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Digital Restrictions Management for P2P Systems 261

Posted by michael
from the just-because-you-can-do-it-doesn't-mean-you-should dept.
Anonymous Coward writes "Digital restrictions management for an open-source peer-to-peer network. Researchers at the Georgia Tech Information Security Center have created a content protection system that is a plug-in for LimeWire/Gnutella. The paper argues that DRM is beneficial to everyone including independent musicians and end-users."
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Digital Restrictions Management for P2P Systems

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  • I wonder . . . (Score:2, Insightful)

    by acceleriter (231439)
    . . . how this so-called "restriction" manager will recognize the compression/encryption method du jour. But if it gives the "content industry" a false sense of security and takes some of the legislative heat off of P2P and the general purpose computer, I'm all for it.
  • they do this. They will have this out for about 20 minutes before someone figures out how to bypass it. Sure, some of the non savvy people will be restricted, but this is just another case of keeping the honest people honest. I think.
    • Good faith effort (Score:2, Interesting)

      by rushiferu (595361)
      Maybe it's just an attempt to create "secure" file sharing networks to help keep the government from mucking around in the situation. I don't think anyone believes a plug-in will be the end all solution, but if people can show they are trying in good faith to fix the "problem" (whatever the problem may be) then it will be easier to keep poorly constructed DRM bills from being shat out by Congress.
  • ...a content protection system that is a plug-in for LimeWire/Gnutella

    Do they really expect that people are going to download this plugin and install it ? Why would anyone want to do that ?

    • Re:WTF ? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by GigsVT (208848) on Tuesday August 06, 2002 @08:57AM (#4017748) Journal
      Why would anyone want to do that ?

      If you havn't installed the plugin, or any DRM plugins, you must be a thief!

      If you aren't doing anything wrong, then why don't you install it?

      (Maybe now all the people that made that idiotic argument in the past in regards to every sapping of our rights will wake up a little)
      • "If you aren't doing anything wrong, then why don't you install it?"

        Because I'm lazy? I've not installed the latest DRM-enabling patch for Windows Media Player either, but its only because I can't be bothered to download several megabytes of information over a 42kb/s connection when it doesn't actually do me much in the way of good.

        Sure I'll do it if I'm legally required to. Sure I'll do it if the benefits outweigh the problems by enough. But I won't spend my own time, effort and money to install something that only helps a business I've no particularly good feelings about.
        • Sure I'll do it if I'm legally required to.

          I'm kind of shocked that you would let it get to this point, and then if it does, to roll over so easily.

          Mandatory DRM will be somewhat like banning guns in the US. If it ever happens, there will be hell to pay.
    • Re:WTF ? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MindStalker (22827) <mindstalker@gmDALIail.com minus painter> on Tuesday August 06, 2002 @09:02AM (#4017775) Journal
      This type of DRM doesn't so much restrict you as it adds extra abilities. Basically an "artist" releases a song with DRM controls (proprietary encrypted format) so if you just have plain old limewire, sure you can trade the file. But its going to do you no good (of course someone can convert the file to mp3 and start trading that, but it takes a bit of work) While if you have DRM you can listen to this file, under certain restrictions. The advantage of hooking it straight into limewire is that limewire will now be able to read the headers from the file, and possibily even as as a registration/buying carrier. So you can use limewire to pay to open up the songs. DRM in itself isn't bad, because if the artist wishes to release their song in that format, that is their right. Its the attempts at mandating DRM and having players that won't play songs that other non DRM players will play.
      • Re:WTF ? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SirSlud (67381) on Tuesday August 06, 2002 @09:12AM (#4017839) Homepage
        >DRM in itself isn't bad, because if the artist wishes to release their song in that format, that is their right.

        Sorry, can you explain to me what exactly the rights of artists are? And why those rights are relevant to the artist given that 98% of the copyright in the western world is owned by corperations?

        The artist is obligated to ensure that, upon claiming protection via copyright, his work is freely accessible 20 years after his death. Should he DRM-ize all his songs to expire after 6 months, and never publish them again, it is the artist that is breaking copyright law (by not making his work available to the commons after his copyright protection has expired.)
        • Re:WTF ? (Score:2, Insightful)

          by MindStalker (22827)
          Well actually there is no obligation coded into law. They could continue to release DRM after the copywrite expires, its just that your not going to get into trouble for spreading the non DRM version around. NOW here is the problem. the DMCA (BOOO!) makes it illigal for you to convert out of DRM to standard format even after copywrite expires. But there is some working on getting that changed. But seriously an artist can use whatever means of distribution that artist wants to in my opinion. Obviously nowadays its the record company making that decision and that is pretty sickening. But just as a painter has his/her right of the medium of their painting so does a musical artist. I'm not going to be the one to tell them that their music has to be released in format X with tempo Y or any of that.
          • >you're not going to get into trouble for spreading the non DRM version around.

            If copyright was introduced in order to break the publishers' monopoly on printing (1622, I think) .. ie, to force work back into the public domain, then what is the point of the entire law if I can release my music *only* in a DRM'd format?

