The Fight Over DRM In HTML5 Should Represent The Last Stand For DRM

from the time-to-get-past-a-bad-idea dept

Back in January, we noted our disappointment with the news that there was a proposal underway to add DRM to HTML5 (called "Encrypted Media Extensions" or EME), backed by Microsoft, Netflix and Google. It was further disappointing to see web creator Tim Berners-Lee defend the proposal, saying that it was necessary or "people will just go back to using Flash." While the W3C has tried to defend this position by saying that it's not really about DRM -- and has said it will convene a group to "investigate how to keep the Web maximally open" -- there are still pretty big concerns about this proposal. And it seems quite clear that DRM and locking up content is at the heart of it.

Netflix, perhaps the biggest supporter of the proposal, has noted that it cannot support HTML5 until such support is added, and made it clear that the DRM part is what matters.
The video content we stream to customers is protected with Digital Rights Management (DRM). This is a requirement for any premium subscription video service. The Encrypted Media Extensions allow us to play protected video content in the browser by providing a standardized way for DRM systems to be used with the media element. For example, the specification identifies an encrypted stream format (Common Encryption for the ISO file format, using AES-128 counter mode) and defines how the DRM license challenge/response is handled, both in ways that are independent of any particular DRM. We need to continue to use DRM whether we use a browser plugin or the HTML5 media element, and these extensions make it possible for us to integrate with a variety of DRM systems that may be used by the browser.
This seems disingenuous. While Netflix and its studio partners may like DRM, there is no reason that it actually "is a requirement for any premium subscription video service." Lots of professional content and marketplaces work without DRM. Yes, some will copy, but most don't seem to bother. There is no reason that this needs to be built in, and there are many consequences for doing so.

A variety of groups are now speaking out in response to all of this and hitting back against the plan. The EFF's Peter Eckersley and Seth Schoen penned a detailed explanation for why this is a bad idea:
In the past two decades, there has been an ongoing struggle between two views of how Internet technology should work. One philosophy has been that the Web needs to be a universal ecosystem that is based on open standards and fully implementable on equal terms by anyone, anywhere, without permission or negotiation. This is the technological tradition that gave us HTML and HTTP in the first place, and epoch-defining innovations like wikis, search engines, blogs, webmail, applications written in JavaScript, repurposable online maps, and a hundred million specific websites that this paragraph is too short to list.

The other view has been represented by corporations that have tried to seize control of the Web with their own proprietary extensions. It has been represented by technologies like Adobe's Flash, Microsoft's Silverlight, and pushes by Apple, phone companies, and others toward highly restrictive new platforms. These technologies are intended to be available from a single source or to require permission for new implementations. Whenever these technologies have become popular, they have inflicted damage on the open ecosystems around them. Websites that depend on Flash or Silverlight typically can't be linked to properly, can't be indexed, can't be translated by machine, can't be accessed by users with disabilities, don't work on all devices, and pose security and privacy risks to their users. Platforms and devices that restrict their users inevitably prevent important innovations and hamper marketplace competition.

The EME proposal suffers from many of these problems because it explicitly abdicates responsibilty on compatibility issues and let web sites require specific proprietary third-party software or even special hardware and particular operating systems (all referred to under the generic name "content decryption modules", or CDMs, and none of them specified by EME). EME's authors keep saying that what CDMs are, and do, and where they come from is totally outside of the scope of EME, and that EME itself can't be thought of as DRM because not all CDMs are DRM systems. Yet if the client can't prove it's running the particular proprietary thing the site demands, and hence doesn't have an approved CDM, it can't render the site's content. Perversely, this is exactly the reverse of the reason that the World Wide Web Consortium exists in the first place. W3C is there to create comprehensible, publicly-implementable standards that will guarantee interoperability, not to facilitate an explosion of new mutually-incompatible software and of sites and services that can only be accessed by particular devices or applications. But EME is a proposal to bring exactly that dysfunctional dynamic into HTML5, even risking a return to the "bad old days, before the Web" of deliberately limited interoperability.

In response to all of this the Free Software Foundation and Defective by Design launched a campaign against DRM in HTML5, and last week delivered a petition to the W3C against the plan (though you can still sign the petition) and awarded the W3C "the best supporting role in The Hollyweb.

The simple fact is that DRM doesn't work and has tremendous unintended consequences that tend to harm legitimate buyers of works. It decreases their value while doing little to stop infringement. Lots of people have realized this for years, but it's true that many in copyright-heavy fields still live under the delusion that DRM actually does something useful. And, it might: the only thing that DRM effectively does is give legacy players a veto right on new and innovative technologies.

That's really not something the W3C should be supporting -- nor, frankly, is it something that Netflix, Google and Microsoft should be supporting.

Business models for content work just fine without DRM. It's time that the industries producing content finally recognize that. Music has mostly gotten there, but clearly the movie industry is still behind the times on this one. If HTML5 provides enough value without DRM, Netflix and others will figure out how to adopt it eventually. The benefits of using it will just be too powerful to avoid, even if some freak out about the lack of built-in DRM. The industry needs to get over its silly obsession with DRM and to move forward with more compelling technologies and innovation.


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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 5:57am

    A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    I have had a love/hate relationship with Netflix for many years now. I love the service they provide and the content I can watch. The price is pretty good for what they offer. I have subscribed for many years.

    However, their stance on DRM is the primary focus of the hate part of the relationship. Their insistence on using DRM, driven mostly by their media partners, has prevented me from being able to watch online any content on my primary PC and my HTPC. The reason is that the DRM they use, Microsoft Silverlight, is not compatible with my operating system, Linux. It never has been and never will.

    Lucky for me, some clever users were willing to violate the DMCA and risk fines and jailtime to circumvent the DRM and allow Netflix's Watch Instantly software to run in Linux based PCs. It is absolutely insane that one must risk financial and social ruin to allow people to use services they are already paying for.

     

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    BentFranklin (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 6:01am

    I have no problem if companies want to develop proprietary communications technologies using the internet. Just keep them off Port 80.

     

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    Leigh Beadon (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 6:28am

    Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    Netflix is proving to be an excellent case study in how a disruptive innovator becomes a restrictive incumbent.

     

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    Akari Mizunashi (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 7:15am

    While I see Netflix taking a bum rap in these discussion, we need to remember what it is they're delivering: Hollywood content.

    I don't believe, for one second, Netflix would back DRM if it wasn't for the puppeteers pulling their strings (as they pull videos from it).

    In fact, back when Macromedia first developed Flash, it didn't include a single line of DRM. Want the video? Just hit the source code and grab it, or you know, right click the video window to download a copy.

    When Adobe bought out Macromedia, it was a just a matter of time before it laced a wonderful product with its intrusive DRM (and don't ever lose the key or your out of luck in customer service support!), and boy, what a different product it is today.

    Not only has trying to implement DRM broke Flash, but they still haven't done it right, with constant updates trying to close the holes of the player.

    I once enjoyed working in this field. Now, it's no longer fun. When a client's first words out of their mouth is "how do we keep people from copying?", I shiver as they're more worried about protection than customers.

    And now, with app mentality sweeping the planet, it's just a matter of time before full control is taken away, as apps are proprietary and restricted to specific devices/OS.

    Just as Corporate America wants it.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, May 6th, 2013 @ 7:33am

    DRM is just technology, Mike. Accept it without question.

    As I just pointed out in your piece defending Google Glass -- talk about prescient! -- there's no difference between your assertion that we all must just accept constant surveillance by Glass and accepting DRM. No, there's really not. Both are intrusions made possible by "technology", and it's YOU who aren't consistent.

    I'm against BOTH, but a crucial difference is that I CAN avoid DRM by simply NOT purchasing, while Google Glass will surveils me and everyone constantly against our wishes.

    Society doesn't have to allow every damn fool notion that comes along. That way lies madness and chaos.

     

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    PaulT (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 7:35am

    Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    The compatibility thing is my main issue with DRM in this case. I'm not philosophically opposed to DRM on streaming and rentals as I am against DRM on purchases, since the whole point is that you're renting and not buying. But, depending on something coming from an incumbent who are naturally motivated to make things incompatible with competing products in a different market (in this case not supporting Linux, with the nice bonus of making it look less useful than Windows to the technically uninformed) is a very bad move. An open standard would not only make Netflix available across all platforms, in many cases it would remove the need for bespoke apps on consoles and mobiles.

    I do wish that DRM wasn't considered necessary by the morons in charge of the content owners. But, while they are then Netflix have to play their game to a certain degree. A move to a standard like HTML5 is definitely more beneficial for the future than sticking with a proprietary MS product. Netflix really do have to at least appear to be toeing the line with content owners who have proven over and over that they're willing to negatively impact their own market over fear and attempts to retain control over things they cannot.

    But, it's ultimately just another move in a ridiculous game that's costing everybody involved money, giving too much control to incumbent 3rd parties and is ultimately damaging for the industry as whole. I dare anyone to find a title available on Netflix that's not being pirated even with the inclusion of DRM (even their original series that can only be accessed through the DRMed client are being pirated), yet time and money is being wasted on something that clearly doesn't work for the stated purpose it's sold on.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2013 @ 7:41am

    Oh no, if DRM is put on the Internet with HTML5 there's NO WAY we could POSSIBLY pirate movies!!!

    I mean it's not like someone could watch a movie from Netflix, while using another program on their computer to record everything on their monitor and everything coming out of their speakers! And it's not like they could then upload a copy of that recording to The Pirate Bay or something!


    The only 100% full proof DRM is DRM that prevents everyone watching the video and listening to the sound/music.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2013 @ 7:41am

    Re: DRM is just technology, Mike. Accept it without question.

    Accept it without question.

    Umm, how about no? And not just no, hell no.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2013 @ 7:44am

    Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    Whilst I largely agree with this idea, I think it it a much better example of how incumbents can turn potentially disruptive innovations to their advantage: by necessitating their dependence on the incumbents.

     

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    AzureSky (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 7:44am

    Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    linux as your primary os.....you must be a masochist...or you dont do anything serious desktop/gaming wise...

    Linux isnt evil or bad, but, its far from optimal as a desktop for most people, and due to how the linux communities work, I doubt it ever well reach the point of wide desktop acceptance.

