perform both roles. While it's great if people want to buy your stuff, the 2nd best choice is to have your stuff be made popular by the meme-spreaders.

If I want something from a store (brick, "e," or otherwise); I have to pay..

People should be able to copy works.

Copyright notices should be copied along w/ the work (e.g., as in GPL/Linux)

There should be a free or paid (up to the author) system whereby I can compare my "bits" to the original "bits" to make sure my copy is authentic (if that was something I wanted to do).

There should be within the copyright notice a universal resource locator that would allow me to pay and/or donate something for the bits (should I want to).

he is wrong... (1)

spwolfx (1029734) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964666)

Sharing of technology is impossible. Open formats? Impossible. It has never been done before.
It would be impossible for apple to share DRM because it is simply impossible. Cant you guys get it? :-)

I find it really funny how the same people that propose open formats for Office, turn around and say that "open" DRM is impossible. A lot of that "impossible" comes from monopoly of largest hardware provider.

It is impossible for Apple to open their DRM, and it is impossible for Apple to use non-DRM music, even if publishers give them rights to do so.

Job's outcry makes very little sense, and industry leaders are calling him out for it. What Jobs is saying is that they can not provide access to their DRM nor can they provide NON-DRM music if publishers allow it. So basically Jobs is claiming that he cant do anything because of the publishers, even if publishers are calling for lesser restrictions.

At the same time, one of the biggest publishers - EMI - is testing non-drm sales, of course not on iTunes, since Apple isnt allowing it.
So it turns out that it is Apple who is now not allowing publishers not to use the DRM.

Re:he is wrong... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17964940)

www.microsoft.com

Shut up, you motherfucking apple hating bastard! YOU SUCK! THIS IS NOT A TROLL!

Re:he is wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17965200)

>I find it really funny how the same people that propose open formats for Office, turn around and say that "open" DRM is impossible. A lot >of that "impossible" comes from monopoly of largest hardware provider.

Your missing the point people make when they say DRM is impossible.
Open DRM isnt impossible you can have a standardized format for exchaing information about about restrictions etc on when/where/who can play content how is that hard?

THE PROBLEM IS IT IS A GIANT WASTE OF TIME! NO DRM SCHEME WILL EVER WORK, IT REQUIRE THE PRATICIPATION OF EVERY SINGLE COMPANY IN THE MARKET (which is exactly what this article is about competitors dont get along very well, shocking isnt it?) IT ALSO REQUIRES THEM TO FAITHFULLY AND FLAWLESSLY IMPLEMENT ALL THE HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE MECHANISMS NECESSARY TO ENFORCE THOSE RESTRICTIONS,

  I am not sure how familiar with the state of low level software development (bios/kernel/firmware etc) you are, but collectively Intel, Microsoft, AMD, ACER, HP, DELL, APPLE etc can't even get really simple things right, sometimes I am amazed our computers actually boot, I mean look at ACPI and check out the amount of truely buggy horrible aml code that ships on some systems and the number of quirks the various implementations of ACPI have to cope with, The same clowns involved in ACPI are primarily responsible for the TPA. Do you really believe that they are ever going to get all this right? They wont and every little mistake they make renders the ENTIRE EFFORT FUTILE the great thing about a DRM is once its broken once whatever it was protecting can be copied and spread completely free of any restrictions, so all that effort expended that we as consumers of hardware have to pay for was for what exactly ? And when all these little mistakes come back to cause you to loose your entire music collection because the *YOUR* computer thinks your a pirate now, then what?

There are consumer protections laws for other things, automobiles etc
Maybe the tech industry needs something similar...

Open letter to Steve Jobs (4, Interesting)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964746)

Did anyone read the open letter to Steve Jobs over at the Inquirer?

http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=37 522 [theinquirer.net]

Re:Open letter to Steve Jobs (2, Insightful)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965488)

Many of us bought their first iPod long before iTMS came out let alone available the the country we live in. Canada did not get iTMS until December of 2004. I had bought a 2nd generation iPod in 2002. How did I manage to get music? I bought CD's and tried out eMusic for a bit.

I see that TPM has been mentioned. While my MBP has a TPM module, there are no drivers for it and the updated MBPs do not come with TPM.

Consider this, DRM costs Apple money to implement and update whenever someone cracks it. They are under contract to update it whenever it is bypassed. The DRM is added by iTunes once the download is complete because the RIAA demanded it.

Now consider why MSFT loves DRM and has implemented it deep within the OS to the point of disabling hardware functionality with the protected media path. MSFT makes money on DRM through licensing fees and it also enforces lock in for the windows OS.

Existing players and compatibility (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964868)

The problem we face is many existing players have DRM or have no framework to allow for new open DRM to be added.

Of course, manufacturers can write new firmware, but I'm sure that would only be done for current models.

The only way forward is to have no DRM to allow for 100% compatibility.

Interesting Times (2, Informative)

dr.badass (25287) | more than 7 years ago | (#17964880)

It's a little bit strange that when the head of a company with the most successful DRM platform says "No DRM is better than interoperable DRM", people seem to be getting more supportive of interoperable DRM.

It's also a little bit strange that "the father of MPEG" is how Leonardo Chiariglione is described, rather than the more relevant "father of SDMI".

But how do you prevent theft? (1)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965066)

Lets examine this from the point of view of the artist. That person or person(s) works hard at making some form of art. It really makes no difference what the art is, it could be music, sculpture, painting, books, motion pictures it really does not matter, lets just assume the arguments.

Now how does that person make a living doing this?

  • A musician thinks up a melody, some words, fills it in and records it, then attempts to sell it to the masses. This is how that person or person(s) pay their electric bill, mortgage, buys food, GI Joe with the Kung Foo grip for their kids.
  • A sculptor take a chuck of rock, clay or whatever the medium is and transforms it into a shape that is both appealing to the eye and makes some sort of artistic statement. The scupltor then tries to sell it for whatever they can get for it so they can pay their electric bill, mortgage, buys food, GI Joe with the Kung Foo grip for their kids.
  • A takes a blank canvas or whatever the medium is and transforms it into an image that is both appealing to the eye and makes some sort of artistic statement. The painter then tries to sell it for whatever they can get for it so they can pay their electric bill, mortgage, buys food, GI Joe with the Kung Foo grip for their kids.
  • Now I could go on and on but your all smart, I think you get the point. The {___________} {insert the appropriate moniker here }, does whatever they do so they can pay their electric bill, mortgage, buys food, GI Joe with the Kung Foo grip for their kids.

    The transportablity of the item by digital means seems to make the difference here. You cant download a sculpture or a painting, you can download an image of the sculture or painting, but not the actual item. A fine paitning or sculpture might very well sell for a very large amount of money. If you buy it, its yours, you own it, but not ALL the rights to it unless that is spelled out in the sales contract. Can you then set up shop, make a mold and make plaster casts of it and sell them? I dont think so. Can you hire another artist to duplicate the painting you purchased for a large amount of money then sell the copies, again I dont think so, that is if you are a law abiding person as I do beleive the original artist retains that right, well unless you purchased it from them I would imagine.

    Let us now take the example or say, U2 or Cold Play. These are artists who create a of work of art, in this case its music. They are willing to sell you a copy, for your individual and personal use only, to enjoy their particular art form. Now most people are quite content with that, but there seem to be some people who believe they have the right to then give that to anyone they want to, en mass! I don't think any reasonable person would think that was ok.

    So here is my proposal to solve this problem. I know that everyone wants to be able to do is play content, that they have purchased, on any device that they own. I think that a form of PGP is the answer.

    Everyone knows that in PGP you have a public and private key. Lets just take this one step further. The private key comes with the content. The public key is something you make up. The part that I think makes this work, is that each device, iPod, Zune, Your car radio, your whatever player all have a unique key of their own. That key gets mashed with your key and creates your personal key, for that device. You buy another device and you create another key for that device. At your computer or whatnot you can either have it read form the device electronicaly ( device is in the cradle ) or you can manualy type it in if the key comes from say your car stereo.

    Whatever system you use to purchase digital content with, be it iTunes or whatever knows the Private Key and your Personal Key, but not the key from the iPod, Zune, Phone, whatever. The Private & Personal keys get embeded into the particular bit of music, video, book on tape, etc. Now all of your content will play on all of your devices, but not someone elses. This will effectively stop the theft of art.

