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DRM Editorial The Media

The Dark Side of Amazon's New Pilots 312

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the none-for-you dept.
I've been really, really excited about digital video distribution lately: first Netflix greenlights jms's return to science fiction TV, and then Amazon announces their new pilots. Perhaps the decade long dearth of any good television is nearing its end! So, with that in mind, I finished up editing Slashdot for the day and sat down to watch some of these new pilots. Only to discover that Amazon has taken away my ability to watch entirely in the name of Digital Restrictions Management.

For ages now, Amazon Instant Video has worked with Android devices supporting Flash and, more importantly to many people (and me) it seems, through an unofficial XBMC plugin. It seemed like Amazon was happily using RTMPE to prevent casual stream interception, at least for content funded by others. But with the release of their new pilots, they enabled "Flash Access," Adobe's DRM that (for now) is actually effective.

This effectively kills access for everyone using GNU/Linux, even with the (officially unsupported) Adobe Flash plugin! The Adobe plugin relies on HAL for some DRM magic, but HAL is unmaintained, deprecated, and was removed from most major distros ages ago. You can't even install it by hand thanks to udev removing a few features HAL relied upon. Naturally, the Adobe Flash plugin is equally unmaintained so there is little hope even for people willing to install a piece of unmaintained software with a history of remotely exploitable security holes, instability, and poor performance.

But it seems the loss of access from XBMC is more widely felt: RMS cultists and pragmatic Windows users alike now suffer equally. And the folks who aren't GNU/Hippies with an anti-cloud-chip-on-their-shoulder might even be suffering more: they've lost access to shows and movies that they purchased.

There are a dozen pages on the XBMC forum of people pretty pissed, hundreds of angry posts on their Facebook wall, lengthy threads on Amazon's official forums. But so far the response from Amazon has simply been: it was never supposed to work, and we've fixed it.

In the absence of a clear response from Amazon, wild speculations as to why they decided to institute DRM abound: it's not intentional, piracy is a problem for them after all, Jeff Bezos personally wants to eat every XBMC user's cat, or it has something to do with those pilots.

I'd wager it had something to do with the pilots, or was somewhat unintentional (maybe they only meant to restrict HD content).

An XBMC forum member claims to have chatted with a support representative and gotten a suggestive answer:

Amazon Support: Okay, for Android devices we unfortunately don't support them except for the Kindle Fires so it was really lucky your phone was able to play our instant videos before. As to why they aren't working now, we just recently updated our Flash video playback support which is more than likely why it won't play now. I'm really sorry for any inconvenience this will cause you!
Me: I see. Was the flash video playback updated because of the new Amazon Original Pilots that was released recently?
Amazon Support:I'm honestly not sure if it was due to the pilots that came out, though the timing with the pilots and the update can't be coincidental :-)

Assuming it's not just a technical glitch (it happened once before, and Amazon turned the harder-to-break DRM off) and related to the pilots, why only now have they enabled proper DRM? Surely if content they fund is worth restricting then all content is worth restricting? After all, the party line has always been that DRM is imposed by those evil card carrying MPAA members, and not by enlightened tech companies who are just doing what has to be done to free us from the tyranny of broadcast television.

Is it that the content they already provide is widely available through piracy that they haven't cared before? Perhaps; stream ripping from Amazon/Netflix/Hulu and transforming it into a shareable form is not something a normal person would do if only because the video is streamed in mostly real-time. But there are entire groups dedicated to capturing television and uploading it, so someone out there would probably do it.

The problem is that they are going to break the DRM and pirate everything anyway. In fact. they already have (possibly nsfw, because piracy). The same goes for Netflix; their onerous DRM did nothing to stop piracy of House of Cards (finding it is left as an exercise for the reader, but Knuth would rate it 00), and yet they just posted incredible financial results and strong subscriber growth (in utter contrast to this time last year).

The cat's out of the bag: a good chunk of the world population own Infinite Copying Machines and those machines are networked. You cannot stop a determined individual from making a freely copyable version of anything digital unless you ban all output devices (certainly would make Haskell programming nicer) and burn every camera and piece of audio equipment ever built.

It seems that the same toxic thinking about distribution control that pervades the traditional networks has infected the online distributors. It's clear that torrent trackers offer something the traditional channels do not: (mostly) effortless access to content how and when you want it. But these are things that Netflix, Amazon, et al could offer as well... that they do offer. However, instead of liberalizing distribution as time goes on, the New Distributors have fallen into the same clearly failed mentality about restricting distribution that led to the entire media industry becoming a former shell of itself in a mere five years!

