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MacBytes
Dec 16, 2006, 07:42 PM
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Category: Tunes
Link: Gates: Digital locks too complex (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20061216204245)
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psycoswimmer
Dec 16, 2006, 09:41 PM
So what's this Bill Gates guy trying to do? Reverse psychology? :confused:

She added: "Apple have been known to change the rules after people have bought tracks."

Typo? Shouldn't it be.. "Apple has been known..."

clayj
Dec 16, 2006, 10:27 PM
Typo? Shouldn't it be.. "Apple has been known..."No. When you refer to an organization, you should use the plural form. Apple is a "they" (as in "they have"), not a "he", "she", or "it" (as in "he has"). So Apple have been known, not Apple has been known. "NASA have been known to delay shuttle launches due to bad weather." "The IRS are (not "is") a bunch of dweebs." And so on.

Chaszmyr
Dec 16, 2006, 11:53 PM
Correct me if i'm wrong, but haven't the rules only been changed to make it more lenient?

balamw
Dec 17, 2006, 12:21 AM
Correct me if i'm wrong, but haven't the rules only been changed to make it more lenient?

No if anything they have been getting more strict. You used to be able to share over the internet, and not have limits on how many network clients connect to your library. IIRC they also scaled back from 7 to 5 PCs authorized per iTMS account.

B

applebum
Dec 17, 2006, 01:29 AM
... IIRC they also scaled back from 7 to 5 PCs authorized per iTMS account.

B

Actually, they went from 3 computers to 5. At the same time burning of a playlist went from 10 times to 7. This is fairly irrelevant though, as all it takes is changing the order of songs to have a new playlist - so you could burn an album almost indefinitely simply by changing song orders. Also, once you burn it to a disc, you can then do whatever you want with it (yeah I know it is lossy, but it is still an option) - if you are sharing over the internet, you don't want a big file anyway. Also, you probably aren't expecting audiophile quality if you are simply listening over the internet. Overall, I still say it is a pretty fair scheme.

balamw
Dec 17, 2006, 01:57 AM
Actually, they went from 3 computers to 5. At the same time burning of a playlist went from 10 times to 7. This is fairly irrelevant though, as all it takes is changing the order of songs to have a new playlist - so you could burn an album almost indefinitely simply by changing song orders. Also, once you burn it to a disc, you can then do whatever you want with it (yeah I know it is lossy, but it is still an option) - if you are sharing over the internet, you don't want a big file anyway. Also, you probably aren't expecting audiophile quality if you are simply listening over the internet. Overall, I still say it is a pretty fair scheme.

Ah so I didn't recall correctly, but there was a 7 in there somewhere. :p

I also find FairPlay very fair, but I do dislike that the rules can be changed at Apple's whim. (If you need to upgrade iTunes that is...)

B

Analog Kid
Dec 17, 2006, 02:32 AM
I also find FairPlay very fair, but I do dislike that the rules can be changed at Apple's whim. (If you need to upgrade iTunes that is...)

B
As do I, but I find it interesting how the subject changed to Apple here... Zune's DRM is much, much more restrictive that iTunes. Gates is hoping that if he gives the record industry everything they want they'll turn against Apple-- which is fine as a business strategy, but then to gather a bunch of bloggers together and give the "I feel your pain" speech is a little distasteful in my opinion.

Be forthright in what you're doing, Bill: Microsoft is trying to get special favor with the labels by playing lapdog and even paying one of them off (Universal) because they haven't been able to compete on hardware alone when their PlaysForSureIfIt'sNotZune DRM more closely matched FairPlay. If you really didn't like what DRM was doing to consumers, you would have used Microsoft's clout to relax the terms, or at least wouldn't have made them even tighter than what you had before.

I'm now convinced that DRM isn't about stopping piracy, it's about trying to get recurring revenue for each media item. If they wanted to compete with files sharing and people ripping CDs, they'd offer a scheme that allowed the same usage model-- as long as the restrictions are that tight people will use the alternatives. What they really want is for law abiding people to have to buy the same song/movie multiple times to hear/view it in different ways.

