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U.K. Group Wants DRM'd Media Labeled 244

Posted by Zonk
from the like-with-toxic-substances dept.
peterfa writes "The BBC reports that the U.K. 'All Party Parliamentary Internet Group' wants companies to label their DRMed products. Consumers will see a label on the product before they buy. The label will spell out clearly just how easy it is to copy media, and what they can and cannot do. This is in response to Sony BMG and their virus-like DRM. The group claims the industry is turning media into a rent system, rather than a purchase system."
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U.K. Group Wants DRM'd Media Labeled

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  • go even further (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yagu (721525) * <yayagu@@@gmail...com> on Monday June 05, 2006 @01:34AM (#15470493) Journal

    I wonder what their response will be to the request to label their products and how their DRMed, and make it "crystal clear" (nice irony) to the consumers. I propose they go even further.

    I've encountered a couple of CDs which had some message to the effect, "while every attempt has been made to ensure an enjoyable experience, blah, blah, blah, ... we cannot guarantee this disc will play on every and all of your devices." And, all of those (btw, the print is so small, it's unreadable) actually did play on my computer, and not in my car, and I had to go through a few hoops to return what the store claimed was "non-returnable".

    Since they are knowingly creating a corrupt version of what is or should be a standard format (compact disc), it should be their responsibility to allow the consumer to know positively for sure what devices and manufacturers their product will be guaranteed to play on. This, in addition to the clear and explicit list of how the tracks may be copied, .... all of the other suggestions in the article.

    From the article: "The group claims the industry is turning media into a rent system, rather than a purchase system." If that's the case, and it does appear that's the industry's direction, they're changing the rules as they previously existed, even more reason they should list the constraints and restrictions of their product. By visual inspection alone, it is impossible to look at a CD and know whether it is of the "corrupt" ilk.

    Does it seem ironic there are laws requiring "explicit lyrics" warnings on CDs, and not information that explains whether or not you can even play the damn things?

    (would have posted this a moment sooner, took me a second to find the "Read More..." link. ;-) )

    • Re:go even further (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 05, 2006 @01:43AM (#15470521)
      I think that the DRM sticker would be more welcomed on the face of the CDs than the Explicit Lyrics one, since DRM, as proven by Sony, can be much more damaging to the consumer than swearing in songs.
      • Re:go even further (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bmc152006 (939255)
        even further still, keep all the DRM'D crap in a completely different display.
        • I'm fur it, that way I wouldn't have to stand there and read all the fine print thats getting harder to read all the time, hopeing to find, someplace on the friggin label, the now famous Phillips CD logo. Cause if it doesn't have it, there is a 99% probability will never make it into MY shopping cart.

          All carefully explained to the floor walkers trying to keep the kids from sticking the latest sample of the noise they call music into their baggy pants. It of course goes in one ear and out the other as the
      • Re:go even further (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Phreakiture (547094) on Monday June 05, 2006 @07:42AM (#15471481) Homepage

        I think that the DRM sticker would be more welcomed on the face of the CDs than the Explicit Lyrics one, since DRM, as proven by Sony, can be much more damaging to the consumer than swearing in songs.

        In many cases, it is actually in the record label's interest to post the "Tipper Tag" (Explicit lyrics label) because it will, quite frequently, boost sales.

        The DRM warning, on the other hand, will most likely cut sales, ergo it is not in the label's interest.

        • by zCyl (14362)
          In many cases, it is actually in the record label's interest to post the "Tipper Tag" (Explicit lyrics label) because it will, quite frequently, boost sales.

          The DRM warning, on the other hand, will most likely cut sales, ergo it is not in the label's interest.


          It seems the solution is simple. Government should mandate that the DRM label contain profanity of the manufacturer's choice before the word "DRM".
    • consumer to know positively for sure what devices and manufacturers their product will be guaranteed to play on.

      The best way to do that would be, IMO, Label all devices capable of playing DRM'd content.... with similar stickers.
      • Re:go even further (Score:2, Informative)

        by LiquidCoooled (634315)
        But labeling it won't work.
        Especially considering that your DRM might not be compatible with my DRM.
        • Re:go even further (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)
          Cigarettes in the UK have a large government health warning saying 'Smoking Causes Lung Cancer,' or similar. This takes up about a third to a half of the front of the packet.

