Just What No One Needs Or Wants: Web Images With DRM And An Expiration Date

from the good-luck dept

The BBC is reporting on a new project to create web images that “expire” after a certain period of time. The thinking is that people who put photos up on social networking profiles may be embarrassed by them later, so, this way, the photo can only stay up for a set period of time and then no longer be viewable. Of course, to make all of this work requires DRM. And, to make the DRM work means that anyone who wants to see such photos has to actually install a browser plug-in that they’re unlikely to want to install. And, if they do install the plug-in, they can probably still just take a screenshot of the image anyway — especially when you realize that someone is so embarrassed by the image that they want it to automatically delete at some point after forcing you to install annoying DRM you don’t want.

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Comments on “Just What No One Needs Or Wants: Web Images With DRM And An Expiration Date”

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freak (profile) says:

The second this actually happens, I guarantee you someone will be booting up a hard drive and a screen-shot bot.

And, uh, if no one else does? I will.

The part that drives me the most is that the creators actually expect people to pay for this. $2 a month for a useless feature. Worse yet, a useless feature that will encourage more people to take their own copies of things you don’t want seen, thus making the end situation worse.
And worse yet, a useless feature that most people will only think to start using AFTER they’ve already been caught with their pants down at least once. That is, literally and metaphorically with their pants down.

Michael Kohne says:

The only way

that the creators of this thing can hope to make money is if I they can get one of the major social sites to buy it en-mass. But from the point of view of someone like Facebook, putting up a wall to viewing of things that are on Facebook is backwards – they are all about removing barriers (even ones that their users seem to want!).

So I think these guys are doomed. It’s just a matter of waiting for them to run out of money.

Anonymous Coward says:

DRM servers

Like a lot of DRM schemes, viewing these encrypted pictures requires you to “check-in” with the DRM servers to decrypt the pictures. If the DRM servers go offline (due to bankruptcy, the product no longer being profitable, etc.), you are likely to be permanently locked out of your encrypted photos, regardless of whether they have reached their “expiration date.”

This type of lock-out has occurred many times in other DRM schemes, even when they are backed by companies with very deep pockets.

Anonymous Coward says:

Ask me about the usefulness of my 8-track collection!

The more I think about it, DRM’ed media offers a new revenue stream similar to the technological transition between vinyl -> 8-Track -> tape -> CD.

With the exception of CDs, each technology had a lifespan of about five years, and consumers were forced to upgrade their media collection every time a new technology came out.

On the same note, DRM companies usually have a lifespan of about 3-5 years too.

So the idea that DRM creates new art seems quite false. What it does is inconveniences the customer with new expenditures, and upgrades to their media library. It makes you wonder if this is the true direction.

Anonymous Coward says:

A deeply stupid solution to a misunderstood problem...

OK, suppose – just for argument’s sake – that someone actually *wants* this, and is willing to pay $2 per month for it.

Now suppose – again just for argument’s sake – that they can convince their friends to *also* cough up the $2/month so that they can see the pictures.

Now – how exactly does this software prevent *other people* from posting embarrassing pictures of them on Facebook?

For example – suppose I have a picture of Mike passed out and being teabagged by his father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate, and I post it to Facebook. How will this software prevent me from doing that? Assuming I use this software, how does it allow Mike to specify when it expires?

Half of the “Facebook problem” isn’t that you have people posting regrettable pictures of themselves – it’s that you have *other people* posting regrettable pictures of you.

Not only is this a bad solution from an adoption perspective, it doesn’t even address the problem correctly.

Anonymous Coward says:

There are lots of get rich schemes on the net. Just look around.

My solution to the pay wall or walled garden is very simple. They don’t want me there with payment, I don’t want to be there with payment. So anytime I see an article that leads there I close the tab to the browser and move on. It’s called choice. I don’t have to agree to anything, I don’t have to download anything on my computer. I simply refuse.

The idea that someone is going to require me to download a drm app will work the same way. I refuse. The image is not as important to me as my freedom of choice.

This is often why when I do go to internet newspaper sites, I don’t allow the images. Instead what I see under the images that most won’t see, is all the dataminers exposed because the image no longer covers them for me. You wanna look at the pretty pictures while they datamine you, be my guest.

What I am saying here is that I value my privacy more than viewing an image. Good luck with getting me to willing load a drm app to view an image. Here’s a clue, it ain’t gonna happen.

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

More Ambitious Than You Realize

There are two parts to this project: software and hardware.

Yes, it won?t just be special DRM?d software, you?ll also need special displays to see these protected images?the software won?t work without them. These displays will include special ?vampire? pixels that you can see but which cannot be photographed. They won?t even show up in a mirror.

Mark says:

This is needed to protect the artist and creators

This is awesome I will defiantly use it. It’s exactly what people like myself want and need. As an artist the last thing I want is someone stealing my work.

Lack of DRM has almost killed the adult industry, the music, hurt the movie industry, ebook piracy is rampant. The people that don’t want DRM are the non-creators and non-producers. The place now value on other peoples work.

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