    I just hope your not like a few ex-clients of mine who try and force ubuntu on unspecting noobs/normal users who really are better off on osx or windows.....

    sorry if this comes off as a rant, I just had to deal with this crap all weekend again, somebody convinced an old client of mine she needed ubuntu rather then windows 7(the system came with pro even...), she suffered with it for over a month, not able to do some of her normal primary functions before calling me because the person who stuck her on ubuntu wouldnt help her kept telling her to read the forums or ask for help on irc.....

    in the end she gave up and called me, expecting to pay me 100bucks(my normal fee for full os/software reinstall)

    I didnt charge her, told her not to listen to his ilk again, linux has its uses but for her work, its a bad fit.

    she has to edit and communicate in office 2010 files CONSTANTLY and they have to come out properly formatted when she emails them.....she couldnt get that with open office, she also uses some software that dosnt work under wine without alot of futzing around(her company requires it)

    bunch of other issues as well....in the end, part of this is just my frustration with an OS I had high hopes for many years ago, before i saw the "community" for what it is....a bunch of know it alls who refuse to get togather and set standards as a whole....so we have thousands of distros very few 100% compatible with any other....

    that said, I do use Vector Linux for some users who just need a email/web/homework type machien(as long as ms office isnt required), it works on almost any x86 system, even old very slow ones feel snappy with it(faster then XP anyway)

    btw, it wasnt MS stopping them from supporting the DRM, a very loud portion of the linux community hate silverlight/mono/moonlight because its an MS invention, so they do all they can to sabotage it, MS offered and gave help getting support for silverlight on linux.....MS arent the good guys but, every time they do something smart/nice it seems a loud portion of the linux community kick them in the teeth for it....

    anyway, the one thing I say to people using linux who complain about issues is quite simple: you made your choice, you knew you where choosing a non-standard platform, dont blame the rest of the world for not supporting it....if you want support stick to one of the main platforms(windows/osx)...

    bah now im all anoied again.....just thinking about all that time wasted reinstalling windows7+office+other stuff....*bangs head into desk*

     

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    Antony goddard, May 6th, 2013 @ 7:46am

    DRM & Flash

    Terrible news. When I discovered Vimeo I thought i did not need the right version of 'Flash'. It now appears Vimeo is being sold off by French government.

     

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    jameshogg (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 7:51am

    Re:

    I hear North Korea has 100% DRM.

     

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    AzureSky (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 7:52am

    Re:

    well, in reality there are a good number of MAFIAA companies who would love to have DRM that allowed them to control the platform(locked in devices) and allowed them to charge per view/listen to any content.

    you know they even tried to get music services like itunes to build them a way they could charge people per listen/view?

    bunch of bloody idiots if you ask me :P

     

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    RD, May 6th, 2013 @ 8:03am

    Re: DRM is just technology, Mike. Accept it without question.

    "I'm against BOTH, but a crucial difference is that I CAN avoid DRM by simply NOT purchasing..."

    You can also avoid the obvious aneurysm this site and it's views give you by not coming here. No one is FORCING you to come here, and comment.

    Why don't you go out and create something and become a success? Oh that's right, you've already failed at that, and now all you have left is picking at the successes of others because you couldn't hack it.

     

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    PaulT (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 8:04am

    Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    "linux as your primary os.....you must be a masochist...or you dont do anything serious desktop/gaming wise..."

    Oh dear, this bullshit again... Linux is a perfectly fine desktop system, many people don't give a crap about gaming (and even then things are likely to change quickly in the near future with Steam support already on Ubuntu). Things have changed a lot since most of the pre-generated talking points were thought up 5-8 years ago.

    " the person who stuck her on ubuntu wouldnt help her kept telling her to read the forums or ask for help on irc"

    So, somebody forced on to her a product that she didn't want without checking her requirements or compatibility, refused to offer any post-install support, and this is a problem with Ubuntu? I think not.

    "she has to edit and communicate in office 2010 files CONSTANTLY and they have to come out properly formatted when she emails them"

    So? That's not a Linux problem, that's a "Microsoft introduced a new file format partly to mess with competitors like OpenOffice and Google Docs that were rising in popularity and had already reverse engineered the old formats" problem. She'd have had the same problem using a non-MS office suite on Windows, too.

    " she also uses some software that dosnt work under wine without alot of futzing around(her company requires it) "

    Wine has only recently come out of alpha, so maybe it works better now. There's also fully supported versions that can be purchased rather than depending on the main build.

    Also, this appears to be a problem with the company requiring bespoke/proprietary software that only works properly on Windows, not a problem with Linux. Did she also have problems with native apps/formats, or was it only when she tried using things that depended on some interaction with Microsoft products?

    Again, your client tried Linux and found it wasn't for them. Fine. Why are you berating Zachary for finding it more fitting to his needs? They were also using a setup that was forced onto them by a person who neither did a good job nor provided any support. I ask again - why is this Ubuntu's fault?

    "you made your choice"

    Yes he did, and it seems he's mostly happy apart from a lack of support from a couple of 3rd party products. Why do you have a problem with that?

     

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    Leigh Beadon (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 8:04am

    Re: DRM is just technology, Mike. Accept it without question.

    DRM is not a technological inevitability. It has never, ever worked (all DRM is cracked within hours or days) because its fundamental goal is impossible. DRM only exists because there are laws that allow companies to block the real technological inevitability: openness and interoperability.

    DRM derives what little power it has from law, not technology.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 8:07am

    As a tool to prevent piracy, DRM fails miserably. The only people hurt by DRM are the legitimate buyers of content. On this we have near universal agreement.

    The real purpose of DRM has always been to lock a user in to a company's products or services. As a result, we can actually say that DRM is a cause of piracy. Unfortunately, we are not going to see much opposition to DRM from the big hitters in technology as they all have vested interests in making sure people use their products exclusively. We are also unlikely to see much opposition from politicians because of the lobbying from these companies and the corporate donation culture that is rife in politics.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    So much bullshit in one post that I have no idea where to start so I am not even going to bother.

     

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    Tony Lovasco, May 6th, 2013 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    The problem with your argument is that if DRM ends up in HTML5, it will almost certainly be covered by software patents. As a result, it won't be supported by any legitimate Linux distro, as they wouldn't be able to license those patents.

    So we'd be right back to where we were, except now DRM is part of an official standard.

     

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    Bengie, May 6th, 2013 @ 8:10am

    Simple fix

    Require all DRM in any industry standard to be GPL, by law.

     

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    gorehound (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 8:12am

    DRM is Dirty Rotten Media.I won't buy it and I won't give any of the MAFIAA Companies a dime of my money.I will go out and Purchase my own physical Books which I pick out myself and Buy as 1ST Editions.My Books go up in value.
    I buy Brand New Non-MAFIAA Art but as far as MAFIAA goes if I really feel I need to watch/own their stuff I only buy it physical and used.
    I do not Subscribe to Netflix,AMZ,iTunes, ETC.Believe me they are all of the same breed....
    Now you can see the call to put even more DRM in our lives.

     

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    Wolfy, May 6th, 2013 @ 8:13am

    I recently bought a new video card that included a digital download of a game. I installed the game, and when I went to run it, up pops this program I DIDN'T consent to download, asking for a key to the game. SCREW THAT SHIT. If they would have told me I was downloading DRM, I'd have told them to go fuck themselves. Needless to say, I deleted all the associated files I could find. Assholes.

     

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    RD, May 6th, 2013 @ 8:14am

    Re: Re:

    "you know they even tried to get music services like itunes to build them a way they could charge people per listen/view?"

    Sure. 1/10 of a penny per listen, and I can listen to ANY song that has ever been recorded, on any device I choose, anywhere I choose. I'd pay that because the *service* and convenience would be worth it.

    But they would never go for that, they want $1 per listen or some other insane/not in reality figure.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2013 @ 8:16am

    Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    I'd be very interested in knowing how you got Netflix to work in Linux. Netflix is the only thing left that I have to switch away from my XBMC media center to another device to access.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    It is through a version of Wine tweaked especially to accommodate Silverlight (it also works for Love Film). If you Google it, you should find a link to WebUpd8 blog.

     

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    Designerfx (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    netflix has been an incumbent for a long time now. I hope people have realized that. The acceptance of silverlight was the signal of when they swapped.

     

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    Designerfx (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    okay umm, this might have been an interesting post 10 years ago, but today? have you even looked at linux without the false flag troll argument since the XP days?

    I'd guess - no, in fact I'd bet the answer is legitimately no, because this is just a false flag troll with the "I'm a linux user too, but linux has it's flaws".

     

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    Designerfx (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 8:23am

    Re: DRM is just technology, Mike. Accept it without question.

    you don't have to accept recording from glass.

    it's also not relevant to the article.

    also, it's not surveillance. surveillance is the stuff with the vans, and the cameras, and not glass. not unless someone's going to go on a rooftop and try to google glass you, which would be hilarious.

     

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    PaulT (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 8:24am

    Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    True, but at least there would be some hope of working something out. I seriously doubt that the current situation will change much unless either both sides work on true compatibility with each other or the content providers drop the DRM requirement. The latter is highly unlikely, while Silverlight has proven to be highly contentious due to its nature as a Microsoft technology.

    I don't see either of these as being likely in the near future, but I could see a desktop-oriented distro getting involved in supporting the DRM in a non-open version of their distro. Especially if work is done by Google, etc. to get HTML5 DRM content to work on an Android browser first.

    I'm just musing here to be honest, but a move to HTML5 would change the nature of the problems facing users, if not necessarily lead directly to a solution.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2013 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    I'm curious what exactly you think is bullshit in the post? I use Linux as my home desktop and absolutely love it, as I can do so much more with it. I do however work with computers and use it for much more than what I assume the 'average' desktop user would.

    For light users that surf the web and check email, Linux is a great solution.

    For power users that know computers and want to use their desktop for really advanced things, Linux is also great.

    It seems that it's be people in the middle, who don't need or want to know a lot about computers but work with them and need to be compatible with the Windows software they use at work that have the biggest issues with Linux, and for those people Linux is not a good solution.

     

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    PaulT (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 8:27am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I already pay for that service - it's called Spotify ;)

    Seriously though, the problem is that what they want is something that charges you for content *after* you've supposedly already paid for it, not a pure rental service like those already out there. It's about time they learned they can't have it both ways, especially if it involves changing the deal retroactively.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    PaulT has summarised it better than I ever could

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2013 @ 8:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    Hmm, nevermind. It looks like I was confused about what post you were replying to.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 8:36am

    Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    http://www.webupd8.org/2012/11/how-to-use-netflix-in-ubuntu-through.html

    Found the link. It will be Ubuntu and derivatives only.

     

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    Greevar (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 8:38am

    EME is censorship.

