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DRM Take II — Digital Personal Property 356

Posted by timothy
from the shhh-you're-disturbing-my-metaphors dept.
Diabolus Advocatus writes "Ars Technica has an article on a new form of DRM being considered by the IEEE. It's called Digital Personal Property and although it removes some of the drawbacks of conventional DRM it introduces new drawbacks of its own. From the article: 'Digital personal property (DPP) is an attempt to make consumers treat digital media like physical objects. For instance, you might loan your car to a friend, a family member, or a neighbor. You might do so on many different occasions and for different lengths of time. But you are unlikely to leave the car out front of your house with the keys in it and a sign on it saying, "Take me!" If you did, you might never see the vehicle again. It's that ability to lose control over property that is central to the DPP system. DPP files are encrypted. They can be freely copied and distributed to anyone, but here's the trick: anyone who can view your content can also "steal" it irrevocably. The simple addition of a way to lose content instantly leads consumers to set up a "circle of trust" that can be as wide as they like but will not extend to total strangers on the Internet.'"
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DRM Take II — Digital Personal Property

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  • by devotedlhasa (1298843) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:35AM (#29352879)
    Yeah you know me!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:55AM (#29353201)

      Yeah you know me!

      Forshame, whoever tagged the parent offtopic.

      Ahem. Someone give me a fruityloops beat.

      CTaco about to rocko
      Cowboy neal, gimme your spheel!

      DPP, how can I explain it
      I'll take you frame by frame it
      To have y'all sharin' shall we upp it?
      D is for digital, P is for personal
      The last P...well... that's not simple
      It's sorta like another way to call (a concept regarding imaginary property) as (actual property)
      It's eight little letters that are missin' here
      You share on occasion at the other (download) part
      As l33t h4x 'n it seems I gotta start to explainin'

      Bust it

      You ever had a torrent and grabbed it with a nice client
      You get the packages and the IP and you know your shits compliant
      You get home, wait an hour, peer's what you wanna know about
      Then you open it up and it's some fed who straight up tryin' restraint!

      It's not a front, F to the R to the O to the N to the T
      It's just the police at a seeder's house (Boy, that's what is scary)
      It's DPP, data other people's what you get it
      There's no room for rights management, there's just room to hit it

      How many brothers out there know just what I'm gettin' at
      Who thinks it's wrong 'cos I'm leechin' and rippin' at
      Well if you do, that's DPP and you're not down with it
      But if you don't, here's your l33t membership

      Chorus:
      You down with DPP (Yeah you know me) 3X
      Who's down with DPP (Every last matey)
      You down with DPP (Yeah you know me) 3X
      Who's down with DPP (All the mateys!)

      As for the lamers, DPP means something gifted
      The first two letters are the same but the last is something different
      It's the quickest, slickest, compres-- I call it the compressedest
      It's another eight letter word rhymin' with unruly and a-stoolie
      I won't get into that, I'll do it...ah...sorta properly
      I say the last P...hmmm...stands for pachouli

      Now hackers here comes a packet, blow ICMP back to me, now tell me exactly
      Have you ever known a hacker who have another torrent or FTP
      And you just had to stop and just 'cos it went so fast
      You portscanned it, it blacklisted you right away
      That it had some l33t porn but it wouldnt be yours anyway

      You couldn't be caught with it and honestly you didn't care
      'Cos in a room behind a door no one but ur server's there
      When you finish, you'll start seeding is what you tell yourself
      And then you know that seeding's whack, cut that shit to preserve your wealth!

      Chorus:
      You down with DPP (Yeah you know me) 3X
      Who's down with DPP (Every last matey)
      You down with DPP (Yeah you know me) 3X
      Who's down with DPP (All the mateys!)

      Download it down!

      • by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:43PM (#29353965) Homepage Journal

        Forshame, whoever tagged the parent offtopic.

        That's why I hate getting first post, although the last time or two I didn't get downmodded. Some mods just automatically mod down a first post.

        As to the actual topic,

        It's DPP, data other people's what you get it
        There's no room for rights management, there's just room to hit it

        I wish the charlatains who keep trying to come of with new Digital Restrictions Management software would get honest jobs. There's no way to stop bits from being copied, and like DVDs, the key has to be with the encrypyed media. It's like leaving the key to your front door under the doormat; the first time somebody finds it, your TV is gone. Only with DRM it's several hundred copies of your TV that's gone.

        Trying to sell bits is stupid, but not quite as stupid as trying to keep people from copying them. Bits are like air -- to sell air you have to wrap a balloon or a scuba tank around it. The people selling "digital content" need to learn to do the same. Don't sell movies, sell DVDs. People LIKE tangible objects. Don't worry about the "piracy", nobody ever went broke from piracy.

        Whare would Photoshop be if it weren't for piracy?

        You can't compete with free, but you can use free to sell stuff. The trouble with the media moguls is their own greed. If it weren't for their greed they'd not be taken in by the DRM-writing charlatains (who must be laughing at their poor stupid clients), and they'd use free to their advantage.

        • by Moryath (553296) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @01:32PM (#29354699)

          How about this one?

          'Tis not thy name that is my enemy.(40)
          Thou art thyself, completely evil.
          What's DRM? it is not aid, nor help,
          Nor safety, nor right, nor any other part
          that ever good could come of!

          What's in a name? That which we call DRM,
          by any other name, would still smell like offal.
          So DRM would, were it not DRM call'd,
          Retain that deep imperfection which he owes,
          without that title. DRM, doff thy name, but still be recognized;
          And by any name, for thy evil is still part of thee,
          GTFO.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Kirijini (214824)

          Trying to sell bits is stupid, but not quite as stupid as trying to keep people from copying them. Bits are like air -- to sell air you have to wrap a balloon or a scuba tank around it. The people selling "digital content" need to learn to do the same. Don't sell movies, sell DVDs. People LIKE tangible objects.

          I agree with this sentiment wholeheartedly. Digital information, because there's very nearly zero duplication cost, shouldn't be treated like property. It shouldn't be commodified. You can try to, with a legal regime that treats it like property, and with technical obstructions like the subject of this story, but that destroys the most valuable aspect of digital information. The "free" duplication of digital information has such incredible potential if relieved of the burden of treating it like physical

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by The Cisco Kid (31490)

          .. the first time somebody finds it, your TV is gone. Only with DRM it's several hundred copies of your TV that's gone.

