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[P]
The Future Is Locked

By verifex in Technology
Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 01:00:28 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

New media formats such as HD-DVD and Blu-ray promise large capacities of space, at a cost. These new discs will be locked down using one method that dynamically updates the encryption system being used in your player. How this is implemented is still up in the air, but you can bet it is going to lean strongly on the side of protecting the contents of the disc at any cost. New audio CDs have special copy protections that make ripping tracks very difficult if not impossible. The broadcast flag was almost implemented this year, which would have restricted what you could and couldn't do with your TV. Some new software comes encrypted and crippled unless it calls home to the developer. We also have pictures with blaring watermarks obscuring the image yet informing the viewer of where the image came from. And finally, there are the laws making it illegal to tinker with these content restriction systems.


Problem

I wish I could say that all these advances in content restriction were in the interests of the content creators. They should have every right to protect their works from illegal distribution, right? From a simplistic stand point, the obvious answer is yes. In the short term, locking data down makes sense as it means only those who pay the creator for their work will have copies of it. However, there is a serious price we will pay for locking all of our artistic works on special media.

The long term effects are not so obvious. Since the protected data is effectively bound forever to its current state, evolving technologies and changing times will mean that content cannot be transferred. It will be forever trapped on a old and deteriorating medium (hopefully media players will still exist). Depending on the security system used, that "content" might also be permanently lost, if it depends on contacting the original author for the content to exist.

I would like to point out something to those who say, "Why complain about copy protection, just buy from an independant artist that doesn't use copy protection." That argument is very old, and filled with flaws. Let me point them out here:
  • All artists are not equal, just because an artist is independant from evil media companies doesn't mean that their work is something worth while.
  • Just because an artist is independant doesn't mean they will always be. Artists are people too, and like people, sometimes they like having a nice consistant flow of money. This money can be gained by signing contracts from large record labels, publishing houses, or a multitude of other major media distribution conglomerates.
  • Largely depending on circumstances, independant artists can decide to start copy protecting their work as well, if they find out that they can make a good source of income from it.
  • If you are looking for an independant artist that makes something you really want, chances are very good that you will have a hard time finding all the artists doing something you like unless you are very dilligent and have oodles of free time to research unknown artists.
  • "That song is stuck in my head" can only be cured so many ways.
Companies are the primary beneficiaries of content creators today. They have only one thing in mind when they invest their money in creating content, to make money. To build artificial interdependencies between the content existing and the creator existing, requires that both must exist, eternally. Nobody has created a elixer of life, yet, but chances are if they had, it would be locked down too. Of course most content creators work for big companies, and since companies can last pretty much forever, you get the Sonny Bono effect.

Companies help finance and create all major creative works now-a-days. It is possible for a creation bound to this strict system of dependencies to be lost forever or forgotten very easily after its financially viable life has ended. Companies still do not have any compelling reason to release their content to the public for free, unless: "as publicity for a forthcoming sequel or compilation release" [wiki]. For every item released for free, there are atleast 10,000 that are not.

Examples of Problem

What these kinds of dependencies create in our society is a library of echos, things that once existed, but now are lost. Things locked in a closet somewhere never to see the light of day again. And the worst part, we won't know what we are missing. Just imagine now, if you will, if the content locking mechanisms now being proposed and implemented in our time existed much earlier in history. Just imagine.
  • We would have never seen many of Da Vinci's works if he had access to technology that imposed expiration dates on his writings. We know he used encryption in his work, so just allow yourself jump a step further.
  • If Picasso or Matisse had websites selling their art these days, what would happen if their server crashed, or their company went under. Would we only have lame copies of "Weeping Woman I" emblazoned with VISIT PABLOPICASSO.COM in big bold letters in the middle of the painting?
  • Mozart's works would only be available on special players that could unencrypt the special media he used, nevermind the fact that countless budding musicans would be left out of performing his works because the media conglomorate who owns his works wanted too much money from the school.
  • Remember Heroes of Might and Magic? The company that made it was called New World Computing, this company was absorbed by 3DO, then 3DO went bankrupt, and closed its doors. Now the company no longer exists. Just imagine if, in order to install Heroes of Might and Magic you needed to contact the developer first. You would have useless media on your hand. As it is now, HOMM only exists in bargain bins and warez circles.
  • Had popular artist Metallica released all their music in a propeitary copy protected format early on in their career, you better believe a good part of all the metal heads from the 80s would have never existed.

Conclusion

Anyways, my point is, reasonable copy-protection is not under attack here. I'm just irked that because a handful of companies control the spigot of creative expression they can force everyone to do whatever they want in the name of profit. Creative works are often times shared experiences that vary from person to person, and does not always fit into the business realm of "give me this for that" mentality. Creative work should not be treated as though it is a hamburger. People that create "content" can be rewarded for their efforts without putting themselves between us and the things that they create.

A system that works best for recording and tracking each and every individual transfer of creative work will serve to diminish that work. A system that works to give that creative work to its audience in its purest form, without restrictions will both reward the audience and the creator (though the artist will not be nearly as financially supported by his work). Art, music, software, and other forms of creative expression contribute something to our society that transcends money, companies, and even the technology it was created with.

These things should not be categorized simply as "content" and locked down forever. It dooms our future to never see the inspirations that drove us as people. It also lessens our societies ability to build-upon-that-which-we-already-know. We may be reduced to repeating things that we have already accomplished. Last, and definitely not least, future generations will have first hand knowledge of our profit-comes-first nature. I hardly think many people would like that to be the legacy they are remembered for.

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Poll
New Media Options
o DVD, all the way! 6%
o HD-DVD, it will be here soon! 1%
o Blu-ray, PS3 baby! 5%
o Holographic Versatile Disc, 3.9 terabytes!?! 13%
o I still have hundreds of CD-Rs, so shut up. 11%
o I just use one CD-RW/DVD-RW for all my media needs. 5%
o USB Memory Stick! 6%
o I'm waiting for 100GB solid state portable media. 15%
o I just buy new HDs when I run out of space. 33%

Votes: 59
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o HD-DVD
o Blu-ray
o protecting
o special copy protections
o broadcast flag
o developer
o laws
o deteriorat ing
o media
o players
o Sonny Bono
o wiki
o free
o 10,000
o Weeping Woman I
o companies
o Also by verifex


Display: Sort:
The Future Is Locked | 91 comments (84 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
-1 (1.16 / 12) (#2)
by I Mod Everything Up But Kitten on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 07:25:07 AM EST

hasn't this been in the queue for about a week?

Editing (2.25 / 4) (#3)
by verifex on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 07:32:45 AM EST

No, I posted it friday, and then got plenty of comments to tidy it up a bit and put more in it. Since it got moved into Voting, I pulled it out, and edited it, and now I'm resubmitting it. Sorry for the confusion. ;)

[ Parent ]
It is my opinion (2.50 / 8) (#4)
by Kurosawa Nagaya on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 08:22:12 AM EST

That with every new technological restriction, someone, somewhere, will inevitably find a way to either break it, or comprimise it.

This extends to all things that are put foreward as: Security Measures...

The reason for this is simple: we're all full of shit ~ circletimessquare

Simply increases perceived value! (none / 1) (#35)
by pornosheep on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 03:42:05 PM EST


That with every new technological restriction, someone, somewhere, will inevitably find a way to either break it, or comprimise it.

This is frequently quoted. It has been repeated with any system I'd care to remember, from "locked" games for the Amstrad 6128 to HL2 and OSX x86.