This mentality will only lead to failure. Pursuit of it is insanity: we are witnessing the end stages of an industry-wide collapse because of it! And it seems these new distributors have quickly forgotten that it was only the desperation of their predecessors that they were even able to license what they have now.

So, Amazon, why do you insist upon flogging people who are yelling "Shut up and take my money!"?

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The Dark Side of Amazon's New Pilots

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  • Linux Workaround (Score:5, Informative)

    by bit trollent (824666) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @02:08PM (#43527545) Homepage
    Linux users can download compatible files here [thepiratebay.se].
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @03:21PM (#43528491)

      Indeed. Torrenting to the rescue yet again, and yet again the pirates have a BETTER product than the broken-by-design DRM crap.

    • by houstonbofh (602064) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @03:21PM (#43528493)
      But I don't want to. I Liked Amazon prime free streams. I Liked being able to stream "right now" and not have to wait an hour, and seed for a day or so... I Liked not having to see if I had space for the entire season while the seeding was good.


      Most of all, I Liked telling fellow Linux users bitching about Netflix, "Just Use Amazon Prime, because they work with Linux." Glad I didn't "buy" anything and actually expect to have access to it later. When will they realize that the reluctance to streaming distribution is that We do not trust you to let us keep using the stuff we have paid for!
      • by devent (1627873)

        Regarding the first part: since when you have to seed for a day, or since when we have space problems with hard disks? Maybe if you got a netbook, tablet or notebook with 64GB SSD or something like that. IMHO if you can stream a video with HD quality you can download a video as fast from The Pirate Bay.

        • Regarding the first part: since when you have to seed for a day, or since when we have space problems with hard disks? Maybe if you got a netbook, tablet or notebook with 64GB SSD or something like that. IMHO if you can stream a video with HD quality you can download a video as fast from The Pirate Bay.

          Since download and upload are asymmetrical, you need to seed much longer than you download if you want a decent ratio. As for space... All hard drive eventually fill.

    • Re:Linux Workaround (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mcelrath (8027) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @04:04PM (#43528915) Homepage

      This is a good reason to have content production and distribution handled by different entities. Content producers are paranoid and afraid that everyone will abscond with their special little flower, while content distributors are overly liberal in distributing to as wide an audience as possible. It makes sense for these two groups to fight it out to decide what the best compromise of protection vs. distribution is.

      Personally, I want compulsory licensing. Posessing or obtaining content would always be legal, and the question becomes who you're supposed to pay and how much (a non-discriminatory licensing fee). It turns the question into an economic one, instead of a criminal one. An entity distributing content without collecting the licensing fee could be sued, but only for an amount proportional to the licensing fees.

    • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @06:19PM (#43530495) Journal

      Wow, way for Linux users to miss the fucking POINT of DRM. The DRM is NOT to stop piracy, its to make that Android device fucking useless to Joe and Jane average so they will buy a Kindle, duh!

      I mean the way guys here talk you'd think that all these companies are so damned stupid they have never heard of TPB but I have news for ya, they already know about TPB, P2P, even USENET which you seem to think is off the radar but it ain't. The DRM has never and will never be for stopping the actual pirates, instead it real purpose is to make it just enough of a PITA that the corp can get you to do what they want.

      But its really no different than how my ISP uses caps to keep me using their services over the other guy (Netflix counts, their PPV doesn't) because they know that for every user that will go through the hassle of finding the shit on TPB, risk getting a strike, download that shit, hope they don't get slapped by a cap, and watch the show there are gonna be 300+ that say "fuck that, that is too much work" and just buy a Kindle. That is the point, that is why they don't give a rat's ass about the 2% or whatever that are using Linux because you aren't giving them Kindle money so why SHOULD they give a shit about you, at the end of the day the DRM is doing exactly what its intended to do, raise sales of the Kindle.

      Anyone want to bet we'll see a spike in Kindle sales for the next couple of quarters?

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @02:10PM (#43527577) Journal

    Only to discover that Amazon has taken away my ability to watch entirely in the name of Digital Restrictions Management.

    You're lucky, they saved you from watching the horrible things. It was an act of mercy.

