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When Would You Accept DRM? 1288

twigles asks: "Following on the heels of Apple closing DVD Jon's end run around its DRM and a British TV station offering DRM'd downloads it seems fair to ask, what DRM would you accept as a consumer? Personally, I take the view that if a song, movie, book, etc. is DRM'd then it isn't truly mine. On the other hand, if a particular piece of digital media is priced correctly (a la' rental fee) would that be satisfactory, or do you feel that DRM in any form is ridiculous?"
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When Would You Accept DRM?

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  • Never (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @10:51AM (#12023252)
    Not as long as I have any alternative.
    • Re:Never (Score:3, Insightful)


      The pretense is that every media container you own - CD, DVD, book, magazine, etc - is a licensed copy of that type of media alone. You do not have the right of use for the exact same content in another form.

      This is all nonsense, of course. And we have let them build a business on the nonsense for far too long.

      I have long since drawn my own line in the sand.
      • Re:Never (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ePhil_One ( 634771 )
        From the summary:
        Personally, I take the view that if a song, movie, book, etc. is DRM'd then it isn't truly mine

        Exactly. You didn't write the song, make the move, etc. If you want to own the content, create it or pay someone to create. It cost more than $.99 a song, or $19.99 a movie. From the parent:
        The pretense is that every media container you own - CD, DVD, book, magazine, etc - is a licensed copy of that type of media alone. You do not have the right of use for the exact same content in another for

        • Re:Never (Score:5, Insightful)

          by dnoyeb ( 547705 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @12:34PM (#12024878) Homepage Journal
          I will accept your DRMed media if you except my DRMed cash. At such time when your DRM media no longer functions I will remotely disable and reclaim my DRMed cash.

          That seems fair to me.

          P.S. I dont think the parent you are replying to mentioned anything about the theft you keep bandying around.
          • Re:Never (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Lussarn ( 105276 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @01:02PM (#12025263)
            The underlying problem you talk about is of course that you can't buy DRM:ed media, Every form of DRM today, iTunes or otherwise is a rent. Lifetime maybe but when you die you take you music into the grave.

            If I buy something it should be mine, I should be able to dictate the terms I use it on, I should be able to resell. I should be able to trade media with another store or a friend.

            I can't stand renting everything digitally for the rest of my life. Now is the time for the consumer to stand up or we will lose all our rights in the digital world.
        • Re:Never (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Znork ( 31774 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @12:50PM (#12025112)
          "You didn't write the song, make the move, etc. If you want to own the content, create it or pay someone to create."

          Nobody owns the actual song. Someone may own the copyright to the song, but that is just ownership of temporary government sponsored monopolistic rights, not ownership of the song itself. Further, there is plenty of precedence stating that when you buy a copy of a song or other work protected by copyright you own that copy of the work in question. That is the first sale doctrine, and generally it's been upheld that if someone claims they're selling something to you they _are_ in fact selling something to you, no matter how they wish to later claim licensing or rental. Your rights to do what you wish with your property may however be curtailed by someones copyright, but you are still the owner of that property.

          "So your proposal is to stop allowing people to profit from their creations?"

          There's a difference between allowing people to profit from their creations and allowing derived monopolies to expand indefinitely, thus severely damaging the free market. Copyright is meant to compensate the creator of a work, not huge inefficient corporations with whatever expenses they can generate. And it's becoming woefully obvious that the intellectual monopolies are our economies version of the Soviet factories. Only when you have a monopoly can you let your expenses grow to hundreds or thousands of times what the actual production cost is.

          Patents and copyright need to be drastically revised to compensate _only_ the actual creative work.
        • License Agreement? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by phriedom ( 561200 )
          "Technically you generally do have the right to use that content in another form, unless the terms of the license agreement say you don't."

          But I didn't agree to any license. I went to the store, they offered a CD or DVD for sale for a price, I accepted the offer and paid the price and took the disc home. That is the entire agreement. Why should I need a license to listen to or watch the disc I bought? Why should I need a license to rip it to .MP3 or .AVI so I can take it with me more conveniently?

        • by eno2001 ( 527078 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @02:00PM (#12025953) Homepage Journal
          So your proposal is to stop allowing people to profit from their creations?

          Copyright law today rarely protects the financial interests of the people who created the work. It mostly protects the financial interests of the distributor who do not fairly compensate the artists. The artists themselves do not have the right to copy their own works. This is why all media publishing industries are so screwed right now. I remember when I was back in audio production school, I was told that most employers in the music business consider all work that you do (even at home on your own equipment) to be their property. This is written into the employment contract. Doesn't sound like a way to protect the interests of the people who are actually creating the works. If the creators of a work want to profit from their creation, they are far better going it alone and utilizing the power of today's technology for distribution. At worst, they could gain some notoriety if their work is any good. But as soon as they sign up with a label, they are going to get screwed. The statement you made hat I am nit-picking should be phrased:

          So your proposal is to stop allowing the major labels/motion picture distributors to profit from their acquisitions?

          If you were an artist, you'd "get it". Sound to me like you're a "suit" or a wannabe business person.

        • Re:Never (Score:5, Insightful)

          by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @02:03PM (#12025992) Homepage Journal
          "Technically you generally do have the right to use that content in another form, unless the terms of the license agreement say you don't."

          That exactly is the problem!! The record companies are changing the paradigm. In the past...when buying cassettes, albums and were buying the media and a copy of the music use as you wanted within fair use rights. You were NEVER considered buying a license to use it...but, you owned your copy to do with as you pleased...within copyright law (as you alluded to in your comment about doing this with no profit involved.)/

          Now, just because the music is digital...they're trying to say, no, you don't buy your buy a license to USE it...which can be revoked at any time.

          This is what's wrong...and I believe, the center of much of the controversy. They're changing what you purchase. And if we don't fight will become the norm.

          I've said it before..."What one generation accepts...the next generation embraces"

    • Re:Never (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Technician ( 215283 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:11AM (#12023598)
      Not as long as I have any alternative.

      Actualy only as rights of first sale are not messed up. The price on DVD's and the fact I can pass them on and they will play in the next guy's machine is the only reason I buy DVD's. The broken right of first sale is what killed Circuit City's implimentation even though the price was lower.
      Nobody wants to buy a movie with an expiration date.
      • Re:Never (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Lord Kano ( 13027 )
        The broken right of first sale is what killed Circuit City's implimentation even though the price was lower.

