True Purpose Of DRM: To Let Copyright Holders Have A Veto Right On New Technologies

from the why-they-fight-so-hard-for-anti-circumvention dept

A whole bunch of people have been submitting Ian Hickson's writeup on the true purpose of DRM. Given how many people have submitted it, perhaps you've seen it already, but there are some really good points in there. His main thesis is that the debates over DRM tend to focus on the wrong thing. The anti-DRM crowd points out that DRM does not and cannot stop copying. Supporters of DRM say that's not true. Hickson agrees that DRM does not stop copying, but he argues that the purpose of DRM has never really been about stopping copying, but about gaining control over software and hardware tools that play content:
The purpose of DRM is not to prevent copyright violations.

The purpose of DRM is to give content providers leverage against creators of playback devices.

Content providers have leverage against content distributors, because distributors can't legally distribute copyrighted content without the permission of the content's creators. But if that was the only leverage content producers had, what would happen is that users would obtain their content from those content distributors, and then use third-party content playback systems to read it, letting them do so in whatever manner they wanted.
He provides a few examples, such as how DVD players force you to watch "unskippable" ads, how services like Netflix can try to limit you from watching the same movie simultaneously on two devices, and how if you buy a movie on iTunes, and want to then watch it on a non-iPhone, you'll have to buy it again. As he notes none of those things are really about copyright violations.
In all three cases, nobody has been stopped from violating a copyright. All three movies are probably available on file sharing sites. The only people who are stopped from doing anything are the player providers -- they are forced to provide a user experience that, rather than being optimised for the users, puts potential future revenues first (forcing people to play ads, keeping the door open to charging more for more features later, building artificial obsolescence into content so that if you change ecosystem, you have to purchase the content again).
If you're wondering why copyright holders are soooooooo desperate to have anti-circumvention provisions in copyright law, this is why. In the past, we'd pointed out that it didn't make sense for the movie studios and record labels to be so focused on anti-circumvention/digital locks, since if people are violating copyright law (such as by reproducing or distributing copies), existing copyright law already covers that. So why add in a separate provision all about circumvention -- and then be so focused on making sure the same provision exists in all laws around the globe? It seemed silly, because the only "additional" benefit it seemed to be providing was to outlaw legal forms of copying, since everything else was already covered under existing law.

However, Hickson's argument explains much more clearly why anti-circumvention provisions are seen as an absolute necessity. It has nothing to do with copying, and everything to do with controlling the players so as to limit the kind of innovation they can provide. It's basically a de facto veto power over new technologies. And, really, that puts a bunch of other statements in context as well. Remember how former Copyright Register Ralph Oman was saying that new player technologies should be illegal until Congress approved them? Yeah, same basic thing.

All of this shows a legacy copyright industry that is so focused on holding back innovation so that they have a veto right and control over the pace of innovation. That, of course, is bad for the economy, bad for the public and bad for society. Innovation is important in growing the economy, and due to silly laws around DRM, we are purposely holding it back.


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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 10:11am

    So basically its about punishing paying customers and controlling them.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Mar 26th, 2013 @ 10:15am

    "That, of course, is bad for the economy, bad for the public and bad for society. Innovation is important in growing the economy, and due to silly laws around DRM, we are purposely holding it back."

    The legacy industry do not care about this as long as their monopoly is protected.

    We elect politicians to care about this but that too is negated by the fact that our elected officials are very much in the pockets of the industry.

    This is the crux of the problem. The public has no one of power and influence fighting for their interests.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Mar 26th, 2013 @ 10:22am

    Netflix can try to limit you from watching the same movie simultaneously on two devices


    Why would you want to do this? And what's the point of stopping it?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 10:30am

      Re:

      They may think you have lent a device to a friend, and they want them to become subscribers.

       

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      AB (profile), Mar 26th, 2013 @ 10:51am

      Re:

      It's purely a matter of control potential, and not necessarily initiated by Netflix either. The content producers will insist that the provider (Netflix) apply such restrictions so they have the potential for future control of the viewers choices. On Netflix's side, this is also good because it keeps the field clear for things like charging extra fees for each playback device - just like the cable companies charge extra for each TV. Planning future profit upgrades is a core component of any big corporation.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 11:44am

      Re:

      People who's computer have more then one monitors may want utilize all the their monitors for an 'ultra-widescreen' of sorts.

