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funkahdafi
2008-10-05, 09:55
Hi,

you might or might not know Songbird, the mozilla based media player, which has a plugin that enables it to play back AAC files protected by Apple's Fairplay DRM.

So if others can do it - why not SqueezeCenter?

Go for it!

bhaagensen
2008-10-05, 12:57
Hi,

you might or might not know Songbird, the mozilla based media player, which has a plugin that enables it to play back AAC files protected by Apple's Fairplay DRM.

So if others can do it - why not SqueezeCenter?

Go for it!

It's probably not a matter of "can" do it, as much as it is a matter of "legal" to do it. AFAIK this plugin uses iTunes/Quicktime as a backend. It is only legal to playback AAC files on licensed devices, which for all intents and purposes are the same as those iTunes is available on.

E.g. Fairplay files does not work on Linux with Songbird.

autopilot
2008-10-05, 12:58
Hi,

you might or might not know Songbird, the mozilla based media player, which has a plugin that enables it to play back AAC files protected by Apple's Fairplay DRM.

So if others can do it - why not SqueezeCenter?

Go for it!

others, what others? This is first time i have heard anyone being able to do this. I have never used Songbird, but if it can play protected AAC's then it's either illegally removing the DRM or songbird is not actually playing the files directly but using Quicktime and parsing the audio or something (im not an expert, maybe someone else can explain what i mean better). Neither are ideal and i can't see Slim Devices ever doing it. Apple does not allow ANYONE the rights to decode it's DRM infected files.

funkahdafi
2008-10-05, 13:15
well no matter how they do it within songbird - they do it. and that's what counts. I've long been annoyed by the fact that my Slim setup can't play those files (no offense against Slim Devices, I know why they can't). But now seeing that others are doing it, I am eager to get something like this going in SC. It can be done, and it's been a while that they've been doing it, so I guess the legal stuff does not seem to be a problem. It's just a technical question.

ModelCitizen
2008-10-05, 14:38
well no matter how they do it within songbird
I though it had been suggested that it wasn't being done within Songbird but was using Apple's Quicktime


But now seeing that others are doing it, I am eager to get something like this going in SC.
I think someone asked this before.... which others?


It can be done, and it's been a while that they've been doing it, so I guess the legal stuff does not seem to be a problem. It's just a technical question.
!!???

Wasn't it reported recently that the Apple store might to close anyway (something about having to pay the artists and this eating too far into Apples profits as I remember)?
Your best solution is to avoid DRM music. If you buy that propriety rubbish what do you expect?

MC

bhaagensen
2008-10-06, 00:13
As i said before, this would require Itunes to be installed on the Squeezebox itself: that is never going to happen. This is because of legal as well as technical reasons.

On a more speculative note i doubt apple would allow, or be able to allow playback on the Squeezebox. It would be very similar to their own solutions, moreover it may not be possible within whatever agreement apple has with the record industry.

funkahdafi
2008-10-06, 01:11
@ModelCitizen: No need to get rude here buddy. Keep it calm.

I don't see why iTunes would have to be running on the Squeezebox itself. As far as I understand, Songbird uses Quicktime to decode the DRM files (which in turn have had to be played and authorized at least once from within iTunes before this works). So my guess is it would be possible for SqueezeCenter to do the same, e.g. use the installed quicktime components to decode the file and then stream it to the SB in whatever format you wish.

autopilot
2008-10-06, 01:21
Either way, i'm not sure there is much call or need for it. Why buy these terrible DRM infected files anyway? They are a rip off and on DRM is on it's way out. I'm guessing here, but most Squeezebox owners don't buy from iTunes store. And many of those that do have probably found a way to strip the DRM layer anyway ;) Slim Devices would do well to concentrate there efforts elsewhere, even if there was a legal way of do it - and having to have iTunes running in the back ground is a right fudge anyway (i bet syncing multiple SB's would be a nightmare, maybe impossible with the correct system). If there was an easy, elegant, legal way of doing this that many people are calling for it would have been done already.

funkahdafi
2008-10-06, 01:34
First, we are not here to discuss why people buy from iTunes store, are we? At least this was not my intent when I opened this thread. People buy from there for a reason. It's convinient, especially if you are an iTunes user anyway. Whether it's wrong or right is not the subject of this thread, so let's put this discussion elsewhere.

"Most SB owners don't buy from iTunes" is just another assumption. No way to prove that, thus unnecessary to further discuss.

All I want here is discuss the technical possibility - can it be done, yes or no.

I don't think you have to have iTunes running in the background all the time. At least that's not the case with Songbird. It just uses the quicktime components that are installed on the system anyways. So instead of SC calling mov123 or faad to decode a file, have it call quicktime. What's the big deal?

And if you can (obviously Songbird can, so I don't see why SC could not) decode the files using quicktime and at the same time get pass the DRM, great. Why not do it? Because some people have political/moral objections? I think those SB owners who buy from iTunes store would really really welcome it if SC was able to stream those protected files. I for one would welcome it.

funkstar
2008-10-06, 02:13
And if you can (obviously Songbird can, so I don't see why SC could not) decode the files using quicktime and at the same time get pass the DRM, great. Why not do it?
There is an additional part of SC playing Apple DRM files that Songbird doesn't have to deal with: network connected players.

Songbird gets QuickTime/iTunes (it doesn't really matter which does it?) to play the file. Great, it play it on the decoding PC directly and is not streamed or transmitted in any way to another device.