No. When you refer to an organization, you should use the plural form. Apple is a "they" (as in "they have"), not a "he", "she", or "it" (as in "he has"). So Apple have been known, not Apple has been known. "NASA have been known to delay shuttle launches due to bad weather." "The IRS are (not "is") a bunch of dweebs." And so on.

It's a difference between British (and Commonwealth) English and American English. American English treats group nouns as singular (the company is) and British English treats group nouns as plural (the company are). American grammar thinks of it as one group, British grammar thinks of it as many individual entities.

matticus008
Dec 17, 2006, 03:38 PM
No. When you refer to an organization, you should use the plural form. Apple is a "they" (as in "they have"), not a "he", "she", or "it" (as in "he has"). So Apple have been known, not Apple has been known. "NASA have been known to delay shuttle launches due to bad weather." "The IRS are (not "is") a bunch of dweebs." And so on.

Actually, when you refer to an organization, you always refer to it in the singular--it's a single entity. If you're referring to an organization as a collective effort or distributed existence (something only done in Commonwealth English), then you may use the plural form. Apple Computer is an "it" but Apple's actions and properties are plural. Again, only Commonwealth English makes this distinction--and even then you wouldn't say 'Apple have' in every context, but only when referring to Apple in a collective sense. 'Apple has divided into two companies' would be correct in both forms of English; 'Apple have divided' would be incorrect in both.

shamino
Dec 19, 2006, 12:29 PM
It's a difference between British (and Commonwealth) English and American English. American English treats group nouns as singular (the company is) and British English treats group nouns as plural (the company are). American grammar thinks of it as one group, British grammar thinks of it as many individual entities.
I've spoken with teachers from the UK and asked them about this. British English follows the same rule as American - collective nouns are singular.

The fact that most people in the UK (even in media) say "the company are" is simply a case of most people using bad grammar.

(And before anyone starts a flame-war, I am quite aware of cases where most Americans use bad grammar and think it's correct. Ignorance and apathy know no national boundaries.)

shamino
Dec 19, 2006, 12:44 PM
But backers of DRM argue it gives artists an assurance that their work is being protected.
Of course, it isn't true. DRM doesn't assure artists of anything - every DRM scheme has been broken, and all music can be purchased in a non-DRM form (like audio CD). It inconveniences the honest customer and does nothing to impact piracy.
... Also, once you burn it to a disc, you can then do whatever you want with it (yeah I know it is lossy, but it is still an option)
Lossy or not, depending on what you do with that disc. You can copy it using a disc-duplication program and make an exact image. You can also re-rip the tracks in any number of lossless formats.
I also find FairPlay very fair, but I do dislike that the rules can be changed at Apple's whim. (If you need to upgrade iTunes that is...)
Absolutely true, but this is the case for all DRM, not just Apple's.

Microsoft could easily change the Windows Media DRM without notice as well and I doubt there's anything you and I could do about it. And the record labels wouldn't complain unless the terms are made less restrictive.
I'm now convinced that DRM isn't about stopping piracy, it's about trying to get recurring revenue for each media item.
Bingo. The media industry (music, movies and even print) would like all media to become pay-per-view. They would like to eliminate all concept of consumer-ownership, relegating everything to rental-only status.

(And please nobody trot out the bogus argument of "you only bought a license". It's not true. US copyright law refers to the owner of copyright and the owner of a copy. When you buy a CD, you don't own the copyright, but you absolutely own the copy you paid for. And CDs don't come with any EULA that might change your rights.)

matticus008
Dec 19, 2006, 04:16 PM
(And please nobody trot out the bogus argument of "you only bought a license". It's not true. US copyright law refers to the owner of copyright and the owner of a copy. When you buy a CD, you don't own the copyright, but you absolutely own the copy you paid for. And CDs don't come with any EULA that might change your rights.)
Hate to step in your bear trap, but it IS true. You have to ignore the modern connotation of the term, but the purchase of entertainment is a limited transfer of rights, not a complete transfer of anything. It has never been ownership, and has never meant to be. License does not imply or necessitate a license agreement as people have taken to believing. Your CD EULA comment is a complete non-sequitur.

