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Sun Spearheads Open DRM 579

Steve from Hexus writes "If DRM is the future of controlling our media files, then perhaps the open source community can at the very least ensure that the dominant delivery system is an open standard. reports that Sun is spearheading a new open DRM project, which their lab workers and the open source community can contribute to. More information on project DReaM can be found at the Open Media Commons website." Tough call - DRM is coming (Or is already here), one way or another, and is better to work on creating something done right, or to object to it on moral grounds?
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Sun Spearheads Open DRM

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  • Oh good grief... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by It doesn't come easy ( 695416 ) * on Monday August 22, 2005 @09:30AM (#13370801) Journal
    Hate to see open source DRM developed. That will guarantee DRM improves until it actually works. We're looking at the death of file sharing as we know it...
    • by marcosdumay ( 620877 ) <marcosdumay@[ ] ['gma' in gap]> on Monday August 22, 2005 @12:20PM (#13372499) Homepage Journal

      DRM doesn't work. Unless you are using a TCPA platform.

      Open sourcing it will only make it harder to break.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 22, 2005 @12:32PM (#13372540)
      I've been hoping something like this would come along, as it will sort out those who support the freedom of open platforms from those who support their own freedom to steal copyright material.

      As with software, if you disagree with the terms and conditions music is sold under, then don't buy it and support what matches your philosophies. Support artists that sell non-DRM MP3 files on or similar sites. Support live music.

      Just don't take a moral position that's like saying you believe in free / open software and then running pirated Microsoft apps.
      • by koko775 ( 617640 )
        You just think that. Unlike you, I prefer to own what I buy and exercise fair use, rather than pay someone to give me permission. No, in fact, this is where it sorts out those who support the freedom of open platforms (but not of their paid content) from those who support their own freedom to do what they damn well like.

        Get off your high horse. Some people simply want to listen to their pop idols or certain songs. What do they do then? Pay someone with unoriginal songs whose style is directly copied? Who

        • I pirate Microsoft apps...but money has been paid

          So if I pay money to Ferrari for a hood ornament, I have the right to steal the whole car?

          I disagree with their "terms and conditions"

          So don't use MS's software. No one is forcing you.

          And I do believe in free/open software

          Actions speak louder than words. You can go around saying you support FOSS all you want, but if at the end of the day you sit down in front of your computer running Windows (be it a pirated copy or otherwise), you really aren't supporting
      • by Simonetta ( 207550 ) on Monday August 22, 2005 @04:18PM (#13374236)
        As with software, if you disagree with the terms and conditions music is sold under, then don't buy it and support what matches your philosophies.

            I must respectfully disagree with this statement. To refuse to buy the DRMed material and refuse to listen to or watch it is to agree with the concept that the people who put the restrictions of the use had the moral authority to do so. You are agreeing that culture can and should be denied to people now and in the future for arbitrary reasons.

            If you disagree with DRM and its implication that media and culture can actually be owned, then by all means beg, borrow, copy, and steal the material on the encoded media.

            Remember these guys stole the public domain by paying off the politicians to indefinitely extend the copyright lengths. They therefore have no claim to any material that can be placed on digital media. Anything they say can not be trusted.

            Copyright is basically a pricing issue. After an agreed period of time, the material goes out of copyright and into public domain. Preventing material from entering public domain is the real theft. These people are the real thieves. And in a civilized society, thieves don't get to decide what the property laws are going to be.

            These guys plan to use DRM to deny forever any material entering the public domain. We have a duty to future generations to remove the DRM from any material encoded on any digital format, regardless of how old or new it is or who believes that they 'own' it.

            These guys don't control the information age; we control the information age. Because we created it. If we don't want DRM, DRM won't exist.
    • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Monday August 22, 2005 @12:59PM (#13372704) Homepage Journal
      You mean the death of digital freedom in general.

      DRM is much larger then just some lame p2p copyright infringement idea.

      DRM will effect the very way we retain our knowledge as a society. The "keyholders" will dictate what information is acceptable and what is not.

      • DRM will effect the very way we retain our knowledge as a society. The "keyholders" will dictate what information is acceptable and what is not.

        This isn't new, what you see, hear and read is all controlled anyway. New tools, but same old tactics.

        This is what makes the web (and filesharing in particular) very interesting. People are free to do as they please, without any of the usual controls. People reject the "keyholders" terms of use, piracy (I *hate* that word) is rife. The fact you can buy blank CDs i

  • Tough call - DRM is coming (Or is already here), one way or another, and is better to work on creating something done right, or to object to it on moral grounds?