For SC7 to play the same file using QuickTime/iTunes, it would need to get hold of the decoded stream and then send that to another device un-encripted. This is what will cause legal issues with Apple.

I'm sure that it is possible for SC7 to do this. I'm also positive that if Logitec/SlimDevices were able to do it (both legally and technically) then they would have done this long ago. The same goes for every other vendor that produces network media players. You have to think, if it was as easy as you are proposing, why hasn't anyone else done it? (Sonos, Roku, etc.)

autopilot
2008-10-06, 03:08
First, we are not here to discuss why people buy from iTunes store, are we? At least this was not my intent when I opened this thread.

Well im not a mind reader, and if you open a public thread you invite a response, which sometimes wont be within the exact parameters you wanted. Welcome to internet forums. And for what it's worth, i do think it's relevant to a degree - the number of people wanting this would have a bearing on how the likeliness of it happening. And i have spent enough time on these forums to make an educated guess that it's pretty low.

However...



For SC7 to play the same file using QuickTime/iTunes, it would need to get hold of the decoded stream and then send that to another device un-encripted. This is what will cause legal issues with Apple.


Exactamundo. Which is what bhaagensen was getting at when he said iTunes would need to be installed on each SB.

funkahdafi
2008-10-06, 03:12
Well im not a mind reader, and if you open a public thread you invite a response, which sometimes wont be within the exact parameters you wanted. And for what it's worth, i do think it's relevant to a degree - the number of people wanting this would have a bearing on how the likeliness of it happening. And i have spent enough time on these forums to make an educated guess that it's pretty low.


So you take it for a given that the users on this forum represent the majority of all SB owners? How many of all SB owners do you think come to this forum?

All assumptions again.

But never mind. I was trying to suggest looking into this because it might be worthwhile. I didn't think there were so many stubborn anti-DRM-advocates in here that paint everything DRM in black. DRM files are rubbish, people who buy the rubbish shouldn't complain afterwards. I get it.

bhaagensen
2008-10-06, 03:14
So instead of SC calling mov123 or faad to decode a file, have it call quicktime. What's the big deal?



Because quicktime/iTunes is licenced only on the device on which it is installed (remember the EULA which you, like all sane people would, presumably just clicked through). That device does *not* include other non-authorized devices you may stream to.

Also Songbird is a "free" project. Apple might feel differently if commercial vendors, such as SD/Logitech, started using their libraries in the same way. But again the crucial point is that Songbird depends on iTuens/quicktime.


EDIT: Btw. I'm not trying to argue for/agains FairPlay (not this time anyway;).

autopilot
2008-10-06, 03:18
So you take it for a given that the users on this forum represent the majority of all SB owners? How many of all SB owners do you think come to this forum?


Why not? And if they are irrelevant, why are you posting here? Just send an email to tech support then in future.



All assumptions again.

I said it was an assumption. And your just assuming the opposite.



But never mind. I was trying to suggest looking into this because it might be worthwhile. I didn't think there were so many stubborn anti-DRM-advocates in here that paint everything DRM in black. DRM files are rubbish, people who buy the rubbish shouldn't complain afterwards. I get it.

Good, i'm glad we cleared that one up.



Don't get me wrong though, the original question was a good one and worth discussion :)

bhaagensen
2008-10-06, 04:57
But never mind. I was trying to suggest looking into this because it might be worthwhile.


Fair enough. But it is no news that Songbird can playback those files, at the technical level I believe there are several ways such files could be played on the Squeezebox. The whole problem is the legal issues of playback on non-autorized devices. If you doubt this fact, I recommend you look it up. I won't quote any specific sources, its discussed all over the Internet, try google (search for:fairplay, drm, apple, legal, litigation) or start with the (not very good) wikipedia article on Fairplay:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FairPlay_(DRM)



I didn't think there were so many stubborn anti-DRM-advocates in here that paint everything DRM in black. DRM files are rubbish, people who buy the rubbish shouldn't complain afterwards. I get it.


The problem is that it is pretty black, which this thread exemplifies. I do encourage people to complain about it though.

cliveb
2008-10-06, 05:46
There's another philosophical point which hasn't been raised in this thread:

You may or may not believe that DRM is a bad thing and should be resisted - that is everyone's priviledge. But let's suppose for the sake of argument that Slim Devices are in the camp that is against DRM. (I think given Slim Devices' history, this is a not unreasonable supposition). Then even if it were possible for them to support it (both technically and legally), to do so is in some way "sleeping with the enemy". It would be philosophically hypocritical. The more useful devices there are which do not support various DRM schemes, the more likely it is that those schemes will die.

Amnesiac
2008-10-06, 05:55
... A similar thing was done with AlienBBC and RealAudio streams (I think its changed now as BBC don't use RA any more). The stream was transcoded on the server by AlienBBC calling some libraries - I don't know if this meant a DRM was involved or just a CODEC as I don't have anything using RA (apart from the AlienBBC plug-in) and know little about what the it or BBC did.

Also I believe that in the past QT libraries have been used to bypass the DRM (by extracting the bitstream after decryption and re-saving the un-encoded AAC back into the container) so it might be possible to take a similar approach and capture something downstream if its available and pipe it/transcode it over the n/w.

Such an approach does not require DRM on the SqueezeBox, and since the SqueezeCenter software transcodes some file types anyway this is exactly how it already works.