The original structure of this system, as any other professional or student of the law will confirm, is that copyright and trademark and everything we now embody with the term "intellectual property" derives from an intended protection (albeit temporary) of the author. If you create something, it is yours to control, and you are free to share it with other people with whatever restrictions you choose (barring expressly illegal ones). The famous term "all rights reserved" is a foundation of this--customers do not have "all rights except those forbidden by copyright law." That's not an organic consequence of the purchase and is a wholly erroneous and modern notion. Customers have zero rights by default to the artwork or entertainment work of others, except those which are purchased in the license to the work. If you find the word license distasteful, you can use "limited transfer of rights" instead, but it's less efficient.

There is no case law which grants anyone universal rights over media purchases, and no precedent exists for the wide interpretation of a media purchase as complete ownership over anything other than the physical, material goods and the license to the work. Why do CDs cost more than $3 for the materials? Because the rest is the fee charged for buying access to the music. Digital downloads do not have to have the same restrictions as CDs automatically if they come with explicitly different terms, and there's nothing illegal about selling work with different terms at different prices (or even at the same price, but that isn't a prudent business decision).

It's not a bogus argument just because it's unpopular, and I've yet to see anyone who's actually read the cases who can legitimately disagree and support their assertion. Individual cases are often sufficiently different so as to not stand as a real precedent, and as someone intimately familiar with the field, I can tell you that there is very little precedent in this field that differs from the traditional view, and while it would sometimes be helpful to me professionally (and certainly personally), it would be a dangerous standard to bear for the small artists out there who don't have the full backing of powerful corporations.

Soton Speed
Dec 19, 2006, 09:27 PM
It's a difference between British (and Commonwealth) English and American English. American English treats group nouns as singular (the company is) and British English treats group nouns as plural (the company are). American grammar thinks of it as one group, British grammar thinks of it as many individual entities.

Interesting comment on two different philosophies.

Nice comments on DRM btw.

shamino
Dec 20, 2006, 10:46 AM
Hate to step in your bear trap, but it IS true. You have to ignore the modern connotation of the term, but the purchase of entertainment is a limited transfer of rights, not a complete transfer of anything. It has never been ownership, and has never meant to be. License does not imply or necessitate a license agreement as people have taken to believing. Your CD EULA comment is a complete non-sequitur.
There's always someone who believes that the RIAA defines the law. ...

Please go and read the law (http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap2.html).

Specifically, section 202:
Ownership of a copyright, or of any of the exclusive rights under a copyright, is distinct from ownership of any material object in which the work is embodied. Transfer of ownership of any material object, including the copy or phonorecord in which the work is first fixed, does not of itself convey any rights in the copyrighted work embodied in the object; nor, in the absence of an agreement, does transfer of ownership of a copyright or of any exclusive rights under a copyright convey property rights in any material object.
You do not own the music - which nobody disputes. But you do own the physical CD. The record label can not say they've revoked your license and take away your CD.

You have the full right to play, sell, rent, or destroy the physical CD you paid for. Case law (where record labels have tried to sue used record stores) have clearly established this.

If the labels retained ownership of the physical media, then you wouldn't have any of those rights either.

matticus008
Dec 20, 2006, 01:57 PM
There's always someone who believes that the RIAA defines the law. ...
This has nothing to do with the RIAA defining the law. This is simply about your misconceptions as to what 'license' and 'ownership' mean.

Specifically, section 202:
Ownership of a copyright, or of any of the exclusive rights under a copyright, is distinct from ownership of any material object in which the work is embodied. Transfer of ownership of any material object, including the copy or phonorecord in which the work is first fixed, does not of itself convey any rights in the copyrighted work embodied in the object; nor, in the absence of an agreement, [b]does transfer of ownership of a copyright or of any exclusive rights under a copyright convey property rights in any material object.

The section you quote is not construed in a way you believe it to be. This is a simple matter of a lay person misinterpreting both my comments and the law. Read the entire section carefully, re-emphasized for clarity. The entire purpose therein is to specify that the CD and your usage rights are not synonymous--merely buying the CD doesn't get you any specified rights to the music, and the gain or loss of rights by an individual does not automatically come with any rights to any physical objects itself. This paragraph discusses ownership of copyright (the label or artist) being distinct from ownership of the copies--however it DOES NOT state that customers automatically gain any rights when buying a copy and in fact says exactly the opposite: "transfer...of any material object...does not of itself convey any rights."