          Not exactly. If you leave your key on the front porch, someone can come in and take your TV, then your TV is gone - eg you no longer have your TV - we havent (yet) come up with a way to instantaneously copy something like a TV at a cost that is effectively 'free'.

          Anything that could be considered "information" (such as music, books, music, etc) that is stored in a digital form *can* be copied for a cost that is so insignificant so as to be effectively 'free'. *AND* if someone makes a copy, two copies, or a

    • Offtopic? This deserves +5 funny.

      M to the P to P to the Y.
      The reason that your data will not decrypt and die.

    • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:13PM (#29353441) Homepage Journal

      "You down with DPP?"

      From TFA:
      "The playkey, unlike the title folder, can't be copied--but it can be moved."

      Allow me to speculate that Windows development teams are onboard with this. Windows will come with this feature, or said feature will be introduced via updates. Let's assume that it's actively pushed via automatic updates. Special files will be uncopyabable, at the request of IP holders. That's going to work out really great. For instance, you can't "sys" a floppy or a CD with XP, because vital files are "uncopyable" by Windows.

      But - wait one. Aren't there boot CD's all the same? No, I don't mean Linux LiveCD's that can access Windows partitions. BART CD for instance. Win-PE. Various people have done things with the concept, but most haven't really caught on. How about USB? Tom's hardware has a how-to to create "Windows in your pocket". There are dozens more sites, with similar how-to stories. In short, those "uncopyable" files are routinely copied by people who are determined to copy them.

      But - wait another one. Linux. Linux just doesn't recognize Windows file permissions. Boot a system to Linux, you can copy anything from anywhere to anywhere else.

      So, yeah, I'm down with DPP. It's perfectly cool. They create it, implement it, and I ignore it. No problemo. I mean, this is BEFORE anyone gets around to creating a "crack" for the entire system, which will enable the least tech savvy elementary school student in the world to copy anything he wants.

      Bring it on, I say. It's funny to watch the corporate idiots wasting their time and money on nonsense, rather than adapting to the world we live in today.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mlts (1038732) *

        I wouldn't say bring it on. They will be throwing big money at it, and I'm almost sure it will have some mechanism to autoupdate or perhaps ban non-compliant devices from being "authorized" to play files, similar to how modchipped Xboxes get permanently banned off of XBL. If a device gets permanently "cracked" in a way where it can't be updated, a new line of models come out, and newer music content will not be able to play on those.

        I can forsee a scenario where it ends up like BD+, where its an arms race

    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:24PM (#29353607)

      Damnit! You people and your "If I take your car, now I have it and you don't" analogies have ruined it for everyone! Now copyright infringement really WILL be theft!

      At least for the week it takes someone to figure out how to duplicate the keys, anyway.

  • Even though the encrypted shared file is freely copyable, the key file to unlock it is "tamper-proof" so it has it's own DRM to make it "un-copyable".
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Dan667 (564390)
      you mean DRM-? (DRM+ is a bit silly) Hmm ... never tried to copy a car before. After reading this, it should be as easy as copying an mp3. My mind is totally changed on DRM- ... or not.
      • Really, the rest of us know that copying a car key is easy. Hell you don't even need a copy if you can pick the lock. I could only hope for DRM schemes that pathetically weak...
      • Re:It is only DRM+ (Score:4, Interesting)

        by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:49PM (#29354041) Homepage Journal

        This is just the first act. What happens when technology gets to the point that you CAN copy a car? Or a cabbage?

        Peace on earth, or greedy rich men trying to stop it?

    • Re:It is only DRM+ (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:45AM (#29353051)

      And anyone with a "link" to the key can assume ownership. So if you, or any of your friends' computers are compromised, they can "steal" your DPP protected stuff. And you can never get it back.

      Of course, there is little reason to steal; people who want the files in question would simply get DPP-free versions. Only malicious sorts and vandals would bother, since there'd be no real gain from the act. But if you have a falling out with your friend, it doesn't look like you can "change the locks" so to speak. If I give a house key to a friend, and for some reason stop trusting him, I can change the locks on my house. This doesn't seem to support a similar mechanism. Also, unless you store the playkey online (which has its own problems), a hardware failure in the playkey storage device will cost you your files. Returning to the house analogy, it would be like your house burning down (okay, becoming inaccessible forever) because you lost the key to the front door.

      • Re:It is only DRM+ (Score:5, Interesting)

        by peragrin (659227) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:58AM (#29353233)

        Actually after reading the article the guy is an idiot. The "playkey" is the whole problem with DRM. Whether downloaded off a drm server, or transferee securely br protected memory(as the article suggests). Transfer of that key is needed. Without it everything fails. What's worse in order to even be vaguely secure each music file would need it's own playkey. So for me alone that is some 5,000 keys.
          If you had even the same playkey for every song title theft is easy. If each person has one playkey. Then it be ones possible to steal thousands of songs nearly instantly.

        So I say again the guy is an idiot. A dumb idea so poorly thought out I wonder if he actually thought about it or pulledit out of his ass.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by PopeRatzo (965947) *

          Yes, this sounds like a dumb idea, but there's a kernel of goodness here, I think. Forget about "ownership" for a moment, my biggest concern in digital files is identification - attribution if you will. I would like to be able to watermark a digital file and have everyone know it's mine. I don't care if it gets copied, but I want every copy to bear the sign that this content was made by me. You'd think this would be relatively easy today, but every time I've tried to find a way to do this, all I found w

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by amorsen (7485)

            mp3 and other lossy formats have as their whole point removing the kind of information you want to add -- sound that can't be heard. Compression is still a hot research topic with both academic and industry interests. In contrast, steganography is much more obscure. For now, the compression beats steganography.

          • Re:It is only DRM+ (Score:4, Insightful)

            by 42forty-two42 (532340) <bdonlan@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:31PM (#29353739) Homepage Journal
            Unfortunately, it's not so easy to do this. When embedding a watermark, there are three fundamental approaches:
            1. Add some metadata to a nice, seperately partitioned out part of the file. While this is easy, persistent, and doesn't inconvenience the user, it's also very easy to remove.
            2. Change the content in a way that's not perceptible to the user. The problem here is that these tend to be removed by lossy compression - the lossy compressor uses a model of human perception to remove information that's not perceptible, and your watermark's no exception.
            3. Change the content in a way that is perceptible to the user. While this works, it's also very annoying.