    If you can't beat 'em, and you can't join 'em, you might as well head them off at the pass.

  • Hmmm... Let me think... I'ts so hard to...

    Object to it on moral grounds.
  • with it being an open source item, I'm thinking that the media companies won't want to use it as savvy users could just comment out any real calls to rights management thus kidding the program that the user is authorised to view the media or whatever.
  • Are we talking "Open Standard" or "Patent and royalty free openly published specification"? Also it MUST include precautions to disallow non-patent-and-royalty-free "additions".
    Until those conditions are met; I'm not wasting another second on this one.
  • An odd thought occurs:

    Would one not prefer a broken DRM scheme that we can break, rather than build our own perfect prison?

    That said, remember another thing about DRM: to work, it has to be a complete chain, starting at the DRM'ed media file. It'll won't prevent you from playng a non-DRM file*. So speak with your wallet, folks, and don't go around making the marketers believe people will accept DRM. (iTunes)

    *Except of course if the device will only play that type of file. But who'd be stupid enough to buy o
  • I Object! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 22, 2005 @09:33AM (#13370847)
    Object of course, why would you want to help contribute to tools of corporate control!

    You'd have to be an idiot to want to help in this. It would be like being asked to build a prison that is going to be used to lock you in. Even more than that, Sun are asking you to help them make this prison better, and for free. Normally people will do objectionable things for enough money (sadly), but hopefully no-one is stupid enough to do this for free.

    Why would you want to help them build shackles for you!
    • Re:I Object! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by einhverfr ( 238914 ) <> on Monday August 22, 2005 @01:33PM (#13372950) Homepage Journal
      First, I think that Sun is looking for participation from other corporations, not private individuals.

      Secondly, however, I think the concept of DRM as Free Software (or even Open Source) is even sufficiently self-contradictory to prevent this from working.

      For example, if I download this Open Source DRM software, then I have access to the source code, and I can have it, say, strip out the DRM, transcode it, and save it in a digital form on my hard drive. Because FOSS places the ultimate trust in the users of the software, and DRM is based on distrust of the users of the software, I have real trouble seeing any corporation contributing.
    • Re:I Object! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by davecb ( 6526 ) *
      As I and others have said, this could be used to make a "prison" to lock out malefactors, much like a safety-deposit box in a bank.

      The bank owns the safe the box is in, and credibly promises to safeguard it, and I own the contents of the box. And promise not to store dead fish in it (;-))


  • "Open DRM"? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KiloByte ( 825081 )
    Eh? How exactly can you even talk about "open-source DRM"? It's one of strongest oxymorons here, DRM by definition is about restricting access, while openness is about allowing it.
    Even if you mean openness of only the software itself, you can't go much farther than Microsoft Shared Source -- the "look but not touch" way. What is source worth if you can't even compile it and have it working?
  • by jgaynor ( 205453 ) <> on Monday August 22, 2005 @09:34AM (#13370860) Homepage

    "is better to work on creating something done right, or to object to it on moral grounds?"

    Open-source developer support or not, I don't [] think [] it matters [].
  • Sun has a strong history of providing software and ideas to the community. But at the same time, Sun seems to have tremendous difficulty with follow-through on these kinds of projects. Remember the Liberty Alliance?
  • ... but how can DRM possibly be open? Isn't that like saying that Nazi Germany was free because they made no attempt to hide the fact that the ruling party was a bunch of thugs?
  • object it. Just because everyone is doing it or following it doesn not mean they are informed or are acting in every one's interest. The backers of DRM are strong advocates of protecting the content provider's rights. Fine, what about me?
  • I don't care. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Poromenos1 ( 830658 ) on Monday August 22, 2005 @09:37AM (#13370884) Homepage
    I don't care if it's Open Source DRM with sugar on top, I don't like it and I refuse to use products that restrict the use of something I paid for. I'm doing fine just listening to my old CDs all day.
  • by Mobile Unit of the G ( 862058 ) on Monday August 22, 2005 @09:37AM (#13370889)
    "Open DRM" at first sounds like a contradiction, yet, the modern approach in cryptographic systems is to design systems so that security depends on secret key material, not secret algorithms. It's a rule of nature that any piece of hardware that falls in the hands of the enemy will give up its secrets, and algorithm secrecy didn't stop Jon from cracking DVD encryption.