Copy protection is not an absolute measure. Rather, it creates a bothersome sitution where the perceived value of "locked" goods increases because they are very hard to copy. As an example, instead of spending 3 days to download a full game and play it with a crack (potentially catching some viruses on the way) many people are willing to spend $50. If the game was readily available to burn without crackz and copy protection most people would only consider buying it for much less.

On the other hand, however, these bothersome measures will only be tolerated when there is no alternative. Why bother with Super Audio CD or Blu-Ray, when most people are perfectly happy with CDs and DVDs?


[ Parent ]

Copy protection lowers value (2.33 / 3) (#50)
by zakalwe on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 05:12:17 AM EST

Rather, it creates a bothersome sitution where the perceived value of "locked" goods increases because they are very hard to copy.

Actually, copy protection ends up lowering the value of goods. It doesn't reduce the availability of pirated goods (since it only takes one person to crack it, after which they can distribute as many copies as they like) so all that ends up happening is that the non-pirated good ends up being less useful to honest users.

The choice for a user who wants a music CD is to either buy it or obtain a pirated version. The only difference copy protection makes is to make the legal version inferior to the pirated version - it doesn't support features like being able to burn a CD for the car, make backups, rip mp3s etc. The only effect this can have is to cause more people to choose the pirated version, and hence reduce the value of the legal one. The only copy protection that would work is one that stops any copy being made - which has never been acheived in the history of copy protection.

[ Parent ]
Really? (none / 1) (#40)
by Ken Arromdee on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 04:34:54 PM EST

That with every new technological restriction, someone, somewhere, will inevitably find a way to either break it, or comprimise it.

Remind me when someone found a way to decrypt Divx disks (the Circuit City one, not the more recent video codec).

[ Parent ]

I didn't say they did (1.50 / 2) (#44)
by Kurosawa Nagaya on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 06:51:35 PM EST

However, I did imply that there will always be some nut who finds a way.

There is some hardass incryption systems out there, and there is also some geek in a basement apartment somewhere who has devoted himself to finding a way.

The reason for this is simple: we're all full of shit ~ circletimessquare
[ Parent ]

DiVX discs were never encrypted.... (none / 1) (#48)
by ckm on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 03:00:30 AM EST

They were instead designed to deteriorate after opening.   The way this was done is that one of the layers would oxidize when exposed to air, thus rendering the disc useless after a period of time...

Otherwise they were plain DVDs, which were cracked by DVD-John in Norway.

Chris.

[ Parent ]

Bad form - replying to your own comment... (none / 1) (#49)
by ckm on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 03:04:30 AM EST

My mistake, I was thinking of the wrong stupid technology.  Given enough time, I'm sure the DiVX disks would have been cracked.  But it was not nesseccary as most of the content was available in other media.

The key here is not the disks themselves, but the players, and, as long as we have hackable hardware, that becomes a moot point (just look at xbox & ps2 hacks).

Chris.

[ Parent ]

Copy Protection is great! (2.71 / 7) (#5)
by TripMaster Monkey on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 09:34:03 AM EST

...because it puts people like me in demand.

Let's face it, most of the readers here are tech-savvy enough to bypass most, if not all, forms of copy protection. These measures don't hurt us...they hurt Joe Six-pack down the road. That's when Joe picks up the phone and calls you or me.

Every type of prohibition just creates another underground.


__________

|rip/\/\aster /\/\onkey

What is your phone number? (3.00 / 3) (#6)
by BerntB on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 10:56:17 AM EST

Since you obviously enjoy using your free time helping friends and relatives with tech support, you can do it for my friends and relatives too.

[ Parent ]
The Content Providers (3.00 / 4) (#7)
by verifex on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 01:39:22 PM EST

Unfortunately, even you or I, who does have the will to break and defeat any and all copy protections faces a dilemma with copy-protection schemes that phone home in order for the content to exist (e.g. Half Life 2). In which cases you HAVE to find a pre-hacked copy available online somewhere in order to have a backup of it.

If you take the idea of Steam, and apply it to much more things, it suddenly puts great pressure on the hacker community to put great effort into recreating the content without protection. This may not have been a big deal with one big name game, but just imagine if lots and lots of media was built like that. There would be not enough hackers to handle it all.

Content creators are to do the content creating, hand it off to someone to copy-protect it. Once its in the public, someone cracks it, and the cycle is broken again. This cycle becomes much more complicated when the content creator and the copy protector is involved in each and every existence of the content. Suddenly, hackers are faced with re-creating each and every piece of content from scratch in order to remove henious copy protection. Something which I think is unreasonable.

[ Parent ]
phone-home schemes (3.00 / 2) (#56)
by hummassa on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 08:28:51 AM EST

are breakable too... just put someone down the line faking to be "home". Packet sniffers, man-in-the-middle attacks, etc... it's not like it's hard.

[ Parent ]
nonsense. (2.60 / 5) (#8)
by garlic on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 02:41:29 PM EST

Those locking the media still have keys to the media. If some new form comes along, they'll happily unlock the media on the old format and port it to the new format.

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.

You forget... (3.00 / 5) (#9)
by verifex on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 03:35:36 PM EST

Whether or not the old media gets unlocked and ported over to new media is dependent entirely upon its financial viability.

[ Parent ]
not quite (3.00 / 2) (#11)
by blue tiger on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 05:05:16 PM EST

it depends on the willingness of the owners to publicly release the keys if/when they go bust.

[ Parent ]
not necessarily (none / 1) (#23)
by garlic on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 09:43:16 AM EST

Going bust, as in bankrupt, means that ALL assets of the company get used to pay of their debts. So someone still owns the rights. If an individual owns the rights, and still chooses not to release it publically, that's their call. If their heirs choose to do the same, still their call. This ownership doesn't magically disapear.

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

right... (none / 1) (#22)
by garlic on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 09:40:49 AM EST

if people want it, the owners will port it. If noone wants it, it'll get tossed into the trashbin of history, just like everything else people don't want.


HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

Ha, ha, ha... (none / 1) (#57)
by hummassa on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 08:33:43 AM EST

"Those locking the media still have keys to the media." Newsflash for you: businesses go belly-up, those keys can be lost forever.

"If some new form comes along, they'll happily unlock the media on the old format and port it to the new format." This is even more naïve. Why? If the new format is not copy-protected, they won't have the motivation; if it is, they'll just make you buy the new media with the old content, paying integral price (Star Wars collections come to mind... the count up to now is 4? 5? all with little difference between them). Try to get any discount on a DVD you previously owned the VHS copy.

"Should we throw another human wave of structural engineers at stabilizing the Leaning Tower of Pisa, or should we just let the damn thing fall over and build a tower that doesn't suck?" Oh, yes, let's throw away all the information in the Tower we did not understand fully yet. It's just a detail that the damn thing survived, leaning, for 500 years. Sorry, I could not resist.

[ Parent ]

not quite (none / 1) (#59)
by garlic on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 10:42:06 AM EST

belly up businesses sell their assets, which includes their rights and keys to any media.

If you want the new format, you can certainly buy it. I didn't say they were going to give it away, and nothing says they should. Records to Tape to CDs are basically freely copiable either way, but that doesn't stop people from buying the new media when it comes out.


HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

-1 (2.00 / 4) (#10)
by Fyren on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 04:25:26 PM EST

Still doesn't link "difficult if not impossible" to an image of a CD with a Post-It note stuck to it or a line drawn on it with a magic marker.

Eh... (2.90 / 10) (#12)
by Jack Johnson on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 05:09:08 PM EST

I'm not too concerned about the mainstream (music, movie) applications of these controlled formats.

Honestly, I think they're going to fail and in the event that they don't, I'm confident I can live without the entertainment content they're protecting.

It's my choice.

What really concerns me are applications where I don't have a (realistic) choice.

For example, college textbooks delivered in an expiring, copy-protected digital format.

I could very easily be required to pay whatever the textbook vendor wants to charge for a single semester rental of class materials which are *required* in order to register or recieve credit for the course.

I wonder if these content companies will ever "get it". Content doesn't have to be free but as formats change and the freedoms we are accustomed to are taken away some compromise should be made.

A self-destructing, copy-protected, hardware locked CD that costs a fraction of a cent to duplicate simply is not the same as a universally readable, tradable, copyable, pull-off-the-shelf-in-50-years hardbook book which often costs several dollars to print and even more to pack and ship.

Therefore, they should *not* cost nearly the same amount to the end-user. I wouldn't have nearly the same problem with spending $0.90 on an expiring, copy-protected digital textbook as I do the $90.00 that content producers are sure to charge.

The real value of electronic textbooks (3.00 / 2) (#31)
by Samrobb on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 02:40:55 PM EST

Therefore, they should *not* cost nearly the same amount to the end-user. I wouldn't have nearly the same problem with spending $0.90 on an expiring, copy-protected digital textbook as I do the $90.00 that content producers are sure to charge.

Good point - I had never thought of it this way, and I'm sure that very few content providers do, either. It seems like, to them, something is worth $X, period. What's annoying is that they seem to understand this principle going the other way... you pay as much to see a first-run movies as you do to buy the DVD 2 years down the road, for example.

Let's think about this from a utility point of view. Say you pay $100 for a new textbook and use it for a semester. WHen the class is over, you then resell the used textbook for $75. You've effectively paid $25 to rent that book for the semester; it has a high utility value to you while you're actually taking the class.

Now, you might decide to hold on to that book for another 5 years... in my experience, that's about the useful life of an undergraduate textbook (after 5 years, you're either well past the point where it's a useful resource, or you've completely forgotten anything you've learned from it :-) In this case, you're effectively bypassing that $75 resale on the book to keep it for another 5 years, or a cost of $15/year spread out over the 5 year period.

So for an electronic copy of the textbook, a reasonably schedule of fees might look like:

  • 25% of the cost of a hardcopy book for a DRM copy that expires in 6 months.
  • A 15% increase in cost for each additional year of life added to the DRM copy, up to a maximum of 5 years.
  • Full price for a hard-copy of the same book, or for an non-time-limited DRM electronic copy.

There's another way to look at this, and I wonder how long it will take us to get there... right now, publishers think that an electronic copy of a book is worth $X, because a hardcopy of the book is worth $X. At some point, I think the perception of electronic/hardcopy will change, and people will start expecting electronic copies to be made available as the norm. At this point, buyers will start to see a physical book as a premium that they are willing to pay for. I think that state of affairs already exists is some small way. I've browsed some techincal books online, and decided to make an investment in a hardcopy of the books for one reason or another. THe only question is whether or not this can (or will) eventually become a mainstream phenomenon.


"Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment." Job 32:9
[ Parent ]
Good luck reselling a textbook for 75% return. /nt (3.00 / 2) (#32)
by Ignore Amos on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 03:08:29 PM EST


And that explains why airplanes carry cargo on small boats floating in their cargo aquarium. - jmzero
[ Parent ]

Ok, I'll admit... (none / 1) (#34)
by Samrobb on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 03:34:32 PM EST

... I was perhaps being a bit optimistic :-) I was also considering a private sale between two individuals, where you're more likely to get a decent return on your investment, instead of a resale through a typical college bookstore return program.


"Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment." Job 32:9
[ Parent ]
In college, I was pretty careful with my TBs... (none / 1) (#54)
by hummassa on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 08:22:11 AM EST

I covered them in plastic, labeled the plastic cover, never scratched them or written anything on the book (that's what notebooks are for), and I usually sold them at 80% cover price at the beginning of the new semester (they were as new) -- it was high-inflation (2-5% per month) time down here, and this usually meant a nominal break-even or profit. My copy of Sedgewick is still in mint condition, 16 years later (I got a hardcover copy in my 19th birthday, and I did not resell it).

[ Parent ]
Electronic vs. hardcopy (none / 1) (#80)
by Yume no Hikari on Sat Aug 20, 2005 at 03:48:06 PM EST

At some point, I think the perception of electronic/hardcopy will change, and people will start expecting electronic copies to be made available as the norm.

Copying constraints or lack thereof aside, I sincerely hope reader technology improves considerably by then. Even at 27, my eyes get to hurting after reading a screen (tube or LCD, doesn't seem to matter) for a few hours; I can still read a book for much longer periods.



[ Parent ]
I never had this problem (none / 0) (#84)
by hummassa on Sat Aug 20, 2005 at 07:32:54 PM EST

I am a public employee, and I had to pass a rather difficult test to get my job (500 candidates, 5 openings, I was #3). And I studied all of the test's subjects (civil law, constitutional law, legislative process, administrative law) off a Palm III's screen -- translated all texts and codelaw into HTML and plucker'ed them: autoscroll was my friend.

[ Parent ]
Hmm (2.90 / 10) (#13)
by nailgun on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 05:17:32 PM EST

So in 500 years or so we've gone from Da Vinci through Mozart, Picasso, and Matisse and ended up with "Heroes of Might and Magic" and that flowering of human intellectual endeavor that was the metal scene of the '80s?

At this rate I'm in favor of locking down all "content" permanently. Any chance of eradicating emo?

One for you too (none / 1) (#14)
by verifex on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 05:27:15 PM EST

Great cynics of the world unite, theres a special storage medium for you too: Ta DA!

[ Parent ]
Freedom works (2.83 / 6) (#15)
by Eight Star on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 06:32:36 PM EST

I say let people put whatever copyright protection they want on their media, the market will sort it out. In fact in some scenarios, I would support legally protecting copy-controls, for the purpose of keeping private data private.
However, we should Abolish Copyright altogether.


With the arrival of transhumanism (1.44 / 9) (#16)
by V on Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 07:04:24 PM EST

that is a moot point.

---
What my fans are saying:
"That, and the fact that V is a total, utter scumbag." VZAMaZ.
"well look up little troll" cts.
"I think you're a worthless little cuntmonkey but you made me lol, so I sigged you." re
"goodness gracious you're an idiot" mariahkillschickens
Transhumans will not want media. (3.00 / 3) (#17)
by vhold on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 12:07:35 AM EST

Transhumans will transcend the desire to consume prerecorded forms of media.  

They will be living in a materialized 'video' (video used for metaphorical purposes only) game the likes of which will make your medulla oblongata extend into a metaphysical space from which there are more ways to return then enter, but you wouldn't, because transhumanism rocks you like a hurricane.

But seriously..  these issues are created by the early stages of transhumanism.  By extending our habitat into these interconnected digital spaces, we enter realms where more sophisticated and comprehensive forms of control are made possible.

[ Parent ]

You raise many good points (2.80 / 5) (#21)
by stuaart on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 08:12:15 AM EST

Although your outlook is pessimistic, the points you raise are important. Ownership over another's work is a thorny issue. Companies increasingly desire to move away from `unit ownership,' meaning a unit is yours to do with as you please within reasonable use (e.g., play your CD as many times as you like). The move towards a licensing model is the target, partly thanks to the vast increase in digital technologies that render such `unit ownership' as obselete. Licensing means `pay-per-play' and thus massively reduced freedom.

