PDA

View Full Version : Mac anti-rip code surfaces on Sony BMG CD


MacBytes
Nov 11, 2005, 08:54 AM
http://www.macbytes.com/images/bytessig.gif (http://www.macbytes.com)

Category: News and Press Releases
Link: Mac anti-rip code surfaces on Sony BMG CD (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20051111095406)

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

redAPPLE
Nov 11, 2005, 09:14 AM
anti-rip would mean to me, i could not create .mp3 or .mp4 files.

imo, this is going to be another reason for cd sales to go down.

Eidorian
Nov 11, 2005, 09:24 AM
Wow, I hope it doesn't come down to using an old PC as a Linux box just to rip CD's.

Then again I don't buy CD's. :D

nagromme
Nov 11, 2005, 09:26 AM
I certainly boycott any CD that's protected or incompatible in any way.

For the record, this is NOT the same thing Sony has been doing to Windows users (which was my first thought).

Tat was a highly dangerous rootkit, granting deep access to the OS, that Windows allows to be auto-installed with no warning or indication--and which virus outbreaks are already exploiting. The fact that such a thing is possible is a gaping flaw in Windows, and the fact that Sony would do it is bad as well.

But the Mac thing is an app he had to hunt around and stumble across on a partition of an enhance CD. It didn't run automatically, and when he ran it manually, he was warned and required to confirm it, like a good OS should do. And it was DRM software--system extensions but not a rootkit granting deep access to the OS.

And I don't think this stops you from ripping the CD. Unless you choose to install the DRM software manually, I think you can still rip normally on a Mac. (But I'd still boycott on principle.)

So it's very different from the Windows issue, and may not have affected any Mac users--unlike the Windows rootkit issue which has compromised thousands of PCs.

More details are welcomed--but that's what I gather.

killmoms
Nov 11, 2005, 09:29 AM
I'd like some more information about this, honestly. It seems he had to go FIND the thing, and THEN run it, it didn't run automatically, and it can't install those kernel extensions without consent anyway. Just how effective would this be? Could it be coded to run automatically, and if permission wasn't given to eject the CD? Then I'll start caring. Otherwise, I'll just keep ripping CDs like I ought to be able to. I was planning on buying Immi's new album (because it's awesome), but now I'm not so sure. I don't want to endorse this glorious new age of stomping all over my fair use rights.

nagromme
Nov 11, 2005, 09:51 AM
That's my impression too--it's harmless, but I would avoid it on principle.

Makes you wonder why they put something on the CD at all if it's not automatic (which it can't be in OS X)... maybe there are extra Enhanced CD features that install WITH the DRM, as an incentive to make people choose to install it? The report is too short to tell.

Or maybe it's an indication of something they started to do, and either couldn't make it work (thankfully) or else didn't finish. Just a "leftover" file that never got deleted from the master?

I'd like to know more.

PS, here's a link about the rootkit and "Stinx-E" virus that Microsoft and Sony have allowed to attack Windows music buyers:

http://money.cnn.com/2005/11/10/technology/sony_spyware.reut/index.htm

(Honestly, how do Windows users sleep at night, with their personal information and vital files in the hands of Microsoft products? Are you ever SURE you're expert enough to be safe from the next surprise? More expert than the virus-writers? And who wants to have to take the time to stay an expert anyway? Play a music CD, get malware? What next? If my business and personal files were on Windows, I'd have ulcers. Maybe nothing would happen to my files. Maybe nothing would be deleted, and maybe my identity and contacts wouldn't be stolen. Maybe I'd never have to do the labor of cleaning out malware. But I'd live in a LOT more fear of those things than I care to.)

Bad Beaver
Nov 11, 2005, 10:07 AM
Just another pice adding to the growing impression that SONY can't get ANYTHING right these days. It's just *sad*

Eidorian
Nov 11, 2005, 10:09 AM
Makes you wonder why they put something on the CD at all if it's not automatic (which it can't be in OS X)... maybe there are extra Enhanced CD features that install WITH the DRM, as an incentive to make people choose to install it? The report is too short to tell.Yeah, those enhanced features aren't really worth it for me. When I put a CD in to rip to my iTunes collection. I'm only doing it for the music.

Yvan256
Nov 11, 2005, 10:57 AM
Just another pice adding to the growing impression that SONY can't get ANYTHING right these days. It's just *sad*

Doesn't bode well for the PS3, now, does it? :(

rockthecasbah
Nov 11, 2005, 10:59 AM
Doesn't bode well for the PS3, now, does it? :(
yeah...word on the street was that the PS3 makes like a special log of the disk played in the machine so it cannot be played on multiple PS3s..that wouldn't be such great news for the used-game market...sony is really up in this anti-piracy thing these days :p

killmoms
Nov 11, 2005, 11:12 AM
yeah...word on the street was that the PS3 makes like a special log of the disk played in the machine so it cannot be played on multiple PS3s..that wouldn't be such great news for the used-game market...sony is really up in this anti-piracy thing these days :p
I doubt that's the case. Unless the machine was networked it couldn't communicate to other PS3s to prevent them from playing a disc. Not to mention that this would eliminate game rentals and the notion of first sale doctrine.

winmacguy
Nov 11, 2005, 11:51 AM
I buy all my music on CDs and I perodically borrow a few from friends and family to rip to ad to my collection. Bugger buying any from Sony if they are going to resort to these sorts of tactics to stop pirating:mad:

nagromme
Nov 11, 2005, 12:31 PM
I blame Sony, but I'd be crazy not to ALSO blame pirates.

Even those who pirate only a few albums a year. If you like the artist enough to listen, then I say it's worth paying the artist. (And protesting the artist's chosen record deals "for their own good" is misguided at best--and not a true protest unless you make public what you've done. Then you have civil disobedience and an effective statement.)

If I like an album I borrow, I either buy it or I give it back and do without.

I don't mean to sound harsh, but I've made the choice to be honest and am paying the price for those who don't, so I wish to share my choice and reasons.

iMeowbot
Nov 11, 2005, 12:54 PM
Makes you wonder why they put something on the CD at all if it's not automatic (which it can't be in OS X)... maybe there are extra Enhanced CD features that install WITH the DRM, as an incentive to make people choose to install it? The report is too short to tell.
Yes, that's exactly how it works on OS X. The enhanced content program is essentially a trojan horse that installs kernel level code. The extensions intercept CD mounts and hide direct access to the CD-DA content on MediaMax-encoded discs. It could be viewed as a "root kit" (a poorly defined term, that one) in that it surreptitiously takes some control away from the user, and the average end user won't know how to find and remove it.

I don't think that the standard Mac anti-malware software will look for these extensions, but perhaps it should.

SiliconAddict
Nov 11, 2005, 01:01 PM
(Honestly, how do Windows users sleep at night, with their personal information and vital files in the hands of Microsoft products? Are you ever SURE you're expert enough to be safe from the next surprise? More expert than the virus-writers? And who wants to have to take the time to stay an expert anyway? Play a music CD, get malware? What next? If my business and personal files were on Windows, I'd have ulcers. Maybe nothing would happen to my files. Maybe nothing would be deleted, and maybe my identity and contacts wouldn't be stolen. Maybe I'd never have to do the labor of cleaning out malware. But I'd live in a LOT more fear of those things than I care to.)

Simple. Some of us know how to enable security in Windows. Iím a Window user of 12 years and Iíve had one virus back in 93. Bootsector virus of all things. Got it off a floppy. Since then NOTHING. No viruses, no spyware, no adware. Nothing.
I was actually going to completely pass up your previous comment on the rootkit and how it "automatically" installs. There has been a LOT of FUD being put out about this rootkit. Some of it legit. Some of it not so much. First off. The package DOES NOT automatically install as in drop in the CD and bam. You are screwed. You have to click yes to the EULA and let an installer programs install the player interface and in the background the rootkit. That being said from the standpoint of not showing any signs of the software being installed. I agree. Itís BS.
Also for those of us who KNOW how to manage Windows we can secure it from **** like this. Its simply (Or not so simply for the average user.) a matter of adding the user to Power Users group, resetting the file rights on the system disk, and tweaking the registry so Power Users have limited rights. All this boils down to skills. Something that that average user does not, and frankly should not, know how to do.
This is why I evangelize OS X and Macs to users. You can get the same rough security out of Windows but do you really want to spend all that time tinkering or would you rather get down to using your computer? I personally am a geek. I hex edit files, decompile files, and generally love to tinker with my computer so for me. *shrugs* Not a big deal. For others. Big Ďo freaking deal.

pcmeissner
Nov 11, 2005, 03:13 PM
I perodically borrow a few from friends and family to rip to ad to my collection.

