Digital Rights Management – The coming collateral damage

Property owners have every right to do whatever they think is necessary to protect their property. Homeowners can build walls and add security. Content owners can add copy protection schemes to their digital content.

Unfortunately for content owners, digital rights/copy protection schemes have always proven crackable. No matter how smart the good guys think their programmers are, the bad guys have programmers that are just as smart. More importantly, the good guys have to build the perfect protection scheme, impenatrable by any of infinite number of possible attacks. The bad guys only have to find out where the good guys screwed up. Its a lot easier to be the bad guys and crack the copy protection. Which is exactly why every effort to fully protect digital content has failed.

Its an ever escalating war. Every time the bad guys crack the code, the good guys come up with a new way to try to protect their content.

Over time, the protect schemes evolve and mutate. Every few years, the good guys come up with a completely new approach. A different way of trying to solve the problem.

Call it Digital Rights Management Evolution

But this creates a problem.

As DRM evolves, the playback software and devices will change to enable encoding and playback of content using the latest and greatest versions of DRM.

So whats the problem ?

Many of us are not going to take the time to re encode the content we already own to make sure it continues to be compatible with the new playback devices we are buying. Most of us wont even know that we need to as we go through different media playback environments over the next years.

All we are going to know , is that we have files on our hard drives that we cant play back.

My advice ? Any and all digital content that you purchase and OWN, with any sort of copy protection, crack it, and make a backup copy for your own personal storage.

54 thoughts on “Digital Rights Management – The coming collateral damage

  1. i’m wondering if artists that are currently able to tour even care if their songs are traded/copied. it seems to me the real money would be in touring and the sale of merchandise such as t-shirts. not to mention being on the road has to be a lot more fun than sitting home counting beans.

    Comment by brian -

  2. All this fuss about songs and movies lol. I can’t wait til we’re copying people. 🙂

    Comment by James Vaughn -

  3. Amen brother. Couldn’t say it any better, except that I don’t buy DRM’d anything.

    Comment by Mat -

  4. Yes, This is exactly why I give everyone I know copies of MS office 2000 and Adobe Acrobat 6 standard, because they were releases that came about before the manufactures started capturing mac addresses, the new way of battling piracy.

    Comment by Tommy -

  5. Interesting that a guy who’s worked on as much pirateable stuff as you would post this. I completely agree with you. iTunes shouldnt lock files. Theyre wasting their time. Too easy to crack.
    J

    Comment by Jay -

  6. Great post Mark.

    It’s good to see someone who has some influence with content holders with this view.

    Check out this article for more good info on why DRM is in need of reform.

    http://delicategeniusblog.com/?p=170

    Comment by Adrian -

  7. Warez P2P is implementing an alternative to DRM soon. DRM is doomed. Below is the answer:

    MIM vs DRM

    MIM or Media Identification Management protects mass trading and copying of music, while allowing us to be the first ones to sell mp3s.

    This will bring balance to the music download and player markets. The labels are afraid of the growing leverage by Apple. And they see that various DRM models have created unbalance in the market. The current plan to use WMAs and Microsoft DRM to bite into the Apple dominance has them worried again. If it’s successful, Microsoft gains leverage on labels.

    The concept is simple. Songs via MIM will be blocked from mass trading on networks unless they are purchased. However, once purchased, a user can do anything with his property (portable devices, burn to CD, etc).

    Outside of a mass network, the user can only do the same thing as when cassette and CD copying started years ago…give a copy to a friend or two. Owning digital files doesn’t increase the possibilities of mass trading once outside a network. MIM stops mass trading and replication just fine.

    Instead of restricting the file from fair use, MIM will place an ID on a purchased song and will be able to track the file and its owner if the file is found to be traded on an authorized mass network or has been burned to a massive amount of bootlegged/packaged CDS.

    We can combine MIM with a new mp3 watermarking technology to create the perfect legal music distribution system.

    Here’s an example of how it may work.

