back to article That DRM support in Firefox you never asked for? It's here

Mozilla has released the first version of its Firefox browser to include support for Encrypted Media Extensions, a controversial World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) spec that brings digital rights management (DRM) to HTML5's video tag. The nonprofit grudgingly agreed to add EME support to Firefox last year, despite the vocal …

  1. Mike VandeVelde
    Facepalm

    out of the frying pan...

    "various companies, including Netflix, are already evaluating..."

    The end of Silverlight!!!!!

    "...Adobe's tech"

    D'OH!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      DRM - Probably related to YouTube dropping API support for older devices

      DRM is coming to YouTube, to prevent people from capturing videos from YouTube and uploading them to YouTube.

    2. Greg J Preece

      Re: out of the frying pan...

      Actually, Netflix already uses the extensions to serve up video content without using Flash. Chrome on Linux has had support for it for ages, which is why Chrome now actually gets used on my PC at least some of the time. They were probably checking whether their particular extension can be put into the container, rather than whether they should be using Adobe's crap.

    3. boltar Silver badge

      Re: out of the frying pan...

      Well don't worry, the article says its only available for 32 bit Windows *Vista*. So either the editors have just touched down from 2007 and are a bit confused, or Mozilla are taking the piss and essentially giving DRM the finger.

      1. Graham 32

        Re: out of the frying pan...

        "Windows Vista and later''

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      From the FF web page: Mac OS X, Linux, Windows XP and 64-bit versions of Firefox are currently not supported.

      It appears there is yet another reason to hang on to Windows XP, or switch to another OS entirely..

  3. ThomH Silver badge

    "Hello Mr. Consumer, if you are willing to use a browser with the DRM extension then we are willing to sell you access our video collection for $8/month". Seems like an acceptable deal to me.

    The main problem with DRM for me is that it makes content unusable outside of a dictated scope. So 'ownership' is fleeting, ending once you exit the relevant walled garden.

    With rented content I don't care that ownership is fleeting. That's pretty much the point.

    On the innovation argument — that locking away data obstructs new ways of working with it — shifting DRM from plug-ins to an extension lowers the barrier. The proprietary bit is smaller than it was.

    So I support this move.

    1. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Yes, but do you really want to move 1970s business models which make no sense in a digital world into the 2010s?

      Movie rentals don't make sense in a digital world. We should instead move to a business model where we benefit the creators, not people who create a fleeting DRMed copy of a work.

      1. h4rm0ny

        >>"Movie rentals don't make sense in a digital world."

        Why not? They produce something I want to watch, but probably wont want to watch over and over, so I give them money and I watch what they've made. Seems a fair exchange to me.

        If you don't want to rent movies then don't rent movies. But don't tell the rest of us that we can't even have the ability to do so.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Simple, you're not renting a tape or a disc of which there is a finite number.

          Buy renting it you're not saving anything, regardless of it you watch it once or download it the same amount of bandwidth has been used.

          It's an artificial business model.

          You don't rent a pizza, you eat it and then it is gone. With a DVD you buy it and suddenly there is one less copy on sale until they make another one. When you rent a DVD you tie up its use for that term.

          With downloads you're making another copy, the company is only limited by bandwidth which you use the same amount of if you stream or download once and repeatedly view.

          1. h4rm0ny

            >>"Buy renting it you're not saving anything, regardless of it you watch it once or download it the same amount of bandwidth has been used."

            So? Do you think bandwidth is where all the costs of production come from? People who want to get a little use out of something, contribute a little towards it, those who want to get much more use out of it, contribute a bit more. Seems fair to me. What has bandwidth got to do with it?

            1. Sebby

              The point is that digital rentals and streaming services are an illusion; there is no rental, only a copy made under certain conditions. It isn't that the idea of a rental, in and of itself, is a bad one: if you get less value from the content and would not wish to "Own" it, you should have the choice of paying less for it because you will get less use from it than those who "Buy" it. But it's still a copy, made under certain conditions.

              The real question is simply whether or if the consumer should be trusted. I think they should, and I think the innovation and long-term viability and interoperability arguments against DRM are strong. Here is DBD on the subject.

              As for Firefox, well, shame on Mozilla, but I moved to Chrome ages ago anyway because there's nothing left to recommend Firefox, and especially not after this. And oh look, DRM only works on Windows--I wonder if all the people complaining about DRM had a point.

              1. Greg J Preece

                As for Firefox, well, shame on Mozilla, but I moved to Chrome ages ago anyway

                You.....know this stuff's been in Chrome for ages, right?

                1. Greg J Preece

                  Oh, downvoted for pointing out facts again. I guess Chrome doesn't have the DRM extensions I use all the time to watch Netflix on Linux.

          2. Just Enough

            So watch static then

            "With downloads you're making another copy, the company is only limited by bandwidth which you use the same amount of if you stream or download once and repeatedly view."

            This view only makes sense if you are wish to download random digital static. If you want to view any kind of bits arranged in a particularly pleasing order, you need a method of paying the people doing the arranging. That is the limiting factor on the company, and has nothing to do with measuring bandwidth.

      2. Indolent Wretch

        Why do they make no sense?

        Why should I be asked to pay $10.00 for a permanent copy of a thing to watch forever if there's a $2.00 watch for a week alternative and I only intend to watch it once?

        Surely that should be possible regardless of who it benefits.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Why not? They produce something I want to watch, but probably wont want to watch over and over, so I give them money and I watch what they've made. Seems a fair exchange to me.

          If you don't want to rent movies then don't rent movies. But don't tell the rest of us that we can't even have the ability to do so.

          .. and ..

          Why should I be asked to pay $10.00 for a permanent copy of a thing to watch forever if there's a $2.00 watch for a week alternative and I only intend to watch it once?

          There are two problems here:

          (1) once you no longer have a choice it's not going to stay at $2.

          (2) it dictates once again on what technology you are allowed (yes, allowed) to watch the content you licensed.

          In addition, DRM causes massive overhead and is far from fault tolerant. Given that I am intolerant of faults of stuff I pay for and already pay via various means for "poor starving artists" (which is a big lie, the people really making the money are the collecting agencies) and they can print DRM on cardboard with jagged edges and stick it where it hurts the most.

          I am really getting fed up with this zombie resurrecting itself every few years. It has proven to be a royal pain in the neck and support overhead for very little reduction in piracy, even Apple abandoned it because it was costing them more in support then it kept revenue afloat.

          There was over the years one remedy which had an absolute and immediate effect on piracy, practically eliminating it overnight in the test country where they tried: they lowered the prices...

    2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      So 'ownership' is fleeting..

      There's your mistake. In the DRM world, you no longer own anything. All you are given is a license to view/use the product for as long as the vendor allows you to. This is regardless of how long *You* think you're allowed to use the product for.

      1. P. Lee Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        >In the DRM world, you no longer own anything.

        Part of the "problem" for DRM purveyors/users is the lack of standards and distribution of the "black box." If people want to download a separate piece of software (perhaps as a firefox extension) to view the content, that's fine, but don't encourage the use of DRM use by providing it up-front. That is a bad plan.

        Much of the time, I'd rather not have the facility and not rent the content. Providing the facility just encourages more people to find a way to use it. It encourages proprietary protocols as companies build their own clients and hide data from the web.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          re: it encourages proprietary protocols as companies.....

          ...build their own clients and hide data from the web.

          And they should be stopped from doing this why exactly?

        2. Indolent Wretch

          Mozillas job is not net evangelism or revolution. It's making a browser. One of the aspects of that is that people should be able to install and go look at stuff. Providing what may be a very common requirement for "looking at stuff" ready installed is not a bad plan it's customer service.

      2. Wommit
        Pint

        @A Non e-mouse

        Bit like going to the cinema then, eh?

    3. Thorne
      Pirate

      "So I support this move."

      And I don't so off to TPB for me.......

  4. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Firefox is a prime example of why complexity kills the FOSS Idea

    Mozilla recently made quite some questionable decisions about Firefox, starting from weird GUI stuff over displaying ads to DRM. In an ideal world people would either steer the development of Firefox into the direction that's desirable, or fork it.

    Now the problem with Firefox is that it's _huge_. It's much larger than the Linux kernel and extremely complex. It needs to be in order to support hugely complex web standards. The problem any meaning full fork would have is that it would have to need about the same amount of people as the original, which, in case of Firefox, is a lot.

    We must finally learn that complexity is the root of all evil in IT. Not only does it create lots of bugs and waste developer resources, it also prohibits truly free software development.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We need a new rendering engine written from the ground up

        No no no no no. That's second system syndrome, and is doomed to failure.

        What you need is a clear idea where you want to be, and then you make *incremental* changes until you get there. At each point you still have a usable system, but you are slowly absorbing and refactoring the accumulated behaviours of the old system (some of which are important, and some of which you may decide to drop).

