back to article Web inventor Sir Tim sizes up handcuffs for his creation – and world has 2 weeks to appeal

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, director of the web standards trendsetter W3C, and Knight Commander, Order of the British Empire, has given his blessing to anti-piracy locks on web content. Traditionally, web technology has been open. HTML markup, CSS, and JavaScript code can be viewed (though not …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "The W3C, unable to reach agreement on how vulnerability disclosure should be handled, responded with something less than that, offering only voluntary guidelines instead a requirement."

    Presumably this means that some DRM vendors will be sensible and some will make life difficult. In due course the latter will get their reward - a reputation for being a cess-pit of malware. Sadly, past experience shows that that won't do them as much harm as one might hope.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Presumably this means that some DRM vendors will be sensible and some will make life difficult. In due course the latter will get their reward - a reputation for being a cess-pit of malware. Sadly, past experience shows that that won't do them as much harm as one might hope.

      Exactly.

      Who knows. One can foresee the consequences of a borked DRM implementation being exploited somehow by a mass Ransomware outbreak. Those consequences would be very public, and very humiliating, and (if customers sue) possibly quite expensive.

      Exploit hunting is kind of like a race. In a sense the blackhats compete against the whitehats, and they who find an exploit first "wins". The blackhats make off with the loot / drop down some malware, etc. The whitehats get public thanks, possibly a bounty, and the grateful thanks of us all.

      If, say, a film studio, were openly engaged with the research community, what that tells the blackhats is that they really do have competition. If the studio was obstructive of the researh community, the blackhats know there's less competition, and the exploit pickings might be richer as a result. It might also take a lot longer for the exploits to be plugged; I can't see film studios keeping on an entire dev team trawling over code just in case, they're going to fire the guys and girls just as soon as it looks "finished".

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Lots of content providers using a DRM together meaning they have the same keys to allow them to publish DRM material to browsers.

    Wasn't DVD and Blu-ray a form of DRM?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLUodac2BRU

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Each would have their own keys - we are talking internet connected devices here, not offline DVD players.

  3. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Can't the foes of copyright just write their own stuff so when (say) a streamed movie is shown, the module that shows the actual movie gets intercepted and the data stream gets saved somewhere to be torrented for everyone else's benefit?

    1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge
      FAIL

      Yep, been there, done that many, many times. I've a DVD copier that's grandfathered under a previous court decision. DVD's CSS (Content Scrambling System) encryption got "cracked." Same has happened to Blu-Ray. Hardly a speed bump to the technically literate which, as the content owners well know, is the point. Most people are that technically literate. On yon other hand, it only takes one expert who posts the resulting unencrypted work on the Internet. Game over.

      The hilarious thing here is that this entire methodology, warts and all, is what's going to happen with legally mandated back-doors. What one can invent, someone can hack the crap out of. Just watch.

  4. chris121254
    Alert

    We have two weeks to stop this and hopefully we will.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "We have two weeks to stop this and hopefully we will."

      I love you adobe Flash, but we only have 14 days to save the earth!

      Sorry, hang on a minute, it sounded so much better in my head....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        This is the multi-build multi-exploit that Flash dreams to be, that's saying something. Tim needs to step away. He's either rhetorical only or playing politics, he's clearly not hands on any more.

        This so called DRM isn't needed as their is alreafy encryption for this, so what is the real reason for this? Possibly to bypass user encryption with sandbox data collection... no, that wouldn't be ethical.

  5. h4rm0ny
    Trollface

    I don't see a problem.

    Those people who want to secure their content with DRM can use it. Those who don't aren't compelled to. The only negative consequence of this technology is the scenario of someone wanting access to content without, you know, paying for it. And that's just hypothetical so I'm sure has nothing to do with it.

    1. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: I don't see a problem.

      Being a published author whose book has been pirated (somewhere in .ru, I believe) and also being a believer in open source software and open standards, my conclusion is that TimBL is correct. As long as there's copyright law in the real world, there's going to be DRM on-line, so it's better for it to be based on an open standard (and on open source implementations). I think the EFF position is unreasonable. To get rid of DRM, first get rid of copyright law (and good luck with that).

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: I don't see a problem.

        You can't have an open source implementation of a DRM'ed browser without it leaking the content.

        So once all sites implement DRM for their content the only permitted browser will be IE, Safari and a new Google propriety chrome

        1. Steve Knox

          Re: I don't see a problem.

          You can't have an open source implementation of a DRM'ed browser without it leaking the content.

          Actually it is possible, just very difficult.

          Which is why the standard is recommending putting the DRM piece in the CDM, not the browser.

          The CDM is the Flash-equivalent binary, except way simpler. The idea is to reduce the scope of the proprietary bits to the minimum needed to support DRM. It's a compromise that is actually very open source friendly.

          And whether W3C approves it or not, it's already been here for years. Have you watched HTML5 video from Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, PornHub, et al. In any browser? Then you've been using a CDM.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: I don't see a problem.

            But my open source browser renders the image to my open source graphics driver on my open source hardware - how does the DRM stop me saving a copy of all those bits ?

            The only way is for websites to only work with approved signed browsers on approved signed OSes with approved signed drivers

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't see a problem.

        @Yes Me,

        As long as there's copyright law in the real world, there's going to be DRM on-line, so it's better for it to be based on an open standard (and on open source implementations). I think the EFF position is unreasonable. To get rid of DRM, first get rid of copyright law (and good luck with that).

        I quite agree.

        There's a massive contratiction in the argument put forward by the anti-DRM (and therefore anti-copyright) lobbyists. The GPL relies utterly on the enforeceability of copyright law. The EFF is a strong defender of copyright when it comes to that...

        Online distribution of paid, DRM protected media has thus far been fairly lame-brained. Fair Use is a really difficult technological problem to solve. I think that this new extension could (and I acknowledge that it relies utterly on film studios, etc. being actively minded to do this) be used to support a DRM system that enables fair use by educational institutes, etc. If that's what happened, the EFF really, really wouldn't have any leg to stand on at all.

      3. Mario Becroft
        FAIL

        Re: I don't see a problem.

        But if I understand correctly, it is not going to be based on open-source implementations.

        The proposed W3C standard provides a framework for audiovisual content providers to deploy their DRM binary blobs to the browser.

        There is no provision for code review, ensuring the binary blobs do not contain backdoors, vulnerabilities, performance problems etc., all of which have been demonstrated in abundance in prior DRM implementations.

        Since the audiovisual content eventually has to be emitted in unencrypted form so that my eyes and ears can perceive it, it will always be possible for motivated individuals to rip DRM-protected content anyway.

        Personally, it is not about the money; it is about ease of use, and my freedom to consume media in the format and on the device I prefer. Until content providers make it easier to buy their content than to pirate it, people will pirate it. The music industry realised this some time ago and now DRM is all but nonexistent. Meanwhile music artists' overall revenues from sales of music recordings has increased. My guess is the film industry is at least 5 years behind.

        1. Zakhar

          Re: I don't see a problem.

          I couldn't agree more!

          When I moved to HD Video, I switched from renting DVD to doing backups of HD movies from the internet ("to pirate" is inaccurate because when you digitally copy something, the original is not stolen, it is still there!.. that's why I use "to backup" instead).

