Netflix Avoided Android Because It Didn't Have Enough DRM

from the anti-open dept

Apparently Netflix has not yet been offered up on Android phones because the platform just has too much damn freedom. Netflix admitted in a blog post that the lack of DRM that makes Hollywood happy means that it couldn't offer movie streaming to Android. This seems rather ridiculous. Hollywood's focus on DRM seems like such a huge waste of time, money and resources. Did they learn nothing from the music industry's failed obsession with DRM? DRM doesn't work. It doesn't prevent unauthorized sharing, but does end up pissing off legitimate users -- such as by preventing them from watching Netflix films on their Android-powered devices.


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    senshikaze (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 6:43am

    It is the same bullshit reason they won't port to desktop linux. They are too busy being asshats to give a damn.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 10:49am

      Re:

      WHAAA, I LIKE USING AN UNPOPULAR OS AND EVERYONE WON'T BOW TO MY DEMANDS! WHAAAAA! WHAAAA!

      It's really sad ... the more I use and enjoy linux, the more I hate people who use linux.

       

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        Christopher (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:31pm

        Re: Re:

        Be quiet. The fact is that Linux would be a more popular OS if people could get more things on it, that need DRM or actually, that studios want to use DRM on.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2010 @ 12:47am

        Re: Re:

        WHAAA, I LIKE USING AN UNPOPULAR OS AND EVERYONE WON'T BOW TO MY DEMANDS! WHAAAAA! WHAAAA!

        It's really sad ... the more I use and enjoy linux, the more I hate people who use linux.
        Estimates of Linux on desktops range from 1% to 10% of computers worldwide. Likely figures are around the 2-3% mark. With over 1billion PCs out there that's a LIKELY market of 10-30 million customers and up to 100 million.

        Do that many people count as "unpopular" these days?

        Caveat: I'm not a Linux afficianado, I can just count.

         

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          Paddy Duke (profile), Nov 16th, 2010 @ 3:28am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think you’d struggle to argue the point that 2-3% of anything could, or should, be considered popular or common.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2010 @ 4:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I think you’d struggle to argue the point that 2-3% of anything could, or should, be considered popular or common.
            I didn't say it was popular just that it shouldn't be ignored because... well, maths. A small percentage of a sufficiently large number is still big. 2-3% of a billion is a large number to ignore don't you think? Think in terms of "If I can get 2% of linux users to pay me £2 for something I've just made maybe £500,000". Small yes, but rather short sighted to ignore the potential.

            Or to put it another way, the incidence of the sun's energy on the earth is, (hmm maths fail), what 1400 W/sq compared to 63300000 W/sq m? About 0.00002% ish? That seems be be faily "popular" for such a small number......

             

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    Chris ODonnell (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 6:49am

    I came here to make Senshikaze's comment. Interestingly, Hulu works fine on Linux - so I don't see any reason why Netflix shouldn't either.

     

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    John Doe, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 6:50am

    Neftlix is not what it is cracked up to be

    I don't understand why everyone gives Netflix a pass? Netflix makes the claim that they are a streaming service who happens to rent DVDs. That is complete nonsense. Their catalog for streaming is dismal at best. They have limited selection of either old movies or box office bombs for streaming. Most any movie worth seeing is only available on DVD. And that is exactly how the movie studios want it. So no, Neflix is not a streaming company and the movie industry is not adapting any better than the music industry.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 6:58am

      Re: Neftlix is not what it is cracked up to be

      forgive me for disagreeing with you. as someone who cut the cord and just uses netflix streaming there is plenty to see and watch out there.

      can i stream 'avatar'? nope. but i get a lot of dr who, i saw 'pillars of the earth' and 'sparticus: blood and sand' a day after they were on TV.

      so the library is quite good. patience helps.

       

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      Designerfx (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 7:08am

      Re: Neftlix is not what it is cracked up to be

      netflix's streaming is just pretty straightforward to use.

      however, it's also done mostly through silverlight, which is it's own amusing (and soon to be unsupported) issue.

      All netflix is/was, is a legal alternative to simply going out and torrenting the movies. A poor alternative, but one that's not too bad. It's kinda like steam gaming. It's retarded, fails, and all that, but it's the "best of the worst" as humorous as that sounds.

       

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        Jay (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 7:29am

        Re: Re: Neftlix is not what it is cracked up to be

        ??? Steam gaming has failed?

        I know that I'm a Steam fanboy in some regards but I don't see how they've failed.

         

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          Falindraun (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 8:09am

          Re: Re: Re: Neftlix is not what it is cracked up to be

          They are talking about the failing of silverlight and streaming movies, not steam gaming.

          as a soldier in the us army that has been deployed to afghanistan i hate steam, its the whole lack of internet out there.

           

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      DS, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 7:20am

      Re: Neftlix is not what it is cracked up to be

      Then don't sign up....


      ...while the rest of Netflix's customers stay happy with their service.

       

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      harbingerofdoom (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 7:30am

      Re: Neftlix is not what it is cracked up to be

      i dont understand why people make wildly sweeping generalizations about stuff they obviously dont like to use or just flat dont like for unknown reason.

       

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        Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 7:36am

        Re: Re: Neftlix is not what it is cracked up to be

        Let's blow up their computer for great justice!