       

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    Rikuo (profile), Mar 26th, 2013 @ 10:22am

    DRM completely subverts the supposedly limited length of copyright. So what if a work falls out of copyright years from now? The DRM on it will still limit what you can do with the work. Can someone chime in if the former copyright holder would still have the legal right to sue for violation of the anti-circumvention provision of the DMCA?

     

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      Joe Magly (profile), Mar 26th, 2013 @ 11:00am

      Re:

      It's still somewhat untested at scale.

      The DMCA provides provisions that allow consumers full rights to break DRM and use the content under it if the DRM is defunct. Meaning that if the industry disables auth servers or changes to a new kind of encryption/DRM and you can no longer buy on the public market new devices that support that DRM then you can legally break that DRM and I believe devices capable of breaking the DRM are allowed to be distributed for personal usage.

      So far this has only happened on a small scale for some games and other niche areas and I don't think it's really be tried in the courts. This particular provision is something they want to kill IIRC but have yet to do so completely (though I'm sure there are more restrictions than what i simply state here).

       

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    out_of_the_blue, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 10:23am

    Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

    This is simply yet another attack on copyright.

    "The purpose of DRM is to give content providers leverage against creators of playback devices." -- An empty truism, like: "The purpose of controversy is to give writers of twaddle a topic to dilate on."

    Here's the real thrust: "But if that was the only leverage content producers had, what would happen is that users would obtain their content from those content distributors, and then use third-party content playback systems to read it, letting them do so in whatever manner they wanted." -- The principle of copyright are to state clearly WHO owns the work, and who deserves to get the income from it. Mere distributors have NO rights to TAKE content from the producers and divert those income streams into their own pockets.

    How many times can you guys repeat the unethical, immoral, and illegal assertion that distributors have some sort of claim over producers?

    As to bad effects of DRM: BLAME PIRATES, not the creators. If it's increased because pirates don't take hints and clear statements of its proprietary nature, BLAME PIRATES AGAIN.

    Just quit blaming creators. Pay them what they ask, or go without.



    Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up same place!
    http://techdirt.com/
    Where Mike's "new business model" (file hosts like Megaupload) is to grift on income streams that should go to content creators -- and then call the creators greedy!
    06:23:03[h-530-3]

     

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      Zakida Paul (profile), Mar 26th, 2013 @ 10:28am

      Re: Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

      "DRM works unless circumvented."

      The whole point is that it is so easily circumvented that it is pointless, moron.

      Prime example is the DRM on Amazon e-books. It is so easy to strip that it may as well not even be there.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 12:53pm

        Re: Re: Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

        "Soft" DRM has been used in the past by distributors to satisfy content providers that their content is "protected". Fortunatley, only a few providers pay any attention to how it's done. Just something. Itunes used "easy to strip" DRM for years. I'm sure Amazon knows. So kudos to Amazon, for however long it lasts ...

         

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      Rikuo (profile), Mar 26th, 2013 @ 10:30am

      Re: Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

      "As to bad effects of DRM: BLAME PIRATES, not the creators."

      I raped your sister last night. It was totally her fault, for dressing like a slut. Even though I'm a thinking breathing human being with a conscience and the ability to think for myself, I had no choice but to do an evil and harmful act. I was compelled to do so. Totally not my fault, she's to blame.


      See how bad your "logic" is?

       

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      cpt kangarooski, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 10:41am

      Re: Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

      Here's the real thrust: "But if that was the only leverage content producers had, what would happen is that users would obtain their content from those content distributors, and then use third-party content playback systems to read it, letting them do so in whatever manner they wanted." -- The principle of copyright are to state clearly WHO owns the work, and who deserves to get the income from it. Mere distributors have NO rights to TAKE content from the producers and divert those income streams into their own pockets.

      Sorry but you've engaged in a non sequitur. A playback system is not a distribution system (though in some cases they may be attached together). If I buy a legally made copy of Star Wars on DVD and then play it on a DVD player that is not authorized to decrypt it, and which ignores UOPs, doesn't apply Macrovision, etc., the manufacturer of the player has not taken content from anyone, and has not diverted income attributable to the Star Wars copyright from the copyright holder. Nor is the distributor to blame, for in the hypo in the article, he is authorized by the copyright holder to distribute copies.

