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DRM Media Your Rights Online

The Real Purpose of DRM 213

Jeremy Allison - Sam writes "Ian Hickson, author and maintainer of the HTML5 specification, comments about the real reasons for DRM. They're not what you might think. Ian nails it in my opinion. He wrote, 'The purpose of DRM is not to prevent copyright violations. The purpose of DRM is to give content providers leverage against creators of playback devices. Content providers have leverage against content distributors, because distributors can't legally distribute copyrighted content without the permission of the content's creators. But if that was the only leverage content producers had, what would happen is that users would obtain their content from those content distributors, and then use third-party content playback systems to read it, letting them do so in whatever manner they wanted. ... Arguing that DRM doesn't work is, it turns out, missing the point. DRM is working really well in the video and book space. Sure, the DRM systems have all been broken, but that doesn't matter to the DRM proponents. Licensed DVD players still enforce the restrictions. Mass market providers can't create unlicensed DVD players, so they remain a black or gray market curiosity."
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The Real Purpose of DRM

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  • by TechieRefugee ( 2105386 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @07:47PM (#43219097)
    First, a study showing that piracy has a negligable effect on profits and now this? I officially decree today to be the day of "No shit" Stories!
    • by amicusNYCL ( 1538833 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @07:54PM (#43219159)

      I was misled! I was told that DRM would help me to manage my rights. Is this no longer the case?

      • As has been said, (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Mister Liberty ( 769145 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:09PM (#43219277)

        DRM manages you rights in the same way jail 'manages' your freedom.

      • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:14PM (#43219321)

        I was misled! I was told that DRM would help me to manage my rights. Is this no longer the case?

        Well, there's a reason they call copyright owners "rights owners", and they call you a "consumer". Because otherwise, you'd own your personal digital devices, and you'd do whatever you want with them, and we can't have that. There's money to be made in taking away your rights and then selling them back to you as a privilege that can be taken away at any time.

        • And we should consider ourselves fortunate that content providers "are forced to provide a user experience that, rather than being optimized for the users, puts potential future revenues first (forcing people to play ads, keeping the door open to charging more for more features later, building artificial obsolescence into content so that if you change ecosystem, you have to purchase the content again)". It makes our content maker overlords happy.

        • Well, there's a reason they call copyright owners "rights owners"

          You know, every time I hear that term I've taken it to mean that they are owners who have rights, or something similar to that. It seems more like the rights that they purport to own are my rights.

    • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:05PM (#43219241)
      DRM isn't directly about "no copy," and it isn't directly about controlling device manufacturers.

      It's about getting around "first sale" rights. They don't want you to be able to sell what you bought to someone else (hence "no copy"), and they want you to re-purchase if you want it on a different device (hence the "device control"). They want you to rent, not own, content.
      • by Technician ( 215283 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:21PM (#43219367)

        DRM prevents first purchase. My MP3 players (all under $20 US) do not support DRM. I use them for Libravox audio books. I am catching up on the classics for free. http://librivox.org/ [librivox.org]

        Recent titles include;
        The invisable man
        The little princess
        Moby Dick
        Tom Sawyer
        Journet to the center of the earth

        I listen to old radio shows too.

        • by Unnngh! ( 731758 )
          Pride and Prejudice was also a good LibriVox one, I was somewhat surprised to find that I enjoyed both the writing and the story (and the reading for that matter).
        • by hazem ( 472289 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @12:12AM (#43220719) Journal

          Do you care to share what mp3 players you use and what you like best about them?

          Also, if you're in the US, you can get a ton of audiobooks to listen to for free at your local library. If they don't have them at your local branch, they can probably get them via inter-library loan. I've listened to tons of books this way.

          Libravox is nice, and I fully support the idea. But I find many of the readers difficult to listen to over a long book - and I'm sure my own reading would be hard for others to hear as well. There's a reason professional readers like Scott Brick, George Guidall, James Delotel, Lloyd James, and Jim Dale, are popular and hopefully well-paid. They're essentially actors and doing a lot more than just reading words off the page.

