0488: "Steal This Comic"

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smartalco
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby smartalco » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:01 am UTC

you know, to remove DRM from iTunes songs, all you have to do is burn them to a disc, is it really that hard? (plus, I like having physical copies, they make good throwing weapons... sorta)

in post edit: wow guyy, you posted inbetween the time I hit 'post reply' and 'submit' saying exactly what I am saying... stalker

guyy
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby guyy » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:09 am UTC

smartalco wrote:stalker


I think the term is "Ninja'd."

Strange that no one else seems to have mentioned CD-burning yet, though.

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hotaru
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby hotaru » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:15 am UTC

why would anyone pay to get music in a lossy format when they can pirate it in a lossless format?

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darkhorse
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby darkhorse » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:22 am UTC

smartalco wrote:you know, to remove DRM from iTunes songs, all you have to do is burn them to a disc, is it really that hard? (plus, I like having physical copies, they make good throwing weapons... sorta)


So the solution to removing copy right is to purchase it in a lossy lower quality format (All DRM'ed versions are 128 kb/s AAC), then burn it to CD & then rerip it in another lossy format.

So ultimately you are purchasing an already lower quality file & then making it even lower quality again. Hmmm

Phasma Felis
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby Phasma Felis » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:23 am UTC

Edit: Never mind, this issue kinda riles me up.
Last edited by Phasma Felis on Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:36 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

paulnt04
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby paulnt04 » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:24 am UTC

Phasma Felis wrote:I totally agree with the comic, except that ITUNES HAS BEEN SELLING DRM-FREE MUSIC FOR A YEAR AND A HALF JESUS CHRIST PEOPLE.

Edit: I mean, seriously, I am all for DRM-free music and sticking it to the man, but iTunes is not the man. A year and a half, and all the Slashbots are still bitching about Steve Jobs tryin' to keep them down. If you want to throw a fit at somebody, throw it at the labels who refuse to sell using iTunes' DRM-free option. It's not Apple's fault.


It is true that if people look, iTunes Plus music is DRM-free and you can upgrade your current collection for around 38 cents per song I think if you want to remove DRM from DRM'd iTunes music, however, this amount of aggression was not warranted.

I use iTunes PLUS and Amazon for my iPhone 3G collection. Everything else I buy CD's still, especially for music I really enjoy. I like having physical copies and also, it's good for the car when you don't want to fiddle with an iPod/iPhone

jakerman999
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby jakerman999 » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:28 am UTC

anyone with a standard hex-editor and half an hour on their hands can get rid of DRM on their music if they really wanted to.

optional third requirement:brains.

all it took me was the I-tunes version, and a CD version. located the differences in the file when they where compacted in winRar, and BAM!erased the DRM.(winRar, as it's easier to sort through everything)
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'; DROP DATABASE;--
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:41 am UTC

First of all, bravo. I've got a few DVDs laying around that won't play on my PC (without having to hack the mplayer source and this and that that I have yet to get around to doing) because of some stupid DRM scheme. That certainly hasn't stopped pirate copies from floating around all the popular BitTorrent trackers. :roll: Has DRM ever done any good?

What bothers me about digital music is first, there's DRM. Then when you complain about that, there's the people saying "just get the DRM-free MP3s from iTunes or Amazon." That only solves half the problem. It doesn't change the fact that MP3 files are lossy, which means A) lower quality than a CD, and B) inability to convert to another format without further reduction in quality. This is why I buy the CDs; because they are DRM-free and lossless. Until I can download FLAC files from iTunes and Amazon, I'm not interested.
phlip wrote:I definitely agree here. Note to execs who think DRM is a good idea: when your customers are unable to use your product and/or service, you're doing it vastly wrong.

Lure+Breaker wrote:I used to play .avi files. Recently, many sources I used to visit have changed to .mkv files. I cannot play.mkv files. I weep.

Get yourself some VLC. Or MPlayer, if you live in the console, like I do.
Thirded. mplayer rocks. VLC, at least, will (if it's working today) play damn near any file you throw at it. Both are available for Windows and Linux. (mplayer is also available for a fuckton of other platforms, including Wii. :P)

Aglet wrote:I predict that this comic will quickly become very popular on Digg, StumbleUpon, etc.
I'll be sticking it on many a wall around town/campus. :D
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Lazy Tommy
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby Lazy Tommy » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:43 am UTC

I own about 270 music CDs, and I copied some of them to CD-R so I could play them in my car (while keeping the originals at home), and "ripped" most of them to mp3 so I can play them on my iPod.
As far as I know, I'm not breaking any laws here -- none of those 270 CDs are copy-protected, so the DMCA doesn't apply, and I'm not gving away any copies either, so all the copying I have done is "fair use" as far as I know.
So far, I'm a happy camper... but I'm not touching any DRM'ed music. If simply copying the stuff to my PC or my iPod makes me a criminal, then forget it. I enjoy listening to music every now and then, but it's not like I actually need it. If I can't get it on decent terms, I'll just pass, thank you very much!

