0546: "Music DRM"

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Rookie
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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby Rookie » Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:53 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:
guyy wrote:Wait, iTunes really got rid of DRM? I thought that was just a weird rumor.

Of course, Amazon's had no-DRM downloads for a while now and most things on iTunes are on there, too, so I don't see what the big deal is...

I love how people either are, or are pretending to be, unaware of that. When you act like DRM isn't dead until iTunes gets rid of it, you're just putting iTunes on a pedestal as some kind of end-all, be-all of music.

They still won't play on most non-Apple-made players, by the way. Once upon a time, that was the complaint -- that Apple was tying their iTunes customers to iPods.


Well, just want to point out that Amazon MP3 is not available in Germany. iTunes is. And while AAC files do only play on iPods and rockboxed players, the 256kBit AACs that they offer are quite high quality so conversion to other formats is legitimate.

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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby eviloatmeal » Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:05 am UTC

I'm still getting music at the library. Until online stores start supplying obscure Japanese noise music et.al I probably won't stop.

That being said, I do take every opportunity to buy indie albums from the artists, but if you thought DRM was a bitch, try importing stuff by mail to Norway. Two CDs would actually cost more in customs fees than the price of the CDs. So I end up paying $90 for something that cost me $20 a piece. :evil:
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Draco18s
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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby Draco18s » Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:20 am UTC

almightyze wrote:The problem is, the moment someone like Sarah Palin or worse (and I do know worse people than that animatronic cocktail waitress) hits office and begins a crusade for "family values" (i.e., patriarchal Christianism), the government can use that sort of monitoring as a weapon.


Have to put in my 2 cents:

The US was not founded on Christiantity, or even Freedom to Practice Whatever the Fuck you Want To.

Steven Waldman did research for his book, Founding Faith: Providence, Politics, and the Birth of Religious Freedom in America, and found that each state was started by a particular religious sect that didn't want religious equality, they wanted Reigious Freedom For Us (the rest of you, fuck off). Every time a state government was majorly one particular religion, religious persecution was at its highest: persecuting everyone else.

The religious basis for the United States is "religious liberty" which Waldman describes as the practice of promoting faith by leaving it alone.

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Otto
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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby Otto » Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:22 am UTC

Insanity's Partner wrote:Does anyone else feel mildly sad that there's no longer any real legitimate reason to pirate music anymore?


Hah. I finished my music piracy about 4 years ago, when I finished downloading all of the good music that exists. My collection is complete. There's nothing left to buy or pirate, because all music outside of the existing collection sucks.

The lack of DRM on current music is meaningless to me. The war was won years before the final battle was decided.

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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby phillipsjk » Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:33 am UTC

Is the comic just a troll?

The title is careful to say "Music DRM." DRM is still with us for video, "online textbooks", and as another poster pointed out: video games. Is Randall trying to say he never bought a (pre-rootkit) CD?


That said, I share a similar sentiment. I don't spend a lot of time listening to music anyway. If I was to buy music, I would be either in CD or vinyl format.
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OBloodyHell
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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby OBloodyHell » Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:52 am UTC

Until the rewards system is inherent somehow in the whole scheme of things, and the RIAA and MPAA close their doors, fire their attorneys, and concede defeat, the war isn't over -- not by a long shot. The DRM software battle was just one front in a single battle.

Until you can run P2P software without additional protection like Peer Guardian and not lose your "connect rights", the battle isn't even over.



> More often than not, I actually will try to go out and eventually buy their CD.

Better you should try and make it to a concert. They actually get most of that money -- some 60% of all CD sale income goes directly to the music company that they signed with, and only 5%-20% goes to the artists involved.

It'd be more efficient to send them 2 bucks in the mail. That way you wouldn't be funding RIAA and MPAA assholes harassing everyone.

> to ignore the fact that pirating is illegal/immoral

Not really. If the system allows you to contribute directly to the band, and you fail to do so, then it might be immoral.

When/if the system allows you to devote a percentage of your income to music, then distributes it automagically to those whose music you listen to, then you bypass it, then it might be immoral.

But as long as the vast majority of such funds goes into the hands of middlemen who contribute nothing, produce nothing, but have managed to, by manipulation of the legal structure, get themselves a free handout, then there's nothing immoral about bypassing it.

> the simple economics of copying means that those measures are stopgaps at best.

Or, as John Perry Barlow puts it -- "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic of Copyright Law"...

The Economy of Ideas (Everything You Know About Intellectual Property is Wrong) -- John Perry Barlow

8)

> Because $15-$20 for a 10 song CD is so much cheaper?

No, because a buck a song is a rip-off in the first place. It's designed to put money in the hands of suits standing there with their hands out, because they've controlled music distribution for so long that they think it's their inherent right to sit back and watch the money flow in while they sit poolside and conduct "deals" over the cellphone.

If every music artist out there got a penny for every song from every listener, most of them would be richer than most of us for the same amount of their life's work, and a fair number would be as rich as anyone has any rational desire to be (i.e., if you can't spend it all short of buying a yacht that's a converted mine sweeper, or a home that costs 10x an average person's lifetime income, then you're getting into the territory of "greedy" -- and that doesn't mean they shouldn't get it -- they just shouldn't be demanding more than that because "it isn't enough". If that's "not enough", then by all means, keep your creations allllll to yourself, n'kay? Society can, and will, survive without them. It's just f***ing music, man. Get a grip).

