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DataPlay - Flash Killer or Copy-Control Nightmare? 298

Posted by Cliff
from the the-next-salvo-across-our-bow dept.
theancient1 asks: "Coming soon to MP3 players, PDAs, and digital cameras: DataPlay: a $10 coin-sized disc that holds 500 MB of data. The catch? The discs have content control implemented as part of the file system. If a file has the 'protected' bit set, you'll need a key to access it. Keys can expire after a given interval, and although you can transfer files to your friends, they'll need their own key. This proprietary, SDMI-ready device is the RIAA's dream -- if all music were distributed this way, services like Napster wouldn't exist." And the war over digitally control content escalates. Will this system be cracked as easily as SDMI, or might this be something to worry about?

"On CNNfn, the CMO says it's great for record companies that want to re-sell their old music in a new format. In their press FAQ, they essentially claim to have invented the CD-R. (Patents pending.) All new hardware technologies seem to come with content control strings attatched. Is CD-R the last truly open storage medium? Is DataPlay the next big thing, or something to avoid?"

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DataPlay-Flash-Killer or Copy-Control Nightmare?

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  • by Prophet of Doom (250947) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @02:24AM (#414646)
    if all music were distributed this way, services like Napster wouldn't exist.

    I'm not sure that Napster-like p to p wouldn't exist. Regardless of the sotrage medium, at some point the sound of the music has to be released into the air so my ears can hear it. At that point I can grab it with some cheap microphone and convert it to an unencrypted .wav or something. Quality would not be as good as a direct rip but the vast majority of folks either don't notice the subtle differences or really don't care.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Just another way to screw with users...

    This reminds me of another Bill Gates [tripod.com]-ism.

  • If the general public choose and buy open storage technologies, even at a price premium over equivalent content control alternatives, the control technologies will go away, just like Betamax.

    Now if I can just motivate 100 million sheeple to boycott Dataplay...
  • All your bytes are belong to us.

    Ha ha ha ha....

  • I'm sorry but I'm not sure I understand. The headline is 'copy-control nightmare', but I don't see how it's a nightmare.

    It appears that if someone has protected something, you can't play it.

    So? This is like saying that 'New stronger lock for front door is a thief's nightmare'.

    Sure it's a nightmare to the thief, but we don't really care about them do we - they are the ones that are in the wrong - they are the ones trying to steal something belonging to someone else. We wouldn't describe that as a nightmare, except by qualifying it - it's only a nightmare for the bad guy.

    So it is in this case - people are given a chance to protect their property (the music they own and have written), and I can't see that that's a nightmare.

    Why, in these cases, is it always portrayed that everyone has the right to someone else's music? We wouldn't say that I have the right to go into your house and steal your possessions, so why encourage stealing music?

    Before anyone says, 'ah but with music, they still have it - you haven't taken anything', let me point this out: for artists and musicians, royalties are vitally important. Most artists (of whatever kind) earn far less than the average wage, so by denying them their royalties, you are effectively stealing the money out of their hand.

    Please, have a little consideration here. Imagine it was you.

    What if people had the chance to take your salary away, and as a result you were poor and destitute? Can you picture that? I do hope so. There is never an innocent victim in these cases.

    You're never hurting the fat cat - it's the little guy that gets the blame. Not the high-earning Backstreet Boys, but the minority band earning $10,000 a year that gets shafted.

    It's not the company director that gets fired when revenues are lost because of 'free' music, it's the worker in the factory - it's someone like you. It's just an ordinary decent guy who's getting screwed. Now just remember that the next time you talk about free music.
    --
  • Okay, I'm not a massive fan of the expiring keys idea, but why is everyone so strongly against this? Are you all worried that suddenly you may have to pay for something you use?

    I've heard, and agree with, the argument against recording companies. Okay, so can anyone tell me why this media means that artists can't offer music downloads from their site, as well as allowing people to buy keys?

    Personally, I like this idea. It means I can go out, download music & key, and play it instantly. It's portable, and doesn't interfere with existing systems in the way that implementing copy control in harddrives does.

  • This will never work, just like all the other stuff like Divx. Why? Because mp3's already exist for a small file format and cdr's are as cheap as dirt these days. It's not like DVD where it actually brought something new to the table (tens of gigs of storage, which cdr's still can't match). This dataplay thing is just the same old same old, recycled and re-deployed.

    Besides, there ain't no way for software to be 100% un-crackable, period. Haven't we all learned that by now? Absolutely no way. This thing will waste away just like divx did.


    ---------
    Did you just fart? Or do you always smell like that?
  • Can you imagine what would happen if hardrive manufacturers could implement this protection? Goodbye mp3s...does our salvation maybe lie in ogg?
  • if all music were distributed this way, services like Napster wouldn't exist.

    I don't see how you worked THIS out - why wouldn't napster exist? I wouldn't buy a copyprotected system if it's not going to let me do what i want with my music, i'd keep on using napster and use an alternative storage technology.
  • Surely that should be:

    All your byte are belong to us?
  • Maybe I'm stupid, but this device needs to be read. The data that comes out can be recorded in whatever form you want, ignoring the content protection.

    Why am I exasperated? Well we have seen the same claims again and again. Unless we have a series of tamperproof blackboxes with a fully encrypted I/O (perhaps even with a time code to prevent replay of the encrypted stream) between the storage media and the D/A converter, the content can be copied digitally by anyone with access to the media.

    In may stop my son from exchanging stuff with his friends but it will do absolutely nothing to prevent mass piracy.

  • And if they don't, they really deserve to learn why. I for one bought a CD-player instead of a DVD-player for my new PC, even though I was subsidized 80%. It may take a while longer, but people will start putting their feet down.

    - Steeltoe
  • Quality would not be as good as a direct rip but the vast majority of folks either don't notice the subtle differences or really don't care.

    Quite. If you can't tell the difference between a 128kbps MP3 and a direct rip, then you won't spot a single digital-analogue-digital round trip either. 'speshly if it's done using good gear.

    Forget the mike, though. :-O
    --

  • Allow each song to be copied once. A song could be downloaded and copied onto a mp3 player. The song on the player cannot be copied. The song on the hard drive cannot be copied until the player is reconnected to any computer that can connect to the hard drive, through a network or even wireless through cell phones.

    This is the wireless interconnected fair digital music control that could appease the RIAA and consumers alike.

    What would mess up this beautiful equation is if RIAA doesn't allow that one copy. That's taking it too far. If they do that I can't share a song with my friend or keep a copy on my laptop and desktop.

