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DRM: How To Boil A Frog 484

symbolic writes "This article on the Register explains their experience with Creative's first attempt at supporting DRM, and also reviews a sneaky little technique for 'easing' DRM into peoples' lives via a free Costello preview CD. Two of the tracks are free from any DRM, but for the two that are DRM-enabled, you have to activate the right to listen to them (up to four times), by accessing a central server via the net. For those in the know, the doublespeak used to inform users of any actions they need to take to enable their DRM rights might be quite amusing. To wit: 'The content you are accessing requires an additional level of security. In order to play it, you will need to update your Digital Rights Management Installation.' Others, however, will think they're getting something, when they're actually having something taken away from them. It's a matter of time to see if consumers will flat-out reject this new 'enabling' technology, or let it seep into and infect their lives like the disease that it is."
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DRM: How To Boil A Frog

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  • 3. PROFIT! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Breakerofthings ( 321914 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @08:16PM (#4316006)
    SouthPark, as far as I know ... remember the underwear-stealing gnomes?
  • by steveha ( 103154 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @08:19PM (#4316034) Homepage
    MS was pushing this. Creative supports the "secure audio path" stuff, but they didn't invent it. If you don't accept the secure audio path files from Microsoft, then your SBLive will continue to work. When playing non-DRM files (such as MP3 files you encoded yourself) your SBLive will continue to work. Under Linux, your SBLive will continue to work.

    I am not annoyed enough with Creative to get rid of my SBLives, and I'm surprised you are. I guess each of us has to decide where to draw the line.

  • by discogravy ( 455376 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @08:56PM (#4316237) Homepage
    I think you want something like [] -- it's not specifically about this, but there is a bit of "take-back-the-media" activism on there. Check 'em out.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 23, 2002 @08:57PM (#4316243)
    FYI: WHQL certification for WinXP audio drivers *requires* that DRM be supported by that audio driver. Also, all drivers downloaded from Windows Update are WHQL certified. Windows update is something that the public is used to. DRM support in kernel mode audio drivers is spreading as we speak. Windows update is seeing to that.

    So not only Creative is involved here. They are merely herded along this path by MS via the leash of WHQL. Don't have DRM kernel mode components on your system? You sure about that? Do you have WHQL (signed) audio drivers for WinXP? Yes? Then DRM has infected your system. :-(

    Just thought you might be interested.
  • by BSDevil ( 301159 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @09:05PM (#4316291) Journal
    I'm the proud used of an SB Audigy Platinum, and was curious to test out what Creative says. Now granted, I don't have the Costello CD (I'm not a fan), but I had no problems - I got a nice digital stream from the TOSLINK out - playing both an MP3 and a CD via WinAmp, Media Player 6, and Creative PlayCentre.

    Funnily enough, PlayCenter, a Microsoft DRM supported audio player has a large button that says "Rip This CD" and allows you to rip directly to MP3 (up to 320kbps). Your other choice for format is (surprise, surprise) WMA, but there's a checkbox that just says "DRM" next to to. According to the help file "Click the DRM option if you wish to restrict the transfer of the audio file. Protected WMA files cannot be transferred to other systems." I'm not sure how/if this works as I don't use WMA (or PlayCenter, for that matter) but it seems odd the for such a pro-DRM player you have the choice not to enable it in their integrated ripping program.

    Also, how do we reckon this would affect motherboard-integrated soundcards. Can MediaPlayer disable the SPDIF coming from ANY motherboard sound solutions support this now?

  • Donate to the EFF. Enough said.
  • by twitter ( 104583 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:48PM (#4316861) Homepage Journal
    ...its pretty apparent that DRM and Palladium are coming to a computer near you.

    No, it is not.

    If Slashdot is going to be posting Y.A.S.O.D.R.M.(yet another story on drm). Maybe they could actually do something positive and once a week post about the ongoing efforts to combat it. You know like "this week X happened", and have it be a ongoing thing.

    The fight begins with information. Slashdot has been great at documenting abuse and potential abuse. They have also been good enough to report news of those who are doing something besides reporting, and they make it all available at zero cost. What larger impact can anyone have besides telling everyone?

    Now I know some of you are saying Slashdot is a "news service" and shouldn't get involved. But gimma a break Slashdot is hardly unbiased and there is obviously no "journalism code" being followed. Amost every submission is heavily biased.

    Huh? what do you want to do besides complain about Slashdot? Why don't YOU start a group and then submit a story about it? Then you might end up with that site or even do some good.

    ...things like DRM and Palladium need to be stopped now.

    That's true, thanks for caring, don't buy that shit.

  • Ask Elvis (Score:2, Informative)

    by Geburah ( 610977 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:51PM (#4316881)
    How bout we turn up the heat and ask the man himself? has a special section titled "Ask Elvis" where he responds to your questions. Have fun. :)
  • Signed drivers only (Score:2, Informative)

    by yerricde ( 125198 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @11:28PM (#4317017) Homepage Journal

    Unless they force everyone to upgrade to a certified sound card

    Or at least a signed driver. The Secure Audio Path won't play sound on a driver that Microsoft hasn't signed with Secure Audio Path permissions. I've written about this before [].

  • by sleeplesseye ( 113792 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @08:42AM (#4318328) Homepage Journal
    I went to this webpage [] and submitted a letter to Elvis Costello, indicating my strong disapproval of him allowing his music to be used as a wedge to take away people's control over their computers; I will not buy any more of his albums until his position changes on this issue.

    You might want to do the same...
  • by shift99 ( 66981 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @11:48AM (#4319636)

    The Public Relations link seems to be the only one that lists actual named people (w/email addresses)

    They're also pushing thier audigy 2 sound card (which I assume is thier big holiday shopping season product), so I specifically included that in my email to them, FWIW.

"You must have an IQ of at least half a million." -- Popeye