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Event on Saturday to get DRM out of the Boston Public Library [Feb. 7th, 2008|11:04 am]
The Boston Community

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[johnsu01]

DefectiveByDesign.org has announced an action against libraries that support DRM on their collections. Boston locals can join them this Saturday from 1pm to 3pm at the Boston Public Library's main branch, and non-locals are encouraged to stage an action against their own library if it's using DRM.

Read story at Digg

(I'll be there.)

linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: sunow
2008-02-07 04:23 pm (UTC)
It's true, I had no idea what DRM is, and it took me a while to find out what it stood for. Now I'm not sure what the problem with it is. :-/
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[User Picture]From: thetathx1138
2008-02-07 04:34 pm (UTC)
Well, since we're here...

DRM basically restricts what you do with data that you purchase. A good example is if you have an iPod, you might have noticed that you can't take MP3s off of what amounts to a portable hard drive, even if they are rips from your CDs. That's DRM.

DRM basically ranges from a minor annoyance to a serious problem; it can be a violation of consumer rights and can cause computer security or access problems.

That said, looking at the site, this protest seems to be about what amounts to minor annoyances. At best. This might even be DRM the BPL was stuck with by an outside vendor and there's no way around it; obviously nobody at Defective By Design cares enough to research that.
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[User Picture]From: sunow
2008-02-07 04:47 pm (UTC)
Ah, see -- I'm very much a technophobe. I have no iPod or anything like it. In fact, I'm typing this from an Apple 2GS.

I guess I don't understand why it's a problem in media you'd take out from the library -- you're not buying that so you don't have any kind of consumer right to it?
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[User Picture]From: thetathx1138
2008-02-07 04:50 pm (UTC)
Don't ask me. I actually support certain types of DRM, because it keeps people from stealing my work!
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[User Picture]From: baughj
2008-02-07 05:06 pm (UTC)
...No, it doesn't. It just makes it harder. And along the way, you are forced to give up more and more control of your technology to arbitrary authorities (Apple, Microsoft, media cartels) about what you can and cannot do with the things you purchase. DRM isn't about rights, it's about restrictions. It's about converting ownership into rent; it's about a generalized erosion of property rights.

No one would ever suggest that a publisher has the right to come into my house and take back a copy of a book I purchased. Or that I can't give the book to hundreds of my friends to read - or cut up the book and paste it on my wall, if I so wanted, and then take pictures of that and call it my own art.

Why is it reasonable to suggest such things (or worse) for works which can be expressed digitally?
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[User Picture]From: perspicuity
2008-02-07 05:18 pm (UTC)
now i'm getting fuzzy... imho and all that. opinions may vary, contents may settle.

read the shrink wrap on software and movies. they generally try to assert that they own the software and all rights bleah bleah bleah, except that you are given a limited license to use and view it. the DR is already in the legal contract. yeah yeah, limited enforcement on shrinkwrap stuff. so they're also trying to enforce that via other methods. DRM != rootkits necessarily (those suck).

actually, yeah, some publishers would like to take their books back :) but also, down the line, if you destroy your book, you're not going to be able to ask the publisher for a backup copy. they really don't want you to lend it either. the fact you CAN is a particular they can't work around. trust me, if they could figure that out, they would. movies? in theory, you buy it for YOUR enjoyment. you're not suppoed to have "showings" or lend it out. they really hate that, but there's little they can do. at no time though do you OWN the movie or its content. just the shiny deliverly platter.

digital media is new. content is similar to old stuff (books). one of the complaints is that "books last forever" - well, no, not really. yes, i have a book 150 years old. exceptional really. that paperback i bought last week? i doubt it'll last 20 years of reading and lending.

so, cut up your cds, and make art. just don't sample them. that's bad ;)

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[User Picture]From: thetathx1138
2008-02-07 05:23 pm (UTC)
Spare me the canned sermon, because it's missing a good chunk of scripture.

I agree to a point about consumer rights, and I loathe VOD, but the reality is, digital media and physical media are not the same and cannot be treated as such. You can loan a book to your friends, sure, but that's not just the intellectual property; that's the physical object that you, yourself, purchased. You can't just stick the book in a printing press and run off 100,000 copies to sell out of your house.

It would be nice if people behaved ethically, but you know what? Enough don't that it makes DRM a necessary evil. I don't approve of all the ways that it's used or the problems with consumer rights that you mentioned.

But there's an easy way around that: don't buy digital media. I notice, however, DRM-haters like to avoid having that discussion...
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[User Picture]From: lillyflowers
2008-02-07 05:06 pm (UTC)
It doesn't matter whether you purchase it from Amazon or borrow it from the BPL. Things like Sony's root kit can really mess up your system's software and open you up to malicious software.

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[User Picture]From: johnsu01
2008-02-07 06:58 pm (UTC)
The service is dangerous and sets a dangerous precedent for the future of the library collection. We're not just talking about audiobooks, we're talking about ebooks too. And we're not talking about copyright protection, we're talking about something on top of that -- DRM schemes are independently enforced by the law, separate from copyright.

Part of this is letting the library know that they have the backing of a large number of people if they want to stand up for this. If alternative arrangements need to be made to fund the library and rightsholders to make this possible, then that can be done, as it is being done for music now. If they know that a lot of people support that, maybe it will seem more realistic.

Everyone in the chain of DRM products has a chance to stop it -- we definitely work on the producer end too, but working on the demand side of things is also important.
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[User Picture]From: perspicuity
2008-02-07 04:43 pm (UTC)
well, you've got DRM on your DVDs... prevents you from [in theory] copying them or using them in a region the 'rights holder' doesn't want you to. hah. with physical media, you eventually have to return it. physical media also wears out. eventually they have to replace it, or get rid of it (for good). libraries don't have infinite storage space right? they have to choose. the DRM argument presented would have you think that they'll always have a copy of something - for important works, that may be true, but it's sometimes the case in smaller libraries that old books are tossed out. even old, rare books. i heart library book sales :)

effective DRM on the other hand, can be annoying to those with certain needs. an expiration date is like returning the book. need it again? check it out again.

it's also really annoying to those who want a free lunch. which is to say, piracy.

if the library encodes their materials before release, maintaining archival copies for their own internal long term use, it's probably pretty happy. they can store a LOT of material this way. then they have an IT issue of maintaining backups and archives and that's messy too. let's have a rally that address their IT solutions as well. how do we know the backups will work in 50 years? ;)

if the library doesn't do their own encodings (likely), they are saddled by the maker's requirements themselves - just like you or me if we bought it ourselves. that has more to do with the industry currently. it's not the library's fault nor under their control. don't like it? buy more books at baen.com and support non DRM'ed eBooks (lots of free books too). Amazon currently has DRM'ed on their eBooks, and so does Sony. Amazon seems to be doing particularly well right now.

the ultimate aim of this movement, at this time seems to be: toss out all this material. which would make it not available at all, even in the current potentially annoying manner. which is worse?

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[User Picture]From: thetathx1138
2008-02-07 04:45 pm (UTC)
Remember when the first DVD encryption scheme was cracked by a fifteen-year-old from Norway? Man, did I ever laugh.
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[User Picture]From: perspicuity
2008-02-07 04:57 pm (UTC)
i believe i've already seen hacks for mobipocket and amazon media formats - which are very popular right now. no worries :)

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[User Picture]From: thetathx1138
2008-02-07 05:05 pm (UTC)
For me the funniest "copyright protection" scheme is those little dots they put on film prints now.

"We know it was recorded in Boston! Now, we just need to find out who in Boston has a camcorder!"

FAIL.
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