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HBO Exec Proposes DRM Name Change 544

surfingmarmot writes "An HBO executive has figured out the problem with DRM acceptance — it's the name. HBO's chief technology officer Bob Zitter now wants to refer to the technology as Digital Consumer Enablement. Because, you see, DRM actually helps consumers by getting more content into their hands. The company already has HD movies on demand ready to go, but is delaying them because of ownership concerns. Says Zitter, 'Digital Consumer Enablement would more accurately describe technology that allows consumers "to use content in ways they haven't before," such as enjoying TV shows and movies on portable video players like iPods. "I don't want to use the term DRM any longer," said Zitter, who added that content-protection technology could enable various new applications for cable operators.'"
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HBO Exec Proposes DRM Name Change

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  • Freakanomics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <{akaimbatman} {at} {}> on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:09PM (#19072385) Homepage Journal

    "[I asked my tech people, and they said that] theoretically those analog outputs could be disabled, forcing consumers to use a secure digital connection to watch HD content. [Then they tried to convince me that such measures were mostly token measures, but I ignored them.] A lack of copy protection is holding HBO back from making its own content available in high-definition through its popular HBO On Demand platform, [because I didn't take the time to listen to my technologists. I decided that the real problem was the name, not that the technology was backed by poor use of legal constructs.]"

    I'm still waiting to see how long it takes these people to realize that they're actually driving piracy with every day they wait. They should consider the data gathered in the "freakanomics" research []. The data clearly shows that most people are honest, and those that aren't simply aren't. If you offer up content at a fair price, the majority of users will purchase that content rather than resorting to illegal or immoral means to obtain it. Meanwhile, the DRM restrictions will do little to stop those looking for a free ride. They're not going to pay for it in the first place, so why worry about it now? If they can't get past your DRM scheme (not likely), they'll rip it from the DVDs or HD-DVDs.

    The software industry had to learn the same thing many years ago. Copy protection annoyed the paying users while doing little to stop the pirates. Why can't anyone get that lesson through their head?
  • Why not call it... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by swimboy ( 30943 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:10PM (#19072423)
    doubleplusgood warmfuzzy protection for all your digital lifestyles!
  • by hkgroove ( 791170 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:10PM (#19072443) Homepage
    The names change, the problem stays the same.
  • by Stanistani ( 808333 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:11PM (#19072455) Homepage Journal
    Next task:

    Redefine 'rape' as 'enthusiastic love-making.'
  • by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:12PM (#19072481)
    'Digital Consumer Enablement would more efficiently confuse consumers "to prevent the use of content in ways they haven't before," such as enjoying TV shows time shifted to when they want and movies on portable video players like iPods where they can see them more than once. "I don't want to use the term DRM any longer," said Zitter, "even my Grandma knows by now that DRM is bad, so obviously we have to change the name of it."'
  • Re:Freakanomics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tringstad ( 168599 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:13PM (#19072489)
    The software industry had to learn the same thing many years ago.

    As far as I can tell, the software industry to this day has never learned this.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:13PM (#19072497)
    That's funny, I always thought it was Digital Revenue Maximization...
  • by paladinwannabe2 ( 889776 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:14PM (#19072513)
    Earlier this week I got to have fun with a game I legally purchased -twice- despite being unable to find my CD. After downloading the iso and using Daemon Tools, I was 'Enabled' to play my game again! Yes sir, I was certainly using my content in ways I hadn't used it before!
  • Enablement? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:14PM (#19072515) Journal
    Perhaps he could give me a single concrete example of something that I can do with 'enabled' media that I could not do with the same media with the DRM/DCE removed.
  • by bearinboots ( 743355 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:15PM (#19072527)

    ... as Windows Genuine Advantage.

    Put a positive spin on the name and you can fool anyone!

  • In other words... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cracked Pottery ( 947450 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:16PM (#19072575)
    The consumer has exactly no rights that are no extended by content provider. DRM was actually a more neutral term, since it doesn't assert that some rights do not intrinsically belong to the customer.
  • Sadly, correct (Score:5, Insightful)

    by happyfrogcow ( 708359 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:17PM (#19072595)
    He's sadly correct that successfull deployment of DRM is only a good marketting campaign away.

  • by Mateo_LeFou ( 859634 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:18PM (#19072627) Homepage
    My counter-headline: "Call It Whatever, but Stop Doing It. It's Pointless"
  • by suv4x4 ( 956391 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:19PM (#19072649)
    Those people will never get it. The name doesn't matter. What's so sinister about "Digital Rights Management"? It sounds pretty nice to me. The bad connotations aren't coming from the name, it's the essence of what DRM is.