    EME would turn the internet from one single, gigantic room of free speech, into billions of locked rooms. If you dare try to spill the content of one room into others, woe be to you. You'll be branded a hacker, a thief, and a terrorist. "If you compete with my monopoly, I don't have it anymore!" - http://mimiandeunice.com/2010/08/15/rivalrous-vs-non-rivalrous/

     

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    Marcel de Jong (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 8:41am

    Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    Even though this is a highly off topic rant, and mostly misguided, I'll touch on one subject

    > MS offered and gave help getting support for silverlight on linux

    Moonlight was an extremely bastardized version of Silverlight, and never fully supported all the trappings that came with Silverlight, also lagging at least 1 version behind Silverlight.
    The media codecs that were needed by Moonlight, had to be installed illegally, and even those never supported the crappy DRM that MS built into Silverlight.
    It's also buggy as can be.

    I've watched several (non-DRM'ed) Silverlight streams with Moonlight, result: I had to pause+play the video about every 5 minutes, and sometimes it would lose its place and start all over again, all because the player would forget it was already playing, and would put the "PLAY NOW" overlay back on top of the already playing video.

    Linux distros have served me very well since I switched from Windows to Linux in 2005. And I do play games (Steam is but a small cog in here, the Humble Bundle has done a lot for Linux gamers too), I surf the web, watch videos, email, do word processing, chat, etc. Without ever resorting to Windows.

    For work, I have to work with Windows, because the machines are locked down, but if I had my wish, they'd be running Linux as well, because there's no software that I need to run for my work that doesn't work on Linux.

     

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    alex (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 8:44am

    I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    I don't particularly see a problem with this - and it could actually be a path to more content being available on the interweb. If it's done right, what's the problem? Netflix and iTunes both use it and work fine for watching movies.

    To say that everything should use open tech and that you should be able to right click on any streaming content and "save as..." isn't really realistic imo.

     

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  38.  
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    Trails (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 8:46am

    Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    Your post:

    something bordering on ad hom


    broad unsupported statement


    Long anecdotal and meandering story with limited relevance to the discussion or point of OP


    bizarre defense of Silverlight


    assertion that Linux is somehow a "non-standard platform, unsupported




    So I guess you had an unfortunate experience with Linux? That's a shame, but not really the point.

    Here's the point:

    DRM sucks at doing what it does. It fails at its ostensible goals, thoroughly and completely. DRM no es bueno, es muy malo. DRM is a fundamentally and unalterably flawed concept, it's not a matter of concocting a more advanced encryption algo, or more advanced connectors (e.g. HDMI), it cannot work. Ever. DRM is the media equivalent of the Maginot Line.

    Given that, Netflix keeps paying customers from using Linux. Why? Because fuck them. That's why. Because studio execs who demand the laws of physics conform to their will cannot accept the idea that their content would be released "unprotected", suspending the fact that DRM is not meaningful protection.

     

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    Trails (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 8:48am

    Re: DRM is just technology, Mike. Accept it without question.

    there's no difference between your assertion that we all must just accept constant surveillance by Glass and accepting DRM.


    Details, poppet. Please expand if you want any marks.

     

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  40.  
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    Shmerl, May 6th, 2013 @ 8:52am

    Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    Complaining about DRM while using the service is a bit hypocritical. I'd say vote with your wallet and boycott it outright.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 8:58am

    Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    I too am trying to see the bad side of Netflix's DRM, other than just not being able to use the service it on Linux. I will avoid DRM if it gets in my way, but Netflix never does this.

    At the same time, there's no reason Netflix can't offer the same service without DRM, which is guess is the whole argument here. It's not necessary, so why have it?

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2013 @ 9:01am

    DRM has been the mother of all fuck ups, the most monumental yet. why on earth would it be done away with considering it's record? has anything else, apart from the Patent system, been such a balls up?

     

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    special-interesting (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 9:01am

    In many ways its good that HTML5 does not support DRM. In this way one can easily eliminate the DRM'd sites from the normal ones. Its easy to ban flash by not installing it. In the same way its a bad thing that HTML5 is trying to become a do it all web protocol. WWW standards are to allow everything and disallow nothing.

    If any content is sent to a computer it must be available for picking apart in any way if only to examining if there is some spyware or malware floating in on the encrypted stream. Its an absolute must. Safely surfing the net and DRM are diametrically opposed concepts.

    Lets be honest; Who cares about some silly Hollywood fiction based idea of forced DRM?

    If a firm wants to restrict its content with some proprietary or open-sourced encryption thats fine. Just don't force it on everyone. Since Flash uses semi-secret hard to delete flash-cookies (and what else don't we know about?) it is banned from any machine in many a place.

    Its is important that the HTML5 standards group not be hijacked by corporations with only their own interests at heart. The World Wide Web Consortium exists to protect the openess of the net and hope they can survive this obvious takeover attempt by big media. What is the difference between Open Sourced and Open Forced?

    The Content Decryption Modules CDMs seem evil in that Microsoft's Bing might require one to use windows and Apple's I-tunes would required OSX. The potential for abuse is staggering and inevitable in todays acidic and hostile corporate warfare. (where American culture and society are the victems)

    In no way does this proposal for HTML5 help make the web more standardized and open. It should be more than just laughed at for being stupid but the consortium members need to be sanctioned for being stupid or worse.

    There are so many legitimate arguments against DRM they are becoming uncountable. In every way will it subtract from the preservation and dissemination of culture and knowledge by whatever means/format. DRM should be outlawed for the good of all.

    As long as the Hollywood fiction supporters like the MPAA, RIAA and other content middlemen like Netflix, MA and Apple are being listened to like they were serious organizations acting in the benefit culture and society we will have such preposterous proposals. Such ridiculous ideas like this will only further carve up the size and scope of Fair Use Rights and Public Domain Rights.

    Reactionary,

    Why shouldn't anyone be able to record a Netflix stream? Who cares! Preserving what we watch be it over the radio, cable, TV or net is a natural culturally beneficially function.

    DRM even on rentals still seems too much. Rental fees are usually still quite high and re-encoding usually is to a down graded version of it of inferior quality.

    Linux is definitely different an has many benefits but it is not compatible with windows or OSX in many ways. Its an open-sourced opportunity that many enjoy already but to have it forced on someone is never a good thing.

    In the same way that it is hard to move from Windows2000 to Windows 8 or from Win to Mac OSX there are adaptation/learning problems also when moving to Linux from some other OS.

    Windows does not play nice with Linux and its always only one win update away from having your Linux partition made unavailable from duel boot system. On the other hand Linux tries its best to be compatible. Installing Windows (after first installing Linux) will not allow duel OS use at all which seems very impolite. One has to install Linux second.

    To be honest; Anyone who deliberately uses a proprietary system running proprietary software producing proprietary file formats is insane. The IBM microcomputer was originally accepted by the business community over Amiga and Apple because of its inter compatibility file formats. Rapidly are offices converting to mostly Linux machines. (there are exceptions when some software is required)

    the words 'piracy' and theft still do not translate to copying files. Its childish and not worthy of attention once mentioned in any argument. Such grade school level bullying should be punished in of itself.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 9:02am

    Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    Truth be told the only issue I have with Netflix DRM is that it does not work on Linux (natively) but that is a Silverlight issue more than anything else.

    Another DRM system I don't particularly have an issue with is Steam. The Linux issue there is that game developers refuse to port their games to Linux but hopefully that will soon change now that Steam is available on Ubuntu.

    These DRM implementations do not interfere too much with how I enjoy what I have paid for. The problem comes when you enter the realms of usage limits or always on Internet requirements. That sort of thing is unacceptable.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2013 @ 9:09am

    Re:

    Anyone who deliberately uses a proprietary system running proprietary software producing proprietary file formats is insane.

    That should be inscribed on a cluestick that is used (as often as necessary) on the CIOs and CTOs of the planet -- although, frankly, most of them are FAR too stupid to comprehend it.

     

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    Greevar (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 9:11am

    Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    The problem is that they are trying to own our culture. They already do own our culture from 1923 and on. They also exploit the public domain to create works so they can sell it back to us and then drop the hammer on anyone that dares attempt to exploit them the way they exploited the public domain. It's a huge double standard. When the corporate media companies copy, they justify it. When we copy, they vilify it.

    The whole system is set up to turn highly abundant resources (our culture) into discreet units of property because capitalism lives and dies on owning things others do not. The content industry fights violently to hold on to what they believe is their property. Even in the face of violating the civil liberties of others. Property is profitable and profit it King. If property is the path to profit, taking away that path to profit by taking away copyright protections threatens profit.

    "Discussions of Intellectual Freedom and Intellectual Property dance around this cherished American right: property. (That said, the term "Intellectual Property" came into use only recently; the term was not used at all when the US Constitution was written.) Property is sacred. Ideas about property change slowly, violently, and fundamentally. Today we find slavery so morally abhorrent, it's hard to believe that human property was a common, socially accepted institution less than 200 years ago. Property rights even in human beings were sacrosanct. People will fight to the death over not just property, but ideas about what property means.

    Anything that challenges definitions of property can provoke heated, emotional responses even from people with no direct stake in the property in question."


    http://questioncopyright.org/redefining_property

     

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    alex (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 9:14am

    Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    I guess it makes the content owners happier to not have their streaming content trivially easy to save.

    It doesn't get into people's way, so nobody minds.

    Everyone's a winner, non?

     

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  48.  
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    Zane Stuart, May 6th, 2013 @ 9:17am

    Legacy schmegacy. Evolve or die.

     

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    alex (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 9:17am

    Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    Don't blame Microsoft for not porting Silverlight to Ubuntu.
    Blame Apple for killing Flash. =]

     

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    Greevar (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 9:18am

    Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    You'll have a problem with Steam DRM if you lose your internet connection (or go mobile) and offline mode breaks. I had this happen to me. I lost my internet access due to a domestic dispute and the .blob file that contained my credentials was corrupted. Without those credentials, Steam assumes you don't have permission to pay those games. It even prevents you from even opening the interface. Valve is no better than the rest of them. They claim to be indifferent to infringement, but they use the same dirty tactics to prevent it.

     

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  51.  
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    alex (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    Did it get resolved?

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 9:30am

    Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    linux as your primary os.....you must be a masochist...or you dont do anything serious desktop/gaming wise...


    Linux is my only OS at home, although I'm mostly a Windows developer nowadays, so I use Windows at work. I do serious work with it, and the occasional serious gaming.

