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2004-07-09, 21:45
"Digital Rights Management" is a misnomer. Rights are taken away with its usage. It restricts the fair use rights (http://www.eff.org/cafe/gross1.html) of consumers. An example of DRM is the CSS encryption that is put on a DVD. If I choose to copy the DVD or to play one that was made in another country, I will not be able to do so even though it is within my fair use rights. The very term "digital rights management" is a term which endorses the beliefs of the greedy producers of digital content. When you buy a DVD you own it, but the greedy digital content provider, as represented by an organization such as the MPAA, also believes it owns and controls the DVD it sold you. So what the greedy digital content provider does is use various DRM tricks such as CSS to continue to exert influence over a product which you as the consumer should own.

Despite the sale of crippled DRM products, people have found a way around the obstacles and empowered themselves to assert their rights of fair use, by using tools which work around the DRM handicaps. Unfortunately such tools are illegal under a law known as the DMCA 1998, which makes the circumvention of copy protection illegal (http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/1201.html). The rights of fair use and the law of the DMCA 1998 contradict each other, because on one hand the rights of fair use allow for a person to purchase a program from a company like 321 Studios (http://www.321studios.com/), but on the other hand such a product that the company sells is deemed in violation of the DMCA 1998. The problem is that there are no currently no laws protecting the rights of fair use in the United States, so DRM is allowed to flourish when in fact it ought to be outlawed. As far as I'm concerned, DRM stands for "Digital Restrictions Management".

The proponents of DRM do not respect the rights of fair use. Here is a statement made by Jack Valenti, the president of the MPAA:
If everybody was a good citizen and used it for benign purposes, you'd have no problem. But if you let one person circumvent the encryption, you have to let everyone. What about the person who is not so benign?
The greed of such organizations drives them to the point that they would gladly inconvenience everybody to insure that not one person makes copies of their material. I think the only people they could legitimately be concerned about are the ones who make mass copies of DVDs or CDs and sell them on the streets. But those people are professionals and they would be the last ones to be stopped by DRM handicaps. What's pathetic about the situation is that the people who are supposed to have their rights of fair use, the benign majority in which I include p2p filesharers, are the ones who are hurt the most by DRM. DRM punishes the wrong group of people. Also pathetic is how lawmakers who are supposed to represent the people who voted for them, instead pass laws that benefit the well financed and vocally loud special interests.

There is a proposed law sponsored by Rick Boucher known as H.R. 107 (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c108:H.R.107:), Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act of 2003, which proposes changing the section in the DMCA 1998 that prohibits circumventing copyright protection with fair use amendments.

2004-07-19, 04:04
Another problem with DRM from a legal perspective is that it has a presumption of guilt in it. The courts have already decided that the reason p2p filesharing is not illegal is because it has some non copyright-infringing uses. By the same line of reasoning DRM should also be illegal because although it impairs people who are engaged in copyright infringement, it also impairs users who are not engaged in copyright infringement as well.

2004-11-28, 06:08
I've seen this DRM stuff on some Windows Media files.
Accidently downed some, deleted when I found the Evil content.

So, I was thinking why this DRM stuff is not cracked so to speak,
I mean, surely it must be doable considering what other stuff has been cracked before,
but I guess the who Windows Media isnt just worth it...