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Media Technology

Sony CTO Starts New "Buy Once, Play Anywhere" Group 138

jriding writes to mention that a new effort, headed by Sony Pictures' CTO, will attempt to allow customers to stream video content seamlessly on any device that they own. One has to wonder how successful or "all encompassing" it will be without Apple, TiVo, and Amazon, some of the major players in the space. "It's all very much in the future, however. The press release is peppered with confidence-wilting phrases such as "will define and build a new media framework" (something this complex hasn't even been defined yet?), "we are developing," and "over time." Without even a spec in place, there's no way we will see working products for at least a year, quite possibly longer. And, if the strategy document we discussed in August remains accurate, new DECE-ready devices will be needed to make the whole scheme work. By the time video stores adopt the tech, electronics firms implement it, movie studios support it, and consumers purchase all the pieces to make it work, will it still matter?"
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Sony CTO Starts New "Buy Once, Play Anywhere" Group

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  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Monday September 15, 2008 @04:20PM (#25016161)

    Sony are notorious control freaks and DRM stalwarts. Need I remind anyone of the Rootkit CD fiasco [], or the fact that they sold their Blu-ray format largely on the basis of its not one, but *two*, different "uncrackable" DRM layers []?

    Is there anyone in the world who believes for a SECOND that their "Buy Once, Play Anywhere" will translate to anything other than "Buy Once, Play Anywhere, as long as you let us put our intrusive DRM schemes on your devices and let your devices phone home to get our approval first"?

    Anytime you have a hardware manufacturer who is also a media content producer, you're going to get heavy-handed DRM on their devices and media content, all under their strict control. Sony is no more going to let you make copies of their movies willie-nillie than they're going to let you have access to the GPU on the PS3 for your homebrew.

    • by poopie ( 35416 )

      so, it will work on both blueray and UMD...

      but seriously, the only way I see that Sony could make this almost ubiquitous would be to build a web app that uses flash and something like google gears for disconnected content playback persistence.

      Sort of like a mashup of youtube and itunes.

      Sort of like a Sony music store [] except... better.

    • I know this is a bit offtopic, but that Wikipedia page says that the BD+ format includes a VM in playback devices and allows native code execution for patching hacked devices.

      Sound like fun! (Disks that automatically "patch" devices...?)

      • Yes it does contain a JAVA VM..... (so no "native code execution"). it can "technically" patch a device, but only for the runtime of the disc. the VM prevents permanent changes to the system. So yes, it may prevent a disc from playing on a hacked system, but should not change the system.

        That doesnt mean that Firmware updates can be distributed via BD, but they will be a player by player package, and do ask confirmation.

        • The article is sparse on details, but I understood it as "JAVA programs will run every time you play the disk (checking the memory and such), but there is native execution available for patching compromised devices."

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by davester666 ( 731373 )

      This is not just Sony. This is pretty much the ideal DRM system for the big media companies.

      Because it is centrally controlled, and it is setup so the copyright owner controls what you can do with your purchase.

      This is the basis of a long-term strategy by the RIAA/MPAA companies.

      First, create a DRM system that is completely controlled by themselves, and get hardware manufacturers to embed it into as many devices as possible [like DVDCSS and AACS]. Make sure it is not beholden to anyone else [such as Apple

    • Buy Once, Play Anywhere, as long as you let us put our intrusive DRM schemes on your devices and let your devices phone home to get our approval first

      I go to forums about videogames on consoles and I see zero DRM topics. I go to any news item about games here on /. and I see nothing but DRM topics, primary issue be dammned. If this gambit works, one good thing to come out of it will be that we can talk about other things for once!

      Kidding of course. As the owner of a non-ipod MP3 player, that would suck. My wife buys tons of songs on itunes and I can't listen to them. Moreover, if music and video formats get as bad as consoles with exclusitivity (the

      • Er ...
        My wife buys tons of songs on itunes and I can't listen to them

        Right click on the song in iTunes.
        Select "convert to mp3".
        Move file onto your device. (After all, it's still a storage medium and a file.)