          I propose the same system for DRM's media. Not less than one third of the front of the box should carry a warning saying one of these things:

          • The disk may contain a virus.
          • May not work on existing equipment.
          • Time limited. May stop working at any time.
          • etc.
      • by rvw (755107)
        Wouldn't it be better to do just the opposite: "This media is free from DRM" or "Play it anywhere anyhow"?
        • by sbryant (93075) on Monday June 05, 2006 @08:18AM (#15471681)

          Wouldn't it be better to do just the opposite: "This media is free from DRM" or "Play it anywhere anyhow"?

          That exists. It's the old compact disc logo that you don't see on these DRM'd albums. That one already went too court too, the result being that CDs that didn't accurately conform to the standard aren't allowed to use the logo. There was even a Slashdot article [slashdot.org] at the time (beginning of 2002).

          The trouble is that the logo doesn't have high enough brand recognition - people will buy silver disks in jewel cases and expect them to work the same as proper compact discs.

          Anyway, now that you know, only buy genuine CD-DA disks! Look for the logo!

          -- Steve

    • Re:go even further (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tim C (15259) on Monday June 05, 2006 @02:12AM (#15470590)
      I had to go through a few hoops to return what the store claimed was "non-returnable".

      I think perhaps phrases like "not fit for the purpose for which it was bought" may have been helpful, along with "I'll see what trading standards has to say about that then" if that doesn't work.

      It's being sold as an audio CD. You have a reasonable expectation that it will work in your audio CD player(s). If it doesn't, then as far as I'm concerned either the CD or the player(s) is faulty. Assuming your player(s) work(s) with other CDs, the implication would be that it's the CD that's faulty. Therefore, you're entitled to a refund, end of story.

      I don't buy very many CDs anymore, but if that happened to me and the store refused to accept the return, I'd definitely be contacting trading standards.
      • Re:go even further (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Itsacon (967006) on Monday June 05, 2006 @02:50AM (#15470672) Homepage
        It's being sold as an audio CD. You have a reasonable expectation that it will work in your audio CD player(s). If it doesn't, then as far as I'm concerned either the CD or the player(s) is faulty. Assuming your player(s) work(s) with other CDs, the implication would be that it's the CD that's faulty. Therefore, you're entitled to a refund, end of story.

        Actually, right from the beginning, Philips has made a stand that these copy protected CD's are never sold with the 'CD-Compact Disc [wikimedia.org]' label on it, since they do not comply with the Red Book standard Sony and Philips published back in 1982.

        So if you're shopping for a CD and the logo is not on it, it's a good signal to read a the small print. In my experience, you'll often find copyright notices for the copyprotection on there somewhere. :-P

        However, it seems to me that right from the beginning this stuff has gone the wrong way. Hackers and pirates are way more inventive that 'regular' consumers, so any copy protection will be cracked (after all, if it was IMPOSSIBLE to get the audio off there, it would never sell), while Joe Average will never get it to play on his car stereo.

        I rip all my CD's to my harddisk, since I like variation, and a big harddrive with WinAmp [winamp.com] is a much better CD-changer than a real CD-changer ever will be. I have over time bought several DRM'ed CD's, and none of them have EVER given me much trouble ripping them. Most work was one that required the 'black marker on the outer ring' [interesting-people.org] trick.

        My two cents...
        • Re:go even further (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 05, 2006 @04:10AM (#15470866)
          Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, but I have returned quite a few copy-protected CDs.

          It's on the rack with the other audio CDs, in a record store. You therefore have a reasonable expectation that it should play.

          Despite any labelling, if you didn't notice the labelling (and many copy-controlled discs in the UK - including all of the sample ones I have from Sony BMG UK containing XCP "Aurora" - are NOT labelled as such in any way, other than the absence of the Compact Disc(TM) logo, which also happens on a huge variety of unprotected audio CDs as well), or if you noticed the labelling and queried the retailer and they said it ought to play, then you can return it under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended) on the grounds that it's not fit for purpose.

          They cannot refuse a refund on the grounds that it has been opened. (After all, you're not psychic, you don't know it was faulty until you try to play it, and it's going to be mighty difficult to do that without opening the case.)

          They can offer a refund or replacement - at YOUR option. (They can only refuse one and offer the other if it's highly disproportionate, but no CD costs even remotely enough to bring that argument into play.) Obviously, choose the refund, as of course any replacement would be very likely to be protected as well, and would be no better than the first.

          It's a criminal offence to display a sign saying "No Refunds", or to have (and stick to) a no refunds policy.