  • by DanThe1Man (46872) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @02:40AM (#414661)
    Alright, lets get it right this time [slashdot.org]. Nobody crack the filesystem until it is released to the genral public. ;-)

    _ _ _
    I was working on a flat tax proposal and I accidentally proved there's no god.

  • Their web site [dataplay.com].

    I can't believe they actually have a picture of that man both holding his thumb up *and* pointing at you whilst holding up the crappy product. I just imagine the cartoon version:

    SuperAdvertMan: Prepare to die "dataplay", all purchasers worship me for my advertising powers...
    Dataplay: Aha! But we have (flourish) ... (fanfare) THIS! Meet thy nemisis - HideousGeekParodyMan!
    SuperAdvertMan: (bursts out laughing) But nobody will buy products associated with *that*
    Dataplay: oops...
    HideousGeekParodyMan: (grinning inanely) buy this kids! It's got like different coloured stuff on it!

    I hate the it all already...

    0.02,
    Mike.
  • Yers, I believe you are
    You're never hurting the fat cat - it's the little guy that gets the blame.
    So your solution is to buy into the fat cat's system, to go along with the Big Five, and let them flout the principles of copyright law? To buy music that you can only play on one device, that you can't lend, that you can't tape to play in your car, and that will stop working before it comes in danger of not being copyrighted any more? We are talking about nothing less than the death of the public domain - not that it isn't already nailed up in the coffin and gagged, that is.
  • by Tim C (15259) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @02:42AM (#414666)
    I think the problem (at least IMHO) is the expiring keys. (I have no problem with people profiting (fairly) from their work, or with them taking reasonable steps to protect their ability to do so.)

    Right now, if I buy a CD, I own it forever, or at least until the disc is rendered unplayable for some reason. If I'm careful and/or I make backups, it should outlast me.

    Not so with an expiring key. Suddenly, under this scheme, if I buy a song/album, I can only use it for a limited amount of time. At the end of that period, I either pay up again, or I don't get to listen to it anymore.

    That's changing the rules - we'd no longer be buying the music (or even access to a copy of the music on a given physical medium), we'd be hiring it. Personally, when I buy something, I like the fact that it's mine "forever".

    You can be pretty sure that, in the long run, this will cost us (the music buying public) more.

    Cheers,

    Tim
  • by BELG (4429)
    Why is it that the industry (be it music, movie or software) simply does not understand that trying to gain this form of control over what they own only makes people more inclined to copy it?

    I buy my CDs, DVDs and software. I also have all my CDs encoded as mp3's while the discs themselves are stuffed in a shelf (and rarely used, I might add). I like paying for my CDs because I want the artists to keep making music that I like. It's very natural to me.

    So would it be a problem for me if they started trying to prevent me from encoding the songs to mp3's and do whatever I damn please with them? It would piss me off. It's my right to decide if I want to listen to the song I just bought in my RIO when I'm out walking or on the stereo with the mp3-jukebox in the livingroom.
  • Mini discs have been around for years and they are a very cool technology. Controlled by sony, they have not flourished as much as they could have although they are a better tech than CDs (read/write 80 minutes stereo, 160 (!) minutes mono) and they have copy protection for digital to digital copies.

    I don't really see anything (besides size, but hey, my MD walkman [cat-street.com] is barely 1 decimeter square by 1.5 cm thick. Tiny!) that is really new and exciting here.

    The fact is that the more free and open the media/standard is, the more prelavant it will become. It also helps bunches to have pro quality masters of the media I want (music or data) on these formats.

    Rami
    --
  • by Carik (205890) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @02:52AM (#414672)

    In a lot of ways I agree with this; I, for one, don't use Napster. I want my favourite artists to keep releasing new music, so I buy their albums, in hopes they'll be able to make money. However, there's something wrong with a system where the record company owns all rights to an artists music, and he/she/it gets only a penny or two from each 10 discs sold.

    That said, the reason I don't want copy protection is this: I want to listen to my music at work, without having to cary 80 CDs back and forth. If I compress my CD collection into MP3, it takes, what, about 10 discs? Much easier to carry on the bus, don't you think? If I'm not allowed to copy it, I don't have a choice... and if it's not convenient (If, for instance, I need to enter some sort of key, be it password or an actual physical key) to listen to my music, I'm not likely to buy anything new. After all, why spend US$17 on something I can't listen to?

    So, regardless of this being "the new thing", I'm not buying it. And, really, if no one buys, it can't be made a standard. After all, they're not gonna keep making something that no-one will pay for.

  • If there's a market for it, let it come.

    It will be cracked, we will use the media for our own purposes, even storing music previously under copy protection. We will have ways of re-recording things without content control, and no content control system will keep us from moving the data into another medium.
  • Here's what this technology can offer if implemented fairly:

    1. Music can be compressed with a new format that improves sound quality per bitrate. Who wouldn't like to carry around four hours of music instead of two or three?

    2. The consumer's knowledge that if the songs are bought directly from a band's website, actual money has gone to the artist, and not neccessarily just the labels as it will be under the Napster payment system.

    3. If RIAA can pull this off, they will get newer mp3 players to only support protected files, either through intimidation or changing the laws. I'm not in favor of this action, but I also think that with the Senate's help there will be a genuine effort to reform copyright laws that will help consumers while protecting business. If the music contains watermarks, it might be possible to limit free, unrestricted copying to a small percentage of society with the neccessary skills and attitude.

  • by pompomtom (90200) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @02:56AM (#414678)
    To some extent, yes you have.

    Speaking as a non-earning musician.... I think it would be nice if music were a tad less commercialised. Under the current marketing regime, yes you are dead right. Fewer record/CD/micro-optical-gizmo sales will effect the little guy. The point of the issue here is that we have entered the age where scarcity (of the IP) has just about been eliminated. The system of distribution we have for music is based upon a false premise.

    The loss to the little guy is the result of a crap distribution system. Good music has the ability to make listeners' lives better. By introducing hardware controls on the distribution simply to line the wallets of particular entrenched interest makes fuck all sense.

    Wouldn't the world be a better place if the good music could propogate amongst friends and/or communities?

    NB I'm not personally proposing a replacement system here. Let it evolve like the last one. I imagine there are a bunch of well paid musicians out there who wouldn't be too happy about this, but then there are a stack more not-well paid musicians who produce music because they want to produce music and be heard. Now that we have the ability to do that, why wouldn't we?