  • Roku (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @02:10PM (#43527585)
    For all the time you spend messing with Linux setups and devices, a $100 Roku 3 will last you a decade and save you time and shelf space.
    • Re:Roku (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jedidiah (1196) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @03:12PM (#43528383) Homepage

      > For all the time you spend messing with Linux setups and devices, a $100 Roku 3 will last you a decade and save you time and shelf space

      The only thing that Roku will buy you is the extra shelf space. It will still be an inferior device despite being a 3rd generation unit. It will still be unable to handle it's own content decoding and be inferior to a 6 year old HTPC in this regard.

      I have an HTPC that's older than the entire Roku line and it's still more capable than any ARM appliance once you get past the whole proprietary DRM thing.

      A Roku is a nice supplement for an HTPC, not a replacement for one.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Rude Turnip (49495)

        A Roku box is a great front-end that eliminates the need for an HTPC. Why should I care about where decoding takes place in order to enjoy something? That is being pedantic. It streams from every major video provider (Netflix, Amazon, MLB.tv, etc), and I can stream videos & music stored on my desktop via Plex.

    • by Rich0 (548339)

      For all the time you spend messing with Linux setups and devices, a $100 Roku 3 will last you a decade and save you time and shelf space.

      Uh, I don't think it will work sitting on my lap in my car, like my Nexus 10 will.

      And unless I mess with a bunch of converters/etc it won't let me watch TV on my monitor on my desk while browsing the web at the same time on that monitor.

      About the only thing the Roku will help with is plugging it into your living room TV. However, I'm sure it lacks half of the MythTV feature set, which makes it yet another box. I'd likely buy a Blu-ray player with Amazon support before I go that route...

  • Simple solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RedBear (207369) <redbear@redbea[ ]t.com ['rne' in gap]> on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @02:11PM (#43527589) Homepage

    Simple solution: Stop giving Amazon money if you don't like their service.

    • Retro-active (Score:5, Informative)

      by DrYak (748999) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @02:46PM (#43528107) Homepage

      The problem is that, according to the story's poster, the change not only affect new pilots, but also all the old previously bought and previously accessible content.
      Suddenly, all the part services which you did like and for which you gave money, stops working too.

      • Re:Retro-active (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Darinbob (1142669) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @02:59PM (#43528267)

        That's the major problem with DRM I think. You do not own the material that you mistakenly thought you purchased, instead you purchased temporary permission to access the content, and this can be rescinded at any time for any reason. Since the affected people are in the minority the complaints will be happily ignored (they think you're criminal scum anyway for not using properly approved devices).

        • Re:Retro-active (Score:5, Insightful)

          by devent (1627873) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @03:52PM (#43528793) Homepage

          No, the problem with DRM is that a) you are assumed to be a dirty pirate even if you pay and b) it takes your rights away.

          a) Even if you play the game and pay for the video or music, the distributor assumes that you are a dirty pirate anyway and you will share it with your friends (yes you are a dirty pirate if you share with your friends) or seed it in Pirate Bay. So the distributor needs to restrict your rights like in b)

          b) for DRM to work a part of the hardware or software needs to be restricted from you, the user / owner. So even you pay for the Intel Core i8 and the Nvidia Geforce XXL, a part is restricted from you and you can't access it. The restriction will affect your rights like video recording, time shifting and format shifting, fair use rights and so on. Even with TV it's perfectly legal to record the shows and watch them later.

          • by Darinbob (1142669)

            That's because your rights are in conflict with corporate desires, so clearly your rights need to go away.

          • No, the problem with DRM is that a) you are assumed to be a dirty pirate even if you pay and b) it takes your rights away.

            I get where you're coming from, but that's not the problem with DRM. The problem with DRM is that it doesn't affect pirates or piracy, only the folks who actually tried to "legally" get the content. Ergo: It serves only to degrade paying customer's experience and make piracy look like a better option. That's why I say, as a content creator, DRM is just dumb.

      • Re:Retro-active (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @03:13PM (#43528395)

        Heinlein quote:

        There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back.

      • Re:Retro-active (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Bam_Thwok (2625953) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @03:20PM (#43528479)
        I don't buy this argument. People bought their $5 digital copies in lieu of the $20 blu-rays under pretty explicit terms. That $15.00 difference is not just savings from absent physical production passed onto the consumer; it's the forfeiture of your right to physical ownership, substituted instead for Amazon's right to shut the service down or reorganize the service as they please. This might be a terrible way to treat customers, but it's certainly not as though those customers have been robbed of their property.
      • Re:Retro-active (Score:5, Insightful)

        by houstonbofh (602064) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @03:24PM (#43528527)

        The problem is that, according to the story's poster, the change not only affect new pilots, but also all the old previously bought and previously accessible content. Suddenly, all the part services which you did like and for which you gave money, stops working too.

