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DRM
June 17, 2003 10:20 AM   Subscribe

Self destruct files to secure DVDs and CDs. Songs and movies will expire after a single play, unless you pay up.
posted by Ron (41 comments total)

 
After paying up, may it be copied?; would like a return for my money.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:28 AM on June 17, 2003


Time Warner, released the new Steely Dan album "Everything Must Go" on CD and DVD Audio, the latter being an encrypted, "rip-proof" format.

1. DVD audio is fairly painlessly ripped. There's currently no one-step process for this, but hey, in 1997, there was no one-step ripping process for mp3s either.

2. The most effective DRM on Everything Must Go is that it's a Steely Dan album recorded after 1977.
posted by eustacescrubb at 10:28 AM on June 17, 2003


love how they say that movie studios and recording labels have been "ravaged by piracy"
posted by GeekAnimator at 10:34 AM on June 17, 2003


I love it even more when they talk up all this wonderful technology that will be painlessly defeated within a month of it surfacing (if it even is effective at all in the first place.)
posted by angry modem at 10:41 AM on June 17, 2003


Point 1: CNN forgets to mention that this is brought to you by the same people who spend loads coming up with a CD copy protection system so powerful that only a German teenager armed with a permanent marker could beat it. That's the kind of bug they're getting around

Point 2: I now buy many new DVDs for under 10 euros, and a few for under 5 euros. Why do we need this? So that I'll go back to paying more money for the same? Right boys, I'm ready to bite the bullet now.

Point 3: DRM patents in the hands of Sony and Philips is scary because it can get worse before it gets better. I thought Philips was against all this nonsense. Oh well.
posted by magullo at 10:41 AM on June 17, 2003


When are they going to realize that they can't win the digital war. It's so funny to watch... but geez. Wise up already. The medium is just evil... either live with it or don't.
posted by Witty at 10:54 AM on June 17, 2003


"The most effective DRM on Everything Must Go is that it's a Steely Dan album recorded after 1977.
posted by eustacescrubb"

Damn, you beat me to it.
posted by Outlawyr at 11:11 AM on June 17, 2003


I never worry about this. Any copy protection scheme can be circumvented by spending 10 bucks at Radio Shack. Digitizing the analog signal can always be counted on as a way to rip a format. Maybe the copies won't be perfect, but losing one generation is a small price to pay. Let the fools waste their money trying to come up with a format that people can't hear, 'cause that's the only way they can prevent re-recording.

Uh, yeah... don't steal music.
posted by furious-d at 11:13 AM on June 17, 2003


I read this differently than CNN portrays it. If something is only single use (without additional payments) then the most they can charge up front is what the rental fee would be. I would find this high because if I really want to I can use my rented CD or DVD over and over again until it gets returned. Maybe they are thinking of a business plan similar to the way drugs were explained to me in grade school: The first hit is free!

So, what happens after that? First of all in any technological war between consumers and a corporation assume that the consumer will win. Some hacker will reverse engineer the mechanism. This means that we're at the same status quo as we are at now: Some people will shell out cash for the DVD or CD, others will just ignore it and a yet another group will just say, "Hey, I'll just rip this to my hard drive."

Based on this at best they maintain the position they are in now, which is making massive amounts of money. At worst they are actually slightly worse off because they have to shell money out to license the intellectual property that completely fails to protect their own intellectual property.

This is the same as MacroVision. It doesn't stop anybody who really wants to copy a DVD or video tape. For about 100 bucks you can buy a device that disables the MacroVision. In some cases the MacroVision actually interferes with the consumer. I was home a couple weeks ago, I visited a friend. He had his brand spanking new DVD player which he wanted to hook up to his old television. It had no coaxial or RCA inputs so he had to hook it up through his VCR. "What the fuck is that, the picture is horrible?" he asks. Well, it was the MacroVision on the DVD. The VCR assumed he was trying to copy the tape even though he was only using it as an electrical interface convertor.
posted by substrate at 11:19 AM on June 17, 2003


Want I want to know is where are the environmentalists on this? A toxic metal disk enclosed in plastic that is used once - what a waste! Let's hope this fails and quick.
posted by mouthnoize at 11:29 AM on June 17, 2003


I'm glad that the industry is paying attention and learned from the Divx debacle that consumer's won't go for "disposable" entertainment media.

Oh, wait.
posted by mkultra at 11:32 AM on June 17, 2003


One day they will come out with all digital human beings, and only terrorists will have analog eyes and ears.
posted by hari at 11:34 AM on June 17, 2003


Yepyep. In ten years there is going to be a huge bunch of unhappy customers who can't listen to their old CDs.

