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/ Forums / DRM at its worst? Here's a prime example

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Chris M Dec 14, 2004, 04:22am EST Report Abuse
If DRM manages to take hold on media, computing as we know it will probably change permanantly. Since this is Windows driven, what of Linux users? Will they finally be forced to use Windows or face not having media playable on their OS?

It is said that when it comes to life, those who feel see it as a tragedy. Those who think see it as a comedy.
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Sander Sassen Dec 14, 2004, 04:35am EST Report Abuse
Here's some further information on DRM, see link below, and what we might be faced with in the near future if the greedy movie and music industry has their way. Things such as digital content that cannot be recorded unless the publisher allows you to, thus, for example, you not being able to record your favorite TV shows. But also the fact that skipping commercials in digital recordings becomes illegal, etc. etc.

Sander Sassen
Editor in Chief - Hardware Analysis
Beanie Fleury Dec 14, 2004, 05:01am EST Report Abuse
Simple answer to this....something that if everyone did they would take notice...Dont buy the media!!

Sander Sassen Dec 14, 2004, 05:07am EST Report Abuse
Simple answer? I only found this out after opening the box and playing back the media, nowhere on the box, see picture in the article, is any reference made to the content being protected by DRM or any other protection scheme, do you think I would have bought it had I known?

Sander Sassen
Editor in Chief - Hardware Analysis
Beanie Fleury Dec 14, 2004, 05:10am EST Report Abuse
No i guess not but i'd return the disc and email the studio saying you just lost a sale.

Steven van de Beek Dec 14, 2004, 05:53am EST Report Abuse
When DVD's first came to the market the sales price was between 16 and 20 USD. Now the prices range more between 25 to 30 USD, if not more.
Result: I stopped buying DVD's a long long time ago. They're too expensive. I just wait until they're on TV. The 'extra material' is hardly ever worth the extra cost.

The last CD I bought was 3 years ago, for the same reason. I just listen to the radio.

The music and film industry (still making billions of dollars of profit) don't understand that the best way to stop piracy is to lower the prices to an acceptable level.
If many DVD's that stop selling properly can be sold for 3 USD and still make them a profit then why not have a starting price of, say, 15 USD?

Greed is the problem. Not piracy. And DRM is a perfect example of how greed influences our rights as a consumer.
Anyway, home copying is still sooooo small compared to the hundreds of millions of illegal copies being produced by large-scale pirates in China and other countries. But it's harder to sew a country than to make life difficult for the individual consumer. Crooked politicians (Aren't they all?) will pass any bill that the industry asks them too.
DRM will almost certainly become overly restrictive until one very smart producer decides to lower the prices properly and make billions of profit by seering sales. Maybe Richard Branson (Virgin) should start producing movies? :-)


bossa ritchie Dec 14, 2004, 06:06am EST Report Abuse

Bungle Dec 14, 2004, 06:59am EST Report Abuse
that is exactly why I don't use legitmate music download services, If I buy the song I wan't to own it so I can burn it or listen to it on my RCA mp3 player at the gym, or play it on my computer using winamp, media player, or whatever other player I decide to use at the time. If the music industry and the movie industry would just pull their heads out of their asses and realize that people are being turned off not by the cost, (is one dollar for a song or 20 for a movie really that much?... not really) so much as the restrictions on the media in the form they are offering it in. They just don't get it do they? People like mp3's not proprietary formats that only work on one program or one $400 "mp3 player".

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Everett Williams Dec 14, 2004, 07:00am EST Report Abuse
DRM is not the worst of it, only the part of the commercial grab most evident to the regular consumer. DRM is a result of the DMCA(Digital Millenium Copyright Act), created to perpetuate rights to Mickey Mouse to the Disney corporation. The worst of it is the granting of software patents. Patent law at that level will supplant copyright to some extent, and strangle creativity in the computer field outside of corporations large enough to detect valid patents and dispute invalid ones. What ends up happening is that the large corporations largely pay each other off or sign cross-licensing agreements, leaving the rest of the public and smaller companies to fend for themselves.

