I have DRM working in Chromium :)


Binky

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btw I really dislike DRM on physical or multiuse media like dvds cds or ebooks not because I dont want the distributer to protect stuff but mostly because drm tends to break or get old and thus making it impossible to use the content you bought, but i dont see the problem for streaming services that are a one off by definition

I quite agree with the aging problem. Big corporate copyright policy tends to undermine historical interest. There is /still/ a great deal of cultural material from WWII which is locked up in archives where nobody can reach it. If I had my way, published works which are no longer available from the publisher/licensee at a reasonable price would automatically become public domain.

There's also an accessibility problem. If you use some sort of technical means to work around blindness, deafness, or similar, I'll bet DRM makes your life unnecessarily hard.
 

levi

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I still have loads of old DVDs and CDs that I can still play any time I like.
Regarding CDs, they're most undrmed, but I have discovred that Massive Attacks Mezzanine won't rip the last track if I use the standard CD ripper. I still need to try grabbing it using dao but then I think I'll have to chop up the tracks manually.

DVDs were broken long ago through their use of holey CSS to encrypt everything. Stuff like handbrake can rip and transcode that stuff just fine. But it's not a perfect format, given it's only 480i or 578i, and uses a surprisingly low bitrate. And these days I've managed to grab about 10% of my DVD collection in 720p from when it's been shown on the BBC. But that said, it depends when your DVD is from (assuming it's a film, when that was originally released). Generally speaking anything up to about 1955 is slow paced enough to be fine in 480i, then 480p is probably good till about 1975 (with exception for 2001: A Space Odyssey), 720p will probably take you all through the stylish horror boom of the late 70s and early 80s up to about 1995, then after that 1080p or better would be better suited, at least for the popcorn flicks.
 

λ the β-Redex Reducer

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I quite agree with the aging problem. Big corporate copyright policy tends to undermine historical interest. There is /still/ a great deal of cultural material from WWII which is locked up in archives where nobody can reach it. If I had my way, published works which are no longer available from the publisher/licensee at a reasonable price would automatically become public domain.
The problem is a rodent who keeps pushing the copyright ahead of him. What is it now? Lifetime + 70 years? Copyright is immoral to begin with but how it is implemented is very obviously corrupt. Modern copyright is to enrich wealthy corporations such as Walt Disney at the cost of the public, content creators, and culture.
 

Confuzzled

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The problem is a rodent who keeps pushing the copyright ahead of him. What is it now? Lifetime + 70 years? Copyright is immoral to begin with but how it is implemented is very obviously corrupt. Modern copyright is to enrich wealthy corporations such as Walt Disney at the cost of the public, content creators, and culture.
Hmm, you want to go back to the Worshipful Company of Stationers having monopoly control over the publishing industry?

I don't think copyright is immoral (it enables GPL - FLOSS software, amongst other things), but the extensions in the length of copyright since the Statue of Anne are difficult to justify in my mind. Pharmaceutical patents have a duration of 20 years in the UK and USA, and given the huge capital requirements to bring a new drug to market, a reasonable period to recoup costs seems sensible. On that basis, comparison with media copyrights, which require far less investment, yet last considerably longer, strikes me as a strange situation. The Statute of Anne allowed for 14-year durations of copyright, extendable by another 14 years if the author was still alive, after which the work entered the public domain. I have seen some academic work by Rufus Pollock (onward link to pdf in ArsTechnica article as Ars Technica link is 404)* that argues what is a reasonable copyright term on economic grounds, and as the cost of reproduction and distribution falls, copyright terms should get shorter, not longer. I can also recommend this article: Copying and Copyright: Hal R. Varian (Journal of Economic Perspectives—Volume 19, Number 2—Spring 2005—Pages 121–138)

* "...in general the optimal level of protection will decline over time."; "the level of protection is not usually determined by a benevolent and rational policy-maker but rather by lobbying. This results in policy being set to favour those able to lobby effectively – usually groups who are actual, or prospective, owners of a substantial set of valuable copyrights – rather than to produce any level of protection that would be optimal for society as a whole" Note that the paper linked to above does not mention 14 years, but some slides on a talk Rufus Pollock made include an estimate of 15 years as the optimal term here: Talk at ATRIP Conference: How Long Should Copyright Last? SEPTEMBER 22, 2009
 

pyrat

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The problem with DRM is not that it "protects" copyright. The probem is that DRM is either broken or it takes over your machine. If you can work around DRM in a machine you still control (which seems to be the case in a Pyra with some DRMs) then it's just wasted security by obscurity. If you can't, because DRM works, then your computer is completely controlled by whoever controls the DRM (typically the computer manufacturer who then subcontracts to rightholders what your computer can do).