          Indeed, it was impossible (or at least I didn't want to search for hours) to watch a rented BluRay on my chosen device which runs Linux, and I have absolutely no intention to change my O.S.

          I had no trouble renting a movie, but since they made more difficult than watching a backup, they got what they deserve.

        2. Kiwi Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: I don't see a problem.

          Since the audiovisual content eventually has to be emitted in unencrypted form so that my eyes and ears can perceive it, it will always be possible for motivated individuals to rip DRM-protected content anyway.

          Yup, a few seconds thought (combined with my (actually very limited) electronics, photography and AV knowledge, and I now have the expertise to defeat any DRM - effectively simply pointing a camera at the screen and using some well-placed microphones (actually I'd wire the output of one into the input of the other, maybe via a little bit of circuitry to keep things sounding good)

          Personally, it is not about the money; it is about ease of use, and my freedom to consume media in the format and on the device I prefer. Until content providers make it easier to buy their content than to pirate it, people will pirate it.

          When you brought a record, tape, CD or video, you could put it into any compatible player and play it perfectly OK (ie if you only had a reel-reel drive you couldn't do compact cassette, and a gramophone wouldn't play a 33rpm record so well (not if it was limited to 78rpm) in case I need to explain "compatible" to anyone!). When DVD came out it began, where you could only play the disc on a "appropriate region" device. Now with videos, it's just possible I could be out at a mates place, see a movie I want to watch at home, buy it using my phone and..Oh shit, can't put it on my TV1 have to buy another copy for the TV. At which point I would pirate it2 - I purchased a copy to watch on a decent screen, the device I watched it on should not matter. Or maybe I purchased it to preview myself to make sure it's ok for my kids, or appropriate to watch with a couple of Christian mates. But can only watch once before having to buy another copy, and cannot actually have mates around for a viewing anyway (what, you didn't realise you can interpret many (most?) of those copyright notices that way?)

          I'm not anti-copyright at all. I am very anti-DRM however, with the exception of encryption or other methods to protect private/sensitive data. Interesting that many of those who are of the "you should not freely see our material" camp also belong to the "we must be able to freely see all your private stuff, and have rights to it if and when we want" camps - eg Google, Apple, and a few others maybe named in the article...

          1 Yes yes I know chromecast etc may work, and maybe in future they will be stopped from working.

          2 Though you don't need to pirate with so many just-released-still-in-theatres movies on YouTube perfectly legally available, supplied by a big multi-national corporation)

        3. bep

          Re: I don't see a problem.

          "Personally, it is not about the money; it is about ease of use, and my freedom to consume media in the format and on the device I prefer. Until content providers make it easier to buy their content than to pirate it, people will pirate it. The music industry realised this some time ago and now DRM is all but nonexistent. Meanwhile music artists' overall revenues from sales of music recordings has increased. My guess is the film industry is at least 5 years behind."

          This is the crux of the problem, they need to repeat after me: "If I am the best source for my content, I own the content." Few people really wants to take the risk of exposing their computer to malware and phishing in order to torrent a TV show, but if the version available 'legally' is low-res crap, hard to access, makes you subscribe to a lot of crap you aren't interested in etc. then piracy will continue.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Carbbell

      Re: I don't see a problem.

      That is not impossible and everyone knows it: unbreakable DRM is impossible. The real problem here is that under USA laws circumventing DRM (under any circumstance) is illegal.

      Current law allows people to use copyrighted works for educational purposes, research, historical reasons, etc. But since it's illegal to circumvent DRM, you can get a lawsuit if you dare to use a clip of a Disney film in an animation class, if you use a clip of CNN news for whatever reason or if you decide to back up any media that you bought. (That is, if Disney, CNN and that media was released with DRM.)

      So yes, this is less about protecting copyright holders and more about abolishing Fair Use and people sharing quirky gifs of a movie in Tumblr.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't see a problem.

        They will never be able to abolish Fair Use and stop people sharing quirky gifs of a movie in Tumblr.

        1. LionelHutz

          Re: I don't see a problem.

          They will never stop trying either, and one day they may win, if we don't constantly fight it.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: I don't see a problem.

        "under USA laws circumventing DRM (under any circumstance) is illegal."

        yeah, like THAT would stop it. every 'legal marijuana' law in various states is ALSO illegal, because at the federal level, marijuana is illegal (hence illegal nationwide). And yet, so many states have passed marijuana legalization, from medical only to recreational, that pot shops operate out in the open.

        Which basically says that a law can become UNENFORCEABLE once everyone IGNORES it.

        1. LionelHutz

          Re: I don't see a problem.

          Nope. Those shops still get federally raided all the time, and our wonderful new attorney general is trying to make it even worse, as predicted. They're just profitable enough to make it worth the risk.

      3. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: I don't see a problem.

        Really - Run up a VM and watch something DRMed in there. You can record the screen and sound with ease and you have an un DRMed copy of whatever it was. The only way round that is to make VMs illegal. You have open source browsers all over the place and the code can be hacked to record video and sound.The only way round that is signed browsers from signed sources and here be dragons.

        1. patrickstar

          Re: I don't see a problem.

          Those that do DRM and actually care about the results obviously do detect VMs and refuse to play in them or only play degraded quality.

          Same with open source video drivers etc. Won't play. DRM gizmo authenticates to the video driver which authenticates to the hardware. All data between them is then passed encrypted. This is already present in most PCs - see Protected Audio-Video Path.

          No compliant DRM gizmo / video driver / etc for your OS? You'll simply have to pirate the movie if you want to watch it.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I don't see a problem.

      "The only negative consequence of this technology is the scenario of someone wanting access to content without, you know, paying for it."

      So none of the ensuing plugins will have security consequences?

      Ahem...Flash.

  6. Zimmer
    Coat

    A Plea ..

    Can they DRM the advertising please, so I don't have to download and play it....

    1. Snowy

      Re: A Plea ..

      But if they do that then they can make the content only be visible if the advertising is?

  7. Oh Homer
    Unhappy

    Mixed feelings

    On the one hand I despise DRM and every other measure that treats consumers like criminals. I also believe that all standards must be open, and more importantly free (as in academic freedom), not something that perverts supposedly "sold" goods into an eternal rental scheme, where your supposedly "purchased" goods magically disappear at the whim of the vendor.

    But on the other hand I reluctantly accept that this is the only model that intellectual monopolists will ever use to sell their wares, and if we actually want their "nice things" then we are forced to obtain them on their terms. This either means having a hundred competing and incompatible proprietary standards for DRM-protected content delivery, which only work on certain platforms, or having a single standard built right in to open source tools that can run on any platform.

    In short, this is the lesser of two evils.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mixed feelings

      Nonsense. Books, radio, TV and CDs were easy to copy and didn't contain DRM, yet artists (and especially publishing companies) still made billions of dollars with them. "Piracy" is an overblown problem.

      Even the name is an exaggeration: what the h does copying something without permission have to do with kidnapping, stealing and murdering in a coastal area? "Illegal copying" or "Illegal sharing" is a much better name, but then again, it doesn't make the perpetrators look like horrible criminals, does it?

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Mixed feelings

        ""Illegal copying" or "Illegal sharing" is a much better name, but then again, it doesn't make the perpetrators look like horrible criminals, does it?"