Since streaming FairPlay music isn't more common I can only assume getting at the unencoded data before its passed off to the D to A hardware is actually pretty tricky, and I suspect "songbird" just does what several other music players on the PC platform do and just call the QT libraries pass off the file and rely on them doing the necessary all the way to the speaker :-)

A.

Amnesiac
2008-10-06, 06:13
There's another philosophical point which hasn't been raised in this thread:

You may or may not believe that DRM is a bad thing and should be resisted - that is everyone's priviledge. But let's suppose for the sake of argument that Slim Devices are in the camp that is against DRM. (I think given Slim Devices' history, this is a not unreasonable supposition). Then even if it were possible for them to support it (both technically and legally), to do so is in some way "sleeping with the enemy". It would be philosophically hypocritical. The more useful devices there are which do not support various DRM schemes, the more likely it is that those schemes will die.

Hmmm... does this mean that selling a pair of headphones that are compatible with an ipod is also philosophically hypocritical?

I hate DRM but I like my ipod. I actually bought it because it played M4A files. I already had loads that I'd already ripped - after moving from MP3, dabbling with WMA and setting with AAC. I respect that other's decisions will have been different.

I have no music that is protected by DRM and I stopped buying from the iTunes store once I couldn't easily recover unprotected files from my purchases. I would applaud a plug-in that would help people play DRM protected files on their equipment (it helps show how silly DRM is).

I don't feel that anyone who wants to enable an open extensible platform such as the original Slim team produced will begrudge other people extending (or wanting to extend) that platform to play their bought and paid for DRM protected files. I felt quite sad to see some of the less than constructive comments of the anti DRM camp in this thread.

Now since the original Slim team sold up and are unlikely to be feeling the credit crunch quite so badly as the rest of us their philosophy is clear - but no longer relevant I guess... :-)

toby10
2008-10-06, 06:34
So you take it for a given that the users on this forum represent the majority of all SB owners? How many of all SB owners do you think come to this forum?

All assumptions again.

But never mind. I was trying to suggest looking into this because it might be worthwhile. I didn't think there were so many stubborn anti-DRM-advocates in here that paint everything DRM in black. DRM files are rubbish, people who buy the rubbish shouldn't complain afterwards. I get it.

I can understand your frustration, but your limited choice of devices capable of playing your DRM'd files is exactly why many feel DRM is indeed "black" and evil.

And to the contrary, I think you SHOULD complain, and LOUDLY! But you need to address your complaints to Apple, not third party companies who are not allowed to use Apple proprietary encoding. Did Apple warn you in no uncertain terms and very plainly that by you purchasing Apple DRM music that you will then be restricted to Apple only (or Apple licensed) products to enjoy your purchase?

If you want to see some very recent and very real examples of just how "black" and evil DRM is, do some google searches on Yahoo Music and Microsoft music regarding DRM. Many, MANY people have been (or will soon) be screwed out of their legally purchased music from Yahoo and MS thanks to DRM.

I personally own a number of devices that will play several audio formats:
Yamaha Networked AVR, OPPO DVD/CD player, Sony DVD/CD player, SD's SB3 & Boom, PS3, Pioneer car head unit with an external hard drive.

I've also recently helped friends hook up their new Denon, Onkyo and Pioneer Networked AVR's.

Having personal experience with all of the above recent consumer electronics devices, ALL(2) will natively play MP3, WMA and AAC files(2) but NONE will play any DRM files(1). To me that is indeed quite black, evil and restrictive. :)

Note 1: PS3 may well play the Sony version of DRM files (I've never checked), if I wanted to restrict my playback to Sony devices.
Note 2: My two OPPO models do not support AAC music files at all.

funkstar
2008-10-06, 06:35
Thats a good point Clive, although I think it's a little off the mark. The current range of players to include software to work with DRM'ed services, Rhapsody for example. It has also been said in forum posts and in a previous roadmap that the developers would do "whatever it takes" to get their players working with other subscription services and purchased online music.

The AlienBBC issue is different. That is down to a licensing issue which has been explained on here in the past, however I can't remember the details. There is no DRM in the BBC radio streams, even the new iPlayer ones.

Amnesiac
2008-10-06, 06:47
Thats a good point Clive, although I think it's a little off the mark. The current range of players to include software to work with DRM'ed services, Rhapsody for example. It has also been said in forum posts and in a previous roadmap that the developers would do "whatever it takes" to get their players working with other subscription services and purchased online music.

The AlienBBC issue is different. That is down to a licensing issue which has been explained on here in the past, however I can't remember the details. There is no DRM in the BBC radio streams, even the new iPlayer ones.

Thanks for clarifying the RA stream issue... the point as regards server transcoding of a format unsupported by the players themselves is still valid. :-)

A.

cliveb
2008-10-06, 08:52
Thats a good point Clive, although I think it's a little off the mark. The current range of players to include software to work with DRM'ed services, Rhapsody for example. It has also been said in forum posts and in a previous roadmap that the developers would do "whatever it takes" to get their players working with other subscription services and purchased online music.
It's probably the case that Slim Devices want to be pragmatic and let their customers enjoy as much of their music as possible. So I suppose if they had a cost-effective way to support Fairplay, they would do it.

But perhaps the main point I was trying to make didn't come across. What I was trying to get at is that if you build a device that supports a DRM scheme, then you're assisting that scheme to become more entrenched. Helping those of your customers who have bought DRM'd music may be the "nice" thing to do in the short term, but looked at from the long view it's counter-productive.

toby10
2008-10-06, 09:25
It's probably the case that Slim Devices want to be pragmatic and let their customers enjoy as much of their music as possible. So I suppose if they had a cost-effective way to support Fairplay, they would do it.

But perhaps the main point I was trying to make didn't come across. What I was trying to get at is that if you build a device that supports a DRM scheme, then you're assisting that scheme to become more entrenched. Helping those of your customers who have bought DRM'd music may be the "nice" thing to do in the short term, but looked at from the long view it's counter-productive.

Completely agree. :)

Furthermore, how many different DRM schemes are out there? Imagine trying to support numerous DRM protocols? Doable for sure, but at what cost in development & support resources?

Jonnio
2008-10-06, 09:50
Thanks for clarifying the RA stream issue... the point as regards server transcoding of a format unsupported by the players themselves is still valid. :-)

A.

Actually, legally, its a whole new ballgame. Once you start breaking file encryption, even if its to play on unsupported hardware that you legally own, your breaking the law (at least in the US).

That is why people are so anti-DRM. It is not designed to protect the rights of the music industry against piracy it is designed to allow them to tell you how you can use the content that you legally own.

mvalera
2008-10-06, 11:10
We will not directly support iTunes DRM protected songs... because Apple won't sell us the license to do so.

Until that changes, it's impossible for us to directly support iTunes DRM.

Mike

Siduhe
2008-10-06, 13:45
There's a good blog post from the Songbird people from a little while ago which gives a bit more background to what they've done. You can also see the explanation they've given about the legal position - although I'm sure that Apple and MS's finest lawyers can find something to pick apart...

http://blog.songbirdnest.com/2007/02/04/running-the-drm-gauntlet/

andyg
2008-10-06, 13:59
Nothing is stopping anyone from writing a plugin though.

CatBus
2008-10-06, 14:22
Nothing is stopping anyone from writing a plugin though.

Writing a plugin, no. Telling anyone where they can get that plugin, or how to write their own...yes. It's DeCSS T-shirts all over again.

bhaagensen
2008-10-06, 14:53
Thanks for clarifying the RA stream issue... the point as regards server transcoding of a format unsupported by the players themselves is still valid. :-)

A.

Interesting, so you claim that encoding audiofiles with a codec you somehow have the intellectual rights to use gives you the same legal status as if you protected the files by some drm-scheme?

Seriously, I'm guessing that the alienbbc plugin "gottaway" with it largely because a) the bbc-streams where not intended to be protected b) bbc don't own the rights on real-audio anyway c) the violation would have to be argued base on the (mis)use of real-audio decoders, something which the alienbbc guys did not have anything to do with, AFAIK.

OK, so some third-party developer could do it with a plugin. But SERIOUSLY do you think apple would let them get away with that without putting up a fight? I think not. Still someone might come along and do it. But really, as much as I dislike drm, this would be seriously borderline stuff and potentially a major risk for anyone picking it up.

So please, tell us where you see the loophole here. By now I gather that you really think this is a realistic thing to thrive for.

bhaagensen
2008-10-06, 14:56
We will not support iTunes DRM protected songs... because Apple won't sell us the license to do so.


...or to anyone else. AFAIK this is the essence of why several countries are taking apple to court these days.

bhaagensen
2008-10-06, 15:01
... A similar thing was done with AlienBBC and RealAudio streams

As I already said, it's not similar at all. BBC weren't using realaudio to protect their stream from unauthorised access, so why would they care? Apple on the other hand, probaly would care...

Nonreality
2008-10-07, 02:39
There is an additional part of SC playing Apple DRM files that Songbird doesn't have to deal with: network connected players.

Songbird gets QuickTime/iTunes (it doesn't really matter which does it?) to play the file. Great, it play it on the decoding PC directly and is not streamed or transmitted in any way to another device.

For SC7 to play the same file using QuickTime/iTunes, it would need to get hold of the decoded stream and then send that to another device un-encripted. This is what will cause legal issues with Apple.

I'm sure that it is possible for SC7 to do this. I'm also positive that if Logitec/SlimDevices were able to do it (both legally and technically) then they would have done this long ago. The same goes for every other vendor that produces network media players. You have to think, if it was as easy as you are proposing, why hasn't anyone else done it? (Sonos, Roku, etc.)

Yes I think that you hit it exactly right. I don't like the drm and won't buy it at all. But that doesn't mean I didn't in the past. Luckily I caught on very early, maybe 5 albums. For the people that have a bunch of this stuff on their computer I can agree it would be nice for them to be able to play it without having to burn and rip it to make it work. It's easy to make fun of them but if you have 40 or 50 albums like this it not a fun choice to buy a device that can't play them. I see the point completely. Do you go with a superior device in the Squeeze system or use the Apple stuff since you have already made a commitment without knowing it. So it would be nice, not for me, but for a lot of customers looking to buy SC stuff. It would be nice for logitech to tap into the largest market in the mp3 world and make it easy for them. It's a problem that is really up to Apple to stop being so proprietary and let some others into their action. If they won't do this then it's up to customers to stop buying their crap and tell them where to go. Consumers have the power, but they have to use it at some time.

funkstar
2008-10-07, 03:17
Interesting, so you claim that encoding audiofiles with a codec you somehow have the intellectual rights to use gives you the same legal status as if you protected the files by some drm-scheme?
I could be wrong with this, but I think it has more to do with licensing issues, rather than copy protection. Kind of like how the BBC are allowed to broadcast track information on DAB and digital TV, but they can't do it for their live or listen again web streams. Crazy isn't it?