          If you get any problems, threaten to call Trading Standards, and if they persist, do so.
        • Re:go even further (Score:4, Informative)

          by advocate_one (662832) on Monday June 05, 2006 @06:20AM (#15471193)
          Actually, right from the beginning, Philips has made a stand that these copy protected CD's are never sold with the 'CD-Compact Disc' label on it, since they do not comply with the Red Book standard Sony and Philips published back in 1982.

          Ah, but they get around this by showing the CD "Text" logo... when they print it on the disk, it, to all intents and purposes, looks just like a normal CD logo, but you have to look very closely to see it's really the CD text one... so these disks have a CD logo on them, but they're not audio CDs, they're "text" CDs...

        • "if it was IMPOSSIBLE to get the audio off there, it would never sell"

          Dead on. Lost in the **AA's shrieking is a painful truth:
          Even the hypothetical airtight DRM + broadcast flag + kitchen sink scheme has to allow the music to play at some point. That crippled DRMy CD player is at some point going to send an audible signal down a wire to a speaker. There it can be picked up. Uber-Pirate.com can burn their master, DRM-free disc there if they have to. And proceed with business as usual.

          The casual copying

          • I don't think copying "intellectual property" harms anyone

            If I buy a CD then the people involved in producing that item (artist, record company, CD shop, etc) will all gain financially from the purchase. If I take a copy of the CD from a friend, or download it from the internet then no one has gained financially (except presumably me, because I've not forked out hard-earned wedge for it!).

            There is a financial loss from such behaviours and this could easily be construed as "harm" if it is you that is no

    • by Technician (215283) on Monday June 05, 2006 @02:38AM (#15470656)
      By visual inspection alone, it is impossible to look at a CD and know whether it is of the "corrupt" ilk.


      I look for the Philips Compact Disc logo. If it's missing, then the product may be incompatible. I wish more people refused to buy stuff without the logo. It would enforce a standard upon the industry. Use the logo or don't sell.

      The logo use requires technical standards to be met. When the standards are met, then it should play with no issues an any compliant device.

      Look for the logo. Get the clerk to help you look.
      • It would enforce a standard upon the industry.

        Sad thing is, this was the standard for a long time! But I have the impression big corporations very happy with standards, as it enables the consumers to buy media players from other producers as well, etc. etc. Think the fuss M$ makes about OpenDocument, java, etc. It's a general trend, but the smaller corporations do win from standards, so there is some hope.

        CD specific, there isn't much change the big producers will go back to the old standard, as it's so

    • it should be their responsibility to allow the consumer to know positively for sure what devices and manufacturers their product will be guaranteed to play on.

      Well I've got a great name for the effort - "Plays For Sure"!
    • by D4C5CE (578304) on Monday June 05, 2006 @02:54AM (#15470680)
      Since they are knowingly creating a corrupt version of what is or should be a standard format (compact disc)...
      ...they should go to jail?

      Unfortuately that's not disproportionate by their own standards: There are countries where (for several years already) one could not go (or take one's kids!) to the movies without being exposed to media companies' threats of detention and rape [heise.de].

    • Re:go even further (Score:3, Insightful)

      by julesh (229690)
      I had to go through a few hoops to return what the store claimed was "non-returnable".

      Interestingly, CDs (and other digital media) are exempt from the returnability requirements of a few laws (e.g. the Distance Selling Regulations, which require you to be able to return within 28 days for a full refund just about anything you buy online or via mail order) because of the possibility that you can copy them. Clearly this exclusion should not be extended to DRM-laden discs.
      • Re:go even further (Score:3, Interesting)

        by farnz (625056)
        Just to be clear: the Consumer Protection Distance Selling (Returns) Regulations allow you to return anything you buy at a distance (i.e. mail order, online, telephone) within 7 days of receipt for any reason, at no charge. They're aiming to give you the same chance to inspect the goods as you'd have in a retail store. Some items (such as CDs) are exempted from these regulations, and all other regulations that don't need a specific reason to return goods.

        On the other hand, no goods are exempted from the Sa

      • Re:go even further (Score:3, Informative)

        by Eivind (15695)
        You're talking of unconditional returnability. Even if you don't have unconditional returnability for a product (as in, you may return it and demand your money back without stating a reason, and without the product being faulty) you can offcourse still return a product that is faulty.