    When some smart techy comes up with the trick to reproducing rice as easily as we can now reproduce bits, would you be calling that theft from agribusiness, and stressing out? Some people would think of it as an end to hunger.

    Read a bit of Andre Gorz, and realise that what may be the beginning of the end of scarcity is a GOOD THING.

    The issue here is the failure of capitalism in its current form to deal with this form of distribution.

    Yes, there are problems with this, but we should be looking at this as an opportunity, not a reason to be clinging to irrelevant paradigms.

    Something is wrong here, but it's not the 'celestial jukebox' concept, it's our inability to deal with it. Of course we should look after our artists, but that is not going to happen by tying the hands of the music lover and denying them the ability to appreciate the artists' work.

    Buckets,

    pompomtom
  • by mindstrm (20013) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @02:57AM (#414679)
    The problem we all have with these copy-control systems isn't the systems themselves. The average consumer doesn't *care*. They're glad to have the cool new tech.

    The problem is the DMCA that makes it illegal for us to purchase gear and then modify it to avoid a copy control system, or to share information about how to do that.
  • by jilles (20976) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @02:57AM (#414680) Homepage
    I have no use for a device with content control. In a market with competition a variant of such a device without the content control will soon emerge or the invention will simply vaporize (like most storage related inventions seem to do). I read slashdot regularly and anouncements of the next generation storage devices (holographic storage, new and improved optical storage, better harddrive) are about as frequent as discussions on Gnu license issues. So, my guess is that this will fail (provided it ever evolves into a product which I doubt). BTW. 500 Mb isn't even close to the actual size of my mp3 collection, I need something larger.
  • by PhilHibbs (4537) <snarks@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @03:00AM (#414685) Homepage Journal
    My response to byte.com [byte.com]'s article [eoenabled.com]:

    In your January 22 article about the DataPlay storage device, the author writes: "How long this claim, and its copyright-protection features, survive contact with the anti-intellectual-property-rights types remains to be seen". I believe this is misunderstanding the philosophy behind the opposition to SDMI. The big media corporations have consistently and repeatedly abused the rights of both the artists and their consumers, both by lobbying for new laws such as the DMCA and the "Sony Bono" Copyright Extension Act, and by twisting existing copyright law and ignoring international copyright treaties with such abuses as region coding of DVDs (which has been carried over to DVD Audio, making a mockery of their reasons for using it on DVD movies). Fair Use and the first sale principle are being eroded or bypassed entirely, with the introduction of the "You're buying a licence, not a copy" model, which, if effective, will remove the need for the recording companies to respect the consumer side of copyright law.
  • To be honest, I'd be surprised if someone as control-freak as that would be so well hung!

    Buckets,

    pompomtom
  • by mindstrm (20013) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @03:02AM (#414689)
    Why just one copy?

    The original serial copy management system that by-law must be implemented on digital home audio recording devices , and is in use on CD (and in them mp3 format, but nobody uses it) that never really gets used (I'm sure some DAT drives use it) has 2 bits.
    1 bit for 'copyright' and another bit for 'original'.

    If the copyright bit is set, and the original bit is also set, the copy software is supposed to allow a copy, but turn off the original bit.

    If the copyright bit is set, but the original bit is off, then the device/software is supposed to refuse to copy.

    If the copyright bit is unset, then you can make all the copies you want.

    See, what they were scared of with digital copies was that, a copy is as good as the original. This scheme was to prevent serial copying going on forever... it meant that sure, you yourself with the original could hand out hundreds of copies even, but those who you handed them to couldn't....

    Of course, scms specifically exempted computers...
  • With he DMCA, there is no fair use that allows one to break the copy protection.

    Even if there was, the DMCA prevents you from distributing the code that allows you to make your own copy.

    It does not matter if you are making a copy for a legal purpose!

    The RIAA will swoop down and litigate and threaten anyone who talks about breaking the copyprotection. That way, they keep everybody in line with the threat of a lawsuit.

  • by xmedh02 (100813) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @03:05AM (#414692) Homepage
    Well I haven't been watching the recent inflation figures in the USA, but do they have already $10 coins? And how big is that, then?
  • I'm sorry to say that, but home DVD player unit can be zone free.

    Samsung have most of its units zone-free by using a code on the remote controller; and usual models by other manufacturer like Toshiba, Pioneer, Sony, etc can be made zone free. I bought my Toshiba zone free just to be able to enjoy unreleased in France movies.

  • by greggman (102198) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @03:22AM (#414703) Homepage
    Just FYI but MDs now hold 5 hours and 20 minutes of music on the SAME $2 MDs. Internal Battery life is up to around 25 hours. Add an single external AA battery and get upto 100 hours.

    They are called MDLP and are available from all the major manufactures (Sony, Sharp, Panasonic, JVC). No idea when they will be available in the states.

    There a review here [danchan.com] and some other info here [greggman.com]

    These MDLPs are currently arguably better than any portable MP3 player currently out. I know at some point MP3s will pass them but as it is now I can carry basically 50 to 60 CD of music for $20 ($2 per blank MD, 10 MDs). In the portable MP3 world that would cost me, assuming $50 per 64 meg memory card and I can put what, 2 CD in that space?, that would be 25 cards or $1250.

    On top of which I don't think there's a single portable MP3 player with a battery life over 10 hours. I'm sure that will change. It seems strange to me that a music device with no moving parts (MP3 player) would use more energy than a device with moving parts (MD player)
  • You realize this is the same bunch that cost the radio industry the ears of my younger brother's generation.

    I suspect my daughters, who will be buying music of their own in 5 years, will probably get most of their music by swapping it at school and over the internet. And it won't be from members of the RIAA, but from some garage band with a PC/Apple based editing studio.

    RIAA's real fear shouldn't be Napster & P2P, but that my grandchildren will read about them in the history books, and that the Harvard Business Journal will have articles about how it all went so wrong.
  • by xtal (49134) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @03:31AM (#414709)

    gets off the medium digitally. Unencoded. See where I'm going? The only way around this would be some kind of fancy analog cryptography. Yeah, right. Quality loss deluxe, I'd say.

    This isn't really true.. right now it is, but I'm sure a fancy designer could put the decode circuitry and a DAC in the same package to have encypted digital in and unencrypted analog out. What all these groups miss is that if I have a high quality sound card and some good mastering software, I can take their noise-free analog signal and resample it, then encode that - given that the mp3 codecs are lossy, I don't think my untrained ears would hear much of a difference.