    People keep thinking that the order and choice of letters is all it takes to turn something bad into something great.

    This has been happening also in the way people have called people with mental handicaps throughout the years, and the constant "reinvention" of the terms, to keep the names less insulting:


    Socially responsible guy: We shouldn't call them "idiots" anymore. That's insulting. We'll call it people with mental retardation: retards.
    General public: Yea, that is a nice neutral name, no bad connotations.

    One year later:

    General public: My brother is a damn retard, I hate him.
    Socially responsible guy: That's insulting. We shouldn't call them retards anymore. We'll call them people with "slow mental development". Slow people.
    General public: Yea, that's neutral and nice. Cool.

    One year later:

    General public: My neighbour is "slow" or something. Huhuhu.
    Socially responsible guy: We shouldn't call them "slow", that's insulting. Well call them "people with special education needs". Special people.

    One year later:

    General public: My new coworker is "special". Huhuu, get it? "Special". Hehehe.


    Basically you can change a name any times you want. Bad fame will come to haunt you never mind how hard you try.
  • Re:Freakanomics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Propagandhi ( 570791 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:21PM (#19072679) Journal

    Why can't anyone get that lesson through their head?

    This baffles me more than it should, I guess. The idea that there should be some invisible barrier between me and the 1's and 0's in my computer's memory (solid state or otherwise) is insane. This shit honestly needs to be explained, slowly and forcefully, to the higher ups that keep greenlighting this shit.
  • by aichpvee ( 631243 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:21PM (#19072691) Journal
    That's funny, I've always seen windows genuine advantage as a negative spin. The more something is like actual microsoft windows the less likely I am to want to use it!
  • Re:Freakanomics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheMeuge ( 645043 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:22PM (#19072729)
    The answer to your question is simple - it's greed. Unadulterated, foaming-at-the-mouth greed.

    The media executives have for so long held onto their positions of power, privilege and wealth, that they have lost any notions of reality. As far as they are concerned, they are gods, and the consumers are the worshipers.

    When they get a whiff of even a minute challenge to this doctrine, they are engulfed in rage, because it is something they cannot control, regardless of how much money they throw at the issue. After all, as far as they're concerned, the consumers are the commodity - they own your eyes, and sell them as they please (not quite that simple in the case of HBO, but you get the idea). So they get angrier and angrier, until this rage spills over as utter stupidity.

    P.S. They might as well call executions a "happy express to heaven".
  • Re:Freakanomics (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:23PM (#19072731)
    You don't need to say "DRM restrictions", DRM = Digital Restrictions Management, that's exactly what it is.
  • by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:26PM (#19072805) Homepage Journal
    Yep. DRM 'got' its bad name simply by being bad. Any new name will eventually earn a bad name soon enough once the grass roots gets its message out and when customers see it for what it is. I think they will have a hard time making their new acronym stick.
  • Great quote (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gr8_phk ( 621180 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:33PM (#19072963)

    HBO's big concern is the analog hole--in essence the gap in DRM that lets consumers capture the unencrypted analog signal from an HD signal. He, apparently, would like to plug the hole, but can't due to meddlesome laws.

    That would be the meddlesome laws of physics right?
  • Re:Enablement? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:34PM (#19072983)
    What he's saying is that without strong DRM (or the renamed version), the content providers will simply take their ball and bat and go home.

    History shows otherwise. The media always comes around eventually.

    Try to remove it, and the HBO mafia will come aknockin'.

    And thus, we get to the real kicker: essentially it's a racket. Legitimate users surrender their legitimate rights to the media, and in exchange the media will continue to provide the same crappy level of "service" they provide now.
  • What's in a name (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CelticWhisper ( 601755 ) <celticwhisper AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:35PM (#19072995)

    Digital Consumer Enablement, you say? That would turn DRM into DCE.

    Now, we've played this alphabet-soup game plenty of times before, and it's interesting to note that a name-change like this comes about just as "Digital Restrictions Management" is starting to overshadow the industry-approved term in the minds of the public.

    Therefore, I hereby propose that from this day forward DCE shall be known to stand for Digitally Crippled Entertainment.

    Mr. Zitter, we can play this game for as long as you like. And our side will always win.

  • by Tom ( 822 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:42PM (#19073133) Homepage Journal
    No, it ain't, and that's the problem. Read Whorf or Korzybski for some insight into just how much language shapes our thinking.