This is exactly where my comments enter the picture. What you can do with the CD (which you own) is not a guarantee over what you can do with the music contained on it; your purchase of a license to the work and a CD are parallel, but not coreferential, acts. You can resell the CD, but you can't resell the music; you can later purchase additional rights or fewer rights to the music without impacting the original CD. Buying the CD does not imply any sort of control over the contents beyond the automatic grants of fair use (which themselves are not universal; see Folsom v. Marsh, Grand Upright v. Warner, Nation v. Harper, et al). With digital downloads, you are purchasing fewer rights to the music, which is why the price is lower; fair use is served with copy restrictions so long as consideration is made (Wall Data v. LA).

The labels are of course greedy, making a higher margin on the digital versions, but that's a separate issue. If the industry used fixed margins, the price would be lower not because of the lower cost of the physical parts (though that would be a factor), but because of the transfer of fewer rights.

You do not own the music - which nobody disputes. But you do own the physical CD. The record label can not say they've revoked your license and take away your CD.
And I never said anything incompatible with this statement.

You have the full right to play, sell, rent, or destroy the physical CD you paid for. Case law (where record labels have tried to sue used record stores) have clearly established this.
Again, no one is disputing this, except to say that you personally cannot rent out a CD purchased for personal use.

emptyCup
Dec 20, 2006, 02:04 PM
It's a difference between British (and Commonwealth) English and American English. American English treats group nouns as singular (the company is) and British English treats group nouns as plural (the company are). American grammar thinks of it as one group, British grammar thinks of it as many individual entities.

The difference stems from a difference in law not language. In the UK some businesses have limited liability (Ltd.) while corresponding businesses in the US are incorporated (Inc.). In other words, in the US they are given a body (made corporeal). Since these US businesses are treated as a single person legally they are referred to in the singular. Since UK businesses are collections of people (with limited liability) they are plural. The color/colour thing no longer surprises people, but for some reason, this still does.

shamino
Dec 20, 2006, 03:43 PM
This has nothing to do with the RIAA defining the law. This is simply about your misconceptions as to what 'license' and 'ownership' mean.
I don't think there is any point of disagreement between us, other than your misunderstanding of what I've been writing.

When I say you own the copy you bought, I mean just that. You can do anything you want with that physical CD and no amount of RIAA complaints can do a thing about it.

You seem to think I'm extrapolating that into a right to redistribute the music in other forms, even though I said absolutely nothing of the sort.
This is exactly where my comments enter the picture. What you can do with the CD (which you own) is not a guarantee over what you can do with the music contained on it
I didn't say otherwise. But it still doesn't make a CD purchase equivalent to a signed license agreement.

There are plenty of people (especially working for the record labels) that would like you to believe that your rights are what the label wants them to be, without regard for any laws.

The software industry managed to get away with this by using click-through licenses and by convincing some states to pass stupid laws like UCITA that make them enforceable, but that doesn't apply to the CDs you purchase, unless you know of one that comes with a shrink-wrap license.
With digital downloads, you are purchasing fewer rights to the music, which is why the price is lower
That is not true at all. The medium is different, but your rights are exactly the same as with the CD.

If, for example, you buy an unprotected song from eMusic. You can legally resell that MP3 file, as long as you delete all your copies after the sale.

DRM was invented precisely because the record labels oppose all concept of resale and the law doesn't let them take that right away from you. They can't make it illegal to resell a CD, but they can make it difficult to resell a music file in any usable form. Copyright law may allow you to resell your purchase, but it doesn't say the publisher has to make it easy.
Again, no one is disputing this, except to say that you personally cannot rent out a CD purchased for personal use.
I'm not so certain of that. As long as nobody makes any duplicate copies, copyright isn't violated.

Maybe some other law, separate from copyright, prohibits this.

shamino
Dec 20, 2006, 03:48 PM
The difference stems from a difference in law not language. In the UK some businesses have limited liability (Ltd.) while corresponding businesses in the US are incorporated (Inc.). In other words, in the US they are given a body (made corporeal). Since these US businesses are treated as a single person legally they are referred to in the singular. Since UK businesses are collections of people (with limited liability) they are plural. The color/colour thing no longer surprises people, but for some reason, this still does.
This has nothing to do with laws of incorporation.