    Whadda I know anyway :)

  • by VelitesJ (318184) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @03:33AM (#414710)
    Quite a few audio cards have digital out - you could simply record it into a harddisk recorder, and then record it back to your computer without losing a single bit of audio quality. Almost the same goes for MiniDisc recorders, allthough here the sound is compressed / decompressed. In other words: your initial stand was correct (if you can hear it, you can rip it), but it doesn't have to include a quality loss.
  • by Dyolf Knip (165446) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @03:41AM (#414714) Homepage
    I think there are also programs that can 'fake' a sound card in your system. The content control player outputs audio to what it thinks is a normal sound card, but it actually gets dumped straight to a file. Neat trick, that.

    --
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @03:51AM (#414716)
    If you follow the content control [dataplay.com] link and then the ContentKey(TM) [dataplay.com] link, you're presented with series of suggested scenarios "...in which a <foo> offers a ContentKeyTM promotion to attract customers and to gain more information about them."

    In other words, children, we have yet another customer tracking tool.

  • My point is that copyright is a bargain, a bit of give and take on both sides, and they are just taking. The law prohibits me from freely copying and distributing the material, but also guarantees me certain freedoms in what I can do with the material. The recording companies are claiming the protection of copyright law, while denying the fair use of the mateiral. It's wrong, and I'm not going to just ignore it.
  • by Technician (215283) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @03:56AM (#414720)
    Just another way to screw with users...

    Actualy, I think users will soon find that only Napster type files are tradable. Files will be traded and downloaded into SDMI RIO type devices and becomming SDMI encoded for playback because the players will be cheap. However the original MP3 will be kept on the HD and CDR. Lets face it, how many Liquid Audio protected files do you have? I don't even have a capible player for it, so the files are useless to me. The industry will have a hard sell selling Pay for Play content as it can't be played on your in dash MP3 player or on your RIO. The only way the RIAA can get this to market is to subsidize the SDMI players like the Radio Shack Cue Cat thing was given away and payed for by Digital Convergence. That way the SDMI stuff will be lots cheaper than the other stuff. (Where can you get a 500 Meg compact flash card for less than 100.00?) 500 Meg for less than a dollar is proof it's got bucks poured into pushing it from somewhere. Try to buy an unencripted one for your camera and it will have Compact Flash prices on it! It it really could be made this cheaply, it would be put into compact flash and PCMCIA memory cards. MS is working to import MP3's and place a "Security wrapper" on them so they later can't be copied off and played elsewhere. That way you will have to buy the music from MS in a MS Media Player format as blessed by the RIAA. It will only play in HI FI if you have USB Speakers and all hardware handles the encrypted music. It'll be encrypted all the way out your speaker wires to the speakers. (it's an easy sell. Everyone will have a player with their new computer pre loaded with the latest MS Pay Per View TV Box software. You don't have to download a Liquid Audio or Real player. I won't buy that OS even for free! They know it'll sell. They tested it on DVD's.

  • The RIAA will lobby the US Treasury to start stamping $10 coins, and you'll have to pay for the new discs with only the new coins. To try to use paper money, checks, or even credit cards will qualify as an attempt to reverse-engineer their proprietary and highly researched 'you-give-us-money-and-we-loan-you-music trading scheme' (US Patent #5,560,893).

    I would explain further, but their lawyers and the police (in that order) are already knocking down my door...

    --

  • > The fact that you dislike of their advertising methods does not mean they are doomed to fail!

    Indeed, it is the fact that their advertising is cr4p that dooms them to failure. The fact that *I* don't like it only reduces their potential sales by 1.

    Of course, they have far larger problems than "Mr Cheezy" on the web page...

    Mike.

  • The DMCA has totally no effect outside the US's borders, so this is a null issue.

  • Information should be free.

    If people would just stop locking their doors at night, their valuables would be free as well- and I could get back to what I do best.

    Cat burglaring just hasn't been the same since that deadbolt lock salesman came to town. How can they do this? Is this even Constitutional?

    Join me in my struggle. stand up for your fundamental right to pilfer! [ridiculopathy.com]

  • by jilles (20976)
    I don't want to play disc jockey, that's the whole point of large storage devices. I currently store 650 Mb on a 1$ device (a cdrom). I don't see how my situation is improved significantly by this new invention.
  • The DMCA has totally no effect outside the US's borders, so this is a null issue.

    Maybe you should Jon Johansen [slashdot.org], or the people who raided his house, about that.

  • Mod this guy up!

    As a non-earning musician, and a buyer of / listener to music, I cannot believe the approach the RIAA (et al) are taking to the "protection" of "their" intellectual "property".

    There's lots of call for technology to protect information, because anything in digital format now has to be treated as extremely volatile - once it gets "out", there's no getting it back in. Here's a few examples of places where copy protection could be (but isn't) used:

    * Governments & the military would dearly love to be able to keep their secrets from falling into the wrong hands. How do they do this? They try their hardest to hire responsible people they can TRUST and implement a strict heirarchy of control. Most countries have laws forbidding the betrayal of military secrets. They use encryption techniques. But they couldn't do their jobs efficiently if any sensitive material was copy-protected.

    * Medical Records and other personal information - you don't want this falling into the wrong hands, but so long as you TRUST people (doctors) to keep it in the right hands, there's no problem and everyone can get on with their work.

    * Examination Papers - if you're a lecturer/teacher and you prepare your examination digitally, you'll be wanting to ensure they're protected from the prying eyes of your students. In order to be used, you have to duplicate them.

    So where do the record companies come in? Their product, I would argue, needs to be duplicated in order to be used (under the current concept of fair use); but they treat their customers as if each and every one of them is a criminal!

    I don't object to paying for music - if I don't, I won't be provided with any more :). I further don't object paying for the distribution of the music to me (e.g. to my ISP). But it costs me about 17ukp for a CD (for those not in England, that's about the cost of 20 2L bottles of soft drink :-))! Something has to change.

    I want free music, as in free speech. The technology exists to give it to me. The artists are happy to be heard, I'm happy to hear. But not everyone feels the same way. Most people are too used to the media selectively supplying them with whatever information they deem appropriate. They think they have choice, because they have 20 TV channels to watch! They don't see their freedom being undermined, and they won't buck the trend because they actually believe the big record producers' propoganda!

    I need to calm down.
  • by Shotgun (30919) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @04:43AM (#414754)
    Fuck that.

