Author Topic: Digital Rights Management (DRM)  (Read 5335 times)

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Offline Sordid

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Re: Digital Rights Management (DRM)
« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2009, 12:09:35 PM »
Before we continue, I would like to point out that I do not, in fact, download stuff. Well, other than the occasional TV series which air here anyway, only, y'know, killed by the crappy dubbing.

But you accepted that the LP or CD was going to be an obsolete technology in 10 years, why can't you accept that aac will be too? If you bought that CD to replace the LP, then what's the big deal buying the next technology to replace aac?

The fact that the LP and CD were limited by their physical form. Sooner or later the LP will become worn and even if you're really careful and never ever scratch the CD (yeah, riiight), it's going to degrade over time and become unreadable. A data file existing in virtual space has no such limitation, it can be transferred and re-transferred from medium to medium as necessary, so you will never need to re-buy your music. Which is of course exactly what DRM is supposed to enforce, the fancy name for it is artificial scarcity.

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No, you are demanding they drop their rights for your money. They said no, it only comes with rights. So don't buy, no one is forcing you to, they are offering a product you don't want. But stealing it is still stealing.

Except that stealing is only stealing if something goes missing. When you make a copy, nothing goes missing. And the person making the copy might or might not have decided to buy had he not had the option to copy. And that's exactly where the damage estimates fall apart, because they are based on the assumption that he would. But the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of people who copy would not buy the vast majority of the stuff they copy. If I copy, I don't buy. If I don't copy, I don't buy either. Where exactly is the harm again?

Offline Iconoclast

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Re: Digital Rights Management (DRM)
« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2009, 12:18:25 PM »
Except that stealing is only stealing if something goes missing. When you make a copy, nothing goes missing. And the person making the copy might or might not have decided to buy had he not had the option to copy. And that's exactly where the damage estimates fall apart, because they are based on the assumption that he would. But the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of people who copy would not buy the vast majority of the stuff they copy. If I copy, I don't buy. If I don't copy, I don't buy either. Where exactly is the harm again?
You are absolutely correct in the assumption that just because you copy, doesn't mean you would have bought. Yet you can't take that to the other extreme and say that there is no theft because of copying. Obviously, if everyone copied, no one would buy except the very first person. There would be no music for sale then. The damage is somewhere in between. To say that "the vast majority of people who copy would not buy the vast majority of the stuff they copy" is also misleading. Yes, their collection would be smaller because they wouldn't buy a lot of that copied stuff, but do you agree the would be willing to buy what they really enjoy? If you couldn't copy your favorite stuff, you'd buy it right?

Stealing, according to wikipedia, is "theft (also known as stealing or filching) is the illegal taking of another person's property without that person's freely-given consent." It says nothing of something going "missing". Taking without permission (illegal copying) is theft.
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Offline Sordid

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Re: Digital Rights Management (DRM)
« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2009, 01:19:03 PM »
You are absolutely correct in the assumption that just because you copy, doesn't mean you would have bought. Yet you can't take that to the other extreme and say that there is no theft because of copying. Obviously, if everyone copied, no one would buy except the very first person. There would be no music for sale then.

Need I bring up the Radiohead example again? IMO the sooner the labels and recording companies bite the dust and take their outdated distribution models with them, the better.

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The damage is somewhere in between. To say that "the vast majority of people who copy would not buy the vast majority of the stuff they copy" is also misleading. Yes, their collection would be smaller because they wouldn't buy a lot of that copied stuff, but do you agree the would be willing to buy what they really enjoy? If you couldn't copy your favorite stuff, you'd buy it right?

That is a moot question, since the hypothetical scenario it relies on, that is being unable to copy the stuff I like, can never happen for the simple reason that unless I hear it first, I have no way of liking it. And if I can hear it, I can copy it. That's the essential paradox DRM comes up against, on the one hand you have to deliver the content to the consumer and on the other hand you try to restrict his access to that content. That's exactly why DRM, in principle, can never ever work.
So to answer the question, no, I wouldn't buy it. Because if I had no way to copy it, that means I can't listen to it, which in turn means I don't know if I like it and so I have no reason to pay money for it. In the end it comes down to the simple fact that people pay for things they consider worth paying for, regardless of whether they're protected by DRM or not. The sooner the recording companies realize this, the better off they (and we) will be.

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Stealing, according to wikipedia, is "theft (also known as stealing or filching) is the illegal taking of another person's property without that person's freely-given consent." It says nothing of something going "missing". Taking without permission (illegal copying) is theft.

The missing part is right there in the taking part, when you take something it is no longer there. You don't take anything when you make a copy,  that's why "copy" is a distinct word from "take". The difference in meaning is exactly in that with the former the original remains in place, whereas with the latter it does not.

Offline Iconoclast

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Re: Digital Rights Management (DRM)
« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2009, 01:48:06 PM »
You are absolutely correct in the assumption that just because you copy, doesn't mean you would have bought. Yet you can't take that to the other extreme and say that there is no theft because of copying. Obviously, if everyone copied, no one would buy except the very first person. There would be no music for sale then.

Need I bring up the Radiohead example again? IMO the sooner the labels and recording companies bite the dust and take their outdated distribution models with them, the better.

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The damage is somewhere in between. To say that "the vast majority of people who copy would not buy the vast majority of the stuff they copy" is also misleading. Yes, their collection would be smaller because they wouldn't buy a lot of that copied stuff, but do you agree the would be willing to buy what they really enjoy? If you couldn't copy your favorite stuff, you'd buy it right?

That is a moot question, since the hypothetical scenario it relies on, that is being unable to copy the stuff I like, can never happen for the simple reason that unless I hear it first, I have no way of liking it. And if I can hear it, I can copy it. That's the essential paradox DRM comes up against, on the one hand you have to deliver the content to the consumer and on the other hand you try to restrict his access to that content. That's exactly why DRM, in principle, can never ever work.
So to answer the question, no, I wouldn't buy it. Because if I had no way to copy it, that means I can't listen to it, which in turn means I don't know if I like it and so I have no reason to pay money for it. In the end it comes down to the simple fact that people pay for things they consider worth paying for, regardless of whether they're protected by DRM or not. The sooner the recording companies realize this, the better off they (and we) will be.

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Stealing, according to wikipedia, is "theft (also known as stealing or filching) is the illegal taking of another person's property without that person's freely-given consent." It says nothing of something going "missing". Taking without permission (illegal copying) is theft.

The missing part is right there in the taking part, when you take something it is no longer there. You don't take anything when you make a copy,  that's why "copy" is a distinct word from "take". The difference in meaning is exactly in that with the former the original remains in place, whereas with the latter it does not.

You are raising straw man after straw man. Copying without permission is clearly theft. You can parse the words anyway you like, but copying intellectual property without permission is stealing. Same goes for pirating a movie or photocopying a book. You are aquiring the author's property without permission, which is illegal.

I'd be just as happy as you to see the music companies disappear along with their outdated models. That doesn't change the fact they have the right to protect their property. FWIW, the business of music is to "discover" a band and promote them and to find a means for being compensated for that. Radiohead releasing its stuff after it has already mady it is moot. Will the current bus model disappear, you bet. That doesn't mean copying isn't stealing.

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unless I hear it first, I have no way of liking it. And if I can hear it, I can copy it. That's the essential paradox DRM comes up against
Not really. There is radio, music tv, streaming radio, etc. You can hear music from these places to see if you like it (just as always) or when your friend plays it. There are the free samples (30 sec clips) too. There is no precedent that says you must be able to fondle the whole albumn unimpeded before buying music. This is nothing new. You can copy from the radio, but it will suck just like always. And it's impractical. None of this is an argument for obtaining an illegal, uncompensated for, copy of music.

Just to simplify, with copying you are getting something for nothing. It was never intended to be obtained without compensation. How can you possibly twist this into "they deserve it because they don't give me what I want, how I want it, therefore it's ok to steal it"? Copying is still undeniably infringing on the copyright holder's legal rights and intensions.


*edit: BTW, the courts have upheld that copying is stealing
« Last Edit: January 19, 2009, 02:06:46 PM by Iconoclast »
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Offline Sordid

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Re: Digital Rights Management (DRM)
« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2009, 02:41:18 PM »
You are raising straw man after straw man. Copying without permission is clearly theft. You can parse the words anyway you like, but copying intellectual property without permission is stealing.

No, actually, it isn't. Firstly, you have no authority to define what theft is. Secondly, the law doesn't recognize pirating as theft either (at least not in my country), but as a completely different crime. Copyright infringement, or whatever they call it.

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Same goes for pirating a movie or photocopying a book. You are aquiring the author's property without permission, which is illegal.

Oh certainly. But not all illegal acts are stealing.

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I'd be just as happy as you to see the music companies disappear along with their outdated models. That doesn't change the fact they have the right to protect their property. FWIW, the business of music is to "discover" a band and promote them and to find a means for being compensated for that. Radiohead releasing its stuff after it has already mady it is moot. Will the current bus model disappear, you bet. That doesn't mean copying isn't stealing.

I have explained the difference once already, I'm not going to repeat myself.

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Not really. There is radio, music tv, streaming radio, etc. You can hear music from these places to see if you like it (just as always) or when your friend plays it.

Yes, really. If I can hear it on the radio, I can record it from the radio. And yeah, pathetic as that may be, there are people who do that because they have no other way to pirate the music. Which was the point, the one about the paradoxical nature of DRM. You have to deliver the content to the cosumer, and once you do they will have a way of copying it. The only way to deprive them of that ability is to not deliver the content in the first place, and then of course you're not going to make any money...
Hell, what about VHS? How exactly is downloading a film from the internet different from recording it from the TV? (other than the fact that the one from the TV is going to be conveniently dubbed into your lanaguage)

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There are the free samples (30 sec clips) too.

Not good enough.

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There is no precedent that says you must be able to fondle the whole albumn unimpeded before buying music.

What was it you said about straw men?

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This is nothing new. You can copy from the radio, but it will suck just like always. And it's impractical. None of this is an argument for obtaining an illegal, uncompensated for, copy of music.

No, but it's an argument against attempting to protect that music with DRM. The pirate will download a ripped, DRM free copy. The only person actually suffering its annoyance is the one who bought the music legally. But that's a problem of all copy protection schemes.

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Just to simplify, with copying you are getting something for nothing. It was never intended to be obtained without compensation. How can you possibly twist this into "they deserve it because they don't give me what I want, how I want it, therefore it's ok to steal it"?

I don't remember saying anything like that. I do remember saying that if they don't give me what I want, I won't buy. You're making the exact same assumption here that the recording companies are making about the equivalence of pirating and buying.

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Copying is still undeniably infringing on the copyright holder's legal rights and intensions.


Oh absolutely. I never said otherwise.

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BTW, the courts have upheld that copying is stealing

For the umpteenth time, no, they haven't.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2009, 02:43:35 PM by Sordid »

Offline Iconoclast

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Re: Digital Rights Management (DRM)
« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2009, 03:00:30 PM »
Fine. I get it, you don't like the act being called stealing. I'm not that nuanced, so I stand corrected. Replace "stealing" with "illegally infringing on intellectual property rights". Does that make it any less illegal? Does it make pirating ok?

My original question which got us into this was:
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But when the industry tries to stop people from stealing infringing its productrights, you find this wrong?

I don't understand the hatred for DRM. Does the artist/music co have any rights?