A friend of mine just bought the new Radiohead album and it won't play on his dvd-player. Audio CD is/was such a wonderful medium; reliable and easy to use.

The companies shouldn't punish their customers, they should be bombing the pirate factories and the people who buy them!

The Metaswap must be a nightmare for these companies...

devices to ensure copyrighted materials aren't reproduced and transferred from gadget to gadget without consumers paying for it.

I thought that I had a right to do just that (under the finnish legislation at least). CD->MP3 player->computer->C-cassette->VHS...
posted by hoskala at 12:01 PM on June 17, 2003


love how they say that movie studios and recording labels have been "ravaged by piracy"
I bet they also love how we say that we have been/are still being ravaged by cartel-inflated, dishonest prices


One day they will come out with all digital human beings, and only terrorists will have analog eyes and ears.

that's a good premise for the second Matrix trilogy. you should write a treatment or something. put lots of martial arts in it, though

Uh, yeah... don't steal music.
cool: you must be the guy who wrote that funny sticker I found on my new iPod when I opened the box! Nice to meet you!
posted by matteo at 12:16 PM on June 17, 2003


Consumer electronics companies such as Sony and Nokia have stepped into the mix too, installing DRM systems into new hi-fi systems and hand-held devices to ensure copyrighted materials aren't reproduced and transferred from gadget to gadget without consumers paying for it.

This is some high bullshit; and I quote digitalconsumer.org:

1. Users have the right to "time-shift" content that they have legally acquired.
2. Users have the right to "space-shift" content that they have legally acquired.
3. Users have the right to make backup copies of their content.
4. Users have the right to use legally acquired content on the platform of their choice.
5. Users have the right to translate legally acquired content into comparable formats.
6. Users have the right to use technology in order to achieve the rights previously mentioned.

I'm not really worried though. They can't win. They just haven't figured that out yet.
posted by tomorama at 12:27 PM on June 17, 2003


I never worry about this. Any copy protection scheme can be circumvented by spending 10 bucks at Radio Shack.

Does this apply to cable? Because I'm already out 50 bucks on signal amplifiers and whatnot and they really won't help me there if I flat-out ask them. $54.95 a month, my ass.

Oh. Umm... never mind.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:40 PM on June 17, 2003


At least they are finally admitting their plan all along was pay-for-play-per-use. Will anybody be shocked? Probably not.
posted by infowar at 1:20 PM on June 17, 2003


I'd love to see a study comparing the amount of dollars these industries have spent in search of that ever-elusive bulletproof copy protection scheme versus how much they can actually demonstrate they lost due to piracy. And no, i don't believe that every downloaded song constitutes a lost sale... that is patently silly. But I'm sure sales history over the years could be analyzed to determine the true effect of filesharing. In the end, my hunch is that the resources and dollars are being spent in entirely the wrong manner.

And oh yeah.... don't steal music.
posted by spilon at 1:23 PM on June 17, 2003


They have to recoop their losses somehow!

(more losses - Thanks to Metallica!)
posted by Nauip at 1:24 PM on June 17, 2003


"Oh. Umm... never mind."

I was about to remind you that we were talking about CD's and DVD's but evidently you remembered on your own.

"you must be the guy who wrote that funny sticker I found on my new iPod when I opened the box!"

Yup. I'm the first guy to ever put those three words together. Ever.
posted by furious-d at 1:30 PM on June 17, 2003


My copy of the new Radiohead CD won't play on my computer or in my car. Great. So I returned it and downloaded it, since this is the only way for me to listen to it.

Stupid stupid stupid.
posted by sauril at 1:40 PM on June 17, 2003


Good thing I read this thread before going out and buying the new Radiohead album, then. I downloaded it, but wanted a higher bitrate encoding, and the CD quality. Guess not.
posted by angry modem at 1:45 PM on June 17, 2003


Here's how this works:

For the first month before the crackers have figured out a way to break the software/hardware protection, the pirates connect the stereo/computer/whatever is playing the music to a line-in stereo port on a computer using a male-to-male stereo, hit the record button, play the copy-protected track, save, clean it up in other program, convert it .mp3, and distribute the music freely.

After the first month, crackers download the program that takes the copy protection off the file, run the program, and distribute the music freely.
posted by Veritron at 1:58 PM on June 17, 2003


I refuse to buy the new Radiohead CD because a friend's copy didn't play on my computer or my DVD player hooked up through the receiver. (It did play on my boom box that's been with me since 1990, but there isn't a whole lot of fidelity left in that trusty piece of Panasonic technology.) Would have gladly ponied up the dough for Thom Yorke & Co.'s latest opus. But it looks like I'll just have to attend concerts to show my support instead.

