Real CEO Understands The Downsides Of DRM

from the keep-on-talkin dept

RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser says record labels screwed up "by allowing Apple to create devices that are not interoperable", and empowering it to become such a dominant force in the digital music industry. He's sort of missing the point, though, it was the labels' insistence on copy protection -- of which incompatibility can be seen as a major feature -- that made Apple so powerful. Glaser's comments are tempered by Real's long-running desire to be able to sell downloads to iPod users. Glaser goes on to say how the only way users can get interoperability is by "stealing" music. There's one other way it could happen: sell them DRM-free music. You'd imagine that given his role as the head of a company in this market, and with his apparently huge concerns about interoperability, it's something he'd try to push for, or at the very least, be aware of. The inability to move legally purchased content across devices and platforms is one of DRM's most significant issues, and despite Glaser's contentions, simply making the DRM interoperable isn't the best solution.
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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2006 @ 12:27pm

    As opposed to a fake CEO?

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

  • identicon
    Free Online Classifieds, 11 May 2006 @ 12:50pm

    DRM

    DRM sucks, but if people are going listen to the crap most of the major labels put out they'll certainly put up with a crappy distribution mechanism.

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

  • identicon
    Jon, 11 May 2006 @ 12:53pm

    Isn't Real the company that pushed DRM down our throats for streaming media?

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

  • identicon
    anonymous coward, 11 May 2006 @ 12:54pm

    Knocking Apple's DRM while pushing your own DRM'ed product is assinent.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2006 @ 1:17pm

      Re:

      I believe you meant 'asinine'.

      Also, the article makes an interesting point about how Apple DRM doesn't work on any other portable player but the iPod. This is called "vendor lock-in" and is considered anti-competitive practice.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vendor_lock-in

      See the part about Apple Computer. Apple should be sued and required to open up the format so it would work on all players. Maybe the industry should adopt an open DRM solution that all players can use to play the files.

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

      • identicon
        Orn, 11 May 2006 @ 1:26pm

        Re: Re:

        Apple's DRM is not "locked" you just have to have a player that can play their file type. Secondly it can be converted to a more user friendly format like mp3.

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

        • identicon
          fan777, 11 May 2006 @ 1:35pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It is illegal to remove the DRM which is what happens when converting to mp3. So technically it is "locked" in. But ppl do it anyways.

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

          • identicon
            RareButSeriousSideEffects, 11 May 2006 @ 4:41pm

            Re: Illegal to remove DRM

            Re: "It is illegal to remove the DRM which is what happens when converting to mp3," That's right. So basically it's a criminal choice to maintain computers free of closed & proprietary media players, regardless of the legitimate ownership of the liberated content (assuming there's formerly DRMd content on those systems, that is).

            For people who aren't sitting the digital revolution out, the marketers of closed formats have effectively managed to outlaw the act of boycotting their wares. We purchase systems, we purchase music and movies, but theft or no theft we can't legally use our purchases as we choose in the privacy of our own homes.

            I honestly used to care about rampant piracy. I'm sad to say that I don't anymore. The MPAAs, RIAAs, Microsofts, Reals & Apples of the world have intruded much too far into my personal space - and have sponsored infringements on my freedoms far too casually - for my conscience to be pressed into service for their benefit ever again.

            Even if the economic collapse of the entire entertainment industry was at stake (it isn't), it would still not come close to being enough to warrant the curtailing of rights that we're experiencing now.

            What other social ill provokes legislators to criminalize the legitimate, everyday conduct of millions of average citizens in the name of preventing a single breed of theft crime before it even happens? Terrorism or Child Pornography? Not even -- we rightly recognize those acts as horrid & worthy of as strong an antidote as possible. But even if it helps our law enforcement agencies combat those evils, we don't just sit back & take this kind of erosion of the Bill of Rights; we argue and protest and argue some more, and we fight it out until we're assured that the strong antidote we get isn't a poision to freedom itself. Just scan today's current events for proof.

            So where are the pitchfork-and-torch mobs on this one? However you might feel about it, millions of people recently filled the streets in the name of one's right to disregard our immigration laws & be in the US illegally. So how is it then that - in the name of something as frivolous as music / movie piracy prevention - we just sit back and wait to see how much further our rights rollback is going to go?!

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

  • identicon
    Forge, 11 May 2006 @ 1:30pm

    The idea of an open, industry-wide DRM platform is exciting. I've never had problems with DRM, per se, just with incompatible/exclusive versions of it.

    Even better would be an open-source implementation, but with the source it would probably be a lot easier to write some app that takes in the DRM-laden original and 'plays' it into an open and DRM-free output, like an MP3 or MPG file.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2006 @ 1:36pm

    Actually #5, 'assinet' describes an asinine statment made over the Internet.

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

  • identicon
    Wayno, 11 May 2006 @ 1:42pm

    Is this the same Real that pioneered the "bet you can't evade our premium player even though you wanted our free player" installation process?

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

  • identicon
    EXrider, 11 May 2006 @ 2:25pm

    RE: Industry Standard DRM

    Hey interesting in that link #10:

    I don't see RIAA on that list, that would be so great.

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

  • identicon
    markieMark, 11 May 2006 @ 3:12pm

    Pot calls kettle black, Howard Stern claims he did

    Ok. now that I;ve linked two topics.

    The CEO of REAL networks is COMPLAINING about PROPRIETARY file formats?
    damn. and all this time I have deleted real player from EVERY single PC I build and sell and Deny myself some content because it;s ONLY viewable that way

    BECAUSE they also used to include SPYWARE in their software>

    This guy has as big a set of balls, as does Howard Stern!

