The Internet of 2020: more cellphones, intolerance; less DRM

15 12 2008

More than 500 Internet “activists, builders, and commentators” gave their opinions to the Pew Internet & American Life Project on how technology would evolve over the next 11 or so years. Among other things, they believe that mobile phones will become the most common way to get online, DRM will continue to die, and social tolerance won’t get any better.

Read More…

The content in this post was found at
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20081215-the-internet-of-2020-more-cellphones-intolerance-less-drm.html
and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Studios (temporarily?) gain upper hand in Blu-ray DRM battle

15 12 2008

Blu-ray’s BD+ DRM scheme is temporarily functional again, and an increasing number of new movies can’t be decoded by the current version of Slysoft’s AnyDVD HD. It’s a game of DRM cat-and-mouse, and the studios are currently out in front.

Read More…

The content in this post was found at
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20081215-studios-temporarily-gain-upper-hand-in-blu-ray-drm-battle.html
and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Electronic Arts’ Online Battle Over DRM

10 12 2008

A battle has long been underway in the virtual world; rights holders such as video game producer Electronic Arts (EA) want to protect their proprietary software to the greatest extent possible while end-users playing the games often find the means of protection, commonly known as Digital Rights Management (DRM) to be overly restrictive. DRM allows the producer to “control in detail what can and cannot be done” with a particular copy of a work, such as the encryption devices that make it difficult to copy DVDs or the number of copies a user can make when purchasing a song from the iTunes store.

more

The content in this post was found at http://jetl.wordpress.com/2008/12/11/electronic-arts-online-battle-over-drm/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Electronic Arts’ Online Battle Over DRM

9 12 2008

A battle has long been underway in the virtual world; rightsholders such as video game producer Electronic Arts want to protect their proprietary software to the greatest extent possible while end-users playing the games often find the means of protection, commonly known as Digital Rights Management, or DRM, to be overly restrictive. DRM allows the producer to “control in detail what can and cannot be done” with a particular copy of a work, such as the encryption devices that make it difficult to copy DVDs or the number of copies a user can make when purchasing a song from the iTunes store.

For EA, the most recent battle has come about with the release of its landmark game Spore. The game allows users to begin as a single-celled organism, evolve into animals, and eventually establish a civilization. It sounded like an exciting game and had the gaming world abuzz leading up to its 2008 release. Unfortunately for EA, Spore soon faced a backlash over its DRM software, SecuROM, which many users claimed caused conflicts with their computers’ hardware and software.

EA soon relaxed Spore’s DRM, but its troubles did not end there. On September 22, 2008, Maryland resident Melissa Thomas brought a class action lawsuit in the Northern District of California on behalf of Spore Purchasers, complaining about problems caused by the SecuROM software.  The claim alleges that EA does not adequately inform consumers that SecuROM, an independent program, will be “automatically and secretly installed” along with the game. Further claims refer to SecuROM as spyware and “a virus.” The full complaint can be viewed in PDF form here.

Despite EA’s best efforts to control the distribution of Spore, the game, which launched in October, has become the most pirated game of the year. As with many forms of DRM, end-users complain that they’d rather download a copy that works without restriction than purchase a copy that impairs their use. Some even go so far as to purchase a legitimate copy, while downloading another copy to avoid Spore’s DRM. Under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, however, even an attempt to circumvent DRM constitutes infringement. Further, the distributors of online copies may be liable for harsher penalties for contributory infringment or inducing users to infringe.

That so many users would go to such lengths to avoid DRM protections indicates a serious problem with EA’s model as it currently stands. On the other hand, it could be that DRM complaints come from a small, but vocal internet minority. Nevertheless, with over 2 million illegal downloads, one wonders what balance producers can strike to protect their content without infuriating their customers.

Others have speculated that EA has more sinister motives; they claim EA is attempting to kill the videogame resale market, conducted by such retailers as GameStop, by limiting how many times and on how many computers the product can be installed. Hampered by the first-sale doctrine, videogame producers such as EA generally cannot restrict legitimate owners from reselling copies of the game they have purchased. However, if strong DRM software such as SecuROM is in place, a used copy is worthless because the game cannot be installed on new computers.

Has DRM made the first-sale doctrine a relic? Practitioner Mitchell D. Kamarck argues that the doctrine is a “dinosaur” entitled to a “quick and dignified death.” If the doctrine is eliminated, what will replace it? Others, such as Professor R. Anthony Reese have  suggested possible statutory changes to accomodate the doctrine in light of digital media. It seems that rightsholders might be happy to have stronger protections and eleminate the pesky first-sale doctrine, but doing so may bring about a consumer backlash and even congressional action. If content producers alienate their customers and fans, they may hurt themselves in the long run.

–Brian Van Wyk



Here’s one for the copyright lawyers with a mind for ethical matters

8 12 2008

Let’s just say I’ve purchased some media from overseas, legally and ethically from a source that doesn’t cheat the original artists out of their fair share.

Now let’s assume that the content of the media is in a language that I don’t speak and that it hasn’t yet been released with subtitles.

more

The content in this post was found at http://thinkerspodium.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/heres-one-for-the-copyright-lawyers-with-a-mind-for-ethical-matters/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Editorial: FCC Commisioner wants DRM, ISP filtering, new job

7 12 2008

FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate will soon be out of a job. Given a recent and not particularly thoughtful speech on piracy, DRM, and ISP filtering, that’s probably a good thing.

Read More…



Apple adds DMCA charge to lawsuit against Psystar

6 12 2008

It accuses clone maker of breaking Mac OS copy-protection scheme

function showHideShare() {
var share_link;
share_link = document.getElementById(“share_link”);
if (share_link.className == “share”) {
share_link.className = “share_expanded”;
}
else {
share_link.className = “share”;
}

var element;
element = document.getElementById(“share_container”)
if (element.style.display == “none”){
element.style.display = “”;
} else {
element.style.display = “none”;
}
}

November 30, 2008 (Computerworld) Apple Inc. last week added new charges to the federal lawsuit it filed nearly five months ago against a Florida clone maker, claiming that Psystar Corp. broke antipiracy defenses that lock Apple’s operating system to its own hardware.

more



Valve says DRM is stupid, but Microsoft still doesn’t get it

3 12 2008

Valve’s Gabe Newell calls most forms of DRM “stupid,” but Microsoft’s Randy Milller’s response misses the point entirely. The war between PC gamers and publishers seems likely to continue.

Read More…



Apple iTunes to launch DRM free music from Universal, Sony and Warner

28 11 2008

We talked about the relationship between drm and music-lovers many many times, both on our blog and during conferences and events: DRM, as such, is a loosing war.

So Apple is about to sell DRM-free music from Universal, Sony and Warner on its iTunes online store, something that both Wall-Mart and Amazon have been able to do for months.

more

The content in this post was found at http://ipfaber.wordpress.com/2008/11/28/universal-sony-and-warner-allow-itunes-to-launch-drm-free-music/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Inaction on disconnect pleas at root of Aussie ISP lawsuit

21 11 2008

Major movie studios aren’t happy that Australian ISP iiNet won’t disconnect users after receiving evidence that they have been sharing movies over BitTorrent. iiNet doesn’t want to play traffic cop, but Australian law does demand it have (and act on) a disconnection policy for copyright infringers.

Read More…