    Do you think the Germans would have joined into a "brutal extermination of a random pseudo-religiously defined group of citizens"? Nope, but they went for "cleansing of the aryan society of the evil jews which destroy the german people".

    Or look to more recent history - an "enemy combatant" is still the same thing as a prisoner of war, just by a different name, right? Well, turns out no. Or the fact that Bush didn't need congress to approve his war because it wasn't a war, just an "armed conflict".

    Words are powerful. Politicians and marketing drones understand that.
  • Re:Enablement? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:42PM (#19073135)

    Perhaps he could give me a single concrete example of something that I can do with 'enabled' media that I could not do with the same media with the DRM/DCE removed.
    Just one - play the media on the DRM/DCE crippled media players which will be the only hardware you can buy.
  • Re:Freakanomics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zuvembi ( 30889 ) <I_charge_100USD_ ...> on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:42PM (#19073139) Homepage
    This shit honestly needs to be explained, slowly and forcefully, to the higher ups that keep greenlighting this shit.

    Preferably with brickbats and pointy implements.
  • That's funny (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Control Group ( 105494 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:44PM (#19073155) Homepage
    I also don't want to use "DRM" any more.

    I suspect he and I disagree on ways and means, though.
  • by mbessey ( 304651 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:45PM (#19073189) Homepage Journal
    The reason we have DRM is that the media companies don't think that their interests are aligned with those of the consumer. The hell of it is that most of the time, there's no conflict. If HBO makes DRM-free video available on-demand, most of their existing customers would use it just about how you'd expect. They'd occasionally pay whatever nominal fee, and watch that episode of the Sopranos that they missed last week, and everybody will be happy. HBO gets another revenue stream, and the customers get improved ease-of-use.

    On the other hand, you know that *somebody* will set up their PC with a cablecard (or whatever) and just start downloading everything they can get and then uploading it to the internet where non-subscribers can get it for free.

    HBO is understandably worried that if their most popular content is available for free, some customers will stop paying for it. Based on prior experience with people "pirating" cable, I can't say that they're wrong. People used to regularly break into our cable company's distribution boxes and strip off the notch filters back in the days of analog cable, and there's a brisk business out there on the internet for devices to help people to cheat cable & satellite TV channel restrictions.

    I'd like to believe that DRM-free media will eventually win out, because it's so much more convenient for everybody involved, from the producers, to the consumer electronics industry, to the end-user. Unfortunately, there's some anecdotal evidence from the recent experiences of the music industry that the existence of DRM-free digital coipies of content just leads to rampant copying, and that does have some negative effect on sales. The music industry went digital without an effective DRM system in place, and now they're stuck with it - you can't stop making CDs, or nobody would buy your music.

    That's a "mistake" video companies are eager not to repeat.
  • Re:Freakanomics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bobcat7677 ( 561727 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:46PM (#19073207) Homepage
    Parent should have been modded insightful...not funny. Fight fire with fire.
  • Re:Freakanomics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:46PM (#19073213)

    The answer to your question is simple - it's greed. Unadulterated, foaming-at-the-mouth greed.
    Good to see that media execs and geeks have something in common. The greed works both ways, media companies want money, geeks want movies/music/etc. Both sides are willing to do whatever it takes to get what they want, and there is a vicious circle each trying to outdo the other technologically or through the legal system.
    If you want to break the circle, just don't consume. It's not like what the media companies are putting out is a necessity for life.
  • by Tribbin ( 565963 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:50PM (#19073277) Homepage
    Trusted Computing (c)
  • Re:Freakanomics (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Synchis ( 191050 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:54PM (#19073345) Homepage Journal
    I actually made a post along these lines earlier, but with reference to the theft prevention systems.

    The same applies here:

    Universally, honest consumers want:

    The best product, for the lowest price, with the most convenient delivery.

    As an example:

    Furniture company A offers a high-end fridge for a good price, say $1200, and charges $50 for delivery.

    Furniture company B offers the same fridge for $1200, but offers free delivery.

    Which company is going to get your money?

    Not all choices are this easy, but thats the basics of the industry of today. And so:

    If we take todays content (TV, Movies, Music) and present it to honest consumers (I stress the HONEST part) at a reasonable price ($1-2/episode, $2-4/movie, $0.50-1.00/song) and deliver it to them in industry standard formats DRM free. How many people out there would sign up for this, and be more than willing to fork over their hard earned cash for this service? Can I see a show of hands?

    Heres my personal take on it... at the prices listed above.