Caveman017 Dec 14, 2004, 07:24am EST Report Abuse
Yeah, I recently rented a dvd, and i got the same thing. The whole breakdown of this is that they overcharge for everything. I was reading somewhere recently that the RIAA takes about 70-80% of every song that is purchaced over iTunes. I'd assume the same was for the MPAA. If thats true, no wonder why they are so p**sed, and the authors arent as mad. they are still making millions so. I mean if a $12 CD, the artist only gets $1.50 before taxes and stuff, and the RIAA gets $9 no wonder then. If they charged $5 and if dvds were 14.99 again, it wouold help. I havent bought a CD in about 3 years. i get everything through limewire now, or use some russian pay service that i can get each song for about 4 cents apice..

Brandon G.

~~I'd like to think about myself as a very advanced computer technician but it wont happen till i get a job:)
Talon Rayne Dec 14, 2004, 10:26am EST Report Abuse
I have been reading articles like this for years. I now feel compelled to respond for the first time.

Twenty dollars is a lot to pay for a DVD. The studios have been paid many times over the cost of the film before it is even released in DVD format. The profit margins are too high. I agree also with the gentleman talking about the cost of a nice evening out with the family. It is too high. Unfortunately, consumers keep buying, so they keep charging. I think that we should back off of paying for it and maybe the industry will respond. Maybe. The question is, can parents learn to say no to their kids in addition to curbing there own consumption?

I am a musician and would like my copyrights to be respected as much as the next artist. However, I don't think we will ever see a resolution that works for anyone but big corporations. As a skilled audio engineer, they will NEVER actually be able to stop me from recording anything that is audible through speakers. If I can hear it, I can record it. I am surprised that this aspect has not been talked about more.

It may be a bit of a pain to record and then transfer to another format, but based on this article --an hour for setup to simply watch something with a license limit-- my method might actually be easier. I think we may then see a renewed interest in home recording equipment of an updated kind. I figure if I want to watch or listen to something, why not just record it at the same time through conventional methods in real time as you watch or listen. Then you just take that and transfer it as you wish.

You have to get sound to speakers and you have to get pictures to a monitor of some sort. There have always been --and more so today-- easy ways to make excellent recordings of anything you can see or hear. All of you need to look elsewhere. Think outside the geek box of breaking the encryption. Just do it the "old fashioned way" (sort of) and you cannot be stopped from having what you want. It's not that difficult to find ways to play and record simultaneously.

Finally, I would like to say thanks to Sander Sassen. I have been enjoying your articles for a couple of years now. You are an intelligent person and I wish to see you continue your work for those of us who don't have the time or resources to scrutinize all of the new technology we are interested in.

Michael A. Dec 14, 2004, 09:02pm EST Report Abuse
Posted by Sander Sassen:

"Simple answer? I only found this out after opening the box and playing back the media, nowhere on the box, see picture in the article, is any reference made to the content being protected by DRM or any other protection scheme, do you think I would have bought it had I known?"


I agree with you, Sander. If the companies are going to start using DRM they need to inform users on the packaging of the product. I myself don't want to deal with DRM and if I were you I would feel sort of deceived and would return the product to the store and demand a refund. The wrapping, DVD case, and the disk itself should have all carried notices that DRM technology was included on that disk to protect against piracy.

Sometimes I think that being overly zealous with copyright protection can actually cause more people to turn to piracy. If the companies that pursue anti-piracy technology don't realize this they may find even more people turning to P2P to avoid the hassles of registering and obtaining licenses for products they legally purchased. I, for one, don't like the idea of having a bunch of paranoid companies looking over my shoulder - watching my every move. I understand that they have to find a way to stop piracy but can't they come up with something else? Valve's Steam is already too I really need more of this crap in my life? Hassling me so much that I wonder if soon even entertainment will become work just to enjoy legally?

Michael A.
joseph white Dec 15, 2004, 12:42am EST Report Abuse
maby im just silly but, there is absolutly NO way to stop pirating, cos really all you need to do is play the dvd on a dvd player and have the cable go to the in port of a good graphics card and record it into premier or i movie or any other editing software, make it a mpeg or a dvd, what ever, and bobs your uncle, i dont see anyway they can posable block that unless they put a code, hidden, on every single frame of the film and knew who bought every single one, so their kinda wasting their time arnt they, or is this all done just to scare the majority of people who would consider downlading it or buying it from a man in a pub, as there never gona stop the cerial priats, what do you guys think, and if im totally wrong about all that i just said, oo well its not like you know who i am anyway lol

David North Dec 15, 2004, 12:54am EST Report Abuse
I had the same problem playing back the "Two Towers" and "Return of the King" on my pc. I was prompted to install the Interactual player which then promplty informed me I didn't have the proper digital rights for the products I had already purchased. Thankfully I had Blaze Media Pro and some third party encoding plug-ins and just uninstalled Interactual and played it that way--how ridiculous.