        I went round after round with the managers at CC when I worked there on this. When DIVX was failing corporate put pressure on store managers to push it more. They in turn put pressure on us to push DIVX. I told my manager that I'd obey any directive that he gave me, but I wouldn't lie. So if any customer asked me if I was going to buy one, I'd have to tell them no. If they then asked WHY, I'd have t
    • Re:Never (Score:3, Insightful)

      From my cold, dead hands! will find the note saying 'I accept DRM'.
    • Re:Never (Score:3, Funny)

      by mkw87 ( 860289 )
      never say never!

      Personally I hate DRM but I think I will find it hard to not accept when I graduate Harvard Law and get hired by the RIAA to try 2 cases per year against people that I rat out b/c they were jerks in college.

      I believe I'll start with a few of the professors fond of classical music......

  • Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by henrypijames ( 669281 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @10:52AM (#12023259) Homepage
    I do feel "DRM in any form is ridiculous". It's that simple.
    • Re:Yes (Score:3, Insightful)

      I accept no DRM. If it is locked, I don't buy it. I guess I'm going to have to brush up on my disassembly debugging for strategically placed jump routines.
    • Re:Yes (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dopelogik ( 862715 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:01AM (#12023418)
      Everyone just loves to hate DRM cause it's so controlling and limiting and 1984 and blah blah. What about the fact that DRM allows Napster to offer an excellent service like Napster-to-Go? Or how about DRM allows video producers to have a video be playable only from their web site and for a certain amount of time before it expires? Does anyone care about the valid and useful DRM applications before screaming human rights violations?
      • Re:Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:06AM (#12023495) Homepage
        >What about the fact that DRM allows Napster to offer an excellent service like Napster-to-Go?

        I'm sure the same service can be offered with open MP3 or OGG files.

        >Or how about DRM allows video producers to have a video be playable only from their web site and for a certain amount of time before it expires?

        But I don't want that! I want to be able to download and save video I view on the net. Web sites don't stick around forever, and if you see something cool, there's no guarantee it'll be there tomorrow. Therefore, I want to be able to save it.

        I have archives of several pages that I wouldn't be able to see anymore if I hadn't been able to save. We must not let DRM-proponents get their way, because if they do, media archives will be a thing of the past. Look at and the prelinger archives -- if all those movies had been DRMed and expired, we wouldn't have them today, right?

        DRM is evil. Sorry, no ifs, ands, or buts here.

        • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @12:23PM (#12024728)
          Or how about DRM allows video producers to have a video be playable only from their web site and for a certain amount of time before it expires?
          But I don't want that! I want to be able to download and save video I view on the net.

          I hesitate to post a counter-opinion, since doing so on these threads seems to be worth about (-2, I Disagree So You're A Troll), but what the hell. ;-)

          What if the alternative is not being able to download legally at all? I don't know whether it's officially acknowledged or not, but it's a good bet that legit services like Napster's or Apple's are only allowed to distribute the content by the recording industry after agreeing to apply DRM technology to it. If they gave up, or the DRM proved to be ineffective, there probably wouldn't be any legal download services at all. At that stage, some people reading this may be quite happy to break the law and risk becoming a statistic/example case so they could still download music, but a lot of people would lose out through being unwilling to commit a crime.

          Not everything in this world comes down to absolute ownership. The rental model has been working well for videotapes for years: if you just want to watch a film once, but don't want to keep the tape, you can pay a smaller amount but you have to give it back a couple of days later. Most of the arguments in posts like the parent would basically rule out such a model, despite the fact that it is welcomed by many and of benefit to them.

          I have archives of several pages that I wouldn't be able to see anymore if I hadn't been able to save.

          And I know two people, completely independently, who had trouble securing book publishing deals after draft content that they put on their web site temporarily for the benefit of those who were interested wound up republished (without their consent, or even notifying them) on so-called archive sites that have decided they are above copyright law (which I suspect may become an expensive mistake the first time they try this with a megacorp).

          Neither of these people publishes anything whatsoever on the web any more, because the resulting tedious negotiations with their publisher's lawyers over distribution rights just aren't worth it. Ultimately, it's not the authors who have lost out here, it's the people who were benefitting from having their content at a much cheaper rate. That was the very distribution of work that copyright and similar concepts are intended to promote, and when copyright wasn't respected, it stopped. Go figure...

          • The rental model has been working well for videotapes for years: if you just want to watch a film once, but don't want to keep the tape, you can pay a smaller amount but you have to give it back a couple of days later.

            The only reason that model worked is because the content producers had a cartel that allowed them to charge an unrealistically high price for new movies on videocassette: $100+ per copy. No home user was gonna pay that much per movie, so rental (from a middleman who swallowed the high initial cost and recouped it was the only feasible market model.

            When DVD came along, Warner Bros. Home Video president Warren Lieberfarb had the vision [] to see that they could make a lot more money with a sales model and realistic pricing than they were through the rental model. So he led Warner to break with the cartel and push DVD as a sell-through format at the $10-20 price point. He took a lot of flak from the rest of the industry for that, but when the money started to roll in for Warner it wasn't long before the rest of the cartel followed suit.

            Today, the studios make more money off Lieberfarb's model than they do at the box office on many movies, and rental behemoths like Blockbuster Inc. are seeing their value plummet []. So it's pretty clear that in this example, when given a choice between rentals and reasonably priced sale copies, people prefer to buy over renting.

      • Re:Yes (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I don't use Napster and have no intention to buy crippled music. If someone wants to limit playback of a video they are publishing on a website, the easy way is to not bother publishing it at all. Likewise for time limited documents etc, we (as a company) will NEVER accept anything written in vanishing ink.

        So what are these great uses of DRM?
      • Everyone just loves to hate DRM cause it's so controlling and limiting and 1984 and blah blah. What about the fact that DRM allows Napster to offer an excellent service like Napster-to-Go?

        Unacceptable they can offer the same service without DRM...DRM is NOT a requirement for doing business. If the companies like Napster refused to give in to the record companies we would not be in this situation. It comes down to can either sell the music through this service without DRM and trust the consume
    • Re:Yes (Score:3, Insightful)

      I do feel "DRM in any form is ridiculous". It's that simple.

      But the owners love it!
      So unless you're planning a glorious uprising of the working classes, then we'd better get used to it.