Now we know who we can thank for DRM. :rolleyes: :mad: Thanks!

AlmostThere
Nov 11, 2005, 04:18 PM
I buy all my music on CDs and I perodically borrow a few from friends and family to rip to ad to my collection.

I'd like to say a big thanks. Piracy has brought us lower CD prices, forced a shake up of a price fixing, monopolistic industry and it has spawned great services such as iTMS.

DRM, in an industry that exists solely on the basis of control of information, was always on the cards, but it is the pirates who are working hard to ensure that you can still enjoy your music unencumbered by such annoyances.

Go and buy the CD and when you get home point your web browser at [site name removed] to get the music. Wouldn't want to risk that nice shiny disc getting damaged, would we?

jettredmont
Nov 11, 2005, 05:09 PM
There has been a LOT of FUD being put out about this rootkit. Some of it legit. Some of it not so much. First off. The package DOES NOT automatically install as in drop in the CD and bam. You are screwed. You have to click yes to the EULA and let an installer programs install the player interface and in the background the rootkit. That being said from the standpoint of not showing any signs of the software being installed. I agree. Itís BS.


Three counter-arguments:

1) EULAs are generally regarded as click-throughs and people tend to not even realize they "agreed" to something. Yes, the observant few out there actually read the EULAs because many companies "agree" that you owe them your left testicle and firstborn child, but for the vast majority of computer users, they are as meaningful as the fine print on the bottom of a car ad on TV. They just stand in the way of you and the software you just bought and need to use, or, in this case, between you and the music you want to listen to.

2) The EULA, from my understanding, is highly deceptive. For one thing, it states that the software can easily be uninstalled at any time, which is both patently false and actively disproven in that Sony has "upgraded" their software when an uninstallation procedure was devised, to make it even harder to remove. For another, it certainly doesn't explain the details of what a root kit is or how it operates (by not just hiding ITS files, but ANY file starting with "$sys$" ... brilliant!)

3) If you don't agree to the EULA, the CD is ejected and music made unavailable. This is par for the course with EULAs, but it essentially forces anyone wanting to listen to the disk on their machine to either educate themselves in how to circumvent the Sony DRM or to agree to it and all its insecure consequences.

nagromme
Nov 11, 2005, 05:09 PM
You have to click yes to the EULA and let an installer programs install the player interface and in the background the rootkit.
An important detail that hasn't been reported much. Noted!

clayj
Nov 11, 2005, 05:40 PM
Looks like Sony's dropping this for now...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10005667/

pcmeissner
Nov 11, 2005, 07:53 PM
I'd like to say a big thanks. Piracy has brought us lower CD prices, forced a shake up of a price fixing, monopolistic industry and it has spawned great services such as iTMS.

Of course, not buying their crap, and doing without would have done the same thing. But, we American's feel entitled to fulfill our wants.

DRM, in an industry that exists solely on the basis of control of information, was always on the cards, but it is the pirates who are working hard to ensure that you can still enjoy your music unencumbered by such annoyances.

"Annoyances" such as paying for someone's intellectual property. It really bothers me that we are raising an entire generation that feels they don't have to pay for anything if it can be found for free.

shamino
Nov 11, 2005, 10:29 PM
1) EULAs are generally regarded as click-throughs and people tend to not even realize they "agreed" to something.
And unless you live in a state that signed the brain-dead UCITA (http://www.ucita.com/) bill into law (MD and VA), click-thru/shrinkwrap licenses are not legally binding.
3) If you don't agree to the EULA, the CD is ejected and music made unavailable. This is par for the course with EULAs, but it essentially forces anyone wanting to listen to the disk on their machine to either educate themselves in how to circumvent the Sony DRM or to agree to it and all its insecure consequences.
Of course, "circumvent" can be as simple as holding down the SHIFT key on disk insertion or disabling auto-run (assuming the malware hasn't already been installed, of course.)

SummerBreeze
Nov 12, 2005, 02:18 AM
God, what is the big problem with ripping a cd to your computer? I mean, it's one thing to give a copy to everyone who can find you on Limewire, but I feel like it's well within my rights to put the music that I buy on iTunes to play in my iPod. Considering my apartment isn't big enough for a huge stereo, I just listen to music through my computer. I'd stop buying cds entirely if I couldn't do this.

