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The Day Against DRM 320

Posted by kdawson
from the you-have-nothing-to-lose-but-your-chains dept.
Qubit writes, "DefectiveByDesign.org, a campaign by the Free Software Foundation, is making Oct 3rd a Day Against DRM: 'Defeating DRM is all about awareness. The direct actions that we have taken are all about this. Today we are asking you to let the people around you know that DRM is bad for our society. Let's create space for the debate. Do we want handcuffs and locks on art and knowledge? As our friends at Disney recognize, if there is this debate, we will have won.'" Bayboy adds an article from eWeek mentioning that members of DefectiveByDesign.org are going to descend on flagship Apple stores in New York and London to protest the company's embrace of DRM. And Another AC writes, "In honor of the Day Against DRM, DreamHost has released a new service called Files Forever (for Dreamhost customers only during beta) This seems to be basically an iTunes Music Store that anybody can sell any sort of files through... as long as they have no DRM. Dreamhost handles all the payment processing and stores the file forever, offering unlimited re-downloads to end users who buy files through the service. When somebody buys a file they're even allowed to 'loan' it to others for free!"
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The Day Against DRM

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  • pr0n (Score:5, Funny)

    by User 956 (568564) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @05:20PM (#16297805) Homepage
    Let's create space for the debate. Do we want handcuffs and locks on art and knowledge?

    As a master debater, I can say that I do enjoy handcuffs and locks on at least *some* of the art. That is, if you call pr0n "art".
    • Re:pr0n (Score:4, Funny)

      by The Real Toad King (981874) <toadking@toadking.com> on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @05:22PM (#16297831) Homepage
      If you are suggesting that porn should be illegal, then I assure you at least 50% of all web users will become criminals, if they weren't already. Probably even you. Yes you, the person reading this.
      • Re:pr0n (Score:5, Funny)

        by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @05:42PM (#16298079)
        If you are suggesting that porn should be illegal, then I assure you at least 50% of all web users will become criminals...

        To (probably mis-) quote Dr. Cox (Scrubs), "If you got rid of all the porn on the Internet, there'd probably only be one site left and I'm pretty sure it would be called 'Bring back the porn'".

  • Very useful... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Wish I had known about it before today....
    • by Lukano (50323)
      If you're referring to the DreamHost 'Files Forever' service, as far as I'm aware it was just launched today.

      Over the span of the day today, they have completely revamped their site, added new services, and bolstered existing plans (birthday celebration).

      The service itself (Files Forever) looks to be a VERY interesting service, which if it works as planned - is bound to garner a lot of interest and hopefully popularity.

      As you can tell from my sig, I'm a big fan of DreamHost. This is just one of many things
      • by Ant P. (974313)
        How exactly do they fund all this stuff? It can't be coming from hosting fees alone.
  • october 3rd (Score:2, Informative)

    by kswtch (790406)
    tag der deutschen einheit and day against drm. hmm...
  • Great... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CrackedButter (646746) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @05:23PM (#16297845) Homepage Journal
    ...but thanks for telling me at 22:22 hours. An hour and 38 minutes before its the 4th of October!
    • <Steve Zissou> Why are they laughing?</Steve Zissou>
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by wsand70 (525850)
      As a LUG contact person I got a kit this weekend from FSF that has two bundles of stickes and info on this project. Too bad our next LUG meeting is three weeks away. So my contribution was to have my 5 year old son wear a big sticker on the back and a little one of the front. Then I trained him to inform ppl what DRM was an acronym for if they asked.
    • I've seen this posted at various sites around the 'net for the last 3 weeks (at least). How did you all miss it?
  • Too late. (Score:2, Informative)

    by PhakeDC (932887)
    It's already October 4th in my time zone. See ya next year then, that is if DRM won't already have become a de facto with Vista, the PS3 and God knows what else.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by dotgain (630123)
      See ya next year then, that is if DRM won't already have become a de facto with Vista, the PS3 and God knows what else.

      Aren't you going to at least pop in for the April 2 jokes?

  • Why Apple? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bones3D_mac (324952) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @05:26PM (#16297877)
    It seems kind of weird that they'd target Apple, especially when there are far worse companies out there with much more draconian DRM policies they could make an example of. (Sony, anyone?)

    My guess, it's all about location and convenience, rather than actually going after some of the really bad DRM offenders. Apple just happens to be the one unfortunate enough to have stores that are visually appealing and easily recognizable to consumers.

