Why Is The EU Funding DRM?

from the focus,-people,-focus dept

CaptainCode writes in to point to an article about an EU-funded project to create new methods for DRM. It makes you wonder why Europeans tax money is going to fund something like DRM. By now, plenty of folks are realizing that DRM serves no good purpose. It does not stop any kind of unauthorized use, and tends to piss off legitimate customers by putting unnecessary restrictions on them (devaluing the content). Its only purpose, really, is as a weak attempt to keep an obsolete business model in place. How is that possibly in the best interests of European citizens?
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Filed Under: drm, eu


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  • identicon
    Voice of Reason, 18 Dec 2008 @ 3:27pm

    What's really needed

    This is a very good initiative by the EU and I'm very pleased about it.

    What we all need is a compatible DRM (works on all devices) that is much harder to break than the piss poor attempts so far.

    This must be backed by very strict and consistent laws across the whole world (yes Sweden & Pirate Bay!) that exact the harshest penalties possible on anyone breaking/trying to break it, anyone downloading or simply making available content and similar crimes. The RIAA's current education campaign to nail anyone and everyone regardless of their personal circumstance is exactly what's needed. This will eventually (amen!) get the message that you just *can't* get away with it, no matter what.

    Heck, it's so good that we are seeing the expansion of this strategy into other countries and other content creators. One fine example being the game companies in the UK nailing people for illegal downloading of games.

    If you follow the press coverage on this subject, you will see that the world is slowly but surely moving towards this scenario.

    Three cheers!

    Anyway, this will have the beneficial effect of:
    - effectively scaring people off from doing these things, eventually. Much more so than currently
    - cut off ALL supply of illegitmate content, resulting in a massive upsurge of sales for genuine content as pirates won't have anywhere else to go for their fix. Content will finally be fully monetized
    - full control of sales and distribution by Rights Holders the world over

    I can't wait.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2008 @ 3:37pm

      Re: What's really needed

      Are you being serious? Its hard to tell.

      There will NEVER be unbreakable DRM; You will NEVER get the whole world to have consistent laws; The RIAA's "education" plan of suing everyone (including innocent grandmothers) is pretty much the definition of evil; It is IMPOSSIBLE to get new DRM onto my old music player.

      In short you are not a Voice of Reason, but likely employed by the RIAA to support their "education campaign"

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

      • identicon
        Evil Mike, 19 Dec 2008 @ 7:29am

        Re: Re: What's really needed

        Honestly, I believe you do not know what evil is.

        The RIAA's "education" plan of suing everyone (including innocent grandmothers) is pretty much the definition of stupidity. Not evil.

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

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 18 Dec 2008 @ 3:38pm

      Re: What's really needed

      Is this satire? If so, it's really good satire.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2008 @ 3:44pm

      Re: What's really needed

      Sorry As A Programmer, I don't want the Government telling me how to code.

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

    • identicon
      ya mum, 18 Dec 2008 @ 3:46pm

      Re: What's really needed

      only fags and gay twats would like drm. call me at your mums place if you need clarification.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Poster, 18 Dec 2008 @ 4:06pm

      Re: What's really needed

      Hi, Mr. PR Shill for a DRM Development Company!

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

    • identicon
      Jeff, 18 Dec 2008 @ 4:13pm

      Re: What's really needed

      And by doing so, they will fook their chances of having good customers. I mean, look at how Spore got pirated. Customers were pissed that EA kept fooking them over so, EA failed.

      Hopefully they learn from it.

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

    • identicon
      Deggs, 18 Dec 2008 @ 5:05pm

      Re: What's really needed

      Wow, you sir are an idiot, or employed by the RIAA or like minded organization, same thing really.

      We don't require our tax dollars spent on protecting private industry in any way, especially DRM. We require content providers to release their death grip on antiquated distribution methods. They won't because the current system is the only way they can control the flow of money. Too bad, welcome to free market capitalism.

      We have new proven distribution methods which can put the bulk of the money in the hands of the content creators -not the distributors- where it belongs. These methods reduce production and distribution costs and provide a better value for the consumer dollar.

      The way to stop pirating and illegal downloads is not through the RIAA's "education program" as you called it -personally after seeing the abuse of power, I call it sanctioned harassment, illegal enforcement of criminal law through civil litigation, I'll go so far as to call it a home grown terror campaign-. You can stop piracy through added value servicing. Make it worth buying instead of pirating, price it accordingly, $15 -$20 for a CD of music with maybe 2-3 good songs, where the artist may get $.50 is ridiculous. Paying $.99 per song and letting me choose it, is great and with the number of songs typically on a CD it amounts to the same money, more really as there are less production and distribution costs. The difference is that I only pay for the songs I like and there is no reason to even have a record labels involvement, their dinosaur of a distribution model doesn't apply.