This thing gets me so angry, just because I buy my music and I want to do what I want with it. I know it's not a threat yet, but look what they're doing to millions of Windows users. And they wonder why the market is crap...

iMeowbot
Nov 12, 2005, 02:52 AM
And unless you live in a state that signed the brain-dead UCITA (http://www.ucita.com/) bill into law (MD and VA), click-thru/shrinkwrap licenses are not legally binding.

That would not be a good assumption to make. See for example Mortgage Plus v DocMagic. Clickwrap appears to be valid.

freeorangeshoes
Nov 12, 2005, 06:52 AM
Who does Sony think they are, really?? I am so sick of the music industry today. They blame consumers because they can't come up with a viable business model for the internet age. Even now, ten years after mp3's, they still can't figure it out. Apple has...and go figure, they still want to go muck with that and mess it all up (diff. pricing, for example).

Sucks when the consumer becomes informed and you can't walk all over them anymore?

I hate the RIAA and everything it stands for. I will gladly continue my complete lack of support for them and their artists.

If you like an artist, go see them live. That's how they make there money...

AlmostThere
Nov 12, 2005, 06:57 AM
Of course, not buying their crap, and doing without would have done the same thing. But, we American's feel entitled to fulfill our wants.

Maybe it did. There is little evidence to support the fact that piracy was actually causing a drop in sales. People were and are choosing to spend money on DVDs, computer games, iPods and other high tech goods instead. Some people were and still are boycotting mainstream music. Who is to say that these are not the actual causes of losses to the recording industries. There are also a number of studies that show piracy increased the sales of music.

IMHO, it is the perceived threat that mass piracy presents, the potential for loss and an enforced change in business model that has contributed to the changes.

What has actually caused drops is another matter altogether.

If you think that piracy was the major cause of changes in the recording industry and don't like the methods used (mass piracy) I hope you are still sending $5 / £3 extra to the record companies for each CD you purchase. I don't think people people should benefit from mass acts of civil disobedience if they are not prepared to take the risk (of prosecution) themselves or acknowledge their debt of gratitude. Recording companies are free to pursue every person downloading and making available for download material covered by their copyright.

"Annoyances" such as paying for someone's intellectual property.
Annoyances such as being able to play your music when and where you see fit, or specifically within the context of this thread annoyances such as software that makes your computer vulnerable to viruses and where removal can damage your machine, as the Sony DRM / root kit has. My post actually supported buying the CD, it was just a question of getting it on to your iRiver, iPod, Creative Zen, whatever, without risking exposure to these security flaws.

It really bothers me that we are raising an entire generation that feels they don't have to pay for anything if it can be found for free.
What do you expect when they fail to see any effects from piracy? The music industry forces the opulence of its principal players down their throats 24/7 and this continues despite the billions of files swapped and downloaded. If you want them to change their behaviour, show them the consequences of their actions, show them what copyright infringement has cost these artists on a personal level and show them the damage it does society as a whole. Until then you are just applying a diktat without reason or explanation, enforced only by the threat of punishment for those who dare to disagree.

e-coli
Nov 12, 2005, 09:26 AM
IMO people should pirate every piece of Sony BMG music they can get their hands on. Even if the music sucks, send it to a friend or six. Just based on principle.

Remember - it doesn't effect Macs. So go borrow your mother's Celine Dion CD and Rip, Mix, and Upload to a Torrent Tracker!

Oh what the hell. The lawsuit settlements alone will probably drive them into bankruptcy.

Marky_Mark
Nov 12, 2005, 10:00 AM
If you want them to change their behaviour, show them the consequences of their actions, show them what copyright infringement has cost these artists on a personal level...

Yeah, exactly. I'd really like to see what copyright infringement has cost multi-millionnaires such as Chris Martin. Give me a break.

Every time I hear about another artist wintering in Barbados or frolicking on a yacht off the coast of Southern France my heart bleeds for the personal loss downloading has cost them. Personally I couldn't give a toss. While the rest of us are grafting our nuts off scraping enough money together to buy a personal computer or a half-decent family car, they swan from one showbiz party to another.