There is also the legal question: is transcoding to another format seen as re-broadcasting? if it is, then that is probably not allowed.

toby10
2008-10-07, 09:25
We will not support iTunes DRM protected songs... because Apple won't sell us the license to do so.

Until that changes, it's impossible for us to support iTunes DRM.

Mike

And herein lies the true danger of DRM. Someone else (Apple in this case) controls what, where, when, how, and on what device they *permit* you to utilize *their* music!
Even though you legally purchased that music, as long as someone else holds the keys then it really belongs to them not you.

It's no different than you buying a car and giving the key and control of that car to someone else. You want to drive your car somewhere that the key holder doesn't approve of, then you don't go. :)

Though I suppose it's the same as marriage. :)

peter
2008-10-07, 10:34
Nonreality wrote:
> Yes I think that you hit it exactly right. I don't like the drm and
> won't buy it at all. But that doesn't mean I didn't in the past.
> Luckily I caught on very early, maybe 5 albums. For the people that
> have a bunch of this stuff on their computer I can agree it would be
> nice for them to be able to play it without having to burn and rip it
> to make it work. It's easy to make fun of them but if you have 40 or
> 50 albums like this it not a fun choice to buy a device that can't play
> them. I see the point completely. Do you go with a superior device in
> the Squeeze system or use the Apple stuff since you have already made a
> commitment without knowing it. So it would be nice, not for me, but for
> a lot of customers looking to buy SC stuff. It would be nice for
> logitech to tap into the largest market in the mp3 world and make it
> easy for them. It's a problem that is really up to Apple to stop being
> so proprietary and let some others into their action. If they won't do
> this then it's up to customers to stop buying their crap and tell them
> where to go. Consumers have the power, but they have to use it at some
> time.
>

If you bought the DRM'ed files, you have the (legal?/moral) right to
download the uncrippled FLAC versions off the net. Those play fine on
SqueezeCenter.

Regards,
Peter

Phil Leigh
2008-10-07, 10:48
I'm sorry but this thread is ridiculous. DRM is dead. Anyone who bought DRM tracks made a classic purchasing error (sorry, but it's true - if you knew then what you know now would you still have bought the drm tracks?). You have a legacy format... one that will soon not be supported. Just like Betamax, DCC, DAT etc. In this case the problem was not technical, it was ethical.

Anyway, SD should concentrate on supporting drm-free music as they always have done - indeed as they have always been forced to do...

It's over. Forget it.
You have two choices: buy the music again, DRM free, or...

Goodsounds
2008-10-07, 10:55
And herein lies the true danger of DRM. Someone else (Apple in this case) controls what, where, when, how, and on what device they *permit* you to utilize *their* music!
Even though you legally purchased that music, as long as someone else holds the keys then it really belongs to them not you.

It's no different than you buying a car and giving the key and control of that car to someone else. You want to drive your car somewhere that the key holder doesn't approve of, then you don't go. :)

Though I suppose it's the same as marriage. :)

Copyright law, not corporate evil-doers, prescribes what rights a copyright holder have, and what restrictions exist and can be added on a transfer of a copy of a copyright protected article. When you buy a song or a CD, you are buying a copy, the rights to which are substantially less than the rights of the actual copyright owner. This has been the case for years. If you don't like what copyright law does, write your congressman or other legislative representative

DRM practices and actions by Apple and others represent failed efforts to enforce existing legal rights. I don't like how ham-fisted the actions have been, but I understand that piracy is a big problem. Do you agree that piracy is a problem for copyright holders? Develop a better solution and you will deserve the fame and fortune you will receive.

Your car example is not a logical equivalent. The equivalent would be obtaining legally protected know-how, patents, copyrights, etc, in a manner not authorized by the owner, and thereby making an exact clone of that car, and then selling it or giving it to someone. Or, using any of that protected IP and making another product (a derivative work) and selling it without compensating the owner of the IP you used.

toby10
2008-10-07, 11:10
Copyright law, not corporate evil-doers, prescribes what rights a copyright holder have, and what restrictions exist and can be added on a transfer of a copy of a copyright protected article. When you buy a song or a CD, you are buying a copy, the rights to which are substantially less than the rights of the actual copyright owner. This has been the case for years. If you don't like what copyright law does, write your congressman or other legislative representative

DRM practices and actions by Apple and others represent failed efforts to enforce existing legal rights. I don't like how ham-fisted the actions have been, but I understand that piracy is a big problem. Do you agree that piracy is a problem for copyright holders? Develop a better solution and you will deserve the fame and fortune you will receive.

Your car example is not a logical equivalent. The equivalent would be obtaining legally protected know-how, patents, copyrights, etc, in a manner not authorized by the owner, and thereby making an exact clone of that car, and then selling it or giving it to someone. Or, using any of that protected IP and making another product (a derivative work) and selling it without compensating the owner of the IP you used.

I completely agree with protecting the artist and record label. No problem there. Why doesn't the recording industry come out with a standardized DRM that is across all platforms?

The problem that I and many others have is giving up control to a third party like Apple or Microsoft who will then dictate to me when, how, where, and on what device they will allow my use of what I purchased.