            DRM is not a musical format. It is a technology that, while its bits might sit beside my musical bits, is not technically part of the 'format' that I present my song in ...

            It's not a medium. It's the package _around_ the art. So, doesn't the law of copyright become useless (toothless, worthless, etc) as soon as I'm legally allowed to distribute my work in a package that nullifies any intent set forth by copyright law?
          • the DMCA (BOOO!) makes it illigal for you to convert out of DRM to standard format even after copywrite expires.

            Bullshit.

            The DMCA's circumvention ban (17 USC 1201) [cornell.edu] states: " No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title" (my emphasis). A work that has fallen out of copyright is no longer "protected under this title", where "this title" refers to Title 17, United States Code, which contains U.S. copyright law, mask work law, and protections for ships' hulls.

            Likewise, the (a)(2) and (b)(1) bans on circumvention devices apply only to devices designed or marketed to circumvent measures that control access to or enforce monopolies on works protected under Title 17. Thus, without copyright term extensions, anybody could say "DeCSS: Watch your Charlie Chaplin and early Mickey Mouse DVDs on Linux" and get away with releasing DeCSS source code into the wild. The DMCA is toothless without the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act [pineight.com].

            I'm not going to be the one to tell them that their music has to be released in format X with tempo Y or any of that.

            That is, until you write your own song, and another songwriter claims, "You stole my melody!"



      • We the public who artists release music to should control distribution.

        This is all about control, not making money, Artists can make money with or without p2p, but p2p gives the control to us, and not the record companies or the artists.

        Now the fans are in control, we decide what to pay for, artists now will need actual talent to sell their music and they bitch and moan because they know they sell their music on their image.

        I dont want to hear manson, or metallica saying they hate peer to peer, people who cant make good music hate peer to peer, peopel who make good music will sell better due to better distribution.

        IF I like what you have to say in your songs, or how your music sounds, I will buy it in diffrent formats, i'll buy your DVD, your CD, your vinyl, even your special unreleased tracks that you sell directly to me.

        Look, I'm not going to argue in favor of DRM, it takes away my right to choose what I want to buy.

      • So you won't be able to play these songs in anything but Limewire? Whether a particular DRM program gives me more abilities or not, it certainly seems like the world that contains DRM programs and content (and no ability to move songs to my mp3 player) is a less happy world than the one that contains none. I will boycott all DRM-including products, in order to discourage development of DRM-restricted content, and I encourage everyone who wishes to take the cooperative strategy in this prisoner's dilemna we call a marketplace to do the same.

        PS did anyone happen to mirror this article? I'd be really interested in reading more about what they're planning to do.

    • Re:WTF ? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by joshsisk (161347)
      I believe this may be what some people refer to as a 'proof-of-concept'.

    • What if sharing is a central part of my religious beliefs? Lets look at what the constitution says

      The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that everyone in the United States has the right to practice his or her own religion, or no religion at all.

      Oh so I have the right to practice my religious beliefs, which say I should share whenever it doesnt remove anything from me or anyone else. So why the hell shouldnt I share my files? Its not taking anything away from me or anyone else, its giving to someone who didnt have before

      Our country's founders -- who were of different religious backgrounds themselves -- knew the best way to protect religious liberty was to keep the government out of religion. So they created the First Amendment -- to guarantee the separation of church and state. This fundamental freedom is a major reason why the U.S. has managed to avoid a lot of the religious conflicts that have torn so many other nations apart.

      This should mean, that the government has no right to create laws which restrict our freedom to decide for ourselves if we want to share or not. We should NOT have a SSSCA or any kinda law like this preventing us from sharing, it should be our choice, and the constitution says so.


      The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits government from encouraging or promoting ("establishing") religion in any way. That's why we don't have an official religion of the United States. This means that the government may not give financial support to any religion. That's why many school voucher programs violate the Establishment Clause -- because they give taxpayers' money to schools that promote religion.


      This means the government CANNOT claim file sharing is wrong, and that I am stealing, because its promoting the beliefs of big media companies, who is the government supposed to be representing here? Them or Me? Instead the government should allow the people to decide, and tell the media companies to stop complaining and spend their money to fix their problem instead of trying to use our tax dollars without us even agreeing to it.


      The Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment gives you the right to worship or not as you choose. The government can't penalize you because of your religious beliefs.


      This says that I cannot be locked up in jail for sharing information, because if my religion beliefs that the whole purpose of life is to share information, it kinda goes against my whole belief system to be forced to not share.

      Look I understand some information cannot be shared, information which directly harms other people should not be shared, such as some top secret government information where millions of lives might be in danger.

      However, sharing music isnt harming anyone, in fact its helping many people, music makes people happy, why am I not allowed to share happiness with others?

      Its a nice try for them to call it stealing, but stealing is only wrong when it harms other people, if stealing helps everyone and harms no one, calling me a theif is just like calling me a hero.

      • What if sharing is a central part of my religious beliefs?

