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back to article If you've bought DRM'd film files from Acetrax, here's the bad news

Sky will next month shut down Acetrax, a website that streams movies and offers downloads of DRM-encrypted films to paying punters. The closure has highlighted yet again one of the many flaws inherent in Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology. In this case, users must go through the hassle of downloading all of their …

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Stop

DRM: what content do you want to lose rights to use today?

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Anonymous Coward

Don't buy an Xbox One

As that is precisely how that's going.

You buy the disk, you put it in the console, it copies the content to the HDD and then connects to the internet to obtain a license (using the unique serial number of the disk).

Give the disk to someone else, or trade it in, and that person has to go through the same route. However as the unique disk serial number has been used, they have to pay full price for the disk...

What's unclear is:

How often it connects to check the game you have on the HDD is still licensed to your Xbox Live Account.

If you remove the game does it free up the license for resale. (knowing Microsoft, unlikely). However even if it does, there is no way for a potential future buyer to know if the previous owner removed the content or not and if they have to pay or not.

Microsoft are being cagy about all of this, giving mixed messages and intetionally clouding the issues. But the above is what they HAVE said...

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FAIL

Re: Don't buy an Xbox One

Sounds like there's no real difference between the control you have over the library sitting on your hard drive and the control you have over the cache you built up while using a streaming service.

What we thought was a download and buy service actually turned out just to be a really inefficient streaming service.

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Silver badge

Re: Don't buy an Xbox One

Lies. MS have said that an internet connection is not required so all you are is a fud spreading FUD.

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Unhappy

Re: Don't buy an Xbox One

Unfortunately, yes. This has been happening for a few years now; even the major players who don't go bankrupt are not immune.

For example, Microsoft used to run a service called MSN Music that let you stream and download songs, but when they launched the ill fated Zune, they killed off the old MSN Music, including the DRM servers. You could only listen to anything you had bought on "authorised" devices that you had already played them on. There was no way to move them to another system.

Even better is, as some people discovered, Windows Media DRM is sensitive to the hardware configuration of the system - if you add, change or disable a new piece of hardware (which can sometimes include changing BIOS settings) the DRM system kills itself and requires re-authorisation, which you now cannot get.

All in all a bit of a failure all round.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't buy an Xbox One

Games are not films. Typically you're unlikely to go back to a game after you've upgraded your console a few times.

Are you moaning about Jet Set Willy not loading on your XBox and that you've lost the colour code sheet?

Films and music have a life that can be as long as you live. That's not to say games aren't the same, but as soon as games started to push the concept of "realism" you can see that people are less likely to go back to a less realistic driving game.

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Re: Don't buy an Xbox One

Irongut said: "Lies. MS have said that an internet connection is not required so all you are is a fud spreading FUD."

Please, check your facts - MS have clarified that "always on internet connection wil not be essential" , but they have implied in many many places that regular internet access is essential, and always-on internet is assumed to be the normal operating mode.

Quite how the DRM will work has been argued by many, and not confirmed by MS... yet. I doubt it ever will be, except by third parties.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't buy an Xbox One

Microsoft have only said a PERMANENT internet connection isn't required....

You go off and see what they have actually said (once you take away the smoke and mirrors), and the you will see what the plan is. There is no way they will ever release a DRM system that forced you to load the game onto the HDD, not require the game disk to play, as this would quite clearly allow you to lend the disk to someone else..

Microsoft are telling half truths, half denials and smoke screens. They aren't answering clear questions with clear answers, and fanbois like yourself are trusting them.... All I can say, is await to be disappointed...

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/407912/microsoft-confirms-pre-owned-fee-for-xbox-one/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't buy an Xbox One

Ill fated zune? It seems to work fine on my Windows 8 box, Windows 7 box and my WP8. I believe I can also install it on my Mac.

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Mushroom

DRM: Digital Repression Mechanism.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Don't buy an Xbox One

"""Lies. MS have said that an internet connection is not required so all you are is a fud spreading FUD."""

I do remember a certain Japanese company that once began removing features from its console, after saying they will not do it, also I do remember the same vendor blocking unlicensed peripherals.

Games which are licensed and tied to a specific hardware/console present the perfect opportunity to stop second hand copies of games.