          • Well I don't know about him but you can have my Sandisk M260 when you pry it from my cold dead fingers. The thing is built like a tank, been dropped i don't know how many times and everything still works, gets around 27 hours on a single AAA battery, decent EQ, and of course since it runs on triple A if I go dead while I'm out 2 minutes in any store and I'm back up and running again. its a damned shame they don't still make 'em but you can often find them on eBay or Amazon.
      • by Arker ( 91948 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:29PM (#43219417) Homepage
        Or, to put it even more simply, DRM is about destroying private property rights and replacing them with a system of privilege.
      • More specifically for game DRM, the vendors want to ensure you're locked into their platform when you buy games from them, and DRM enforces this. I don't use Origin, Uplay or even Steam anymore, because (for the most part) anything you buy on a platform requires a client to validate your eligibility every time you try to run a game. You're locked into that ecosystem the vendor has provided. If you decide that Valve are being dicks for whatever reason and you don't want to deal with them anymore, you can't j

        • So you play on GoG and indie games? Actually, I take that back, the 3 games I play the most (LoL, Hawken, and Blacklight: Retribution) don't use steam.
    • This doesn't explain why DRM is on games and other software though...

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      The news is that maybe this will be disseminated to people who don't read slashdot. Too bad it's just a G+ post, normal (non nerds) people need to learn about this stuff. And the only ones who can teach them is us.

    • And yet, people are still buying media with heavy DRM. I'd wager most people don't know what DRM is or why it will cost them a lot of money for things they "buy." They don't know they're agreeing to "license" things temporarily.

      While you may say "That's their problem," it's also our problem, since such unethical practices being profitable makes things worse for those of us who do know that DRM is a scam. If you play games, you likely either are stuck with few quality games, or games that have at lea
  • Short version (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @07:49PM (#43219111)

    DRM is an attempt to circumvent one of the primary functions of a computational device: Copying of data. The reason for this is money and power. One group thinks they deserve money or power over another group. This is the simple truth of all DRM, and I can explain it shorter than the article, and even the summary of the article. It is what it is.

    • Re:Short version (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:03PM (#43219223)

      The most evil drm I always thought was region coding.
      I can think of many purposes, but none of them really stand up if you study them, like the "official" reason to allow continent proce discrimination. It implies that the block of countries has something in common that will always make them separate from other blocks somehow and that each block has some kind of ruler that controls those countries and only those.
      If the distributors has their way, I'm sure they would have made the region coding specific to every DVD-player (like player keys like bluray, but worse)

      • The best way around region coding is to live in a country that doesn't make it illegal to remove such restrictions. (read: Pretty much anywhere except USA)

        • and in those countries nowadays you're hard pressed to find a DVD player that actually supports those restrictions... most made-in-China players simply don't support DRM beyond the decryption part. Cheaper for the manufacturers (less software to write).

      • by shitzu ( 931108 )

        I haven't seen a DVD player whose region code cannot be removed by a simple procedure on a remote. How is that a grey market curiosity? Or is it different in the US of A?

    • Nope. DRM is actually an attempt to control the use of the products you sell, and to manage to extract money from your customers in several ways, by transforming products in services. DRM as a measure of preventing copies it is a failed idea from conception and thinking it can be really used for that is naivete.
  • by Anonymous Coward


    I'm so confused. Goddamnit Slashdot.

    • Nothing to be confused about piracy is good for sales, DRM is bad for sales. As simple as that.
      Some people have learned it with Walmart music store, many will soon learn it. SimCity fiasco is another example. Users are slowly starting to realize, that DRMd stuff is as good as damaged goods - a gamble in which you are much more likely to lose.
      Also, this anti-circumvention bull does not fly in most countries with the exception of USA. Here in Europe I can do whatever it takes to make my legally obtained devic

  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nerdflat.cBLUEom minus berry> on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:05PM (#43219243) Journal

    DRM is about distributive control... but they've always had distributive control in one form or another anyways.

    The purpose of DRM is to supplement the diminishing faith that the content makers have traditionally placed in the strength of the copyright claim alone to keep people from copying the work without authorization.

    As copying has gotten easier and easier, the mere social contract between publisher and community, which essentially says that the latter will not copy it without permission, effectively granting the publisher a form of distributive control, has started to break down... people are no longer adhering to their side of that contract, and so it is inevitable that publishers will seek alternative means to protect their interests.