      Just quit blaming creators. Pay them what they ask, or go without.

      I'd rather just change what they're allowed to ask for, and then let them choose to ask for what we're willing to pay, or let them go without creating.

      After all, I want both creative works and freedom to do what I like with them, and I'm unwilling to give too much of the latter away for too little of the former.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 1:00pm

        Re: Re: Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

        So, you've been paying attention to the fact that content providers have been attempting to license any playback that caches, or buffers, during playback? Such as streaming a video, playing any media on any computer, TIVO, etc.?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 1:01pm

        Re: Re: Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

        So, you've been paying attention to the fact that content providers have been attempting to license any playback that caches, or buffers, during playback? Such as streaming a video, playing any media on any computer, TIVO, etc.?

         

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      RD, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 10:42am

      Re: Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

      Shut the fuck up, troll! The very fact that you would try to defend such an obviously anti-consumer scheme proves you out to be nothing more than a paid-for shill.

       

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      Wally (profile), Mar 26th, 2013 @ 10:43am

      Re: Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

      "he principle of copyright are to state clearly WHO owns the work, and who deserves to get the income from it."

      So does EA deserve to make an income off of obsolete versions of various Sim games that were meant to run on now obsolete hardware? They are sitting on obsolete software meant for obsolete hardware platforms. Hell they even think that taking a screenshot of Battlefield 3 and posting it online is infringement. Are you saying that because EA owns the rights to the game, they also own the rights to the screenshots created by users? Since when has creating a screenshot ever been a copyright issue?

       

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      S. T. Stone, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 10:46am

      Re: Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

      Can we blame pirates for the increasing amount of DRM in cars, too?

      You don’t seem to get it, either for trolling purposes or because you simply lack the ability to see the forest for the locked-up trees: DRM doesn’t exist to protect anyone’s rights.

      DRM exists to lock content up in a way that makes someone a criminal for ‘unlocking’ it.

      DRM exists to slow the growth of innovation in a time where such innovations happen at a pace that makes the legacy media players feel uncomfortable.

      DRM exists to make legitimate paying customers feel like criminals for buying the product while the actual ‘criminals’ have nothing to deal with but their consciences and the seven proxies they need to hide their tracks.

      DRM exists to limit what the average person can do with their electronic devices (including cars) and who can repair them (‘the device maker’ and not ‘a repair shop’).

      In short: DRM exists to impugn on the rights of everyday citizens while protecting the ‘rights’ of corporations who think locking everything up will help those everyday citizens.

      Ask yourself this question: if DRM disappeared tomorrow, how much would it really hurt the world at large?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 11:16am

      Re: Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

      "First, DRM works unless circumvented."

      Thank you captain obvious.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 11:33am

      Re: Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

      The principle of copyright are to state clearly WHO owns the work, and who deserves to get the income from it

      Copyright is intended to control who can make copies, it was not intended to control the use of copies. The maximalists are extending it to mean control of the use of copies.

       

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        Rikuo (profile), Mar 26th, 2013 @ 11:58am

        Re: Re: Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

        And given that computers do nothing but make copies, then logically, copyright holders must have control over equipment that they do not own. Hence why I'm against copyright.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 2:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

          I would reason that temporary copies made during playback are implicitly licensed, as they are required to playback any digital work. As to your second point, they do want the control they seem to think it will fix piracy issues.
          Copyright is passed its sell-by date, it was useful, but probably not necessary. when expensive processes were required to make cheap copies. It did not exist when copies were individually expensive to make, and should not apply where copying cost almost nothing, and can be carried out by any one.
          The problem is the middlemen think they need copyright to protect their business models, and they probably do unless they move to a less controlling and more service orientated model.

           

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      Stig Rudeholm (profile), Mar 26th, 2013 @ 12:25pm

      Re: Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

      """Pay them what they ask, or go without."""

      If the right to get paid is so much more important than actually getting paid, no problem. I'll happily go without. There is no shortage of legal free entertainment in the world. And there is a growing amount of artists happy to both treat me with respect and take my money.

      Just watch your back when you're lifting all that cash you'll make from me not watching/listening/reading/experiencing your movie/song/book/whatever.

      Oh, wait.... Yeah, explain that to me, would you, please? If I'm not consuming your content (paid or free) at all, how does that help you?