I personally believe that any copy-protection will ultimately fail and people will always find ways around it, however this is not a valid argument for a laissez faire attitude. Increasingly facist copy-protection just makes life harder for everyone.

Marx would have had a field day with our modern media consumption.

Linkwhore: [Hidden stories.] Baldrtainment: Corporate concubines and Baldrson: An Introspective


You contradict yourself (none / 1) (#24)
by phraggle on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 10:05:42 AM EST

Had popular artist Metallica released all their music in a propeitary(sic) copy protected format early on in their career, you better believe a good part of all the metal heads from the 80s would have never existed.
Well, you've convinced me. If supporting copy protection will do the same to supporters of current popular music, I'm all for it!

Encroachment (none / 1) (#29)
by verifex on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 02:01:29 PM EST

Supporting draconian copy protection schemes only serves to encroach more and more on our fair use. It is a slippery slope. Media companies only exist to serve as middle-men between the people making the content and those who want the content. So you better believe they will keep looking for new ways to restrict our fair use rights until we have little or none.

[ Parent ]
Time bias? (none / 1) (#26)
by K1DA on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 11:32:50 AM EST

The long term effects are not so obvious. Since the protected data is effectively bound forever to its current state, evolving technologies and changing times will mean that content cannot be transferred. It will be forever trapped on a old and deteriorating medium (hopefully media players will still exist). Depending on the security system used, that "content" might also be permanently lost, if it depends on contacting the original author for the content to exist.
It does potentially alter the inherent time-biases in such forms of media... An interesting point.


Everything in it's right place...
Even if your conclusion is correct. (2.80 / 5) (#30)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 02:38:11 PM EST

What are you suggesting we do?

Laws won't prevent this.
Activisim won't prevent this.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.

Sorry, but... (none / 1) (#55)
by hummassa on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 08:26:10 AM EST

You are wrong in both counts.
Laws (especially consumer protection laws) prevent lockdown.
Activism (not buying DRM-encumbered media, and boycotts in general) also work, enhancing consumer awareness, lobbying for consumer protection laws, and driving demand down.
If the non-encumbered Star Trek XV sells waay better than Spider-man VI, the movie execs will take notice.

[ Parent ]
So what (2.50 / 4) (#33)
by kotnik on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 03:12:20 PM EST

Well, they've tried to scare us like this so many times... We've always cracked the thing. It's the same deal now.

I don't think so! (3.00 / 2) (#36)
by Mousky on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 03:54:25 PM EST

"New audio CDs have special copy protections that make ripping tracks very difficult if not impossible."

Hmmm, just bought an audio CD with copy protection and it was relatively easy to find and apply the fix to circumvent the copy protection.

Who cares? (3.00 / 3) (#37)
by brocktice on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 04:06:01 PM EST

I used to get all worked up about this, and in principle I agree that it's a problem. However, as someone else has pointed out, it's not worth it to me. The people putting out the really interesting media don't use much (or any, really) copy protection, and their stuff is usually freely distributable anyway. If the "Big Media" companies want to lock everything down till hell freezes over, want to limit my fair use of their product, that's fine. I'll vote with my money. That's what I've been doing for the last 2 or 3 years, and I feel that my experience is all the better for it.
To believe with certainty we must begin with doubting. - Stanislaus I
Lots of errors, starting up in your intro (3.00 / 3) (#38)
by hummassa on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 04:27:58 PM EST

"New media formats such as HD-DVD and Blu-ray promise large capacities of space, at a cost. These new discs will be locked down using one method that dynamically updates the encryption system being used in your player. How this is implemented is still up in the air, but you can bet it is going to lean strongly on the side of protecting the contents of the disc at any cost."

DRM just plain does not work. The only thing DRM does is to disallow papa Joe from copying his files... until a $5 gizmo unlocking them is available in the market (even in the black market).

Why? Because DRM is encryption. And in the case of DRM, Bob and Eve are the same person!! You just want to access files you have the right to access.

"New audio CDs have special copy protections that make ripping tracks very difficult if not impossible."

NO audio CD protection scheme works.
Most of them only need a black Sharpie marker pen  or the pressing of the Shift key (if you use Windows in your computer)... NO protected audio CDs that circulated in the Brazilian market to the present day were uncopiable in a Linux machine.

"The broadcast flag was almost implemented this year, which would have restricted what you could and couldn't do with your TV."

USofAn crazy legislation. Talk to your representative in Congress. Move your ass.

"Some new software comes encrypted and crippled unless it calls home to the developer."

Buy and support Free Software, and none of this will happen.

"We also have pictures with blaring watermarks obscuring the image yet informing the viewer of where the image came from."

Get your images elsewhere.

"And finally, there are the laws making it illegal to tinker with these content restriction systems."

Only in the USofA and other crazy legislatures (Australia comes to mind). Do something, if you live there.

--

"All artists are not equal, just because an artist is independant from evil media companies doesn't mean that their work is something worth while."

No, but the fact that an artist is dependent on evil media companies gives me almost 100% confidence that its work is pasteurized and formatted to fit... and, it's never good. Come on, Britney Spears?!?!

"Just because an artist is independant doesn't mean they will always be. Artists are people too, and like people, sometimes they like having a nice consistant flow of money. This money can be gained by signing contracts from large record labels, publishing houses, or a multitude of other major media distribution conglomerates."

Or this money can be gained by people supporting their preferred independent artists, too. It's just a question of culture.

--

That would be all for now.
HTH

It's here, and it's queer. (none / 1) (#43)
by verifex on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 06:10:39 PM EST

I'm not sure why things you quoted are "errors" I was simply stating the facts. I don't agree with DRM as much as the next guy, but we are dealing with an unreasonable force here, DRM is here, and I don't think it is going anywhere. To simply discredit any and all DRM is dangerous, because these companies are throwing real money into developing systems to prevent copying of media. We have been very lucky that none of these companies has come up with a full-proof system yet. As a programmer, I do believe that a full-proof DRM system could be developed. Rather then dismiss DRM as a whack-job endeavor to lock down the entire world (which I agree that it is), we should get involved with how these companies are doing it, so we can ensure it never reaches the level of extreme lockdown. I'm not sure how to do this, I'm not a lawyer or a businessman myself. If us techies ignore it for long enough, we run the chance of one of these media companies getting lucky and finding that perfect DRM solution that involves multiple technologies and effectively locks our media down forever. As technology and media companies are getting together and working with each other more and more, we are running out of time to do something. Technology companies used to be the "check" put on media companies. We can only hope that the uninformed market decides to adopt any of these crazy schemes.

[ Parent ]
The most fundamental error in your reasoning: (none / 1) (#53)
by hummassa on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 08:02:07 AM EST

DRM is mathematically impossible.
There is no DRM, mathematically. And this I classified your toughts as "errors". They all assumed DRM exists, and is possible.

You said it yourself: "As a programmer, I do believe that a full-proof DRM system could be developed." You may be a good programmer, but this is just plain wrong. The only DRM system that could work is one where the bits didn't leave the media... ie, a music you don't listen to, a book you don't read, a film you don't watch. When the bits leave the media, for your listening/reading/viewing pleasure, they are fair game. Do you know how they broke the protection scheme in the XBox? They soldered a data analyser down in the data paths of the board. How to prevent this? Put explosives in the casing, and fake electronics a la "battlefield: earth"? Or crazy legislation like "you can buy an X-box but if you open the case we will imprision you for 8 years"?