    – user searches for song and initiates download.
    – MIM compares hash value to licensed database to determine if song is free or needs purchasing.
    – Using watermarking technology, MIM registers user song ID and computer IP from source… and checks to see if source is streaming from multiple computers with same user ID. If so, possible mass copying has been committed and user can be identified for questioning.
    – Upon purchase of a song, the file is watermarked with the new buyer’s info.

    kaleb@warez.com

    Comment by kaleb -

  8. Another thing, if we purchase the content legally, we should not have to crack the copy protection in order to move the media from one format to another. Why not use serial numbers like software does?

    If we don’t force a change now, what will happen when everything in our world is IP based?

    Comment by David Ward -

  9. I love your stance on this issue Mark! I’m right there with ya. I am so sick and tired of the entertainment wanting consumers to keep paying for the same content over and over again.

    If I like the content, I will buy it once. I don’t make copies to give away or sell, the content stays within my household and is used and reused. That goes for CDs, DVDs, DirecTV programming, etc. If I Tivo prgramming I’m paying for, then I can keep it on the hard drive or even burn it to a DVD if I so choose. I own that content because DirecTV paid for the rights to carry it and I paid for the rights to let it enter my home.

    If I have purchased an 8-track, Cassetter CD or DVD, I own that content and shouldn’t have to rebuy it everytime a new format is introduced. DRM is affecting all of us in a negative way and it has to stop. With all of the entertainment options and electronic gadgets available today, there’s so much “convergience” taking place but every where you turn, you’ve got someone telling you that you can’t copy this media to use on that player…It’s all crap.

    We need a new copyright act, one that protects both the entertainment industry and the consumers who SUPPORT the industry. Don’t forget it people, we SUPPORT them, not the other way around.

    Comment by David Ward -

  10. Mark!

    You never cease to amaze me! As many have pointed out you actually have a vested interest in DRM. However, unlike all other movie execs/music producers, you have someone who you put above your pocket book. ME! Your loyal, loyal, loyal, customer. Why am I loyal? Because I know when something has Mark Cuban’s name on it, it’s going to pleasantly surprise me and I will feel like I got MORE than my money’s worth!

    Thanks for fighting for the customer Mark!

    Comment by Stephen Stull -

  11. Google basically takes everyone content and makes money off it. Until they own up, digital content is not safe.

    By the way, is Google sexist and racist? The 10-K seems to say so.

    http://mrwavetheory.blogspot.com/2006/03/google-why-are-you-so-sexist-and.html

    Also, more info on how Google may be running out of steam – slow down in revenue per query

    http://mrwavetheory.blogspot.com/2006/03/key-metric-at-google-revenue-per-query.html

    Comment by Mr Wavetheory -

  12. Support DMCA Reform – Help Pass HR 1201!

    The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has been wreaking havoc on consumers’ fair use rights for the past seven years. Now Congress is considering the Digital Media Consumers’ Rights Act (DMCRA, HR 1201), a bill that would reform part of the DMCA and formally protect the “Betamax defense” relied on by so many innovators.

    HR 1201 would give citizens the right to circumvent copy-protection measures as long as what they’re doing is otherwise legal. For example, it would make sure that when you buy a CD, whether it is copy-protected or not, you can record it onto your computer and move the songs to an MP3 player. It would also protect a computer science professor who needs to bypass copy-protection to evaluate encryption technology. In addition, the bill would codify the Betamax defense, which has been under attack by the entertainment industries in the “INDUCE Act” and the MGM v. Grokster case. This kind of sanity would be a welcome change to our copyright law.

    https://secure.eff.org/site/Advocacy?JServSessionIdr010=t4th2axgh2.app2a&cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=115

    Comment by Matt -

  13. As DRM evolves, the playback software and devices will change to enable encoding and playback of content using the latest and greatest versions of DRM.

    So whats the problem ?

    The problem is there is not even a solid theoretical base for DRM technology.

    Look at cryptography in general. We have pretty much “solved” that whole problem. While there is no such thing as “unbreakable” codes, we can design codes that will have a lifespan based on the number of computations it takes to break them vs the projected computational power in the future.

    The problem is, these systems are based on Alice sends Bob as message, and Charlie tries to read that message, or Charlie tries to pretend to be Alice of Bob while talking to the other. DRM, on the other hand, is basically Alice sends Bob a message, Bob has the key to the message, but Alice doesn’t want Bob to be able to read the message. That is simply not a problem for which we have a mathematical model.