    Before copyright itself, effective distributive control still existed for people who made content because the work involved in making a copy was very time consuming and difficult. At the very least, it involved sufficient manual labor and errors in reproduction that the counterfeits rarely obtained as much notoriety as the originals. This is hardly the circumstance today, where it's pretty much an an everyday occurrence to see movies that wer3e just released up on Pirate Bay within days or sometimes hours of release, for download by anybody who simply doesn't want to pay the cash to see it in the theater.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      The purpose of DRM is to supplement the diminishing profit that the content makers have traditionally placed in the strength of the copyright claim alone to keep people from excercising their fair use rights.


      As copying has gotten easier and easier, the mere business contract between publisher and community, which essentially says that the latter will not copy it for personal use, effectively granting the publisher a form of monopoly, has started to break down... people are no longer adhering to unfair and restrictive business practices, and so it is inevitable that publishers will seek alternative means to protect their interests.

      FTFY (again)

      This is hardly the circumstance today, where it's pretty much an an everyday occurrence to see movies that wer3e [sic] just released up on Pirate Bay within days or sometimes hours of release, for download by anybody who simply doesn't want to pay the cash to watch something once and decide they don't like it because most movies are shit today.

      FTFY (yet again)

    • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:32PM (#43219455) Journal

      As copying has gotten easier and easier, the mere social contract between publisher and community, which essentially says that the latter will not copy it without permission, effectively granting the publisher a form of distributive control, has started to break down.

      Nice try. But the DMCA came before Napster, and DVD DRM (and Macrovision before it) came before general-purpose computers could play back video well. This isn't a chicken and egg problem, we know which came first. It seems likely that the main original purpose of DVD DRM was to enforce region coding, not to prevent copying.

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )

        You seem to be under the impression that copying is something that is relatively recent... or exclusive to the digital realm.

        It isn't.... there is a long history of analog piracy that is decades older than the DMCA... something that as newer technology was developed, the manufacturers were hoping to nip in the bud with legislation before it became an issue. (Didn't really work though, did it).

    • the mere social contract between publisher and community, which essentially says that the latter will not copy it without permission

      That's not a contract. A contract has a consideration for both parties (or it's not a valid contract)

      people are no longer adhering to their side of that contract

      It's going both ways. The public aren't adhering to their side of the contract, but then, neither are the publishers. The idea is that the public lets the publishers have the exclusive right to distribute (and thus, make money) in return for the publisher generating creative work for us all to access.

      But the publishers aren't giving us access to creative work - they're locking it down. Region controls, DRM,

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        If that were the case, then piracy incidence would rise with increased publisher lockdowns or more restrictive copyright terms. That's not the case. In fact, there's no statistically significant correlation between such changes to copyright terms and piracy. Rather, piracy incidence has risen entirely monotonically with the widespread availability of consumer technologies that gave them the ability to easily copy. The easier copying became, the more piracy happened. It's not a a direct functional rel
    • Except that providers use DRM to go above and beyond the restrictions that copyright law imposes.

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        Although I don't abide by publishers that utilize DRM for a second, for what it's worth... once a DRM'd work does fall into public domain (some 100 or so years later), at least it won't be any violation of the DMCA to break the lock on that work.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As copying has gotten easier and easier, the mere social contract between publisher and community, which essentially says that the latter will not copy it without permission, effectively granting the publisher a form of distributive control, has started to break down... people are no longer adhering to their side of that contract, and so it is inevitable that publishers will seek alternative means to protect their interests.

      That's funny... in my country, every time you buy storage media (e.g. SSD, HDD, DVD, CD, memory cards) or anything that contains storage media (e.g. tablets, MP3 players), you're actually charged a private copying levy [wikipedia.org], specifically to compensate "content producers" (actually "publishers", but let's pretend for a second) for the fact that PRIVATE copying is actually legal here (as it is in most of the World).

      So... you see, in my country, it's actually PUBLISHERS who are breaking the social contract, since t

  • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:11PM (#43219293) Journal
    I have media players from China that will play most popular video formats and completely ignores any DRM scheme including Cinavia. I paid $40 for it w/ free shipping and no tax. It has no network port, doesnt rely on servies or logins or fees. You put movie files in, movies play out. Copyright as it stands now will not be able to weather ubiquitous computing.
    • Try a free software version for your PC.

