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back to article Hollywood: How do we secure high-def 4K content? Easy. Just BRAND the pirates

Movielabs, the R&D business for Hollywood studios, has just issued a new specification for securing 4K high-def streaming video content, and one of the things that it’s going to demand is forensic watermarking. This spec is being described as “recommendations”, but studios will need to adopt these overnight as the hard and fast …

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Because every other attempt at securing digital files has gone so well. CSS springs immediately to mind.

Expect this to be cracked by the time consumer kit launches or shortly after.

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Anonymous Coward

CSS was invented in 1996. Its successors were not quite so awful... HDCP and AACS weren't exactly trivial to crack for quite a while.

But that's beside the point. As the article said, you know when you've stripped out the encryption. Knowing when you're removed watermarking is not nearly so simple, and the transformations required may well end up degrading the quality of the video.

Of course, you still have to link a watermark on a pirated video file with an actual person or organisation to prosecute, and that's not a trivial task, so I fully expect watermarked content to be just as easily available. Making no difference isn't quite the same as being trivially cracked ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

Or not even cracked. Wha bout people, for quicker downloads, taking not the HD version but the quicker to download low res. The watermark info would be lost would it not ?

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Whether cracked or using a workaround I really can't see it preventing piracy. What I would expect is the usual consumer issues with equipment not playing back due to one of these systems not liking your set up.

Surely I'm not the only one running into problems when my kit says it's not connected to a DCHP compliant screen when it is.

Just see the whole effort as pointless. Wont impact on piracy but will inconvenience paying users.

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Anonymous Coward

Devils Advocaat (with ice)

"Wont impact on piracy but will inconvenience paying users."

I for one would like to see the movie studios come up with a way of completely eradicating piracy, just so we can see how it will affect their business.

I predict that the methods will be so draconian for the average user that people will just stop bothering, it's not like there's a lot of decent material being produced these days.

So, they will win the battle, but lose the war.

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Re: Devils Advocaat (with ice)

If this gets any more draconian each film will come complete with its own security guard who will keep an eye on you while you watch the film to ensure you comply with industry standard audience guidelines

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Re: Devils Advocaat (with ice)

Or they could prevent you from watching the film at all on the grounds that it would be making an unauthorised copy in your memory.

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Anonymous Coward

"Wont impact on piracy but will inconvenience paying users."

Paying users won't notice. Heck, paying users might even be allowed to create a copy for their own use. Only the thieves will complain about this as it makes their life so much harder (i.e. they become accountable).

Where I do see an issue is something like a MITM attack (or traditional robbery) where a user's marked content gets stolen. The user would be fingered by the studios rather then the perps. Maybe that's where this is more doomed to fail - plausible deniability.

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"Paying users won't notice"

Really? That was supposed to happen with the current HD protections. And they flake out, causing all kinds of strife to people who just "expect it to work".

" users might even be allowed to create a copy"

There again, the probability is that they won't. Someone might decide to just hand me a million quid and a ferrari for the fun of it.

"Only the thieves will complain"

So, only people who break into your house and burgle it will complain? Oh, you mean people who copy it? So, you mean copyright infringers? That's a different legal context and an entirely different thing.

With the valid point that you make (an attack based on duplicating a legitimate user's content, framing them), you overturn your point about copyright infringers becoming accountable. They're not stupid, and they will find a way to make sure it's not them that gets brought to book. It may, however, catch one or two people who home duplicate (you know, how home audio taping killed the music industry, and the VCR killed the movie industry; the people who did all that damage.. They need to be locked up and criminalise for all the damage they did to industry, don't they?)..

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Silver badge

Do you think a pixel precise time based watermark will successfully survive the rip, resize and transcode to be able to successfully determine with reasonable certainty which source the transcode comes from? The purpose of transcoding is to throwaway "useless" visual information that cannot be "seen" (controlling what is "useless" and what can be "seen" are the codec parameters such as bitrate and size), and I would have thought "invisible pixel watermarks" are probably something that would get pruned quite high.

I think you could have a field day in court arguing that their identification of you is a type I error, especially if not based upon the original media, but on transcoded versions of it.

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Law

"Paying users won't notice."

They will - the only time I ever have problems watching video is when using legal methods. I want to watch the Daily Show - region locked to US (fair enough I guess, but annoying as hell). I want to watch Netflix - device doesn't have the required hardware security chip to play it (WDTV Live Hub). There are loads of examples I can give, but why bother, these are ones that bothered me recently.

The alternative? Type "Next Big Film Title* 1080p torrent" into a search engine**, wait 20 minutes, copy to WDTV box, away we go, and for free! The only people this sort of crap affects is paying users, and maybe the first wave of crackers who love the challenge of bypassing (if not entirely cracking) media security anyway.

* Not an actual film title

** Google, as if you'd use Bing!

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Bronze badge

Send annoying colleagues to prison

> They're not stupid, and they will find a way to make sure it's not them that gets brought to book.

Yeah, alternatively the movie industry is pressing for a brand new tool for the ethically loose to send their enemies to prison.

Competition tight for that job promotion? Successfully copy a colleagues version of the latest 4K movie, stick it on a torrent site and watch the cops take them away. Job Bingo!

Sending someone to prison for the detection of their movie watermarking on the net? Did someone who wasn't a raging alcoholic really think that was a good idea?

> So, you mean copyright infringers? That's a different legal context and an entirely different thing.

Couldn't agree more. Calling IP infringement theft is just weasel wording. It doesn't take much thought to realise that actual theft requires you to deprive the aggrieved party of their item. I believe IP infringement can be harmful to new music, but it can also be beneficial. I've bought music from hearing it on shared youtube links before. The best of which was me buying directly from the artist via their website. Principally there needs to be balance, as in all things in life.

If your fans really enjoy your work and respect you as an artist, they will support you.n At least I like to think that. :)

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Anonymous Coward

"So, you mean copyright infringers?"

No, I mean thieves. If a book/film/whatever is on sale at £10 and you steal it; you just stopped the creators getting their cut of that £10. If you copy it - it's the same thing. (And I'll type this slowly so that you can keep up). THE. CREATOR. DOES. NOT. GET. PAID.

If you don't like the price, terms of sale or anything else; don't buy. It's that simple. There is NO EXCUSE FOR THEFT.

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Anonymous Coward

"I want to watch the Daily Show - region locked to US (fair enough I guess, but annoying as hell)."

So what - it's still no excuse for theft. I'd like a Rolls Royce, shall I just go steal one?

"I want to watch Netflix - device doesn't have the required hardware security chip to play it (WDTV Live Hub)."

So what - it's still no excuse for theft. I'd like to listen to old gramaphone recordings but my CD player can't load them - I'll just go steal some shit instead.

"The alternative?"

IS TO NOT CONSUME WHAT YOU CANNOT LEGALLY ACQUIRE. Seriously. Are you lot so mentally deficient that you cannot get that through your thick skulls? "OK, Jimmy; you really, really wanted that PS4 o it was OK to steal it." SAME LOGIC!

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Silver badge

"Do you think a pixel precise time based watermark will successfully survive the rip, resize and transcode to be able to successfully determine with reasonable certainty which source the transcode comes from?"

The thing about watermarking systems is that they recognize the potential for mangling the watermarks through transcoding, so they go about it in different ways, using the codec system to create various artifacts that can survive transcoding, and many of them are block-based as well as time-based. That's why Cinavia's audio watermarking system is better than most: it's designed to keep its data above the noise floor so that it's more likely to be preserved in transcoding. Most watermarking systems like the Cinavia one also introduce plenty of redundancy, creating multiple gotcha points. The tradeoff for a system this robust is that you can't encode a tremendous amount of data in the stream, but if all you want to encode is identifying information, that's not that big a deal. A robust system spraying the ID information all over the stream, again and again and again in random intervals. It's gonna make for a very hard cleanup job. And you can forget about trying to mix and average two streams. Random intervals means you're more likely to MIX them together rather than destroy them (IOW, they'll be able to tell you used TWO sources in an attempt to mangle the data).

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Paying users won't notice.

You mean like paying users haven't noticed the existing schemes that have rendered their own movies unwatchable more often than pirated ones? Or how the prices they have to pay won't be affected by all the money that the studios are pumping into Yet Another DRM Scheme That Will Fail (tm)? Every DRM scheme ever implemented has caused far more headache for paying customers than for copyright infringers. This one will be no different.

DRM of any kind reminds me of one of those cheap padlocks you can get at dollar stores. You know the dang thing is going to rust and you're going to have trouble opening it with the key, but it's not even going to slow down someone who's opening it with a chopped up soda can.

Heck, paying users might even be allowed to create a copy for their own use.

