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After DeCSS, DVD Jon Releases DeDRMS 610

An anonymous reader writes "Jon Lech Johansen, who reverse engineered FairPlay back in January, and wrote the decryption code that was later used by an anonymous developer to create the playfair utility, has released a similar utility: DeDRMS. It's only 230 lines. T-shirts anyone?"
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After DeCSS, DVD Jon Releases DeDRMS

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  • by orzetto ( 545509 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @05:15PM (#8967406)

    Tried, but the lameness filter is DMCA-enforcing.

  • (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 25, 2004 @05:16PM (#8967413)
    talk is cheap. JUST DO IT. you are remembered by your actions in life, not your bullshit.
  • Inevitable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ajs318 ( 655362 ) <sd_resp2@earthsh[ ] ['od.' in gap]> on Sunday April 25, 2004 @05:18PM (#8967433)
    If you attempt the impossible -- and make no mistake, copy-prevention is physically impossible, not just difficult -- then you will fail. You might be able to fool people into thinking you have succeeded, for a short while; but, sooner or later, your lies will catch up with you. All copy-prevention technology is pure snake oil, and can never work. It will always be defeated. Once a single CPT-free version has been created, then every penny anyone ever invested in that particular copy-prevention technology is wasted.
  • by CylanR77 ( 532552 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @05:21PM (#8967462)
    Who says that "Dilbert" has sold out? You? Just because the strip portrays a view of downloading content that you find disagreeable, doesn't mean that the RIAA's got Scott Adams in their pocket.

    It could just be that the man believes that you ought to pay for what you use for entertainment, if the creator of that entertainment wants payment.
  • pretty cool... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cybin ( 141668 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @05:23PM (#8967471) Homepage
    this is pretty cool, and a technical achievement... but why bother stripping the DRM from your m4p files? just make a functional iTunes clone that doesn't care about the DRM :)

    or maybe i'm wrong... is it up to the player software to enforce the DRM? i thought i read somewhere that the iPod just ignores it...
  • You know, I saw that this morning, and I thought it was actually a pretty good wrap up (well, for what a comic can do anyway) of several of the main positions in the debate.

    First, there are all the people who go snag copies of music because they're too a) lazy, b) stupid, c) cheap, or d) all of the above to either go buy a copy or just not buy it at all (don't give me shit: you think it costs too much or has too much filler, blah blah blah... don't buy the fucking thing, don't be a little baby about it). Then, there's the theiving nature of all the execs in the industry ripping off the artists. There's also the problem of overproduction, and the mentality of major artists that they have to make money but no, no... they're still doing it for the art.. really.

    I thought it was a very good bit of satire, all around.

  • Re:Written in C# (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @05:33PM (#8967541) Homepage
    You know, of the people I know who have for love or money had to work with C#, exactly zero of them have complaints about it. According to all accounts I've heard, it's a well-thought out language that's easy to work in.

    D may be the next iteration, but let's give props where props are due.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 25, 2004 @05:34PM (#8967547)
    I think that basically what you're missing is that 'they' can't tell you what you can and can't do with their products after you purchase them.

    Replace 'they' with any manufacturer.

    I could buy an apple that said "not for use as food." And I could then proceed to eat that apple - they have no say in what I do with it. If, for some reason, I should injure myself by eating that apple, they warned me and wouldn't be held liable. That's it. Laws come into play when I throw that apple and kill someone with it. Or try to sell it, claiming it is a pair.

    Now, the argument here is that it is illegal to decrypt the 'protections' a company puts on their music. And it is here where it gets smelly realy, really quickly.

    Sure, it might be the law, but it is written to be a pretty shitty law. (DMCA, etc). No, that's not an excuse to break the law, but it is one to cause sympathy for someone who does. There are very legitimate reasons for breaking the DRM on these files. There are also very illegitimate ones. Piracy comes to mind. You know, real piracy. Not some 14 year old girl that wants to give her friend some songs, but the people who mass produce and sell these songs on the black market.

    The black market being, by the way, about every outdoor market I've been to in Asia or South America.

    And you're right. DVD Jon shouldn't fall under any US laws. But the RIAA et al. will surely find a way to change that. Bastards.
  • by Slack3r78 ( 596506 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @05:34PM (#8967550) Homepage
    I don't see the point you're trying to make. DVDs may not explicitly state that you have to do X or Y, but with CSS encryption combined with the DMCA, they might as well.

    I think DVD Jon's being totally consistent here - if you pay to listen/watch/whatever something, you should have the right to do so on whatever platform or medium you choose, and not be limited by some artificial restriction imposed on you by the media companies.