    The intentions here may be good, but the execution is nearly at hypocritical levels.
    • Re:Why Apple? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Urza9814 (883915) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @05:35PM (#16297989)
      The point here is not to punish the offenders, but to make the public aware of the offense. They pick apple because everyone knows about iTunes and the iPod and all things apple. If they had gone after, say, Microsoft for DRM on the Zune or something, people would say 'thank god I have an iPod and don't have to worry about that crap'.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Firehed (942385)
        It works too. I brought an "Eliminate DRM" sign with me to classes today, and most people hadn't even heard of DRM, much less know what it is. So now we've got fifty or so more people that are enlightened, and one asked if I had any extra signs so she could have one too (printing error in her favor, collect one sheet of propoganda!), not including anyone who read the signs I tacked up in the dorm hall message board.

        As someone at one of the big companies (Universal?) said, "once consumers know about DRM, w
      • Re:Why Apple? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Bones3D_mac (324952) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @07:46PM (#16299473)
        The point here is not to punish the offenders, but to make the public aware of the offense. They pick apple because everyone knows about iTunes and the iPod and all things apple. If they had gone after, say, Microsoft for DRM on the Zune or something, people would say 'thank god I have an iPod and don't have to worry about that crap'.

        Interesting counter-argument, but in doing so, they are implying that the worst offender is also the most popular one. So, while public is busy watching these guys go after Apple, who's watching what's going on with Microsoft or Sony? Anything that takes the spotlight away from the really bad offenders only helps them accomplish their goals more covertly.

        By making Apple the sole poster-boy of DRM, the "Day against DRM" is not really changing anything. People everywhere are still going to buy their DRM infected media from other sources without another thought. And come November 17th, people will still line the streets for the Sony PS3, blissfully unaware of the DRM nastiness hidden inside, just as long as they get their instant gratification out of the brief "cool factor" period.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I can see why they'd pick Apple's DRM. With the millions of people that have bought stuff from iTunes they are probably one of the largest amount of people encumbered by the same DRM. Most people don't consider their DVDs as encumbered by DRM because the vast majority of people expect to play their DVDs on a DVD player. MP3s on the other hand have been advertised as 'portable' at nearly every step of the way--from smaller, more 'portable' file size to all the different 'portable' players for them.

      I hones
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by maxume (22995)
      It's only hypocritical if you think that 'a little DRM' is better than 'a lot of DRM'. There are plenty of people who think that *any* drm should be avoided.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Grishnakh (216268)
      It seems kind of weird that they'd target Apple, especially when there are far worse companies out there with much more draconian DRM policies they could make an example of. (Sony, anyone?)

      There's a very good reason for this.

      How many people own iPods? How many people have used the iTunes music store? Lots. Even people who don't have iPods know what they are, and lots are probably planning to buy one.

      Now, how many people have Sony music players with Sony's DRM? Anyone? Anyone? Offhand, I couldn't even
      • by dangitman (862676)
        So, the effect will be:

        People see Apple being protested because of nasty DRM. So they think "Hmmm, I shouldn't buy an iPod. I'll buy something else." So, they go and buy a Sony player, or a Microsoft player with even worse DRM. Net result: more DRM-based units are sold. Great strategy!

        How many portable MP3 players don't have some sort of DRM support? I doubt that people are going to go out of their way to find one. They'll just buy something other than Apple, thinking it has no DRM, because that's an "iPod

      • Havent you taken a minute to think that maybe people are using iTunes and Apple products BECAUSE of the fact they are the least offensive (and most easily avoided) DRM systems out there. That they treat you like a human and not a thief?

        The problem here is NOT the sellers, they are only doing it because the content PROVIDERS refuse to let them without DRM. Maybe all this effort SHOULD go to Sony, and Columbia, and every other RIAA members out there... and not Apple and Microsoft.

        You know just a thought t

    • It seems kind of weird that they'd target Apple....

      Apple may be the "least bad" of the lot, but they're certainly the highest profile. If the point is to get publicity for the anti-DRM cause, protesting high visibility cases is a better idea than protesting low visibility cases.

  • by purpledinoz (573045) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @05:26PM (#16297885)
    People aren't going to care until it starts costing them money. Take iTunes for example. Right now, they have DRM that's loose enough that most people won't care that their songs are DRM'ed. People who buy iTunes songs will probably buy another iPod when their old one breaks, so they won't run into a DRM problem.