    I use Debian because it is the best OS for me. I find using Windows to be a bit painful (and Apple OSes, which I also develop for, even more so). But here's the thing -- there is no single operating system that is "best" for everyone out there. To claim that you must be masochistic to use is just stupid.

    I just hope your not like a few ex-clients of mine who try and force ubuntu on unspecting noobs/normal users who really are better off on osx or windows.....


    The problem here isn't Ubuntu (although I have to say I have never had any luck with Ubuntu), but the concept of "forcing" an OS on someone.

    I just had to deal with this crap all weekend again, somebody convinced an old client of mine she needed ubuntu


    Do not judge Linux by Ubuntu. Ubuntu poses all kinds of problems for a lot of people. There are other, more compatible, and much better and easier-to-use distros out there.

    she has to edit and communicate in office 2010 files CONSTANTLY and they have to come out properly formatted when she emails them.....she couldnt get that with open office


    Don't know what to say about that -- I have the same use case, but have never had this problem.

    she also uses some software that dosnt work under wine without alot of futzing around(her company requires it)


    So, wait a minute -- she has a situation where she must use some proprietary Windows software and is trying to use it under a different operating system -- and somehow this is the operating system's fault??

    .MS arent the good guys but, every time they do something smart/nice it seems a loud portion of the linux community kick them in the teeth for it


    For good reason. You must not be familiar with the numerous aggressive and evil tactics Microsoft has used against Linux over the decades. Pretending to be friendly and supportive is a standard one. Trusting Microsoft in the slightest is the height of stupidity.

    just thinking about all that time wasted reinstalling windows7+office+other stuff....*bangs head into desk*


    If you hate your job that much, you should find another line of work.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    The complaint here isn't about DRM in the general sense. It's about incorporating DRM in the HTML standard.

     

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    alex (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    That's all well and good, but it doesn't answer the question of how to provide a streaming service that doesn't quickly become a really-cheap downloading service.

     

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  55.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 9:35am

    Re: Simple fix

    That would fix nothing, though.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 9:37am

    Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    If it's done right, what's the problem? Netflix and iTunes both use it and work fine for watching movies.


    And that's fine -- they can continue to do so just as they've always done. This stuff just shouldn't be part of the HTML standard.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2013 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    "A move to a standard like HTML5 is definitely more beneficial for the future than sticking with a proprietary MS product."

    Except that any and all DRM technologies used in conjunction with HTML5 will doubtless be proprietary. For software-based DRM, making the source code public would enable users to remove the DRM while retaining the ability to view protected content. For hardware-based DRM, on the other hand, it is the decryption keys that would have to remain proprietary for copyright holders to adopt a particular solution.

    DRM products will always be proprietary. They have to be in order to work as intended. This means DRM-locked content will always be tied to proprietary platforms.

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    DRM products will always be proprietary. They have to be in order to work as intended.

    This is not strictly true. I think you're confusing keeping the source code or implementation secret, and keeping the encryption keys secret.

    It is quite possible to have a fully open source DRM system, so long as asymetric keys (public/private key pairs) are used. The vector to then attack those types of DRM systems becomes determining the private key used to encrypt the data. The biggest DRM failures involving keys you've probably heard about (Blu-Ray, Sony PS3, DVD CSS) are instances where poor implementation (open or not) left the private keys easily recoverable.

    (All that said, its still a horrendously bad idea supporting DRM within HTML5.)

     

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    Greevar (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    Yeah, once I got my internet connection back, I re-entered my log-in. That fixed it. I also discovered that if you don't close Steam before you shut down, it can corrupt your .blob file, which is what happened to me. Moral of the story: Steam is just as horrible as any other DRM system and completely unnecessary.

     

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    Greevar (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 10:19am

    Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    No, that wasn't the question. The question was, "what's the problem?" and I explained why. You never asked how to provide a steaming service that doesn't get exploited by its customers.

    'I don't particularly see a problem with this - and it could actually be a path to more content being available on the interweb. If it's done right, what's the problem? Netflix and iTunes both use it and work fine for watching movies.

    To say that everything should use open tech and that you should be able to right click on any streaming content and "save as..." isn't really realistic imo.'


    This is an exact quotation of the comment I replied to. I don't see a question of "how?", do you?

     

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  61.  
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    alex (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    Ok.

    If there's nothing wrong with the way Netflix implement DRM via Silverlight and there's no way to currently implement a similar strategy in HTML5, why would it be wrong to include one?


    I'm curious as to your reasoning because it sounds like you're coming from a different angle than "DRM is always bad" as per the OP. I do know, as a web developer, that doing even slightly secure streaming via HTML5 (without a browser plugin) is very difficult at the moment - and no Flash on iDevices and no Silverlight on Ubuntu - all a bit of a nightmare to work with. It's not Open Web.

     

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  62.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 10:26am

    Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    I guess it makes the content owners happier to not have their streaming content trivially easy to save.

    But it doesn't do that. It never has, and never will (at least without western democracies going all the way down the police state path).

    What it does do is tie us up into compatibility issues. Instead of the tired old "This page best viewed in Internet Explorer 6" experience we suffered through, this turns it into "This page ONLY viewable on devices approved by the copyright owner."

    It's not everyone's a winner - it's no-one is a winner.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    Here's the thing. They're selling a STREAMING service, i.e. a service where you connect your device to the internet, log on to your account and they blast the show/movie down the pipes to you. This is the perfect situation for the average person.

    Here's what the average person doesn't have. Hard Drives. Oh, sure, about now, they'll have a laptop, tablet(s), maybe a desktop, but not 5-10 hard drives, unlike me (I've got about 13TB total at the moment, and am planning a 20TB home server). Now, I'm okay with building a complicated RAID array, and over time amassing a large library of downloaded MKVs. I wouldn't touch Netflix but that's all right. I'm not in its target market.
    Netflix is for the person who doesn't want to mess around with hard drives. They just want to fire up their games console or hook up their laptop via HDMI to the TV, click on Netflix, and bam...there's content (well, as long as there's a net connection, but that's a natural restriction of the service).
    In a sane world, all Netflix's management would have to do is help ensure its customers have a fast and reliable net connection (by putting pressure on ISPs to have good networks) and to have an insanely large library...and never remove titles. If you forget about copyright for the moment, the notion of Netflix pulling titles makes no sense whatsoever. It's not Blockbuster, making shelf space for profitable titles by removing old ones.

    As for worrying about people downloading...so what? Even if someone is constantly recording the stream, well, they've already paid Netflix to access their service. If they somehow manage to record all the content and thus, don't want Netflix anymore, well, the best (and perhaps only way) to retain that person as a paying customer is to offer more content.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    Damn, meant to reply to alex, not Greevar.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    Really? I've been a Steam user for years and have never had any problems (other than the time I lost net service for about a month or two and didn't put it in Offline mode beforehand). It's never once been corrupted and I shut down Windows without bothering to close Steam all the time.

     

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  66.  
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    RyanNerd (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 10:40am

    Re:

    But Port 443 is okay for DRM?

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    but it doesn't answer the question of how to provide a streaming service that doesn't quickly become a really-cheap downloading service.

    The difference between "streaming" and "downloading" in a technical sense is only 'how long the content stays in computer memory'.

    Preventing everyone from being able to capture a stream of sound or video on a general purpose computer is not technologically possible. And even if it were, you still have the analog hole - there's no way to stop someone from recording it with another device. In order for music or video content to be useful to humans, it needs to be viewable/listenable to humans and that makes it susceptible to being copied, and thus any attempt to make it less viewable/listenable ends up making it less useful and as such is folly.

     

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    alex (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    Ok but they need to use the DRM to keep the content owners happy (which I can totally understand). A movie on iTunes to buy costs about the same as 1 month subscription to Netflix and you'd be able to grab all you wanted in that month. If Netflix adopted that stance with HTML5 as it is at the moment their providers would pull all of their content over night and they wouldn't have a business.




    Where do you buy your MKVs from out of interest?

     

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    Greevar (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    Just for the hell of it, I'll respond to your question from out of the blue (no pun intended).

    How do they provide a streaming service that doesn't quickly become a really cheap downloading service? Well, the first thing they need to do is figure out what business they are really in. Here's a hint: They aren't in the content business. They're actually providing a service of convenience. They offer to the customer the ability to stream content to their home without the need to fill their hard drive with movies and TV shows that would require an entire server farm to manage. Netflix is selling people bandwidth. Nobody is going to bother with Netflix as a download service when they can much more effectively get the video file they desire by using P2P networks. Netflix doesn't need DRM, they are trying to put up a gate when there isn't even a fence to support it. The whole world can just walk around the gate (i.e. bitorrent).

    The purpose the DRM serves is to placate the copyright holders and their corporate shareholders. It gives the false sense that Netflix is preventing people from getting free content because the copyright holders can't stand the idea that someone might get access to content that doesn't put money in their pockets. Content without DRM is viewed as a huge risk and if corporations are anything, they are risk adverse. DRM is a false sense of security.

     

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  70.  
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    alex (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    Very true.

    There's a difference between capturing a stream and viewing the page source and doing a wget on the source file though.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    Buy...? Um, surely you've been here long enough to have seen one of my comments where I say I infringe copyright.
    Here's the thing. I'm okay with paying to access cyberlockers, because access to their servers is a scarce resource. They too have to pay for internet bandwidth, so it makes sense for me to fork over some money.
    What I don't view it as is paying directly for the MKVs themselves. They're uploaded by people for free. Since I've rejected copyright, I don't see anything wrong with copying those files for free. Now, if I happen to be getting the files through P2P, that's when no money changes hands. That's when the people are basically donating the bandwidth they've paid for to share files.

     

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    RyanNerd (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    Take a second look at the main article. You point to the problem yourself "No Flash, iDevices, Silverlight" the problem with adding DRM to HTML5 is that it starts out as a separate component that will likely not be implemented on all platforms.
    As a web designer you should know full well what a pain in the ass it is to code for different clients (browsers) that implement things differently, or in some instances do not even offer support for what you as a web designer want to do.
    So if you have an insane boss that insists that you code for all possible clients (even for the 80 year old guy using win95) you end up with a web page that looks like an early 90's homepage with flaming skulls as your banners.
    Adding DRM to HTML5 should be resisted on this basis alone.

     

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  73.  
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    Rikuo (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    "that would require an entire server farm to manage."

    Oh god...if I was rich, I'd make sure to build a server farm, get Google Fiber and bribe them to ignore any and all copyright notices.