        And add to that that in the US at least, violating a copyright isn't illegal, so it's not even really "illegal copying." It's a civil matter, not criminal, until the violator knowingly and intentionally tries to use the copied material "on a commercial scale."

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Mixed feelings

          And talk like an ""Illegal copying" or "Illegal sharing" day is going to be a bit shit too!

        2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: Mixed feelings

          ""Illegal copying" or "Illegal sharing" is a much better name, but then again, it doesn't make the perpetrators look like horrible criminals, does it?"

          Indeed. And the US courts have confirmed that.

          From: https://torrentfreak.com/mpaa-banned-from-using-piracy-and-theft-terms-in-hotfile-trial-131129/:

          Leading up to the trial, Hotfile has scored several significant wins against the MPAA. The Florida federal court ruled on several motions this week, and many went in favor of the file-hosting service. Most prominently, Judge Kathleen Williams decided that the movie studios and its witnesses are not allowed to use “pejorative” terms including “piracy,” “theft” and “stealing” during the upcoming proceedings.

          And add to that that in the US at least, violating a copyright isn't illegal, so it's not even really "illegal copying." It's a civil matter, not criminal, until the violator knowingly and intentionally tries to use the copied material "on a commercial scale."

          Some may be surprised, but It's the same here in the UK:

          http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/h_to_k/intellectual_property_crime/

          http://www.inbrief.co.uk/intellectual-property/criminal-liability-copyright/

      2. DougS Silver badge

        @AC "easy to copy"

        Books are "easy" to copy in that you can spend a half hour with a copy machine and copy it. It requires an investment of time, and an investment of money (unless you use the copy machine at work or something) Maybe it would be worth it for a college student who doesn't want to pay $200 for a textbook, but for a $9.99 paperwork, no way.

        Copying unprotected digital data on the other hand requires no investment of time or money. Well, unless you want to KEEP copies of every book you read and every movie you see!

        There is a huge difference here, and it is silly to pretend that difference does not exist.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: @AC "easy to copy"

          Maybe it would be worth it for a college student who doesn't want to pay $200 for a textbook, but for a $9.99 paperwork, no way.

          If the publisher were to sell their textbooks in paperback form they might sell more. Even without copying the $200 textbook is apt to be sold second-hand and third-hand if $200 is overpriced for its market.

          Copying unprotected digital data on the other hand requires no investment of time or money. Well, unless you want to KEEP copies of every book you read and every movie you see!

          Errm. What about people who simply want to keep copies of every book and movie they've PAID for?

          There is a huge difference here, and it is silly to pretend that difference does not exist.

          You've given examples of the supply side trying to manipulate the market. Don't be surprised if the demand side demands the right to respond in like manner. If vendors receive legal protection they should also be regulated to prevent them abusing that protection; at present this isn't the case.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            @Doctor Syntax - textbook sales

            I am guessing you aren't from the US, where textbooks are a racket to steal money from college students. Professors get kickbacks from book companies for using textbooks in their classes, and so sometimes require more than one. They cost a ridiculous amount, and there's a new edition every year (perhaps every semester now?) to prevent their resale and reuse - they have different homework problems in them so you can't get by with older editions!

            Even more money is made by the professors who write textbooks, so it is worth it for those who teach big lecture classes to write their own textbooks even if the only people who use them are their own students!

            Students in the US will often spend upwards of $1000 per semester on books, the resale value of which is nearly zero when they finish the class because new editions are forthcoming which obsolete the old ones.

            1. Tom 38 Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              @DougS

              They are also usually hardback, because students looove that extra quality and durability you get by paying three times as much for a book...

              Of the 30 or so CompSci books on my bookshelf that I bought for uni (many) years ago, I think about 4 have ever been re-read after the course had finished - Design Patterns (by the GoF), Modern Operating Systems, Computer Networks (both by Tanenbaum) and Software Engineering (Sommerville)

      3. Mario Becroft
        Thumb Up

        Re: Mixed feelings

        Agreed. The supposed need for DRM is predicated on a default assumption of criminal intent of all content providers' clientelle, and that this has to be mitigated by technical means.

        What if we started from the assumption that most people just want an efficient and effective way to buy and watch movies.

        Nobody (in recent cultural memory) has sucessully argued that books must be chained to the shelves to prevent IP theft, for example.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mixed feelings

        Nonsense. Books, radio, TV and CDs were easy to copy and didn't contain DRM, yet artists (and especially publishing companies) still made billions of dollars with them.

        Well, the publishers and other setups that explicitly rely on "accidental" copyright violations such as YouTube and Facebook (come on, be fair) made money with it. The artists and creators, not so much.

        I am honest enough to acknowledge the problem. That does, however, not mean I agree with the solution. DRM works where you have perfect control over the environment. Any 3D film you have seen in the cinema since Avatar was delivered electronically with DRM protection, and even in that fairly controlled environment key management was a bit of a problem (as I discovered over the years when first day showings were delayed or even cancelled when keys had not arrived in time or did not work).

        Now scale up this problem in the modern day era where there are gazillions of consumers and an absoluut boatload of people willing to sell just about anything for money and I foresee (a) usability issues galore and (b) a limited time before the keys leak or one bored teenager cracks the whole thing over a rainy weekend.

        "Piracy" is an overblown problem.

        No, the problem is real, but the crux of it is that it is not a TECHNICAL problem, and just piling tech on top of it won't solve it. It just shifts responsibility and accountability around. There are economic arguments where they've demonstrated that piracy would die out overnight if prices dropped. There are legal arguments that fair use matters, and thus should not be permitted to be pursued as piracy without substantial consequences and malpractice suits. There are proportionality issues where an out of work mother should not be prosecuted as if the 10 files she shared would somehow deprive a rights holder of more income than of the entire state she lives in - those are issues that must be addressed.

        In that picture, DRM doesn't even feature.

      5. Dr Stephen Jones

        Re: Mixed feelings

        "Nonsense. Books, radio, TV and CDs were easy to copy and didn't contain DRM, yet artists (and especially publishing companies) still made billions of dollars with them. "Piracy" is an overblown problem."

        Try talking to some people write books or make TV programmes. Even Graham Linehan went ballistic when his C4 show was Torrented before it had been broadcast.

        Some of us predicted what would happen to culture if you didn't fix piracy - welcome the world of Kardashians and clickbait.

      6. Oh Homer

        Re: "Nonsense"

        I agree, but sadly the intellectual monopolists do not, and it's their opinion that determines how they choose to deliver their content, like it or not.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Mixed feelings

      "But on the other hand I reluctantly accept that this is the only model that intellectual monopolists will ever use to sell their wares, and if we actually want their "nice things" then we are forced to obtain them on their terms."

      Trade is a matter of bargaining. If providers want to well to us then they have to deal with our terms. Success happens when a common set of terms can be agreed on by both sides.

      The ongoing problem that Big Content has experienced has come from their trying to manipulate markets - segmentation by country etc. They have been very slow to grasp the idea that that doesn't work in the modern world.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Mixed feelings

        >>"Trade is a matter of bargaining. If providers want to well to us then they have to deal with our terms. Success happens when a common set of terms can be agreed on by both sides."