    Moreover, since any attempt to enforce this system involves putting Bob’s key in some kind of black box, it means Bob can’t use the message contents without the black box.

    My advice ? Any and all digital content that you purchase and OWN, with any sort of copy protection, crack it, and make a backup copy for your own personal storage.

    You do realize that in the post-DMCA world, you have just encouraged your readers to commit a crime. ANY circumvention of any copy-protection scheme is a federal crime. Not that anyone outside the MPAA/RIAA/BSA Axis takes it seriously, but it is a crime.

    Comment by cooper -

  14. Excellent post. There is another dimension to this, which is that libraries, archives, museums and other institutions concerned with cultural preservation will experience this problem on a massive scale (imagine entire libraries of books suddenly turning to dust.) Worse, the DMCA legally prohibits them (and everyone else) from making the kinds of preservation copies that Mark describes.

    Comment by Jeff Ubois -

  15. Google Video DRM requies it to phone home as dictated by the content owners .

    Comment by Matt -

  16. The DRM Battery study down by cNet was flawed because they compared MP3s to protected WMAs they never tested unprotected WMAs against protected WMAs or unproteced ACCs’ to protected ACCS.

    The problem for content owners with CCS protection on DVDs is that it is easily broken with various tools that are easily found via a Google search just search for “Decrypter” .DVD decryption has gone beyond the realm of hackers and “bad guys” as Mark likes to call them and has been delivered into the hands of the average Joe with a plethora of one click tools.Many wonder why Netflix is so popular it is because people can easily copy DVDs in one day and send them back to Netflix .You can store the image on your Hard drive or Burn it do DVD-R in a few hours .

    Online content distribution like that of Red Swoosh (Mark is an Investor) does have a few more protections than DVDs because the software can required to call home etc but Windows DRM has been cracked already .This is still fairly complex to set up but it will turn into a one click tool and then the game is over for Microsoft.

    http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=89243

    The problem with most current DRM systems give the users software the Lock and Key and therefore easily found by a security researcher or determined Hacker .

    http://www.craphound.com/msftdrm.txt

    Ive Had a Look at DivX DRM which is account based it it seem a far better solution to Microsoft’s DRM that relies on the components in your computer to verify if you are indeed the owner.The problem is that the major content owners have been sold Microsoft’s and Real Networks DRM snake oil and would rather go with solutions they have been using at Cinema Now and Movie link than looking at the alternatives .The MPAA is looking forward though and are in negotions with DivXNetworks Networks and have become members of the Coral Consortium to further the development of a more open DRM framework .

    http://www.divx.com/company/partner/drm.php

    Comment by Matt -

  17. Mark,
    The hard part for the content provider (and the reason we’re starting to see this HDMI crapola) is that they eventually have to show the content to the consumer. The music has to come out of the speakers, or the video has to come on the screen. That’s the weak link right there.

    Murray,
    DRM is not a “crime against humanity”. Please try to maintain some perspective.

    Comment by Gordon -

  18. Great point. This is exactly why I give everyone I know copies of MS office 2000 and Adobe Acrobat 6 standard, because they were releases that came about before the manufactures started capturing mac addresses, the new way of battling piracy.

    Vista will be littered with this kind of approach and I think will be a massive failure for Microsoft. Why do we need Vista anyway?

    Because Microsoft needs to have a platform that is harder to give away for free. And that is it.

    Additionally, the more time goes by, and the more manufactures implement piracy protection, the more we, as consumers, lease what we think we own.

    It is like they are selling hammers, but you are only allowed to use it on one nail.

    God forbid you need to use the hammer again, or elsewhere, because their model requires you to buy another hammer. And to a certian degree, that is cool if the hammer costs $1, but when it is $300, then it is totally out of line. Great point. This is exactly why I give everyone I know copies of MS office 2000 and Adobe Acrobat 6 standard, because they were releases that came about before the manufactures started capturing mac addresses, the new way of battling piracy.

    Vista will be littered with this kind of approach and I think will be a massive failure for Microsoft. Why do we need Vista anyway?

    Because Microsoft needs to have a platform that is harder to give away for free. And that is it.

    Additionally, the more time goes by, and the more manufactures implement piracy protection, the more we, as consumers, lease what we think we own.