    In an open DRM system, anybody could create their own DRM "universe" by generating their own set of keys to initialize the system -- this opens the possibility of using DRM to do different things than today's systems, such as protecting privacy: Sun is quite interested in providing storage records for medical records and such, and some kind of DRM would help with HIPPA compliance. (But when I look at the privacy policy I get from my Doc, there are so many people that can see my records that she could save money and just leave them on the curb.)

    It's hard to picture media companies getting behind Sun, but other companies that want to build their own systems for protecting information might get on board -- Sun hopes that this will help them sell storage systems.
    • I've often found that present-day DRM techniques are bad because they forbid so much of what would otherwise be fair use, not the least of which is making backup copies of content, or compilations of parts of multiple contents. Furthermore, they are far too tied to particular pieces of hardware -- one is SOL if the "authenticated" player breaks.

      A DRM technique that (a) I can leverage as much as the "big boys" to protect my own content, (b) preserves more of my fair use rights, is better than one that doesn't.

      These techniques, generally involve encrypted content together with decryption keys possessed, but inaccessable to the end-user ("inaccessable" being a matter of effort, of course). In a flexible system, the user would be able, to transfer those keys, or a limited number of copies of them to playback devices, in a secure mechanism -- taking encrypted content to play at a friend's house should not be a hassle, for example.

      Of course, given that key possession ultimately means that they can be discovered, to be effective, such a system would require content to be personalized to keys that an end-user already possesses, so cracking one does not crack the system. Given electronic delivery of content, this is not far-fetched.

      Where open source DRM shines, though, is the ability to change the access mechanisms that playback or other decrypting devices offer. Fair use is not a static set of rights, but an ever-changing set: VCR-based timeshifting was "new" recognized fair use, for example. When "code is law", and the law is subject to change, it must be possible to change the codew as well.

      Naturally, changed code to be loaded on a device that handles encrypted content would have to be signed by an authority the device trusts (or only be available to deal with content encrypted by the device owner), but this would open up community development of DRM code that respects new fair use rights (assuming the rest of the hardware supported them) -- I'm thinking of a fair use right to, for example, decrypted 720p analog video output where the previously permitted resolution was 480p), testing thereof, leaving only signing required to allow its widespread adoption.

      The big current weakness in all DRM schemes is that while they may allow for preset fair uses, they can not anticipate and allow for future ones. I'd envisioned that the "DRM Carrot" should come with the "Fair Use Stick" -- manufactures of devices that use DRM should be obliged to modify them to support new fair uses as they are recognised, at their expense, in a timely fashion. Open sourcing the code makes this a lot easier.

  • by davecb ( 6526 ) * <> on Monday August 22, 2005 @09:38AM (#13370894) Homepage Journal
    A digital rights management system depends on a system of mandatory access controls (MAC), and a means by which I grant an untrusted remote sender certain limited rights, those needed to turn on and off access to a device.

    This could be used to grant strictly controlled untrusted access to downloaded content in general, included downloaded content ranging from cookies to SETI at Home.

    The OS that supports that will need to be somewhere arround B2 security, something I know Linux, BSD and the commercial Unixes can and have acheieved, but which I strongly suspect VMS and Windows can't reach.

    --dave (biased former securitroid) c-b

  • "and is better to work on creating something done right, or to object to it on moral grounds?"

    To me, if it's done right, I still have complete control over my system. Can anything be done to "protect content" in that environment? It doesn't really seem so. I just don't want someone else to control my stuff - if you think thats somehow a moral issue, you're quite misguided.

    **AA just need to make their own special players that they trust and keep their hands off broadcast television and my computer. It's

  • especially considering that the project is open source and any savvy user can simply comment out vast chunks of code to kid the client program that the user is authorised to view the content...
  • If a DRM framework is available to implement as free software, then how can people be prevented from modifying the software to leak the cleartext of the work and then using the modified software?

  • While I'm all for the idea of a non-proprietary DRM standard that works with all kinds of files and all kinds of O/S, I can't see this ever getting buy-in from the content industry.

    With it being completely open source, how could this be implemented so that the DRM cannot be reverse-engineered to just bypass whatever checking mechanism is put in place?