And considering that this is something that benefits everybody in the game creation industry (both the console manufacturers and game studios) it will happen.

Or why do you think they did put the functionality there in the first place?

Also grow up! a government or corporation saying one thing doesn't mean they will not do the contrary tomorrow, it is almost a guarantee that they will do it sooner or later.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Don't buy an Xbox One

The difference is that I can play Jet Set Willy if I want, the original platform where Jet Set Willy ran did not stop you from playing the game anywhere else.

When it comes to internet based DRM once the server where the keys are stored is shut down, good luck.

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FAIL

Re: Don't buy an Xbox One

WRONG. Microsoft have already said you'll need to connect to the internet at least once every 24 hours. Irongut - you haven't a clue.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't buy an Xbox One

> Lies...

Nope, MS have said a permanent connection isn't required.

RTFM before accusing people of lying :-/

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Unhappy

Re: Don't buy an Xbox One

There's a worse one than that, Spiralfrog anyone? Yes it was US only, and I only ended up signing up as I was having to use a US based web proxy when in the UAE where I wanted to make Skype to 'phone' calls and these were blocked (and banned).

As the music was free (well ad supported), once they killed their servers, all I had downloaded suddenly died, apart from some of the stuff I broke the DRM on (yes very illegal, and no doubt sponsoring terrorism and just like stealing a CD from a shop etc.), so that I could put it on my iPhone .

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Linux

Re: Don't buy an Xbox One

> Games are not films. Typically you're unlikely to go back to a game after you've upgraded your console a few times.

You mean there is no such thing as a classic game?

There's a whole world of classic game fans to contradict you. This includes things like MAME and Good Old Games. I play a Loki game every so often. Some attempts to remake games just fail horribly (like Sim City). You are quite often better off with the original even if you have to emulate the original hardware.

People play games again for the same reasons they watch a movie again.

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Re: MS have said a permanent connection isn't required

Which is of course not the same as saying that a connection isn't required for DRM management.

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Re: Don't buy an Xbox One

To be entirely honest, I'm more likely to play an old game again than watch an old movie again. I'm just not much a movie-goer.

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Childcatcher

Re: Don't buy an Xbox One

Games are not films. Typically you're unlikely to go back to a game after you've upgraded your console a few times.

There are always exceptions to the rules. I would love to revisit <bold>Myst</bold> for example.

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Boffin

Re: Don't buy an Xbox One

To be as polite as possible, nope. I still revisit the old Final Fantasy (V-VIII) titles every now and then. And many others join me.

People like you are the types wooed by flashy graphics and surround sound. Not everyone is like you.

Heck, I enjoy me some Lunar: Silver Star Story complete every now and then.

Hint: It's not about the realism. It's about the quality of the story/dialogue writing.

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Re: Don't buy an Xbox One

"something that benefits everybody in the game creation industry"

Not if it results in reduced sales.

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Classic Games

I've been playing Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 (circa 2003) for the last couple of months. If that was using Internet activation then I doubt I'd be able to do that now.

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Go

A pain, but just go and DL the film from somewhere. You've already paid to see it so where you get it from is irrelevant.

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Facepalm

Exactly. It is astonishing that 'the man' has still not twigged that DRM hobbling on paid-for media is the gateway to Bittorrent, not a preventer.

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Anonymous Coward

"hobbling on paid-for media is the gateway to Bittorrent, not a preventer"

Certainly worked that way for me with Civ IV which I bought, couldn't use due to DRM then downloaded in a much more convenient cracked version.

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Facepalm

Some things just don't make sense in this world!

Far quicker and easier to simply download a rip off a torrent proxy than wait the 30 odd minutes it takes to rip a DVD movie from a disc you bought! I think the last one I did was "Titans" just after it was released on DVD, took just over 3 minutes to download ( that's at 720x576 ) and would have taken 35 mins to rip the movie into basic 640x480. I got a better rip in a tried and tested media format without only a couple of clicks.

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Flame

You know what I would LOVE to see? the movie industry suing someone for downloading a film, and that someone comes to court with receipts for purchased copies of everything they downloaded. To blow the whole DMCA to smithereens, we have to rub the court's faces in it by having somone charged with pirating something they legally own already.