That was a great deal of my point.
Other point of mine was: no one likes to switch medias all the time. CDs are around since 1980 and took (here in Brasil at least) until 1995 till everyone in my family had one (and at the time I still had a cassete player in my car)... I took 20 years to LPs to be phased out.
There is NO possible way to protect CDs and DVDs (that keeps the media being definable as CDs and DVDs and playable in old hardware players). And even DVD-HDs and Blu-ray disks will just start a heads race with crackers. Uh? Batman X needs the new key to run? Let's reverse engineer / packet sniff the network connection used to get it. Uh? In the USofA this is a crime? But in Russia, Iran, Brasil, it's not. And the Internet know no boundaries. Seriously, for every scheme the key will be in the Net hours after it's released for "lawful uses".

That is, in the end, DRM is a case for consumer protection. Which, incidentally, is how we counteract it here in Brasil: we do have a strong Consumer Protection Act. Every time I buy a "broken" CD, I lodge a complaint in the PROCON (our Consumer Protection Board), explaining Why it's not a CD (throw the Red Book at them), and requiring: (1) my money back, (2) damages, (3) that the stores mark this clearly as a non-standard CD and (4) fines if it delays #3 too much. And I win every time, because a copy-protected CD is NOT a CD (as defined by the Red Book) --- ah, and incidentally, every copy-protected CD that passed thru my hands were copiable in a Linux machine.

And finally: the only media that will be locked down will be the pasteurized media -- the pop. The independents are better, they will always be, with few exceptions... Yes, I will miss watching Star Wars episode VII, because of the special effects. Will I? Maybe not. Have you seen the independent/cheap Star Trek productions that have been popping up? There is good stuff there. Maybe I will take my ticket dollars elsewhere... If enough people did, the problem wouldn't exist, but... pop is pop. :-)

In summary:

  • Not queer, married, 35, two kids, public employee, post-grad degree.
  • DRM does not exist, it's mathematically impossible.
  • Copy-encumbered Blu-Rays and HD-DVDs will not work, an arms race with crackers will happen, crackers will win all the times, pirate media will still exist, things will be on the p2p networks.
  • CD and DVD copy protection schemes do NOT work. CDs and DVDs, to be called by those names, must play in old players, hence be copiable.
  • CD- and DVD- players will be around another ten to twenty years. There will be demand for CD and DVD media, as opposed to HD-DVD and Blu-ray media. HD-DVD/BluRay media may have more pixels/content, but come on, it will take at least 15 years till everyone starts to demand that resolution.
  • The good stuff will more and more be non-encumbered... and it will be more and more a good way to distinguish the good stuff from the bad stuff (non-encumbrance).
HTH

[ Parent ]
For your sake (none / 1) (#64)
by verifex on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 02:01:22 PM EST

I'll admit that where there is a will, there is a way. I hope that you are right.

[ Parent ]
unfortunately unbreakable DRM are possible (3.00 / 2) (#66)
by blue tiger on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 10:53:54 PM EST

given a sufficiently strong encription scheme and a device with the key never leaves the chip it was engraved in (palladium), encrypt *all* digital communication in the device and have *all* chips in the system perform decoding. the only thing you ever get to see as plain text are the analog signals. ideally a system-on-chip with analog outputs. good luck soldering a probe on a 90nm silicon bus.

[ Parent ]
No, (3.00 / 2) (#70)
by hummassa on Thu Aug 18, 2005 at 06:31:46 AM EST

because you can still solder an ADC to the (pure, low-noise) analog exit of the chip and voilà... full-size plaintext available. Ok, it's even possible that you get a 0,5% decrease in quality but... after that, the content is non-encumbered. Even if que quality drop was 20%, it can be made imperceptible still, due to the compression we apply to things we post on the Net, anyway. (hint: TV episodes run at 100MiB/42min those days)
And, worse: last time I studied IC design, ROMs are easily read under a electron/tunneling microscope, so you better hide your key well in the chip's design.
Conclusion: the only way to prevent piracy would be to have extremely harsh legislation (like I said, 8 years jail for opening your privately-owned Blu-ray device? This can fly in the States, but not in a lot of other jurisdictions)

[ Parent ]
Why can't the government regulate ADCs? (none / 1) (#79)
by pin0cchio on Sat Aug 20, 2005 at 03:27:05 PM EST

because you can still solder an ADC to the (pure, low-noise) analog exit of the chip

And watch high-bandwidth ADCs be classified as munitions.


lj65
[ Parent ]
If USA's gov goes this crazy, (none / 0) (#83)
by hummassa on Sat Aug 20, 2005 at 07:29:43 PM EST

I will welcome you and any other refugees personally down here.

[ Parent ]
Trusted Network Connect (none / 1) (#78)
by pin0cchio on Sat Aug 20, 2005 at 03:22:17 PM EST

Buy and support Free Software, and none of this will happen.

What happens when your ISP won't give you an IP address unless you're using only those operating system binaries signed by your ISP? Alsee explains the rationale behind Trusted Network Connect.

Or this money can be gained by people supporting their preferred independent artists, too.

OK, so what happens when their preferred independent artists get sued for subconsciously violating copyright?


lj65
[ Parent ]
Reply to both your questions: (none / 0) (#82)
by hummassa on Sat Aug 20, 2005 at 07:28:42 PM EST

You should start using the four boxes, in order (I hope you already use the first one) :-)

[soap, jury, ballot, ammo]

[ Parent ]

Arms race (3.00 / 3) (#39)
by actmodern on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 04:29:04 PM EST

Copy protection and cracking copy protection is an arms race. Thus far the consumer has been winning. Even in the pre-Internet days I could still get warez if I wanted to. The problem with the pirate scene is that it's disorganized, under resourced, and has no customer support in place.

This changed when companies began to supply P2P applications and this is exactly why the big media companies are becoming more aggressive. Don't worry though. This has been going on for centuries now. Even Mozart had his music ripped and transcribed by pirate transcribers.

--
LilDebbie challenge: produce the water sports scene from bable or stfu. It does not exist.

www.piratbyran.org (2.60 / 5) (#41)
by alexei on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 04:38:17 PM EST

To hell with copywrite and copyprotection!
The music industry will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

There's no such thing as 'reasonable' DRM (3.00 / 14) (#42)
by gidds on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 04:45:35 PM EST

One of the common rationales for some forms of DRM is that they're 'reasonable': they let you do most of the things you'd want to. But IMO that's just an illusion: no form of DRM is reasonable, and no form can ever be completely reasonable.

And yes, I do have a rational reason for thinking that, even though at present it seems to be an extreme position: the 'default' access to any copy-protected material will always be to prevent copying. And ultimately, it's that 'default' access which matters.

There are lots of ways you could try to access DRM-protected material: you could present it in a variety of applications on your desktop computer (media players, book readers, or whatever depending on the type of material); you could copy it to another machine; you could copy it to a handheld machine and try to present it there; you could convert it to a different format; and so on. And these access methods will always increase: people will always be coming up with new applications, devices, formats, ways of accessing the material. Therefore, any DRM scheme must not only address the current access methods, but also future ones too. So there are basically two possible types of DRM: those which allow access in specific ways and prevent everything else (the no-access default), and those which prevent access in specific ways and allow everything else (the full-access default).

Now, that second type is in practice unworkable, because it would then be possible to come up with a new access method, and use that to convert the material into another DRM-free form, effectively removing the DRM and rendering it useless. So, any practical DRM scheme must prevent all access other than that it specifically allows.

And that's what makes DRM so harmful. It's future-unproofed, blocking any cool new technologies which come along. It's inaccessible, blocking many (or all) existing technologies used by people with disabilities. It relies upon the company providing the right software and/or access codes. It's non-portable, blocking most other hardware platforms, operating systems, or devices. And it always will be so, because that's the nature of DRM: to block 'everything else'.