        If you buy something you reasonably expect is a CD, then try to play it in your standards-compliant cd-player in your car, and it fails. Then the product is faulty. It's unfit for the purpose for which it was bougth, and for

    • It would be nice to see a requirement placed on things like this such that the manufacturers (not the resellers) are required to accept returns of products that failed to operate as described on the packaging. In other words, no cop-outs like "may not work on SOME players". If it doesn't say it will not work on a Pioneer 5420, and so I buy it and try it in mine and it doesn't play, they have to accept it back, at the price I paid for it at Sam Goody.

      As it is now, they want the consumer to take a gamble on
    • Something to do when you find a CD like that: take it to the cashier and ask them whether you can use it with your iPod and if it doesn't can you return it? If they say no to either say sorry 'no-purchase'. If enough people to do that they will get the message. No point in spending money or simply not going through the motions. People need to know why you aren't buying.
    • "allow the consumer to know positively for sure what devices and manufacturers their product will be guaranteed to play on. "

      Don't worry so much, Microsoft has taken care of the problem. There is a label on music players you should look for, it says PLAYS FOR SURE, and if you buy music from a PLAYS FOR SURE store, then it plays for sure. Until you copy it to another computer the wrong way. Or onto another MP3 player. Or hold your nose wrong. Or you don't download their license file. Or your hard drive crash
  • This is about as fair they can make it. Label it as crippleware so we can all know what not to buy.
    • Yep: the industry can sell its content in unhelpful forms if it wants, but it should be required to be up-front with the public about what they are (and aren't) buying.

      This response was pretty much exactly what I proposed in my own submission to the Gowers Review, so it's nice to know that others thought it was reasonable too.

  • by jkrise (535370) on Monday June 05, 2006 @01:38AM (#15470508) Journal
    1. "Infected with DRM".
    2. "Statutory warning: DRM is injurious to your sense of fair-play".

    etc... and meanwhile:

    Why not label devices and products that support DRM? That would be a more effective step to 'inform' consunmers, one would've thought...

    -
  • by grammar fascist (239789) on Monday June 05, 2006 @01:39AM (#15470509) Homepage
    They should go one step further and include information on how to crack the DRM on each label.
    • And then how deep to stuff it up ones crack (on a scale of one to fourteen inches, depending on how crap the CD is).
  • Demand a refund. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by babbling (952366) on Monday June 05, 2006 @01:39AM (#15470512)
    I have never bought anything that contained DRM, but if I did accidentally buy something, I would simply demand a refund.

    Anything with DRM should have a message on it similar to the "WARNING: SMOKING KILLS" warning. I don't want a small label I have to search for - it should be big, clear, and standardised. The exact same logo/warning message should appear on every product. Something like "Warning: This product uses Digital Rights/Restrictions Management" would do the job.

    Anyway, if anyone accidentally buys a product with DRM, they should be entitled to a refund. It is for all intents and purposes a defect, if you thought the product you were buying was a movie/music that you could use however you like.
    • Isn't this exactly what the All Party Parlamentaric Group in the UK is proposing?
    • by Jaruzel (804522)
      It is for all intents and purposes a defect, if you thought the product you were buying was a movie/music that you could use however you like.

      Except you can't. Re-read the copyright disclaimer when you play a DVD. By buying it, you have paid for the right to watch it, that is all. Even then you can only watch it in certain circumstances (less than 20 of you, not on an oil rig or in a pub etc...). The DVD disc may be be yours to do with what you want, but the data on it is not, and never has been. DRM is sim
      • by Eivind (15695) <eivindorama@gmail.com> on Monday June 05, 2006 @05:09AM (#15471018) Homepage
        Nonsense.

        Whatever conditions appear when you play the disc are not part of your agreement to buy the disc. You bougth one copy of the DVD, you own it. No question about it.

        It's still true that you cannot do everything you migth like with it. But that's because of copyrigth-law, and not because of any legal-sounding bullshit on the disc itself.

        Copyrigth-law prevents you from, among other things perform the work in public and make new copies of the work.

        • You bougth one copy of the DVD, you own it. No question about it.

          There is a distinction between the disk and it's content. You own the disk, but you license the content. You are free to do whatever you wish with the disk because you own it, but you cannot use the disk to redistributed the content because you don't own it.

          True, there is not license agreement when you buy a DVD, but there isn't a transfer of ownership agreement for the disk (or anything you buy in a high street shop for that matter). These th
          • No. Sorry. No go.