    Sounds good at first, but wait 'till you drop one in the car while headed down the interstate. I have enough trouble with pulling spare change from between the bucket seats now. My big fat fingers just can't handle such small items reliably when the other hand is occupied (no off color /. comments here, please).

    No thank you. I'd much rather have a media that is easier to handle.

  • The new discs will be $10 legal currency. This is one way they'll be able to get away with reaming you at the record store.

    "$35 for Frampton Comes Alive?!"

    "Well, you know, there's royalties, shipping costs, media costs, etc. etc.

  • The original serial copy management system that by-law must be implemented on digital home audio recording devices , and is in use on CD (and in them mp3 format, but nobody uses it) that never really gets used (I'm sure some DAT drives use it) has 2 bits. 1 bit for 'copyright' and another bit for 'original'.

    Does anyone have a utility to change these bits on MP3s? I found one, but it was unreliable and screwed up some of the files, causing them to play at double speed. Are there any "MP3 Repair Kits" out there?

  • by lobbying for new laws such as the DMCA and the "Sony Bono" Copyright Extension Act

    The senator and entertainer spelled his name Sonny Bono. If it was a typo, it's not a big one. But what an APPROPRIATE nickname for this bill! Next let's see the Philip Morris Omnibus Appropriations Bill, and the Novell Netscape Lott Antitrust Act.

  • Allow each song to be copied once.

    How? By forcing the original copy to self-destruct?

    A song could be downloaded and copied onto a mp3 player. The song on the player cannot be copied.

    It can be played, though! And if it can be played, it can be copied.

    The song on the hard drive cannot be copied until [...]

    A song on a hard drive is a sequence of 0s and 1s. It's just a data file! Any data file can be copied, as long as there's some available room on the destination medium.

    What would mess up this beautiful equation [...]

    ... is a good dose of ugly facts. Welcome to the real world, hope you enjoyed your stay in RIAA Fantasy Land.

  • by uradu (10768) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @05:58AM (#414781)
    > divx failed because the technology came out before the connectivity was present (in most
    > homes it still isn't present). People are not enthusiastic about having to plug a phone line
    > into the box on top of their TV set.

    Bull. Since when is finding a phone outlet a major issue? DirecTV (for PPV) and TiVo both require it, and that hasn't curbed their success. What killed Divx was:

    - disks were too expensive by PPV or rental standards
    - you couldn't play the disc on a friend's machine, even after buying it. This was a major downer, since people like to congregate at friends' houses to watch movies.
    - even purchased movies required a Divx player and phone connection to play
    - Divx movies had less features (no 16:9, worse sound, etc)
    - little choice in players, especially name brands

    > You people can claim all you want about how 'we defeated divx.'

    People voted with their wallets and Circuit City lost, so I don't know what you're talking about.

  • From the site:

    ContentKeyTM is an e-commerce and promotional tool that allows consumers to activate additional pre-recorded content on DataPlay digital media over the Internet without the need for time-consuming downloads.

    So basically, ContentKey is designed for pre-recorded media, so that companies can use it like Divx. But, it does not affect the blank media that consumers can buy. Unless they implement some crazy scheme where you have to pay for the blank media AND pay for the keys, there's nobody that can stop you from putting anything and everything on those disks.
  • by uradu (10768)
    - it's write-once, which I don't find acceptable anymore. I only buy CD-RW and want the same capability in any other medium.
    - it's hideously expensive, especially for a non-reusable medium.
    - since it's mechanical, the reading mechanism will always be larger, more fragile, more expensive, and require more power than solid state devices
  • An example of that is taxpayer funding of Free Software.
    I presume you mean the GPL issue recently discussed. IMO, that's better than taxpayer funding of closed-source software. Technically, neither should be possible, because the federal government can't hold copyright, so they can't enforce the GPL on code that federal employees create. However, they get around it by contracting the work to a private company, then buying the IP rights, which is a huge loop-hole. The other problem is when a federal employee makes modifications to GPL'd code, but the public domain modifications are then difficult to separate from the original work.
  • This "end of scarcity" thing is as false as popular.
    Partly, it is true - we can make practically any number of copies of a work with practically no cost.
    But.
    It does not mean that the original work does not have to be created. There IS still scarcity. There are NO infinite number of works, just (virtually) infinite number of copies.
    Get the difference?
    So, the scarcity is STILL there, it's only the distribution cost that went down remarkably.
    --
  • If it's got content-control and a variety of key possibilities, and can have data stored on it, can I put my secret files on this and give keys only to people I want to be able to read it?

    And if a court demands a key, can I sue them under the DMCA and have search warrents and government cracking tools declared tools for piracy?

    There's got to be a problem when the government is trying to keep people from enchanging information without letting other people read it and simultaneously trying to keep people from reading information while letting other people distribute it.
  • by PhilHibbs (4537) <snarks@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @06:20AM (#414790) Homepage Journal
    Dunno how big they are, but here [heritagecoin.com]'s a picture of one. And the other side [heritagecoin.com].
  • by Greg W. (15623) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @06:22AM (#414792) Homepage

    Does anyone have a utility to change these bits on MP3s?

    MPEG-Layer 3 Bitstream Syntax and Decoding [mp3-tech.org]. (It's a zipped MS Word document, so break out unzip and catdoc.

    If that's too heavy, here's a simpler explanation: the MP3 header is 32 bits (bit 0 through bit 31). Bit 28 is the copyright bit, and bit 29 is the original bit. You can view them with mp3info -f '%O %o' foo.mp3. You can change them with a hex editor (set the second nybble of the fourth byte to 4, assuming the emphasis bits are 00).

    If you needed to read this message to learn how to do this, I strongly suggest making a backup of the file before you edit it.

  • Interesting information that you've posted there. It does kind of make me wonder though why I can't make 1 generation of digital copies of DVD soundtracks. I'm not really sure why I'd want to do that, but I did notice the other day after pushing the wrong button on my stereo that attempting to record the sound from DVD movies on my MD recorder causes it to flash "No Copy" and not record anything.
    _____________
  • that with all this "you can't copy this" and "you must pay for the right to listen to that", that there will be a big comeback in analog cassette sales!

    yes, the audio sucks compared to what we have today. but there's ZERO chance that any kind of copy protection can be retrofitted to the good ole' analog compactCassette.

    the copy process is lossy but there's no "spy bits" or "mafia bits" you have to watch out for. plug line-out to line-in and go to town.

    (I'm only half joking here. when joe consumer finally gets fed up with anti-digital-copying, this could very easily backfire and cause digital audio (dedicated) product sales to plummit)

    --

  • Anyone actually bother to read the specs [dataplay.com] on this thing?

