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Old 11-18-2012, 05:18 PM   #406
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Originally Posted by BoldlyDubious View Post
My proposal aims at reducing piracy in general, especially that associated with the uncontrolled proliferation of copies of a file that now tends to happen once DRM has been removed from such file.
But you've offered no reason whatsoever to think that that form of piracy would be reduced.
Currently people can remove the DRM from a file and upload it.
In your scheme people would be able to remove the watermarking from a file and upload it.
And an unbreakable watermarking scheme is just as impossible as an unbreakable DRM scheme.[0]

[0: For mass-market purposes, and assuming that the content cannot be changed. For works only originally distributed to a small number of people you can in fact have effectively unbreakable watermarking.]
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:27 PM   #407
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My experience is that Amazon has user-unfriendly proprietary practices, but their whole business plan is built around them. I think competition will drive them to change, and the notion of a public or general DRM that allows users much more flexibility is bound to be implemented by someone. When they do, they'll grab market share. There isn't much Amazon can do to stave that off, so they'd best figure out how to go with the flow before they get into that current.
I don't think this is true at all. Amazon has proprietary practices, of course, but I think that they are very user friendly, which is *why* their business is built around them.

DRM is a separate issue, as Amazon's system works fine without it and Amazon has never cared about it. I suppose someone may come up with a more flexible DRM scheme that is acceptable to the publishers, but I'm not sure why that would cut Amazon out. (I'm also not certain that DRM is much of a real selling point for 90% of users.)
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:43 AM   #408
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It'd be nice if we could separate these out for the purposes of this discussion. Personally I only strip DRM for backup and to use on all my devices. I do not do it to "share" them.
Yes, I think that most of us do the same.
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The more I think about this proposal the more it seems like a lot of change for not very much gain. I get that you care a lot about having the freedom to share legally with friends and family. However limited sharing is already available legally (use on N devices, lend the physcial device). For me the downsides to your scheme are not worth the extra little bit of freedom.
This is in fact one of points that are still open. Would people want/like such a scheme?
However, beside legal sharing with family and friends, the main objective of my scheme is to stop having people's libraries hostage of closed, "walled garden" schemes that will let them stranded if the vendor and/or the publisher go out of business. In my view this is, in the long run, the key issue.
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But I think a lot of these arguments become irrelevant unless and until you can convince publishers to adopt your scheme. I suspect that if you could get them interested by the time it came to agreement the fines/penalties would be much harsher and the "legalised casual sharing" would be more limited than you propose. In fact I suspect it wouldn't be much different to what we have now but with water-marked files.
With respect to this, my "social DRM" proposal is able to defend itself pretty well, I think :-)
In fact, if ever some publishers will consider switching to such a scheme, they will know that if fines are too high and/or limitations to sharing are too restrictive people will simply strip the metadata and be free... exactly what happens today with DRM! So publishers will have to define fines and limitations that make people happy enough to leave the metadata in place. (Or, of course, they can refuse to consider such a scheme. And not benefit from its piracy-prevention properties.)

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Old 11-19-2012, 06:53 AM   #409
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Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
But you've offered no reason whatsoever to think that that form of piracy would be reduced.
Currently people can remove the DRM from a file and upload it.
In your scheme people would be able to remove the watermarking from a file and upload it.
It's not really like that. Currently people have no personal reason to avoid removing the DRM from a file and uploading it. (Respecting laws and contracts is not a personal reason, in this context: a personal reason is something that tells you that you will be damaged if you do something.)
In my scheme, people will have the very personal reason of not wanting to let down the person who gave them the file (as I explained, for instance, in post #366; please note that it's not necessary that the potential uploader cares about the original file buyer).
This is a key difference. It means that my social DRM system features what I called a "distributed damping system" based on social links between people.

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Old 11-19-2012, 07:29 AM   #410
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Originally Posted by BoldlyDubious View Post
Yes, I think that most of us do the same.

This is in fact one of points that are still open. Would people want/like such a scheme?
However, beside legal sharing with family and friends, the main objective of my scheme is to stop having people's libraries hostage of closed, "walled garden" schemes that will let them stranded if the vendor and/or the publisher go out of business. In my view this is, in the long run, the key issue.

With respect to this, my "social DRM" proposal is able to defend itself pretty well, I think :-)
In fact, if ever some publishers will consider switching to such a scheme, they will know that if fines are too high and/or limitations to sharing are too restrictive people will simply strip the metadata and be free... exactly what happens today with DRM! So publishers will have to define fines and limitations that make people happy enough to leave the metadata in place. (Or, of course, they can refuse to consider such a scheme. And not benefit from its piracy-prevention properties.)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the publishers don't have anything to do with the fines for copyright violations, that is set by Congress (or should I say the Lobbyists?).
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:53 AM   #411
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It's not really like that. Currently people have no personal reason to avoid removing the DRM from a file and uploading it. (Respecting laws and contracts is not a personal reason, in this context: a personal reason is something that tells you that you will be damaged if you do something.)
In my scheme, people will have the very personal reason of not wanting to let down the person who gave them the file (as I explained, for instance, in post #366; please note that it's not necessary that the potential uploader cares about the original file buyer).
This is a key difference. It means that my social DRM system features what I called a "distributed damping system" based on social links between people.
It is no difference at all if the original buyer is uploading the file.
And if someone has no moral issues with uploading a file for thousands of people to download, why would they have an issue with removing watermarking from a file in order to do that? Once removed, they can't get the original buyer in trouble.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:01 AM   #412
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but the publishers don't have anything to do with the fines for copyright violations, that is set by Congress (or should I say the Lobbyists?).
You are right. Publishers can only issue requests for fines to the police, each of which accompanied by instructions explaining how the file it refers to can be obtained.

My idea is this. Suppose person P buys file F from vendor V. Subsequently, V discovers that such file (which includes embedded information that allow V to identify P) has been made illegally available through online publication or other means. V then issues a request for fine to the police, including the personal data of P.
If the request from V gets processed by the police (that's the police's choice), an officer tries to get the file by following the instruction supplied by V. If the officer succeeds (without having to interact with anyone she/he personally knows), an email is sent to P notifying the issue, and asking for the email(s) of the actual uploader(s).
The police then sends an email to all of these addresses, asking if the addressees want to take responsibility for the illegal distribution. If one or more of the addressees accept to take such responsibility, they share the amount of the fine between them and P does not pay anything.
If none of the addressees accept to take responsibility, person P has to pay its part of the fine, and the uploader (if identified) will pay the remaining part.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:25 AM   #413
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Originally Posted by BoldlyDubious View Post
You are right. Publishers can only issue requests for fines to the police, each of which accompanied by instructions explaining how the file it refers to can be obtained.

My idea is this. Suppose person P buys file F from vendor V. Subsequently, V discovers that such file (which includes embedded information that allow V to identify P) has been made illegally available through online publication or other means. V then issues a request for fine to the police, including the personal data of P.
If the request from V gets processed by the police (that's the police's choice), an officer tries to get the file by following the instruction supplied by V. If the officer succeeds (without having to interact with anyone she/he personally knows), an email is sent to P notifying the issue, and asking for the email(s) of the actual uploader(s).
The police then sends an email to all of these addresses, asking if the addressees want to take responsibility for the illegal distribution. If one or more of the addressees accept to take such responsibility, they share the amount of the fine between them and P does not pay anything.
If none of the addressees accept to take responsibility, person P has to pay its part of the fine, and the uploader (if identified) will pay the remaining part.
Are you from the US? You don't seem to understand how the legal system works. Bypass the judicial system?

