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  • Originally posted by bridgman View Post
    Do you feel that when you buy something you should have the right to make copies and give those copies to your friends, for example ? If not then you and the content providers are probably on the same page.
    Why not? I agree with Droidhacker.

    So, when a Chinese company takes a product and makes copies of it, nothing happens. When someone in China pirates a product and sells it nothing happens. So, why is all the penalties given to North Americans, Europeans, for e.g.?

    As for making copies and giving it to friends, the magic word is 'give.' As long as you don't sell them. That's what it should be but it's not.

    It's all because of greed and penalizing the people who are vulnerable hence these MILLION DOLLAR fines to Joe Nobody who happens to have a large video collection and might be sharing here and there.


    • If people just gave copies to friends, there might not be such a stink. The problem is that people put copies up on the server that the whole world can download from.

      Let's be honest. If DVD sharing on the Internet were legal, how many people do you think would actually go buy a $20 (or even $5, if we assume prices will drop) copy of Iron Man instead of clicking a few buttons and getting it downloaded for free?

      It's not greed to expect that the $200 million you sunk into a project actually gets made back, or to even expect some kind of profit. That's not just business, that's how people survive. Sure, a tiny handful of people make most of that profit, but there's a TON of people that are involved that are making their livings off of the success of those movies. If those movies were no longer financially viable because nobody had pay for them because "all content is free" then all those costume designers, set constructors, make-up artists, audio engineers, lighting engineers, caterers, support crew, assistants, set liasons, effects crews, and the hundreds of other people involved would not be getting paid to make the movies... and you wouldn't get to see them, either.

      There is a need for copyright re-reform after Congress ****ed up the copyright law in a major way. The death+70 years part is absolute bullcrap. It ignores how ALL media -- all characters, stories, and ideas -- are formed, which is by building on what came before. It's horrifically broken. But that does not mean that NO copyright is the right idea, either.

      You need to let the people who are investing millions of their own cash (or even just hundreds of dollars for small indie projects) to recuperate their expenses and make at least a reasonable profit. That only takes a few years at absolute most, so even a 5-10 year copyright term would keep the business machine running smoothly, but a 0 year copyright term would end most media outside of the crappy little college-kid home project indie movies (imagine: the only movies ever to come out are along the lines of the Blair Witch Project. kill me now.). Yeah, Hollywood pushes out a lot of crap, but they push out quite a number of fantastic movies, too.

      And don't get me started on games (my profession). The budgets on these things are massive. The art team alone for a modern big game will burn through a few million dollars just to pay reasonable salaries for the number of people it takes to make all that art content. The programming teams go through what is easily the most difficult programming of all (along with kernel/driver devs and compiler devs), working 60-80 hours a week trying to get the technology finished and out the door before it becomes obsolete. It's HARD, and it's expensive purely due to salaries of the number of people it takes to make a game (and again, quite good but still very reasonable salaries, not like movie stars). Sure, many games could disappear and nobody would shed a tear, but there are a huge number of amazing titles that have been released that have budgets in the dozens of millions of dollars. The sales don't just make executives rich -- the sales are what keep the executives investing, and hence keep letting those artists and programmers and designer keep pushing out creative, fun, wonderful games that are the foundation of much of our youths' media and culture.

      Games fall into the software category, and get a little tricky, I will admit. I'm still fine with a 5-10 year copyright term on games. Very few games keep pulling in a profit after 5 years, and while I'm sure Blizzard might fight vehemently against a copyright reform that would make Warcraft or Starcraft public domain, let's be honest: they've made back their investment, they've made a huge profit, and they are in no way hurting for more. I believe people should be able to get rich off their work, but I don't think we need to keep helping the rich get richer at the expense of society by any means. The real problem with software (and hence games) is that simply moving the work into the public domain is not enough. With a movie, you can keep re-encoding and transferfing the content to new media formats as necessary. A game is delivered as low-level machine instructions that rely on a complex set of system interfaces. As those machines and OSes become obsolete, it becomes increasingly difficult to port that machine code to modern systems. Sure, old NES games are safe because the difficulty of writing an NES emulator is relatively low, but a modern Windows Vista + DirectX 10 game is going to be exceedingly difficult to get running on future platforms. Look how long Wine has been around and still can't do it.