The deeper notion is that humans should control machines and machines should not control humans (machines never control anything, it's the humans who control the machines who control the humans that the machines control).
DRM is one case, the EU directive on money laundering that gave so many problems for free software accounting software is another, free WIFI firmware being proscribed because the owner could decide what their antenna does and harm others is just the same, and it goes on. I can own a knife. I could kill someone with it and then I'd be prosecuted after the fact. But if you try to own a computer then you're being prosecuted by the computer (which isn't yours but you paid for it) before you misuse it.

No thanks. I'm not buying any product or subscribing to any service that pretends to tell my computer what it should do. If I do something illegal prove it and prosecute me (through a judge that has studied law for some time), don't use my computer to chase me before I've done anything wrong (though a bunch of dumb programmers and a company that has studied how to earn more for some time). All content you see, read, or listen to builds your knowledge and collectively our culture. Consuming DRMed content has network effects. The content becomes more valuable because more people knows it and can refer to it or use it to build further knowledge or just smalltalk. This increases our collective dependence on DRMed content and the power of those abusing us.
 
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λ the β-Redex Reducer

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The problem with intellectual monopoly (and yes, so-called intellectual property is a monopoly, not property; the term "intellectual property" is a misnomer used to deceive) is that it goes against property rights. Holders of intellectual monopolies such as copyright say to people that they are not allowed to use their own resources to produce something. The more people have some form of intellectual monopoly, the less you can do with your own stuff. It has often even happened that inventors were not allowed to use or produce their own inventions because someone else who made the same invention at around the same time happened to register it for a monopoly first.

So in short, the ethical argument against intellectual monopoly is that it is against property rights. If you are in favour of intellectual monopoly then you are in favour of at least partially violating property rights.

As for the practical argument of fostering innovation; there are 2 things I have against that. First of all, I think that property rights are just and that justice is more important than fostering innovation. I would want to take someone's rights just because I think many people would benefit from it. Secondly, history has shown that intellectual property hampers innovation and culture. Most people also just assume that it is good for innovation and culture without ever really thinking about it. The idea that intellectual monopoly fosters innovation seems to make sense because it rewards people who create, but many people miss the fact that it also sabotages innovators because all innovation is based on the public domain and thus innovation gets put on hold when something gets put under some intellectual monopoly.


As for the often-heard argument that people ought to be able to make use of their inventions, It is a misguided argument because people only need property rights for that. On top of that the argument actually works against intellectual monopoly. Without intellectual monopolies you can always use your own invention. If it is easy to replicate then other people can use it too, but you can use it as well. Only with intellectual monopoly can it happen that you may not even use your own invention yourself; as happens when two inventors invent something independently and one gets an intellectual property on it.

Also, if person A has a business model then it is not everyone else's responsibility to make that business model work. If person A's business model only works when other people surrender their rights (such as property rights) then person A just has a crappy business model and needs to do something else. People do not have the right to use their own inventions if using their own inventions entails violating other people's rights. If I would invent something to efficiently kill people, would that grant me the right to kill me neighbour because I have the right to use my inventions?


We are all raised on the idea of intellectual property, as if concepts are some scarce resource that people can physically move and steal. But they are not. Concepts do not exist, there are just encodings of concepts. If you buy a harddisk, then all bits on it ought to be your bits. Yet there are millions of arrangements which you are not allowed to put those bits in, despite the fact that those arrangements would not harm anyone.

Hmm, you want to go back to the Worshipful Company of Stationers having monopoly control over the publishing industry?
No.

I don't think copyright is immoral (it enables GPL - FLOSS software,
FLOSS would benefit from copyright being abolished. Abolishing copyright would open up all patents to FLOSS software and all closed source software for reverse engineering. Copyright does more damage to FLOSS than it does good to FLOSS.

But FLOSS ultimately depends on people being smart and principled, just like all forms of freedom depend on people being smart and principled. If the people stand up for the freedom then they will be free. If they do not then they will not. It really is that simple. IF the people can be bribed with convenience or scared into giving up their freedom then they will.
 

λ the β-Redex Reducer

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I understand the anti DRM sentiment but I do appreciate the effort that went into making DRM content available on the Pyra. I like to have options above all else.

I have personally asked RMS his opinion on Debian which we all here love so dearly and he balked at it for not being pure enough.
I do not love Debian at all. I do not even really like it all that much. IMO NixOS and Guix are both much better. I guess that I am just spoiled. Though of those two RMS would probably only like Guix because NixOS is not that pure either.
 

