Coffeehouse Thread

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Free as in speech

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  • User profile image
    jamie

    Taboo!

    Id like to ask - what is MS doing to enhance and preserve consumers freedoms:

    We all know DRM is coming - with locked down hardware + MS bios etc

    - if so - what is ms's position on how many current consumer rights and freedoms get ported to the net in this new lockdown?

    We read about the coming patent storm

    - if so - what are your thoughts on the comparison of software patents to recipes?

    we see the Java/.Net shore up with Sun

    - if so - was this only to align common goals between companies; ie:  do not open source java?

    So here's a plain - very simple question:

    IS Microsoft going use it's patents and trademarks to do everything it can to stop open communication development - or "free" software? ( not like the europe road show that side stepped the freedom question)

    and:

    Is their no way MS can shelve the mis-thoughtout "shared source" idea - and instead - open up everything but a few core things? Just keep what ever it takes to ensure a revenue generating company = kernal - but published in a way that there could be more than your ONE windows?

    Although it wont make Stallman or Raymond happy - i think it will make all your own developers happy

    i could be wrong - but proprietary is just not a good word these days

    Lastly - is there no-one at MS that worries about these things - is it all just software?





  • User profile image
    kevinsch

    Wow, Jamie, there's a lot of stuff in there that borders on consipracy theory.

    First of all, MS doesn't believe that one license fits all. We use a bunch of different ones. If you look at the stuff that MSR makes available, much of it is under a BSD-style license, including code -- which is arguably much more "free" (as in "no ball and chain") than GPL or other viral licenses that make you post code. The Visual Studio team does something similar with some components. There are some situations in which shared source is appropriate. MS has other licensing schemes we use for governments who want to have very broad access to source. The point is that we take a look at the situation for which we are trying to craft a license, and we find (or create) the most appropriate one we can. And yes, a lot of those keep our intellectual property right propietary.

    Here's another way to look at it: Microsoft has spent almost 30 years and tens of billions of dollars to build a business that respects the intellectual property laws as they are written. And that's not just creating our own IP, but paying real money to license others' IP when it was required for the products we wanted to ship -- because that's what the law says. How would you feel if someone ripped that out from underneath you? Oh, I'm sorry, but those intellectual property laws... they don't matter anymore. Yeah, all those years that you followed them, sorry about that, your loss. What does it say about a country's commitment to a supportive business environment if it arbitrarily and capriciously abandons the economic infrastructure that domestic companies employing hardworking Americans used to create and preserve a thriving business? You can't just throw away intellectual property law.

    Now let's separate patents and copyrights. There are certainly issues with the patent system today, and undoubtedly a lot of bad patents are getting issued. Microsoft has come out strongly in favor of patent reform. We don't think patents themselves are bad; we do think that poorly constructed, and poorly examined, patents are bad for everyone and hurt the system. But that is a problem that extends far beyond software patents; there are good and bad patents in every field, and they all need appropriate rigor. I have yet to see a convincing argument that there is a distinction to be made between software patents and other kinds of patents,and I believe that it's a red herring that distracts from the real issues of good vs. bad patents in general, and good vs. bad examining.

    On copyrights: first, I need to state that I'm not a lawyer, and I do not have a deep understanding of copyright law. I also don't speak for Microsoft on this topic, so what I'm going to say here is my own naive understanding and my own opinion. That said, the issues with copyright and DRM basically boil down to "DRM applies very specific verbs to things that never had that kind of granularity before, and gives the copyright owner the ability to control different permissions on different verbs -- and that is eroding citizens' fair use rights."

    First thing first: I went searching one day for a clear definition of fair use in the written (federal) law. I found lots of uses of the term "fair use" but I never found a definition. The real definition is being created through case law in the courts, in a piecemeal and often conflicting manner. I submit that it's a real problem that fair use is being defined by precedent and case law, and not by our legislators.

