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Translation of Macrovision Response to Jobs on DRM 284

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the worth-a-read dept.
BoboB-69 writes "Daring Fireball has posted a humorous, and accurate PR-speak to Plain English translation of Macrovision's CEO's response to Steve Jobs' Open Letter on DRM. Highly recommended reading for slashdotters everywhere."
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Translation of Macrovision Response to Jobs on DRM

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  • by jessecurry (820286) <jesse@jessecurry.net> on Sunday February 18, 2007 @12:08PM (#18060390) Homepage Journal
    and much more to the point. Why can't all execs speak like that?
    • by sumdumass (711423) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @12:18PM (#18060474) Journal
      Because it is too hard to change your mind later. With the corp/marketing speak, they can just claim confusion and blame the change of mind on the lesser inteligent people like you and me who didn't understand what they said. That way they all look good in front of the camera!
    • by jc42 (318812) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @12:29PM (#18060540) Homepage Journal
      Why can't all execs speak like that?

      Because then you'd understand them.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Sunday February 18, 2007 @12:58PM (#18060734) Homepage Journal
        My friend jc42 makes a joke, but there's insight there too.

        We're going to see a lot more of this kind of misdirection now that the first serious cracks in the DRM-club's armor. Major players in the production and delivery of content are starting to actually question the wisdom of DRM. Guys like Steve Jobs are not Defective by Design or Freeculture.org, but important bricks in the wall that has kept DRM the default and a more sane approach to copyright out of the discussion entirely.

        I'm afraid that the battle over DRM is about to morph from a guerilla action to mutually assured detruction, and the Copyright Industry may prefer the latter in the end to actually sitting down with their enemy (the customers) and coming up with a reasonable solution.
        • by maxume (22995) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @02:35PM (#18061370)
          RIAA declares war on music, clones Britney, releases voice destroying virus!

          The likely real world outcome of drm is that a bunch of time and money ends up being wasted. People won't put up with doomsday scenarios where they can't sing Happy Birthday(and get away with it like you can now) and laws will be changed.

          People don't care about the drm on dvd's; lots of people are going to be really pissed off with the coming 'not on that screen' drm.
          • "Clones Britney"

            Uh, with or without hair?

            This scares me, because one of my favorite singers, Andrea Corr, has a solo album coming out this year, and rumor has it that the music execs want to make her "the next J-Lo". Which scares fans because most of them can't stand J-Lo.

            Besides, Andrea doesn't have the booty to be "the next J-Lo."

            But Andrea looks good with hair and probably wouldn't look good without it.

            So any cloning has to be done leaving in the genes for hair.

            As for the "voice-destroying virus", that's
        • by encoderer (1060616) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @03:14PM (#18061596)
          I agree entirely.

          Well, mostly.

          I'm not really against DRM per se, but I am against how it's currently implemented.

          In my opinion, if DRM existed just to prevent me from sharing my content with somebody else, that would be OK with me. As long as it lets me format-shift it to any device or future device, make self-destrutable copies for a friend that blows itself up, say, 3 days after being watched (like lending a DVD), and generally stays out of my way, I'm fine with it.

          Unfortunately, they can't figure out how to do that, so instead they give us draconian content locking.

          But what I _do_ agree with is that companies are now, for the first times, starting to realize it's not going to work.

          Who remembers SDMI? The Secure Digital Music Initiative was created right about the time the labels sued (unsuccessfully) to have the Rio pulled from the market. It was a consortium of all the big companies--MSFT, SONY, etc. Probably no apple back then, tho--and they took like 18 months to come out with this way to "protect" music and, I swear to god, it was broken in like days.

          The reason I bring this up are two fold:

          1. It was the first crack at DRM and the first time DRM was cracked.
          2. Maybe if it hadn't been cracked, things would be marginally better now. Just a thought, but maybe we'd have a single standard.

          Point one is significant because every time DRM has failed the makers say "We've learned from our mistakes, wait until you see the NEXT version"

          And now, finally, after hearing these promises from the likes of Macrovision, the industry has FINALLY started to get fed-up. When their hundreds of millions spent on securing HD content was just evaporated in the first few months of comming to market I swear you could just smell 1000 execs puking in their mouths.

          The DRM battle has been a horrible experience for both consumers and content companies. The companies, each go around, get their hopes up. They're psyched to go out drinking. They slap hands, talking about all the bitches they'll pick up. All the fun they'll have. They change their shirt 4 times and use a can of Pomade in their hair. But every single time, without fail, they wake with a serious fucking hangover.

          Meanwhile, Macrovision and the ilk already collected their huge development and licensing fees. To hell with the fact that what they produced doesn't actually _work_.

