Sumit_Dagar_8eba6d

With all sorts of media (Music, Film & Art) being converted into the digital form, it has become easier to make illegal copies of copyrighted material. Computer Software is also targeted by digital-pirates.

Many methods are implemented to prevent digital piracy. With the invention of every new method, there comes a ¡®crack¡¯ or work-around. This game of cat & mouse, between the software pioneers and digital pirates goes on and on.

In 2004-05, distribution of digital media (esp. over the internet) was at a peak. Major software & technology firms came up with various new protocols and methods to protect their copyrighted material. This came to be better known by the ¡®buzzword¡¯ Digital Rights Management.

Well, thats what a real "HOT Technology" is, need of the day, difficult to implement, and filled with controversies. Be it Apple fairplay, or MS zune , or Sony connect, all have ideas to privately implement digital media for "only" there players.

Any other solution/comment on the situation



Re: Hot Technology DRM: Digital Rights Management

Anarchy

Record companies have been skanking us for years with over-priced CDs, and are used to making fat profits off us.

They now have an opportunity to sell 10x more music than they have been before, as downloads, not something physical

They are so scared of a few kiddies sharing songs with thier friends that they are effectively crippling the industry with DRM.

They don't realise that most people are law-abiding, and would prefer to BUY a song than steal it, that's how stupid they are

Home-taping is killing music!





Re: Hot Technology DRM: Digital Rights Management

Brian Kramer

Maximizing profit is a motive for any company, including the guy who makes plumbing pipes. If the laws of supply and demand can take effect, then prices will go down. Piracy is actually preventing the music market from reaching its full "open market" potential where competitive prices can take effect. In Latin America, for instance, its simply not economical for local artists to record due to the rampant piracy going on. That's an economic loss for Latin America, and often an economic win for the United States because artists come here to record instead.

Letting intellectual and artistic property take on more of a physical form is a goodness. It restores enforcement of the usual contract between buyer and seller in a transaction. If there is a demand for protection-free content in the marketplace, then let the supply side decide as well how it wants to participate in the market, rather than allow piracy to take away that choice by force.

Finally, if some piece of music is too expensive, don't buy it, and don't enjoy it--deprive yourself of the experience. Stealing it as an alternative is not the right answer.





Re: Hot Technology DRM: Digital Rights Management

SJWhiteley

DRM implementation is a serious problem: truly it puts many barriers in the way for legitimate users, yet does little to twart the young pirates of today.

It's always seen that 'pirating' music/movies is a good way to 'stick it to the man' making fat profits off the little guy. It also appears that such media is a right to have. Truly, it makes you wonder if these people (and there's a lot of them) have balanced a checkbook; or more specifically, thought about where their pocket money/salary is coming from. The entertainment industry is vast -inconceivably vast. It's not a couple of Warren Buffetts or Donald Trumps bleading the artists dry. It's millions of hard working people - you and me - making it all happen. Our salaries come from those sales, mostly indirectly.

These 'big guys' aren't just protecting themselves from the pirates, but the hundreds of thousands of people who work directly for them. If the company cannot make money, all those people will be let go. But it doesn't stop there. That means those people are not buying 'stuff': stuff that you and I sell. But that's ok: because they can get music, movies and software for free - it's their 'right' after all - so who needs to buy anything.... I'm sure Ford or GM won't miss a few cars, either...

DRM is an attempt by legitimate business owners to prevent people stealing what they have. If it was a 'minor' problem, then it wouldn't be necessary. But it isn't. It must be made clear to people that it is stealing, just like stealing a DVD player (the risk being that you could be literally shot for doing so...). You are taking something that belongs to someone else. Unfortunately, the penalty for stealing (music, movies, etc.) is percieved to be low, and is difficult to enforce: hence the agressive move to prevent it from being stolen in the first place.

Brian is right - there is a large market for non-protected (or limited protection) material. Indeed, there are numerous methods for receiving DRM Protected content (e.g. iTunes, rhapsody) with minimal cost. It's troubling that so many people believe that such material should be absolutely free...






Re: Hot Technology DRM: Digital Rights Management

Brian Kramer

I had a discussion with my brother about this, and everything seemed to wash out except for a couple points.

Take it upon premise that copy protection is a goodness with digital media and that the industry now has a way to enforce the terms of transactions through copy protection.

Now what's the damage I bring up two issues:

There was an article written by someone (I don't have the link) that shows that the Vista implementation of DRM seriously degrades the performance of the machine, since CPU cycles have to be spent encrypting content across the bus and monitoring for tampering. In addition, there's the false positives where Vista shuts down functionality when no tampering was attempted.

Second, audio cards that aren't playing by the new protection rules have their functionality disabled by Vista, which is a loss for the person who invested money in that hardware. (Note that the ipod devices having "safe" hardware is morally equivalent to PCs having the same level of "safety" in the new audio cards and/or drivers, but there is no discontinuity in functionality with ipods, while there is one under Vista.)

So I see these two points against DRM. I know the second point is true, but what about the first point Is perf degraded for non-protected content

Brian





Re: Hot Technology DRM: Digital Rights Management

SJWhiteley

I would counter that the first point isn't necessarily true: since DRM also extends to media other than audio, specifically video, there's no way customers would stand for performance degradation of video encoding/decoding. High definition video is now widely available in the consumer market (at about $1500 US for a consumer High Def camera). It takes significant horsepower and bandwidth to handle such video. All such content starts out unprotected.