    It is absolutely true today that a PC could be used as a tool for rampant piracy in violation of copyright laws. If Microsoft doesn't take reasonable steps to stop piracy, it will absolutely get sued by every major media firm out there. Microsoft has to obey the laws as they are written and interpreted today. If we don't like the laws, we can get Congress to change them. But you can't ignore them. Microsoft is really between a rock and a hard place on this: it wants as always to create great software that empowers its users; but it has to follow a set of ambiguous copyright laws written for a different age.

    One last point: why do you believe that it will make Microsoft's developers happy to have more than one Windows? One of the biggest values of the patform is that there is a cnsistent API across Windows installations that makes it easier to write an application to a big addressable market.

  • User profile image
    Larry​Osterman

    Kevin's answer is awesome.  Let me add my $.02 regarding DRM (because I love speaking my mind).

    The thing to keep in mind about DRM is that IMHO, DRM doesn't restrict YOUR rights to YOUR music.  I have several gigabytes of non DRM'ed WMA files on my machine at work.  How did they get there?  I ripped them from my CDs.  I CHOSE not to put DRM on the files because I don't like DRM because it gets in the way of copying the data around from one machine to another.  To make my WMA files not have DRM, I simply cleared the little "use DRM" checkbox.

    I feel safe in using non DRM'ed WMA files because I don't share my music.  All the music files on my machine are ACLed to only allow me to have access to them.  I have multiple copies of the files (on each machine), but only I can listen to them.  As far as I know, this is within my rights under the fair use clause.  Unfortunately, Kevin's also right about fair use - after a vigorous argument with my wife (who feels I shouldn't be able to copy the ripped files from my office (where the CD's are physically located) to my home) I looked and couldn't find my rights under Fair Use defined anywhere.  So I don't know if I'm within my rights under fair use (I should ask my brother, he's an IP lawyer).

    The way it's been explained to me, DRM is all about respecting the rights of the publisher of content (the owner of the copyright).  If the publisher wants to restrict who can see the data (or how long they should have access to the data, etc), then DRM is an enabling technology for them.

    Contrary to popular belief, Microsoft doesn't push DRM on anyone.  We don't force anyone to put DRM on their content.  Microsoft provides DRM technology as a feature of our multimedia stack.  We don't force people to use it, but it IS available if you want it.

    Needless to say, the above is my opinion, and my opinion alone.  It's got nothing to do with Microsoft's opinion.

  • User profile image
    jonathanh

    jamie wrote:

    we see the Java/.Net shore up with Sun

    - if so - was this only to align common goals between companies; ie:  do not open source java?


    I doubt that Sun ever intended to open-source Java, even before the Microsoft agreement.  Sun are in trouble - other companies (IBM, BEA) beat them to market with good middleware, and are making a lot more money out of Java than Sun are.  Meanwhile, Sun are reduced to calling their Linux package the "Java Desktop System" in an effort to milk the Java brand. 
    Giving up control of that brand would be commercial suicide.  And take a look at who's promoting the open-sourcing of Java - IBM and BEA, who stand to make even more money if they can wrest control of Java away from Sun Smiley

  • User profile image
    jamie

    here is a little read article Object88 posted:
    http://craphound.com/msftdrm.txt

    the gist of the article - is someone has to take the bull by the horns - for the consumer - and that it should be microsoft

  • User profile image
    lars

    kevinsch wrote:
    GPL or other viral licenses that make you post code.


    I'm not too fond of GPL either. It's a pretty nasty licence.
     
    kevinsch wrote:

    Microsoft has come out strongly in favor of patent reform. We don't think patents themselves are bad; we do think that poorly constructed, and poorly examined, patents are bad for everyone and hurt the system.


    Does that mean that Microsoft won't go after anyone else with their own bad patents?

    kevinsch wrote:
    I have yet to see a convincing argument that there is a distinction to be made between software patents and other kinds of patents


    No point in arguing about that yet another time. I just don't agree with you.

    kevinsch wrote:

    First thing first: I went searching one day for a clear definition of fair use in the written (federal) law.


