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Microsoft Patents Your Rights Online

Microsoft Patents DRM'd Torrents 193

Anonymous Crobar writes "Microsoft has received a patent for a 'digital rights management scheme for an on-demand distributed streaming system,' or using a P2P network to distribute commercial media content. The patent, #7,639,805, covers a method of individually encrypting each packet with a separate key and allowing users to decrypt differing levels of quality depending on the license that has been purchased."
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Microsoft Patents DRM'd Torrents

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  • blah blah (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 08, 2010 @01:15PM (#30696658)

    blah blah prior art blah blah

    blah blah patents suck blah blah

  • by holophrastic ( 221104 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @01:17PM (#30696700)

    It's a great way of monetizing uncontrollable distribution channels. Easily allow anyone and their goldfish to distribute large content freely, and effectively charge at the codec level. Certainly solves a good half of the people-steal-everything problem. The patent's still stupid, but the idea's great -- I'd support a two-year patent certainly.

  • maximum utility. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gandhi_2 ( 1108023 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @01:24PM (#30696792) Homepage

    1. patent something.
    2. patent it "...on a computer".
    3. patent it "...on a network".
    4. patent it "...with DRM".
    5. patent it "???".
    6. Profit!!1!

  • by sakdoctor ( 1087155 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @01:29PM (#30696854) Homepage [] but with DRM.

    DRM and P2P won't mix because it's a huge popularity contest. There is selection pressure against really bad, really big, or password protected/DRMed content.

  • by PhreakOfTime ( 588141 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @01:29PM (#30696858) Homepage

    Im sure everyone here knows your stance by now...but for those that dont, allow me to translate what you just said...

    It's a great way of monetizing uncontrollable(by me) distribution channels. Easily allow anyone and their goldfish to distribute large content freely(at no charge to me), and effectively charge(I collect money from the freely given resources of others without compensation) at the codec level. Certainly solves a good half of the people-steal-everything problem.(except for the fact that you are 'stealing' others resources without compensating them)

    Im sorry, but your business model is dying, thats why you have so much resistance to the current changes in the world. Allowed to come to an equilibrium, youd be out of work. You are completely free to follow whatever path you want, but when you start advocating for everyone to only do business a certain way because thats the only way you personally can survive, we part ways.

  • by mewsenews ( 251487 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @01:29PM (#30696862) Homepage

    Reminds me of "stealing" satellite signals. The government has cracked down on that pretty viciously.

  • Already being done (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ickleberry ( 864871 ) <> on Friday January 08, 2010 @01:33PM (#30696908) Homepage
    See BBC iPlayer/Kontiki

    Not only do they want to turn your own PC against you with their DRM, they also want to use your upstream bandwidth. All the disadvantages of torrents and all the disadvantages of legally bought "treats the buyer as a criminal" DRMified files rolled into one
  • by networkBoy ( 774728 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @01:34PM (#30696922) Journal

    no to mention that should count as prior art...

  • by AmigaHeretic ( 991368 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @01:35PM (#30696938) Journal
    So if I only want to pay for the 700MB quality KEY, I still have to download the whole 4GB torrent?

    Where can I download this awesome torrents? Oh I think I found the link: []

  • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @01:36PM (#30696952)

    If you only get the low quality anyways, why does it make any sense for you to be forced to pull the bits in the high quality version? This is a reduction in efficiency and convenience. Due to the long transfer times required for high-quality content, and very short transfer times required for smaller low-quality content.

    There's a simpler solution to this: use keyed/passworded private torrents.

    Make different quality versions different files.

    Then the customers who purchase low-quality content don't get to download the same file as the ones who purchase high-quality content, and it means, less bandwidth and disk space is used.

    If they change their mind and wish to buy a high quality version, they can simply download the high-quality version once given access. Upon successful download replace the lq file.

    This technology is superfluous.. it shouldn't be patentable, because it's not an actual improvement.

    Inventions have to be improvements to be patentable... it's called useful discovery

    As required by the constitution: To promote the progress of science and useful arts...

    Their technology does not offer an improvement versus pre-existing unpatented technologies in common use and simpler obvious ways of accomplishing the same thing, they do not have a useful invention.

  • WOW! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 08, 2010 @01:39PM (#30696988)

    So if I encrypt a file, create a torrent out of it, and put it up for distribution, I'm violating MS's patent?

    If this is the case, I guess I'll have to become Incorporated if I want to 'innovate' anything for the net... Either that, or that patent office should be taken out back and shot. Not sure which one would be easier at this point...

  • by denmarkw00t ( 892627 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @01:59PM (#30697294) Homepage Journal

    I'd pay, but I want the assurance that Big Content's hands stay off of my media, ESPECIALLY if I payed for the better quality. If I can't duplicate it, play it on my TV or stream it to a laptop/360/iWhatever/wireless projector/blahblahblah then I'm definitely going to pirate it. The biggest issue I have with DRM content is that the model for DRM hasn't gotten past the whole "You can have it, kinda, but its really still ours" mentality, and I'm not counting on codec-levels being the only "DRM" going on here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 08, 2010 @02:05PM (#30697392)

    How can you "steal" something that is broadcast over an entire hemisphere? You and I are subjected to satellite signals of all kinds without our desire or consent. How is merely making use of that radiation we are bombarded with considered 'theft?'

    No, I'm not a tinfoil hat-wearing paraniod. I am just trying to look at it pragmatically.

    Now, I WOULD consider an UP-link to a satellite without authorisation to be theft of services (bandwidth, processing time, potentially introducing security holes), but to merely make use of signals broadcast, which I am subjected to all the time regardless of desire or objection, is NOT theft.

    Otherwise, if I were a farmer growing "organic" vegetables for hippy/crunchy treehuggers, I'd be crazy to not consider filing a frivilous suit against communication satellite operators for irradiating my crops or for trespassing, if only for generating PR in the paranoid hippy "community." Note to crunchies: I am not patenting this PR-generating scam as 'imaginary property.' Feel free to make use of my idea.

  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @02:18PM (#30697570)
    1. How is making a copy "stealing?" You are failing to meet a key criterion by not depriving the person from whom you made the copy of whatever you copied. Stealing would be walking into my house and taking my hard drive.
    2. This system will fail because nobody will download the restricted media; there is unrestricted media available at no cost. Further, the amount of time needed to extract the secret keys from the restricted codecs is minimal, unless a hardware crypto module is required. I expect that any software implementation will be broken within a week; an implementation using hardware crypto will probably be defeated within a year of its release.

    Some of us stopped feeling remorse for the recording and movie industries when we saw how extensive their lies are. Like, the RIAA claiming that Kazaa was killing CD sales, when in reality they had record setting revenues during the height of Kazaa. Or Hollywood accounting. Or the claim that downloading is benefiting violent Mexican gangs. After a decade of claiming that they are suffering financially, I would expect to see RIAA and MPAA member companies all defunct or near bankruptcy, yet in reality these companies are among the wealthiest and most powerful corporations in the world.

  • by pclminion ( 145572 ) on Friday January 08, 2010 @02:23PM (#30697672)
    I always have to laugh when people complain about patents on technologies they hate. Hello? They PATENTED it. That means nobody else is allowed to do it. And Microsoft of course, will fail at it themselves. Thus the effect of the patent is to PREVENT these sorts of DRM mechanisms from proliferating. Use your brains people.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson