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Old 07-15-2005, 01:48 PM   #1
Bob Russell
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Longhorn DRM Will Demand "Approved" Display Devices

In another terrible twist, DRM just got even more imposing. Slashdot is reporting that the upcoming version of Windows desktop OS (Longhorn) will allow content providers to require an approved display.

The technology is "a new feature in Longhorn entitled PVP-OPM (Protected Video Path - Output Protection Management) which detects the capabilities of the display devices you are using and manages how (and if at all) content is sent to it. In short, this means that if Longhorn detects that your monitor is not 'secure' enough, then your premium video content won't play on it until you buy one that is. Who gets to decide? The content providers of course."

More money for content providers or will this just ruin their market? Time will tell.
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Old 07-15-2005, 04:42 PM   #2
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Four words:

I Told You So.

Just look at the things happening:

  • With the broadcast flag being driven through as a rider on the back of unrelated bills
  • DVDs not allowing you to skip the intro commercials (soon the same thing will happen with HDTV as well, they're already talking about making it so you can't mute commercials, enforced by the broadcast flag)
  • I pay for television, and I am forced to watch commercials (already), why the heck are they also showing me "commercials" on the bottom 1/3 of my screen during actual progamming hours? It used to be a little banner, and now it's a 1/3 high, full-screen width animated commercial [and some even have sound!!!]
  • Analog being phased out in 2009, DTV being a "requirement" at that same time (and do you know why? Because the FCC wants to recover those frequencies and resell them to make more profit, nice.)
  • Schools moving to non-paper curriculum (thus making forging textbooks easy from year to year, ala the Ministry of Truth)
...and many other things, this was only the next progression in the whole thing.

Mark my words, we're going to see full cable channels being streamed to your PC or TV, which has to be "authorized", and from there, we'll see Pay-per-View for everything, just like in a hotel.

The media is just diving down a bunch of frantic paths because they know they've locked themselves into a dead-end path, and they're trying to make as much money as they can before they wither out and die.

Look at broadcast media vs. podcasts.. some television news channels even have sections of their programming dedicated to dictating "news articles" from blogs on the web. Repeat that slowly and you'll see the irony of it... News.. on TV... reading blogs aloud... from the Internet. CNN is one of these.

I'm phasing out my TV, Netflix, and dvd usage. I'm not going to contribute to an industry that is making it incredibly hard for me to enjoy the programming I'm PAYING for. They're not working for me, so I'm going to stop working for them.

The best high-definition media is right outside my front door, and its better for me to watch that than a bunch of color pictures on a piece of glass.
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Old 07-15-2005, 06:34 PM   #3
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Just one word: SCARY. Let's hope that a lot of people think like Hacker and will boycott the entertainment industry. Perhaps, if no one buys their crippled products, they will have to rethink their business plans (I know, wishful thinking...).
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Old 07-15-2005, 06:49 PM   #4
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If copyrights expired in 5 years instead of a lifetime, I think this would all work out pretty reasonable on all sides, even with DRM issues. And those that say we wouldn't see exciting content are going to have to be a lot more convincing to get me to even start to believe that.

Besides, isn't copyright meant to be the best balance FOR THE PUBLIC! It's supposed to protect profits enough to ensure we see content developed (it's no good for any of us if there's no profit and we only get shoestring content from those who only do it for fun), and yet maximize the benefit to the public of available material (I think everyone seems to have forgotten the part about being in the best interest of the public).

I just don't see how it is in the best interest of the public to allow content providers to control every aspect of how you can use content and how long you can use it. Some control makes sense to me. But 50 or more years of content protection being in the best interest of the public?? Give me a break!
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Old 07-15-2005, 07:08 PM   #5
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Actually, the industry is looking to get perpetual copyrights on intellectual property.

There was something the other day on Slashdot about exactly this point.

However, as Alexander alludes to, boycotting the media won't help, because they're not listening to us the customers (not "consumers", we do not "consume" media like we consume food, and the more we continue to use the word "consumer", we propagate that belief).

Do you really think customers asked that their television viewing experience be hijacked by animated advertisements at the bottom of their screen? The ADD problem is already rampant in this country.. putting distracting blinky, animated things at the bottom of television programming isn't helping the problem.

Did you know shows like Sesame Street don't have commercials at all during them? Why? Because they're made for children and commercials promote ADD.

Do these media companies really believe that we WANT to be forced to watch 15 minutes of intro movie commercials before watching the DVD we already paid for?

Did Sony really think that the best feature of their mp3 player, is that it can't even play mp3s (and uses a proprietary Sony media format instead)?

Companies aren't listening, and customers aren't being heard. There is a gap, and its growing. I liken the commercials to spam and banner ads. Where is AdBlock for TV?