        This approach works best if you have a test suite which documents and validates the behaviours that you want. Without it, you should be building a test framework and then adding tests for all the behaviours you need, before you refactor the associated code.

        It's the same with upgrading your network. You don't just rip out your old network and plug in a new one. You design what you want your network to look like, you install new bits and migrate onto them in stages until you have finished. During the migration is when you find out how your network was being used in ways you weren't aware of, and you can roll back one step, update your plans, and roll forward again.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: We need a new rendering engine written from the ground up

          The trouble is that foresight is not 20/20. Things change. For example, someone who wired up a place with for 10/100 Ethernet suddenly finds a problem trying to set up for 10Gig Ethernet because the necessary cabling for it didn't exist at the time. There was no way to future-resist something like that because the future technology was past the black wall of uncertainty. Eventually, the cost to upgrade piecemeal (due to lack of scale and continual bodging) approaches the cost to replace, at which point (like a car that would cost more to repair than to replace) it's better to start fresh.

          Incremental changes can lead to bloat if they keep building up. Put it this way. Recall that Firefox at its beginning was a second system: a rewrite of Netscape. Then it became a lot of incremental changes built up over time. Sort of like the unsorted heap of clothes. Eventually, the time comes to "clean up shop". Someone hinted at a lot of bodge-work and unused code. I recall an article about a hole in QEMU that involved the very-old-but-still-active floppy emulator. Sure, don't fix what isn't broken, but sometimes things can be broken without your knowledge.

    2. Dr Trevor Marshall

      Re: Firefox is a prime example of why complexity needs FOSS

      Pale Moon is an excellent 'fork' of Firefox, with a lot of esoteric stuff stripped out. Oh - and it let's you view self-signed HTTPS sites. Pale Moon seems to be run by just a handful of developers. Take a look, see what FOSS can really achieve :)

      1. Hollerith 1

        Re: Firefox is a prime example of why complexity needs FOSS

        Yes, recently made the switch to Pale Moon and it is great. Tuck in the usual (Ghostery etc) and things are spiffing.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Switching to Palemoon?

        #1. Are there versions / releases of Palemoon that are better than others esp for newcomers?

        #2. Please offer a download link if the options are anything near as head-wrecking as Linux flavors....

        ==========================================

        * Haven't done it before now well because it can be difficult to change your ways. It took me ages just to get around to exploring Linux etc... So I need a little advice...

        * BTW: I downloaded the new Firefox (was using v16) and WTF???. They hide the JavaScript and image load options under about:config! While its easy to change them, it took me a while to remember to search on 'permissions' for image loading as a search term??? It was much faster and easier before with a dedicated tools options menu.

        * Also, anytime you go full-screen now, you get this stupid oversized invasive dialog telling you that YouTube is full-screen press esc to escape. But it stays on the screen too long, gets in the way, and does nothing. What's with this nanny sh1t?

        1. Ali 4

          Re: Switching to Palemoon?

          Sounds like you need the flash fullscreen patcher which gets rid of the annoying "press esc to exit full screen" See http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/304807-How-to-remove-annoying-Press-Esc-to-message-in-Flash-Video for details.

      3. User McUser
        Holmes

        Re: Firefox is a prime example of why complexity needs FOSS

        [Pale Moon] let's you view self-signed HTTPS sites

        Not sure what you're doing wrong, but I use Firefox and have no trouble at all viewing my self-signed web pages.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Sounds like you need the flash fullscreen patcher "

          @Ali 4

          Thanks so much .I didn't need it as Flash is banned in my casa for patching sake just this for HTML5:-

          "To disable message in HTML5 player in Firefox like image from above

          Copy paste about:config to URL bar and press enter

          in search copy paste full-screen-api.approval-required

          change value from true to false like in image:"

        2. phil dude
          Unhappy

          Re: Firefox is a prime example of why complexity needs FOSS

          But firefox will not talk to my router/firewall because the certificates are out of date (and manufacturer will not update them).

          So I am running an older seamonkey just to access that router...

          Unfortunately I think signing has lost the edge in security, as it is clear the CA's cannot be trusted.

          P.

    3. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Firefox is a prime example of why complexity kills the FOSS Idea

      In an ideal world people would either steer the development of Firefox into the direction that's desirable, or fork it.

      Ever heard of Pale Moon?! It is a fork of Firefox... Without all the Chrome Vomit, of Australis.

      And you can still revert back to the old Download Manager too if you so wish. Its pretty much everything you used to love about Firefox... Just still supported!

  5. Jon 37

    CDM is better than plugins

    Given the choice, a CDM is better than a plugin - a CDM just does the DRM, whereas Flash/Silverlight include DRM but also include a whole programming language runtime that does the same sort of things as your web browser and has lots of opportunities for security bugs. So the Adobe CDM should be much smaller and more secure when compared to the Adobe Flash plugin.

    The only reason anyone sane uses Flash/Silverlight nowadays is to do a DRM'd video player. By moving to CDMs we can finally kill Flash and Silverlight.

    I know the purists will hate me for this - they'll say we shouldn't have DRM. And sure, some DRM is very bad (see: Sony rootkit). And I'm against DRM on *purchased* content. But people (including me) *like* subscription services like Netflix, Amazon, Now TV etc. And if people could subscribe to Netflix for a month, easily download loads of movies, then cancel their subscription, then they would. So there has to be some kind of DRM system to make that harder. And currently the DRM systems exist as plugins. Changing to a CDM will be a big step forward.

  6. elDog Silver badge

    More reasons to go to PaleMoon or other alternatives

    It's almost like someone (google?) injected a mind-altering parasite into the Mozilla brain. Self-destruct, self-destruct, self-destruct.

    "We don't believe DRM is a desirable market solution, but it's currently the only way to watch a sought-after segment of content," Mozilla senior veep of legal affairs Danielle Dixon-Thayer said in a blog post.

    Perhaps it is really time to start watching/listening to more indie stuff rather than the canned crap with DRM.

    Since Verizon is buying AOL, perhaps we can suffer through some more browser missteps.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: More reasons to go to PaleMoon or other alternatives

      It's exactly the opposite, it's a reason to choose Firefox over everything else. Replace Adobe's plugin with another which, say, writes out a standard mp4 file and you will then be able to see all your legally purchased content on all your devices, current and future.

      I'm sure it'll take a while, like DeCSS, but it'll happen.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: More reasons to go to PaleMoon or other alternatives

        I don't. The Real-Time Streaming Protocol has been around for years yet no one's been able to satisfactorily crack it to any significant degree (or we'd be seeing torrents and HOWTOs on .onion sites and all). About the only reliable way to do it is to use the "playback gap" and use either two computers and an HD capture device or one powerful one able to playback and simultaneously capture the screen quickly enough.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: More reasons to go to PaleMoon or other alternatives

          RTSP has been around for more than a decade and there are a tonne of tools which save them to disk.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: More reasons to go to PaleMoon or other alternatives

            And, based on my experience, NONE of which are very reliable, especially where they're really needed: heavily-protected streams. The most-reliable ones are, like I mentioned, screen scrapers, which requires a pretty potent machine to achieve realtime recording at an acceptable frame- and bit-rate.

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: More reasons to go to PaleMoon or other alternatives

              If you mean Adobe's DRM, it's called RTMPE not RTSP and there's software which decrypts it called rtmpdump. Given the heavy lifting has already been done, I doubt it will take very long to make a plug-in for Firefox.

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge
                FAIL

                Re: More reasons to go to PaleMoon or other alternatives

                Oops, fail for me, I looked it up and it seems I'm out of date, that's not how Adobe does video DRM nowadays.

                Either way, if another plug-in for Firefox can't be done because the plug-in is downloaded from Adobe on demand, a forked version of Firefox can be done to take the output from Adobe's DRM plug-in and stream it to disk. It's all good.

                1. paulc

                  Re: More reasons to go to PaleMoon or other alternatives

                  "a forked version of Firefox can be done to take the output from Adobe's DRM plug-in and stream it to disk."

                  which is all very well until the plugin checks the version of firefox and other magic indicators to check it's running on genuine firefox before decrypting...

                  1. druck Silver badge

                    Re: More reasons to go to PaleMoon or other alternatives

                    You can put as much DRM in the browser as you like, but unless there is a trust path implemented all the way from the application to the graphics card (and even the monitor), it isn't secure. It's going to be a lot easier to intercept the unencrypted video stream in an open source OS, as opposed to Windows.

                  2. Dan 55 Silver badge

                    Re: More reasons to go to PaleMoon or other alternatives

                    which is all very well until the plugin checks the version of firefox and other magic indicators to check it's running on genuine firefox before decrypting...

                    It's in a sandbox, it can't check that much.

                    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                      Re: More reasons to go to PaleMoon or other alternatives

                      "It's in a sandbox, it can't check that much."

                      Then how do these things check against screen scrapers, a well-known bypass technique.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: More reasons to go to PaleMoon or other alternatives

                        They don't.