By throttling back the performance under such cicumstances would defeat the objective of the operating systems function for many people - the Mac doesn't have this issue - iMovie is looking more and more like a viable proposition if Vista is 'designed' to reduce the capabilities of creating movies.

However, your second point is of concern: again, with video - do monitors have their functionality 'disabled' when playing non-protected video !

Summarily, should all media be 'protected' in some way Should only 'protected' content be accessable






Re: Hot Technology DRM: Digital Rights Management

Sumit_Dagar_8eba6d

I think the DRM implementation more or less decides whether the masses goes for protected or unprotected media.

If all the media powerhouses have their individual DRM's for their hardwares , as the scene is now, then it makes little sense for a customer to buy lets say, same song three times, one for Zune DRM, one for Apple Fairplay and another one for Sony connect. The data bought is same just so that it can be used in all platforms. Now, why would a customer like to be bounded by such impractical "rights".

If music/media recording companies ( and not the music/media selling people like iPod etc.) really want to rightfully sell their media instead of it being downloaded for free( i.e. stealing) then they should push all the selling people to have a integrated DRM instead of individualistic approach.
At present, first recording companies sell its products to different DRM implementations and then want us to buy same product n number of times for n number of hardwares. I think customers are left with no option but to go for unprotected data.

SOLUTION: A one universal DRM could be easily implemented (if fat profit making machines permit) and media can be sold and bought with total fairness and protection. This scheme of implementation would also possibly realize Brian's idea of "music market reaching its full "open market" potential where competitive prices can take effect."

The prices will be lower and universal data protected. The hardware regulations like disabling sound cards can hence be negligible.




Re: Hot Technology DRM: Digital Rights Management

Brian Kramer

I agree with you there. DRM is about enforcing a sales agreement (e.g. "media company X agrees to sell to person Y the right to play a piece of music 10 times"). It should not be about limiting choices on how to about enforcing that contract. To make an extreme analogy, DRM made available by only one vendor is kinda like having all contracts require a certain kind of paper available only by one company.

But DRM is a hard technology and its not even certain (to me at least) that Microsoft will be successful at it (i.e. it can prevent unauthorized copies.) An open standard on DRM sounds nice in theory, but can it be put into practice

Edit: I managed to locate the anti-Vista-DRM article that refers to the CPU degradation: http://www.forbes.com/security/2007/02/10/microsoft-vista-drm-tech-security-cz_bs_0212vista.html





Re: Hot Technology DRM: Digital Rights Management

Sumit_Dagar_8eba6d

a DRM free initiative is discussed here :
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070401-emi-to-announced-drm-free-plans-tomorrow-reports.html

it arguments well with the Steve Jobs famous "thoughts on music" : http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughtsonmusic/




Re: Hot Technology DRM: Digital Rights Management

SJWhiteley

Steve Jobs always has had a twisted, paranoid mind, so don't put much stock in his ramblings - beyond the human interest aspect - until he actually does something. Note that he doesn't really propose anything beyond "someone should do something and Apple will follow". The implication that 97% of music on iPods are not downloaded from iTunes only indicates that 97% has been obtained by 'other means' - including piracy.

Regardless, I can't see how this solves the true problem: since putting a lock on music doesn't prevent it from being stolen, will removing the lock will somehow prevent it being stolen Does it really mean that I don't need a lock on my car, or my house ! has crime been solved

Of course in this case, removing any locks, removes the 'crime' (legally, if not morally) - hence eliminating DRM will see priacy drop (as there's nothing to 'pirate'...). Removing the lock because the key sometimes (a lot!) doesn't fit is not the solution: fix the key/locking mechanism...

(or perhaps April the 1st is alive and well...)






Re: Hot Technology DRM: Digital Rights Management

Brian Kramer

There's a technology called digital watermarking (from a verimatrix and maybe others) that might help to combat piracy. Copies of pirated material can be traced back its source. I haven't really analyzed the implications or practicality, but it looks interesting nonetheless.



Re: Hot Technology DRM: Digital Rights Management

jbassmanp

I am not into Piracy of music, movies etc but I've purchased cd's and there were times when something happened to the orginal while using and I wished I had copied the cd (some out of production)... I personally will not deal with systems that prohibit me from doing what I need to do. DRM is a negative and if it is part of an OS that OS will never be my OS. I was working on a friends computer and it is so locked down that he can not copy his own family work let alone someone elses. He comes to me to make copies of their own music. I'll pass until something better comes along.



Re: Hot Technology DRM: Digital Rights Management

SJWhiteley

It looks like EMI is really going through with removing DRM from almost all their collection - of course, it'll cost you more, and will only be available through iTunes...'you don't get something for nothing' still holds true...




Re: Hot Technology DRM: Digital Rights Management

Sumit_Dagar_8eba6d

although it will cost more but its in line with a DRM free future. The quality is going to be much better so prices will be higher. As a consumer , I would be happier buying a completely interoperable and high quality music.
There are lots of talks about removing DRM from the industry and the initiative has been taken, lets hope others follow soon.






Re: Hot Technology DRM: Digital Rights Management

Sumit_Dagar_8eba6d

hey!
another hot news : Microsoft considering dropping DRM too :
http://www.engadget.com/2007/04/02/zune-the-next-to-drop-drm/

looks like we had a thread discussion "at-right-place-at-right-time" Big Smile