        That is something I still do not understand. How is it that making an unauthorized copy of something without payment is theft, but depriving me of paid for content is not?

        • Re:Retro-active (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Karl Cocknozzle (514413) <kcocknozzle@hotma i l . com> on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @03:29PM (#43528575) Homepage

          That is something I still do not understand. How is it that making an unauthorized copy of something without payment is theft, but depriving me of paid for content is not?

          It was in what was formerly known as "the fine print," and is now colloquially referred to as the "Terms of Service." The one advantage "fine print" had over "ToS" was that a company generally couldn't change their "fine print" very often, and if they did, they'd have to inform their customers of said change in writing, which would be expensive (think stamps, paper, and envelopes, and man-power to fill, seal, address, and affix stamps to them) not to mention that the idea that one party can unilaterally re-write a contract "after the fact" is a relatively recent addition to our jurisprudence.

          With ToS they just insert a clause that says "or anything else we choose to add later" and your only recourse is to stop using the product--immediately--if they institute a change you don't like.

      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        This is a problem inherent to the streaming, or more generally "service" model. You don't "own" anything. Not even access to the files. If at any point company decides to not offer the service to you, they are free to do so and you will lose access to everything when that happens.

    • Re:Simple solution (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sjwest (948274) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @03:06PM (#43528319)

      Actually trying to give amazon money is hard as a linux person.

      Short version of the story is about a book reviewed here on slashdot.

      Only available in kindle, physical copies non existant unless you import it - i asked did the kindle reader 'app' work in linux Answer back was no as i was in the wrong region. A kindle was also more than it would cost to import the book from a foriegn land.

      Six months later i find a physical book in a charity shop in my region. I dont plan on buying a kindle now.

      Libraries can also be brilliant places and are worth supporting.

  • Wow (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Synerg1y (2169962) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @02:12PM (#43527605)

    I was gonna call the guy who wrote this a complete moron, except for this...

    http://forums.androidcentral.com/tablet-apps/239022-amazon-prime-video-app.html [androidcentral.com]

    http://betanews.com/2013/04/22/why-is-there-no-android-app-for-amazon-instant-video/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed+-+bn+-+Betanews+Full+Content+Feed+-+BN [betanews.com]

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000645111 [amazon.com]

    We're missing something here namely something like this: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.netflix.mediaclient&hl=en [google.com]

    Yep, there doesn't appear to be an Android app for amazon prime. So either Amazon is telling android users to f off, or they're unaware of the issue they'd cause with DRM.

    Annoyed yet? It's available for iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/amazon-instant-video/id545519333?mt=8 [apple.com]

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @02:17PM (#43527681)

      Yep, there doesn't appear to be an Android app for amazon prime.

      Welcome to what happens when the company that controls your content stream also provides hardware.

      There's no other Android client because Amazon would much, much rather you buy a Kindle Fire to watch Amazon Prime with.

      I've been wondering how much longer there will be an iOS version... but at the moment the desire to gain viewers overrides the desire to force hardware sales.

      • by Rob Y. (110975)

        It's pretty nasty when a company 'giving away razors to sell blades' starts trying to make money off of the razors too. The Kindle was originally Amazon's way to jump-start their ebook and streaming services. Now they want to be a tablet player too. Greedy.

        • Your attempt at being sarcastic failed, because there is not much positive to say about the razor/razor blade business model (or the bubblejet/ink cartridge business model for what it's worth).

        • by Darinbob (1142669)

          The kindle was always full of DRM, and is a perfect example of why the ebook concept as it is now is broken. It is designed to give Amazone complete power. If they accidentally sell you a real book that they don't have permission to sell, they would be forced to eat the costs and chalk it up as an expensive mistake; but if it's an ebook they can just yank it back.

          Books need to be tied to the reader while it is active I think, to allow publishers to peace of mind that they won't be pirated. But once the b

      • I don't know about this. There's a Kindle android app. Also, I don't know how much of a profit they make on a Kindle fire. So there's that to consider...
    • by Creepy (93888)

      Or try WINE on Android if it exists yet and try the Windows version (heard it was in development, probably nowhere near ready for prime time though)...