            So it's not an easy problem, and as compression improves, option #2 there will get even harder over time.

            • Re:It is only DRM+ (Score:4, Informative)

              by MoxFulder (159829) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @01:30PM (#29354665) Homepage

              Unfortunately, it's not so easy to do this. When embedding a watermark, there are three fundamental approaches: ...

              So it's not an easy problem, and as compression improves, option #2 there will get even harder over time.

              That's a good summary. However, I believe digital watermarking has the same fundamental flaw as DRM: the means, expertise, and equipment to create and modify digital files are plentiful in this day and age.

              Any idiot can copy a music file to a friend's computer. So DRM attempts to limit that easy copying, but as soon as it's broken, it's broken. Likewise, the bar is not much higher for being able to modify, edit, or sample a music file: audio editing software, MP3 encoders, tagging software, hex editors... all easily-available, easy-to-learn (with guides all over the web), and easy-to-use. So watermarks attempt to add a unique, recognizable, but unintrusive tag to that file, and they run back into the same issue that the underlying data is very easy to manipulate.

              Contrast this situation with that of paper money, which often contains watermarks: The bar to "editing" or "copying" money is a lot higher. Sure, you can make a crappy copy of a $20 bill on a printer, but it won't turn out well. The recipes for real currency paper are secret and centralized, so difficult to steal. The physical equipment to print real money is extraordinarily large, immobile, and expensive, and easier to regulate since there are few legitimate, small-scale uses for things like color-changing ink and microprinting. Lastly, there are more, and smarter, serious guys with guns [secretservice.gov] who take a professional interest in counterfeiting than in file-sharing.

              In my view, any purely technical means to limit the distribution or modification of digital data is bound to fail. I mean, we've spent decades trying to make digital data easy to copy and modify... and gosh, we've succeeded.

              DRM and watermarks both rely on, essentially, an intentional obfuscation of data. But the means to detect (watermarks) or reverse (DRM) that obfuscation must then be widely distributed for them to be useful. Security through obscurity, minus most of the obscurity. Secure cryptosystems like PGP or SSL depend on a very small core of obscurity (a secret key) and construct elaborate safeguards and mechanisms to keep that secret key from ever traversing the network, and from "leaking" its content onto the data in a visible way. And still flaws are sometimes found. DRM takes that secret key and spreads it around all over the place. Lame.

          • Re:It is only DRM+ (Score:4, Informative)

            by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:47PM (#29354015) Journal
            Depends. If you just want your name on it, no problem, virtually every reasonable media file format has some sort of metadata support. Sometimes it is even good; but even basic ID3v1 is good enough for the purpose.

            If, however, you want identification that resists the efforts of hostile agents to remove it, you are pretty much out of luck. Any standard metadata, by virtue of being nice and standard, is trivially strippable. Trying to embed it in the sound itself is either audibly intrusive or inaudible. If it is audibly intrusive, that is obviously unacceptable. If it is inaudible, you run into the fact that the (quite talented) designers of lossy codecs have been honing their skills at removing inaudible data from sound for years. That's the whole point of lossy codecs. Even if there is some watermarking scheme that manages to be one step ahead, you still won't really have a "signature"; because it will only be readable by you. This is good enough for tracing the provenance of leaked copies, or catching tapers; but is useless if you want attribution, rather than forensic evidence.

            None of those problems are likely to go away with future development. Metadata standard enough to be readable will always be strippable. Watermarks that are audible will always be intrusive(unless, of course, you are part of the song). Watermarks that are inaudible will always be vulnerable to being cut by lossy compression. Further, any watermarking technology that lets the public at large read watermarks, rather than being used solely for forensics, effectively becomes a clumsy form of standard metadata, and thus strippable. Even cryptographic methods won't work. A cryptographic signature is stops altered versions being distributed as the real thing; but it doesn't stop altered versions, with attribution stripped, from being created. Encryption can make the file useless to anybody; but you still have to let the intended recipient read it, and they can always create a plaintext copy, which brings you back to square one.

            It is impossible to have attribution follow the file; but there are ways to demonstrate authorship on demand at any future time. So called "Trusted Timestamping" [wikipedia.org] services are available from a variety of outfits(most of the usual names in SSL certs, among others) and allow you to demonstrate cryptographically that a given file was timestamped by you on a given date and has not been altered since. If you timestamp all your work before it ships, you will clearly have the earliest timestamped copies that exist. This doesn't stop the distribution of stripped copies; but it does allow you to demonstrate that you possessed copies before any distribution occurred, on a particular date.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          It seems to indicate that playkeys would be per file. And the cost to store a key maxes out at about half a KB (for an RSA prime number based system); substantially less if it uses either a private key style encryption system or an elliptic curve based public key system. So for your files, that would be around 2.5 MB at the outside, or as little as 80 KB. If this were implemented, I'd expect a gig or two of flash memory to be included with any hardware based system, which would handle somewhere between 2

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by hairyfeet (841228)

          Not to mention do you have any idea how many PCs I have to format in a year because some dumbass in the family did something stupid and got pwned? Say goodbye to your stuff! Because if it is easy for me to "backup" the key, it will be JUST as easy for the guy at Worst Buy with the porta drive and the script that copies everyones media files to help himself, and again bye bye media.

          The media companies time and time again fall for the SAME stupid shit that the game companies do. I have to crack all my frickin

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Razalhague (1497249)

            when are these PHBs ever gonna learn?

            The real question is: when are you going to learn? If you keep buying stuff with DRM, they'll keep making stuff with DRM. Money is the only thing they'll listen to, and by giving it to them, you're saying "DRM is awwwwwwwwright!".

            They will instead pay for ever more draconian laws paid for with treasonous bribes, and shovel ever shittier DRM down our throats

            With your money.

            Support stuff that doesn't have DRM. Show them that they can make more money by doing that.

      • Any DRM will fail in the end. Why? Because all it takes is one person creating an identical product to a DRM'ed product without DRM, and they have just 'built a better mousetrap'. Implimenting DRM costs time and money, and isn't a 'feature' that an end user benefits from, so not doing something is a way of improving a product and lowering its cost.
      • by eiapoce (1049910)

        Of course, there is little reason to steal; people who want the files in question would simply get DPP-free versions.