> Therefore, I am justified in stealing gold.

No, that's stupid equation of real objects with digital objects. Sure, they're both "the same thing". Like ice and steam are "the same thing". Just try and put your purchased steam into a bucket, hey? Right -- they are both "objects" and "property", but their underlying behavioral qualities are extremely different.

If I take your gold, YOU NO LONGER HAVE THE GOLD.
If I take your music, YOU STILL HAVE YOUR MUSIC.

The fact of the matter is, if I pirate 10,000 movies for myself, and movies cost an average of US$10 apiece, then have I, magically, produced US$100,000 in cash which I could've given to the copyright holders? I believe the phrase "DUH?" carries sufficient snark? The most you could charge me with is not paying whatever amount I would have been willing to pay to access such movies -- for most people, that's a few hundred dollars a year, so we aren't even talking actual "Grand Theft", regardless of whatever BS charge might be applied to you by the cops and the attorney's office.

The idea that the people who own the copyrights under current law are somehow out US$100k is ludicrous. Hell, they haven't even lost the chance to sell me the movies in question LATER when/if my income goes up substantially -- there's still Blu-Ray disks, and I speculate at least two more upgrades in the next 20 years before we get to film-equivalent displays and distributions. AND after that it's not bad to bet that there will be at least one more "computer enhanced" upgrade which makes the quality a step higher than film. So tell me, if I own a legitimate DVD of, say, "Iron Man", am I going to get a discount for a BR copy? A "superBR" copy? A "superduperBR" copy of the same pic? I mean, the fact is, I've already paid the creator once for it. Why should I have to pay the full price over and over again, just for a copy using the latest recording and display techniques? Why shouldn't my price paid reflect only the reward for those who actually added something to the mix -- the tech companies involved?

====

In actual fact, the underlying differences of properties represent a "phase change" and necessitate a whole different mechanism for rewarding creators.

And that, at the heart of it, is the expressly stated purpose for copyright in the first place.

Read it yourself -- Article 1 Section 8:

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

That's why copyright exists. Not to make anyone rich. Not to give anyone control over their creations.

"To promote the sciences and the arts"

Historically, that has involved copyrights and patents -- granting control over access to the ideas expressed.

Since it is no longer possible to control access to digital works, it seems clear that the laws must change, to provide rewards which do NOT depend on granting access to works. How that'll be done I don't know. But it's clear that it has to happen, and all current law, dependent on control of access, is inherently, irrevocably flawed in its basic presumptions, to wit:

"The internet treats censorship as noise, and routes around it"
--This is generally granted as a truism, and, in fact, has been demonstrated time and again in the last decade or more.
Now, what is censorship?
Censorship is someone (a government, usually) saying "This we deem dangerous, therefore you may not have access to it".
It's about access. Now, I put it to you, what is modern copyright?
Copyright is someone saying "This you have not paid for, therefore you may not have access to it".

It, too, is about access.

(Note: I'm not claiming that the moral arguments against censorship are even vaguely applicable here!)

The fact is, the same mechanisms which operate against censorship also apply to copyright-as-control. So copyright-as-control is doomed. We must replace it with a reward mechanism ("To promote the sciences and the arts") which does not depend on controlling access.

Q.E.D.

> try importing stuff by mail to Norway.

Well, yah, but at least you get to listen to Madrugada without paying import fees :wink:

> because all music outside of the existing collection sucks.

Stasis is a poor condition to go through life in, son.

In living things, stasis == "dead".

I'm fifty, and I still find lots of new music to enjoy. If I stopped collecting new stuff at any point, I wouldn't have the pleasure of Garbage, Morphine, Madrugada, Eels, Kings of Leon, Midnight Choir, or other stuff that's come about since my "heyday" of music waaaay back in the 1980s.

Whatever your heyday is, don't get stuck in it. There's good stuff -- older and newer -- than that stuff. Even the 70s had good music, and yes, that even includes some so-called Disco. Not saying it'll be on your "heavy play" list, but you'll find stuff you'll enjoy once in a while.
Last edited by OBloodyHell on Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:13 am UTC, edited 4 times in total.

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Platypodes
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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby Platypodes » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:32 am UTC

almightyze wrote:Besides, the copyright situation is a lot bigger than just DRM. The RIAA and MPAA currently wish to monitor internet activity ala the Great Firewall of China and Iran, the difference being supposedly content control (oh, and uh, shut down radio stations). The government all but backs it. The problem is, the moment someone like Sarah Palin or worse (and I do know worse people than that animatronic cocktail waitress) hits office and begins a crusade for "family values" (i.e., patriarchal Christianism), the government can use that sort of monitoring as a weapon. And don't call that a delusion, it's being tested in Australia right now, under the guise of "protecting children."


In case you didn't notice, we won the music DRM war presidential election. :wink:
videogamesizzle wrote:so, uh, seen any good arbitrary, high numbers lately?

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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby tahrey » Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:03 am UTC

Platypodes: love the relevant avatarness :mrgreen:

To chuck in my small soft plastic bag full of the maximum legal tender of 2 pence pieces...

$15-20 a CD? Who the hell pays that price unless they're seriously DESPERATE for a legal, CD-based copy of something that can't be found at a lower price elsewhere? I haven't bought in the last few years a disc that cost me more than £7 - which even at the height of the £:$ exchange rate is $14. OK, maybe once or twice I might have broken into double figures, but that was for something rare. And most CDs have 10 tracks as a MINIMUM, you may have noticed.