Take, for example, a form of DRM that's actually fairly reasonable and non-restrictive: Apple's FairPlay system, which is used for tracks bought from the iTunes Music Store. It lets you authorise up to 5 computers to play those tracks, along with all iPods synced to them. You can even burn copies to CD. Sounds pretty fair.

But it still has a no-access default (while it's working as designed, anyway). You can't use any other software to edit the tags. You can't split or join tracks. You can't play them on any other MP3 (or AAC) player. You can't convert them to lower-bitrate versions. You can't convert them to whatever cool new format comes along and offers the same sound quality at a fraction of the filesize. You can't do anything other than the few things they specifically allow, even though those other things might be completely legal and moral for you to do, or might become so at some point in the future!

This is why I think there can never be a completely 'reasonable' form of DRM. There will always be new forms of access that the creators didn't think of. And DRM will always block them. And we will all suffer. Sooner or later, people will learn this. I hope it's sooner.


Andy/

good point (3.00 / 2) (#45)
by RevLoveJoy on Tue Aug 16, 2005 at 07:34:16 PM EST

This just got me thinking about reframing the relationship between content and audience.

What if the OSS community developed a (bad choice of words on my part) "DRM-like" framework whose only purpose was to allow simple payment to the content owner?

Right click a movie file, song, screen saver collection, select "pay this guy," choose .50, send.

Anyhow, I know this is exceedingly vague and tip-jar like applications have failed by the dozen, but I though it worth mentioning. It seems like DRM is all part of the file format now, why not make a rewards framework that works the same way but does not impose any restrictions?

Yeah ... because it would never get used... maybe.
-- RLJ

Every political force in the U.S. that seeks to get past the Constitution by sophistry or technicality is little more than a wannabe king. -- pyro9
[ Parent ]

Excellent (none / 1) (#75)
by Western Infidels on Fri Aug 19, 2005 at 09:52:49 AM EST

I've always summarized my thoughts on the matter like this: If a copy protection system isn't inconveniencing at least some authorized users, it's not working. But inconveniencing some usrers is no guarantee that the copy protection is working, either.

I've never used iTunes. What's up with allowing one to burn audio CDs? Once you've got a standard audio CD, you can do anything else you like with the music. That's a pretty big hole - why even bother with copy protection at that point?

[ Parent ]

Suprised nobody's replied alraedy..... (none / 0) (#81)
by Have A Nice Day on Sat Aug 20, 2005 at 05:45:37 PM EST

Quality, apparently. The file's been compressed one already, losing a fair bit of information. Then you burn it to CD (Which shouldn't degrade it any further), but if you re-rip and recompress you're likely to start getting a noticeable loss of sounbd quality.

What this does not do is stop you giving cds to people, which is not usually viewed as that bad anyway because you're giving out millions of copies, but it stops you using that method to then recompress without DRM and distribute on teh net 'cos the quality is bad.

If you do redistribute on the net at a worse quality then eventually P2P will become full of crappier quality music and everyone goes to iTunes and pays a little money to get a decent copy.

I think that's the theory anyway.

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
The consumers will decide (3.00 / 2) (#46)
by Entendre Entendre on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 12:25:08 AM EST

If people think DRMed content is worth buying, they'll buy it. If not, they won't. And if they don't, the producers would sooner abandon DRM than simply go out of business.

What really worries people like the auther (and, honestly, me too) is that the vast majority doesn't really care and/or won't figure it out until they've a) voted with their dollars and b) discovered afterward that DRM is a nuisance.

It will be interesting to how much (good) new music will remain available in non-DRMed formats in 20 years. The consumers will decide.

--
Reduce firearm violence: aim carefully.

Relax (3.00 / 4) (#47)
by Thought Assassin on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 01:05:50 AM EST

It's just the inevitable death-throes of the copyright system. I think by now everyone can see that copyright doesn't work, and can't be made to work, but there is such an astronomical amount of money tied up in it, and so much more to be made in the near term from exploiting its inefficiencies, that the powers-that-be would be crazy not to drag the bitter and painful end out as long as possible.

And in the process they are providing their shareholders and legislators (traditionally the slowest groups to comprehend the necessity of change) with a real-life Reductio Ad Absurdum proof of the failure of copyright.

Sure, it's a pain in the arse for everyone right now, but there ain't nothing we can do about it, and at least it signals progress towards the eventual end of this whole bloody farce.

You make it sound like a bad thing. (1.66 / 3) (#51)
by deem on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 06:20:33 AM EST

While reading this post I couldn't help thinking, 'So what's so bad about a culture with a built in expiry date?"

Do I really give a shit that I might not be able to enjoy the lyrical genius of Michael Bolton or Britney every again?

Hell, I'd be positiveley overjoyed if my grandkids are spared the pain of having to witness David Hasselhoff's bad hair decade (Currently being rerun on every frikkin' satelite tv station in the world over and over and over again).

And maybe, just maybe , if Hollywood couldn't dip into the archives anymore they might actually come up with an original idea instead of endless remake after endless remake.

I say 'Bring it on!'. Press the reset button. Let's see what we can do when we're forced to come up with an original idea instead of continually borrowing from the past.

Remakes (none / 1) (#61)
by paranoid on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 01:24:51 PM EST

In your pursuit of rhetorics you forgot to consult with the logic. If purchased movies will expire after a few years, the Hollywood would produce MORE remakes, because you can no longer watch the originals.

[ Parent ]
lol what (none / 1) (#76)
by skyknight on Fri Aug 19, 2005 at 09:03:37 PM EST

Death To Mozart!!!1one1!!!

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Perishable DRM? (none / 1) (#52)
by flo on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 06:29:54 AM EST

Maybe the answer is to produce copy protection that will go away after x years. I have no idea how this might be implemented, but the general scenario might be as follows.

A band produces a new album, which gets sold on copy-protected CDs. An unproteced copy of the album is locked away with some notary agency, with the intructions that this copy be released into the public domain 10 years later. This could be enforced through law, for example.

We get the best of both worlds: the artists and their distributers get the $$$ they want, because most people won't wait 10 years to get at the latest hit song. But the album won't be lost to humanity if the artist/distributer goes belly-up. And for those of us who don't mind listening to outdated music (70s nostalgia? Beethoven?) can get our music for free.

What say you?
---------
"Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Good for business? (3.00 / 5) (#58)
by CaptainZapp on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 08:50:07 AM EST

Cory Doctorow argues in this speech quite convincingly why DRM is a bad idea for buiness.

great quote from that talk (3.00 / 2) (#63)
by dilinger on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 01:32:25 PM EST

Whenever a new technology has disrupted copyright, we've changed
copyright. Copyright isn't an ethical proposition, it's a
utilitarian one. There's nothing *moral* about paying a composer
tuppence for the piano-roll rights, there's nothing *immoral*
about not paying Hollywood for the right to videotape a movie off
your TV. They're just the best way of balancing out so that
people's physical property rights in their VCRs and phonographs
are respected and so that creators get enough of a dangling
carrot to go on making shows and music and books and paintings.

[ Parent ]
DRM is Irrelevant (3.00 / 3) (#60)
by paranoid on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 01:23:05 PM EST

I fail to see how DRM matters today in the grand scheme of things. It has already failed, it's just that some people don't realise it and are still clinging to the false hope of control.