        Barring that: (much slower)
        Build a playlist in iTunes of the protected songs you want.
        Switch to that playlist view, insert a cdr, and click "burn."
        Go to another computer, import as you would a normal cd and move to device.

        I don't understand why people overthink Mac stuff.

        • I was aware of the writing to a CD. That's a timesuck though, and I don't want to waste the CDs.

          As far as the mp3 conversion, the last time I tried, several years ago, that was not an option that worked.

          I'm not sure if I was overthinking it, but we're not talking vital songs here, and tinkering around with software settings to get the latest catchy song is pretty low on my priorities list, not to mention being more frustrating than doing the dishes or cleaning out the catbox, (which are two of the aforemen

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I'm going to defend them on one point that they finally almost get the "play anywhere" idea and are willing to work across companies to achieve what Apple has already done. Apple has proved that people will buy up electronic copies sold "just like a book" and usable on so many devices. The "pairing" of iPods and Apple TVs to "mothership" computers has worked out very well. The only flaw Apple's stuff has is that you can't automatically aggregate stuff (to backup all your media) among machines even under t

      • The only flaw Apple's stuff has is that you can't automatically aggregate stuff (to backup all your media) among machines even under the same account.

        I'd say there's a rather larger flaw, that you can only use Apple software and hardware.

        That's why I don't buy DRMed stuff from the iTMS. I don't want to be locked into only being able to use iPods and iTunes as my music players.

    • by rtechie ( 244489 ) *

      Is there anyone in the world who believes for a SECOND that their "Buy Once, Play Anywhere" will translate to anything other than "Buy Once, Play Anywhere, as long as you let us put our intrusive DRM schemes on your devices and let your devices phone home to get our approval first"?

      Me for one. It will translate to "abject failure that won't work at all and nobody will use". Remember movies sold on UMD and MiniStick? Sony has a long history of format failure that doesn't seem to dissuade them for cooking up new failed formats. There is no such thing as DRM that doesn't piss off users. Either it's strong enough to prevent many attacks so it's a major annoyance, or it's so weak that it doesn't protect against many attacks but it's still a minor annoyance.

    • by Dan541 ( 1032000 )

      If I can't download the .avi then it isn't Play anywhere is it? If I can't play it 500mile from the nearest phone line than that's hardly the definition of anywhere.

    • by DrXym ( 126579 )
      Sony are notorious control freaks and DRM stalwarts

      This is unlike Amazon, TIVO, Microsoft, Apple how? Every single digital download provider locks you into a proprietary player, a proprietary service and a proprietary format. It's the main reason that you'd have to be a moron to build a collection of movies or shows in the current climate. An industry wide standard for digital downloads is an absolute necessity for the format to take off, otherwise it will be the usual gorillas slugging it out with their

  • I dunno . . . (Score:5, Insightful)

    by catbertscousin ( 770186 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @04:22PM (#25016191)
    I kinda like my membership in the "Download Once, Play Anywhere" Group.
    • Hey! I've heard of that group. Don't they distribute in the "ripped DVD" and "ISO" formats for maximum portability?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hansamurai ( 907719 )

      More insightful than funny. Why do we need DECE-ready devices to support this when plenty of no copyright-bit-detecting devices already exist?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by bughunter ( 10093 )

      I like my rip once, play anywhere cult.

      We've interpreted "fair use" to include portability and archive reliability since, ooh, 1985 perhaps...

      Unfortunately, Congress effectively outlawed us with the passage of the DMCA, even though we kept to the spirit of copyright law by not giving away our portable copies and archives.

