PDA

View Full Version : France Vs Apple



autopilot
2006-03-24, 17:16
Just wondering what people around here think of the DRM debate going on over in France.

I have read a few articles and forum threads, many of which seem to be American's sticking up for Apple and bashing the French, purely because, well, it's the French (they seem to get bashed because they said our little Iraq adventure was a bad idea and refused to play with us, which obviously annoys people even more now that they were actually right) and not really thinking objectively about the real implications.

Anyway, back to the main point, I actually think the French are right on here. Personally, i would never buy music from itunes, it's a rip off when a CD is almost the same price yet better quality. however I strongly believe people should be allowed to make the choice to buy a non-apple product and still be able to play their music they have invested in. I'm personally glad that someone has had the balls to make a stand against monopolies and say, stop using piracy as an excuse and using DRM for the wrong reasons.

Also, if people could play the files on other devices, then the need for people to crack and remove the DRM would be reduced. This French law could actually help the fight again piracy. Of course Apple are still screaming like a little girl in the playground who has had her candy bar stolen.

People here seem like level headed, intelligent thinking people. So please don't make this a "USA, we're number 1, the French suck!" debate like elsewhere. Should Apple open up thier DRM?



PS - for people that have not heard, the French government is trying to pass a law that allows other companies to use apples DRM (Not remove DRM from itunes tracks); http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4833010.stm

stinkingpig
2006-03-24, 17:26
dangerous_dom wrote:
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> A poll associated with this post was created, to vote and see the
> results, please visit http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=22423
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Question: France Vs Apple
>
> - Apple are right
> - The French are right
> - Both are wrong, I have a better solution (explain)
> - What's France?
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Just wondering what people around here think of the DRM debate going on
> over in France.
>

Apple's DRM isn't harming anyone expect the people foolish enough to buy
it. There are plenty of legal alternatives, and even more non-legal
ones, so who cares?

This is just showboating the idea that DRM is bad, anti-consumer, and
monopolistic. That's entirely true, but not something to waste the
court's time with because it's not illegal and there isn't actually a
monopoly (or even a decent cartel). Now if Apple was able to illegally
stop the French equivalent of eMusic from operating, you'd have a case
for a trial, but if too few French are informed enough to keep their
eMusic equivalent in business, that's not Apple's fault.

--
Jack at Monkeynoodle dot Org: It's a Scientific Venture...
Riding the Emergency Third Rail Power Trip Since 1996

Mark Lanctot
2006-03-24, 17:42
Personally I'm glad the French government is willing to step in here. Hopefully it'll snowball to the rest of the EU and from there to the rest of the world.

The RIAA have way too many friends in Washington. This would never get started in the U.S. It's up to someone else to say that locking into one format is wrong.

As for DRM not harming anyone, I feel we've already started down the slippery slope. DRM is creeping in everywhere and no one is asking any questions or raising any concerns. One day we'll only be allowed to play CDs in an RIAA-approved player with secure HDMI-like connections to a protected receiver. That's not so far-fetched: take a look at DVD-A, SACD, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. The technology is moving towards a "secure chain" idea.

And just wait until Windows Vista comes out that supports it through a hardware chip on the motherboard...This has got to stop.

autopilot
2006-03-24, 17:53
...This is just showboating the idea that DRM is bad, anti-consumer, and
monopolistic. That's entirely true, but not something to waste the
court's time with...

Why not? Thats what they are for. And it's not strictly a court issue, it's a bill of law they are trying to pass through the government. And just because something is not illegal does not mean it's not wrong or unfair and needs changing.

Also, how is 80% of all online music sales and the total grip of the personal DAP market not count as a monopoly?

Yes, you may say people are stupid to buy from itunes, i certainly would not buy from itunes myself. But many have, and now they are locked to Apple. Is it not the governments job to look after the little people and step in when a company has to much power and is acting very unfairly? After all, 99% of people are not as technologically knowledgable as you and me, they probably have better thing to do lol! Dismissing them as stupid is a little unfair, it's quite normal to not have a deep understanding of DRM and digital audio technology.

stinkingpig
2006-03-24, 18:03
Mark Lanctot wrote:
> As for DRM not harming anyone, I feel we've already started down the
> slippery slope. DRM is creeping in everywhere and no one is asking any
> questions or raising any concerns. One day we'll only be allowed to
> play CDs in an RIAA-approved player with secure HDMI-like connections
> to a protected receiver. That's not so far-fetched: take a look at
> DVD-A, SACD, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. The technology is moving towards a
> "secure chain" idea.
>
> And just wait until Windows Vista comes out that supports it through a
> hardware chip on the motherboard...This has got to stop.
>
>
>
I hear you, but at the same time I can and do vote with my wallet.