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: More reasons to go to PaleMoon or other alternatives

        Just pray that who ever does this doesn't live under US jurisdiction!

        Either way I can't see it surviving a DCMA slapdown

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: CDM is better than plugins

      True, it's less proprietary code, and less that can go wrong.

      I just don't like Adobe's track record and would prefer an open-sourced equivalent in its place. If I can't have that, then I guess I'll do without the content.

      Over to you, content makers.

      1. Adam 1 Silver badge

        Re: CDM is better than plugins

        +1 Stuart

        (From one of the 150 million people whose security Adobe compromised a few years back)

        @Mozilla, keep their crap off my box.

  7. Piloti
    Pint

    I'm glad I use.....

    ..... SeaMonkey.

    Lightweight, clean, small[ish] footprint.

    All the fun of the fair and none of the big boys issues.

    1. tempemeaty
      Pint

      Re: I'm glad I use.....

      Thank you. I was considering mentioning this one. I'm glad to see someone beat me to it. SeaMonkey is one of my favorites!

  8. Dwarf Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    DRM - Wont be getting my cash.

    Personally, if it a products got DRM in it, then then I won't be buying it or using it, so I'll be looking out for apps that fail to process DRM crippled content so I know when to walk away from it.

    I didn't but DVD's because of region locks. I didn't but MP3's that were locked. The net result is that I don't bother to watch TV any more or listen to much music, unless I can buy it unlocked or its from my old pile of CD's or its on FM radio. The impact is that the industry lost out and I get more free time.

    I won't be buying other content with locks either and I expect the history will repeat its self several more times and still not learn.

    DRM is just badly thought out - suddenly for no real reason you cant do what you need for the information to be useful to you, just because someone ticked all the little boxes.

    Expiring documents are like having to burn all books that are more than 2 years old. What happens to history and knowledge then ? Will anyone keep the licence servers going after 3 mergers and cost cutting exercises ?

    I still read plenty of older information that is still valid now and freely available, so I learn things and buy other things because of that - this is where the revenue comes from.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: DRM - Wont be getting my cash.

      I seem to have no problems with DVDs in-spite of region locks. This could be because the DVD is otherwise just another way to store an ISO-9660 filesystem (which is not region locked) and the actual media, whilst supposedly "encrypted", is easily broken from its DRM-prison. (Thank-you libdvdcss!)

      As for music, I'm with you. Most of the stuff I listen to is available on CDs and many also on LPs, which are "good enough" and have no digital anything. I have not downloaded an MP3 in over a decade, and don't plan to start now.

      Big media have shot themselves in the foot from where I sit.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: DRM - Wont be getting my cash.

          There are people who swear by vacuum tubes and will insist on analog or bust, so you never know.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: cut from analogue masters?

          Sure - as the song said ...

          "Back once again for the analogue masters ..."

          :-)

        3. phil dude
          Thumb Up

          Re: DRM - Wont be getting my cash.

          you can *literally* hear the moment digital processing entered mainstream music...!

          As a matter of practical history wikipedia puts the era starting at 1977. I'll bet you can find specific albums that were first touted as being "digital".

          Reading interviews with George Martin and Jimmy Page on remastering their catalogues, you get an appreciation of the use of technology. It is why seeing live bands is still a great event, although the convergence between studio and live performance depends on the act...

          P.

    2. Eric Olson

      Re: DRM - Wont be getting my cash.

      What happens when your house burns down and some of your books are out-of-print? If your CDs get scratched or mangled beyond playable? Or if the media is just fragile and eventually wears out (a la vinyl and magnetic tape)?

      The tangible world isn't infinite, so I don't understand why we think the digital world should be. Perhaps it's that idealized world where knowledge is never lost and always available, regardless of the age, format, content, etc. But that's not how the world works. The Great Library was burned down and lost to time, thousands of books and manuscripts that we know to have existed, the knowledge of which is only known because they were referenced in surviving works. There are numerous musical recordings we don't have, either because they existed only in an oral tradition or because they predated recording. And even recorded works have been lost due to degradation of the media.

      I'm still not a fan of DRM, but its more for where it can go wrong as opposed to some philosophical opposition. DRM can fail or malfunction, locking out a customer who has purchased access to content. But at least there, in theory, there is recourse and you can get access restored. A CD was its own DRM (and just as illegal to circumvent through copying, whether people cared or not), and if it failed, your only recourse was to buy a new copy. Same with a book. You can't legally copy a book (though many have tried), and if it was destroyed, lost, damaged, eaten by a dog, covered in blood, etc., you couldn't bring the remains back to a bookstore and ask for a new copy for free. You could get a new copy, but for the price of the original, or you could look around for a used copy.

      So some of your points are valid: It can fail, it can be a hassle, it can be poorly implemented, and if the unlock is remote, then a server failure, local internet failure, or the folding of the shop can render content unplayable. But those are technical failures with technical solutions; they can be overcome. The other sins you lay at the feet of DRM are not a DRM problem; they are a commerce problem. And will continue to be, even if creators sell direct to customers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: DRM - Wont be getting my cash.

        What happens when your house burns down and some of your books are out-of-print? If your CDs get scratched or mangled beyond playable? Or if the media is just fragile and eventually wears out (a la vinyl and magnetic tape)?

        Four points:

        - I've lived in the same house for over 30 years, if it hasn't burned down yet, it's unlikely to without some help.

        - If my media is irretrievably lost, then in all probability I can buy replacement copies from the second-hand stores, which is where much of it came from in the first place.

        - If my media is lost, then in all probability, so is the computer that has the DRM key authorising my use of cloud-stored media. So this DRM thing is no better than the situation I have now.

        - If the media does outlive me, it can be passed on to someone else. Try doing that with your iTunes collection.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: DRM - Wont be getting my cash.

          "- If the media does outlive me, it can be passed on to someone else."

          'Son, do you want my collection of VHS tapes?'

          Even BluRay will share the same fate. It really will.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: DRM - Wont be getting my cash.

            Except I have records that go back to the 60's that are still playable.

            The Bluray disc will probably be unusable by then.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: DRM - Wont be getting my cash.

                Can I play a wax cylinder recording easily today?

                It has been done, required some modification of an existing modern turntable but it has been done.

                Are such players mass produced? No, but largely because the media to play on them is no longer in production, nothing stops someone building and selling them though.

                People waffle on about how records and other analogue media have stood the test of time, whereas digital media hasn't, but few people think about the quality of the reproducing equipment.

                I bought a turntable recently for AU$30 that seemed to do no equalisation at all. As it happened, I had some record conversions that had been done on a much older turntable with good reproduction (entry level professional kit).

                The standard "RIAA" curve didn't sound right to me, which tells me they possibly tried to emulate the RIAA curve and botched it. So I compared the frequency spectrum of a recording from this older turntable to the new one, and tweaked my equaliser settings until I got something close.

                It was then I found the newer turntable did a much better job at high frequencies. Possibly owing to the fact that the older turntable has not had a new cartridge or stylus in over 30 years. The recordings sound much like my CDs now, with the exception of a little bit of surface noise.

                So you really believe that more than a handful of vinyl records produced since the 1980s are, "untouched by the digital hand"? You honestly think they're cut from analogue masters?

                They probably weren't, but once transferred to an analogue medium, they cease to be digital recordings. My point stands.

                1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Eric Olson

          Re: DRM - Wont be getting my cash.

          Four points:

          - I've lived in the same house for over 30 years, if it hasn't burned down yet, it's unlikely to without some help.

          The fact you haven't lost anything to a fire yet should be considered good luck, not proof that it will never happen. But as I pointed out, it's not just fire. Animals, water, children, or just plain wear and tear will render the book useless, just like other forms of physical media.

          - If my media is irretrievably lost, then in all probability I can buy replacement copies from the second-hand stores, which is where much of it came from in the first place.

          You could do that, but more salient to my point, it's not free. You have to pay for the replacement of the item, not just go and download a new copy using your existing license.

          - If my media is lost, then in all probability, so is the computer that has the DRM key authorising my use of cloud-stored media. So this DRM thing is no better than the situation I have now.

          That's merely a technical problem, and one that's been generally solved by associating DRM with an account as opposed to a single machine. So unless you lose access to all of your accounts, the probability of losing access to the content is slim to nil.

          - If the media does outlive me, it can be passed on to someone else. Try doing that with your iTunes collection.

          Well, as someone else pointed out, handing Stuart Longland Jr. your VHS, vinyl, or DOS-formatted floppy collection is probably less than useful. Either the format is such that they can no longer play it, or it's been superseded by a newer version. That old comedy album from 1965 might not have been reprinted in CD form because, well, no one liked it, so barring sentimental value, it's unlikely to have much value to whoever you passed it on to.