    Let us now address the problem of your current CD library. If you put a CD into your computer, iTunes will read it all in and let you pop it into your iPod, but then it is not protected. It would seem to me, and I am no crypto-geek that it would be fairly straight forward to create a private key for these as they are ripped and then tag them to all your devices, thereby stopping the theft that the industry and the artists are complaining aobut.

    I think someone could creaet a simple ASIC that would generate the Personal Key and decode the content. All any individual manufacturer would have to do is put it into the device and let it handle the content. Now this leaves us in the position of having no unprotected content, but I think that is reasonable since its ALL your purchased and licensed content and YOU can use it on any device YOU own.

    And now for the part that no one wants to hear, the anwer to the question, "But I want to give my buddy a copy!" Well you cant, because that is theft, you are stealing from the artist, you are stealing from the record company, you just flat out being a thief.

    I am not saying that record companies are poor and starving, I am not saying the U2 or Cold play are poor and starving, but at what point do you decide theft is OK? What if my definition includes its ok for me to decide that because you make > 100K a year then its OK for me to steal your car? Steal your cumputer? Steal your money?

    Don't try to justify your being a thief with degree, because at that point our society will unravel and it will at some point be just fine for me to decide that because you look a certain way, its OK for me to whip out my Glock and just blow your ass away.

Re:But how do you prevent theft? You don't... (1)

wardred (602136) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965494)

How do you prevent theft? You don't...

      I respect artists. I don't personally trade music, though I know how easy it is to do. As far as sculpture or paintings are concerned it's almost impossible to get an exact copy, but copies of both have been made in many ways. Prints of paintings, and replicas, including full size to scale replicas of sculptures have been done.
      Unfortunately, with music and movies, I believe DRM - digital restrictions mechanisms - are at least as much about control of the market as they are about keeping me from giving a copy of that Spears CD to a friend. And all the expenses associated with that need for control are not paid by the organizations that want the lock downs, it's paid by their customers.
      I find it repellent that in the upcoming publisher's utopia that I won't be able to record even pay per view venues, such as sports, should they decide that they don't want me to. That if I purchase a piece of music in whatever format that I can't play it on whichever of my devices that I choose. That if I was an early adopter of HDTV that I won't be able to watch a vast quantity of HD content because my set doesn't have the appropriate (*$$#)*@ connector that encrypts the signal all the way to internals of the TV set itself.
      I find it ironic that if I want a CLEAN, easily portable source for my entertainment, I have to break any number of laws to get it, instead of simply purchasing a DVD with no encryption on it. Everything I've mentioned was legal with fair use, but now with the DMCA it's the manufacturers and publishers that determine what devices and how many times I may listen to content that I've legally purchased. It's the publishers that are putting out broken, bug ridden - look at non redbook CDs that won't play in many CDPlayers - inferior products than the pirates are. The "content" industries are pushing some of their best customers to "piracy" and other illegal acts because, though the content they're releasing may be compelling, all the restrictions around the content, the trouble that it causes - like the Sony root kit fiasco, the price fixing that they were convicted of, is much less compelling than a clean version of their product one can download from the internet. If they'd simply release the products in an enencumberred format, and possibly reduce the price of the content - something they promissed they'd do a long time ago, then they may find that they have more loyal customers. The contempt that they breed when we see their unbridled greed and grab for power makes us much less guilty when we steal from the mouths of the billionaires.
      So, I go the route not many people talk about. I don't purchase music or movies from the companies I don't agree with, and I don't pirate it either. I do without. I do find it a little unsettling that more people aren't willing to go this route. For better or worse, it's not our god given right to listen to whatever we want to, whenever we want to, weather we have the money to purchase the products or not. If enough people would do this, vocally, then maybe the media companies would cave in to consumer demand. The trick, of course, is to overcome personal greed, and to find some way to educate "joe average" about the slow eroding of his rights to do with the products he purchased as he wishes. And the media companies know that it has to be slow, so that we accept the next level of restrictions before tightening things down even further.
      I'm not saying I'm a saint. Sometimes I do go out to the movies. I have downloaded content I don't own before, though not much, and I made a decision quite some time ago not to do it, but I think a little personal integrity can go a long way, if we're willing to excercise it. If the media companies really aren't putting out any content you wish to hear, if you really object to the restrictions they're requiring us to endure, then simply don't purchase from them. Or, worst case, purchase used.

