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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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  • Rights? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by littlerubberfeet ( 453565 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @08:03PM (#4315927)
    Now, if I remember correctly, we have the right to make backup copies of media, right?

    Has this simple little fact gotten lost among all the complexities of the DRM stuff? So, tell me, where is the class-action lawsuit for consumers?
    Damn, now I sound like a troll, oh well
  • Or, in this case (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sulli ( 195030 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @08:04PM (#4315935) Journal
    the person whose CD didn't play at all, because everyone threw it out rather than go through all the hassle of playing the WMA files.
  • Copy protecting ok (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 23, 2002 @08:09PM (#4315959)
    IMO it's perfectly all right to ship your product copy protected, encrypted, watermarked, scrambled, digested etc etc. But it should be equally legal to try and break said scheme.
  • by rworne ( 538610 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @08:09PM (#4315961) Homepage
    Sneaking software onto unsuspecting users' PC's. Adding or removing functions. It seems that the DRM crowd has taken a page off of the crapware/spyware vendors and are encouraging people to install this stuff on their computers.

    I guess it won't be too long before that mega-hit CD has a data track with an unreleased track that requires DRM in order to be played, enabling both the RIAA to get their control over hardware/software and MS to get Windows Media Player more entrenched.

    I'd say who the losers are in this case, but we already know that by now.

  • by I_am_Rambi ( 536614 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @08:11PM (#4315971) Homepage
    If you do, then you'll (most likely) end up with the beta of Microsoft's latest DRM player (which youn can't easily get off XP), and you'll also have your settings changed so that your installation facilitates DRM, WMA format and pay per play. But don't worry, it didn't cost you anything.*

    Doesn't this violate the Microsoft agreement? There has to be a way to take Windows Media Player off your computer. If I am correct, there should be a program to illimate the presence of Microsoft products (IE, and that sorts) from desktop/startup menu. The program should also illimate WMP from these areas as well. Does anyone know for sure if this breaks the Microsoft agreement?

    UK Sunday Times newspaper unleashed a neat little trojan that'll upgrade you to Windows Media Player 9

    I always thought trojans are bad. This is no exception. I wonder how long it will take McAfee and Norton to come out with a fix for this.
  • cd? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dizco ( 20340 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @08:15PM (#4315999)
    So, i have to boot up a windows box and connect to the net to play this cd through my 20 dollar speakers and my 10 dollar sound card?

    I can't put it in my cd player and listen to it through real speakers? I can't listen to it in my car?

    Ok, well. I dunno what that is, but its not an audio cd, and I don't know how much it costs, but even if its free, its useless to me. Thanks, but no thanks.

  • Don't Do Anything (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PaulQuinn ( 171592 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @08:17PM (#4316016)
    Don't use DRM files
    Don't hack DRM files
    Don't pay for DRM files
    Don't do anything with DRM files

    As soon as it's known that DRM content doesn't make money it will tank faster than advertising CPMs.
  • by wirelessbuzzers ( 552513 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @08:20PM (#4316037)
    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.

    OK, I am against DRM too, and will never buy a system with Palladium in it or any DRM-{en|dis}abled media player, but this is ridiculous. If you're going to call it news, please report with some degree of objectivity. The "from the...dept" line is the place for editorial comments. In this case, not only is the title rather suggestive (appropriate, too, but not impartial), but the author goes out and says DRM IS A DISEASE. While I agree, not everyone does, and you will find that your journalism becomes stronger and less controversial/offensive if you smash something subtly (or not at all) instead of openly, especially when the facts speak for themselves.
  • Well.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mathonwy ( 160184 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @08:23PM (#4316049)
    It WAS.... before a neat little piece of legislation passed a few years back, called the "Digital Millenium Copyright Act"...

