'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:To the people who don't mind DRM because it's easy to circumvent: you're missing the point. The providers don't know you circumvented it, so by (as far as they know) accepting it and putting up with it, you're telling them it's OK, you don't mind DRM. When everyone does that, they get the impression that DRM is not a big deal, and people are willing to put up with it. Then they make it harder to circumvent, to stop those pirates who are distributing the decrypted copies, and next time you download a song you find there's no way around the DRM this time. Besides, you shouldn't have to spend time and effort finding the workaround and using it (some take hours) to use something you bought. And with DMCA, as the comic states, either way makes you a criminal.
And here you've hit upon the problem at its core. I think the providers assuming we're okay with DRM is as unlikely as Bush thinking he's a popular president. When the internet as a whole has a problem with something, it's not the sort of thing you can miss. But this is where the catch-22 hits. Boycotting does nothing. Accepting it does nothing. Either way, we're looking at the same outcome. One of the primary laws of logic dictates that if neither argument can persuade, there's no point in changing your stance (see creation vs. evolution; prove God does or does not exist).
This leaves us with an untenable position. Something's gotta give. We can't force the cessation of DRM, nor can we afford to ignore it. Even if everyone in the country started pirating exclusively, we'd all simply be criminals, not vindicated. I categorically disagree that eventually they'll develop an "unbreakable" DRM (I work for a major motion picture studio. I'm two cubes away from our "anti-piracy" team). I speak with the authority of someone secure in knowledge that, no matter how much energy we put into developing encryption folks can break it. Hell, ReplayAV simply captures the audio stream (think of it sitting between your hard disc and your sound card), meaning that ALL SOUND being played is recorded to a blank file. Badabing. If you can play it, I can record it.
It's technologically impossible to totally prevent the ability for me to make a copy short of not allowing me to hear the music itself. I don't even need the file. If you're STREAMING it to me I can capture it. So what now? Providers won't change their stance on the legality, nor can they prevent me from bootlegging. What's needed, at the most fundamental level, is a policy change. Something that most people will be cool with. As I said in my earlier post, there will ALWAYS be some pirates. We need to focus on a compromise that minimizes the damage.
1. DRM fucks people. For good or bad, the (repeated) collapses of DRM-protected music providers have given testament to this.
2. Piracy hurts providers by taking money out of their pocket.
3. There are two type of pirates: those that steal because they can't afford or simply don't want to pay for the music (thieves), and folks who feel that it is their unalienable right to use that which they paid for as they see fit (sensible individuals).
SO, since we've already reasoned that the thieves are going to steal no matter what, and that the rest are only pirating in the semantic definition of the word, we can conclude that the presence of DRM in fact increases the amount of piracy. Let's extend this conclusion: since most music piracy takes place in the "file-sharing" sector (be it peer-to-peer or swarm via torrent) it seems reasonable to minimize the number of people participating in those networks, thereby making the availability of the files more limited. DRM is having the opposite effect.
I totally agree that intellectual copyright should exist and even be enforced. I also feel that it should apply to thieves, not sensible individuals. Since I'd have to be deluded to think that if I pit my programming abilities against the collective minds of the "free data" hackers out there, some of whom just do it for fun (see DeCSS) I would be thoroughly trounced, I can only conclude that a software solution isn't the way to go. Hardware? Same problem. What we need is a way to make obtaining the material in question so inexpensive and easy to work with that there's no POINT to pirating. DRM has the opposite effect. It GIVES a reason to pirate. The MPAA and the RIAA would have a much easier time going after the big fish if all the small fish are out of the pond.