      The DRM I'm willing to accept os the DRM that I won't even notice. Like the one on the iTMS seem to be. I never bought any of their wares, but from the list, I could burn any of my music, and move is to another computer without problems.

      DRM that doesn't get in the way of fair use is acceptable.
      • Re:Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MartinG ( 52587 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:20AM (#12023741) Homepage Journal
        But the owners love it!

        The copyright holders love it, not the owners.

        The copyright holders love it because it gives them control over the owners of the media.

        I think you are talking about "intellectual property owners." This is why the phrase "intellectual property" is a misleading one because it tricks folks into thinking that intangible things are the same as tangible things when they are not.

        If I buy a cd or a dvd, I am its owner, nobody else. If I download from an online music store, I am paying for a service. In either case, nobody else "owns" anything I have paid for.
  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @10:53AM (#12023272)
    - No DRM of any form is ever okay: I should be able to do anything with items I obtain, including sharing them with others;

    - It's not right for content creators/originators/owners/licensors to expect to be able to protect their content; if their content needs protection, their business model is dying;

    - All "information" and "ideas", which includes music, software, text, and other unique works, should be allowed to freely flow between people in an unlimited fashion without any encumbrances of ownership;

    - DRM is fundamentally flawed and is only used as a tool of the rich and powerful to forcefeed commercial tripe to the masses;

    - In the digital realm, ideas of "ownership" and "theft" are meaningless. The world has changed, and unlimited digital copies of all manner of content can be distributed nearly free and without any harm to or detraction from the original. Therefore, any old model based on physical manifestations (books, CDs, DVDs, etc.) is dead.
    • by DaHat ( 247651 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @10:58AM (#12023361) Homepage
      - All "information" and "ideas", which includes music, software, text, and other unique works, should be allowed to freely flow between people in an unlimited fashion without any encumbrances of ownership;

      I take it you aren't a fan of the GPL then. Take what you said to it's logical conclusion and the GPL becomes too restrictive even for you.
      • by Speare ( 84249 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:06AM (#12023496) Homepage Journal
        There are some who definitely feel the GPL is too restrictive. Look at the BSD license. If you write it, and you *want* to share it, then do so. If you modify it, and you *want* to share it, then do so.

        Just as the protecting freedom of speech means protecting speech you hate, protecting an open sharing society means sharing with people who don't want to share it forward. Once you share something, you should not have any control over what the recipient does with it. Sure, somebody might try to sell your code, but that doesn't diminish your ideas, nor does it diminish the ability of others to build and share.

        I'm not pushing this concept, I'm just saying that some people definitely feel this way. Any opinion is a valid opinion, even when you don't agree with it.

    • by Coocha ( 114826 ) < minus physicist> on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:03AM (#12023439) Homepage
      dave, you seem a little bitter about last night's thread, but I won't hold it against you ;) You made some good points last night.

      I could live with DRM'ed content if, as the article mentions, it is priced comparatively to a rental fee. However, if physical media were to go the way of the dodo and consumers were expected to accept DRM'ed downloads in lieu of owning physical media they could (by right) copy and manipulate for personal use, I don't think that would be an acceptable outcome. Several people mentioned last night that purchasing media give the purchaser rights to resell, copy, etc. Now if an EULA explicitly restricts you from doing these things and you still accept it, that's your problem. But if the day comes that consumers are given no choice (i.e. their rights to copy for personal use are negated by the fact that the only available format for purchase removes these rights), that's when DRM will start to smell funny to me.

      Just my 2cents, and FWIW it seems like I fall somewhere in between daveschroeder's opinion, and the opinion of many other slashdotters who commented on the 'DVD Jon' story last night. But like you suggested dave, I do not patronize iTMS for the specific reason that DRM is not worth circumventing if the same media can be purchased on formats that don't restrict my personal choices.
    • - It's not right for content creators/originators/owners/licensors to expect to be able to protect their content; if their content needs protection, their business model is dying;

      - All "information" and "ideas", which includes music, software, text, and other unique works, should be allowed to freely flow between people in an unlimited fashion without any encumbrances of ownership;

      A question... with these two statements, are you offering government or societal subsidy for content creators? Authors, art

    • by jdreed1024 ( 443938 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:06AM (#12023492)
      No DRM of any form is ever okay: I should be able to do anything with items I obtain, including sharing them with others;

      I agree. I shelled out $5 for Debian on CD. I should be able to do whatever I want with it, including redistribute only the binaries to people, without any source code. Or modify the source code, build binaries, and ship only those binaries to people. Why not? I paid for it. Who the hell is this Stallman guy who thinks he can tell me what I get to do with something I bought? Sounds like another Jack Valenti to me.

      Seriously, the "It's mine I paid for it, fuck you" attitude doesn't work in civilized society. There is a concept of "fair use" - sure, it's gone out the window in recent years, but it was called "fair use" for a reason. It wasn't called "fuck you, mr. artist".

      • The idea, though, is that you CAN do this without having to break any encryption or remove DRM from any files; the files are yours to do with as you please. You shouldn't do what you are saying and it is against the law, but your computer isn't preventing you from doing so. This is what the grandparent is saying: we should be ABLE to do what we please with the media we have, not necessarily that they come with no restrictions at all.
    • While I agree that in the digital realm many of the rules that apply to physical manifestations do not transfer over. I also agree that DRM is flawed.

      I do not agree, however, that, "In the digital realm, ideas of "ownership" and "theft" are meaningless." and I'm willing to bet that a lot of /.'ers don't agree as well. Even the hallowed GPL depends on foundations of digital ownership, for without these common rules it simply would not be enforceable. Copyright law has been around longer than digital me

    • To answer your points:

      First, you need to be careful defining what you "own". If I rent/lease a car I can't do anything I want with it. Even if I own the car, I can't use it in a reckless manner or give it to someone to use in a crime. If I rent a DVD from a store I can't do anything I want with it. For example, I am not allowed to melt the DVD itself or scratch it so it is unusable.

      As to your second point, there is a lot of software that is hideously complex and expensive to create and cannot just b
    • Comment removed (Score:5, Insightful)

      by account_deleted ( 4530225 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:25AM (#12023805)
      Comment removed based on user account deletion
  • by jarich ( 733129 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @10:53AM (#12023276) Homepage Journal
    That's the bottom line... do you think your customers are trying to steal from you or do you trust them?

