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Old 11-10-2012, 03:37 AM   #271
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By making it an additional crime to be stolen FROM.
... Last month, I was robbed. [...] I did report the crime to the police. I did not give them a list of books. I don't have one. There were a couple hundred ebooks on the device. Some people, in similar situations, would not report the theft to the police... if someone stole my ereader from my backpack, it might be days or weeks before I noticed it.
I'm sorry you were robbed. However, in my "proposal" (this word makes it more structured than it really is...) if you report a theft of your media library to the police, media companies cannot ask that you are prosecuted if any media you purchased up to the date of the report is illegally distributed.
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It's possible to add identifying info--invisible watermarks--to non-DRM'd books, but that means running code at the time of sale or download, with personalized user info... there's expense in setting up such a system, and probably OS compatibility issues. Such options won't be available for small companies.
This is the kind of thing I was thinking about. I'm not convinced at all that the processing overhead would be so great. Even if the load per book is high, how many books are purchased per second? Especially if you are a small publisher?

I don't think that the system to embed user data that I hypothesized for my "social DRM" needs to be more robust than current DRM towards removal.
The main force towards preventing illegal distribution will be the fact that people will not give a copy of their files to any friend of a friend who asks them, because they will know that those files could end up on the net... with the embedded data in place.
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Additional hassles: the law change you're suggesting is only going to work in one country. If the original buyer's not in that jurisdiction, the law will be irrelevant.
Isn't it like that also with current DRM systems? Also: I'm not sure that a change of law would be necessary. Maybe only a change of Terms of Service would do.
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:54 AM   #272
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By making it an additional crime to be stolen FROM.

... Last month, I was robbed. Someone grabbed my purse and ran with it. That included my ereader. (I'm going a bit buggy reading on a computer screen.) Under your system, I'd be liable for prosecution if those books get uploaded somewhere.
I do not get it why you should be liable? Wasn't the system that if YOU did something you could be liable.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:25 AM   #273
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I do not only advocate the freedom to do whatever we want with our media (including owning it for real). I also advocate responsibility for users. If Bill cannot be trusted, Mary should not trust him. If she does, she has a responsibility in the illegal distribution of her file, along with Bill. Of course, when she receives a note from the police she could remember about Bill, and Bill could find out that what he did is not so fun after all. So maybe Bill can be trusted ;-)

Is this unnecessarily harsh to Mary? i don't think so. If her neighbor gave to her the keys to his house, and she left them where Bill can take them an rob the neigbor, Mary has a responsibility in the robbing.

That said, the monstrous punishments that media companies now ask for "pirates" would be useless in presence of a system that actually allows identification of the source of illegally distributed files. If misbehaviour is really punished, most of the times, there's no need for "exemplary punishments" to scare people: a reasonable fine should suffice.
Sorry, are you saying that if I lend someone a hammer and they use it to rob a jewellery shop then I am responsible

And even worse, if someone breaks into my shed, steals my hammer, then robs the jewellery shop I am still responsible.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:05 AM   #274
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Sorry, are you saying that if I lend someone a hammer and they use it to rob a jewellery shop then I am responsible
No, I am saying that -in exchange for the freedom to really own my media files (NOT a license to them) and do whatever I want with them (including giving them to other people of my choosing)- I would accept to be partly responsible if I make a wrong choice and some of these people decide to illegally distribute my files.

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And even worse, if someone breaks into my shed, steals my hammer, then robs the jewellery shop I am still responsible.
No again. I'm saying that if someone breaks into my shed, steals my gun and I do not report that to the police and then uses my gun to commit some crime, I have a responsibility.