I'm not arguing that DRM is bad, just the utility of fighting it in that
forum.

--
Jack at Monkeynoodle dot Org: It's a Scientific Venture...
Riding the Emergency Third Rail Power Trip Since 1996

stinkingpig
2006-03-24, 18:07
dangerous_dom wrote:
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> A poll associated with this post was created, to vote and see the
> results, please visit http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=22423
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Question: France Vs Apple
>
> - Apple are right
> - The French are right
> - Both are wrong, I have a better solution (explain)
> - What's France?
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> stinkingpig Wrote:
>
>> dangerous_dom wrote:[color=blue]
>> This is just showboating the idea that DRM is bad, anti-consumer, and
>> monopolistic. That's entirely true, but not something to waste the
>> court's time with
>>
>
> Why not? That what they are for. And it's not strictly a court issue,
> it a bill of law they are trying to pass through the government. And
> just because something is not illegal does not mean it's not wrong or
> unfair.
>
>
"This ain't a court of justice son, this is a court of law." -- Billy Bragg

> Also, how is 80% of all online music sales and the total grip of the
> personal DAP market not count as a monopoly.
>
> Yes, you may say people are stupid to buy from itunes, i certainly
> would not buy from itunes myself. But many have, and now they are
> locked to Apple. Is it not the governments job to look after the little
> people and step in when a company has to much power and is acting very
> unfairly? After all, 99% of people don't have the knowledge we do. Most
> people are not geeks like me, they probably have better thing to do lol!
> Dismissing them as stupid is a little unfair, it's quite normal to not
> have a deep understanding of DRM and digital audio technology.
>
>

Let's remind ourselves this is a luxury product we're talking about --
it's not like the little guy is being screwed for his daily bread.

Foolish is being used here as shorthand for "unwilling to do any
independent research in the marketplace at all before buying a product."
Who said anything about needing to have a deep understanding?

--
Jack at Monkeynoodle dot Org: It's a Scientific Venture...
Riding the Emergency Third Rail Power Trip Since 1996

Mark Lanctot
2006-03-24, 18:14
I hear you, but at the same time I can and do vote with my wallet.


Oh yes, I absolutely agree, but it's just that the options are rapidly shrinking. I'm going to have to start making a list of all the companies I'm boycotting because it's beginning to be too many to remember. :-(

autopilot
2006-03-24, 18:25
Let's remind ourselves this is a luxury product we're talking about --
it's not like the little guy is being screwed for his daily bread.

Well of course not, this is a luxury item related forum and thats what we like to talk about :)

I agree with what you are saying regarding people voting with thier wallet. But as mark touched on, it's the wider context thats interesting here. This is the first time anyone has seriously challanged, at governemt level, the use DRM and an anti-competition method. Locking down DRM to a single product manufacturer does nothing to aid the fight again piracy (if anything, it fuels it). It's pure profitering. Nothing wrong with that, it's a free market, But this kind of missuse of the technolgy and missleading the public is only hindering the free market.

You might not give a monkeys ass about itunes, ipods or even the french, but this could have positive implications for us all.

Pale Blue Ego
2006-03-24, 21:43
I have a simple solution, and that's to never buy anything with DRM. If everyone followed suit, the RIAA would have to release their digital files in an open format, or fold their tents and go home.

But even the people with extensive iTunes-purchased collections are not really "locked in". They could easily burn the tracks to CD-R and rip as FLACs with no loss of quality, then use the files any way they wished.

gusi
2006-03-24, 23:23
I see it more as two approaches to tackling big music. ie despite their differences they are both pulling in the same direction.


Over the last 100 years as records and cds have become common in every household, big music has developed a business model based on the sales of few big stars. This requires lots of pressings of the same record and enables economies of scale where it doesn't need to keep a lot of stock of every recorded piece of music.