    I pay $52/mth for my satellite service. So for a year of TV watching, I pay $624.

    On a service above, to get the shows I like (all 3 CSI's, Heroes, House, Bones, Jericho, Smallville * approx 22 episodes each per season = 176 episodes) for approx $352.

    Whoa... even at $2/episode, I would be paying half price(or so). And I would have the episodes in digital format that I could watch where, when, and on whatever device I choose.

    I know that this is an idealistic approach to it... the problem is bigger than this... but I think I do a good job of making my point. Media producers need to let go of old approaches to product distribution and get with the times. People want a good product, for a good price, with a convenient delivery method.

  • Re:Freakanomics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cadallin ( 863437 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:58PM (#19073419)
    How about Personal Choice Enablement? I am not a customer. I am not a "consumer." I am not a "citizen." I am a person. It is personhood that comes first. All else is predicate upon personhood, and its about damn time somebody reminded these dehumanizing fuckers about that.

    Otherwise I agree completely and in a serious fashion with your premise.

  • by c0d3h4x0r ( 604141 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:59PM (#19073447) Homepage Journal

    Surprise sex.
    As in: THAT was sex?
  • Re:Freakanomics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @04:05PM (#19073545)
    "No one ships defective media on purpose"

    Yes they do. Check a little further into CD protection schemes. That's exactly what they do.

    Instead of the words in the manual, they now have the software check online to see if it's valid.

    Software DRM has changed considerably over the last 20 years, but it still exists.
  • Re:Freakanomics (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nxtw ( 866177 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @04:10PM (#19073649)

    No one ships defective media on purpose and the way that licensing is implemented isn't just amateur hour anymore.

    Games on CD or DVD use copy protection schemes that often rely on areas of the disc that would often be ignored or skipped or certain sectors that are intentionally burned as if they are "bad".
  • Re:Freakanomics (Score:1, Insightful)

    by heinousjay ( 683506 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @04:16PM (#19073723) Journal
    Nice to see someone else understands. I get a pit in my stomach every time I read some self-righteous tirade from a supposedly intelligent person that amounts to nothing more than a cry for free entertainment.
  • by schwinn8 ( 982110 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @04:18PM (#19073779)
    True, but there are a few issues with your statement.

    First off, the argument is that if they charge a FAIR price, people would rather pay for it than pirate it. Just because someone puts the entire HBO library on the internet doesn't mean that EVERYONE will download it. At a fair price, most people would rather pay for it and get a guaranteed "good" copy of the content. Apple's iTunes has proven this fact, since they are pulling in tons of money for 99c tracks (which the industry said was too low.)

    Same goes for the cable industry - the reason so many people pirated it is because it's not a fair price. I pay over $40/month for BASIC cable from Adelphia (now Comcast, so I expect the rates to increase) and I get a crappy picture that is very apparent on my EDTV. It's not a matter of local hardware (all my wires are brand new, etc)... it's crappy signal from the head-end. They admitted this on at least a few channels, but say it's out of their control... BS.

    I used to have digital cable (with one of their crappy boxes) and it was no better. I would see blocking artifacts when the signal would drop all day long, and all the time. And I get to pay more for that.

    If you put out a quality product at a fair price, then there won't be any problems. When you try to say that you're going to lockdown your content (which is mostly crap these days anyway) because there is no DRM... who do you think is going to be the loser there? The pirates will ALWAYS find a way to circumvent the protection... and the customers trying to be legal will run into problems because of mistakes and bugs and other dumb issues. So, you lost the pirates, and you lost your customers. It really is that simple.

    So don't bother spewing forth the propaganda that the **AA has been pitching. It's not about enabling the consumer... it's about greed. Period.
  • Re:Freakanomics (Score:4, Insightful)

    by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @04:23PM (#19073853) Homepage Journal
    Fight fire with fire.

    I agree, and have changed my sig accordingly. If they can call it a PATRIOT Act or "Cute Furry Kitten Act", it is time we start doing the same right back at them, until people learn that thy can't judge something by its name or, even better, pull out the pichforks and torches and demand a return to proper naming conventions.
  • Re:Freakanomics (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AvitarX ( 172628 ) <me AT brandywinehundred DOT org> on Thursday May 10, 2007 @04:25PM (#19073889) Journal
    Funny how I can still play Ports of Call or Civilization from memmory, but cannot do starcraft because all I have now is the disk.

    Also, Activation leads to bigger problems (apps not games) if a company goes under and you want to read that old family tree file.
  • Re:Freakanomics (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @04:52PM (#19074401) Homepage
    They learned it. Then they forgot it.

