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EFF Gets Animated About DRM with The Corruptibles 202

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the fair-use-and-fairly-usable dept.
Lurker McLurker writes "An animation from the EFF shows DRM technology as a group of supervillans who aim to invade your home, interfere with your devices and stop you from using your digital media the way you want to, even if it is legitimate. Doesn't say anything about the subject most of us wouldn't know, but a great link to send to your friends as an introduction to the issue."
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EFF Gets Animated About DRM with The Corruptibles

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  • THATS AWESOME! Now i can show little kids why theyre screwed in the future.
  • Analog Hole (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Feneric (765069) on Saturday June 17, 2006 @09:32AM (#15554544) Homepage

    I think I personally would have visualized the character of "Analog Hole" as a lot older... certainly not a kid.

    • Well.. whatever his age should be.. he's a real "a hole"
    • True...the real "analog hole" is based on the old RCA jacks, the coaxial cables, etc. The day I see the RIAA/MPAA successfully eliminating those from new consumer electronics, that's when I know we've lost.

      I'm clinging to my turntable and my cassette decks. We might be the only ones left standing.
      • Re:Analog Hole (Score:2, Insightful)

        by kfg (145172) *
        Every portable mp3 player has a headphone jack by nature.

        . . . consumer electronics . . .

        The ultimate tool in the war, stop being a consumer. Learn to make your own . . .including music and video. Fill the world with "hole."

        KFG
      • They've already done it. With the new HD-DVD and BluRay players, they still have the analog jacks, but the movies can contain flags such that only standard definition content is output when using the analog jacks. They will be able to control which content it put out on which jacks. Even some digital outputs won't be able to get HD content. Only HDMI, which is absent on quite a few HDTVs.
    • Re:Analog Hole (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770) on Saturday June 17, 2006 @10:52AM (#15554732) Homepage
      Well, that part didn't really deal with the "analog hole" at all. She was trying to copy a short clip from a DVD - aka "fair use", but on a computer you're normally dealing with digital copies. Nevermind that audio/broadcast flag are anti-consumer, analog hole is pro-consumer and something they are trying to eliminate. Then again it's a teaser, not trying to be technically accurate.

      Anyway, the concept of analog "hole" only makes sense in the context of trying to stop digital copies. If we say A is an analog copy and D is digital, we started out with:
      AAAAAAAAAAAAA = crap

      Then we got CDs, but there was noone who had CD burners at the time:
      DAAAAAAAAAAAA = crap

      Nobody gave a damn that there was an "analog hole", I don't think the concept even existed. Then everybody and their mother got computers and CD burners, and suddenly you got all-digital copies:
      DDDDDDDDDDDDD = perfect

      Then they started inventing DRM, and got that protected through the DMCA. That was supposed to stop digital copying, with varying degrees of success. However, in those cases where they succeeded you still had the analog hole:
      DADDDDDDDDDDD = near perfect

      So the concept of an "analog hole" is very young, because it makes absolutely no sense without digital copies and DRM.
      • I remember when they first came out with DVD drives for computers I saw a few reviews in magazines, and most of them were saying, sorry, no screen shot, because the included software blocked the ability to take screen shots somehow. Which really sucks for those trying to do a review and push the product. Yeah, we'd like to show you how nice these new DVD's look, but they won't let us. I'm sure you'll see a lot of this smae stuff again with the new HD formats.
      • You forgot the false premise of DRM and the analog hole - the last step is always analog, because human media I/O is analog. So in reality, a perfect copy is:

        DDDDDDDDDDDDDA = perfect

        As a result, no matter what the protection is or how impervious to compromise it is, you can always:

        DDDDDDDDDDDDDADA = near perfect

        This is why those selling the concept of DRM to media companies are selling snake oil. Until experiencing media requires an implant, an acceptable quality copy can always be made, stripped of all D
        • by r3m0t (626466)
          "This is why those selling the concept of DRM to media companies are selling snake oil. Until experiencing media requires an implant, an acceptable quality copy can always be made, stripped of all DRM."