    Fair use is also something that is defined differently in different countries.

    kevinsch wrote:

    It is absolutely true today that a PC could be used as a tool for rampant piracy in violation of copyright laws. If Microsoft doesn't take reasonable steps to stop piracy, it will absolutely get sued by every major media firm out there.


    If Microsoft produces an application for media distribution or online sale, then yes. But if we are talking about 3rd party applications that are used for piracy of non-Microsoft IP it's not really any of Microsofts business. The computer is the user's property. Microsoft provides an OS to enable the user to run applications. What the user uses their own computer to do, and what application they choose to run is none of Microsofts business.

    If a user choose to enable DRM for their data. Or they agree to buy data that is DRMed I think that's okey. It's their dime. As long as DRM isn't pushed on the end user as something mandatory for their own data, and the OS doesn't try to limit what applications the user may run on their own property (computer).

    /Lars.

  • User profile image
    Larry​Osterman

    That's cory doctrow's speech iirc.  Cory has some great points.

    But to you really see Microsoft bullying other companies these days?  Do you WANT to see more Microsoft bullying?  I thought the whole idea was to get Microsoft OUT of the bullying business.

     

  • User profile image
    kevinsch

    And ironically, Cory's speech was delivered at Microsoft, hosted by my group at Microsoft Research.

    Actually it's not ironic at all. Because we're not afraid of discussion on this topic, contary to popular belief.

    But I simply disagree with Cory here. Things aren't as black-and-white as he makes it out to be, and Microsoft doesn't get to choose which laws to obey and which to ignore. It has to obey them all.

  • User profile image
    Jaz

    what can you say to just simply allay peoples fears?

    i see hundred's of threads like these all saying that longhorn is going to kill computing and linux will be the only way to go...  why because if john doe makes a program that can rip a dvd to a hard drive during longhorns time a) 400 blackops teams will smash in his door when its uploaded to the net.  b) because it won't get certified by MS thus it'll never be able to run on any longhorn PC and 400 blackops teams will smash in his door. c) MS will be able to see what he's doing and then delete the application or something like that.

    a typical blackops type thread http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=61328

  • User profile image
    lars

    There is a real simple reason why all those bad things won't happen: people won't buy that kind of products. There is nothing to fear or get upset about. If I don't like it - I won't buy it.

    /Lars.

  • User profile image
    Keskos

    First to clear out some FUD from Microsoft bashers.

    "Does that mean that Microsoft won't go after anyone else with their own bad patents?"

    Which "bad" patent you are talking about? Did you find one, or are you simply making it up here and lying to us?

    Now for reasonable people:

    I think DRM issue is quite complicated and interesting. There is no easy answer here. I would prefer something without DRM. I don't trust companies here and I think I have a strong reason for that. First of all, if we look at the trend DRM is being pushed by content providers, copyright owners. They already passed (ops I meant congress) laws that require DRM for various electornic devices. Sooner or later every electronic device wil end up having some sort of DRM. So only Microsoft bashers will accuse Microsoft here. On the other hand, I don't think Microsoft is putting a fight for consumers here. Microsoft, itself pushes such technologies like activation, thus this is business as usual for Microsoft. That is, even I am not going to bash Microsoft for this, I am also disappointed to see that Microsoft doesn't see the threat for consumers here. What threat you ask? Well, DRM has real legitimate uses, so I totally understand that, but if RIAA and others use it, what happens is that we end up paying for music and movies over and over again.