    This is a write-once media (a fact they avoid making).

    Comparing it to flash memory is comparing apples & oranges. While DataPlay certainly has higher capacity, flash is completely reuseable. They solve different problems.

    Comparing DataPlay to CDs tends to ignore the 20x difference in price, ubiquitousness of CD-ROM drives & CD players, upcoming CD-MP3 players/standards, and the convenient size of CDs (compact yet not easily lost).

    The financial brilliance for DataPlay is that it is a consumable, which will make someone a lot of money if it catches on.

    This quarter-sized write-once media certainly will have its place in the gap between flash & CD-R. The content-control aspects are moot, as the control bit WILL be squelched by some creative hacker.

  • At that point I can grab it with some cheap microphone and convert it to an unencrypted .wav or something. Quality would not be as good as a direct rip but the vast majority of folks either don't notice the subtle differences or really don't care.

    Perhaps we will have a Slashdot newsheader like this in the future:

    RIAA and MPAA moves on with their CDSI. The CDSI, short for Content Descrambler Implant is a device that must be surgically inserted into your body if you want to be able to listen to any of the latest record releases, rock concerts or movies.

    From next year all memers of RIAA and MPAA will stop releasing any uncscrambled material, a spokesman for the CDSI says: Hey fokes, this is just a harmless little chip no bigger than a pea. It's for your own good. You dont want to endanger copyright or our profits and content control.
  • Big deal/ If they don't make money, they go the way of the z80.
  • Unless we have a series of tamperproof blackboxes with a fully encrypted I/O (perhaps even with a time code to prevent replay of the encrypted stream) between the storage media and the D/A converter, the content can be copied digitally by anyone with access to the media.

    As long as electrical engineering degrees are still legal. ;-)

  • I like it too. In the great tradition of typos which have become jargon, "Sony Bono" shall join the ranks along with other fun typos like "filk song".
  • by WNight (23683) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @07:23AM (#414812) Homepage
    I don't think buying direct would work, because the artist would still have to buy the CD from their label. At least they'd make the retail markup instead of a store, but that's nowhere near all the cost.

    Instead, simply pirate the music and tip the artist with Fairtunes or a similar site. It's not legal, but it supports the people you want to support while not supporting the profiteering jerks who want to restrict your freedom.

    Even if I wanted CDs, I wouldn't buy them. The RIAA (and MPAA, this also applies to DVDs) have pissed me off with their cavalier attitude towards law (judge Kaplan on the payroll, etc.). When there's an artist I want to support, I'll do it directly, but they'll never get a penny from me via the studios, because out of $15 a penny is about all they would get. The rest helps the enemy, which isn't a good trade IMHO.

  • Quite often, the costs associated with engineering or art are absurdly overblown. This is especially a common trap with pop musicians. Production becomes expensive not because it's intrinsically so but because the big five are stringing kids along like crack whores.

    Spread over the entire planet, the cost of a sound OS or application or a symphony sized chunk of music should infact cost nearly nothing. It should be this way and still allow authors to profit wildly.

    Pirates aren't the real leeches, the publishing and promotion infastructure is.
  • DIVX failed because people didn't like the idea of ONLY being able to pay-per-view. It was companies like Disney announcing that they were going to release everything exclusively on DIVX and mainly on the silver (pay per unlock) instead of the gold format which really killed the idea.

    People realized that buying any movie they'd want to watch many times (most ones you'd be motivated to buy) would end up costing them much more than the purchase price of a DVD even if the up-front cost was low.

    Now, if DIVX's rental scheme worked, but they also sold gold (the unlimited play, like regular DVD) discs as the default, the format might have been more popular. As it was, it just screwed the consumer.

    Non-techie friends of my dad made a point of telling everyone they knew not to get a DIVX. They weren't open-source spouting geeks, these were "average joes" in their fifties who had seen that DIVX was all about gouging the viewer and they spoke out against it. If they didn't like it, who did? IMHO just corporate execs.
  • While they don't like bootlegs made with a cam-corder, or recorded at a concert or from a CD, they tolerate them because they know generational loss will make the product lousy enough that anyone who would have paid for the real thing will do so anyway.

    But if one person with a good sound setup played their copy protected music and recorded it, they'd have a digital copy so there'd be no generational loss. Then they MP3 that and release it on Napster (or AudioGalaxy, or Gnutella, etc) *without* the copyright bit set.
  • I think the expiring keys would also lead to expiring music. This can be good and bad. Who listens to New Kids on the Block anymore? I know that musicians and their music don't last forever, but it's still possible to buy and listen to music recorded on drums, 8-track, LPs etc, provided that you have a player, and they still exist to an extent, even if new players and music aren't made any more.

    But that would also mean that in the future "obsolete" music would just die as a useless data file. Also given how the players and codecs seem to rise and die by the year, will future players and codecs still be able to read them? Player obsolesence is a huge issue for me. IIRC, CD has been around for about 20 years now. A CD made 15 years ago should still be playable on all new CD and DVD players. It wasn't until this year and last year that a truly marketable replacement has been put up for sale. I am talking DVD-Audio and SACD. I believe the survivor of that battle will continue to exist for quite some time, unless players are made to handle both (I understand it is possible, unless politics precludes it) and both formats might be able to coexist for quite some time.

    Another problem you have is enforcing the date thing. If you reset the clock and re-enter the key, can one still play the music? My guess is that the keys would probably have to be transmitted and entered using a proprietary system, that would also properly set the date.
  • on my 17" monitor it was about 6 inches across. That's bigger than the a CD is now. Coupled with the reduced storage capacity, I really don't know how they are supposed to make any money on this
  • by sulli (195030)
    Sigh, yawn. Yet another copy-controlled piece of crap that nobody will buy. How many people own a Rio vs. a Music Clip? Thank you for playing, have a nice day.
  • That would be some trick and reminds me of:
    Bullwinkle/RIAA: "Hey Rocky! Wanna see me pull a rabbit out of my hat?"

    Rocky/Clued Consumer: "But that trick never works!"

    Bullwinkle/RIAA grabs hat and rolls up sleeve "Nothin' up my sleeve.... Presto!"

    Pan to large tiger head being pulled from tophat. Pan back to moose as he quickly stuffs tiger back into tophat.

    Bullwinkle/RIAA: "Opps. Looks like I need another hat."

    Get close-up of Rocky's face

    Rocky/Clued Consumer "Now here's something we hope you really like..."