      Skipping the previews and just playing the movie is a huge plus.
      http://www.geexbox.org/download/ [geexbox.org]

      • I prefer VLC [videolan.org] but the point is well taken. Reclaim your freedom to watch the content you paid for in the manner that you wish by using open source software to re-enable your rights as a consumer.

        • I've never tried using VLC to play a DVD. I'll have to check that out. I use VLC for most other media on Linux. It just plays what I throw at it. A reboot to Geexbox takes care of DVDs.

          • I've never tried using VLC to play a DVD. I'll have to check that out. I use VLC for most other media on Linux. It just plays what I throw at it. A reboot to Geexbox takes care of DVDs.

            VLC often craps itself hard and then gets into a state where I have to xkill it when trying to watch a DVD.

            This never happens to me running XBMC, although sometimes it chokes on a menu. This has not happened to me in a long time.

            Except on a seriously limited system, you will not have to reboot to run XBMC. You do need shaders to run it. It will use VDPAU if you have it, and I hope you do if your computer is bunko. I switch user profiles to launch XBMC, but you can just run it, too. I only wanted a "pure" mo

    • Re:Cheap hardware mitigates... if you can get your hands on it... My parents have an iLo dvd player that does not lock itself to a region and plays all kinds of media. Unfortunaltey, the company that made it got sued out of existence. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ILo_Technologies [wikipedia.org] for how Cyberhome owns their intellectual property after their warehouse was raided for creating "unlicensed" DVD players.
  • Region codes (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:20PM (#43219361)

    Not something we here in the USA give much thought to. But in the rest of the world, region-free DVD players are more than a curiosity.

  • DVD players? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by leromarinvit ( 1462031 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:23PM (#43219379)

    I'm confused. Why would anyone care what a DVD player does or doesn't do, when there's a free, high quality, ad-free version of pretty much anything on the Pirate Bay (and countless other distribution channels) that will play on any device, in any way I want, whenever I want?

    They can (somewhat, temporarily) control their own distribution channels. But once it's out in the open, any and all control over these closed channels is moot.

    • Re:DVD players? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @09:04PM (#43219673) Journal
      This. The Pirate Bay (and Usenet, and private Torrent trackers) offer something that media companies don't... If they had been paying any attention, they'd have taken a clue from AllOfMP3: content for a decent price, in the format I want, at a compression rate of my choice. And mine to play and replay when I want, on a device of my choice, with no ads.

      I don't pirate movies because I can do so free of charge. I got to a point in life where my time is actually rather valuable, so I am willing to pay for convenience. And I am certainly willing and able to pay for content because it's the right thing to do. Yet I pirate movies because the pirates offer a vastly better product and movie distributors stubbornly refuse to follow suit. Well, fuck 'em.

      And fuck the book publishers too. I still get told all too often that I am not allowed to buy certain ebooks because I don't live in the USA... even though the same companies are happy to ship me a paper copy. Guess what, the customer you refused to do business with found what he wants on the Pirate Bay
      • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

        I've gotten to where I'd rather rent a movie and rip it than download it. Most really good blu-ray rips are in the neighborhood of 10 gigabytes and I can just drop by Redbox and pick up a few, take them home and rip them and drop them back at the Redbox the next day. Then I watch them when I feel like it using my WD TV Live HD player hooked to my TV. It looks just as good as it does through the blu-ray player then I can keep the movie if it's worth rewatching ( about 1 out of 20 ) or just delete it. I n

        • In my case, it goes way faster torrenting a bluray than going out and renting it, especially when factoring in the return and selection.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jellyfoo ( 2865315 )


        All I want is for the studios to provide something comparable with what I can get on torrent sites:

        * A standalone file that doesn't require authentication with some server somewhere.
        * A file encoded in an open (enough) container & format like MP4/MKV, such that it can be decoded by anything and on any operating system/platform. I don't want to have to rely on a propritary Windows-only program to play my purchased files.
        * HD quality files (720p or 1080p - even better, having a choice at purchase/d

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:28PM (#43219409)

    People who make IP are pissed when other people can easily copy and distribute their work for free. It is a VERY common Human emotion from creators.

    DRM is nothing but a modern version of 'copy protection'. Or perhaps the idiot Hickson wants to argue that copy-protection sought by people like the Beatles, or used on VHS tapes, happened because the 'content providers' wanted 'leverage' over the people making the playback hardware.