        Unfortunately, this line of argument won't fly. The right to freely practice one's religion is generally interpretted as meaning "free to practice, so long as the rights of others are not infringed". This is why things such as female circumcision, slaying infidels, and burning witches are currently prohibitted whether they are part of your religious beliefs or not. Copyright law is-- as the name implies-- law, and the Feds don't freely grant exceptions based on religious beliefs. Heck, just look at the fit the DEA threw over a bunch of native americans using peyote in religious ceremonies; they weren't infringing upon others' rights and they had to fight like the dickens in order to get the Feds off their backs. No, I'm afraid the "religious practice" angle will never work for anything other than actually practicing religions-- which is as it should be. Finding loopholes isn't the answer. Reforming the law is.
  • finally (Score:5, Funny)

    by tps12 (105590) on Tuesday August 06, 2002 @08:53AM (#4017719) Homepage Journal
    I'm always getting my digital rights all messed up. Especially when stealing movies on LimeWire, my time shifting tends to get tangled in my fair use, and since information wants to be free I end up with data all over the floor. This plugin will help me manage my digital rights, so I can finally focus on what matters: ripping off starving artists.
  • I'm apprehensive to any sort of restrictions (particularly mandatory restrictions) being put on my P2P activities. This sort of thing needs to be approached with some degree of common sense and respect for the system that has been in place for decades. Fortunately, it sounds like we're on the threshold of implementing a technological solution that won't unfairly impact all computer users.

    It's all about the balance of our rights against the rights of content owners to protect their investment and realize their returns in the open market. Building in DRM where it's needed most as opposed to just dumping it into every piece of consumer electronics on the market seems quite sensible and reasonable. I'm certain people who have been getting a free ride off of the artists won't appreciate it, but I believe that besides cutting off an avenue of exploitation this will also help return the Internet to a responsive state as well as encourage the media giants to finally embrace this medium without hesitation.

    It's got to end sometime, folks -- otherwise, we're gonna kill the golden goose.

    • It's got to end sometime, folks -- otherwise, we're gonna kill the golden goose.

      The golden goose is already on its last gasp, and DRM is the cage for the rest of us that will make sure that not only does it stay dead, but that nobody finds an alternative source of gold, 'cause we'll all be locked in the RIAA cage.

      DRM is not about protecting artists, it's about protecting music companies. At least that's the way it's working now. Rest assured were it just about the artists that the RIAA would not bother buying laws that makes DRM impossible to crack.

      Follow the money.
    • The only way the "media giants" will ever embrace the internet is when they can do it in the same fashion that Microsoft "embraces". They want to extinguish it. You think media companies want to give up their current distribution model? If that was the case, why the hell would they be spending so much effort and money to copy-protect cds? They want nothing to do with internet business. For the most part, DRM has nothing to do with the rights of the artist, it's only about protecting the dollars of the corporations. How does DVD region coding protect the artist? Thanks, but no thanks. I don't think I need the U.S. gov't managing MY digital rights - I'm doing a fine job on my own.
    • Your post is what happens when you eat MPAA/RIAA sh3t as food for thought.

      Free ride? Make that a free promotional tool for independent artists. I'm working on promoting one right now, and my biggest headache is that most of the places I had planned on uploading our promo MP3s to no longer exist thanks to the suits at the major record labels whose rights you are trying to protect. If you really believe DRM is about protecting artists, you belong in an AOL chatroom with the other tards, not here.

      If the only MP3s you download are N'Sync and Britney Spears, I really don't give a shit about your "free ride". MY rights are worth protecting. Yours aren't. DRM is about control of your computer by content industry suits and Micro$hit. If you want your computer 0wn3d by those scumbags, maybe if you sit on Jack Valenti's lap and beg him, one of his tame "black hats" will write you a Trojan. Of course, there's no guarantee your computer will work any better than your brain does afterwards.

      Personally, I don't download MP3s much, particularly from the brain-dead crop of what passes for entertainment your buddies at the RIAA spew forth for the public.

      I'm not going to argue with you about how DRM directly conflicts with the traditional concepts of "fair usage" and the intentional tradeoff built into copyright law between the rights of end users and creators of material, those arguments have been made over and over here and in other places and often, by artists you think want DRM protection. The only reasons why anyone would argue pro-DRM/pro-RIAA at this point are:
      1. You work for RIAA/MPAA/PR firm
      2. You're too fucking stupid to understand the fair usage arguments you've seen so far. Perhaps you'll get what Janis Ian [janisian.com] has to say about it. Presumably, you can point and click, can't you?

      I believe you to be in the second category.

  • Do someone has understood what would be the benefits for the end-user?

    From what I read, it would benefit the user only because "content providers" would be more willing to provide stuff over P2P network.
    i don't think this is "benificial" at all to the end user.
    It's like if they were telling me: Hey! If you accept to loose control over what you have, can do, their will be so much more content distributed!
    Yeah, and so what? I don't give a dam what COULD be distributed online which is not right now!
    I already can go out and buy what I need or want.
    And If I'm a "bad" guy, I can download movies and MP3's anyway.