    In the days of Lotus 123 R1 and dBASE III, diskettes were hacked to prevent duplication without copy-prevention-cracking software, or required parallel-port dongles to be attached to run the software. Consumers revolted against this, arguing that they had a right to make backup copies, and that the failure of a dongle or its drivers shouldn't lock them out of their data. Developers relented.

    For a while. I'm not sure what happened. Maybe it was a complete turnover of software execs. Maybe they foolishly thought their new copy-prevention schemes lacked the old ones' fundamental flaws. Probably because the internet changed one-to-one piracy into a one-to-many operation, and you all proved to them that the consumers' cries of "trust us" couldn't be believed. So plenty of blame to go around.
  • calling it that (Score:3, Insightful)

    by little alfalfa ( 21334 ) <.cohen.joel. .at.> on Thursday May 10, 2007 @04:58PM (#19074509)
    Changing the name from Digital Rights Management to 'Digital Consumer Enablement' is like changing the term rape into 'surprise sex'. Either way, you're still getting fucked.

  • Re:Freakanomics (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hoi Polloi ( 522990 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @05:02PM (#19074579) Journal
    Can we rename MTV then? They have nothing to do with music anymore. How about "Constantly Repeating Awful Programs" or CRAP.
  • Re:Wrong name (Score:3, Insightful)

    by marcello_dl ( 667940 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @05:13PM (#19074725) Homepage Journal

    If you're against cute fuzzy bunnies, you must be a terrorist!

    I'm a "Terror Driven Management of Public Affairs Enabler", you sensitivity challenged clod!

    Back to topic:

    "Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one."
    Matthew 5:37

  • Re:Freakanomics (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @05:19PM (#19074819)
    "...A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

    Limiting my ability to use something I paid for isn't "Enabling" me. Sort of like how the press and activists keep trying to get me to say "Differentially Abled" instead of handicapped. Sorry, I can't do a backspring, that makes me differentially abled. If I couldn't walk that would make me handicapped.
  • by Migraineman ( 632203 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @05:24PM (#19074889)
    The reason we have DRM is so the media cartels can create an artificial shortage and control the price. If the songs, movies, TV shows are readily available, you'll get more of a free-market pricing response ... which is exactly what the studios don't want.

    The entertainment industry's business model is fundamentally flawed. Up until recently, they've had a strangle-hold on production and distribution. That creates and artificial shortage, and allows them to dictate terms like price and availability. It used to be very difficult and very risky to go around them, and the cassette-tape pirates of long, long ago were small potatoes. Fast forward to today, and the entertainment industry is in the latter phases of the "adapt or perish" paradigm. Their control of the distribution channel gets less and less effective with each passing day. People have gotten a taste of freedom, and they like it. I don't care what new name they assign DRM ... I refuse to roll over and be a "good little comsumer." I haven't purchased an audio CD in over 10 years. I haven't been downloading either. The commodity stuff is formulaic crap. I do, however, support indie musicians like Jonathan Coulton. [] He's earned some of my money without resorting to DRM or lawsuits. Imagine that. I'm also a firm believer that without the internet, Jonathan's music would have never gotten to me.

    And finally, the entertainment industry isn't the center of the universe (in spite of what they've told you.) You can do without the latest DVD of American Whatever. Honest. It's not required. The entertainment industry has dictated the value-proposition of their goods (see the "artifical scarcity" argument above.) They're terrified that you'll actually make up your own mind, and realize that whatever they're peddling isn't worth it. That's one of the chief complaints about the iTunes pricing schedule - Joe Consumer can add (barely,) and the audio CD with 10 tracks selling for $18.99 at Best Buy is a lot more expensive than purchasing 10 tracks from iTunes. Additionally, the labels lose the opportunity to pad an album out to two discs by inserting filler or remastered tracks that you didn't want in the first place. Those last two are just pure profit for the labels, and that's where they're taking the biggest hits. Heard them whining about the death of the album format recently? It's not because they fancy the art form.
  • by argent ( 18001 ) <peter@slashdot.2 ... m ['6.t' in gap]> on Thursday May 10, 2007 @05:31PM (#19075013) Homepage Journal
    An old fellow is talking to his grand-daughter as he works in the garden, and he keeps talking about he manure he's spreading on the flowerbeds. The bothers the girl's mother and she asks her husband "I hope your father washes his hands before he comes in... and why can't he call it 'fertilizer' like polite folks"? He replies, "honey, it took us 30 years to get him to call it 'manure'".