Phasma Felis
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby Phasma Felis » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:44 am UTC

paulnt04 wrote:
Phasma Felis wrote:I totally agree with the comic, except that ITUNES HAS BEEN SELLING DRM-FREE MUSIC FOR A YEAR AND A HALF JESUS CHRIST PEOPLE.

Edit: I mean, seriously, I am all for DRM-free music and sticking it to the man, but iTunes is not the man. A year and a half, and all the Slashbots are still bitching about Steve Jobs tryin' to keep them down. If you want to throw a fit at somebody, throw it at the labels who refuse to sell using iTunes' DRM-free option. It's not Apple's fault.


It is true that if people look, iTunes Plus music is DRM-free and you can upgrade your current collection for around 38 cents per song I think if you want to remove DRM from DRM'd iTunes music, however, this amount of aggression was not warranted.

Yeah, I shouldn't bash anyone here, it's just that every. single. time. someone mentions DRM on Slashdot, there's a horde of dipshits rushing in to score conformity points by whining about how it's all iTunes' fault, and it drives me up a wall. So I'm annoyed to see Randall, who should know better, parroting that silliness (implying by omission that iTunes doesn't offer DRM-free files).

Let this be a lesson to you all: reading Slashdot comments is bad for you.

cool_walking_
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby cool_walking_ » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:45 am UTC

Easy circumvention of most current DRM implementations is not an excuse to allow it's continued use. One day, DRM won't be so easy to circumvent.

I have to wonder about the point of this comic, though. It really just seems like preaching to the choir.

Buying CDs isn't suitable for everybody. If I looked at my local CD retailers I would see perhaps 3 CDs that I would *tolerate* listening to. Ripping them all also gets old really fast.
Last edited by cool_walking_ on Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:52 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

lingomaniac88
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby lingomaniac88 » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:48 am UTC

Randall Munroe wrote:But if you buy DRM-locked media, and you ever switch operating systems or new technology comes along, your collection could be lost. And if you try to keep it, you'll be a criminal (DMCA 1201).

*sigh* Another way for lawyers and artists to get your money. But hey, people these days are overly obsessed with money, so what did you expect?

cool_walking_ wrote:Easy circumvention of most current DRM implementations is not an excuse to allow it's continued use. One day, DRM won't be so easy to circumvent.

But the hackers will grow smarter too.

I think if you buy something, you should have rights to use it how you wish (within the extent of the law, of course). You should be able to duplicate music as much as you want for your own listening pleasure/backup, but I can see how problems arise if you distribute copyrighted music to friends.
"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something."
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FreeSkier84
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby FreeSkier84 » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:53 am UTC

I am currently finishing off my diploma in policing and am looking to start applying in local police services. I decided that I really should stop downloading music without paying, so I began using the iTunes store on a regular basis.

Things have been great... until this freaking happened:
http://idisk.me.com/krisfulgham-public (iTunes.mov)

I now can't play over half of my purchased songs. The iTunes support team watched the video and then walked me through the process of authorizing and then deathorizing my computer. After that they told me I must have purchased the song using a different username.

So... would it be legal to go and download a torrent of the music I just lost due to DRM... and would it be ethical?

I hate when my love for technology turns against me.

pavelludiq
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby pavelludiq » Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:05 am UTC

I have close to 6500 pirated songs.

I have 5 albums, which i bout on cd's(directly from the artists, the money went to them)

I have one album in which the drummer of the band sent me the zip with all the mp3s with skype for free

almost all my hip-hop is CC'd or simply put up for free by the artists.

My collection is 7691 songs

Yes, im a criminal, but so is 99 percent of the people who own computers in eastern europe, asia, africa and south america. This is not piracy, this is revolution!

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TheMagicalTurtle
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby TheMagicalTurtle » Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:06 am UTC

True.

Not a funny comic, but a true one.

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Lure+Breaker
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby Lure+Breaker » Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:07 am UTC

A lot of you quoted me... so piracy time!

Get yourself some VLC. Or MPlayer, if you live in the console, like I do.

The problem is not the player, but my computer. It's not good enough.
Go go gadget Community Combined Codec Pack!

I have! It's awesome!

I know you're trying to help, but the solution to this is spending money. (Or convert from mkv -> avi, which takes ages >_<)

Kjorteo
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby Kjorteo » Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:09 am UTC

I tend to use piracy as an extended trial. If Pandora plays a song that catches my interest, I will see if BitTorrent has anything to the tune of that band's entire discography. Then, I buy the albums I like from Amazon.

The best part is that I happen to enjoy a genre of music that has the best record label ever for the legal option: Nuclear Blast, which has an amazing roster and is completely free and independent of the RIAA.

cool_walking_
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby cool_walking_ » Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:14 am UTC

Lure+Breaker wrote:
Get yourself some VLC. Or MPlayer, if you live in the console, like I do.

The problem is not the player, but my computer. It's not good enough.


I don't use VLC, but mplayer has lots of switches that can increase performance. Just search for "performance" in the manual.

Gracenotes
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby Gracenotes » Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:16 am UTC

*takes an image of the man with the black hat from this comic and puts it in an advertisement for a commercial organization without attribution*

Myself, I get most of my music from, well, YouTube. I don't know anyone else who does. I've written a command-line script in Python, a GUI-based application in Java, and a bash script that all do the aforementioned task, given a standard URL like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jwj0gLriTnk. I tend to use the Python script the most, since the shell script is still rough around the edges. All YouTube videos can be download as FLVs; some can be downloaded as higher-quality MP4s. Both can be converted to mp3 format. Not the highest quality, but good enough for my ears.

jebus0
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby jebus0 » Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:23 am UTC

The problem with amazon mp3 store is it still uses a lossy codec. For me to be willing to pay for online music, it must be both DRM-free and lossless, ideally using FLAC.
Last edited by jebus0 on Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:31 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Supakitsune
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby Supakitsune » Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:26 am UTC

I pirate most of my music. Hell, I pirate most of my everything.

The only album I've ever purchased from iTunes was Subarashiki Kono Sekai + The World Ends With You, which I promptly ran through Hymn.

freastro
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby freastro » Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:27 am UTC

Actually, I still use iTunes Plus to get better quality audio than Amazon, albeit for 10 cents more per track. The only time I use Amazon is when iTunes doesn't have the DRM-free version of the track.

To clear up some misconceptions I keep seeing, the truth is: iTunes Plus sells 256kbps AAC audio files, while Amazon only sells 256kbps MP3 audio files. The main point of confusion is that 256kbps isn't an accurate description of audio quality (between files only in one codec it can be, but not between AACs and MP3s). MP3 (or MPEG-1) is an old codec and the technology has been improved over the years to produce AAC (which supports either MPEG-2 and MPEG-4). With AAC, you're actually getting a wider range of sounds (8-96kHz vs 16-48kHz), more channels (MP3 stereo vs AAC 5.1 surround), and a smaller size. There's a detailed comparison over at Wikipedia.

So in effect, at 99 cents per track, you're getting more for your money with DRM-free iTunes Plus than you're getting with Amazon.

Mane
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby Mane » Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:34 am UTC

Christ, not this logic again.

You're never going to convince companies to stop going about the DRMing their stuff, by stealing their stuff. Just like you're not going to convince a store to stop pressing shoplifting charges by stealing their stuff.

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phlip
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby phlip » Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:38 am UTC

I'm sorry, which part of the comic attempted to tell people not to DRM their stuff? I must've missed it...

Is it anywhere near the claim that purchasing DRMed stuff is not superior to piracy, even if obeying copyright law is a priority for you... the audience of which is clearly consumers, not producers.
Last edited by phlip on Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:40 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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enum ಠ_ಠ {°□°╰=1, °Д°╰, ಠ益ಠ╰};
void ┻━┻︵​╰(ಠ_ಠ ⚠) {exit((int)⚠);}
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby Sprocket » Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:40 am UTC

Yeah...you can't loose a cd..until they decide to stop making CD players in lieu of digital music take over.
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tetromino
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby tetromino » Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:03 am UTC

hotaru wrote:why would anyone pay to get music in a lossy format when they can pirate it in a lossless format?

You are assuming that the music you want can actually be pirated. More often than not, for an album one wants, the only seeder is located somewhere in the less populated part of Tierra del Fuego, connected to the rest of the world by IP over one pet albatross, and he drops off the face of the internet when you are 76% done because a rogue wave washes his shack off the guano-streaked cliff.

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Carcer
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby Carcer » Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:06 am UTC

Those who like their lossless will find that Trent Reznor agrees with them. Ever since Nine Inch Nails split from their label, he's been independently releasing both online and in physical copies in a variety of formats, including FLAC, all DRM-free. Hell, "The Slip" is available to download completely free in 24/96 FLAC - there's just something nice about having an album with a 3000+ kb/s bitrate. He also encourages people to pirate the releases from his old label as much as possible.

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linguistic
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby linguistic » Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:47 am UTC

FreeSkier84 wrote:So... would it be legal to go and download a torrent of the music I just lost due to DRM... and would it be ethical?


Legal: No.
Ethical: This is a complex question. My own opinion is that you've paid for a license to play the content, and that content is no longer available to you, through no fault of your own. Therefore, it would be ethical to obtain another copy of the content, as per your license to have it. It gets fuzzy when you want to, say, burn it to a DVD and play on your home theatre system rather than your PC, if the original DRM'd junk didn't allow that. But again, it's up to the individual really.

I live in Australia. Our laws are quaint, especially with regards to music CDs and DVD video.
For example, according to our law, we may not make any copies or rips of any of our own CDs or DVDs. At all. Even for backup purposes.
Software is slightly different, as the license agreement usually explicitly grants the end user the right to make a copy for backup purposes.
(You would imagine this would be a simple distinction. Our government suggests otherwise.)

But still - we're not allowed to rip our music from CD to play on our MP3/OGG players (unless we obtain permission from the author/publisher).

Dan Rutter discussed the eventual demise of DRM rather well, I thought.

I got into an argument with a friend of mine over that particular article though - he's a patent attorny, so he's somewhat better versed in the area of IP law than I am.
His feeling was that although the article's premise holds true for the kind of people who read the article - or indeed this comic - the average consumer wouldn't know any better. They might know that the "you're a filthy pirate and you cost us money" warnings at the start of their DVDs are annoying, but they wouldn't necessarily know to rip the DVD's content or download a torrent of it to have all shiny and DRM free.

I agreed with him to a point, but at the end of the day, I just don't feel that selling something which is fundamentally a non economically scarce product could be successful.
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby Unforgiven » Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:55 am UTC

I have a Napster subscription over here in Japan. I pay a fixed fee and can download all the music I want. Sure, it stops working when I stop paying, but that's something you know beforehand. Considering the monthly subscription is less than a single CD, I think it's worth it.

DRM is problematic. I agree with the right of the content creators to protect their property. I do not agree with the ham-handed way it's currently done. When it is considerably less effort to pirate something than to try and get the DRM working, something's wrong.
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby Mexicat » Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:57 am UTC

Carcer wrote:Those who like their lossless will find that Trent Reznor agrees with them. Ever since Nine Inch Nails split from their label, he's been independently releasing both online and in physical copies in a variety of formats, including FLAC, all DRM-free. Hell, "The Slip" is available to download completely free in 24/96 FLAC - there's just something nice about having an album with a 3000+ kb/s bitrate. He also encourages people to pirate the releases from his old label as much as possible.

well, however the slip sucks.

JohnDoe
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby JohnDoe » Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:02 am UTC

This comic is more factual than it is funny.

Too bad - I have to go sad for another 2 days. :(

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dai_vernon
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby dai_vernon » Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:02 am UTC

Don't forget Magnatune! http://www.magnatune.com not only has DRM free music in any format it's quite cool about actually giving artists money.

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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby Notch » Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:07 am UTC

I bought heaps of songs on iTunes, changed my hardware, and now I can't listen to it.
So now I either listen to online radio, download music (illegally or not, I really don't care any more. i use the service that gives me the music I want the fastest.), or make my own.
If buying cds was faster and easier than pirating, I would do it. Sometimes I do so anyway just to get a physical artifact or to support the band, but that's usually a long time after downloading the music.

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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby Aaron Haynes » Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:10 am UTC

I've had this exact problem with Audible, specifically. They use a proprietary format that causes problems with a wide array of mp3 players (and doesn't work with Winamp, either, which is my "quick, hassle-free" music player of choice).

There's a trick to converting the DRM out of them, using an old version of the Audible player software and a specific version number of Goldwave. A basic Google search will turn up these methods. It takes a while to convert several hours of audio, naturally, but if you've already bought something from them, it's worth the trouble to know you can listen to your own purchase wherever you want.

I'd have a lot more sympathy for DRM if it was designed with any sense of comfortability and ease for the customer. Instead, it's a lot more likely to fuck over the honest people than pirates.

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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby waltwhitmanheadedbat » Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:17 am UTC

Notch wrote:I bought heaps of songs on iTunes, changed my hardware, and now I can't listen to it.
So now I either listen to online radio, download music (illegally or not, I really don't care any more. i use the service that gives me the music I want the fastest.), or make my own.
If buying cds was faster and easier than pirating, I would do it. Sometimes I do so anyway just to get a physical artifact or to support the band, but that's usually a long time after downloading the music.


https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... QTFairUse6

---

Nitpick: in regard to the comic, you're technically not a *criminal* if you do these things. I'm pretty sure that portion of the DMCA is a matter of civil law, not criminal law. And non-commercial piracy is certainly usually a matter of civil law.

Violations of civil laws are torts, not crimes.

(of course, I agree in spirit with the comic.)

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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby Fyndir » Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:20 am UTC

Mane wrote:You're never going to convince companies to stop going about the DRMing their stuff, by stealing their stuff. Just like you're not going to convince a store to stop pressing shoplifting charges by stealing their stuff.


That makes so little sense that you hurt me inside.

A shop pressing charges against someone for stealing is equivalent to a music company pressing charges against someone for stealing.

DRM is equivalent to a shop having a system that takes the product away from you if you move house, or move it too far from the original location. For example, I buy a nice big plasma TV, a year or so later I move house and suddenly the TV is taken away due to DRM restrictions, or how about if I buy a couch and later decide to move my furniture around to fit in a new desk or bookshelf? Oops, DRM kicks in and my couch is gone.

I eagerly anticipated Spore for quite a while, and then I saw all the DRM restrictions and, honestly, they made me feel sick. The sad thing is I would have bought it by now if they hadn't bothered with DRM.

DRM does not work, simply because it does not discourage piracy in any way, if anything it does the opposite by driving people away from buying products.

Seriously, give me a single positive benefit of DRM, please. I can't think of one.

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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby slaufer » Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:21 am UTC

phlip wrote:I definitely agree here. Note to execs who think DRM is a good idea: when your customers are unable to use your product and/or service, you're doing it vastly wrong.

Lure+Breaker wrote:I used to play .avi files. Recently, many sources I used to visit have changed to .mkv files. I cannot play.mkv files. I weep.

Get yourself some VLC. Or MPlayer, if you live in the console, like I do.


Actually, if you live in the console, VLC has a moderately non-horrible ncurses interface, which most Linux packages have compiled in by default. Try vlc -I ncurses. I never liked mplayer very much, it's always been very unstable for me.

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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby VelociraptorEvader » Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:40 am UTC

Phasma Felis wrote: Let this be a lesson to you all: reading Slashdot comments is bad for you.

and staring at the sun can hurt your eyes.
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Re: Steal This Comic

Postby Arkan » Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:16 am UTC

Long time lurker, first time poster.

If you're gonna complain about DRM, complaining about iTunes is the last thing you should be doing. It's so laughably easy to remove that it isn't funny- just burn it to a CD. And you should be making backups of it anyway in case your hard drive dies. Which I found out the hard way when I lost 50$ of music when both my main computer's hard drive and my iPod died at roughly the same time.

Saying the format's bad is another thing, but you know what? Sometimes I just cannot find a CD in local stores.



The recent game DRM is another thing entirely. The crap they put in Spore? If I had any money, I would intentionally not spend it on Spore in protest!

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StClair
Posts: 409
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:07 am UTC

Re: Steal This Comic

Postby StClair » Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:33 am UTC

darkhorse wrote:
smartalco wrote:you know, to remove DRM from iTunes songs, all you have to do is burn them to a disc, is it really that hard? (plus, I like having physical copies, they make good throwing weapons... sorta)


So the solution to removing copy right is to purchase it in a lossy lower quality format (All DRM'ed versions are 128 kb/s AAC), then burn it to CD & then rerip it in another lossy format.

So ultimately you are purchasing an already lower quality file & then making it even lower quality again. Hmmm

If you're not a big audio nerd and just want something to listen to on crappy speakers and/or earbuds, this is "good enough." I do it all the time with my iTunes songs.


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