    I don't want anybody having the control over what information I make available on a network. If this information ever is copywrited, come on home and arrest me.
    If not, go away.
  • Frankly, I agree. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by torpor (458) <ibisum@gmail. c o m> on Tuesday August 06, 2002 @08:58AM (#4017755) Homepage Journal
    On one condition: as long as the protocols for implementing the restrictions remain *OPEN*, *DOCUMENTED*, and *WELL DEFINED*.

    So, what? It's not easy to do it and still actually engineer a restriction plan? Yeah?

    Bugger it, who said it has to be easy to do this properly, and not end up with the complete social nightmare like what the good ol' U$ofA is currently happily building?

    As an independent musician, as a technology freak (I work for Access Music, I make synthesizers for a living, and I use Linux extensively), and as a renegade from the New World Odor, I think it's good to have a system like this that works so that *ANYONE* - any musician, signed or not, represented by RIAA or not - can actually make their work available and get rewarded for doing so.

    But it's gotta stay open, folks. Secrecy behind a corporate stigma is not the way this is going to be done ...
    • Re:Frankly, I agree. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Sheetrock (152993)
      No crappy system is going to be made effective by simply hiding the implementation. The best system would be open and unencumbered by patent so that acceptance is more likely across the board.

      I'm not personally for preventing Fair Use, mind you, but for stopping the unchecked spread of other peoples' property across the Internet merely because it's convenient and made of electrical impulses. An effective DRM system, in my mind, would not impede the easy transfer and playback we've gotten used to with dumping CDs to tape and MP3 or the like locally but would prevent (the convenient) bulk network transfer of content. I'm positive this would be possible if the major companies would sit down and work this out together rather than trying to figure out how to weasel cash from the whole scheme.

    • On one condition: as long as the protocols for implementing the restrictions remain *OPEN*, *DOCUMENTED*, and *WELL DEFINED*.

      That could actually be done. Using the system layed out by the Trusted Computing Platform Alliance [trustedcomputing.org], you could construct a system that would only work if the code is authenticated by the Trusted Platform Module (TPM). All of the code could be open sourced, but only certain implementations would be signed. If your code isn't signed, the computer will refuse to run it.

      The protocol could encrypt all communications so no one can 'sniff' the contents. The protocol could also require you to cryptographically authenticate that you are running trusted code before it lets you access content.

      I have a problem with this. It means that you have to get permission from whoever holds the master key(s) in order to create a compatible client. The key holder will dictate the terms under which you may develop your client. It's kind of like the british government deciding who may or may not use a printing press.

      • >It's kind of like the british government deciding who may or may not use a printing press.

        Ironically, copyright law was enacted to *combat* that problem .. in order to make sure other folks could print cultural works after the monarchy's publishing industry cronies had the chance to make a crud load of $$ off the backs of artists.
    • All DRM-enabled systems must be able to play non-DRM content. ee: The Public Domain must not be excluded!

      One more thing, and I need to understand TCPA better to know if this is the case, or not. In content creation and modification tools, there must be general recognition that the tool producer is not the copyright owner. The copyright owner must always be able to:
      1 - Remove the copyright/DRM from the data and place it in the Public Domain.
      2 - Extract the content from the tool, in order to exercise the Free Market right to select a different tool.

      Still one more thing that's missing from any DRM I've ever heard of - Copyright expiration. Even with the perversion of the Constitution known as the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act, the copyright expires. A quick google of "trusted time service" shows that there is indeed a supply that could be used as a trustworthy means of copyright expiration. Lest we be tempted to say, "This media won't last long enough for the copyright to expire," remember the two-digit date fields that gave us Y2K.

      Yet one more thing is posterity. We're taking an important slice of history and locking it away. IMHO every piece of DRM media should include a clear-text description of how it may be cracked in the future. Sounds silly, but I mean something like "brute-force factor these 2048-bit keys" that we can't do readily today, but future archaeologists who can read the CD/DVD should.
  • by Dr.Seuss (94326)
    As an employee of GT College of Computing [gatech.edu], I'd like to reiterate that Paul's opinions don't reflect those of many of us here.
    Just like many other [slashdot.org] places in the world, we have dissenting opinions running around the office, too.
  • by kenp2002 (545495) on Tuesday August 06, 2002 @09:06AM (#4017801) Homepage Journal
    Censorship is never beneficial. I warned that the DMCA could be used to prohibit access to free material (i.e. Adobe published Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven" in a DRM format. Project Gutenberg is now violating the circumvention clause regardless of who came first. See the Analog section of the DMCA for details.) This is the second step in the progression to a new dark age... My suggestion is fight fire with fire. Use an encryption format on the next P2P application then, in the EULA state that you cannot use the software unless you are a Non-Corporate, Non-Government agency. If a company uses the app to spy the contents, they are in voliation of the EULA and you sue. If the hack the client they violate the DMCA by circumventing the encryption.

    My 2 cents

    (I spell crappy... I know... Shashdot needs a spell checker... ispell plugin anyone?)
  • by dfenstrate (202098) <dfenstrate&gmail,com> on Tuesday August 06, 2002 @09:08AM (#4017813)
    I want to vomit a little more.