    One such example is movielinks.com. If you rent a movie there, you have only 24 hours to watch it, although you can keep the movie for 30 days. Ok, now I am thinking. If I rent video from Blockbuster, I can keep it at least for 2 days, in some cases more. It is almost the same price, 5 dollars. I have the digital copy of the video, so for movielinks there is no such thing as physical DVD, that is if I watch it within 2 days, they are not going to lose any revenue becaue I keep the copy of the movie for 2 days in my computer. But for some reason they think that I shoud watch the movie within 1 day, and I can't watch the same movie again later. How come they force this on me? They use DRM. They can force all sorts of restrictions on me, like watch only one time etc... If I go to Blockbuster, rent a DVD, copy it, and then rewatch it later, I will have more freedom. This has nothing to do with pirating the movies, destroying these companies. This is about freedom for users. Even though I pay 5 dollars, I have no choice but to watch it within 1 days. I competely respect the rights of the movie industry here, but what about my rights? If they think they can maximize their profits they will charge more. They are not a charity. Thus when congress are passing these laws, they had to pass laws that make it easier for these companies to compete also. Right now, there is some sort of cartel here. All the videos are the same price more or less. There is absolutely no competition here. Movielink.com is owned by major movie studios.

    Regarding the software being verified by Microsoft, I see the reason there. Spyware, viruses are pretty much vulnuerable here to this new scheme. So there is definitely need for this, but someone has to make sure that Microsoft will not abuse this. Somehow Microsoft has to make this process smooth. We shouldn't listen to Microsoft bashers here, but we shouldn't forget that every such system is open to abuse. Somehow Microsoft should make the case that this new scheme is good for everybody and there can not be or there will not be any abuse. Set out the rules, the process etc... I definitely want to make sure that anybody can write software and distribute it. The scheme in SP2 seems to me a good scheme: You can still run applications but you have to give specific permission i.e.

    Cheers

  • User profile image
    JKelley

    I don't usually pipe in on these religious wars but this one I felt compelled to.

    First of all if you rent a movie from Blockbuster, take it home, copy it and watch it at your leisure, you are exactly the kind of person that DRM is aimed at stopping and with fairly good reason.  The marketplace has determined that a fair cost for owning the rights to watch a movie whenever you want (purchasing the DVD) is between say $15 and $30 dollars.  Blockbuster is offering you the chance to have limited rights (watch the DVD as much as you want while its in your possession but you have to return it) for a mere $5 also determined by the market.  Your rights are not in any way infringed by this situation.  You can choose to pay what is being asked for the rights being offered or not.  If you feel that $5 is unfair for the right to watch the movie at some point within the rental term then you can choose not to rent that movie, go ahead and buy the movie for $30 if you want the right to watch it whenever you want.

    Second, the rise of the software industry and digital mass media in general has (it should be to noone's surprise) created massive legal headaches.  Many of the laws that have been enacted over the years are based on an economy that derived from exchanging physical goods for services (or money the expression of having performed some service).  Suddenly in the last 30 to 40 years we have the proliferation of technologies that can have the good being exchanged copied.  You can't make a copy of a toaster, or an oven, or a table without spending significant amounts of money.  The same cannot be said of music recordings, visual recordings, or software.  The technology has outpaced the growth of the legal system which, rightfully so, is slow to change but is at its core very adaptable (we can strike down laws or create new ones).  The key is getting it right.  Politicians by nature want to please their constituents.  If the people who vote for them aren't pleased then they don't get re-elected.  So making bad laws quickly is far far worse than taking the time to get the law right slowly.  I think within the next 5 to 10 years we will see DRM technologies moving forward in a way that does not in any way infringe on a particular person.  What DRM will evolve to, in my opinion, is a system whereby all of our different technologies, PC, MP3 player, DVD player etc. speak the same language in terms of verifying that I have the rights to play a particular piece of media.  Maybe I'll need to shove an ID card into my DVD player to let it know that I am who I say I am and that I am allowed to play the DVD I burned myself off of my computer.  Do I still have the rights to burn the DVD?  Yes.  Do I have the right to play the DVD?  Yes.  Do I have the right to send that DVD to 50 of my friends and expect them to be able to play it?  No, that is beyond our, albeit vague, notion of fair use.

    I think Microsoft is caught between a rock and a hard place here but the reputation as an evil empire may not be quite so deserving as it once seemed.  The fact is the majority of people need one place to blame when something goes wrong.  That's a responsibility that Microsoft can't duck by being the market leader in whatever they choose to pursue.  We as consumers have the power to make sure that responsibility is taken to heart.  As a developer that means pushing Microsoft to create the most stable, most compatible platform possible for me to build software for.  As a consumer it means not buying software that does not meet that same criteria.