        I disagree. There is a strong reason to do so: by "vandalizing" this imaginary property you teach the idiot the notion that in no circumstances he would have to get a DRM infected file. In this context erasing the keys on the server would be a exemplary punishment for supporters of this idiocy. (Some music stores relying on DRM infected formats already had to do that when they went out of business - consumers of course were screwed)

      • by pla (258480)
        So if you, or any of your friends' computers are compromised, they can "steal" your DPP protected stuff. And you can never get it back.

        With one slight problem to this entire idea - You only need the ability to play it once. After that, whoever wants "the" key can have it, for all it matters.

        Thinking of this in terms of a car sounds nice (and Slashdot luuuuurves car analogies), but it hides the real problem inherent in all DRM... Instead of a car, think of it in terms of a secret written on a scrap of
  • by gTsiros (205624) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:38AM (#29352923)

    what are they trying to achieve?

    surely after years of being beaten to a pulp they MUST have learned that any attempt at controlling is more than futile?

    • by causality (777677) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:43AM (#29353035)

      what are they trying to achieve?

      surely after years of being beaten to a pulp they MUST have learned that any attempt at controlling is more than futile?

      They keep trying for the same reason that politicians who push for shitty laws keep trying: they know that they only need one major victory and everyone will be stuck with it forever. That's why they don't read something like this:

      For instance, you might loan your car to a friend, a family member, or a neighbor. You might do so on many different occasions and for different lengths of time. But you are unlikely to leave the car out front of your house with the keys in it and a sign on it saying, "Take me!" If you did, you might never see the vehicle again. It's that ability to lose control over property that is central to the DPP system.

      and come up with a response like this: "but if I could make an infinite number of perfect copies of my car while retaining my own copy, at low or no cost, what would be my incentive to use a system designed to make me lose control over my car or any other property?"

      • by ehud42 (314607)
        "but if I could make an infinite number of perfect copies of my car while retaining my own copy, at low or no cost, what would be my incentive to use a system designed to make me lose control over my car or any other property?"
        Well one reason might be that some of those perfect copies of your car may be used in ways you don't like - say running a red light. Now maybe you don't get a photo-ticket in the mail, but all the neighbours are talking about what a bad driver you are.
        DRM / DPP to uphold a broken
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ardaen (1099611)

      People don't like dealing with change. Rather than trying to come up with a new system that works well considering the current realities, people try to make the current realities conform to what was previously in place.

      Look at movies with flying cars, where so often the flying cars are restricted to 2d multiple lane 'roads' in the air. Seems like a ridiculous restriction to put on flying cars which would lead to almost the exact same set of problems we have with non-flying cars and traffic. It's just how pe

      • by poetmatt (793785)

        There's a difference between fearing change and preventing it. One prevents growth and is an extreme, the other is natural. Of course clearly plenty of people don't know how to look beyond their own nose or recognize their own instincts.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by causality (777677)

          Of course clearly plenty of people don't know how to look beyond their own nose or recognize their own instincts.

          Unfortunately this type of self-knowledge has never been very popular despite the tremendous advantages it brings. The ability to say, "I have an instinct that makes me want to take this action, however, I know it isn't really what I want" is equivalent to being able to say "I am aware of a subconscious influence that this advertisement is trying to use, but it's not valid because it doesn't ag

      • by d3ac0n (715594)

        I think the flying cars issue you bring up doesn't so much illustrate an aversion to change as much as it shows that certain concepts (traffic management via restricted traveling areas) are both efficacious and necessary for a functioning society.

        In other words, if there were no restrictions on where you could fly in your flying car, mid-air collisions would be frequent and devastating. Thus the concept of "air lanes" for flying car traffic. Unless you trust your average office drone, McDonald's fry-cook

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by damburger (981828)
        It isn't ridiculous at all; Essentially aircraft already do follow 'lanes' but they are very big and there are much fewer aircraft than cars. You get a city with a couple of million cars, it will end up looking like The Fifth Element even with the current air traffic control paradigm.
    • by NickFortune (613926) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:08PM (#29353375) Homepage Journal

      what are they trying to achieve?

      Social engineering. They want to change the way in which we understand data.

      Currently we tend to think of any sort of information as something to be shared freely. It's what we as a species do. I think that tendency to swap data among ourselves is what led us to amass the information that makes up our present culture and technology. It's a pretty basic thing in human beings.

      But it's a pain to monetize data on that model. It didn't matter when distributing the data was expensive, since you could charge for the distribution. So as distribution costs for data approach zero, the challenge for the media cartels has always been to reframe our understanding of data, so that we think of it in the same terms as a car or a house. I believe that's why the term "intellectual property" was coined in the first place.

      The trouble is it didn't work. It turns out that if you take a tune and try and rebrand it as some sort of household accessory, people still treat it as a song. So this is the logical next step: make that song behave more like real property, and see of that shifts people's thinking.

      I can't see it helping myself. It's DRM, and it's always going to fundamentally, inherently insecure. But you can see where they're going with the idea.

    • As long as the music industry thinks that they should be entitled to charge us money for hearing music anywhere (even elevator music at the mall), Greed will always overwhelm logic and common sense.
    • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:22PM (#29353577)

      It's like when a five year old tells you he can't find his shoes because he lost them. But he doesn't want to get in trouble so he'll say a gypsy took them. And you know the kid is lying but when you press him - he'll start to describe the gypsy. "He had purple pants, a gold shirt, and a moustache. He had a little monkey with him."

      Much the same with DRM. They've lobbied for it, they've pushed it, they've gotten people to buy it and then yanked the key servers and left them high and dry. It can't be a swindle, they just haven't found the correct solution yet! So we go around and around with the industry talking about how to do this the right way. The truth is that there is no right way. The truth is that DRM is a lie. It can't work. Ever. Whenever you hold both the lock and the key, it stops being about cryptography and starts being about how to game the system.

      Read up on how people beat DRM systems. Like DVD Jon. He's not a gonzo cryptographer. He didn't break DVD by his sheer mathematical skills. No. He was a kid with a machine code monitor who found the decrypted key in memory.

      But like any good lie, you have to keep telling it once you start. Because the minute you say "well as it turns out there wasn't any gypsy" that's when you get in deep trouble. Imagine the class action lawsuits that would result! No, telling the lie over and over is much cheaper. So let's hear it for DRM2. I'm sure it'll buy the industry at least six more months before the next bored kid from the Netherlands comes along.