  • by AioKits ( 1235070 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @04:27PM (#25016267)
    ... as long as it's on a Sony product! But trust us, it's really close to anywhere!
    • So it can play on a Sony Vio with Linux... Cool.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by HoppyChris ( 1310725 )
        Wow, when did Sony start selling Vaios with Linux on them? (PROTIP: it also won't work on the replacement firmware you made for your other Sony Devices)
  • Open formats (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Lode ( 1290856 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @04:28PM (#25016269)
    To play anywhere we want at any time, we need open or widely implemented video and audio formats supported by any hardware and which can be carried on any kind of memory (optical drivers, flash memory, ...) and that can be transfered from one device to another using standard connection protocols like USB mass storage device, FTP, ... No lock-in crap, closed formats, or "DRM that allows playing on any device in your domain" or other such silly short lived things. So if what I described isn't what Sony plans, it sucks.
    • by Chazman ( 6089 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @08:56PM (#25019629) Homepage

      Let's take a quick walk back through the vault of previous Sony-invented media formats, shall we?

      Memory Stick.

      You'll pardon me if I ask why I should believe this will turn into anything other than another colossal flop.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        [Sarcasm on]
        And not to forget the "Colossal Flop" of the Sony invented 3.5inch Floppy disk!
        [Sarcasm off]

        Sony has invented some great stuff, as well as some duds. MiniDisc, and BetaMax were technically superior at the time, but the marketing lot screwed both.

        MiniDisc was in fact a REALLY good idea at the time, a portable recordable medium that was at least durable, at a time when Solid State was not really there.

  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @04:29PM (#25016295) Homepage Journal
    buy once, stream to anywhere, anytime without restriction.

    i want music provider to be my backup vault. if anything happens, i should know i can get what i bought from there again, with a click.

    if i go traveling anywhere, i shouldnt need to worry about taking my mp3 player with me, platform, framework and shit. i should just be easy to know that from anywhere, i can login to the 'music provider x' and get whatever i need from there, again. they can limit my download to 1 per day if they want or anything. or, even can charge me something like 0.1 cents for each additional download for all i care.

    i just want NO hassles, and full reliability.

    its amazing that it took them THAT long to realize that this is the real deal.
    • I think you are a bit unrealistic. Did you also demand that if you broke or otherwise rendered useless your CD/Tapes/VHS/DVDs purchased that you should be able to return the broken medium with a proof of purchase for a replacement copy? I highly doubt it. So why, after you purchase a digital copy, is it their responsibility to know that *you* bought it and have the *right* to it? Once you have your copy you should be able to do with it what you please, including backing it up how you see fit to preserve
      • by Firehed ( 942385 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @05:03PM (#25016757) Homepage

        If you subscribe to their notion that you're purchasing a license to listen rather than a copy of the music, then yes, they should absolutely replace broken/damaged/lost media. I think there's a saying involving cake about their approach...

      • Because when you buy a CD, you have a physical product you can hold onto. When you buy a digital download, you don't have a physical item, so they should allow you to redownload in the case of it being lost. Assuming the download service you use doesn't have record of your purchases, how do you prove to the police/RIAA that the 15 Gigs of MP3s on your computer is stuff you bought from said music provider is actually legally yours, and not something that you just pirated.
        • When you download music to a HDD its no different that having it on CD. Its just a physical medium holding data. The only difference is that the physical medium is already paid for in bulk... you basically only have rights to the data.

          First of all, you don't really have any problems if you are just downloading, its when you share them out that you break the law. Obtaining isn't the part that will get you in trouble, its the distributing. Like you said, how can they prove how you got it? They can't.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Firehed ( 942385 )

            As to Firehed... If you buy a book and then lose that book or accidentally set it on fire then do you think you have a right to another copy? You paid for your copy, you ruined/lost/destroyed it, you then have to buy another one. The same thing goes with the CD. Your argument only strengthens my point that once you obtain your copy you are responsible for preserving it. I don't prescribe to their notion of licensing and fair use supports me.

            I agree, when you're buying physical property. According to the

        • by Dan541 ( 1032000 )

          The same way you prove anything in your house was purchased and not stolen.