In a local closing down sale (FYI for rest of world: UK arm of Woolworths went kaput thanks to a convoluted credit crunch domino effect) I walked away with, over a few days browsing in different branches, more than 100 discs albums (some were multidisc) for £280. But even if I'd bought them at full price it would have been maybe £500-600 (which is a lot of money to me). Spending the equivalent of 15-20 USD on single disc albums simply isn't in my gameplan. (There's a couple of newer releases I got from there that are stickered between £10-15, which I picked up once the discount hit the 60-70% range; otherwise I would have either waited for it to not be hot-new-release, or just looked online to cheaper retailers). Spending that much money on discs is for mugs, because once you find retailers selling them to you at the lower prices and still, presumably, turning a profit, it becomes kind of clear just how much of a massive mark-up from wholesale is contained in the RRP/ARP/SRP.

That was something of a coup for me (OK, there were some gambles on cheap compilations and the like - but at 3 discs for £1.50, if the "60 classic hits!" turn out to be turkeys, it can either go and make more than that money for charity at a local summer fair, or become some attractive, low-cost postmodern drinks coasters; and I still got some absolute classic/essential stuff for chicken-feed prices). But a much more successful and ongoing retailer (HMV) a few weeks later had a "2 for £10" sale (or individually stickered between £6 and £8) where I also purchased a number of good discs - all either new ones that must have not sold well (probably overpriced at launch), copper-bottomed classics that I didn't yet have, or interesting strange things.

At these prices I'm happy to buy, because the artist and record company will have already got their money from the wholesaling of the material to the retailers, and the markup paid isn't so bad - it will hopefully be enough to still cover the upkeep of the store and staff wages, but without thickly lining the pockets of those commanding a media retailing empire. At full RRP? No chance. I'm going to the internet for that one - either to find it from Amazon, CDBaby, CDwow, HMV online, etc etc etc, OR to pirate it until I can do so.

I'm not a big pirating person any more. Now that I'm out of school/college and into a paying job, my legitimate music and video collection is starting to threaten the illegit one for size and breadth of subject, and even some of the ripped off stuff is being replaced (Studio Ghibli and their distributors particularly have the internet to thank for me buying pretty much their entire back catalogue; and probably for the campaign to have it released in the UK/US/Aus in the first place). But I'm not going to pay through the nose to do it.... so if there's something new I quite like the look of, but I can't find it affordably yet ... it's off to the torrents and file-finder sites for a bit of small-scale crookery.
Besides I'm a big subscriber to the "uncompressed PCM, properly laid out as a coherent album, something that you can physically touch and know won't disappear, can lend to a friend with some confidence, don't have to knob about with docks and cables to play it in the car, with some nice included high-rez artwork and possibly some lyrics and interesting info about the band" camp.

Have used iTunes on occasion, but only very, very grudgingly - because a band/label has for some reason (in at least one case, it's a matter of distribution cost as they have a small but committed fanbase and can't find a disc pressing plant that will turn out a low volume of high quality product affordably) turned exclusively to iTunes to distribute their songs, or have uploaded some cool stuff as part of an iT-exclusive promotional deal. And I've paid their quite frankly exhorbitant prices (it's 99p, or recently down to 79p in the UK, which I think is STILL over a dollar-a-track equivalent; work that out for a 16-track remix album and it's more than twice my usual limit), and had to suffer with sometimes plainly substandard compression quality too (sub-minidisc LP2, which is like the bare minimum in terms of acceptable "master copy" fidelity for me). And I've then gone and copied some stuff from my friends' iT libraries to make it up to myself... I've already paid quite a lot, so let's get something more like a realistic money's worth --- I mean, I haven't received anything except a datastream from them, and they haven't paid for conditioned storage space (though I know they'll have to have a big server farm to deal with the demand, most companies provide such FoC, and even 10Tb of storage - enough to hold 20,000 different titles UNCOMPRESSED (if we assume they're all ~50 minute albums, to make up the balance between 10-minute singles and multi-disc but single-jewel-case compilations), or a whole warehouse of discs if you assume 5~50 copies held in stock dependent on popularity - will quite comfortably fit inside a single-rack RAID server these days... you could operate the master store out of a solar-cell clad minivan in the colo's parking lot FFS).

(ripping off iTunes: burn a CDDA from iT, rip it back as MP3 at successively higher qualities until you can no longer hear a difference between them ... this was usually at ~192k for the better stuff. It only allows a certain number of copies of a CD to be burnt, but taking it across to a PC with Nero or a similar program removes this problem also)