    The Pragmatic Progammers sell the PDFs of their books with no DRM and they seem to be doing okay. That is to say, the books aren't all over Google. s/pdf_faq.html []

  • by Enigma_Man ( 756516 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @10:53AM (#12023281) Homepage
    I have no other choice, because the lemming-like "masses" have already been duped into buying all DRMed stuff, and buying/selling non-DRMed hardware is illegal, and comes with a 30 year jail sentence, and I've become nothing but a hollow shell of an old man/corporate consumer.

  • My rights (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuct_onion ( 870134 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @10:54AM (#12023291) Journal
    I'm fine with any 'Digital Rights Management' that doesn't, in the course of said management, infringe on _my_ management of _my_ digital rights.
    • Re:My rights (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pla ( 258480 )
      I'm fine with any 'Digital Rights Management' that doesn't, in the course of said management, infringe on _my_ management of _my_ digital rights.

      Okay, so one more point for "never"?

      For myself... You can put DRM on my coffin. The rest, I'll avoid if at all possible and break it if I can't avoid it.
  • Basically, never... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tquinlan ( 868483 ) <> on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @10:54AM (#12023296) Homepage
    ...if a company wants to sell me something, yet wants to put restrictions on that thing, then I am not likely to buy. If you want to sell me a subscription, then do that, but don't make it so that I can't move the content from place to place in my domain (ie, living room, portable devices, computer, etc.).

    As it is, most content is unbuyable now, anyway, so I don't even buy that much. (I haven't bought a CD in years, and a DVD in months.) Media companies need to start making intelligent music and shows, and then let me do what I want with it. If they want income streams, fine - sell me a subscription. But if you're going to do that, and I'm willing to buy, then don't restrict how I use it.

  • Duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by puke76 ( 775195 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @10:55AM (#12023311) Homepage
    I'd accept DRM when it wouldn't restrict my fair use. That will never happen, so long as manufacturers and content providers are using DRM to lock people into their proprietary platforms and distribution networks (whilst claiming to use it to combat piracy).
    • Amen (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jimbro2k ( 800351 )
      "That will never happen"

      Truer words were never spoken. The original purpose of patents was to encourage innovation. The modern purpose is to build monopoly and to discourage innovation because it threatens existing monopolies.

      A "good" use of DRM is to identify the true source of a file, payment being only one of the reasons to so. But the "modern" purpose is to deliberately infringe on fair-use rights, ultimately denying them.
  • Purchase or rent (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hoggoth ( 414195 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @10:55AM (#12023314) Journal
    If I am purchasing music, paying per song or album, then it is MY music. I don't accept that at some date in the future my music will no longer be playable because some company went out of business or no longer supports my hardware/operating system, or because I moved all my files over to a new computer and can't get the DRM to work.

    If I am renting music, for example paying $20/month for all I can listen to, then I can accept pretty much any DRM because I don't expect the music to be "mine". If something goes wrong with my DRM I would just switch to a different service and for $20/month have unlimited listening rights again.

    Note that, for me, it's not worth $20/month to listen to music on my computer. I already have plenty of music I own on my computer, and there are free alternatives for radio-style listening.
    But I get that it's a worthwhile proposition for some people.

    • by Sentry21 ( 8183 )
      I'm inclined to weigh in in support of the parent. DRM is for when the media is not yours - for when you are distributing confidential PDFs, renting out digital downloads, providing subscription-based services, providing an 'embedded' system with trade secrets, and so on. If DRM will help these situations come about (I'll pay SciFi $1/show to watch Stargate in HDTV downloads), then I will champion them.

      DRM should not be used in situations where the media itself is replacing physical media - buying music on
  • by scsirob ( 246572 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @10:57AM (#12023336)
    When the content is properly priced, what's the need for DRM anyway? If the download offers value for money then anyone should be willing to pay for that. If it's overpriced then DRM is a way to force the high price down the customer's throat.
  • by GeckoX ( 259575 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @10:57AM (#12023347)
    If I buy something, it is not acceptable for it to be encumbered by DRM.

    However, if it's used to enforce a rental or temporary use of something, and that's what I'm agreeing to pay for, no problem.

    But again, if you are trying to sell me something that is broken, I won't be buying. FYI: If everybody made their purchases this way, there would be no such thing as DRM. In my opinion, iTMS users have done serious damage by undermining expected fair use by accepting these purchases.
  • None. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hanssprudel ( 323035 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @10:58AM (#12023350)
    The problem is not that when you buy some DRMed media that you do not really own the song, the movie, or whatever. The problem is that when you take part in a DRM system, you do not really own you computer any longer. I will not buy into a system that has my computer acting against me on behalf of others - not at any price, nor for any benefit.

    Computers are not like cable boxes or satellite receivers, or even DVD players. They are our most fundamental and important devices of communication. To surrender control over those devices to others is a mistake we should pay for dearly...
    • Re:None. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DavidpFitz ( 136265 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:05AM (#12023484) Homepage Journal
      Computers are not like cable boxes or satellite receivers, or even DVD players. They are our most fundamental and important devices of communication. To surrender control over those devices to others is a mistake we should pay for dearly...
      I don't know about you, but I have a life and I consider my mouth to be my most fundemental device of communication. My computer is waaaaay down the list!
  • Quick answer: no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LegendOfLink ( 574790 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @10:58AM (#12023362) Homepage
    I don't like to buy anything that would somehow cripple my functionality. Pirating aside, there are a lot of legitimate purposes for making a CD into an MP3. I do it at work all the time, I bring it in, rip it to MP3, and then take the CD home with me.

    But I don't think we'll really have a choice in the future. If there's one thing companies hate, it's lawsuits, and they'll do anything to avoid them, including implementing DRM.
  • by tommertron ( 640180 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @10:58AM (#12023363) Homepage Journal
    Do you own any DVDs? They're DRM'd, in that you can't copy them (unless you use widely available cracking software.) Same with console games. Digital rights management is everywhere, and most of us accept it out of necessity. But there will always be ways of getting around it for those people (like us) willing to put in the extra work.

    Personally, I don't really care that much about DRM, as long as it's designed well, like the iTMS. I don't know if I "own" the songs or not, but I don't really care - it's never really restricted what I've wanted to do with my music. And if they do make it hard, I'll just find a crack to get around it.

  • by Quebec ( 35169 ) * on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @10:59AM (#12023383) Homepage
    The first DRM I was aware of was Macrovision.