      I'm not going to support a fat cat middle man that won't offer value for my dollar, nor one that tells me how and what I can do with a product I have purchased simply because they don't want to change their business model.

      I purchased Trent Reznors latest offering which has been one of the most financially successful direct music offerings ever. Even though I could have just downloaded the music I liked -free- from his website, I chose a value added package and paid for it, as did thousands of other people. I also purchased my last three games via direct download -for the same price as a hard copy so they really made more money-, however, Spore wasn't one of them, take note EA...

      iTunes -which I know uses a DRM model- has got the right idea. They offer a specific product at a reasonable price, and they provide an excellent form of organization and indexing for that product. - have you ever tried to organize 20gigs of downloaded music? I disagree with their DRM implementation; I bought it, I should be able to use it on any of my personal devices any way I see fit. However, it’s a better system than what the record labels are offering, which is nothing...

      Random threatening letters, harassing phone calls and legal action against economically challenged single mothers gets you nowhere and certainly doesn't get my dollar.

      Get your head out of the sand, and get with the times.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2008 @ 5:44pm

        Re: Re: What's really needed

        w0w well said. These a55h4ts thats agree with drm obviously have no sense of personal worth as they will have some 70 y/o ceo of some crapshoot company who probably still goes home drinks a stiff double scotch beats his wife then listens to his 8track collection this is 2008 lets try to act like technology has actualy gone somewhere from the late 40's gg

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2008 @ 5:49pm

      Re: What's really needed

      And when is the last time a story about the RIAA suing somebody with 500+GB of music for tens of millions of dollars appeared? Honestly I can't think of a case that I know of where they went after somebody sharing more than 50ish songs. Never have I heard of those massive pirates who have hard drives FULL of songs ever being caught.

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

    • identicon
      Lawrence D'Oliveiro, 18 Dec 2008 @ 10:39pm

      Re: What's really needed

      Voice of Reason intoned:

      What we all need is a compatible DRM (works on all devices) that is much harder to break than the piss poor attempts so far.

      Yeah, they've been piss-poor because they were only developed by very smart people at the cost of several million dollars.

      Obviously what we need is to recruit individuals with closer to god-like intelligence to work on the problem, and give them a budget more like several billion dollars, and repeal a few laws of physics while we're at it, and then maybe we'll come up with a DRM scheme that isn't completely piss-poor.

      Either that, or flying pigs.

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

    • identicon
      mike allen, 19 Dec 2008 @ 12:42am

      Re: What's really needed

      DRM is now destroying an artists chance of having his/her music heard. At the radio station if CDs come in with DRM on we cant put them on the computer that play out the music so the music dont get on the playlist. the music dont get played and arists dont get paid DRM destroys music.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 19 Dec 2008 @ 1:26am

      Re: What's really needed

      I'll join in the the "I hope you're trolling" chorus, but I just wanted to put this in my own words, responding to each of your "points":

      "What we all need is a compatible DRM (works on all devices) that is much harder to break than the piss poor attempts so far."

      ...and straight into the deep end of stupidity, unfortunately. Please explain, first of all, why DRM is "needed"? A DRM that works on "all devices" does not work as DRM - it would need to work on legacy devices. Any DRM that does not support, say, a $20 USB MP3 keychain does not support all devices.

      That is anti-consumer as it forces people to invest in new hardware, and will therefore fail. Apple's DRM worked to an extent because they were the first successful download provider (though it only succeeded is stopping people from leaving Apple with their purchases, not in stopping piracy). With all the thousands of devices out there, from a $20,000 home streaming rig to a $20 pendrive, it's impossible to support them all unless you use an existing standard (MP3, which is by nature DRM-free).

      As for "harder to break", you are truly missing the point. *Nothing* is impossible to break, and claiming that it is impossible will only encourage attempts to break it. Once the DRM is broken, you're left in the same position as now - customers are penalised for having legally purchased the content (DRM, by definition, will restrict them from doing something), while the pirates have a more versatile, and therefore more valuable product. You could back this up with legal proceedings as you later suggest, but that's fraught with a lot of problems by its nature.

      "This must be backed by very strict and consistent laws across the whole world (yes Sweden & Pirate Bay!) that exact the harshest penalties possible on anyone breaking/trying to break it, anyone downloading or simply making available content and similar crimes."

      Please read something on this subject before posting again, lest you look even more foolish. First of all, why should everyone else have to conform to *your* rules? Why does the US not adopt the Russian copyright model, or the Chinese, or the Swedish, or even the Canadian model?

      Following that, how would these things be detected? There have already been vast numbers of lawsuits based on faulty information, information that cannot ever be 100% infallible (IP addresses, for example) and plain lies. Why should the punishment be increased while the information for even civil lawsuits is so flimsy?