    Now not only is it illegal to try to find ways around it, (or "circumvent access control measures") but it's even illegal to TALK about a way to get around it that someone ELSE found. And heaven forbid you post a web link to their work....
  • by Headrick ( 25371 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @08:38PM (#4316149)
    Many pieces of software are already protected using a license manager or whatnot. Music, like software, is a mathematical piece of art. Like software, it should not be free. If all software was free, I would not be able to pursure my passion as a software developer and still support myself. The analogy is directly applicable to music (I am also an amateur musician). The point is that the DRM must not impede the user's experience. As long as they have the freedom they need to enjoy what they own, I'm all for it. It puzzles me when so many Linux zealots fight so hard for music to be free yet support things like the GPL that they probably don't understand the full ramifications of. Every wonder why BSD is more stable? When I write a song, I want to protect it and protect my rights to it. Why is the medium (audio) being treated with such disdaim when the artist trys to protect themselves. Eventually this will help indy artists as well. Please examine your viewpoint and make sure you're not being a hippocrite. If it takes me 40 hours to develop a piece of software, I expect to get paid. If it takes me 40 hours (probably more) to produce a single I expect to get paid. It is my artwork. Maybe creative doesn't have the right approach but don't discount the notion entirely.
  • Divx A few more words... You can read a book written hundreds of years ago, and listen to a record pressed decades ago, because they used simple, open technologies. My single biggest grip about any sort of protection mechanism (aside from inconvenience to me) is that the technologies are so short-lived. If DRM does catch on, how long do you think companies are going to keep the activation mechanisms around? If they want to protect their investment by building mechanisms to prevent illegal copying, they better hang onto them to protect *my* investment so I can listen to my DRM-protected music 40 years from now.
  • Re:Why Elvis? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 23, 2002 @08:54PM (#4316226)
    This is what really is funny about this whole nonsense. And what I think dooms any of these strategies to failure.

    For two generations at least the music industry has been selling rebellion. Throw off any restraint with regard to authority, parents, morality. They have been in a small way part of what has made North american society what it is.Rebellious, indifferent -- hostile towards authority.

    Now they have to somehow try to live within the society they have created.

    Very very funny.

  • by Zakabog ( 603757 ) <> on Monday September 23, 2002 @08:56PM (#4316240)
    The title of this story actually makes sense. To boil a frog you can't just throw a live frog into a hot pot of water (it'll jump out). What you do is put a frog in a cold pot of water and slowly turn up the heat, the frog never leaps out because the change is too slowly, then when the water's too hot the frog can't jump out because it's dead (PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME, I HAVE NEVER DONE THIS BUT I READ ABOUT IT!)

    Anyway what the story title is suggesting is that we're like the frogs, DRM is like hot water. To get us used to DRM (and eventually "killed" by it) they (yeah it's always them) have to introduce DRM slowly so you get used to it, then they add more DRM, then you get used to that, it's a cycle that ends only after it's too late and DRM is everywhere.

    By the way, check google for "How to boil a frog" and you'll find where I got my information from (should be the first result.)
  • by toupsie ( 88295 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @09:04PM (#4316288) Homepage
    As long as consumers spend their money on "DRM enhanced" products, they will be viable in the marketplace. So far, that has not happened...yet! The example of the DiVX(?) format was telling. The DVD won out because average consumer was thinking, "Dang it, I bought it, I want to watch the movie as many times as I want, and if my buddy has a movie I want to watch and I got one they want to watch, we trade." With DiVX, they couldn't do it and cost nearly the same as a DVD. Right now, the consumer feels if they are going to the trouble of buying a movie in a tangible medium, it should be able to play anytime and anywhere they want. Once the consumer loses that desire, DRM is in.

    The law is slow, deliberate and generally fails the consumer. However, with the marketplace, consumer demand could easily spell the demise of DRM without having to grease one legislator's palms. Fast. Look at DiVX. If no one buys it, no one will want to make it.

    Maybe I am hopeful, but I don't think the generic consumer is going to think, "Hey! Great! The DVDs and CDs I am buying are protected by DRM. They only work at my house so my pesky friends can't steal them!". Nothing that DRM does benefits the consumer except for the pesky friend problem. Consumers want better, bigger, faster. Not complicated, rigid and limited.