    There is a very good possibility that in the near future, people will start changing their music players, like the new MS Zune. When this happens on a mass scale, and people have to re-buy their music, there will be a huge number of pissed off people, and people will finally realize why DRM is bad. Until something threatens people's wallets, no one's going to care.
    • by TubeSteak (669689)
      People aren't going to care until it starts costing them money.
      Do people still go into Apple stores and copy programs off the Macs and onto their thumbdrives/iPods?
      • To tell you the truth, I have no idea what you're talking about. You can go into Apple stores and copy programs off their computers? I never thought of doing that, that's pretty funny.

        What I'm saying is that people are used to buying CDs once, and using it in whatever way they like. With CD's, you don't re-buy the music, unless you're being careless and damage the CD. When they realize the artificial restrictions on DRM'ed files, I would hope that people will get angry and just stop buying DRM'ed products
      • by lakeland (218447)
        Yep, they still do that.

        I don't think the stores care that much - pirates will get their illegal software through bittorrent just as easily as via an apple store. The stores are there to help the customers, not the pirates.
      • by Blakey Rat (99501)
        That's how I got Quicktime 2.0 when I was a kid before we had Internet access. I really wanted to hear the music in Marathon... those were the days. (Of course, we didn't have thumb drives, just plain ol' floppies.)
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      "There is a very good possibility that in the near future, people will start changing their music players, like the new MS Zune." I'll caution against this line of thinking, in order for that to prove your point people will actually have to buy the Zune.
      • I used Zune as an example of a product that might compete well against the iPod. So far, iPods have weak competition. But it's guaranteed that in the future, there will be other products that compete well against the iPod, and will most likely not play the DRM'ed content.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > When this happens on a mass scale, and people have to re-buy their music, there will be a huge number of pissed off people, and people will finally realize why DRM is bad.

      Excellent point.

      Ideally, then, we would end up with dozens of incompatible DRM schemes in the marketplace, overwhelming the public with obstacles and confusion.

      Thus, each time a new and incompatible DRM scheme is introduced, it will help to cause the collapse of all of them.

      Here's a case where the failure of the industry to converge o
    • You know, this is part of the reason I like iTMS. I've always said that iTMS is a good stepping-stone towards getting rid of DRM and the big media cartels.

      The reason I say this is, the DRM is loose enough that people will buy it. Online distribution grows, and people get to be unaccustomed to the idea of movies and music being stuck on physical media. This loosens the grip of the RIAA/MPAA as their distribution channels become more or less obsolete.

      Then, someday, someone comes out with a better store t

  • by King_TJ (85913) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @05:35PM (#16297975) Journal
    As much as I dislike DRM, I can't really get too worked up about these protests either. For starters, I get the idea that Apple stores are being "picked on" because they're seen as "high profile" in the mass media. In reality, I don't think Apple was all that "pro DRM" at all. They simply agreed to it in order to successfully get the whole iTunes music store off to a start with major record labels on-board.

    Until Apple did this and proved the business model was really viable, the only other real visible options for people were illegal downloads of MP3s (of sometimes dubious encoding quality) from p2p networks like Napster.

    It seems obvious to me that somewhere in the development process, Apple did some bargaining for rights of the end-users of the music ... since to this day, they *still* offer one of the most flexible set of usage rights on the DRM'd files. (As many as 5 computers can be authorized to use one user's purchased music, and anything purchased can be burnt to audio CD format as many times as you wish - as long as you create new "playlists" of tracks every so many times first, etc.) In fact, although it's not advertised, there are several documented cases of users losing all their music due to drive crashes, and upon emailing Apple support, were granted the ability to re-download everything they lost at no charge. They also allow you to reset your computer authorizations up to once per year, in case you forget to de-authorize systems before wiping the drives on them and selling them to someone else.

    Microsoft's "Fairplay" DRM and its upcoming use in devices like the Zune seem like a much more worthy target of attack. Fairplay is used by practically all the music services BUT Apple - and is getting more and more restrictive in every update to Windows Media Player that's released. Unlike Apple, MS seems to think it's ok to keep "turning the screws" to lock it down beyond what early adopters were told the rules were.
    • by LochNess (239443)
      "Fairplay" is the DRM used by Apple. "PlaysForSure" is Microsoft's. I do agree with you, tho.
    • And Syria wasn't really all that in to Hezbolla-style terrorism, they just wanted the free security that they provided. There really isn't a difference morally between starting something and just going along with it. If something is wrong, it's wrong. By not using DRM you are on the side of good, but using it, evil.