            You're confused. Really. Or if you're not, you word yourself extremely poorly.

            The main thing you have to realize is that there's a difference between owning one copy of a copyrigthed work, and owning the copyrigth.

            You *do* own one copy of a copyrigthed work. You do not "license" it. We both agree that you do not own the copyrigth.

            Unless by "license" you mean: "own, but usage is restricted by copyrigth law", which is a very strange way to define license.

            I stand by what I said: You

          • Provided the cover of the CD/DVD has a copy right symbol (which it will have) you can expect the copyright laws to apply. Anything that isn't part of those laws does not apply unless explicitly printed on the cover and available to read at time of purchase. This is a principle of UK law (re Shoe Lane Parking).
    • by evilviper (135110) on Monday June 05, 2006 @04:47AM (#15470951) Journal
      I have never bought anything that contained DRM,

      Wow! I can't remember how long it's been since I've heard from someone who has never bought a single DVD (CSS).

      Or any digital audio recorders (SCMS).

      Never owned any videogames.

      Doesn't subscribe to digital cable or satellite TV...

      etc.
  • label (Score:5, Interesting)

    by radicalnerd (930674) on Monday June 05, 2006 @01:46AM (#15470528)
    The label will spell out clearly just how easy it is to copy media
    I'd suggest a color coded advisory system.
  • by MrSquirrel (976630) on Monday June 05, 2006 @01:47AM (#15470531)
    "The group claims the industry is turning media into a rent system, rather than a purchase system." Uh oh, I hope they don't give out late fees (knowing Sony, they probably would). Or "ripped the songs and shared them all over the internet" fees.
  • Nice idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rpdillon (715137) * on Monday June 05, 2006 @01:49AM (#15470538) Homepage
    Well, this is refreshing. I mean, lets face it, vendors are peddling crippled products for their convenience, not the customers'. Often, people don't even realize what they're buying, so it would be nice to have a notice.

    This reminds me of a prediction I made about the iTMS - I think a lot of people are OK with paying $.99 per song *now*, but in a few years when perhaps they've gone through a couple more computers, and the iPod isn't as in-style as it is now, there will be a backlash of customers realizing that they paid for something they cannot easily use on "other" players (the burn-to-CD-and-rerip technique notwithstanding). I can visualize a similar diffculty with these crippled CDs - they will want to play them in a laptop or similar device that won't handle the DRM gracefully, and only then will they discover they paid for something only to find that it doesn't provide the value expected. It makes sense to notify the customer of what they are buying up front, rather than hiding it and hoping they never notice (obviously, some never will).

    But, as my sister told me when we discussed this, they will likely chalk it up to "technology has moved on" and view it the same way they view VHS as not playing in DVD players, and simply rebuy the same movie/album, again. I sure hope that doesn't become the mainstream attitude - it will give the record companies and movie studios yet-another-reason to implement DRM any chance they get.
    • Or tapes (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday June 05, 2006 @02:51AM (#15470674)
      But, as my sister told me when we discussed this, they will likely chalk it up to "technology has moved on" and view it the same way they view VHS as not playing in DVD players, and simply rebuy the same movie/album, again.

      Another even closer example is cassette tapes, many people had huge collections when the switch to CD's was made...

      I'm not sure either how consumers will respond to the natural evolution of digital music. With ITMS stuff they would still be able to play it on a computer even if a newer kind of non-iPod came along that people really wanted, so in a way it's not as lost as tapes were after players were really phased out.

      The question I have though is what would really come along that would be compelling enough to supplant the iPod for the market at large? The iPod grew because you could rip CD's and easily get them on your iPod where they are more accessible... and now the library grows through ITMS purchases (for many people, not all). So that would indicate that in the future the iPod lockin effect Apple seeks would indeed grab hold as many people's whole music libraries are digital now and they'd be more likley to buy a player that would work with it, probably a lot more likley. Between tapes and CD's you had the change to random access, but what is compelling about a change from one digital format to another? With video you can go with quality but with audio a lot of people really can't tell if an MP3 is better or worse than FLAC and so efforts for improved digital audio formats are stillborn, like SACD.

      Once in digital form I don't see any given player offering so much of an advantage that it overcomes the simple ability to use all the music you already have. The only way for anyone to break Apple's hold on the market is to start selling all music in MP3's, then that allows people to choose whatever player they like and possibly have even more players, some of them more specialized. But the music industry itself is steadfast in actions that ensure Apple will remain at the helm - and they've just given Apple a few more years by contract to work on pulling the noose tighter.