    DRM is a super-set of basic copy-protection ideas, that has vastly enhanced functionality ONLY because modern levels of tech make such functionality possible. Everything that DRM causes is a 'down-stream' consequence of tech possibilities, NOT the reason DRM exists in the first place.

    All current legislative pressure (the actions of your government) insists that DRM must NOT relate to issues of hardware monopolies- the exact opposite of what idiot Hickson is saying. Hickson is like the idiots who try to argue that EULAs over-rule your 'first sale doctrine' rights.

    Governments will only allow DRM to ultimately serve two purposes. 1) to stop illegal copying and distribution. 2) to allow media to be provided as a 'service' (where the data is no longer accessible when the service conditions end). Companies that use DRM do NOT get to trump the law of the land.

    An idiot might ask "why then are so many DRM schemes associated with particular hardware". The answer is, of course, down to the emerging state of the technology. Universal DRM systems require technology to reach a level (cost and capability) where they become commercially feasible. In the interim (as with all new technologies) a lot of proprietary intermediate solutions get implemented.

    The example of 'licensed' DVD players is laughable and humiliating. There is no such thing as an 'unlicensed' DVD player in the sense the idiot Hickson means. Unlicensed in this case means companies that illegally refuse to pay to use the patents of Sony and Phillips- patents that have nothing to do with DRM, but patents that describe the fundamental workings of DVD players. Refuse to pay for the patents, and you can make a cheaper DVD player. None of these so-called unlicensed players (stand-alones) allow for illegal copying of protected Disks. Idiot Hickson is obviously confusing the idea of 'region free' players- a feature found in the majority of LICENSED players via a service menu function.

    Of course, in the short term, many companies will attempt to illegally exploit their DRM system in order to restrict the rights of their customers. But let me ask you a question. Did Apple do this? Cheap crooked behaviour is for small fry criminal companies. You want to be the biggest player? You are going to have to respect consumer rights.

    A neat example of this is with Sky TV in the UK, the world's most advanced broadcast service. Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Sky (and Fox in the USA) may be rotten to the core, but he is no fool. He has hardware built to spec for home reception, but has embraced the Internet and all mobile devices. He intends that all of his televisual content can be received on ANY mobile device owned by his customers, including offline storage of shows with DRM. Hardware issues play a part here, but not in any way Hickson describes. Media companies require 'protected video playback paths' in the video hardware subsystems so that the decoded video stream may not be intercepted and copied. You may imagine this as the concept of 'write-only' memory for the video-buffers.

    DRM has NOTHING to do with seeking control of those that build the playback hardware. PS now I know why HTML 5 is proving to be such a bad joke. Isn't it time open-source grew up, and started to worry about the intellectual abilities of those that control key projects.

  • by Rob the Bold ( 788862 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:31PM (#43219443)

    In addition to unauthorized distribution of copyright works, I assume that DRM is also intended to prevent "unauthorized producers" of content from being able to distribute their works. Now that distribution no longer absolutely requires going through "official" channels, some means of preventing "pirate," that is to say, non-major-studio-authorized, content is needed.

    • This is an under-appreciated point, especially with regards to HDCP, where the HD alliance is run by a group of content producers who have collaborated to effectively force all content producers to use their system. Consumers won't buy hardware unless it plays existing content, and manufacturers can't make hardware that plays HDCP-protected content unless they meet all of the HDCP requirements, which means no one can't effectively support non-HDCP HD content, which means other HD content producers have to
  • by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:44PM (#43219531) Homepage

    ... one industry wants to create a distribution monopoly by controlling everything, and eliminating competition.

  • No... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @08:54PM (#43219593)
    No, DRM hasn't "worked" for video and books. Its been made less annoying, but it still hasn't "worked" and it won't "work" in the future. Two reasons why this has happened:

    1) eBooks have apps for just about anything. You can read your Kindle on your Kindle, on your iPhone, on your Android, on your PC, on your Mac, etc. And there is a bonus to using these services because theoretically it should keep track of where you are in your book. But when Amazon eventually stops supporting X, customers are screwed.

    2) Video is limited by sheer size, downloading a library of 100 songs takes up, what, less than half a gigabyte? Downloading a library of 100 movies in full HD can easily take up several hundred gigabytes. Video is also limited by what devices really "work" for it, you're unlikely to want to watch Netflix on your new iWatch on its 3 inch display. They've also done streaming which makes the DRM more bearable.