    It is like they are selling hammers, but you are only allowed to use it on one nail.

    God forbid you need to use the hammer again, or elsewhere, because their model requires you to buy another hammer. And to a certian degree, that is cool if the hammer costs $1, but when it is $300, then it is totally out of line.

    Comment by branton ellerbee -

  19. Define own.
    If I rent a movie do I own it? Before you say no, if I buy a pay-per-view movie and PVR it. I can replay it whenever I want for the same cost, roughly, to rent it. The companies that are in the business of renting content are now letting you hold that content for as long as you want.
    The real issue is how many times do I have to pay for content? If I go see an IMAX version of a new release, it costs a family of four $50. If I like that movie and buy it, that’s another $15-$20. When a Hi-Def version of the same movie comes out, I’m sure content providers will want me to pony up more for that. I’d like a way of buying content where I license it for period of time. If during that time, technology improves the way it is presented, I’d like the upgrade for “free” until my license runs out.

    Comment by Paul -

  20. > Property owners have every right to do whatever they
    > think is necessary to protect their property.
    > Homeowners can build walls and add security.

    Subject to the caveat that it is within the confines of the law. The law, generally, being what the population at large consider fair rules to live by.

    You cannot, for instance, have “life ending” high voltage fences around your house.

    The only question in my mind is how long it takes the population at large to figure out that DRM is a crime against humanity, and as such, should be made illegal.

    Comment by Murray -

  21. Did you read about the DRM battery study that was recently done? Using Apple’s DRMed audio on an iPod runs out the battery 8% faster. Using Windows media DRM runs out the battery on players 25% faster! You’re wasting a full quarter of the energy for no user benefit whatsoever.

    I have yet to purchase any DRMed content (unless you count DVDs), and I don’t plan on it anytime soon. MP3 works fine for me, thanks.

    Comment by Dustin Sacks -

  22. I’m not sure what the solution is, but yeah, you do have me wondering if I don’t crack the iTunes protection on my “Sleeper Cell” episodes if they will play when I load the backups in a few years down the road. Will Apple still have the name/password format to authorize or what? I’m pretty much sticking to hard copies on CD’s these days, but On-Demand portable TV via iTunes is great for me. Just wish I could get some kind of credit toward the purchase of the DVD’s for the TV shows I download.

    Comment by Mark Goodchild -

  23. If you can download the update, it seems like it would be easy to figure out how the stuff in encoded. Am I wrong?

    BTW, don’t worry about the Nets today, you looked stressed on TV. Good job running the Mavs, and Avery is a great move. BTW, if you ever trade Howard/Daniels/Mbenga I will seriously question my loyalties!? 😉

    Thanks for everything Mark, your openness is why you rule!

    Comment by okie diesely doke -

  24. “Nobody has figured out a way to crack the conditional access encryption of digital cable. And no one really complains.”

    I thought of that too…which is interesting considering how satellite TV piracy is running rampant.

    Comment by gadget boy -

  25. Thank you Mark. I’m happy there’s atleast one content owner who thinks this way — my thoughts exactly.

    Comment by Justin Langhorst -

  26. Elcomsoft, a vendor of DRM-circumventing software, was recognized as an “honorary sheriff’s deputy” for helping to collect evidence in a murder case. Who says the DRMers are “good” and the circumventors are “bad”?

    http://news.com.com/2100-1023-894171.html

    Comment by Don Marti -

  27. Mark, it’s even worse than you’ve described. The problem with copy-protection is that the content has to remain available for “legitimate” use. Normally, encryption involves two parties exchanging information that nobody else can make use of. But with copy-protection, it’s one party attempting to control the other party’s use of the information. That will never work. If media consumers have enough access to media to enjoy it, they’ve got enough access to copy it.

    In this arms race, the “good guys” don’t have a chance. Either they leave their content open enough to be stolen, or they protect it so much that their customers can’t use it. The only middle ground is where both are true, and the only way to enjoy the media you bought is to steal it.

    Comment by Colin Putney -

  28. unfortuneately, cracking digital encryption, even for a the completely legal purpose of creating personal backup copy, may not be legal in itself. the DMCA makes it a crime to crack encryption, no matter what your purpose is.

