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DRM — It's Not Really About Piracy 360

Posted by kdawson
from the squeezing-blood-from-silicon dept.
shadowmage13 writes "Hollywood privately admits that DRM is not really about piracy. From the article: 'In a nutshell: DRM's sole purpose is to maximize revenues by minimizing your rights so that they can sell them back to you... Like all lies, there comes a point when the gig is up; the ruse is busted. For the movie studios, it's the moment they have to admit that it's not the piracy that worries them, but business models which don't squeeze every last cent out of customers.' You can take action on Digital Restrictions Management at DefectiveByDesign of the Free Software Foundation, Digital Freedom, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation."
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DRM — It's Not Really About Piracy

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  • by ettlz (639203) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @06:44AM (#17626610) Journal
    Inexpensive.
  • by Dogtanian (588974) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @06:58AM (#17626666) Homepage
    Bob = informal name for a Shilling. Although no longer used (*) (since 1971, when British money went decimal), the shilling was worth 1/20 of a pound; that is, 5p in post-decimalisation money (**)

    So the original poster was claiming we can buy DVDs for £0.30; he was quite definitely being tongue-in-cheek, unless he meant blank ones :-)

    (*) Fascinating facts #1! Although the concept of a shilling disappeared in 1971, the one and two shilling coins remained in circulation until the early 1990s, as they were identical in size, composition and value to the new 5p and 10p coins. They disappeared when the 5 and 10p coins were reduced in size.
    (*) Fascinating facts #2!!!!! That was 12 old pennies (12d)... pre-decimalisation there were 240 pence in the pound. No, I don't remember any of this, I'm not that old :-)
  • Some thoughts. (Score:2, Informative)

    by d3m0nCr4t (869332) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @06:58AM (#17626668)
    How the movie and music industry must long for the days of vinyl records and videotapes. In those days, they could produce movies and music, sell them to their customers and after 10 to 15 years, if you used the tapes and records enough, they could sell them again to you. Was there any piracy then ? Hell yes. Records were copied on to audio cassettes and with 2 videorecorders you could easily copy any videotape. Now, with media being spread in a digital form, they lost that kind of control over their sales. And the industry is going to do whatever it takes, to try to get the tapes and vinyl back, in the form of DRM.
  • Re:RTFA? (Score:5, Informative)

    by richie2000 (159732) <rickard.olsson@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @07:07AM (#17626716) Homepage Journal

    MPAA executives have never admitted that piracy isn't the motivation for DRM.
    "DRMs' primary role is not about keeping copyrighted content off P2P networks. DRMs support an orderly market for facilitating efficient economic transactions between content producers and content consumers."
    Dan Glickman, Motion Picture Association of America [bbc.co.uk]
  • by jrumney (197329) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @07:16AM (#17626758) Homepage

    I was under the impression that pal VCRS were made to handle NTSC by slowing down from 30 FPS to 25

    No, they just convert the colour representation to PAL and output a PAL signal at 30fps. Older TVs (and some newer cheap 14" and smaller TVs) are simple enough that this just works (with a black band top and bottom due to fewer lines on the screen) and newer TVs are designed for it, adjusting their vertical scan to fit the picture on the screen perfectly.

    Pretty much all PAL DVD players will output either PAL60 or NTSC if you put an NTSC disc in (modulo region coding issues), and all but the cheapest PAL TVs these days will handle both.

  • Re:Some thoughts. (Score:5, Informative)

    by rucs_hack (784150) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @07:31AM (#17626832)
    They used to have fits about tapes and vinyl copying too. It's always happened. Their main problem is that selling media in any form will always be a business which experiences lots of unauthorised copying of its products if you use their traditional distribution method (being monolithic companies selling media at high price through a limited number of channels)

    The problem they have is that faced with this undeniable fact they have decided to focus on an unrealistic solution, being drm. The plain fact is that drm will only cause problems for legitimate users, not unauthorised copiers.
    Circumvention being illegal is no problem. There will always be someone, somewhere who figures it out, and finding that person in time to stop dissemination of their solution is a game that will be lost before they start, every time.

    DRM then is so they can continue to attract investors. It gives them something to say in pitches. 'We have solution x to this problem that will ensure a return on your investment' and so on. The fact that historically such solutions have a 100% faliure rate isn't something they can even think about, so they're trapped.

    Looking at this from an evolutionary standpoint, they're screwed, and heading to extinction. Simply demanding that the world be other than it is can only have that result. What system will emerge in its place I don't know, but I strongly suspect that the current crop of p2p companies/products will form the basis of a new media empire.

    The current media industries are trying to get into this feild, but for years all they've been doing is trying to stop it, whilst the p2p producers have been innovating like crazy. That means the p2p guys are already ahead in the next wave of media production/distribution, and very likely to stay there.
  • Re:RTFA? (Score:5, Informative)

    by heroofhyr (777687) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @08:09AM (#17627074)

    MPAA executives have never admitted that piracy isn't the motivation for DRM.
    From an interview with the Vice President of Technology at Universal Pictures, Jerry Pierce:

    Different studios have different philosophies in this area. It is our view that we have to provide customers a rich experience so they can do what they want to do within their home. We don't expect them to make copies of HD DVDs for their friends. And we don't think customers want to do that either. So, DRM needs to give them some restrictions beyond what both the customer and we believe are the proper usage rules. That's what we need to achieve. DRMs enable business models, they don't stop piracy. And we want to make sure that we have a rich one without making it so easy so that you can violate what we agreed on when you purchased a movie.
    The full interview is here [tgdaily.com].