    Okay, rant over, time to get back to work. 

    P.S. I think Channel 9 has been needed for a long time and having this forum open to discuss these issues with software professionals around the globe at companies big and small is a service to the community at large.  It feels like this site may just have a chance at not degenerating into an "I hate M$" or an "I want to father BillG's lovechild" fan site.  Congratulations to all the hard working Channel 9'ers.

    -Jeremy Kelley

  • User profile image
    jamie

    Keskos - i dont see any MS "bashers" in this thread - only people who care about Windows, MS and the future of computing

    JKelley - There is no war - and no religion being debated here


    In a world were all the media you speak of is basically controlled by 5 companys globally, and software is (90%) controled by one company -

    we - as users and customers of said conglomerates have a right to voice our concerns over the up and coming "wave" that is Longhorn - with its Palladium, Next Generation Secure Computing Base - * it will probably be renamed Puppy Dog in coming months.

    From everything ive read on the subject - DRM/NGSCB is entirely designed to let you not do things - you previously had ALL control over - and to hand that control to BIG business.

    I am aware there is a still a "non-protected" or "non-safe" or "legacy environment" slated to ease fears - but when i read the ablove, it just sounds like stage one of a support phase out / cut to Longhorn version 3 or 4 and lets see what's left of this "area".

    To another poster who refered to this thread as "borderline conspiracy theory" i respond that theory is all we have to go on.

    And on the "religious" side of things - this is about Trust.  Not "Trustworthy Computing".

    I love Windows. I actually love MS. MS - the liberator, MS the make it easy, MS the make it look and work better.

    But there are non-software (trust) issues at play here that - judging from current employee replies - just dont seem to be factored into any discussion.
     
    Yes - the guy that came to talk to you about DRM listed off 6 of the most famous and mostly one off or improbable reasons why DRM wont work.

    But the main gist of the presentation i believe holds water.  Google seems to have earned peoples trust. They even built it in to their mission statement.

    Trust is not a word that can be easily avoided by equating all topics about DRM or Free speech with Capitalism, Rights, Patents and way a democratic society functions ( as most ms posters replies drifted in and out of)

    There is a new global marketplace - as Lars mentions - different countries with different laws - all created ( as pointed out above) many years ago.

    But along comes this thing called the Internet - cathching everyone ( especially companies with digital media/software) off guard.

    I believe the winner in this new world will be the companies that ewmpower the consumer - not try to turn their private computers into Vending Kiosks.

    I think alot of people might be hapier if you just kept windows as windows - and had a separate application / package called Microsoft Content Safe or Paid Services (anything but NGSCB)

    You could hype the features and benifits - and if they really are as good as you say - people will buy it to get the controled content mechanisms - and activate the DRM bios/hardware stuff.

    Show people how they will be able to Bank using this new system. Show them what they could do with it - that they cant do on an "untrusted" machine.

    See if they bite - all the power to you.

    Just dont add THIS of all things to Windows.
    I know it's a big topic - I shut up now





  • User profile image
    Keskos

    JKelley wrote:
    I don't usually pipe in on these religious wars but this one I felt compelled to.

    First of all if you rent a movie from Blockbuster, take it home, copy it and watch it at your leisure, you are exactly the kind of person that DRM is aimed at stopping and with fairly good reason.  The marketplace has determined that a fair cost for owning the rights to watch a movie whenever you want (purchasing the DVD) is between say $15 and $30 dollars.  Blockbuster is offering you the chance to have limited rights (watch the DVD as much as you want while its in your possession but you have to return it) for a mere $5 also determined by the market.  Your rights are not in any way infringed by this situation.  You can choose to pay what is being asked for the rights being offered or not.  If you feel that $5 is unfair for the right to watch the movie at some point within the rental term then you can choose not to rent that movie, go ahead and buy the movie for $30 if you want the right to watch it whenever you want.