DRM means little to me, as I've always come down on the side of either circumvention where the result is acceptable (e.g. the burn-rip workaround), buying a physical copy (the various aborted attempts to institute DRM on CDs subverts this somewhat, but we should note that they've always failed), or just getting a pirate version until the whole thing's blown over. It's seemed like a futile and unneccessary thing, and just a way of "mugging" those who don't know any better, i.e. anyone sucked in by the shiny apple adverts. And of keeping prices artificially high - because who are you going to buy from as an alternative, now we've hooked you in with a quite tightly tied player? (Luckily now that iPods can accept self-ripped CDs and all manner of random MP3s, it's not so much a problem if you don't mind sacrificing that promise of "any track in the world, instantly to your PMP" (lol, any... no i don't think so)). Hopefully with it's disappearance, some slightly more realistic market forces will prevail, and prices will crash just a bit. I'm highly dubious of El Steve's claims that iTunes just can't run at less than a 79 cent per track cost, and it would be more comfortable at 99 cents. Where's all the money going, man? I've rarely bought a physical CD (or tape) single that cost more than 99p per track, and their production costs are not significantly less than that for a full album (well maybe for tape, as more material has to run through the high-speed recording machine - but CDs are stamped). Which means if someone's bought a whole album off you, the extra cost is purely going to IP. Or in other words, profit of various kinds. Some of it deserved (artists, the parts of the record company and distribution chain - including apple - that actually scout artists, help them record, develop and promote their work, and get it to the consumers). Some of it not (massive company exec bonuses, the parts of record companies that sponsor junk like X-Factor and PopIdol while good artists who haven't been promo'd effectively are quietly dropped).

After all, AllofMP3.ru has been around for ages selling tracks at BELOW realistic prices (at 5p per song, and a tieried system of price by length and bitrate because the actual data transfer cost becomes an issue, you just know they're not paying royalties). Maybe some kind of medium can be struck?

Say at just below the "2 for £10" level, for the apocryphal 10-track album? How's about starting at 49p/track? Even then, you'll be able to milk people for about £1700 to "fill up" an OLD, sub-£100 20Gb device, if they don't already own any media they can use. (2x10^10 bytes / 5.5mb (2^20) per track (192kbit x 4 minutes) x 0.49). It's probably workable at 30p/track for larger capacity players. And you can then drop the price of music videos to £1 a time, or movies for £5... which drive demand a bit more than the current price structure, and will create a need for players with yet larger storage, so you can sell yet more overpriced hardware also.
(£1700 is about the middle of the range of money I consider buying a used car at... its about 10% of my gross salary. It's still a lot of cash.)

Argh, I've gone on far too long and I fear have forgotten the point I originally needed to make. But, anyway: SUBMIT

(EDIT: yeah, the tl;dr version --- piracy still has a reason, in that the prices are often overinflated. Though you can often - but not always - subvert the need for that by buying at a more realistic, supposedly "discount" (ie not as obscenely profitable) price from a different supplier. Forget gold; think more along the lines of more everyday commodities like food, electricity, alcohol/tobacco*, heating gas)
(* not essentials, but still things that people see as everyday essentials and will happily steal or buy by cheap black market routes if they can't afford inflated retail prices; given the commoditisation of music that you don't make yourself from its once-luxury status, we could maybe assume the same psychological and social mechanisms)
(--- placeholder for something i remembered and then forgot again... back to rebrowse the thread briefly --- )
^^^^ balls, I forget. Completely. It'll come back to me in about an hour when I'm up to my elbows in the guts of some dead piece of equipment on the other side of the site.

Other things that came to mind however:
A lot of artists release their stuff completely independently now. You can buy from their site and they send you a download, or even a CD / vinyl disc (!). Or offer it up free and ask for donations. Etc. I've had a few albums by such means. It's awesome. And not that expensive either. It somehow feels better, having previewed the work and liked it, or heard it elsewhere and gone "yeah, i gotta have that" and googled, to give up even the same money you might have in a brick and mortar store, but directly to the creator of the piece and have them directly (e) mail you the full work.

And another:
Re founding of the USA, the constitution, seperation of church and state or otherwise, I can only quote something I saw done as a demotivator on a pro-humanist forum (that had been linked to as an example of how extremism can exist in ALL beliefs, even non-beliefs): TREATY OF TRIPOLI, BITCH!

Finally:
Internet monitoring for "copyright control" or otherwise. We must destroy this bullshit. It's tantamount to hacking by packet sniffing, and I'm sure that's illegal in all number of ways. Use the strongest crypto you can even for bullshit conversations about the weather and what groceries you need to buy, I guess, then they can't figure out your more subversive thoughts (man, I hate this president, I hope he's voted out...) as easily?
And the shutting down internet radio things - I've been wary of this sort of thing as a maybe backdoor reason for bringing in digital TV & radio for quite a while. Regular analogue TV & radio, at least in my area, is perfectly fine. A nice clear uncompressed 720x576 display (well ok, probably more like 540x576), or 15~19khz stereo feed on FM (dropping back to mono for slightly weak signals) which if it suffered interference, was mainly of an easy-to-ignore perceptually-insignificant (and for TV, purely-intraframe) white noise type. Digital's only boast over that is that it suffers no white noise interference, and has allegedly better resolution, and some data services. Oh, and it can fit a lot more channels into the same airspace. I suspect the resolution is either the same or lower for a lot of material, it suffers a HELL of a lot of nasty MPG artefacts, particularly interframe motion ones, sometime becomes unwatchable/nightmare fuel when the signal finally succumbs to interference that would have just been a little snowy on analogue, the sound (particularly for radio) is an awful, low-bitrate MP2 mess (15khz if you're lucky and all manner of compression and stereo image artefacts), and the data services are not definably better than what you got with Teletext or RDS. The whole "photos of the presenter or scenes from the webcam", etc promise for radio never came true - just a station logo and a readout of which show is on (not even a head-up of what song's being played), which you can figure out from the frequency/RDS name/channel number/jingles every 10 minutes anyway. Digital text is like old teletext, just prettier, somehow chunkier (ie less info on each screen), and slower. Plus, the majority of the new channels shoehorned into the digital bandwidth are utter trash. There's an interminable number repeating old shows made by other channels, of which maybe two are reliably watchable (Dave and Virgin1), and even so they have to further bulk themselves out with showing the same episode more than once in a day AND having a +1 companion. Lots of shopping channels, music, and other stuff no-one should really care about. All taking up bandwidth that the good ones (the doubles of existing analogue channels, their decent "3" and "4" counterparts (well, OK... BBC 3 & 4, and ITV2), non +1 versions of the good repeaters, and 24 hour news) could use instead, rather than being a macroblocked mess. When you count up the number of "new" good channels on digital, oddly it seems to work out to about the same as the number of inbetween analogue-channel-width bands (5 - as BBC3/4 only broadcast 12 hours a day, sharing with children's channels, they could all be glomped into one - all 4 only have about 6 hours of decent, non repeat material each anyway) that the digital multiplexes use. So we could have had these additions on analogue instead, with them maintaining decent per-channel viewing figures (wow, a lot of them have very low viewer numbers and have trouble making enough ad revenue to buy and show decent programs... and there's like 10x as many channels as we had 10 years ago... but the oldschool ones haven't lost even half their original audience... I wonder if there's any connection?), good image and good content quality. Pfeh.