Eight Bit

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levi

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The problem with intellectual monopoly (and yes, so-called intellectual property is a monopoly, not property; the term "intellectual property" is a misnomer used to deceive) is that it goes against property rights. Holders of intellectual monopolies such as copyright say to people that they are not allowed to use their own resources to produce something. The more people have some form of intellectual monopoly, the less you can do with your own stuff. It has often even happened that inventors were not allowed to use or produce their own inventions because someone else who made the same invention at around the same time happened to register it for a monopoly first.

So in short, the ethical argument against intellectual monopoly is that it is against property rights. If you are in favour of intellectual monopoly then you are in favour of at least partially violating property rights.
What you wrote doesn't follow. I agree that intellectual monopolies limit your rights to do what you want with my stuff, but I don't see how that contravenes the limits imposed by property rights (aka the limit to your right to do what you want in or on my stuff).
 

λ the β-Redex Reducer

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What you wrote doesn't follow. I agree that intellectual monopolies limit your rights to do what you want with my stuff, but I don't see how that contravenes the limits imposed by property rights (aka the limit to your right to do what you want in or on my stuff).
The things that get put under intellectual monopoly such as copyright and patents are abstract concepts. Mostly structures. But people cannot own structures because those do not exist. Only instances of structures and encodings (such as descriptions and knowledge) of structures exist.

So if you get an intellectual monopoly on some structure (e.g. a game, a book, a statue, an invention, a shape) then you forbid other people from using their time, their skills, their tools, and their materials to create whatever you got an intellectual monopoly on. E.g. a patent on a statue does not prevent people from stealing or damaging your statue, it prevents people from chiseling their own stone into a shape resembling your statue. But like I said, a shape is an abstract concept that cannot be property. Your statue will not lose it's shape nor will it be in any way affected by people making copies of it. The only property involved in making the copies are the tools, materials, and people involved in creating the other statues, and none of those would belong to you. Yet you would partially control those things through your monopoly.

Monopolies are all about limiting other people. They never have anything to do with protecting one's own property. I challenge you to come up with one example where copyright, patent, or other forms of intellectual monopoly would directly protect someone's real property from being actually stolen, damaged, or harmed in any way.
 

netcat

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Hi Lambda, nice to see you. It's been a while.

Britney's 'Baby one more time' is copyrighted and afaik always has been. It does not prevent me from playing it on my piano at home. It does not stop me from playing it in my band, even performing it to a small audience (for profit). so I do benefit from it. I don't have to go through the effort of penning a classic pop song (so time consuming). I cannot on the other hand release an acid house version which world surely be a chart topper making me rich and famous. this is fair because I don't deserve to be rich and famous, least of all for synthesizing a classic. So your example of chiseling a statue seems off. You can do it, you just can't sell it. Makes sense to me.

And property protection is joke anyway. If it weren't China and Korea - to name but a few - would still be agrarian societies.
 
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λ the β-Redex Reducer

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Hi Lambda, nice to see you. It's been a while.
Thanks. Good to be back, I love these boards.

this is fair because I don't deserve to be rich and famous, least of all for synthesizing a classic.
First of all, if it is very easy then I doubt that it would make you famous. And if it is hard then I do not understand why you would not deserve it.

But most importantly, why does it matter whether you would deserve it according to some arbitrary standard? What crime would you be comitting by enjoying fame that other people grant you willingly? We all accept privileges that we do not deserve all the time, starting literally from the moment when we are born. That is good because it means that lucky opportunities and acts of undeserved altruism can do good instead of being wasted for being undeserved according to some arbitrary standard.

And property protection is joke anyway. If it weren't China and Korea - to name but a few - would still be agrarian societies.
I do not understand this. Do you mean protecting one's actual property?
 

Binky

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What do you make of the idea that patents encourage disclosure of trade secrets, thus opening up an industry to competition and innovation once the patent expires?

