A future without DRM

Bittorrent

I wasn't sure if I should title this post with a ! or ? So I decided to leave it for now. Anyway with DRM getting worst than ever according to BoingBoing, I found this post about Bittorrent's future without DRM a breeze of air. If you don't know, Bittorrent made a deal with a few movie studios to distribute there content across the bit torrent network. Then everyone shouted fowl because its content included Windows DRM. Well Bittorrent Inc have come out and said they see DRM as a current solution but they expect Add supported content will eventually win over.

The reason its bad for content providers is because typically a DRM ties a user to one hardware platform, so if I buy my all my music on iTunes, I cant take that content to another hardware environment or another operating platform. There are a certain number of consumers who will be turned off by that, especially people who fear that they may invest in a lot of purchases on one platform today and be frustrated later when they try to switch to another platform, and be turned off with the whole experience. Or some users might not invest in any new content today because theyre not sure if they want to have an iPod for the rest of their life.

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Windows Media DRM cracked, no one cares?

DRM

Well I've just installed Napster and tried out the Fairuse4WM application. I'm pleased to say it worked for me just fine. But you know what, browsing through Napster's quite small catalogue of dance music, I've quickly come to the conclusion that Cory and Derek are correct

Last night, I got a tip that the WM DRM was cracked; Endadget has now confirmed that the tool exists and works. While interesting news, it's rather irrelevant to online media services using WM DRM. Most users won't care about these decryption tools, not because the DRM is 'consumer-friendly,' but rather because there are already easily-accessible alternatives for acquiring unencrypted copies of practically any song or movie. Thus, users already could readily get around the DRM's unfriendly limits, without any actual decryption tool.

Its actually getting really tired thinking about new tunes to download. See, unlike a torrent site or something like last.fm, there's no creditable community recommendations. The Amazon like recommendations are ok but not actually very useful when finding new music because there based totally on artists. Anyways, the fact remains that Windows play for sure DRM is broken and easily taken apart. This in my mind is still quite amazing and proves that – #59, DRM does not work because the customer/user has the key, cipher and ciphertext in the player. Now Napster, MSN music, etc with there all you can eat pricing are the playing grounds of everyone with a little knowledge.

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Bit Torrent, as the middle man?

Tape it off the internet

All I can really say is these guys observations of TV are pretty damn sharp…

Interesting story about how Channel 4 in the UK are pushing for more secondary new media rights from their independent programme producers. I've talked about this for ages, but essentially it can't be beyond the wit of programme producers to hire an ad sales team, and go direct to their audience. They are currently missing out on a large slice of the revenue pie, this would enable them to get some of that. In these early days, call it an online exclusive, create a buzz, sell it to a 'traditional' tv network later. You know when your time is up when you get called 'traditional', huh?

The BBC also gets the retouch treatment, which could become a viable solution for the BBC when geoip finally falls apart. Matt's original screenshot and the new updated screenshot.

Theres no douht we need to deliver to the rest of the world and subscription, advertising, drm and geoip are not the solution. Well to be fair advertising works up to a certain point (i'm sure google will be exploring this more in the future).Geoip works for less-savy internet downloaders, but as we know obfuscation (as in security through obfuscation) is a bad idea and its really a problem waiting to happen when you least expect it.

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The Fall out over the Sony Rootkit/DRM

Sony BMG logo

The backlash against the SonyBMG rootkit and DRM has been one heck of a rollercoaster ride which doesnt seem to be ending anytime soon. Here's some highlights in case you have missed them. interlaced with some Cluetrains.

A couple of lawsuits have been filed against Sony for breaking there EULA.

Then Sony issued a patched which is impossible to find (everything sony is impossible to find on there site to be truthful) and does not actually remove the DRM, well what do you expect?

Talking about the EULA, some very interesting clauses and points to consider when buying your next CD

Sony's Exec, Thomas Hesse (President of Sony's Global Digital Business) replied to the whole issue of Rootkits and DRM by saying What users dont't know cant hurt them… (A must listen by the way!). And echoing Miles thoughts, Apple and Microsoft must be pissing themselves with laughter. Thomas Hesse has some balls saying what he said and the bloggers will have the last say about his ridiculous comment.