However, any old johnny can set up a pirate radio or even TV station without a great deal of complicated equipment, you just need a source signal (composite video, or a soundwave) and an RF encoder (every VCR yet made, or one of those iPod adaptors, plus a suitable amp which can be homebuilt from - duh - Radio Shack components, and public-library schema... if you don't have a VCR or iTrip you can still make the encoder from parts, it's just more complex); I've even previously managed to broadcast a (weak ass) analogue TV signal from my DVD player via the VCR's RF modulator, a signal booster and a big wire loop. AM radio is even easier - an RF sinewave source and a circuit to gate it according to the input audio. Which makes for easy subversion of any ethnic group/music genre/spoken content type gaps in the commercial wavebands (cf the international-waters pirate stations of the UK & europe in the 60s), government or commercial forum censorship, or even out and out oppressive regiemes.

Not so much digital TV or radio, which go out on multiplexed signals and are found/indexed by a master signal broadcast from the same transmitting station. You can *only* get what the central transmitting consortium want you to choose from.
Now I've never been a big pirate radio listener, except late at night when the only thing that can keep your eyes open and focussed on the road is the never ending cascade of odd, badly-MC'd Bhangra and Drum'n'Bass bedroom stations that the car aerial starts picking up when going through an unfamiliar urban area. But I'm quite pleased that they exist. And even though pirate TV is little more than a legend/theory for most (outside of Waynes World), the possibility of it tweaks the pleasure gland of my civil liberties centre.

Apparently the interweb has taken over most of the functions of these stations. That's just not good. One traceable, easily blocked IP that people have to actively seek (so can even be blocked at THEIR end), vs a transmitter you can hide in the back of a minivan, shutdown and make "invisible" in a second (and drive quickly away) if you think you're being traced, and is instantly available and accidentally findable by anyone rolling through their radio band or retuning their TV? I'll throw my lot in with the talentless MC if you don't mind, rather than the reactionary blogger. I know which one's more likely to be going to jail and never heard from again, and be less obviously missing.

circumlocuted
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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby circumlocuted » Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:29 pm UTC

Yes, the record industry has FINALLY figured out that DRM is stupid.

It only took them, what? 10+ years?
And they had to be dragged kicking and screaming every step of the way.


What's really sad is that the technology to sell music online isn't very complicated.
Desktop computers have been powerful enough to decode mp3s since the early 90s, and mp3 files are small enough to be distributed even over slower dialup connections.
And it's not like there weren't companies wooing the record industry, offering to do all of the work for them in setting up an online music store.


So, they could have been making money over the last ten years, partnering with technology companies, and online music sales would have probably displaced the slump in cd sales that started in the early 00s.

Instead, they spent millions of shareholder dollars fighting the inevitable.
And what has it gotten them?

Gero
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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby Gero » Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:13 pm UTC

Hehe. good one.

Also sje you got a postcount of 1600 plus by posting not kewl not funny bla bla bla in every thread here? whao. godda admire that persistence.

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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby dburke » Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:31 pm UTC

Last Vegas currently has a free song of the week on iTunes. So if it's DRM-free and also free-free he's still practically pirating it.

sammy
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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby sammy » Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:04 pm UTC

Hook 'Em Horns =)

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Elipongo
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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby Elipongo » Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:54 pm UTC

HaHaHa! I am REALLY enjoying how many posters in this thread are acting out the comic's last panel! Yes, being self-righteous on the web will indeed be free for the foreseeable future!

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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby eviloatmeal » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:20 pm UTC

Elipongo wrote:HaHaHa! I am REALLY enjoying how many posters in this thread are acting out the comic's last panel! Yes, being self-righteous on the web will indeed be free for the foreseeable future!

As long as it's cheaper than valium, there will be self-righteous people blowing off steam on the stringamajig.
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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby william » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:27 pm UTC

almightyze wrote:(and I do know worse people than that animatronic cocktail waitress)

I just want to say: The phrase "animatronic cocktail waitress" is an amazing phrase.
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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby muteKi » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:40 pm UTC

'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:We won? I must have missed that when I was browsing several online music stores, not finding any of the music I want (read: anything from outside the USA), nor anything in a lossless format. Wake me up when online stores offer a product as good as CDs.