    I remember a call from a friend of mine who remembered that I was knowledgeable in video editing and she contacted me to help her with a problem they had with a student project. (that was back in 1994)

    They were student who selected very short extracts of scenes for their project for the last 20 sleepless hours and they wondered why they couldn't make copies of many of their extracts. When I finally arrived all I could do is explaining what was happenning and tell them to find some other scenes (Macrovision had a cyclic effect in which a few seconds would be copied all right) I didn't have any video filter at that time to go around it and it was too late to go and find/build one.

    It's simple, DRM prevented those kids to express themselves correctly, it was damaging their possibility to create.

    Now, with DRMs much more insinous than Macrovision nowadays just try to imagine the artists who have been prevented to express themselves, imagine also the art forms that have been crushed before their own existences by these DRMs.

    DRM is bad, it is evil, it MUST be banned for the sake of the human spirit.

    ( it's the second time I put this story in /. comments but i figure most didn't see it the first time)
  • Never. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Catiline ( 186878 ) <> on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:00AM (#12023387) Homepage Journal
    I will never accept Digital Rights Manglement.

    The problem isn't really the restrictions now -- I will gladly grand the copyright holder the right to control the (re-)distrobution of their product. Copyright doesn't, and shouldn't, control or limit use, which a lot of DRM/copy protection does, and that I do object to. But having iTMS want to limit P2P reproduction -- to me, that's fair.

    To me, the issue is instead what happens 150 years from now -- they copyright has expired, but Rights Manglement never dies....
  • by Performaman ( 735106 ) <> on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:00AM (#12023396)
    I have no problem with DRM because there will always be people like DVD Jon who will crack it. That way, everybody wins: the companies get money from people that legimately download songs, and the people who don't like DRM will be able to get rid of it. I've run several songs that I've downloaded from iTunes through JHymn [] and produced MP3 files without DRM. So, let companies feel secure and buy DRM music. Then, remove the DRM portion of it.
  • Not mine? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by XxtraLarGe ( 551297 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:00AM (#12023399) Journal
    I download music from iTunes all the time and burn it to audio CD's. How isn't it mine?
  • by jav1231 ( 539129 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:01AM (#12023409)
    The real issue is that the media giants aren't willing to work within the new marketplace. It's like going to another planet where humans have already discovered they can breath without a space suit, and they come along and want you to wear one anyway. I think if they would release a lot of their old libraries, cut those prices, they'd have a market willing to buy new songs at decent prices. So much DRM today restricts moving songs from one place to another to prevent piracy at the expense of convenience. People have grown accustomed to taking a CD from car to home to friend's homes etc. now you want to lock them down. I understand the need for DRM I just think they need to rethink their methodology. I don't know the answer, but I am uneasy with a technology that is basically attempting to make an outdated business model fit into this new marketplace. This shows an amazingly naive understanding of the digital landscape. They need to change with the times and they just can't see it. That doesn't mean give away their music, but it does mean understanding your market.
    • I understand the need for DRM I just think they need to rethink their methodology.

      I think that expecting the record companies to stop their price fixing is unrealistic. They've already settled one case out of court for peanuts, so of course they're going to do it again.

  • by Mr Pippin ( 659094 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:01AM (#12023417)

    DRM is unacceptable to me in any form. It's basic premise is that consumers are untrustworthy and/or criminals.
    In effect, it states I don't have control of my property, and logically means to me I don't own it.
    I DO have products that are DRM'd, today (Apple iTunes). The only saving grace of which is that I can burn them to CD and be rid of the DRM.

  • by Richard Steiner ( 1585 ) <> on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:01AM (#12023424) Homepage Journal
    For the past 4-5 years, however, I've been limiting my CD purchases to used CD's on HALF.COM and elsewhere, and I've been totally avoiding the online digital music scene (preferring instead to concentrate on slowly ripping my collection and burning it in MP3 form to data CD's).

    Why should I continue to support an industry which (a) treats me like a crook and (b) won't give me what I want?

    What do I want? Digital music files that I can play, store, and convert however the hell I want to. I paid for the right to use the music -- GIVE ME THAT RIGHT.
  • by thewiz ( 24994 ) * on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:02AM (#12023434)
    is still just as stupid. When I purchase an item I expect that it is mine to do with as I please, not to still be at the whim of whatever company made it. I certainly don't expect [] to come by and tell me what to do with the Dilbert (tm) mints I purchased from them. I also don't expect Honda to dictate to me what to do with my Accord. Why should I let the RIAA/MPAA/Apple/etc tell me under what terms and conditions I can enjoy the music/movies I purchase?

    As for Jon's end run around Apple's DRM (twice), I applaud his efforts. It certainly shows that DRM can't stand up to people who want to control the things they buy. I no more want my music to be limited to a single computer or iPod in my house than I want to be limited to what TV I can watch movies on or which DVD player I can play a DVD on.
  • Prior to 1980, it was expected that when you went to a movie you might not be able to ever see it again. And it was expected that your records would get more and more scratchy and skippy with age, and maybe even break.

    Not me. My teenage years were in the 1980's, where I was able to purchase -- legally -- "perfect" quality CDs and high quality (for NTSC, anyway) LaserDiscs, both free of copy protection. Both CDs and LaserDiscs were touted to last a lifetime, and even though that's not true, the lack of copy protection enabled lifetime chain copying to preserve the recording for personal use.

    I grew up accustomed to, after hearing or seeing something I liked, purchasing it, and playing it back at any time for one of two purposes: a) reflecting upon its content, b) recalling the time and place where I originally heard or saw the recording, for the purposes of sentimentality.

    I've said it many times, and almost always get modded down, but I'll say it again. I consider it a form of mind control for a publisher to present something for my consumption, and then be able to at a later date forbid me from reviewing that material in the time, place, and manner of my choosing.

    As I said, I believe this attitude of mine is due in part to my Gen X demographic. Baby boomers and older -- those presumably running XXAA -- grew up not expecting reviewing capability. Baby boomlets grew up expecting stuff for free via P2P. Gen X'ers are in the position of expecting lifetime reviewing capability, and expecting to pay a reasonable one-time fee for it.

    But demographically, there aren't as many Gen X'ers as baby boomers and baby boomlets. And no one seems to care that books after 1924 are rotting away. So DRM and short memories it will be from now on.

    • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:36AM (#12023990)
      And no one seems to care that books after 1924 are rotting away. So DRM and short memories it will be from now on.

      And a majority of the recorded music is rotting away because it isn't available. I too grew up in the 80s. What if I want to listen to a group that I liked, but my tapes are worn out? Can I go out and buy their CD? Maybe, if any store will carry it. There is a lot of good (and bad) music that will be lost because the record companies don't think they can make money on it anymore. They own the right to it, and choose to let it die.

      The same goes for lots of things I guess. We are definitely a nostalgia generation. If it weren't for the enthusiast community, a lot of the video games from the 80s would be extinct. I was into arcade video game collecting for a while, and one of my friends (who was into it WAY more than me) cobbled together pieces from several different video game boards to resurrect a game that nobody had anymore in working condition. (Zektor) Now you can play it on MAME. Now you can play LOTS of games on MAME, and big companies had nothing to do with it. Music and movies are the same to some extent, I am afraid. I don't want to hear crap that is on the radio, I would like to hear the old stuff I used to listen to when I was growing up. It is getting harder and harder to find.

      It is part of OUR culture, it is still up to us to preserve it.

    • No offense but the reason there wasn't copy protection on CDs when you "grew up" wasn't because it was some ridiculous golden age of fair play but because it was extraordinarily difficult for you to do so.

      Guess when copy protection in the music industry started to become an issue...? Right when CD Burners became affordable.
  • by B5_geek ( 638928 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:07AM (#12023505)
    If it's an audio CD - No way in hell regardless of price. I bought my last CD about 2-3 years ago, when I discovered it had DRM on it I vowed never again. (I only kept it because I am a big fan of the artist.)

    Physical products should not contain any DRM, but allow for a sales paradigm that a small'ish fee and a download allows for limited DRM or other revenue genterating ideas for the content provider.

    $1.00 movie downloads, free TV show downloads with ads built-in.

    Or have a quality/price ratio.

    piss-poor = free
    56k stream = $0.99 / video
    128k stream = $1.50
    T1 = $2.00

    DVD = $20 + ability to rip/store and view *for personal useage only*

    Movie companies want you to goto the theater & buy a ticket and then buy the DVD. How many people here can attest to d'loading a crappy cam version of a film and then wanting the "extra-value" that the theater experience offers?

    I know I do all the time. I use cam downloads as my person movie critic Roger & Fatbert.

    It has also saved me from wasting my money.
    With the exception of bandwidth costs (And there are alternative methods that could be looked into) they have nothing to loose.

    Too many times companies are stuck in the same mindset of: It has worked well for the last 100 years, why should we change now?

    Hmm, dinosaurs. Fossil-Fuel.
  • by Marcus Erroneous ( 11660 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:08AM (#12023527) Homepage
    When they pry my music from my cold, dead, fingers.
  • by mike3411 ( 558976 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:08AM (#12023538) Homepage
    I wouldn't out of hand reject DRM, but it must be priced into my purchasing decision. Currently, $15 for a DVD that I know I can watch forever, play on any DVD player, backup if needed, loan to a friend, etc., is a good deal. Because of this I have purchased quite a few DVDs, and I think the DVD market has been very strong for that reason. Various forms of DRM, for example newer copy protection methods (might not play in some DVD drives), prevention of copying, possible other incursions to my anticipated fair use, all detract from the value of the disc. If the movie was a good buy at $15 with no DRM, I'll be damned if I would pay the same for something that essentially has had positive features removed. Things like convenience, freedom of use and fair use are all going to get priced into the total cost. If the only thing I can buy is a DRM'd $15 DVD, then I won't buy it. I think most consumers make also make this value decision. I think the problem will be when some of the new DRM systems are implemented, and consumers are not adequately aware or informed. Hopefully publishers will manage to keep DRM out of the user's way enough for us to keep shopping.
  • DRM is OK if... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erik_norgaard ( 692400 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:09AM (#12023547) Homepage
    The discussion seems to be blurred by the fact that DRM is invented to prevent unfair use and not to impose unreasonable restrictions on the honest consumers.

    I don't think that the content providers are happy with having to do this.

    I would accept DRM if:

    * I find price is reasonable

    * Does not impose restrictions on my personal use

    * DRM Expires after a reasonable time

    70 years after the death of the artist does not seem reasonable to me - I happen to like stuff created by people who died 69 years ago :-)

    There is no reason that music, text books etc. should be free, just as there is no reason that software should be free. The creator may choose either, and the consumer must then choose whether to support non-free content.

    If I create something, then I can choose the conditions under which I will make it available, and you can choose whether you find it valuable enough to accept those conditions.

    If ends don't meet then the product disappears - It's that simple.

    Quit all that b*** about the companies charging unreasonable high fees - you are free not to use their product.

    Just my 5 euro-cents

  • BUY v.s. RENT (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xiando ( 770382 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:11AM (#12023590) Homepage Journal
    The issue, for me, is not DRM or not DRM. It is renting vs buying.

    And DRM imposes restrictions as if you were renting or leasing the product. That would be alright if the price on the product was close to zero, but I get offended when someone claims they are selling me something when the product is not sold, but rented.

    That being said, I use Linux. There is no way to buy/rent DRM products for Linux users, and I am fairly sure that if it was possible it would not be Open Source. And if you are not willing to show me the source, then I am not going to install it on my system. I require the source, the source ensures FAIR USE. The sum of this is that DRM in any shape or form will never work for me.
  • DRM Control (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Deathlizard ( 115856 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:17AM (#12023687) Homepage Journal
    The Only DRM that I will support is Personal DRM. If I make a file and I want to be the only person to be able to open it, Great. If a Bank wants to use DRM as a way to protect it's customers from ID Theft, Great. The way I look at personal DRM is that it's another security layer to protect myself (or my company's) personal data.

    Commercial DRM I don't support at all. If I buy a CD I expect that CD to play in anything I have for as long as I own that CD. Commercial DRM limits that. The Best Example is Windows XP. Yes I have to register it to use it and it works. Now what happens when MS decides to not support WinXP anymore? Can they guarantee that I can install WinXP and use it 20 years from now?