      • by gTsiros (205624)

        at some point, they will have to admit it can't work.

        i'm waiting for the day.

        then again, a friend of mine said "nature doesn't toy around. when she creates an idiot, she means it"

        • at some point, they will have to admit it can't work.

          You haven't been keeping up on your SCO/Darl McBride stories, have you?

          I assure you it's possible to tell a straight faced lie for years on end. Once you're in that deep, sometimes the only play you've got left is "keep digging".

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      what are they trying to achieve?

      Production of creative works in the context of a free market system.

      It can be shown mathematically that under certain assumptions a free market results in the optimal use of resources. Unfortunately, those assumptions do not work for things like recorded music, where the marginal cost of production is essentially zero. Hence, a free market CANNOT be used to efficiently to determine allocation of resources for music production. If you tried a pure free market, you'd end up with massive underproduction.

      There

  • Betting Pool (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JCSoRocks (1142053) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:39AM (#29352953)
    All right, time to start the ol' betting pool up. Let's guess how long it'll be before someone hacks that and just permanently steals everyone's DPP. I must say, however, it's awfully nice of them to make theft easier than ever. Why bother to leave your house when you can do it from the comfort of your office chair? If you'd like to ransom their belongings you can use the Internet for that too! Thanks Internet!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by buswolley (591500)
      This is insightful

      This would create a market for hacker/thieves to create malicious software intended to transfer, thus steal, your DPP.

    • by guruevi (827432) <evi AT smokingcube DOT be> on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:02PM (#29353303) Homepage

      Since it obviously involves some type of key server to check against there are several ways from the very simple to very sophisticated. There are also several problems with it:

      1) If the DRM permits on failure then that would be the simplest way to hack it, just block the server or specific queries to servers. If the DRM disallows on failure then a lot of people would be affected when a DDoS or a firewall/router 'problem' blocks the server somewhere upstream. This can off course be mitigated slightly by only disallowing after a certain time period, but that would require the keys to be stored either locally in the media file or locally in the media player. Both issues are simple to solve.

      2) If the DRM uses a very central key server (hosted by the RIAA) that keeps track of all the 'stolen' keys then just distributing and submitting a rainbow table (easily accomplished through a botnet) of keys would be enough. If only few hold access to the key server, then there has to be some type of mechanism that finds and blocks the 'stolen' keys (where stolen is defined according to their dictionary, not the Standard English one, we would say copied to a public place). That mechanism will be very simple to either avoid (like blocking/allowing Google Bots) or mislead. Manually would be too time intensive and thus not work either.

      3) If the central keys are held by the media sellers (eg. iTunes, Amazon, Microsoft) then it only takes a media seller to go out of business to have millions of files disappear. Also if the system has to be upgraded it will be very much fun to watch a) all systems synchronize their updates without downtime and b) maintain backwards compatibility. The option to 'hack' it in 2 is still valid especially when said sellers are big enough (Amazon and iTunes come to mind)

      As with so many schemes for DRM it will not work and it will piss off the customers usually sooner than later. It will not be implemented and it will not be compatible with millions of devices/users out there. It is dead before it was even started. DRM does not work. It's akin to somebody making a perfect copy of your car (and/or license plate) and then driving off with the copy, you won't care, you won't know and/or you'll get in trouble for the other persons actions while you were the one that legitimately bought the car or applied for the license plate.

  • DRM will fail. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kirin Fenrir (1001780) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:41AM (#29352989)
    Right now, it's easy to include DRM while only upsetting we, the minority, because the average consumer never tries to use their media in a way that runs afoul of DRM. They buy song off iTunes and just use it there on iTunes, never knowing the limitations of the "product". (I use iTunes merely as an example, I know there's DRM-free music there now)

    With every new push, however, the average consumer comes closer to running head-first into these limitations. When you have people's files start disapearing off their hard drive when there is no physical product, they might finally join us in asking: "Why the Hell is a collection of ones and zeroes being treated this way?"

    The harder DRM advocates push, the more the consumer becomes less ignorant of their questionable ownership philosophy.
  • by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:42AM (#29353005)

    This new development in the copyright arena is going to raise several important questions. Do we refer to this as "Dippy" or as "Da peepee"? Do we change the acronym to "Digital Pretend Property" or "Digital Property Penalties"? Will this technology never really take off, or will it only die after a multi-billion dollar campaign and several dozen slashdot debates? Only time will tell.

  • by blackmars0 (1162035) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:42AM (#29353007) Homepage
    It's only a matter of time until it's cracked and shared.
    On a side note... I would think that "stealing" mp3s would open up a whole new can of worms. What are you going to do when your "buddy" down the street refuses to "return" your music library, call the police?
  • by Condor80 (686041) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:42AM (#29353019)
    what they want, he tells Ars, is for digital property to "complete the emulation of the physical world."

    One would think they would eventually see the change of paradigm that's been going on for... 30 years?
  • by Arsenal4rs (1529513) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:42AM (#29353021)
    Ya know, these companies bitch and bitch and bitch about how they arent making the money they used to... Maybe they should stop wasting their money on file formats and DRM schemes that will NEVER take off and focus more on the quality of the product they are producing.
  • by agentgonzo (1026204) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:42AM (#29353023)
    I wouldn't leave my car outside my house with the keys in the ignition for all to steal (well, actually, my car is terrible so I have contemplated it). However, if I could 'burn' a new car from a car 'blank' for the price of a few pennies every time I left the house I would. I would also drive it over to my friends house and not worry if I found a different way back - I'd just leave my car there and create a new one. There is no reason to treat digital media the same way as physical media unless you're trying to force people to play by your old rules when the world has moved on.
    • by Minwee (522556)

      if I could 'burn' a new car from a car 'blank' for the price of a few pennies every time I left the house I would.

      But wouldn't it be even better if you could 'burn' a new car with a nuclear warhead in the trunk, and give every one who had ever ridden in your car a big red button so they could completely destroy it and every single copy that you had ever made any time they wanted to? Wouldn't you feel a whole lot happier that way?

      Paul Sweazey thinks that you would like that.

  • I stopped buying CDs, tapes & stuff a number of years ago, when the record companies started suing their own customers. I used to buy 9 or 10 CDs a month, but haven't now for over 8 years. Their loss :-) I still have an extensive, dust collecting, collection, it's just old & will never be added to.

    They can add whatever DRM they like, I don't give a stuff. Bring it on, it will only hasten their ultimate demise.
  • Fail. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:45AM (#29353049) Journal

    Digital personal property (DPP) is an attempt to make consumers treat digital media like physical objects

    That's great, except for one small problem. Digital media have none of the characteristics of physical objects. Build business models that recognise this, or go out of business. Those are your only two choices. Trying to force consumers to treat digital media like physical objects is no more likely to work than the car industry trying to persuade people to treat the sea like a road.

  • dear IEEE (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:45AM (#29353053)

    Dear IEEE,

    No thanks.

    Sincerely yours,

          Everybody

  • to keep from having to back down from DRM as it gives industries draconian control over software and hardware that keep the closed business model in operation well after the digital age has dis-proven its usefulness. DPP (dare i acronym) is just one more way to "buffer" the concept of DRM socially against known issues like the spore failure and windows vista problems. This asinine and redundant technology doesnt do anything that hasnt been done by FOSS for 20 years or so already. i look forward to seeing
  • The miss the point (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cdrguru (88047) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:48AM (#29353109) Homepage

    The point is, for most younger people: I have it, you have it, we all have it. All the time, and for free.

    Anything that doesn't encompass that usage model will get bypassed in favor of stuff that will adhere to that model.

    The problem is for creative types that this means they get one sale in an efficient market. The first buyer then makes their purchase available to the rest of the world for free. Why would they do that? I don't think anyone is completely sure, but a reputation or status built by sharing is part of it.

    The "one sale" idea pretty much pushes things back to a patronage system. Instead of recording a song and selling copies of it, a band is paid by some rich guy to play. The rich guy gets to tell them what he likes and what he doesn't like - and if the band wants to continue living off music they will play that way. They can then distribute their work for free without any worries about compensation.

    The problem is, as quite a few creative types found hundreds of years ago, a patronage system quickly ends up where everyone is trying to be just like Elvis because the people with money to spend on the arts really, really liked Elvis. Or whomever was the big favorite. So in 17th Century Europe you had playwrites coming up with pretty much rehashes of the same theme over and over again because that is what the patrons of the arts liked and would pay for.

    Sounds sort of like what has happened with music recently. But the problem is while the record labels have (somewhat) learned that an endless series of "Boy Bands" aren't going to cut it any longer with a patronage system it isn't up to the marketplace - it is up to a very small number of patrons. Is that really where we want to go?

    And no, I don't see the Internet making much of a difference. If the Internet lead to broad-based financial support it would. But the Internet is a way to distribute stuff for free. There is no "financial support" involved. iTunes is a myth and you might as well get over it. Nobody is making money off iTunes, especially Apple who created it as a music supply for iPods. And as many sales as iTunes has it occupies maybe 3% of music downloads today. No, no money that way.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by slifox (605302) *
      What if the patrons you mention aren't just a few rich people, but a bunch of fans which can now follow and contribute to their favorite artists with the internet?

      Plus, what about all the artists who refuse to give up creative control to anyone? You do realize that many artists have second jobs to pay for their living expenses, while their art is their hobby?
    • by Geof (153857) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:25PM (#29353617) Homepage

      First, it is not correct to assume that patronage is the only alternative. There are many other models. But I want to focus on this claim:

      a patronage system quickly ends up where everyone is trying to be just like Elvis because the people with money to spend on the arts really, really liked Elvis.

      Something like this actually happened in the 1950s. But it was resolved without the law. Musicians, fans and the industry decided against imitation.

      Up until then the market for music had focused on songs, not particular recordings. There were many recordings of each song, and listeners did not mind a whole lot which one they bought. But with R&B music, the particular arrangement of a hit became more and more important. Instead of simply producing covers of popular songs, labels started to clone them, imitating everything they could, from using the same arrangement to hiring the same backup singers. Musicians protested, calling the clones "theft." Labels and radio stations said they would have nothing to do with them (though they didn't always follow through).

      But what really changed the situation was the listeners. They wanted to hear the real thing - the original they had heard on the radio, not a knock off. The clones - and the covers simply faded away.

      If you are sponsoring a musician (maybe you're Coke looking for music to use in advertising, or maybe you're a group of fans who have pooled their money for a sequel to Firefly), what would you rather do: pay for something that people will see as a cheap imitation, or put your money into something different?

      Sure, people like things similar to what they already know. This is part of cultural change. My description of clones in the 1950s is drawn from Elijah Wald's How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'N' Roll, where he also writes:

      One reason that the music of Whiteman and the Beatles was so phenomenally popular was that it blended styles that older listeners found abrasive and unmusical with familiar elements, so those listeners could enjoy it without abandoning their previous standards and feel broad-minded and modern without essentially changing their tastes.

      A lot of the best innovation comes from taking something old and mixing in something new. Is the Mac GUI just a rip-off of Xerox? Is it bad that Linux is a reimplementation of UNIX? Was it bad that Shakespeare wrote his own versions of other people's stories?

      Frankly though, I don't know that I'm really disagreeing with you. As you point out, the culture industries already put much of their effort into retreads and sequels.

  • In essence, they propose to solve the problem of making bits uncopyable, which is intractable; but not making those bits uncopyable; but making bits magically uncopyable. Wow, way to solve the problem guys. Perhaps you'll be able to go into private sector space exploration next, with an "own-bootstraps" based propulsion strategy.

    Second, of course, is the strange idea that we should be striving to emulate the physical world. The physical world sucks. Scarcity sucks.
  • "Your" data looks a lot like what we could want as "privacy". This are my personal data, my email account, what i did somewhere, etc, and dont want that anyone could use it (you know, suing, with DPP excuse now) and much less share it with others
  • Whoops (Score:5, Informative)

    by Microlith (54737) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:52AM (#29353173)

    The IEEE fails to take into account something rather major here:

    First, that sounds like a royal goddamn pain in the ass and I'm a freaking software engineer. There's a reason the iPod has been so popular.

    They can be freely copied and distributed to anyone, but here's the trick: anyone who can view your content can also "steal" it irrevocably. The simple addition of a way to lose content instantly leads consumers to set up a "circle of trust" that can be as wide as they like but will not extend to total strangers on the Internet.'"

    No it doesn't, it instantly leads to people who quickly and repeatedly lose access to things they pay for, as malicious script kiddies get into their machines that they've added to the latest and greatest botnet, copy the files off, and snag the key. I can see people jacking those keys being as popular as sniffing for world of warcraft accounts.