    So now people with Linux boxes can play their legit iTMS songs on their Linux boxes. Personally, I'm not bothered by this. There are other, easier ways for people to pirate music if they really have their heart set to it, so opening up a way for people to use something they've paid for in a way they see fit, while it may technically violate the license, is nothing I see worth getting up in arms over.
  • Re:Written in C# (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tempest303 ( 259600 ) <jensknutson&yahoo,com> on Sunday April 25, 2004 @05:40PM (#8967581) Homepage

    let's give props where props are due.

    You mean to the Java folks, then?

    buh-dum ching! Thank you, I'll be here all weekend! Try the buffet!

    That said, C# does seem cool... basically Java++. Now if only MS would make a legally binding document saying they won't sue the Mono guys... :-P
  • by autopr0n ( 534291 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @05:46PM (#8967626) Homepage Journal
    I mean, really. Why do you need much speed in anything other then a 3d game or some high-end server stuff that's going to be running constantly (like a web server or database).

    Not to mention C isn't much faster then C# and java for most tasks these days.
  • by Deraj DeZine ( 726641 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @05:53PM (#8967664)
    No, not insightful.

  • Re:pretty cool... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Fanta Menace ( 607612 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @05:59PM (#8967710) Homepage

    Maybe if Apple had made an iTunes for Linux, it might have been a while longer before things like this popped up. Look at Real: it took several years before anyone bothered making another player for their files on Linux, since they already provided one.

    Speaking of which, did anyone actually reverse engineer Real's format, or does mplayer just use their shared libraries?

  • Re:Written in C# (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jrockway ( 229604 ) * <> on Sunday April 25, 2004 @05:59PM (#8967715) Homepage Journal
    I've never used C#. It's M$-sponsored, and I don't really like M$. I know that Java is less Free, but I really like the language. I feel that it's very clean and well-deisgned. The default API is also well thought out and I really enjoy using it. Just because I like Java, though, doesn't mean you have to like it :)

    I also like the fact that pretty much anyone can run my program. If this weren't the case, then Windows users would be pretty much out of luck if they wanted my program. I'm not going to port it.

    I'm sure C# people think the same about Mono. It's "cross-platform". "It's great that Linux users can run my program", I'm sure they think. They weren't going to port it to Linux either ;)

    Oh well, when there are choices, there will be arguments about an individual's choice. It's better this way, I suppose.
  • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @06:02PM (#8967744)
    If pointers to info are 'illegal' (*cough*2600*cough), then I would also like to state that you cannot buy weed at the park. If pointers to pointers are safe, then I would like to say that it's safe to dereference my friend Joey for the same pointer to the park.

    Ah, but if you recall, 2600 was enjoined by the court from providing hypertext links to DeCSS, although they were still allowed to publish the URLs themselves because of First Amendment concerns. (You had to cut and paste them into the address field yourself- no HREFs.)

    I, on the other hand, can't get rid of the hypertext link underneath my post that says "Parent".
  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @06:05PM (#8967774)

    > So far he has won and avoided jail. But, if he continues to push his luck, like this, some corporation is going to bury him.

    I think it's called "getting even". US corporations got him treated like a criminal for doing something that wasn't illegal where he lives, now he's getting some back.

  • by lambent ( 234167 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @06:06PM (#8967785)
    That's the same exact thing. Those crypto functions are included in C# as either extra libraries or 1000 extra lines of code.

    It's not magical, or fundamentally different in any way.
  • Re:Written in C# (Score:4, Insightful)

    by km790816 ( 78280 ) <<wqhq3gx02> <at> <>> on Sunday April 25, 2004 @06:10PM (#8967820)
    Unlike the reason Sun created Java, which was to increase love and understanding in the world and had nothing to do with turning a profic...and the reason IBM is pushing Linux...because they think it spawns a world of open friendship, not because they make a mountain of cash consulting.

    Evil Microsoft, trying to make money. How dare they!

    I can't believe these comments still get modded as funny.
  • Re:blah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Geoffreyerffoeg ( 729040 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @06:12PM (#8967837)
    You forgot an important part, which may have also gotten you past the lameness filter:
    * DeDRMS.cs: DeDRMS 0.1
    * Copyright (C) 2004 Jon Lech Johansen <>
    * This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
    * it under the terms of the GNU General Public license as published by
    * the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
    * (at your option) any later version.
    * This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    * but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    * GNU General Public License for more details.
    * You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
    * along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
    * Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111, USA.
  • by werdna ( 39029 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @06:12PM (#8967841) Journal
    make no mistake, copy-prevention is physically impossible, not just difficult

    This is like observing that perfect algorithmic encryption, other than a one-time pad is impossible. So what? Who cares? Of course, I can't create a lock-and-key on my house that will keep all thieves out, all the time. So what? Who cares?

    Whether or not my door can be physically manufactured to bar you forever from entry, makes it not one whit more legal for you to do so. All locks are rated, not in terms of their binary perfection, but rather in terms of the time and cost to defeat them. So what? Who cares?

    You might be able to fool people into thinking you have succeeded, for a short while; but, sooner or later, your lies will catch up with you.