  • by GigsVT ( 208848 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @09:08PM (#4316314) Journal
    at), I had to go online and pick up a license file for each track (and fill in a form on a pop-up window for the first one, giving them a BS name and address).

    I think you are missing the point of the article, as the Slashdot title implies...

    "How to boil a frog"...

    You turn up the heat slowly.... of course. This time you had to do some annoying stuff, and fill in some bogus info on some forms. It's the "next time" we are worried about.
  • sorry creative... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @09:09PM (#4316316) Homepage
    Their products have been going downhill for years now... the Live should have been the pinnacle yet was worse sound quality and overall quality than their AWE64 Gold. :-( why?? the Audigy is only a rebranded live with added firewire.

    Now they have DRM devices... Will all of them follow suit? Turtle beach? will they fold? how about the 90,000,000,000,000,000 Korean and chineese and other eastern country manufacturers making the knockoffs? will they all comply? I highly doubt it.

    So the only way to make this DRM stuff work is to either force all manufacturers to comply and design it in, or to make the non compliant cards illegal.. which will increase the sales of them 10 fold, encourage the kiddies out there that can easily outwit college graduates with masters and doctorates and either design a hardware hack or a software crack, or some simply elegant workaround that will put the genius designers to shame (sharpie marker anyone?)

    I am both entertained and appaled at the new era we are beginning... entertained that it is finally proven that the brightest and best people by definition of the large piles of money you have are easily defeated and smacked squarely in the face by children and yound adults. BrRAVO! As I am appaled at the unadultered Greed driving every aspect of industry...

    Intellectual property, anyone who is for it is a greedy self serving bastard that more than likely really isnt creative in the first place. 95% of everything you have and use is based on someone elses IDEA! just because you though up something does not make it your property... where would we be if the current levels of stupidity were running rampant 100 years ago? we would all be driving only FORD cars and trucks, buying anything from outside the USA would be illegal and you would have to watch only one TV channel, one radio station, you would only be able to buy an IBM pc, and own a Zenith Television while listening to your RCA records.. Phillips CD's? Banned as they infringe on RCA's INtellectual property of recording audio on disc shaped objects.

    programmers, your software is not innovative nor special in any way... 90 people did it before you and 90 more will do it after you. Musicians... let's see something origional.... I dare you... and Movies or photography? Oh come on nothing has been origional for 100 years.

    and now we are going to be thrust into the largest black period of creativity all because of some narrow minded dimwits should have been beaten more as children because they cant grasp the idea of sharing....

    I am tired of hearing the 3 year olds screaming "GIMMIE! MINE! MINE! MINE!"

  • by Karl Cocknozzle ( 514413 ) <> on Monday September 23, 2002 @09:24PM (#4316396) Homepage
    Two points:
    "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.

    "When you click OK, Windows Media Player sends a unique identifier for your computer to a Microsoft service on the Internet. Click learn more to find out how the Microsoft service protects your licenses, files, and your privacy."

    I think this language is very deceptive. By claiming to "protect you" and by claiming they are enabling "additional security", they're implying that you will receive some sort of benefit. What benefit is that, exactly?
    Say you've recorded bought CDs using WMP, and you decide before upgrading to XP you'll do a clean install, so you back up your music files, vape the disk and then do the install. You did back up your licences as well, didn't you? Oh dear...

    This giant PITA scenario illustrates why DRM without force of law is destined to fail: Any solution that requires an end user to think along the lines of an IT department in order to work will not be acecpted by Joe Blow or his family.

    Joe isn't going to get the concept of "digital certificates" that allow him to play his media files, and won't remember to backup his licenses.

    Instead of starting over, re-ripping everything again (hopefully not in WMA) they're going to look for a way around it, and his 10 year old will know where to download the player software that breaks it, and the port to block to keep it from tattling to Microsoft.

