Recent posts in my DRM Category

November 30, 2008

The iTunes deauthorisation conundrum

I wrote the yesterday about using a Linux live CD to recover data from the hard-drive of my spyware-riddled Windows laptop. One thing I couldn't do via Linux was deauthorise the machine for my iTunes account. Apple's iTunes has a limit of five machines on which you can play your DRM infected protected music. Now, of course, I'd already burnt to CD any purchases from the Apple store I'd made using that laptop, and re-imported them to remove the DRM,...
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March 2, 2008

Doctor Who and The Pirates

In the 1960s, as Patrick Troughton's era drew to a close, Doctor Who faced The Space Pirates. By the 2000s it was Internet pirates who posed a threat to the Doctor's adventures. Audio drama producers Big Finish have found their officially licenced Doctor Who stories leaking onto peer-to-peer file-sharing networks. To help combat this, they've launched their own legal download service. I spoke to Paul Wilson from Big Finish about the 'battlefield' they face. A little while ago I...
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January 1, 2008

Copy-protection for vinyl in the 1970s

When I was thinking about an iconography for DRM, I began to think back to the old days of recording vinyl onto my portable tape deck using a 5-pin DIN plug to connect the two machines, the advent of tape-to-tape decks, and being poised over the pause button to record tracks from John Peel sessions. It was all so simple and blissfully analogue in those days, without a hint of copy protection in place. Well, that isn't strictly true. I...
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December 31, 2007

A visual iconography for DRM

In a recent BBC News article Paul Garland, head of intellectual property litigation at law firm Kemp Little, said about DRM: "The biggest problem is that it is actually quite difficult as a consumer when downloading content to know what you are able to do with it. If DRM is going to survive, there needs to be much greater effort to tell purchasers what they can or can't do with it." It is a problem I have struggled with myself,...
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July 17, 2007

BBC iPlayer launch: The first 14 days

With just ten days to go until the launch of the BBC's much anticipated iPlayer software, I thought I would gaze into my crystal ball and predict what the first two weeks hold for the software... Day #1: iPlayer launches Day #2: The press reports that the BBC website 'crashed' due to demand for the iPlayer, because someone emailed someone at The Telegraph saying they couldn't download it over their dial-up connection. A BBC 'source' is quoted as saying that...
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June 13, 2007

Free the BBC from the same old tired DRM debate

I was pointed via Wonderland yesterday at the Free The BBC site, where a petition is gathering against the BBC's proposed use of DRM in the upcoming iPlayer application. And of course, a quick look shows that this has sparked the same tired circular arguments on the mailing list. One person has been arguing that DRM is a bad thing because their sister accidentally wiped clean their iPod, whilst someone else is claiming the only basis for the BBC's...
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March 6, 2007

The depressing DRM debates on the BBC's mailing list

Since the announcement that the BBC's iPlayer would contain elements of Microsoft's DRM, and that any forthcoming versions for the Apple or Linux OS would also need to incoporate some type of DRM, a debate has been raging on the mailing list. Opinion is broadly split into two camps. There are those who understand that in order to facilitate any kind of on demand service, the BBC needs to protect the interests of the rights-owners involved in making...
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February 15, 2007

Thoughts on being locked out of my iPod's content by Apple's DRM

With his open letter to the music industry, Steve Jobs has done an excellent job of shifting the attention away from Apple's iPod/iTunes DRM based lock-in, and onto the music industry that supplies the content driving the sales of Apple's hardware. I think my favourite quote amongst the responses I stumbled upon on the web was: "The greatest trick Apple pulled was to build a market where lock-in is mandated, but convince the world that this was something they did...
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February 9, 2007

A "scientific" equation for musical piracy

Sometimes outraged tabloid newspapers run stories about scientists who have spent x amount of taxpayers money and researched a formula for happiness or beer goggles or the perfect cup of tea. Following on from my post yesterday about what drives people to use legal music download services when there are free (if illegal) alternatives if you know how, I've derived what I think is a broad formula outlining the factors in people making a choice between a legal purchase and...
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February 8, 2007

Why people download music legally

A lot of my recent blog entries have been about downloading products from the entertainment industry, whether TV or music, by fair means or foul. A few days ago someone left a comment on one of my posts about the music digital download market, saying: "It's still a mystery to me why people actually go to sites and pay to download music. Any explanations?" That got me thinking about the primary motivations behind either stealing or purchasing music, so I...
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January 25, 2007

DRM protecting me from playing my new video clips

This week one of the customer service team left a comment on one of my previous entries about having trouble buying digital music, which I thought was very pro-active customer service from them. I think it is a good thing for companies, especially those in the digital economy, to be looking at their online brand reputation, and where they feel it is necessary, passing comment. I mention this because I have had problems with another digital music purchase made via...
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January 15, 2007

Getting Sony's SonicStage for Christmas

Whilst it wasn't traditional link bait in the sense of trying to get something onto the front page of Digg, when my good friend Frankie recently wrote about his experience of using Sony's SonicStage software, he must have known that I wouldn't be able to resist responding. First off I must say I thought Frankie gave a very honest account of using and installing the software. He was using the CD supplied with the player to install it, so I...
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January 10, 2007

Sony loses DRM court case in France over the Sony Connect store

There has been a dribble of coverage recently that Sony has lost a court case in France over the inclusion of DRM restrictions with content downloaded from the Sony Connect store. The verdict was apparently delivered on December 15th, but only just seems to be making news following an announcement by the group taking the action, the Union Federale des Consommateurs - Que Choisir. Sony themselves have so far declined to comment as far as I can tell. The case...
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October 13, 2004

OpenMG Pre-Ripped for PC

I do, of course, see the irony that just slightly shy of two years after posting this, I ended up working for Sony NetServices in Austria on digital music projects. Needless to say the views reflected in this archive post from October 2004 do not reflect the views of Sony, nor do they reflect my views whilst working on Sony's products and services. Yesterday I foolishly purchased the newly-reformed Duran Duran CD. I know, I know, but I am...
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