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 7:40am

        Re: Re: Neftlix is not what it is cracked up to be

        Hmmm...like, I don't like Netflix and I don't care mostly because I don't have access to it and I don't know how it works.

        LoL

        Remember Netflix is a local solution, not a global one, so most people don't care because it is not useful to them.

        The industry don't want to make global deals because it cuts profits, they like to charge for each and every region separately but I don't think that will work well in the future.

         

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        Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 7:55am

        Re: Re: Neftlix is not what it is cracked up to be

        Because they're sad, sad pandas.

        Poor sad pandas.

         

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          PaulT (profile), Nov 17th, 2010 @ 12:13am

          Re: Re: Re: Neftlix is not what it is cracked up to be

          I'm a sad panda because the studios won't allow Netflix to sell their service to me... I'll weigh in on the technical issues when they realise the internet's a global market...

           

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        John Doe, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 8:10am

        Re: Re: Neftlix is not what it is cracked up to be

        Uh, how can I know anything about it if I don't use it. I do in fact use Netflix and like it. In fact, I streamed a movie last night. But their streaming catalog is pathetic. And unlike fanboys, I don't sugarcoat the shortcomings of products.

        While their streaming catalog has gotten better, they are far from being a streaming company that happens to rent DVDs. They are a DVD company first and foremost. It is their marketing lies I object too.

         

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          Jeff Jones (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 8:51am

          Re: Re: Re: Neftlix is not what it is cracked up to be

          The deficiencies in their catalog is not due to their narrow-mindedness but is due to the studios dictating what can and cannot be streamed, and for how long.

          The studios have even started dictating a lag in physical DVD rentals on services such as Netflix and Blockbuster. Their reasoning is that people interested in the movies will be more likely to purchase them instead.

          But, ultimately I think Netflix is a decent service. What cannot be streamed can be to you in a physical shipment in about a day.

           

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            John Doe, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 9:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Neftlix is not what it is cracked up to be

            I know the studios are to blame, but Netflix is the one making the claim about being a streaming company when in fact they are a DVD company that happens to have outdated or poorly received movies available for streaming.

             

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          Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 9:17am

          Re: Re: Re: Neftlix is not what it is cracked up to be

          Your view of what you call deficiencies is strictly an opinion. The opinions of the company's President is more important, in this case, especially since it concurs with the many, many happy streaming customers.

          And, really, we're not fan boys. You're just wannabe-elite.

           

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          DS, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:29am

          Re: Re: Re: Neftlix is not what it is cracked up to be

          Damn my full streaming queue that's full of things that I don't want to watch!

           

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      Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 7:54am

      Re: Neftlix is not what it is cracked up to be

      Yeah, box office bombs like Monsters, Inc and Princess and the Frog. Oh, wait.

      Personally, we cut the cord with Netflix streaming alone.

      However, just like any product or service, it's not for everyone. That doesn't mean that it's not for anyone. Quit whining about Netflix and go buy DVDs.

       

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      Miles (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 7:58am

      Re: Neftlix is not what it is cracked up to be

      "Their catalog for streaming is dismal at best."
      Yet, you blame Netflix for this?

      Re-read the article again and note WHY Netflix wants DRM on Android. Here's a hint:
      "...the lack of DRM that makes Hollywood happy..."

      It shouldn't be too hard to figure out why streaming isn't online and it has nothing to do with Netflix.

       

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        John Doe, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 10:01am

        Re: Re: Neftlix is not what it is cracked up to be

        Re-read my comment again. No where do I blame Netflix for not having a better streaming catalog. What I blame them for is their blatantly false statement that they are a streaming company that happens to rent DVDs when in fact the opposite is true.

         

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          tawsenior (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 10:20am

          Re: Re: Re: Neftlix is not what it is cracked up to be

          That is a matter of opinion. The opposite is true for me. I stream from Netflix a lot and I happen to get the occasional physical DVD,therefore, for me, they are a movie streaming company.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 1:04pm

      Re: Neftlix is not what it is cracked up to be

      Me spending the last week watching past seasons of psych and top gear would beg to differ.

       

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        j647, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 3:11pm

        Re: Re: Neftlix is not what it is cracked up to be

        and The IT Crowd and Fawlty Towers and The Office and and and...cable is gone in my house, it's Netflix, Hulu, the airwaves and THE LIBRARY

         

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    cvr67, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 7:24am

    I don't get it!

    I am not understanding this whole argument. I am all for easier distribution and consuming of content, from any source. But...if you had invested millions in your content you may be a little sensitive to how it is distributed. I understand that DRM has not been a great solution for music and is definitely not the the be all and end all, but calling the industries efforts a huge waste of time! A little much. Everyone seems big on doing away with all the barriers to file sharing and distribution AND whine how the price is always to expensive for non-free content. I am not sure, but tv and movie content is a lot more expensive to produce then music. I think a little understanding of the economies here might help make the anti-DRM argument a little stronger.

     

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      Jay (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 7:35am

      Re: I don't get it!

      DRM is truly a waste of time because it's really faulty in the entertainment field.

      In gaming, it's not going to stop people from copyright infringement on a title. See also, Securom and it's "legion of followers".

      In music, DRM limits the number of times you can put music onto a computer.