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

  • identicon
    trollificus, 11 May 2006 @ 3:54pm

    #13 stole my proprietary policy!

    I ALSO have removed realplayer from every machine Ive built or sold, and when my daughter complained there was streaming content she could not see as a result thereof, I explained that the people who provided that content hated her, and didnt really WANT her to see that content.

    That was a bit of exaggeration, of course, but really, any site that chose RPF (Real Proprietary Formats) was NOT making decisions based on what site visitors needed or wanted.

    (on an unrelated note, my apostrophe key now brings up the search window in Firefox, though the key assignment works in all other apps. wtf?)

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

    • identicon
      RareButSeriousSideEffects, 11 May 2006 @ 6:47pm

      Re: RPF (#14 trollificus)

      Amen to that.

      I couldn't get my wife to stop clicking "yes" when she wanted to view something & was presented with a "you need a plugin..." or "you need a license" prompt.

      After doing that on a WMV "joke video" I found some very nasty neigbors had moved into her registry. After doing that on a Sony CD, I found a bunch of system APIs had been irrepairably altered & re-appropriated for the CD publisher's own purposes.

      And after doing just that on a web-embedded .mov file, my lovely and quite well-intentioned wife was rewarded with a massive QuickTime install. Though she's a sharp chick & she read all the dialogs, she had no awareness of the impending bundled iTunes install, or of its intention to commandeer all of her media files, or that it would load an ever accumulating bunch of junk at system startup and bring her poor little PIII 800 to its knees.

      So hats off to you for your proprietary policy & your parenting approach to this; they're both right on. I'm with you, and I'm sick enough of the invasive nature of these security-compromising formats to make a pretty consistent effort at eliminating the effects of their existence from my life.

      This makes me a criminal, but if you're willing to go off the grid in order to prevent this stuff from creeping into your household or workplace, I've found the following quite helpful (Warning: it may be illegal to use all the features of some of these programs, or to convert incompatible files or transcode / render proprietary streams into open formats that free & open source software will play. This may be true irrespective of whether you own the file and do so only for your own use. I am not a lawyer.)

      How To Rid Your Life of Insecure, Intrusive and Restrictive Media Players with Minimal Loss of Content:

      Players -----

      Media Player Classic:
      http://www.free-codecs.com/download/Media_Player_Classic.htm
      (More usable & secure Windows Media Player replacement with a smaller footprint; less rigorous than VLC about maintaining free code purity. My personal #2.)

      VideoLAN VLC Media Player:
      http://www.videolan.org/
      (Religiously open source, smooth, stable, swiss army knife of media formats; my personal default association for > 90% of existing media file types).

      Codecs, codec bundles, & codec bundles with players ----

      DivX Codec and DivX Player:
      http://www.divxmovies.com/codec/
      MPEG based high-efficiency & high quality format, very amenable to translation both ways between playable DVDs and computer files.

      Real Alternative:
      http://www.free-codecs.com/download/Real_Alternative.htm
      (Codecs for Real audio, video, etc. files and streams.)

      QuickTime Alternative:
      http://www.free-codecs.com/download/QuickTime_Alternative.htm
      (Codecs for QuickTime .mov files and streams.)

      Mega Codec Pack (includes both of the above & more):
      http://www.free-codecs.com/download/K_Lite_Mega_Codec_Pack.htm
      (It would take a pretty exotic codec to be unplayable after installing this set, which includes the two codecs mentioned above. These all work in Media Player Classic at a minimum; most individual codecs in the pack work in the vast majority of other players as well.)

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

  • identicon
    Justin, 11 May 2006 @ 5:18pm

    drm

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

    • identicon
      m3athelmet, 11 May 2006 @ 8:19pm

      Re: drm

      yep...good link. I've used them for over a year now with excellent results.

      Funny, every time thise convertion comes up at ...Digg for example, someone always brings allofmp3.com up and someone always states "it's illegal". It's not...

      If you don't want DRMed music, wnat good quality (you can pick your bitrate), and a cheap price use allofmp3.com.

      I think of it as outsourcing my buying habits. American companies outsource tech work to save money, i outsource buying music to save money. Why par almost 7 times the price for an inferior product I can play on my Ipod/work PC/ home PC?

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

  • identicon
    Galley, 12 May 2006 @ 3:44am

    RPMS

    Hey Rob, the 192Kbps AAC tracks I purchase from the RealPlayer Music Store already transfer to the iPod (without any loss of quality), or had you forgotten?

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

  • identicon
    NSMike, 12 May 2006 @ 10:32am

    DRM End-Round

    If I end-round the DRM on the downloaded content I already paid for so I can use it on an MP3 player/device that does not play the DRM'ed music format, I should be protected under Fair Use. I'm not doing it with the intention of illegal distribution nor have I not paid for it. I kept my DRM'ed, paid-for copy, therefore my Un-DRM'ed copy should be legal.

    I feel like I'm stating the obvious, but sadly the corporations who use DRM would have us forget this handy little rule.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2006 @ 2:29pm

    > As opposed to a fake CEO?

    Actually, I am a fake CEO. But if I were a real CEO, what I'm doing now would be legal.

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

  • identicon
    Adje LUCIEN, 28 Feb 2008 @ 2:55am

    urgent reply needed

    dear sirs, i am working here in the republic of benin as a banker but now i would like to go into business investment ; then reply me through this my email; adje_lucien2@yahoo.co.in so after i got your reply i will furnish you the news.
    thanks and best regards,

    Adje.

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


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