    Second, the rise of the software industry and digital mass media in general has (it should be to noone's surprise) created massive legal headaches.  Many of the laws that have been enacted over the years are based on an economy that derived from exchanging physical goods for services (or money the expression of having performed some service).  Suddenly in the last 30 to 40 years we have the proliferation of technologies that can have the good being exchanged copied.  You can't make a copy of a toaster, or an oven, or a table without spending significant amounts of money.  The same cannot be said of music recordings, visual recordings, or software.  The technology has outpaced the growth of the legal system which, rightfully so, is slow to change but is at its core very adaptable (we can strike down laws or create new ones).  The key is getting it right.  Politicians by nature want to please their constituents.  If the people who vote for them aren't pleased then they don't get re-elected.  So making bad laws quickly is far far worse than taking the time to get the law right slowly.  I think within the next 5 to 10 years we will see DRM technologies moving forward in a way that does not in any way infringe on a particular person.  What DRM will evolve to, in my opinion, is a system whereby all of our different technologies, PC, MP3 player, DVD player etc. speak the same language in terms of verifying that I have the rights to play a particular piece of media.  Maybe I'll need to shove an ID card into my DVD player to let it know that I am who I say I am and that I am allowed to play the DVD I burned myself off of my computer.  Do I still have the rights to burn the DVD?  Yes.  Do I have the right to play the DVD?  Yes.  Do I have the right to send that DVD to 50 of my friends and expect them to be able to play it?  No, that is beyond our, albeit vague, notion of fair use.

    I think Microsoft is caught between a rock and a hard place here but the reputation as an evil empire may not be quite so deserving as it once seemed.  The fact is the majority of people need one place to blame when something goes wrong.  That's a responsibility that Microsoft can't duck by being the market leader in whatever they choose to pursue.  We as consumers have the power to make sure that responsibility is taken to heart.  As a developer that means pushing Microsoft to create the most stable, most compatible platform possible for me to build software for.  As a consumer it means not buying software that does not meet that same criteria.

    Okay, rant over, time to get back to work. 

    P.S. I think Channel 9 has been needed for a long time and having this forum open to discuss these issues with software professionals around the globe at companies big and small is a service to the community at large.  It feels like this site may just have a chance at not degenerating into an "I hate M$" or an "I want to father BillG's lovechild" fan site.  Congratulations to all the hard working Channel 9'ers.

    -Jeremy Kelley


    First and foremost of all, I don't know where did you get the idea but I didn't suggest to rent and copy Blockbuster movies. You probably misunderstood me. I said you can rent movies from Blockbuster for 2 or more days, and despite the fact that you have the digital copy from Movielink.com you can't watch it within 2 days. I understand why Blockbuster wants its movie back within 2 days, because it wants to rent it again to someonelse, but it doesn't make sense for movielink.com, because the copy is digital not physical. So, no I am not the type of the person to target with DRM. I am the wrong person, because even though I know I can do it, I am too lazy to mess with it. Also it wouldn't be Blockbuster, Netflix would be a better choice for such stuff. And once you watch the movie, who wants to keep it.

    Very nice arguments, I definitely liked it. But you fall into the common trap of assuming that free market means anybody can do anything as long as there is an equilibrium in the market. What you omit is that, when there are monopolies or cartels controlling the market, the equilibrium point is not the one that is supposed to be in the free market. That's why monopolies and cartels are not good for the public and that's why people don't like them, they sue them etc...