      Software needs source code to be part of its public domain release. That's the only way to ensure that the impact of its artist relevance is not lost due to the complexities of the encoding of software algorithms for specific systems. This is, in part, one of the reasons for the GPL -- being Free to share is a hell of a lot less important than being Free to keep using the software decades from now when the original system it was written for no longer exists. Unfortunately, the GPL mixes in that Freedom to share, so as a tool for preserving code+media combinations like games, it's borderline useless; it doesn't allow for a real business model that actually works (sure, Red Hat makes a profit... that's approximately the size of the budget for a single triple-A game) in addition to protecting the future Freedom of the work. There is no license or way to really make sure that a game can be released, be proprietary and profitable for say 5 years, and then be open with source and all. The company just has to relicense the work, but there's no incentive to do that. And the fact that many games use licensed proprietary (or even patented) technology means that a company that wants to release a game's source is lot less able to do so. And then the fact that the execs know that they CAN still make a profit 5 years after release makes the less likely to sign off on an open source release.

      ... short version, we need copyright re-reform, but we also still need copyright. Baby and bath water and all that.


      • Originally posted by bridgman View Post
        The sandwich analogy doesn't work so well with digital media. I think everyone agrees that you should be able to buy a sandwich and feed it to your dog, the question is whether you should be able to upload that sandwich to a public server and have everyone *else* feed their dogs without buying more sandwiches.

        Do you feel that when you buy something you should have the right to make copies and give those copies to your friends, for example ? If not then you and the content providers are probably on the same page.
        I seriously think I should be able to make copies.

        Sharing is another thing. I am not innocent though, I do not have all the music in my playlist.


        • Yeah, agreed. The holy grail for DRM is something that allows you to make copies for your personal use without restriction, allows sharing equivalent to "you lending your only copy of the DVD to a friend", both with no hassles or problems, but doesn't allow you to broadly publish the content or share copies while still using it yourself.

          The DRM solutions that exist today certainly do not measure up.


          • Originally posted by bridgman View Post
            The DRM solutions that exist today certainly do not measure up.
            I'm glad they don't. Several of the large content providers have already proven that they wouldn't use it in the way you describe, but would instead use it to remove one customer right after the other (even if granted by law), just to force us to pay multiple times for the content we like.

            And even if such a DRM system would exist, would you expect the content providers to switch over to patent free formats, to allow everyone to watch their movies however they like? Why would they?

            The consumer has nothing to gain from DRM; and as long as music and video has to be output in the form of pressure changes and photons, it will never actually be effective against ripping into a non-protected format and distributing it over the internet.


            • Originally posted by bridgman View Post
              Yeah, agreed. The holy grail for DRM is something that allows you to make copies for your personal use without restriction, allows sharing equivalent to "you lending your only copy of the DVD to a friend", both with no hassles or problems, but doesn't allow you to broadly publish the content or share copies while still using it yourself. The DRM solutions that exist today certainly do not measure up.
              No DRM system could possibly implement fair use as it stands today. What does a DRM system know if the use is transformative or derivative, private or commercial, in whole or in part (as people would copy all the parts) and so on. And even if you could implement a strong AI to evaluate all this, many of these things are simply impossible to know until after the fact. Before DRM, copyright was simple - you did whatever you thought you could do, and they law worked out whether that was legal or not afterwards.

              With DRM this becomes an impossible problem - until you realize that those who make DRM have no reason to give you anything at all. They want to give you the most limited use license possible. They want to erect paywalls so people pay for the same thing in different formats or rebuy because they lose their copies. They want to erect market barriers so they can have globalism and we can't. They want to make you dependent on activation servers so they can kill old products. They want to force you to use it their way like forced unskippable ads. They want to remove your right of first sale by making it impossible to transfer digital products.

