Coffeehouse Thread

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Free as in speech

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    JKelley wrote:
    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.


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

    "If I go to Blockbuster, rent a DVD, copy it, and then rewatch it later, I will have more freedom."
    DVD as of now was cracked, so you can go and copy them. However the DRM (I believe Microsoft's DRM)  is not cracked yet, so you can't copy's movies. The point is that since renting cost more or less the same, in fact cost more, you are more likely to rent DVDs without DRM, because currently they offer more freedom. The use of the word freedom doesn't mean that you are not violating the law, or that you should violate the law, it is a practical observation. You have more freedom in terms of days you can watch the movie, the future possible use of the movie again (even though it is violating the law), the price you can watch it and the price of the rental. The digital copy with a stronger DRM is less compelling to use overall.

    I am not sure if Kazaa undermines the arguments against DRM. Do we have DRM today with VHS movies? The difference between digital world and the real world is that, in digital world you can access to free movies without paying a dime. What you need on the digital world is accountability. You should be able to track down copyright violators in a relaible way and prosecute them. Because that's what keeps people selling pirated DVDs on the streets for less. DRM seem to be answer, but once you implement it and widely use it, you risk a lot more. Maybe people will start to pay attention to independent movie studios, maybe people will find other ways to entertain etc... The movie studios sued Sony all the way up to the Supreme Court for something we take granted today. I don't think they are going to respect our rights. It is not that I hate movie studio, big corporations or anything llike that, but it is a practical observation.

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    Double post for an error in channel 9  

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    Yeah good point. I mean just recently they tried to force Apple to sell full albums of music instead of single tracks, with the intent of increasing earnings and giving the consumer lots of rubbish they never wanted (like in the shops). They don't seen to understand that this is kind of what we (the consumer) are rebelling against.

    I mean piracy is about three things in my opinion

    1. Convenience
    2. Freedom
    3. Price

    All three of these conditions can be met by online music stores to an extend that satisfies most consumers problem is the big studios don't seem to get this and want to butt in and try and ruin it for everyone.

    DRM in moderation is a good thing but it needs to be somewhat transparent DRM and being locked into Windows/Media Player is not even near transparent enough.

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    I have to state that my position is different than people who think that RIAA, movie industry etc... are evil and that this enough to steal music and movies. I am not rebelling against them, I buy music, rent movies etc... However, I think this DRM is restricting my rights and give too much power to these companies. Looking at the history, all I see is abuse of power, thus I think the DRM idea is not a good idea. Companies use piracy to justify DRM, on the other hand of the line people who want everything to be free use DRM to justify their actions. I think majority of the people want somewhere in the middle, nobody says you should rent a movie and own it, but I should have some decent rights too when I give my hard earned dollars.

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    Manip wrote:

    DRM in moderation is a good thing but it needs to be somewhat transparent DRM and being locked into Windows/Media Player is not even near transparent enough.

    I think the key point is that all current DRM technologies err in the wrong direction. The key assumption should be that I am entitled to do whatever it is I'm trying to do unless the system can detect otherwise, rather than always assuming I'm attempting to do something illegal.

    That, IMO, is the only way you'll ever get widespread adoption of DRM techniques.

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    AndyC wrote:
    That, IMO, is the only way you'll ever get widespread adoption of DRM techniques.

    The track record isn't that good. What has been effective so far?

    DVD Region coding? Nope.
    DVD Content scrambling? Nope.
    Copy protected audio CDs? Nope.
    Product activation? Nope.

    Something that have got people to buy games like Counter Strike is that they need a good serial number to play on the official servers.
    But that is about "Free as in Beer". Not "Free as in Speech" as Jamie was initally talking about.

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