    So, I guess what I'm saying is that this does suck but it isn't the end of the world. What we need to concentrate on is defeating the laws that will ban non DRM media players.

    As long as we can access non-DRM media players, we are still free. I for one think we should continue to fight like hell to stay that way.
  • Re:DivX? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dacarr ( 562277 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @09:40PM (#4316477) Homepage Journal
    Didn't the original DivX players have a similar system? Buy a disc for a few $, and only be able to watch it so many times?

    What happened to those players?

    DIVX(TM) (please note the capitalization) was pulled in summer of 1999 by Circuit City after it was deemed to be an utter failure, having lost millions of dollars during its two-year life.

    A search on Google [] will bring up a myriad of useful links. It was sort of a nebulous form of DRM, but it went nowhere - why the hell would people want to pay for something again after they own it?

    Frankly, I see the DRM enhancements coming about failing miserably for the simple reason it's being developed for and by...well, management - they have such high hopes that their product will be given to people who will respect it, and forget history. Copy Protection to this day doesn't work, why should DRM?

  • by Soko ( 17987 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @09:41PM (#4316482) Homepage
    Actually, your father and colleagues were correct - Palladium would enable such a thing as stopping people from forwarding and copying e-mail. Possibly good - possibly.

    You really should remind these people that there is no free lunch - they will get, they'll also give. Palladium all on it's own will not discriminate who can use the technology to protect whatever digital things they want. Criminals would have thier e-mails protected just like any upstanding citizen, (Hope Dad's not a Soprano type ;-]) as would other un-savoury factions of society. It would make it harder to obtain and gather evidence against purveyours of child-porn, for instance, since they could protect thier communications as well as thier illicit files. Want to forward the hate-mail you got from the KKK member in the office to your boss or the cops? Nope, sorry, too bad, it's Pd protected. Nope, can't print it either! Now what?

    If they then counter "Well the government/FBI/SomeAuthority will have the keys...", you can explain that Pd isn't much good to begin with then. This isn't FUD, it's truth. It's also a way to show that Pd isn't "good", it's just technology which can only be alligned to the purpose of it's user - which is where the good or evil truly lies.

    Sometimes file copying is good. Where and when this is true takes good, running wetware to figure out properly.

  • by Steve Franklin ( 142698 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @09:45PM (#4316505) Homepage Journal
    I was thinking more of the first real CDs to use this format. You don't think this is just a foot in the door? Personally, if I want music I buy it. And it had damned well better play or the Federal Trade Commission is going to hear about it.
  • by octalgirl ( 580949 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:03PM (#4316625) Journal
    "As long as consumers spend their money on "DRM enhanced" products, they will be viable in the marketplace."

    The problem is that there are many customers out there who may be purchasing their very first CD. They could be teenagers, or maybe not. But as new customers they will simply accept this as the-way-things-are, because they will never anything different. I don't know statistics here, but I'm guessing there are probably less than 20% of music/tech types who even follow this stuff. I've asked dozens of people about DRM and the DMCA, and have even managed to get a few to understand, but basically most folks don't realize this is happening and don't know what it is. Microsoft and the other DRM camps are counting on this customer ignorance to push this through quickly before the rest of the world figures how badly they are getting screwed. People that are new to the market will never know of a free net, of a time when you purchased it and it was yours to keep, and they may never find out there was a time when it was different.
  • by kryptobiotic ( 451986 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:24PM (#4316750)
    "DRM only works when it's illegal to circumvent it."

    Isn't that like saying encryption only works when it's illegal to circumvent it. Encryption doesn't work because cracking it is illegal. It works because it is impractical to crack.

    If they would just have improved the strength of their copy protection, they wouldn't have had to buy the DMCA. An additional benefit would have been that the hackers, who should be trying to convince their friends and family to not support the RIAA, would be kept busy trying to break the latest scheme.
  • by blank_coil ( 543644 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:35PM (#4316808)

    It is my artwork.