      In Movies, it's the same concept. Stop people from transferring movies to computer or prevent them from changing a movie around a limited number of times. Hell, I'm fairly sure that if Hollywood got its way, they'd try to dissolve the disc after 100 plays.

       

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      harbingerofdoom (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 7:44am

      Re: I don't get it!

      the reason its a hunge waste of time and money is because its been easily proven that every time any new form of DRM is released, it gets craked very shortly thereafter with the result being that the only people who are adversely affected by DRM are your legit customers who are getting pissed off from having crap constantly not work because of said DRM.
      meanwhile, the people who you have put out the DRM to stop in the first place, are cruzing right along without any problems because they just strip the DRM out.

      so, again... why use DRM since the only thing it ever accomplishes is to piss off and alienate legit customers.

       

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      Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 8:04am

      Re: I don't get it!

      I am all for easier distribution and consuming of content, from any source.

      Good! Me, too. I like consuming entertainment, and I don't mind paying for it.

      But...if you had invested millions in your content you may be a little sensitive to how it is distributed.

      Sure, of course. You want to make sure that you get the maximum financial return from your investment. As a paying customer, I totally get that.

      I understand that DRM has not been a great solution for music and is definitely not the the be all and end all, but calling the industries efforts a huge waste of time! A little much.

      I don't know if you've noticed, but music isn't DRM'd anymore. It caused so many problems that paying customers refused to use it. That was a big bummer for the whole 'maximum return' thing, and the music companies had to get rid of it completely, meaning that it was, in fact, a huge waste of time.

      Everyone seems big on doing away with all the barriers to file sharing and distribution AND whine how the price is always to expensive for non-free content.

      Actually, this post is about doing away with barriers so that people can purchase content. Price isn't mentioned at all.

      About price, though, right now, Android users can easily watch pirated content. What they can't do is watch legally obtained content. You know, the kind that people pay money for? Anyway, it's hard to get to the whole 'maximum return' thing when you refuse to let people purchase your product.

      I am not sure, but tv and movie content is a lot more expensive to produce then music.

      Yes, that's why they should make sure that as many people as possible can purchase it.

      I think a little understanding of the economies here might help make the anti-DRM argument a little stronger.

      I'm reasonably sure that the writer of the post has a little understanding of economics... Since he is, in fact, an economist. :)

      Nice try, though.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 9:11am

        Re: Re: I don't get it!

        "About price, though, right now, Android users can easily watch pirated content. What they can't do is watch legally obtained content. You know, the kind that people pay money for? Anyway, it's hard to get to the whole 'maximum return' thing when you refuse to let people purchase your product."

        You repeat "maximum return" without considering *long-term* and more important goals; right now, even if having found music DRM ineffective, the media companies are *going around* your view of economics by getting the gov't to *ensure* the effectiveness of DRM in future. And they do not necessarily care about maximizing anything except *people control*. -- Once they have that, rest is easy pickings.

        For those who keep saying the world is changing and companies better adjust, you sure fail to notice that the *major* change of the last many years is gov't action. The purpose of gov't is no longer about "letting" people or "free" markets; it's about locking down for corporations.

        >>> Guess it's time to again point out that I *don't* favor the media companies -- let alone gov't -- but I'm a realist and can see what's coming. After the last ten years, who dares call me alarmist?

        "I'm reasonably sure that the writer of the post has a little understanding of economics... Since he is, in fact, an economist. :)

        Nice try, though."

        I too am sure he has a *little* understanding of economics, abstract, from an ivory tower, heavily biased against "baristas" and other workers. In any case, since Mike doesn't factor in gov't action (obtained through pressure and bribery), his conclusions are irrelevant.

        Condescend to object line by line if you wish.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 9:21am

          Re: Re: Re: I don't get it!

          But has any of that 'gov't action' done anything to reduce unauthorized sharing?

          Anything besides making more people aware that it can be done, that is?

          (not condescending, just asking)

           

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          Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 9:28am

          Re: Re: Re: I don't get it!

          You repeat "maximum return" without considering *long-term* and more important goals...

          No, I didn't. Maximum return is exactly that. :)

          ...right now, even if having found music DRM ineffective, the media companies are *going around* your view of economics by getting the gov't to *ensure* the effectiveness of DRM in future.

          No, they're not.

          Oh, wait! You mean that they're putting laws into place to scare people? And you think that's going to work?

          Oh, hon. :P

          And they do not necessarily care about maximizing anything except *people control*. -- Once they have that, rest is easy pickings.

          Yes, it would be 'easy pickings' if they ever happened to get that. Too bad for them, huh? Historically, they have never had a lock-down on content, and they never will. If if they 1984'd the Internet, Sneakernet would still spread content for free. Of course, this post isn't about free. It's about how to allow people to pay you by ditching DRM.

          For those who keep saying the world is changing and companies better adjust, you sure fail to notice that the *major* change of the last many years is gov't action.

          No, the major change is people not caring about whether or not their file-sharing is illegal. The government's futile attempts to control information through arbitrary laws are laughable and hardly worthy of consideration in an economical context.

          The purpose of gov't is no longer about "letting" people or "free" markets; it's about locking down for corporations.

          Yes, too bad that it's never worked. You keep speaking of legal controls. You understand that their controls have never lasted longer than a week, right?