          It would really be funny to watch the content companies in this self-destructive behavior if it wasn't such a shitty deal for consumers.
          • by theAtomicFireball (532233) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @04:04PM (#18061956)

            I'm not really against DRM per se, but I am against how it's currently implemented.


            I think Steve Jobs actually did a good job of pointing out the problem with DRM. DRM can never work unless you require the device to be networked so that it can check back with some central server for the key (and even then that's not infallible, just a bigger challenge). Without that, you HAVE to put the key to unlock the content right on the media and the player has to know how to find and use that key. This is true for DVDs and DVD-HD, protected CDs... it's inherent in the nature of the produce. Content that can't be viewed is useless to the consumer, so the device has to know how to play the content. Somebody will ALWAYS be able to crack any DRM scheme no matter how sophisticated, in less time and at less cost than was put into developing the scheme.

            Every version of Macrovision has been cracked in a fairly short period of time. DVD encryption was cracked. DVD-HD hasn't been fully cracked, but enough to allow unprotected copies of HD DVDs to already exist.

            This shouldn't be a moral discussion, it should be a practical one. So far, CEOs have been gullible enough to be believe Macrovision and other companies' claims that they can "protect" content. They can't, but they've made a lot of money by convincing people that they can, but unfortunately, that's all starting to unravel.

            The funniest thing about Macrovision's letter is the suggestion that Macrovision can "help" Apple. Apple, despite it's public stance, has done as good a job as anybody at implementing DRM. Yes, you can get around it, but at least they evolve their DRM whenever somebody cracks it because there are actually implications to not doing so... unlike Macrovision who is still raking in gobs of money for protection schemes that have long since been cracked.
          • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:22AM (#18065742) Journal
            "Digital files cannot be made uncopyable, any more than water can be made not wet."

            That's all there is to it, really.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)
          I didn't think I would ever say this, but I think it's actually a bit of a cultural battle.

          The people that advertise by MySpace, YouTube or any other social site won't need to sign with a label so much. Usually it's the "replacements" that change how things are done, not the "old guard". I can see the transition taking a long time because the old guard often has to just die out or fade away, but revolutionary changes are possible too.

          I'm afraid that the battle over DRM is about to morph from a guerilla ac
        • by prelelat (201821)
          As I read your comment, I visualize some wizard on a hill saying everything in your post with black clouds forming over his head. His eyes are turning grey and hes chanting nuances of doom and the ground is starting to shake and everyone is running for their lives. Then I realize your just talking about corp. execs and DRM.

          Then I picture some guy in a suit hitting a kid with his breifcase yelling "give me my money" and a cop who was whistling stopping and says "stop, sir do you need help with that?" and t
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by SeaFox (739806)

          I'm afraid that the battle over DRM is about to morph from a guerilla action to mutually assured detruction, and the Copyright Industry may prefer the latter in the end to actually sitting down with their enemy (the customers) and coming up with a reasonable solution.

          Here's my reasonable solution: The industry allows me to use their product in whatever personal way I see fit, like I can with a standard audio CD today, and I'll buy their product.

          It seems simple but the industry wont agree to it. I think the

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Elad Alon (835764)

        Because then you'd understand them.
        And because they themselves would have to understand what they're talking about.
  • +1 Insightful
  • Great.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AtariDatacenter (31657) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @12:10PM (#18060408)
    This is one of those great times where I wish I could vote on the story. Translating executive speak to common speak is *always* priceless. Example:

    CEO: "We are not going to lay off 500 workers."
    English: "We are going to lay off 510 workers. Or 490. Just not 500."

    Its all about making you FEEL a message instead of actually hearing and understanding the words. (They want to imply a very positive message, without ACTUALLY lying.)
    • Re:Great.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gutnor (872759) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @02:55PM (#18061482)
      Remind me when the new CEO at my previous company went all the way accros the ocean to explain us how our department has been magnificent and how proud he was of every one of us.
      Thanks to us, he saw the great wisdom of Software development and how a proper team will lead his company from Stone Age to World Domination.
      In conclusion, one week later (or maybe more, but less than a month later) the department was closed, everybody fired and the software development was outsourced to a specialised development house in India: that would would bring to the company even more flexibility and satisfaction for a cheaper price than our brilliant team could ever provide, but the CEO has to thank us for all this new wisdom.

      • Re:Great.... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Master of Transhuman (597628) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @05:15PM (#18062416) Homepage
        Yup. Been there, done that.

        Worked for a small company of about 11 people - an IBM Series 1 VAR and PC VAD.