          That is where you are wrong. My new supa-protect(TM) system (with built-in speakers) can be built-in to all media devices. Then the headphone and line-out ports are removed and the whole thing is sealed.

          The supa-protect system adds noise signals to all output from your music player. Any recordings of this mus
          • The supa-protect system adds noise signals to all output from your music player. Any recordings of this music will inevitably include this unbearable noise.

            You're getting "noise" and "music" mixed up. Understandable, really, given the state of the "music" industry today.

        • DDDDDDDDDDDDDADA = near perfect

          That copy is rarely "acceptable quality", and even a close-to-acceptable quality is very hard to produce using this method. DRM is mostly aimed at stopping casual copying by the general public, and so those applying it are probably not that concerned (comparatively) with this "DDDDDDDDDDDADA" copy

      • Re:Analog Hole (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dangitman (862676)
        Actually, it is possible to make very good analog copies. Just as it is possible to make shitty digitally-ripped MP3s. I'd much prefer a good high-end tape recording of a nicely-mastered vinyl record, than a shitty digital rip of a poorly mastered CD. And CDs are getting increasingly poor mastering and engineering applied to them. Just because something is digital doesn't mean it sounds good.
        • CDs are getting increasingly poor mastering and engineering applied to them. Just because something is digital doesn't mean it sounds good.

          The point is that new technology will remove rights people are used to and enjoy. My digital copy is just as good as the original but that's just the beginning. I can give you exactly what the big three dumb music companies can. If they make it crappy to thwart copying, the competition can do it better and I can still give you the same crap. Either way, they have

  • by Jazzer_Techie (800432) on Saturday June 17, 2006 @09:40AM (#15554555)
    I think this is a nice piece of work from the EFF. There are plenty of people who would be more concerned about DRM if they understood its potentials. I know I've talked with my father (who is very low tech) about DRM, and he certainly was legitimately concerned about what I told him. I've made backups of some of his CDs for him, and he likes knowing that he can keep the originals safe. We talked about how breaking DeCSS to make a legitimate backup copy of a DVD is illegal under the DMCA, and he thinks something like that is unreasonable. Right now, non-tech people just aren't running into deep issues of DRM. The most DRM they've probably run into is iTMS FairPlay, and thanks to Apple's 'generous' terms, they rarely, if ever, run into something they can't do. I think more people would be concerned about DRM if they understood what it's potential consequences are, and I think this animation does a good job of doing that.
    • by babbling (952366) on Saturday June 17, 2006 @09:54AM (#15554585)
      One problem I run into when trying to explain DRM to people is that they think I'm mistaken or don't believe me. They think they will always be able to record TV shows, and that nothing can stop them from doing so. They think that they will always be able to find a way to break encryption and use music they've purchased however they like.
      • The video is very cool and well done. But along the same lines as what you were saying, the video seems to assume that people understand copyright law, including fair use, and then goes on to explain how DRM can prevent you from doing things that are perfectly legal. The thing is, most people don't understand copyright law, and have never heard of fair use. The video uses the example of a kid trying to put a video snippet in her electronic school report. Although that clearly falls within fair use, I think

    • I'd have to agree – that was one of the most well thought-out animations I've ever seen, even compared to the ones that weren't propaganda against digital rights management. Definitely great attention to detail, too (at least with all the parody titles) – hopefully this will make people realize that this actually will affect them, and isn't just something that super-techies and/or Slashdot readers don't like because it doesn't work on Linux. Disclaimer, I'm a super-techie and a Slashdot reade
    • IMHO there would be a lot more public outcry if the laws weren't enforced selectively. Currently the method is to prosecute a small number of people to put the "Fear of God" into the rest. Imagine the outcry if all the people breaking the law were sued. I could see quite a few things becoming legal very quickly (or the collapse of the court system)
      Personally, I found the animation to be a little too vague and in the future. I can imagine people watching it and saying, "Oh. that will never happen to me."
  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu.gmail@com> on Saturday June 17, 2006 @09:44AM (#15554566) Journal

    Wasn't a free market and capitalism supposed to drive innovation and technology? Oh wait, yeah, Microsoft, never mind.