      Then, we have the chilling effects of this kind of legal action. Many technologies with many legitimate uses, from BitTorrent (used widely by games such as World Of Warcraft to distribute patches with low overhead, Linux ISOs with little cost to the developer, etc) to online backup storage may not have been developed if lawsuits for illicit uses of the technology was hanging over their heads. This may have reduced piracy to some extent, but it would have had a major negative impact on many other areas. Why should the entertainment industry's interests take precedent over everyone else's?

      "The RIAA's current education campaign to nail anyone and everyone regardless of their personal circumstance is exactly what's needed. This will eventually (amen!) get the message that you just *can't* get away with it, no matter what."

      Actually, the RIAA's "education" campaign is so full of lies, half-truths and mistakes that it's hard for anyone even remotely knowledgable not to laugh at it. They assume that only *their* music is the music that will ever be transferred (there are millions of albums, from CC-licenced unknowns to Nine Inch Nails and other albums released by more famous artists that are PERFECTLY LEGAL to copy, with the artists' blessing). It's like the DARE "education" programs - and look at how well they worked! DARE has failed because it depended on giving out scaremonger, and demonstrably false, information ("smoke pot and you'll be a crackhead!"), and the RIAA campaigns will fail in the same way.

      "One fine example being the game companies in the UK nailing people for illegal downloading of games."

      Those would be the Davenport Lyons cases, would they? The ones where Atari have dumped the lawyers for using shady tactics that have netted many innocent people while doing nothing to stop piracy? The ones where Davenport Lyons are under investigation and may be liable for disbarment because they kept threatening innocent people? Really, you have to pick better examples if you're going to try and back up your point.

      "Three cheers!

      Anyway, this will have the beneficial effect of:
      - effectively scaring people off from doing these things, eventually. Much more so than currently
      - cut off ALL supply of illegitmate content, resulting in a massive upsurge of sales for genuine content as pirates won't have anywhere else to go for their fix. Content will finally be fully monetized
      - full control of sales and distribution by Rights Holders the world over"

      ...and to use the Internet meme: *facepalm*. There's plenty of evidence that people will avoid DRM where DRM-free alternatives are available. Whether this means buying from Amazon instead of a DRM-laden store, boycotting EA products or simply downloading the "pirate" copy. More DRM is not the solution - any DRM solution hurts the legitimate customer. Your totally compatible DRM system that doesn't affect legitimate customers is a complete myth. You'd have more chance of bumping into a golden unicorn on your way to work than encountering one of these systems in your lifetime.

      If these people go DRM-free, then they can compete on a level playing field with the quality, price and range of products being the deciding factor. They used to (mostly) do this, back in the days of vinyl and CDs. Oh, you could copy an album to a tape (or later a CD or MP3 player) no problem, but people still bought quality product at reasonable prices. They tried restricting the market when it went online, and they failed. Miserably. Now, they're left with a behemoth of a retailer they cannot control (iTunes), who dominates the market and was largely created because iPod owners could not shop around thanks to DRM. What other unintended consequences have to happen before they realise it's a bad idea?

      As per the classic Wargames quote - the only way to win the game of DRM is not to play. Alter the business models to enter the 21st century, as all the independent labels and artists I buy from have done. That's the only way to win - if they fail, it's only because they waited a decade to start reacting to business realities.

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

  • identicon
    TomTheToe, 18 Dec 2008 @ 3:37pm

    Re:What's really needed

    DRM- If it can be made it can be broken. Any DRM that is so tight that it infringes on fair use will be trashed. What a moron.

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

    • identicon
      Voice of Reason, 18 Dec 2008 @ 3:41pm

      Re: Re:What's really needed

      >>Any DRM that is so tight that it infringes on fair use will be trashed. What a moron.

      Not if the laws *continue* to be changed according to our content industry's wishes. As I said, DRM must be made a lot stronger, I didn't say impossible to break. There will come a point where it will be so hard to do, so hard to get caught and the penalties so severe that it just won't be worth doing any more. That's when this bloody piracy will stop.

      Remember, every download is a lost sale.

      Now who's the moron, huh?

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

      • identicon
        ya mum, 18 Dec 2008 @ 3:48pm

        Re: Re: Re:What's really needed

        ummm. your still the moron

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

      • identicon
        Matt, 18 Dec 2008 @ 3:50pm

        Re: Re: Re:What's really needed

        Industry can do whatever they want, even make downloading a criminal act or even punishable by execution.

        What will happen, is 2 things:

        1: a law is not a law if it cannot be enforced - this is a standard that pretty much holds true even in most courts. If the public doesn't follow a law, it is effectively useless.
        2: the industry will die

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

      • identicon
        Paul`, 18 Dec 2008 @ 8:04pm

        Re: Re: Re:What's really needed

        I hope you are trolling. I really hope you are trolling.