     

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    Greevar (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    It can happen and it did happen to me. Here's the dialog that you get:

    http://i.imgur.com/WZYpy.png

    This means, no internet and no log-in info = no offline mode. You can't access the Steam software, your games, anything.

     

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  75.  
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    alex (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    You could very well be right on all of that I think. I guess I'm coming from a different perspective and thinking I'd be happier for it to just be implemented if it means easier access to legal content. I live in Germany and we're extremely limited as to what we can access here without proxys or illegal downloading.


    btw, I didn't mean to brush off your post before. I re-read my reply and it sounded a bit like that. Wasn't what I meant.

     

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  76.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    I don't think it's possible (though I admit this is not my area of expertise). Public/Private works by someone using your public key to encrypt something that only you can decrypt with your private key. In the case of DRM, the content owners would use their private key to encrypt so other's could use their public key to decrypt. But if the key is public, then the DRM is effectively dead.

    They could try encrypting the content with their customer's public keys, so the customers can then decrypt it with their private keys, but then you have to re-encrypt the content for every purchaser, and you still haven't solved the main problem: the consumer can decrypt the content at will.

    The problem with DRM is that it tries to hide those keys from the same people being shown the content. It has to do this so that they can't get the keys to decrypt the content at will. So far, that's been done by having closed-source, proprietary and obfuscated solutions. With an open source solution, it would be trivial to find where the keys are hidden by reading the source code, or even easier, compile your own version that just prints the key out. Once you have the keys, you decrypt the content once, and now it's decrypted for always.

     

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  77.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 11:21am

    Re:

    I don't believe, for one second, Netflix would back DRM if it wasn't for the puppeteers pulling their strings
    If you've followed the story of Apple and DRM, or the ongoing story of Amazon and DRM, you'd see nobody likes DRM more than the reseller.

    The RIAA insisted on DRM and made Apple into a near monopoly power that the RIAA hated.

    Publishers insisted on DRM and made Amazon into a near monopoly power that the publishers hated.

    Netflix is a bit different since they are upfront about only renting content where Apple and Amazon were giving appearances to selling content (DRM means you aren't selling anything).

     

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  78.  
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    alex (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    Oof @ "Since I've rejected copyright, I don't see anything wrong with copying those files for free."

    You're collecting 20Tb of copyright files for free because you reject copyright. I think that's awful. Why don't you actually practice what you preach and stick to Creative Commons or other non-copyright movies?



    I'm going to go do something else now.

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2013 @ 11:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    The big problem with DRM is that the user has to have the decryption key ro render the content. Without giving them the means of decryption the content is useless. Therefore making the system open source allows the decryption key to be recovered easily, while HDMOI is an attempt to protect them.

     

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  80.  
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    Shmerl, May 6th, 2013 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    I mean specifically Netflix. I.e. it deserves to be boycotted for obliging the media companies with pushing DRM into the HTML standard.

     

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  81.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    Think bigger. If I was rich, I'd buy a small island internationally recognized as a sovereign country, wire it up and set up a data haven. Then for redundancy, I'd do it a few more places around the world.

     

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  82.  
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    Rikuo (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    I think you misunderstood me. I have rejected copyright.
    Not copyrighted content.
    With the way copyright law is set up at the moment, all content is copyrighted the moment it is created. If I were to reject copyrighted content, well...I'd have a pretty small library, wouldn't I?
    Besides, creative commons is still not good enough for me. I would have to agree to abide by whatever the artist says, which is the basic principle of copyright.

    Anyway, I do practice what I preach. I have rejected copyright, have said so publicly, and do what I say I do.

     

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  83.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    They could try encrypting the content with their customer's public keys, so the customers can then decrypt it with their private keys, but then you have to re-encrypt the content for every purchaser, and you still haven't solved the main problem: the consumer can decrypt the content at will.

    I never said it would be easy, or scalable, to implement an effective DRM system that keeps keys secret up until the analog hole, only that it is possible. And yes, the problem for all DRM systems is that the customer must be able to decrypt the content for it to be useful.

    It's not a fault with encryption, and even some implementation methods, that inevitably cause all DRM systems to fail. It is because in order for the content to be useful, it must be decrypted and then is susceptible to copying.

     

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  84.  
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    Rikuo (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    Oh yeah, and I still do pay for content anyway. I have a very large library of games on Steam, about 700GB+, all bought and paid for. I admit, paid for copyrighted content is not the majority, but I wouldn't be able to fill up 20TB+ of paid for content anyway - I simply wouldn't have the money.

     

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  85.  
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    Rikuo (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    I see your small island and raise you a satellite or ten orbiting the planet. Think I'd be able to class NASA as a common carrier if I can get them to launch the rockets carrying the satellites into space?

     

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  86.  
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    alex (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    So you want free access to content from artists who have no say at all in what you're allowed to do with the content?

    What's your proposal for how these artists go about creating your next 20Tb of content?

     

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  87.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2013 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    Actually there is no practical difference between stream capture and wget, both result in a local copy. The latter is useful over slow connections prone to occasional drop-outs, so long as a restart is possible.

     

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  88.  
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    out_of_the_blue, May 6th, 2013 @ 12:06pm

    Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    Indeed, DRM is pointless always has been always will be, and to pretend that it's hack proof is silly.

    There will always be a hacker out there that can look at something from a viewpoint nobody else will see. The problem is all this DRM has multiple error which is nothing major because every piece of software that exist has them. Sure they can be fixed, but a new way will open up.

    Even the companies that want to put huge amounts of code on their server side only are fools to think that these hackers are not smart enough to fill in the blanks.

    Diablo 3 Perfect example. Cracked to look around within hours of release and shortly after fully cracked private servers. I bought D3 it was extremely disappointing at least till I found a good modded private server which I fucking love. Well not as much as Path of Exile but pretty damn close lol.

     

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  89.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    If there's nothing wrong with the way Netflix implement DRM via Silverlight and there's no way to currently implement a similar strategy in HTML5, why would it be wrong to include one?


    Well, first, there is a way to do this with HTML 5 -- the same way it's done now. Including it in the standard is wrong because that's not where this sort of thing belongs.

    I do know, as a web developer, that doing even slightly secure streaming via HTML5 (without a browser plugin) is very difficult at the moment


    And the standard being proposed won't change this -- you'll still have proprietary, platform-dependent plugins. They're just called "modules" instead of "plugins".

     

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    Rikuo (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    I want free access to my machine and equipment that I have already paid for. I don't want DRM that restricts what my computer does and lessens my control over the hardware that I (should) legally own.
    As for the artists? They can still create. Copyright doesn't give them the ability to create, they have always had that. I too am an artist (not a good one, and quite frankly I don't really care whether I am or not) and I don't accept that if I were to record a piece of music, I automatically have the legal right to pursue people who play it without my permission.

    Artists can face the same problem that everyone else does. They can try and find a way of monetising themselves. But a way that doesn't harm the rest of society. Just because for the last 300 years they've been able to do so at a cost of legal freedoms from everyone else doesn't mean such a system should continue in perpetuity. There are artists on Kickstarter. There are artists on Youtube, who earn ad revenue. Artists can do commissions - I once paid an artist to draw a picture for me.
    Instead of artists trying to force the world to bend to their wishes, they can instead bend to the world, which is what everyone else does. If this means that eventually, the notion of a class or job of artist being someone who does a few works and then basically collects rents on them for the rest of their lives be destroyed - so be it. Eventually, what I do for a living will be more or less replaced with robots, and once that comes, I've got to be prepared to earn a living a different way. Not be a Luddite and try and prevent my redundancy.

     

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    Chosen Reject (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    It's not DRM if the customer can decrypt at will (besides playing the content through the approved player). If the consumer knows, or even can know, one of the keys, then it's not DRM. The only way I know of to hide the key from the consumer without hiding it from the player is to obfuscate the key. Open source prevents that. Partly because you can read the code, and partly you can also compile your own version that just prints out the key.

    I don't think it's a matter of simplicity, but rather feasibility. Stack overflow seems to be in agreement. Open source DRM is probably not possible.

     

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  92.  
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    Rikuo (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    "Open source DRM is probably not possible."

    Remove that probable from the sentence. You cannot have the words Open Source and DRM next to each other.
    DRM as a concept is where one guy says how and when the other guy's computer can copy and access his file. To do that, by definition, by nature, the DRM must restrict what the second guy is able to do with his computer. If the computer is using all open source, then by definition, he is in full control, he can disable the DRM at will.

    Those who advocate for DRM are looking for the uncopyable file...which simply doesn't exist. It cannot exist. You might as well be saying you're looking for a square with only two angles, or a triangle that adds up to 121 degrees. At best, you can encrypt the file, but in order for it to be worth anything at all to the consumer (the person paying you) you have to unlock it at some point, open it and allow them to view it.

     

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  93.  
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    CrushU, May 6th, 2013 @ 1:18pm

    I don't think that means what you think it means...

    From the article:
    EME's authors keep saying that what CDMs are, and do, and where they come from is totally outside of the scope of EME, and that EME itself can't be thought of as DRM because not all CDMs are DRM systems. Yet if the client can't prove it's running the particular proprietary thing the site demands, and hence doesn't have an approved CDM, it can't render the site's content.


    This sounds reasonable. Provided EME's and CDMs are generic. Why is this reasonable? Because Android already does it. Android-based systems don't say 'Give me a location from this manufacturer's GPS device', they present a query to the device such as 'Give me the current location, accurate to the meter' and it doesn't care how that gets done.

    To extrapolate this to EME's and CDMs...
    EME = .swf, .js, .mp3
    CDM = Flash Player, Web Browser, Audio Player.
    If this is implemented properly, a plugin could specify which CDMs it fulfills, and then the webpage specifying its EMEs and which CDMs it needs could use any plugin that satisfies the conditions. In other words, you could have ANY Flash Player as long as it claims it's able to interpret the EME that is a .swf file, not just Adobe's. 'DRM' isn't a type of media, nor is it a Media Extension. Nor is it an Encrypted Media Extension. Did we forget this?

    This is already how the web works. You can have ANY Web Browser as long as it claims it's able to interpret the file that is a .htm file, not just IE, or Safari, or Firefox.

    At least, that's what this looks like to me as a programmer...

     

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  94.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2013 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    Have been using Linux for 10 years now.

    Aside from limited hardware options, I am good with it, I became very good at finding things.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 2:19pm

    Re: I don't think that means what you think it means...

    Yes, my interpretation is very similar to this. However, if this is correct, then it makes the proposal even more baffling, because it adds exactly no new functionality. I don' t see the benefit here for anybody.