To which you wrote:
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Yes, they do. And they waive them in exchange for my money. Either I can do with the file what I want, when I want, play it on whatever I want, or else tough noogies, I'm not buying.
Again, that's up to you not to buy, but it doesn't justify pirating or illegally infringing..., right? Or are we discussing two different things because I don't see how performing the illegal act of pirating is somehow ok?
« Last Edit: January 19, 2009, 03:06:06 PM by Iconoclast »
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Offline Iconoclast

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Re: Digital Rights Management (DRM)
« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2009, 03:14:21 PM »
For the record, from wikipedia:
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Copyright infringement (or copyright violation) is the unauthorized use of material that is covered by copyright law, in a manner that violates one of the copyright owner's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works.

For electronic and audio-visual media, unauthorized reproduction and distribution is occasionally referred to as piracy

Also from another wiki article:
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In 2000, A&M records and several other recording companies sued Napster (A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc.) for contributory and vicarious copyright infringement under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).[6] The music industry made the following claims against Napster:

(1) That its users were directly infringing the plaintiff's copyright; (2) That Napster was liable for contributory infringement of the plaintiff's copyright; and (3) That Napster was liable for vicarious infringement of the plaintiff's copyright.

The court found Napster liable on all three claims.
So, the US courts at least make piracy illegal. If your country (which is?) doesn't find piracy illegal, is it because of some legal principal and how are artists protected (or aren't they)?
« Last Edit: January 19, 2009, 03:19:38 PM by Iconoclast »
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Offline stands2reason

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Re: Digital Rights Management (DRM)
« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2009, 03:36:28 PM »
I don't understand the hatred for DRM. Does the artist/music co have any rights?

Fallacy of the excluded middle, or non-sequitir? You are implicity suggesting that DRM is necessary for the artists to have rights?

First, you should call Amazon and Apple and tell them to stop selling DRM-free music.

Then, there's the problem that people only buy music if they want to (for the most part). Removing DRM or ripping a CD is trivial. So DRM does almost nothing to discourage piracy. On the other hand, it makes legal music less functional, and limits software and hardware compatibility, thereby encouraging piracy. (see the xkcd comic I posted at the beginning)

Unless I am mistaken, I believe downloading isn't what is illegal. Sharing is. And I have that option tuned off.

Make no mistake, downloading or owning copyrighted material without agreeing to the copyright holder's terms (paying for it) is illegal. Is downloading child porn or plans for assassinating someone not illegal just 'cause you don't share it?

You could argue that if you bought or deleted all downloaded music in a timely fashion, that you within the law. Not technically, but on principle.

I think you are referring to the case where someone was caught with P2P software on their computer. The problem was that the P2P software automatically finds media on the harddrive (standard practice) and tries to share it. They legally owned the music (presumably), but the court wasn't sure if making it available to for others to pirate was the same as actually having uploaded it to others.

Fine. I get it, you don't like the act being called stealing.
Ad homimem
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Replace "stealing" with "illegally infringing on intellectual property rights". Does that make it any less illegal?
Sorta. Intellectual property doesn't have a clearly defined value. If I take your TV, you can make me give it back, or buy you a new one. With IP, The party can give a market value, but that doesn't take account actual loses,  because nothing was lost when data is copied.
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Does it make pirating ok?
Probably not. But it could be argued.

Offline Iconoclast

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Re: Digital Rights Management (DRM)
« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2009, 04:18:08 PM »
I don't understand the hatred for DRM. Does the artist/music co have any rights?

Fallacy of the excluded middle, or non-sequitir? You are implicity suggesting that DRM is necessary for the artists to have rights?
No, I'm questioning why when a rightholder tries to protect their rights people dislike them for it. If the kluge DRM system is a PITA, that's fine, I understand the irritation. The leap from not liking the DRM, however poor a system, to the existence or attempt at DRM making piracy valid is what I'm trying to understand. This is a nonsequitir isnt it?

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First, you should call Amazon and Apple and tell them to stop selling DRM-free music.
Irrelevant. Whether they now choose to offer their product DRM free does not mean they didn't have every right to try however they saw fit. It just means it didn't work and they gave up. It also doesn't endorse copying it and not getting paid for it.

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Fine. I get it, you don't like the act being called stealing.
Ad homimem
How is this ad hom? I'm not calling anyone names, simply acknowledging his view.