    I also had a vision of some RIAA Rube Goldburg machine to stop copying but what can I say I'm in a nostalgic mood.

    Maybe Mr. Peabody can take his boy Sherman in the time machine and stop Napster before it becomes a hit?

  • Big deal/ If they don't make money, they go the way of the z80.

    You sure you want to use that analogy?! We should all be so lucky yourself to have a product that "way of the Z80"! The Z80 [zilog.com] is/was a fantastically pervasive and successful product. It's still a cash cow for Zilog after 25 years. There are gazillions of them in use. It has tons of unforseen applications and spin-offs. Just ask any kid over the last 12 years including today that plays a Nintendo Game Boy (color or otherwise).

    Here are a bunch of Z80s [zilog.com] and dev tools you can buy .
    An interesting offering from Zilog themself: an embedded Z80 web server [zilog.com].
    And if you need 32-bit address space for your app, there's a Z80 object-code compatible Z380 [zilog.com] in the family.

    Okay, end of Z80 rant! ;-) I used to code Z80 assembly for Sega GameGears and Nintendo Game Boys and I'll admit it was a bit scarring. (C and other language compilers for Z80 abound.) But it's bread and butter stuff. And still serious profit for all involved. Don't be slaggin' the Z80!
  • by Hiro Antagonist (310179) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @08:42AM (#414849) Journal
    Ummm...there's a difference?

    --
  • > That's changing the rules - we'd no longer be buying the music (or even access to a copy of the music on a given physical medium), we'd be hiring it

    That's it. I once bought a fax machine. When I opened it, I found that the ink cartridge had a little chip that was used as a "gauge" to "warn me when the cartridge was out of ink". Of course it measured the amount of pages, and a cartridge was not usable if the "gauge" was empty. With a 50-page cartridge I could only "print" 50 blank pages.

    I bring the fax machine to the store, telling them that they did not understood me and I wanted to _buy_ one, not to _rent_ one.

    Anyway, the most scary thing in that, is that most people don't understand what made me upset.

    Cheers,

    --fred
  • >Quite a few audio cards have digital out - you >could simply record it into a harddisk >recorder, and then record it back to your >computer without losing a single bit of audio >quality. "They" have beaten you to this. If you have consumer gear, SCMS is going to prevent you from using this method. I got angry when I tried to use my minidisc recorder to get the audio from the digital output of my dvd player. A DVD of a ca. 1940 film of a Shakespeare play was SCMS protected. Last time I checked, Shakespeare was public domain, as were films from the early 1940s. Nevertheless, the only way I could record this stuff was via the analog output. I *HATE* SCMS. If I had the money to spend, I could simply buy *pro* DAT's, Minidisc records, DVD's, DAW's, that simply toggle the copybit. Every copy control mechanism there is, will be disabled on pro gear anyway. Don't you think someone who is in a large scale piracy outfit will be using pro a/v gear in the first place?
  • If you think the band earning $10,000 a year gets anything from CD sales, you are sadly mistaken. They would be overjoyed if there was free distribution of their music, ideally with some format that does not allow the deletion of the "call this number to book us" message.
  • Try telling that to the people who buy "consumer" Minidisc recorders, record their own music, then try to make a digital copy of it to another MD unit.

    Guess what? They can't. The unit assumes that anything recorded is "copyrighted" and thus, refuses to copy it. Or, for even more fun, try to find a consumer MD unit that even has a digital input.

    The problem is, these companies wish to have things their way, at any expense to society or the consumer. Economic principle states that if one is selling things at monopoly rate (e.g. - RIAA and members), one is harming society due to the cost of the material not being equal to the cost that went into it. Or close. It's been a while since I had that class. :) (on another note, it has been said that any other industry that had racketeering going on like the music industry would find the people involved spending lots of time turning big rocks into small rocks. But that's beside the point.)

    Regardless, the final point with me, and this has been brought up lots and lots of times by others, is that I resent being treated like a criminal from day one. To me what DataPlay (and other proprietary media companies) is doing is just like me going and buying a set of tools. When I go to buy these tools, I am told that since some people use tools for bad things, there is going to be someone who goes everywhere with me from now on, whenever I have the tools that I'm buying, and keeps an eye on me to make sure I use the tools nicely. And, since I want these tools, it's only fair that I pay for that person to come along and keep an eye on me (this is like the additional fee that gets included in the cost of the music due to the proprietary "DRM" people that want their cut).

    That, sir, is the problem.
  • I fail to see how copy restricion is going to work to stop the big evil corporation. If they can read the data they can send it to somebody else (the data is much smaller than a piece of music and could be dictated over the phone, probably). I also would not want important information stored on unreliable medium that may become unreadable! Also since the big evil company collected the information, they would be pretty stupid to convert it all to a form that they could not take full advantage of, and not keep the original!

    Trying to say that copy restriction will somehow hurt big evil corporations is a pretty stupid attempt to get sympathy for an unpopular position here!

  • Why it's always "their" data which gets protected and never "mine"?

    Probably because it is just as techinically impossible as protecting "their" data, and there is no market for trying to pretend otherwise.

    Face it, the problem with both is that the data is useless unless an untrusted individual can read it. The big evil company can then copy it, and so can the little evil music pirate.

  • I didn't realize the Web was copy protected. Geez, that must explain why millions of people are employed supporting it.

    My machine must be broken, I tried "save as" on several corporate web pages and it worked. Gee, those poor souls, they are out of business!

  • > Before you conclude "bull" on the phone outlet (it's a major issue for me

    Tough for you. Even the most non-techie people I've seen would hardly consider a phone outlet requirement a show stopper. Blowing an afternoon stringing an extension cord from another wall? Get real!

    > you ought to check the sales figures for Tivo. Tivo is a great product. People love it. But for
    > some reason, they aren't buying it.

    Uh, yeah, the reason being that it's expensive. I know lots of people that think it's cool, but $350+ is just a smidgeon above the impulse theshold for many. It's got absolutely nothing to do with the phone outlet. DirecTV and Dish certainly have no sales problems, and they both require phone outlets.
  • ...and you know it :-)

    The ink in the cartridge is a limited resource - it runs out, and there's nothing you can do about it. Once it does, and it's physically not there any more, you have to buy more.

    The data on the disk (or in the flash RAM, or wherever) is unlimited - no matter how many times I read it, it'll still be there (barring the physical destruction of the medium in/on which it resides). The only way for it to "run out" is for the manufacturer to make it run out; that's an artificial restriction.