      Please don't tell me Apple didn't understand what they were getting themselves (and their users) into when they signed up. Apple is easily the biggest distributor of DRM material, and they ma
      • by dangitman (862676)
        Apple is easily the biggest distributor of DRM material,

        What a crock! Sales of DRMed DVDs dwarf sales on iTunes. And what about Windows and Microsoft's applications? They are DRMed. Why do people pretend that Apple is the biggest kid on the DRM block?

        • How many ways is the dvd pie split? Do you really think that microsoft sells more copies of windows than apple sells itunes songs? Are you sure you're not the one pretending?

          Back to DVDs, at least the DVD format is not centrally controlled; DVDs will be playable on their original media even if their distributor goes out of business, or shuts down a devision of their company. If Apple at any time decides to shut down their iTunes devision all the music and videos you "bought" are now useless.
  • attack defacto DRM! force material locked into CD-ROM to be released on LPs. Attacking DRM is admitting that the commercial interests have won. You have such a desire to have the material released in DRM format, but cannot afford etc, that you want to break laws to get at it. You want Disney Movies? Even if you remove DRM, you still have to buy a copy, to not pay for the material is theft, or is that the ultimate goal of many? to have a format that is easy to illegally 'share'? just a thought.
  • by laxcat (600727) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @05:41PM (#16298071) Homepage

    Would some one please explain what exactly it wrong with DRM? If you have a problem with concept of copyrights in general, then I can understand. But is there anyone out there that is cool with copyrights, but thinks DRM is bad?

    I'm not trying to be an apologist for the corporations. I know they don't care about the art or the artist, only money. That's given. But do they not have a right to protect their intellectual property? Are the detractors of DRM against the concept of intellectual property altogether?

    The way I see it is there is nothing wrong with the concept of DRM, only with the abuse of DRM. Is this a "slippery slope" argument?

    I'm serious in my plea here. Someone please fill me in on what I am missing!

    • by cliffski (65094) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @05:47PM (#16298147) Homepage
      your not missing anything, I agree with you 100%. I dislike DRM, and dont use it for my games, but I absolutely see why it is used. As a content creator, I know what its like to see people happily taking your hard work for nothing, and then even giving you a hard time if you suggest that people should pay for it. (esp as I make free demos available, there are really no excuses).

      The trouble is, for even daring to suggest that DRM has its place, and that file sharing copyrighted material is illegal, you can expect to be criticised, insulted, and generally modded down to oblivion. Thats the current slashdot philosophy. All companies are evil (unless they are somehow connected to linux), everyone who is caught coopying files illegally is absolutely 100% innocent, and anyone who disagrees is some evil, stupid luddite.
      Welcome to slashdot. Not a friendly place for the creators of digital content.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by codepunk (167897)
        That is not true at all, it ain't about linux at all. I want to play some music I bought that is DRM protected in the GM stereo in my car. It ain't just about linux it is about fair use of a product I paid for in the device of my choosing. There is not feasable way today to technically do this without greatly impacting fair use. When you come up with the magical DRM method you let us know.
      • A lot of Slashdot users are "content creators".

        Many of them simply believe that they should not make money that's based on the restriction of the rights of users. If the restrictions on freedom were necessary to prevent something more horrible than the loss of freedom itself, that could be justifiable. But what are we protecting here? A supposed incentive for the creation of works? That's supposed to be more important than the freedom of people to handle data, share with their neighbor and enhance the stat
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by QuantumG (50515)
        Ok, it's really easy, the devices that I own should do what I want even if what I want to do is violate copyright. That simple: my device, my choice.
    • by codepunk (167897) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @05:50PM (#16298221)
      Well yes it is fairly simple you see, and this from a guy that is not a music lover and could really
      care less about drm on music since the most I do is listen to the radio. The issue is that people only want fair
      use of the product they bought. They want to be able to play it a unlimited amount of times in the device of their
      choosing. Say for instance I want to listen to some tunes and I can only get it in MS DRM protected files which don't work in my car stereo or on my linux machine, you see now we got a problem.

      You cannot technically DRM protect content in a way which will allow legal fair use for the purchaser of the product.....period.
      • by SnprBoB86 (576143)
        "You cannot technically DRM protect content in a way which will allow legal fair use for the purchaser of the product.....period."

        Sure you can. I purchased several Xbox Live Arcade Games. They only work with my Xbox Live account, but I can play them on any console I may access provided that I store my account on a memory card. And I can play them at my friends house on his 360, I can delete them and re-download them free of charge (eliminating the need for backups). If I do not have my account on a memory c
      • by Blakey Rat (99501)
        You cannot technically DRM protect content in a way which will allow legal fair use for the purchaser of the product.....period.

