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Friday, July 30, 2004

apple doesn’t like hacker tactics

i didn’t post anything on the news that realnetworks found their way into the ipods – because i was sure this would either fizzle (not likely) or explode. i think we got the explosion.

“We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod, ” said Apple in a statement.

“We are investigating the implications of their actions under the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) and other laws.”

“We strongly caution Real and their customers that when we update our iPod software from time to time it is highly likely that Real’s Harmony technology will cease to work with current and future iPods.”

“outsider cool” company apple has become the institution on this one. rip, mix, burn – on our terms.

posted by roj at 5:28 am  

Friday, July 16, 2004

online music sales volume

while we’re on the business of music, a couple weeks ago, reuters reported that online music sales topped 2.6 million songs in the last week of june.

Label executives and digital service operators say that, barring significant new developments in pricing, packaging or content portability, digital sales growth will be slow and steady for the foreseeable future.

content portability, eh? hmmm….

But Sean Ryan, VP of music services at RealNetworks, says momentum for a la carte services will be tempered by such factors as a lack of interoperability among competing digital music services and devices, a dearth of simple ways to move digital music into living rooms and cars and the slow process of expanding major-label content to include live music and unreleased material.

drm crops up between the lines, and as a barrier. imagine that.

posted by roj at 12:07 pm  

Friday, July 16, 2004

who do you bully?

drm week is apparently over, but i guess i’m not finished…

robert scoble watched cory’s presentation to microsoft on drm.

I want to see us avoid the courtroom if at all possible and avoid situations where we’re bullying anyone.

true, microsoft has a history of avoiding the courtroom, though some of those courtroom-avoidance tactics could be interpreted as bullying, depending on how you frame it.

My reaction? Cory is right. DRM is not something that users want. At least not if you frame it that way (someone in the audience framed it another way, though: do you want your private email protected? How about your medical documents?.

microsoft doesn’t have the option to “avoid the courtroom if at all possible and avoid situations where we’re bullying anyone.” i’d try to write a coherent argument about this, but fortunately, it’s already been done by rob heverly, and through the power of the internet, i can just point at it.

i’ve technically violated copyrights, because i’ve read both scoble’s post and heverly’s posts on the subject. and in so doing, i caused a computer to copy the information from its hard disk to its memory, copy it again, in chunks, to the network, caused my computer to copy those chunks into its memory, and finally, copied to the display and disk cache. so now that i’m done with that criminal act, i’ve left you a link to both, so you can commit the same crimes. that’s probably a violation of the pending induce-act.

so i’m off to a great start at avoiding the courtroom myself. depending on how you count those violations, i’m probably on the hook for more than my total potential lifetime earnings at this point, but it’s fairly likely that i’ll be able to settle for everything i own at the moment – at least that’s how the riaa handles copyright infringement lately. sure, i exaggerate a bit, and i probably won’t be prosecuted for reading things on the internet, unless it becomes important to someone to prosecute me for something, in which case i’ve just admitted by crimes in public. i’m more likely to be arrested for wearing the wrong t-shirt or protesting without a permit or taking pictures. but i digress…

i guess what i’m trying to say here is that microsoft can’t avoid the courtroom (and neither can i, most likely), and it’s big enough that any move it makes in the drm space is going to bully someone. so that leaves the question, for microsoft, in simple terms: who do you bully? who do you love?

posted by roj at 11:15 am  

Sunday, July 4, 2004

these discs cannot be hacked

the academy of motion picture arts and sciences (not to be confused with valenti/glickman mpaa) has endorsed a proposal to wrap “screener films” for acadamy members in special drm that will only play in special players, and only for the designated individual (barring, of course, a posh hollywood party where several people can see the same screen).

Studios Eye New Anti-Piracy Technology [ap via forbes, july 3, 2004]

“It’s extremely impressive,” said academy President Frank Pierson. “It certainly looked foolproof to us.”

here at the meta-roj blog, we’d like to introduce oscar to the better fool.

the proposal apparently comes from dolby labs division cinea.

there’s a couple problems here, not the least of which is that it upsets the formerly solid precept in the film industry that the academy members are influential beyond their raw numbers (about 6000), and instead should be harassed more than the general public (at least region 1 dvd’s play in all region 1 players… but if you’re an academy member, your dvd only plays in one player – i wonder if that makes them not-dvd’s anymore?)

i’m just speculating, of course, but it seems to me that those are precisely not the people you want to annoy in the film industry. but oscar knows best, and uncle dolby will handle it.

the other big problem is this:

Studios Eye New Anti-Piracy Technology [ap via forbes, july 3, 2004]

The discs, by themselves, cannot be hacked, Roth [laurence roth, cinea vice president and co-founder] said.

sure, right. of course. unhackable…

…but the discs, by themselves, are coasters.

posted by roj at 9:36 am  

Friday, June 25, 2004

universal drm – the nemo wrapper

the register is carrying a story from faultline on something called the networked environment for media orchestration (nemo), which hopes to be a universal drm for the new internetworked world.