I can already get most music, all major movies and most documentary films online. The ebook scene is gradually developing as ebooks become more and more compelling to readers. I can already get almost all content that I want online for free unencumbered by DRM or ads. And nothing short of closing the Internet can stop P2P now.

DRM may be annoying to some law-abiding users, but I am not one. I am glad, happy and proud to be a pirate. My content is neatly packaged and distributed by friendly pirates online. And they only need to remove the DRM once for the whole world to enjoy the now free piece of knowledge.

But tomorrow's movies... (none / 1) (#65)
by A synx on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 07:26:19 PM EST

So what?  Sure you can get things for free now.  DRM wouldn't be retroactive obviously.  It would simply stop dead in its tracks the distribution of any data of value from then on.  Nothing from its onset would necessarily be free, freedom withheld by unbreakable encryption, and all your pretty words about who cares, and what does it matter will suddenly ring very, very hollow.

Only once, you say?  Try breaking an asymmetrically encrypted message like this:
-----BEGIN PGP MESSAGE-----
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=MQBp
-----END PGP MESSAGE-----


[ Parent ]

Since we are discussing DRM, (3.00 / 2) (#69)
by hummassa on Thu Aug 18, 2005 at 06:21:57 AM EST

give me the key and I'll give you the plaintext. :-)
More, once you give me the key, I'll publish the plaintext over the Net so everybody can see it.

[ Parent ]
i think i'm gonna free some cash (none / 1) (#67)
by blue tiger on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 10:58:27 PM EST

from my local bank safe boxes tonight. do you have some dynamite to spare?

[ Parent ]
Are you 'simple' or perhaps 'slow'? (3.00 / 2) (#71)
by Have A Nice Day on Thu Aug 18, 2005 at 07:18:01 AM EST

You do know there's a difference between copyright infringement and property theft with breaking and entering right?

Now I'm not saying copyright infringement is all fine and above board, but I'm sick to the back tweeth of morons who can't cope with more than one idea and insist on equating infringement to theft.

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
i am both (1.33 / 3) (#72)
by blue tiger on Thu Aug 18, 2005 at 11:37:09 AM EST

and there is no difference between stealing copyrighted information and steling food. both trample on the rights of the righteful owner. he is free to do whatever he wants with his creations, including giving them to you, if you agree that you are not going to share them with random people you meet on the internet. read the copyright notices for once in your life, it states this pretty cleay. it is this breaking of the agreement that you entered in that is illegal and morally repugnant.

so repeat after me: the author is free to distribute his creations on his own terms, the user is free to shop around and choose the best mix of value and distribution terms he can find.

btw, i love teenagers who never created shit in their lives, material or ideal (oh well, beyond shitty comments on k5), and think that everything in the world belongs to them. wake up, mommy and daddy are not going to feed you for your whole life, you'll have to put in some effort on yourself.

[ Parent ]

LOL (3.00 / 2) (#74)
by Have A Nice Day on Thu Aug 18, 2005 at 08:06:16 PM EST

You're really not that good a troll my friend. Learn from the masters here on k5 before mouthing off like a whore.

I didn't say I approved of copyright infringement, I just said you're a moron if you can't tell the difference. Which you can't. Moron.

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
street performer protocol (3.00 / 5) (#62)
by de0 on Wed Aug 17, 2005 at 01:27:38 PM EST

I registred just to mention The Street Performer Protocol

Basically it means you hold your work ransom - and release it to the public domain when a certain amount of money has been "donated" through a trusted third part.

I can see how this would work quite well - at least for music.
please discuss

There are other possible conclusions (3.00 / 4) (#68)
by Mysidia on Thu Aug 18, 2005 at 12:46:35 AM EST

Yes, blu-ray will provide locks, but who says blu-ray is the future? There are many futures we can think of. Blu-ray might not even succeed, and be viewed as little more than a natural continuation and extension of the DVD.

In the future blue-ray can be just as doomed to fail as the VCR tape today. Consumers won't want a technology that intentionally restricts their use of it badly -- I think the only way it would be likely to sell might be for vendors to hide or obscure the bad points; the boxes for blu-ray players won't say "Now with improved security measures to prevent you from playing copied disks or disks lent to you by your friends".

Here is another view that paints a different picture of the future, granted it is a year old, but the situation today is still similar, http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/02/11/why_wireless_will_end_piracy/



-Mysidia the insane @k5
Thank You! (none / 1) (#73)
by projectpaperclip on Thu Aug 18, 2005 at 01:22:44 PM EST

great article in that link to theregsiter

[ Parent ]
Copy Protection (1.50 / 2) (#77)
by the77x42 on Sat Aug 20, 2005 at 02:48:07 PM EST

Personally, this doesn't affect me at all. The Labels will claim that piracy is causing losses, but I think the true cause of their loss is a lack of quality in the product.

For example, aside from Oasis, I don't buy CD's because all the music I like is only available on vinyl. DRM on vinyl? I don't think so. Copy protection might stop the 15 year-old from copying her new Britney Spears album to give to her boyfriend on his birthday, but really, who cares?

Same goes with home movies and anything resembling DVD. I think the last good movie that came out was The Big Lebowski. The current trend in film-making today doesn't warrant any purchase of movies.

Arguably, if the quality was there in the first place, I wouldn't waste my time downloading new movies or album releases because I don't want to spend $15 to see if it's something worth while. If the powers that be can prevent me from doing so, then damn it, I won't, but that doesn't mean I'm going to go out and buy anything. I haven't seen something worthy of my money in years, and it's a sad fact that Labels sidestep the problem and cripple consumers from utilizing what is a sub-standard product to begin with.


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

Wake up and Smell the Dictatorship (none / 0) (#85)
by BigDaddy on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 03:56:57 AM EST

I hope that many of you that are U.S. citizens know: 1.) What your constitutional rights are 2.) How they don't exist as they used to I know your probably thinking I'm some conspircay theorist. Having said that though how many of you have actually read through the patriot act in its entirety and references how it amended and changed laws already in effect? How many of have looked through the early draft of the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003(AKA Patriot Act 2) which Bush is currently trying to get passed right now? How would you feel to know that any of you that are US citizens could be labeled as terrorists for the things you've said in this web blog? And having been designated as terrorists your are subject to maritime law and can also be deemed a foreign power. Want proof? Section 802 of the patriot act states(won't put the whole thing but the amendment portion) (5) the term 'domestic terrorism' means activities that: (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any State. (B) appear to be intended-- (I) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (II) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (III) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and (C) occur primarily within the jurisdiction of the United States... so kids and adults what does this mean to you? This means your a terrorist if say for instance you've driven over the speed limit since you are breaking a state law that could be "dangerous to human life". And before you go saying it could never be used that way lets look at the opening paragraph of the Patriot Act. And I Quote.... "Any provision of this Act held to be invalid or unenforceable by its terms, or as applied to any person or circumstance, shal be construed so as to give it the maximum effect permitted by law, unless such holding shall be one of utter invalidity or unenforceability, in which event such provision shall be deemed severable from this Act and shall not affect the remainder thereof or the application of such provision to other persons not similarly situation or to other, dissimilar circumstances. While your at it go look at the definition of intimidation and coercion or here i've done it for you. intimidate 1. To make timid; fill with fear. 2. To coerce or inhibit by or as if by threats. coercion 1. The act or practice of coercing. 2. Power or ability to coerce. coerce 1. To force to act or think in a certain way by use of pressure, threats, or intimidation; compel. 2. To dominate, restrain, or control forcibly: coerced the strikers into compliance. 3. To bring about by force or threat: efforts to coerce agreement. Maybe instead of dancing around these issues that bother us all we should have a go at the root of the problems for Americans anyway. That problem is this. We have a representative democracy how many americans here feel that their senator or congressperson represents their views mor than the people who are filling their representatives campaign coffers? Did you vote? Have you run for office? Do you play an active role in at least your local government? If none of these are you then don't bitch when your government runs roughshod over your rights and your freedoms. After all how many of you knew that none of your senators and congressional representatives even read or knew what was contained in the patriot act except for Orin Hatch and the Department of Justice?