        But that's tangential to DRM. You are bothered by DRM because it allows wider range of terms to be negotiated over. Nobody has to buy DRM'd content and were the above truly what you believed then you would recognize that DRM doesn't impede the trading process. It logically enhances it because it opens up new options. For example, I rent movies on Amazon. That is a set of terms that would not be possible without DRM. I would be limited to posted discs or all-out purchase because there's no way a company can rely on an honour system for people to delete MP4 files after download. The DRM allows both sides to agree on a common set of terms that couldn't exist otherwise.

        Let's be brutally frank here - your worry is not that people will not be able to agree on common terms and negotiate. Your worry is that people will do so and they will agree on terms that you personally do not like.

      2. DanceMan

        Re: Mixed feelings

        "The ongoing problem that Big Content has experienced has come from their trying to manipulate markets - segmentation by country etc. They have been very slow to grasp the idea that that doesn't work in the modern world."

        Corporations can shift your job overseas, but woe betide you if you want to view something from out of your area.

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Slowly and surely they drew their plans against us

    This push to DRM is like Chinese Water Torture - but a drop at a time, but it still drives you crazy in the end.

    Sir Tim - shame on you for accepting any sort of compromise on this front. Fracturing the ever-ineffectual efforts of DRM makers is the only thing that ensures that we can continue to benefit from our legally-acquired content without trouble.

    Indeed, DVD's were made copiable because one of the many publishing companies included its key in an unencrypted manner, IIRC. The result ? Piracy for the MPAA, but for me it means that I have all my DVDs ripped to my NAS and backed up properly without those horrid effing ads or "previews" for films I never was interested in in the first place. When I want to watch a film, I watch the film, not an endless stream of drivel that was only relevant in the month or two when I bought the DVD.

    By keeping this fracture, we ensure that DRM companies will only ever employ second-rate programmers whose code will inevitably kneel to the steely-eyed abilities of their betters who will mercilessly rip apart their stupid schemes and allow us to continue to master our content in the manner of our choosing.

    Yes, piracy will be a continuous menace - but the response to piracy is not locking down the content, it is making content that people genuinely want to pay for. Minecraft can be easily pirated, yet it is making money hand over fist. Films can easily be pirated, the good ones still have many, many people who buy the DVD or BluRay because they want to have the box, the artwork, and the ability to watch it even if the Internet is down for whatever reason.

    DRM is a relic of last millennium, like DVD regions and dinosaurs. Let them effing die already.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Slowly and surely they drew their plans against us

      "By keeping this fracture, we ensure that DRM companies will only ever employ second-rate programmers whose code will inevitably kneel to the steely-eyed abilities of their betters who will mercilessly rip apart their stupid schemes and allow us to continue to master our content in the manner of our choosing."

      Or they'll just stick to what they know (namely closed systems like Windows) which leaves the non-Windows users SOL. Think of Unintended Consequences.

    2. emullinsabq

      Re: Slowly and surely they drew their plans against us

      "but for me it means that I have all my DVDs ripped to my NAS and backed up properly without those horrid effing ads or "previews" for films I never was interested in in the first place."

      I agree and I rip my own for exactly the same reasons.

      However, those things are part of DVD budgets, and so one can make a reasonable argument that you shouldn't be able to skip them. [Since I rip my own legal content to avoid exactly this, I think you can see how absurd I think this is.]

      However, if you want to put an end to this garbage, the way is to hurt their wallets. Instead of ripping it yourself, you could take back the DVD and tell the store you didn't want that non-movie drivel. Then go d/l it or just watch it via stream.

      Until the industry gets that open content has value, it will not shed this notion that content must be protected. They just have to accept that in order to sell open content, someone might copy it and provide it gratis elsewhere. There are plenty of people willing to pay for unrestricted content-- books, movies, games, music, etc. It is true that some people will get the benefit without paying, but they were not going to buy it anyway.

      The industry thinks it makes more money with DRM than without. I am not convinced, and more to the point, there isn't any evidence that this is the case.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Slowly and surely they drew their plans against us

      but for me it means that I have all my DVDs ripped to my NAS and backed up properly without those horrid effing ads or "previews" for films I never was interested in in the first place

      Ah, but you've just given me an idea. The fact that I have legally purchased media only means that I have purchased the content I actually want to see. If the distributor wants to force me to see other content, I have a very easy answer to that: he'll have to pay for my time, and as a consultant that can add up pretty nicely.

      I think I'm going to keep that option in mind when this evolves. I'm quite OK with running a test case on that basis. Just because I buy a car doesn't mean you should be able to force me to pass certain billboards before I can go where I want to go - f*ck that.

      I wish for all these execs to be forced to ensure the screaming of 4 year olds while they're waiting to get the "you won't steal a handbag" bit before the movie comes on. For at least two months.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Open Standards?

    So, while EME is an "Open Standard", it's just an API. What I never see discussed is the possible proliferation of different Content Decryption Modules that don't have to be Open, but only need to communication using the Open API with the browser. How many of these are going to be cross platform, or are we going to see CDMs that are only available on Windows 10 particular version with some hardware dependency as well?

    1. Mario Becroft
      Thumb Up

      Re: Open Standards?

      Precisely.

    2. Psy-Q

      Re: Open Standards?

      That has already happened. Look at how only Edge on Windows 10 gets 4K Netflix on PC. Everyone else gets 1080p or 720p (on identical hardware, mind).

  10. fobobob
    Coat

    NoFX - Dinosaurs Will Die

    The lyrics apply just as well to the motion picture industry as they do the music industry. VHS didn't kill the motion picture industry (or broadcast television)... the cassette tape didn't kill the music industry... Pirate radio broadcasts didn't kill mainstream radio...

    Perhaps people should stop talking so much about x killing y, and approach from the angle that perhaps they're just dying of old age.

    Mine's the ratty punk patch one.. wait, you say you thought it was trash?!

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: NoFX - Dinosaurs Will Die

      Exactly. The old business models gave become moribund.

    2. DropBear Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: NoFX - Dinosaurs Will Die

      But... but... video did kill the radio star!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How is this going to help?

    How is DRM scheme going to help anything? If they put the content behind locks, then one video camera pointed to the screen is enough to bypass their DRM scheme. Sounds like fool's errand.

    They would need to control all the devices in the world to prevent anything with these schemes. I don't think there exists a single organisation that is powerful enough to control all device manufacturers.

    //---

    Otoh, every vendor needs to ensure their devices/technology are legal. Web included. Web currently has a way to display video files. I never figured out how they pulled that off, without getting MPAA very angry. All technology that can record/manipulate/transfer/clone/publish video files is suspicious for movie piracy enabling technology. Web included. There are easy ways to build your technology in such way that it does not allow piracy to happen. Some people just don't care.

    Free software versions of movie manipulation technologies are especially suspicious, since their license and source availabiliy allows anyone to modify it, and thus it has easy path to piracy operations. Thus development of technologies that handle video files is always suspicious, especially in free software area.

    Web always did have problems in the copyright area. Their javascript view-source copy-paste feature allowed anyone to clone anything from the web area -- i.e. they didn't respect the copyright of the author of that piece of javascript code. It's clearly copyright infringement enabling technology. Of course they had good reasons to build it that way, but tons of work was cloned as a result of that. Of course microsoft word has the same problem with copy-paste, but there doesnt seem to be widespread problems with it.