          Additionally, your are incorrectly blaming DRM for what is really a licensing issue, something that is wholly separate though often conflated. If the EULA allows unlimited copying for personal use, or is amended to allow you to transfer ownership to another person, then it's no different than your collection of the 1970s greatest hits on vinyl. But that is something you, as a purchaser of the items, need to consider when laying out your cash.

          Overall, my point is that physical media, and any goods for that matter are rights-managed. Whether through existing law, the complications in copying, a finite lifespan, etc. nothing you buy has any guarantee of lasting more than its warranty period and there is no license allowing you to get a replacement if its lost or damaged. Sure, that old wardrobe you have in the corner of the master bedroom might be 200 years old, but the moment it's gone, it's not like you can immediately get a new one for no cost. You'll either need to scour antique stores for it, or pay through the nose from an auction house or collector.

          The sooner we stop assuming that DRM is some new invention designed to screw customers out of money and realize it's just a new application of existing limitations, the better we can manage our expectation and push for change or dumping of ineffective or poorly-executed DRM, and maybe start on the real issue, the EULA.

          1. Sebby

            Re: DRM - Wont be getting my cash.

            DRM prevents digital information from being transferred between mediums. So, insofar as DRM content is similar to older methods of storage, I'd say that DRM only reintroduces the qualities of degradation, rather than that all formats are inherently degrading.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: DRM - Wont be getting my cash.

              And this is probably as the publishers intended. As the saying goes, there's no business like repeat business. It's basically the price of admission into the walled garden: you can take it or leave it, but if enough people are willing to take it even if you're not, it's your loss, not theirs.

          2. phil dude
            WTF?

            Re: DRM - Wont be getting my cash.

            @Eric Olson: Are you some sort of shill?

            DRM's SOLE purpose is to screw the consumer, and it is politically expedient to suggest otherwise.

            Digital Signing can however, help the consumer know the media is in tact.

            The whole rights management bollocks was dreamt up by greedy lawyers, who would like to charge you for singing in the shower.

            P.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: DRM - Wont be getting my cash.

            The fact you haven't lost anything to a fire yet should be considered good luck, not proof that it will never happen. But as I pointed out, it's not just fire. Animals, water, children, or just plain wear and tear will render the book useless, just like other forms of physical media.

            Well, we don't have animals anymore, I'm not having any children, water might ruin a book, or the cover of an LP/CD but a quick wash in the dishwashing basin will soon fix any problems up.

            As for not losing things to a fire being good luck. Losing things to a fire is a case of bad luck, and we do what we can to mitigate against that risk. In my neighbourhood, house fires are not very common, we've had bush fires more frequently and even then, a good distance away from the residential area.

            The only event that caused significant loss of property in recent times would be the late-2008 storms that hit Brisbane. In such an event, I'd expect CD, DVD and LP media to survive reasonably well unless they copped a direct hit from debris.

            You could do that, but more salient to my point, it's not free. You have to pay for the replacement of the item, not just go and download a new copy using your existing license.

            Only if your bandwidth is free. I don't know what the system is where you are, but here in Australia, the last "free" ISP I heard of (monetised through advertising) went bust.

            I have about 5GB of music these days (Ogg/Vorbis codec), it'd take a while to download all that again. Besides, you really think they'd hold onto that information free of charge? Not likely, no, it'll more likely be "We'll maintain your catalogue for you for $X/month": fail to pay that fee and your collection evaporates with the DRM license.

            That's merely a technical problem, and one that's been generally solved by associating DRM with an account as opposed to a single machine. So unless you lose access to all of your accounts, the probability of losing access to the content is slim to nil.

            So we have to have an account now to listen to some music we legally purchased a personal copy of? An account that is going to cost someone fees to keep active?

            Well, as someone else pointed out, handing Stuart Longland Jr. your VHS, vinyl, or DOS-formatted floppy collection is probably less than useful. Either the format is such that they can no longer play it, or it's been superseded by a newer version. That old comedy album from 1965 might not have been reprinted in CD form because, well, no one liked it, so barring sentimental value, it's unlikely to have much value to whoever you passed it on to.

            This is very subjective of course as to whether someone later will be interested. The fact is, I can pass them on if I so choose, or I can sell them now if I want to to someone who does find them of value. You cannot do this with digital music downloads at present.

            Superceded formats are a big issue, and so far CDs and vinyl have stood the test of time, particularly vinyl. My floppy collection has already largely gone and I wouldn't expect VHS to survive very long either.

            Turntables are still manufactured, sure some point out some are rather cheap and nasty, but this can be overcome. There are still places in the world that build and sell gramophones. Not many in the first world I might add, but places like Cambodia apparently still make them.

            Nothing technically stops you from making a back-up of that media onto something contemporary either, which is what I've done. My records get "ripped" onto "lossless" masters (FLAC or CD), and a copy of that gets encoded as Ogg/Vorbis for general listening. The original media is then safely stored. I could pass these lossless copies along with the originals to the next party: so long as I then ensure my "copies" of the backups are destroyed or transferred to that one person, all is fine (technically). Legally they call that piracy: a point I disagree with.

            The problem arises when you hand someone a copy of one of the backups without giving them the original: that is then piracy.

            The problem is worse for DRM. A big reason why is due to DRM-makers desire for closed-source black boxes. Soon as they stop maintaining the black box, ensuring it can be used with contemporary equipment, it stops working and the files in that format become useless. This will happen much sooner for software than it will for hardware.

            Additionally, your are incorrectly blaming DRM for what is really a licensing issue, something that is wholly separate though often conflated. If the EULA allows unlimited copying for personal use, or is amended to allow you to transfer ownership to another person, then it's no different than your collection of the 1970s greatest hits on vinyl. But that is something you, as a purchaser of the items, need to consider when laying out your cash.

            The licensing issue is what bought about DRM, and both are fundamentally flawed.

            In the above case, I discuss backing up older physical media onto contemporary media. DRM audio is circumvented easily due to the fact that we cannot listen to a digital signal, it must be ultimately be converted to analogue sound pressure waves that our analogue eardrums can detect.

            Typically this is done using a moving coil attached to a diaphragm in a static magnetic field: a second close-proximity coil turns this device into a transformer, with the new secondary winding's terminals reproducing the copyrighted work. The same methods are used in hearing aids to allow the hard of hearing to use a telephone. The audio quality of this method would be "good enough" for many.

            Video is harder, but not impossible.

            So DRM as a solution to the piracy problem does not work. It just unnecessarily complicates the task of me, as a content consumer, enjoying the content that I legally purchased licenses for.

            The sooner we stop assuming that DRM is some new invention designed to screw customers out of money and realize it's just a new application of existing limitations, the better we can manage our expectation and push for change or dumping of ineffective or poorly-executed DRM, and maybe start on the real issue, the EULA.

            Actually, the sooner we realise DRM is the fraud that it is, the better.

            1. Eric Olson

              Re: DRM - Wont be getting my cash. @Stuart Longland

              Again you are proving my point. The concept of copying an item is illegal in most parts of the world. The US Supreme Court indicated that a person could record a program from the TV onto a VHS and review it for personal use only. A later act made analog audio recording to audio media legal, but clearly stated that digital recordings could only be made with specific, authorized technology. This is not MP3s or hard drives or other any other place we consider housing recordings of digital audio, which is why the RIAA and MPAA was able to do what they did.

              If your issue is that you are not allowed to legally copy your media or items to a backup, that is something you take up with your representative or government. Until then, you can not only expect more DRM with limiting licenses, but it will continue to be a profitable venture for companies, especially the one that doesn't screw up implementation and makes it seamless or painless to an end customer.

              You should also realize that you and many of the other anti-DRM folks here are outliers: Your general consumer will happily buy a song, album, or movie off of iTunes. The impact of those who choose not to use media that has DRM attached to it is small and shrinking. The days of Securom hosing an entire system of the Sony rootkit are long past and most implementations are invisible.

              I get that you don't like it. But as a content creator, hanging around other content creators, and doing content creation for revenue, the last thing I want is my work being passed around like some illicit copy of Juggs at the schoolyard because some kind stole it from Dad's stash. I believe that my work deserves compensation, and if that means it needs to be locked down so that only those who would have never purchased it in the first place are the ones who steal it, fine. But if I just throw out a copy of my work with no security, then it's on me when it gets stolen. It's no different from leaving for work each day with the garage wide open and the doors unlocked. It might take a while for people to take my lawn mower, but one day, someone is going to and my neighbors will yell at me for having long grass.

              If it was just a hobby and not something that I derived much revenue from, or I supported myself through eyeballs and other forms of ad revenue, then I might not care so much. But that's not the case. And nor is it for my wife who composes. Our work is our product, and we will protect it as we see fit in a way that doesn't alienate our customers. Since the reality is that those who oppose DRM are often the same folks who go to great lengths to take things apart so they can do it their way, they aren't so much a target demographic as a demographic of no consequence. The impact to my bottom line is minimal and I can make sure that my customers actually are getting a product they enjoy rather than kowtowing to the radicals who demand everything for free, right now, and more to come tomorrow for the same price.