<p> is for paragraph break. (none / 0) (#88)
by your_desired_username on Thu Aug 25, 2005 at 09:59:23 PM EST

In the future please use at least twelve for posts of this length.

[ Parent ]
One thing... (none / 0) (#86)
by Landak on Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 09:06:40 AM EST

In the article, you mention the works of Mozart. Now, I like Mozart quite a bit. So does my teacher - I'm a grade seven pianist (roughly). And, after playing through K545 (Sonata in C) by the man himself, I became aware of the extent of the wonderful, syncopated, "Alberti Bass" that is persistent throughout all three movements. Now, the "Alberti Bass" wasn't really invented by Alberti - he just used it a lot. Mozart thought it nice, and, as a result, used it.

A lot.

Alberti, upon finding out that such a great had used his humble bass, was overjoyed. He was not enraged, in a litigious mood, frustrated, angry, or considering legal action. He was pleased that Mozart had used his bass - and that was the mentality before copyright law. If you were a good composer, you would find a nice lord who would give you room and board in exchange for the odd symphony and sonata or two. If your music was played by musicians up and down the country, you were flattered - if your current boss pegged it, found you in bed with his sister, or generally fell out of favour with you, you'd have the reputation to be able to go and find a new patron. Mozart himself was an exception to this rule in the end, he became so widely known that he was able to 'freelance' and become disaffiliated with (I think) the Duke of Vienna.

Back on topic, if it can be read, it can be copied. I'm primarily a geek, and enjoy proving the above quite readily! I think that non-commerical infringement should be a caution at best - you don't deprive anyone of anything, you do no real harm whatsoever - but commercial infringement, and "Genuine software cheap - office 2k3 for 19.99!" scams should receive the weight of the law upon their tiny noggins' like a large pallet of bricks.

All I can really say is that the primary evil in my mind - and, arguably the cause for mass piracy in the first place - are the record companies themselves. A few years ago I was treated to hearing a wonderful ensemble called "The Locrian Ensemble" (Locrian itself being an obscure mode) playing (hah) large chunks of Mozart's repertoire, amongst others, in a large church, late at night. They were, quite frankly, divine. They had no record contract, no manager (other than the double-bassist) and just merrily chomped around the country playing in everything from cathedrals to festivals, and occasionally got hired by the BBC for period-dramas. And they, are to this moment, the best Ensemble I have ever heard.

Their CDs, on sale on a stall by the church gate, were 1.99 each.

We bought four.

Self deluding prophecy (none / 0) (#87)
by asym on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 06:08:40 AM EST

Quite a bit late on this one but I just can't resist, which is a rarity -- I almost always resist the urge to post comments on K5, even if I do visit many times a day.  On with the meat, though.

All the hypotheticals and straw men aside, there seems to me to be only one problem (that has any merit to it) with any DRM system; Namely, the "personal future use" problem, and only with software.

The website your favorite software accesses may disappear, and end up taking the software with it.

Music movies, and other standalone entertainment style mediums absolutely cannot be protected 100%, in other words, there cannot possibly exist a copy protection scheme for audiovisual media that cannot be defeated.

So look at DRM in the light of what it actually is -- an attempt to defeat the "casual" copier.  Today, "casual" copying is more sophisticated than ever, and equally sophisticated protection mechanisms are needed to protect the content.

If you want to blame anything, blame "free and open society" for this problem.  As much as you may not want to hear it, when the latest linux golden boy hacker defeats a DRM scheme and releases it to the public, that method of DRM defeat goes into the toolbox of the casual copier.

I'm not stating a point of view here about information freedom, I'm a firm believer in it the vast majority of the time, this time included, but if you don't see the causal relationship, you're just deluding yourself.

I, like a few others, am not at all concerned about not being able to:

  1.  Not listen to my favorite CD 10 years from now.  Copying will always be possible of audio media, no way around it.

  2.  Not watch my favorite movie 10 years from now.  See above.

  3.  Not use some piece of dodgy software, great today, garbage tomorrow, 10 years from now.  Chances are if there is still a demand for that kind of software, there will be an alternative available.

As for software, well, I am a developer.  I will implement any DRM, integrity checking, copy protection, etc. scheme I damn well please in my software.  I will charge as much or as little as I like, and I will make the source available or not according to my own whims.

Anyone who doesn't like this is free... to not use my software.  The same applies to any manner of art be it painting, photography, music, movies, and so on.

Mozart, Picasso, etc. didn't have this concern in their time.  I wonder, what Mozart WOULD have done if, at the time, anyone could have simply recorded his performances, duplicated the recording, and then provided it to everyone on Earth that asked for it?

Applying any critical thought at all to this "problem" of DRMs and our "future locked" entertainment will reveal one simple bit of reality.  There is no problem.

For my part, I'll continue to pay for movies, music, and software if I consider it worth the price.  If not, I'll live without it.

I don't give a second thought to "big label vs. indy" or "commercial vs. GPL" when making a decision.  I find what I like, then decide if I like it enough to pay the price.

One of the Orwellian spectres of Capitalism (none / 1) (#89)
by bob1000 on Sat Aug 27, 2005 at 06:51:25 PM EST

DRM wouldn't be such a problem of the world was a nice, fair and just place, but lets face it its not.  Corporations have people in them that want to dominate the world, governments, national economies and people.  The fact is as long as stupid idiots exist in this world they will want to control and and extract resources, be they natural or human.

Our dog eat dog culture breeds greed in both consumers and the corporations, this is the child of the abstraction of people from one another and of capitalism plus modernization of societies.  If people could live a stable existence, be provided a fair allotment of food, shelter, water, electricity, etc, the basics, and then leaving people free to compete for over-use and luxury to compete in a monetary market for the luxuries you'd probably get rid of a host of social problems.

You control peoples behaviour by controlling their access to resources, lets face this and DRM is another form of that behaviour, there are just as many entertainment addicts for lonely overworked or unemployed souls out there who corps would just love to keep milking for maximum profit.

I don't mind DRM, copy protection etc.. (none / 0) (#90)
by wraith0x29a on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 10:51:13 AM EST

..as long as it's use is clearly marked on the packaging of the CD, DVD, game or whatever so I can vote with my wallet and not buy it.

I spend a fortune on legal content but refuse to buy anything that does not allow reasonable reuse, if a CD cannot be ripped I simply take it back to the store and complain it's not fit for purpose. If they refuse a refund I don't shop there again.

If it was not for 'pirate' audio casettes in circulation among my friends broadening my musical tastes when I was a teenager I would still be listening to my parent's record collection and would not have spent a penny on CDs in my life.

I think the big distributors have to accept that piracy will occur and treat it as a loss-leader, so long as they package enough additional material with the originals honest people will still buy it on the basis of that illegal recording their mate lent them.

This is even more true for the content creators outtside the mainstream.
"There are actually 11 kinds of people in the world: Those who don't understand binary, those who think they understand binary and those who know what little-endian means."

hahaha (none / 0) (#91)
by dnparadice on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 10:16:53 PM EST

I agree and I do the same thing

[ Parent ]
The Future Is Locked | 91 comments (84 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
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