    Building these checks to single technology is possible, but controlling the whole market is next to impossible. There exists technology vendors who do not have necessary knowledge to build working piracy prevention tech to their products. Other companies simply don't care. But all this makes controlling the whole market very tricky. Of course sueing the vendors who allow this to happen is one alternative, but guess it's not perfect solution.

    Guess it's web's time to show how they handle the situation. Allowing DRM is one step, but until the tech is mature and in full use, we can't know what will happen to it.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: How is this going to help?

      "If they put the content behind locks, then one video camera pointed to the screen is enough to bypass their DRM scheme. Sounds like fool's errand."

      and with audio content, a patch cable from output on one device to recording input on another.

      And with video equipment, one of those "HDMI splitters" and a DVR on one of the 'split' outputs.

      At some point, the output has to be "played" and when it is, the potential for copying is there, no matter how hard "they" try to stop it.

      All "they" are going to do is force people to use a Windows program to view the content, basically leaving Linux (and BSD) users without a way of using something like 'Netflix' or some independent streaming video service, or certain kinds of USB devices for that matter.

      And I wouldn't be surprised if *THAT* is the actual motive! That's right, *MAKE* everyone use Win-10-nic and Edge!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How is this going to help?

        "At some point, the output has to be "played" and when it is, the potential for copying is there, no matter how hard "they" try to stop it."

        Not necessarily. 4K BluRay players haven't been cracked AFAIK because they demand locked-down dedicated players AND protected hardware paths from end to end. That includes the TV (splitters can be detected and blocked with HDMI 2.0+ IIRC), and 4K home cameras aren't available yet, probably won't until there's a watermark detector, AND in any event "screeners" are usually the purview of the desperate.

        1. Mario Becroft
          Facepalm

          Re: How is this going to help; cost to consumers

          "Not necessarily. 4K BluRay players haven't been cracked AFAIK because they demand locked-down dedicated players AND protected hardware paths from end to end. That includes the TV (splitters can be detected and blocked with HDMI 2.0+ IIRC)...."

          It's only a matter of a short time before these new technical measures are circumvented. Yes, HDMI has progressively introduced an absurd level of hardware lock-down including measurement of the cable transmission line characteristics to detect tampering. It is still possible to spoof these checks, or simply step around them by, say, a) extracting the video signal from a compliant television at the point where it is stored in the framebuffer or drawn to the LCD panel; or b) copying decrypted video stream or decoded frames from a computer's main memory.

          An interesting point is how much all of this lock-down is costing the consumer. Implementing DRM software and hardware requires programmers, signal processing and analogue chip design engineers who do not come gratis; and hardware that costs silicon area and hence cash (and possibly patent license fees) per unit. Let alone all the overheads of standards committees and the like. Perhaps if purveyors of audiovideo content, and computer and TV manufacturers, scrapped all these overheads and passed on the savings to consumers in lower-cost film prices, consumers might be more likely to pay for the content.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: How is this going to help; cost to consumers

            Computers aren't allowed to be 4K BluRay players. The spec REQUIRES dedicated players because they know PCs can't be protected end-to-end. As for the framebuffer, (1) by the time it's there the video data is raw, meaning gigabytes per second of data streaming through. It's gonna take some specialized hardware to handle the raw 4K stream at that level, and (2) it may be embedded in the display hardware to the extent that you have to undo something else to get at it. Like I said, protected hardware paths which includes significant tamper-resistance.

            Put it this way. It's a LOT of hoop-jumping to rip a 4K film these days. I believe due to this most leaks are now coming from insiders.

            1. stephanh Silver badge

              Re: How is this going to help; cost to consumers

              @Charles 9

              "It's a LOT of hoop-jumping to rip a 4K film these days. I believe due to this most leaks are now coming from insiders."

              OK, so at the moment it is cheaper to give somebody $500 in an envelope rather than build some custom hardware to do the ripping. It's just a nicer form of "rubber-hose cryptanalysis". How are they going to DRM *that*?

            2. Kiwi Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: How is this going to help; cost to consumers

              Put it this way. It's a LOT of hoop-jumping to rip a 4K film these days. I believe due to this most leaks are now coming from insiders.

              And yet people with no hope of making money from it are ripping stuff.

              If it gets to my eyes and ears, I can copy it. There is no DRM that can protect it after that.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: How is this going to help; cost to consumers

                "And yet people with no hope of making money from it are ripping stuff."

                But not at the full 4K quality. The ones you're seeing now are mostly coming from insiders. All the rest are being written off as "screeners" and the realm of the desperate who will do ANYTHING for a view: even take inferior results.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How is this going to help?

          What are you on about 4k home cameras arent available?

          My note 3 from years ago could film in 4k. So can my S7 edge.

          4k cameras are readily available. If my phone can do it I'm fairly certain that with a quick google search i could find at least a dozen affordable video cameras that can shoot in 4k.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let a thousand indie studios bloom

    Kill the American film industry.

    No seriously, this is the only solution. When was the last time they made a film worth pirating?

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Let a thousand indie studios bloom

      "When was the last time they made a film worth pirating?"

      Yes, the hollyweird elitists are as bad as RIAA these days, aren't they?

      I typically buy the few things I actually like [which are fewer and fewer these days] online or when they go "on sale" at Target or Walmart, or if it's barely watchable, when it ends up in the $5 bin. Going to the theater, not so much (as it's WAY overpriced for MOST of what they excrete these days, and I hate crowds, I doubley-hate public smokers who insist on creating clouds of exhaust where I have to walk to get into the theater, and would rather watch something on a big screen at home anyway).

      My complaints against RIAA are numerous, mostly dealing with the way they "market their CRAP" at us until we "like" it. Being an amateur musician, I have even higher standards. I end up listening to the local Jazz station or streaming jpop over internet radio (hotmix japan!) most of the time, often because I can't stand the high level of actual CRAP that gets airplay, and I don't want to get pissed off and have to get up from my computer and go over to the radio and change the station because they play some excrement by 'Red Hot Chili Peppers' that sounds like the worst of Bob Dylan with a hangover. I think I'd prefer the sound of mating cats to RHCP.

      Similarly with the complete LACK of decent ideas from hollyweird these days, I don't go to the movies any more (and the aforementioned reasons of price, crowds, and discourteous public smokers). The ticket prices seem to be way higher than the quality of what you see, and unless it's the latest Star Wars in Imax 3D [which TRIES to make it worth the $15 or so I have to fork over], wouldn't be worth my time to go to a theater anyway.

      So are HOLLYWEIRD and RIAA about to become a bunch of COPYRIGHT TROLLS to try and SOAK US for MORE INCOME in a manner SIMILAR to the PATENT TROLLS with respect to INNOVATION? Because, after all, they CANNOT SEEM TO CREATE SOMETHING WORTH PAYING FOR! So they TROLL for income instead.

      If they want movie ideas, I have a zillion of them. How about a reboot of 'Time Tunnel' from the 60's, only without the modern hollyweird SJW-ness nor 'revisionist' history. It'd be fun, semi-educational, intellectual, and open to great special effects and classic one-liners.

      Here's another idea: find something that got a good start but was never finished (because multiple movies were needed and it got canned for stupid reasons after only one movie), reboot it, and actually FINISH IT. You could do this with family-oriented movies like 'Golden Compass' or 'Last Airbender'. You just have to market them right. Go 'high budget' too. It'll pay off in the long run.