    If it's using some kind of connection to the file's creator or some kind of authorization agent, then I can't see it being reliable enough to make the DRM'

  • OpenBSOD (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sgt scrub ( 869860 )
    The moral argument against someone else owning my data will die when I do. I think the open source community needs this about as much as an open source blue screen of death.
  • . . . to be staking its future on open source Digital Restrictions Management "technology." That's like taking a stand for pro-life murder.
  • I was gonna get all my sh*t in MP3 for free (from YOUR machines.)

    Yeh, its closed source, you can't know...
  • As an option, a slightly longer read on this is availble at Reuters - Sun Spearheads Open DRM []. Both essentially cover main points.
  • On the receiving end, DRM'd media doesn't do anything for me, so I'm not interested and I won't waste my time, even if the protocol is open.

    As a distributor of media, DRM doesn't do anything for me - it just makes my stuff less accessible, so I'm not interested and I won't waste my time, even if the protocol is open.

    Other distributors of media may want to use DRM, and that's fine. They are within their rights to do so. To me, it's a way for them to put a big red flag on their stuff telling me to avoid it,
  • No, DRM is not HERE. It is not in my computer. It won't be. It won't be in most computers. Because people don't care about which OS they use, but what about they DO care is their freedom to listen music and watch movies.

    So, simply forget it. There is no fishes to fool in this pool. It is just hype of coorporative droids to create a market which RESISTS to exist.
  • > Tough call - DRM is coming (Or is already here), one way or another, and is [it] better to work on creating something done right, or to object to it on moral grounds?

    Why do it right?

    If you do it right, all the DRM'd media will eventually appear on the open standard, and everybody will be able to use it.

    If you let them do it wrong, there will be multiple competing closed standards for DRM, and companies that adopt only one or two of these standards will have their support costs raised by dozens o

  • Does it work? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday August 22, 2005 @09:46AM (#13371004) Journal
    Are open source and DRM compatible? Is there even a theoretical way in which the end user can have access to the decryption algorithm and the decryption key (presumably this must be present somewhere), and not be able to remove the DRM? The linked web sites were both somewhat thin on details.
  • I may only speak for myself here, but the only DRM that's OK with me is no DRM at all.
  • Flawed prospectus (Score:5, Interesting)

    by uprock_x ( 855650 ) on Monday August 22, 2005 @09:46AM (#13371014) Homepage Journal
    I don't wish to take easy potshots at slashdot but why do you ape the language of big news corporations in your story:

    If DRM is the future of controlling our media files

    There is no 'our' media.

    DRM is coming

    Look, all of this is a nonsense. Really the world is splitting into two directions; those who believe passionately in freedom and control over their own lives and those who haven't quite woken up to the value of, or understood what that means.

    There is nothing else. DRM is haxx0r bait to be circumvented and stamped on. It's there to protect the traditional structures, the big corporations primarily. Some smaller outlets may find a use for it occasionally, but it's not there for them. There is so much good media out there with no DRM and those outlets manage to survive and thrive so I think that reveals quite a lot.

    Forced DRM is not compatible with any concept of normal use or freedom or control over one's own systems and files as far as I can ascertain.

    As far as Sun goes, to be honest it's preferable in the sense that an open standard is probably better than a closed one, but all said it's working under the erroneous presumption that some sort of wooly, cowering compliance and affection for DRM is about to take over the world, which it won't.

  • by tunabomber ( 259585 ) on Monday August 22, 2005 @09:47AM (#13371016) Homepage

    ...I object to it on consumerist grounds. DRM just doesn't provide enough value for what I'm paying for.

    Despite owning a Mac, I have yet to buy anything on iTMS but will still happily buy dinosaur digital audio (a.k.a. "Compact Discs"). Why? Compact discs provide me with several things that DRMed digital audio can't:

    • A pre-burned hard copy backup (that lasts long- the dye in CD-R's starts to go after a few years).
    • Some nice cover art/liner notes
    • Complete control of the data itself

    Considering that a digital album costs about the same as a CD on Amazon, the decision is a no-brainer.

  • I don't think it really matters if it's open or not. The idea of DRM is wrong and scary and is against freedom. 'Us' making it won't make it a good thing.
  • The name is hopefully for Sun in this project not the end result.
  • Isn't that a contradiction in terms?
  • by realmolo ( 574068 ) on Monday August 22, 2005 @09:48AM (#13371030)
    Let them settle on *one* standard for DRM, so that the usual suspects can crack it, and we don't have to worry about DRM anymore. Just like we don't have to worry about CSS.

