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UK Publishers Asked for DRM Thoughts & I Offer Some - For Free!
Sunday, November 20 2005 @ 09:56 PM EST

The UK Association of Online Publishers (UK AOP) have announced that their members, online publishers, are being invited by the UK (Parliamentary) All Party Internet Group (APIG) to provide DRM case studies for an APIG DRM study. I have formed the impression they'd like positive DRM experiences.

They would like to figure out to what degree "protection" is needed for both copyright holders and consumers. Well, that's refreshing. At least they are considering consumers. While they don't specifically ask consumers to respond, I don't see why consumers should not express themselves politely. We're all in this together.

Here's the latest. They are thinking that DRM would be a benefit to consumers, because we can buy "the right to read a book just once or pay a fraction of a penny every time" we play a song. Excuse me. When I buy a book in paper form, I already get to read it more than once. On what legal basis are publishers now proposing to sell me a book I can't reread? Copyright law limits copies. But limiting reading? This is an opportunity for me how? It will be cheaper than paying each time I read the book? Is that the plan now, to make us pay per read? Similarly, I don't know how they figure this is a song-listening fiscal opportunity. It is for them, but how is this great for me? I get to pay more than once for the same thing. I'm probably missing something.

Maybe with songs it might make some sense if you weren't sure you liked the song. You could pay to hear it once and see. Of course, you used to be able to walk into a record store and listen for free to see if you wished to buy. So, I guess the new opportunity in DRM is they've figured out a way to make people pay to browse. Talk about your progress. Amazon is experimenting with this idea:

For Amazon Pages, Bezos said, the cost for most books would be a few cents per page, although readers would likely be charged more for specialized reference works. Under Amazon Upgrade, anybody purchasing a paper book could also look at the entire text online, at any time, for a “small” additional charge, Bezos said. For instance, a $20 book might cost an extra $1.99. Copyright holders would determine whether the pages could be printed or downloaded. “We feel strongly that copyright holders get to make these decisions,” Bezos said. . . .

“The Amazon programs are the way copyright is supposed to work,” the Authors Guild’s executive director, Paul Aiken, said Thursday. “You provide access to readers and some compensation flows back to rights holders. It seems like a positive development.”

That may be how the Author's Guild would like copyright to work, but has it until now? If I go to Barnes and Nobles in person, do they charge me to browse? At a higher rate if it is a reference book, to boot? If I jot down something interesting, do they arrest me? If I show something cool to my best friend standing next to me, is it piracy?

Google, Random House, Simon & Schuster and other book publishers are reportedly considering the same type of "service":

Random House, the country’s largest general trade publisher, listed a number of “key components” for any deal, including that “Books will be available for full indexing, search and display” and “No downloading, printing or copying will be permitted.”

I do get why publishers would be excited at the prospect. But what about us? Consumers are always being told DRM plans are for our benefit, but how so? Now we "get" to pay per page view? Per read? Per listen? And after paying the premium price to view a reference book, I can't copy the information I paid for? Not even just for myself? I don't have a photographic memory, so what good is a reference book to me if I can't retain the information? How do I retain it if I can't copy it? Has anyone thought about this from the standpoint of us consumers?

The president of Random House has terms before he'll sign on for Amazon Upgrade, the new system where someone buying a paper book is allowed to also read the book online any time for a “small” additional charge, like $1.99 for a $20 book. Here's how he expresses his worries about pricing for viewing the digital text, which by the way costs him essentially nothing to provide electronically after the first one is scanned:

“We’re worried about pricing. We will not participate on the basis of some small, incremental charge,” said Sarnoff, emphasizing that publishers set suggested prices.

See what I mean? Consumers are to be fleeced at all costs. To the max. Now they've figured out a way to make us pay to browse. It's like the movie moguls. 99 cents isn't enough for a song now, by the way, according to reports that Hollywood is trying to sit on Apple to make them charge more. More and more for something that costs essentially nothing to duplicate forever.

Apple advertizes their iPod as holding 15,000 songs, and at .99 a song, that is $14,850 from my pocket alone to fill my iPod. That isn't enough? People used to listen to the radio all day long for free, did we not? You had to listen to ads. That was it. DRM is no fairyland for consumers. If you compare what we are being offered with what we are used to, rights are being snatched away from us. We get to pay more ... and more, and more ... and we get less and less. The only benefits stem from the technology, not from the content. We've traded convenience for, well... for everything else, outstandingly fair use.

Here's my favorite topic from the list of topics they are investigating:

*Whether DRM systems can have unintended consequences on computer functionality.