          I too am sure he has a *little* understanding of economics, abstract, from an ivory tower, heavily biased against "baristas" and other workers.

          Yes, because he doesn't make money as an economist and a business-owner. He's just a wet-behind-the-ears grad with no clue on how the world works. Not like you, Anonymous. You really understand how economics and DRM work together with the law, to finally stop people from sharing content.

          /sarcasm

          In any case, since Mike doesn't factor in gov't action (obtained through pressure and bribery), his conclusions are irrelevant.

          In any case, since government action doesn't and isn't going to work, your conclusions are relevant.

          Condescend to object line by line if you wish.

          Try to scare off honest discussion by criticizing those who disagree with you, if you wish. :)

           

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            nasch (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 9:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't get it!

            Well done Rose, keep it up.

             

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            out_of_the_blue, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 5:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't get it!

            I'm sorry that I forgot to click my "handle" on the prior post. Never my intent to not put that up so anyone can skip if wish.

            I'll just pick at one crucial misunderstanding on this reply.

            "You keep speaking of legal controls." -- NO, I'm worried about ILLEGAL controls when corporations and gov't run amok, the clear trend. I'm afraid that police state incrementalism works. But if you disagree, next time you fly, just tell the nice TSA people that you have rights and won't submit to their illegal, molesting search. You'll effectively be on the no-fly list, at best, because you won't be flying. Similarly, a level of fear can be inculcated to on the one hand prevent file-sharing (the aim of relevant corporations), and simultaneously on other hand, institute a total police state: "terrorists are undermining our economy by file-sharing!" has already been trotted out, somewhere.

            ***
            "Nice try, though." is your condescension to someone else above, clearly with the aim that you accuse me of, besides on my thread: "Remember, folks... Don't feed the troll!" -- Evidently you regard it as okay for *you* to call names with the goal of stifling dissent, so my point was: you're a hypocrite.

             

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              Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 9:19pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't get it!

              Similarly, a level of fear can be inculcated to on the one hand prevent file-sharing (the aim of relevant corporations), and simultaneously on other hand, institute a total police state...

              No, they can't and your example doesn't work. In order to fly, you have to physically submit to another person. Even so, it would be fairly easy to get a bomb past the TSA. In order to fileshare, you have to have a computer in the privacy of your own home. Even in a world where the Internet is locked down tight (Which isn't going to happen. See China and Iran for more details.), you can still turn off your Internet, copy that disc, and give it to your neighbor.

              It doesn't matter, though, because we're never going to get to a point where the law effectively bars your from sharing files on the Internet. Even the arrest of the Chinese Democracy leaker didn't faze anymore. When we do care, we're either outraged or amused at politicians who get caught up in their own copyright web. (You know, the one that we don't care about.)

              "Nice try, though." is your condescension to someone else above, clearly with the aim that you accuse me of...

              'Nice try, though.' was me complimenting someone on coming up with a fairly unique argument for DRM. They stated that DRM was going to work this time, not because the tech is so good, but because the government would be able to successfully enforce a ban against it. That's a fairly novel argument, even if I do disagree with it. The only condescension is in your own mind.

              ...besides on my thread: "Remember, folks... Don't feed the troll!"

              Oh, I see. You're commenting here because you're upset that I called you a troll in a lower thread. Wow, man. Wow.

              Hey, I'm sorry that I called you a troll. I genuinely believed that you were a troll and, honestly, I'm still not 100% convinced that you're not. (The world would be a better place if you were one, though.)

              Evidently you regard it as okay for *you* to call names with the goal of stifling dissent, so my point was: you're a hypocrite.

              No, I 'regard it as okay' to point out obvious trolls in order to stifle useless frustration, since trolls don't come here to have a conversation about the post.

              So my point is: You're an idiot. Or a troll. Maybe both, I don't know.

               

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              techflaws.org (profile), Nov 16th, 2010 @ 1:53am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I don't get it!

              I'll just pick at one crucial misunderstanding on this reply.

              I'm doing the same for you here:

              right now, even if having found music DRM ineffective, the media companies are *going around* your view of economics by getting the gov't to *ensure* the effectiveness of DRM in future.

              No they're not, cause there is *no* way to ensure effectiveness of DRM.

               

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      Commoner (profile), Nov 16th, 2010 @ 3:55am

      Re: I don't get it!

      DRM doesn't work. The moment you realize that is true, you stop spending money on it. I repeat, it doesn't work. Why don't you get that?

       

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      Wes, Dec 4th, 2010 @ 9:51am

      Re: I don't get it!

      Drm is a complete waste because they spend years making it and millions of dollars so some cracker can hack it in a few days.
      It doesn't stop piracy. Doesn't even slow it down.. its a waste of time and resources and only angers legitimate customers.

       

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    Michael Kohne, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 7:37am

    Ummm...

    I'm just going to ask one small question: Who the heck watches movies on their bloody phone? I mean, seriously, who? Who needs this functionality?

    Not to give Netflix a pass on this, but I suspect they simply don't care one way or another about DRM, and if their content providers say 'it must have DRM', then they have to provide DRM because they need the content for their overall streaming service.

    It would be nice if they could educate the content companies that DRM isn't worth any significant effort, but have you ever tried to change the opinion of ANY corporate exec? It doesn't work well, and if he's the one with the cards, you don't have a lot of options for forcing his opinion to change. You just have to go with it.