      Being an anime fan, I find most of the anime that comes out of Japan to have much more entertainment value than 99% of what comes out of hollyweird. [but remember what they did to Miazaki's films, until he got an academy award, as a prime example of hollyweird elitism and their attitude towards anime, and why it _NEVER_ gets wide release in theaters].

      I don't watch American TV shows any more, except certain crime dramas that involve NCIS (and Jeopardy). I don't find the humor funny, I generally don't like the story lines, and I _ESPECIALLY_ don't like the SJW-ness [particularly when it's obviously an agenda by the writers to shove it in the audience's face].

      I think millenials have been conditioned into being overly-snarky SJW's, and wanting their "entertainment" to re-enforce that kind of outlook. The kinds of TV shows that are on these days would suggest that. And I think too many people just hand-wave it all just so they can see the rest of the show (or 'nothing else' is on or something). I just turn it _OFF_ and find something else, something actually entertaining.

      /me goes over to the DVD wall, finds something the SJW's would hate, is entertained. JOKE them if they can't take a *FEEL*

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: Let a thousand indie studios bloom

        One of your zillion ideas is to remake 'Time Tunnel'. No wonder we don't need Hollywood any more!

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Let a thousand indie studios bloom

          "No wonder we don't need Hollywood any more!"

          I bet YOU have a lot of good ideas, too. And lots of other people. But Hollyweird is stuck in their elitist bubble. They can't think outside of their self-imposed "box", tainted by SJW and agenda driven plots, and no real clue as to what their customers (i.e. 'the audience') REALLY wants.

          I forget which show it was, a while back, maybe The Simpsons, where they pointed out that every idea had been tried already, in some form. Of course that doesn't mean you can't use that idea again in a more creative and entertaining way.

          What has NOT been tried in a long time: a normal person, with normal life issues, doing something really really cool on his own, without needing "a village" or gummint or powerful people to do it. I think the last film like that might've been "Field of Dreams". /me ducks from objects being thrown.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Let a thousand indie studios bloom

            "I bet YOU have a lot of good ideas, too. And lots of other people. But Hollyweird is stuck in their elitist bubble. They can't think outside of their self-imposed "box", tainted by SJW and agenda driven plots, and no real clue as to what their customers (i.e. 'the audience') REALLY wants."

            Given the booming business in Hollywood, and given there hasn't been a real independent blockbuster since, say, The Blair Witch Project, I don't think Hollywood is worried all that much. Sure, they lay an egg now and then, but they still seem to get enough good results (plus the occasional blockbuster) to keep going. If independent cinema really was all that, why haven't they taken over already?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A fair summary

    "We're mourning the Web today, as the W3C sells everyone out," lamented John Sullivan, executive director of the Free Software Foundation.

  14. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    Note it take 25 members of the WWWC to force a vote on this.

    In the words of Dr Heinlein it is time to "Take back your government."

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Note it take 25 members of the WWWC to force a vote on this.

      In the words of Dr Heinlein it is time to "Take back your government."

      good point. There's a lot of *that* going on these days. It's a growing trend.

      (where'd ya go? your coat's not in the closet...)

      [astrologically, pluto is in capricorn, about half way through. It was this way during the 'AmerExit' of 1776, last time it happened, and historically, the French Revolution directly followed. It's supposed to mean that gummints and institutions get shaken up, broken down, and re-built, generally for the better, generally benefiting the individual instead of the institutions. Let's hope this is the result of the current shakeups in governments, banking, regulatory environments, etc., *AND* the W3C, that the ultimate benefits will go to THE INDIVIDUAL, and NOT the controlling elitists]

  15. Mikel

    Sir Tim is 62

    A bit young to have reached his dotage, but it's a normal distribution curve and outliers happen.

    On the question of DRM I have little to say except that no such scheme has been successful ever, and any attempt can be nought but snake oil sold to rights holders who demand the finest copperhead lube.

    The analog hole still exists, and it cannot be closed. The chain of custody problem cannot be closed, and frankly - rightsholders don't want it to be: they count on it for word of mouth.

    The whole evolution is sick now. I don't take my kids to the theater to watch the latest movies now. They've ruined it for us.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sir Tim is 62

      "On the question of DRM I have little to say except that no such scheme has been successful ever, and any attempt can be nought but snake oil sold to rights holders who demand the finest copperhead lube."

      Oh? Was the latest PS3 firmware cracked? What about the PS4, Xbox One, and dedicated 4K BluRay players (all of which demand protected hardware paths)?

      "The analog hole still exists, and it cannot be closed. The chain of custody problem cannot be closed, and frankly - rightsholders don't want it to be: they count on it for word of mouth."

      Yes it can because the analog hole produces significantly inferior results. "Screeners" are for the desperate, usually, and 4K home recorders aren't on the market yet and probably won't until they mandate watermark detectors.

      "The whole evolution is sick now. I don't take my kids to the theater to watch the latest movies now. They've ruined it for us."

      That's up to you, but it seems you're in the minority since the major film franchises still make a killing.

      1. moiety

        Re: Sir Tim is 62

        Yes it can because the analog hole produces significantly inferior results.

        No it doesn't. Well, it does if you aim a camera at a video screen, but some people have computers.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Sir Tim is 62

          And the computers can be instructed not to make things easy. Or did you notice most of these will require the use of video cards that support HDCP? AND can detect the use of splitters and/or repeaters? Here's a hint: "A repeater is connected to your system. Some video applications do not support HDCP when a repeater is present."

          That's why 4K BluRay content won't be allowed on PCs, only dedicated devices with protected hardware paths.

          1. Mario Becroft

            Re: Sir Tim is 62

            Still hackable. Even if the BluRay player is locked down to the max, there will be a weak point in the TV.

            This is all a security sham, designed to inconvenience the average consumer, while still allowing dedicated pirates to copy the content and make it available to everyone else. I don't think the film industry understands what game is being played here.

          2. moiety

            Re: Sir Tim is 62

            "And the computers can be instructed not to make things easy."

            You can get an external blu-ray player for about £35 on eBay. Now the DRM may prevent you playing the content using an "unauthorised" player; but what it cannot do is prevent you from copying the data onto your hard disk. Once it's there the DRM can be stripped out...sooner or later (and my guess would be sooner) the key will be leaked or the DRM will be cracked and about 10 seconds after that point-and-click tools that anyone can use will be all over the net.

            Intercept the signal or work directly on the ones and zeros....DRM will fall in the end.

      2. Mario Becroft

        Re: Sir Tim is 62

        It's relatively trivial to reverse-engineer a 4K TV or numerous other attack vectors to sidestep any content-protection measure. with full quality. Main reason this has not yet happened much is probably that there really just isn't much demand or 4K content and the bitrate makes it not impractical, but inconvenient to transmit over the internet, for lttle gain compared with 1080p. As demand picks up and network speeds/data caps go up, I'm sure the "pirates" will step in.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Sir Tim is 62

          "It's relatively trivial to reverse-engineer a 4K TV or numerous other attack vectors to sidestep any content-protection measure. with full quality."

          Even if the TV is built with tamper resistance? And if the BluRay discs contain stuff like ROM-Marks or the like that can't be read by PC-class players?

          1. Mario Becroft

            Re: Sir Tim is 62

            "Even if the TV is built with tamper resistance? And if the BluRay discs contain stuff like ROM-Marks or the like that can't be read by PC-class players?"