        Well, ok, but that only applies to a certain type of DRM, like what Apple is doing in the iTunes music store. So you're basically agreeing with the original poster there, that DRM is only bad when it's abused.

        If I use DRM to (for example) prevent my PDF file from being printed, do you have a problem with that? If so, why? What about Windows XP preferring signed binaries for devi
      • by laxcat (600727)

        You cannot technically DRM protect content in a way which will allow legal fair use for the purchaser of the product.....period.

        That's true only if "fair use" can't be specifically defined. If you think "fair use" is this nebulous concept that is different for every person out there, then sure DRM is an impossible concept. But by saying "fair use" can't be specifically defined you're saying: "Hey copyright holders! You can't enforce your <distain>laws</distain> because you don't know if 'fair

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cpt kangarooski (3773)
          That's true only if "fair use" can't be specifically defined.

          And it can't be. That's the whole point of fair use: it protects uses that are fair, given the circumstances involved. It is impossible to say that making backup copies, for example, is a fair use. In some circumstances it might be. In others, it might not be. A court is capable of looking at the facts and making a decision. And other courts might disagree given the same facts, it's such an infamously nebulous concept. This is routine. But no DRM
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SiliconEntity (448450)
        You cannot technically DRM protect content in a way which will allow legal fair use for the purchaser of the product.....period.

        This is probably true, but the example you gave is not a good one. Being able to play content on multiple different players is not fair use. See for example:

        http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use _Overview/chapter9/9-a.html [stanford.edu]

        "In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and 'transformative' purpose such as to comment upo
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Chris Burke (6130)
          It certainly does not mean having more fun with the copyrighted work than the owner wanted to allow you! If he says you can only play it on a certain device, that is his right. That is fully protected by copyright.

          No, it isn't! The copyright owner does not in general have any say over how you use the work. That includes playing it on any player you want to. No, they don't get a say in that. Yes, you can have more fun with the copyrighted work than the owner wanted to allow you. That isn't "fair use", i
    • I think copyrights are fine. Intellecual property is great, and copyrights stimulate innovation by providing an incentive to produce something original.

      The concept of DRM is pretty much clearly wrong. If I buy a Van Gogh (unlikely), I own that painting. I can take pictures of it, copy it, move it around my house, do whatever I want. Now, I don't have the right to sell it or anything, but it shouldn't come in a case that disallows pictures, copying, or moving it.

      I understand this isn't popular with compa

      • by Grishnakh (216268)
        Um, you're quite wrong about the Van Gogh. He's been dead for a long time, and any copyright he ever held is long since expired. If you have the money to pony up for an original Van Gogh, you can copy it and sell those copies all you want.

        If you buy a print of a modern artist, however, this is probably not true.
      • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
        ``Intellecual property is great, and copyrights stimulate innovation by providing an incentive to produce something original.''

        Do they?
    • by John Miles (108215) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @05:58PM (#16298311) Homepage Journal
      But is there anyone out there that is cool with copyrights, but thinks DRM is bad?

      Here's the problem: copyrights are a limited monopoly offered by the government as one half of a bargain with creators. The other half of the bargain lies in the creator's agreement that the protected content will become available to the public domain when the copyright term expires.

      DRM allows publishers to evade their half of the copyright bargain. In particular, the DMCA anti-circumvention law in the US is unconstitutional because it does not require publishers to disable their DRM protection, or arrange for it to disable itself, upon the expiration of copyright protection. That means that the DMCA explicitly sanctions perpetual copyright protection... a clear violation of both the letter and intent of the Constitution's clause that authorizes that protection in the first place. With a combination of traditional copyright law and hypothetical DRM technology that remains unbreakable after copyright expiration, a publisher will enjoy an unlimited monopoly at the public's expense.

      But do they not have a right to protect their intellectual property? Are the detractors of DRM against the concept of intellectual property altogether?

      Some are against the whole concept of IP, but not being an ideologue, I can't speak for them. I do, however, believe that publishers and creators should have to choose between self-enforced protection (DRM) and government-enforced protection (copyright law). They should not be able to leverage both at the same time, because the two legal concepts of DRM and the "copyright bargain" are diametrically opposed to each other.
      • Here's the problem: copyrights are a limited monopoly offered by the government as one half of a bargain with creators. The other half of the bargain lies in the creator's agreement that the protected content will become available to the public domain when the copyright term expires.