Oh man, most of the stuff I pirate at this point is anime that has not and quite possibly will never secure a US distribution, or, similarly, music from the far reaches of the globe like that.

It's all about availability.
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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby phillipsjk » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:46 pm UTC

tahrey wrote:
And the shutting down internet radio things - I've been wary of this sort of thing as a maybe backdoor reason for bringing in digital TV & radio for quite a while. Regular analogue TV & radio, at least in my area, is perfectly fine. A nice clear uncompressed 720x576 display (well ok, probably more like 540x576), or 15~19khz stereo feed on FM (dropping back to mono for slightly weak signals) which if it suffered interference, was mainly of an easy-to-ignore perceptually-insignificant (and for TV, purely-intraframe) white noise type.

Nitpick: Analog video standards DO use compression. I can't find anything going into detail with a quick Google search, but the Wikipedia Article on PAL shows how much bandwidth is allocated to various video functions.

Interlacing means that your 720x576 display will only be clear if NOTHING is happening between frames. Movement causes blurring, but can happen at 50fps instead of 25fps.

Notice how the chroma carrier is so much smaller than the luma carrier? That is because colour is being thrown away.

I also read somewhere that that compression happens on the brightness signal as well: apparently dim areas have more detail than bright areas.

tahrey wrote: Digital's only boast over that is that it suffers no white noise interference, and has allegedly better resolution, and some data services. Oh, and it can fit a lot more channels into the same airspace. I suspect the resolution is either the same or lower for a lot of material, it suffers a HELL of a lot of nasty MPG artefacts, particularly interframe motion ones, sometime becomes unwatchable/nightmare fuel when the signal finally succumbs to interference that would have just been a little snowy on analogue, the sound (particularly for radio) is an awful, low-bitrate MP2 mess (15khz if you're lucky and all manner of compression and stereo image artefacts) ....

That is not always the fault of the standard itself: Distributors are probably trying to cram too many channels into the available bandwidth. The move to digital was prompted in part because with modern technology, you could get "Better picture quality" (HDV) with the same bandwidth, or more channels with the "same picture quality".

Of course, since the compression is lossy, any re-compression of a signal that was already compressed by analog means will lose detail and introduce artifacts.
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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby SneakyMongo » Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:03 pm UTC

Pro-Piracy Worst Case: no more professionally made films, TV, music, games, books
Anti-Piracy Worst Case: nanny state

I'm strongly Pro-Piracy.
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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby trenenyas » Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:15 pm UTC

Pro-Piracy Worst Case: no more professionally made films, TV, music, games, books
Anti-Piracy Worst Case: nanny state

I'm strongly Pro-Piracy.


I don't make decisions based on what is the worst case outcome if something was completely taken to extremes. Paying for an artists CD will NOT lead to a 'nanny state'- that just strikes me as a weak justification for stealing something because its easy to do. I try to take decisions based on what I think is the right thing to do. And basically, if a musician puts huge amounts of time, effort, emotional commitment and no doubt also a reasonable amount of money into making something I enjoy, they deserve to get paid for it as much as any other kind of artist. All those arguments about '15-20' are completely spurious - who are you to make the decision that they shouldn't get that 20%? And most people neglect the fact that even independents get ripped off frequently, and a much higher percentage goes to them than that, often 100%.

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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby amorya » Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:32 pm UTC

Now for video.

I don't pirate music any more, because it's cheap enough and I can use it where I want.
Ditto software... I have one or two things I still need to buy (saving up for CS4) but I'm getting there slowly. Mostly, software is worth the cost to me.

TV episodes though... to me, they are worth less than a song. I'll listen to songs over and over, but I tend to only watch an episode once. Yet they cost 2 or 3 times as much. If episodes were 50p (and came out in England at the same time as the US), I'd cease pirating them.

Here's to hoping.

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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby Ptolom » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:02 pm UTC

There's a perfectly legitimate reason to pirate music; It saves money. Not everyone's got mosey to burn on "morals" and "not stealing" you know.
I don't actually pirate music but I would if I felt like it.

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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby 10nitro » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:38 pm UTC

overpool wrote:I can't wait to find out how many sanctimonious anti-DRM zealots will begin legitimately purchasing music now that iTunes is DRM-free. My guess? 5%.


Dude. Fuck you. Most people who pirate music aren't "sanctimonious anti-DRM zealots", they're leeches who don't want to pay for music. I don't think this is true for all mediums, but it is for music. Yes, I have pirated material, but only material I have legally bought, for the purpose of 1.) having it in an open-format or 2.) having no DRM. I have done this with minimal music, because, like the xkcd guy, I don't really like music.

Randall, get the fuck out of my head.

Besides that, the real issue isn't DRM, it is the strict copyrights (that invoke DRM). They restrict cultural development, whether code commands this or not. Lessig never even used the word "DRM" in Free Culture. He did describe it a few times, but it clearly was not the main issue, but showing how code enforces already over-the-top regulations.

phillipsjk wrote:
tahrey wrote:
And the shutting down internet radio things - I've been wary of this sort of thing as a maybe backdoor reason for bringing in digital TV & radio for quite a while. Regular analogue TV & radio, at least in my area, is perfectly fine. A nice clear uncompressed 720x576 display (well ok, probably more like 540x576), or 15~19khz stereo feed on FM (dropping back to mono for slightly weak signals) which if it suffered interference, was mainly of an easy-to-ignore perceptually-insignificant (and for TV, purely-intraframe) white noise type.

Nitpick: Analog video standards DO use compression. I can't find anything going into detail with a quick Google search, but the Wikipedia Article on PAL shows how much bandwidth is allocated to various video functions.

Interlacing means that your 720x576 display will only be clear if NOTHING is happening between frames. Movement causes blurring, but can happen at 50fps instead of 25fps.

Notice how the chroma carrier is so much smaller than the luma carrier? That is because colour is being thrown away.

I also read somewhere that that compression happens on the brightness signal as well: apparently dim areas have more detail than bright areas.

tahrey wrote: Digital's only boast over that is that it suffers no white noise interference, and has allegedly better resolution, and some data services. Oh, and it can fit a lot more channels into the same airspace. I suspect the resolution is either the same or lower for a lot of material, it suffers a HELL of a lot of nasty MPG artefacts, particularly interframe motion ones, sometime becomes unwatchable/nightmare fuel when the signal finally succumbs to interference that would have just been a little snowy on analogue, the sound (particularly for radio) is an awful, low-bitrate MP2 mess (15khz if you're lucky and all manner of compression and stereo image artefacts) ....

That is not always the fault of the standard itself: Distributors are probably trying to cram too many channels into the available bandwidth. The move to digital was prompted in part because with modern technology, you could get "Better picture quality" (HDV) with the same bandwidth, or more channels with the "same picture quality".

Of course, since the compression is lossy, any re-compression of a signal that was already compressed by analog means will lose detail and introduce artifacts.

The broadcast compression has minimal loss. Most of the lossy-nes is them storing low-quality videos in their database.
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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby Ezbez » Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:02 pm UTC

Somewhat off-topic, but it's related to DRM and Guitar Hero. If I own a video game, do I own the use of music in the game? For example, sometimes games have good soundtracks and I go and find the files (whether they're just sitting there in some folders or require the extracting of some zip-style package files) and add them to my play list. Is that legal? In the US, that is.

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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby Faranya » Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:40 pm UTC

Insanity's Partner wrote:Does anyone else feel mildly sad that there's no longer any real legitimate reason to pirate music anymore?


The reason is because we can, and do. 18th century pirates could have been legitimate merchants, but they could just as easily be rampaging thieves. They chose the latter. We could be legitimate consumers, or we could be rampaging thieves. I for one prefer the latter.

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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby Unbalanced » Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:43 am UTC

Right now, I'm physically incapable of thinking of songs that are not in Rock Band 2.

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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby Mysidic » Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:53 am UTC

Even if we won the music thing we still have DRM in software, books videos, games etc;

I'd say we're far from winning still, music is just an important milestone.
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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby MasterDinadan » Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:43 am UTC

I take offense to the notion that people opposed to DRM are just trying to make excuses for pirating music.

I have pirated music before, but I no longer do. I stopped pirating and started using iTunes, long before they even came out with iTunes Plus. On many occasions I have come VERY CLOSE to going back to piracy because of iTunes DRM. I can definitely see why people would turn to piracy if they are frustrated with the kind of "service" they get for purchasing it legitimately. The only way to "own" your music was to "take" it.

Not that I think it's a legitimate excuse.

If iTunes really has gone DRM-free, I salute Apple. They will certainly continue to have my business.

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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby shebeatmyhighscore » Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:35 am UTC

Gotta love Randall for being consistent.

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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby Thrice Great » Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:10 pm UTC

I'm not sure I care too much for the potty mouth on that chick.
This would have been just as funny without using the F-bomb.
Let's try and clean things up a tad Randall.

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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby Chfan » Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:14 pm UTC

Wow, really? Geez.
Just FYI, the guy isn't avatar isn't me. But he seems pretty cool.

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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby marketdoctor » Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:16 pm UTC

Somewhat off-topic, but it's related to DRM and Guitar Hero. If I own a video game, do I own the use of music in the game? For example, sometimes games have good soundtracks and I go and find the files (whether they're just sitting there in some folders or require the extracting of some zip-style package files) and add them to my play list. Is that legal? In the US, that is.


I'm not a lawyer, but there was an actual copyright case where a shampoo company tried to stop people reselling their product, because they owned the rights to the words on the bottle (I could not make that up if I tried). What the courts ruled, and it had impact on other rights management issues, is that when you buy a product, you own the rights to one copy of the words (and by extension, other intellectual property) that comes with it. Courts have also said you can make one archive copy in case the original is destroyed, provided you don't sell/exchange it (including giving it away.)

So my educated guess (more guess than educated) is that if you don't sell or give away the music, and don't listen to it while someone else is using that copy of the game, you've got a strong case that the one copy of the music you bought is "yours", unless the game has instructions saying to do so is a breach of your purchase contract...and even there, you could get into a legal debate about whether or not it's a binding contract...but (personally, not "legally"), I like the idea of "one purchase=I license to listen to at a time" unless the artist states otherwise (which brings us back to DRM.)

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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby sje46 » Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:44 pm UTC

Thrice Great wrote:I'm not sure I care too much for the potty mouth on that chick.
This would have been just as funny without using the F-bomb.
Let's try and clean things up a tad Randall.