    Really, reading some of these proposed laws the clear message from the RIAA/MPAA is, "To ensure our continued hand-in-the-cookie-jar obscene money making machine, we demand the government enact protective legislation." Guess what? They're "gettin' 'er done"! Innovative ideas and extensions and forks of cool, useful, for-the-betterment-of-man technology fall by the wayside by fiat, at the entertainment industry's prompt.

    Again, ignoring the thesis for the moment that increased use of all of these digital technologies actually serve the entertainment industry spurring new growth in unexpected demographics, the new and improved technology traditionally has been the keystone of other new technologies. Often, as mentioned in a recent slashdot article, new directions are discovered accidentally. Squelch digital devices and you squelch potential new and rich fields of devices.

    The RIAA and MPAA, what a bunch of fucktards.

    • by dcollins (135727) on Saturday June 17, 2006 @10:05AM (#15554610) Homepage

      Wasn't a free market and capitalism supposed to drive innovation and technology?

      I think that's old-school thinking. It's what I heard when I was growing up, but I haven't heard industry spokespeople argue that in many years.

      Nowadays the reasoning seems to be that "free market" indicates an intrinsic right to do whatever you can to make money, period, good or bad. They don't even bother with a how-it-helps-society argument anymore. As a citizen, you're supposed to just suck it down and shut up.

      • by Kaimelar (121741) on Saturday June 17, 2006 @11:26AM (#15554843) Homepage

        As a citizen, you're supposed to just suck it down and shut up.

        Corporations don't see people as "citizens" anymore. We're not even their customers -- we're consumers. Language always gives one away.

        • by asuffield (111848) <asuffield@suffields.me.uk> on Saturday June 17, 2006 @02:39PM (#15555521)
          Corporations don't see people as "citizens" anymore. We're not even their customers -- we're consumers. Language always gives one away.

          This is very true. It's always a good idea to see what a corporation calls you.

          If you are a client, then they think of you as an integral part of the process. You are involved in the development of whatever they are selling to you, and it is built around your needs. Outsourcing companies, good hotels, and lap dancers think like this.

          If you are a customer, then they think of you as an individual who makes a take-it-or-leave-it decision about their product. They will attempt to make as many people as possible want to take it, but won't worry too much about missing a few around the edges. Still, they need to keep you happy and won't do something that's bad for you without a really good reason. The good ISPs and expensive high street stores think like this.

          If you are a consumer, then they think of you as tied up, prone, on the floor, while they defecate their products onto you and then send you an invoice. It doesn't matter what you think, you don't get to make a choice. The big media companies think like this. So do the telephone carriers, and most other monopolies.
      • The intrinsic right you're referring to is the right to do whatever you want without infringing upon others' rights, and have full rights over any property you acquire without infringing upon anyone else's property rights. Capitalism and the free market have driven most innovation.
        • The intrinsic right you're referring to is the right to do whatever you want without infringing upon others' rights,

          And that is something most of the hardcore greedmongers don't support. They want to be able to do whatever they like to make money - and screw everybody else's rights.

          Capitalism and the free market have driven most innovation.

          Wouldn't it be the actual smart and creative people who do that? Capitalism is just an economic framework. It does not cause people to be smart or inventive. How abou

    • Wasn't a free market and capitalism supposed to drive innovation and technology?

      Yes, and it does. Bittorrent, warez, mp3s are all products of the market. But the RIAA/MPAA doesn't want to compete and decrease their profit margins, so they push for laws that make their competitors illegal, thus resulting in a market that certainly is not free. If you want an example of how things go when the cartels can't legislate their competitors away, look at China where they had to drop their prices to compete with pi
    • Wasn't a free market and capitalism supposed to drive innovation and technology? Oh wait, yeah, Microsoft, never mind

      How many american households owned a computer before MSDOS and Windows? How many after?