      • by rtechie ( 244489 ) *

        So why, after you purchase a digital copy, is it their responsibility to know that *you* bought it and have the *right* to it?

        Because it's trivially easy to implement, has virtually no cost for the provider, and is a great value-add for the consumer.

      • by Eskarel ( 565631 )
        Well this is actually a really good point, because this is precisely what's been wrong with the RIAA/MPAA/BIAA licensing model.

        If, as they say you are purchasing a license to play media off them, then you should be able to get a replacement cd/dvd/vhs tape for nothing more than the cost of shipping + media(some companies will actually do this for games/software).

        After all, all you bought was a license, so the media ought not to matter. You should also by this same logic be able to play your music, video, ga

    • Reminds me quite a bit of how Steam handles its game media.

      The problem with moving that sort of idea to music is the much larger pool of songs / artists / etc. that would have to reside on the service provider's servers. I don't think this is plausible without some sort of service contract (which makes this idea a lot less appealing - to me at least). The effort needed to host that much content on live servers capable of streaming to that many devices on demand just isn't justified in the pay once business

    • by rtechie ( 244489 ) *

      i want music provider to be my backup vault. if anything happens, i should know i can get what i bought from there again, with a click.

      Liquid Audio offered this in 1998.

      The music studios specifically didn't want this. They want you to repurchase music as much as possible and they don't care how much it pisses off consumers. Their wet dream is pay-per-play.

      Sony doesn't need to develop a new "framework" or "technologies". What this deep marketspeak means is that they're trying to develop a new kind of DRM that will be more transparent to users so they'll be less pissed off about it. Good luck with that.

      • so what did they accomplish ? nothing.

        they could be making effortless billions by now. morons.

        such is the way of the self centered. while trying to get their own way all the time, they damage their own interests.
    • Or 15$ a month and you get all the music you can torrent?

      • many would be torrenting it anyway. many PAY to rapidshare and like services to get storage to let friends dl.

        instead, they will just pay 15 bucks to the provider, and they'll get unlimited high quality stuff.

        shared web hosting outlets are going through hoops to sell $3/mo hosting to people, by giving them whopass space and transfer.

        DESPITE that, shared web hosting industry is a huge industry.

        and, the amount of transfer these people would make while using this service would be negligible compare
  • by Cro Magnon ( 467622 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @04:30PM (#25016309) Homepage Journal

    that Sony has written a multi-platform rootkit?

  • Consumers need to buy replacement devices, and companies need the specs to make them. If this truly is buy once play anywhere, what's the difference between patent-free devices and a completely encumbered system which has the same effect? That's right, someone owns the patent and is making money. Like selling bottled water.

    • The difference is what happens in the long term.

      In the short term, the 'rights' you will be granted under this system will be generous and prices will be cheap. This phase is known as the "adoption phase".

      However, in the longer term, assuming this system gains traction so they can just stop licensing content to competing systems, such as the iTMS, prices will go up, and the rights you are granted will be less generous.

      Like in the short term, you may be able to go to your friends how, and add their TV to yo

  • by Rie Beam ( 632299 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @04:32PM (#25016345) Journal

    Title should read, "Rent Once, Play Certain Places Until Obscure Format is No Longer Supported"

    • > Title should read, "Rent Once, Play Certain Places Until Obscure Format is No Longer Supported"

      Yep. Or, "Rent once, play certain places until we decide the service is no longer profitable, and your device can't phone home anymore because we've turned off the servers.

      But I'm being foolish. This has never happened before.

  • Round Two (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PMuse ( 320639 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @04:34PM (#25016369)

    Dupe []? Not really, as we now see just how much support this thing has.

  • It already exists. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustinOpinion ( 1246824 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @04:34PM (#25016375)

    According to Singer, video should become a buy once, play anywhere technology like CDs and DVDs. ... will define and build a new media framework

    Ummm.... doesn't this already exist? I mean, if you want to release video in a format that will play anywhere, on any device... this is trivial. Just release it using a well-established video codec. Every laptop and OS and browser and media center and video iPod and mobile phone can then play the file.