  • is OS FRM would make it unnecessary to reverse engineer it in order to circumvent it. Of ocurse, that will mak eit less acctractive to copyright owners.
  • by tentimestwenty ( 693290 ) on Monday August 22, 2005 @09:48AM (#13371035)
    We already have a number of DRM schemes and consumers are adopting them without too much fuss. Unfortunately, we're still in the early adopting phase which means there hasn't been enough time for things to go wrong for individual users. No massive loss of music/movie collections due to hard drive failure or ending a subscription. No incompatibilities between Gen 1 and Gen 2 hardware devices (and interfaces). The industry is betting that they can just slip this stuff through as fast as possible so that when all the nasty stuff goes down, users won't remember DRM-free media or will no longer have a choice.

    As I see it, an OpenDRM is worse than regular DRM and should be resisted as strongly as any other DRM. It will only make it easier to for everyone to push DRM because of the common platform. At least there's the chance that competing DRMs will piss off enough people to ALL fail, or that the competition alone will force less restrictive models (a la Apple vs. Microsoft currently).
  • Objecting to it on moral and practical grounds is obviously better.

  • I (personally) do not want to contribute to software designed to attempt to strip my rights to fair use of material I purchase and prevent digital backups etc.

    Not to mention, I doubt even the most ingenious of open-source engineers could come up with reliable *software* DRM which automatically allows public-domain type rights to any given media when that media's copyright expires.

    Media sans DRM please.
  • I dont see how this can work without closed source components being present (if you can see any of the code that handles the audio/video between the locked down media file and the write out to the sound/video hardware, you can copy the data)
  • This is a clash of ideology if anything is. Open Source versus... Open Source? Enter Oroborus.
    Hackers rejoice. If this project gets off the ground it will be smashed to pieces and rebuilt time and time again until we have the most stable software on the face of the Earth or we have proven that 'security' such as this is a mathematical impossibility.
  • Eventhough DRM is the tool of the devil, linux should have a solid implementation. If not loads of media can't be played on linux in the (near) future, well at least not legally.. . Embedded linux would be used less and less since it is not possible to make a legal device baded on linux. There will allways be hacks and cracks around DRM, and that's a good thing, but ignoring DRM in Linux would be a major mistake. Embrace and Extend .. .
  • Open source and DRM, then the creators could ensure that noone can modify or copy their work!
  • That old (Score:4, Insightful)

    by I_redwolf ( 51890 ) * on Monday August 22, 2005 @09:53AM (#13371090) Homepage Journal
    If you can't beat em, join em. Sorry, but the idea of DRM is wrong in any form.

    It's on my computer I paid for, with software I paid for or have an exclusive license for. It'll be a cold day in hell when I buy something and then don't have exclusive rights to it. I'm not leasing software; in any way, shape, or form.

    People keep saying DRM is here!! OMG!! I'm scared mommy! Stop acting along the lines of a bitch and realize that the power in the consumer/media conglomerate relationship lies with the consumer.

    With my consumer hat fully locked into place. DRM can come, stay, go, do whatever it wants to. Simply, not on my personal hardware. If it means not having the ability to use or watch media because the majority has spoken otherwise. Then so be it.

    You can either tow the line with a statement and action you believe in. Or, join em. This segues right into the reason society has faltered when it comes to most anything involving standards, morals or simply standing up for ones self. There is a lot less beating, and a whole lot of joining.
  • DRM is coming (...) is [it] better to work on creating something done right, or to object to it on moral grounds?

    It's better to object on moral grounds. Next question?
  • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Monday August 22, 2005 @09:54AM (#13371099)
    With all the problems of lost computers, lost backup tapes, etc., I would think that corporations should be required to use DRM to reduce the risk of identity theft. It may not prevent a company from selling your data (for which they should be royally reamed), but it will reduce "accidental" leaks.

    Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, etc. should never appear in plaintext and managing who has what rights to read/copy/write files with sensitive data seems like a job for DRM. For example DRM would also help when a company uses a 3rd-party provider (e.g., your employer hires another company handle payroll). DRM would let the 3rd-party access the data on a one-time use basis. Any attempt to copy the data or read the data outside the specified application would fail. This type fo DRM would help reduce the chance of a rogue employee trying to sell the data.

    It seems like DRM could have valuable applications for helping maintain privacy.
  • Open DRM = Oxymoronic
    Closed DRM = Moronic

    I don't see how an open DRM solution could allow someone to play a media file they've purchased while simultaneously prevent them from copying and/or distributing the media file.