What happens to Grandma and Grandpa when they buy a dvd for the kids and can't play it?

My friend has a Mac and uses iTunes and was dismayed to discover the library of songs he purchased would only play on his PC and none of his portable devices or dvd/cd players at home.

angryhippy Dec 15, 2004, 05:29am EST Report Abuse

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Brendan Falvey Dec 15, 2004, 06:25am EST Report Abuse
I have not yet come across DRM in Australia but I would image that the corporations law here is similar to most developed countries and that you can return goods that are sold with misleading advertising and that is what the cover is. It is duping people. i would return such goods, sent a complaint to our corporations watchdog, the fair trading people and a serve to the politicians as well.

If enough get returned then they will have to come to the party. i heard the comment that redmond has fallen under the control of the bean counters and if that is true it is likely that we will see more of this. I did read an article in Windows NT mag some years ago where some one found some undocumented APIs. I know whats new about undocumented features and or bugs well these were hooks to bypass the encryption algorithm in NT and allow peolple who know about these features. No guesses. So there is lots we do not know about Windows.

This is the tip of the Big Brother iceberg and we need to think very carefully about the loss of freedom being imposed on the world by the supposed land of the free. The founders of that country had some ideals the current leadership led by zealots is a frigthening prospect for the world. I will not go any further on the political side since it is inappropriate for this forum but just some questions on what may be driving some of these issues

Sean B Dec 15, 2004, 06:53am EST Report Abuse
Here's a little clarification:

InterActual player is actually software bundled with a lot of DVDs as a free means of watching the movie on your system. It includes a semi-temporary MPEG 2 licensed codec and support for all formats of video and audio.

All DVD playback software includes an MPEG 2 codec. The codec itself is licensed and has integrated digital rights that enables playback of digitally licensed MPEG content, specifically DVDs. A generic Microsoft MPEG 2 codec won't playback DVD content because it doesn't have the proper licensing. If it weren't for that licensing, any MPEG codec would function fully. The same licensed codecs apply to audio as well, although there are free, open source AC3 codecs and filters available.

As far as DRM is concerned, there are currently means of traversing it. Software DRM strippers have been available for a while now, including one for stripping the DRM off of ITunes.

bob Dec 15, 2004, 04:17pm EST Report Abuse
you can download a correct mpeg codec for windows, just search for wnaspi32.dll

OCGW Dec 15, 2004, 04:37pm EST Report Abuse
You can get that a @ the Adaptec website, it is called an aspi layer




Sean B Dec 15, 2004, 07:12pm EST Report Abuse
"you can download a correct mpeg codec for windows, just search for wnaspi32.dll"

The ASPI layer is far from a codec.

When CD-ROM was just being introduced, each manufacturer had its own set of interfaces and connections with the host. ASPI and CAM are layers that set a standard with SCSI manufacturers, in which the manufacturers would either have to conform or go the way of the dodo.

The exension of the ASPI layer, coupled with the introduction of a set standard for optical hardware called ATAPI, is now the set standard for all optical IDE devices, including CDROM and DVDROM drives.

If you're hunting for codecs, Google "ACE Mega Codecs Pack 6.01". This pack includes over 70 professional codecs, supporting every type of video and audio file known to man(or machine). It also includes a library of tools that help with video ripping, encoding, playback, and numerous other functions.
The last time I checked, it had 5 different professional, digitally licensed MPEG codecs that support DVD.

OCGW Dec 15, 2004, 07:39pm EST Report Abuse
That codec (wnaspi32.dll) is just one of the (many) files in the aspi layer I mentioned, and is the easiest way to install it

You said "search for it"

I found It last year

I am a "Old School" DVD "Pi**te"




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