*Can* they? I think they can skip that one, after Sony. It's no longer a theoretical. By the way, there is an iTunes vulnerability associated with the DRM now being reported in the news, so far only in iTunes for Windows. I suggest for them a new topic:

* Whether DRM systems can have astronomically high unanticipated legal costs for publishers and content holders that will wipe out every penny DRM purportedly saves them

Ponder that. Ask your lawyer to explain the math. P.S. Just a clue: pirates aren't deterred by DRM. Not ever. Just holding down the shift key bypassed the Sony DRM tentacles, I have been told. All Sony did was annoy their paying customers. Oh, and contribute to the destruction of culture, in case they care. Culture, schmulture. If you do the math that way, they ought to notice that they are losing money. Pirates are still there, and the rest of us are less and less interested in their stupid wares. Or should I say Warez?

So, there are my thoughts for you. No charge for my intellectual property, by the way. But don't download or copy or share a word of it. You can read what I wrote, but that's it. I charge for copying, and it's a separately charged service. And no distribution. All you can do with it is clasp it to your dying breast and be buried with it. Otherwise your heirs might read it, and then we'll have to sue your estate for the unauthorized page views or lock them up. Those pirates.

Yeah. Kidding. But betcha some brainiac will charge you for copying. It'll be advertized as a great new benefit DRM makes possible for consumers. Yup. And no niggardly incremental charge for copying either. We're talking monetization here. IP is pure gold, don'tcha know. There's money in the air, and if it's money no one used to make from the same IP, so what? Move with the times. Consumers are so stupid, they'll buy rootkits.

Say. That reminds me. Something I've been meaning to ask. Why did a half million of you buy those CDs? Live and learn, kidlets. Live and learn. DRM is not your friend. Remember: they can't pull this off without us.

Here's the announcement:


UK inquiry into Digital Rights Management: Case studies required

The All Party Parliamentary Internet Group (APIG), a discussion forum between new media industries and Parliamentarians, is to hold a public inquiry into the issues surrounding Digital Rights Management (DRM), including the degree of protection needed for both copyright holders and consumers.

The policy debate around DRM is often cast as an argument between publishers of software, music and movies, anxious to prevent revenue loss from illegal duplication; and consumers, who fear they may lose existing rights to freely enjoy what they have purchased and to pass it on to others when they have finished with it.

However, to portray the issues surrounding DRM as merely a consumer versus publisher debate is misleading, according to APIG. It points to wider applications of DRM in, for example, allowing individuals to buy the right to read a book just once, or pay a fraction of a penny every time they play a song. This allows publishers greater flexibility in the services they offer and leads to increased consumer choice, says the Parliamentary Group.

The inquiry will focus on:

  • Whether DRM distorts traditional trade-offs in copyright law
  • Whether new types of content sharing license (such as Creative Commons or Copyleft) need legislation changes to be effective
  • How copyright deposit libraries should deal with DRM issues
  • How consumers should be protected when DRM systems are discontinued
  • To what extent DRM systems should be forced to make exceptions for the partially sighted and people with other disabilities
  • What legal protections DRM systems should have from those who wish to circumvent them
  • Whether DRM systems can have unintended consequences on computer functionality
  • The role of the UK Parliament in influencing the global agenda for this type of technical issue.

AOP views this inquiry as an opportunity for online publishers to submit information on the positive ways in which DRM can be used to help define and administer legitimate on-demand publishing and subscription services in the future.

Members with examples/case studies of the way in which they have already adopted DRM technologies to help improve and develop on line services are requested to email these to Alex White, director of AOP, so these can be included in our submission to the inquiry to highlight the benefits for both publishers and consumers. Please email your examples to by Friday 9 December.


UK Publishers Asked for DRM Thoughts & I Offer Some - For Free! | 187 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
OT Here, please
Authored by: fredex on Sunday, November 20 2005 @ 10:03 PM EST
please leave OT replies here

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here, please
Authored by: fredex on Sunday, November 20 2005 @ 10:10 PM EST
Please leave corrections here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

UK Publishers Asked for DRM Thoughts & I Offer Some - For Free!
Authored by: John Hasler on Sunday, November 20 2005 @ 10:20 PM EST
> What legal protections DRM systems should have from those
> who wish to circumvent them

None. The rest doesn't matter.

Licensed under the GNU General Public License

[ Reply to This | # ]

Maybe with songs it might make sense...
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 20 2005 @ 10:31 PM EST
PJ: Maybe with songs it might make some sense if you weren't sure you liked the song

Not really, now that I no longer buy DRM'd music and deal with musicians as directly as I can, most of these sites have a "listen" now where you can check out the music before you buy.