        But how serious is this? Copyright doesn't expire for like 100 years. What is the likelihood that today's DRM will still be effective then, and that the DMCA and similar laws will be unchanged? Being opposed to DRM because it ma
        • The likelihood of a benevolent DRM-breaking hacker appearing to save us all from bad legislation should not affect the legal questions behind DRM enforcement. That's as naive as the judge who said something to the effect of, "Let them make copies of the cassette version, then," when confronted by fair-use arguments.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cpt kangarooski (3773)
          But how serious is this? Copyright doesn't expire for like 100 years.

          But you forget: copyrights are limited in scope. For example, it is not an infringement of copyright to rent a DVD you own to someone else. If DRM interferes with this, it's no different than DRM interfering with something that wouldn't infringe copyright simply because the copyright has expired. The main limitation we're concerned with is fair use, because literally any use, under the right circumstances, is a fair one. (And conversely, n
      • by Grishnakh (216268)
        I do, however, believe that publishers and creators should have to choose between self-enforced protection (DRM) and government-enforced protection (copyright law). They should not be able to leverage both at the same time, because the two legal concepts of DRM and the "copyright bargain" are diametrically opposed to each other.

        I agree. And if someone figures out how to break the DRM protection, people should be allowed to distribute that content freely as much as they please. That should be the price for
    • Would some one please explain what exactly it wrong with DRM? If you have a problem with concept of copyrights in general, then I can understand. But is there anyone out there that is cool with copyrights, but thinks DRM is bad?

      Okay look, copyright is supposedly a two sided contract. Content creators get a limited monopoly for a limited time that lets them easily make money. Society gets more content, and content is not lost because the distribution was limited y those afraid it would be copied. So in th

    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @06:22PM (#16298609) Homepage Journal
      The way I see it, there's nothing wrong with DRM in principle, the principle being protecting content against unlawful use. If DRM makes it hard or impossible to use content in unlawful ways, while putting no restrictions on lawful use, I would be all for it. However, in practice, DRM is usually not like that.

      In practice, DRM implementations usually make it difficult to play/view/... the content, except with proprietary and secret tools, while doing nothing to stop copying the content without authorization (unlawful use). To play/view/... the content, you are usually required to use proprietary and secret tools (locking you into using some vendor's products), and reverse-engineering the format (e.g. to create a player for a platform not supported by the official player) is a criminal offense. Also, DRM implementations sometimes involve yielding control of (part of) your computer to another organization, sometimes going as far as allowing said organization to cause your hardware to self-destruct (e.g. Blu-ray players).

      The fundamental problem of DRM is that "trying to make bits uncopyable is like trying to make water not wet." When you have a song/movie/ebook/... in a file on your computer, or even when you can only access it by streaming it from the Net, you can make copies of it, burn it on CDs, give it to your friends, etc. The only way you can be prevented from doing so is by taking your control of your computer away from you. Alternatively, vendors could let you copy the files at will, but restrict access to the actual content (e.g. through encryption). However, once your computer has enough data to decrypt the content once, you could save that data, share it with your friends, etc. Again, the only way you can be prevented from doing this is by taking away your control over your computer.

      It's absolutely out of the question that DRM could go together with open source software. OSS means that you're allowed read and modify the source code to the software. This makes it very easy for you to find the DRM code and change it, so that restrictions are not enforced. It would make DRM trivial to break, defeating its purpose. Sure, it's illegal (under the DMCA/EUCD/...), but so are speeding and copying works that you don't hold the copyright to; that doesn't prevent these things from happening.
      • In practice, DRM implementations usually make it difficult to play/view/... the content, except with proprietary and secret tools, while doing nothing to stop copying the content without authorization (unlawful use).

        So basically you're saying that DRM is ineffective and that copyright owners are harming themselves by using it - they don't get the supposed benefit and they reduce the value of their goods to legitimate users by making them harder to use.

        If so, won't this be a self-correcting problem? If copyr
        • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
          ``If copyright owners are hitting themselves on the head with hammers, sooner or later they'll stop, won't they?''

          Depends on the weight of the hammers and the thickness of their skulls. People are still buying DRMed content in droves, so I can't imagine the copyright owners are feeling a lot of pain. Neither are the consumers, or they wouldn't be buying the stuff without protest.

          ``Why do we need a day against hammer-heading?''

