Are We All Screwed?


G

Guest

Well, someone had to bring it up… So it's here:
http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt

To Summarize, the document describes the lengths Microsoft® has taken to
protect "precious" content. Some of you may know it as DRM—Digital
"Restrictions" Management (to be absolutely correct). DRM exists to protect
the interests of groups like RIAA and MPAA—not the consumers. Some might say
that premium content is so expensive to compensate for piracy, but DRM just
adds more costs: There is the overhead of DRM, the costs of forcing people to
upgrade their computers/hardware to access premium content, the costs of
designing new hardware and device drivers, etc. They do no good for the
consumer. Computers… are supposed to work for us, and not against us. Anyway,
the document gives a better argument than this summary here. Read it! :)
 
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D

Dale

While Gutmann is correct in his technical assertions and I mostly agree with
his assumptions about the socio-political consequences of DRM, I disagree
with him about the source of the problem.

For many years, both Microsoft and the recording industry complained loudly
about the blatant theft of their products online. Just about everyone I
know, online and outside the computer, participated in the theft and illegal
download of music CDs using services like Napster, Kazaa, etc. It was only
after years of struggling to stop the hemorrhage of their income did either
group, the RIAA or Microsoft, take technical action to try to stop the
problem. Like any big company or even Congress, we tend to be better off
when they do nothing than we are when they do something. This is such a
case. But the reason they did something is because of out-of-control
piracy.

I am not a fan if the RIAA and their lawsuits against 12 year olds while
they make business deals with Napster and Kazaa. I think that shows they
are scum and, just like in the drug war, we go after the users and street
level dealers while making deals with those who are getting rich off of the
trade. But that doesn't change the fact that we are where we are because of
piracy.

Dale
 
M

MICHAEL

Funny that they all just keep on making billions and piracy
is as strong as ever.

-Michael
 
G

Guest

Dale:

Is this the reason why my 'legally' purchased audio
tracks, paid for and downloaded from my ISP's site
with digital licence, will play in WMP 11 in Xp Sp2
and not in Vista using WMP 11 ?
ISP is looking into the legal ramifications.
 
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M

MICHAEL

Dale said:
That makes piracy ok?

Try not to be dense, that's not what I said.

Piracy will continue no matter what Microsoft does.
There will always be a portion of the population that
will want something for nothing, and many of those
will get away with it. It is just too hard to protect software
in the hands of a determined hacker who then loves to share
what he has done. Microsoft will not win that battle. It isn't
the same as protecting a bank... even those still get robbed.
All Microsoft is doing is wasting resources and bogging down
their OS with crap that *will* be cracked. It always been and
always will be. All it ends up doing is making a buggier product
and many times pissing off paying customers.

Microsoft should do some basic stuff to protect its software,
that's fine. But things are starting to get a bit out of hand and
overly complicated. Instead of Microsoft wasting so much time
and resources on future failures they repeat over and over with
their attempt at stopping piracy- perhaps, they should start focusing
more on those that are willing to pay for it and make us happy.


-Michael
 
A

Arrowcatcher

On Thu, 28 Dec 2006 18:58:00 -0800, I Cheon-Sin <I
Well, someone had to bring it up… So it's here:
http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt

To Summarize, the document describes the lengths Microsoft® has taken to
protect "precious" content.

I downloaded and emailed the text to a buddy of mine who is a
multimedia fanatic and a techie. He has HDTV and all the trimmings
and also has Vista Ultimate that he's been tinkering with. He says
he's already experienced some of the issues cited in the article and
is upset that he can't get the quality setup he expected to get
without bathing in workarounds. It's very disappointing.
 
G

Guest

Then should everyone have to carry the burden of the consqeuences for the
doings of others? AES encryption, secure device drivers that poll the
hardware evry 30 ms seems too extreme, and I'd rather have the computer do
something more useful with those CPU clock cycles.

Also, DRM isn't going to solve the piracy problem. Anyone determined enough
to get unrestricted access to something, will get it. It's more of a nuisance
that the customer has to pay for. Instead of embracing DRM as a cure to
piracy, I think a change of business practices is needed. I understand
perfectly, the problem of piracy from a businessman's point of view: If a
free copy isn't readily available, then that person will buy it. Again, some
people will just try harder to get it for free.
 
G

Guest

I completely agree. Also, I've always thought MSFT are pricing themselves
into piracy.

When Ultimate edition, which may be a necessary edition for many users, is
priced as high as it is I can't help but think "who can afford it?"
especially in developing countries. If MSFT adjusted their pricing I'd be
willing to bet that most people, who would otherwise have pirated it, would
happily buy a legitimate copy.

Of course there are always those who want something for nothing but I don't
think they're in the majority.

I think software makers at some point will see the light, as the music
industry is starting to, and eliminate astronomical pricing that merely
creates an unwinnable battle and widens piracy.
 
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G

Guest

Software companies seeing the light? Sadly, that point is far from now.
Windows Vista with the new restrictions came out only a month ago. It's the
beginning of the rights war. Whether the big corporations will be having
their way for a while or bowing to quickly enraged consumers in 2007 to 2008
is not known.
 