Here's my favorite musician's site, Candyrat. Check it out, apart from some incredible guitar solos (plug), you'll actually be able to listen to 60 seconds of each track.

Instead of doing a boycott of the RIAA we should boycott any DRM.

On another note, I have met a number of people at Sony. The more technically savvy are exasperated with DRM. One "high up exec" once said to me, "I don't know why we bother" (with DRM).

[ Reply to This | # ]

UK Publishers Asked for DRM Thoughts & I Offer Some - For Free!
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 20 2005 @ 10:32 PM EST
I'm concerned Pam, that you aren't going to like Windows Vista.

Actually, I concerned that a lot of people won't like Vista.

Where on earth Microsoft ever got the idea that we wanted Digital Restrictions
Managment as a core OS feature?

Maybe people were sending emails to Microsoft asking for it.

I just think maybe Micorosoft is painting themselves into a corner with Vista
and DRM.

[ Reply to This | # ]

UK Publishers Asked for DRM Thoughts & I Offer Some - For Free!
Authored by: dkpatrick on Sunday, November 20 2005 @ 10:33 PM EST
I guess I'm old enough to wonder why people MUST stick a plug in their ear and
listen to "tunes" 24 by 7. Reading, listening to the news, most
anything that involves interacting with people ... those have all waned as
people are listening to their iPod or their cellphone.

The music companies are within their rights to charge whatever they want for the
product they create. We are within our rights to not partake. Just as it is with
gasoline, the higher the price, the lower the consumption.

The world will not end if Eminem is never heard from again.

"Keep your friends close but your enemies closer!" -- Sun Tzu

[ Reply to This | # ]

So paper isn't dead yet...
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 20 2005 @ 10:34 PM EST
Everything you've said makes me want to pop round to the B&N and browse.
The coffeeshop didn't do anything for me (I hate coffee) but this...

[ Reply to This | # ]

OK, I'll Bite: What Happens To My Local Library??!
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 20 2005 @ 10:37 PM EST
I suppose then that I'll have to swipe my library card at checkout. Then, at
home, the two way RFD will log the pages that I read and re-read, and maybe
deduct those that I don't. And when I return the book I'll get billed

Calling Mr. Orwell......

[ Reply to This | # ]

I imagine that, somehow, bookpaper will disappear. n/t
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 20 2005 @ 10:45 PM EST

[ Reply to This | # ]

Out of control online sharing IS A PROBLEM? If you got an idea for a solution POST IT HERE:
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 20 2005 @ 10:46 PM EST
Is there a solution? Any Suggestions? Out of control online sharing IS A

What is the sense in taking a creative writing course if everything you wrote
got on the internet and was shared by everyone out there for free? The idea of
a stuggling artist eating out of garbage cans getting the wife pregnant and the
kids scampering around in the wilderness eating mushrooms and berries JUST IS
NOT GOING TO WORK. The business end of this has to work.

Any suggestions by anyone out there as to how it can?

Post Here:

[ Reply to This | # ]

UK Publishers Asked for DRM Thoughts & I Offer Some - For Free!
Authored by: fxbushman on Sunday, November 20 2005 @ 11:01 PM EST
It used to be that when we bought a book or a phonograph record or tape or cd it
was ours, to do with as we pleased. We paid for it; we gave the producer some
money and bought that right. The problem now is nothing more than corporate
greed. The self-imaged titans of commerce who run the megacorps that infest the
world economy nowadays require obscene salaries for their royal lifestyles and
can get it only by providing less and less value for the consumer's cash. If you
are selling literature or music (or anything else, really) you can do this by
making sharing impossible so that everyone has to buy his own copy of whatever
it is. In the end, of course, this colossal greed will destroy these folks. It
is not unlike the parasite that, giving itself to unchecked growth, destroys its
host and hence itself. Can the day be far off when I am forbidden to loan my
electric drill to a neighbor by implementation of DRM? I can easily imagine a
way to do it, and don't doubt that it too will come. The greed of these people
is beyond measure.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Maybe this isn't really a problem?
Authored by: brian-from-fl on Sunday, November 20 2005 @ 11:03 PM EST

At first blush, it sounds like some people exploring different opportunities for making money. It sounds to me a lot like the push for application hosting. Unless there are more sinister undercurrents (such as patenting the plot devices in which "the butler did it"), it seems to be that the best approach is to sit back and enjoy the show.