    That makes me think that my interpretation must be flawed, and the existing description is a trojan horse of some sort. In either case, it makes the proposal highly objectionable.

     

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  96.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2013 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    The content industry has failed to learn the lesson that king Canute was teaching, you cannot hold back the tide by simply commanding that it stops.
    All attempts to control content are doomed to failure so long as users can control what their own devices do. All DRM will fail so long as someone can get at a decoded copy of the content, or where lower resolutions are acceptable, simply record the analogue output.
    Prior to powerful personal computers and the Internet, peoples ability to express themselves, and communicate their ideas, were limited by the necessity to use go through a gatekeeper, either for publication, or for access to the equipment to carry out the creation or works. That this was a restriction on speech was not obvious, because of the limited capacity for creation and publication.
    Now that the means of creating and publishing works is available to almost everyone, the conflict between copyright and freedom of speech is obvious. Further, as various creators have shown, copyright is not essential to making a living.
    DRM is the effort of a legacy industry that never really understood creativity or culture to protect their gatekeeper role. They are making the piracy problem worse by attempting to increase their control over when and how their content is used, not just by DRM, but also by windowed releases, and withdrawing works from one channel of distribution when they are going to be distributed on another channel.
    By limiting availability of works, charging more than the marginal cost of copying and distribution, and aggressively attacking any an all remixing of works, the legacy industries are hindering the ability of people top reach their full potential and express themselves. This includes making knowledge too expensive for many people to follow their own interests, and maybe benefit mankind by making revolutionary discoveries in maths and science.
    Further the legacy Industries were never that good at paying the actual creator as they had a queue at their doors and so did not have to worry if the lack of income caused some to give up. The meme of the starving artist has not gone away despite centuries of copyright to protect their works.
    DRM is bad because it is associated with the erroneous concept that ideas can be owned, and their use and circulation controlled.

     

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  97.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2013 @ 3:34pm

    Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    Lucky for me, some clever users were willing to violate the DMCA and risk fines and jailtime to circumvent the DRM and allow Netflix's Watch Instantly software to run in Linux based PCs. It is absolutely insane that one must risk financial and social ruin to allow people to use services they are already paying for.

    Oh look. A Techdirt employee admitting to violating the DMCA. Shocker. You do realize that using an access control is illegal even if you didn't make it or traffic in it, right? Good on ya, Zach. At least you're willing to admit publicly that you're a pirate.

     

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  98.  
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    Karl (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 3:50pm

    Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    At least you're willing to admit publicly that you're a pirate.

    That is utter and complete bullshit. He is circumventing access controls so that he can watch content that he paid for.

    You have to circumvent access controls to watch Netflix on Linux, and if you do, you still cannot watch a stream from Netflix without paying for it. The only thing breaking the DMCA does, is make your Linux box behave like a Windows or OSX box. Absolutely no piracy is involved whatsoever.

    You've just proved that you're a liar. Congratulations!

     

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  99.  
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    Karl (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 3:53pm

    Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    Also:

    Oh look. A Techdirt employee

    E. Zachary Knight is not an employee of Techdirt.

    Again: liar.

     

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  100.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2013 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    Oh look, legal beagle Karl is mangling the law again. Circumventing access controls violates the DMCA. It doesn't matter that he's doing it to watch content he paid for--which is not even true. He paid for content with certain access controls. Nothing at all permits him to circumvent those access controls. He didn't pay for or receive that right. That he has a Netflix subscription is irrelevant. That he's using an incompatible OS is irrelevant. Neither of those facts excuses his circumvention.

    "No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title." It's that simple. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/1201

    You've just proved that you're a liar. Congratulations!

    Nope. You've just proved, again, that you don't understand the law. He violated the DMCA if he circumvented access controls. You can't spin that, no matter how many silly tangents you go off on.

     

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  101. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2013 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    Oh, he didn't author 137 posts for Techdirt? http://www.techdirt.com/user/ezacharyk

    If not an employee, then an independent contractor. My point stands. One of Mike's Chosen has admitted to violating the DMCA. And no one is surprised. Of course Mike's Faithful are pirates. What else could they possibly be?

     

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  102.  
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    Davey, May 6th, 2013 @ 4:38pm

    Re:

    Exactly. MS's passion for this coup makes it absolutely clear that this is the same old game: Use the law and bullying to keep profitable walled junkyard going. It has nothing to do with "intellectual property", and everything to do with keeping smarter folks from blowing the trogs out of their comfy castles with better stuff. All this idiocy will do is make "piracy" more legitimate: The trogs pirated HTML, so what's wrong with pirating their stuff?

     

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  103.  
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    Roman, May 6th, 2013 @ 4:48pm

    "Veto power"

    The content owners do not have so much veto power as they would have us believe. Every time they refuse an authorized way to get their content that's convenient for the user, the user goes to an unauthorized way to get the content and then who really wins? The content owner may feel proud like "Oh look at me, I have all the power, I denied this one company my content and now it doesn't exist anymore" but in reality they've ramped up the unauthorized distribution and consumption of their content.

    Netflix needs to say to content partners, "Look, the technological landscape has changed. If you demand DRM we cannot work with you, and you're just promoting unauthorized distribution." If they really care about getting customers they will drop the DRM nonsense, otherwise they will lose money until they simply vanish and no one misses them.

     

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  104.  
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    Gwiz (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 6:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    "No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title." It's that simple. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/1201


    I'd argue that 17 USC 1201 (f) gives me the right to circumvent the technological measures for the purpose of creating interoperability between Netflix and my "independently created" Linux operating system as long as my acquiring the content from Netflix was licensed and legal to begin with.

     

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  105.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2013 @ 6:26pm

    all they are doing is adding DRM functionality in the HTML5 standard.

    They are not forcing anyone or everyone to use that functionality.

    It's not stopping you from steaming your own content, or your own legal content..

    It's just more features, and functionality for those who want to employ it.

    It's just a standard.. get over it.
    So, some people might not be able to steal the content they used to get, or have to steal it from another source.

    again,

    apt-get a life

     

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  106.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2013 @ 6:32pm

    Services without DRM fail spectacularly ALWAYS 100% without fail, every single time.

    iTunes....yeah that only made 50 billion sales and 140 billion profit...total flop if you ask me.

     

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  107.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2013 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    Pirate douchebags?

    oh wait, all pirates are douchebags.

     

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  108.  
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    Karl (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 8:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    Oh, he didn't author 137 posts for Techdirt?

    Oops, you're right - apologies.

     

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  109.  
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    Karl (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 8:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    Circumventing access controls violates the DMCA.

    Nobody's arguing that it doesn't violate the DMCA. That doesn't mean it's piracy. If you are accessing content that you paid for and have a legal right to access, it's not "piracy," plain and simple. It may be violating the law in some way, but "piracy" it isn't.

    One of the major problems with the DMCA anti-circumvision provisions is that they criminalize behavior that is not an infringement of copyright.

    He's not doing any unauthorized copying; he's not distributing anything; he's not violating the public performance right; etc. Not a single one of the exclusive rights from 17 USC 106 are being violated.

    That you call this "piracy" shows how much of an utterly despicable slimeball you are.

     

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  110.  
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    techflaws (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 11:07pm

    Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    You do realize that using an access control is illegal even if you didn't make it or traffic in it, right?
    You do realize noone gives a f*ck, and rightfully so, do ya?

     

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  111.  
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    techflaws (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 11:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    He violated the DMCA if he circumvented access controls. You can't spin that, no matter how many silly tangents you go off on.

    That's rich coming from the jackass trying to frame Zack's action as piracy. They're not. Period.

     

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  112.  
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    techflaws (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 11:11pm

    Re: DRM is just technology, Mike. Accept it without question.

    Society doesn't have to allow every damn fool notion that comes along

    Correct. So lets circumvent DRM everyone.

     

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  113.  
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    techflaws (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 11:16pm

    Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    Noone says that. What they say is, that the fundamental web technologies should be open which is what made the Internet possible in the first place.

    And why should Hollyweb get any say in the matter? If they insist on DRM, fine. Let them stream via plugins. What's the problem?

     

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  114.  
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    techflaws (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 11:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    If Netflix adopted that stance with HTML5 as it is at the moment their providers would pull all of their content over night and they wouldn't have a business.
    Right, just as the networks promised no to air any HD content if they couldn't get encrypted digital TV. Oops.

    Where do you buy your MKVs from out of interest?
    I buy my BDs and rip them to my file server as MKV. Any questions?

     

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  115.  
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    techflaws (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 11:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    it doesn't answer the question of how to provide a streaming service that doesn't quickly become a really-cheap downloading service.

    I don't care. And I see absolutely no reason why the W3C should care.

     

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  116.  
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    techflaws (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 11:27pm

    Re:

    It's just a standard.. get over it.

    It's just a web standard without proprietary DRM crap. Get over it.

     

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  117.  
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    alex (profile), May 7th, 2013 @ 12:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    I'm sorry but your argument is full of holes.

    You want completely free and unrestricted access to your stuff but you will not extend that freedom to other people's stuff. What's yours is yours to do as you like with and what belongs to others you should also be able to do what you like with.

    You're saying the jobs of the people who create content are redundant. "They can still create." but you don't offer an alternative solution to copyright to incentivise creation - to create those high-budget movies and games on your hard drives.

    And you're saying DRM doesn't work but that the only copyright stuff you pay for is the stuff that's locked down with DRM (from Steam).

     

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  118.  
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    Rikuo (profile), May 7th, 2013 @ 1:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    Here's my view of what "property" is. Something tangible. Something real. Something I can touch, something that is scarce, finite in number.
    If you want to control who accesses your work, then in today's digital age, you've got to take extra special precautions. About the only way you can do that today, without demanding that I install DRM or give up some basic freedoms, is to not release the content at all. Have your music file on a hard drive at your house and charge for admission to your house, and don't allow anyone to bring a recording device.
    If your music file is already out in the wild, on the internet, then there is nothing you should do. It's out there, you can't turn back time and get it back. If you're an artist I highly respect, there is a good chance I will respect your wishes that I not torrent it - but that is something you've got to earn first. I've heard plenty of times (especially from trolls) to "respect the artist's wishes" but sorry my friend, respect has to be earned, not demanded.
    In my view, trying to base your livelihood, your means of survival, on the selling of what is infinite (content files) is stupid. Because it is infinite, the price of the file is 0. Therefore, the advent of technology has rendered the traditional job of artist obsolete.
    In today's world, an artist has got to do more, in order to survive. There are several artists that I gladly support. For one, Techdirt. They get $15 a month off of me, by selling me what is scarce - access to the chat box you see on the right hand edge of the screen and early viewings of unpublished articles. It took me a while, but I was eventually convinced that that was a fair price, for the value I was getting.
    Other artists I highly respect also receive money from me in one way or another. I've backed a couple of Kickstarters so far. I've paid for commission for an artist (after viewing their portfolio for free on DeviantArt and being impressed with their skill level and quality, I felt I was getting good value). Other artist examples would include famous video-game critc Spoony. I once paid to get into a convention to see him, paid again for an autograph and that was something scarce, but something I felt was good value.

