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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



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.)


[User Picture]From: 0bsessions
2008-02-07 04:57 pm (UTC)
It's not so simple. DRM amounts, in a lot of cases, to spyware essentially. It can cause a lot of problems in your software and is overall restrictive to the user and rarely properly labeled.

For example, Sony lost a class action lawsuit over DRM contained on a chunk of CDs they released in 2005. I myself encountered it through a Foo Fighters album. The DRM limited you to only being able to rip the CD to a computer using WMA format. I bought the CD with the intent of uploading it to my iPod, but was shit out of luck, because the DRM kept the files protected from converting it to mp3. When I E-Mailed Sony asking how to correct this so that I could upload the CD I paid for to my portable music player, they told me there was no way to do so and then tried to sell me on a Sony MP3 player that would work with it (Because the simplest solution to one CD not working is to buy an entirely new $250 mp3 player). Fortunately, the government found this to be a load of crap as well and forced Sony to hand over refunds or provide a free non-DRM download of the album.

Outside the region of purely music related, Capcom was doing similar crap with video games, only even worse. The DRM they used for a couple of their Windows based games ended up being completely unremovable. Even if you uninstalled the software that contained it, the DRM would remain and cause potential conflicts and crashes with Windows. They got in some serious shit for that one.

In concept, DRM seems like a justifiable idea. Studios and creators deserve to be compensated for their hard work. In practice, though? It's been a miserable wreck and an utter failure. The entire idea needs to be done away with until they can find something that doesn't limit the user or cause problems with their software.
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[User Picture]From: thetathx1138
2008-02-07 05:02 pm (UTC)
The entire idea needs to be done away with until they can find something that doesn't limit the user or cause problems with their software.

I agree with you except for this.

Basically, people need to get paid, and without DRM, that's not happening to the degree that it SHOULD. Hell, it's not happening to the degree that it should NOW.

I think the large corporations are generally assholes about the way they handle it because they do it in a big, clumsy and stupid way (witness your examples above.)
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[User Picture]From: perspicuity
2008-02-07 05:36 pm (UTC)
DRM != rootkits

by which i mean, many things have DRM, that require nothing particularly heinous to use. some of them just work out of the box without you even knowing it but illegally copy that software, and you'll know (stops working; some of it might even call home and report you). legal holder of the key? generally not a worry. in the FUTURE you can even keep your old speshul PC around as a virtual machine forevers.

ebook? audio books? sure, you're going to need the special program for that, or a license product (mp3 player for instance). the fact they CAN mess with you, and by and large the majority don't, is just FUD (fear uncertainty doubt). think about all the software on your modern home computer. any single piece of that could mess with you. any of it. the fact that most software is harmless is a good thing.

here's a pretty common one that nearly everyone can relate to right now, noe of this fuzzy "ebook" stuff that people are going on about. downloaded a document in PDF? well, those can be locked. DRM built in. it's had that forever. it's also a pretty dead end format. it's hard to convert out of (there are SOME tools, but they work not so well). adobe 0wns PDF format, and they own the software that works best at displaying it. at any time, they could put code into their viewers to mess with you. that's not to their benefit and it would be dumb. there are other viewers out there, and they work reasonably well (if not perfectly), but if you want the latest feature set, or your docs are encrypted, you might not be able to play unless you go adobe. i don't see people complaining about adobe, PDF, and DRM much. well, ever.

it's pretty sad that sony, most notably, did what they did. my understanding is that their cds played just fine on a normal cd player, and on linux and macos even? nothing wrong with the music. sony installed a nice little music management copy protection software onto PCs - one could argue it's DRM, but what they really did was install trojan/virus onto your system and to me, that's a horse of an entirely different color. to repeat: they didn't mess with the data, they messed with your computer. that's hacker/cracker stuff. that's bad. sony music corp bad. very bad. music good. they're getting slapped around a lot for that. me? i won't buy any sony music. nor much of their product line anymore either. sony claims it's "not their fault" and an over zealous third party did it. oops. too late.

oddly enough, there's no region locking on their PSP games. just goes to show that one division of a company isn't the same as the rest. i'd guess sony computer is pretty different than sony music.

so remember, DRM is potentially good when used properly. DRM != rootkitting your pc. software of any kind can be used for good or evil. DRM is a technique, not necessarily an invasive software rootkit.

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[User Picture]From: thetathx1138
2008-02-07 05:45 pm (UTC)
The stuff I like best is just the stuff that stops the copying. No narcing, no rootkits, nothing like that, just "Hey! You can't just copy this! Stop being an asshole!"
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[User Picture]From: perspicuity
2008-02-07 06:08 pm (UTC)
people think they have it rought now? heh.

back in the day, SOME copy protection software actually would erase (or attempt to) your drives, and play horrible sounds, and flash nasty messages about being a pirate; good stuff ;)

problem is, sometimes it would trigger even on legal installs. bugs. if you're going to erase someone's drives, at least be sure ;)

remember that hack that was going around that would erase your .mp3s? yah, that was funny :>

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