For example, application hosting and Microsoft's new licensing and DRM pushes had me worried until I saw the development of Linux, G++, and now OpenOffice.og 2, the GIMP, and Inkscape. Let 'em charge a penny per letter (and 1/2 cent for each spell check, and so on). I can take a different path now. As long as they no longer have a monopoly (which isn't assured but it is more hopeful than ever before), people will have a choice. We can then be entertained as poor business ideas crash and burn, rather than be horrified as a monopoly rams them down our throats.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I think I missed out on some DRM experiences
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 20 2005 @ 11:14 PM EST
Ever since the early days of Windows 95, I've turned off the auto insert
notification on the CD ROM properties. It was an annoyance having software
programs auto starting and music disks auto playing.

I looking back, I suppose I could have played DRM discs and not known it.

The way I play CDs is I put them in the drive. I start Winamp, right click and
select Play Audio CD.

I'm not in a habit of looking at audio disks with data file managers, because I
don't expect to find data on them.

As far as I know Winamp, just looks for audio tracks when you tell it to Play
Audio CD

Maybe there were data files on some of the CDs all along wanting to provide me
with a world of marvelous benefits and enhanced features, only I didn't know it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

DRM Thoughts
Authored by: cab15625 on Sunday, November 20 2005 @ 11:23 PM EST
I'm tired enough that my brain is plays tricks on me when I read these things.
"DRM thoughts" is all I got out of the title the first time. And it
scared me. Then I started to read PJ's article and I realized that that's now
what it is about. Then I kept on reading PJ's article and I realized that
that's probably what some of these companies would like it to be about. That
would be the ultimate achievement for the likes of RIAA, MPAA and BSA.
"Not only can you buy the right to listen to our song once, but if we catch
you humming the catchy tune we'll get to charge you again!" This, now that
I think about it, is one possible logical extreme of the DRM mentality.

Seriously. Think of your favourite song. Now, try to get it out of your head.
Imagine if someone could charge you money for everytime you replay it in your

It's probably time to go to bed.

Slackin' since 4.0

[ Reply to This | # ]

The benefit of DRM for the "consumer"...
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 20 2005 @ 11:52 PM EST

... that I recall hearing/reading about was mainly to do with the publishers being able to provide us with wonderful "content" when it's protected by DRM schemes. Without DRM, of course, there will be no incentive for anyone with a creative thought to publish it. Not that this makes any sense since publishers have been providing interesting materials for us to buy to read, listen to, and otherwise enjoy for several hundred years without any sort of DRM. But... that's the cock and bull story the publishers are trying to feed us. (Personally, I don't think too many people are listening to them -- which is not good, BTW -- and that those that are aren't buying this line of hooey.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Look for the symbol ...
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 20 2005 @ 11:56 PM EST
Following PJ's implicit advice ("why did so many of you buy ..."), let me point out that it is dead simple to decide if a CD has any of this DRM nonsense on it or not.

If it has the little "Compact Disk" symbol on it, then it's a traditional everyday CD like all those you've bought for years, and it doesn't have any shenanigans on it.

If it doesn't have the "Compact Disk" symbol on it, peer at it, then slowly and carefully put it back on the shelves so the store manager can see you, and don't buy it.


[ Reply to This | # ]

UK Publishers Asked for DRM Thoughts & I Offer Some - For Free!
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 12:03 AM EST
I have been an Emusic subscriber almost from the beginning. They offer
high-quality MP3 files with no DRM whatsoever for about 33 cents per song. I
like the fact that they trust me not to share the files (and I don't!). Not to
mention that they have a great selection of independent artists and labels.

Also check out Audio Lunchbox who offers a similar arrangement.

I will continue to do business with companies that don't treat me like a
criminal, and I encourage others to do the same.

[ Reply to This | # ]

UK Publishers Ask? Have they asked Baen Books for their experience without DRM?
Authored by: Togakure on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 12:21 AM EST
If I may present to you Exhibit One, which is the Free Library, completely DRM-unencumbered unless you really really want a copy of a book in a DRM-encumbered form. Baen Books put this library up on a conversation between one of its writers (Eric Flint, publisher of numerous very good books) and the publisher (Jim Baen).

The story goes that Eric and Jim were chewing the fat one day and Eric pretty much said, "What is all the fuss about online piracy? Don't people do the equivalent when they go to the library or get the book from the second-hand shop?" and Jim said, "Put your money where your mouth is."

So Eric did. And so did several other authors published by Baen Books. And sales in general, both new releases and back order catalogue, rose (as shown here in one of the Palavers written by Eric.

There is a whole lot more information to be found among the Prime Palaver, including this last gem I'll mention about a good grasp of copyright law in the present world. Only thing is, the guy who gave the wonderful speeches mentioned there, which are so applicable to today's world, gave them over 170 (yes, that's right) years ago.