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Downloading vs uploading

Perhaps this is why they've only been going after folks based on them uploading content - i.e. distributing it, which they don't have a license for.

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>>"You know what I would LOVE to see? the movie industry suing someone for downloading a film, and that someone comes to court with receipts for purchased copies of everything they downloaded."

Assuming that people actually were sued for downloading content rather than for sharing/uploading it, I take it that you realise that, given how few downloaders *will* have previously paid for everything they download, for your unlikely scenario to happen, a lot of other people would have been likely to have previously ended up in court without that defence, making the odd person who did have such a defence rather less dazzling as an example.

If someone did have a suitable defence which they chose to keep quiet until the last minute and which the other party couldn't reasonably have been expected to have known about, I can't quite see how the defence finally being disclosed rubs anyone else's nose in anything.

The civil courts are there, at the expense of the public, to settle disputes which couldn't be settled in any simpler way.

For someone to have chosen not to take a simpler path doesn't make the *court* look stupid.

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Not from a copyright perspective though. The fact that you bought a copy of it from somewhere gives you zero rights to download it from another source. At least as far as EU and US copyright legislation is concerned.

Personally I don't think it is particularly fair, but that's the way the law currently works.

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@Pet Peeve

"You know what I would LOVE to see? the movie industry suing someone for downloading a film, and that someone comes to court with receipts for purchased copies of everything they downloaded."

Retaining the receipts for all those DVDs...? That would have to be someone with extreme OCD... possibly to the point of not being considered legally competent.

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Mushroom

Re: @Pet Peeve

Wont work. They're greedy bastards.

Remember the case of that Finnish girl who tried to download a song and failed, and then ended up buying the CD, and ended up losing her (Winnie the Pooh, no doubt a pricey Disney licensed machine) laptop anyway because they accused her of even "trying"?

If you ask me, those RIAA/MPAA needs to be put down. With a shotgun.

Mushroom cloud. Because screw the shotgun, a mini nuke would do a better job.

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FAIL

we told you so...

how about, expiring DRM formats give you a voucher to redeem against a good old DVD? - you still have to cover the mechanical and distribution cost of the DVD, but then you get a hard copy.

Alternatively, a token that allows you to download an "illegal" DRM-free copy of the film without risk of prosecution, since you've paid the royalty?

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Re: we told you so...

I think you'll find that the people who owned this service don't actually own the rights to anything, except the ability to download it in some form at the convenience of the rights holder in whatever way and form the rights holder decrees,

Welcome to the new world, where you don't own anything, and you have to pay for it whenever someone feels like milking you.

Don't think they can't do this with physical media either. With players that are connected to the WEB, it won't be long before you'll need an on-line validation before you can play that disc....

Of course I could be unduly cynical but lets face it, they've got form.

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Facepalm

Re: we told you so...

Exactly - they own extremely limited distribution rights - they couldn't unlock the content if they wanted to (which they probably don't).

This whole situation is an eloquent example of why anti-contravention measures in the DMCA are bad and wrong. In a just world, someone could replace their legally-purchased media with an unlocked copy, so long as they don't then go into the business of making lots of copies to hand out.

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illegal download sites

Who can wonder at the continued interest in downloading 'illegal' copies when the 'legal' copies are basically such a disaster?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: illegal download sites

Not to mention that services like LoveFilm don't have many of the films on streaming anyway. I cancelled the streaming service and went back to DVD. I barely even use it as it is much more convenient to just grab some download from somewhere.

Cancelling LoveFilm requires phoning them up, which is another annoyance. Amazing how you can sign up so easily, but cancelling requires sitting through a hard sell as they try to keep your business.

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Thumb Up

Re: illegal download sites

It a lot easier than that.

ring Bank

me: "Please cancel all payments to Love Film"

bank "Why do you need to cancel payments"

me: "I have cancelled my subscription with them"

bank: "No problem, I have done that for you"

me :"Thanks very much"

click

That's a less than 5 min phone call

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Re: illegal download sites

Termination of payment does not equal termination of contract.

You have to let Love Film or whoever know that you are doing this, and you have to abide by the termination clauses of the contract that you entered into (for example, Sky want a month's notice).