        CEO brought in a new guy. Held a party. Told us everything was great - company profitable. The new guy was going to be CEO, the old CEO was going to be Chairman of the Board.

        A week later, they fired six of the 11 people (not including me - they sent me home that afternoon to avoid the bloodshed).

        Week later, the new CEO moved on to Honeywell.

        A couple months later, I moved on, having seen the writing on the wall. And that was after he'd sent me back to Atlanta to go through IBM PC tech school. I came back, new job waiting for me, I reported on my experience at the IBM school - and then, "Oh, by the way, I'm quitting!"

        He offered me a significant raise to stay on.

        Yeah, right, asshole CEO. Sayonara!

        Anybody who believes anything a manager says is seriously naive.

        The icing on the cake is that this guy got his MBA on a thesis about "employee relations" - and he was one of the biggest assholes I ever worked for in any company. I mean, not just because he fired everybody. I mean, he was a SERIOUS asshole in normal conversation. Everybody at the company couldn't stand him.

    • by Firehed (942385)
      I rather enjoyed another line:

      Macrovision: Well maintained and reasonably implemented DRM will increase the electronic distribution of content, not decrease it.

      Blogger's translation: I am high as a kite.

      I was really glad I'd just swallowed my beverage before reading that, because a 24" screen makes for a pretty large spewing target.
      • by Puchku (615680)
        That's the line I loved the most too! I laughed so hard that my sides still hurt :D
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jthill (303417)

        Problem is, it's the truest statement in his whole screed.

        Fairplay's rules are DRM, well maintained and reasonably implemented.

        Before flaming, I plead "truest", not "true": people pay for iTMS content, to the extent that they do, because if you have to crack Fairplay to do what you want to do with the music, you're behaving either criminally or idiotically (i.e. if you want to play it on something besides iTunes or an iPod, wtf did you buy at iTMS in the first place?) -- and thus iTMS rules... the DRMed m

  • by i_should_be_working (720372) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @12:16PM (#18060448)
    I believe that most piracy occurs because the technology available today has not yet been widely deployed to make DRM-protected legitimate content as easily accessible and convenient as unprotected illegitimate content is to consumers.

    So, piracy will go away when DRM-protected legitimate content is available for free, from many sources, comes in many formats, can be copied without restrictions, and works on many devices. Brilliant! We are finally on the same page. Now get working on that.
    • by evilviper (135110) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @01:06PM (#18060784) Journal

      DRM-protected legitimate content as easily accessible and convenient as unprotected illegitimate content is to consumers.

      An online store can be much easier and more convenient than tracking down music on the current P2P networks. More than enough to make up for the inconvenience of having to enter credit card details, and paying a few cents per song (or per-month).
      • by Master of Transhuman (597628) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @05:31PM (#18062530) Homepage
        As I've said here repeatedly, nobody pays or has ever paid for music.

        They pay for ACCESS to music - whether that is going to a club and paying for access to a band, or buying a phonograph record when there were no cassette radio recorders, or buying CDs when there were no P2P systems or legal downloads.

        That's exactly why Apple's iTunes took off. It's a hell of a lot easier than:

        1) Install P2P software (assuming the user even has a clue about what it is and where to get it.)
        2) Read ridiculously bad documentation on how to use it - assuming said documentation even exists.
        3) Search for content.
        4) Out of a thousand search results, find one that actually currently exists and can be accessed.
        5) Get in queue behind 300 other people for the file.
        6) Wait six days to become number 1 in queue.
        7) Discover all sources of the file have shut off their machines or stopped providing the file. Bittorrent is notorious for this! Just try to find a seeder 24 hours after a file has been posted! It's over - you're late - you lose!
        8) OR discover file is a virus-ridden phoney that hoses your machine. I've had two clients with this problem from Limewire - somebody via Limewire took over their machine, loaded it up with crap files full of trojans, and now their machine is moving like molasses because they're serving these files up to everyone else on the Limewire network.
        8) Go back to step 1 or 3, depending on whether your machine still works.
        9) Rinse and repeat with some other P2P system.

        I've used them, don't get me wrong, but compared to legal downloads, they are a frikkin' nightmare designed by "frikkin idiots" (to use Dr. Evil's term).

        It's no surprise that, according to most studies, P2P has little effect on CD sales, because the only people who would use those things are people who simply can't or wouldn't buy CDs anyway.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          The problem is that there are places - like allofmp3.com - which offer everything iTunes does, at 1/20th of the price.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by roscivs (923777)

      Now get working on that.