       

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        ltlw0lf (profile), Mar 26th, 2013 @ 12:52pm

        Re: Re: Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

        Just watch your back when you're lifting all that cash you'll make from me not watching/listening/reading/experiencing your movie/song/book/whatever.

        Yeah, but their ultimate goal, shown by charging "piracy" taxes on consumer storage devices, is to get paid whether or not you are consuming their product, legal or otherwise.

        So they want to control the device, and still get paid whether or not you consume their content.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 2:08pm

          Re: Re: Re: Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

          If they achieve this, the quality of the content will become terrible. Why waste effort when you will get paid anyhow,

           

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      Robert Doyle (profile), Mar 26th, 2013 @ 12:26pm

      Re: Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

      "Just quit blaming creators. Pay them what they ask, or go without."

      Who's blaming the creator? And the challenge here is that we would like to know exactly what we are paying them for. Am I paying for a movie, to watch the content of it, or am I paying only for the experience of watching it in the manner to which they later decide I should watch it even if originally we had agreed upon something else? Should they (this creator you describe... you know, the corporation that now merely owns the copyright, not the actual person/people who invested creative effort) get to retroactively decide what I do with a work that I purchased under previous terms? Do they get to decide how long I get to enjoy something for?

      The problem for me is that they can't even clearly articulate what I am actually getting.

      I understand clearly when I go to a movie theater to watch a movie what exactly I am getting - I am getting access to a seat in a room with a big screen, big sound, a bunch of other people, to watch a movie exactly once. That is very clear. And when I fork over my money, I understand that clearly.

      What I don't understand is why when I purchase a movie on DVD I can't watch it on any DVD player, forever.

      Next it will be that we can only watch certain movies on a certain size of TV... that's right, next you will only be able watch Spider-Man on a Sony TV because that is clearly what the creator wanted...

       

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        teka (profile), Mar 26th, 2013 @ 3:51pm

        Re: Re: Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

        The problem for me is that they can't even clearly articulate what I am actually getting.

        I understand clearly when I go to a movie theater to watch a movie what exactly I am getting - I am getting access to a seat in a room with a big screen, big sound, a bunch of other people, to watch a movie exactly once. That is very clear. And when I fork over my money, I understand that clearly.

        What I don't understand is why when I purchase a movie on DVD I can't watch it on any DVD player, forever.


        Thank you for putting it in such a simple example. I will infringe.. I mean, use this idea in other places to explain some of these concepts.

         

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      Gwiz (profile), Mar 26th, 2013 @ 1:27pm

      Re: Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

      Just quit blaming creators. Pay them what they ask, or go without.


      Hey Blue, I'm being curious here.

      I believe you've stated in the past that you use Linux. You ever watch a legally purchased DVD with your Linux box? If you have then you have circumvented the DRM on the DVD to do so.

      How does having to circumvent the DRM to view a legally purchased movie on your OS of choice fit into your narrow view of DRM being all the pirates fault?

       

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        Ben S (profile), Mar 26th, 2013 @ 8:23pm

        Re: Re: Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

        Technically, there are paid applications you can get for Linux that are officially licensed for playing the videos. In that way, it can be legal to watch DVD's on Linux. But it's far better to use libdvdcss2 so that you can watch it with what ever video player you prefer. (Or use Handbrake to simply rip the video)

         

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          techflaws (profile), Mar 27th, 2013 @ 12:07am

          Re: Re: Re: Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

          Handbrake to rip?

          "Handbrake can process most common multimeida files and any DVD or Bluray sources that do not contain any kind of copy protection."


          Handbrake *encodes* and why would I wanna encode when I can watch a ripped version using DVDfab?

           

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      Ninja (profile), Mar 26th, 2013 @ 5:35pm

      Re: Silly premise. First, DRM works unless circumvented.

      Mere distributors have NO rights to TAKE content from the producers and divert those income streams into their own pockets.
      How many times can you guys repeat the unethical, immoral, and illegal assertion that distributors have some sort of claim over producers?


      The MAFIAA does basically that. You can't change facts ootb no matter how hard you try ;)

      The principle of copyright are to state clearly WHO owns the work, and who deserves to get the income from it.

      No it is not. It's supposed to benefit the public. Creators will earn their money if people think what they produce is worth it.

      As to bad effects of DRM: BLAME PIRATES, not the creators. If it's increased because pirates don't take hints and clear statements of its proprietary nature, BLAME PIRATES AGAIN.