              1. Eric Olson

                Re: DRM - Wont be getting my cash. @Stuart Longland

                One last thing, because I think it gets lost when people talk about "ownership" of something. If you buy a book, you don't own the content. You own an authorized copy of an author's work, nothing more. If the author republishes the book in a different format, with better pictures, prettier font, sloppy prose tightened, you don't get it for free. You have to trundle out to your local bookstore or point your FOSS-compliant browser to a purveyor of choice and pay for the new version. The author, being the actual owner of that content, can change, modify, delete, add, or just completely re-write it whenever they want, and if you would like to have that new version, you will pay for it. (See Lucas, George)

                I would like to point out that while you're welcome today to do your second-hand shopping for something, don't pretend for a moment it benefits the author or content creator in any tangible way. There are no resale royalties, and while it might drive a sale to a new copy if you run your local second-hand shop out of copies and someone really wants to get the author's new book, the more likely result is that said person will wander over to another second-hand shop, check out a library sale, or go online to the many second-hand stores. None of this actually benefits a content creator, so at no point can you actually say you are supporting them.

                Maybe instead of whining about how you are being forced to fork over cash for something you can't transfer ownership for, maybe you should be asking how you can make sure content continues to be created for you to enjoy. DRM might not be the best way to do it (again, it's just a mechanism to enforce the EULA or Ts&Cs), but then you need to think long and hard about how you satisfy these two requirements from a creator's standpoint:

                1) Ensure fair compensation

                2) Ensure work is not stolen and reproduced without permission or license, especially if it reduces or prevents point 1

                Failure to do that, and your creators will become real amateurs or hobbyists who only have the passion but not the time to create high-quality work. Or it will mean that such pursuits would again revert back to the modern landed gentry who can afford to be idle while pursing some sort of project with little to no financial gain.

      2. Dwarf Silver badge

        Re: DRM - Wont be getting my cash.

        The last time l looked, both trees and ink were still freely available, unlike $LatestTechnology-3

        Just because something is old doesn't mean it needs to be replaced.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Afernie

          Re: DRM - Wont be getting my cash.

          "The last time l looked, both trees and ink were still freely available, unlike $LatestTechnology-3

          Just because something is old doesn't mean it needs to be replaced."

          Maybe not the best example. $LatestTechnology-3, while undoubtedly having a considerable environmental impact, probably hasn't done the kind of damage to the biosphere that paper manufacturing has over the decades (and even with recycling, continues to do so). So yes, it arguably does need replacing, or at least it needs a lot of improving.

  9. DrXym Silver badge

    Good stuff

    Netflix and similar services need a way to protect their content. So far they've streamed through a plugin which provides that protection. The downside is that Flash / Silverlight are significant attack surfaces in their own right and a burden to install. So offering EME in the video playback is a useful development.

    1. Alan Mackenzie

      Re: Good stuff

      "Netflix and similar services need a way to protect their content."

      Rubbish! Their "content" is not in any danger. And in so far as it is, the way to protect it is by backing it up, just like you do daily with your personal stuff at home. ;-)

      What you really meant was Netflix et. al. want a way to RESTRICT people's use of "their content". That's an entirely different matter.

      1. Indolent Wretch

        Re: Good stuff

        Not what he means is their REVENUE may be in danger. Unsurprisingly they act to prevent that.

  10. Captain DaFt

    It's only wafer thin!

    It's only a CDM, it barely affects the browser at all!

    Surely this negligible little thing can only enhance your consuming experience! Think of the cash you'll save purchasing your entertainment experience from us, instead of all that tedious browsing and thinking!

    So sit back, hand over your credit details, and let us waft you away on a very reasonably priced dream journey!

    Signed - The Entertainment Industry (A subsidiary of Disneycorp.)

    Me: <Wanders off muttering about camel's noses and tents>

  11. Chewi
    Facepalm

    32-bit first?

    In this day and age, that barely even makes sense for Windows. And there I was hoping for ARM Linux support. Fat chance!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 32-bit first?

      Sure it does when you realize most Firefox downloads, even for 64-bit Windows, are 32-bit, primarily due to plug-in compatibility issues.

      1. Alan W. Rateliff, II

        Re: 32-bit first?

        I have been using the 64-bit Nightly builds for a few years now and rarely have problems with plug-ins. May be you are using something other than Java, Acrobat, and Flash, but these three work just fine for me.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: 32-bit first?

          There are plenty of other plugins out there besides those three, and many of them are 32-bit-only. So that leaves little choice in the matter.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Barriers to purchase

    All the content is free anyway if you _want_ to steal it. Don't see that changing fast.

    1. Thorne

      Re: Barriers to purchase

      Exactly. Copy protection is a total waste of time. Someone will come up with a way to bypass it and the whole world will then download it.

      The only way to beat pirates is to hit them where it hurts. If content is cheap and easy to access, nobody would bother pirating. Content could even be free (paid for by ads like TV is now) and pirates would die a quick death overnight.

      But nooooooooo.........

      Lets all run different subscription servers and different methods along with regional access arrangements and force crap like DRM into everything using legal threats cause that will keep our old business practices running like it's 1950 and everyone can just lump it.

      Blame useless old retards like Rupert Murdoch.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Barriers to purchase

        "If content is cheap and easy to access, nobody would bother pirating."

        Thing is, some people will never be satisfied because how can you beat FREE? And if content creators feel they can't be compensated for their time, well...

        So it's a never-ending fight.

        1. Thorne

          Re: Barriers to purchase

          Gee well how to free to air TV stations do it? How do the pirates do it? What is stopping the content creators from doing the same?

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Barriers to purchase

            The free-to-air stations are paid for by the advertisers (one problem Internet TV has is that its customers are more ad-averse than others). If a show doesn't draw people, it gets cancelled. Many cable networks take a cut from the providers, who in turn charge their subscribers. And the BBC has their television tax. Pirates, as the name imply, simply don't care.

            As for the content creators, they're the ones stumping down. Their natural first question will thus be, "Where's the money, sonny?"

            1. Thorne

              Re: Barriers to purchase

              Whats the difference to shoehorning 30 second ads into the streamed show? Why can free to air tv do it but online can't?

              In reality online can do more and do it better. You can build up viewer profiles and targeted advertising and select the ads on a per instance version. No more ads that don't apply to you.

              Youtube does it now.

              The only problem stopping this is the old farts clinging to their old business models and regional licencing deals. It's not a technical problem.

              Their solutions is buying politicians and making new laws to sue people with armies of lawyers so I don't feel real sorry for them.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: Barriers to purchase

                "Youtube does it now."

                EXCEPT, like I said earlier, Internet watchers are more ad-averse. More of them see the ads as a deal-breaker and install ad blockers. That's why things like AdBlock and NoScript are so popular.

                As for regional deals, that's because economic models break down when you go international, and for the content providers it means less money in the long run. And since it's their content, it's their rules. If the money doesn't match up, they can always lock it up so no one gets to see it.

              2. Eric Olson

                Re: Barriers to purchase

                Whats the difference to shoehorning 30 second ads into the streamed show? Why can free to air tv do it but online can't?

                In reality online can do more and do it better. You can build up viewer profiles and targeted advertising and select the ads on a per instance version. No more ads that don't apply to you.

                Youtube does it now.

                It's about conversion rate. An ad on a network is target to a demographic that has grown up with television and are used to learning about, hearing about, and making decisions because of the ads one sees in between scenes or acts in a show. Additionally in the US, a 30 minute block typically has 20-24 minutes of content, the rest being held over for ads and some network stuff. So the math is easy: Buy a 30 second spot during the commercial break, where the risks are known and you have decades old models that tell you what to expect, or bid fiercely for on 2 or 3 30 second spots on a 20 minute show streamed over the internet to a generation that is already bucking the traditional model and has grown used to time-shifted viewing and other tricks to cut down on time wasted watching ads. Oh, and your models don't have any kind of handle on what the conversion rate is, how it will drive sales, and what your return might be.

                If you want ad-free viewing, you pay for it. Otherwise, how does a show like Mad Men or Walking Dead make money? A tip jar? A hat? Creators, even if distributors and publishers are removed, need to sell their creation to make money. No one does it for free and if you expect otherwise, you have more than a few screws that need tightening.

                1. Thorne

                  Re: Barriers to purchase @ Eric Olson

                  What a load of crap!

                  TV stations use boxes to record viewers and then average it out to guessimate the number of viewers while the internet can give exact numbers of every time the ad was shown. Not only can they give exact numbers of the number of views, they can also use viewer profiles allowing for exact targeting of ads.

                  Even looking at just the shows watched, you can build up a pretty good idea of the number of people and their ages and sexes living in a house. If you include other internet tracking methods as well, the profiles can be virtually spot on.