    No, it's not. Many people had a hand in getting you where you are today. You would know nothing of music if it weren't for people who came before and paved the path. You'd know nothing of musical theory or composition if it weren't for you instructors, who got their knowledge from someone else. The sheet music you study, the instrument you play, and the songs you cover when you're learning, were all made by someone else. If it were illegal to cover a song without written permission, if it were illegal to "reverse engineer" a song, and play the melody on your guitar just by listening to it, just how far do you think you would have made it composing that 40 hour song? What you did was pull together all the knowledge you've gained from others' work, and with that knowledge, you were able to craft something of your own style. The song you made is not your creation, but rather the culmination of knowledge that came before you, guided by your hand. You don't live in vacuum. Physical property belongs to you, but ideas do not.

  • Re:Prices (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kcelery ( 410487 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:38PM (#4316821)
    An interesting side of this DRM technology is, the Artists could now sell their records in DRM format from their own servers. That means record companies may now retire. The end-user may now pay through credit-card / paypal, download the song and press the play button. No CDs to press, no record company is needed.
  • It's easy to do (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:50PM (#4316876)
    Just look for the "Compact Disk Digital Audio" logo. That logo is a trademark for Phillips, and they don't allow disks that don't conform to the Red Book standard to have the logo.

    In short, if that logo isn't there. don't buy the disk. It has DRM.
  • Stealing History (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bxbaser ( 252102 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @12:32AM (#4317235)
    When copying is outlawed only outlaws will make copies.
    When the goverment takes away the means and ability to make copies, they control the past.
    How can future generations read about the rise and fall of our culture if the information is controlled ?
    Maybe 10 years from now it will be against the law to produce mp3 playing hardware or software ?

    DRM,Palladium these are the cancer's that infect our society!
  • by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @12:37AM (#4317258) Homepage
    Doesn't this violate the Microsoft agreement? There has to be a way to take Windows Media Player off your computer.

    Nope. The Microsoft/DOJ agreement is worthless. Microsoft agreed to give you a way to "hide" things like the Media Player. The exemptions relating to security and DRM leave holes big enough to drive Bill Gates' bank account through.

    Even when something is "hidden" Microsoft can pretty much activate it at will. Click on a DRM file and Media Player jumps right out of hiding. View a .CHM help file or try to patch the latest Windows security hole and up pops Internet Explorer you can get the patch "securely, for your own protection".

    Lets have three cheers for the DOJ. Hip-hip horay! Hip-hip horay! Hip-hip horay! PTHBBBBBT!

  • To operating systems that don't support this kind of bullshit.

    I've been using DOS/Windows ever since 1992 or so when I was 12. Before that I used Apple II's. Right now I'm using Win2K because like a lot of people I've just sort of followed the Microsoft upgrade path since then. Windows has done what I've needed it to do, I feel comfortable with it, and I've never had to pay for it, so I've never been forced out of my comfort zone with it.

    I've just never seen a big enough payoff to switch to another operating system. I'm a professional computer programmer, I build my own boxes, and I've even installed Linux on a couple of them, so it's not like there's technical hurdles to running another OS.

    The point is that Windows has been Good Enough (tm) for me, and that there are literally millions and millions of people who continue to use Windows for just the reasons I outlined.

    But now, as Windows gets more and more shitty baggage like this, it stops being good enough. It's actively becoming an obstacle to the things I want to do. I've already given up on PC gaming, because the technical troubles are such bullshit that I'd rather play on a console. The last two games I bought recommended that I "buy a new CDROM drive" as a solution to my problems running the game due to their copy-protection schemes. And this is on top of the typical driver-related and other compatibility issues that have plagued PC gaming since Day One.