What do you expect when they fail to see any effects from piracy? The music industry forces the opulence of its principal players down their throats 24/7 and this continues despite the billions of files swapped and downloaded.


Absolutely right. Whatever illegal downloading costs is more than adequately compensated for elsewhere otherwise they'd all be working in steel mills or insurance offices like the rest of us to make ends meet. The fact is that entertainment media is completely and outrageously overpriced, supported by a cartel of self-serving record companies who keep the price of that media artificially high.

This is why DRM is ************. It's just a mechanism perpetuated by media companies to protect their overpriced gravy train, and flagant abuse of individual rights in the described manner is a great thing because it will just bring the whole edifice tumbling down sooner. And that can't come soon enough.

So, enough of the sanctomonious, self-righteous indignation about how honest you all are. It doesn't matter and nothing changes. This is no different to taping stuff off your mate at school 20 years ago. No different at all. Did you worry back then? And furthermore, if you think it's hurting the industry, look at the average artists' and executives' wages. I think you'll find they're doing just fine, just like they always have done. Swap you Jay Kay's seventeen Ferraris for my crappy Mondeo?

*Picks up ball and stomps off...*

pcmeissner
Nov 12, 2005, 01:09 PM
I'd like to illicit your opinions. My son is 2 right now. Say when he is 13, and comes home from school with a stack of his friends CDs, and he asks me to borrow the mac so he can rip the tracks into his ipod video HD nano. What do I say?

1. "Yes" because the music companies make to much money.
or
2. "Yes" because I know you weren't going to buy those particular CDs.
or
3. "Yes" because I know this will make you buy more music which is O.K. with the music industry.
or
4. "Yes" because DRM is "annoying" and I never understood the concept of licensing intellectual property
or
5. "No" We don't steal. If that means we have to use a subscription service sans ipod that's O.K. If that means you have to get a part-time job to pay for it, that's O.K. But we don't steal.
or
6. Fill in the blank with your answer.

PCMacUser
Nov 12, 2005, 02:12 PM
Every time I hear about another artist wintering in Barbados or frolicking on a yacht off the coast of Southern France my heart bleeds for the personal loss downloading has cost them. Personally I couldn't give a toss. While the rest of us are grafting our nuts off scraping enough money together to buy a personal computer or a half-decent family car, they swan from one showbiz party to another.
Hahah just had a flash back to that South Park episode ("Christian Rock Band") where the kids are caught downloading music and are forced to witness the personal effects of downloading on the artists... Britney Spears having to downgrade her learjet3 to a learjet2, etc. Someone wanting to buy their child an island in the caribbean but not being able to afford it anymore...

Marky_Mark
Nov 12, 2005, 05:15 PM
I'd like to illicit your opinions. My son is 2 right now. Say when he is 13, and comes home from school with a stack of his friends CDs, and he asks me to borrow the mac so he can rip the tracks into his ipod video HD nano. What do I say?

For what it's worth: Number 3.

I may have done a little taping and ripping in my time (as have the majority, so don't try to tell me any different) but I've also spent in excess of £100 at the iTMS since March - the majority of which has been further work by artists discovered through less admirable means. Some of the artists have also benefitted further, as after I have downloaded a single, I have then gone out and bought their album, thereby buying certain tracks twice.

It's swings and roundabouts and I don't generally see artists getting any poorer, do you?

Marky_Mark
Nov 12, 2005, 05:49 PM
And another thing...this is the same debate we were having in the Seventies about that new-fangled cassette tape, which was also the harbinger of doom for the recording industry! :rolleyes:

At least in those days we didn't have record companies coming around and squirting glue in your tape deck. Let's not forget that trying to uninstall Sony's back door will create pretty much the equivalent effect on your CD-ROM drive, however.

nagromme
Nov 13, 2005, 12:46 AM
If you like an artist, go see them live. That's how they make there money...
That's how SOME artists make SOME of their money. I can't think of a single one of my favorite groups that actually tours. And some music can't even BE performed live.

Likewise, SOME artists are rich. MANY are not.


So, enough of the sanctomonious, self-righteous indignation about how honest you all are. It doesn't matter and nothing changes. This is no different to taping stuff off your mate at school 20 years ago. No different at all. Did you worry back then?
Yes, I did. In high school I was asked to pirate stuff onto audio tape, and I did not do it.