     

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      Berenerd (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 7:50am

      Re: Ummm...

      I watch movies on my IPOD all the time. When waiting in line at the DMV, Doctor's offices. Waiting for my friend to finish getting her hair done (takes 2-3 movies atleast. thankfully she doesn't read this) I also watched movies on a plane trip. So I can see it being useful on phones as well, infact most smart phones have better screens than my IPOD.

       

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      Alatar, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 8:04am

      Re: Ummm...

      "I'm just going to ask one small question: Who the heck watches movies on their bloody phone?"
      10 inch tablets (ipad and competitors) maybe owners?
      Anyway, if Netflix is selling movies for Iphones, there's probably a market.

      But curse those pinko commie anarchists from Google, they are killing music/cinema/whatever, they munch an artist every morning for breakfast. We should support real, serious alternatives, like Iphones and Windows Phone 7, who offer the right artist protection mechanisms (Newspeak for DRM).

       

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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 7:40am

    DRM doesn't work -- UNLESS you control the hardware.

    How in the world do you even *write* the sweeping assertion: "DRM doesn't work." -- It DOES as this very item shows, that's *why* Netflix isn't permitted to stream to non-DRM devices.

    As I've surely said here, soon as they get the hardware and software *all* locked down (effectively so, don't quibble), DRM and their "dinosaur" notions *will* work. All you're saying is that a little freedom is left for now, and boy are they *dumb* for not streaming to devices that aren't locked down. -- Or to people who haven't paid up front.

    This is simply outlining the future. It's Android which will change, putting in DRM, because it's the "content" which is valuable, not the brand of phone.

     

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      David (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 7:55am

      Re: DRM doesn't work -- UNLESS you control the hardware.

      I can't speak for Mike, but my perception of what he means is that DRM doesn't work because it does not stop the movies from being available.

      For a history of that, put any amount of effort into finding any movie (or music). They are out there. It just takes one person buying the disk (for example), then using the analog whole to copy it and make it available. Then folks who want it bad enough just find it. The DRM did not stop that, and can't.

       

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      harbingerofdoom (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 7:58am

      Re: DRM doesn't work -- UNLESS you control the hardware.

      you can dream all you like about DRM working in the future. it will not work and in all reality it cannot ever work.
      there will always be those smart enough to get around it. they will always share their findings and there will always be people who will use the non-legit methods becuase the leget methods have too many impedences to a smooth inexpensive and easy method to watch/listen/game.

      its not technically possible to build a lock that cant be picked and its financially not smart to spend money on new and better locks year after year simpley because of this fact.... its a huge downward spiral that could easily be fixed by giving customers what they want at a fair price rather than forcing down their throat what YOU want.

      of course, thats just my personal opinion...

       

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        harbingerofdoom (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 7:59am

        Re: Re: DRM doesn't work -- UNLESS you control the hardware.

        and yes, there are spelling mistakes.... shup!

         

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        out_of_the_blue, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 8:33am

        Re: Re: DRM doesn't work -- UNLESS you control the hardware.

        Evidently I need to add for those who don't see the big picture that the *way* both hardware and software will be controlled is by *gov't* action, with guns if necessary, not simply the old-fashioned "free market" in which you'd still be able to find alternatives; they'll just oulaw those. Perhaps you've missed the trends toward draconian copyright, domestic police state, and control of "cyberspace".

        Let me just ask: IF you ran a significant chance of going to jail for copyright infringement, would you still do it? -- Not unless crazy. -- And yes, they *do* have enough jail cells, and will build more. Police and prisons are one of the few areas growing.

         

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          nasch (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 9:42am

          Re: Re: Re: DRM doesn't work -- UNLESS you control the hardware.

          So you're saying that the government will outlaw electronic devices that don't implement something like Trusted Computing? Do you have any evidence at all for this claim? Has such a bill ever been introduced, debated, mentioned, breathed about?

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 1:44pm

          Re: Re: Re: DRM doesn't work -- UNLESS you control the hardware.

          Let me just ask: IF you ran a significant chance of going to jail for copyright infringement, would you still do it? -- Not unless crazy. -- And yes, they *do* have enough jail cells, and will build more. Police and prisons are one of the few areas growing.
          And you would consider this to be a good thing? You consider a "crime" in which nothing was taken, no-one was harmed and only theoretical money was lost for a very very rich corporation to be worthy of mass expenditure of public money amd incarceration of your own population instead of spending it on schools, or healthcare, or even a "war against tyrany" somewhere against a stone-age country that can't defend themselves?

          Or, what the hell, if you're really that set on supporting an outdated business model, why not just have the government pay the companies in question the money that would cost in return for giving everything away for free? Even that would be a better use of the (YOUR) money.

           

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            nasch (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 3:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: DRM doesn't work -- UNLESS you control the hardware.

            He didn't say it's a good thing, in fact I would read this as disapproving: "Perhaps you've missed the trends toward draconian copyright, domestic police state, and control of "cyberspace"."

             

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          Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 9:21pm

          Re: Re: Re: DRM doesn't work -- UNLESS you control the hardware.

          People still file share in China, Iran, and Australia. Even after the huge monetary awards and jail time that's been handed down to file sharers in America, Americans still file share.