      Exactly. That's pretty much the gist of what I wrote in response [indessed.com] to Amoroso's letter:

      With such an enjoyable and revolutionary experience within our grasp, we should not minimize the role that DRM can and should play in enabling the transition to electronic content distribution. Without reasonable, consistent and transparent DRM we will only delay the availability of premium content in the home. As an industry, we should not let that happen.

      Reasonable, consistent, and transparent DRM

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by neongrau (1032968)
      "comes in many formats"

      i would say thats not even necessary.
      imho most important is convertibility. so whenever a new format comes available you should be able to convert it to the new media yourself. not being forced to re buy or keep "antique" hardware players just to see a movie/song/album you bought these days again in say 10 or 20 years.

      since this is the crap that the content industry wants to make us believe all the time we don't buy a physical product but the license to "consume the content".

      if that w
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by arctan1701 (635900)

        and how the hell are you supposed to lend and album to a friend who wants to listen to it? or bring an album to a party? like generations did before with vinyl and cd's ?

        that's the point, the media companies don't want you to have these "privileges"

      • and how the hell are you supposed to lend and album to a friend who wants to listen to it? or bring an album to a party? like generations did before with vinyl and cd's ?

        They've been working hard to stop you from doing that for years. In the future, you'll have a chip in your head that will generate noise over any music who's RFID isn't recognized in your monthly listening-right bill.

        ... bring an album to a party? That's unauthorized public use man! That's, like, a crime! It's like stealing! no, not stealing... murder! No, rape and murder... of a kid, no, kids! With racial slurs making it a hate crime too!

  • by Devv (992734) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @12:17PM (#18060462)
    I just realized another language that would be a great addition to Google Language Tools.
  • by Linker3000 (626634) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @12:22PM (#18060496) Journal
    If I could implant all my media devices with a unique-to-me identifier and then transfer any content I have paid for *from any source* to any of my devices then I'd be happy with such DRM. Trouble is, this implies all companies with a vested interest in DRM cooperating and the system actually working.

    Until that time, I am forced to live in a world where I can listen to an MP3 file at home on 'Player A'. I can also take and use 'Player A' in my car, round a friend's house (and let them listen!), whilst shopping, on the train, plane etc., but heaven forbid I should try and copy or move my MP3 file from 'Player A' to my in-car 'Player B' which is designed to be operated whilst driving, unlike player A which is about as big as a small box of matches and is bloody dangerous to fiddle with whilst on the move.
    • Just go DRM Free. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by twitter (104583)

      If I could implant all my media devices with a unique-to-me identifier and then transfer any content I have paid for *from any source* to any of my devices then I'd be happy with such DRM. Trouble is, this implies all companies with a vested interest in DRM cooperating and the system actually working.

      It's not just impossible, it's an undesirable loss of control. For any DRM to work you have to surrender your ability to copy files. Each and every time you try, the DRM would have to check and grant you p

    • If I could implant all my media devices with a unique-to-me identifier and then transfer any content I have paid for *from any source* to any of my devices then I'd be happy with such DRM.

      So would I.

      Trouble is, one of those devices is my Linux desktop, and I currently play all my media with mplayer and other similar programs. I would accept DRM that these could handle, as long as you realize that this automatically means that I can decrypt it out of the DRM anyway.

      And no, no proprietary forks of mplayer.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by binarybum (468664)
      heaven forbid I should try and copy or move my MP3 file from 'Player A' to my in-car 'Player B' which is designed to be operated whilst driving, unlike player A which is about as big as a small box of matches and is bloody dangerous to fiddle with whilst on the move.

      indeed, but not as dangerous as stealing from the record industry and macrovision at the same time by not using DRM'd media. Sure you might end up in a horrific MV accident, but there's your soul to think about to, have you thought abou
  • by solevita (967690) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @12:27PM (#18060534)
    Of course, you could also argue that Steve Jobs' letter [theregister.co.uk] said little in plain English apart from "Hey Europe, don't get upset with me, the content producers make me do it". Norway saw through it [theregister.co.uk] and actually replied in plain English (Norwegian?) when they said "Jobs, stop making excuses, you're still breaking the law by selling your lock-in products in Norway".
    • by ivan256 (17499) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @12:50PM (#18060676)
      Apparently you didn't see through the Norwegian response though. Let me translate for you:

      "It's quite clear that the record companies carry their share of the responsibility for the situation that the consumers are stuck in. However, no matter what agreements iTunes Music Store have entered into, they're still the company that's selling music to the consumers and are responsible for offering the consumer a fair deal according to Norwegian law."

      Apple is making it difficult for other companies to offer DRM infected media to Norwegian citizens. This is unfair, as all companies doing business in Norway should be allowed to screw our citizens equally.
      • by solevita (967690)
        Great post - thanks for explaining it to me.