    Maybe I'm young and naive, but it seems to me that the entire notion of "content" is offensive. Like the music or pr0n videos or what have you was simply items in a box, with no regard for what's inside.
    Though I suppose you could fairly call Britney Spheres, Backdoor Boys, and We'Stync to be nothing more than worthless coporate content, I cannot equally call the 405 short, Mudhens, Indigo Girls, or a great number of other independant, thoughtful works "content."
    It's their blood & sweat, not a packaged good.

    The notion of content is what allows them to call copyright infringement "piracy", what makes them want to license every listening. The music/videos/whatever are cheap, taiwan-made products to be whored around as much as possible for the greatest profit.

    What they're really exchanging is ideas, peoples feelings, and as Jefferson once said (paraphrasing) 'When I give an idea to you, I am not deprived of it's possesion, but we are both richer for it'


    I'm not saying anything about the entire legality of it, or what I think of this paper (Gee, I didn't know academics were whoring themselves to the entertainment industry lately) but this talk of 'content' is cheapening to the work serious musicians, directors, and artists perform.

    Just venting. thank you for yer time.

    • Once a musician signs with a label and agrees to have their stuff recorded and sold on little shiny plastic things, it becomes content. Musicians are never forced to do so, and you're never forced to buy it.

      The record companies find musicians, pay for the production of their stuff, and then get it into stores worldwide. Unless the musicians were filthy stinking rich already, that probably wouldn't happen without the record companies. Many artists don't get rich off their music but it does pay the bills or supplement other income. Getting paid to play music and go on tour is a dream for a lot of people.

      Yes, any musician can put their stuff on mp3.com and go play in local bars.. but unless your stuff is really, really good nobody's going to hear it. Really, who's going to notice yet another mp3. So you sign your rights over to the record company, they send you on tour, promote your music, get it on the radio, lots of people hear your music, and maybe you succeed and maybe you don't - but it's a chance you wouldn't have without them.

      - Steve
      • So you sign your rights over to the record company, they send you on tour, promote your music, get it on the radio, lots of people hear your music, and maybe you succeed and maybe you don't - but it's a chance you wouldn't have without them.

        So in other words, selling your soul to the RIAA is no better than playing your music in a local venue and then blowing the proceeds at a Vegas casino.

    • 'When I give an idea to you, I am not deprived of it's possesion, but we are both richer for it'

      <Devil's Advocate>
      Some "ideas" cost over 100 million to produce, which is what the enforced legal fiction of a limited copyright is supposed to help incentivize.

      But if that legal fiction isn't recognized by society (it doesn't seem to be), and it can't be enforced (*laugh*), then what? Well then artists will still create, but giants won't be able to produce "Oops!..I did it again", or The Lord of the Rings, or Waterworld... (unless a new form of compensation emerges like variations of Bruce Schneir's street performer protocol, or "communist" peer-production).

      What a tragedy.
      </Devil's Advocate>

      --

  • The problem with DRM that people see right now is that the big media cie want to use it to restrict the ability of the consumer to use the content he pay for.

    However, DRM can be use in way not to restrict restict the consumer but to make him know that someone took time to create the content and may want to be rewarded for it's work.

    Picture this. I create a song or a nice little movie. I want to distribute it but also it would be great that if people want it, that they can send me money.

    So I put it on the DRMuttela network (a p2p network that implement some form of DRM). Now a consumer find the content I created. When (or while) he download the content, a small window appear with asking him to send me some $$$ if he likes it. Also whenever the file is played, the player check if the content has been payed for. If not and the nag threshold has been reached, then the small window appear again.

    If the user decide to pay me some $$$ then I send him a key or whatever that will tell the DRM system not to nag the consumer anymore.

    Note that the DRM system should allow the user to actually transfer the file to another format. (I know this can probably allow the user to bypass the DRM altogether. But transfered file can be stamped in some way so the author can know retrace the key that was used to transert the file to the other format - this will be a deterent to user that want to share the transfered file)

    If the system is not too annoying, then most people will not try to bypass it.

    This will be like most shareware we have today. You can download them freely and some will nag you from time to time so you buy the software if you use it.

    I know that big media cie will not like a system like this because there is not enough control but the small label or independent artist will see great advantage in such system.
    • and that is the problem with most shareware today.

      I have at least 5-10 apps that I paid for that are MINE and I cannot use because the moron-over-greedy programmer wrote it for a special key that changes each time. well now he is long-gone and I haveto scour warez and crack sites looking for either a keygen or a crack for that program.

      Many many of us got burned by shareware and the overzealous control of the programmers. and those of us that got burned made sure we told many many others that we got burned. and Thus... shareware dies... It is nothing like it was in the 80's only a faded shadow of it's former self. because of their damned DRM they wrote into it.

      Microsoft is doing the same now (Funny how shareware programmers were ahead of microsoft in this innovation) and starting to annoy their customers..

      Now you want me to have to track you down every time I buy a new computer, reload the OS (if I'm a windows user... that's required almost yearly) or have to deal with hard drive failures? No thank you.