    I suppose there are folks who are naive to think they live behind perfect locks. So what? Who cares? Where is the lie? What does it matter that technological solutions can be defeated? They are helpful, and substantially helpful to keep generally honest people honest, and stupid people (who represent most users) out. Smarter, less honest people, can of course get in any time. So what? Who cares?

    For those smarter, less honest people, we have laws. Some will be smart enough to circumvent all of them and go free. Most will not.

    Security is not a question of binary perfection. It is a question of doing as well as you may. Likewise with digital rights management.

    There has always been piracy of musical content. Always. Some good, some bad. So what, who cares?

    Just like DeCSS, playfair will be available to the less honest, smarter of us, or rebuilt by those who understand how it works. Those who think that this fact is useful have missed the point. These facts do not help our cause. To the contrary, it only helps those who insist that technology regulation, such as DMCA is required, and prevents the repeal of very bad laws.

    Darn, I wish the smarter and less honest of us were just a little bit smarter about the ways of the world. For the smarter, honorable and ideologically motivated of us, such as Mr. J., we should excoriate, not praise, this sort of thing.

    Our problem is that our arguments prove too much -- we demonstrate the "necessity" of the DMCAs, certainly to the satisfaction of the governments who will enforce them. The problem is NOT that there exists DRM, the problem is that the DRM is implemented and legally enforced in a manner that limits the scope of good new technology. It is that problem that WE, the technologists will have to solve -- hard or impossible it may be -- because the RIAA and MPAA certainly have no incentive to do so.
  • by scottj ( 7200 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @06:12PM (#8967845) Homepage Journal
    Actually, you've got it a bit wrong. You didn't even need to RTFA to know that "the decryption code that was later used by an anonymous developer to create the playfair utility." Jon didn't write playfair. Somebody else did. This is Jon's version of playfair.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 25, 2004 @06:14PM (#8967856)
    I mean, really. Why do you need much speed in anything other then a 3d game or some high-end server stuff that's going to be running constantly (like a web server or database).

    Ummm, so your programs don't eat up all your memory and CPU. Just because it's not a server or a game doesn't excuse sloppy inefficent code. You might as well be running windows xp(tm)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 25, 2004 @06:15PM (#8967867)
    I mean, really. Why do you need much speed in anything other then a 3d game or some high-end server stuff that's going to be running constantly (like a web server or database).

    It's specifically this kind of attitude that makes me have to run a 3ghz pentium4 overclocked with 2 gigs of ram... just to run a word processor. Programming has gotten SO lazy these days. Just imagine if most code was ASM optimized just how BLAZING fast your systems would really be. But no. I like waiting.

  • Re:DeDRMS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Saeger ( 456549 ) <> on Sunday April 25, 2004 @06:17PM (#8967883) Homepage
    I expect to be paid for that work or for the information, with real currency.

    Then in the future you better make sure that you get paid upfront for the scarce (and sometimes NOT so scarce) WORK of creation, since you can't depend on artificial scarcity enforcement without a global police state.

    If you've previously earned some goodwill/respect/whuffie, I'm much more open to funding your future efforts, and even *gasp* paying for that effort indirectly by volunteering to buy a non-scarce token copy of your OLD WORK.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 25, 2004 @06:21PM (#8967899)
    Just imagine how much our software would would actually do if everyone wrote in hand optimized ASM. Say goodbye to handy things like instant messaging and video players - we'd still be trying to get basic email clients and such to work. Sorry, but programmer time is much more valuable than a few bucks for hardware upgrades.
  • Re:DeDRMS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by black mariah ( 654971 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @06:23PM (#8967912)
    No, it's not the copying that publishers care about. You could make 5,000 copies of everything you own and keep them in your basement for all they care. It's DISTRIBUTION that they care about.

    The term pirate has a very specific meaning when it comes to software. It refers to someone that unlawfully copies a work then redistributes it, usually breaking some kind of copyright protection in the process. I'm sick of stupid pedantic fucks whingeing on about this. Words can have more than one meaning, if you haven't noticed.
  • by GnuVince ( 623231 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @06:38PM (#8968000)
    Fast is not always good. There are applications you can upgrade, add code, etc. while it's running! The reason why we use so-called slower languages (because languages aren't slow per-se; implementations are fast or slow) is because they often allow us to do much more complex things much more easily. Try to code a regular expression in Assembly, you're still gonna be at it in 2 years. Computers evolve and we now demand more from them, and if it costs a little CPU time, well so be it.

    And if you're so smart and good and not lazy, go ahead and write the Assembly version of this program. Now, make sure it can work on all platforms you can get .NET or Mono on (this means Windows, Linux, Mac, Sparcs, x86s, motorollas, alphas, etc.), otherwise it's not as useful.