    On the other hand, I don't see how closed DRM which has had millions invested into it has ever stopped anyone either.
  • Sun's approach is an intriguing one. Obviously Sun has a significant customer base in corporate America and as such needs to provide soultions they will use. In the DRM market all the cards have been played and all the systems have been worked out. Except Open DRM... very clever of them to see this. OpenDRM is not the first or perhaps even the best idea in terms of efficacity but it may very well become the biggest, by nature of it being open.

    We shall see whether the open model continues to do it's magic an
  • This is the kind of DRM i want to see. Right now DRM is a pain to use because there is so many standards that are fighting each other. What I want to see is a single adopted open standard that everyone has access to.

    Although DRM is a double edged sword, it's benefits to privacy far outweigh the *AA uses for it. Having a open DRM scheme that everyone can use will just make the adoption more streamline and easier for the end user.
  • For another write up on this, check Reuters - Sun Micro announces open-source DRM project []. The write up has a little more info on the need/impact of DRM but about the same level of details as the submitters link.
  • I'm not sure morals really enters into the question here. If you're against DRM, you can choose to only support those who publish without any at all. If you're willing to endure a little DRM with your media, an open standard can only be a good thing.

    I say this is a positive development.
  • DRM is the end of anonymity.
    Just because of that, DRM is bad.
    I believe the focus should be on keeping non-DRM alternatives viable.
    Even letting the big consortiums make their own DRM is good, because they have failed miserabily in the past, and the least help they can get, the better.
    As long as they come up with shitty solutions, there will be room for non-DRM stuff.
    As long as they develop a convenient DRM solution, non-DRM hardware and content is at much bigger risk.
  • by lordcorusa ( 591938 ) on Monday August 22, 2005 @09:59AM (#13371158)
    Even assuming I don't object on moral grounds, (which I do, strongly) how would this even work?

    Free Software can never implement any Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) technology. Why? Because, a piece of DRM-compatible software must take an encrypted content file, decrypt it, and pipe the output to a user interface such as a speaker or monitor. At the same time, the software must prevent the user, at any point in the above pipeline, from copying the unencrypted content to a file. This is a fundamental problem which all DRM schemes must solve. With Free Software or Open Source software any user can modify the source code so that the unencrypted content is saved to a file, thus breaking the DRM. Therefore, Free Software can never truly implement DRM. Conversely, any system which correctly implements DRM can never fully be Free Software.

    I realize that Sun is talking about open standards, which are very different from Open Source or Free Software. However, their stated aim here is to make open standards which will allegedly be friendly to Open Source. However, I think I have already proven that this is bunk, because the concepts of DRM and Free Software/Open Source software are diametrically opposed.

    Therefore, what is Sun's real goal here?
  • I don't really want DRM to be done "right". I want it to work horribly so that the non-techies get to experience just how much it interferes with their daily lives. I want to see the day where DRM has such a bad reputation attached to it that vendors will see it as a marketing point to write the words "DRM-less" on the box.
  • Is putting out DRM as open source akin to giving us the job of sharpening the blade on the guillotine used for our beheading?
  • Isn't Open DRM by definition trivial to defeat?

    Just skip the code that prevents you from unlocking the file, and you're done.

  • This finally is starting to make sense.

    DRM is the REALITY- because the studios (music/movies) are going to insist upon it.

    In the future, if you want to view the content, you will have to play by their rules. And it is only fair that they make rules, because they are making the content.

    DRM will be a reality- unless you want to watch a continuous stream of non-DRM'd ballet recitals and birthday parties.
  • ... if you think of all the valuable itches that will go un-scratched in the pursuit of this DRM utopia, it's truly depressing. I don't think the open source community is a right fit for this particular endeavour anyway... once the first iteration is cracked, we'll all call out, "See? Told ya so. It'll never work." and go back to making more PHP CMSes. We should be investing time in better licensing meta data and compromises on rhetoric, rather than trying to race the content industries to make the mor
  • Tough call - DRM is coming (Or is already here), one way or another, and is better to work on creating something done right, or to object to it on moral grounds?

    I hate the whole idea behind DRM, to me as a Free Software guy the whole idea seems just wrong.

    But... Open Standard DRM feels a lot better than Apple-only DRM or Windows-only DRM...

    You're right. It is a tough call.