      I will be one of them that will happily download a crack to completely defeat your protection so that my purchase stay's exactly that... a purchase and not the rental that many want it to be. I bought your song "balls on fire" and I demand the right to still have and play that song in 30 years.
  • ruh-roh (Score:3, Informative)

    by Dan Nordquist (214523) on Tuesday August 06, 2002 @09:12AM (#4017840) Homepage
    "I am sorry, but this paper was not intended for general distribution at this time. Someone that did not know this submitted the link.

    "We are working on a content protection system for decentralized peer-to-peer systems. The goal of the system is to allow individuals and content providers(large and independent) to be able to distribute content using peer-to-peer systems but maintain some control over their work. We concentrate on maintaining an open peer-to-peer file sharing environment. Our implementation uses open-source components and standards-based security. Feel free to email me if you want more information."

    Anybody copy the paper?
  • by rushiferu (595361)
    A primary argument for DRM being good for Joe Computer User is that it will facilitate "content providers" to release more of their work onto the web. My question is, what is this golden material that will enrich all our lives once DRM is in place? I agree, an official distribution site would make it somewhat easier to find the material I want, but 90% of the time I really don't have any problems finding what I'm looking for now. All the "content" I would want to download to my computer is already available. I really don't want to log onto an official site and download every Simpson's episode onto my hard drive, I would rather just go out and buy a well-constructed DVD box set. Just my 2 cents though.
  • Cough it up! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hobbex (41473) on Tuesday August 06, 2002 @09:21AM (#4017894)
    Firstly, Limewire is GPLed [limewire.org] so if they are going to use this, they better cough up the source code! GPLed fuckware will be a first... (not that it really matters as it would be torn apart as soon as anyone cares to anyways.)

    Secondly, I wish people could understand that the reason user hostile software stinks has nothing to do with utilitarian advantage to any group - but the basic principle of liberty in the information society that the computers which are our eyes, ears, and mouths in this new world must serve us, and us alone.

    Saying that "users will benefit from user hostile software" is like saying, "patients will benefit from doctors killing every third one to use his organs for the next two" or "people will benefit from lawyers not defending scumbags." We set down certain principles of the integrity and freedom that every individual deserves, and then we build our society and laws on top of that. Trying to restrict peoples actions by implanting control devices in the machines they use to communicate is such a hideous breach of that principle it can be considered no less than the 21st century answer to the totalitarian state.

    Thirdly, it wasn't even an interesting paper and didn't deserve any attention for better or worse.
  • ... have created a content protection system that is a plug-in for LimeWire/Gnutella...
    Gee, I bet P2P users have been really hanging out for that one. Somebody post a list of mirrors, 'coz I bet the main site's going to get hammered.

    Shhyeah, and monkeys might fly out of my butt. :)
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Tuesday August 06, 2002 @09:25AM (#4017919) Homepage
    Go ahead, argue all you like. White is still white, black is still black, two and two still make four.

    "We argue that the lack of content protection is currently hindering the introduction of richer content systems." Yeah, right... and here I thought the INTRODUCTION of Napster and AudioGalaxy had been VERY successful.

    "Content owners will not make content available in the variety, quantity, and format that users want until adequate protection measures are in place." Bullpuckey. I own a Rocket eBook (= REB1100) which has hardware-based DRM locked to a serial number in the device. When I go on a trip I like to load it up with nice easy-reading current mainstream books. And, you know what? They're mostly not available. Never have been, even before the whole eBook scene died. I recently did a check--of about 44 titles on Oprah's book club, which I think is a good test since they're good books, widely distributed, have been out long enough to give plenty of time for conversion, etc.

    In eBook format, with good DRM, about 6 titles are available.

    In audiobook (cassette tape) format--with no DRM, and a much more expensive production process, about 35 titles are available.

    So don't tell me that DRM will increase the choices available to me. It exists, and it doesn't.

    Indeed, one of the whole premises behind the Rocket eBook/REB1100 was good hardware-based DRM. Why did it fail? It was (and is) a pretty good device from a techical, UI, and product point of view. The screen is a lot more pleasant to read than a Palm; it's a lot more portable than a laptop; I can settle in and have a fine "immersive" reading experience with it.

    It failed BECAUSE of a) lack of content--I have more choice in the average airport bookstore than I do in the online "bookstore" for my device; b) overpriced content; and, c) BECAUSE of DRM.


  • What if my religion or my spirtual beliefs say that we should share all information?

    There is a law, which specifically says that your religious beliefs come first.

    Even if it werent an openGNU religious kinda thing as it might be for me, Its still very difficult to prove to anyone who has any morals, that sharing is bad.

    People who want to buy a CD to support a musician, thats just fine, they will do that even if they own the Mp3s, to support the musician, The musician could sell mp3s and or CDs at their concerts and everyone would buy them.

    The RIAA and MPAA however want to continue to be th e middleman. I'm not going to pay the middleman, I want to pay directly to a musician, Musicians should sell their own Mp3s directly to their fans via the web, peer to peer, and at concerts.

    I agree peer to peer should allow us to pay if we CHOOSE to pay, If i listen to a song I like i should be able to push a button, and 25 cents should go DIRECTLY to the musician who made that song, no RIAA, no middleman, DIRECT payment via paypal or some other system not built yet.

