DRM and the iPad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Nostromo, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. Nostromo macrumors 65816


    Dec 26, 2009
    Deep Space
    Here is a website that deals with a problematic issue concerning the iPad: the extreme use of DRM (Digital Rights Management) that will freeze out competing software and can inhibit innovation.


    The way Apple treats programmers at the app store seems to only be a first taste.

    This site claims that Apple will be able to access content on the iPad. Remember the scandal when Amazon.com erased all digital copies of "1984" on user's Kindle's because it had overlooked a copyright technicality?
  2. admanimal macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2005
    There is nothing different about DRM on the iPad versus the iPhone or iPod Touch.
  3. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    I abhor DRM just like the next guy, but lets face it, stifling innovation hasn't been a huge problem with the iPhone/Touch apps. There are duds like the millions of fart apps, and there are gems like Doodle Jump, Pocket God, RedLaser, and DragonSearch. That's the sign of a healthy marketplace.

    Where DRM is problematic is when it prohibits you from putting your iPad Book on your Kindle or vise versa. But that is a universal DRM issue, not iPad specific. In fact the EPub that Apple uses doesn't have DRM, only allow it to be added. It's the publishers that are pushing it. What really needs to happen is for the major publishers to agree on a single eFormat and single DRM method so that any eBook you buy anywhere can be played on any eReader you own.

    Generally I think EFF (eff.org) is smarter on these issues than defectivebydesign. DBD seems to be more anti-business than concerned about the real public policy considerations.
  4. master-ceo macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2007
    The SUN
    Interesting post OP. This is why a JB on the iPad is a must, if I was to buy one.
    They already get down like that. I was reading something on a C64 app.
  5. thejakill macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2005
    How it "treats" developers? You mean by offering them a popular, easy way to sell their products without having to develop the marketplace themselves?
  6. EssentialParado macrumors 65816

    Feb 17, 2005
    Just to put this into some perspective, DefectiveByDesign are saying Apple are restricting software development, yet it's actually the App store developers who are asking for more effective DRM to combat App store piracy.

    I always find it funny when a certain group claims to represent the rights of 'others' but it often turns out to be untrue.
  7. skubish macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16)

    I am not concerned about DRM on the iPad. I am more concerned with the pricing on ebooks. $15 is too much. Even the $10 Amazon charges is too much when I can get paperbacks for $5-$7.
  8. iStudentUK macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2009
    I don't mind having to have iTunes to sync simply because it is free (although it would be awesome to sync wirelessly- I think I read an article last year about direct device to device wifi communication coming in 2010?).

    iTunes music is now DRM free, and you can add a good range of file types to your library. So music-wise the iPad seems great.

    However, one of the biggest problems with the iPad in my mind is the video (and with the iPhone and iPod Touch). Few other people seem to have mentioned this. I don't want to have to convert all my .avi files to get them to play! I know .avi is going out of style and H.264 is good, but a couple of Apple guys could add some other codecs in just a lunch break! This is also the reason I don't like Apple TV, plus I won't buy TV shows or movies from iTunes due to the DRM and the high prices.

    I find the iPad video set up disappointing, especially for a media centred device. It would be great if Apple allowed wireless streaming to the iPad (Apple TV style) from a decent range of codecs.

    Just as the Apple TV was a great idea poorly executed, the iPad was a great idea reasonably executed.
  9. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009
    Unfortunately much of the DRM that we see to day, in all products, is there to appease the publishers. Many publishers will not allow their products to be sold unless the distribution method has some level of DRM. At one time I worked for a large software company that wanted to distribute their game without any copy protection; but the publisher refused to allow it, thus they added the DRM.

    Apple has shown that they don't like DRM either, and had fought to get the music DRM removed. That took years of work. I'm sure to appease the book publishers they had to give in and add DRM to the books as well. The goal is to make eBooks a standard and available to everyone. Then once they have become a staple, push back on the publishers to allow them to be DRM free so that people can use them as they want. But right now, that's not going to happen.

    I would hope that Amazon and Apple could work together to have one unified DRM model so that you could use your books on either device while potentially still having it tied to your main machine's account. This would be nice, but I don't think it will happen any time soon. :(
  10. X_Entity macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2004
    Air Video.

    If you have a reasonably fast desktop machine (Windows or Mac) Air Video will allow you to transcode on the fly whilst streaming to your iphone/ipod touch/ iPad. You can also queue stuff for conversion and then add that to iTunes which can be synced up to your idevice.

    I've been using it since the iPad was announced and had the same worry as you. So I thought I'd test it out on the iphone to see the results.
  11. applesupergeek macrumors 6502a

    Nov 20, 2009
    Hey why were my posts removed? (as well as the posts of other posters that +1 my comments?)

    I was making very valid points in terms of apple and drm, how they were instrumental in barring drm from music, how they dislike the drm crippled blu ray, and how they are the first big manufacturer to go with epub an open standard with only optional drm.

    Then some guy with a mac rumors "demi god" tag made some embarassing claims that apple is all about DRM, because they won't allow OS X to run on non apple hardware and use itunes (instead of whatever anyone fancies) to sync their mobile devices...