Re:But how do you prevent theft? (1)

mav.rc (227519) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965610)

But the problem with this is that DRM - or what Mr. Chiariglione reminds us is protection, not management - restricts the user's freedom to do what they want with the media they purchase. It doesn't seem to me like this is balance, but instead intrusion on rights that people had previously. These are new restrictions, imposed on us for no reason other than the technology exists to do so.

My question to you would be, who handles this key embedding? Some centralized authority? Media distributors? How many players can I get keys for? I've got an xbox, four computers, two portable players and a smartphone. Is that too many? When will I have to pay for more licenses? If my Internet connection goes down, and I'm trying to move a piece of media from my computer to my portable media player, can I do that, or will it reject this move based on the fact that it cannot authenticate the new device and generate an appropriate key for it? What if I go to a hostile environment in which Internet access is a rarity? And then my computer dies, and I have to move my media from one system to another - will it play? How about open-source operating systems? So far, the media companies have simply rejected open-source OSs out of hand because the market isn't substantial enough, but if you really, truly want to play media everywhere you're going to have to let us Linux geeks play it too.

And what happens in ten or twenty years when the authentication servers for this media are shut down in favor of a new type of media? The media I licensed legally - without any sort of time constraint - is now useless. In other words, the content industry bricked my media in favor of an alternative format, which I conveniently have to purchase again. Repeat, ad infinitum.

A far better example of DRM in real life is Windows XP product activation and/or Windows Genuine Advantage. As a tech support minion, I spend far too much of my time hassling with these things, because they break often, even though most people consider them to be "unintrusive." Microsoft is almost no help whatsoever in these circumstances, since their answer is often "reinstall." Why should I ask my clients to tear up their systems because this crappy DRM system fails to work? It's pure insanity, but we've basically accepted it as the norm because Microsoft owns the enterprise space.

DRM makes everyone's life harder, and all current forms of DRMed media distribution are stunningly expensive. Ten bucks for an album from iTunes isn't much of a price break from just going to Best Buy and buying it on sale. Wal-Mart's new movie store is shockingly expensive. The thing that really pisses me off is that no major media company has even bothered to try the alternative : distributing media in open formats at reasonable prices, and providing a fast link on which to download them. Frankly, if I could buy a DVD on Amazon for ten bucks, or download it as an h.264-encoded MKV, I'd download it. Moreso if it only cost $7.50.

To summarize:

  • I shouldn't have to give up my rights to use media anywhere I want to ensure the author's right to get paid.
  • I shouldn't have to give up my right to control how long I use my media to ensure the author's right to get paid.
  • No DRM (protection) scheme currently exists in which the user can be assured that their rights to use media as they wish, for as long as they wish, will ever be violated.
  • It is likely that no DRM (protection) scheme that does these things can ever exist.
  • It is highly unlikely that every person who has downloaded media illegally would purchase it even if they were so restricted, therefore increased DRM does not directly relate to increased profit.
  • No large media organizations have ever tried distributing unprotected media at low cost, so no fair comparisons between DRMed media and non-DRMed media can be made.

Moreover, if I copy something you made, that neither deprives you of your original content nor your life, so making comparisons to direct theft or even murder is ludicrous.

DRM=cost centre for Apple, profit centre for MSFT (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17965608)

DRM costs Apple money to implement and update whenever it is cracked. Apple has make their best effort to update the DRM scheme because it is part of their contract with the labels. Apple would save money if they did not have to use DRM and they would not have to update iTunes so often. It is often forgotten that many iPods were purchased long before iTMS was available in a particular market. Many also forget that many people own iPod but purchase little or no music from iTMS.

MSFT earns revenue from DRM through licensing fees and royalties from Playsforsure device manufacturers and music stores. MSFT has also implemented the Protected Media Path within Vista which will disable or degrade the performance of hardware which does not implement features to enforce DRM protections.

The WMA DRM has the added benefit of a platform lock in for the windows OS.

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