If you do not do this, expect threatening letters from a debt collection agency for the notice period that you did not give them, or, in extreme circumstances, ever increasing amounts of debt if they attempt to continue to charge you because you've not gone through the correct process. It all depends on what you agreed to (or not) by 'signing' the contract (clauses like "...using this service implies acceptance of these terms and conditions..." come to mind).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: illegal download sites

I've had banks in three countries process stopped payments even after I phoned them in advance.

Sorry, but you're advice doesn't wash for me...

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jjk
Headmaster

Re: illegal download sites

Never, *ever*, try to cancel contracts by phone or online. Registered letter, "Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby cancel my subscription to [product], effective on [date], and retract the permission given to you to debit my [card or account] number [whatever]. Respectfully yours, [signature]."

(IANAL, despite the icon.)

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Re: illegal download sites

As I was told, if you sign a DD mandate and give it back to the supplier to present to the bank, you have effectively lost all your ability to cancel it as they can merely re-supply it to the bank to get your money. Seems weird as you'd've though that there'd be an expiry mechanism there (isn't there one for cheques?).

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Bod

Re: illegal download sites

I've had companies refuse registered letters when trying to cancel or complain about something, or at least they "lose" them and RM has no evidence they were ever signed for. Company denies all knowledge and continues to bill or provide crappy service.

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Alert

Re: illegal download sites

Aha, but because the government needs the post to deliver their shit, the legal situation is proof of posting is proof of receipt. Otherwise you'd have to sign for your tax demand, or NIP for speeding ...

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Re: illegal download sites

"you have effectively lost all your ability to cancel it"

Not really, with Direct Debit you have quite goods rights as a consumer. You can ask for a refund on any payment, cancel it at any time and bring your bank in as a party to a dispute.

Theoretically a company could re-present a DD but if it was one that had previously been presented and cancelled your bank would not be impressed and the company could lose their right to issue direct debits.

The big issue is continuous authority (or even non continuous authority) credit and debit cards. If a company takes money from your card it can keep doing so and you can't cancel the authority via the bank at all. You have only two choices - chargeback every payment they take ad infinitum (they should give up after a while due to the fees they incur) or cancel your card (although a company can still take payments on an old cardf number for some time afterwards.

You can also approach the payment provider (visa, mastercard etc) and make a complaint and try to get their card facilities withdrawn, but you'll need good evidence and they're unlikely to immediately lose their facilities unless a number of people complain.

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Re: illegal download sites

From the Love Film terms and conditions

We are unable to accept or guarantee cancellation requests via email or by letter (either posted, or included with returns).

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Re: illegal download sites

@ DaLo

"The big issue is continuous authority (or even non continuous authority) credit and debit cards. If a company takes money from your card it can keep doing so and you can't cancel the authority via the bank at all."

Yup - that's the problem with doing business with dishonest weasels like Budget Insurance. They'll swear blind that they wouldn't automatically renew a policy, but then go ahead and do it anyway. I even got them to send me a second renewal reminder, with the "Just do nothing and we'll help ourselves to your money" removed, and they STILL tried to take it. Fortunately, my card had just been re-issued with a new number, so their attempt failed. Then, they had the gall to request an "admin fee" for the failed payment.

As mentioned, the credit card companies seem amazingly disinterested in preventing these unauthorised and specifically-forbidden transactions. "Just claim it back" was the helpful advice.

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Re: illegal download sites @Ed_UK

This happens with a lot of car insurance policies. I paid for my daughters car insurance one year because her money was in hard cash, and she needed to renew over the phone. She asked for them to not auto-renew the next year, but they did, from my card again. This is despite the insurance being in my daughters name, and the card being in mine.

This was despite my daughter previously phoning them and saying that she didn't want to renew with them. They would not cancel the policy nor refund the money until she could prove that there was another policy that covered the car (presumably because of insurance fraud).

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Silver badge

Ha!

Ha-ha!

Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! ROTFLLMAO!!!

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HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...

...AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA....

Suckers.

Well maybe now they'll learn, which will be better for all of us.

Now we just need Steam and WGA to fuck up royally for everyone. Well, everyone stupid enough to think having to plead with DRM servers to be allowed to use your own damned software is ever a good idea.

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