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DRM Privacy IT Technology

DRM is Used to Lock in, Control and Spy on Users, Says Free Software Foundation (torrentfreak.com) 72

In a scathing critique, the Free Software Foundation is urging the U.S. Government to drop the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions which protect DRM. From a report on TorrentFreak:Late last year the U.S. Copyright office launched a series of public consultations to review critical aspects of the DMCA law. FSF sees no future for DRM and urges the Copyright Office to repeal the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions. "Technological protection measures and Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) play no legitimate role in protecting copyrighted works. Instead, they are a means of controlling users and creating 'lock in'," FSF's Donald Robertson writes. According to FSF, copyright is just an excuse, the true purpose is to lock down and control users. "Companies use this control illegitimately with an eye toward extracting maximum revenue from users in ways that have little connection to actual copyright law. In fact, these restrictions are technological impediments to the rights users have under copyright law, such as fair use." Even if copyright was the main concern, DRM would be an overbroad tool to achieve the goal, the foundation notes. FSF highlights that DRM is not just used to control people but also to spy on them, by sending all kinds of personal data to technology providers. This is done to generate extra income at the expense of users' rights, they claim. "DRM enables companies to spy on their users, and use that data for profit," Robertson adds. "DRM is frequently used to spy on users by requiring that they maintain a connection to the Internet so that the program can send information back to the DRM provider about the user's actions," he adds.
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DRM is Used to Lock in, Control and Spy on Users, Says Free Software Foundation

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  • Well, yeah (Score:5, Informative)

    by stealth_finger ( 1809752 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2016 @11:50AM (#53238391)
    That's what it's for.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Rule of thumb: if it doesn't clearly improve anything for you, it's for the benefit of the counterparty. A classic example is the presence of artificial ingredients in "food".

      • Rule of thumb: if it doesn't clearly improve anything for you, it's for the benefit of the counterparty. A classic example is the presence of artificial ingredients in "food".

        Um, every artificial ingredient improves something for you -- whether price, shelf life, flavor, health, nutrition, or something else. Like all things it is a trade-off, in this case one people overwhelmingly choose, but not necessarily a good one (for your measure of good). As a single example, the artificial ingredient "heat" has been used to sanitize and preserve food, while also increasing its flavor and nutritional value -- but when overdone can destroy nutrients and create carcinogens. And while your

    • Re:Well, yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2016 @01:10PM (#53239187) Journal

      Actually, the main thing that it's for is to give control to channel owners at the expense of copyright owners. Which is weird, because the people who insist on it are copyright owners. The record labels insisted Apple include DRM on their music, so Apple ended up with complete control of digital music distribution until they allowed DRM-free music. The movie studios insisted that Netflix and Amazon include DRM in their streaming offerings. Initially that gave a lot of control to Microsoft and Adobe, who provided the DRM, now it's giving control to Netflix, Google, and Amazon (a huge number of consumer devices such as smart TVs run a Netflix, YouTube, or Amazon video app - if you won't sell your content DRM free, then you can't reach these people unless you go through one of these companies).

      Eventually people will learn that not only doesn't DRM reduce piracy (it pisses off legitimate customers and it only takes one person to break the DRM and the DRM-free version can be infinitely pirated), but it also doesn't give any control to the people who insist on it.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Eventually people will learn that not only doesn't DRM reduce piracy (it pisses off legitimate customers and it only takes one person to break the DRM and the DRM-free version can be infinitely pirated), but it also doesn't give any control to the people who insist on it

        I'd argue it is even worse than that.

        Speaking specifically about US copyright law, there has been much argument over what the "for a limited time" clause in the constitution actually means.
        There seems to only be two facts that are pretty much universally agreed upon:

        A) Limited does not mean unlimited or infinite, and
        B) The unit of measurement of "year(s)" seems acceptable to use.

        The point "A" leaves much wiggle room for congress, and even on a technical level could be anything in the range between (1) and (

  • Not to be too much of a snarky prick, but that statement really is kind of a giant 'well no duh'. By it's very nature DRM is designed to allow software makers to control and limit how their products are used in a way to suits only the software maker's themselves. For good, of for bad. And to assume that software companies will always look out for the rights of their customers is a laughable proposition, at best.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      no duh

      People need to keep saying it and hearing it, though. There should have been a bunch of ads over the last week, where congressional candidates said, "I'm going to try to repeal 1201 and my opponent isn't going to try to do that." But that didn't happen. Until that happens, we are in failure.