    If you want someone that seems to agree with you, read recent interviews of Chuck Moore. Even the guy who wrote C doesn't use it anymore; Dennis Ritchie uses Aleph.

  • by mibus ( 26291 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @06:51PM (#8968070) Homepage
    The majority of the work looks like it's done in the Win32 CryptoAPI anyway, which would most likely be C++.

    So whether it's C++ or C# or C is pretty moot.

    (Actually someone posted the source above in a comment, looks pretty clean! Without having used C# or .NET at all before I think I have a pretty good idea of how the program does its magic). That to me is a decent sign of a decent language / API, which is often more important than speed.
  • by joe_bruin ( 266648 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @06:55PM (#8968088) Homepage Journal
    offtopic? maybe redundant. i've verified the contents of this file, and it is good. i wonder if the mods did so before modding down.
  • by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @07:03PM (#8968132)

    Reminds me of a story. Let me tell you about my tent.

    I like going to SCA events []. While we're there, we camp. And that means having all of our expensive gear in our tents, all our food, and our booze. Some of our gear can run in the thousands of dollars.

    At my favorite event, we camp near the edge of the camp. And idiots from the local village sneak over the fence and rip us off every so often.

    So I made a tent with a locking door. I built a yurt [], and built into the frame a full sized, 1/2" thick, wood and iron reinforced door. With a working brass good-enough-for-your-house lock.

    And while camping one year, a neighbor made fun of me for my efforts. "There's no way that would keep a determined criminal out," he said. It was still a canvas tent, albeit with a wood lattice frame. You could cut a hole through the canvas and break the lattices, easy. The door was too thin, you could kick it down. The lock could be defeated.

    And I explained to him that the point was not to be burglar proof, just more burglar resistant than my neighbors.

    At that moment, he was enlightened.


  • by acamas ( 443784 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @07:09PM (#8968167)
    Hi anoymous coward!

    Please come off your illusion, before being primitively insulting:
    - The music industry wants money for the music they're selling. They won't survive giving you music for free.
    - If someone publishes music, that can be spread easily and without protection, they won't tolerate it.
    - This has nothing to do with Apple. They don't want DRM, their primary goal is to sell iPods. The music industry wants DRM, and they won't let Apple sell music without DRM.

    Believe me, Fairplay will be updated. Having all devices and (legal) media under control, this will be rather easy for apple (at least compared to DVDs). The music industry will put pressure on them otherwise.
  • by Doppler00 ( 534739 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @07:39PM (#8968328) Homepage Journal
    Wrong! If everything was written in asmembly the resulting code would be such a mess, it's likely that it would run several magnitudes slower than something written in Java. 99% of the time, slowdowns are a result of poor algorithms, NOT compiler types.
  • So what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdot@keirstead. o r g> on Sunday April 25, 2004 @07:40PM (#8968337) Homepage
    - It' s also impossible ot get Windows without SSl libraries you could link against that contain AES

    - It's also (nearly) impossible to get a Linux distro with OpenSSL libraries that contain AES you could link against

    Using C# is not saving you any coding here; at best it is saving you from having to link yourself.
  • by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @08:08PM (#8968501)
    And for the most obvious users running MacOSX the answer is...?
  • by Shakrai ( 717556 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @08:12PM (#8968528) Journal
    One thing I noted in looking at the two files in iTunes: The file was still flagged with my email address, but no longer had my name under "Purchased by"... It looks like the file is still tracable to the account that bought it. Take that into account before sharing them. It shouldn't take much work to fix that last bit, and it would be a worthy addition to this program.

    Worthy addition to this program? Why the hell is that? As it stands this program is for fair use. There's no reason to remove your e-mail address tag from the file unless you want to share it with others. And despite what many people seem to think sharing your music with the entire World on Kazaa or IRC is not fair use.

    Gosh it's actually respectable as it stands right now. Why don't we go and flush that down the toilet and make it about piracy?

  • Re:Written in C# (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tobias Luetke ( 707936 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @09:01PM (#8968818)
    This is not funny, thats actually the original thinking behind it. # = two rows of ++
  • by Chupa ( 17993 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @09:23PM (#8968919)
    It's impressive how you can call up so much indignance over something that cost you nothing.

    Whenever you get through whining, you might like to know that you only run VideoLan *once*, to get the key for your account/computer. Then all tracks you have purchased with that account can be decoded with that key. VideoLAN is not something you have to run once for every file.

  • Remember the Unix philosophy, "Worse is Better"? The idea was that by writing lots of small things that do one thing each and do them well, the performance hit that comes from linking them all together is less than the speedup from hardware advance in the time it takes for the monolithic developer to get everything right. As a pleasant side effect, the bugs are a hell of a lot easier to fix, and if some component is horribly broken and the maintainer won't fix it, you can rip it out and replace it with something that has similar functionality.

