CORY DOCTOROW ON DIGITAL RIGHTS MANAGEMENT

Cory Doctorow, one of the chief contributors to popular web site BoingBoing.net, has written a compelling article about digital rights management for Information Week. It’s a nice overview of the effects of DRM on consumers. There’s a compelling argument that DRM is bad business – bad for the music and video industries, bad for consumers. […] continued

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DRM HISTORY AND HACKING

Content creators and publishers are engaged in nonstop efforts to lock down the products you purchase from them. This is a fascinating article about the history of digital rights management and what to expect in the future.

Most restrictions have been cracked so far, whether on CDs, DVDs, E-Books, or downloadable audio. […] continued

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URGE MUSIC AND THE SMALL PRINT

The Urge music service, an iTunes competitor jointly sponsored by Microsoft and MTV, is supposed to be one of the major selling points of the new Windows Media Player 11. When I clicked on it the first time, the service asked permission to download some software. I declined – I don’t plan to shop there and my unbending rule of thumb now is to be conservative about installing software. […] continued

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BETTING ON SONY

Sony is gearing up its marketing department behind Blu-Ray DVDs, its next-generation disc for high definition movies. Toshiba and its partners are lined up behind HD DVD, a different, incompatible format. Sony hopes that you’ll buy its Blu-Ray players and movies this year, and it’s especially hoping that you buy a PlayStation 3 next year with a Blu-Ray drive. […] continued

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PLAYSTATION 3 DELAY

Sony confirmed today that the Playstation 3 will not appear until November – a potentially disastrous setback for Sony’s struggling electronics division.

Sony is having a bad time. Sony is completely out of the market for handheld music players, a market it used to own – remember the Walkman? The publicity over the malware installed on computers by Sony audio CDs was one of the most embarrassing and damaging incidents suffered by any technology company. […] continued

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RIAA BANS TELLING FRIENDS ABOUT SONGS

In the news today:

“LOS ANGELES-The Recording Industry Association of America announced Tuesday that it will be taking legal action against anyone discovered telling friends, acquaintances, or associates about new songs, artists, or albums. “We are merely exercising our right to defend our intellectual properties from unauthorized peer-to-peer notification of the existence of copyrighted material,” a press release signed by RIAA anti-piracy director Brad Buckles read.

[…] continued Read more

SONY ROOTKIT OFFICIALLY MAINSTREAM NEWS

Sony is having a bad month. They’re still trying to sweep the whole thing under the rug, but their malware has even hit the comics page.

If you haven’t been following this, here’s my note about the first report that some Sony audio CDs secretly installed a “rootkit” without disclosure – basically a virus that cloaked itself in an unsafe way by changing Windows behind your back and monitoring all CD activity, as well as reporting to Sony. […] continued

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SONY POSTSCRIPT: DRM FOR MACS

With reports of viruses in the wild taking advantage of Sony’s malware, Sony has agreed to drop the DRM software it licensed and take a deep breath before jumping back into copy protection.

Sony’s overreaching has ensured that every move intended to lock down an audio or video disc will be scrutinized under a microscope for years to come. […] continued

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SONY FLAILS

The Sony DRM debacle will continue to be in the news. Sony was hit with a class action lawsuit in California yesterday, and new information has emerged about the software that Sony has made available to uninstall its malware – namely, that Sony has made it difficult to obtain, and harvests your e-mail address and requires the installation of additional suspicious software before you’re allowed to download it. […] continued

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SONY’S LICENSE AGREEMENT

Sony is taking a lot of heat for the malware installed on people’s computers by Sony’s DRM software. Here’s my writeup and links, and some followup information.

Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing.net has dissected the license agreement on Sony CDs, which is full of provisions that make the DRM software look mild. […] continued

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SONY IN HOT WATER

There’s a lot of talk online today about the malicious software installed when you play a protected Sony CD. Here’s my first reaction to it a few days ago, and here’s an article in the Washington Post and one from PCPro, for example.

Watching Sony’s home entertainment division implode with one poor decision after another is sad. […] continued

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SONY AND AUTORUN IN A WORLD GONE MAD

The “Autorun” feature on your CD and DVD drives is starting to be abused and now creates another opportunity for bad people to damage your computer. I recommend disabling it. Here are instructions about how to disable Autorun in different versions of Windows.

This article is the specific example that causes me to make this recommendation; there will be more examples soon, and they won’t be limited to the music industry. […] continued

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GUIDE TO DIGITAL RIGHTS MANAGEMENT IN ONLINE MUSIC

There are a variety of options for purchasing music online – iTunes, RealNetworks, Yahoo Music, Napster, and others. The files arrive encumbered by serious restrictions on your ability to play them, copy them, burn them onto CDs, and share them, but frequently the restrictions are not explained clearly.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has assembled a User’s Guide to DRM in Online Music. […] continued

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REALNETWORKS RHAPSODY

RealNetworks unveiled a new version of its Rhapsody service for music. Here’s an article about the launch. Rhapsody has been marginally successful in its basic incarnation, which is still offered – for ten bucks a month, you can stream audio from a reasonably large library of songs. The quality of the streaming audio is pretty good and the software is reportedly stable, so it’s not a bad deal if you frequently sit at a computer listening to music. […] continued

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R.I.P. EASYTREE

EasyTree was a well-known site for downloading live recordings of popular bands. It was scrupulously careful never to list anything that had ever been commercially released in any form, and it responded instantly to any request by any band that did not want people sharing its music.

EasyTree closed voluntarily two days ago when it was threatened by expensive lawyers. […] continued

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