      The commodity PC running Windows has had an extraordinary impact on technology.

      The buyer at entry level expects to see networking, a 3 GHz CPU, DX9 level graphics, multichannel HD audio, 100 GB of hard disk storage, and read-write optical drives at $500 or less.

      In system bundle complete with monitor,

    • Wasn't a free market and capitalism supposed to drive innovation and technology?

      You have to realise that when a capitalist is talking about 'innovation' they mean 'greed'. Not new things that are good for you - new ways for the plutocrat to acquire your money.
  • Excellent! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by elgee (308600) on Saturday June 17, 2006 @09:49AM (#15554576)
    That is excellent and I hope it gets widespread exposure.

    Now what I would really like to see is it broadcast on the major tv channels. Let me know if hell is freezing over.
  • Subtitles (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rekolitus (899752) on Saturday June 17, 2006 @09:53AM (#15554584)

    I think this is a good idea, but I really wish more people would put subtitles on their flash videos, the EFF no exception.

    Seriously, how hard would it be to spend some 10 minutes adding subtitles?

    I do like the idea, though.

    • Re:Subtitles (Score:2, Informative)

      by pjbgravely (751384)
      I think this is a good idea, but I really wish more people would put subtitles on their flash videos

      Do you mean like this? [gprime.net]
      Sorry I couldn't find a flash version in a hurry.
    • I just seriously wish someone would figure out a way to play videos inside a browser without having to use flash. This functionality is really badly needed. I'm not a web developer, but no Free alternative comes to mind.

      Well, at least they were cool enough to provide an MPEG4 option.
      • I just seriously wish someone would figure out a way to play videos inside a browser without having to use flash.

        Why does it have to play within a browser window? I'd rather have it just start another instance of mplayer (or whatever) and play in that.

  • Don't forget... (Score:5, Informative)

    by spiritraveller (641174) on Saturday June 17, 2006 @09:54AM (#15554586)
    The bad guys [internetofthefuture.org] can make cartoons too.
    • Hey! That movie ripped off a sound effect from The Jetsons!
    • ...which of those two cartoons easily allows you to save a copy, and which one does not? Or did anyone miss that?
    • The bad guys can make cartoons too

      ...and they will be called "Ice Age," "Finding Nemo," "The Incredibles" and "Cars."

      I'll wager that the EFF campaign will have less public visibility than any single Disney title added to the rental shelves this weekend. Which is the minimal requirement for political effectiveness.

  • What good is it... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by a_greer2005 (863926) on Saturday June 17, 2006 @09:57AM (#15554590)
    if the only people who see this are already in agreement with the EFF on this one?
  • Really cool cartoon! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Per Wigren (5315) on Saturday June 17, 2006 @09:58AM (#15554594) Homepage
    What would be REALLY cool is if it can be shown on the major TV channels (during commercial breaks) every once in a while... How much money would be needed for that?
    • by crush (19364) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @06:34PM (#15559311)
      That would be nice, but if the experience of Adbusters [adbusters.org] is anything to go by, you won't be able to buy the spot. Why? Because TV/cable channels are worried about alienating their major customers (that's not you and me, that's the big corporations that are pushing for DRM and their affiliates and partners that buy the majority of advertising air time) and are anyway owned by some of the major forces pushing for DRM.
  • by Zane Hopkins (894230) on Saturday June 17, 2006 @09:59AM (#15554596) Homepage
    Just before the warning about how piracy is putting the movie industry out of work.
    • Just before the warning about how piracy is putting the movie industry out of work.

      Or another way to look at it is that the movie industry is price fixing and the market is balking. Resorting to extorting it's paying customers to keep prices artificially high is just alienating it's customers.