                  The next thing is that the ads can be shoehorned into the movie/tv show seamlessly on a per viewer instance, not the shotgun approach used by standard tv stations. This means you are not paying to show ads to people that cannot buy what you are selling. I don't give a damn about over 50's insurance or feminine hygiene products so why waste money showing those ads to me?

                  This means the ads will cost more per viewer but they need less viewers as they will target only their intended audience. This them means there is more room for other advertisers targeting other audiences.

                  The sum of this all is better sales for advertisers and less cost, more money for the content providers and more interesting ads for the viewer, all delivered on demand. The content is provided free and the only people to lose out is the old tv stations and pirates.

                  There is absolutely nothing that free to air TV does that internet streamed TV cannot do better and cheaper.

                  1. Eric Olson

                    Re: Barriers to purchase @ Eric Olson

                    Nielsen's method is a combination of boxes, surveys, and reports from content providers. They also can figure out how many people are watching in a time-shifted manner. Is it perfect? No.

                    But the numbers aren't what matters, it's the behavior of the consumer. Those watching TV will have a certain engagement and conversion rate, modeled over decades and actually compared to consumer habits. The internet provides very little of that, for a number of reasons.

                    For one, the population of those who stream television through a service tend to be younger, more tech savvy individuals. They also are ad-adverse and will likely leave the room to grab something for that 30 second spot. Or YouTube often offers a "skip" button 5-10 seconds in. In general, your count of eyeballs online is likely to be over-inflated and have a much lower conversion rate. What's the point of having perfect numbers when you can't actually see how many people are watching the ad.

                    TV is usually more communal, and even now is a center of a home where 2 or more people will gather. Short of a handful of HTPCs that are setup by tech geeks, most internet content is streamed to a device that is watched by one person. So even if you can exactly say that 2.5 million views of that show were done online, you have to assume it's only 2.5 million (or less) viewers. For tradition delivery, 2.5 million households (views) on a Tuesday night could be 5 million or even 7.5 million people, and you can survey that information easily. More importantly, a much larger number of them are used to being swayed by ads and accept it, increasing engagement and conversion rates.

                    Finally, if you are seeing ads that are not applicable to you, it's probably because you are watching something outside your demographic. If you are in the US and watch CBS during primetime, you will see a lot of things that skew old and "comfortable". That's CBS's core demographic, the silver-haired Boomers who like shows that are procedural acronyms. Watch Mad Men on AMC, and you'll see a lot of luxury car ads and upscale beverages, because the demo that watches are younger, affluent, and more likely to drink alcohol that looks expensive, but not be learned enough to know what good alcohol is (that last bit is editorializing on my part, but I digress).

                    The point is that the internet, specifically streamed TV and movie content, is a very new ballgame. The models are incomplete, the numbers are suspect, and the viewers are less likely to engage with the ads in the first place. So not only can free-to-air TV do things that internet-streamed TV cannot do, it's cheaper, more targeted, and more likely to have a better return on investment. This could change in the next 10 years, but I think (hope) there are more profound content delivery changes on the horizon that will make this conversation moot.

                    1. Thorne

                      Re: Barriers to purchase @ Eric Olson

                      Still a load of crap.

                      A lot of TVs come with streaming services build in, out of the box.

                      Content providers better get use to on demand streaming services and work out how to monetize them properly because they are not going away. The longer they dick around trying to protect their old business models, the more money pirates make from their stupidity.

                      As for TV being communal, whats the difference with streaming services? Still a TV. Still in the lounge room. The only difference is we can choose what we watch instead of watching what crap they choose to play to us. You don't need 600 channels to find something to watch when you can choose what show and episode any time you like.

                      As for the ads, people already go get a coffee during ad breaks. Streaming offers nothing different to free to air tv. You play the ad and hope the person is watching and is interested. The only difference is streaming knows the house contains a male and female aged between 30 and 35, a female child between 5 and 8 and all their likes and dislikes. Streaming will then only send ads applicable to the household out to them. Sit down tonight at look at each ad that doesn't apply to you or your house. That's what streaming will stop.

                      Streaming can do every last thing free to air tv can do only better, cheaper and more convenient. The only thing stopping it is old guys in board rooms terrified of change.

        2. King Jack
          Facepalm

          Re: Barriers to purchase

          Even if things were dirt cheap they would still contain crap. For example a DVD where you cannot skip trailers and you are called the thief and threatened by the FBI for buying it. A rip is better, all you get is the movie you want and nothing else. So piracy will always exist as it provides a better end product.

          1. P. Lee Silver badge

            Re: Barriers to purchase

            >piracy will always exist as it provides a better end product.

            Indeed. Things like catchup tv.... horribly low quality - the torrent will always be better. Also very fragile and if you have to restart, you can't fast-forward through content and adverts. Amazingly, the adverts are even lower quality than the programme, so the marketing looks awful.

      2. Nifty

        Re: Barriers to purchase

        You will probably find that movie release cycles and regional policies were more consistent in the 50s!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm no hacker but...

    You just know there's more than one hole in there waiting to be found.

  14. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    I think I can speak for the majority when I say:

    Bleaugh!!

    1. LaeMing Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: I think I can speak for the majority when I say:

      Sadly, the true majority say 'Derrrrrrr'.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Netflix ?

    What is Netflix ?

    1. Thorne

      Re: Netflix ?

      Like The Pirate Bay only costs money.......

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Thorne

          Re: Netflix ?

          "What's money?"

          Like bitcoins only real.......

        2. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: Netflix ?

          Its like Bitcoin, but only slightly less fantasy behind it. That is if you actually believe in the Fed. Which I personally don't!

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: Netflix ?

      >What is Netflix ?

      An ISP comparison website, kinda like speedtest.net

  16. Winkypop Silver badge
    FAIL

    Don't innovate

    Just restrict!!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    F* Adobe and their insecure greed, and shame on Mozilla!

    My Firefox update via Chocolatey doesn't appear to have the Adobe infection.

    I refuse to run anything Adobe, because it is a security hole and hangs/crashes browsers, even PDF doesn't need Adobe.

    I already found and un-ticked that retarded DRM 'option'; DRM is based on a broken for centuries business model which includes obsolete boundary limits and the anti-property rights IP hypocrisy. All the internet did was make if far more obvious how ridiculous the idea of IP is!

    Adam Smith and others stated enough ages ago, so there is no excuse to attempt to justify any of this guildism and privilege, it's all just harmful greed and lies.

    I only pay lip service to IP in business until I can find a way to leave it behind, but it has no place in my personal life.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    As a person of 'middle youth', I formed my opinion that a hire was very different from a purchase, and all parties knew up front what the situation was. I hire a room in a hotel and I accept limitations of use and I accept I have no claim of ownership. But if I buy something it is mine to do with as I please within reason.

    This is what DRM abuses. I very much like the idea of rewarding a creator for their work (but less so their agents and other parasites), I am happy to acknowledge the creator's right to be acknowledged as the creator, but I do want to use that creation in a reasonable way. Once I've purchased and fully paid for something, a third party shouldn't be able to take it away from me, unless it is reasonable evidence of actual criminal activity. And it's not reasonable to have DRM violations be deemed as criminal.

    For digital media, reasonable activity includes me copying it easily onto any device I own, archiving it to protect against loss, using it as many times as I want for a long as I want, converting its format without degradation in quality so I can use the data on other devices I hire, own or intend to own and having the data simultaneously on as many devices as I want.

    I can quite understand that some sort of copyright should apply. Fine with that. But when the default position of a business model is to assume customers are criminals, then something's very wrong.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      But you are a criminal - if you can format shift then how can I charge you again for the same content on tape, vinyl, cd, bluray, mp3 and aac?

      What do you mean you paid me for my time when you bought it first time round?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's another one of Adobe's shitty plugins

    with 90 million security holes to patch...

    I'm like totally looking forward to daily patches from Adobe - NOT.

  20. Tom 7 Silver badge

    This may make it tricky for me to watch content

    but I have a feeling it will make it easy for hackers to see my machine...

  21. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Has there ever even been an "Official" x86-64 Version of Firebadger? I can't seem to recall there ever being any. Firefox clones like Ice Weasel, and such sure... But, I think I've been waiting for an x86-64 version of Firefox, for some time now...

    Either way I'm using Pale Moon now, and its doing everything I need, or more to a point want my Browser to do. Without having puked up all of Google's tasteless Chrome vomit everywhere.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Mac and Linux has been 64-bit for ages. For 64-bit on Windows you need the Developer Version (Aurora) for the moment. Classic Theme Restorer will let you go back from a black to a grey skin.

  22. PassiveSmoking

    DRM in open source couldn't work?

    Correct me if I'm wrong here, but the Adobe DRM module is essentially a black box that takes encrypted data in one end and spits out an unencrypted video stream from the other, and the reason it's a black box is so that it can't be reverse-engineered, right?