LOL the strain on the police might just be a little too much.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:32 AM   #414
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Originally Posted by BoldlyDubious View Post
It's not really like that. Currently people have no personal reason to avoid removing the DRM from a file and uploading it. (Respecting laws and contracts is not a personal reason, in this context: a personal reason is something that tells you that you will be damaged if you do something.)
There's a thing called "morals" which prevents many people from illegally distributing books. Very much a "personal reason".
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:44 AM   #415
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Yes, drastically lowering the amount of the fine seems necessary to me. Nowadays fines are set at horribly high values because everyone knows that the probabilitiy of being caught at illegally uploading files it's almost negligible. So the thing that publishers are trying to do is terrorize people into submission, which requires suitably terrorizing punishments. Such high fines have (only) a symbolic value, and publishers know that perfectly well.
With my "social DRM" scheme, getting a fine for illegal distribution is not impossible (if you share carelessly), so the fine does not need a symbolic value. It gets back to the original function of fines: a warning, just as a traffic ticket. So the amount of the fine can be set at reasonable value.
By the way, publishers will be the first to want reasonably low values, otherwise people will start stripping metadata from files "just in case".
The biggest thing is you're wanting to change it from a civil to a criminal case. Things are done in completely different courts, with different regulations. That is a major reason why content owners would fight your proposed scheme. As it stands, content owners sued infringers, presented their case, defendant could settle out of court or let the jury decide. If the jury decided the defendant was guilty they would establish the amount of restitution, up to the allowed maximum. The plaintiff would get any money they were awarded. Under your proposal, due to existing laws it would have to be a criminal misdemeanor, at which point any money from the fine would go to the government and not the content owners. Oh plus, you would also force it so civil action is not possible. For criminal offenses with a victim, the victim is allowed to sue civilly. You would have to make the argument that it is a victimless crime akin to non collision traffic offenses, or specifically state the victim is not allowed restitution which is legally dubious and would likely be thrown out (as potentially unconstitutional).

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Writing successful computer viruses or setting up botnets requires a high level of technical skills, time, and money. I don't think that someone will be interested in doing such things (and risking criminal prosecution) just to copy media files and then upload them for free on the internet.
To create one from scratch. But most people who use botnets DO NOT do that. You have a handful of people create the viruses, and then rent the botnets to others to do with what ever they want. And yes, stealing info from infected computers is extremely common. How else do you think the Russian Mafia has millions of stolen credit cards to sell on the black market? You're also totally neglecting the script kiddies that use the tools already made tools to screw with people.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:40 AM   #416
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This is a key issue. The fine should be large enough to hurt, but not so large as to terrorize people into adopting a "trust no one!" lifestyle. I am thinking along the lines of "30-50 times the price of the illegally uploaded file".
It's interesting that you use the word "liberate", because it seems to confirm what I think: that today's setup is perceived as so unfair that some people illegally distribute media to "fight" it. Well, with a fair copy-protection scheme (of which mine is only a tentative example) these people would stop.
So, it's about a fine of 300. If that is per book then for heavy readers you can easily multiply that by a couple of thousand, if it isn't per book then after someone has been fined then they can do whatever they want and upload their books with impunity.

I'm afraid it's not workable from a legal perspective.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:58 AM   #417
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It is no difference at all if the original buyer is uploading the file.
And if someone has no moral issues with uploading a file for thousands of people to download, why would they have an issue with removing watermarking from a file in order to do that?
Of course, some people will do just that. However, the aim of my proposed system is not to eradicate piracy. Its aim is to significantly extend the freedom for media users of (legally) doing things with their files, while reducing (or at the very least certainly not increasing) piracy.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:02 PM   #418
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Are you from the US? You don't seem to understand how the legal system works. Bypass the judicial system?
LOL the strain on the police might just be a little too much.
Maybe the process could be the same of a traffic ticket. Maybe I'm a bit naive, but I'd say that at this stage these are only (important) technicalities.
(...the "strain on the police" put by clicking on hyperlinks?? I expect that 99% of the instructions provided by publishers would be "go here and click "Download torrent file".)
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:08 PM   #419
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There's a thing called "morals" which prevents many people from illegally distributing books. Very much a "personal reason".
Those of us that don't upload their media are not part of the problem. The problem of illegal distribution is created by people who have no problems with that. I'm trying to find a way to ensure that they (together with publishers) stop making life miserable for honest media users (or force them to do prohibited and/or illegal practices like DRM-stripping).
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:11 PM   #420
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So, it's about a fine of 300. If that is per book then for heavy readers you can easily multiply that by a couple of thousand, if it isn't per book then after someone has been fined then they can do whatever they want and upload their books with impunity.
It isn't per book. But: do you think that so many uploaders would easily pay that kind of money just to let some strangers save on their media?
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