Would weakened or lesser copyright law encourage or discourage large monopolistic publishers? On one hand, a small publisher with exclusive rights to a rare 'hit' would be immediately overtaken by a giant. On the other. if customers didn't like the megacorporation with a monopoly on their cultural material, they could get it elsewhere with impunity.
 

pyrat

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Britney's 'Baby one more time' is copyrighted and afaik always has been. It does not prevent me from playing it on my piano at home.
Well it theoretically prevents you, yes.
It does not stop me from playing it in my band, even performing it to a small audience (for profit).
That'd be illegal (except in case the rightholders and you have reached some agreement to allow it).
so I do benefit from it. I don't have to go through the effort of penning a classic pop song (so time consuming). I cannot on the other hand release an acid house version which world surely be a chart topper making me rich and famous. this is fair because I don't deserve to be rich and famous, least of all for synthesizing a classic. So your example of chiseling a statue seems off. You can do it, you just can't sell it. Makes sense to me.
No.
I'm not a lawyer but my understanding is that copyright does not allow all that. I wish it did. It's just that private acts are hard to prosecute, and gratis uses or those involving little money are not profitable to prosecute.
This does not make the acts legal, it just makes it likely that people will get away with doing it.
You can't even buy a Britney Spears CD and play it in a CD player in your shop/bar/barber shop/whatever, because your customers which might not have bought the record could hear it. You can, again, if you get permission from rightholders or authorised intermediaries.
I've heard all sorts of weird stories about collecting societies breaking into private parties because they were playing music without permission. The facts that collecting societies prosecute you does not mean they're right, they also send automated subpoenas for absurd things or anything. But it also doesn't mean that everything they prosecute is legit.
It's quite crazy. That's one of the practical problems of creating monopolies, the monopolists gather power and abuse it.
And property protection is joke anyway. If it weren't China and Korea - to name but a few - would still be agrarian societies.
Oh, yes. I thought we were talking about the theoretical value or hindrance of copyright, patents and those artificial monopolies.

If we're start talking about practicalities then patent offices are blatant jokes (and I won't say what I think to avoid being charged with libel). Some collecting societies are abusers, any litigation is always more burden for the poor, etc. etc. etc.

What do you make of the idea that patents encourage disclosure of trade secrets, thus opening up an industry to competition and innovation once the patent expires?
Theoretically: it was more beneficious for society when it was established. Research was little profitable back then and production/manufacturing was profitable, so little incentive for innovation and less for publication without patents. Nowadays we have too much innovation which is abused to fool consumers into buying unsafe products, accept misfeatures or just take part in markets without the necessary information, because only the wealthiest and specialized players can afford to be up to date. Now we have so many ways to share information, reverse engineer, and derivate more knowledge out of existing one that the problem with rewarding new inventions is that the assessment of novelty becomes impossible. It's much more work to fairly assess whether an invention is new that to come up with an invention. This is generally true, but it is more true in some fields than others. There's also the problem of setting any meaningful threshold on how new something must be to be worth a monopoly.

Practically: Have you read many patents? The claims (which bound the monopoly requested) are written as broad as possible, and the description on how to achieve the invention is written as vague as possible and never detailing how to build all possible claimed processes or apparatuses, let alone proving that they work or what needs to be done for them to work, or what problems, drawbacks or inconveniences the invention may bring. The law requires the patent office to check quality of patents. But the patent offices gets more money the more patents they grant, and the patent holders they interact with are happier, the harmed public is never asked and does hardly ever challenge bogus patents. The system will just assume that useless inventions can be granted patents because their market value will be lower, and the missing published information will be filled by the knowledge of "people skilled in the art". Monopolists get their monopoly and they get to keep their secrets, just the opposite of what theoretically should happen.
Would weakened or lesser copyright law encourage or discourage large monopolistic publishers? On one hand, a small publisher with exclusive rights to a rare 'hit' would be immediately overtaken by a giant. On the other. if customers didn't like the megacorporation with a monopoly on their cultural material, they could get it elsewhere with impunity.
I don't care much what publishers could do. There was once that internet thing where people could publish and cure collections and access works. The useful work that publishers do will I suppose still be done and payed for, and the rent seeking monopolists wouldn't be missed. There are anyway striving publishers who specialize in works whose copyright has expired.
When copyright was stablished very few peple had printing presses, now lots of people have access to (now too centralized) internet and some even have 3D printers. Back then granting monopolies to print stuff was removing rights to very few people. Now it is removing to many people the right to do somethign that is easy and inexpensive to do.
The effort to create a work is not at all proportional with the number of copies that humanity may want to make of it. So rewarding the efoort by paying for each copy does not seem a very good incentive.
The current copyright can also be seen as encouraging publishers to select only blockbusters and live out of them for many years without encouraging more creativity. Or can be seen as being the cause of trends to
have everyone like the same style of work because the publishers can afford more marketing for few works that then sell a lot. Or the trend that many people are just consumers of culture instead of producers.
But I'm not very fundamentally against copyright, I see some theoretical argument for it, it's more the overbroad scope, abuses and the practical difficulties nowadays that the principle itself.
 
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