      Also, this is an issue where the passage of time, itself, is proving the point. 15 years ago even here on Slashdot, though it was already unpopular, DRM had its sincere defenders (people who wanted copyright to wor

  • by Anonymous Coward
    • You mean Democrats Restrictions Management? Probably used to shut out Bernie and the comrades
    • Dibertarian?

      Because the Ls are the biggest U.S. party whose candidate for President has recently expressed support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Trump is against it, and Clinton became against it once the final version was released, but Johnson is all for it.

      • Clinton became against it when she saw that on both sides, both Trump and Sanders were wildly popular due to their opposition of it. Even Pocahontas became pretty popular for opposing it.
  • FSF being FSF (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fbobraga ( 1612783 )
    And I'm very glad it occurs!
    • Is FSF anything more than RMS? It's a cult - a software equivalent of the Amish
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fbobraga ( 1612783 )

        Is FSF anything more than RMS?

        yeap, is much more... *I thank him to has started/organized the movement, but nowadays I think, many times (but not every time), that hi is bad to the entire movement (by encouraging comments like yours to exist...)

      • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
        FSF helped me out with a problem I'm having in my school district. They mandate Apple ID's, but don't participate in the program to create Apple ID's for kids. You can only create "under 13" apple ID's if you have existing apple infrastructure. Apple makes it a pain in the ass at every corner and doesn't support PC's or android.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...also in the news, Guns are used to shoot.

  • Errrm, ... and this is news why exactly?

  • Say it isn't so!
  • FSF divides works of authorship into computer programs, instructional works, works of opinion, and artistic works. Each brings separate licensing issues, as described on the GNU project's list of licenses [gnu.org] and comments on the loaded word "consume" [gnu.org]. FSF ethics do not require works of opinion or artistic works to be free.

    Other than digital restrictions management, what's the FSF-approved way for the publisher of an artistic work to offer a service consisting of a time-limited license for a subscriber to experi

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      Other than digital restrictions management, what's the FSF-approved way for the publisher of an artistic work to offer a service consisting of a time-limited license for a subscriber to experience that work? Is the alternative really to drop rental altogether in favor of selling a durable copy of something that most people are likely to watch only once?

      If they are only going to consume the content once, why not distribute a durable copy? Does rental exist because people only want to consume once, or do people only consume once because they have to pay per consumption?

      I'll bet video rental wouldn't have existed at all if videotaped movies didn't cost $75 back in the VHS heyday, a price certainly inflated by the movie studios who believed it would undermine cinema viewership.

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        What is being "consumed", in the sense of being used up? And is an artistic work just "content" to fill a box?

        To answer your questions: It's to price-discriminate between one set of viewers, who wish to view the work once, and a different set of viewers, who wish to view it repeatedly.

        And to answer your last paragraph: There was also video game rental in the 1980s, which brought playing a game at home for short period within the same order of magnitude as the price of playing a few rounds at an arcade back

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Other than digital restrictions management, what's the FSF-approved way for the publisher of an artistic work to offer a service consisting of a time-limited license for a subscriber to experience that work? Is the alternative really to drop rental altogether in favor of selling a durable copy of something that most people are likely to watch only once?

      Easy. You buy it for full price. Then resell it to someone else who wants to see it for less money, and so on and so on. This is the FSF way (Remember, resel

  • Why am I having to read a TorrentFreak article on this? Why is there no mention of it on either http://www.fsf.org/ [fsf.org] nor http://defectivebydesign.org/ [defectivebydesign.org]? I don't want to link to TorrentFreak when I share this, nor do I want to link to an obscure PDF file for the original source. It really seems like they should be promoting this on their own site!

  • "DRM is Used to Lock in, Control and Spy on Users, Says Free Software Foundation"

    No shit, Einstein.

    Who was the super-genius that puzzled this out?

  • Why "restrictions management"? Digital rights management is perfectly appropriate, where "to manage something" means "to lessen something, or the effects of something". See weight management, anger management, crisis management...

  • Curso NR 10 online [institutosc.com.br] curso NR 10 curso NR 10 online

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