          So the answer to your question is yes, people will still file share.

           

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        VRSpoock, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 2:18pm

        Re: Re: DRM doesn't work -- UNLESS you control the hardware.

        I dunno....with that logic, we would all have those little metal hoops and hooks on our front doors like you see on screened in porches.

        But we don't...we have dead bolts, alarm systems, surveillance systems, etc....despite the fact that any home or building can be broken into, no matter how much security we put on it.

        If we applied your logic for DRM, we'd all just leave our front doors wide open.

         

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          nasch (profile), Jan 7th, 2011 @ 8:19pm

          Re: Re: Re: DRM doesn't work -- UNLESS you control the hardware.

          That analogy doesn't work, because with DRM if anyone breaks it, then anybody in the world can bypass the DRM. If someone breaks into my neighbor's house, that doesn't make my house any easier to break into.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 8:06am

      Re: DRM doesn't work -- UNLESS you control the hardware.

      Go find something on Netflix. 99% of the time, you can find a torrent of it, and the other 1% is just because no one bothered to rip it. What's the point of trying to protect content that is already available?

      The music industry has largely learned this. Most music downloaded through iTunes has no encryption. Eventually the movie industry will learn this as well, but it will probably take another 10 years.

       

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      Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 8:06am

      Re: DRM doesn't work -- UNLESS you control the hardware.

      Remember, folks... Don't feed the troll!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 8:44am

      Re: DRM doesn't work -- UNLESS you control the hardware.

      Yawn, DRM doesn't work because anyone who wants the movies can get them in other ways. Those ways are illegal. So his point is that DRM only keeps out paying customers. Do you understand? DRM keeps out paying customers and encourages piracy. That's why it doesn't work.

      Netflix is printing money by distributing content. That's money that content creators are not getting. They have shown that quality and convenience is able to compete with free. The Content Business has not figured this out yet. Just like they haven't figured out that DRM doesn't make money, it loses money.

       

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      Karl (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 10:25am

      Re: DRM doesn't work -- UNLESS you control the hardware.

      How in the world do you even *write* the sweeping assertion: "DRM doesn't work." -- It DOES as this very item shows, that's *why* Netflix isn't permitted to stream to non-DRM devices.

      So, the goal is to deliberately alienate any customer who uses one of the most widely used smartphone platforms in the world?

      Because that's the only thing it's doing. It's not stopping piracy one iota. I doubt piracy was even much of a potential issue in this case - why pirate a low-quality stream, when you can pirate the DVD or Blu-Ray?

      Or perhaps it's just a way for Hollywood to force everyone to use DRM. That's possibly their thinking, but I doubt it will work. All that will happen is that rather than watch Netflix, Android users will just get it from The Pirate Bay (or whatever site is up this week).

      Or, more likely, users will just "jailbreak" their Androids to bypass the DRM. Things like this are already legal for iPhones, so I don't see it being unlawful for Androids.

       

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      Almost Anonymous (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 10:51am

      Re: DRM doesn't work -- UNLESS you control the hardware.

      Just a nitpicky point, Android already supports DRM (at least on my Captivate).

      DRM Protected Content Storage (using 2.3mb of memory!)
      Process: com.sec.android.providers.drm

      From what I gather, Netflix is claiming there is "not enough".

       

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      techflaws.org (profile), Nov 16th, 2010 @ 1:57am

      Re: DRM doesn't work -- UNLESS you control the hardware.

      As I've surely said here, soon as they get the hardware and software *all* locked down (effectively so, don't quibble)

      We must quibble cause that just won't happen EVER. I'm still amazed why people seem to think the rest of the world would have to abide by american laws.

       

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    jimmy, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 9:01am

    lol

    It would be nice to see netflix stream to linux(desktop). There are ways around it. With linux anything is possiable, but would be nice just to open firefox and it work. Same with android. If i wanted to boot leg a movie from netflix i could just as easily do it with windows. Using DRM as an excuse not to stream to a mobile device is just a lame excuse to not invest money to what most folks are using now adays. WAKE UP AND JOIN THE REST OF US.

     

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    Jim, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 9:26am

    DRM is all about control, not "protecting" content

    Any technologist worth her/his salt knows DRM (the effort to make 1s and 0s not copyable) is a logical absurdity. Yes, Hollywood is full of overpaid idiots who think DRM can protect content. The smart executives, however, know that that value of DRM is to protect against legal disruption of their business models.

    To distribute copyrighted video, you need a license from the content owner (or indirectly via a licensed rights holder). If a content owner mandates DRM in all license agreements, then a degree of control can be maintained through the whole distribution process, right up the the point when the video reaches your eyeballs.

    Unlike broadcast TV and a lot of cable, Netflix's streams can be encrypted with DRM from end-to-end. If, for example, you wanted to make a DVR to capture and re-purpose Netflix video streams, you'd need to decrypt the streams first. If you did that without permission, then you'd be in violation of anti-circumvention laws like the DMCA.

    Of course, DRM doesn't "protect" content. That's not the issue, and I think even arguing about it distracts from far more important topics. DRM can and will be used by incumbent vendors to create and maintain a virtual monopoly by controlling the whole value chain, right up to and including your TV set, or any other video device you might ever own.

