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EFF Gets Animated About DRM with The Corruptibles 202

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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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 reader who does the kind of thing they want to ban all the time on Linux...
  • 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 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.
  • by Maelwryth ( 982896 ) on Saturday June 17, 2006 @10:42AM (#15554702) Homepage
    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 evanism ( 600676 ) on Saturday June 17, 2006 @11:01AM (#15554761) Journal
    Its not really too abstract, as it reflects how these DRM people see themselves.... somehow fighting villainy in all its forms, but not realising that they themselves are corrupt due to the legal violence they commit against others.

    Given their druthers, these people would have your brain or body micro-chipped, and if you believe otherwise, many here would think you are not playing with the full deck.

    Decent copyright, and decent IP is understandable and even desirable, but when these SOB's enter every part of every transaction and sanction what I can, or cannot see, and monitor my every trivial activity - I keep hearing the soft bell of a Certain Story.... 1984... O'Brien: "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- for ever."

    Its a disturbing read, and for who're BRAVE enough to download (free from Australia) it, you may see the very similarities in the book and what DRM is.... the ability to "re-write history" the ability to make un-people or un-events (revoke DRM to your demographic/country/voting area).....

    This is not a political issue, but a human freedom. Its a form of pseudo fascism, as in 1984... the owners of the content will be The Ministry Of Truth.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four [wikipedia.org]

  • by Kihaji ( 612640 ) <lemkesr.uwec@edu> on Saturday June 17, 2006 @11:22AM (#15554829)
    But isn't almost every use of DRM in a work distributed to the public a "bad application"?
    Almost every isn't every. Document dissemination by governments/companies where you want to absolutely verify that either they sent it to you, or you are the only one who can manipulate/read it are one case where well implemented DRM would be beneficial. Or, any place that the artist(not the publisher) wants to protect their work. Companies internal documents, to aid in ensuring that they don't get "leaked".

    DRM will not fix all the problems in the above senarios, but it would be helpful as a piece of the overall solution.

    The same thing going on here is what happened with research into nuclear energy. Nuclear bombs == bad(bad application), nuclear power plants == good(well, psuedo good now, all good when fusion gets worked out)
  • by arminw ( 717974 ) on Saturday June 17, 2006 @10:05PM (#15556845)
    ......The fact is, not all DRM is bad,......

    In fact DRM is wonderful, great and there should be more of it. What is bad is that the makers of DRM, with the DMCA, have gotten the law on their side in cat and mouse game of breaking all DRM. Let Sony and whoever wants to come up with the most draconian DRM they can pay someone to invent, but then allow someone even more clever come up with and legally distribute tools to break the encryptions.

    All content creators have to realize that the easier it has become to copy their work, the more money they have made in the long run. Starting with the piano rolls, which were really early digital copies, through the VCRs, easier copying has always meant more money for artists and all their hangers on. Binary bits are inherently copyable. Does anyone really believe that Apple would sell fewer iPods and there would be fewer music downloads from iTunes if Apple simply dropped the DRM?

    Trying to prevent, by law, digital copying, is like trying to prevent the tide from coming in. Up until now, content makers have always figured out how to use the new, better copying technology available to the public to make more money than ever. I predict that in 20 to 30 years, DRM will be regarded in the same way as we today regard prohibition laws enacted in the early 1900s. These laws back then even rose to the level of a CONSTITUTIONAL amendment, not just a plain dumb law, such as the DMCA.
  • by LordNightwalker ( 256873 ) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @07:55AM (#15557844)

    If anti-piracy groups released a video portraying pirates as supervillians who invade your home and take your money and never give it back, we'd all be making fun of it.

    And in turn, it's the anti-piracy groups' good right to be making fun of this. I don't see the problem. Besides, don't tell me you've forgotten all those anti-piracy educational messages and videos depicting copyright infringers as the worst scum of the earth, or the ones suggesting what happens to your analog hole in prison once their lawyers get to you?

    customers simply won't buy it and will choose a different product

    That's assuming:

    • Joe Average Customer is actually aware of the effects DRM will have on his ability to do things he now takes for granted.
    • There will in fact be other products to choose from. Since the entertainment industry is lobbying hard to make DRM mandatory, I wouldn't count on it.
    And since DRM is tightly coupled to all the great new stuff like digital radio, HDTV, HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, next-gen OS'es etc... one can't avoid buying DRM if he wants to keep up with the latest tech. Of course, one could keep on using his current stuff, but that's assuming his current stuff will keep working once the new tech rolls out. And guess what? Once the new tech is in place, the old tech will be outphased, so that in say 5 years your current TV set won't be able to pick up anything anymore because everything is either digital or HD. And then of course, there's the issue of every piece of electronics wearing out and breaking down after a while.

    Rights aren't being violated

    Except our fair-use rights. Or don't you agree that those are in fact rights?

    it's just another product on the market place to reject or accept

    The three "evils" depicted in the cartoon are:

    • The audio flag
    • The broadcast flag
    • Lawfully plugging the analog hole
    The entertainment industry is lobbying to get all three of those mandatory by law, thus eliminating any kind of competing technology. They do not plan to introduce "just another product on the market place to reject or accept"; they're aiming at making this product the only product available on the market place (at least legally). There is no "reject or accept", there will only be "obey and consume".

    Now, tell me again how this, in your point of view, is not a bad thing?

    I agree though; the cartoon sucks, like most "edutainment" pieces. The script is so lame and hyperbolic that it fails to captivate anyone's interest.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant