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Music Media Encryption Security Your Rights Online

Recording Industry Hopes To Hinder CD Burning 869

Decaffeinated Jedi writes "News.com reports that the recording industry is currently testing technology that would limit the number of times that a given CD (or copies of that CD) could be burned. The idea is to let consumers 'make a limited number of copies of their music -- enough for a car, a vacation home and a friend, for example -- without allowing for uncontrolled duplication.' Currently, Macrovision and SunnComm International are developing competing versions of such 'secure burning' technology, with BMG Music Group already testing the latter company's software."
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Recording Industry Hopes To Hinder CD Burning

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  • by torpor ( 458 ) <<ibisum> <at> <gmail.com>> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:34AM (#9314503) Homepage Journal
    I mean really. I haven't used a CD in 2 years.

    If it ain't on the 'net, it ain't something I'm interested in ...
  • Survey Says... (Score:4, Informative)

    by calebb ( 685461 ) * on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:35AM (#9314524) Homepage Journal
    Survey says... people don't like DRM.

    2002 Lawsuit againts SunnComm [com.com]

    Good discussion on DRM [matthew.ath.cx]
    The problem with trying to protect information with technology is that it has been shown repeatedly not to work. It only takes one person to crack the protection, and a million people can get a digital copy of the cracked work in days. During DEFCON, a digital security conference held in America last year, a Russian programmer called Dmitry Sklyarov illustrated this by showing how easy it was to circumvent the protection on Adobe's "E-Books". For this service to the public and to Adobe he was arrested and tried by the FBI, under the provision of the DMCA, the American version of the EUCD already part of US law since 1998.

    Obviously, the same problem exists with the technology Macrovision & SunnComm are currently proposing. It just takes one person to create a DRM-less digital copy & post it on the latest P2P network...
  • Never work (Score:2, Informative)

    by zenrandom ( 708587 ) * on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:36AM (#9314531) Journal
    Sure, I bet all the hardware, OS, and applications people are going to jump right on and support this. Especially the open source ones.
    Even if they all did... What's to stop me from ripping the image and repeatedly using that. Or ripping off one superb quality MP3 or OV and using that for my burns.
    When will they learn that prohibiting us only inspires us to find ways around it!
  • by Patik ( 584959 ) * <cpatikNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:38AM (#9314580) Homepage Journal
    Rip the CD once to FLAC (a lossless codec) and you're all set. You can make unlimited copies (burning CDs, MP3s, etc) from those files and just toss the store-bought disc in your closet.

    And all it takes is one pirate to rip the CD and put it on Kazaa.

  • Invisible hand link. (Score:3, Informative)

    by numbski ( 515011 ) * <`numbski' `at' `hksilver.net'> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:46AM (#9314674) Homepage Journal
    http://www.economist.com/research/Economics/alphab etic.cfm?LETTER=I

    Adam Smith. I nearly forgot his ever-so-generic name. :)

    Excellent scholar.
  • Um... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:03AM (#9314882)
    The copyright holder still owns the work, not the public.

    Um, no... the copyright holder does NOT necessarily own the work (e.g. if they decide to sell it to me), they own the sole right to copy (that what copyright means) said work. They do NOT have a right to tell me how/when I can use their work, except in the case of me trying to distributing that work (or work derived from it) -- they do NOT have any rights beyond that.
  • Re:furthermore... (Score:1, Informative)

    by jandrese ( 485 ) * <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:20AM (#9315092) Homepage Journal
    It doesn't. Each copy will be slightly worse. A CD player can handle some damage to the disc (it interpolates over samples that can't be read). There is also subchannel data that is used in reading the disc. My thought was that the data would be degraded slightly each time the disc is written, and eventually the data gets so bad that your burned disc is unplayable.
  • by Pastis ( 145655 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:24AM (#9315123)
    I am sick and tired of seeing things like that. Where is the real piracy?

    I am currently in a country right in a center of South America. It's been impossible to find a real DVD. CDs are hard to find but it's possible.

    You can find a reseller of pirate material every 10 meters in the street. Students in schools sell copies of duplicated material to pay for their studies, or to make parties.

    E.g. Troya sells for under a $.

    Here nobody buy original content. So I maybe am a pirate because at home I have some copies of CDs I didn't buy. But it's not many and I don't even use use them that often. The CDs I like, I have original versions of them. I have my share of paid CDs (over 200). Does that make me the bad guy? Not sure when you see what's happening in 90% of the world.

    Yes I see the argument of those saying: but you have the money to buy the CDs. People there don't have it. I will answer to that that they have sufficient money to get as drunk as us, to buy themselves a CD player, a DVD player or a VCD player.

    I don't even have a real DVD/VCD player at home, appart from my computer's drive.

    I think all the piracy talk is bullsh!tt.

    They cannot change the mentality there, but can send us to jail or pay heavy fines if we break the law once.
  • by u-235-sentinel ( 594077 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:26AM (#9315143) Homepage Journal
    No matter what they do, people will always come up with a simple solution around a problem such as this.

    For example, a /. article some time ago along these lines had a few rather interesting solutions around these DRM problems. I liked the simplist solution. Someone plugged in the line out on their CD walkman to the line in on their computer.

    No more DRM problem. Simple :-)
  • by Rtech ( 647652 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:31AM (#9315193)
    What? It didn't work for DVDs? I've bought a lot more DVDs than CDs, just because I felt like I was getting more for my money. And it was mostly because the DVDs were cheaper than the CDs I wanted.
  • Re:furthermore... (Score:3, Informative)

    by RevDobbs ( 313888 ) * on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:47AM (#9315402) Homepage

    man 1 dd [openbsd.org]

    How is a raw, bitwise copy of anything going to degrade over time?

    ... and when this turns out to be the solution, how long will it be before some one ports dd to Win32 & adds a nice GUI to it?

    CD's aren't 'secure', and I don't see how they can be made 'secure' and backwards compatible. The (industry) perfered medium for distributing music is going to have to change before they can really enforce any kind of non- or limited-copying scheme.

  • by dabadab ( 126782 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @12:01PM (#9315548)
    But - what license?
    You know, none of the stuff that you have listed needs any license since the right to do so is already granted by the current copyright laws (or at least in most countries - the UK may be an exception)
    The "content industry" is trying to brainwash us into thinking that we do not have any right to copy. But we have.
  • by chris_mahan ( 256577 ) <chris.mahan@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @12:12PM (#9315642) Homepage
    Profitable: Per CD sold, they are profitable. Of course. But they are selling less CDs.

    If you have 2 options: Net $10M doing A and net $8M doing B, and you chose option B, even though you are $8M richer than before, you still lost $2M.

    It's the difference between accounting and economic profit.

    Music is a tradeable good. Tradeable goods follow the laws of the market.

    Competitive pressure exists: I have 5 gigs of music. They are competing for my time. I want to listen to something new more than I want to listen to something I already have? I have 50+ hours of music already (plus a 5 foot high stack of CDs I haven't ripped yet). When I want to listen to something, I don't rush to the store to buy the latest and greatest. I launch winamp and scroll. If nothing catches my fancy, then I look in my CDs. If nothing there either, then I figure I'm depressed and I go get a book and sit down to read, or call a friend. I rarely if ever get the urge to go buy music at $16 bux a CD (or 9).

    This is their competition: existing, already sold music.

    Just like microsoft and office: people don't want to pay $399 to get new software since the old software is already bought (sunk cost) and does mostly the same.

    Music is the same.

    If people build their 2000 track music collection off p2p, then the music industry has a hard time enticing them to buy anything new at the store.

    For me, the price has to be $4 or less or I won't even consider buying.

    And it's not because I can't afford it, it's just that new music is not that valuable to me anymore, since I have so much music already.

    (I plan to spend 30 on LOTR's ROTK, like I did the other two, since there's nothing like it out there. I'll even buy the original star wars trilogy DVD)

    I haven't bought a music CD since Sting's "Desert Rose", and even then I was not extremely impressed.