You MUST be kidding. No one's dumb enough to believe the movie industry will allow backups.

Only the thieves will complain about this as it makes their life so much harder

First, as others have said, copyright infringement is a different beast all together from theft. Stop calling it something it's not and maybe we can convince the people doing it that it's wrong instead of having them laugh about it when you call them thieves. Second, it will make only their life harder for a few months until someone figures out a way to break it, just like every other DRM scheme ever concocted. After that it'll just mean headaches for legit customers.

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Anonymous Coward

"You mean like paying users haven't noticed the existing schemes that have rendered their own movies unwatchable more often then pirated ones?"

Correct. Because that is the case. The number of times the DRM has caused an issue is so low as to be non-existent. Certainly for film, TV and paper media. Games have had their ups and downs, but these were mostly teething issues caused by a lack of scale. Still no excuse for theft.

"Or how the prices they have to pay won't be affected by all the money that the studios are pumping into Yet Another DRM Scheme That Will Fail (tm)?"

If you cannot afford the thing, don't consume the thing. Price is no excuse for theft.

"Every DRM scheme ever implemented has caused far more headache for paying customers than for copyright infringres."

Citation required, peer reviewed study preferred.

"DRM of any kind reminds me of one of those cheap padlocks you can get at dollar stores."

Which is why new locks are being made (even though the current ones are well beyond your example).

"Stop calling it something it's not"

How about you start calling it what it is. It removes cash from the pocket of the creator - it is theft. End of.

"it will make only their life harder for a few months until someone figures out a way to break it, just like every other DRM scheme ever concocted."

Oh, I see your logic now. So when someone figures out a way to rob something (say a bank), it's perfectly OK in your sick little world for them to go ahead and commit that crime. Really? Do you actually read what you write? Are these the morals you instil in your children?

You probably don't work in the creative arts, but maybe you work in IT. Maybe even in software (which shares a lot in common with the creative arts). How would you feel when you lose your job when the company you work for folds due to people stealing your software? How will you feel then?

When that happens, come back here and tell me how "OK" it is for people to steal your hard work. Until that does happen - keep your ill-informed and clueless yap shut.

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Charity

"No, I mean thieves. If a book/film/whatever is on sale at £10 and you steal it; you just stopped the creators getting their cut of that £10. If you copy it - it's the same thing. (And I'll type this slowly so that you can keep up). THE. CREATOR. DOES. NOT. GET. PAID."

What if I go and buy the book/film/whatever from a charity shop? Second hand. The creator doesn't get paid then, is that also wrong? Or what if I buy a physical item and pass it onto a friend, they then pass it onto someone else, and so forth, is that also wrong?

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Anonymous Coward

it's still no excuse for theft. I'd like a Rolls Royce, shall I just go steal one?

The major barrier between you and your Rolls is money. You get that money, then you can buy the Rolls, and do what you like with it.

You can't do that with 4K films. You want em without DRM? Too bad.

So what - it's still no excuse for theft. I'd like to listen to old gramaphone recordings but my CD player can't load them - I'll just go steal some shit instead.

Why won't the rightsholders open up more of their back catalogue and sell it to us? People are keen to buy. But no-one is selling. It is a physical impossibilty to obtain that content legally no matter how much you're prepared to pay for it.

"OK, Jimmy; you really, really wanted that PS4 o it was OK to steal it." SAME LOGIC!

No. Jimmy can save up and buy it. This is clearly a possibility, or the future of that console will be looking a bit less rosy.

Jimmy can't save up and buy DRM free 4K films, or get those things stuck on back catalogues and no longer purchaseable. It is impossible for him to ever obtain them. It cannot be done.

The fact that you cannot tell the difference between a physical item that you can get hold of legally, and a non-physical item that you cannot is a little baffling.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Charity

"What if I go and buy the book/film/whatever from a charity shop? Second hand. The creator doesn't get paid then, is that also wrong? Or what if I buy a physical item and pass it onto a friend, they then pass it onto someone else, and so forth, is that also wrong?"

Of course not - so long as the original purchase was legal. Doctrine of first sale and all that. You haven't increased the number of items in circulation without first acquiring the license to do so.

Why do you armchair lawyers feel the need to try and find any excuse for your thievery?

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Anonymous Coward

"Why won't the rightsholders open up more of their back catalogue and sell it to us?"

Because they don't want to? I dunno - go ask them.

