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

  Sigh... Why does no one learn? 
 
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Donnie Darko Dec 22, 2004, 06:38pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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It seems as if people will never learn-

"I do think that copyrights should be protected, if needed by DRM. As long as it doesn’t restrict me too much in how I can use the content I bought I have no problems with using DRM, much like I find that registering a piece of software online with a product key is perfectly acceptable."

The number of logic failures here is unbelievable.

First off- What does "doesn't restrict me too much in how I can use the content I bought" mean? I have purchased over 400 DVD's. I want to move them all to hard drives so that I can hide the discs themselves so that people can not borrow them. Should that be illegal? I've given the motion picture industry about $6k just in DVD purchases and now they want to tell me that I can only watch the DVD they way they want me to?

Second, how about a fire? I want to make backup copies of all of my movies so that if they are lost in a fire, I do not have to purchase them again. Or do you think the MPAA is going to give me new copies for just the cost of the materials?

Third, what about in locations without Internet access? I have a lot of software that I purchased and use at my summer house. I have no Internet connection up there- should I be forced to bring my computer back to the city just to install a piece of software?

Fourth, did you really think the movie industry was going to stop at simply preventing theft? The movie industry wants control and that is what DRM gives them. By acceding to their DRM demand you have given them all the power and control. Giving up your rights and freedoms is a slippery slope and one that should be avoided at any cost.

Benjamin Franklin said it best: "“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Although we are not talking about safety here, liberty is certainly the right word.

There is another great quote by, I believe, Martin Niemoller : "First they came for the Communists but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out;
Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists but I was not one of them, so I did not speak out;
Then they came for the Jews but I was not Jewish so I did not speak out.
And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me."

You sound exactly like Martin- "I do think that copyrights should be protected, if needed by DRM." because it did not bother you- but now that it bothers you you are mad? Why weren't you mad the moment CSS was anounced? I have bought DVD's- but only after CSS was broken because I knew I could do what I wanted to with them. I have not purchased any DRM'd music and I will not purchase any more DVD's if this is the shape of things to come.

It is time to draw a line in the sand and say "no more." Stop letting government and industry take away your rights before you have none left. This applies equally well to the US government and their desire for a world like Oceana in 1984.


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Sean B Dec 22, 2004, 06:45pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sigh... Why does no one learn?
You should've probably posted this under the article topic.

Sander Sassen Dec 22, 2004, 06:53pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sigh... Why does no one learn?
Donnie,

I posted the following reply in the Slashdot comments, to someone that has a similar train of thought as you, or maybe it actually was you, anyway here's my reply to that post:

...

I think you covered things pretty well, but you seem to be under the impression that the mere thought of something being copyrighted is evil. I don't agree, I think copyrights should be in place to stop widespread copying of content and ideas, which is not just harmful to large corporation but also Joe average that just had this great idea he'd like to copyright.

You'll agree with me that the movie producers want to protect their investment, certainly in cases where the initial run of DVDs has to make enough revenue to break even, or make a profit, if I were them I'd want to make sure I stay in business, and be profitable, as well.

What I dislike, and I agree fully with you there, is the fact that they enforce upon the consumer their own set of laws that prevent me from playing back the content I bought unless I do so in exactly the way they intended me to use it. If such a scheme is used on a DVD, CD or other media, I want it to be clearly listed on the cover, so I can steer clear of it. This wasn't the case here, which I think is misleading.

In the end, some form of DRM will show up in the next few years. If I had a say in this I'd say on-disc DRM is a good solution, the disc checks whether the content and the disc unique serial id match and if so unlocks the content, no internet connection needed. Much like many PC games and other software CDs can't be copied as the disk verification is in the first few sectors which are already written to on blank CDRs, you can never create a bit-for-bit identical copy, so the copy is broken and doesn't work. It does however not stop the p2p-ing and breaking of the DRM, but this is a lost cause as is, no copy-protection scheme is full proof.

The on-disc DRM also voids the arguments of people that, rightfully, question whether a DRM license server will still be able to validate their content in five, or ten years from now if online verification is needed. It does however not allow for making backups, and storing the original in a safe location, but then again who does that with DVDs? It wasn't even technically feasible until dual-layer DVDRW drives entered the market, so I think people would be fine with that, I sure would.