E

Erik Funkenbusch

Then should everyone have to carry the burden of the consqeuences for the
doings of others? AES encryption, secure device drivers that poll the
hardware evry 30 ms seems too extreme, and I'd rather have the computer do
something more useful with those CPU clock cycles.

This is a silly argument. The problem is protected content. If you don't
buy any protected content, none of those flags will get set, and none of
those peformance issues will occur. It's stupid to avoid or boycott vista
strictly for DRM reasons, since Vista has many other uses, and you can
still "stick it to the man" by simply avoiding purchasing DRM'd content.

If enough people fail to buy protected content, they WILL get the message.
That's why formats like DIVX (not the codec, the DVD format championed by
Circuit City) and many others have failed.
Also, DRM isn't going to solve the piracy problem. Anyone determined enough
to get unrestricted access to something, will get it. It's more of a nuisance
that the customer has to pay for. Instead of embracing DRM as a cure to
piracy, I think a change of business practices is needed. I understand
perfectly, the problem of piracy from a businessman's point of view: If a
free copy isn't readily available, then that person will buy it. Again, some
people will just try harder to get it for free.

This whole "change of business practice" argument is stupid. The only
change of business practice that would eliminate piracy is to make content
free. And that would put them out of business.

There is, however, a point of diminishing returns. Yeah, some people will
go to great lengths to avoid paying for something, hell, they may even
spend more money to avoid paying for something than it would cost to buy
it. But most people weigh difficulty of obtaining free stuff with cost and
make a decision.

All new technologies start out expensive. They drop in cost over time.
That will include HD content, HD equipment (including PC's and the
technology used to access it), etc.. within 2-3 years, we'll all be using
at least dual core CPU's, with most of us using Quad cores and memory
bandwidth an order of magnitude more than it is today.
 
L

Lang Murphy

Not sure I understand this statement... "If a free copy isn't readily
available, then that person will buy it." Hmm... sounds suspiciously like
piracy to me. I mean... there is no "...free copy..." of Vista. No where, no
how, excepting the beta testers who got free copies and, apparently,
everyone with an internet connection in China. When it comes to software,
Asia=Piracy. Anyone who wants to argue that point can "talk to the hand."

Lang
 
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W

Will

I'm not a supporter of piracy
And it's good an effort is being made to reduce piracy

However I don't believe it's Microsofts place nor is it their responsibility
to support the efforts of the RIAA and MPAA, Microsoft should be looking
after it's customers thats where Microsofts income is derrived from.

However well intentioned DRM is, as with every anti piracy measure it will
always disadvantage a large proportion of honest people. and I believe
microsoft should be putting its cutomers first and leaving the protection of
copyrighted music up to the RIAA and MPAA it's simply not Microsofts job.
 
R

Robert Moir

MICHAEL said:
Piracy will continue no matter what Microsoft does.
There will always be a portion of the population that
will want something for nothing, and many of those
will get away with it. It is just too hard to protect software
in the hands of a determined hacker who then loves to share
what he has done. Microsoft will not win that battle. It isn't
the same as protecting a bank... even those still get robbed.
All Microsoft is doing is wasting resources and bogging down
their OS with crap that *will* be cracked. It always been and
always will be. All it ends up doing is making a buggier product
and many times pissing off paying customers.

Microsoft should do some basic stuff to protect its software,
that's fine. But things are starting to get a bit out of hand and
overly complicated. Instead of Microsoft wasting so much time
and resources on future failures they repeat over and over with
their attempt at stopping piracy- perhaps, they should start focusing
more on those that are willing to pay for it and make us happy.

Absolutely. Couldn't agree more. Current protection schemes do nothing more
than punish honest customers with buggy and drawn-out activation and
validation routines while the dishonest people who take the other path don't
have to worry about such things at all.
 
R

Roscoe

Dale said:
While Gutmann is correct in his technical assertions and I mostly agree
with his assumptions about the socio-political consequences of DRM, I
disagree with him about the source of the problem.

For many years, both Microsoft and the recording industry complained
loudly about the blatant theft of their products online. Just about
everyone I know, online and outside the computer, participated in the
theft and illegal download of music CDs using services like Napster,
Kazaa, etc. It was only after years of struggling to stop the hemorrhage
of their income did either group, the RIAA or Microsoft, take technical
action to try to stop the problem. Like any big company or even Congress,
we tend to be better off when they do nothing than we are when they do
something. This is such a case. But the reason they did something is
because of out-of-control piracy.

I am not a fan if the RIAA and their lawsuits against 12 year olds while
they make business deals with Napster and Kazaa. I think that shows they
are scum and, just like in the drug war, we go after the users and street
level dealers while making deals with those who are getting rich off of
the trade. But that doesn't change the fact that we are where we are
because of piracy.

Dale

Or is it the Chinese?
 
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M

Mike Hall - MS MVP Windows Shell/User

I doubt if they have much choice with DRM.. they are actively trying to stop
their own products from being pirated, and would be a prime case for RIAA
lawsuits if seen to advocate, aid and/or abet the piracy of music and
movies.. expect to see more of this in ALL operating systems.. it is
inevitable..
 

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