    Comment by db -

  29. I think the easiest way to for content creators to make sure they earn some revenue for the content they produce is by making sure they offer it on the internet for a very cheap price. The reality is with the new medium it will be harder to monopolize production and distribution of any content- this will probably mean lower profits for ‘superstars’. At the same time it’ll probably mean greater diversity and more content produced by ‘amateurs’.

    Comment by Akeel Shah -

  30. Nobody has figured out a way to crack the conditional access encryption of digital cable. And no one really complains.

    Comment by Andy -

  31. Mark, glad to see you’re advocating this, and I’ve been doing it for awhile. For some reason, I’ve recently been having a problem with iTunes where when I try to access the songs I’ve purchased, and it forces me to enter my iTunes account password. No biggie. But then I get an error in iTunes and it won’t let me access the files. And because of this, all music I paid for is automatically removed from my iPod. Thanks, Apple. If they would just let me buy songs that were an open format like mp3 I would buy a lot more music from them, but because I’m worried about things like this happening in the future, or having to worry about file management if I switch computers or switch to a non-Apple portable music device, I’m much more hesistant about buying music from them, or anyone else who sells copy-protected content. And sometimes this means in my laziness I’ll download the torrent instead of having to go to a store or amazon to buy the cd.

    Comment by Conor Sen -

  32. Does this mean all of DVDs that have you name in the credits won’t feature copyprotection? Or you’ll at least supply the buyer with a simple way to be able to make a copy?

    Comment by Joe Corey -

  33. All right.

    So Mark, as a content owner and provider, where are your properties in relation to DRM? Can I make a copy of The Smartest Guys in the Room for my Ipod? Can I download the latest Mavs game from nba.com to my computer at work?

    And if I can’t do those things now, how much and how many different people will I have to pay for that Privilege?

    I think it’s funny that, in their zeal to stamp out ‘piracy’ content owners have taken to treating their paying customers like criminals.

    Comment by Mike G. -

  34. Be a sport, avoid DRM.
    http://www.bad-motherfucker.nl/article/11/What-about-my-rights-/

    Comment by NeoTeq -

  35. The problem is, these systems are based on Alice sends Bob as message, and Charlie tries to read that message, or Charlie tries to pretend to be Alice of Bob while talking to the other.

    Comment by runescape money -

  36. Instead of restricting the file from fair use, MIM will place an ID on a purchased song and will be able to track the file and its owner if the file is found to be traded on an authorized mass network or has been burned to a massive amount of bootlegged/packaged CDS.

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

  37. It is great that you analyze the issues on DRM. These issues have been a concern for the drafters of the new GPL v. 3.0, and has been talked about in the open source community. What are your thoughts on the new GPL v. 3.0 as it relates to DRM?

    Comment by CompanyCounselor -

  38. Perhaps they find a few cracks for some games. They hold a press conference to announce that they have busted a major pirate of copyrighted material. Not only he is a pirate but now he is also a hacker to law enforcement and the media. His boss finds out and fires him.

    Comment by Autoable -

  39. Hi Mark,

    I own a company that does movie downloads over the Internet. I’ve been telling everyone that there are three types of people that say DRM can even reduce piracy:

    (1) Folks from technology companies that want to become the gatekeepers (i.e. toll collectors) of a proprietary standard so that everyone will have to pay them. These folks only want protection from competition.

    (2) Entertainment industry executives that tell their bosses and stockholders that DRM is the magic pixie dust that will protect existing revenue streams, and thus justify their own jobs for another fiscal quarter.

    (3) People that have been snookered by groups 1 and 2.

    Sooner or later this truth will be accepted by most people. In the meantime, a lot of innovation will never happen and consumers that are willing to pay, will loose out because they will not be able to enjoy new services and technologies. Many of these people have converted (or will convert) to piracy.

    A lot of people told me that I was crazy for my views. “The major studios will never go for anything that doesn’t have fool-proof DRM,” they would say, even though all the smart ones admitted (in private) that DRM is a hoax. It seemed like they were talking about someone’s rich demented uncle. “I know he’s crazy. But you’d better go along with his lunacy, or else he’ll cut you out of the will!”