    Of course this would be by far the most consumer-friendly approach, and would satisfy the requirement of "play anywhere technology." But of course the subtext to the article, which isn't explicitly stated, is that they want a "play anywhere" format... but with DRM.

    This is basically an oxymoron, though. Like a "drive anywhere" car, that is incidentally specifically designed to shut-off if you drive outside of a pre-approved range. Or a "cook anything" microwave oven that reads the barcodes off your instant-meals, and incidentally won't turn on if unrecognized things (like home-made food) are put inside.

    This whole venture is doomed to fail. It will fail because for a truly "play anywhere" ecosystem, the DRM spec would have to be open and not costly (in which case, homebrewers and hackers alike will circumvent it within minutes). It will fail because big companies (like Apple) have no reason to help this idea. It will fail because the implementation will be complicated and error prone. It will fail because consumers will still notice the DRM, and have to overcome it frequently (thereby defeating the purpose).

    You can't achieve "play anywhere" with DRM.

    • Shut up, communist. DRM enables consumer choice!

      I jest; but that really is the self-serving mythology of all this. Consumers are pitiful, helpless creatures totally incapable of creating anything for themselves(except when we are lobbying for more draconian laws, in which case they are terrifying interwebs-enabled super pirate/terrorists), so if we don't provide music downloads, or video streaming, or whatever, it doesn't exist. Therefore, when we finally get around to offering some pathetic, DRM cripple
    • One has to wonder what "framework" they are talking about. Doe they mean a container format that could be accepted by any device? Say by way of WiFi, USB, Firewire or some new connection? Do they mean networking all the devices in the home (TV, PC, PMP, game console) to stream between? Or do they mean DRM? Or some combination of these? There are several ways to do this and they aren't forthcoming about which they intend to establish. Of course we expect them to jump to the DRM/"secure" connection conclusio
    • So right. It's called CD and DVD. Well, maybe not Sony's.

      Maybe the creationists have a point. This evolution thing doesn't seem to work too good lately.

  • Typo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by commodoresloat ( 172735 ) * on Monday September 15, 2008 @04:34PM (#25016387)

    It's actually called "Buy Once, Pay Anywhere" ... they want to make sure that you have to pay for your content no matter where you watch it.

  • Time saver (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @04:35PM (#25016393) Journal

    I'll save them millions of dollars and thousands of hours of meetings and development time: Xvid / MP3

  • The DRM thing is having a knock-on effect in my buying habits that go beyond the realm of media and into consumer electronics.

    I'd rather build replacements for most home entertainment out of increasingly available mini ITX kit. A nice general purpose computer that I control all aspects of the product lifespan. Hey, no forced obsolescence! All except the ipod, but thankfully I'm not interested in that.

  • by David Gerard ( 12369 ) <slashdot.davidgerard@co@uk> on Monday September 15, 2008 @04:35PM (#25016405) Homepage

    DRM is mathematically impossible, customers loathe and despise it more than any industry person could comprehend, and it never actually works.

    But they're so addicted to control they'll keep begging people to take their money to sell them yet more snake oil. []

    Never another download or unpaid viewing! Not ever! This time! For sure!

  • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @04:35PM (#25016409) Journal

    All of this amounts to little more than big corporations attempting to unite, in order to better fight off the most dominant players in the marketplace (Apple's iTunes store, primarily).

    They knew from day 1 that Apple wouldn't go for it, since they rather like their "ecosystem" being undisturbed.

    In the big picture though, ditching the DRM is the real answer. We already have standard audio and video formats out there! They're proven to work effectively on all sorts of hardware.

    The content sales people always talk about "format incompatibility" because it sounds better, but this is REALLY about unifying protection schemes bolted on TOP of the formats.

  • They forgot Nokia, Samsung, LG. No movies on mobile phones? EPIC FAIL [].