    The reason you need a 3GHz P4 with 2GB of RAM is that so many developers have taken to linking together things that are much more like entire monolithic applications just to integrate very simple functionality.

    The introduction of modern programming languages like C# and Java allows us to effectively turn back the clock 30 years on code bloat, since the important stuff is now part of the language and can be handled intelligently by the compiler without everyone writing their own differently broken implementation. If you read his code, you'll note that Rijndael is a part of the standard libraries. Because of that, he managed to write the whole thing in 210 lines of whitespace-heavy code, and the bytecode compiler will link in the bare minimum to run the program, and the JIT will cache of that only what is actually running, incurring a significant performance hit if and only if something exceptional happens, in which case performance is probably not a serious concern anyway.

    That said, it is most certainly possible to write bloated C# code, but in my experience, you always win when you let the language/compiler do something for you, instead of writing your own or using external libraries.
  • Nice code (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mattgreen ( 701203 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @10:12PM (#8969111)
    Heaven forbid a cracking utility's source code actually be readable! I dare say the code is beautiful as it is and a testament to higher-level langauges. I am also pleased that someone like DVD Jon would use it instead of clinging to old technology (C) with shallow hopes of maintaining an 'elite' image.
  • You're naive (Score:5, Insightful)

    by achurch ( 201270 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @10:38PM (#8969204) Homepage

    By saying Apple's DRM is good, you're falling right into the content companies' "trap" (scare quotes because I'm not convinced it was intentional, though the result is still the same). This is the same way many bad laws get passed: proponents of the bad law propose a law that's several times worse, wait for the backlash, then "fall back" to what they wanted to push through in the first place--and most people will agree that it's an improvement and let it go.

    Distribution of copyrighted material is already illegal. DRM can always be circumvented. People will probably be willing to pay reasonable prices for songs online if they're guaranteed quality and the freedom to do what they want with the file, though I'll grant that payment methods are still a mostly unresolved issue. Hence there's no need for DRM, and even DRM as "fair" as Apple's is an improper infringement on users' rights. (Unless you believe content really belongs to the creators rather than to the culture--but that's not the stance the Framers took.)

    I'm reminded of an old saying I heard about negotiation tactics: "If you want Australia, ask for the world and give away five continents."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 25, 2004 @10:59PM (#8969344)
    It is obvious you know very little. There is not much reason to code in Assembly when you have decent C Compilers. Ask yourself; what language are your interpreted languages developed with?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 25, 2004 @11:03PM (#8969363)
    Because if I have a friend who wants the song, I want to be able to give them a copy of it and not have to worry about my future or present wallet being screwed.

    If I can't share a copy of the music or media I purchased with a group of real life friends (I'm avoiding the whole p2p thing here), then something is seriously wrong. The bottom line is that people will share amongst thier friends, thats human society. And we shouldn't be penalized for that, thats horribly wrong. Thats why I would want my identification taken out of the song, it is a worth addition, because otherwise we are endangering ourselves by exposing ourselves to lawsuits, lawsuits which exist because the current copyright laws don't take into consideration our natural human tendancy to share.

  • by Shakrai ( 717556 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @11:11PM (#8969407) Journal
    If I can't share a copy of the music or media I purchased with a group of real life friends (I'm avoiding the whole p2p thing here), then something is seriously wrong. The bottom line is that people will share amongst thier friends, thats human society. And we shouldn't be penalized for that, thats horribly wrong.

    If "share a copy" == "loan them your CD" then you shouldn't be penalized for that and nothing is wrong with it. If "share a copy" == "burn a copy of your CD" || "share a copy" == "strip the DRM out of your mp4 file and give them a copy" then you are stealing something for your friend and that isn't right "Human Tendencies" (what you meant to say I think) or not.

    Of course you should be penalized in line with the crime you committed. RIAA shouldn't get to sue you for $20,000 per song -- that just isn't right. But that's another debate.

  • by GiMP ( 10923 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @11:28PM (#8969496)
    Or with debian:

    apt-get install mono binfmt-support
    mcs DeDRMS.cs ./DeDRMS.exe
  • by pavera ( 320634 ) on Sunday April 25, 2004 @11:36PM (#8969537) Homepage Journal
    Of course, the anology fails miserably in the case of copy prevention.

    The village thieves = file sharers
    The tents = various DRM vendors

    So, if the purpose of creating DRM is to keep your "house" (read copyrights) more protected than your neighbor's, well then all you've done is put yourself out of business because the thieves (file sharers) will all migrate to your neighbor's tents which are less secure.

    Thus, no one will buy your DRM, because Apple, MS, Real, all of them will know if they use xyz DRM to distribute their files, no one will purchase from them, so they say lets use abc DRM, it works ok (read 230 lines of code can break it) and people will come to us to purchase music/movies/books/whatever else.

    Thus, being more secure than your neighbors when it comes to DRM is simply saying "Hey, we don't really want to be in business, we don't like to sell things to customers".