    I’ve read your blog and I’ve heard you speak. Before I did, I was even starting to wonder if I really am crazy. Thanks for injecting a dose to truth and reality into this debate. We need more people that don’t give a hoot about what everyone else thinks is true.

    Best Regards,
    Jim Flynn
    EZTakes Downloadable DVDs
    http://www.eztakes.com
    (413) 529-0870

    Comment by Jim Flynn -

  40. To Matt

    Although I understand your point, I disagree – music in a purely digital format doesnt have as much value as a physical CD.

    If I download an MP3 I have no packaging, no physical object – What happens if my music account or computer/ipod fails or if Apple or another online music company went under? What happens if my mp3 file corrupts?.

    At least with a physical object I can;

    i. put it into any format I wish
    ii. therefore play it on any device
    iii. Play it in my Car/stereo system with the minimum of fuss.
    iv. resell if I wish to.

    none of which I can do easily with a pure digital format.

    Computer software is always offered at a much cheaper price (often less than half price) when its downloaded rather than physically purchased.

    Comment by Ben Hobbs -

  41. Pong32- while you are right that nobody actually “owns” the music they purchase at the store, you are missing the point of Mark’s blog post. We should be working toward getting rid of DRM. Since you’re in law school you might want get help with your grammar- “People who know Sen. Hatch; who is the one who manages the copywright laws as a prominent member of the Senate Judiciary Committee” is not a sentence. Try learning from the “good” lawyers out there like Larry Lessig who has been talking about this same topic on his blog:

    “We should be building a DRM-free world. We should have laws that encouraged a DRM-free world. We should demonstrate practices that make compelling a DRM-free world. All of that should, I thought, be clear. But just as one can hate the Sonny Bono Act, but think, if there’s a Sonny Bono Act, there should also be a Public Domain Enhancement Act…”

    http://lessig.org/blog/

    Comment by CelticsFan -

  42. Mr. Cuban, I’m sorry, but your reasoning is circular on your conclusion that one should ‘backup’ all content they ‘own.’ You overlook the fundamental premise of copyright law, which states that the interest given up by the artist in exchange for your $15 for the CD, is the right to the song ON THE CD. You don’t get free and unlimited use of Thriller for life simply because you purchased the cassette in 1991. If you want to simplify the transaction to that level, then you are cutting out 100 middle men between MJ and the end-user. That will make people loose money. People who know Sen. Hatch; who is the one who manages the copywright laws as a prominent member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Your advice boils down to: Steal from all the middle men, but not MJ himself. This seems ‘moral’ within the context of someone trying to make a dollar off someone’s blog, and the only thing at stake is the intellectual ownership of ones words, but not when the production of content is only one cog in the machine that is the marketplace of ideas. Sorry, I’m in law school…just had to be said.

    Comment by Pong32 -

  43. I guess what Mark trys to say is that protection against the bad guys is good, but it isn`t if you as customer need to buy a new Disc of some random artist cause the old (same) disc don`t play on your player cause you haven`t the one with the DRM code on it. I guess what he ask is if every CD, DVD etc. you bought is worth the money for the rest of your life, because if you can`t play a CD from 2000 in 2010 you were billed for 10 years, not for your whole life how it should be.

    Comment by MavsFan -

  44. Mark,

    Are you saying that the bad guys are really the good guys? Are you telling everyone to be bad guys? Maybe you should tell people they should stand up for their rights instead of fiddle-farting around with their digital content. That’s not going to solve any long-term problems…

    Correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t the content owners the ones who came up with DRM and helped to write the ridiculous DMCA that keeps us all under the thumb of prehistoric companies that refuse to change their business models?

    Mark, you have more power than you think to help change the situation that exists. Your business model with respect to films you help produce is a testament to that. Besides there’s people in that corner already fighting the fight against ignorant lawmakers and corporate greed.

    Check out our this trailer to our new documentary if you feel the same, it premieres in New York and San Francisco next month…

    http://alternativefreedom.org

    Comment by Shaun -

  45. Mark, This article (linked below) is related to your recent blogs. While reading it, I actually wondered what you would think. At the least I am sure you will find it interesting:
    http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/F8RH1uZXB6nffw/Industry-Uneasy-With-YouTube-Craze.xhtml

    Comment by James Vaughn -

  46. TO BEN

    the reason they charge the same price is called sales channel conflict if they charged less wholesale to content services than they do to say Wallmart then wall mart would demand that the entertainment industry lower thier prices for them .