"People are keen to buy. But no-one is selling. It is a physical impossibilty to obtain that content legally no matter how much you're prepared to pay for it."

Still no excuse for theft.

"Jimmy can't save up and buy DRM free 4K films"

So what - that is still no excuse for theft.

"The fact that you cannot tell the difference between a physical item that you can get hold of legally, and a non-physical item that you cannot is a little baffling."

The fact that you condone theft when it suits you baffles me.

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Re: Charity

But with most DVD copies the original was purchased legally. I am just as likaly to get a copy from a charity shop as I am from a torrent site.

By definition it is not theft, just copywrite infringment.

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"The alternative? Type "Next Big Film Title* 1080p torrent" into a search engine**, wait 20 minutes, copy to WDTV box, away we go, and for free! "

4Gb in 20 minutes really ? What are you on ? My crappy copper would* take ages....

*haven't tried so is just a guess based on how long downloading large files from a single source as opposed to the overhead torrents have.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Charity

Oh FFS - the moral relativism and hair-splitting that goes on here is disgusting.

"I am just as likaly to get a copy from a charity shop as I am from a torrent site."

OK - see a Torrent...do you know how they work? I'll assume not as you have managed to conflate a perfectly legal operation (charity shop) with a distribution and publication method (torrent). When you join a torrent swarm, you help distribute. So you may be aiding in further thefts. Also, you increase the popularity of the illegal source and reduce the legal market where the creators can ACTUALLY GET PAID.

When you buy a DVD, you buy one copy. That's an integer (whole number) between zero and two. When you give it to the charity shop, there is still one. When they sell it, there is still one. When you duplicate it and flog in from a street corner, there is now more than one and that is a crime (unless you have a license of course). Torrenting material you do not have a license to is exactly the same. It is theft, pure and simple.

If a creator prices themselves out of a market - THAT IS THEIR OWN FAULT! It is not an excuse for you lot to start stealing.

"copywrite"

face/palm.

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Happy

Re: Devils Advocaat (with ice)

"Or they could prevent you from watching the film at all on the grounds that it would be making an unauthorised copy in your memory."

They could make you watch a watermark prior to watching the film, and once you've seen it they erase memories back to the watermark.

I saw a film about that once, but it's from an era Ben Affleck tries to forget.

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Facepalm

Oh not this again

"So, you mean copyright infringers?"

No, I mean thieves.

Your retardedness is showing.

If you copy it - it's the same thing. (And I'll type this slowly so that you can keep up). THE. CREATOR. DOES. NOT. GET. PAID.

Neither does he get paid if it's bought at a second-hand bookstore. Or read in a library. Yet those who write books actually encourage the latter, as being put in a library means more people read their stuff, and can actually translate into more sales.

If you don't like the price, terms of sale or anything else; don't buy. It's that simple. There is NO EXCUSE FOR THEFT.

Agreed on the don't buy and I do NOT condone piracy. But equating copyright infringement with theft is retarded and only the MAFIAA believes that. And I say this as someone who makes a living from software, one of the very things that gets hurt by piracy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh not this again

"Neither does he get paid if it's bought at a second-hand bookstore."

Yes, they did get paid. Someone made the initial purchase. You are trying to conflate the passing on of a good with theft. Don't.

"Or read in a library. "

You clearly don't know how libraries work. I suggest you learn. The creator does get paid for this.

"actually translate into more sales."

No - it's because THEY GET PAID!

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Bronze badge

Compare copies from 2 different sources and erase the difference, easy life.

Yeah I already did it.

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I'm gonna be rich!

Okay, let me to put this in simple terms.

I've invented a magic duplicator gun. Point it at anything and pull the trigger and it will make a 100% perfect copy of the item. I'll happily give you this gun (hey, I can make plenty more!) and tell you what, I'll even lend you my Rolls Royce for a few hours. Are you really telling me that if this was true, you wouldn't have you own Rolls Royce by the end of the afternoon?

Assuming you did create a Rolls Royce using my gun, who have you stolen it off? Certainly not me, you gave me my one back. Rolls Royce? not really, you have possibly deprived them of a future sale but they have not lost any thing in this process.

Let me be clear, I'm not saying that Copyright Infringement is morally right. I'm just saying it's definitely not theft.

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"No, I mean thieves. If a book/film/whatever is on sale at £10 and you steal it; you just stopped the creators getting their cut of that £10. If you copy it - it's the same thing. (And I'll type this slowly so that you can keep up). THE. CREATOR. DOES. NOT. GET. PAID."