This is quite a similar model to the traditional method of selling books. A book store will stock few popular books but has much less variety than a library. When amazon came in the book business it brought in the ability to "stock" a much larger range of books. Not surprisingly it found a significant percentage (40?) of it sales to be in what is called "the long tail", ie books not normally stocked in the book store.

The internet and digital music has challenged big music's business model. The ability to copy music at will means that electronic music stores don't even have to keep stores of cds. All that it is required are electronic copies of the music.


Big music however has refused to adapt its busniess model. Traditional profits create a huge commercial inertia and instead of embracing the new technology it has fought it off tooth and nail to the extent where it is even suing its consumers.

Apple has made a compromise with big music to open the door to new music business models. France is just making sure that there is a level playing field in new music that is open to competition for all players. Being forced to buy the same music over and over again with varying drms to play on devices made by different manufacturers clearly doesn't make sense, contravenes any notion of fair use and would harm the music industry.

cheers
Gus

PS Pandora has a totally different business model again and should be congratulated on its novel approach. Expect plenty more change in the music industry.

klausbgva
2006-03-25, 06:50
I am happy that somebody does take on Appel and DRM in general.

Most people reading this forum will know the difference between DRM and NON DRM. But also the difference between lossy and lossless.

I am not against DRM but I want to be able to play the PC for as long as I want and as may different devices as I like.

Hopefully this will educate the broader population about booth issues. I know many people who have no idea that there is difference between a CD and an MP3 and the limitations of Itunes or other on line stores.

Any store that does provide legal FLAC Download for songs or albums will get my vote of the wallet. Ideally I would love to see Amazon provide it because I like their rating engine.

autopilot
2006-03-25, 08:28
Any store that does provide legal FLAC Download for songs or albums will get my vote of the wallet. Ideally I would love to see Amazon provide it because I like their rating engine.

Agreed. If itunes sold music as FLAC (or atleast ALAC), still be cheaper than buy the CD and i could play it with my SB3, i would probably start buying from them. But thats some way off.

Mark Lanctot
2006-03-25, 08:32
Agreed. If itunes sold music as FLAC (or atleast ALAC), still be cheaper than buy the CD and i could play it with my SB3, i would probably start buying from them. But thats some way off.

iTunes selling FLAC? That's not only a long way off, that's when Hell freezes over. ;-)

gharris999
2006-03-25, 08:40
The French are right. That's why they're French.

bigjules
2006-04-28, 17:30
I thought some guy in Melbourne, Australia had written an open source decoder for ALAC with Apple's DRM..
Surely it isn't hard to put this in as a transcoder for slimserver.

(of course.. I only read about it in passing so I could be wrong).

here's the link: (Googled ALAC) craz.net/programs/itunes/alac.html

Jacob Potter
2006-04-28, 17:54
On 4/28/06, bigjules
<bigjules.2702ob1146270901 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
> I thought some guy in Melbourne, Australia had written an open source
> decoder for ALAC with Apple's DRM..
> Surely it isn't hard to put this in as a transcoder for slimserver.

Only without DRM. Anyway, Apple doesn't sell songs in ALAC (lossless),
they're all AAC (lossy), and there are already open-source AAC
decoders.

It's the DRM that's the issue, not the format.

bigjules
2006-04-28, 19:09
Only without DRM. Anyway, Apple doesn't sell songs in ALAC (lossless),
they're all AAC (lossy), and there are already open-source AAC
decoders.


k.. my mistake. I should read more carefully.

oreillymj
2006-04-29, 02:23
I believe that Apple are wrong in this case. Personally I've no real interest in buying iTunes/ipod, but what does concern me is that this monopoly will eventually cause the demise of physical music stores/CD's and then I have bugger all choice but to give in.

Apple will never license their Fairplay DRM to third parties because the bulk of their income comes from selling iPod's not the songs themselves. You could argue that the loss of iPod sales could be offset by the licensing fees to third parties, but Apple tried that with MacOS and got burned. Thet won't repeat that mistake.

However, the fact that it happens to be the French taking a stand against an American company is not entirely surprising. If Apple were a large French company, we probably wouldn't hear a word from them. However the French do have a history of protecting their "culture" and having lived in the U.S. for some time, where town after town consists of strip malls & fast food joints, you have to say that it's something worth protecting.

BTW - please do not take my statement above as a personal attack on the U.S/Americans. I loved my time over there. It's just a pity that franchises seem to have turned every town into a spooky clone of every other town.