    But one thing's for sure: if DRM is coming, and we want to continue moving the "ordinary user" over to open source systems, we

  • 1) Develop Open DRM
    2) Add hidden flaw to code
    3) Let media companies standarize on Open DRM
    6) Wait
    7) Use flaw to free content
    8) ???
    9) Profit!
  • by Ath ( 643782 ) on Monday August 22, 2005 @10:09AM (#13371260)
    You don't need to fight against DRM on moral grounds as it is a technically doomed idea. DRM, like copy protection, is entirely ineffective once someone has found a way around it.

    Yes, for the masses it will continue to affect them but for those who have just a bit of savvy and can use the tools that others produce, DRM will be nothing more than a minor annoyance.

    Open source developed or not, a DRM is just a hurdle.

    The "moral" problem is actually one of legality. It is one thing to introduce an obstacle to certain ways of using content, but to make it criminal merely for bypassing the DRM regardless of your right to the actual content is where the moral problem lies.

  • Tough call - DRM is coming (Or is already here), one way or another, and is better to work on creating something done right, or to object to it on moral grounds?
    Do both, that way if you can't get what you want, at least you'll have some control of it.
  • What Sun seems to be doing is to create a open source = unpatentable DRM. There will be a need, it will come down to DRM on media in some form. By making this move and being a early player SUN is making a good placement for themselves and the Open Source Community. It also will keep out the overzelous companies that have put out products that have not worked well with others (hummbfMacrovisonCough).
  • DRM is unavoidable if desktops are going to support playback of future media models. If Linux and other OSS systems are to compete for the desktop, there must be a reliable OSS implementation of DRM.

    Unfortunately there is a good chance that there will also be a push for "certified" or "approved" DRM, which may well lock out all but the largest OSS distros.

  • First?
  • I posted a three-paragaph response, but it vaporized... let's see if this shows up.


  • In general I'm against DRM, but I know that many busineses depend on them and are not going to change thier ways any time soon.

    Currently the geographic community is working with in the OGC [] to develop DRM for geographic products. The plan is to get in early and define a standard to prevent cosy vendor mapping agency tie-ins.

    So if we all get behind an open source open standard method of DRM then may be we can avoid the problems which are dogging DRM in the music industry.


  • Sounds more like a nightmare, at least from the user/consumer perspective. I'm sure it's quite the wet dream for the RIAA/MPAA/etc.

    No thanks, I think I'll stick to libre stuff.


  • How can it be acceptable that someone else dictates what your computer can or can't do?

    I'd glady prefer to see them gladiating themselves to (hopefully mutual) fatality on some standard of DRM.

    The only acceptable DRM is no DRM at all.

    Sun calling a nightmare a "dream" only adds to the hypocrisy.
  • . . . to be staking its future on open source Digital Restrictions Management "technology." That's like taking a stand for pro-life murder!
  • I don't see why this is a tough call at all.

    DRM itself (like patents or the copyright system) is not a bad thing per se. However, the potential to abuse and misuse it is a bad thing, and so it seems that the smart thing to do is to get in on the process and try to keep the end product from being overly restrictive. I don't know if such a thing is possible in the long run, but it seems to me a far better thing to try to realize such a product than to leave it up to people who might not give a damn about yo
  • Isn't OpenDRM an oxymoron?
  • Having multiple DRM mechanisms pisses consumers off, because they can't play their iTunes-bought songs on a Creative MP3 player.

    I think that the only way to get a single, universal DRM mechanism is to make encoding free - if content producers can restrict their content for free, then they will do it. So long as they have to pay a royalty, then (barring monopolies) there will be competing DRM technologies, and so a universal DRM standard will be hindered.

    Therefore I hope that there is never an open source r
  • by Dlugar ( 124619 ) on Monday August 22, 2005 @10:23AM (#13371426) Homepage
    It's better to object to it on the grounds that it will never work. If you want the person to be able to view the content, then they can copy it. Simple as that.

  • Does it use TPM? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ThreeDayMonk ( 673466 ) on Monday August 22, 2005 @10:34AM (#13371578) Homepage
    Isn't open source DRM about as useful as a woollen condom? All the DRM I've seen (and worked with) uses obfuscated keys and black box decryption libraries; if it's open source, how does it work?

    Now, I don't think that DRM has much use anyway, but where it does "work", it generally does so through obfuscation. I can't see the content providers springing for this. On the other hand, they've already been sold snake oil by other DRM vendors, so just maybe...