Actually if you steal a book on sale then the creator has already been paid, the shop selling it actually looses the £4 they paid the distributor (who pays the creator), they also fail to gain the £6 profit they were hoping to get (net loss £4 to shop) though in the extreme case you may have actually saved them the cost to store and eventually dispose of the item at the tip when nobody chooses to buy it even when reduced heavily.

In the second case the creator starts with nothing and gains nothing, but they also loose nothing (net loss £0).

Whether the two are morally equivalent or copy right infringement is morally less wrong is another debate.

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"So what - it's still no excuse for theft. I'd like a Rolls Royce, shall I just go steal one?"

No, he is saying he CAN afford the Rolls Royce - he wants to give them his money, its just that unnecessary artificial restrictions have been put in place to make the purchase difficult, or not possible.

He can COPY the Rolls Royce perfectly by building his own - that is an infringement of their design. He didn't steal the car and as such did not deprive the dealership of a physical item at their cost - i.e. Theft. It may however have cost them a sale - which was by their doing anyway since they refused to sell him one in the first place!

I don't there is any mental deficiency with the OP - just a lack of understanding on your part?

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"Oh, I see your logic now. So when someone figures out a way to rob something (say a bank), it's perfectly OK in your sick little world for them to go ahead and commit that crime. Really? Do you actually read what you write? Are these the morals you instil in your children?"

I can't have children you sick cunt.

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Silver badge

Correct. Because that is the case. The number of times the DRM has caused an issue is so low as to be non-existent. Certainly for film, TV and paper media.

Tell that to all the people who can't use streaming video services because they don't have the right operating system. Or to the people who want to import games or movies they can't get in their home country and are willing to pay for them, but can't because they're region locked. Or to the people who can't get HD on some of their movies even though their system supports it because they have the wrong monitor.

If you cannot afford the thing, don't consume the thing. Price is no excuse for theft.>

I never said it was. My point is that things are more expensive because the producers are spending money on DRM which doesn't work.

Which is why new locks are being made (even though the current ones are well beyond your example).

You clearly don't know much about locks, but whatever. The illustration was just that: an illustration. And, given that most locks are pretty lousy at keeping someone who really wants in out, a pretty fitting one. For instance, I actually know a guy who's taken to leaving his car unlocked because it's less expensive than replacing windows for the umpteenth time (disclaimer: when he told me this I did wonder where the heck he was parking, but the analogy stands).

How about you start calling it what it is. It removes cash from the pocket of the creator - it is theft. End of.

It does no such thing. Most infringement doesn't prevent a sale because the person infringing wouldn't or couldn't have paid for the content even if they couldn't get it free. There's no lost sale 90% of the time and thus no lost profit and certainly the content owner has the same amount of money they had before. Hence why I say it's not theft but a different crime all together. Call it what it is: copyright infringement.

Oh, I see your logic now. So when someone figures out a way to rob something (say a bank), it's perfectly OK in your sick little world for them to go ahead and commit that crime.

I didn't say that, but let's go with your bank robbing analogy. DRM is the equivalent of strip searching everyone who comes into the bank. The person conducting the search isn't going to be able to stop the guy coming in to rob the bank because the robber will just shoot them and rob the bank anyway. The strip search is both invasive and ineffective and will chase off legitimate customers. This is what DRM is like.

The first step to effectively preventing copyright infringement is, and always will be, to convince people that it is wrong. DRM can't do that.

You probably don't work in the creative arts, but maybe you work in IT. Maybe even in software (which shares a lot in common with the creative arts). How would you feel when you lose your job when the company you work for folds due to people stealing your software? How will you feel then?

I am a web developer and have had my graphics and layouts ripped off more than once. I also found a poem I had written published and attributed to someone else once (the fact that it was actually published was more of a shock than seeing someone else's name on it). I know EXACTLY how it feels to be on that side of the issue, most likely better than you do.

When that happens, come back here and tell me how "OK" it is for people to steal your hard work. Until that does happen - keep your ill-informed and clueless yap shut.

How about you try actually READING what I'm writing instead of stupidly assuming that anti-DRM equates pro-piracy? Did I ever, anywhere, imply that copyright infringement was 'OK'? Here, let me answer myself for you: no, I didn't. DRM is expensive, invasive, and ineffective, which all adds up to it being counter productive to its own goal. That doesn't make copyright infringement 'OK', it just makes DRM schemes a bad idea.

