[AUUG-Talk]: Downloading and playing legal music

Chris Maltby chris at sw.oz.au
Mon Oct 24 19:20:26 EST 2005

On Mon, Oct 24, 2005 at 05:47:12PM +1000, Chandana De Silva wrote:
> May be intrinsic is not quite the right word. Suppose a data file was
> encrypted with two-factor authentication. 
> The the person wishing to read the data will need something (possibly
> from the owner of the data) each time they want to read it. Think of the
> RSA Secure ID token. Now think of a simple device (possibly a USB key)
> which generates the token. The decryption software will need to lookup
> the key from the device to decrypt. The one token can be made to work
> will all of the songs, books etc., that a person has downloaded. This
> will prevent the data file being shared. It will not prevent the data
> being decrypted and written on to a CD, and then ripped any number of
> times from the CD. But the present system does not stop that either. But
> this system will  work irrespective of the software, and the software
> can be as open as you like.

This can never work unless you lock me out of my computer. Once the
file has been unlocked once and I can extract the unencrypted bits
I can do with them as I see fit - include re-distribute them in
contravention of the DRM restrictions.

>> 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.

> I don't really think that justifications necessary (ignoring the crappy
> recording bit). If a musician wants you to pay him some money in order
> to get a recording of his/her song, then they are entitled to that.

That's what's wrong with this entire debate - the assumption that the
customer will not only pay cash but also give up control of their own
computer in order to listen to the latest Britney Spears number. Almost
noone is saying that musicians shouldn't be paid for their work - the
question is about finding a way to do that that doesn't have unacceptable
social costs (leaving aside the assumption that paying the RIAA is in
any way equivalent to rewarding musicians).

> If we can open up the protection mechanism, there can be many places from
> which you can obtain a recording, and you can pay more money for a
> better recording if you like. The present system allows M$ to monopolise
> the market, this giving only data compressed via a lossy process.

I think consumers are smarter than that. We're already seeing consumer
rage about the loss when you iPod disk dies - you might have loaded many
hundreds of dollars worth of tunes from iTunes and now it's unrecoverable.
The punters won't buy on that basis. Remember ultimately whose money is
fuelling this whole industry.

The solution is not to out Microsoft Microsoft but to change the paradigm
to reflect the changes that broadband internet has made to the music market.

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

> The idea is to make the entertainment (songs in this case) available via
> Linux, so that more people will start using linux.

Get a life! Instead of putting up with monopoly software and music, go out
and demand that your local pub toss out their stupid pokies and put on some
decent local bands (and buy their home-made CDs at the gig).


More information about the Talk mailing list