    Stop trying to play devil's advocate :-)

    Cheers,

    Tim
  • True; at the time of replying, I hadn't thought of the ability to try out music (something that I'd quite often love to do).

    However, I'm just cynical enough to expect that if this was ever widely adopted, you'd end up having to pay a sizeable proportion of the cost of a CD now for something that's only going to be usable for a year.

    Businesses exist to maximise profits; often, although not always, this translates to charging more, or paying their workforce less. Either way, someone loses out.

    Cheers,

    Tim
  • IANAL (I am not a linguist) but you Merkins refer to it as "hard candy"

    Rich

  • There are such programs. However you need to read up on Trusted Audio Path. Trusted Audio Path uses only digitally signed drivers for copyrighted audio.
    It's still a secure-client model, so it's still inherently insecure. Obviously something in the OS has to check the driver to see whether it's signed. All one has to do is find that bit of code and modify it (and then tell everyone else how). Illegal, yes, but that's not going to stop EVERYBODY, and only ONE person needs to let the cat out of the bag.

    __
  • Dude, a friend of mine bought that one... or at least one of its twin brothers. And I quote:

    "The bootleggiest thing known to man."

    Misspellings on the buttons, miswired volume control, inability to handle physical shock (or even being held right-side up) and so on. It's crap.

    Rio should be releasing the RioPort soon, there's the 6GB Nomad, and even Pine finally released their MP3 discman, which oddly enough, doesn't suck. Shocking.

    Please, though, don't let anyone else waste their money on such a piece of first generation crap. It's not worth the time, money, or trouble.

    Raptor
  • Copy Protection is an inevitable part of the future. And it should be. And I hope that the law protects the protection schemes.

    With that said...
    Most devices and media have some form of copy protection on them to this day. You cannot have a glimmer of hope without it. And if you don't and still succeed, the VC's will insist that it be added if you want some funding. (Or the RIAA will fund it just to get Copy Protection added).

    The ability to duplicate bits is not a right, but a skill. If they copy protect the bits, and I am one of 100 people who can copy the bits now, I have a marketable skill. (Gee, isn't that basically what the record companies do?) And I personally don't believe that everyone out there needs to know the "skill" of copying bits.

    I do hope that the law protects them, because the CP technology is bound to be minimum as long as they have "The Law" to protect them. If they had to rely on technology alone to keep me out, they'd probably hire some guy who's tons smarter than me, and I'll wind up paying for someone else's skill.

    In short, I'd rather they keep putting deadbolts on straw doors and not progress to putting a padlock on a metal chest.

    No man is so defenseless as when he believes himself safe.

    If you want to hit someone in the nose, aim for the back of their head.

    ~Jason
  • >Too bad the quality is crap.

    Not any more, it's been vastly improved. In my experience, when someone says "the quality is crap", what they're actually saying is "I haven't actually listened to a modern high quality MD recording - just the older stuff".

    For some types of sound, 256kbps at a higher sample rate can exceed CD quality. Of course, you won't be looking at that on a consumer portable device, but the fallacy of assuming that compression is a bad thing while ignoring whether or not file sizes are restricted, annoys me. (ie, an uncompressed BMP image might require 100kb. Think of this as uncompressed CD music. A jpeg of the same image can be merely 20kb (ie MD relative to CD), yet be at a higher resolution despite the filesize, and depending on the type of image, that gain in resolution can offer more additional visual detail than the loss from the introduction of subtle compression artefacts.

    This isn't a real-world issue however, because the kind and quality of sound reproduction gear you need to be able to hear the difference between a good, modern MD and a CD, is not what you'll be using anyway - the whole point of MD is portable sound, and if you've got the unit in your pocket, listening to your music through earphones, then you're imagining any loss of quality - MD delivers much better than your earphones do.
  • It's actual size, if displayed on in 8192x6144 resolution.
  • The main reason was because, although congress agreed that widespread sale of equipment solely for the purpose of copying digital audio would harm the music industry unfairly, that there should be no reason any regulations such as this should hurt the infantile home computing industry.
  • > DirecTV may say they require it but they don't enforce it at all.

    That's true, but I doubt that's how most customers use it. I'd say most people simply plug it in because they don't understand how it all works anyway. The point was that a phone connection requirement isn't a significant deterrent for a product's success.
  • I have 4 or 5 apps that can do that, I'm not at home right now or I'd list names...

    That would be great if you could, thanks.

  • Wow. Sorry, I didn't realise that your ink cartridges are so fscked up.

    I thought you were arguing that things running out are no big deal, and just didn't understand the difference :-)

    Still, the ink is a limited resource, it would run out eventually anyway (and you're not going to be getting much more ink than you need to print out 50 pages anyway); the music would never run out. Of course, the 'puce' means that you can't buy just the ink and refill it, thus recycling the cartridge and saving money and resources... and all in the name of a guaranteed revenue stream.

    Companies make me sick sometimes.

    I can almost understand people convincing themselves that it's okay to do it to information, but to natural resources? Surely people waste enough of them on their own without being forced into it...

    Cheers,

    Tim
  • so, some theft is theft and some theft is not?

    It doesn't seem to matter much if the thing you stole was a copy of data or not. It is still wrong.

    Is it okay to steal from a home-grown software business who can barely survive? No? But it's sure okay to use stolen Microsoft aps because they're evil.

    You certainly seem like an intelligent person. So, I still cannot see why you need to use third-rate logic when attacking this issue.

    I think you're just a cheap /. siccophant who is willing to throw integrity out the window and villify large music companies because you don't want to pay for your crappy corporate music.

    Enjoy your stolen crap, boys.

  • It'll be encrypted all the way out your speaker wires to the speakers.

    You don't get it; you still can't prevent copying that way.

    The last two inches, it'll be unencrypted electricity heading into a magnet. Tear off the speaker, replace with a stereo mini plug, insert into sound card. Voila, encryption bypassed, $0.50 for materials at Radio Shack.

    It's even easier if they make a player so I can use headphones; I don't have to wire the jack.

    -
  • You are talking about encryption, not copy protection. Encryption is what prevents an unauthorized person from accessing the data and doing bad things with it. The difference is that the unauthorized person never can look at the data.

    Copy protection would be some magic scheme where your Doctor, who needs to refer to your medical records, is somehow only able to use that information for good. This is physically impossible!

    I think you will find huge support for encyrption here! It is different than copy protection.

"Life, loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it." -- Marvin the paranoid android

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