    As for paying for Steam, that is where Steam succeeds with its convenience factor. I am fully capable of stripping any and all DRM from all the games I've bought. (However, games with too draconian DRM, I avoid entirely, licit or illicit - like say the latest Sim City) When I pay for a game on Steam, I view it as paying for high speed access to their servers, in order to download the game. That is when I say I will pay for that convenience instead of hunting down the games on various torrent sites. I also view it as a way of sending some money to the developers of games that I have actually infringed on beforehand (in fact, what I would love to do is just wire-transfer or something some money into the developer's bank accounts). This, in my view, is not to pay the "entrance fee", so to speak, in order to play the games, but to encourage those developers and give them the resources to develop more games.
    Sometimes, even when I can pay, I won't. I like The Sims series, but for me, the price EA demands just doesn't match or fall below the value I hold for it. The Sims is a good series, it can amuse me for a short time, but I wouldn't put that value as being at...lemme check Steam real quickly...holy shit! Currently, Sims 3 and all expansion packs are going for a jaw-dropping 564.82 (or US$738.768)
    This is where Mike's words of value exceeding price are completely true. Here, it's the opposite. I would never pay FIVE HUNDRED AND SIXTY EURO for a game. Especially for a DIGITAL DOWNLOAD, where nothing physical is being shipped. It's just blasting about 10-20 gigabytes down the tubes to me, which is nothing. (And then, for a kicker, EA put in a Store to sell more items...even should you drop that amount anyway).

    And about the high-budget games and movies - just because it's high budget doesn't equate to quality. If it so happens that Hollywood collapses, then so be it. It will mean that new studios will arise, ones who will take a good look at the world and figure out how to survive, hopefully without repeating the mistakes of the previous generation, without demanding that their audience give up plenty of freedoms and rights. Do I, personally, have to provide a solution? No. (Why is it you're echoing AJ and the other trolls on that one?) I don't really produce content, so it's nothing that I really think about. There is no onus on me to try and help a legacy industry survive

     

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  119.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 7th, 2013 @ 2:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    I don't know his personal situation, but I've "authored" two posts. I'm not an employee, I've never been paid nor asked for payment. I'm someone with an opinion who has used an available platform to voice said opinion. Perhaps if you provided your evidence that Zachary has been paid for his posts, you might have a point, but otherwise it's another one of your assumptions that you use to attack people without every investigating whether they're true (and they usually aren't).

    But then given that you're already proven to be a liar (calling him a pirate, when he's a paying customer), I don't expect you to have either evidence or nuance in your consideration of this.

    "Of course Mike's Faithful are pirates."

    Define "pirate". Paying legally for content is not usually part of that definition, no matter how far you try to twist it. What's the fantasy definition you're working from this time?

     

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  120.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 7th, 2013 @ 2:11am

    Re: Re:

    The real difference is that Apple and Amazon were primarily selling the hardware, with the DRM allowing them a nice lock-in to their hardware that wouldn't have existed with non-DRMed content. Netflix aren't tied to a hardware platform, so I doubt they think about it in the same way. The DRM probably generates a lot of unnecessary work from them, from developing native apps for each platform to the support costs that incompatibilities raise. I get the impression they'd be happier without it.

     

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  121.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 7th, 2013 @ 2:17am

    Re:

    Missing the point again, I see. Are you tired of addressing fictions rather than the things people are actually saying yet?

     

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  122.  
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    alex (profile), May 7th, 2013 @ 2:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    You're argument is completely inconsistent.

    You do have to provide an alternative if you're saying we're better off without copyright and if you're saying that abolishing copyright is likely to lead to the likes of hollywood collapsing, then you're admitting that copyright is serving its purpose in encouraging creation of content.

    If you truly walked the walk in "rejecting" copyright than you would be able to have all the content you wanted from non-copyright sources (which of course any creator is free to license their work under).

    I'm not saying for 1 second that copyright is anywhere near perfect - but you're denying it has any place whatsoever at the same time as gluttonously gorging yourself on the fruits provided under it and suggesting no alternative.

    I've heard the one about scarcity - but I cannot accept that an album/movie/book/software that many hundreds (or thousands) of hours of work have gone into the creation of can have no cost at all due to the format on which it's held. Perhaps the economic "law" of scarcity is outdated for the digital age.

    Sorry but it sounds to me like you've structured your argument around what suits you.




    ps. I'm not a troll just because I'm not towing the anti-copyright line. My words are not meant to provoke or upset anyone. I just don't agree with you. Peace.

     

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  123.  
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    Rikuo (profile), May 7th, 2013 @ 4:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    "You do have to provide an alternative if you're saying we're better off without copyright and if you're saying that abolishing copyright is likely to lead to the likes of hollywood collapsing, then you're admitting that copyright is serving its purpose in encouraging creation of content."

    I don't have to. Where are you getting this notion that I, a consumer of content, must be a business model advisor?
    Also, I'd like to know where I said copyright served its purpose in encouraging creation. I didn't. Was it when I mentioned Steam? In case I wasn't clear, I pay for Steam games NOT because they have DRM and because they're copyrighted titles, I pay because I get high speed access to the games, a convenience. When I pay, I can just set the client program to download without having to go searching through the Piratebay, finding a torrent with high seeders and then dealing with a crack that may or may not be malware. The fact the game is copyrighted is incidental, it means nothing to me.

    "I've heard the one about scarcity - but I cannot accept that an album/movie/book/software that many hundreds (or thousands) of hours of work have gone into the creation of can have no cost at all due to the format on which it's held. Perhaps the economic "law" of scarcity is outdated for the digital age."
    I am a consumer of content. I do not give a rat's ass how long and how much money you've spent developing your particular piece of content. In fact, it is impossible for me to care. I was not a part of the development. Let's take blue's favourite number. Let's say you've spent three years and a $100 million making a movie. For you, that's a lot of money and a lot of time.
    Guess who I am? I'm the guy you want to sit in the cinema for two hours. That two hours is all it means to me. I've got some free time, you have this movie, I want to be entertained. But once the two hours is up...I'm done. My ticket cost an average of 10 quid. Beyond that, I cannot care. Does that mean that if I watch a movie that cost $200 million, I should pay 20 quid for a ticket? 30 for 300 mil? I may torrent the movie first before going to the cinema (did this with the live action versions of Last Airbender and Dragonball...and my god, I would have derived more entertainment by setting the price of my cinema ticket on fire and watching it burn than those movies). If your movie is in a cinema, that's a scarce resource. The cinema is selling a finite number of seats for a finite number of viewings, so I'm happy with paying for that. I see no problems with it.

    "I'm not saying for 1 second that copyright is anywhere near perfect - but you're denying it has any place whatsoever at the same time as gluttonously gorging yourself on the fruits provided under it and suggesting no alternative. "
    I throw money at developers when I can and when I deem fit. In today's world, there's a myriad of entertainment options. The idea of paying for digital content, before you experience it, is one that is far too risky, in my opinion, for the consumer. The nature of digital content means you cannot demand a return should it not be up to par.

    I also reject copyright because the way to enforce it in the digital age means I have to lose ownership control of my machines. In fact, just recently, I heard that the PlayStation 4 controller's Share button (that lets you stream your gameplay footage live on the internet) can be disabled by certain developers and that confuses the hell out of me. The only semi-plausible reason I can think of is that the game will contain certain songs that the developer has not paid the requisite streaming licences for. Anyway, that means that if I were to be playing a PS4 game, there will be a distinct possibility of me pressing that Share button, only for the console to bitch-slap me in the face and say "NEIN!" In other words, because of copyright concerns, my property, the physical piece of hardware, does not do what I tell it to do.
    This also happened when I tried Blu-ray movie playback on PC. I had the discs. I had the hardware, the disc drive. I had the PC. I had everything connected. I inserted the disc, pressed play...and nothing happened. I needed a specific software program to play my Blu-ray disc (I was stupid enough to have tossed the disc that came with the drive, thinking it was just shovelware I didn't need. I thought VLC would have been enough). I was telling my hardware, that I had paid good money for, to do what it was supposed to do, but because of copyright concerns, only these 3 or 4 software suites were given the needed HDCP keys that would decode the Blu-ray stream and allow playback (and at the time, once I started reading about them, I heard all sorts of horror stories about bugs and non-working programs)


    No, I don't believe for one second, you're a troll, although a few of the sentences you've typed echo what they've said somewhat. I'm glad for this debate and look forward to more.
    To sum up, I'm the average person. I want to be entertained, and if I want a piece of entertainment, I will get it and not feel guilty over it. As I have limited money, what I have left after essential expenditure like food and rent I will carefully see what gives the best value. For example, Baldur's Gate is being re-coded for modern operating systems. Despite the fact I have previously bought the first game twice, I bought the enhanced Baldur's Gate 1, not because of copyright, not to gain access to that game itself, but to ensure the developers had the resources to develop the second game. I thought of it like a commission, in a way.

     

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  124.  
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    Rikuo (profile), May 7th, 2013 @ 4:20am

    Re: Re:

    I think you need to readjust your sarcasm detector. Just to remind you, iTunes ditched DRM (for music anyway) a while ago and by the numbers AC is showing, is clearly a success.

     

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  125.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 7th, 2013 @ 4:38am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Maybe. But perhaps this is just another example of Poe's Law in effect - it's hard to tell sometimes. Suffice to say that the subject of the article (DRM on video) is very much still present on iTunes.

     

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  126.  
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    alex (profile), May 7th, 2013 @ 5:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    Ok, you don't have to suggest an alternative to copyright, but then you have to accept that your moral code on "rejection of copyright" and thinking that people should be creating completely free content to entertain you is likely to result in a net loss for everyone. You seem fine with music/art/cinema/software companies becoming redundant (unless they adopt some new model - maybe selling hard drives to the people they continue to provide free content to!).