My point is that current DRM schemes take away most of the rights of ownership from consumers, with the "trick" of making them licensees instead of owners of the files they download. However if a file gets stripped of its DRM and illegally distributed, in practice the original buyer does not risk anything (even when she/he is the actual distributor). The risk is so low that this seems to be some kind of sport for some people.
I'm proposing to switch to a system of social DRM where consumers own the files they buy and are free to do with them whatever they feel appropriate; but in this system owners share a part of responsibility if their decisions about what to do with their files lead to illegal distribution.
It's the switch from being considered (from media companies) as irresponsible children to becoming responsible, adult consumers who have the right to decide of what they do with whatever they buy. Just as it is with physical goods.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:23 AM   #275
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Originally Posted by BoldlyDubious View Post
No, I am saying that -in exchange for the freedom to really own my media files (NOT a license to them) and do whatever I want with them (including giving them to other people of my choosing)- I would accept to be partly responsible if I make a wrong choice and some of these people decide to illegally distribute my files.


No again. I'm saying that if someone breaks into my shed, steals my gun and I do not report that to the police and then uses my gun to commit some crime, I have a responsibility.

My point is that current DRM schemes take away most of the rights of ownership from consumers, with the "trick" of making them licensees instead of owners of the files they download. However if a file gets stripped of its DRM and illegally distributed, in practice the original buyer does not risk anything (even when she/he is the actual distributor). The risk is so low that this seems to be some kind of sport for some people.
I'm proposing to switch to a system of social DRM where consumers own the files they buy and are free to do with them whatever they feel appropriate; but in this system owners share a part of responsibility if their decisions about what to do with their files lead to illegal distribution.
It's the switch from being considered (from media companies) as irresponsible children to becoming responsible, adult consumers who have the right to decide of what they do with whatever they buy. Just as it is with physical goods.
+1. If your car has been stolen (or you have given it to a friend for the day) and it is being used to commit a bank robbery you don't automatically go to jail. But having the license plate the car can be traced back to you and then you have to cooperate and help the police to track down the next person in line. There is no assumption of guilt, but there is a trail that can be followed which might lead to the actual perpetrator.

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Old 11-13-2012, 06:08 AM   #276
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Thanks, HansTWN. For the sake of discussion, here is my proposal for "social DRM":

Media files are sold (not licensed) to buyers. When a buyer downloads a media file, her/his own copy of it includes embedded metadata that allow the seller to identify who bought it, and when. Buyers can do whatever they want with their files, such as giving a copy of them to their family; on the other side, they have a responsibility in the consequences of what they do.

If a media file gets illegally distributed (e.g., it is published on a torrent site) the original buyer of that file is considered responsible of illegal distribution along with the actual distributor, unless one or both of the following conditions apply:

1) on day X, before the illegal distribution, the owner of the file notified the police of a theft of property or data which included media files, and the illegally distributed file was purchased before day X;

2) the file owner is able to identify the physical person who actually distributed the file, and this person confirms to have done that, taking all the responsibility of the act.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:13 AM   #277
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Originally Posted by BoldlyDubious View Post
[I]Media files are sold (not licensed) to buyers. When a buyer downloads a media file, her/his own copy of it includes embedded metadata that allow the seller to identify who bought it, and when. Buyers can do whatever they want with their files, such as giving a copy of them to their family; on the other side, they have a responsibility in the consequences of what they do.
This would be copyright infringement. You can't buy a paper book and then give copies of it to anyone you wish to - do you really think that you should be able to do so for eBooks?
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:24 AM   #278
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This would be copyright infringement. You can't buy a paper book and then give copies of it to anyone you wish to - do you really think that you should be able to do so for eBooks?
According to my proposal, this would not be copyright infringement. Of course, if you give a copy of your media to people who you don't fully trust, you can expect sooner or later to get into trouble for illegal distribution of media. So you won't do that.

Ebooks are not paper books. At the moment, vendors get full advantage of the difference (e.g., no print costs) and consumers can't (e.g., you can't give your books to your friends or family to read; you can't even let your family get your library if you die!).
My idea is that it is possible to acknowledge the difference between ebooks and pbooks and share the advantages between sellers and buyers.