    But the problems that are inherent in DRM is that it punishes people who want to buy things legitimately, but can't. Just look at region-locking which is often paired with DRM, you're essentially telling someone that if you want what we're selling, you need to acquire it through illegitimate means. I'm sure there's lots of non-Americans who'd pay for Hulu, I'd easily pay the BBC to have access to iPlayer, but instead I pay for VPN/Proxy to access it illegitimately.
    • I've bought a few books from the Kindle store, and stripped the DRM with Calibre. If Amazon every decide that they stop supporting my device, or block my account for whatever whim, or whatever else reason, all of the books are in DRM-free ePub on my computer anyway. I can jailbreak the device easily enough; I'll even gain some functionality. It also means that I'll be totally happy with downloading unlicensed ebooks in the future. If I tried to do it their way and they punished me, then I won't do it their
  • ...and Hickson nailed it in one. The motion picture industry and the recording industry learned the hard way what happens when you lose control of the distribution channel. The RIAA and the MPAA are just ways of doing damage control until the those industries can get back into control of the distribution channel. As Hickson noted, the publishing industry learned from the recording and entertainment industry's mistakes -- it is embracing digital delivery via the net without surrendering control of the distribution channel by insisting on DRM in their content and requiring only DRM'd devices at the consumer end of the channel. The publishing industry is well on the way to making dead-tree fiction and non-fiction -- well, fictional, if you'll forgive the word play. That's what DRM is all about -- helping content providers maintain control of the distribution channel from end to end.
  • ...consumers refuse to buy.

    But you (consumer you) have bought Blue Ray devices, you've consumed from the Apple walled garden, you've bought into Microsoft, you've spent money on Sony Products, you gave EA a couple of bucks... you suck.

    You have supported the DRM pushers - and no - you didn't have to. You could have gone without. But instead you consumers choose to bend over backwards.

    So stop your f'in Bellyaching and own up to the fact that DRM is your own fault.

    God damn you.

    • But... I just had to buy the newest shiny, drm-infested game! I can't live without it! Clearly this DRM problem has nothing to do with me.

    • The average consumer won't complain. And that's because, as TFS states, the purpose is not to restrict customers as much as it is to control channels.

      In effect, DRM does not effect customers much, if at all. As soon as it would affect them (e.g. it doesn't play) they wouldn't buy. Or start protesting really loudly (e.g. Amazon retracting sales of e-books, like they did to 1984, or the problems with that computer game last week). DRM or no DRM doesn't make much of a difference to them. Which of course also s

  • ADA isses with locking down books and other media so that screen reader can't read them.

  • Essentially the article says the restriction is placed there for legal and not for technical reasons. It walks around that, and doesn't say it in straight language, but that's what it's saying: users will bypass restrictions, companies won't because of fear of legal retaliations. Well, you don't need DRM for that. Sure, you do need DRM to be able to abuse the DMCA, but you can still license your service under certain rules, and sue companies that distribute non-compliant players. You don't need DRM to enfor

  • I would argue, at least in the world of books (and eBooks), that DRM has been more useful economically to owners of the content readers (e.g. Amazon) than to the content publishers. The fact that Kindle has DRM on its eBooks means that the average end user is unable to easily transfer their eBook purchases from a Kindle to another eBook ecosystem (e.g. Kobo, Nook, Android, or Apple). DRM on eBooks effectively allows an eBook device vendor to lock consumers into their eco-system and provides about as much
  • ...to republish the content DRM free. Which is, gee, what's happening.

  • From the article.

    Arguing that DRM doesn't work is, it turns out, missing the point. DRM is working really well in the video and book space.

    I refuse to buy an ebook with DRM. I don't even take the time to figure out how to get the free ones from the library. It would probably not work very well with my Android phone or, who knows what. In the end it doesn't even matter if it works great. I haven't tried it because of the DRM. It is much easier to download thousands of ebooks from bit torrent than it is to deal with the DRM. I don't know what reader I might have in 10 years, so purchase is right out.

    Movies are a little better b

  • ... the "if you are a paying customer" vs. "If you are a pirate" graphic:
    http://i.imgur.com/GxzeV.jpg [imgur.com]

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. -- Niels Bohr