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The Real Purpose of DRM 213

Posted by Soulskill
from the annoying-as-many-people-as-possible dept.
Jeremy Allison - Sam writes "Ian Hickson, author and maintainer of the HTML5 specification, comments about the real reasons for DRM. They're not what you might think. Ian nails it in my opinion. He wrote, 'The purpose of DRM is not to prevent copyright violations. The purpose of DRM is to give content providers leverage against creators of playback devices. Content providers have leverage against content distributors, because distributors can't legally distribute copyrighted content without the permission of the content's creators. But if that was the only leverage content producers had, what would happen is that users would obtain their content from those content distributors, and then use third-party content playback systems to read it, letting them do so in whatever manner they wanted. ... Arguing that DRM doesn't work is, it turns out, missing the point. DRM is working really well in the video and book space. Sure, the DRM systems have all been broken, but that doesn't matter to the DRM proponents. Licensed DVD players still enforce the restrictions. Mass market providers can't create unlicensed DVD players, so they remain a black or gray market curiosity."
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The Real Purpose of DRM

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  • Re:Short version (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:03PM (#43219223)

    The most evil drm I always thought was region coding.
    I can think of many purposes, but none of them really stand up if you study them, like the "official" reason to allow continent proce discrimination. It implies that the block of countries has something in common that will always make them separate from other blocks somehow and that each block has some kind of ruler that controls those countries and only those.
    If the distributors has their way, I'm sure they would have made the region coding specific to every DVD-player (like player keys like bluray, but worse)

  • by spire3661 (1038968) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:11PM (#43219293) Journal
    I have media players from China that will play most popular video formats and completely ignores any DRM scheme including Cinavia. I paid $40 for it w/ free shipping and no tax. It has no network port, doesnt rely on servies or logins or fees. You put movie files in, movies play out. Copyright as it stands now will not be able to weather ubiquitous computing.
  • Region codes (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PPH (736903) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:20PM (#43219361)

    Not something we here in the USA give much thought to. But in the rest of the world, region-free DVD players are more than a curiosity.

  • by Technician (215283) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:21PM (#43219367)

    DRM prevents first purchase. My MP3 players (all under $20 US) do not support DRM. I use them for Libravox audio books. I am catching up on the classics for free. http://librivox.org/ [librivox.org]

    Recent titles include;
    The invisable man
    The little princess
    Moby Dick
    Tom Sawyer
    Journet to the center of the earth

    I listen to old radio shows too.

  • No... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:54PM (#43219593)
    No, DRM hasn't "worked" for video and books. Its been made less annoying, but it still hasn't "worked" and it won't "work" in the future. Two reasons why this has happened:

    1) eBooks have apps for just about anything. You can read your Kindle on your Kindle, on your iPhone, on your Android, on your PC, on your Mac, etc. And there is a bonus to using these services because theoretically it should keep track of where you are in your book. But when Amazon eventually stops supporting X, customers are screwed.

    2) Video is limited by sheer size, downloading a library of 100 songs takes up, what, less than half a gigabyte? Downloading a library of 100 movies in full HD can easily take up several hundred gigabytes. Video is also limited by what devices really "work" for it, you're unlikely to want to watch Netflix on your new iWatch on its 3 inch display. They've also done streaming which makes the DRM more bearable.

    But the problems that are inherent in DRM is that it punishes people who want to buy things legitimately, but can't. Just look at region-locking which is often paired with DRM, you're essentially telling someone that if you want what we're selling, you need to acquire it through illegitimate means. I'm sure there's lots of non-Americans who'd pay for Hulu, I'd easily pay the BBC to have access to iPlayer, but instead I pay for VPN/Proxy to access it illegitimately.
  • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @09:37PM (#43219877)

    That's because the Australian regulations add to the development costs of games.

    To legally sell in Australia they have to go trough a ton of legal bullshit your elected officials inflict in the name of 'The Children'.

    Really? So how about all the non-game software, how about Adobe, Microsoft [afr.com] and many others?
    From the article:

    “If you go to Apple’s iTunes and buy Macklemore’s song Same Love, which is number two in the Australian charts, it’s 69 cents in the US and over $2 in Australia,” he said.

    “[And] we found it cost $5795 more to buy Microsoft’s Visual Studio software in Australia compared with the US. These are downloaded products with no Australian labour involved and no local distribution costs – it’s simply a matter of where the computer server thinks you’re coming from.”

  • by shentino (1139071) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @10:35PM (#43220209)

    It's not even that.

    DRM allows content providers to enforce restrictions that go above and beyond vanilla copyright law.

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