    Okay, what about the bit of the system that takes the unencrypted stream and displays it? Isn't that part of the system open source? What's to prevent an enterprising coder writing a module that intercepts the video stream after decryption and spooling it to disc instead of displaying it?

    Have I missed something here? Because to me it seems that aside from all the other arguments against DRM that it would simply be useless in this context.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: DRM in open source couldn't work?

      >What's to prevent an enterprising coder writing a module that intercepts the video stream after decryption and spooling it to disc

      Not sure, but perhaps HDCP to the video card? Does this imply a closed source OS?

    2. sisk Silver badge

      Re: DRM in open source couldn't work?

      What's to prevent an enterprising coder writing a module that intercepts the video stream after decryption and spooling it to disc instead of displaying it?

      When you get right down to it, absolutely nothing. I can think of at least 2 ways to do it off the top of my head that wouldn't even require a coder and wouldn't be at all detectable to the system. And I'm not even trying. Those are just ideas that jumped unbidden into my mind as I read the article. This is why I'm opposed to DRM: it doesn't and can't work. If the end user can see/hear the media then someone somewhere will figure out a way to copy it and share their knowledge. At the end of the day the user controls the client system, and a user who understands this and knows how the system works can get around any protections you put in place. Even that black box has to run on a client system controlled by a user.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: DRM in open source couldn't work?

        And that's why 4K will NEVER be run on systems controllable by the user, they made that abundantly clear. They'll insist on end-to-end encrypted streams (that includes the link to the TV which will be an improved HDCP). Players will be locked-down tamper-detecting black boxes that require Internet connections for extra verification. And they'll probably deny home/hobby users access to 4K recording equipment for years (and keep the professional stuff too expensive for all but the big boys to afford) so the analog gap can't be exploited.

        1. sisk Silver badge

          Re: DRM in open source couldn't work?

          Ah, but users will own the equipment, and there is a certain demographic for whom "unbreakable" is a challenge. It will be broken sooner or later, just like every other DRM scheme ever conceived. That or pirates will simply stick with 1080p.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: DRM in open source couldn't work?

            They'll own the playback equipment, but like I said there are ways to prevent tampering: one-way suicide switches, epoxy blocks, lead shields to block x-raying, and so on. A prominent label with bold letters saying, "DO NOT OPEN! THIS DEVICE WILL STOP FUNCTIONING!" should server as adequate warning. It is entirely possible to make a one-way hardware design to block even the most resourceful challengers (someone once made a bomb no one could defuse and they had to detonate it in place, severely damaging the casino it was in), and the movie guys are pulling out all the stops this time. They seem ready to accept duds in the name of keeping the technology secret.

            1. sisk Silver badge

              Re: DRM in open source couldn't work?

              They'll own the playback equipment, but like I said there are ways to prevent tampering: one-way suicide switches, epoxy blocks, lead shields to block x-raying, and so on. A prominent label with bold letters saying, "DO NOT OPEN! THIS DEVICE WILL STOP FUNCTIONING!" should server as adequate warning.

              There's no such thing as foolproof. There's always a way to get around the protections and eventually someone will find it. It's a basic rule of security of any kind: unbreakable doesn't exist. There is only greater and greater difficulty. It's just like trying to make an unpickable lock. Just like every "unpickable" lock ever built has been picked by someone, every copy protection you can conceive can be circumvented. And, given the number of people interested in doing so and their skill levels, certainly will be.

              someone once made a bomb no one could defuse and they had to detonate it in place, severely damaging the casino it was in

              Bad example. They don't take chances with bombs because of the consequences of not getting it right the first time. The consequences of failing to break copy protection are, at worst, the loss of a $50 blu-ray player, much much lower than a bomb blowing up in your face. Probably someone could have disarmed it given the chance to screw up the first few times.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: DRM in open source couldn't work?

            That or pirates will simply stick with 1080p.

            Which for most people will probably be good enough. Unless you've got a HUGE, and I mean, HUGE, television screen, are you really going to notice the difference?

            Hell, we still have a CRT-based television in this establishment and I never had any complaints about its resolution for video content. Sure text is poor quality, but that's not what they're built for, and typically not much gets shown on television anyway.

  23. sabroni Silver badge
    Meh

    Browsers should be standards compliant!

    Unless I disagree with the standard, obv....

  24. Marco van de Voort

    I don't mind the drm, but am scared of adobe crafted plugins

    I don't mind the drm, but my experiences with browser plugins from Adobe (flash, reader) from a stability and security viewpoint are not great.

  25. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    ....................../´¯/)

    ....................,/¯../

    .................../..../

    ............./´¯/'...'/´¯¯`·¸

    ........../'/.../..../......./¨¯\

    ........('(...´...´.... ¯~/'...')

    .........\.................'...../

    ..........''...\.......... _.·´

    ............\..............(

    ..............\.............\...

    Mozilla, I have had enough. I have been using Firefox/Pheonix on Windows/OS X/Linux for close to 15 years now, and, guess what, in FF37 I have experience the first stability issues. Yes, it is bloated crap, now, but until 37 it got the work done, now, not only does it hide the address bar (THE ONLY FSCK'ING USEFUL THING), since 36 iirc, in FF37, the thing hangs. in FF38 you add DRM ?

    You know what? Byebye.

    There is no excuse for DRM, if you think there is, be so kind, do us all a favor, leave the industry ... windows cleaners are needed in Hull.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  26. awood-something_or_another

    Adobe-Who?

    I'm sorry .... I don't recognize that name.

    Adobe required = Adobe not seen They are a criminal organization. I'll view a PDF, in a non-Adobe viewer, without JavaScript. Adobe is dead; at least to me.

  27. Fatman Silver badge

    DRM 'support'

    Windows XP, OS X, Linux, and 64-bit versions of Firefox are not yet supported, and there's no word yet on when they might be.

    NEVER would be the best option!!!

  28. sisk Silver badge

    "Nearly everyone who implements DRM says they are forced to do it" the FSF said at the time, "and this lack of accountability is how the practice sustains itself."

    No, that's reality. They ARE forced to do it. If everyone dropped DRM the movie industry would happily refuse to allow any form of movie delivery other than copy-protected discs. If DRM were even dropped from those the industry would gleefully go back to the last century and force us all into the theater every time we wanted to watch a movie. The accountability for the travesty that is DRM lies squarely on big media. In this regard Firefox, Netflix, and even Microsoft are the little guys who are having policy dictated to them by the big boys with little choice but to comply.

    The music industry has pretty much caught on that DRM causes a net decrease in profits and given up. The market voted with dollars and the point got across. We need just one studio to give us the chance to vote with dollars for DRM-free movies and we'll get the point across to the movie industry to. Unfortunately none of them will give us that chance.

    1. h4rm0ny

      >>"The accountability for the travesty that is DRM lies squarely on big media"

      It's amazing how so many people can consider content producers to be greedy and money-obsessed beyond belief, and yet think they spend tens of millions on DRM methods or turn down sales models just for the Hell of it. The reason they put so much money into DRM (and remember, it's not only the technology but all the administrative work that goes with it), is because of piracy. When your work gets shared in the millions online without you getting paid for it, looking for counter-measures is inevitable.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "It's amazing how so many people can consider content producers to be greedy and money-obsessed beyond belief, and yet think they spend tens of millions on DRM methods or turn down sales models just for the Hell of it. The reason they put so much money into DRM (and remember, it's not only the technology but all the administrative work that goes with it), is because of piracy. When your work gets shared in the millions online without you getting paid for it, looking for counter-measures is inevitable."

        Perhaps the money angle in movies is more sensitive than it is in music. Movies, after all, have bigger budgets and therefore a higher break-even point. Movie numbers are subjected to higher scrutiny, especially in the mainstream media (box office numbers are spouted each week, determining whether or not a new release is a boom or bomb). Perhaps moviegoers are more fickle for anything but franchises, meaning movie returns can be volatile and the odds of any given movie turning a profit more uncertain. Just saying that if movie companies guard their stuff more rigorously than music companies, perhaps they have reason to believe that taking down the walled garden will let in more mob than moneymaker (After all, how do you beat FREE?).

      2. sisk Silver badge

        @h4rm0ny

        Oh I get it. I know why they use DRM. The problem with that train of thought though is that it doesn't work. No DRM yet conceived has managed to so much as put a dent in the piracy problem.I don't condone piracy in any way, but here's how I see it: DRM is an expensive solution that isn't working. Should they A) keep pumping money into DRM and living with the bad publicity that comes from it or B) look for a solution that does work?

        The music industry has found their solution. Piracy still happens, but the musicians are getting at least some ad revenue from it (mostly from YouTube, some from the likes of Patreon). It's far from perfect but it does a whole lot more than DRM ever did to mitigate the problem.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: @h4rm0ny

          The movies companies are finding their C) solution, however. They'll tolerate some piracy, just not beyond a certain level of quality. Their DRM is mainly meant to block High-Definition piracy up to a point (usually the home-video point, at which point most of the revenue's already been extracted). They see cams and such as the realm of the desperate: people who wouldn't see the movie unless it was a penny. These are essentially unconvertible and can be ignored. As for the bad press, given they still get plenty of customers, the press can't be THAT bad for them. With the exception of franchises (and you wonder why so many sequels), movie fans just aren't as loyal as music fans (who tend to have their favorites).