Ok, try this example: You buy a Sony DVD player. But after purchasing it you discover that your new Sony DVD player will *only* play Sony Studio movies. That sure wouldn't fly with me I can tell ya. :)

With my non-DRM music, the same songs and quality that others are buying WITH DRM, is playable on every single device in my home and my car that play audio, period.
Any device, any manufacturer, anywhere.

I'll gladly support a DRM scheme to protect the artists and labels as long as it is not specifically tied to one manufacturer or one source or one service.

ModelCitizen
2008-10-07, 11:14
If you bought the DRM'ed files, you have the (legal?/moral) right to download the uncrippled FLAC versions off the net.

Not moral right, but obligation.
:-)

MC

toby10
2008-10-07, 11:33
I'm sorry but this thread is ridiculous. DRM is dead. Anyone who bought DRM tracks made a classic purchasing error (sorry, but it's true - if you knew then what you know now would you still have bought the drm tracks?). You have a legacy format... one that will soon not be supported. Just like Betamax, DCC, DAT etc. In this case the problem was not technical, it was ethical.

Anyway, SD should concentrate on supporting drm-free music as they always have done - indeed as they have always been forced to do...

It's over. Forget it.
You have two choices: buy the music again, DRM free, or...

Well put. :)

What bothers me is that the DRM pervayers (Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, whoever....) do not make it SIMPLE and PLAIN that the music being purchased may well (and very likely) not be playable on others devices. From a profit & marketing perspective I can understand why they would not want this to be known up front to the buyer. Only after they have the customer "hooked" with 100's or 1000's of downloads does the buyer realize they are now stuck with that sources products for future playback.

These forums alone, with numerous others all over the internet, are filled with the wide eyed consumers learning for the first time that they cannot utilize their purchased music on such great devices as what SD offers because Apple has repeatedly turned down SD's request to license their proprietary encoding.

And why should they? Why let the consumer buy an SD device when Apple could be selling one of their devices? :)

Goodsounds
2008-10-07, 12:21
I completely agree with protecting the artist and record label. No problem there. Why doesn't the recording industry come out with a standardized DRM that is across all platforms?

The problem that I and many others have is giving up control to a third party like Apple or Microsoft who will then dictate to me when, how, where, and on what device they will allow my use of what I purchased.

Ok, try this example: You buy a Sony DVD player. But after purchasing it you discover that your new Sony DVD player will *only* play Sony Studio movies. That sure wouldn't fly with me I can tell ya. :)

With my non-DRM music, the same songs and quality that others are buying WITH DRM, is playable on every single device in my home and my car that play audio, period.
Any device, any manufacturer, anywhere.

I'll gladly support a DRM scheme to protect the artists and labels as long as it is not specifically tied to one manufacturer or one source or one service.

Excellent thoughts, there's much to agree with in what you say.

The recording industry can't do it alone. A standardized DRM could work, but that would require many greedy parties to cooperate, and how likely is that to happen? An Apple standard? Microsoft? Neither?

Your "open standards"/universal compatibility notions are somewhat idealistic and perhaps a bit naive. Manufacturers will use open standards when doing so is in their interest, will not do so when it is not or if it doesn't matter. You can't put a VW transmission on a Ford. Until recently, you couldn't take your copy of Win Office and run it on your Mac book, or vice versa. So, we all live and deal with limited or non-compatibility at times, and that works ok. But I agree that the platform dependent approach for music has been a complete failure with DRM, no doubt.

toby10
2008-10-07, 12:39
Excellent thoughts, there's much to agree with in what you say.

The recording industry can't do it alone. A standardized DRM could work, but that would require many greedy parties to cooperate, and how likely is that to happen? An Apple standard? Microsoft? Neither?

Your "open standards"/universal compatibility notions are somewhat idealistic and perhaps a bit naive. Manufacturers will use open standards when doing so is in their interest, will not do so when it is not or if it doesn't matter. You can't put a VW transmission on a Ford. Until recently, you couldn't take your copy of Win Office and run it on your Mac book, or vice versa. So, we all live and deal with limited or non-compatibility at times, and that works ok. But I agree that the platform dependent approach for music has been a complete failure with DRM, no doubt.

Yup. :) And it's the third parties proprietary and restrictive DRM that is at the heart of all of this. The difference between the VW/Ford and Win/Mac analogies compared to the DRM issue is that I knew your stated restrictions when I purchased them. I'd bet most who purchased DRM music either did not know the limitations of that specific DRM scheme or did not even know DRM was present in the first place.

My non-DRM music plays on Win and Mac, and in a VW and Ford. Green eggs and ham??? :)

Themis
2008-10-07, 13:27
CDs have no DRM, why should MP3/AAC have one ?
Recording industry doesn't need DRM to make money; in fact, their only problem, is that they can't make more money every year.

Their only available solution, is to change the hardware and introduce DRM-conscious hardware, exactly as they did for HD video (and as Sony tried with SACD).
Unfortunately you can't expect low-quality gear (as the one needed for MP3/AAC) to have such (expensive) hardware modifications. That's a dead-end, at the moment.

Goodsounds
2008-10-07, 13:44
Yup. :) And it's the third parties proprietary and restrictive DRM that is at the heart of all of this. The difference between the VW/Ford and Win/Mac analogies compared to the DRM issue is that I knew your stated restrictions when I purchased them. I'd bet most who purchased DRM music either did not know the limitations of that specific DRM scheme or did not even know DRM was present in the first place.

My non-DRM music plays on Win and Mac, and in a VW and Ford. Green eggs and ham??? :)

Ok, I apologize in advance, I have a bit more time today than normal and here is the result:

This music makes my iPod choke,
Why me and not some other bloke?
I cannot play it in a tree,
I cannot play it with my Wii.
My Ford, my Vibe, and in my Beamer,
All I want is a tune streamer.
I do not like the limitations,
Why foist this crap on all the nations?

Goodsounds
2008-10-07, 13:54
CDs have no DRM, why should MP3/AAC have one ?
Recording industry doesn't need DRM to make money; .....

If there were no bit torrent technology and all its predecessors and successors, and so no widespread music piracy, the discussion would be moot.

If you now work in the private sector, if your potential customers could get your products or your services for free, you would not have a job. Does that change your view about how people in the music business (from artists to companies to everyone else involved) feel about piracy, and why DRM and crazy infringment suits have not gone away? They are fighting for their jobs, their businesses, and their industry. I don't agree with everything they have done, but I understand the problem and it remains unsolved.

CatBus
2008-10-07, 14:11
I completely agree with protecting the artist and record label....I'll gladly support a DRM scheme to protect the artists and labels as long as it is not specifically tied to one manufacturer or one source or one service.

But, the thing is, DRM does not protect the artist or record label, strong copyright laws do. Pirates can and will circumvent every DRM scheme created, but you can still prosecute them. That's how the law, not DRM, protects content owners. And because human judges are involved, all sorts of fair use exceptions are protected too...theoretically at least...

So as long as we're hypothesizing about the perfect DRM, we have to come to terms with two uncomfortable facts: DRM will always be broken, and DRM doesn't ever actually protect artists and labels. Other than that, though, I don't have a problem with it either ;)

toby10
2008-10-07, 14:12
Ok, I apologize in advance, I have a bit more time today than normal and here is the result:

This music makes my iPod choke,
Why me and not some other bloke?
I cannot play it in a tree,
I cannot play it with my Wii.
My Ford, my Vibe, and in my Beamer,
All I want is a tune streamer.
I do not like the limitations,
Why foist this crap on all the nations?

LOL :)

Publish it!

funkahdafi
2008-10-07, 14:16
LOL :)

Publish it!

Do't forget to publish it with someone who offers DRM.

toby10
2008-10-07, 14:31
But, the thing is, DRM does not protect the artist or record label, strong copyright laws do. Pirates can and will circumvent every DRM scheme created, but you can still prosecute them. That's how the law, not DRM, protects content owners. And because human judges are involved, all sorts of fair use exceptions are protected too...theoretically at least...

So as long as we're hypothesizing about the perfect DRM, we have to come to terms with two uncomfortable facts: DRM will always be broken, and DRM doesn't ever actually protect artists and labels. Other than that, though, I don't have a problem with it either ;)

Exactly! So, therefore, I don't bother with it. The only thing DRM actually protects is the platform provider by dictating where and how I can use my purchased music.

Now, put me on the board of directors at Apple or Microsoft and my response to any suggested changes to the music download part of the business: "leave it alone, change nothing. It's a cash cow and our DRM scheme is pushing our closed-source architecture hardware sales".

But being on the other side of the fence, the consumer, I'll avoid platform based DRM till my dying day.

toby10
2008-10-07, 14:55
Do't forget to publish it with someone who offers DRM.

Yes, indeed. And make it a DRM protocol that can only be read by those Amazon electronic e-book thingies so that only Amazon customers who own the Amazon e-book can read it.
You sure wouldn't want that DRM'd poem playable on the hundreds of other devices available on the market!

Why an Amazon download playable on a non-Amazon device? That's just INSANE! :)

Goodsounds
2008-10-07, 15:34
But, the thing is, DRM does not protect the artist or record label, strong copyright laws do. Pirates can and will circumvent every DRM scheme created, but you can still prosecute them. That's how the law, not DRM, protects content owners.

We have strong copyright laws now - they have been ineffective against music piracy. Everyone knows that. Most countries have strong laws to prevent theft and burglary - do you leave valuables visible in an unlocked car, or your home unlocked when you leave it?

The software industry had to face the same issue and the state of play has mostly come to rest with strong keys and authentication. Don't be surprised to see that for music in the future, perhaps files that don't work until unlocked and maybe greater restrictions on "fair use" unless someone else has a better idea. I have no inside information, but I'd bet that the current situation will not continue indefinitely. If so, everyone will be only listening to old music, there will be no economic model for producing new music.

By the way, I know some people who have those Amazon ebook gizmos, and they love them.

CatBus
2008-10-07, 15:50
We have strong copyright laws now - they have been ineffective against music piracy. Everyone knows that.

Weird. I keep reading stuff like this that makes me think the law is being used to fight piracy in countries with strong copyright laws. Maybe these news articles are wrong?

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa5434/is_200804/ai_n25420961
http://www.ifpi.org/content/section_news/20080429.html
http://www.afterdawn.com/news/archive/13516.cfm

But I was unable to find any articles indicating that DRM had prevented a single act of piracy from happening somewhere.

So when I say that the law fights piracy and DRM does not, I am not saying that the law is a PERFECTLY effective tool--I am just stating that it's the ONLY effective tool.

DeVerm
2008-10-07, 15:51
They are fighting for their jobs, their businesses, and their industry. I don't agree with everything they have done, but I understand the problem and it remains unsolved.