    You haven't explained your justification for your wishes to do what you want with content to trump the wishes of the creators who want to sell that content for a price they set - and examples of ways in which copyright/drm has annoyed you in the past don't really cut the mustard.

    It's up to you how you feel about pirating - but the fact that you have such a huge library of downloaded content suggests to me that it does have a value to you and your examples of times you've actually paid for content make me think that you would rather pay - but that leeching off of the existing system (however imperfect it may be) suits your pocket more - and so you've adjusted your argument around that.

     

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  127.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2013 @ 5:10am

    Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    I actually find Linux support for hardware is usually much much better than Windows. Certainly the 'out of box' experience of installing a Linux distro is way way better than Windows.

    There are obviously some horrible things like TV cards that have poor driver support in Windows and obviously worse in Linux (although some cards work better in Lin).

     

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  128.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2013 @ 5:12am

    Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    You can compile the patched wine on any distro, just follow the links.

     

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  129.  
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    Greevar (profile), May 7th, 2013 @ 5:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    Value and price are not the same. That's equivocating. He may value the works, but that doesn't imply that it has a price beyond $0. There are many things we value that we never pay for, a sunny day, good friends, family, fresh air, and so on.

    I can offer my perspective on why I infringe copyright. First off, it isn't property at all. It's the common wealth of all peoples. Culture belongs to each and all of us, nobody has any right to subvert that natural condition. Secondly, copyright is completely incapable of enforcing culture as property. No law and no technology has the capability to make that which is easily copied, hard to copy. Our computers couldn't function without the ability to copy. And I don't mean just the hard drive. I mean the RAM, CPU cache, GPU VRAM, audio hardware, and so on. Every component of a PC must be able to copy in order to process data and produce human readable output. Third, although the content may be abundant (the next thing down from infinite), thus gutting the exclusivity and rivalry of scarcity, the labor and time each artist puts in is very scarce. If they can't get paid for the hours they put in on their art, they have to give it up for another occupation. So, since labor and time are scarce, that's what they need to sell in order to get paid. In other words, they should be treating their artistic efforts as a service. There are many ways to monetize this, things such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

    What is art? Art is the communication of ideas from one person to another through expression in tangible and intangible forms. In other words, all art is speech. Now, think about that. If art is speech and copyright gives the power to a select few to control access to speech, what do we have? In a word, censorship. It's an insidious subversion of free speech by triggering the American attachment to property concepts.

    With so many flaws in copyright, its violation of the natural state of culture, and its censorship of free speech, it remains that obeying such a law and business model are irrational and harmful to us as a culture.

     

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  130.  
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    alex (profile), May 7th, 2013 @ 6:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    I don't get the "natural condition" and "natural state of culture" ideas. What do you mean by that? Natural in what sense?

    I also don't think it's a question of how hard it is to copy something - it's about whether you have the right to copy something without permission and without paying the asking price.

    Like I said before, think what you want about piracy - but don't think that your standpoint and 20 Tb of pirated copyright material is doing something to improve our cultural wealth - or that people who choose to pay for digital content are actually harming it.

     

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  131.  
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    techflaws (profile), May 7th, 2013 @ 7:09am

    Re:

    Yeah, and NONE of the billions mp3s Apple sold through iTunes had DRM. Total flop the point you tried to make if you ask me.

     

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  132.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), May 7th, 2013 @ 8:20am

    Re:

    Just keep them off Port 80.

    First they came for Port 6881,
    and I didn't speak out because I didn't use BitTorrent.

    Then they came for Port 23,
    and I didn't speak out because I didn't use Telnet.

    Then they came for Ports 25 and 110,
    and I didn't speak out because I didn't use SMTP or POP3.

    Then they came for Port 80,
    and there was no one left to speak for me.

     

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  133.  
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    Greevar (profile), May 7th, 2013 @ 9:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    I would think it's apparent. The nature of culture is that it belongs to all of us. It's a resource that we share equally because it's use does not deny others from using it, unless you start imposing property rights to it. That is the natural state of culture. Artificial legal constructs aside, culture would proliferate unhindered. Expressions would feed on each other, birthing new expressions. As it stands today, every expression is placed in an artificial box that assigns ownership to the originator, even though that originator utilized the common wealth of existing culture to make it.

     

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  134.  
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    alex (profile), May 7th, 2013 @ 9:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I know it's not a popular view here, but...

    Hmmm... ok. It's a bit of a loaded use of the word (culture and copyright are both man-made and as natural/unnatural as each other) but I see what you mean, and I agree to a point. Extended copyright terms and the state of sampling in music for example are things I don't agree with.

    I do think that copyright provides a mechanism to sell your creative output and I think that's a very good thing. I don't want my favourite artists to have to start selling t-shirts and going on world tours; I want them in the studio doing what they do best - and so far I haven't heard of a viable alternative solution that works for new emerging artists, established artists, record labels, etc who make up the wonderful wealth of culture that we enjoy - so my current standpoint is to support copyright (despite its many problems).


    Anyway, been an interesting discussion... cheers.

     

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  135.  
    identicon
    CrushU, May 7th, 2013 @ 10:02am

    Re: Re: I don't think that means what you think it means...

    The same reason anyone uses the HTTP protocol: They're trying to standardize the interface for plugins. Right now, any .swf file has to look for specifically the Adobe Flash Player. In theory, if .swf had a defined EME, anyone could make/use a CDM for it.

    Also see why TCP is used, and CSS is starting to get more traction.

    This is assuming that it's implemented according to good practices. You *should* have an EME that just wants any applicable CDM, but I can easily see EME that wants a specific CDM if it's implemented poorly.

    As I mentioned before, this sounds suspiciously similar to how Android systems work, which is why Google's signed on to this. Netflix may be saying 'DRM' to make its providers happy, but I can't see how DRM applies specifically to this system. Any way it could apply to this system could apply to the existing system as well. I suspect Netflix is trying to pull an end-around on its providers, supporting a standard moving forward for openness and claiming that it 'needs' it, a clearly false statement, to make the content providers happy.

     

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  136.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2013 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    I define piracy to include illegal anticircumvention. It doesn't make me a slimeball that I define a vague word differently than you. He's admitting to violating the Copyright Act. That makes him a pirate in my book just the same as if he infringed a copyright.

     

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  137.  
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    Karl (profile), May 8th, 2013 @ 12:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    I define piracy to include illegal anticircumvention.

    And I define "an utterly despicable slimeball" to include anyone who calls someone a "pirate" who does not violate a single one of the rights granted to copyright holders in 17 USC 106.

    Therefore, I'm right, and you are wrong.

    ...Right? I mean, that's exactly the same argument that you are using.

     

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  138.  
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    Karl (profile), May 8th, 2013 @ 12:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    Oh, he didn't author 137 posts for Techdirt?

    By the way, this is a clarification: I have no idea if Zach is "an employee" of Techdirt or not. He did write articles for this site.

    Then again, so did I, and I did not ever get paid for writing them, nor was I ever an "employee" of Techdirt in any way. (Not that I'm complaining; I never even asked about payment, employment, or anything else.)

    Since Zach wrote a hell of a lot of articles, I'm simply assuming that he got paid for one or more of them, and thus was some kind of "employee." I do not, however, have any particular evidence that this hunch is correct.

    So, I may have been right all along. Or not. But there is at least a possibility that he got paid, so you're not a "liar" for assuming he did. (Just an ignoramus, like me.)

     

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  139.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 8th, 2013 @ 2:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Bit Upset With Netflix Here

    "I define"

    Perhaps you'd have more luck on this site with discussion if you used the same definitions as everybody else. If you're literally using a word in a way which nobody else uses it, you're always going to be arguing fiction, since nobody else will understand what you're actually trying to say. The purpose of language is provide a medium through which ideas can be understood by *both* parties. Redefining words on a whim defeats this objective. Read Lewis Carroll to understand why people might be confused.

    "That makes him a pirate in my book just the same as if he infringed a copyright."

    "Pirate" now includes "person who paid for content legally" in your book. A person is now a "pirate" if they simply get their legally purchased content to play on their legally purchased hardware. Your anti-"pirate" screed now includes everybody who buys content but uses it without paying a toll to a 3rd party corporation who have nothing to do with the creation of the content. Your attacks on "pirates" now include the people giving your beloved corporations their money.

    If you can't see how idiotic this is, both to your argument and your supposed cause, there's no hope. Your blind devotion to stupid unworkable laws at the expense of both the public and businesses alike is impressive, however.

     

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  140.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), May 9th, 2013 @ 6:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: I don't think that means what you think it means...

    The same reason anyone uses the HTTP protocol: They're trying to standardize the interface for plugins. Right now, any .swf file has to look for specifically the Adobe Flash Player.


    Not true at all. First, the .swf file doesn't "look" for anything. It's just a bunch of data. The browser pairs that up with the plugin (and in a way that is user-configurable) -- and it doesn't have to be the Adobe Flash player. I use a different plugin entirely to see flash video.

     

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  141.  
    identicon
    Vlad, Jul 15th, 2013 @ 4:24am

    Web DRM is a forgone conclusion

    Web DRM in html5 is a forgone conclusion, it became so when both microsoft and google have agreed to back it as they have 80% of the market share. Premium media has been under DRM using flash, silverlight or native app for sometime now. Even if nobody agreed to implement it that would not cause the content providers to decide to adopt html and ditch DRM video they would just use the browser plugin and native apps because it is better to for them to loos a few users then not have content at all. The content producers have all the power everybody plays by there rules or not at all.

     

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  142.  
    identicon
    CrushU, Oct 18th, 2013 @ 10:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't think that means what you think it means...

    Fair point, but consider what happens when a browser finds an .swf file without the plugin association: It takes you to Adobe Flash. This is probably by design of the browsers and could be changed, but it has to be changed specifically for every file-type. EME/CDM is a way around this, allowing a generic standard for all files/content. Instead of specifying '.swf files use a Flash player, like Adobe Flash' you can instead say 'This EME has no currently associated CDM. Here are available CDMs that claim to use this EME.' Again, you're kinda right in that they could do this already, this just provides a standardized way to do it across all file-types and players.

    Important in this is that the original way it works doesn't have a discussion of DRM, why does this way it works mention it? It sounds to me as if someone were to come out with a new file-type and only their player could read it... That's as close to this EME/CDM thing could do, but since the thing is standardized, it shouldn't take long for others to make their own CDMs that can read the EME without issue. So, makes HTML5 MORE open... Am I missing something?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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