    And it gets even more confusing:

    . To access the content inside, however, you'll need the playkey, which is delivered to the buyer of a digital media file and lives within "tamper-protected circuit" inside some device (computer, cell phone, router) or online at a playkey bank account. Controlling the playkey means that you control the media, and you truly own it, since no part of the system needs to phone home, and it imposes no restrictions on copying (except for those that arise naturally from fear of loss).

    So this key is moved into a tamper-protected circuit (irrelevant, no?) that is device exclusive. So you stick it in your phone so your music files only work there, or on your desktop and they only work there, or online and it's not even in your hands (but useless if you're not online) and this license can easily be moved around and if taken, fucks you permanently. But also somehow is magically secure enough that I can't just use it to decrypt the files and strip the DRM? And I can't somehow duplicate this key? What about key backups?

    As dumb an idea as ever, I suggest the IEEE leave this one to rot in the dustbin, and stop letting the media companies push the tech industry around.

  • I head out of the house and want to listen to the latest Lolcats album, "I cn haz Whyt Album?", which I've paid my $22 for ($1 to the artist, $6 to the studio, $15 to the Centralized Playkey Authority). Because I want to listen to it at the beach, I take my playkey for each song in the album and transfer it to my music player. Let's assume the transfer process is always perfect and you never get a "sent but never received" issue.

    So I'm sitting on the beach, and decide to take a swim. Forgetting, in the p

  • Pawn shops (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fermion (181285) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:54AM (#29353189) Homepage Journal
    OK, I can lose property, and then it can be resold. So if I 'lose' a track, can the local virtual pawn shop buy it back at a nickel on the dollar, then resell it for 25 cents on the dollar?

    Or, to protect against loss, can I insure it for a penny on the dollar and the recover my losses if something happens to it?

    The problem with most current schemes is that are extremely consumer hostile. I might have a CD stolen, but I can buy a used one very cheap. Digital music must be cheaper to distribute, no loss, no theft of the CD, but we still pay the same amount for the music, and have not option of buying it again in the secondary market.

    Likewise, if some steals a car from me, I can have the cops do something about it. If someone steals my iPod, nothing is likely to be done. Not the cops, not Apple, not the labels will help me recover my property. They will, however, happily profit off the crime. OTOH, if I put a few songs up for people to copy, I will be liable for millions. Go figure.

    In articles like this, the conclusion is often not the interesting item. Very often the conclusion is impractical and ineffective. What is sometimes interesting is the process they went through. For instance, one of the IEEE mags recently published a methods of secure offsite testing. As far as I can tell, while it prevents the cat from getting a degree, it does not protect against feeding answer to the traditional students. So it is not 100%, but the methods they use are interesting. It would be nice if the summaries would include some interesting bits, rather than just a naked conclusion, which is rather useless.

  • It's still DRM... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Theodore (13524)

    It's still another attempt to make reality match "legality" instead of the other way around.
    'If someone else copies your file, you will be punished by loosing that file'...

    Fuck. That. Shit.

    The current (and as it has always been) paradigm of free copying of data, is the best and most honest way of dealing with data.
    "He who lights his taper off of mine does not diminish mine"... Jefferson, IIRC.

    Whoever came up with this idea should lose their computing licence.

  • by Dalzhim (1588707) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:56AM (#29353221)
    With DRM, the media companies tried to prevent people from sharing their music. But cracking the DRM led to the same problem as before.
    With DPP, the media companies are offering an easier dishonest way to get music: instead of cracking the DRM, just steal other consumer's songs...

    Basically, DPP means: Don't steal from me, steal from my customers instead!


    Car analogy would be a manufacturer making cars with great anti-theft systems that are to be removed when the car is first sold in order to discourage thieves from stealing a product before it was sold the first time.
  • by Krneki (1192201) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:57AM (#29353227)
    Ok, by now everybody hates DRM. So here is what they do, they change the name.

    I don't know if they are stupid or smart, either way it will penalize only the legal buyers, as always.
  • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:59AM (#29353247) Homepage Journal

    The core idea here is quite clever, it's kind of a Prisoner's Dilemma situation, where if you decide to be non-cooperative with whoever gave you a piece of media content, you can gain exclusive control over it... but if everyone decides to be cooperative, then everyone has shared access to it. This would provide a strong incentive for people to limit the sharing of their purchased content to people they trust, which would prevent unlimited sharing.

    Very clever.

    However, it ultimately suffers from the same fundamental problem as any other DRM scheme: Bits are too easy to replicate. While the idea specifically allows for unlimited replication of the content, it still requires strong DRMish control over the "playkey". Effectively, it just replaces the problem of controlling access/ownership of a large pile of very-copyable bits (the content) with the problem of controlling access/ownership of a small pile of very-copyable bits (the playkey).

    While reducing the scale of a problem does sometimes make it more tractable, I don't think it really helps in this case. You still end up with some bits that must somehow be moved and shared, but without the possibility that they may be copied. How do you do that? No one knows. You can try to lock it up in secure hardware (effectively a dongle), but even if you succeed, you've just created a major hassle for end-users -- which is exactly what this scheme is supposed to fix. And, of course, really securing that key is very hard, and doing it cost-effectively darned near impossible.

    And I don't see any possible way this could work without some sort of on-line interaction. When I "take ownership" of a playkey that I've been given access to, how is it that everyone else loses the ability to use that key? Obviously there must be some sort of central system involved, if not for each usage of the key, at least periodically, to check in to see if the possessor should still have access to it.

    Perhaps there's another even more brilliant technical idea underlying the rather clever social hack, but I doubt it.

  • It's that ability to lose control over property that is central to the DPP system. DPP files are encrypted. They can be freely copied and distributed to anyone, but here's the trick: anyone who can view your content can also "steal" it irrevocably. The simple addition of a way to lose content instantly leads consumers to set up a "circle of trust" that can be as wide as they like but will not extend to total strangers on the Internet.

    You mean they not only copied my files, they deleted my copy as well?

    So this is for nude pictures? Now what excuse will young stars have when they leak such pictures for publicity.

  • Any, repeat any DRM will inconvenience legitimate users far more than copyright violators.