  • Dead in the water (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Have Blue ( 616 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @04:37PM (#25016433) Homepage
    Won't support the iPod. Won't go anywhere.
    • by Artuir ( 1226648 )

      Oh jesus christ. the ipod is not the be-all-end-all fucking product of the century. are all apple customers so damn self centered?

      • by rhizome ( 115711 )

        are all apple customers so damn self centered?

        How do you know he's a customer?

      • How many iPods have been sold since Day One? How many not iPod cheap hunks of Chinese plastic crap have been sold?

        How many songs, TV shows, Movies, et have been sold/rented by the iTunes Store? Napster? Rhapsody? Microsoft? Yahoo?

        How many white earbuds do you see every day, vs. not white earbuds?

        Sit down, shut up, and welcome your new, Jonathan Ive designed overlords!

      • by Have Blue ( 616 )
        It has nothing to do with quality. They're targeting a market where 75% of the potential users are on an incompatible platform. That would be a huge handicap even if the technology they're pushing was actually desirable.
  • This is for the investment community on a bad stock market day.

    There is no reality here.

    This is Sony, who would give you a rootkit to control their DRM. Expect that this works with and only Sony products, sometime when your hair turns grey, if then.

  • Amazon already supports this by using the MP3 format.
  • Any takers ... someone ? ... anyone ?
  • by Edgewize ( 262271 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @04:42PM (#25016495)

    I seem to recall another DRM solution with fairly broad manufacturer support, that promised to work "for sure".

    How many times will the industry bring out new, better, "consumer-friendly" DRM? At what point do they realize that you can't dress up restrictions and pass them off as features?

    People might not always be educated on topics like DRM or copyright but that doesn't mean that people are suckers. Attention music industry: don't piss on our heads and tell us it's raining.

  • by Rie Beam ( 632299 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @04:46PM (#25016549) Journal

    Consumer: "I wish I could have a digital backup of my music..."
    Sony: "We'll offer you streaming versions of your favorite songs! Buy it once, play it anywhere!"
    Consumer: "Awesome! So how do I use this on my iPod?"
    Sony: "...well, you can't."
    Consumer: "But you just said..."
    Sony: "Listen, kid. We have a streaming service that works through a couple of major retailers, and works with some very popular devices..."
    Consumer: "But I want it to work on mine!"


    Consumer: "Alright, I got one of these new-fangled...whatevers...that supports PlayAnywhere. Now what?"
    Sony: "Go online and buy a that one you have right there..."
    Consumer: "This CD? But I already have it..."
    Sony: "What's your point?"
    Consumer: "Fine..."


    Consumer: "I lost my new-fangled whatevers! Quick, let me download a copy of my songs!"
    Sony: "I'd love to, but that new device you just bought supports version 2.7.1 of PlayAnywhere. I'll need you to upgrade your songs or buy them outright -- either way, gimme your wallet."
    Consumer: "..."

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by RDW ( 41497 )

      **even later**

      Consumer: "Well, Sony weren't very helpful, but the great thing about PlayAnywhere is I'm not limited to a single supplier! Let's see who else supports these files...Great! Microsoft is a fully paid up member! Now, where's that new Zune I won in the McCain For America raffle..? OK, *Squirting files to device*...'Incompatible format!' WTF?"

      Consumer: "Hey Microsoft! It says right here you fully support the PlayAnywhere Ecosystem! Why won't my files work?"

      Microsoft: "Oh come on kid. Don't you get

  • We call it MP4 and MP3.

    Okay the are not totally patent free but are common enough to work.

    For something to truly be Play Anywhere it would have to be.
    DRM free, patent free, and documented.

    Why do I think that this Play Anywhere will end up being like my Unlimited broadband and Cell phone data plan?

  • Rootkits on our phones.

  • This new standard will be the standard to end all standards. Plug & Play. Interactive Java games. Local storage. Not so sure about movies.