      Perhaps if eMusic really takes off we'd see more record companies finally wake up and sell MP3's (like Werkshop). If enough major labels did that it would free up the logjamm, and then Apple could release an official version of JHymn to unlock all the ITMS music so it would just be straight-up AAC.

    • Re:Nice idea (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Wabbit Wabbit (828630)
      ...[when] the iPod isn't as in-style as it is now, there will be a backlash of customers realizing that they paid for something they cannot easily use on "other" players

      Which is why I stopped buying from iTunes once JHymn stopped working (although apparently you can install iTunes 5, open a new account, never upgrade the software, and JHymn will still work).

      Hmmm...maybe I should just try that.
      • Re:Nice idea (Score:3, Informative)

        by jpkunst (612360)
        apparently you can install iTunes 5, open a new account, never upgrade the software, and JHymn will still work). Hmmm...maybe I should just try that.

        Yes, that works. Older iTunes versions downloadable here [oldapps.com]. I went back to iTunes 4.9 myself, I think the Search features went downhill in iTunes 5 and later (e.g. search for Composer disappeared).

        JP

    • Re:Nice idea (Score:2, Interesting)

      by kkiller (945601)
      But, as my sister told me when we discussed this, they will likely chalk it up to "technology has moved on" and view it the same way they view VHS as not playing in DVD players, and simply rebuy the same movie/album, again. I sure hope that doesn't become the mainstream attitude - it will give the record companies and movie studios yet-another-reason to implement DRM any chance they get.

      Just my 2p, but I found that when you actually explain what DRM is and how it restricts bought music content to a new us

  • by spentrent (714542) on Monday June 05, 2006 @01:58AM (#15470556)
    Copy this media and face the wrath of Captainnnnnnnnnnnnn COPYRIGHT!
  • of cigarette warning labels.
  • Who want to bet that Recording industry will make "DRM" labeling the next 'fad' like "Explicit Lyrics" or "Rated R"?

    Yeah, I can see those assholes rubbing their hands together now... (petting white fluffy cat is optional)
  • by ewhac (5844) on Monday June 05, 2006 @02:09AM (#15470579) Homepage Journal

    I thought about this idea some time ago, and came up with a system where the media's friendliness was measured according to three aspects:

    1. Ability to Copy
      The media should contain no measures to prevent or deter duplication, nor should it require measures on the part of the playback platform to support such deterrents.
    2. Ability to Distribute
      The media should contain no measures to prevent or deter redistribution, nor should it require measures on the part of the playback platform to support such deterrents.
    3. No Usage Monitoring/Metering
      Usage of the media should not be monitored, metered, or compromise the user's privacy or usage habits in any other way, nor should it require measures on the part of the playback platform to support such monitoring.

    Each aspect would represent one leg of an iconic triangle. The triangle logo (and sub-permutations thereof) would be trademarked so it could only lawfully be used by the authority performing the evaluations. So all you'd have to do to know which media were safe would be to look for a complete triangle.

    Schwab

    • 1 and 3 are cool, but 2 kinda implies you can freely bung the music you bought onto emule for everyone to enjoy. Thats the bit that has really irked the content providers, and rightly so, as the supply of music is what pays for the whole business, artists included.
      You have to see it from their POV too. Campaigning for total freedom to distribute music as you see fit will get you nowhere. Campaigning for restrictions on fair use is totally fine, but under no condition is sharing your CD with 6000 people accr
  • Definitely, DRM products should be labeled.

    Notice, however, that genetically modified food is not labeled. That was accomplished by corrupting the U.S. government. Probably that will happen in the case of DRM, too.
    • Notice what happened with the parent comment. It was correct, and it sparked an interesting interchange of other comments, but it was moderated down to -1 in an attempt to hide it from readers. Why? Because it criticized the U.S. government.

      There are many people who claim to be Republicans who are only angry.

      It was definitely government corruption that the public was never allowed to participate in the dialogue about the genetic modification of food. Now perhaps 30% or more of food in the U.S. has bee
  • AllofMp3.com (Score:3, Interesting)

    by okster (913316) on Monday June 05, 2006 @02:21AM (#15470613)
    In the old days I'd buy records and copy them to tape - only play the record once. Later I'd buy the cd's and rip 'em to mp3's. Until I bought a few 'unrippable' cd's. I can't be bothered searching for notices, stickers etc... got burnt to many times.
    Now I just obtain unrestricted mp3's wherever I can eg AllofMp3.com. They say the return royalties to the artist, and that's good enough for me. I'm sure the RIAA etc.. are more than willing to sue if they think they have a case :-)

    I'll buy from the labels when they make media that's usefull to me.
    • Until I bought a few 'unrippable' cd's.