    Nice one, way to go with censoring posts.:mad:
  12. jeznav macrumors 6502

    Aug 10, 2007
    I agree. The problem is Jailbreaking apps that leads to piracy and developers like me do not want that. Although developers can circumvent it by in-app purchases.

    I rather Apple to control/manage the distribution of applications exclusively than having my apps spread out like a chaotic mess out there in the Web, popping up in warez sites, decrypted and cracked/unlocked.

    Also, users do not have to look around the web, when they can just visit one place called the Appstore. It greatly increases the chances of sales.

    There is nothing restricting about Software Development on the iPhone. It is its own ecosystem that works, and if every developer follows the rules, its a more friendly environment than free roaming applications like in Desktops. Just look at Windows: How do you trust the executable if you don't know what would happen to your system masquerading as a malware? Because there is no such thing as a Windows App reviewal process, you have to rely instead on Signed Code, certificates, and 3rd party apps to prevent problematic programs. Users shouldn't have to worry about that.
  13. voidptr macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2007
    The iPhone / iPod / iPad depend heavily on hardware decoding for H.264 content instead of decoding them on the main CPU. Decoding video on the main general purpose CPU would use far more power and take cycles away from the rest of the system than doing it in dedicated hardware. It's not just a matter of adding another software codec like it is on the desktop where you have an excess of CPU cycles and not a limiting power budget.
  14. iVoid macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2007
    You realize that the fact that Apple applies such extreme controls to App development is what led to the Jailbreaks in the first place?

    First iPhone had no Native App development which led directly to Jailbreak to allow people to make native apps

    Current App store restricts and censors what can be sold in the App store = Jailbreaking is still desired by many.

    If Apple would let non-Apple approved apps to be installed manually (maybe with a big legal warning that doing so could cause problemsand Apple will no support software problems with non-apple approved apps), Jailbreaking would be almost unnecessary for people.

    Since installation would still be through iTunes, it could detect if any pirated apps are trying to be installed.

    You just contradicted yourself. The "Rules"you speak of are restrictions on what you can develop for the iPhone.
  15. EssentialParado macrumors 65816

    Feb 17, 2005
    Let's be realistic here… Apple's restrictions are very minimal and very reasonable:— No torrenting or P2P apps, no porn apps or apps with unnecessarily excessive immoral themes, no deep OS customization apps, and no apps that infringe another person's/company's copyright. — Those are the primary reasons people jailbreak. I find it silly how you can argue this is restrictive to developers, or is seriously damaging the abilities of developers. And I believe you'd find it extremely difficult to find a single app store developer who agrees with you either.
  16. iVoid macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2007
    There have been MANY examples of developers speaking out or even ending iPhone app development due to the overly restrictive policies. Joe Hewitt's decision to stop developing the Facebook App is one example. Take off the Apple colored glasses once and a while.

    You may be okay with Apple's restrictions, but don't assume everyone is. I prefer to think for myself, not let Apple do it for me.
  17. richpjr macrumors 68030


    May 9, 2006
    No, by allowing or disallowing an application to be sold, solely on their whim. And if you don't follow their rules - too bad, you have no other option at all.

    And consumers are getting the shaft too. Yes, I understand all of the "positive" reasons they list, but why can I only buy from Apple? What if there is an app I want that they don't want sold on their store? What if want to load 6 iPods with my music and applications instead of 5?

    The main thing people are losing sight of when being seduced by the "ecosystem" (I hate that word!) for the iPhones, iPods, and now iPads is who is controlling the content. I absolutely love how easy it is to buy music using iTunes and I rarely by CDs and more. But now Apple is getting control of the music industry and from the looks of it, will stand a good chance to do the same with the movie and book industry. People should be very alarmed at all of that being under the control of one company. People screamed bloody murder at Microsoft for dictating things when their monopoly was in full force, and they didn't go as far as Apple did. It's pretty naive to think that when Apple is in control, they won't impose their will and do what is best for them, not the consumer. And that is not a good thing for us.
  18. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    DRM benefits the user by providing them with more app choices.

    For every iPhone developer who complains that Apple's DRM restricts their app from distribution or some feature, the DRM focuses so much customer money and attention on the one and only App store, that 10 other developers replace the complainer by developing other new interesting apps.

    For every thief who downloads cr*cked apps, their choice of this illegal content is actually much greater due to the larger number of developers brought in by Apple's DRM'd ecosystem.
  19. EssentialParado macrumors 65816

    Feb 17, 2005
    As an example, let's look at this thread made a few days ago - How to Fix the App store — How many of them ask for the App store to be made more open? Zero. None of them even thought about it, it's not even a poll option.

    In fact what they do say is to make the App store more closed; to remove all the crappy spam apps from the store, and make it so developers need to be more properly certified, to clean up low quality apps from the App store.

    Yes, I'm well aware a "handful" of developers have complained about the App store process. But the other 100 thousand? They couldn't care less, and are apparently extremely grateful for a self-contained software portal they can sell their apps on.

    For every person who complains about the App store being so closed and tightly controlled, I could find you a developer who complains about the Android marketplace not being closed enough.

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