  29. crayon

    "Thing is, some people will never be satisfied because how can you beat FREE? And if content creators feel they can't be compensated for their time, well..."

    They can PAY viewers, that surely beats FREE. Content creation costs and viewer compensation can be paid for by adverts.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      And when the viewers are ad-averse, meaning ads turn the viewers AWAY?

  30. Christian Berger Silver badge

    The societal question about DRM simply is

    Do we accept malware on our computers to sustain a business model?

    Essentially any form of DRM software is malware. It needs to prevent you from doing things you'd like to do, it may in fact even spy on you and in many cases DRM software has even damaged computers or opened new security holes.

    At least in Germany there is a basic right for integrity and privacy of data processing equipment. Is it right to give up that right to sustain a business model? Is it right to ask people to give up that right just to watch TV?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The societal question about DRM simply is

      The content owners can turn that around by pointing out it's not the customer's data to begin with; therefore they should be ENTITLED to protect the integrity of THEIR copyrighted data.

    2. h4rm0ny

      Re: The societal question about DRM simply is

      >>Essentially any form of DRM software is malware. It needs to prevent you from doing things you'd like to do

      Not correct. It needs to stop other people from doing things they'd like to do. If I am fine with the restrictions, such as just watching the streaming video in my browser as I have paid to do, rather than saving or sharing it as I have agreed not to do, it does not prevent me from doing things I'd like to do and is not malware.

      Well-implemented, DRM is only malware to the pirates and yes, DRM can be well-implemented.

  31. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    DRM problems

    "I'm still not a fan of DRM, but its more for where it can go wrong as opposed to some philosophical opposition. DRM can fail or malfunction, locking out a customer who has purchased access to content. But at least there, in theory, there is recourse and you can get access restored"

    Or is there? I've seen no indication of recourse, when the DRM fails (NOT if!) you are simply screwed.

    MLB (Major League Baseball) has already gone through this, where they charged big bucks for people to "own" some older baseball games -- these were downloaded but required access to a rights restriction server to view. They shut down the rights restriction server like a year or two later -- that was it, thanks for the wads of cash customers, you can sit on it and spin! They did not receive new non-DRM copies or DRM copies using a newer rights restrictions server. Microsoft has done the same thing, shutting down an older rights restriction system with no recourse to the purchasers.

    If I get anything that is supposedly rights restricted, I make sure the DRM is cracked first and make a clean copy. People WILL be screwed out of the use of their own purchases sooner or later otherwise. These are multi-billion dollar companies that said "we can't be bothered to leave a computer plugged in" after just a year or two... others have gone out of business (screwing customers out of use of their videos or music), or have used DRM systems that are no longer supported (so they get files infested with "Windows xx"-specific-DRM, then get "Windows xx+1" -- or even better, Linux or a Mac -- and find out the DRM is not supported, never will be supported, and no, their files will NOT be re-issued in a newer DRM system. Or they'll be re-issued but the company thinks they'll pay a second time for the stuff they already bought.)

  32. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Product returns galore!

    "They'll own the playback equipment, but like I said there are ways to prevent tampering: one-way suicide switches, epoxy blocks, lead shields to block x-raying, and so on. A prominent label with bold letters saying, "DO NOT OPEN! THIS DEVICE WILL STOP FUNCTIONING!" should server as adequate warning."

    Some devices already say "no user serviceable components inside", and it doesn't slow down anyone wanting to mod it. For something like a 4K Blueray player?

    a) Sony might put killswitches and crap in thier players. But the Chinese makers are interested in sales to customers, I think stuff that just lowers the reliability of the finished product will not go in.

    b) I expect Best Buy etc. to just start getting many, MANY returns until the vendors stop putting this kind of thing in. If I put a soldering iron or some voltage to the wrong point and zapped some hardware? That's on me. If I turn a screw out one turn and a device self-destructs? That's on the vendor and they are getting a product return.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Product returns galore!

      a) Lots of Southeast Asia aren't even to the Blu-Ray level yet, so Sony may just keep China out of the loop, or put them under much tighter guard.

      b) Like I said, I think they'll tolerate the returns for accidental suicides if it means their tech doesn't leak. After all, their secret carries a price tag much higher than the rest of the device's development. Meanwhile, with the caveat of "opening of device voids warranty" combined with tamper-evident stickers, I think they'll be able to make more cases that the "returns" were actually intrusions.

  33. Dylan Fahey

    The madhouse continues

    And I see there are still morons that think DRM makes sense for the consumer. These are the same people that burst into flames when they see someone else having fun.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The madhouse continues

      And I suppose you'd rather the movie companies stop releasing movies on home video at all and just insist you go to the cinemas instead. They get most of their money there, anyway, and there are enough people out there to make it worthwhile. In other words, you can either pay to get in the walled garden or simply not have a walled garden to go to. And once one company does, you can bet everyone else will, too. Look at 4K, which will be tighter than a miser's purse. They're making it clear: pay up or shut up.

  34. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Flame

    How is 4K any different?

    At each point in history when a new technology was introduced for viewing media, people were already using the "cutting edge" available at the time. Ever since the open-reel and VHS tape days, people have been copying media and taping TV shows. This did not end civilization as we know it and I don't recall any studio or publisher going out of business due to John Q. Public sharing a movie or making a mix tape.

    True, in these days of streaming everything, it's a lot easier to distribute pirated copies. But instead of hobbling the average person and discouraging fair use, how about just finding better ways of prosecuting those that abuse the privilege? I prefer to read on Kindle these days, but it pisses me off that I can't share a book at all in some cases, and in others I can't share it more than once in X amount of time. Which is fine if the person I share it with hurries up and reads it before it expires, but that doesn't always happen. Yet I can loan as many paperbacks as I wish forever. Sure, I could loan them my entire device to read it, but that's a bit impractical. There's got to be a better way.

    When it comes down to it, soon enough 4K will be broken. It is always the way that the major criminals will be able to quickly get around any protection in place. It just screws the average consumer, as it's always done. A perfect example would be the original DVD standard with encryption. Remember how you couldn't play an encrypted DVD on Linux or in a different region, but still it was pathetically easy to copy the whole disk and sell it if so desired? I applaud the authors that shun DRM and distribute their work with no rights management in place.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How is 4K any different?

      "At each point in history when a new technology was introduced for viewing media, people were already using the "cutting edge" available at the time. Ever since the open-reel and VHS tape days, people have been copying media and taping TV shows. This did not end civilization as we know it and I don't recall any studio or publisher going out of business due to John Q. Public sharing a movie or making a mix tape."

      Primarily because the rental market was pretty good, so movie companies still got a cut of the take. Recording off of HBO and the like wasn't a big issue either for the same reason. Tape copying became much more difficult when Macrovision was introduced. Plus there was still the matter of price. Compared to today, buying a VCR was a pretty decent chunk of change even up to 1990. The tapes weren't that cheap, either.

      "True, in these days of streaming everything, it's a lot easier to distribute pirated copies. But instead of hobbling the average person and discouraging fair use, how about just finding better ways of prosecuting those that abuse the privilege?"

      How do you do that when there's no such law in their country? What if his country is hostile to yours? The only way you can defeat piracy when a country's tolerating it is to prevent it altogether because human motivation works against you here. And in today's global economy, you can't just ignore them.

      "When it comes down to it, soon enough 4K will be broken. It is always the way that the major criminals will be able to quickly get around any protection in place. It just screws the average consumer, as it's always done. A perfect example would be the original DVD standard with encryption. Remember how you couldn't play an encrypted DVD on Linux or in a different region, but still it was pathetically easy to copy the whole disk and sell it if so desired? I applaud the authors that shun DRM and distribute their work with no rights management in place."

      But the media giants have gotten smarter. BD+ for example is a moving target. Even if the pirates crack it now, the next version starts the cycle all over again. Look at the last generation of game consoles. The Wii got hacked to hell, but the Xbox 360 and PS3 are still pains in the butt to deal with unless you're willing to risk your console with some under-the-bonnet work, and even then you couldn't be sure you were safe since the makers kept moving the targets. If someone can make a bomb that's impossible to defuse safely (in spite of all the motivation in the world to do so), I'm sure they can build a box that self-destructs on any attempt to open it.

      As for the authors, that's their imperative and their money. Music's more touch-and-go, but it has its fans. But for movies, the money and risk are too great to gamble (your typical big movie budget easily goes eight to nine figures and audiences tend to be more fickle). If push came to shove, I think they'd be more inclined to just take the ball and go back to the cinemas.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019