      While the big companies like Sony, BMG, MGM and others are behaving like this, smaller more efficient and creative upstarts are happening all over the place, outside of the USA. It will not be long before this bre

    • I think there'd be a grand opening of the world's largest ice skating rink in Hell when that happens.
  • by rehashed (948690) on Saturday June 17, 2006 @10:12AM (#15554633)
    I have shown this clip to a few colleagues, and they just dont understand how these things effect them.

    Talking about HDTV, mixing down from Digital Radio, and Digitizing commercial products for school projects is not the way to appeal to the mass consumer market.

    Recording TV shows and making a favorites CD out of your music collection are more accessble principles to the mass market, and these are what should be highlighted.
    • Er, 'recording tv shows', and 'making a favorites CD' (also known as a 'mix CD') is exactly what the first two topics were about.

      HDTV (actually DTV) is what everyone is talking about migrating to, and the FCC is mandating. Existing analog broadcasts would be gone. And using a DVR is exactly about recording TV shows. VCR's certainly wont be useful, since big media wouldnt let anything digital have an unprotected anlog output.

      And while you could certainly make a mix CD from existing current standard CD's, big
    • Recording TV shows and making a favorites CD out of your music collection are more accessble principles to the mass market, and these are what should be highlighted.

      I could spent hours or days producing a compilation CD.

      Or I could simply type out a playlist for use with Rhapsody or Y! Unlimited.

      Drawing on a library of professional rips 100-500 times the size of my personal collection and offered to friends as a one click download for their home networks and portable players, and, of course, my own.

      Tell

  • DRM is not evil. DRM is not wrong. Improper application and bad laws are.

    Fight the laws and bad applications of DRM, not DRM itself.
    • DRM is only referenced in the summary. The cartoon does not say that DRM is bad. It notes the aspects of the PERFORM law that infringe on fair use rights and how they can be used against consumers. What the EFF is trying to do is make sure that (more) laws aren't made that take rights aways from the unsuspecting public.

      I sure as hell wish the EFF was around during all those stupidass copyright extensions.

  • Is a unifying standard. You should be able to use a DRM'ed piece of media in every electronics device you own, not one or two which happen to share a DRM standard out of chance. MS to be fair seem to have made reasonable efforts to unify DRM with it's 'plays for sure' thingy (although I've no experience on how restrictive it actually is) If you can register devices as belonging to a household and buy a variety of different forms of DRMed media that understands you're just switching it between devices in y
    • by vertinox (846076)
      MS to be fair seem to have made reasonable efforts to unify DRM with it's 'plays for sure' thingy (although I've no experience on how restrictive it actually is)

      And if I have a Mac or Linux box?
      • I think the answer might be, "be prepared to either pay to keep a Windows box (or other high-priced proprietary equipment) around, or just accept that you can't enjoy certain types of media." So just save yourself some trouble, become a pessimist, and know that there will always be more American Idol-watching, mouth-breathing, "if you're not a pirate you have nothing to worry about" types than you, and that DRM will become part of access to popular media in the future no matter how hard we little peons arg
  • ... but I read that as "indoctrination to the issue".

    But let me ask you just one thing: if people are so disinterested and/or uneducated that the have to be introduced to the rights they are about to lose... how does that portray democracy?

    From where I stand, I just see sheeple... all the rest of us only differ in the power we wield or do not wield. But most people, sadly, don't really give a damn.

    I do hope EFF will bring more people to their senses... it's just the fact that this is the method needed to

    • As another poster mentioned further up, the problem isn't that people don't care about these rights, it's that they cannot see anything as a real threat to those rights. We'll always be able to get around the DRM somehow and have some fair use. But the majority of people just do not believe that anything will really interfear with their ability to watch TV or listen to the radio or use their computers.