I hope I've been of some assistance here, in my not so humble and definitely bumbling way, to the whole question of what is going on.

In the interests of fair disclosure, I've been a subscriber and avid reader of practically everything in Baen Books' Webscription service. If you want any copies of the DRM-unencumbered books I've got (only some 150 or more, I've lost count. Could be 200+ for all I know), don't ask me, just pop along yourself. As a bonus, if you do subscribe, you get five books free and don't have to buy anything else from there ever again. Unless you want to.



[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Sparhawk on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 12:24 AM EST
I think one of the things that may be spurring the labels to want to increase
prices on music downloads is ringtones. If we are willing to pay AU$5 for a
ringtone, what could they charge us for the CD quality audio of the same track?

On a side note, is there any DRM on ringtones?

If Bill Gates had a cent for every time Windows crashed... Oh wait, he does.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Ringtones - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 07:50 AM EST
The inquiry will focus on:
Authored by: toga on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 01:00 AM EST
Whether new types of content sharing license (such as Creative Commons or Copyleft) need legislation changes to be effective

Legislation changes? WOW, in the UK they have legislation about the Creative Commons and/or Copyleft licenses ?

'Intellectual Property'. Intellect is virtual. Property is real.
'Virtual Reality' Duh! Have Fun - Toga

[ Reply to This | # ]

My own thoughts: Also for free!
Authored by: IRJustman on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 01:11 AM EST
*sigh* I was already boycotting Amazon for abuse of the patent system. Now I
need another reason? Sheesh.

And weren't publishers beaten soundly about the heads and shoulders for trying
to violate the doctrine of first sale a very long time ago? And wasn't the RIAA
given a severe tongue-lashing for the same thing for used records a couple of
years or so ago?

Publishers can't get it through their thick skulls. -WE- have rights, too, you

As I've said in a previous post, there are some things worth killing for. Not
dying for. Kill this stuff by boycotting the companies who dare to foist it
upon us.

This is why I don't do business with Amazon and why I don't own an iPod. And I
will not buy any new Sony hardware especially after the big-time turncoating
we've been treated to.


[ Reply to This | # ]

DRM is to stop LEGAL copying
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 02:47 AM EST
PJ, the light bulb flashed on as I read your commentary. DRM is designed not to
prevent illegal copying, but to curtail copying and use that IS NOW LEGAL AND
FREE. Taking away rights and freedoms that we how posess is not a side effect,
but is the whole point. The idea is to give us as little as possible at any one
time, in the hope that we will keep coming back, money in hand, for more.


[ Reply to This | # ]

One thing the publishing industry forgets...
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 02:56 AM EST
We grant them those rights, and we can stop granting them just as easily!

[ Reply to This | # ]

That's all pretty funny
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 03:16 AM EST
Coming from a lady who uses a rights-reserved license for her own work. In your
world, it's fine for record companies to make no money from their investment, as
long as nobody else does either. I guess it all works by donations.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Free Thoughts - Oh The Irony!!!
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 03:27 AM EST

I had to chuckle when I read the headline for this story thread. Can you imagine
what the reaction would be if an anonymous reader left a perfect suggestion to
the soluion of Digital Rights Management in this thread? Do you think the record
companies would respect that person's copyright? Do you think they would respect
their intellectual property? Somehow, I don't think so.

Before we get started on potential solutions here, it might be helpful if we
think about a few of the issues that exist today, and of what those issues mean
to the majority [i.e. the consumers].

DVD Region Coding
Media companies such as Sony would have us believe that the presence of DRM
technology on DVDs [a format more recent and more technically advanced that
Audio CDs] is simple in application. Yet a DVD that I might purchase on a trip
to the US will not work in a European DVD Player. Is this copyright protection?
No, it is "Region-Coding". This artful use of words is another way of
saying that the cartels which today operate the entertainment industry want to
extort the maximum amount of money they can achieve from every region of the
world. Areas where consumers are used to "paying more" are charged
more. The consumer suffers. Let us turn this around and ask a slightly different

Do you think that artists receive greater per-sale fees for units sold in Europe
than in the US, or do you think that their income is a fixed global rate? Yes,

The entertainment industry has already used technology to extort money out of
Europe, one of their largest market sectors. And they expect us to trust them?