    This I feel is why iTMS has been so successful thus far, yeah the files are DRM, but you don't notice that, it is basically completely seemless, and you can burn cd's of the songs. Most of the other services don't allow burning or they only allow 1 copy to be burned or some other goofy thing. Making the DRM completely seemless like that of course makes it so the DRM can be broken with sub 300 lines of code.

    You can't have both, hard to break security means people have to jump through hoops to get at the data. (IE the data center I work at, passcode entry, card entry, and hand scan entry at 3 different doors, just to get into the ante-room where you get another handscan that is much more picky, all of which set off the alarm after 3 repeated misses. All of the doors are time release on the way out, so getting out takes a good 3 minutes, anyway if someone wanted to steal something from inside there it would be a mission impossible type ordeal.

    This is the vision that the RIAA and MPAA have for digital distribution... username/password, credit card, age verification, no deDRM software on your computer check, no file sharing programs on your computer check, no media players besides the one we sold you for 49.99 on your computer check, running an OS that we approve of check, and if you successfully pass all those tests ok now that we've charged you 4.99 you can listen to brittany spears again, if you fail any of those tests, they lock down your computer and send out the feds.
  • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @12:25AM (#8969714)
    And yet Dilbert makes Scott Adams and his publisher a ton of money, even though:

    • You can freely get it online (he makes it available, in fact!).
    • It is in a DRM-free form that can be digitally copied an infinite number of times with no loss in quality.

    Maybe there is a lesson here for music content owners?

  • by MikeCapone ( 693319 ) <skelterhell&yahoo,com> on Monday April 26, 2004 @12:53AM (#8969810) Homepage Journal
    1. 'Piracy' is a term that is used to describe, in fewer words, the illegal redistribution of copyrighted material. It is SYNONYMOUS with copyright infringement. This is why being a pedantic assclown is never a good idea. Eventually you're going to run across a word that has two meanings, and your puny human brain will implode trying to parse it.

    "Piracy" is a word that has many meanings and a pejorative sub-text, "copyright infringement" is precise and neutral.
  • by eyeye ( 653962 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @01:53AM (#8969952) Homepage Journal

    That said, it is most certainly possible to write bloated C# code

    You dont need to - the 20MB .net runtime automatically adds bloat for you!

    Is it astroturfing day on slashdot or something - some other guy was saying java doesnt use much memory... LOL

    (ok some java apps are really good but by and large they are big and clunky)
  • by Otto ( 17870 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @02:05AM (#8969987) Homepage Journal
    All locks are rated, not in terms of their binary perfection, but rather in terms of the time and cost to defeat them. So what? Who cares?
    The analogy doesn't hold up though... In the case of DRM, the company wants to make a door that you can open as long only as you're wearing that companies special gloves, which cost you something to purchase (either in cash or in rights, depending on your point of view).

    But not everybody has the same size hands. Some people lost their arms in the war, or some people have different numbers of fingers, or some people want to open entirely different doors.. Or some people simply don't like gloves. The point being that once the method for creating those gloves has been determined, and someone has figured out how the gloves work, then they can pretty easily open the door, get inside, and use a screwdriver to remove the hinges. Bam, now the door is open, and the hinges are all bent so the company can't get the door back on. It's broken for good. ... ...

    Okay, so maybe you can take bad analogies too far. :)

    Anyway, DRM is fundamentally unlike anything physical in this world. They want people to be able to experience a thing but be unable to copy that thing. This is simply impossible because of the nature of experience. All of our mediums for holding experiences like music or video or whatever have been expressly designed to be copyable. They have to be. Otherwise they would only be able to make one and then they couldn't sell many of the same thing over and over again.

    So trying to make an experience that cannot be copied on a medium that was designed to be easily copied is more than a bit stupid, don't you think? It can't be done. Not because encryption is tricky, or because nobody's found the right way to do it, or even because they're just trying to make it "hard enough". It's because there's a fundamental inconsistancy between the neccessities of the design of the medium and the purposes to which they are trying use that medium for. And the design of the medium itself is based on fundamental human perceptual abilites and it cannot realistically be altered to fit these purposes.

    This is why it cannot be done. You cannot do the impossible. That's why we call it "impossible". Some people think that people call things impossible lightly. Well, that's true, but hey, we really mean it this time, yeah? :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2004 @02:25AM (#8970094)
    Your analogy isn't really accurate or you fail to take it far enough.

    What if the lock would only allow you (the owner) to enter the yurt 10 times. Would you still buy it? Maybe, but you'd use a different word for it. Instead saying "I own a yurt that I use at SCA events" you'd say "I rent a yurt at SCA events". Which is really the crux of the matter. Apple claims to sell music, but most people believe that ownership gives them absolute rights over their property.

    What if you lost the key? Is it illegal to pick your own lock, or kick your own door in to get your stuff out?