        Silly me though; when I read it I thought that the Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman was acting to protect the consumer, I forgot that it was the big multinational money printers that need a government's protection.
        • by Poltras (680608)
          Good kings are slaves, and their people are free. As long as I'm going to see a government with more freedom than me in their pockets, I'm not going to believe what they say, as they are themselves proof that they don't protect the citizens, but merely the interests of a minority (which they include themselves in).
    • by Space cowboy (13680) * on Sunday February 18, 2007 @12:55PM (#18060706) Journal
      If you accept what Steve was saying was true, about how the risk/reward simply wasn't worth it for Apple, it's clear that both parties were simply explaining their respective positions without giving ground. There is no need for your "saw through it" bias.

      What Norway was saying is "it is illegal for you to do business in the way you are"
      Jobs replies "this is the only way that makes sense for us"
      Norway replies "it's still illegal, you're going to have to fix it or withdraw"
      [expectation: Jobs replies "Ok then, we'll stop doing business in Norway"] ... and Jobs gets to blame it on the various label companies - it was a pre-emptive strike at managing the fallout when Apple stop selling iTunes in Norway. He added a sufficient number of things to make the "story of the day" not be this, of course. Now it's firmly in the subconscious that DRM is not Apple's fault, I expect the next salvo to be "and we made it as easy on the customer as the labels would let us" - that is, if the labels have the stomach for the upcoming fight.

      Jobs' vision is of making consumers products (and computers, for that matter) that people lust after, while making money of course. He's not interested in getting in their way - a few years ago, I think the iTunes DRM effectively helped Apple, but now I genuinely think the market is theirs to lose, and they have a track-record of making very *very* attractive and successful products in the music market.

      I don't think he cares about DRM any more, in fact I think he'd swap the DRM for the risk of running iTunes as it is right now (with the sword of Damocles over his head if FairPlay is ever seriously broken). And I think he'll be more than happy to give up the tiny percentage of iTunes sales that Norway represents in order to remove that risk - "goodbye Norway, thanks for playing, don't let the door hit your ass on the way out"

      Simon.
      • Player and device interoperability was just one of three major complaints that the Norwegian consumer groups complained about.

        The terms of sale for Norwegians should not be governed by English law for iTunes Norway and items being sold for Norwegians because England has nothing to do with the sale.

        Also, the terms of purchase rights should not be allowed to be changed for an item after it has been sold.

        Most parties of this discussion had completely left out the last two major sticking points, and I think it'
    • by argStyopa (232550) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @01:33PM (#18060952) Journal
      I dunno. Maybe it is just an American vs European viewpoint thing, but I'd say someone who managed to understand the marketplace so well that they build a product that comes to dominate that market, and offer services that support only that device - well, that's a successful business person.

      Yes, if Apple went to music distributors and said something like "distribute your songs exclusively over ipods or we'll ban you" that would be unreasonably using market dominance. But to claim that there's some unreasonable market behavior just because you make your products and services work with each other to the exclusion of others? That's just goofy.
      • That's just goofy.

        No, that's reality distortion, something which is intrinsic to Jobs' personality.
    • by calstraycat (320736) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @01:57PM (#18061106)
      Of course, you could also argue that Steve Jobs' letter [theregister.co.uk] said little in plain English apart from "Hey Europe, don't get upset with me, the content producers make me do it". Norway saw through it ...

      Over the past couple of weeks, I've seen this assertion made many times and I still don't get the logic. The implication is that Apple secretly wants to continue using DRM and is wrongly pointing the finger at the record companies to deflect blame. But the facts don't support that point of view. When he says the that the recording industry is to blame for the situation, he is, in fact, telling the truth and justifiably pointed the finger in that direction.

      I understand that people who subscribe to the view that Jobs's statement was a cynical ploy believe that Apple secretly wants to keep DRM alive to "lock in" customers, but the evidence simply doesn't support that viewpoint. Ninety-seven percent of the music on iPods is DRM-free. Customers are not locked in. The lock-in argument is bogus. Furthermore, DRM is a pain in the butt for online music retailers and consumer electronics manufacturers. It is of no benefit to them. It increases the complexity of product development, increases support costs and makes for a poorer customer experience.

      So, please explain to me why Apple would want to continue utilizing DRM when it of no benefit to them. Also, I'd be interested in what your response would have been had Apple announced that they would license Fairplay to third parties rather than calling for the end of DRM. Would you have preferred that? I just don't get it. A good portion of the ubiquitously anti-DRM Slashdot crowd seems to be implying that it would be better if Apple proliferated their proprietary DRM than call for the end of DRM. Is that what you want? Would you rather Apple appease Norway's regulators and further entrench DRM than getting rid of it completely?

