p2pnet news view | Movies:- Unlikely as it may seem, Sony seems hell-bent on getting back into the DRM business. And many (most?) of the big Hollywood studios are apparently playing along.
DRM —- Digital Restrictions Management consumer control —- has never worked, and it never will.
It can’t. Because if you can see it or hear it, you can copy it and DRM has been all-but dropped by even its most ardent supports, the major record studios.
“DRM, digital rights management is quite possibly the holy grail of the music and movie industry, allowing them to control exactly how DRM protected content is used, distributed and above all can be tracked right down to the individual end user,” we quoted Sander Sassen as saying.
We went on, “It might be more accurate to say the entertainment industry wishes DRM allowed it to control how content is used, but as things stand, it’s a largely unfulfilled dream.”
Nothing has changed since p2pnet posted that in 2004, but Hollywood just won’t give up and now a new DRM “initiative” that’s been “tentatively” dubbed Open Market, may be on the way, says TechCrunch.
It is, of course, axiomatic that whenever Hollywood or its MPAA, or anything connected to it/them, says ‘open,’ it means the exact opposite.
Open Market was first proposed last year by Sony Pictures and, “all of the major studios” are, “already on board,” says the story, although, “notably absent” is Apple and the various Walt Disney studios which are, “strongly backing the iTunes/Fairplay scheme”.
You’ll remember Sony’s disastrous attempt at DRM through its rootkit spyware program. It concealed consumer management software on its music discs. When buyers played the music, the spyware, which was also dangerous to their computers, was automatically planted without their knowledge or consent
Sony is still suffering fall-out.
And Apple’s in-house ‘Fairplay’ (same applies to ‘fair’ as it does to ‘open’) DRM has probably caused it to forfeit more custom and customers than it’ll ever know.
Partners in crime
Open Market (.pdf here), “is a set of policy decisions and a software and services framework that will allow interoperability of various formats and DRM schemes that are currently splintering the market,” says TechCrunch, continuing »»»
A key part of Open Market will be a neutral third party to manage device registrations and movie purchases/rentals to ensure interoperability. This “domain” provider will manage services that let users register devices (PCs, televisions, mobile devices, etc.). Any movie purchased from any service provider can then be watched on a registered device.
Supposedly a whole slew of companies are supporting the effort. Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal and Time Warner are on board. Retailers like Amazon, Target, WalMart, Comcast, MovieLink and CinemaNow are also said to be participating.
However, by the time Sony and its partners in crime get their act together, argue about who gets what, sign contracts, accuse each other of reneging, sue each other for breach of contract, come up with counter-projects, sue each other for again, and so on, their former ‘consumers,’ now transformed into customers with free choice and the will to exercise it, will have taken off over the horizon and out of sight.
Meanwhile, people will always be able to use one analogl or digital means or another to copy anything they can see or hear.
Jon Newton – p2pnet
Los Angeles Times – xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, August , 2008
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