    Both Personal and commercial DRM have issues when it comes to system recovery. I see this problem in WMP now. If you buy music on WMP and WinXP crashes, I hope you backed up your Encryption key, otherwise all your music is now worthless. The same goes with the Encrypting File system in WinXP, although that can be handled and minimized by a Domain server in a business environment.

    so in summary:
    DRM in my control = Good
    DRM in Someone Else's Control = Bad
  • by Shaper_pmp ( 825142 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:19AM (#12023708)
    I can't foresee any occasion where I'd accept DRM, ever. Allow me to explain:

    DRM only works if it's supported right down to the hardware, and I fundamentally object to my computer having a different agenda to mine. I will not buy hardware that I'm not in control of, and I view it as irresponsible and invasive to even try to control or artificially limit something I've paid (my) good money for.

    If you don't understand this attitude, ask yourself why the government fines people for speeding but doesn't install mandatory speed-limiters in cars, or makes murder illegal but doesn't ban guns outright. Precedents both.

    DRM without end-to-end hardware support is essentially impotent unless you are prohibited from cracking it by law. Legislating against technology like this is like legislating against bad weather, or against the tide - it's coming eventually whether you like it or not, and you only look stupid and/or put yourself in harm's way by trying to get between it and where it's going.

    (As an aside, can anyone think of an example where a popular technology has been legislated against, and it's died there and then? I honestly can't think of one. In contrast, I can think of several cases where legal proceedings (and the attendant publicity) have launched a new piece of techology into mainstream usage, but I can't think of one counterexample. If anyone else can, please let me know...)

    Short version - end-to-end DRM is fundamentally invasive and tramples on your rights as a consumer (First Sale, Fair Use, etc). Vulnerable DRM propped up by dubious lawmaking both cheapens the law and retards technology as a whole (e.g. banning P2P networks unless they pro-actively filter for copyrighted software effectively bands P2P as a useful technology).

    DRM represents an attempt to graft concepts and precedent from physical property law onto digital "property". They are not alike, and this sets a false precedent which will (and is) harming both our technological and cultural development.
  • by Theaetetus ( 590071 ) <.theaetetus.slashdot. .at.> on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:20AM (#12023736) Homepage Journal
    ... apparently, since I'm one of the few people who see a point for DRM here.

    To respond in a general sense to multiple posts:
    I'll only allow DRM on rentals, not on purchases

    Reasonable - if you purchase, you have first sale right, format shifting rights, reverse engineering, etc. However, you have no right to distribute. People do distribute, however, and DRM is a reasonable way of stopping or limiting that. Another would be remove the DRM, but watermark all files with a generic tag, and have all ISPs monitor your uploads, looking for that tag - and when you do, they immediately notify the feds and shut off your stream. Would that be reasonable?

    DRM is never acceptable. All ideas should be free

    Which is a great idea, if ideas never cost money to implement. But, because they do (Pixar's multi-million dollar renderfarm, an author's bills as they take a year to write a novel, a programmer's Fritos and Coke as they program a new game), idea creators need to be subsidized for their ideas. Either that can be society or government subsidizing them (would you accept that? Or would that be too much like "communism" for most people?) or by charging consumers, which is our current system. DRM allows them to retain control such that consumers have to pay for use - which subsidizes the artist and pays their expenses.
    Removing DRM removes their source of income which removes the incentive to create.

    I know most Slashdotters will say "I don't pirate movies, software, or music. I don't distribute it" - in which case, they'll be solidly behind the first idea, right? Or, they will say "I don't want to pay for it, I just want it". In which case, they'll be solidly behind the second idea, right?

    TANSTAAFL. Can't get the content if you can't pay the creator.


  • by metoc ( 224422 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:24AM (#12023794)
    My biggest issue is with the lifespan of the DRM schemes and authentication backends.

    I am okay for short lifespans. If I rent a video from the local BlockBusters I am perfectly okay with a DRM scheme that blocks access after a fixed period of time.

    Over the long run I have see many problems:

    1. Lifespan of companies like the new Napster. The music is only playable as long as Napster is around to authenticate the DRM scheme. Napster goes out of business and its dead.

    2. Lifespan of the DRM scheme. If I buy (not rent) a title, the DRM scheme better allow me to use it as long as I have it. I don't want to find out its not compatible with Windows 2020 or Linux 10.4, and told I have to buy a new version.

    3. Valid expiry dates. If a title has a copyright expiry date of say March 1, 2054, then the DRM should reflect this, not 2038 (UNIX time_t value) which I expect to be around for, or infinite (which means the title will be copyrighted well after the Sun goes nova).

  • by goldcd ( 587052 ) * on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:36AM (#12023986) Homepage
    when he mentioned the retail fee. We're all used to buying/renting physical items and don't get upset by it. We understand the rules.
    When I pop into Blockbuster to rent a DVD for £3, I understand that I've got his film to watch for a couple of nights and then I have to return it.
    People don't protest against this, I've never heard of anybody refusing to rent films as they have to return them.
    We're also used to the model of buying CDs and DVDs. I go into a shop, I give them some money and they give me a piece of entertainment to take home and put on my shelf. It's mine. I can make a thousand copies of the CD and rip it to any format I want, whenever I want. In reality I can't remember the last time I copied a CD and I just rip it once to m4a - but I know I have the option to if a friend wants it, or I upgrade to a non-iPod.
    The problem with DRM is that it's being offered with similar terms to physical media with additional restrictions imposed and no real advantage. I can buy an album from iTunes or a physical CD - the CD usually works out cheaper, so why on earth would I want a DRMed digital copy?
    The two models I can see working for DRM are rental and subscription (or a combination of the two). Firstly we have the Real Rhapsody system up and working - I pay a fixed price and get all the music I want. This is offering me something that wouldn't have been possible with physical media. Secondly we could have a film rental system. For those days I feel lazy and can't even be bothered to leave the house, it'd be nice to be able to download and watch a film for a couple of pounds.
    I think my point is that most people have nothing against DRM, it's jus that currently it's not offering us anything better or cheaper than what we currently have.
  • by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:36AM (#12023991) Homepage Journal
    That is the key to the DRM argument.

    If I am renting then I do not have a problem with DRM. If I am buying then I do. The only way to protect the consumer who buys in a DRM world is to have a disinterested third party holding the keys should the seller vanish. Even then this is not a great solution as it still means a delay.

    The reason DRM exists is because too many people cannot be trusted to not give away COPIES of stuff they do not have the right to distribute copies of. Its the bad apples that make it easy for companies to justify DRM.