    Here is a quote from another interview with Fritz Attaway, an MPAA exec:

    Consumers should have a choice to either own a copy of a movie for multiple viewing, or to just view it one time for a much lower price. And movie companies want to provide that choice, and many more. But without DRM, every transaction would have to be priced as a sale, not just of one copy but of many copies, in order to account for unrestrained copying...

    With regard to your comment that many DRM technologies can be circumvented by commercial pirates, you are correct, but DRM is not intended to prevent commercial piracy. It is intended to insure that most consumers will keep the deal they make with movie distributors. Like the lock on your door, they are not a guarantee against theft, but they "keep honest people honest."
    The source of that interview is here [wsj.com].
  • Re:RTFA? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Technician (215283) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @09:14AM (#17627430)
    DRM is part of their business model and it won't go anywhere until it results in a shareholder-awakening loss of money.


    You mean like the leak that sprung up with emusic? Bands that are anit-DRM and tired of being ripped off by the RIAA are starting to go inde. Bare Naked Ladies and others have jumped ship. I wonder how far the bands and consumers will migrate away from the RIAA cartel?

    DRM is incompatible with so much stuff, many items are still born. The DAT is a good example. Vista and Blu-Ray may be the next still born. Blue-Ray may be limited to just a few SONY titles and games for the Playstation. It's going to be too much incompatiblily to work on Vista as not enough people are going to spring for all the trusted DRM hardware to make it work. That nice high res monitor and sound system you have are incompatible with the DRM requirements. I have serious doubts the Blu-Ray and HD DVD format war will be won by either. Plain old DVD's will win this one by a landslide. They just work in the computer, in DVD players with your TV set, and portable DVD players.

    HD stuff and it's DRM simply won't work in most hardware due to the lack of a full secure digital signal path all the way to the display. The wrong monitor or video card or bad combination will keep the adoption rate very low for a long time. Maybe it will sell as well as the DAT.
  • by Merkwurdigeliebe (1046824) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @10:05AM (#17627844)
    reactions:

    1 . My idea was extreme in the sense that the artists retained complete control --technologically speaking, of their works. I didn't propose a way for people to forget the media/performance. Surely the audience and any artist amongst them would be able to listen and see any art and build upon it just as Shakespeare, for instance, and many others in history did in the manner of oral tradition. I only proposed total artist control DRM in the digital/technological sense not in the sense of people's memory. Satire, etc. existed way back when the stylus was the greatest technological achievement. It would nor be stifled.

    2. You bring up some good problems brought by point no. 1. Yet, it might be that many direct producers of digital media would not mind the analog reproduction of their works (just as oral tradition in the past was wrtitten down by a writer (one who writes --not one who authors) Besides, faithful non-derivative reproduction would require citation/acknowledgement to avoid plagiarism, etc.

    3. It need not by necessity require invasion of privacy. Moreover, it would be up to the artists to subscribe to and implement this on their works. You are arguing from the point of view that the consumer has more rights over a work than the artist who produced the work to begin with. If the consumer objected to this model they could very well choose among alternative mediums. In addition, the system need not be real-time. One could work on a sort of acknowledgement system where whenever the medium carrying/holding the DRMed payload need to check on the live status of a work occasionally and remain unchanged or change depending on the status.

    With IPV6 and most gadgets becoming connected to the internetwork it becomes less of an abstract concept and closer to possibility. It is not feasable today, but what about 10 or 20 years from now? Why not give all authors almost complete control over their works? How many artsis wish they could take back a song or a performance but due to technological limitations can't? Yes, some art would be lost into oblivion forevermore but an artist as an author is the one who decides whether or not to make something public in the first place. Why not allow them to revoke the art after the fact, if technically feasable? Why should we assume that the consumer of art has the foremost rights to something they did not create?

    Right now it is the media companies and the consumers who hold the most power. The initial artist has little control over their creations. What's wrong with giving them control back? PS. artist is not synonymous to multimillion-dollar artists. I mean anyone who creates art --including those who earn millions.

  • by mmalove (919245) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @11:56AM (#17629460)
    Well, here we go:

    The full article is a blog? I think sometimes that the heads at slashdot have been kidnapped by forum trolls. Let's stir up some trouble with DRM and see how many days it will stay on the front page!

    DRM and piracy: It's been said before, but to reiterate - DRM doesn't stop piracy. For that matter, gun laws don't stop criminals from obtaining guns, and airport security doesn't stop actual terrorists.

    DRM and consumers: What a load of bull. We're not doing this to stop piracy, we're doing it to give the user more choices... yea right. What they are doing is locking down media so that they can sell more copies of it. Because hell, if you can sell someone more than one bible, you might as well try to sell them more than one copy of Star Wars. I know lots of people that have more than one copy of World of Warcraft, so that they can play the game twice at the same time. The funny thing is, of all "DRM" schemes, the MMORPG is the one that actually works - you buy the account, or you can't play. The account is verified online, and thus keygens quickly fail as duplicates can't simultaneously play, and there's no real offline/LAN game. The lesson? Some people have more money than they know what to do with - and the media giants have resorted to milking them because the media market in general is pretty well saturated.

"Indecision is the basis of flexibility" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.

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