    Imagine that your yurt is stored in the garage and the lock on your home breaks. If it's inconvenient to go to the hardware store you may remember that you have a lock set on your yurt and move it to the front door, planning to replace it before the next SCA meeting. You probably wouldn't be too happy if the manufacturer sued you for installing it in an unlicensed location.
  • by Daimaou ( 97573 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @02:45AM (#8970177)
    I must say that I completely disagree with your assessment. I believe speech is a vehicle for communication, and that free speech would be more accurately referred to as free communication. I also believe most others, including law, would agree with me.

    There are other vehicles of communication that also enjoy the same protected status as speech. A few examples would be music, paintings, pictures, and even pornography to some extent. So this would indicate that it is not speech itself that is protected, but rather the more encompassing concept of communication, which can come in many forms.

    Writing computer code is another form of communication. Yes, it can be compiled and run on a computer, and it is also near impossible for the untrained eye to discern its meaning, however, the same could be said of sheet music.

    I am a coder as well, and I do not feel that my ability to read and write code should be considered any less of a communication medium than verbal or written speech. Take the source code at hand as an example. I clicked on the link to the code, read it, and now understand how it works. Why should this C# code be considered any less of a communication vehicle than if he wrote a dissertation in English explaining his work in detail? The fact is that it shouldn't. He communicated with many of the Slashdot crowd ideas and concepts that are readily understood by those working in his field of expertise. Is this not communication?

    True, code would be considered a different kind of communication, just like speech, art, music, photography, etc., but it should enjoy the same lawful protections extended to other forms of communication.
  • Re:Written in C# (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 16K Ram Pack ( 690082 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (> on Monday April 26, 2004 @03:47AM (#8970405) Homepage
    I think you are right to state this point, that people are currently giving IBM huge creds for their behaviour over Linux.

    I'm glad IBM are fighting SCO, but I don't for one minute believe it's altruistic.

    The question is, which model do you want? The "companies make money out of hardware/consulting" or "companies make money out of software" (OK it's usually a mixture). The IBM model means they make a profit with more opportunity for openness, which can give everyone more opportunities.

  • by localman ( 111171 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @05:39AM (#8970760) Homepage
    Before getting all angry and/or sad about DeDRMS, remember this:

    Every song that you could unprotect with this tool is available online already unprotected for free (illegally). They're also for sale, legally, unprotected at your local record store. If you buy them used you might even get them less than 99 cents, uncompressed, unprotected... at which point you could do illegal stuff like put them up on a P2P network.

    The point is that this tool doesn't allow you to do anything new. It just carries over to online music stores the same abilities we've had for years now. Heck, maybe without the DRM annoyances people will be more apt to buy songs on the music store, since they now directly compete with what is available already elsewhere.

    Why is it people get so worried up about this (playfair, etc)?

  • by achurch ( 201270 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @05:41AM (#8970764) Homepage

    I have no problem with taking steps to resolve issues. What I do have a problem with is this kind of thinking:

    This procedure you're talking about, where a bad law gets passed because a worse one was proposed is in my opinion simply called "compromise" and hence something very important in politics.

    That's exactly the way the politicians want you to think. By considering the "better" bad law on XYZ as a compromise, you've (perhaps unconsciously) accepted their argument that XYZ is something that needs to be implemented/changed/whatever--when this may not be the case at all! Consider this analogy: a police officer stops you at a roadblock and tells you to hand over your wallet because the police department is running low on money and it's the citizens' responsibility to help. When you argue, the officer reluctantly gives way and lets you go after taking "only" $20. Would you consider that a reasonable compromise? Especially if you'd just heard a news story about a raise in police officer salaries?

    There are times when compromise is an appropriate first step, and times when it isn't. If the content companies are willing to work in good faith to find a solution that's appropriate to modern society (read: information sharing--it's not going to go away), then I'm all for that. If they're going to keep on suing their customer base and squeezing their artists, I don't see why I should cooperate with them.

  • by the_mad_poster ( 640772 ) <> on Monday April 26, 2004 @08:59AM (#8971441) Homepage Journal

    No, no, trust me. You're off your rocker as well.

    See, what you're doing, like so many other little whelps out there who don't want to admit that they're just lightweight crooks, is attempting to justify your position as if it were some sort of civil disobedience. However, since there's a perfectly viable option that all you folks who think you're such big martyrs can use to put an end to all this: STOP CONSUMING THE FUCKING MUSIC ALTOGETHER, which allows you to destroy the Evil Empire (TM) without breaking any laws (my... GOD... you mean we can act like INTELLIGENT, INFORMED CONSUMERS!? HOLY SHIT! I'd have NEVER thought of something like THAT!), your actions indicate you are either lazy, cheap, stupid, or any combination of those three. Civil disobedience is great when it's the only way to make your point. However, since you could just stop buying the shit altogether (which means you are NOT entitled to listen to the music), it's NOT the only option, and if you take it, you're just another little brat breaking copyright laws. Oh, you don't like the copyright laws? Well wah, wah. Seems like the majority of the people out there don't mind them since they keep supporting them by purchasing copyrighted works. Since the world isn't run for you personally, I guess you'd better either figure out a way to educate people about why those laws are so bad, or shut up and accept that most people don't care. Maybe they are bad, and maybe people are stupidly supporting them, but that's a WHOLE different issue.