The only way to get them to listen is to make a SERIOUS dent in their wallets... but I fear that won't work either, they'll just blame the profit losses on p2p or piracy or some other scapegoat.

Sigh.
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Old 07-15-2005, 07:35 PM   #6
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Amen and amen! Except...
Quote:
Originally Posted by hacker
The only way to get them to listen is to make a SERIOUS dent in their wallets...
This is a tough issue, and I might be way off base. But I think the only way change will happen is a three-fold attack for truth:
1) Educate people about the purpose of copyright law and replace the "Copying is theft and moral bankruptcy" message with "Copyright Law is supposed to be giving the best deal to the public for the public good."
2) Pressure politicians across the world to turn away from the temptations of "bribes and contributions" from content providers when deciding on legislative issues. Hmm.. I guess that's impossible. Well, at least expose them when they give in to the dollars.
3) Organize and encourage coordinated public uprising in support of freer content availability. Make it a popular cause. No, I'm not suggesting anarchy or violence or anything negative. I just mean build a grass roots movement for the good of all.

But, still it's unlikely anyone can stop the big movie and recording industries from dominating the future of content rules and laws. It's kind of like saying that we can make politics more fair if we educate the public about campaign finance and how it basically is allowing people with money to bribe politicians. Think about it... if a company president took personal money like a politician does wouldn't that be considered wrong? Suppose a buyer for a company took large amounts of money? But it's okay for politicians because... why? Aren't they sort of like caretakers for our money kind of like a corporate buyer is? Does anyone really believe that the money contributed by special interests doesn't affect their decisions? Obviously everyone giving the money thinks it buys influence, or they wouldn't waste all that money. I guarantee they don't give it just out of the kindness of their hearts. And they say it's just buying "access", not influence. And I've got a bridge to sell you also!

Okay, I'm done ranting. Sorry. I just can't help myself sometimes. I'll go take my medication now...
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Old 07-15-2005, 08:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobR
1) Educate people [...]
Check.

Quote:
2) Pressure politicians across the world to turn away from the temptations of "bribes and contributions" [...]
We lose here.

Quote:
3) Organize and encourage coordinated public uprising in support of freer content availability.
This is starting to happen with sites like legaltorrents.com, Corey Doctorow and Lawrence Lessig's books being released online for free as well as printed and published. It'll take a lot more than that for it to really take hold though. We need a major movie house or music studio to wholeheartedly support it.

As someone said recently on another list:
DRM is supposed to get in your way when you redistribute. Its not supposed to prevent you from using media you legally own on equipment you legally own.
Quote:
But, still it's unlikely anyone can stop the big movie and recording industries from dominating the future of content rules and laws.
Related to that, give this diary entry a read. Follow the link to the summary at the bottom too. Basically the industry is gunning to make software authors legally liable when someone uses their software for maliscious or illegal purposes, starting with Bram Cohen, author of BitTorrent (which we use extensively I might add).

THAT is some scary stuff. That's like holding Anheuser Busch being held responsible for drunk drivers. What if someone sends me an mp3 through their work machine. Should Microsoft be held responsible because Exchange was used to deliver it? Its ludicrous.

I explained a fraction of these kinds of things to my wife, and she was shocked. She immediately said
"Why isn't this stuff on the news? Why aren't these kinds of cases on NPR? Why don't people like me hear about this stuff?"
THIS is the problem we need to solve. We have control of lots of public kinds of media-delivery services (blogs, websites like Mobileread, tools like Plucker, whatever) and we have MOTIVATION.

The mainstream public needs to know how their rights are being slowly taken away. Pry their eyes off of the latest reality show on Fox for 10 minutes and start explaining these things to them in their language. Motivate them to force change. Speak to their angst, get them to FEEL the pain the media companies are putting them through.

Quote:
I guarantee they don't give it just out of the kindness of their hearts. And they say it's just buying "access", not influence. And I've got a bridge to sell you also!
A huge tax break is one reason, and having the ability influence decisions by even 1% can make millions for a corporation. They put $500,000.00 into a politicians pockets or campaign and they make a few million on the back-end. Not a bad "investment", and the $500k is a nice fat tax deduction for them. Cute.

Quote:
Okay, I'm done ranting. Sorry. I just can't help myself sometimes. I'll go take my medication now...
Never stop ranting.

Never give up.

Never settle.

Never tolerate ineptitude or stupidity.

Always question what you don't agree with.

Not to toot my own horn, but as Alexander said... we need more people like me. Sometimes I wish I had a clone. My wife sometimes wishes there was one less of me. <grin>
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Old 07-15-2005, 08:35 PM   #8
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I thought the broadcast flag was essentially dead.
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