As for DRM on live TV, making it impossible to record your favorite shows, or even skip commercials, I think that is a severe limitation of my desire to watch the content that I like when and where I chose to. If I'm to ever switch to a digital TV system I want it to be as flexible as a analog VCR in terms of recording and playing back anything I'm interested in watching. If not, I'm not going to bother with it.

That's a few thoughts about this whole issue, feel free to reply.

...

Sander Sassen
Editor in Chief - Hardware Analysis
ssassen@hardwareanalysis.com
Donnie Darko Dec 22, 2004, 07:13pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sigh... Why does no one learn?
"I think you covered things pretty well, but you seem to be under the impression that the mere thought of something being copyrighted is evil."

Absolutely not. I write software for a living and I firmly believe copyrights should exist and should be enforced. I do not believe draconian measures to enfore it are the solution, however. I also do not believe that copyright's should be as long as they are in the US. The author's life +25 years was reasonable. The author's life +70 years is stupid. It was done so that Disney would not have to create any new movies/characters- A good thing considering their almost complete lack of creativity- After all, they made the majority of their money by adapting prior works that had already entered the public domain.

"What I dislike, and I agree fully with you there, is the fact that they enforce upon the consumer their own set of laws that prevent me from playing back the content I bought unless I do so in exactly the way they intended me to use it. If such a scheme is used on a DVD, CD or other media, I want it to be clearly listed on the cover, so I can steer clear of it. This wasn't the case here, which I think is misleading."

Agreed.

"In the end, some form of DRM will show up in the next few years."
If it does, and I can not just put the movies on a server in my basement and forget about them then that is the last DVD I ever buy. It's that simple for me.

"no copy-protection scheme is full proof."
So why do they keep spending untold some of money on them? Why not save the money and just give people a better value in the first place and thus making piracy even less likely.

"It does however not allow for making backups, and storing the original in a safe location, but then again who does that with DVDs? It wasn't even technically feasible until dual-layer DVDRW drives entered the market, so I think people would be fine with that, I sure would."

Just because it was not technically feasible does not mean it will remain that way. I started writing my own DVD library interface when the largest hard drives were only 20GB. At the time it was improssible to copy your movies to a server. So why did I do it? Because I could see the day when I would be able to sit down, scroll through a list of DVD's and play one without ever having to get up. I could see a day when I would not need to worry about people borrowing my movies because I had them locked safely away. I could see a day when I would not worry about scratching my discs because there are no discs. Now that 400 GB disks are available I can store my entire movie collection on just 5 drives. In a couple of years it will be 1 drive.

The MPAA has always been short on brains- When movies first came out on VHS they cost upwards of $75 (a lot especially considering the time period). Piracy was rampant and the situation seemed hopeless. Then someone came up with the crazy idea of dropping the price to $20. All of a sudden profits soared and now home releases make up a majority of a movie's revenue. Anything that makes it easier for a viewer to watch a movie (and therefore more likely to want to buy it) should be embraced by the MPAA. Instead- anything that does not fit into their outmoded business model is deemed a threat and they fight it. It is stupid and foolish.

Sander Sassen Dec 22, 2004, 07:30pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sigh... Why does no one learn?
The fact that movie studios try to counter piracy by sticking to high prices and securing their copyright by elaborate schemes such as DRM has me baffled as well, judging from my own buying habits, and those of the people I socialize with, I'm confident that lowering prices will certainly make people buy more DVDs. Actually prices in Europe used to be a lot higher than they are today, which motivated me to buy my DVDs abroad, especially when travelling to the US or Canada, but over the past two years I've seen prices in the US go up as well, which surprised me. I don't download movies for the simple fact that I want the best possible quality. I do however backup my movies to my fileserver which has the exact setup you mentioned, it is a precaution, but also a much more userfriendly approach. I obviously strip out all nonsense so what I'm left with is the movie and soundtrack, just that. In the end I think that there needs to be a balance between copyright protection schemes and the ability of the user to play back and if possible backup the content, hence I think on-disc DRM, which does not require a net connection or any other user intervention, is a good measure.

Sander Sassen
Editor in Chief - Hardware Analysis
ssassen@hardwareanalysis.com
sean brantley Dec 29, 2004, 05:08am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Sigh... Why does no one learn?
can sombaody correct me if I am wrong, but would this not lead to putting group like netflix and blockbuster out of bussnies because of the need for individual lisences.


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