          As far as I'm concerned, we don't. There is plenty of non-DRMed content being prod
    • by khayman80 (824400) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @06:25PM (#16298645) Homepage Journal
      You asked why some of us who support copyright do not support DRM. I support copyright, but my problems with DRM can be summed up as follows:

      (1) DRM never expires. Ideally, copyright is a legal device used to enrich society, to encourage artists to create works based on the understanding that they will be able to profit from said works for a limited amount of time. After this time period expires, the creative works get released into the public domain. Unfortunately, DRM'd files don't do this- the music you bought on iTunes in 2003 will still be restricted in 3003.

      (2) DRM will never work correctly without overly restrictive government controls. For example, let's assume that "Brand New Hyper DVD" format is completely uncrackable- the disks can never, EVER be decrypted and copied digitally. So what? Take your camcorder, aim it at the screen, and press record. Voila! Brand new copy without DRM. The only way to stop this would be to force all electronics manufacturers to include complicated measures to insure that they can't be used in this manner- but as we all know the next "DVD Jon" would show up in less than 2 days and crack these measures. The only way to fight this from a corporate/government standpoint would be to force all electronics capable of being used in this kind of pirating scheme to "phone home" on a regular basis to update their DRM software, and to BAN all older electronics without this "feature". See where this is going? Do you want to live in this society?

      (3) DRM effectively turns your computer into a police snitch, working AGAINST you rather than for you. Just look at the Sony rootkit fiasco for an obvious example, or read up on the DMCA or broadcast flags or... you get the point.

      (4) DRM adds an extra degree of complexity to playback, which constitutes another failure mode. A computer crash can often reduce a DRM'd music library to binary junk unless the user has been meticulous enough to save the mountain of data necessary to identify his/her computer as "the authorized playback device" of said music. Want to switch to a different computer, or swap out some hardware? Good luck- this will probably be interpreted as a "new computer" and your music won't play. Want to play your music on another device like your car stereo or your portable music player? You'd better hope the music vendor was "gracious" enough to bless you with that kind of "privilege".

      (5) My fears of a world where DRM has taken over can best be summed up by the following short story. [gnu.org] I'm TERRIFIED that this is exactly the type of world we will wake up to in, say, 2020 if things keep going the way they are...

      • by laxcat (600727)

        The concepts you've listed are just example of unfair, poorly implemented, or downright Orwellian DRM. You fail to discredit concept of DRM itself. Are you saying that because DRM has potential for abuse, it should be banned altogether?

        You, and all of the other detractors I've heard, fail to address the rights of the company to protect their own intellectual property. Do they not have that right? That's the real issue I would like some answers on.

        (Sorry to play such devil's advocate here, but I really d

        • by khayman80 (824400)
          I suppose my point is that DRM that isn't Orwellian is useless. There will never be such a thing as DRM that allows free use of material that can't be broken. Show me DRM that doesn't involve tactics that I've described above, and I'll show you a system that only annoys end users and presents only a minimal challenge to hackers. Once DRM is broken, even by one lone genius, the game is over for that format- the cracking program can be spread over the internet (or over the emerging darknet) and ordinary pe
    • by ChaosDiscord (4913) * on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @06:32PM (#16298723) Homepage Journal

      I love copyright. I disagree with some of the details of implementation (In my dream world copyright would last 14 years with an optional 14 year renewal), but I love the core idea. A government granted short term monopoly seems like a good way to encourage creation.

      However, I loathe DRM. A few highlights:

      • DRM makes media players more expensive: Adding DRM support to hardware or software isn't free. Implementating a device without DRM support would be cheaper that implementing one with. You, the consumer, pay more for a device that intentionally does less.

      • DRM must be combined with draconian laws to be effective: "Trying to make bits uncopyable is like trying to make water not wet." (Bruce Schneier) You've given me the data and the software or hardware to play the data. All the pieces are in my hands. DRM must be breakable. So to make it effective, you need laws that make it illegal to distribute implementations that break DRM. This means source code that breaks DRM must be illegal. As source code is a form of speech, we have laws that try to limit free speech to protect a business model. That's never acceptable in my book.

      • DRM is about making things you purchase distrust you: This is inherent to the system. This is morally repugnant. Your DVD player assumes you're trying to make bootleg copies, so it applies MacroVision to the output. The new video game you installed assumes you're trying to play a bootleg copy, so it installs low-level drivers into your system to monitor what you do. I paid money for these things, why do they serve an external company more than me?

      • DRM must infringe on fair use: The only DRM system that doesn't infringe on fair use is Microsoft's "Please don't make illegal copies" label printed on the CDs of some of their products. Fair use is subtle and non-obvious, no piece of electronics or software can be perfectly correct. If you err on the side of freedom, you are also creating a loophole for illegal use. You can either give people the ability to legally sample short segements of high definition video for review purposes or you can make it harder to make bootleg copies. You can give people the ability to legally format shift movies and music or you can make it harder to spread copies online.