    If people want to buy the music, then the music is fairly priced as far as the market is concerned. If the people are only buying that music because they're uninformed, then instead of breaking laws just because you're not willing to pay for the music, why don't you try to inform folks instead?

    Again, I say: you're breaking the law because you're cheap, and nothing more. You're no different than the crooks in the RIAA, but by all means, go ahead and tell yourself that you are.

    By the way, as a means to lower the rate of muggings, I'm going to start proactively beating up people on my own and stealing their posessions. Sure, I'm victimizing the victim, but it'll sure teach those muggers a lesson when there's nothing left to steal!

    Once you know the context your reasoning looks pretty naive to the level of almost stupidity.

    Oh yes, you're right. My reasoning... that you can easily defeat these horrid people by simply turning your back to them, is soooooo stupid. You're right, making intelligent, informed decisions as a consumer is stupid. From now on, I'm just going to steal everything that I don't feel like paying for, even if I don't need it, just because that's what SMART people like you do.

  • Wow.. Iraq... yes, I equate wars to getting ripped off at The Wall all the time. You really are a dumbass after all.

    I'll try and beat this through that thick chunk of bone that theoretically houses a brain... theoretically... one last time:

    As long as they have the cash, they'll get whatever they want.

    THEN DON'T BUY FROM THEM AND EITHER FIND ANOTHER, LEGITIMATE SOURCE, OR DEAL WITH NOT HAVING THE MUSIC YOU LIKE. It's not your music, you can't make it your music on your own terms, get over it. If I make something, and I sign it away to some big, evil conglomerate, then I'm a dumbass, and that's my fault. That doesn't give everyone else a free ticket to rip it off.

    It really is that simple. Just like anything else, if you don't buy it, you don't support it. You cannot justify stealing it just because you don't want to pay for it. Nobody held a gun to anyone's head to sign contracts. Stupid bands did that of their own volition. Nobody is forcing it to continue. The entire system is being supported voluntarily, and if you don't like it, you just remove yourself or you can go a step further and educate people on the situation. Boo hoo. You're a cheap little bitch. I don't care, go ahead and keep patting your back over your heroic copyright infringement. You're an idiot, and you're just as much to blame for the problem overall as anyone else. If you ever grow up and stop acting like a little kid (wah wah.. I don't like the terms of the deal, so rather than just walk away, I'll just steal their stuff instead), you'll realize that.

    And, incidentally, if every person in the U.S. bought only one CD, on average, per year, at $20 a pop, that would be more than a five fold cut in their profits. At their current size, there is no way that they could sustain themselves AND fork out tons of money for litigation and pocket lining without either falling on their face in the process or drastically restructuring.

  • by Phurd Phlegm ( 241627 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @02:03PM (#8974420)
    Just imagine how much our software would would actually do if everyone wrote in hand optimized ASM. Say goodbye to handy things like instant messaging and video players - we'd still be trying to get basic email clients and such to work. Sorry, but programmer time is much more valuable than a few bucks for hardware upgrades.

    Certainly you don't have to write in assembler to make tight, reasonably efficient code. I can't imagine when programmers got the idea that it's reasonable for a user to ever wait to see the result of a mouse click or keystroke, but I regularly see delays of tens of seconds when using Micro$oft Outlook (it's the standard at work).

    I got a lot faster response in 1988 using RMAIL inside Emacs on a 20MHz 68020 than I get with a 2GHz machine today. I refuse to believe that we couldn't have a video player if companies exercised a little thought and discipline.

  • by lysium ( 644252 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @04:01PM (#8975683)
    This procedure you're talking about, where a bad law gets passed because a worse one was proposed is in my opinion simply called "compromise" and hence something very important in politics. The fact, that there could be a "worse" DRM comes from the music industry. The users (me too!) don't want any DRM. In this situation, there would be no legal digital music available.

    The parent poster is actually correct, and is not being cynical. Case in Point: The transit authority of New York City pushed for an unwarranted fare hike. They proposed raising the fare 100%. The blacklash was furious; shortly thereafter, they proposed a "mere" 50% increase instead. The public was so releaved that the increase was allowed without further complaint. Commuters were interviewed as actually saying "At least the price isn't being doubled. What a relief."

    If you do not think modern governments are clever enough to exploit people this fashion then you really are too naive to live in a democracy.


At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.