The [DRM] technologies above mean two things that I care about and which most other people here care about. The first concerns the ability to write software for Windows. Vista is so designed that only approved software can access certain content. It will be a poorer software world if only commercial projects paying their tithe to Microsoft can make full use of the operating system and its content.That is true. Even the proponents of proprietary software cannot deny the benefitial effect of open source software on the competitive landscape. Many proprietary software vendors, Microsoft included, can get substantial competition from the open source camp and thus are required to improve their software further. Case in point: IE was not developed any more once it had 'won the browser war'. Only the arrival and strengthening of Firefox prompted Microsoft to finally bring out a new version of IE. So, if you are enjoying the latest incarnation of IE today, you can thank Firefox for it. Open source is benefitial to everyone, even the users of closed software. Having a means that restricts competition by open software is truly a problem that we should all be concerned about.
And then this here:
DRM is an inherently closed system .... Therefore, by encouraging content companies to sell only in DRM format (and DRM is pointless if you don't), they prevent other OS's or devices from any legal means to purchase the same content.As a user of Linux this does concern me quite a bit. DRM in all its forms is almost completely incompatible with any open software or an open mindset, since it can only be reliably implemented (in software) via obscurity. You have to hide the way it works, since otherwise it can be trivially circumvented. This implies closed software, which in turn has all the usual disadvantages. And if all (or most) media is infected with DRM then this locks out competition by open systems.
I was always wondering why Microsoft was apparently being so subservient to the large media companies, bogging down its OS and users with all this DRM stuff, which doesn't help anyone at all. But this comment here really made it clear: DRM cannot be implemented in open software (since it's broken by design), and thus it will always remain closed. The more media is DRM infected the more people are forced to run Windows in order to enjoy movies and such. People end up locked into Vista and won't be able to use Linux and other open OSs as an alternative. What a clever move by Microsoft. It all makes sense now.
What baffles me the most: DRM's ONLY purpose in live is to restrict the rights of users and what you can do with what you bought (your hardware and your media). Why on earth would anyone voluntarily pay money for that? There is no logical reason for this at all, which is why Microsoft is selling Vista by promoting its bling and added 'security'. That's a bit like a trojan horse that is installed: You get an e-mail that promises to be one thing, and then gives you a load of something entirely different. So in the case of Vista, the DRM is shoved onto your computer like the malware in a trojan horse.
And just like malware authors like to assemble an army of zombie machines over which they gain control in that manner, Microsoft likes to assemble an army of DRM DISabled computer users. They then don't have to do anything with them, though. The media companies will do the rest: They will only release DRM infected media, and so more end-users will buy Vista because that's where they can watch their movies, and so on and so forth.
Other related posts:
PC World: Move your business to Linux, not Vista
And you thought your computer would do what YOU wanted...
The great 'Windows collapse' of 2011?
Comment by grant_k, on 18-Dec-2007 10:14
Thanks once again Foobar for another thought-provoking article.
DRM is another big nail in Vista's coffin so far as I am concerned. I agree: Why would anyone WANT to pay money to install this DRM-infested piece of sh1t on their PC
Comment by freitasm, on 18-Dec-2007 11:35
As someone commented in the original . link you posted:
"Vista has to detect your audio as "copyrighted" or your audio has to have some form of DRM to work.
Hrmm I have 20GB of MP3's none of which are pirated or bought online, does vista stop me playing them, converting them, writing them, transfering them or doing any of the things I couldn't do before in XP? The Answer is no, I still rip my music CD's in Windows Media Player and then sync them to my phone through windows media player, I can still find my PC over the network and copy music files onto my PS3, I can even still write my own compilations.
SO yes the fact there is a DRM scheme in place is a bad thing, but since I have no intention of buying DRM'd songs from online this makes no difference in my user expearence.
The DRM support is there, if a file doesn't want to use it, then guess what? It doesn't have to!!!"
The fact DRM is implemented on the OS is just making it full of bloat. Content distribution companies still have to flag the content as DRM-protected, effectively making it incompatible with other OSes around.
Or are you trying to say that if Microsoft never implemented a DRM scheme on its platform, media companies wouldn't implement DRM protection on their media?
I have news for you! iTunes is DRM-protected too. And they dominate the digital distribution market and the media player market. Why not crusade against that too?
Comment by William, on 18-Dec-2007 13:30
freitasm seems fortunate that their song collection still works in Vista. I know people who purchased an upgrade from XP to Vista and went through the process only to find that their collection (ripped in XP from original CD's) no longer worked in Vista.
I think they had ripped to WMA though - which is DRM-infected by default. Go DRM!! :-|
Comment by tonyhughes, on 18-Dec-2007 13:38
Good article.... keep em coming!
Comment by barf, on 18-Dec-2007 16:30
I have some news for you foobar and you may not like it.
Linux is used to enforce DRM restrictions in many cellphones and a consortium exists to further Linux's use in DRM-enabled devices. So before going overboard in your description of Vista's succumbance to DRM remember that Linux is even for vulnerable to invensted interests manilpulating systems to their own ends.
Comment by grant_k, on 18-Dec-2007 20:05
Freitasm: "I have news for you! iTunes is DRM-protected too. And they dominate the digital distribution market and the media player market. Why not crusade against that too?"
We all know that iTunes has DRM protection Mauricio. However, you also have to give Steve Jobs some credit for leading the move towards DRM-free music. It is largely through his efforts that various Music Publishers have now removed DRM from their music and you can now buy DRM-free tracks from iTunes, albeit for a price.
For myself, I have never bought any music from iTunes, and have no intention of doing so. It is still too proprietary for my liking.
Instead I am a regular customer of Amazon's MP3 Digital Download service. All of these tracks are either 256kbps or 320kbps i.e. full CD quality and they are in MP3 format which is pretty much nirvana in my book as far as digital music is concerned.
At US 89c or 99c per track, or US$8.99 for an entire album, why would I ever buy physical CDs again?
Amazon has the competition licked so far as I am concerned. Digirama does support local artists well, but their selection is very limited compared to Amazon and it still has DRM, so I don't intend to buy any music there again unless there is no alternative.
My 2c worth anyway...