[AUUG-Talk]: Downloading and playing legal music

Chris Maltby chris at sw.oz.au
Mon Oct 24 17:08:49 EST 2005

> On Mon, 2005-10-24 at 15:36 +0930, Daniel O'Connor wrote:
>> There is a fundamental collision with open source software and
>> DRM's - it isn't possible to have an open source operating system
>> and have a DRM that is meaningful.

On Mon, Oct 24, 2005 at 04:53:14PM +1000, Chandana De Silva wrote:
> Not quite. If you accept the fact that the owner of the copyright
> has a right to say how their property is disseminated, then they are
> withing their rights in asking that there be some limitations. The
> problem is the way that M$ have implemented DRM, which is a clunky
> method, putting the control of DRM in software, instead of making
> it an intrinsic part of the data. This is possible, and I believe
> we have all of the technology needed to do it.

Well, now I've heard everything...

Certainly you could use steganographic techniques to put identification
information into media files - which might be used by copyright owners
as evidence in claims for licence breaches. But it's entirely another
thing to make the media file self-enforcing of its DRM policy.

What Daniel means is that if you have control over the source code of
the player then nothing can stop you defeating any DRM associated with
the media file. But not having the source code may not be an impediment
if you are competent with a debugger and have sufficient motivation.

Microsoft's approach to that problem is to build it into the OS and
lock you out of control of what happens on your own computer. But not
even this will stop suitably motivated pirates. What it will amount to
is a fundamental change in the relationship between computer users,
software vendors and computer manufacturers which will severely limit
existing rights of end users.

The music industry has not yet made sufficient case to the users that
the end (protecting the RIAA members' ability to extort cash for crappy
recordings) justifies the means.

Vote with your feet. Find alternative entertainment that doesn't come
at the expense of your freedom!


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