But they don't want to drop the restrictions! Earlier this week an HBO Executive, Bob Zitter, caught alot of flack in the blogosphere (and rightly so) for suggesting the only problem with DRM is the name, and that renaming the same restrictions "Digital Consumer Enablement" would solve the problem.
We like to point to a quote from a Disney exec from a ways back "If the consumer even knows there is a DRM we've lost." And by all accounts, they've all lost! Through the work of groups like ours, we have informed users about DRM. And now they don't want it.
A while back I pointed folks to Dell's IdeaStorm website where they were soliciting feedback from customers about what products they offered. Overwhelmingly people wanted Dell machines with GNU/Linux operating systems.
Here are some highlights:
Most people think it ludicrous that they can’t do the same with the DVDs they own. Now it seems, despite squeals from the movie industry, the law is finally moving in the video fan’s favour.
Congratulations to the Digg users who revolted against the censorship of a number today. Digg took down stories that featured the DRM encryption key for HD DVD encryption. Digg users then started reposting it until the entire front page of Digg was covered with the story and each one had thousands of Diggs.
After tens of thousands of diggs on multiple stories, Digg has decided to stop fighting it.
Dear Chairman Bronfman,
Recent weeks have brought major changes in the music industry as it relates to online digital music distribution. Apple and EMI have now committed to distributing without Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), and there have been similar announcements from other online music stores and retailers. Last week brought news that Universal Music may be opening up some of their catalog to DRM free sales too.
Wired has a good blog post up about ebooks and how DRM has stymied adoption, "The why of that has many faces, but DRM plays its part. Taking a historically commonplace form of expression, freely portable in its traditional format, and turning it into an ephemeral, hardware-specific, proprietary service?"
There has been some recent chatter on the internet about the possibility of Apple introducing a subscription based service. Steve Jobs may have just put that speculation to rest:
"Never say never, but customers don't seem to be interested in it," Jobs told Reuters in an interview after Apple reported blow-out quarterly results. "The subscription model has failed so far."
This was reported on CNN.
"MPAA Chairman and CEO Dan Glickman told an industry gathering that the industry "wholeheartedly supports legitimate copying." (since when? Ed) So reports StreamingMedia today in a nice wrap up of recent DRM related news.
Glickman was addressing a conference on the topic of DRM. He does support DRM, of course, but would really like the ever elusive interoperable type - the type that would allow user's right to copy content they have legally acquired but somehow prevent sharing.
ArsTechnica reports that Amazon is poised to launch a digital download store selling MP3 tracks free of DRM. The Amazon store will feature EMI's catalog and may also offer Universal's classical catalog. The latter offering would be a huge development for DRM free digital downloads.
Saw this on Digg earlier this week: Other Music, an eclectic music store in New York City is now offering DRM free digital downloads. I only bring it up because I used to frequent OM for music tickets and rare electronica when I lived near by in the East Village.
All of the tracks here are sold as premium-quality 320kbps DRM-free mp3s. All of our titles are hand-picked.
eMusic announced today that with300 thousand users it is the second largest digital music download service on the web. eMusic's success proves that you don't need DRM to do business. Unfortunately, eMusic only offers mp3 files, when they should be offering the unencumbered OGG format instead (check out why).
Only tangentially related to DRM in that the perpetrator of the crime against the public is the same, internet radio is under attack!
The RIAA and record companies have been pushing for an increase in royalties for internet radio play. The increase is absurdly high compared to the royalties other formats (terrestrial and satellite) pay.
The Copyright Royalty Board rejected a request for appeal filed by NPR and other webcasters.
The Inquirer has an article up about Vista and DRM. The piece drives pretty hard on this single point : Vista is all about DRM and DRM is bad for the user.
As we have been saying for years now, DRM infections have no positives for the user, there is literally no good that you get from them. Everything they do is negative under each and every scenario. While the content mafiaa gets positively orgasmic over the money they will rake in while you twist, the whole industry tanks.
The Inquirer is running a stroy on a presentation made by David Hughes of the RIAA at Arizona State University:
DAVID HUGHES, senior vice president of technology for the RIAA, dubbed the spiritual leader of Apple Steve Jobs as a "hypocrite" over his attitude to DRM on iTunes.
While Steve has been banging on about the music companies dropping DRM he has been unwilling to sell his Pixar movies through iTunes without DRM and DVDs without CSS encryption.
"There are some ideas that are broken, but attractive enough to some people that they are doomed to be tried again and again. DRM is one of them."
Mark Shuttleworth (of Ubuntu Fame) writes on his personal blog recently about the futility of DRM specifically focusing on video. It is a well written piece that should be mandatory for anyone working in the content industry.
Over the last year the Free Software Foundation, through the DefectiveByDesign campaign and the BadVista.org campaign, has taken actions around the country (and the world) in defense of computer users' freedoms. In that time we have gotten major press, brought people together for real world actions, educated computer users and music lovers about the dangers of DRM and the problems with Microsoft Vista, and we are making gains in the securing greater freedoms for users.
The WSJ's "Real Time" column this week is about last week's Apple/EMI announcement (you know, the one about dropping DRM).
Jason Fry observes, "First and most obviously, a major label is finally treating its customers like customers, instead of regarding them as likely shoplifters who should be given as few rights as possible."
Boing Boing reports that Microsoft is talking about dropping DRM from some songs sold in the Zune Market Place. The interesting part of the story (we all new MS would follow the leader WRT EMI tracks) is that a Zune spokesperson seems to suggest that MS might drop DRM from more than just the EMI catalog. We'll wait and see what happens.
Buried in the press coverage from Monday's announcement about EMI and Apple dropping DRM from EMI tracks in the iTMS was this quote from Steve Jobs:
"Video is pretty different from music right now because the video industry does not distribute 90 percent of their content DRM free. Never has. So I think they are in a pretty different situation and I wouldn't hold it to a parallel at all."