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Bronze badge

Although I agree with you on premise you made a point that is simply false.

"(And I'll type this slowly so that you can keep up). THE. CREATOR. DOES. NOT. GET. PAID."

THE. CREATOR. TYPICALLY. ISN'T. THE. ONE. TO. PAY.

In other words, the Creator typically signs over rights to the work to some distribution house. Doesn't matter if we are talking Warner Brothers or a record label. The work is almost universally not owned by the original creator by the time you can buy it. Oh, they might get dividends from sales depending on their specific deal for the work; however a better statement would be:

THE. OWNER. DOES. NOT. GET. PAID.

And that would be more accurate.

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Silver badge

> How about you start calling it what it is. It removes cash from the pocket of the creator - it is theft. End of.

I wasn't going to feed you because you are obviously a troll, but here goes.

If a local shop sells DVDs and another shop opens up next door, are they stealing from the original shop for each customer that goes to them instead? Opportunity cost is not the same as actual cost.

If I decide not the buy a DVD from a shop having previously decided that I would and thereby depriving the creator of potential revenue, am I stealing from them?

You really are having a problem differentiating actual cost and potential cost. Nobody has a right to a living and income, it has to be earned.

For your further education, I will explain it using little words: In the beginning, there were physical goods. People traded with each directly, exchanging goods for other goods or money. As commerce became diverse and geographically separated, this "contract of exchange" was maintained by the chain of the passing of a physical good. Because that physical good represented effort on the part of the original creator, the physical good becomes a representation of that original effort. Since breaking the link between that good and the effort is a bad thing, the law of "theft" came into being.

Without a physical good, there is no token, which is why we have strange and unenforceable laws to try to perpetuate the myth of a physical good where there is none. Making my own copy of a film or music, I am performing the effort of manufacture. There is no effort on the part of the original creator so there is no implied contract and there is no loss in the effort/good balance. So there is no theft. It really is that simple. Because you feel sympathy for creators does not change the law or the basis of the concept of "theft" one jot.

Copyright steps in here but even in this case, there is confusion on the part of those that would conflate theft with copyright infringement. Copyright is a sole privilege granted by the law to duplicate to the exclusion of others for a period of time. The copyright holder does not hold "property" and does not own the original work. That would be absurd and is the reason why I wince whenever I see the term Intellectual Property.

You will hear from some that it *is* property because property is merely a manifestation of the rights of things granted by law and just because it isn't physical doesn't make it any different. The problem here is that the creator could indeed "own" the original but they don't own a copy, because it is not the original, just in the same way that a carpenter doesn't own all sofas just because he made one. Someone else who makes a sofa that is identical to the original sofa owns his copy, not the carpenter because this breaks the original tenet that goods and effort are linked. The effort for the sofa copy is not linked with the carpenter.

If you cannot understand the above, then I suggest looking at some books on the subject. It really has been done to death to the extent that I really don't understand why some people just don't 'get it'.

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Gold badge
Boffin

"Or not even cracked. Wha bout people, for quicker downloads, taking not the HD version but the quicker to download low res. The watermark info would be lost would it not ?"

This also opens up a quick-and-dirty approach to checking the pixels by creating a "pseudo 4k" image and looking for the differences between it and the 4k version. Tedious by hand but readily automated.

The question is how much variance (in terms of watermarked bits per frame, frame sequenc, etc) can the systems support.

My bet is once that's quantified pirates will zero in on a small number of areas and frames, cross compare between a few copies and hey presto mint 4k for flogging off "down the market."

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Anonymous Coward

having stared at a 4k demo unit in-store, I did not find it compelling enough to justify its outrageous cost. 1080p is already very good. if 4k comes with this added distrust, it's truly not worth it to me. I have to assume that the millions of ordinary users content to watch cat videos on their mobiles will agree with me. sayonara, Hollywood.

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Anonymous Coward

I legally own, or rather my wife does as she is an American citizen and bought them when she lived in the US, a pile of Region 1 DVDs. Legally I am NOT allowed to play these in the UK - not even if I import a region 1 DVD player. Universal Studios seemed uninterested in swapping them for Region 2 DVDs ... So what am I supposed to do? Why should I have to buy them again in the same format when the existing copies are perfectly sound?