      • by HiThere (15173)
        There are reasonable arguments for why Apple might not want DRM...

        Unfortunately, I always remember the Apple ][ file formats...with a Basic that couldn't easily be saved as text. There were good arguments for the strange disk format. You got more storage on each floppy. But to not be ABLE to save to an ASCII file on a standard format... well, I'm a bit dubious when Apple says it doesn't want DRM.

        OTOH, it's also true that the DRM contract WAS forced on them by the media. And that Apple fought to simplify
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gnasher719 (869701)
        '' Ninety-seven percent of the music on iPods is DRM-free. Customers are not locked in. The lock-in argument is bogus. ''

        Actually there is a different lock-in, and I would really like to know how strong it is.

        iTunes (the jukebox software) can encode your CDs to AAC, which (a) has much better sound quality at the same bitrate compared to MP3, and (b) plays on the iTunes. My CDs are all encoded in AAC for reason (a), which "forced" me to buy an iPod. ("Forced" is a bit strong, because (1) I liked the iPod tha
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by calstraycat (320736)
          I use iTunes as well. Although it is set up to encode using ACC by default, it will also encode to MP3. So, I changed the encoding format to MP3 on day one so that my music files would be in a format supported by all players. While the ACC encoder is superior in that you can create high quality files of smaller size, you can get equal quality MP3s by choosing a higher bit rate. Disk space is cheap, so file size isn't much of an issue. I encode MP3 at 192 kbps and sometimes 256 kbps. That's good enough qual
      • I don't know the accuracy of that 97% statistic, but assuming Jobs wouldn't lie, and I'm willing to assume that, you could still form a pretty good argument for consumer lockin with Itunes itself. Irrespective of the amount of DRMd music on Ipods, I just checked wikipedia [wikipedia.org] for it and well in excess of 2 billion songs have been sold via itunes. 2 billion dollars is a fairly significant consumer investment any way you look at it.

        And to the extent that people keep itunes on their computers because of that i

      • Perhaps some people do think that Jobs is lying and really wants some level of DRM to lock in consumers. But I think what other people refer to by "seeing through his argument" is that his argument, while well-stated, sound, and arguably correct, is very self-serving. He's shifting the blame from himself and his company to the record companies instead. And some people might argue that this is a totally reasonable thing to do, but others, like Norway, seem to disagree. Their response is, "I don't care if the
  • I see these translations all the time, the process is always running in my head. I can't listen to a commercial on the radio, see one on T.V. or let just about any marketer get past me. This sort of thing is marketing. I can instantly tell if something in the mail box is junk mail, even with the modern attempt at moving away from slick flamboyant envelopes to fonts that look hand written on plain envelopes. I usually open those anyways just to be sure, but my instincts on this matter haven't failed me in
    • by jZnat (793348) *
      If they could stop using the words "consumer" and "consume" the way they do (which doesn't make sense) and would instead use words like "customer", "user", "person"/"people", "buy", and "use" (which do make much more sense when used in proper context instead of "consume(r)"), that would drastically help hide their market speak. Whenever I see someone use the word "consume" and they're not talking about consuming food (the only situation that calls for the word "consume" in my opinion), I know that they're
    • especially the word "solution"

      As somebody with a foot in both camps (I design RAS compliant solution architectures for business enablement - ie.. I'm a tech in a suit), "solution" is my current most hated word. It's a redundant tag added by people who think using more words makes them sound brighter. In a way, it does, because their audience is often just as fucked as they are.

      If I design a storage or network infrastructure to address a number of issues subject to a number of constraints then, yes, techni

  • by JustNiz (692889) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @12:38PM (#18060600)
    I don't understand why this is tagged as humour.
    It seems like a truly accurate translation from business-doublespeak into plain English, and as such is insightful and scary, not humorous.
  • Can someone make sure Jobs reads this reply.

    At least he'd have a laugh. Maybe it would spur him on to fight even harder.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by SolitaryMan (538416)

      Maybe it would spur him on to fight even harder.

      The thing I'd expect the least is Steve Jobs (whose company makes the most DRM-fucked up mp3 player in the world) fighting against DRM. Talk is cheap and I will not believe a word, unless I see the results.

      • The thing I'd expect the least is Steve Jobs (whose company makes the most DRM-fucked up mp3 player in the world) fighting against DRM. Talk is cheap and I will not believe a word, unless I see the results.