    First of all let's make some observations. Is there a competition in the movie industry? Does Sony Pictures offer a discount for a specific movie? Go to Blockbuster, the prices are pretty much fixed. They are the same across the board, you don't even know which company produced them. In fact, if I don't read the fine prints or the movies didn't have those first few seconds that show who made the movie I wouldn't know it. There is no such thing as, Sony Pictures movies' are cheaper, or this brand is more expensive. They are all the same. Now, another observation. Blockbuster is the most successfull rental company out there. Why? One of the reasons is that it signed a profit sharing deal with the studios, which allows studioes to give more copies of the hot new movies in exchange of revenue sharing. In essence what it means is that Blockbuster is partially owned by the studios and people are somewhat forced to go to Blockbuster to rent these new movies, because they are unable to find them in other places. Blockbuster is also owned by Viacom, another movie studio. Finally, few major movie studios distribute their movies through movielinks.com. If at one time everybody has a fast broadband, who is going to stop movie studios from charging the same exact price for the rentals and not restrict the limitations on rentals using DRM? Theoretically, we should expect rental values to go down if we all swicth to digital DRMed movies, because nobody has to hire people all over the country, everything is digital thus the prices should be lower, but just check out movielinks.com. It is the same price, 5$. The price has nothing to do with cost or anything like that. How much money am I willing to give for that movie? 5$, 8$ or 10$. The movie studios will get that money, nothing less. But there is more, they are not going to reduce the prices because they can, it has nothing to do with costs. It is how much you are willing to pay, but now they can also manipulate things like how many number of times you can watch a movie, how long you can watch it etc... All of a suddent I find myself paying more or paying the same amount with less satisfaction. Again, there is a clear cartel out there, I don't see any price difference between movies. Everything is pretty much standard. Bad movie, good movie doesn't matter much. Check out movielink.com, bad movies are selling say for 3$, good movies are selling for 5$. That's the standard, you don't see Sony selling for 4.20$ or Viacom selling for 3.90$ and so on. By DRM you take care of their rights and even restrict my rights as much as possible, but what about my rights? Where is the law that says you have to offer people a reasonable price and compete with other companies? So this market determines the price is not exactly true, in ECON 101 you see that in a true free market the equilibrium  point is what everybody want to achieve. That's the point you are talking about, but now in today's movie market that's not the case, because there is no competition and there is no compelling reason for movie studios to compete with each other to cheaper prices. This is somewhat  related with the art nature of the product here ,but regardless of this nature, still movie industry is a cartel which fixes the prices. Across the board, the prices are pretty much the same, thus if the movie industry thinks the rental should be 5$ that's what is going to be. In the real world without DRM, people had the chance to counter strike and copy the movies for their friends, or share the same rental and watch it in different homes maybe, and that sort of widespread activity would signal to movies studios that the rental price is too high, but now we don't have that chance. You can tie it to one computer for one time watch.

  • User profile image
    JKelley

    I think this was the line that got me on the path of renting and copying movies...
    "If I go to Blockbuster, rent a DVD, copy it, and then rewatch it later, I will have more freedom."

    Anyway you bring up some good points especially about quality of product vs. price.  I try not to go see movies that I might not like, since I have a high tolerance for bad movies I rarely get disappointed.  But even occasionally paying for a bad movie I don't stop going to the movies.  Ticket prices at my local theater are $7.50 for an evening show and I know I'm getting off lucky.  The movie theater model is definitely in trouble, profits and costs for studios and theaters are both rising how do profits rise?  Increased ticket prices.  If people stop going to the movies because of high prices what happens, profits drop and costs stay the same.  To re-maximize profits the studios have to either cut costs or increase ticket prices.  If they cut costs they risk making worse movies and even less people going so they raise ticket prices again which could drive more people away.  I have no idea how that part of the economy will balance out.

    I agree that the online rental model has not been ironed out properly yet.  The current solutions may not be ideal but I'm sure they are merely a stepping stone. 

    As a creator of intellectual property I feel like I must have some form of DRM at my disposal to help protect my investment of time and money into my software.  The company I work for is currently facing the problem of our European (not trying to stereotype it just happens to be this group this time) sales representatives deciding that the upgrades to our software are not worth what we are charging them and so are giving away the software to the customers without paying for it.  We already take the precaution of using custom serial numbers for each machine that runs our software with a special code for machines that are used internally.  So the sales reps have decided to simply give out the internal serial number for use by the customers.  What recourse do we really have here?  None other than to try and protect our investment by somehow preventing the end user from doing as they please with the software they purchase.  I'm just presenting that scenario as a food for thought point.  In a fully DRMless world how do creators of IP defend themselves and try to keep the rights that the laws allow them to have? 