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Replace "stealing" with "illegally infringing on intellectual property rights". Does that make it any less illegal?
Sorta. Intellectual property doesn't have a clearly defined value. If I take your TV, you can make me give it back, or buy you a new one. With IP, The party can give a market value, but that doesn't take account actual loses,  because nothing was lost when data is copied.
Patents don't have clearly defined value either, nor does a painting or photo, but it isn't any less of an infringement to make an unauthorized copy.  The cost of that infringement might vary and need to be determined by a court, but you either infringe or you don't. Libel and slander are tort infringements without a measurable (in dollars) cost, but they are not any less illegal or wrong.
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Offline Sordid

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Re: Digital Rights Management (DRM)
« Reply #39 on: January 19, 2009, 05:43:16 PM »
s2r said pretty much what I wanted to say, so I'll just add this. As you pointed out, your question was:

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But when the industry tries to stop people from stealing infringing its productrights, you find this wrong?

I don't understand the hatred for DRM. Does the artist/music co have any rights?

To which I said that yeah, I do find it wrong, and I explained why (because it annoys the legal customer and encourages, rather than prevents piracy). I fail to see why you keep trying to bring the fact that downloading/sharing music is illegal (varies by country, btw) into this. It's completely irrelevant to your question, which was about morality, not legality.

Offline Iconoclast

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Re: Digital Rights Management (DRM)
« Reply #40 on: January 19, 2009, 07:50:16 PM »
s2r said pretty much what I wanted to say, so I'll just add this. As you pointed out, your question was:

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But when the industry tries to stop people from stealing infringing its productrights, you find this wrong?

I don't understand the hatred for DRM. Does the artist/music co have any rights?

To which I said that yeah, I do find it wrong, and I explained why (because it annoys the legal customer and encourages, rather than prevents piracy). I fail to see why you keep trying to bring the fact that downloading/sharing music is illegal (varies by country, btw) into this. It's completely irrelevant to your question, which was about morality, not legality.
I apologize for getting way off on a tangent. The thrust of my questioning was trying to understand how people know it is wrong, but justify it anyway. The legality argument was to point out it was wrong (breaking the law) as I interpretted people intimating that DRM is somehow a violation of their right to use the material as they see fit (copy for others). And now I see that this is a morality question whereas I didn't quite see that at first. This free music entitlement attitude irks me, but now I'm not sure why. :(
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Offline stands2reason

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Re: Digital Rights Management (DRM)
« Reply #41 on: January 19, 2009, 09:00:54 PM »
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No, I'm questioning why when a rightholder tries to protect their rights people dislike them for it. If the kluge DRM system is a PITA, that's fine, I understand the irritation. The leap from not liking the DRM, however poor a system, to the existence or attempt at DRM making piracy valid is what I'm trying to understand. This is a nonsequitir isnt it?

This may be some sort of misunderstanding. If you download stuff without paying, you're pirating. And that's not good (if you value the idea that IP can have value, or live in a society where  content producers assume that other people have this value, and that this value is enforced by law). DRM is unnecessary and useless, as  far as I'm concerned.  Do I dislike artists for protecting their music? Yes, because it's wasting both parties' time, and I will pay for the music if I like what I hear. DRM still doesn't make piracy legal, but it does encourage it. And if the pirate bay is the only source of individual MP3's, I can't feel bad if people go there. Of course now that there's legit ways to get unDRM'd music, this line of argument no longer applies (to music).

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It also doesn't endorse copying it and not getting paid for it.
OK sure.

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Patents don't have clearly defined value either, nor does a painting or photo, but it isn't any less of an infringement to make an unauthorized copy.
Right. Because it's still IP. The argument can be made as to how much value these things have. Patents might have the most tangible value because of research costs. But the point is that a concept that exists virtually will never have the same kind of value as an actual thing. So you can never really equate copying with stealing. It's wrong for other reasons, but it's not stealing.

 

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