  • Re:Sub-$10 range (Score:3, Informative)

    by TWX ( 665546 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @12:15PM (#9315655)
    I picked up a copy of "Inventing the Abbots" for $5.50 at Walmart once.

    Mmmmmm... Very naked Jennifer Connelly...
  • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @12:25PM (#9315775)

    Cost of manufacturing? Not anywhere near your prices. The average manufacturing cost of 1000 CDs is about $1300 or $1.30 per CD. [hiphopslam.com] Note that this includes art work printed on the CD.

    Now, getting an LP made, that costs roughly $2.20 a piece, yet they sell for much less on average. Wonder why?

  • Re:Why buy CDs? (Score:2, Informative)

    by joeljkp ( 254783 ) <{joeljkparker} {at} {gmail.com}> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @01:41PM (#9316849)
    "If I can download the music and burn it to a CD for only a few cents, why would I buy a CD?"

    1. Less work: just go down to the cd shop and pick up a copy
    2. Longevity: hard drives fail, cd-rs die, CDs (arguably) last longer and are of higher quality
    3. Art: you don't get the album art, a nice cd, and an insert when you burn; you just get a cd-r with the title scrawled across it with a Sharpie (or, at best, a stick-on printable label)
    4. Extras: some CDs come with keys that let you log in and unlock live tracks, extra download, ticket discounts, etc.
    5. Good vibes: some feel better picking up an official CD then downloading 10 tracks and burning them; they actually have something of value
    6. Quality: most music you can download online is in a lossy format; you don't get the same quality you do with a CD
    7. Legality: you support the artist (if only just a few pennies on the dollar) and you add to his/her popularity; you vote with your wallet for that artist
    8. Freedom: no DRM, and it's still legal

    So maybe some of those reasons are crap. I listed a lot, though.
  • by tkrotchko ( 124118 ) * on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @02:15PM (#9317272) Homepage
    Oh, I forgot, we're scapegoating the RIAA here and ignoring the artists in this equation.

    RIAA forgets to pay royalties [npr.org]

    RIAA sues consumers but forgets to pay artists [npr.org]

    RIAA members forget to pay pension for artists [usatoday.com]

    RIAA redefines online sales to lower royalties to artists [ezboard.com]

    There is a dispute brewing because the RIAA has arbitrarily defined online music sales as an extension of CD/Album sales, which cuts the royalty rates to the artist significantly.

    I find the RIAA's crocodile tears about protecting the artists, er, Amusing.

  • Re:The Who? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Theatetus ( 521747 ) * on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @03:11PM (#9317829) Journal
    How could I have been so ignorant...apparently piracy is a "new method of distribution" for the artists...

    Well, authorized piracy (ie, musician-sanctioned file/tape/cd sharing) in fact is the favored method of distribution for many musicians, not the least of which are the Grateful Dead [dead.net], along with many smaller bands (which for whatever reason happen to be the musicians I enjoy listening to, so politics and taste coincide here for me).

  • Re:Sub-$10 range (Score:3, Informative)

    by MrResistor ( 120588 ) <peterahoff@gYEATSmail.com minus poet> on Thursday June 03, 2004 @02:04PM (#9327872) Homepage
    I have no idea if it's true, but I've heard that concerts are often expected to lose money but help promote album sales.

    You have it exactly backwards. In general, signed artists make no money on CDs. If they're lucky and the CD does very well they might make enough to pay back the advance the record company gave them to record it. In real numbers that often means the album most go platinum for the artist to pay back a typical advance of about $250k.

    Now, that's based on basic royalties for the performer. Songwriter royalties are seperate, and often higher, so if they wrot their own material they might be able to pay off their advance faster. Even if they never sell a single copy, though, they still have that debt hanging over them.

    Concerts are where the artist makes money. If you're just looking ticket sales, then yeah, the concert might be seen as losing money. Artists typically get the proceeds from merchandise though, so the t-shirt sales should more than make up for any loss they're taking on tickets.

    Note that the situation is often the exact opposite for bands who are playing small local clubs and produced their own album, but then those bands are largel irrelevant to a discussion of RIAA practices.

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