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Windows version is going to be x86, so that will run terribly on a smartphone.

        • by jandrese (485)
          And Flash is already slow on X86 machines. Emulated CPU on smartphone hardware to do realtime video decoding and decrypting is, well, it's not going to work.
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @02:28PM (#43527841)

      Well this is what I think is basically a dick move on the part of Amazon, namely taking the Android platform, making it their own, and then giving the finger to those who provided it to them for free to begin with. I knew this was going to happen the minute they launched their app store, even expressed that it was a dick move, and got shouted down for it wherever I brought it up.

      Anyways, I'm actually thinking about letting my prime subscription run out. They charge sales tax in my state now, and where I live it is pretty close to 10%. (They keep increasing it because they say they need more money for firefighters and education - though I'm trying to figure out how they didn't manage that back when it was 6% only a decade ago. Raising the rate to compensate to lost out of state purchases doesn't help because people will just want to do that even more.) Fry's electronics will price match just about any website out there, so I can get their prices locally anyways. Although Amazon's larger selection is nice, I can probably manage just fine with the free super saver shipping when I need to. If there's a hot deal somewhere, I'll just go to a website that doesn't charge sales tax.

      • by X0563511 (793323)

        Amazon doesn't get to choose the tax rate. Complain to your local government.

      • by bored (40072)

        though I'm trying to figure out how they didn't manage that back when it was 6% only a decade ago.

        I don't know what state you live in, but if its like the one I live in the answer is easy and its three fold.

        First the population of the state is expanding fairly rapidly, but the laws on new development don't require the developers to pay for the privilege of adding to city services (water/roads/electric). So, everyone moving into town is effectively subsidized by all the existing residents. Sure they have b

      • by lgw (121541)

        They keep increasing it because they say they need more money for firefighters and education - though I'm trying to figure out how they didn't manage that back when it was 6% only a decade ago

        In most places this claim is actually true, just not complete. They need the money for pension plan payments for firefighters and educators (and less appealing government workers of all stripes). Only a decade ago pension plans were still funded under the illusion that the 80s-90s run-up would go on forever. Now reality has intruded, and in some places (like Alameda county CA, where I used to live) pension costs are about 100% of revenue, leaving nothing for ongoing operations. Oops.

    • And they are all telling Linux users to piss off... Even paying Linux users... Hey Idiots! I have money over here! More actually since I didn't spend it on Windows Licenses or anti-virus subscriptions.
  • by dstyle5 (702493) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @02:12PM (#43527613)
    Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, Justified, Mad Men and Homeland are a few of the terrible shows I've watched in the past decade. Thank goodness for Amazon coming "rescue" us from this tripe!
    • Oh yeah, those are all rotten. To add insult to injury there was Archer, Suits, Shameless and Game of Thrones as well!
      • by Dahamma (304068)

        And for sit-coms, Community, Big Bang Theory, Scrubs, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Family Guy, among other piles of crap. And so as not to forget British contributions to this disastrous decade, there's The IT Crowd, The Office, Coupling, The In Betweeners, ...

  • by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @02:14PM (#43527619)

    If anybody recalls:

    http://ask.slashdot.org/story/13/03/07/1947228/ask-slashdot-dealing-with-flagged-channels-for-xbmc-pvr [slashdot.org]

    I haven't found a solution to the cablecard problem yet, but so far in what little free time I've had, I've been working on improving an automated bittorrent based solution I already have. Perhaps you should do the same.

  • by Picass0 (147474) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @02:15PM (#43527643) Homepage Journal

    >"Perhaps the decade long dearth of any good television is nearing its end!"

    Excuse me, but there's some damn good TV in the last ten years, including but not limited to:

    Sons of Anarchy
    Game of Thrones
    Doctor Who
    Boardwalk Empire
    Battlestar Galactica
    Justice League Unlimited
    Dexter
    Spartacus

    • by ArsonSmith (13997)

      Yea, I'd almost call the last decade some of the best TV ever. Although it is also some of the worst. I think prior it was much more overall mediocre so now that there is so much utter crap it hides that there is still some of the best. It's like going to Home Depot and complaining that you can't buy decent 2x4s any more. Sure you can you just have to go to the lumber yard to get them, not the mass market craptastic one stop shopping spot.