      I can envision what will happen in the future if these laws pass. No one will believe that anything is

  • by Bromskloss (750445) <auxiliary DOT ad ... privacy AT gmail> on Saturday June 17, 2006 @10:33AM (#15554675)
    ...combine with similar movies about software patents [ffii.org] and trusted computing [lafkon.net].
  • If the RIAA were to put out something like this, it would be (rightly) referred to as propaganda. Does propaganda automatically become acceptable if you support the message being propagandized? Is such a thing really "a great link to send to your friends as an introduction to the issue"? Inquiring minds want to know.
    • If the RIAA were to put out something like this, it would be (rightly) referred to as propaganda.

      You mean kind of like that inane 'Matrix' themed cartoon that the RIAA put out a couple years ago?
    • Propaganda isn't necessarily bad or about spreading lies. It got those connotations during WWII when the NAZIS used it. Prior to the war, companies and governments were happy to use the word propaganda to describe what they were doing. I mean, you wouldn't think of a poster describing the dangers of unprotected sex as being propaganda would you? but it is. These kind of animations/videos can spread around very quickly with little cost to the producers. If you can make your animation cool enough and funny e
  • Homer: "Hmm, DRM eh?" He starts thinking: "Mmmm Donut Rights Measure- aaaaahhhh."

    OK, I just made that up.
  • I don't like it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Godji (957148) on Saturday June 17, 2006 @12:24PM (#15555054) Homepage
    As much as I love the EFF and everything they do (I donate every month), I don't like the movie on its purely presentational qualities.

    1. It presents too many things too fast. Everything happends too fast. I showed it to someone unfamiliar with the issue, and who had only vaguely heard some of the terms used (analog hole, fair use, and the like). Her reaction was in the lines of "Huh? What the...? Can you play that again?"

    2. It uses a foolishly cartoonish "superhero" style. When I see those overly comic-style "superhero" images with sharp lines, simple colors, and dumb logos on their chests, I find them stupid. They look stupid. This gives the whole video a comic feel, taking away any seriousness it might have wanted to imply. It fails to shock the unsuspecting viewer with what should be a shocking revelation. Don't get me wrong; the problem is not any crude drawing, but the adherence to the "comic superhero" style. Even the voice-over sticks to it...

    3. It doesn't explain anything. What's going on? This is the most difficult one to get right, but a video has to at least try to explain part of the issue. You could say it only tries to turn your attention to the issue, but it doesn't... the video, as it is, requires one to do some serious background reading. How many people, who have never bothered with the issue before, are going to just stop what they were doing and start reading about DRM?

    Number 2 is the biggest flaw in my opinion. Most people would oppose DRM if they knew about it, but if I send the link to anyone who's even a little sceptic about the importance of opposing DRM and the magnitude of its danger, that person would laugh at me. One already did, saying "What the hell is this bullshit?". The question was about the cartoonish guys, not the issue presented. I love the idea though, and hope they will come up with something better next time.
    • Not to mention the overwhelming numbers of people who are not online and cannot view the cartoon, let alone have the ability to understand the message of the cartoon. Most people probably think DRM is a new kind of cough medicine, thanks to the decades spent on keeping the public ignorant.

      And as long as these estimated hundreds of millions of people are ignorant of the issues, they're going to ignore what their congresscritters do, as long as they keep them thar homosexuals from getting married and keep sho
  • Did anyone else here notice that the "Broadcast Flag" Corruptible is a spitting image of Condoleeza Rice?
  • The EFF needs to call the New Justice Team to sort out these bad guys. I bet Citizen Snips is involved in this plot.

    ---

    Go, go, go New Justice Team
    Go team, go team,
    Team team team
    Who's that newest Justice Team?
    The New Justice Team

    Captain Yesterday is fast
    Also he is from the past
    Not just fast but from the past
    Captain Yesterday!

    Super King has all the powers of a King
    Plus all the power of Superman,
    Also he's a robot.
    Ain't it cool? Super King you rule!

    Clobbarella beats you up
    Clobbarella beats you

I tell them to turn to the study of mathematics, for it is only there that they might escape the lusts of the flesh. -- Thomas Mann, "The Magic Mountain"

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