      There's no such thing - Google for ExactAudioCopy for Windows, it's never failed on me yet and it's free. On Linux, cdparanoia seems to have equal success with protected CDs.

  • Knowledge is power (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Swifti (801896) on Monday June 05, 2006 @02:25AM (#15470630)
    "If consumers even know there's a DRM, what it is, and how it works, we've already failed"

    - Peter Lee, Disney executive [economist.com]

    • by donaldm (919619)
      I think the average person (say 99% and I am being optimistic - sigh!!) knows nothing about DRM and most likely will not care until they want to save their purchase to a different format because their original purchase is now obsolete, but by then it is far to late. Think vinyl records and pre-recorded tape (ie. cassett, cartridges and real-to-real tapes).

      At least with ogg or even mp3 you have a chance of preserving your record collection. Still the best way to get around DRM is to record off free-to-air mu
  • To be fair, wordings on these labals should be made as remarkable as those we found on cigarette packs:

    "It can induce heart disease, nerve breakdown, breakage of furniture such as chairs, and ultimate humiliation from friends, after the content within crashes you computer into miserable useless mess...."
  • For instance, she said, UK law allows people to make copies of parts of copyrighted works for the purposes of critiquing or reviewing them.

    "That's an exemption thwarted by DRM systems," she said. "The technologies are extending beyond the law they are supposed to uphold."


    Uhh.. I was under the silly impression that it was the duty of the police and the courts to uphold the law. If you're going to start talking about DRM as "upholding the law" then shouldn't the government be doing it? Ahh shit, I just made
    • I think government DRM would be awesome, because knowing governments they would pick an out of date and easily broken DRM scheme and then force everyone to use it. Consumers win!
    • Ahh shit, I just made the case for government mandated standardized DRM didn't I?

      You say that like it's a bad thing. You see, government-mandated DRM would be the equivalent of no DRM. The specs would have to be available to all, and so anyone could implement it, including me. I would have no problem at all with DRM if I was allowed to implement it myself, and it only limited me to things that I wasn't legally allowed to do anyway. Why? Because my implementation would just remove the DRM layer, and

  • ...in the UK, anyway.

    It's better that the consumer be forewarned about what they can and can't do with the movie/music that they bought, than to buy it first, and then frustratingly run into it later.

    But are there going to be different versions of the same CD?
    1. Paul Oakenfold, with DRM copy protection
    2. Paul Oakenfold, without DRM copy protection
    Are they going to be the same price? If so, then what incentive would a consumer have to buy the DRM version?
    Maybe what will happen is that ONLY the DRM version is
  • by Ivan Matveitch (748164) on Monday June 05, 2006 @02:54AM (#15470682)
    Something like

    WARNING
    This product contains popular culture known by the
    state of California to cause brain damage. Always
    wear earplugs and a blindfold when handling a disc.
    In case of accidental exposure, you might as well
    just kill yourself right there and get it over with.
    rendered in twenty-six languages, just like the please-feed-this-bag-to-babies warning Microsoft prints on its keyboard packaging.
  • I hope they have to do it like smoking warnings in massive black and white letters "DRM while pregnant can seriously harm fair use"
  • Although DRM labels are probably a good thing, the industry could turn it into a bad thing.

    This is what the DRM labels are intended to be like: "Warning! This media has DRM on it. It may not be able to play on all devices and is restricted so you cannot transfer the media to a portable music player"

    This is what DRM labels could look like after industry lobbyists change the law: "This media is certified Copyright Safe with DRM technology. Enjoy your media with DRM!"

    And this is what DRM labels could loo

  • Their Website (Score:3, Informative)

    by WTBF (893340) on Monday June 05, 2006 @04:13AM (#15470869)
    I don't know why this wasn't in the summary, but they have a website here. [apig.org.uk]
  • by rimberg (133307) on Monday June 05, 2006 @04:38AM (#15470932) Homepage
    Given that the launch of the All Party Internet Group report on Digital Rights Management only started at 10 pm and that the BBC printed this the day before it was out they must have got their hands on a advanced copy some how.