The only way to resist this technology is to refuse to buy it, even if it is the new Radiohead, even if it is a must have artist you'd willingly pay for. The only way the record companies will understand that they are wrong is when the dollars start coming their way. When Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was initially released on DVD, it was available in pan-and-scan only. This caused a considerable uproar amongst consumers (including me). Letters were written. Online campaigns were carried out. And Warner Home Video actually listened and then issued a widescreen version, which was happily purchased and happily played in my household and, I'm sure, many others.
posted by ed at 1:59 PM on June 17, 2003


Are you Radiohead listeners outside of the U.S.? My American copy was able to be burned on my computer, but I hear that European and other copies all have that digital protection.
posted by themadjuggler at 2:08 PM on June 17, 2003


My copy of the new Radiohead CD won't play on my computer or in my car. Great. So I returned it and downloaded it, since this is the only way for me to listen to it.

Ya gotta love a business that pisses off its legitimate customers while pursuing illegitimate ones.
posted by pmurray63 at 2:14 PM on June 17, 2003


Great, just what we need, more shit in landfills.

Maybe if they didn't rape their customers by charging $18.00 for something that costs $.25 or $4.00 if you add in the money the artists get, then people would be more willing to buy CD's legitimately.

Personally, I feel no remorse when I "steal" music. They steal from consumers all the time. If a TAPE costs $8.00, why does a CD cost $18.00?
posted by aacheson at 2:17 PM on June 17, 2003


themadjuggler: The CD we were playing was purchased at Tower here in the States. From what I've been able to gather from some lazy empirical evidence: some of the U.S. copies work, some don't. Even so, I'd rather just download the album and pay to see a show, rather than play Russian Roulette with a format that won't play in my gear.
posted by ed at 2:21 PM on June 17, 2003


Whoa, the new Radiohead is copy-protected? Does anyone have links or information on that? Is it, as themadjuggler suggests, only in certain test markets? I've not heard anything about this before. I promise to google it up after lunch, but if anyone knows anything off-hand it'd be greatly appreciated.

on preview: Thank you ed.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:23 PM on June 17, 2003


Hey, anybody know what happened to the FatChuck's list of corrupt CD's? Did somebody just forget to pay their hosting bill, or did the RIAA even stop people from identifying which audio CD's to avoid?
posted by pmurray63 at 2:24 PM on June 17, 2003


Once again, I'd like to forward this idea: in US *mining* law, anyone can stake a claim, but must improve that claim on an annual basis to keep it. In *copyright* law, should a provision exist that you either "minimum market" your product, every several years, or lose your copyright?

One of the biggest problems of copyright and copyright protection is *not* the protecting of the big, profitable, new product--but in getting the older, less profitable product to the consumer. Copyright law is *based* on the idea of creating new markets, not protecting old ones.

Huge labels have ENORMOUS libraries of copyrighted content that they just sit on. They don't publish it, but they won't let anyone else publish it either. And *this* is a far worse problem then people stealing their material.

Incredible waste. But if you look at what's available on any P2P network, the vast majority of material is *not* the first run major releases. They are vastly outnumbered by the "fringe" works. So whether or not the producers like it, *some*, often lower quality of the content is getting out there.

So, in other words: if you won't publish your old content, you lose the right to profit from it. Very simple. If you think you can make up buck by selling a *quality* version of the old product, then go for it. Otherwise, it's public domain.
posted by kablam at 2:44 PM on June 17, 2003


I'm glad that the industry is paying attention and learned from the Divx debacle that consumer's won't go for "disposable" entertainment media.

Divx failed because it asked you to pay $100 extra for your DVD player just to be able to play Divx discs at all, because it tied your discs to the player and offered no way to transfer your library to a new player if your existing one died, and because it was yet another device that demanded to be plugged into a phone line. Had these issues been addresesd it might have fared better.

Disposable entertainment media is doing just fine, as evidenced by the popularity of pay-per-view cable broadcasts of recent DVD releases. You don't get any more disposable than something that's gone as soon as you're done watching it.
posted by kindall at 2:46 PM on June 17, 2003


Hail to the Thief is perfectly happy in my PC. I'm in the UK.

Agree with aacheson. There is no longer much benefit to buying music. The time was that we purchased music for benefits of quality and packaging. It was always possible to gather music to ourselves for no cost. Now, we can replicate recordings at their original quality on a bog-standard home PC.

