IBM, with the latest attempt to put the genie back in the bottle.
January 22, 2001 10:41 AM   Subscribe

IBM, with the latest attempt to put the genie back in the bottle. Their fatal flaw is betting on a post-napster world, though I bet their EMMS technology gets cracked before that ever happens.
posted by mathowie (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Why does the music industry think Napster is going to go away? Even if the company does eventually morph into corporate-whore status, OpenNap will still be around, right?
posted by aaron at 11:51 AM on January 22, 2001

Oh, bloody hell. Why did I get up this morning again?

Pardon me, folks, I'm going to go off and cry for a while as the Powers that Be carefully destroy everything good and useful about the computer revolution they have apparently co-opted.

I mean, really, what the hell is the point? Billions upon billions of dollars, countless millions of hours, spent to build an incredible network of information-processing machines - the fastest, most efficient way to copy and give away information that the human race has ever devised - and what do we start doing with it but figuring out clever ways of preventing it from working? Information is now nearly free, or at least dramatically cheaper than it has ever been, to the point that it might as well be free. And what is priority number one? Making it scarce and expensive again!

Why bother at all? Why don't we just unplug the whole damned net right now, if this is its future? Why should we, as human beings, put up with the expense, hassle, and consumption of resources involved in building this global network if all we're going to get out of it is yet another way to get screwed out of our paychecks?

-Mars, in a pessimistic mood
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:57 AM on January 22, 2001

We don't pull the plug, Mars, because there will always be a way around what the corporations want.

cCranium, in an optimistic mood.
posted by cCranium at 12:59 PM on January 22, 2001

If I create something, I have a right to determine how it is used, duplicated, and distributed. I don't see how a technology that can circumvent that right in an extremely efficient way makes the right itself obsolete, or why technology that allows me to enforce that right is somehow immoral. Yes, the Internet is a very efficient tool for giving information away. But what if I don't want to give my information away? Why is that a problem for some people? Why am I, as a creator of something of value, being told that I must give my creation away merely because I can? Who the hell is anyone to accuse me of screwing people out of their paychecks just because I happen to think I have created something of value?
posted by kindall at 2:25 PM on January 22, 2001

You have to trust in the innate goodness of mankind, coz there's nothing anybody can do about it anymore. Copyright as we know it is dead. It will still have use to prevent plagarism, but the copying and distribution of digital media is far too easy, cheap, and efficient now. It may not be good, but it's the way it is.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:39 PM on January 22, 2001

I happen to work for a company (not IBM) that develops digital media security technology, and I think you're way premature in declaring copyright dead. A lot of people are willing to spend a lot of money on ways to protect their content and our company (a rather small and new one) has attracted some of the best engineers I've ever seen. You may be right that in the end copyright "as we know it" will be destroyed, but I don't see the end coming for at least a decade. The battle is really just beginning.
posted by kindall at 2:46 PM on January 22, 2001

I may be premature, I'll readily admit :) but no system is impenetrable. If it can be decoded by software/hardware, it can be decoded by human.
And I do hope good protections are introduced, coz tech developments is tech developments.
I just don't hold a lot of hope for widespread commercial use of these. The more the encryption scheme is propagated, the harder it will be to be assured of it's fidelity (see DVDs ;)
posted by sonofsamiam at 3:02 PM on January 22, 2001

If I create something, I have a right to determine how it is used, duplicated, and distributed.

Up to a point. Unfortunately, a lot of what's going on in this area today (not necessarily on this specific point, but in general) are attempts to control creations even after being sold to the consumer. Right now, if I buy an album, I own the right to listen to that song, as much as I want. I may listen to it once, decide it sucks, and throw it away (or eBay it). I may end up loving it and playing 16,000 between now and the day I die. That's my right. And that includes the right to burn a copy to use so that the original stays safe. And the right to make an MP3 for personal use.

But now the content companies are trying to find ways to force you to pay for each use. If I listen 16,000 times, I pay 16,000 times. And that's just nuts. And it will never work. Look at DiVX.
posted by aaron at 3:33 PM on January 22, 2001

Divx had problems beyond the pay-per-use issue. What really killed it was the fact that a Divx player cost significantly more than a standard DVD player. Also, Divx dics had significantly fewer features than regular DVDs.

If you don't want to pay per listen, then you have a choice: simply don't listen. Nobody needs music (or a movie). It's entertainment. You can't be forced to pay for it because it's something you can easily live without. The people who are trying to sell you entertainment know this and they know that if they don't make the deal palatable, you will just walk away. For this reason it is likely that any pay-per-use scheme will be an alternative to a pay-once scheme. I can think of many circumstances in which I'd be glad to have the option.
posted by kindall at 4:14 PM on January 22, 2001

kindall wrote:what if I don't want to give my information away?

Answer: Then don't put it on the fucking net. Keep it to yourself.
posted by beth at 2:41 PM on January 25, 2001

I feel a bit bad - I work for IBM, and I own IBM stock (thru the Employee Stock Purchase Program). I see at the bottom of this story an IBM stock quote showing the current going price.

So I'm profiting personally from this nonsense. Argh. Er.

Well, I'm looking to quit soon anyway, and I'll sell my stock whenever I do, so I'll be able to wash my hands of it. Finally.
posted by beth at 2:57 PM on January 25, 2001

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