Artist Contracts
If you consider the music industry and in particular the "pop" or
"pop/rock" scene, something quite sinister has been happening to this
market segment for the last 15-20 years or so. Go back to the 70s or 80s [those
of us old enough to remember!] and virtually every popular music act around
wrote their own songs and performed live. Today, most teen-bands have their
songs written for them. The music companies control access to the audiences.
Hopeful musicians, even the really talented ones, have little choice but to sign
whatever contract they can get from a record company. Today those contracts are
incredibly restrictive. So however angered or disappointed we might feel as
consumers, spare a thought for the artists themselves. 20, 30, 40 years ago, an
artist would receive a percentage of all sales made. Today, some record
contracts are so restrictive that many musicians are payed fixed salaries. [OK,
so that has happened with "session musicians" forever]. But the
underlying fact here is that a small handful of very large multinational
companies are now controlling access to the market [the music loving public]. We
haven't really taken much time in this discussion to consider life from the
perspective of the artist. Shame on us. They are the music industry's
"programmers" and we should not ignore them!

Brave New World
If we really believe all that we say here, on this forum, about freedoms, yet at
the same time want musicians to continue to produce music from us, then it's no
good complaining about the music industry as it is today. Linus Torvalds and
Richard Stallman and hundreds of others have shown what can be achieved through
the decelopment of free software. I am writing this comment thanks to a PC
running GNU/Linux and via Firefox, after all. There has to be a parallel here
for the music industry, that we can help them in a way similar to the way that
we have helped ourselves.

Just as we have "LUGs" [Linux User Groups] around the world, we could
have RAGs [Recording Artist Groups] where a gathering of geeks and artists come
together for the purpose of recording music and then processing it. The geeks
would be able to provide the software mixers and processing software to take
raw, recorded material and compose it down to a fully produced audio track.

The geeks could also produce a web site that would enable browsers to download
songs for a small and reasonable charge. I would gladly pay $1-$2 per song for a
.wav [lossless] file format that I can cut to regular CD and play in a regular
player. Given that distribution costs would be lower and given that no
commissions would be paid to record companies, all of this money would go
directly to the artists.

Isn't this what the record companies are running scared of? That the recording
artists and industry will become *so* annoyed with their money-grabbing tactics
and bullying that we will all turn off completely.

We all champion FOSS, what about FOSM [Free and Open Source Music]?

The truth is that multinational media companies have distorted markets through
introduction of schemes like DVD Region Coding.

The truth is that multinational media companies generate vast profits while
writing contracts for their artists that are little more than modern-day

The truth is that Sony BMGs anti-piracy attempts, however well they felt they
could justify action, may well have broken the law on two counts: one, alleged
deployment of code on a PC without the owner's knowledge or consent; and two,
alleged illegal use of copyright material [the lame code], which is itself a
direct abuse of the laws Sony BMG are claiming to try and uphold.

The truth is that in the 21st century, with all of the technology and community
that becomes possible as a result of the existence of the internet, that
multinational media companies need their customers far, far more than customers
need them. This is the Internet Age. We can [and we should] support attempts to
produce and share music free of the mainstream music industry.

The truth is that in their desire to tighten up on "intellectual
property", the all-mighty corporations of the world are coercing
governments to enact ever-more draconian laws that strip rights from individuals
at an alarming rate. Politicians are only too willing to take "campaign
contributions" and "consultancy fees" and "lobbying
commissions" and never once look to see what rights they are giving away.
This rush for the almighty profit for the shareholder is trampling everything
before it.

The truth is that [based on reports to date] Sony BMG and other large companies
are not going to face criminal charges as a result of their actions [though
civil charges from class-action lawsuits may still take place] despite the fact
that evidence suggests that Sony has broken the law. One law for the people,
another for the mega-corporations.

The truth is that there are billions of mostly-free human beings on this
planets, who are having their rights abused and taken and who are either unaware
of this or unwilling to do anything about it.

The truth is that mega-corporations [and governments, for that matter] only have
power to exert over us because we chose to give them that power. Whether the
power was a vote or a dollar, we gave it. We need to learn to be more careful
before we relinquish such powers in the future.

The truth is, it doesn't have to be this way.

The truth is, and that's all it has to be.


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UK Publishers Asked for DRM Thoughts & I Offer Some - For Free!
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 03:47 AM EST
The same old question again: What measures have been taken
to ensure that the DRM'd material becomes de-DRM'd when
the legal term of copyright has expired?

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Do you suppose the Rosetta Stone...
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 04:13 AM EST
... would be classified as a DMCA circumvention device.

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UK Publishers Asked for DRM Thoughts & I Offer Some - For Free!
Authored by: RPN on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 04:30 AM EST
Pay per view/listen?

No way, never, ever.

Try and sell me a non DRM book or CD and I'll buy it if I like it and I'll
respect your copyright. Anything else - forget it. Unless you wake up publishers
you're going to learn the hard way, as the record companies are starting to,
that anything else costs sales. Push it far enough you'll be unemployed because
your company has gone bust trying to fleece its customers and treating them as
criminals instead of treating them as customers.