It seems to me that the music industry thrives on copied music. If (and I seriously doubt it) DRM technology works as effectively as is hoped, there is plenty of music that will simply fall into obscurity.
posted by apathetic at 2:47 PM on June 17, 2003


Disposable entertainment media is doing just fine, as evidenced by the popularity of pay-per-view cable broadcasts

Guess you're not up on the card copying for free Direct TV.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:06 PM on June 17, 2003


To add to the list of copy-protected sites from around the globe:
Canadian copy-protection info
Uk copy-protection info
New Zealand copy-protection info
posted by X-00 at 3:11 PM on June 17, 2003


Green Plastic reports that Thief is copy protected everywhere except the United States.

However, the Campaign for Digital Rights suggests differently: "Reported corrupt in the Netherlands, Canada and Israel, and as supplied by CD-WOW and PLAY.com in the UK. The corrupt format is Cactus-200. This CD is reported to cause severe playback problems (sticking on tracks, failing to play, etc) on one tested CD player. Normal playback failed on a tested PC, but cdparanoia extracted the audio without problem. On another PC, winamp playback was possible for all but the last 3 tracks. Some PCs completely fail to recognise the disc. The quality of audio from the special PC player app (when it works) is noticably bad."

If I had to guess, I'd say they were staggering Redbook CDs with some other format. I left a voicemail with Capitol Records PR rep Judi Kerr asking what the official Capitol line is on the copy protection. Will let you know if I hear back from her.
posted by ed at 3:15 PM on June 17, 2003


You only need to look at the flourishing anti-virus industry to see that these measures are never going to work. This will simply become another game of cat-and-mouse between legitimate businesses and hackers who will go to any length to crack the protection just because it is there.

Maybe one day the recording companies will realise that they would be better off commercially to save the billions they are spending on this pointless exercise and put it into reducing the price to the consumer. The reason that most people steal music (apart from those who do it simply because they can) is because the commercial product is beyond their means, either for reasons of personal financial situation or the high cost of the product. If the product were significantly cheaper, the incentive to steal would reduce, particularly given the somewhat spotty quality of downloaded music files. So I've heard, anyway. Personally, I would be more than happy to pay a reasonable price for a CD, with the knowledge that the quality will be at its best, but it is had to justify buying a whole CD at today's prices for a few tracks that you know you like and a bunch of unknowns.
posted by dg at 3:21 PM on June 17, 2003


ed: Would have gladly ponied up the dough for Thom Yorke & Co.'s latest opus. But it looks like I'll just have to attend concerts to show my support instead

Why bother going to shows if they're screwing you with the cds? I can't really make a distinction between a band as powerful as Radiohead and the record company that cripples their cds. I'm sure the band wanted the "protection." (of course, ditching radiohead shows is easy for me, i think they're overrated anyway)
posted by eyeballkid at 9:55 PM on June 17, 2003


You are rather naive about the recording industry, eyeballkid. (I myself often have to catch my breath at how stupid some of these companies are, but it's nothing new. It's been corrupt since Caruso.)

The copyright on Radiohead albums is owned by EMI. Standard industry practice; (some bands manage to keep hold of their copyrights, but it's a rare occurance) Remember that at the Radiohead signed the contract before "Pablo Honey", they had no leverage. So, basically, EMI owns the recording and do with it whatever they like, and the band objections will be ignored, even though Thom at least has expressed dismay at how bad these fake CDs on a lot of players. There's been a few other EMI or Virgin-signed bands who are not at all happy about how EMI have released their music, but legally, they can't do a thing about it.

I just hope US music fans raise a massive stink when (not if) Capitol start this bullshit in the US, since they still have limited fair use allowances to fall back on.

But now Radiohead are out of contract, they've got all the leverage in the world; there's some talk they might go the same route as Pearl Jam and blow off the majors.
posted by GrahamVM at 12:55 AM on June 18, 2003


Hail To The Thief is corrupt. It does not have the CD Audio logo, instead there's a "Copy Controlled" logo on the cover. On the Mac in the office the limited-edition version has pops and clicks throughout whether you play it as an audio cd or rip it with iTunes.

From reading about this subject the disc also contains a data track with a compressed version of the audio for play back in PCs and, supposedly, Macs.
posted by gi_wrighty at 8:08 AM on June 18, 2003


You are rather naive about the recording industry, eyeballkid.

Am I, or is Thom Yorke?
posted by eyeballkid at 5:48 PM on June 20, 2003


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