Yeah, Randall. My uncle was a Marine in Vietnam. He was in Da Nang, and saw his best friend get killed, and had to sleep in a ditch surrounded by Viet Cong, unable to move, having to sleep in his best friend's brains and blood. HE stayed in that hole for three days, and knew that the stench was eventually going to give him away, so he made a run for it. He was shot in the leg less than fifty meters away.

He was brought to the Hanoi Hilton, where he was beaten savagely with tire-irons and burned with lighters, and swear at quite viciously,tortured for information. Sure, he gave away the positions of his entire unit, but not once that entire time did he cuss. Not once. And why? Because cussing isn't American, dang it! We have few values in America, and having a clean mouth is one of them. And he weren't going to give all that up for those Godless Commies.
He died there, a hero. Not a hero in the traditional sense (like sacrificing himself for the good of his unit), but for the good of our nation. Without heros like him, we'd have the majority of the population swearing a good deal of the time, even on television! But, luckily, we rarely see this.

And to have a character, Randall, and a woman at that, swear, is despicable, and makes my uncle's death seem like a joke.
Not cool, not funny, not a good strip.
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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby Cynical Idealist » Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:01 pm UTC

overpool wrote:I can't wait to find out how many sanctimonious anti-DRM zealots will begin legitimately purchasing music now that iTunes is DRM-free. My guess? 5%.

Personally, I probably won't be doing much purchasing. I wouldn't call myself sanctimonious, but I have written tirades and such about DRM on other websites.

...of course, I didn't do any pirating either (unless you count listening on youtube). I make do with KVOD's streaming feed and the CDs I get as gifts.

And don't call that a delusion, it's being tested in Australia right now, under the guise of "protecting children."

I've seen this somewhere. While it doesn't really apply to Australia...
$ su root
Password: 'Think of the children!'
# rm -rf /BillOfRights/FourthAmendment
(from http://grault.net/adjunct/?RootPassword ... nstitution)
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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby bill_mcgonigle » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:04 am UTC

eleniy86 wrote:best line EVER!!!
"...let's rock the fuck out"


I might be over-reading it, but this is an important line. Because they're celebrating a small victory, and then assuming success. You can't 'rock the fuck out' with an .mp3, you need instruments. So, maybe Randall is saying be cautious of small gains. Or maybe it's just a weak strip, you decide.

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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby Aspergia » Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:35 am UTC

Now that we're talking about Rockin' Chick rather than DRM...

Lovin' her hand gesture in that panel. Always cool to see fingers on a stick person.

(Yeah, odd things amuse me... it's not doing you any harm, is it?)
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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby athelas » Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:52 am UTC

overpool wrote:I can't wait to find out how many sanctimonious anti-DRM zealots will begin legitimately purchasing music now that iTunes is DRM-free. My guess? 5%.


Do you believe people should have the right to make deep-fried twinkies?

Ever made one?

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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby MiB24601 » Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:50 am UTC

Ezbez wrote:Somewhat off-topic, but it's related to DRM and Guitar Hero. If I own a video game, do I own the use of music in the game? For example, sometimes games have good soundtracks and I go and find the files (whether they're just sitting there in some folders or require the extracting of some zip-style package files) and add them to my play list. Is that legal? In the US, that is.

marketdoctor wrote:I'm not a lawyer, but there was an actual copyright case where a shampoo company tried to stop people reselling their product, because they owned the rights to the words on the bottle (I could not make that up if I tried). What the courts ruled, and it had impact on other rights management issues, is that when you buy a product, you own the rights to one copy of the words (and by extension, other intellectual property) that comes with it. Courts have also said you can make one archive copy in case the original is destroyed, provided you don't sell/exchange it (including giving it away.)


That's the First Sale Doctrine. It was established by the US Supreme Court 101 years ago (darn, we missed the anniversary) and is found in federal statute at 17 U.S.C. § 109.

So anytime a company tries to prevent you from reselling the product you bought from them, just remember that (I'm looking at you, console video game companies that try to keep me from selling my older games). (Of course, MP3s are different, but what can you do?)

But to answer Ezbez's question...No, he doesn't get the right to the music in the game. That would be like getting the rights to a poem by buying a book of poetry the poem is in. Buying the collection of poems simply gives you the right to use the book and to resell the book.

However, just because you don't get the § 106 rights (these are the rights of the copyright that subsists in the song) doesn't mean you can't copy the song to your MP3 device. After all, you are allowed to do that with a CD you bought without having any of the § 106 rights. [Well, mostly. Singapore seems to disagree on that and there has been discussions either way in the US but to be simple, CD ripping of a CD you own for your own use is OK).

However, ripping a song from a CD to an MP3 player doesn't transform it (in the legal sense). When taking a song from Guitar Hero (where the purpose of the song is for playing in a video game) and putting it on your playlist (where the purpose of the song is for listening to), you transform the song and create a derivative work. This infringes on the copyright owners § 106 rights and you have a problem.

Also, opening up the file directory on your copy of Guitar Hero probably gives you DMCA issues.

So, Ezbez, you can't copy a song off of Guitar Hero and add it to your playlist under copyright law. Don't take this as legal advice though. This is just a few guys talking about copyrights on a board.
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Re: "Music DRM" Discussion

Postby Eternal Density » Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:28 am UTC

@tahrey:
You should have turned that uber-long post into a Summer Glau
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