  • Here's the thing... DRM, DPP, whatever, are attempts to technically impose the physical world onto the digital world. The physical world naturally has the notions of exclusivity of ownership and scarcity, whereas the digital world doesn't. Trying to graft a simulation of the physical world onto the digital is cute, but won't be successful. Because of the nature of the media, it will be bypassed by those who wish to do so. The morality and desire to apply the economics of scarcity to digital media simply d
  • They propose solving the "problem" of files being copyable by encrypting them, and making a key that somehow can be moved but never copied.

    How do they plan to do this key? Any time you decrypt the file to use it, you must have the key to it, and at that time you can make a copy of it. What ensures it'll be irrevocably lost when transmitting it to somebody else?

  • by Tom (822)

    So, the answer is to make things worse? Yeah, I'm sure that's gonna fly.

  • by Ronald Dumsfeld (723277) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:14PM (#29353457)
    Digital Personal Property? Why the fuck is anyone trying to apply real-world realities to something that is fundamentally different? What would be productive, and for the long-term benefit of society, would be to educate people about the differences, the reality of digital information, and the inescapable reality that duplication costs are zero.

    Copyright is a social contract which has time, and time, and time again been abused and violated by large corporations and their lobbying groups. This DPP nonsense is a sop to their war on the public domain and the rights we are used to enjoying.

    This proposal? Well, let's smoke some MPAA/RIAA crack and spend a fortune making computers work in a way that suits their old business models.
  • by MBoffin (259181) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:14PM (#29353469) Homepage

    When you boil the matter down to its essence, digital content is simply a bunch of very long numbers. You can't treat numbers like property. Imagine trying to treat the number 17 as property. It doesn't work.

    • Exactly. I keep trying to persuade those that supposedly are in charge of these things that you cannot patent numbers. (i.e. you can't patent the algorythim for .mp3 or for .jpg or .doc or whatever) because they already exist. You can copyright them, but then that is a different set of laws.
  • I know! Let's come up with a way to break digital content, simply because it's digital! Not because it's a technical flaw!

    Why? For social reasons!

    HEADDESK

    HEADDESK

    HEADDESK

  • I think the main issue here is copying. Copying does not equal stealing. In the example, I can lend someone my car and they will eventually (hopefully) return it. However, if I supposedly lend them my copy of Led Zeppelin IV in .ogg or .flac format, they can "steal" it by making a copy. Well, if they take my car - i.e. they steal it - I don't have it back. If they "steal" my copy of music/software/games then I still have it. There's no difference to me, as I still possess what I purchased/obtained. I t
  • by swordgeek (112599) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:30PM (#29353713) Journal

    ...why?

    "Digital personal property (DPP) is an attempt to make consumers treat digital media like physical objects."

    When we see things like this, we need to sit down and have a hard look at the intent here. The fundamental nature of digital media is that copying is essentially a zero-cost event. The entire point of "DPP" is to break the nature of digital media.

    Why? Why are we breaking the natural advantage of this new format? This isn't much different than pouring ink all over the pages of a book, so that they can't be read. Ultimately, we have to realise that we're doing it to make digital media fit the mold of traditional media.

    Yes, I know you're thinking "but that's exactly what it SAYS! Make consumers treat digital media like physical objects." No revelation here--just repeating the blindingly obvious.

    My point, though, is that the digital media breaks the economic model. We need to fix the model, not break the media. DRM is backwards. DPP is backwards. They're making the media fit the model (by kneecapping it), not making the model fit the media.

    Reality is that digital media are here. A model that doesn't change to adapt to reality is one that HAS to die eventually.

  • Seriously, hear me out. I've been wondering for years when an implementation like this would finally come along. I think it's a really good compromise between the big corporations and the free peoples, and here's why.

    1. Legitimate use is easy and non-annoying. In other words, if you purchase the product on iTunes or Steam or any service implementing this protocol, you can use the product where ever and whenever you want, on whatever devices. There's no "Kindle 1984" scenario looming and no need to buy

  • I have a friend who shared his Steam account like this, I think two accounts filled with games were stolen by "friends of friends".
  • by vivaoporto (1064484) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:33PM (#29353795)
    Although it says "IEEE" in the summary, TFA name names:

    That's the dream of Paul Sweazey, who's heading up a new study group on "digital personal property" at the IEEE.

    A quick Google search brings his Linkedin profile [linkedin.com], along with his current job position:

    President
    TeleBind, Inc.

    (Online Media industry)

    February 2009 -- Present (8 months)

    That leads us to his company homepage, Telebind Inc. [telebind.com] Not surprisingly, their sole product is "technology and tools to create ownable Digital Property".

    This is nothing but a pitiful attempt to pass astroturfing as a peer (or standardization group) reviewed article. And it is more probable that not even he believe on his product, but want to suck a few into his scam, just like the ones who sold the rootkit to Sony.

  • Current Windows DRM scheme: You have an encrypted music file, and you have a key file. The software sends the key file to a server, which checks the key file, and if it is valid, it returns a key that can be used to play the music or video. The problem is that the DRM has to prevent you from copying the key file, and that is difficult.

    With this scheme: You still have an encrypted music file, and a key file. The software still sends the key file to a server, which checks it and returns the key. Two differ
  • But you are unlikely to leave the car out front of your house with the keys in it and a sign on it saying, "Take me!" If you did, you might never see the vehicle again.

    I might if I knew that after someone took it, a magical copy remained in its place. And I definitely would if everyone did this, so that cars were essentially shared, I definitely would.
    It would be pretty cool...relatively few original cars would multiply many times until everyone had a car. Then, undoubtedly, some would tinker with cars t

  • DPP Feature (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @01:53PM (#29354987)

    Sounds like something Douglas Adams would dream up.

    Of course, the writers on Star Trek have been envisioning this feature for years - what other explanation do you have for all the episodes when software or other data is sent from one place to another and mysteriously lost at it's source.

    The most scenarios involve the Voyager EMH.. he seems to be forever in peril disproportionate to his status as a piece of software.

    • Transmitted to the Alpha quadrant - why the hell can't he continue working in sickbay as well? Why does he worry about packet loss on the way?
    • Stolen by a visitor to the ship and a facsimile is left in his place - why not just LEAVE THE ORIGINAL DATA, they'd never have known.

    It sounds like LCARS has been designed with a particularly viscous strain of DRM. Whether this has been designed into the system by Starfleet engineers or 21st century intellectual property lawyers is unknown.

The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow

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