By the way, pbooks are not tied to physical readers or licenses. Everyone in my home can read one of my pbooks, at the same time, with no copyright infringement. On the contrary, if I lend my Kindle to someone I can't read anything until it gets back.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:31 AM   #279
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According to my proposal, this would not be copyright infringement. Of course, if you give a copy of your media to people who you don't fully trust, you can expect sooner or later to get into trouble for illegal distribution of media. So you won't do that.
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. On the one hand you're saying that you don't believe that giving away copies of a book to anyone you wish to do so should be copyright infringement, but then you say "you can expect to get into trouble for illegal distribution". If you're saying that it shouldn't be illegal to distribute copies of a book, how could there be illegal distribution?
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:36 AM   #280
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I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. On the one hand you're saying that you don't believe that giving away copies of a book to anyone you wish to do so should be copyright infringement, but then you say "you can expect to get into trouble for illegal distribution". If you're saying that it shouldn't be illegal to distribute copies of a book, how could there be illegal distribution?
It is pretty obvious that the distinction here is giving copies to friends which in or should be perfectly legal and mass distribution. You are for example allowed to make copies of music to give to friends (at least in some countries) and given a copy of a book to family and friend is just a generalization of that.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:39 AM   #281
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It is pretty obvious that the distinction here is giving copies to friends which in or should be perfectly legal and mass distribution. You are for example allowed to make copies of music to give to friends (at least in some countries) and given a copy of a book to family and friend is just a generalization of that.
In which countries are you allowed to do that?
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:41 AM   #282
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It is pretty obvious that the distinction here is giving copies to friends which in or should be perfectly legal and mass distribution. You are for example allowed to make copies of music to give to friends (at least in some countries) and given a copy of a book to family and friend is just a generalization of that.
Tompe is right. If you read the text of my proposal a few posts back (post #276), you will find how I propose to actually make the distinction.

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Old 11-13-2012, 07:58 AM   #283
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If a media file gets illegally distributed (e.g., it is published on a torrent site) the original buyer of that file is considered responsible of illegal distribution along with the actual distributor, unless one or both of the following conditions apply:

1) on day X, before the illegal distribution, the owner of the file notified the police of a theft of property or data which included media files, and the illegally distributed file was purchased before day X;

2) the file owner is able to identify the physical person who actually distributed the file, and this person confirms to have done that, taking all the responsibility of the act.[/I]
The issue I take with this, is that unlike knowing your car/computer has been stolen because it's clearly not where you left it Your computer files can and have been stolen without anyone been any the wiser. The first time you may know enough to report it to the police is when you're been accused of distributing IP, at which point it's too late to report.

The police also won't thank customers reporting everytime they get a rootkit/trojan on their PC which could have given outsiders access to their movies/ebooks. They'd end up doing nothing but filling in report forms.

In addition, it may not always be a rootkit or trojan installed that'll help show files were stolen without your knowledge (assuming you can show you didn't install it yourself). What about anyone who takes their PC for repair and has an unscrupulous employee copy some music/books whilst they're backing up the machine to reinstall?

In time sufficient people may complain that they've been falsely accused and eventually it might lead back to a company who employs that person. However, until all those threads are tied together, if ever, you'll have people accused of file sharing facing life ruining fines.

My one fear with social DRM is actually related to what happens IF someone does indeed gain unauthorised access to your PC and copies your files. You may not know about it nor be able to prove it and may find your life is about to be ruined with huge fines you'll never be able to pay all because you did the right thing and PAID legally for your entertainment. It'd be safer to pirate the content then if someone copies it off you and goes on to widely distribute it themselves, you're not on the hook for it. If you get caught downloading, well that's a minor issue compared to the fines you face for uploading or been considered a distributor/source. Not really how it should work imho.

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Old 11-13-2012, 08:21 AM   #284
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In which countries are you allowed to do that?
Sweden for example. We even have a special tax on cassette and video tapes to compensate creators for the legal friend copying.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:36 AM   #285
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Sweden for example. We even have a special tax on cassette and video tapes to compensate creators for the legal friend copying.
I am glad we don't have that scheme here. You pay a surchage on every SD card, hard disk, blank CD or DVD, etc. And in the end you might have paid more than you would have buying the items. On top of it all the money is being distributed by politicians and trade groups. I prefer to directly support those who I think deserve it.
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