      Yeah, keep blaming those who will never be affected by DRM and keep ramping it up. At some point your paying customers will get fed up. But you miss the point again eh? Pirates are just a convenient excuse as it has been proven ad nauseam file sharing actually helps creators and pirates are the best customers.

      Just quit blaming creators. Pay them what they ask, or go without.

      Nobody is blaming creators, we are pointing fingers at the MAFIAA. They create nothing except bad laws and your beloved DRM.
      I'm finding it easier and easier to do go without. Hope this trend catches up and your bosses go out of business =D

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 10:25am

    Copyright mus die!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 10:28am

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Mar 26th, 2013 @ 10:29am

    Well it used to work

    None of this is really new news. It's pretty well documented that IP laws put up an expensive toll road for innovation and hold back the development of humanity so that some people can get rich. This holds true for most industries, not just technology.

    Because the rate of innovation was so slow for so long, this never really seemed to bother society. But now things advance at a much more rapid pace than ever before in human history AND our ability to communicate with one another across the globe has increased exponentially AND many of the old barriers into the market have disappeared.

    So now you have A LOT more people than ever before asking the question why?

     

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    Joe Mangum, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 10:35am

    Yeeesh

    "DRM works unless it's circumvented"
    Laws are obeyed unless they are broken, cars don't move unless they are driven, and ice cream doesn't make you fat unless it's eaten. Any more completely banal statements you would like to use to back up your lame argument?

    "Mere distributors have NO rights to TAKE content from the producers and divert those income streams into their own pockets."

    What do you think a publisher is? What do you think a record company is? The people who own rights are almost NEVER the people who actually had the idea or put the blood and sweat into creating it. Most indie game developers, the people who actually DO directly benefit from sales of product, don't put DRM into their games cause they know it's ineffective and only punishes legitimate customers.

     

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    Wally (profile), Mar 26th, 2013 @ 10:37am

    DRM is also a huge problem for preserving our cultural history. EA seems to be the single largest offender in this and has gotten on my nerves by asking a Macintosh Abandonware site, Macintosh Garden (http://macintoshgarden.org/) to remove all games now "owned" by EA that EA holds the rights to. They sent a paralegal (named Karen Jessop of California) hounding on to the Australian based website and told them to no distribute SimFarm, SimCity (1989 black and white version for Macintosh Plus), the Sim CityClassic CD, SimAnt, and various others that were meant to run on a now obsolete platform (Mac System 6.0.8 through 9.1).

    Luckily for most of us here in the US, circumvention of DRM is legal for non infringing purposes when preserving PC software.

    OK to my point aside from my (shameless) plug in the name of classic software preservation:

    The true purpose of DRM was originally to prevent piracy of programs...which was actually quite easy so ling as you had matching floppy disk drives and disks. DRM as we know it today was actually tried out in the past. It came on a computer system that had features on it we take for granted. I'll explain other bits if asked about them but my point is that this all boils down to something few people know about.

    The Apple Lisa was built and engineered by a greedy chair board (who almost killed Apple Computer in the Mid 1990's). They made it so that once a disk of office software or any other software (the Lisa was mainly office oriented) ran on one Lisa, it would permanently be tied to that machine and you could not use that disk on any other Lisa's. Part of the Lisa's hefty expense was Apple manufacturers having to have a unique device ID stored in ROM. This is at a time where a megabyte of RAM cost US$5,000 per chip.

    The story of the Apple Lisa in the regard of DRM is an example of what a mess they were and Apple may have lost more money on the Lisa due to its DRM than the cost of RAM.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 11:02am

    Tangential to the article but the line about unskippable ads on DVDs reminded me....I have completely abandoned the Blu-Ray as a video format simply because of the increasingly obnoxious ads, which sometimes go so far as to download NEW ads from the Internet before I can watch the shit I've already paid for.

    Fuck you, Hollywood. Fuck you and die.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 11:28am

      Re:

      AACS has been broken for a pretty long time now. Check out libaacs and libbluray. There's also a ton of commercial products most of which will even circumvent BD+.