    Wallmart provive the studios 30% of thier total revenue and this Article about Mark trying to upset the video window eplaines how Wallmart controlls the video market in the US .

    http://www.slate.com/id/2128631/

    Comment by Matt -

  47. Mr Wave Theory thinks that there is a Bubble 2.0 for Web 2.0 and Most Analysts Are Overestimating the Size of Google’s Total Addressable Market for Internet Advertising

    I am sick and tired of hearing analysts make wild projections about Google’s growth prospects based on wild projections about the size of Google’s total addressable market.

    Continued …

    http://mrwavetheory.blogspot.com/2006/03/bubble-2.html

    Comment by Mr Wavetheory -

  48. I fail to see why digital content that I store on MY hard drive or MY iPod is charged almost exactly the same as if I went into a shop and bought the CD. Theres no packaging, no shop or employees to pay for, no warehousing cost, production costs or transportation.

    Personally I think that songs should be around the 25c mark with DVD’s at say perhaps $5. At those prices it wouldnt make it worth pirating thus no need for DRM.

    The problem with the music industry is that they believe that if a ten year old has 10,000 songs downloaded on his PC, then thats $10,000 thats been stolen from them, not really the case seeing as the ten year old’s never going to spend $10,000 on CD’s.

    Besides do we really need more music stars driving around in gold plated Bentleys.

    Comment by Ben Hobbs -

  49. The original post here is actually making an argument, on a non-technical level, that has been made in the past:

    http://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram-0105.html#3

    This guy knows more about cryptography than perhaps anyone else on earth, excepting maybe a half-dozen guys.

    Comment by Garrett -

  50. It is all about controlling the payments since nothing can be protected from un-authorized use like music. So he who controls the DRM controls the payments. Its about money not Rights. Microsomething would like to be the digital banker its a good franchise better than owning a basketball team.

    Comment by Jim Nesfield -

  51. Here is an interesting perspective on Windows Vista and how it will affect online video, music, and photos and why it is bad news for Google and Apple.

    http://mrwavetheory.blogspot.com/2006/03/why-windows-vista-delay-is-bad-news.html

    Comment by Mr Wavetheory -

  52. An exciting book to let share with you: China’s global reach: markets, multinationals, and globalization by a famous Chinese thinker george zhibin gu. It is a must read, as it has vast cutting-edge ideas on hot global issues.

    Comment by Joe -

  53. Here is the scenario that I fear could happen today or the near future: Jack builds a kick-ass multimedia server. It’s chock full of MP3’s that he has ripped from his own CD collection. It’s also full of DVD movies that he has ripped and encoded to AVI files. It has a TV tuner card and he has developed/subscribed to software that lets him use it as a PVR. It is connected to his network so other PC’s can play the movies and songs at the same time. One day he leaves it connected to the internet and forgets. He has also forgotten to get the updates for his OS and his PC is compromised by hackers. They discover the media files and subsequently make his PC available to others. The RIAA eventually finds the content on this PC via a scan. Jack eventually discover’s his error and updates his PC and makes it unavailable on the internet. The next thing he knows is that law enforcement is at his door with a search warrant. Not only do they find the media content but they also find a few tools he downloaded to crack some ZIP files that he forgot the password to. Perhaps they find a few cracks for some games. They hold a press conference to announce that they have busted a major pirate of copyrighted material. Not only he is a pirate but now he is also a hacker to law enforcement and the media. His boss finds out and fires him. Oops, the TV card he bought does not recognize the broadcast flag. There is another crminal charge. The RIAA and MPAA are also suing him for money he will never have. All of this on top of the criminal charges he is facing. It doesn’t matter that he never freely shared anything. It may not even matter that none of his files were actually downloaded and distributed. This is what I fear.

    Comment by Mendrys -

  54. Wow, advocating “back up” copies.

    Booo to DRM! Down to DRM!

    Cheers mate.

    Comment by George Polizogopoulos - Trader -

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