    Will there ever be DRM on Android? I think it's a certainty. There's just too much money at stake. Google will do whatever it takes to get the content people want on their platform. The way copyright works today gives Hollywood the ability to pretty much dictate the terms.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 10:35am

    Netflix has a much beteer streaming catalog than my local blockbuster or hollywood video (oh wait they are bankrupt and being liquidated, so they have no catalog). In fact I think that unless you have a 50,000 square foor video place that is open 24-7 next door netflix provides much better streaming selection than any video store. It could get better yet if the studios weren't such control freaks, but take it for what it is. For example the Netflix streaming service is much better indexed than your average torrent site.

     

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    SLK8ne, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:10am

    Three things...

    Three things:
    a) The majority of pirates I know use Windows computers to do their ripping. (usually cracked and pirated versions of Windows at that) I don't know of any Linux users who pirate. (Though I'm sure there are some) So, the idea that just because someone is running no-DRM Linux ensures that they're automatically a pirate is kind of funny to me.

    b)I think that some posters are right, this is more about keeping their suppliers happy than anything else. Netflix is a DISTRIBUTOR of content, not a creator of content after all. If they loose their suppliers, then they have a problem because they have no product to distribute.

    c) Since Silverlight is going away, they'll probably have to go to Flash to continue to stream content at all, which should solve the problem. That or else they'll have to close the streaming operation entirely. Which will provide a business opportunity for someone else.

     

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    deadzone (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:55am

    I just can't see the justification for making your content less accessible since it seems ultimately to lead to it being less valuable. It makes absolutely no sense at all.

    I guess they just fail to see the larger picture or maybe they even refuse to acknowledge it with hopes that it will go away somehow. Who knows? The simple fact of the matter is that media of all type is moving to digital format and away from physical format.

    They are rapidly gettting left behind and they are either too ignorant to realize it or too stupid to acknowledge what is happening and adjust accordingly.

     

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    Griff (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 1:19pm

    What's wrong with watermarking ?

    It always struck me that DRM pisses off the innocent and won't catch the guilty.

    So if you were trying to reduce the incidence of MP3's being pirated you'd
    - watermark each copy sold, tying it to the buyer
    - have something google-like to find your content on illegal sharing sites, and identify the buyer whose copy was fed to the sites
    - fine the people who allowed their personal copy to be pirated.

    Now, REAL pirates could get round this (ie could remove the watermark)
    But it addresses the worry that making content too easy to copy would make even amateur pirates share files.

    Crucially, it does not in any way impede the use of the content by the innocent.

    But it makes distribution a tad more expensive and I suspect some in the industry are just too greedy to put up with that cost increase.

    It won't stop me copying something for a mate, but it might stop me uploading my copy so 20,000 people can download it.
    And that's surely what they are worried about, isn't it ?

     

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      Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 2:05pm

      Re: What's wrong with watermarking ?

      Funny how everybody who comes up with the watermarking idea wonders why nobody else has thought of it.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 2:09pm

      Re: What's wrong with watermarking ?

      Now, REAL pirates could get round this (ie could remove the watermark) But it addresses the worry that making content too easy to copy would make even amateur pirates share files.
      There in that one sentence is the the only thing I can assume justifies to the media producers argument to persist with DRM and exactly why DRM doesn't and never will work.

      I'd estimate less than 2 days after this became standard practice there will be 140+ "one click" programmes floating about the internet to remove watermarks.

      Of course the "real pirates" (and in that rather ironicly titled group I include anyone who knows what to do with source code) will have got there long before that and will have broken the technology before the standard to implement it was even decided upon and the source code and/or scripts for it will likewise be floating around for anyone who cares to look.

      In the mean time, it will turn out that the new "technology" means that the media you just bought doesn't work with whatever you're trying to play it on so you'll have to buy a new [insert whatever media player device or program you have here]. Some will do that, which will be a nice ancillary bonus for those in that space, but each time another iteration is enacted, some people will decide "Why should I buy a new [whatever] to play this that I already bought?" and will either get an "naughty" unprotected version of whatever it is or get the "one click program", and then likely will continue to do so because they find it's so easy to do.

       

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        Griff (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:53pm

        Re: Re: What's wrong with watermarking ?

        -- Of course the "real pirates" (and in that rather ironicly titled group I include anyone who knows what to do with source code) will have got there long before that and will have broken the technology before the standard to implement it was even decided upon and the source code and/or scripts for it will likewise be floating around for anyone who cares to look.--

        Watermarking does not have to be to a "standard".
        Every publisher can have their own. They can change it daily.
        All that matters is
        - the publisher's search tool can find and identify rogue content of their own
        - the principle is algorithmically strong enough to make a legal case against the identified source of an upload

        -- In the mean time, it will turn out that the new "technology" means that the media you just bought doesn't work with whatever you're trying to play it on --

        A watermark does not make an MP3 unplayable. It is hidden within the data.

        -- Why is it everyone who suggests watermarks things they are the first person to have thought of it

        I mrerly asked "why don't they use it ?". Because I genuinely don't understand and thought I'd get an answer here (of anywhere).

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2010 @ 1:03am

          Re: Re: Re: What's wrong with watermarking ?