        People need to stop spouting this nonsense. The iPod is not DRM laiden. The iPod does not create DRM. The iPod does not do anything but play the files YOU give it. If you do not purchase music files that have DRM then you do not have to play music files with DRM. You can put any MP3s you want on the iPod, they won't magically become something different than they were before you put them on there.

        Complain about the iTunes music store all you want, but direct your complaints where they belong.

      • I've never bought a single song from iTunes. And my pod happily plays all MP3s I feed into it (DISCLAIMER: ALL of my MP3s came from ripping CDs that I have legally purchased). If it weren't for the battery issues, I would even use Rockbox all the time, and then I could even play ogg files on it. So, I fail to see how the iPod can be classified as a DRM-fucked up player.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jc42 (318812)
      I'd bet that Steve Jobs is right now wishing that people would just stop sending him copies of TFA. I mean, he probably really laughed the first time he read it, but by the 25th time ...

  • by DingerX (847589) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @12:48PM (#18060666) Journal
    Cute little "translation", and it almost gets it.
     
    "Black is White" is certainly the case of "DRM increases consumer value". But the point to:
     

    Similarly, consumers who want to consume content on only a single device can pay less than those who want to use it across all of their entertainment areas.

    Isn't simply: "Abandoning DRM will prevent us from forcing our customers to keep paying us over and over again for the same movies and songs they've already paid for."
      It's more pernicious than that. It reveals the fundamental difference in philosophy: we don't buy things anymore, we "consume content", and they "own content". Ownership is a social convention: in theory, we more or less agree what constitutes "property". Now they are trying to change the rules, claiming they own all the things we use, and we pay them whatever they deem fit. So we become intellectual sharecroppers: we own nothing and owe everything.
     
    The beauty of the letter, however, really lies in how it reveals that the DRM proponents' own ridiculous notions of intellectual property prevent them from having their "DRM-laden paradise". For DRM to truly work, it has to be transparent to the user, interoperable, and add value, not remove it. And, wait! Today's technology can do that! But hold on: that technology is itself "High-value content", and as such needs protection through trade secrets, patents, and proprietary deals, and the resulting product is subject to the same market forces as the content it is supposed to protect. Dammit! The same logic we use to defend DRM shows us that DRM cannot work!
    • by TheMeuge (645043)
      Mod parent up, definitely.

      You're absolutely right, especially in your analysis of the emerging DRM-centered philosophy of ownership. This is just a further continuation of the philosophy of leasing housing, transportation, and now - images, sounds, and ideas. In the end, all this means is that we will find ourselves yet again in a society where a microscopic fraction of the population owns everything, and by withdrawing the permission to use their "property" can effectively crush anyone they please. Conside
  • And the translation came out about the same. Written out the way it is now, it's funny. But you have to know, these jackasses are serious and care nothing of the damage they cause others. The translation, I believe, is actually quite accurate.
  • Ultimate DRM (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Hennell (1005107) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @01:06PM (#18060780) Homepage
    I love the way that people involved in DRM think it adds to the product. You can do less with this product now! Whoo-hoo!

    It may be shameless self-promotion but I made a visualisation of the Ultimate DRM [deviantart.com] just the other day. What happened to giving the customer what they want?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I love the way that people involved in DRM think it adds to the product.


      DRM does add costumer value to the product, for Macromedia's customers. Macromedia's customers, however, are not you and me. Most of Macromedia's customers are members of an organization that ends in AA.
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      ``What happened to giving the customer what they want?''

      It was never about that. It's always been about convincing the customer that they want what you are selling, and, moreover, convincing them that they want to buy it from _you_.
  • Explain? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by springbox (853816) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @01:12PM (#18060810)
    Macrovision says:

    DRM increases not decreases consumer value

    I know their entire business relies on DRM's success but every encounter I have had with it ended up being some sort of pain in the ass. How does DRM increase consumer value. Like, why should I be excited that I can't copy media from one format to another without it being a hassle? I wish Macrovision explained that statement.
    • by JustNiz (692889)
      >> How does DRM increase consumer value.
      It absolutely doesn't. Thats why they need to use all the business doublespeak to justify themselves in their reply.

      >> I wish Macrovision explained that statement
      They won't/can't ever do that because there's no rational argument to defend it.
    • by Dster76 (877693)
      This is no way a defense of Macrovision's "please protect my business model" whining, but I think what they have in mind is the claim that without DRM, customers who wish to have the "fill up my napster player with music I don't own but merely license" service would be S.O.L. There would be no way to prevent users from keeping everything they preview. Please note: I think the Napster model is doomed to failure, and this is in no way an endorsement of it.