      • DRM destroys competition: Want to make an open source player to play media you've paid for? An open source player could easily be modified to ignore the DRM. So they use technology to try and stop you. Where technology fails they use laws. Want to make a commercial, closed-source player? You need to pay the controllers of a given DRM implementation. They can deny you access without cause, they can charge you whatever you like.
      • DRM can't expire: Eventually everything enters the public domain. No DRM system can automatically unlock things when that happens. If they did, it would be relatively easy to spoof the date and unlock the media. When all copies of a given piece of media are locked under DRM, you effectively create infinite copyright.
      • by AusIV (950840)

        DRM destroys competition: Want to make an open source player to play media you've paid for? An open source player could easily be modified to ignore the DRM. So they use technology to try and stop you. Where technology fails they use laws. Want to make a commercial, closed-source player? You need to pay the controllers of a given DRM implementation. They can deny you access without cause, they can charge you whatever you like.

        To me this is the biggest problem with DRM. I have no problem with companies try

    • Would some one please explain what exactly it wrong with DRM? If you have a problem with concept of copyrights in general, then I can understand. But is there anyone out there that is cool with copyrights, but thinks DRM is bad?

      I am all for copyrights in general (even though the current system of life+70 years is ridiculous and wrong), and I see your point about the difference between DRM and the abuse of DRM. However, I don't believe it's possible to use DRM without abusing it, and here's why:

      1). There is

    • by drsmithy (35869)

      Would some one please explain what exactly it wrong with DRM? If you have a problem with concept of copyrights in general, then I can understand. But is there anyone out there that is cool with copyrights, but thinks DRM is bad?

      Well, I'll give you the third alternative. I think copyright is a broken concept, but I'm all for DRM on the proviso works protected by DRM are *not* protected by copyright (ie: it's DRM or copyright, but not both).

      I do agree with your confusion, however. I cannot see how someon

  • police investigating a series of murders are taking an "incitement to hatred" tack.

    Hundred's of people called "Adam" have apparently been drowned by having their heads plunged into water coolers in offices around Australia.

    Detective Ron Steele mentioned:

    "It's either an incredible statistical anomaly, or we have a even more incredibly prolific serial attacker in our midst!".

    The killer left no clues, except this, the only connecting factor in this attack has been this sign [defectivebydesign.org], carefully placed by each water cool
  • So I can use Dreamhost to store my backups?
  • As someone living at GMT+12:

    Well you know that information might have been a little more useful to me YESTERDAY!!!

  • So they're targeting Apple, who has the arguably most servicable DRM.
    If the users don't hit the limits and object, then these guys are simply arguing principle with no tangible effect.
    In which case this is a severly detached campaign, the 2000 version of the turtleneck caucasian beatnik ranting how "It's all about the Man keeping me down."
    Art has handcuffs.
    Business puts them there. Art today barely survives outside of commerce.
    The Mona Lisa is in a big vault, and you have to pay to get into the vault anbd
  • I've been told "Get away from me you fucking dork" and "Get a life you pathetic loser". DRM awareness is fun!
  • by SiliconEntity (448450) on Tuesday October 03, 2006 @08:06PM (#16299649)
    Seems like a lot of the problems people have with DRM aren't problems with DRM per se, they're problems with the DMCA and similar legislation to criminalize attempts to circumvent DRM. I agree, and so we should have a day against DMCA, not a day against DRM.

    There are those who claim that DRM cannot work without legislation, but I don't think that's completely true. Yes, for music and video content you can work around DRM, but it is often difficult and the quality of the result may be inferior. And for games and software, DRM can work in theory. The new proposals for Trusted Computing could also strengthen DRM without requiring legislation.

    We should work to oppose this kind of legislation as it expands into more countries, and eventually work to roll it back in the places where it has been passed. Perhaps more technically effective DRM will make it easier to remove the legislative crutch.
    • Civil disobedience (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cpghost (719344)

      we should have a day against DMCA, not a day against DRM.

      There's an even bigger problem with people blindly obeying silly laws without questioning their legitimacy. In most parts of the world, people simply ignore crappy laws they don't deem just. Yes, they get thrown in jails by those in power every now and then; but it's rather rare, because effectively, you can't jail 20% or more of the population: who would pay taxes then? In a democracy, civil disobedience shouldn't be needed; but do we really stil

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