One little personal choice doesn't matter because of how it "changes" the world, it matters because it's right.

I wouldn't teach MY child anything less.

I'd teach my child that stealing is wrong. Not "sometimes wrong" or "wrong unless you really want to." Stealing a lot or a little, from someone who will feel it deeply or from someone rich. It's always wrong. If you want something and can't pay for it, you do without. Meanwhile, hop down to the used CD store :) And protest the RIAA--write letters, let your voice be heard, boycott, even civil disobedience (which many don't grasp the meaning of)--just don't steal, and don't promote the idea that stealing is OK.

iMeowbot
Nov 13, 2005, 12:47 AM
And another thing...this is the same debate we were having in the Seventies about that new-fangled cassette tape, which was also the harbinger of doom for the recording industry! :rolleyes:
Yep, that showed up as the layoffs of the early '80s. Quite a few of the smaller labels disappeared or were consolidated into the Big 5 over the next several years. Then the CDs came out.

CD was a major incentive for people to buy again, because it was so much better than tapes, even tapes of CDs :) That was a one-time bailout, since most people don't really notice an improvement with higher quality than CD and, of course, there are now home duplication methods that are far better than tape.

File traders will be pleased to know that people are feeling the heat. Since 2001, BMG laid off about 1000 workers (pre-merger), another 1000 at Warner (pre-spinoff), 1800 at EMI, and 1000 more at pre-merger Sony/Columbia. Post-merger, Sony/BMG dropped another 2000 and WMG let 1000 go (plus 93 acts, half their roster) last year post-spinoff. So that's 7800 people with more to come; nice work!

[Edit: you can add 1500 heads for UMG layoffs, plus all those axed in the failing labels they've scooped up over time.]

Heb1228
Nov 13, 2005, 01:27 AM
File traders will be pleased to know that people are feeling the heat. Since 2001, BMG laid off about 1000 workers (pre-merger), another 1000 at Warner (pre-spinoff), 1800 at EMI, and 1000 more at pre-merger Sony/Columbia. Post-merger, Sony/BMG dropped another 2000 and WMG let 1000 go (plus 93 acts, half their roster) last year post-spinoff. So that's 7800 people with more to come; nice work!

I hope thats sarcastic.

iMeowbot
Nov 13, 2005, 01:54 AM
Maybe it did. There is little evidence to support the fact that piracy was actually causing a drop in sales.
Those studies aren't taking into account increased marketing expenses in the form of both heavier promo and discounts (virtually everything can be had at well under list). It's like the old saw: they're selling more than ever at under cost, but they're hoping to make it up in volume.

Marky_Mark
Nov 13, 2005, 03:04 AM
File traders will be pleased to know that people are feeling the heat. Since 2001, BMG laid off about 1000 workers (pre-merger), another 1000 at Warner (pre-spinoff), 1800 at EMI, and 1000 more at pre-merger Sony/Columbia. Post-merger, Sony/BMG dropped another 2000 and WMG let 1000 go (plus 93 acts, half their roster) last year post-spinoff. So that's 7800 people with more to come; nice work!

[Edit: you can add 1500 heads for UMG layoffs, plus all those axed in the failing labels they've scooped up over time.]

THis a very selective argument, and doesn't hold water.

Firstly, the mergers and acquisitions are, in the main part of the general cycle of business. A couple of large companies merge and so the others do as well, to remain competitive in the market. Many of the smaller labels were snapped up by the large companies to secure the services of artists signed to home-grown outfits.

A lot of labels closed because they simply didn't have the business acumen or the popular artists to cut the mustard. Thousands of small businesses all over the world go bankrupt or close down every week - not many of them are record labels.

In the place of this 'diversity' is more diversity. Music has fractured and split into hundreds of sub-genres in the last twenty years, each servicing its own market with a model which works for its audience. Online marketing, distribution and sales models are becoming more prevalent every day and a sizable minority of music sold or otherwise legally traded never sees the insides of a music store at all. The large, mainstream acts like Robbie Williams and Coldplay, with huge glossy marketing campaigns and saturation of shopfront shelf space will decline as a proportion of the overall market as time progresses. The industry has had to move with the times and will continue to need to do so.

iMeowbot
Nov 13, 2005, 03:24 AM
...
That a very selective argument, and doesn't hold water. It fails to take into account the actual reasons for the losses.