No DRM system can be made to communicate if it doesn’t want to, but if Microsoft has already paid much of its $440m in licensing fees to participate and if Sony takes the lead by letting its studios implement a Nemo system and if both Sony and Philips incorporate these agents onto consumer electronic equipment, we are going to have a new paradigm for content protection, with an irresistible powerbase and little resistance.

with the confidence from #1 positions for both the velvet revolver and beastie boys releases, i imagine there is even less resistance.

posted by roj at 10:19 am  

Thursday, June 24, 2004

david weinberger gives ms another view of drm

in the continuing developments on drm, david weinberger pulled the cluetrain into microsoft and shares this with us…

so between the record labels spin and the outbreak of cluefulness in big places like microsoft, i suppose we’ve got the stage set for the ultimate battle for the future of our culture…

When it comes to creative works, we are not “consumers,” and we are not users. Rather we appropriate creative works, that is, we make them our own. We apply them to our own context.

posted by roj at 12:58 am  

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

germany gets the drm-wrappers off

buried in an article about cd singles (which is worth noting, in light of the death of the album and ringtones-as-value, there’s a couple notes about copy-protection in germany… so to keep on the drm-crazy news cycle, here you go….

Pocket CD format to trial in UK [bbc news, june 22, 2004]

Universal is planning to phase out the sale of copy-protected CDs in Germany, where music piracy has hit the industry, following concerns that not all would play in some stereo systems.

It said it may re-introduce copy-protected CDs at a later date if and when the technology improved.

posted by roj at 8:50 am  

Monday, June 21, 2004

links for drm week

since this is such a popular subject right now, and i’m overwhelmed a bit with trying to invent financial models for things that should happen, i’m just going to drop a bunch of “to comment on” links related to drm here, and let the meta-roj readers do their own commenting for a while…

for background, start with drm destroys value [kevin marks, september 5, 2003] and why microsoft should get out of drm [cory doctorow, june 17, 2004] [wiki, audio]. (and, of course, the whole meta-roj blog, or at least the stuff in here, and here and here and here and here 🙂 )….

now, onto the busy newsy stuff…

Distributed Computing Industry Association Urges Motion Picture Association of America to Serve Consumers by Licensing Peer-to-Peer Digital Distribution Channel and Embracing Consumer File-Sharing [pr newswire, june 17, 2004]
Digital music protection improves, but it’s still not perfect [iht, june 21, 2004]
Permissions on Digital Media Drive Scholars to Lawbooks [new york times, june 14, 2004]
P-Cube offers DRM application [rcr news, june 15, 2004]
Biometric DRM is ’empowering’ says iVue maker [the register, june 11, 2004]
Biometric DRM [slashdot, june 6, 2004]
DRM? Dude, that stuff will mess you up… [good morning silicon valley, june 18, 2004]
Beastie Boys 5 Boroughs DRM flak [p2pnet, june 20, 2004]
Cory Doctorow on Digital Rights Management [slashdot, june 18, 2004]
Managing digital content [express computer, june 21, 2004]
Toshiba to launch new Gigabeat hard-disk audio players [pc world, june 21, 2004] (toshiba embraces microsoft drm)

Q&A with Philips’ Gottfried DutinĂ© [business week, june 21, 2004]

Q: How about Hollywood?

A: People are afraid of change. Back in the 1920s, when the first AM radio stations were appearing, people were worried about the livelihood of musicians. Hollywood is only now waking up. They have ignored the impact of digitalization for years. One thing that’s waking them up now is the role is Microsoft (MSFT ): They’re saying, ‘If they control [digital-rights management], we’re in deep s–t!'”

The challenge is to create solutions that benefit the entire value chain, from creators to consumers. Digital-rights management is absolutely key. We have lots of patents, including on DRM and watermarks. [Philips is a co-owner, with Sony (SNE ), of InterTrust, which just settled a lawsuit with Microsoft.] We’re practically in the driver’s seat on this, and that’s why we’re negotiating with everybody.

posted by roj at 4:02 am  

Sunday, June 20, 2004

cory’s drm talk goes wiki

as reported at boingboing, you can now mark up cory’s presentation on drm.

dive in. both feet.

posted by roj at 1:39 pm  

Sunday, June 20, 2004

drm week with barry

barry’s posted his spin on the hot contraband drm news.

busy week on the drm front… cory did his thing and the slashdotters did their thing to the beastie boys and macrovision did their thing too. busy busy busy.

something barry brought up, and i feel like i should’ve brought up… these aren’t really cd’s – philips doesn’t like this stuff either.

posted by roj at 9:02 am  
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