  • I for one can't wait for the time I'll need RIAA's permission to own devices! It will be awesome, they are selling this BS as if it will make people's life easier, but you see, the fact people will not be able to own as much devices as they want will really piss them off, this could be the final blow to DRM.
  • One more store/service/group in the fractured land of media licenses, stores, and players.

  • Sony is trying to build something that nobody wants. This feels a lot like Microsoft hailstorm or passport or whatever it was called solving a problem that nobody really had or would buy into. How about get rid of the DRM and sell DRM free versions of the content on a distribution system that is easier to use than it is to pirate.
    • I agree with this statement fully. It is the reason I find Steam so compelling. It truly has been easier for me to re-download games onto a new system, easier for me to purchase new games, than it would be to pirate them.
      Of course, I've never tried to play such games on Linux, but Steam is the closest to "getting it right" I've seen.

      Make it easy to legally use your game, and people will do so.

  • I wouldn't mind DRM if it was truly buy once, play anywhere, but that's not how it's going to work.

    Heck, these are the same people who came up with the concept of DVD "Zones". You can own two identical DVD players from the same manufacturer, but you can't play the same DVD in them if one player is set to one "zone" and one player set to another "zone".

    This is also the same group that allows me to buy a song via iTunes, and play it on my iPhone, but won't let me play that same song as a ringtone without shel

  • With my Sony TV, the PS3 and my alarmingly fun and useful PSP, I've slowly become BORG. In fact, because of that stupid PSP that I love so much I even did the unthinkable and purchased some putrid memory sticks. Oh how I've come to loathe myself... but at least I can do that loathing while watching the Big Lebowski or Trading Places on my PSP (legally owned and transcoded, naturally).

  • Its playable only on devices you own.

    Sounds like the 'home domain' thing from the RIAA earlier in the week, but with a more palatable marketing spin for the average joe.

  • Find something people will buy. Don't give them the best quality that you can initially. Intentionally make it defective by design. Sell them that stuff. Come back a year later, remove the defects, and people may buy it again!
  • by Brain Damaged Bogan ( 1006835 ) on Monday September 15, 2008 @08:04PM (#25019049)
    just download the bittorent then re-encode it for whatever device you want to play it on. easy.
  • Or maybe not. Sony has a brilliant track record playing with standards as it is. Basically, the standard (memory cards, mini-disk, blue ray, etc.) has got to be theirs or they won't support it.

    I'm curious if they will succeed with such a scheme, with many people both in the industry and of course us geeks being violently against it.

    Don't think so, they might as well design a new HTML protocol and try to get that standardized.

    • I dont know... things have been changing a LOT in Sony Land, maybe the shellackign they got over the rootkit fiasco, and other things. But looking at the PS3, maybe there are some changes coming on that front.

  • They seem to forget something quite simple. If I can copy my 30GB of whatever to a $5.00 music player -- legally because I own both -- then I can give the music player to my friend, who can then copy the same 30GB of whatever to his computer -- legally because he now owns both.

    There has never been -- that I can think of in ten seconds -- a time in history when the contents of an item could so dramatically exceed the container; where the value of the contents to the receiver is so much greater than the val

  • We already have a way to do that - its called the CD.. About the only disadvantage is you have to physically go buy it, or order it and wait around for it to be mailed to you.

    Perhaps 'order a CD online, but get some instant-download DRM-crippled version while you wait for it to ship' would be a workable business model. (As long as it didn't cost more than the CD would by itself, and the CD was a *real* audio CD)

  • SDMI.

    The Secure Digital Music Initiative.

    Had the backing of all 4 major labels, and a bunch of tech companies too. Can't remember what ones exactly.

    Load of big-wigs, coming up with a specification, with the promise of devices to follow... 200 companies involved. Never really materialised though. They worked on the spec for a few years and never came up with anything definitive.

    Apple turned up with the iTunes Music Store, with their FairPlay DRM system, signed up all 4 majors, and the rest is history.

Happiness is twin floppies.