    Realistically, though, the only way I can see open source DRM working at all is if it uses TPM in some way.
  • DReaM on.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hacker ( 14635 ) <> on Monday August 22, 2005 @11:04AM (#13371935)

    DReaM on, Sun. The Open Source community isn't about writing your code for you, open standards or not.

    Many of us vehemently object to DRM on its face, because it goes counter to the beliefs of the Open Source community; fostering learning and growth and a strong sense of community through sharing and improving our creations.

    DRM doesn't play into that, even if your "customers" demand it. Creating an Open Source initiative to try to get the Open Source community to write the code for you, so you can lock it up under the CDDL for your customers' use, doesn't play into that.

    Find another sandbox to play in, this one is ours.

  • Security Model? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by crucini ( 98210 ) on Monday August 22, 2005 @11:29AM (#13372176)
    Does anyone know what the security model is? Doesn't DRM rely on the player having embedded keys to decrypt the content? If the DRM is open, won't it be trivial to extract those keys?
  • by xenomouse ( 904937 ) on Monday August 22, 2005 @11:30AM (#13372184)
    Over the past few years, it seems as though there has been a major divide between the interests and desires of major media companies and the end user. Major media companies have shown a strong desire to control their digital content via copy protection and DRM, using their own distinct proprietary methods and limiting the usage of said content to a limited scope (you may only play on such-and-such player, copy n times, and/or play this video in the next 24 hours). End users have shown a desire for flexibility in the way the DRM is applied. If end-user Tom purchases a music file, Tom wants to play that file on any player (software or hardware) and be able to make CD copies so he and his wife can each listen to it while driving separate ways in their respective humvees.

    An open source DRM standard would make a method of controlling content widely available. The more widely available it is, the more players we can utilize in playing our DRM'd music, movie, etc. Hopefully, with Sun behind this, enough media executives will start to trust an open DRM.

    1. High level of transparency/accountability.
    2. The standards will be open to everyone. (Now Joe Schmoe can write a player that can read's DRM'd music.)
    3. It's Sun - hopefully, all the music/movie execs will recognize the name and trust them and their products.

    1. Vaporware? (open DRM is a nice idea, but when's it gonna get here? we'll not hold our breath, thanks [].
    2. It's Sun - do we trust them and their products?
  • Nah (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jmv ( 93421 ) on Monday August 22, 2005 @12:33PM (#13372542) Homepage
    better to work on creating something done right, or to object to it on moral grounds?

    How about work create a lot of different standards done wrong, so the whole thing gets scrapped once people get frustrated with the stuff just not working.
  • by tji ( 74570 ) on Monday August 22, 2005 @12:52PM (#13372665)
    One of the bigger risks of DRM, as I see it, is giving authority over your system to another entity. Not surprisingly, in many of the schemes pitched thus far, big business decides all and your PC must obey (see the broadcast flag). The same effect exists for the HD copy protection schemes.. the studios decide all, and your hardware must obey.

    At least an open standard form of DRM could put everyone on equal footing, rathern than locking in the big media company's control over the industry. If independant producers have the same access/right/privileges as the big players, it makes for a much better solution.

    Personally, I am all for a good system of protecting the rights of content producers. But, the last thing I want is that system being used to lock in the power of big business and the garbage that they peddle.
    • Well lets be clear about this system that you are saying might be better/acceptable.

      This software / there files only work if you have a Trusted Computing compliant computer. The Trusted Computing Group is the "root authority" for this hardware. It is impossible for ANYONE to create working interoperable hadrware without the Trusted Computing group's approval and getting their cryptographic signature to actvate your hardware. So this Trusted Computing Group has absolute power and control over the industry.

  • by Todd Knarr ( 15451 ) on Monday August 22, 2005 @01:18PM (#13372832) Homepage

    My problem with DRM isn't the concept itself, it's the one-sidedness of current implementations: the existing DRM systems enforce the rights the media companies want enforced, but they don't enforce the rights copyright law grants to copy-owners. An open DRM system at least offers the ability to lay down within the system all rights including the ones copyright law grants that the media companies don't like. If we lay down the standard with reference to relevant statute and case law, we can change the playing field so the media companies have to argue why a DRM system shouldn't comply with the law when they object to things like time-shifting and personal-copy rights.

"For a male and female to live continuously together is... biologically speaking, an extremely unnatural condition." -- Robert Briffault