    Now, Microsoft is trying to pollute the user experience even further with this DRM stuff. It turns me off even more. I think Win2K is the last version of Windows I'll be using. Linux and/or OSX is next for me. It's funny, proponents and developers of non-Windows OS's have been frantically trying to promote and improve their products in order to get users to switch... but the real key for a lot of people might be once Microsoft actively starts taking *away* things that users take for granted.
  • DRM like DIVX (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rice_burners_suck ( 243660 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @12:58AM (#4317346)
    Listen, folks. The individual is intelligent. People in large numbers are STUPID. But, look at it this way: DIVX. I'm not talking about that new system for video that everyone seems to like. I'm talking about the efforts two or three years ago by a company of lawyers to hijack the growing market for DVD by selling a pay-per-view video disc that you could have on your shelf, but you'd have to pay to watch. Did it take off? Nope. In fact, it was quite a flop, and rightly so. Nobody wants to clutter up their home with discs that they own which contain content they must rent. That's stupid. Just go to the neighborhood video rental joint and pick up whatever movie you want!

    DRM is sort of like that. People are gonna get mad... "Why can't I open this stupid file?" Et cetera. And guess what? 99% of the pirates out there are tech-savvy users who know that there are other choices around, like that thing called Linux, and they'll switch from Windows to Linux in a second if it means they can watch the pirated version of whatever for free. And you know what? There won't be any difficulty in obtaining audio, video, pictures or whatever you want. If you can display it on a screen, or play it through speakers, you can record it in whatever format you want. All it takes is for one person in the entire world to do this for a song or movie or whatever and it's out there. DRM is not going to work because it's just plain stupid. We still need to fight, but not against Microsoft. They'll realize the errors of their ways when they're cashing their welfare checks a few years from now. We need to fight against the laws that have already been passed, and those that will be passed, that make copyright, patents and trademark last virtually forever. The limits should be returned to their original values, so that a reasonable number of years after something is published, it becomes public domain so that knowledge and ideas and whatnot in this country can flourish. Not the crap that's going on right now, where the huge crush everybody else, and therefore, widely-used software sucks, because it doesn't have to work properly, and movies suck, because nobody needs to make them intellectually stimulating, etc.

  • by psamuels ( 64397 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @01:41AM (#4317491) Homepage
    Many pieces of software are already protected using a license manager or whatnot.

    And a major headache this is, too, for me anyway. But I digress.

    If all software was free, I would not be able to pursure my passion as a software developer and still support myself.

    I do. I wish I had more time to develop software, but I do manage to write a bit while supporting myself doing something else. (Perhaps if all the software my company bought were free, they could afford to pay me a little more and I could afford to spend a little more time on my software hobby.) But the main reason this argument doesn't fly is that most software development is actually not for the shrinkwrap market - it is writing custom software for individual customers. If all software were free, said customers would still be willing to pay for such work.

    yet support things like the GPL that they probably don't understand the full ramifications of. Every wonder why BSD is more stable?

    Uh, I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but by uttering a complete non-sequitur I think you just shot whatever credibility you might have built up. Or do you have a grand unified theory that ties software stability to the use of various non-GPL licenses (some more free, some less) in various releases of BSD-derived software?

    The analogy is directly applicable to music (I am also an amateur musician).

    Amateur, meaning - you don't get paid for it. Yet you play music anyway. Funny. That's how I am with software.

    If it takes me 40 hours to develop a piece of software, I expect to get paid.

    You have an unreasonable expectation, then. Whoever told you that mere effort guarantees remuneration fed you a line. That's not how markets work. You also have to succeed in producing something the market is willing to buy. If all of us go out and produce lots of free software and put you out of a job, you can hardly just sit and whinge about it.

    But all that is beside the point. Traditional copyright law does not restrict the uses to which you may put your lawfully obtained material, except in context of other people. I.e. you can't put on public performances without negotiating royalties, or make copies to "share" with others, but anything you do for your own gratification has been allowed - including backup copies, etc. Now with DRM, The Man wants to retain control over how you use what you have lawfully obtained. This in itself is more or less fair play, and I'm happy with the Spy vs. Spy of creating / defeating playback protection - except that they've rigged the contest with the DMCA so we can't legally play at all.