          Watermarking does not have to be to a "standard". Every publisher can have their own. They can change it daily.
          The software doing it has to be "standard" i.e. they can't re-implement a new pice of encoding software every day. It will therefore work on an algorithm, which will be broken before it's implemented. And if they can change their software daily, it de-facto means that the technology exists for the "pirates" to do so to. There is no way to win the arms race.
          A watermark does not make an MP3 unplayable. It is hidden within the data.
          But does affect quality - which do you think music afficianados will pick? A legal poor quality copy that costs a LOT of money or a "naughty" good quality one that's free?

          I mrerly asked "why don't they use it ?". Because I genuinely don't understand and thought I'd get an answer here (of anywhere).
          A good question actually considering the other ludicrously hopeless things that have been tried. Perhaps the quality thing is the final straw even for a music exec to realise that charging the same or more (to cover development costs) for less quality really will drive peopel to illegal sources.

           

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 4:49pm

      Re: What's wrong with watermarking ?

      So if you were trying to reduce the incidence of MP3's being pirated you'd
      - watermark each copy sold, tying it to the buyer
      - have something google-like to find your content on illegal sharing sites, and identify the buyer whose copy was fed to the sites
      - fine the people who allowed their personal copy to be pirated.


      Easier said than done.

      1. Watermarking is expensive and decreases the quality of the content.
      2. Watermarking is almost always easily removed.
      3. How do you deal with situations where someone's laptop is stolen/lost etc and suddenly they get blamed for uploading tons of content they did not.
      4. Watermarks often have privacy issues, since they include some sort of identifier in the watermark.

       

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    Griff (profile), Nov 16th, 2010 @ 1:28am

    -- 1. Watermarking ... decreases the quality of the content --

    Seriously ? If I hide a small encrypted code in 11MB of MP3 it will distort the music ?

    -- 2. Watermarking is almost always easily removed. --

    There seems to be an assumption here that all watermarking is to some "standard". As a content producer, I could use a different system with every single thing I publish if I wanted. There's certainly no reason to use an open or published standard. A pirate would need to "diff" many legit copies to identify what the watermarked part of the data was.

    So a generic tool that would enable a non expert punter to remove the watermark from a single item of media he has paid for before uploading it strikes me as a nearly impossible coding task.

    Programs to get around DRM are widely available because lots of end users may want to use them. Code to remove a watermark would be far less in demand because only the uploader would actually care. Furthermore, with DRM circumvention software the punter can tell if it has worked (it plays). With watermark removal software, how can I tell it has really worked ?


    The main limitation, as you say, is the expense of generating individual watermarked media on the fly at point of sale so it can be tied to the buyer (or rather, at the point of distribution, as the publisher does not want the retailer running this).
    It'd be easier if they had started a while back. Now the genie is out of the bottle (stores up and running selling un DRM'd MP3s are now the norm) the best that the distributor could hope for is a watermark per retailer (so they can at least follow part of the trail).

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 16th, 2010 @ 1:55am

      Re:

      Funny that you ignore my final two points.

      And I think you underestimate how easy it is to remove watermarks.

      I'll leave the final word to Ed Felten and move on to other things:

      http://freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/felten/how-watermarks-fail
      http://freedom-to-tinker.co m/blog/felten/mistrust-based-drm

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2010 @ 5:01am

      Re:

      As a content producer, I could use a different system with every single thing I publish if I wanted.
      Really? You think the expense of either buying so many pieces of software legitimately (you weren't intending to "pirate" them now were you?) or the massive development cost to create and constantly update and indeed manage such an implementatioon would ever justify the cost?

      Even in your parallel universe where that might actually be effective in stopping copying (and trust me it's the only place it would) the net effect would be to force the end user price so high to cover those costs that the value vanishes completely and people would simply stop buying.

      Meanwhile, in the real world, it'd have to be algorithmically-based to change constantly and that's suceptible to cracking.
      Oh and even in "your" universe where "file sharing" stops, all that happens is you get your "friends" to upload a 16,000 songs zip-file direct to the FTP server you just brought up for the purpose then remove after they have or even post you a memory stick. Then how do you check the watermark if it's not online?

      See how it works? Every time a new DRM technology is released there's SOME way round it. The phrase you're seaching for is "re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic".

       

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      PaulT (profile), Nov 17th, 2010 @ 12:39am

      Re:

      Funny how so many self-proclaimed "content producers" on this site fail to identify themselves. A shame, as whoever "Griff" is, I would be making sure to avoid whatever crap he churns out due to his anti-consumer viewpoints, and continue *buying* content from those who don't assume I'm a criminal...

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 12:14pm

    I just got an email from Netflix telling me that I can pay more for the service I can use - DVDs - to subsidize their streaming business. But I can't use their streaming because - I don't do Intel! I loathe the Intel empire, and my family is on PPC desktops and laptops and ARM-based mobile devices.

    As far as this DRM argument goes: good encryption does not rely on closed platforms. That's a fallacy that Microsoft has propagated for years to support their war on open-source. And Silverlight is a joke.

    I guess it's time to reconsider my Netflix subscription. After paying them a lot of money over the years, I feel pretty screwed.

     

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    MadMax, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 6:56pm

    Blockbuster did it -- Why can't Netflix?

    If Blockbuster met DRM requirements across the Android platform, why can't Netflix?

     

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