Marky_Mark
Nov 13, 2005, 04:36 AM
It fails to take into account the actual reasons for the losses.
Eh? You've told us some numbers - you've not advanced any basis for their accuracy, relevance, applicability or cause.
:confused:

winmacguy
Nov 13, 2005, 03:59 PM
Now we know who we can thank for DRM. :rolleyes: :mad: Thanks!
As long as we have to pay up to NZ$34.95 for a CD I dont have a problem with that although I do fully support and purchase locally produced music due to the limited customer base in this country and the fact that the bulk of our talented musicians are struggling to make a living plying their trade. I prefer to by the bulk of my CDs in sales when they are priced from $14.95 or $20.00 each although I now have most of that price range of stuff in my collection as it tends to be older stuff. I have a pretty good collection of NZ produced music.

winmacguy
Nov 13, 2005, 04:08 PM
I'd like to say a big thanks. Piracy has brought us lower CD prices, forced a shake up of a price fixing, monopolistic industry and it has spawned great services such as iTMS.

DRM, in an industry that exists solely on the basis of control of information, was always on the cards, but it is the pirates who are working hard to ensure that you can still enjoy your music unencumbered by such annoyances.

Go and buy the CD and when you get home point your web browser at the Pirate Bay to get the music. Wouldn't want to risk that nice shiny disc getting damaged, would we?
If the greedy music execs would pay the artists a higher percentage than the measly 8 percent ?? of CD royalties AND drop the price of CDs to a maximum $19.95 NZ a CD and $29.95 for overseas dance/electronica CDs I would gladly purchase ALL my music on CD.

AlmostThere
Nov 13, 2005, 05:44 PM
6. Fill in the blank with your answer.

When he has his own computer, he will be responsible for the content and making his own decisions. While it is your computer, your rules determine what is done with it. Feel free to explain why your consider what he is doing as theft, why you disagree with him and answer his questions. Personally, I would avoid conflating stealing and copyright infringement. They are very different.

As I mentioned earlier, I think there is a real lack of the tangible effects from copyright infringement to back up the theory, especially applied to music. It is not as if measures such as DRM and the DMCA are not contentious issues, copyright measures seem to be ever increasing in length and along a similar vein, there is a real question mark about how to deal with patents and software and the effects on society. Fundamentally, what is copyright? A god-given right of the author to dictate all use of their works or a supposedly mutually beneficial arrangement between society and authors? You tie in almost any of hundreds of different broader questions about law and society you like. Seems like a pretty good way to help your son think critically and rationally.

The one thing I would suggest you don't do is discouraging your son from questioning why things are considered wrong.

File traders will be pleased to know that people are feeling the heat. Since 2001, BMG laid off about 1000 workers (pre-merger), another 1000 at Warner (pre-spinoff), 1800 at EMI, and 1000 more at pre-merger Sony/Columbia. Post-merger, Sony/BMG dropped another 2000 and WMG let 1000 go (plus 93 acts, half their roster) last year post-spinoff. So that's 7800 people with more to come; nice work!

Out of context figures mean nothing. How does this compare to the rest of industry? Nearly all of the high-tech sector has seen tough times over the last 5 years and then you can start all the statistical juggling you like. In 2002, US job loss rates were up to 7500 PER DAY! 7800 in four years? Sounds like a pretty cushy number to me. Compare this with single companies, such as IBM or Sun, who have both let go of thousands of workers over little more than a few months.

And how much was it 50-cent earned last year?

shamino
Nov 13, 2005, 10:53 PM
That would not be a good assumption to make. See for example Mortgage Plus v DocMagic. Clickwrap appears to be valid.
Only after the plaintiff transferred the case from Kansas to California - where the 9th Circuit makes all kinds of goofy decisions.

Like the one last week where they delcared parents to have no right to control what sexual material the public schools teach their children.

A huge amount of California/9th Circuit decisions are overturned by the US Supreme court. I wouldn't consider this decision meaningful to anyone outside of California.

pcmeissner
Nov 14, 2005, 07:32 AM
First off let me say, that I appreciated your post. :) We as parents definitely have some teachable moments ahead of us as we raise our children in this information age. That said, I must disagree with this statement.

Personally, I would avoid conflating stealing and copyright infringement. They are very different.