No customer owes any company its living. Companies that forget that tend to die.
And deserve to.


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UK Publishers Asked for DRM Thoughts & I Offer Some - For Free!
Authored by: MathFox on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 04:37 AM EST
It is good to know a bit about the context:
The European consumer associations (BEUC) have started a campaign to protect fair consumer rights in a DRM era.
Two of their bullet points:
  • Action to find solutions on how consumers can effectively exercise their private use rights and to guarantee that users of DRMs respect the legitimate interest of consumers in their personal autonomy and private sphere;
  • Mechanisms to ensure that TPMs or DRMs, which restrict uses legally exempted from copyright or not falling under copyright, do not benefit from legal protection;
Some members of the European Parliament have picked up their arguments, publishers are shouting "stop piracy" again. The Brittish Parliament is collecting arguments to for an official Brittish postion. (I am sure that Sony/BMI provides a datapoint here too.)

When people start to comment on the form of a message, it is a sign that they have problems to accept the truth of the message.

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DRM at your local store
Authored by: Naich on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 06:06 AM EST
A co-worker recently told me that Tescos were doing 256MB MP3 players for 25
quid. So I had a look and sure enough, there they were - complete with text on
them proudly stating "Compatable with DRM".

So I left it alone and bought one that wasn't. It cost a bit more but at least
I now have an MP3 player that's not plotting against me.

But anyway, I think this is the way it's going to be foisted on the general
public - cheaper equipment and trying to make out it's that it's a feature.
It'll probably work too, sadly.

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No Ads on BBC!
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 06:37 AM EST
People used to listen to the radio all day long for free, did we not? You had to listen to ads.

Since we are in a UK context here, no, there are no ads on BBC radio.

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That's not all they'll buy
Authored by: CnocNaGortini on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 06:53 AM EST
Consumers are so stupid, they'll buy rootkits.
Say. That reminds me. Something I've been meaning to ask. Why did a half million of you buy those CDs?

I'm not particularly surprised; if someone can buy something that makes them feel (superficially) good, even if they know it is also harmful, they will still buy it. This is how the tobacco industry survives (in fact, thrives).

Tobacco is naturally single-use; I suppose they are trying, so to speak, to make IP smokable (so it disappears on use).

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They should learn the lessons of the VHS days
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 06:56 AM EST
Don't know whether it was the same in the US, but in the UK:

When movies were first released on VHS tape they cost around £150 or more and
had (still have) Macrovision copy protection - no-one bought them, they only
rented them.

But they got fed up having to pay through the nose every time they wanted to
watch their favourite movie so pretty soon there were black-boxes on the market
which killed the Macrovision signal (which works by messing around with the
recording-level control).

The movie companys screamed about their lost revenue (sound familiar) but there
was nothing they could do about people putting their VCR into their car, driving
round to a friends place and swapping their favourite movies.

Then someone, somewhere, got a clue - try the pile-it-high and sell-it-cheap
method. They started releasing tapes priced at around £10.

Guess what? They didn't need the copy protection anymore - people stopped
copying practically overnight and the movie companies started to sell millions
of tapes.

In the intervening years that decision to price the tapes at the right level has
made them billions.

The moral of this tale? You've got the right to charge anything you like for
your product. But you can't beat human nature. If people are copying your
product then you've got the price wrong.

Or to put it another way: If you try to screw your customers don't be surprised
if they return the compliment!

Disclaimer: I don't condone illegal copying - I just observe that all the
copy-protection in the world is never going to stop it.

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Why is this bad?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 07:08 AM EST
90% of the songs my bookcase full of CDs, I've probably listened to under 10 times.

It seems if I had the opportunity to pay-per-play for most of them, I only would have saved money. For the 10% that I do play a lot, of course I'd rather buy a traditional license.

What am I missing?

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Record companies don't like musicians anyway......
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 07:27 AM EST

I'm sure people can think of more examples, but here's one.

I'm a big fan of the Canadian band Rush. I bought my first album by them around '78. Rush's first album, titled Rush, was paid for by the band as they couldn't get a recording deal. It was reasonably successful and got them signed. In 2003 Rush did a massive tour finishing off in Rio in front of 80,000 fans. They had the idea to put out a DVD of the show. Record company were not interested so the band payed for it themselves. A massive hit.

Rush did a tour last year to celebrate 30 years together and I hope they've funded the DVD themselves. It's out this month. The tour grossed $21million and when I saw them at the NEC in Birmingham, England, they were awesome. Maybe its the band's habit of being original and writing and performing their own material that has their record company so turned off. Or maybe its their ability to go off and earn $21mill on their own without needing a load of "executives" hanging on.