    I would accept watermarking provided they was an absolute method to track it back to my purchase. A personal watermark that all media I buy online being tagged with would be a better solution. That key would have to be transportable between different types of hardware, have to be unique, and have to have a way I could prove its mine beyond doubt.
  • by lfourrier ( 209630 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @11:47AM (#12024190)
    DRM : Digital Rights Management
    Management : acte of managing.

    Whose rights exists ?
    - Author rights.
    - Producer rights.
    - Public rights.

    Show me a system that manage (not restrict) public rights.
    Show me a system that remove all protections once a work fall in the public domain.
    Show me a system that help me to parody, or quote, or permit me all fair right uses, no matter where I'm in the world.
    No SCDRMS (So called Digital rights management system) manage rights.
    Presently, DRM is inexistant. What exist is public perception manipulation and brainwashing. And this, too, is unacceptable.
  • by NetMagi ( 547135 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @12:03PM (#12024418)
    DRM isn't a bad thing if it did what they said it does as opposed to doing what their investors want.

    The ONLY thing DRM is good at right now is keeping us locked into a device or proprietary service.

    I have over 8000 mp3's. Three-quarters of them are ripped from cd's I legally purchased and the last quarter was ripped from friends, downloaded from napster (way back), winmx, or some torrent.

    I've been adding to this collection since 1997. Over the years I've listened to it:

    -on my home computer
    -in my car burned as a standard audio cd
    -in my car on a hacked virgin webplayer I mounted to the glove box
    -in my car on an mp3-cd player
    -at friend's houses streamed with andromeda
    -on my archos jukebox
    -on my PDA
    -on my home stereo through a computer I had hooked up there
    -on my home stereo through a D-link networked media player
    -on my work computer
    -on my laptop while travelling

    As far as I'm concerned, that's ALL fair use. I WILL NOT buy music if I don't have the flexibility I had with MP3's. I really love my music, and the ability to play it anywhere with little or no effort. Initial cost aside, if I threw it all away, and bought all my music DRM-protected, how much OF MY TIME do you think I would have to spend TRYING to listen to it in all those places. I'd lose my damn mind fighting with it, and probably STOP listening to music altogether for some time.

    From the other side of the fence, I can understand the record companies position. I'm sure those money-grubbing bastards can't sleep at night knowing ppl are listening to music they own for free. I can sympathize with this as I like to protect my own business interests as well, but I think they're going about it the wrong way.

    Music is easily traded because there's essentially no difference between the cd I buy in the store, and well encoded mp3's of the album I can download freely. Give us added-value. Start bundling cool stuff in with the cd's we want. Some labels do this to some extent, but not enough. The last 5 cd's I bought retail were purchased because they came with bonus dvd's, booklets, or were some special edition release. I opened up my wallet and gladly dished out the 20 bucks every time.
  • by Spankophile ( 78098 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @12:25PM (#12024762) Homepage
    C'mon now!

    Where are all the Apple zealots now? Just two articles ago were I was reading the spouting of how much they don't mind DRM. How iTMS is so great that they don't mind a little slice of freedom being taken away. How Apple is just sooooo consumer-friendly, and they're trying to convince the record labels to be more digital on our behalf.

    It's a lot harder to chime in when the question posed is tantamount to "When is it acceptable to give up your freedom to a company"

    Just because Apple says that it's DRM is the best it could do for the consumer and still appease the labels, doesn't mean it's something the consumer should accept.
  • by cfulmer ( 3166 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @12:30PM (#12024834) Homepage Journal
    So, what DRM would I accept? I'd accept something that (1) was guaranteed to work into the future and (2) allowed me to do whatever copyright law allows me to do.

    Both these have problems -- under (1), when the MS Monopoly eventually collapses under its own weight, what will I do with my iTunes music?

    And (2) is exceptionally hard to encode as DRM. Gross infringement is fairly easy to deal with -- the case where I take a new music CD under copyright, make a copy of it and sell the copy. But, there are a lot of cases where infringement is not as obvious. Let's say, for example, that the CD contained a mix of public domain stuff and new stuff and I just wanted to extract and copy the public domain items. Or, it was a phonebook and I wanted to copy it. (Under a SCOTUS case, Feist v. Rural, Copyright does not extend to raw collections of facts. A bunch of European countries do have a pseudo-copyright in such works.) Or, I want to make a parody. These things are legal but extremely difficult for DRM software to deal with because it would require the software to look at the intent of what I'm doing.

    Rights holders are trying to replace the rules of copyright with the rules of contract -- "I'll let you listen to this music if you agree to only listen to it 10 times." And, the main enabler for this is contracts of adhesion -- those shrink-wrap/click-through agreements that nobody reads but that courts generally enforce. Getting rid of these contracts will break DRM's legal foundation.
  • by Psychic Burrito ( 611532 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @12:33PM (#12024865)
    Libraries are online for a long time now, but one cannot read the text online. When libraries could lend whole books digitally, we could all have an incredibly big chunk of knowledge available instantly, and mostly for free or a very small price.

    Libraries don't do this because they are reluctant, but - in general law terms - because they are allowed to lend exactly 1 bought book to 1 person at a time, and when they would lend you a digital copy of a book, they could lend a book to 100 people at a time while only having bought 1 piece.

    Now with DRM, one could devise a system where you had to "bring back your copy" before anybody else could check it out, therefore combining the digital advantage (speed, ease of use) with the library advantage (big selection, near-zero-price).

    So, at least in this case, DRM can actually bring value to the people.
  • by briancnorton ( 586947 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @12:36PM (#12024900) Homepage
    Asking slashdotters a drm question is about as likely to get you a representative response as asking about Artic drilling on a greenpeace board. The market has spoken, loudly. It has said in no uncertain terms that

    1)DRM is OK as long as they're not Nazi's about your use (like burning CDs from iTMS)
    2)If you don't do MP3, you have nothing. (sony)
    3)Nobody gives a crap about OGG.

    I know these things are painful to hear, but that's what HAS happened. I know some people think of creative work as the common property of all mankind, but [sarcasm] "high quality" [/sarcasm] media production costs big bucks, and they need to recoup that investment. The options to do so are

    1)DRM (sorta works)
    2)Prevent all digital distribution (didn't work)
    3)rethink your business model. (record companies know they are obsolete, this wont happen)

The world is coming to an end--save your buffers!