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Facepalm

I just want to pay for content

I actually quite like the idea of watermarks, if done right. And to me that means NO DRM. Just let me download a watermarked MKV or similar file with no DRM attached, for a fair fee. You know, just like I can now, but legally. I'll take good care of it; it certainly won't end up on bittorrent or wherever from me, but if it did, the studios could identify me as the transgressor and deny me any future content.

If they had half a brain cell between them, they might see that watermarked content is a good way of allowing them to sell digital movies to all those people who don't want to put up with all that DRM crap - without compromising revenue.

I have never bought a DRM-encumbered music track of any sort, but since Amazon started selling MP3s I have bought quite a few of them and have not illegally downloaded a single one either. The same would apply to movies etc., if they would let me buy them.

But this is an old argument, much restated by many and much ignored :(

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Silver badge

Obvious troll is obvious

However, he seemed so insistent that copyright infringement was actually theft I decided to put the terms together into a search engine to see if anyone, anywhere, anywhen had ever been charged, convicted or even to have been whispered as condoning 'copyright theft' and guess what...nothing.

"criminal charge for copyright theft" = lots of articles on copyright infringement.

So, brain-dead troll is obviously brain-dead.

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Anonymous Coward

"Paying users won't notice."

I find the unskippable adverts and messages at the start of discs accusing me of theft such a huge improvement in my viewing experience and not in any way incentive to go rip the content so I can watch it without being accused of theft...

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Anonymous Coward

why let insignificant details like legal definitions get in the way?

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Anonymous Coward

you are giving voice to an argument that is not only transparently self-serving, but part of a persistent and potentially lethal threat to the functioning of western democracy and civil society, not to mention the advancement of human knowledge. nobody can own or steal an idea--they may only exercise an exclusive legal right to profit from that idea for a limited time. read the US Constitution sometime. the assault on basic human freedoms you advocate is the only real crime here worth talking about.

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Anonymous Coward

"Only the thieves will complain about this"

Copying is not theft.

If not clear, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeTybKL1pM4

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Anonymous Coward

"If you copy it - it's the same thing"

No it isn't. You have not deprived anyone else of it. Copying is not theft and it's not stealing. Sounds like you need a dictionary for Christmas....

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Bronze badge

Re: Oh not this again

"THE. CREATOR. DOES. NOT. GET. PAID."

That still doesn't make it theft. They don't get paid any extra if I watch a movie round a friend's house either.

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Anonymous Coward

"I can't have children you sick cunt."

It's hardly his fault if you are a registered sex offender.

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Anonymous Coward

> No, I mean thieves.

My dear fellow, you seem to be clueless rather than trolling, so I will reply to you, just once.

> If a book/film/whatever is on sale at £10 and you steal it;

That reminds me, I used to steal actual books from the shopping centre when I was a wee lad. I had no money to pay for them, but I enjoyed reading them. After I was finished with them I would give them away or take them to the local library. I got caught once or twice--they asked me if I was reading them or selling them and then they let me keep the books. :)

> you just stopped the creators getting their cut of that £10

Are you aware of how much that "cut of £10" is? Except for maybe a dozen of the biggest names (Rolling Stones, & al.) who control a significant part of their own distribution chain, that cut is effectively zero. That's right: creators often do not receive any of the proceeds from sales (e.g., school books, manuals, where the author gets paid a fixed sum to write the thing), and in the case that they do, their share is insignificant. As a case in point a friend of mine was a professional musician with a fairly popular band within their genre--the whole band received €0.20 (that was €0.04 for each of its five members) for every €20 CD sold. It is no wonder that the band were ripping their own CDs. They made their money from concerts, so the more they were listened to, the better.

On the other hand, if you would like filling the pockets of the big corporations that control the distribution channels, as well as the rest of the manufacturing chain (for that's what it is), then it's fine by me, but please do not be so naïve as to think that you're depriving the artists of their sustenance.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I just want to pay for content

> the studios could identify me as the transgressor

Ermm... No, that they could not.

> and deny me any future content.

That they could, insofar as they are at liberty not to enter a contract with you (and vice-versa).

Just pointing out that this type of approach does not allow one to identify the individual making a copy. It only allows, to a certain degree, to identify which copy is being looked at.

Interested parties will probably be vague on or misrepresent this point, but that's just the standard FUD approach.

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Silver badge

Utter nonsense, obvious industry shill.

> Paying users won't notice.

That's a total lie. They notice already.

That is why I prefer my own rips to using a sanctioned decoder.

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