      Point being like the article states, DRM is basically useless for copyright protection and just an annoyance to the customers.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 11:33am

        Re: Re:

        I....uh....this sounds a bit more technical than I'm used to, but I'll take a look later. Is any of it possible on a standard BR player? I don't have a BluRay drive on any of my PCs.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 11:42am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's all PC software as that's where most of the circumvention starts. Give it a few years and gray market BluRay Players will be common here as well as. There are a few out there, just Google region free bluray player.

           

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          Rikuo (profile), Mar 26th, 2013 @ 11:43am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I wouldn't think so, unless you can hack the standard BR player's firmware. If you want Blu-ray playback, just get a BR drive for your PC and work onward from there.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 12:01pm

    'All of this shows a legacy copyright industry that is so focused on holding back innovation so that they have a veto right and control over the pace of innovation. That, of course, is bad for the economy, bad for the public and bad for society. Innovation is important in growing the economy, and due to silly laws around DRM, we are purposely holding it back.'

    how can you even think this, let alone say it? how many times have we been told that all this copyright protection etc is good for innovation? how many times have we been told that without copyright protections, there would be no more innovation, no more inventions or progress? surely, Mike, you must be truly mistaken!! ask any of the entertainment industries or the politicians that are paid a fortune each year in 'campaign contributions'!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 12:43pm

      Re:

      Innovation is important in growing the economy, and due to silly laws around DRM, we are purposely holding it back.

      This might actually be wrong. Consider that every new DRM scheme created is usually circumvented rather quickly, and new DRM schemes are put in place to be broken, ad infinitum. I would say that innovation in DRM and circumvention has been growing at a rapid pace.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 12:23pm

    This is the reason I stopped buying content and started downloading it.

     

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    Aliasundercover, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 1:39pm

    Innovation? Or price discrimination?

    I wouldn't call the priority controlling innovation so much as use. That is Copyright maximalists want fine grained control over how, when and where their stuff gets used.

    It is basic economics, different uses have different value. A bottle of water when you are lost in the desert is priceless. Another pint to spray on your lawn is trivial. If you have the water monopoly you want to make sure the water people drink to stay alive goes for big money but you still want to make a few more bucks on green lawns. Making that happen means preventing people from drinking the lawn water.

    DRM and a tiny computer in every player gives superb ability to charge different prices for different uses. You can pay to see the movie once but then it poofs. You can pay for a DVD but selling it in another region is problematic because of the region locking code. Advertising can't be skipped. Whatever new uses flow from new technology the copyright owners own through DRM and can price optimally to squeeze the last drop of utility out of their customers and into their pockets. (Why they squander this with FBI warnings I don't know. They degrade the value of DVDs to all users and stop nothing.)

    Technology is involved but the principles of monopoly pricing and market segmentation are old.

     

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    Uriel-238 (profile), Mar 26th, 2013 @ 1:44pm

    Yar Har Fiddle Dee Dee!

    Ultimately it's a conspiracy run by the pirates.

    By making DRM so appealing to Legacy Content pirated goods will always be better in quality for the consumers, to the point where people will be forced to pirated goods to get content that is playable at all.

    Plus, Rum!

     

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    aidian, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 2:18pm

    Please stop using the term 'legacy'....

    ...it cheapens your argument when you use that term. Every time I hear someone use the term 'legacy' that person is trying to push an agenda, and he or she is using the term to slant the discussion while appearing neutral. Ya'll are better than that.

     

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    Digitari, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 3:55pm

    Re:

    DVD's have unskippable commercials.........

    are those ads paid to be put on DVD's? (I don't know, I have never bought a DVD)

    if they ARE paid for then the Movies cost is cheaper, right??

    I don't have movie playing software on my PC, nor a music player (I removed media player) so I am NOT able to watch movies or play music on my PC....


    I download a lot of Linux distros, so I can try them out. I play free games online and watch HULU (free) My wife is the same way...

    what the hell IS DRM anyways?? (and no I don't own an automobile either)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2013 @ 5:27pm

    Great, informative article

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2013 @ 6:53am

    DRM = Digital RENTAL Media

    It is designed to screw you out of your purchase!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2013 @ 10:27am

    DRM sucks.

     

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    Mark D'Antoni, Mar 28th, 2013 @ 7:11pm

    Copyright and DRM

    It's not about the copyright, it's about control. There are other ways to discourage folks from passing around content for free. One intriguing idea I read about the other day is watermarking content with the purchaser's information — that would probably be effective.

     

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


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