Go ahead and fire up your Oxford American Dictionary widget, and type in the word "steal". By definition I don't understand how stealing and copyright infringement are "very different." Both seem to be permission based. Either you have permission or you don't.

shamino
Nov 14, 2005, 09:07 AM
Go ahead and fire up your Oxford American Dictionary widget, and type in the word "steal". By definition I don't understand how stealing and copyright infringement are "very different." Both seem to be permission based. Either you have permission or you don't.
Stealing means you take something and the original owner no longer has it.

Copyright infringement is a case of performing an action without a license. You never take anything from the original owner (other than potential unrealized profit, assuming that you would have otherwise bought a copy from a licensed duplicator.)

While the two often have the same overall impact (loss of profit to an entity), the actions are distinct, and the legal consequences are distinct.

It is worth noting that theft is criminal while copyright infringement is civil. People very rarely go to jail for copyright infringement - penalties are almost always financial - being forced to pay damages and penalties.

pcmeissner
Nov 14, 2005, 11:59 AM
Thank you for that insightful post. Especially the difference in the civil vs. criminal prosecution. But your assertion that

Stealing means you take something and the original owner no longer has it. [but in the case of copyright infringement] You never take anything from the original owner

got me thinking. Isn't the person guilty of copyright infringement "taking" the owner's rightful control their intellectual property. Isn't the person guilty of stealing taking control of another's property without "license" of the owner. The terms seem interchangeable if you go by their dictionary definitions.

Criminal vs. civil prosecution aside, I really don't see the difference in either unethical behavior. But, I did appreciate you taking time to try to explain it to me.

shamino
Nov 14, 2005, 03:29 PM
Isn't the person guilty of copyright infringement "taking" the owner's rightful control their intellectual property.
No. If I make a dozen copies of a CD I bought, the publisher does not lose the ability to continue publishing it.

If you're a car dealer and I steal a car from the lot, you can no longer sell that car.

Big difference.
Isn't the person guilty of stealing taking control of another's property without "license" of the owner. The terms seem interchangeable if you go by their dictionary definitions.
When you make an illegal copy, you have not taken control from anyone.

The loss of potential sales, which may not have happened even without the illegal duplication, is not the same as actual loss of real property.

AlmostThere
Nov 14, 2005, 06:34 PM
Yes, there are similarities, it depends at what level you are making the comparison, so ignore the 'very' if you wish. They are close in the global scope of the law but when dealing with the simplifications found in the sound bites of the interested parties, I think it is worth reinforcing the distinction. Analogies are often drawn with stealing a CD from a shop and the astute youth will pick up on that ... curse those bright young minds ;)

Some of the differences are not just technical in terms of the law but go right to heart of what is considered property (which is obviously the basis for laws governing theft and copyright). At the risk of duplicating Shamino's post ...

What you might argue is stolen is the exclusive right to copy a certain work (usually over a certain domain), such as a book publisher in each country. Publishing or copyright agreements (noting the different laws that govern copyright compared to traditional property) often have such an exclusivity clause, although I don't believe there is any mandate for that.

However, this exclusivity (of copying rights) is a purely artificial construct. Exclusivity is bound to the agreement. The rights exist only because there is a law that says they do. Compare this to "tangible" property, there is no intrinsic exclusivity in abstract property. My taking your car precludes you having it, we cannot both have your car at the same time. My downloading a song from your collection does not preclude you having a copy too. The fact that one person has an idea does not prevent another person from using it.

While the ability to copy has been assumed and acted upon by the infringing person, the actual legal right still resides with the copyright holder, it has not actually been 'taken'. It is this legal right that gives the holder the ability to seek damages through the courts.

To apply the copyright infringement to the car example, I might take your car from your driveway but nothing changes the fact that you hold the registration documents proving the car is yours. We have to dissociate physical possession from legal ownership. Regardless of who is cruising around in your swanky Lexus, in the eyes of the law you are still the rightful owner. Now, imagine an identical car, still sitting in your driveway, and ask what is it I have actually taken from you.

To actually take your copyright, I would have to break into your lawyer's office, take the appropriate document, make a forgery, substituting my name for yours, destroy the original and present the forgery to the appropriate authority, staking my claim.

Oh, and then send you a suitably threatening legal letter seeking damages :)