    We should choose what Music should be paid for, and what shouldnt. If Musicians dont want us listening to their music, they shouldnt release it to the public. If they release it to the public, its not their RIGHT as a musician to get us to buy every single thing they release, we should buy only what we want.

    Thats how alot of other industries work, you try it, and then you buy it, or you pay the creator for the service and then they release their songs.

    • What if my religion or my spirtual beliefs say that we should share all information?

      That isn't as far fetched as it sounds. Islam believes all knowledge comes from God, and apparently the most respected, leading islamic intellectuals believe that the entire concept of intellectual property is against islam and against God. Not the government appointed lackey in Saudi Arabia, mind you, who will echo whatever values and opinions the government tells him to, but the leadership to whom the rest of the population listens.

      Personally, I'm an athiest and find religions of pretty much every bent (Buddhism perhaps excepted) obsolete in the extreme, but this goes to show you that politics can make for strange bedfellows, and that if freedom of speech AND freedom of religion truly are paramount, then Copy Restrictions and Intellectual Property must lose.

      Unfortunately, I think the reality is quite different. We can pay lipservice to the constitution, to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, etc. ... just so long as it doesn't get in the way of the entrenched oligarchs collecting and hoarding even more of our hard earned dollars.

      Hell, they just got done pilfering the life savings of the entire middle class of this country, and aside from a few sacrificial, symbolic arrests nothing fundamental is being changed or repaired. In any other country, where the populace isn't as well trained and conditioned into submission, this would be the stuff of revolutions. Not here in the US, though...gotta worry about them nasty terrorists instead (who have killed less than 1/10th as many people as common car accidents have within the last year).
    • I agree peer to peer should allow us to pay if we CHOOSE to pay, If i listen to a song I like i should be able to push a button, and 25 cents should go DIRECTLY to the musician who made that song, no RIAA, no middleman, DIRECT payment via paypal or some other system not built yet.

      Umm...dude? Paypal is -- wait for it -- a third party. Some Other System Not Built Yet, unless either you or the artist in question ran it personally, would also be a third party system.

      Since you want your push-button system that can deliver twenty-five cents on demand to whichever artist you choose, you'll probably want to build and maintain it yourself. You may want to consider using a Very Large Quarter Catapult, a Good Pair of Running Shoes, or even possibly an Envelope Bearing The Artist's Name And Address With Proper Postage And A Check Enclosed Which You Then Carry All The Way To A Mailbox, You Lazy Cretin.

      Wait, no, that last one would go through a third party. My bad.

  • by asv108 (141455) <<gro.oiduatahp> <ta> <xela>> on Tuesday August 06, 2002 @09:30AM (#4017946) Homepage Journal
    Whether you like it or not, DRM is the first step for implementing P2P in commercial and academic environments. At the university I work for, we are working on a P2P network for faculty and students to share ACADEMIC materials. To prevent unauthorized uses such as pr0n and mp3 sharing we decided just to have the userids of the original poster and all the sharers travel with the file throughout the network. As far as rights management is concerned, we decided that a very basic form which uses kerb to check if a userid is a student, faculty, or department member.

    I realize there are a lot of posts here like "WTF, who would install such a plugin?" People need to look past P2P as just Internet file sharing. There are many uses for P2P in office networks, academic networks, and with wireless pdas, laptops, tablets, etc..

  • What is this going to do? stop gnutella clients from downloading a file tagged as "evil to download" so fricking what.. I have the source and I create a plugin that will "say yes to everything" and completely bypass this.

    If it is going to do decryption so you can recieve a good file from an allowed source I dont see the point. All it will take is one person to get a good file and re-share it.

    If they want to do DRM they HAVE to do it at the player and that will only annoy people not stop them. The best examples are the "protected CD's" defeated with a 95 cent magic marker.. it stopped nobody from ripping that CD and was easily defeated for all to enjoy.

    they need to give up as the people that want the music/media will always win.
  • On the same note (Score:4, Informative)

    by dfenstrate (202098) <dfenstrate&gmail,com> on Tuesday August 06, 2002 @09:37AM (#4017993)
    It seems as though Sony's Pressplay service [msnbc.com] has been smacked with a clue bat.
    Not to say they have everything right, but "THE NEW VERSION, set to launch Thursday, will add to the flexibility of the subscription service by allowing unlimited song listening, as well as more compact-disc burning and permanent downloads that consumers can keep even after their subscriptions run out."

    They're offering different levels of service depending on how much you pay (makes sense), but it looks like a step in the logical direction.
    Company Website [pressplay.com]

    • They want $10 from me just so I can listen -- without burning or keeping anything. That's like paying for radio. (And no, I'm not an XM subscriber and am not planning to be.)

      They want $18 from me if I want to burn and keep 10 songs a month. That's like paying full price for a CD, except that I have to supply the CD and make it myself, and don't get any liner notes, cover art, etc.

