What's The Difference Between DRM And A Virus?

from the similarities... dept

Over the past few days a number of sites have commented on the fact that the new Beastie Boy album comes with copy protection (though, apparently not in the US or the UK, according to some). While this set off the usual arguments about why DRM is bad, The Register has rewritten the story as if the DRM is a virus or similar malware. They may have a point. The DRM is silently installed without alerting the user as soon as they put the CD into their computer. It prevents their computer from functioning the way it was designed to. In fact, the article suggests the fact that it’s installed without asking the end user or getting permission may constitute a crime. I’m not entirely sure, but I think the CDs do note on the case that they come with copy protection, so it is possible that sticker could be considered “letting the user know.” Still, this does raise some important questions about DRM and whether or not it will violate any anti-spyware law that’s being discussed, since most of them focus on the fact that they’re installed without explicit permission.

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Comments on “What's The Difference Between DRM And A Virus?”

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hanzie says:

Not CDs!

Also, there’s another point that doesn’t get mentioned quite as often: why are these contraptions marketed as audio CD’s? I’m no expert in this field, but surely there are certain technical standards that all audio CD’s must meet. Copy-protected CD’s are essentially designed to break these standards (at least, that’s the only reason I can come up with why they wouldn’t play on some CD players).

Therefor, isn’t the bigger issue that these things plainly aren’t audio CD’s, since they don’t meet the technical requirements? And that trying to sell them as such is false advertising?

Personally, I wouldn’t mind if the music industry kept selling them, on one condition: that the box contains a huge sticker, stating in large letters: “Warning: this is not an audio CD! This device might not function in your audio CD player!”

Seems fair to me.

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