        >>Not if the laws *continue* to be changed according to our content industry's wishes.
        I think he is trolling. No one could seriously say laws should be changed according to what an industry wishes and be serious.

        There will always be ways around DRM, any music can be re recorded from the original via the output device. Audacity, the open source audio editing software has this ability and so do countless others.

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

      • identicon
        Voice of Experience, 19 Dec 2008 @ 6:38am

        Re: Re: Re:What's really needed

        So, Mr. Voice of Idiocy... er... I mean Voice of Reason...

        In some countries... the penalty for murder is death. You can't get a much harsher penalty than that. And yet... people are murdered every single day.

        You argument is as flawed as your "voice of reason".

        You are apparently a troll, a "yes man" for the RIAA or an idiot... and I haven't ruled out the possibility that you are all 3.

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

  • identicon
    Voice of Reason, 18 Dec 2008 @ 3:43pm

    Thanks Mike. :)

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

  • identicon
    Eddie Pasternak, 18 Dec 2008 @ 4:02pm

    "...It's only purpose, really is as a weak attempt to keep an obsolete business model in place..."

    Apostrophe fail.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2008 @ 4:59pm

    Remember, every download is a lost sale.

    Those who really think that every unauthorized download is a lost sale are only fooling themselves.

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

  • identicon
    Pietervanzyl, 18 Dec 2008 @ 5:31pm

    DRM will always be useless by definition

    When you play something back through a video screen or speakers (A basic output device that is the final un-encrypted output). You can capture that output. Always, never can you leave that encrypted, you have to be able to listen or see it to want to buy it.
    Yes, it might not be the best quality, but considering how many pirated movies are just coming a person with a video camera in a movie theatre. You won't be able to stop it with DRM. It can't prevent copying. There will always be some person out there with the patience to just capture that output. Or are you going to ban everybody from ever buying a microphone, ever buying a better video camera etc?

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

    • identicon
      nasch, 19 Dec 2008 @ 8:23am

      Re: DRM will always be useless by definition

      What they might try to do is embed some kind of signal that a human wouldn't notice but a machine could detect. Then try to outlaw devices that are able to record such signals, or bully manufacturers into discontinuing them. I'm not saying this will happen, because piracy is so easy that nobody really has to resort to that kind of analog hole. But if DRM actually worked, I could see that being the next step.

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

  • identicon
    Voice of Treason, 18 Dec 2008 @ 5:34pm

    DRM is dead

    Any new DRM invented will be DOA in the near future. There is simply no good reason to implement it save, as Mike loves to point out, to keep an already obsolete business model running.

    The only real way to stop piracy is through a social movement that would convince the majority of people that they should pay some amount for the content and software they use. If everyone in your life suddenly shunned you for illegal file sharing you would stop pretty quickly.

    All the laws and DRM in the world will not stop people from pirating just as the United State's harsh laws surrounding drug trafficking have done nothing to reduce it, let alone stop it.

    The people who advocate for this sort of control must really live in some sort of fantasy world where they are always right and everyone shares their very limited opinion.

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

  • identicon
    Alan, 18 Dec 2008 @ 8:01pm

    Re: What's really needed

    And what is also needed (since you appear to be advocating licensing rather than buying product) is, at the very least, a pre-paid envelope in each product so that I can return defective/scratched media and get it replaced free-of-charge. This would also apply to any new formats produced(so that I can, free of charge, return the worn-out DVD to get the Blu-Ray version). What was that? You need to sell me the same thing 15 times? In that case, deal with the fact that I will 'pirate' copies of my DRM-infested items so that I can at least get a reasonable back-up, irrespective of how many 'lost sales' that may be.

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

  • identicon
    EJDean, 19 Dec 2008 @ 12:21am

    Re: What's really needed is for people to read and understand

    Could everybody read posts 1, 4 and 6 and then take a deep breath. Seriously people.

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

    • identicon
      P. Hulshoff, 19 Dec 2008 @ 12:43am

      Re: Re: What's really needed is for people to read and understand

      Indeed. VoR makes a hilarious post, but some people here wouldn't know sarcasm if it was wearing a Scottish kilt and holding a big sign with neon letters saying: "This is meant sarcastically."

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 19 Dec 2008 @ 1:29am

        Re: Re: Re: What's really needed is for people to read and understand

        Sadly, there are many people who believe this kind of crap.

        Some are working for the EU (as per the original article). Some are working for the major labels, and use this as a reason to sue rather than innovate. Some are working in the judiciary and government.

        Sarcasm or not, it's best to attack these points lest more people actually believe them.

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


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