            Yes. Obviously not for the average consumer, but for a well-resourced and motivated person/organisation. It requires only one such organisation to crack the DRM and make the content available to everyone else.

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: Sir Tim is 62

              >>Yes. Obviously not for the average consumer, but for a well-resourced and motivated person/organisation. It requires only one such organisation to crack the DRM and make the content available to everyone else.

              And yet none have. UHD BluRays have been around for a couple of years now. UHD BluRay has been holding up just fine.

              1. moiety

                Re: Sir Tim is 62

                UHD BluRay has been holding up just fine.

                You clearly haven't looked at any torrent sites recently. With the current state of the internet and storage prices etc, though, 1080p does the job for most people. 4k stuff is definitely available...it's just a bit unwieldy for anyone who isn't an enthusiast.

    2. GrapeBunch Bronze badge

      Re: Sir Tim is 62

      Hear, hear, Mikel. I think that Sir Tim should consider holding out for a little more. Internet History is littered with examples of copy protection that turns out to be unbreakable even for the playing client. From telephone numbers that you phone to obtain a key--until the company decides to discontinue the number--to servers that just go offline or companies that go bust.

      Copyright and copyright protection is a social contract. Big publishers, together with their syruped allies in government, have been trying to dictate the terms of that contract in recent decades. Perhaps it's time to take back something for the little guy or gal.

      Here is my idea. Yes, W3C agrees to DRM, on this basis: the stream or transmission includes a Basic version of the video, in a resolution that may be the same as terrestrial OTA TV reception from 1967. This version is freely copyable and recordable. The DRM resides in the paid portion of the transmission, which provides higher resolution / higher bitrate audio. Yes, I'm proposing Communism of a low-res version of every program. A bit similar to the way you can see many TV programs in a partial screen and with distorted audio on Youtube. It's already there. Former users of dial-up internet will remember when still images could be imperfectly rendered in a second or two, and then would sharpen with time. It even happens sometimes today on broadband. I don't know if this same concept is implemented in video streaming, but with multiple cores it should be no harder than stills were in 1989. I could make the argument that it's good (marketing) for publishers to give away a low-res version of everything, but instead I will say that it's a reasonable balance for the inventors of the Internet to seek, in favour of humanity. And if the damn verification server disappears, the purchaser will at least have something, even though he knows he paid for it and others did not.

      Yes, the publishers can ignore it. Hell, they could have ignored the Internet from the beginning, and I would not complain.

      If you have read this far, thank you very much. A lot of BS on the Internet surrounds the partial circumvention of copyright. I'd like to clear away the BS. Readers may note that in Canada, Bachelor of Science is BSc; I'm not talking about that.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Sir Tim is 62

        "Yes, I'm proposing Communism"

        No, you're not.

      2. Rattus Rattus

        Re: Sir Tim is 62

        "Former users of dial-up internet will remember when still images could be imperfectly rendered in a second or two, and then would sharpen with time"

        Or even present-day users of Telstra broadband.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stop calling him "sir" you monarchist scum

    His name, is Tim Traitors-lee

    1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: Stop calling him "sir" you monarchist scum

      Only when you stop pretending that childish nick-names are worthy of an Anarchist mask.

  17. Christoph Silver badge

    "proprietary content decryption modules (CDMs)."

    To download and watch our film you have to install our CDM.

    To decrypt your files that our "CDM" encrypted you have to pay us our ransom.

    1. h4rm0ny

      >>"To decrypt your files that our "CDM" encrypted you have to pay us our ransom"

      You say ransom, I say purchase...

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Unhappy

        consider what Sony did wihen you inserted one of "those" audio CDs into a windows computer [in some cases, it actually made the CD/DVD drive UNUSABLE without their drivers, like on this one Toshiba laptop, which had to have Linux installed on it to solve that problem].

        and now, we're supposed to "trust them"

      2. Mario Becroft

        "You say ransom, I say purchase.."

        There is a fault in your reasoning. Were content was not DRM protected, II could also use a non-DRM protected player to play back content I have purchased.

        In other words, owning a DRM-protected player (as opposed to a non-protected one) need not be a necessary condition for watching content purchased legally in accordance with copyright law.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "You say ransom, I say purchase."

        Fine, but those who purchase something want something they can keep. Big Content tries to sell the same thing over and over again, rather like prostitution.

        1. h4rm0ny

          >>"Fine, but those who purchase something want something they can keep. Big Content tries to sell the same thing over and over again, rather like prostitution."

          Really? When? Selling you DVD's for movies that you previously had on VHS? DVDs were way better than VHS and nobody forced you to buy. Selling Blu-ray versions of movies you had on DVD? Don't think the upgrade is worth it then don't buy it. For others, the noticeable jump in quality was. "Big Content" may try but unless they're actually forcing you to, then that's their right. Blu-ray to HD w/ HDR? Again, nobody forced you to buy if you don't think the quality jump is worth it to you.

          Honestly, if a movie means that much to you that years after seeing it you still feel the need to see it still more and with higher quality, then pay. It's a different product. You were happy with the original quality. If you're no longer happy with that quality that doesn't mean you get the work and production costs that go into the latest release of it. This is a very frail argument to call buying a product a "ransom". Nobody can ransom something to you that you don't own and don't have to have and owning a crappy VHS copy of something doesn't mean you "own" the lastest remastered DVD.

  18. moiety

    As others have mentioned, it's just not going to work. You have to display the content at some point and people can then just hit "PrtSc"; or the audio/video equivalent. Even without that, though, DRM systems have a lifetime of mere hours when they hit the internet.

    An interesting theoretical situation in Spain; whereby we pay a tax on blank media and are allowed to download films and music for personal use. (The money goes to the rights-holders in theory). I bet what'll happen is we get blocked anyway; which will open the doors for class-action lawsuits because we're being blocked from stuff that we have technically already paid for.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Which should then lead to an end to the ridiculous situation of paying a surcharge for blank media for the music industry. Sounds like a plus to me. Always been a dumb idea.

      1. moiety

        It is dumb and nobody is 100% happy with it; but it does sort of work for the man in the street. I've got portable drives containing only work data, for example, that I have been "unfairly" taxed on because the copyright is 100% mine. On the other hand I have other drives full of films and music. So for me -a hybrid consumer/generator- it sort of works....definitely cheaper than buying CDs and DVDs and there's no chance of MPAA et al shenanigans (if I stick to private use and don't share them on the intertubes) or worry about the police kicking my front door in; which is nice and worth the money and being unfairly taxed periodically for me.

        Most people are predominantly consumers, so it definitely works in that situation. Organisations that need large amounts of storage for their stuff aren't going to be thrilled; but I should imagine they'd treat the tax as an expense that they write off against other tax anyway; or simply buy their storage in another country that doesn't have the tax; or both.