      Conclusion: it's still overpriced.
  • Show Me The Money (Score:5, Interesting)

    by limekiller4 (451497) on Tuesday August 06, 2002 @09:42AM (#4018028) Homepage
    First, let me say that what I'm about to show might be entirely common among colleges, not just the Georgia Institute of Technology. But whenever I see some academic group pushing something that is inexorably linked to commercial interests, I start looking for a money trail.

    EPICS, Georgia Tech Receives Software Grant to Improve Retention For Minority Students [gatech.edu] (2000)
    This year, they'll have even more to celebrate, as Microsoft Research's University Relations Group announces a grant that will put "bundles" of its latest software and publications in the hands of 1,000 underrepresented students over the next two years.

    EPICS, Microsoft Partnership Donates Software to Hands On Atlanta [gatech.edu] (date unknown)
    "Thanks to the partnership of the nationally based Engineering Projects In Community Service (EPICS) and Microsoft Corporation, a generous software gift was recently donated to HOA. This software, Microsoft Project 2000, will allow the organization to implement a system to improve its special events planning. "

    Microsoft Exec to Address Georgia Tech Grads [gatech.edu] (1999)
    Deborah Willingham, vice president of Microsoft Corporation's Business and Enterprise Division Marketing, will address Georgia Institute of Technology's 205th Commencement ceremony on Saturday, December 18.

    Microsoft grant gives OMED another reason to celebrate at Tower Awards [gatech.edu](date unknown)
    This year, adding to the excitement, Microsoft Research's University Relations Group announced a grant that will put "bundles" of its latest software and publications in the hands of 1,000 underrepresented [Georgia Tech] students over the next two years.

    This was just a quick check on Google.

    Again, there might not be a cookie jar that Microsoft doesn't have their fist in, but it might be nice to know.
  • I don't believe them. I went to read their paper, but adobe acrobat kept telling me "file does not begin with %-pdf%" (or some such), so I don't know their argument in detail. But I don't need to.

    They may be wrong. Or they may be lying. I do not see a third alternative. DRM is being used to cut people off from their cultural history. This is not just bad, this is evil. Companies that either use or support it deserve to be destroyed. Taken to pieces and auctioned off to the lowest bidder. And the results used to pay for the management's pensions, golden parachute, etc. I'll bid 2 cents, who'll bid less?

    I can conceive that under some set of circumstances, with some conceivable implementation and in some environment there might be an advantage to DRM. But I cannot believe that it would ever be to the benefit of the end-users. And I can't see it being used to the benefit of independant artists. That's just too improbable.

  • This very thing, this Internet, which brought about the discussion of Digital Rights, is also the very thing which enables the discussion to take place.

    Will it be: this machine builds itself for the sole purpose of destroying itself?
  • We were just discussing this on the mediAgora weblog [blogspot.com]:

    Howard Greenstein [howardgreenstein.com] thinks Janis's idea will only work with DRM, and puts up an outline of requirements for an Open Source DRM implementation.

    The trouble with DRM is that it is trying to solve the wrong problem. The problem is not people copying digital works, it is creators not being paid.
    We don't need 'Digital Rights Management', we need 'Digital Payment Encouragement'. If I liked three letter acronyms, I'd call it DPE, but I prefer mangled classical phrases with internal capitalisation, so I call it 'mediAgora'.

    Let's take this point by point.

    1. Enables purchasing, anonymously.

    OK so far.

    2. Contains or works with business rules that allow the content owner to designate a package of rights, including "fair use" rights. How would this be done? Allow users to certify that the current play/viewing/use is a 'fair use' one. (Oh, you're saying, people will just abuse this. Fine. They're already doing it. Come up with a better idea. That's the intent of this writing...)

    Now this is silly. How does this work? Every time you try to copy it you get an EULA-style popup accusing you of being a thief and asking you to assert that you aren't? What purpose does this serve? Is it just to annoy me and encourage me to hack the message out?

    3. Enables resale or transfer of rights
    4. Enables copying to some devices for one fee, copying to additional devices for another, etc.


    These don't take any enabling - they are possible by default. It is attempting to disable them that makes DRM systems annoying, offensive and value destroying

    5. Makes sure money flows back to the correct parties, lowers friction.

    This should be number 1, not number 5. I agree absolutely, but I think that you need to think through who the correct parties are. By rewarding those who copy the work in a way that leads to a sale, you align their incentives with the Creators of the work. Being able to be paid for Promoting like this does imply giving up anonymity to the extent that payments can be tracked.

    6. Is open so people who wish know how the system works, can correct and improve it. It can work on whatever platforms can attract dev resources.

    Good idea.

    7. Is STABLE - the protocols and formats can't change all the time because keys are written into hardware.

    Where did that come from? The protocols needn't change but I expect formats to continue to evolve; as long as they have a way of attaching a short metadata reference to an ID, I think mediAgora can work with any format. By being based on consent and trust rather than coercion and restriction, the technical prerequisites are far more relaxed, and unlike a 'lock it up' DRM model, you don't need to be able to repudiate the whole thing and abandon the content when it is (inevitably) compromised.

What the world *really* needs is a good Automatic Bicycle Sharpener.

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