    Look, folks, you got people to quit calling it "Copy Protection" because people got tired of the smell. Now it seems like it smells just as bad when you call it "Digital Rights Management". Calling it empowered this or enabled that isn't going to make it smell any better.
  • Re:Freakanomics (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mazarin5 ( 309432 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @05:53PM (#19075339) Journal
    I am not a "citizen." I am a person.

    I get your point, but I'm willing to take that classification. A government has a responsibility to the citizens of its country. What grates my nerves is being referred to as a taxpayer, as if that is my sole purpose in my nation: funding.

  • Re:Freakanomics (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @05:58PM (#19075427)
    "I haven't seen people do this for years. Now you usually have to hae some kind of license key or nothing at all. No one ships defective media on purpose and the way that licensing is implemented isn't just amateur hour anymore."

    As other people have pointed out already, they most certainly do.

    And I know this because I've often downloaded the "no-cd" patches for my legitimately-purchased and DRM-encumbered games in order to:
    A) not have to dig out the CD every time I want to play,
    B) not have to wait for the CD to spin up,
    C) not have to worry about the DRM system becoming incompatible and breaking the game (e.g., for older games, the DRM is often incompatible with new OS versions before the game is, so stripping the DRM increases compatibility),
    D) not have to worry about the CD getting scratched or otherwise damaged,
    E) sometimes it improves the performance to remove certain (poorly-implemented) DRM schemes, and
    F) because I paid for the game and I'll play it any way I please, thank you very much.

    As long as I'm not using multiple licenses simultaneously or copying it, I don't feel ethically challenged by doing this (and, no, DMCA anti-circumvention laws don't exist in the country in which I live).

    DRM is alive and well in software. And just as annoying to the user and easily circumvented as ever.

    It's quite legitimate to wonder why so many software manufacturers still bother with it, especially when it costs money to buy or develop these DRM schemes, but many do.

    I'm not counting the manufacturers who only have a license key stamped in the case or manual, and which require you to type it in at installation. That's fair and unobtrusive, and I respect those companies for not hindering the user experience unnecessarily.
  • Re:Freakanomics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by d34thm0nk3y ( 653414 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @06:20PM (#19075735)
    How about Personal Choice Enablement?

    I have a better one yet. How about we call non-commercial copyright infringement "Fair Use."

    Has a nice ring to it, no?
  • by The_DoubleU ( 603071 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @06:46PM (#19076075)
    You don't buy a license when you buy a car but the entertainment industry wants us to believe that if I buy a CD or DVD that I'm just buying a license to watch/hear content under their regulations. However if you go to the shop and ask for a replacement for your damaged CD then it is suddenly an object and you have to pay for it. Until they sort this out I will download music of CD's that I already bought.

    Note. I'm only downloading music of eMusic or CD's none of the illegal stuff.

  • Re:Freakanomics (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Haeleth ( 414428 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @07:19PM (#19076481) Journal

    I get a pit in my stomach every time I read some self-righteous tirade from a supposedly intelligent person that amounts to nothing more than a cry for free entertainment.
    As well you might. You won't see many of those in a story about DRM, though, since DRM doesn't affect the people who want free entertainment - they can just steal DRM-free copies off some P2P service, and never have to worry about the arbitrary restrictions that are imposed on their law-abiding fellows.

    The people who complain about DRM, by and large, are honest types who've paid for their entertainment, only to discover to their dismay that they've wasted their money because they can't actually enjoy the product in the ways they were looking forward to.
  • Re:Freakanomics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by InvalidError ( 771317 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @07:37PM (#19076663)
    Digital Rights Management was deemed a misnomer by educated people, is getting increasing heat from the general public and is now getting called "Digital Restrictions Management"

    To "dispose" of the heat, the MAFIAA decides to rename it Digital Consumer Enablement... I'll write it off as "Digital Consumer Extortion" in my book as I expect every control-freak measures to be implemented in the name of DCA to be at least as potentially restrictive and encumbering as anything else that got introduced in the name of DRM.

    I hate those moronic execs who try to convince the general public that the likes of DRM allows people to do stuff people could not already do... the only thing DRM enables is taking the willing consumers' wallets to the cleaners without said consumers being able to do anything about it when they hit a DRM brick wall they did not see coming.
  • by Shajenko42 ( 627901 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @08:28PM (#19077193)
    There's a term for this - the euphemism treadmill.

Kill Ugly Processor Architectures - Karl Lehenbauer