    The All Party Internet Group will launch its report on Digital Rights Management at the British Library on Monday June 5th. A press release with the key aspects of the report's findings will be available on the day and will also be posted on the APIG website at that time, along with the report itself and all of the written and oral evidence received by the inquiry.

    If you can not wait till 12:00pm UK time the Open Rights Group [openrightsgroup.org] (Think UK EFF) have a lot of information about the APIG DRM Public Inquiry [openrightsgroup.org] here.

    More information on the press conference:

    Balancing Opportunities in a Digital Age

    Keynote speech: Derek Wyatt, Launch of the All Party Internet Group report on Digital Rights Management

    10.00 - 12.00pm, 5th June 2006
    British Library, Euston Road

    Speakers Include:
    • Lynne Brindley, Chief Executive, British Library
    • Laurie Kaye, Laurence Kaye Solicitors
    • Other speakers to be confirmed

    As well as launching the All Party Internet Group report on Digital Rights Management, this seminar will look at the different opportunities, and threats, digitisation and new media provide for content creators and information providers, both public and private.

    The great promise of the internet is to provide us with all the information and learning materials we might need. Free internet access is now within walking distance of close to 100% of the UK. In many senses, digital inclusion is no longer about access to technology but access to content.

    Libraries and archives across the world are currently involved in a number of digitisation initiatives, enabling wider access to the works of cultural and historical importance they stores. At the same time, commercial content and information providers are seeing threats to their existing business models emerge. On the one hand, they wish their content to reach as wide an audience as possible, on the other the commercial model for providing such information is potentially undermined by both content aggregators and consumer demand for 'free' information.

    Publishers and libraries both fulfil an important function in our democracy,widening access and inclusion to democratic debate and adding greatly to the public sphere. But all have commercial imperatives to consider, and intellectual property rights to enforce or comply with.
  • Its apparently 'Good' that DRM'd media should mandatory be labeled as such,

    Its apparently 'Bad' to mandatory tag internet sex sites, as been adult.

    Both things are to enable the consumer to make a informed choice, before proceding with purchase / viewing.....
    • It is good, because some legislations forbid copying DRMed media even for private purposes, but not non-DRMed media. Therefore, labeling DRMed media clearly may become prerequisite for such legislations.

    • by RegularFry (137639)
      DRM's presence is a simple yes-or-no. "Adult" is an opinion call which is guaranteed to be wrong for some of the people some of the time. Simple as that.
  • by klang (27062) on Monday June 05, 2006 @05:24AM (#15471050)
    "WARNING: Will NOT play on iPod" will be understood by 99% of the population, resulting in lost sales.
    "Contains ENHANCED DRM" will also be undersood by 99% of the population .. as something good .. it's ENHANCED, right?
  • it would be highly ironic for stuff labelled as "Plays For Sure" to also have the DRM warning on them stating that you may not be able to play it on all devices... no doubt, Microsoft would push this as a desireable feature in that to use "Plays For Sure" you would have to seek out a "Plays For Sure" logo'd device...
  • by ClamIAm (926466)
    I'm not from the UK, but a US version of this needs to happen. I also think this needs to be instituted for all types of media: audio, video, and even video/computer games. We need a nice big sticker that says something about how this media contains technology designed to prevent you from copying it. And how the DMCA makes that illegal. And how you won't be able to make a backup (too bad if your kids scratch it). And how it's not going to play on your car stereo. Et cetera, et cetera.
    • That, and I think any DRM media should be disallowed from being included within 30 feet of non-DRM music in physical stores, and they must be segragated in online stores. For example, a search for "music" must me mutually exclusive with "DRM music", so that there is no question as to which it is you're buying. I don't expect to see this in my lifetime.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    We just need to get Tipper Gore and some Congressional wives involved. Tell them that some sinners may not be able to view the "Jesus of Nazareth" DVD due to DRM and we'd have a full out Congresional inquiry into the matter. ;-)
  • Although I rarely visit UK high street rip-off merchants like HMV & Virgin, I seem to recall them both having clearly signposted "CD" and "DVD" sections in their stores.

    Since a DRM'ed disc does not conform to the CD standard, then surely it is against the Trade Descriptions Act in the UK to place those discs in the audio CD section. Therefore, they should be in a clearly marked separate section as "DRM Media".

    In a similar fashion, force Internet vendors like Amazon and Play to advertise those discs

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