      In other words, from Napster's FAQ [napster.com],

      Why is a Napst

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      The only experiences that I have ever had with Macrovision are when it's prevented me from playing legitimately owned content. So I'd like to say a great big Fuck You to Macrovision for they way that they have 'increased my consumer value'.
    • by TyZone (555958)
      Perhaps he's saying that DRM increases the value of the consumer (to the content owner). Effective DRM would result in the purchase of more copies of the content - a definite improvement in value.

      Keep in mind that Macrovision's customer is the content owner. In their vision, the "consumer" is just a mindless vehicle for the transfer of money, to be exploited as much as possible.

    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      ``DRM increases not decreases consumer value''

      I'll explain. DRM drives up the price of content (new players, compensation for the cost of developing and maintaining DRM schemes, re-purchasing content that has become inaccessible, ...). Customers still pay. So, apparently, the DRMed content is worth its asking price. In other words, that's its value to the consumer.

      Of course, as a customer, you don't have many choices. Either you pay, or you risk lawsuits (possibly resulting in fines and/or jail time), or yo
  • Summary (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JPMaximilian (948958) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @01:26PM (#18060884)
    I think that whole PR can be summarized as, "What Steve Said, if followed, will put us out of business, he was wrong, media companies really do still need us to protect their content."
  • I mean, Jobs is calling for obsoleting not only the company, but the whole industry. No easy way to change markets there. If a politician said something like "public toll roads are silly and the overhead doesn't match the cost, we're going to just fund them over the national budget from now on" I sure know who's going to have a panic attack and say "yes it does". Even though that'd be a blatant lie too.
  • Bill Gates (Score:2, Funny)

    by BGatesFan (1065072)
    I disagree with Bill Gates, as he wants to be rid of DRM, and recommends buying CDs. Now maybe I'll be a Fred Amoroso fan. As he seems to be more manipulative and greedy than Bill, maybe Bill has gone soft. I don't know. I like my Music and other Media formats DRM-Laden so that I can only use them on my Dell Running Windows Vista. Vista is the operating system of the future people, can't you realize that? DRM today, DRM tomorrow, DRM Forever! Michael Dell is cool too, especially when they started com
  • Spot on. Well done.
  • Why do we have to live in a world that has either no DRM or is all DRM?

    Why not restrict DRM to rented content such as the Napster service that allows you to download and listen to unlimited amount of music provided you keep paying your monthly fee. I like that service and I don't want to see it go. On the other front, I also want to buy some music and movies to keep forever - so in this case, why not sell it to me DRM-free?

    This sounds to me like a win-win situation and certainly a good compromise.
    • Uh. What good is Napster with DRM if you can get it elsewhere without DRM?
      • >Uh. What good is Napster with DRM if you can get it elsewhere without DRM?

        Napster's "to Go" service allows you to download unlimited songs which will play for as long as you pay the monthly fee. Its good for people who want to listen to lots of music without incurring the cost of actually buying all that music (and who want to be be legal). Why would people want to rent a movie when they could just buy one? They just do.
  • by Stephen Samuel (106962) <samuel&bcgreen,com> on Sunday February 18, 2007 @02:39PM (#18061398) Homepage Journal

    Magic interoperable DRM would give people all the features and capabilities they get with DRM-free media.
    Magic interoperable DRM would give people some of the features and capabilities they get with DRM-free media.
    • by Kjella (173770)
      Magic interoperable DRM would give people some of the features and capabilities they get with DRM-free media.

      Not that damn many... do you remember long before the current HD-DVD/Blu-Ray breach, when it was discovered that Windows' "print screen" was a trusted program and could take screencaps of the movie? Well, it got blown up as a huge issue "OMG they can click-script stepping throught the whole movie" and they disabled it. Now, how many fair uses are there of taking a screencap? Pretty damn many, I'd thi
  • by Ath (643782) on Sunday February 18, 2007 @08:05PM (#18063334)
    DRM is nothing about piracy and all about reselling the same content over and over again to the same consumer. The promise is that consumers will have more "choice" (that they don't want) and "flexibility" (that they used to have) at lower prices (that they won't get).

    Does anyone really think that a consumer wants to buy the same song or movie more than once without there being some added value to the second purchase? If you buy a movie on DVD, should you have to pay again to play it on your computer? On your portable media player? According to this guy, this is what consumers WANT to do. Uh huh. So if I buy a CD, instead of having the fair use right (which I still have) to convert that music to a format I can use on my iPod, I would actually be better off buying the same content again in a format that already works on my iPod?

    I know Macrovision is in the DRM business and so they are hardly neutral on the idea of whether DRM should become the industry standard, but they really need to work harder on their arguments about why DRM is good. I guess the marketing department rejected using terminology like "resell the same shit".

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