      • by Dahamma (304068)

        I was thinking about it, and one of the biggest factors contributing towards better TV is the lack of censorship on cable (and the expanded market for the cable shows on DVD/digital download). While it's true some of the small cable networks have made brilliant and risky bets on content that paid off, the fact that AMC, HBO, Showtime, FX, etc can broadcast whatever they want and not just what the prime-time censors let them really opens up the storytelling possibilities. Real life is not a rated TV-PG si

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Why is Louie not on this list?

  • by earlzdotnet (2788729) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @02:17PM (#43527691)
    They basically give people who aren't 90% of users the middle finger. Use Linux? that's too bad, live without or pirate it. We don't want your money

    I think this is especially pitiful that they are doing this with their own shows they are now producing. It's not even the MPAA demanding them to DRM everything to license it, they are stupid enough that they are doing it for the hell of it..

    • Obviously, the divisions don't talk. The idiot in charge of the streaming division aught to ask the guy in charge of AWS if ignoring Linux users is a money making idea...
  • by nimbius (983462) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @02:19PM (#43527711) Homepage
    the majority of linux/unix users have never had. netflix has never warmed up to GNU, and thats just fine for me. ill hit TPB, download the latest excretion from hollywood, judge it based on its merits and if i like it, ill buy the blu-ray version. if i dont like it, 'rm' works nicely and if its a star-wars prequil, 'unlink' and a half pound of thermite has so far proven slightly effective.
    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Netflix works on linux. Not as great as on windows, but it does work. Wine running firefox and silverlight.

    • by jfengel (409917)

      if i like it, ill buy the blu-ray version

      I'm curious about what level of "like" that requires. I has teh Netflix, and I never buy movies because there are practically no movies that I want to see more than once.

      I know that other people do actually buy movies, so apparently there is a market for that. What percentage of things that you download do you like well enough to buy the Blu-Ray? If you decide it's not up to scratch, do you generally shut it off halfway through, or do you generally watch it all the way through before deciding it's not worth

      • by emag (4640)

        Having *just* in the past few weeks gotten a Blu-Ray player, these are the movies I've gotten:

        * Original Star Trek movie collection (daily deal on Amazon, and what spurred me)
        * Next Gen Star Trek movie collection
        * Galaxy Quest (to be inserted in the above rotation at the proper point)
        * Ghostbusters (it was less than $10)
        * Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness, My Name is Bruce

        I'm pretty sure that's all I have. I usually just use Netflix as well, but those are movies that I either enjoy watching over, wil

    • the majority of linux/unix users have never had. netflix has never warmed up to GNU, and thats just fine for me. ill hit TPB, download the latest excretion from hollywood, judge it based on its merits and if i like it, ill buy the blu-ray version. if i dont like it, 'rm' works nicely and if its a star-wars prequil, 'unlink' and a half pound of thermite has so far proven slightly effective.

      But I had Prime Streaming, and now I don't... I never had NetFlix... Between the active Linux blocking, and the stupid pop-up ads, I was never much inclined to use them.

  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @02:22PM (#43527751)

    Try running OS2/Warp for a while and see how they treat you!

  • by sinij (911942) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @02:22PM (#43527757) Journal

    Unfortunately without locking both platform (walled garden) and distribution DRM is futile. Why unfortunate? Because inevitable conclusion of all failed DRM is not to open it up and monetize, but to build more walled gardens.

    Idea that DRM only has to defer casual pirates is an intellectually bankrupt idea - defense has to be breached only once for the information to become freely available. As such it inevitably turns into vs. Internet battle, and Internet always wins.

    The only sane thing to do is to compete with your content based on merits - provide it on demand, at high quality and at low price. Some will always pirate and some will always pay - but majority will go with whatever is the most convenient.

    Capitalize on laziness and stop building walled gardens!

  • I never expect end user products to work on anything Linux. Maybe it's narrow minded or pessimistic. I hope you do convince Amazon, but this rant on slashdot is preaching to a choir. Quit giving them your money and do something other than talking to tech/customer support.
    • by i kan reed (749298) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @02:31PM (#43527893) Homepage Journal

      Having something you already paid for stop working is pretty reasonably within the category of "newsworthy corporate bullshit." If there's any evidence at all that amazon is going to pull the rug out from under me on the things I already bought the moment it becomes profitable, I'd like to know to stop buying the moment it happens to someone else, not when it happens to me.

      • by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @02:44PM (#43528091) Journal

        If there's any evidence at all that amazon is going to pull the rug out from under me on the things I already bought the moment it becomes profitable, I'd like to know to stop buying the moment it happens to someone else, not when it happens to me.