#14 Corporations do not speak in the same voice as these new networked conversations. To their intended online audiences, companies sound hollow, flat, literally inhuman.

New virus uses Sony BMG software, yep that very badly written code for the RootKit has been lerverged for a virus which hides via Sony's Rootkit.

The complete list of SonyBMG Rootkit CDs at the EFF

Apple Anti rip software found on the same Sony BMG CDs. Usual discussion on Slashdot about Mac users and will Sony bring DRM to linux too?

The power of the blog outlines what's been already seen by in other areas like the Kryptonite lock. When will the mainstream media actually pay attention to what there children are reading online?

#6 The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.

#94 To traditional corporations, networked conversations may appear confused, may sound confusing. But we are organizing faster than they are. We have better tools, more new ideas, no rules to slow us down.

And of course some fun, Sony I download your music


At long last,
Sony halts production of 'rootkit' CDs

Sony BMG Music Entertainment said Friday that it will suspend production of CDs with copy-protection technology that has been exploited by virus writers to try to hide their malicious code on PCs.

The decision by the music label comes after 10 days of controversy around the technology, which is designed to limit the number of copies that can be made of the CD and to prevent a computer user from making unprotected MP3s of the music.

Security experts blasted the technology because it uses “rootkit” techniques to hide itself on hard drives and could be used by virus writers to make their malicious code invisible. The first remote-control Trojan horses that took advantage of the cloak provided by Sony BMG surfaced this week.

“We are aware that a computer virus is circulating that may affect computers with XCP content protection software,” the record label said in a statement Friday. “We stand by content protection technology as an important tool to protect our intellectual property rights and those of our artists. Nonetheless, as a precautionary measure, Sony BMG is temporarily suspending the manufacture of CDs containing XCP technology.”

Lets hope thats the end of XCP and its rootkit. Somehow, I know it wont be.

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Make no mistake the battle lines have been drawn, Sony Rootkits and its DRM

Sony, Rootkits and Digital Rights Management Gone Too Far. Plain and simple, if you buy a Sony DRM CD like Get Right with the Man by the Van Zant brothers, agree to the EULA and install the DRM on your machine. Sony will also install a rootkit to make sure there XCP DRM is never removed. Is Sony taking this too far? In the words of Miles Money talks, Ian.

What makes this different from the other DRM currently deployed on CD by Macrovision, SunnComm, etc? Well a kernel rootkit will give access to your whole system and is undetectable by Virus killers and Spyware scanners. It will also rewrite the routines of your system, so you, your administrator and even the system can not see the files and/or process. Once installed, its pretty impossible to get rid of without erasing your whole system drive. As Microsoft themselves say, Be afraid, be very afraid.

Slashdotted and Digged. But Miles diggged a little deeper. Its really interesting following Ceri Coburn (a developer from first 4 internet, makers of the XCP DRM) around the internet. I wasnt sure of exact what he was doing but Miles explain some of his postings and where First 4 internet have been hacking stuff up.

Some examples, Trying to write a Snort logfile parser, maybe XCP is Ceri's first windows driver? We wonder if the XCP dll's are dialing home? Dont get us wrong, I'm sure Ceri is a nice guy but the posts and dont suggest a very well thoughout, stable and secure rootkit (if there is such a thing). And even when you read through Mark Russinovich entry, he points out mistakes and things which could have been better thoughtout to avoid detection and deletion. So Instead we're wondering how soon will it be till others exploit XCP, specially if Sony/BMG avoid being sued and other Record labels deploy XCP like have deployed DRM from Macrovision and SunnComm.

This is indeed a worrying trend for digital music lovers and does not look like ending at root access to your machine. As someone said in the comments. Forget ghosts and goblins. This scary Haloween story sent shivers up my spine.

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