I'm sure there are plenty of other bands out there that are self-financing projects so please list what you can. It takes the urgency out of the leeches argument that they need our money to "develop" artists. Good artists don't need developing, they just need exposure. Tracy Chapman filling in between sets at Live Aid. The late John Peel playing bands he liked on his radio show.

DRM won't do anything for the artists, but they're an inconvenience to the record companies anyway. More boy bands with seven singers and no musicians, that's what they world needs, or TV show winners who'll do anything to get a record out and can then be dropped in time for next season's winner. These are what the record companies would like. Musicians are history.

Or will be when I patent "a method for a musician to perform simultaneously and in collaboration with other musicians."

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There is always a Way
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 07:34 AM EST
Two things that never seem to be mentioned in these discussions - screen shots and audio recording.

I often do a screen shot, such as taking a record of my order when buying stuff off the Web. The Lord of the Rings trilogy might be too ambitious, but the method suits reference material such as standards. In Windows it's Ctrl-Print screen, open Photo-editor, paste, and then save with a page name. Perhaps they will stop this in Vista. Never mind, use the Gimp acquire screenshot facility under Linux.

At one time I often taped recorded music from the radio or other tapes by using a second tape recorder with a microphone. The quality was not as good, but to a teenager this did not seem to matter so much. This is certainly what the pirates would do if they had to, like they do now with videos taken of cinema screens.

Ultimately these media pass must into the "open air" in order to reach your ears and eyes. Once in the open no DRM technology can protect it.

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Rights Management and Collateral Sales
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 07:53 AM EST

I've just remembered this.....

Bands have always had people bootlegging at concerts. Sometimes this is for commercial gain, mostly its just fans wanting to keep a record of the experience. The usual "solution" to this "problem" was to search bags and confiscate recording equipment, whic is a sure fire way to upset the fan base. A friend told me of a U2 gig he went to where there was a stand on the way out to buy official cassette covers for your recording of the event.

How's that for brilliant? The fans got to keep their not-so-good recordings that nobody else is really interested in, and the band got revenue from them. Everyone happy, except, most probably, their record company who have a holy mission to protect the band from the fans abuse of their intellectual property.....

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Why Johnny can't read...
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 21 2005 @ 04:31 PM EST
A) He can't afford it. (at $.99 per page, 'see spot run' is about as far as
he'll get)

B) The license expired. (your 30 minutes with 'War and Peace' are up, this book
will self destruct in 20 seconds)

C) It violates the DMCA. (unauthorized copy in his active memory)

D) His teacher is in prison. (inducing others to violate the DMCA)

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UK Publishers Asked for DRM Thoughts & I Offer Some - For Free!
Authored by: rpraetorius on Tuesday, November 22 2005 @ 01:53 PM EST
I just read nice piece by Wendy Grossman on the topic called Selling by the Page.

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UK Publishers Asked for DRM Thoughts & I Offer Some - For Free!
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, November 22 2005 @ 06:41 PM EST
I really think that they (the publishers) are going at DRM the wrong way. I
beleive that when you purchase a cd (or book or anything else in the same
realm), you have the right to be able to use it IN ANY WAY YOU WANT (as long as
you DO NOT DISTRIBUTE it). eg, If I buy, say, a cd, I have right to make
copies of it to use on my mp3 player, my laptop, my stereo, my computer, if I
want to play it at a private party I can, just as long as I don't give away
copies of it. The publisher doesn't lose out on any sales (why would I buy two
copies of the same cd?) and gains exposure for that cd to people who may think
'oh, I like this music, I think I will buy a copy for myself...' It's the same
type of thing as soundtracks in movies and games. I have gone out and bought
cds by artists who I have heard on games and in movies (and I know other people
who have done that as well).

But with DRM as it is, as long as it is possible to play it in a standard cd
player, it is EASY to make a copy of it without any sort of DRM. How you may
ask? Easy, just plug the audio out (whether it be digital out or just analogue
out) into your computer and use one of many countless audio recorders to make a
copy of each track.

What DRM does atm, is only stopping legitimate people from doing that but is
pretty easy for anyone with a clue about using computers to make a non-DRM'd
copy and distribute that (if thats what they wanted to do with the copies)...

There is no way that ANYONE can make me buy anything that restricts my use of
ANYTHING that I legally acquire or if there is no other way of acquiring what I
want without restrictions, I WILL find a way to get around the restrictions AND
INFORM ANYONE who wants to know how to get around the said restrictions. (sorry
about the use of uppercase, but its for emphasise).

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