So they are and I wish them success with their fight but they shouldn't bring it to (their) legitimate customers and that's what happens now. You know what happens when you push someone for no reason... they push back. In reality DRM makes legitimate users so sick of it that they start considering supporting the torrent community, and now everything is alright because it's morally okay to keep pushing them. When you bring a fight to a third party or innocent bystander, that party automatically becomes part of the fight. Our parents' generation would have been protesting at the entrances of the Sony's, EMI's etc. Our generation only shouts a bit when original CD's install viruses on our PC's but that's as far as we are committed to go and so it's no wonder we get pushed into the corner more and more.

cheers,
Nick.

Goodsounds
2008-10-07, 16:08
You know what happens when you push someone for no reason... they push back. In reality DRM makes legitimate users so sick of it that they start considering supporting the torrent community, and now everything is alright because it's morally okay to keep pushing them.

Hey Nick - Baloney. If I pay, everyone else should too, I don't mind what needs to be done to keep things fair. Maybe what I should learn from your comment is that mine is a minority view?

Themis
2008-10-07, 16:12
If you now work in the private sector, if your potential customers could get your products or your services for free, you would not have a job. I disagree. These are not services: they are products. And they are not free: they have been paid already. If I let a CD to a friend, it's because I've paid for it.
The industrial groups that owe the music industry, they sell all the hardware and bandwidth needed to bittorent. And the same shops that sell music sell often the hardware and subscriptions needed. If they can't change the hardware, perhaps they should try and change their business model.

CatBus
2008-10-07, 16:14
Hey Nick - Baloney. If I pay, everyone else should too, I don't mind what needs to be done to keep things fair. Maybe what I should learn from your comment is that mine is a minority view?

That's a false choice. Everyone should pay (if that's what the artist/label wants, that is). Nobody's arguing that point. The disagreement is about DRM, which is totally unrelated to the subject of paying. I think the "minority view" that you hold is that you believe DRM is more effective at stopping piracy than wearing a fish on your head. Everyone else thinks they are equally effective against piracy (as in: they aren't), but at least the fish doesn't piss off your legitimate customers.

Goodsounds
2008-10-07, 16:22
Weird. I keep reading stuff like this that makes me think the law is being used to fight piracy in countries with strong copyright laws. Maybe these news articles are wrong?

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa5434/is_200804/ai_n25420961
http://www.ifpi.org/content/section_news/20080429.html
http://www.afterdawn.com/news/archive/13516.cfm

But I was unable to find any articles indicating that DRM had prevented a single act of piracy from happening somewhere.

So when I say that the law fights piracy and DRM does not, I am not saying that the law is a PERFECTLY effective tool--I am just stating that it's the ONLY effective tool.

CatBus,

Sorry, no points, not even a cute post. Law enforcement will always go for one party with 100,000 copies, instead of 10,000 with ten copies. Or, 10 with 10,000 copies. Ironically, internet piracy will also put the counterfeiters out of business.

But we all know what the problem is. What percentage of people's music collections, and new music acquisitions, are purchased? This percentage is too low, and this is what needs to be fixed.

CatBus
2008-10-07, 16:33
But we all know what the problem is. What percentage of people's music collections, and new music acquisitions, are purchased? This percentage is too low, and this is what needs to be fixed.

Sure, but how does DRM solve this problem? Not at all. Seriously, if studio execs started wearing fish on their heads it would have an equal impact on this problem.

Goodsounds
2008-10-07, 16:50
Maybe we're on the same side of the fence.

I have no preference for DRM, but I have less affinity for the current state of affairs. I'd like to see a healthier music business, most of all for the artists, and I don't care much how it's done. So long as I can keep that fish off my head. (I have no connection with the music business whatever, I'm just a lifelong fan).

Fighting DRM and grousing about it is like shooting the messenger. It's not the problem, it was simply the first effort to fix the problem. A poor first effort, for now, for many other reasons we are all familiar with.

As I said in an earlier post, come up with an answer and you will deserve the fame and fortune you will receive.

CatBus
2008-10-07, 17:04
Maybe we're on the same side of the fence.

I have no preference for DRM, but I have less affinity for the current state of affairs. I'd like to see a healthier music business, most of all for the artists, and I don't care much how it's done. So long as I can keep that fish off my head. (I have no connection with the music business whatever, I'm just a lifelong fan).

Fighting DRM and grousing about it is like shooting the messenger. It's not the problem, it was simply the first effort to fix the problem. A poor first effort, for now, for many other reasons we are all familiar with.

As I said in an earlier post, come up with an answer and you will deserve the fame and fortune you will receive.

Fair enough. I've already expressed my preference for the legal system, so I'd honestly say I PREFER the **AA's "sue everyone" legal campaign over DRM, because:

1) Unlike DRM, it could theoretically actually stop an act of piracy
2) Unlike DRM, it could have a deterrent effect on future piracy
3) Unlike DRM, it theoretically allows the full range of fair use

So basically my answer would be a modification to the "sue everyone" campaign but with some basic preliminary fact-checking before the suit is filed.

Now I bet it's my turn to be flamed ;)

Goodsounds
2008-10-07, 17:18
Teeing up lawsuits is a poor way to enforce any law. It doesn't work. We have far too many lawyers in the US, they're underemployed, and that's another problem that needs to be fixed! I assign that one to you too.

No flames from me.

Thanks for the conversation....