[Full-Disclosure] Re: Do you really think CDs will be protected in future?
adam at hif.hu
Thu Oct 9 12:57:25 BST 2003
Davide Del Vecchio wrote:
> I don`t know what you think about this, but in my opinion
> will never exist a method to REALLY protect CDs, just because
> I think that "if I can ear it, I can reproduce (and record) it".
> The dsp could be redirected to hd or this kind of stuff
> (just a stupid example).
Sure. In fact, analog copying will remain possible, but the DRM guys do
not care about that as much, because it is not identical quality. (which
is not to say that it is not "good enough") Also, there are approaches
where eg fake device drivers are used to "divert" the flow of the
decoded information to eg a file. This is why, when people hear of
"trusted paths" and trustworthy computing, many think that the first use
of it will be to try and make this sort of "diverting" harder by using
hardware level controls. (incidentally, they may be right although this
is not what the trusted comp folks had in mind originally)
> I cannot really understand WHAT they are trying to do...
> I cannot understand WHERE do they want to arrive...
> Maybe they are trying to deny copy "for the masses",
That's what they want. They know their userbase: many are non-technical,
and eg do not use PCs to listen to songs but rather buy the new
entertaining gadgets that the industry throws at them. (which
incidentally often means that the industry gives them the devices with
which to copy and later wonders when they are used to copy. Geeez.) They
are aware that they cannot really stop the determined attacker, but
that's not the point: this is why they also deploy protection on the
legal level: when the technology fails, they can still get after you in
court. Incidentally, this is not unique to DRM, by the way: for example
depositing items in a safe works the same way and the same assumptions.
> but there will be always someone, writing a new cdcopy tool
> "for the masses".
Again, if you look at the typical customers in a record store (I just
did yesterday) you will see many non-technical users who will not go out
and download copy-circumvention software let alone read lists like FD.
There will be some who do. But compared to letting everybody a go at it,
this is improvement for the record industry.
> I think the force point and the weakness of a CD resides in its
> "standard", if they could write their own standard format for every
> song, they could write their own "player" and maybe they could "better"
> protect their songs, btw (obvious) it will never be compatible with
> OUR standard cdplayer.
This is exactly what tehy do with "copy-protected" CDs: they knowingly
introduce incompatibilities with the standard so that hopefully it will
still play on a "dumb" audio CD player but not on a CD-ROM drive. They
also often introduce a two-layer approach: the audio CD player sees the
audio tracks, but the CD-ROM drive only sees some DRM encoded files that
can be played with a proprietary player which is normally only for
windows. This is why such CDs often are not entitled to the "Compact
Disc" logo. But people do not care about that.
And since you asked for my opinion, (although I know I will get flamed
for this) I think the recording industry does have a case. I have seen
many a music lover who never bought any CDs. But they are going about it
in a wrong way. What they need to do is this:
1.) Decrease prices. Today, there is a virtual cartel on the CD market,
almost every CD costs the same, no matter whom is it released by etc.
What's more, it stays that way even after a long time, although normally
new items are more expensive than older ones, which are often sold with
a discount. You rarely see this with CDs. (This is why eg the EU
Commission is conducting investigations because of alleged
anticompetitive practices against the major labels) Although the labels
would not own up to it, but they have already noticed this btw: here in
Hungary, I have detected a slow trend towards lower prices. This is good
and should continue.
2.) Offer added value. Good artists and managers have known this for a
long time. People will more likely buy a record which also has nice
artwork, exclusive content (maybe printed) or gives access to online
content or such.
3.) Offer digital downloads and "on-demand" CD generation. Quite often,
I may want my personal "Best of" which is not the same as theirs. Or I
may want individual tracks. The price should be reasonable, of course.
4.) Quit copy protection, since it does more harm than good: previously
it was unheard of, that people would bring back CDs to the store because
it did not work for them. This causes confusion and hurts sales exactly
to the non-technical. In the interim, all copy-protected CDs should be
clearly labeled as such in the native language of the country of sale
(which is to say, English is not enough)
5) Reorganise internal processes, cut the overhead, redesign the royalty
system so that the artists profit more.
BTW they often say that recording industry is incapable of change. This
is not true, for ex. now they have learned to put up with the "Daily
Price" used-CD shops where you can sometimes buy the same item both as
new and second-hand for a reduced price.
And yes, I still do buy CDs that fullfill my criteria above, and would
even more gladly do so, if I knew that the artists get more out of the
success of their work. I do appreciate skill and research by
individuals, but using same skills to take everything for free just
because you can is not my piece of cake.
OK, so long, let the games begin (but please try to stay more on-topic
than I was... :-)
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