The same discrepancy occurs when talking about any gathering of individuals, whether incorporated or not.

It is just as wrong to say "the school's football team have ..." as "Apple Computer have ..."

apachie2k
Dec 20, 2006, 04:05 PM
as for renting cd's...library's do it, is that iilegal??
in the end, we need to get rid of big greedy companies that exploit artists...
i hope to see iTunes providing the opertunity for artists to sell their music exclusivly through the internet, protecting the artists and not the people who want money for every zune, ipod, cd player, radio ect.

iMeowbot
Dec 20, 2006, 05:01 PM
as for renting cd's...library's do it, is that iilegal??
There are special exemptions for libraries and archives.

matticus008
Dec 20, 2006, 05:17 PM
I don't think there is any point of disagreement between us, other than your misunderstanding of what I've been writing.
I agree. As I said in my first post, I was simply correcting your "it's not a license" argument. By definition, the usage rights transferred to you with a music purchase constitute a license. What is absent in CDs is a license agreement, but that does not change the fact that your individual access to the work of the artist exists in the legal form of a license (limited transfer of nonexclusive rights).

The software industry managed to get away with this by using click-through licenses and by convincing some states to pass stupid laws like UCITA that make them enforceable, but that doesn't apply to the CDs you purchase, unless you know of one that comes with a shrink-wrap license.
The issue here is fair use. Fair use doesn't imply that "everyone not disallowed is allowed"--you only have the rights which you have purchased from the rightsholder and those guaranteed by applicable law, and no others. It's not like the rest of the law--permits and licensing are compromises permitting things which by default you cannot do. You cannot construe your purchase of a physical CD as assumption of ownership over anything other than the disc--the Home Recording Act allows you to make backup copies; fair use allows you to use sections without additional licensing. You're not guaranteed anything simply by the medium; the inclusion of DRM, as long as it's disclosed, is not a violation of any rights.
That is not true at all. The medium is different, but your rights are exactly the same as with the CD.
I'm afraid it is true, and even a browsing of the notoriously biased Wikipedia pages on this issue admit it, even going as far as to cite the very decision I mentioned in my previous response. Digital downloads do not have exactly the same rights, specifically because they include a license agreement and explicit terms of sale (whereas most CDs do not). Check the terms of sale for iTunes or any other vendor selling DRMed files. Your rights are not the same as what's accepted as the norm for CDs, and there's nothing illegal in doing so, as in exchange for fewer rights, you get a lower price and increased convenience. Consideration, check.
If, for example, you buy an unprotected song from eMusic. You can legally resell that MP3 file, as long as you delete all your copies after the sale.
Sure, unless eMusic's terms of sale explicitly disallow resale as a provision for the service, which holds right up until a court rules that term is illegal or unenforceable (which is certainly not a given). Explicit agreements between parties may modify copyrights; fair use does not necessarily forbid deviation, and the four-point test produces some surprising results in this field.

But again, I simply set out to correct your misconceptions about what a license is, because again all media/software/IP purchases of any kind (short of exclusive and exhaustive transfers) constitutes nothing more or less than a license to the work. The CD isn't licensed, but in a deus ex machina fashion, people refer to the CD as a cohesive whole (the disc and the license) colloquially, when in fact they are governed separately under the law. This is a point of confusion for many people in society at large (and especially journalists).

emptyCup
Dec 22, 2006, 05:53 AM
This has nothing to do with laws of incorporation.

The same discrepancy occurs when talking about any gathering of individuals, whether incorporated or not.

It is just as wrong to say "the school's football team have ..." as "Apple Computer have ..."

"The school's football team have" is wrong because team is singular and have is plural. "The teams have" is the proper use of the plural. "Apple Computer have" is as correct by Commonwealth standards as "Apple employees have". American corporations are legally, and thus linguistically, treated as a single entity while Commonwealth businesses are not. The difference is disturbing to speakers of both dialects. Rather than highjack this thread, let's just accept that language differs around the world and that the internet is not highest example of literacy.