  • by Proc6 ( 518858 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @02:10AM (#4317554)
    Ive read, and pondered quite some time. And though Im hardly a psychic or market analyst, I honestly think all this crap is as good as taco'd. Let me explain a few points as to why.
    • DiVX. Same idea. They made it as conveinent as possible. You had to dialin once in awhile to verify/bill or your crap stopped working. They wanted a pay per play. And what did people do? /me plays the AOL "Goodbye" sound.
    • Bible Beaters. The "666, mark of the beast" crowd, and the "this is the beginning of concentration camps and serial numbers on the forehead" crowd that showed up at the Pentium serial debacle have yet to make their appearance. They will, and it will be felt. /me plays the AOL "Goodbye" sound.
    • No Working Examples. I can think of no other real examples of a vendor selling a product successfully to the masses for years, then turning around one day and completely handtieing the enduser, stalking the enduser, monitoring the enduser, etc, that continued to make the same, or more money. /me plays the AOL "Goodbye" sound.
    • The Lawndart Example. Lawndarts were extremely popular at one time. They were dangerous, but everyone had some. They sold quite well Im sure. For outside reasons of safety, the manufacturor of lawn darts was forced to change their product to a more hand-tying, watered down version. They made Nerf and plastic lawn darts as replacements. Same product sort of, but less effective as the original. Now how many people own the Nerf lawndarts? No one? /me plays the AOL "Goodbye" sound.
    • Hacker Challenge. All of this, if enabled somehow will amount to the biggest hacker/cracker challenge on the face of the earth. And I have faith in them. I expect a WindowsXP.2004.FritzChipEMU-hacked.RiSE to be quite popular. /me plays the AOL "Goodbye" sound.
    All this boils down to a picture where this crap is halfass tried, and for every $1 they extort from a naieve person who forks over another $600 for a copy of Photoshop to work from home, they'll lose $2 to crackers, disenfrancheised customers, people who've lost interest in having to work to listen to the latest N*Sync DRM CD, and privacy fanatics who won't go near it. And what happens when things lose money in America? /me plays the AOL "Goodbye" sound.
  • by symbolic ( 11752 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @06:10AM (#4317944)
    No, it's not. Many people had a hand in getting you where you are today.

    You couldn't be more wrong. The whole of commerce is comprised of commercial entities and the resources they consume (including their own skilled employees, financing, outside expertise, existing technology, research & development, etc.). Bottom line - whatever arrangement exists between an artist and any peripheral resources has nothing to do with the artist's relationship to you, as a consumer. An artist offering a finished work for purchase is no different than any other business transaction. You either accept the terms under which the artist's product is being offered, or you look for something more agreeable.

    Secondly, a musical work is not an idea, it's an expression of an idea, and is therefore tangible in that it can be recorded onto a physical medium. It is this expression that is protected by copyright.

    Finally, show me ONE THING having a method of implementation hasn't somehow been influenced by something before it. The evolution of anything, be it technology, art, or whatever, is really little more than the iterative refinement of methods and ideas that already exist.
  • by Interrobang ( 245315 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @09:56AM (#4318840) Journal
    I wonder what would happen if all of us on RIAA boycott wrote nice letters to the RIAA saying "Well, I make X per year, and of that, I would normally spend Y on CDs, but because of your policies, I have decided to spend my money elsewhere." If enough of those letters came in, I wonder if they'd sit up and take notice.

    It certainly works at the microcosm level -- check out the look on the store manager's face when you tell him, "See this money? I was going to spend all of that here today, but since you don't carry this band, and this band, and this band, I'm going to spend it down the street at the cool music store where they do, instead." (BTW, I learned this tactic from Jello Biafra, and it's quite effective, at least on the small scale. I notice that our local HMVs have started carrying the Dead Kennedys and TISM again...)

    The problem with opt-out dollar voting is that unless you specifically make your targets aware that they're losing sales, they don't notice, or attribute it to the right cause.

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court