    There must be a balance somewhere between dictating how and when exactly you can watch a movie you are paying for the rights to watch in your home and preventing people from massively distributing material which they do not have the right to distribute.

    Every time someone decides to rip a movie and put it up on Kazaa it undermines the arguments against having some form of DRM and if it continues on the large scale we are seeing today the large corporations and cartels will surely win the battle through legislation.

    -Jeremy

    (Can you tell its a slow day at work here?)

  • User profile image
    jamie

    re "Every time someone decides to rip a movie and put it up on Kazaa it undermines the arguments against having some form of DRM and if it continues on the large scale we are seeing today the large corporations and cartels will surely win the battle through legislation"

    OR they will not win - and a new form of content and delivery will surface - mainly through independant film makers, recording artists and software programmers and writers.


    Corps have made the barrier to entry too high for most - so i find it amusing that lawsuits are the only saving grace they can run too.

    Its called disruptive technology folks - and it is changing the distribution methods of Music (mp3) / Movies / Software (oss) and Publishing (blogs)

    Wellcome to the Alvin Toffler 3rd Wave Nuclear Family - people working LESS - people having had ENOUGH - people being more involved with community - People NOT passively gulping down the spoonfuls of pap

    You either change / adjust or die

    I hope MS starts fighting for the consumer - opens more aspects of its closed systems and embraces NEW thinking - not lawsuits and patents to fight "FREE" as in BEER but a cross company missive to fight for consumer rights - FREEDOM or they will be left in the dust by a revolution that throws out old methodologies for return to grass roots community

    Apples getting it ( "OSS - We think its great!" Jobs)
    Googles getting it ( "Do no evil" )

    So whats MS's message..?

  • User profile image
    Cider

    The one part of the talk that Jamie posted that is very relevant to DRM is ultimately this notion that the people who are worst affected by DRM are the honest users.

    If we talk about "fair use" of digital rights, it should be defined as what is fair use before we had the notion of digital rights.  This is where I find DRM falls down.

    Compare a CD single to a music file downloaded from iTunes Music Store.  What does a fair, honest person do with that CD single?  For every right that they have with CD, they should, as easily, have the same digital rights.  Many fair use activities a person would do with that CD are rendered impossible or people have to go through impossibly difficult procedures to make them happen.  So, DRM has been used to move the goalposts of "fair use" for 2 near-identical pieces of media.

    It doesn't matter if "fair use" is or is not defined in law.  Its a perception thing.  If an honest person tries to perform an activity with their media which they think is fair, and the computer replies "I can't do that, Dave" a la 2001, that person has had their rights compromised, and that is when DRM becomes evil.

  • User profile image
    jamie

    re:But to you really see Microsoft bullying other companies these days?  Do you WANT to see more Microsoft bullying?  I thought the whole idea was to get Microsoft OUT of the bullying business.


    New slogan:  Bully DIFFERENT

    (companies Smiley

    your new motto should be - create?- cool! restrict?  bad.

    I am fully aware i am refering to a complete 100% turn (again) of the battleship  ( that gates use to do in his SLEEP i might add)

    this time hopefully - the battleship is not out to gun down netscape - or google - or itunes

    it is to gun down all those LIMITING consumer rights and freedoms

    * i really dont mean to sound like a left wing Michael Moore hypocrite here..

    these things are important to me - and actually effect my decision to continue or not continue to reccomend Windows / Office  to my clients

    i cannot full heartedly recommend BIG brother Wink

    THATS the perception you need to change
    C9 is a great start

    * ps - im using mozilla to post this - ie is hanging on c9 today - go figure

    ** back to IE now - egad i hate that browser


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