Tag Archives: digital-rights-management

DRM and You: How to Break the Cycle


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One person who called in to the live show the other night had some pretty tough questions for me about DRM. He asked my thoughts on the direction of DRM technologies and the perceived war on consumers by media giants… mostly the methods the companies are using to interfere with the fair uses that we enjoy.

It all boils down to a matter of control. A lot of the media produced by the larger companies are what is consumer unfriendly. When you buy an audio file that is licensed for playback only on a certain system, that’s where it’s unfriendly. It tends to happen when a particular service is pulled or cancelled and your music (or video) becomes completely inaccessible… even if you paid for it.

It’s not that I have an issue with something being tied to a certain platform. I don’t mind that. I don’t appreciate DRM in any capacity. It feels too much like being locked in to a particular vendor.

Piracy is going to happen whether or not there is DRM on our media. DRM isn’t deterring anything… it’s making the thieves work harder to find ways around it. DRM is hurting those of us who are honest, and pay for our music, games and movies. Thankfully, I don’t see DRM in its current form being around forever.

If there’s any company out there who is going to destroy DRM, it will be Apple. They’re already well on their way with their iTunes Plus program: pay a fee every month and have the DRM removed from the content. You can play it anywhere you like from then on, without any hassles.

I understand why companies are doing what they’re doing, but I disagree with the way they’re going about it. It’s just not working the way they intended it. Digital reproduction is not going away. The companies either need to get with the program or go away.

If you’re against DRM, then don’t support it. Pay for services that have DRM-free files, such as eMule. I happen to have a coupon for that particular website. Email me for more information if you’re interested.

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iPad DRM Thoughts


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Dylan feels that the iPad is a step back in content consumption, due to the fact that there is DRM all over it. We’ve tried so hard to move away from the DRM environment. He points out that the Marvel Comic Book app takes away the fun of trading comic books with your friends as an example.

At first I thought he had been reading Cory Doctorow, but it turns out that he didn’t even know who he was. I’m definitely not a fan of DRM. The argument could be made that the iPad is a step back in content consumption as far as DRM goes. However, I sat in my bed the other night with my iPad and caught up on my favorite television shows. I have no want or need to store those elsewhere. If there was DRM keeping me from doing things with them, I wasn’t aware of it.

As far as limitations as to what you can do with the content you’re watching on the iPad, I don’t think most of the world cares or will notice. I don’t like DRM, but I don’t see it as a huge issue with the iPad.

I digest content in an ad-hoc on-demand capacity. I subscribe to Rhapsody. Rhapsody has DRM, but why does that matter to me? I pull up the app and play the music that I want to hear. This is the same thing when you buy a CD. You own the physical disc, and the right to listen to it. You DON’T own the right to the music itself, and don’t have the rights to copy it to other places and people.

DRM is a tricky thing, to be sure. There are a lot of people on both sides of the line. However, with the iPad I don’t see it as being a huge issue.

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DRM and Greed

Bruce Munro has been listening – and my videos on DRM and the future of the RIAA really set him off:

Before the RIAA can get back the business, they might want to look at what got them here. In the 60’s and 70’s, a 50 cent 45 RPM record was a promotional item, meant to entice the public to buy the LP. It was relatively successful but even if the LP was a dog, they made a small profit on the millions of 45’s sold.

Within a few years that same 45 was $2.49 and the record companies had already started to market new artists with little quality material, poor preparation and lots of filler to pad out $10 LP’s. People started to get smarter and just bought the 45’s but at least they were still buying. CD technologies were introduced and the price of an LP (CD) shot up to $25 with assurances from the music industry that prices would fall back to LP levels as soon as the majority of the public adopted the new technologies.

They lied. They kept prices high, drove vinyl off the shelves and created a brand new problem. They manufactured a perfect digital copy of the program and were helpless to prevent the duplication and eventual distribution through the internet. Smarter teens can simply fire up the family digital TV, go to the “radio” stations they all contain, hook up their media recorder and go away for a few days. Digital music, no DRM and easy to edit MP3 format for the computer. Reminds me of the reel to reel recorders and FM radio stations when I was a lad.

Lets see now, they stopped fair cost promotional distribution (45’s). Tripled the cost of the LP and rushed product to market with poor content. Did little in the way of promotion deciding instead to spend that money on litigation suing teenagers hundreds of thousands of dollars (by the way, teenagers don’t have any money) and generally making a pain in the ass of themselves to legislators and law enforcement around the world. I have a great idea, STOP everything you are doing now and lose the lawyers (nobody likes lawyers, really). Get back into the studio and create something worthwhile, stuff those CD’s full of entertainment and sell it for $10.

Lets see. 100 million CD’s at $10 as opposed to 1 million at $20. Do the math and for god sakes get that music executive a calculator because odds are he still doesn’t get it. One last thing, get your house in order, the artists are starting to promote themselves on the internet, many successfully. RIAA are you listening.

DRM is an unnecessary evil – so long as trust is well placed.

DRM is Depressing

DRM makes people sad, depressed, confused…

Hey chris, my name is Lucas Oliveiro, I am from Malaysia. First I’d like to say what a big fan I am of your work and what you do, I always wanted to ask questions but didn’t know how to go about it till I saw one of your videos asking the user’s to directly email you.

So now, first what is DRM? What is the purpose of DRM protected files? If while ripping a CD using Windows Media Player do I have the option to not protect the file with DRM? If the answer is no, is there any separate software which could do that.

I want to convert a WMA file to MP3, but I wasn’t finding any software that would be able to do this. The only solution I had was to record the WMA file in real-time with Media Blaze Pro, and the sound quality was really bad. Please let me know is there any converter software and not real-time recording software.

I don’t see the point of this protection; the CD which I rip was an original disc, and I need to convert the file so that I can save it to my mp3 player. Are all WMA files DRM copy protected? Or is there other types of copy protection? How do I remove this DRM protection if it’s already there?

Chris please help me out, Whoever who created this DRM thingy must be really smart… duhh…. he expects us to carry around our desktops and laptops listening to our tunes on Windows Media Player… and I thought gone were the days where the people would carry around their stereo… HELP ME!!!!! Cheers, mate!

What is DRM?

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Clone69 wants to know wha exactly DRM is.

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management, and it’s a piece of code that is intended to help curb content piracy. The problem is that DRM is a colossal failure:

  • It annoys users
  • Gets in their way
  • It’s not a good experience
  • And it doesn’t stop people from pirating content, at all.

Take Ponzi, for example: she had a Napster, Urge, and iTunes accounts. Because each vendor uses their own form of DRM they can’t play music bought from each store. So, each time she goes to a new provider she needs to purchase the same songs over again. How many times is she going to buy access to the same song? She could save money by buying the CD, ripping the CD herself, and then not worry about being restricted with what she can do with the content.

The easiest way to get around DRM is to purchase the content. Buy the CD or DVD and rip it to your machine. That way you’ll get the content you purchased plus the added ability to play that content in whatever machine you want to.

What do you think about DRM?

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