              They don't want your ideal. That's the bullshit ideal they're trying to sell us so that we'll accept the idea of DRM. Let me tell you what their idea of an ideal EULA is:

              This document may be updated from time to time and the current version will be posted at Your continued use of this Software 30 days after a revised version has been posted constitutes acceptance by you of its terms.
              Translation: "I have altered the deal. Pray I do not alter it further."

              Licensor hereby grants you the nonexclusive, non-transferable, limited right and license to use one copy of the Software for your personal non-commercial use for gameplay on a single computer or gaming unit
              Translation: "You own nothing, no second hand sales."

              In exchange for use of the Software, and to the extent that your contributions through use of the Software give rise to any copyright interest, you hereby grant Licensor an exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, fully transferable and sub-licensable worldwide right and license to use your contributions in any way and for any purpose in connection with the Software and related goods and services,
              Translation: "All your base are belongs to us"

              The Software may require an internet connection to access internet-based features, authenticate the Software, or perform other functions.
              Translation: "If you can't reach us or our server is down, tough luck."

              The information collected by Licensor may be posted by Licensor on publicly-accessible web sites, shared with hardware manufacturers, shared with platform hosts, shared with Licensor's marketing partners or used by Licensor for any other lawful purpose. (...) If you do not want your information shared in this manner, then you should not use the Software.
              Tranalation: "We're free to collect any information on you, and you can't opt out if you want to play."

              Oh and for Civilization 5, a definitively single-player game I still forcibly had to sign up for Steam, which has its own gems:


              Steam and your Subscription(s) require the automatic download and installation of software and other content and updates onto your computer ("Software"). (...) You understand that for reasons that include, without limitation, system security, stability, and multiplayer interoperability, Steam may need to automatically update, pre-load, create new versions or otherwise enhance the Software
              Translation: "We reserve the right to install anything, at any time, for you to continue using what you bought."

              Valve may terminate your Account or a particular Subscription for any conduct or activity that Valve believes is illegal, constitutes a Cheat, or which otherwise negatively affects the enjoyment of Steam by other Subscribers.
              Translation: "At our sole discretion, you can be locked out of all your games including any single player games and any games you haven't cheated in."

              On top of this, they've started with very many questionable legal tactics like handing over subscriber information to private organizations, three strikes laws, mass lawsuits with crappy quality data, intimidating ISPs and content sites like YouTube and even hired companies to do DDoS attacks for them.

              Further, they are seeking endless copyright extensions looking to be the permanent owners of information, nothing will ever more reach the public domain. They want to sell it to us and yet keep control forever, they no longer serve in society's best interest only their own.

              Copyright in itself was fine. I buy a book, it's mine and I use it for whatever. It's everything else that has made me decide the harm is much greater than the good. As long as they are heading down the path they are now, I support breaking the whole system through mass disobedience.


              • @bridgman

                Do you really think it is needed to "protect" the hdcp keys when ALL keys needed are known?


                • Do I think it is needed ? Arguably no.

                  Do I think we have to do it ? That's a big fat yes, since our agreement says "must protect", not "must protect until a general consensus of gossip and rumour on the internet suggests that our scheme has been broken".

                  Maybe we can work that into the next round of agreements


                  • @Kjella

                    I totally agree about steam.

                    I do use it though.

                    AvP (Aliens vs Predator 3) D11
                    Not valve but still steam.

                    When it comes down to not playing or steam, I install steam.


                    • Originally posted by Kjella View Post
                      I don't think they can dictate Microsoft around, what would they do? Even if they could in theory ditch the PC and go stand-alone only would they give up all laptops with Windows being used to watch movies on the road? No.
                      I think that's exactly what they would do. They'd start pitching dedicated blu-ray players, iPad/iPod type stuff for mobile, etc. I don't think they would let Windows users play unprotected no matter what.

                      It's a moot point, because MS isn't against DRM and they're happy to get paid to implement this stuff. I'm just saying, I don't think it was Microsoft's idea in the first place and I don't think they have the ability to forcefully change anything on their own.