        Then you should be forwarned now, anything with DRM will likely be pulled out from under you. It's a matter of when, not if.

  • Business huh? You just lost yourself a customer
    $$ cha ching .. what's that Homer?
    YOU JUST LOST YOURSELF A CUSTOMER MOE!
    $$ cha ching... what?.....

  • They Want You To Buy A Kindle
  • Isn't this quote kind of flamebait: RMS cultists and pragmatic Windows users alike now suffer equally. And the folks who aren't GNU/Hippies with an anti-cloud-chip-on-their-shoulder might even be suffering more: they've lost access to shows and movies that they purchased.

    Doesn't that basically mean the 'cultists' were actually being pragmatic? Or maybe this post is an attempt at irony?

  • Kind of like Slashdot editors have taken away my ability to read a summary?
  • Even with HAL (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nicodoggie (1228876) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @02:53PM (#43528199)

    I've installed HAL in my Arch box just to see if it'll work, and nope, it still doesn't.

    Not in Firefox with the last supported Flash for Linux that uses NPAPI (11.2.202.280), nor on Chromium, with Pepper Flash (11.6.602.171). hald is running and everything.

    Why don't these guys learn from Steam? Make an effort, and they get some of the most loyal, most vocal platform zealots money can never buy; shun them, they get the most rabid haters.

    I seriously hope Amazon reconsiders this move. I was this close to actually paying for an Amazon Prime subscription, but since I won't be able to stream on my PC (which solely runs Linux) nor on my phone (Android 4.1), they just lost a potential loyal customer to piracy (I downloaded Zombieland and Alpha House through TPB).

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Why don't these guys learn from Steam? Make an effort, and they get some of the most loyal, most vocal platform zealots money can never buy; shun them, they get the most rabid haters.

      I think you've just answered your own question.

      Clearly the Linux fans are fickle, hard to please, and demanding. And in the end, they'll probably still be rabid haters.

      So why spend the resources to try to keep that smaller, more vocal group happy, when you can focus on the ones who will be less easily riled up?

      Just sayin'. If

    • Pepper Flash may not be working due to an issue with the 11.6 Flash releases. At least Flash 11.6 has problems with Amazon video on Windows, I just assume it's a multi-platform problem.

  • Internet video is broken in many ways in Linux at its current state.
  • We must be grateful to Amazon for this kind of issues, really.

    It annoys the hell out of many people - and that's a good thing here. More and more people learn the dangers of DRM. Now even people with legitimately purchased content are blocked from watching their stuff; and I think that's a good thing.

    The only thing that can stop and really overcome the DRM cancer from growing is this. People getting burned, and getting burned badly. They get angry, they talk about it to their friends, who may also have gott

  • Theater is life. Film is art. Television is furniture.
  • Back to bit-torrent then for many I should imagine, if they tighten the screws people will slip through the gaps. There I was thinking we had just reached a happy equilibrium.
  • Customers have choice. If you make content available under reasonable terms, they may be your customer. If not, they won't. I decided a couple of years ago that the cable company's terms were unreasonable, so I cancelled my cable. With over the air HD, internet streaming and DVDs, I don't miss it.

    While many tv shows people have mentioned are from U.S. cable tv networks, I've seen top-quality stuff from other sources. Recent faves include Borgen [imdb.com] and Scott & Bailey [imdb.com], both from "regular" (albeit European)

  • by waspleg (316038) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @03:54PM (#43528815) Journal

    They are evil fucks. They have always been evils fucks. They will continue to be evil fucks.

    Stop voting for them with your wallet, and shrink their evil.

  • I see the little slams against RMS "cultists", silly programmer hippies and similar software flower children that the right-wing millennials and Gen-Xers love to dismiss as fools. Because Hippies.

    But the reason Stallman and the open software movement despises DRM was shown to you, precisely, when your "rights" disappeared.

    So, who's the fool? As usual, as in the support for civil rights, the fight against wars started for lies, the rejection of Victorian sexual repression, the rejection of environmental dest

  • This is why you don't pay for media.
    My wife's iPod recently decided to just stop syncing with her windows desktop all together. iTunes has always been the worst of the worst in music management but now it's just dead to her. I'm sure I could reinstall windows for the 10th time, but shes just done with it and wants to be rid of it. It especially irked her when it tried to "Sync" with her camera every time she plugged it in and randomly erased photos...
    So I ordered her a new MP3 player with the same amount of

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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