        Ironically, it's probably the rights-holders that are worst hit...in their greed to grandfather themselves a state-mandated income, they've effectively dropped a whole country-full of consumers off the map. And the small independents are even more hosed than usual. Amusingly, the rights-holders did try a "piracy is rampant in Spain" salvo; presumably as an opener to renegotiating but they basically got laughed out of the room.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Coat

          "And the small independents are even more hosed than usual."

          this is what happens when you FEED THE GREED by gummint taxation/legislation. The small operators get hurt the most. Tax the blank CD's and DVD's (or whatever) because you ASSUME it will be used for pirated content, and send that money WHERE? To the political contributors from RIAA/MPAA/whatever-organization-is-in-your-country ??? and EXCLUDE the independent studios and artists?

          no WONDER MPAA/RIAA is excreting CRAP-works these days. There's no REAL INCENTIVE to make things that people WANT. Just collect their gummint paycheck for existing! And excrete some garbage once in a while and pretend it's good and fill it with agenda/SJW/offensive/whatever content and nobody will buy it, and they won't care, they'll blame PIRACY and get EVEN MORE money from gummints!

          Kim Jong "Fatass" UN couldn't have come up with a better 'master plan of worldwide manipulation and extortion' !!!

          I should get my coat now...

  19. emullinsabq

    competition

    I'm against DRM content and refuse to buy it anymore. But I don't see it as quite the end of the world thanks to the internet.

    The market works fine when there is competition, and DRM will fix itself so long as people can continue to make use of the new plethora of content funding alternatives. The industry is getting clobbered by the likes of patreon, kickstarter, and other direct-to-creator alternatives, and the writing is on the wall. The entire news industry is tanking, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Let them DRM whatever they want, I say. I don't have to buy it, and I won't.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: competition

      You talk as if DRM is something for big players and not for small ones, patreons and direct-to-creator. But it's hugely useful to small players who ordinarily wouldn't be able to use DRM. This opens the door to small players being able to protect their work for the first time.

    2. Aitor 1

      Re: competition

      the news induatry tanks for several reasons.

      One is that people have realized tbey are beng fed not news, but regurgitated agencies news, and modified for the masters of tbe source you are reading.

      Also, global competition.

  20. Yobgod Ababua

    Makes sense...

    If babies are going to be killed, then we should make sure we have a hand in it, a seat at the table, otherwise the baby-killers will just go and kill the babies on their own.

  21. John Savard Silver badge

    A Thought

    It's so much easier to copy a digital file than a physical book that I can't see how we can get to a world without DRM.

    Sure, Hollywood could change its business model. There is a lot of amateur content available on the Internet the creators of which saw no need to paywall. But a lot of people seem to prefer the stuff that was produced with a big budget and hyped with an expensive advertising campaign, many of them enough to pay for it.

    The ethical response should be clear. In the case of computer software, instead of more pirated copies of Microsoft BASIC... we have Linux.

    Look at the fan-made videos based on Star Trek. If people can do that, going the whole nine yards, and making up stories about one's own characters... isn't that much harder. We've already got lots of webcomics online.

    The movie and recording industries exist, and while they may be unreasonable in many ways, their belief that they need DRM to survive is not unreasonable. I don't think that one can win a fight to tell them they can't have it. But maybe it's time for a movement to harness the creative energy that's already out there in amateur and fan-made work into a movement similar to the open-source software movement that gives people the option of ignoring Hollywood, the same way that Linux lets them ignore Microsoft.

  22. GrapeBunch Bronze badge
    Pirate

    It's not piracy

    It's not even "illegal copying" or "illegal sharing" until proven. It may be "unauthorized copying" or "unauthorized sharing", a bit like ^s or copying some text rather than the link in an email. And if I couldn't ^s a web page, I simply would omit to copy it, rather than buy an offprint or whatever.

    IANALBIPAPOTI.

    The piracy misnomer has given the words Pirate and Piracy a surprising cachet. The pirate party had the opportunity to collaborate in Government in Iceland recently, but they decided that the working would be too fraught. A cloak of caution that would not look bad on a copyright zealot. Let's not forget that piracy, real piracy, was OK for a victor government and it usually got a cut (of the profits, not of a rapier) as part of its licensing terms. Such a pirate was called a "privateer". "Do as I ... sauce for the gander" said no government ever.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You know, if this happens, I'll simply stop browsing websites.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its all moot...

    If you put an HDMI capture device in the mix.

    This is yet another dumb attempt at copyright protection that will waste more court time.

    Make content on sustainable budgets. Also, does Johnny Depp really require several assistants?

    He only has one dick to suck, just have one assistant and allow them to take breaks every now and then.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Slowly but surely, we're inching our way to a SkyNet dystopia

    Because walled gardens for media consumption is fashionable now. Even Microsoft has embraced this: look at Windows 10S.

    And no analog FM radio for your flagship smartphones, you'd better stream or purchase if you wish to listen to music!

    Don't be surprised in future you would need an account just to use a browser... for your 'cyber safety' of course. Perhaps biometric authentication will be implemented if you need to get online. Certain sites are flagged as 'risky' (e.g. illegal streams of football matches) and you're blocked from accessing them.

    The good news is that there are unofficial or forked versions of the more popular browsers e.g. Pale Moon from Firefox, Yandex and Advanced Chrome from Chromium. Perhaps they will not succumb to corporate pressure. Or someone else will just create a DRM-free web browser.

  26. William 3 Bronze badge

    Hollywood

    Preaching loudly communism whilst in reality acting all like the greedy fascist totalitarians they actually are.

  27. msknight Silver badge

    Capture system... between PC and monitor.

    I have an AverMedia Live Gamer Portable that sits between my PC and the monitor on HDMI. With an on-board SD card, it records happily for a few hours.

    This DRM is doomed to fail before it's even started.

    1. Vic

      Re: Capture system... between PC and monitor.

      This DRM is doomed to fail before it's even started.

      All DRM is ultimately doomed to fail.

      DRM necessarily supplies the user with three things :-

      • The encrypted material
      • The decryption key
      • The decryption algorithm

      Thus any temporary security it enables is merely security-by-obscurity - and we all know how that turns ot...

      Vic.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Capture system... between PC and monitor.

        Not necessarily the USER. The user's DEVICE, yes, but not the user him/herself, and that's significant because the user may not necessarily have access to his/her own device (particularly the internals, think a black-box cryptoprocessor). The material is there, and the algorithm is known, but if the key is not presented in a way that the user can easily reach, then it's still a pretty tight system: like a peep show (look but don't touch).

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Capture system... between PC and monitor.

      Oh? Does it stay working even if hooked up to a BluRay drive. Game Capture cards depend on unencrypted streams. I have one myself, and it specifically notes it won't work on encrypted streams. And newer systems can detect when a repeater or splitter is present and block based on that.

      1. msknight Silver badge

        Re: Capture system... between PC and monitor.

        Haven't got a clue. I don't play my Blu-Ray in a player anyway. First thing I do is rip it... or play it on the PC. But I might get a cheap player sometime anyway, just to see if it works.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Capture system... between PC and monitor.

          Don't bother trying it with a 4K disc, though. IIRC they updated the standards so PC drives can't read the keys, only dedicated players can read them and all links on the chain (including the display) must use encrypted buses and protected data paths. They're really tying these things tighter than a miser's purse this time.

  28. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Damn I'm conflicted...

    I've been praying for something to come along and kill Flash and Silverlight...

    ...but this?

  29. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Consumer choice

    If you don't want a DRM product, don't purchase a DRM product.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Consumer choice

      But that makes a Hobson's Choice when the ONLY version of a product available is a DRM product: Take It Or Leave It. problem is, the Leaves are in the clear minority.

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