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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  • identicon
    Nick, 23 Jun 2004 @ 8:17am

    Defeat Copy Protection

    Can this copy-protection be easily defeated by the shift-key?

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

    • identicon
      thecaptain, 23 Jun 2004 @ 9:42am

      Re: Defeat Copy Protection

      Yes, if you know its there.

      Most people don't.

      I run linux so its a moot point. These CDs can't do anything to me.

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

  • identicon
    NOBODY, 23 Jun 2004 @ 3:20pm

    No Subject Given

    I am amazed record companies would stoop to this level of malware. And what happens if a foreign copy actually makes it into the US and spreads?

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

  • identicon
    hanzie, 24 Jun 2004 @ 2:25am

    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.

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

    • identicon
      BtG, 24 Jun 2004 @ 6:30am

      Re: Not CDs!

      I have yet to see a copy protected CD that has the "Compact Disc digital audio" logo on it. So chances are if this logo is NOT present, then the disc does NOT adhere to the standard, and is probably copy protected.

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


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