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Longhorn's Copy Protection Standard 558

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the makin'-copies dept.
hype7 writes "The Register is reporting that Microsoft have attempted to force a last-minute CD protection standard on the recording industry in order to ship it in Longhorn. From the article: "Any such deal would see Microsoft support 'an industry-wide copy control platform' built in to its next-generation Longhorn operating system, with the computer giant instructing labels that the compatible secure CDs must contain additional multimedia content, such as bonus tracks, 'as a quid pro quo for adding effective [DRM] into the consumer experience'". It looks like everyone except the consumer is going to win on this one - Microsoft controls the secure format, the RIAA gets a secure format, and the consumer loses all their rights for the "quid pro quo" of a bonus track."
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Longhorn's Copy Protection Standard

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  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:44PM (#10269137) Homepage Journal
    The letter, dated 2 September 2004, says that Microsoft's offer came "literally in the last few days" but requires that labels across the entire industry agree upon a specification for the functionality of the protected discs by 20 September.

    In other news, Microsoft to offer computer training packages on Herding Cats.

    Seems there was something within the last month where Microsoft's Windows Media advances on big media content were spurned.

    "We're calling together a representative coalition of the industry to plan a possible meeting to discuss whether further consideration of your offer is necessary. Not that we're worried about you getting a cut of our cut, but we're all insane with greed and want to be sure we don't let anyone dictate our destiny to us in the same way we have for decades to consumers. Now if you'll excuse me I have several new acts to screw, I mean, negotiate standard industry contracts with."

    • by the arbiter (696473) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:57PM (#10269330)
      Hmmm....

      1. I have to wait for "Longhorn" to be released
      -AND-
      2. The record industry has only two weeks to come to agreement on a standard?

      Well, this falls under "not in my lifetime", so I guess I don't have much to worry about.

      And when I do, well, then it's off to Some Other OS that doesn't feel it needful to be an "enforcer" of some industry association that cares for nothing save the preservation and enhancement of their revenues.

      My real objection to DRM and other such horseshit? I'm not a criminal, and I'll not be treated as though at any instant I might become one. I guess that's the most galling part of the whole charade.
      • by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:06PM (#10270314) Journal
        Except its industry? I would certianly prefer no DRM, i certianly understand why the riaa would want it. Its in their best interests. Unfortuantly, there are many stupid people that don't understand the consequences of file sharing of copyrighted works. Of course, the industry is going to react. If everyone would freekin apply some common sence we wouldn't be in this pickle. Now we all have to pay for the sins of the few. I just hope that the restrictions aren't more severe then they are now for digital music stores.
    • by Starluck (814092) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @03:57PM (#10270182)
      I say we start a movement against the purchasing of music from any label associated with the RIAA. to Quote /. "There's small choice in rotten apples. -- William Shakespeare, "The Taming of the Shrew"

      -This whole mess mkes me really mad, whatever happened to the Consumers Rights, or did those die in the 80's? It seems that everything today is geared at protecting the Big Companies. perfect example Grandmas and 12year olds get sued, and it's ok. This is a sick world we live in. Money is not everything, information is everything.
    • by Stripe7 (571267) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:35PM (#10270757)
      Really simple what will happen here. Chose M$ longhorn or Linux where none of this BS will reside. With the strides the Linux Desktop will be making, by the time Longhorn comes out, the Linux Desktop will do just about everything you need sans the DRM. I see the RIAA trying to outlaw Linux with something akin the "Induce" act within a few years.
    • Duh... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mabhatter654 (561290) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @10:53PM (#10273717)
      I mean come on! MS is trying to strong arm the RIAA!!! sounds fun to watch ...where can I buy popcorn... perhaps watch it on the big screen at the bar. [for FREE]

      The behind-the-scenes politics looks really interesting. MS makes contract with all sorts of online music resellers. MS then releases new media player with NEW DRM and opens OWN online store. MS announces "breakthru" in music DRM and tells RIAA they "must act now!"

      Is this a race to see how fast they'll get slapped down or what...oh wait...they've got that HUGE dividend comming up real soon...maybe they're trying to pump the stock price before they cash out!!! The writing's on the wall. MS is planning SOMETHING anti-competitive and hostile to the market real-soon-now and wondering when the Justice Dept will get called in for the smack down

      ...kinda like my Kid, how he does the worst things he can when he KNOWS he's about to get busted...do so many bad things at once, in public, just so you can't get them in line [because you'd beat them within an inch of their lives!!!] without making a scene and making you the bad guy. I've always view MS tactics as those of a spoiled toddler...but this is a page from the "Angelicas" of the world!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:44PM (#10269144)
    All this crippling of Windows takes a lot of time. Besdies, DRM is much better than WinFS.
  • garage bands (Score:5, Insightful)

    by genner (694963) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:45PM (#10269156)
    Forget the RIAA, support your local garage band.
    • Re:garage bands (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Boogaroo (604901)
      Forget the RIAA, support your local garage band.
      Uh, garage bands that are successfull turn into standard RIAA bands. There's no way to win unless you eventually drop support for the band that USED to be a garage band.
      • Re:garage bands (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Skynyrd (25155) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @03:29PM (#10269731) Homepage
        Uh, garage bands that are successfull turn into standard RIAA bands. There's no way to win unless you eventually drop support for the band that USED to be a garage band.

        I have several friends in bands, and none of them aspire to be rock stars (at least in public). They understand that they need to keep their day jobs.

        However, by buying their CDs and tshirts, you can help them make some cash. Not enough to be famous, but perhaps buying some equipment or a bigger van - or a vacation for their wife who puts up with a lot of crap by being married to a guy in a band.

        • Re:garage bands (Score:5, Interesting)

          by paranode (671698) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:35PM (#10270751)
          I have several friends in bands, and none of them aspire to be rock stars (at least in public). They understand that they need to keep their day jobs.

          And you honestly believe they'd turn down millions of dollars from a high-profile record label to keep their day jobs?

          Few people are that tightly bound to their philosophy. Just like the poor coder of an OSS project would probably denounce MS all day, but take a job with them in a heartbeat if they came knocking on his door talking about six figures.
          • by Max Threshold (540114) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:14PM (#10271251)
            Then you have the REALLY zealous OSS coders who would accept that job, slip GPL code into MS projects, and than anonymously report it on Slashdot. Oh, and they'd also donate most of their income to the EFF.

            MS probably won't be knocking on my door any time soon. :o)

          • Re:garage bands (Score:4, Insightful)

            by deacon (40533) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @05:29PM (#10271401) Journal
            Your integrity is for sale.

            Noted.

            Fortunately, some of us understand that $money$ is not the most important thing in the world, and would not actually prostitute themselves, regardless of the price.

            Bemused pity is the appropriate feeling for those whose sense of self worth and identity are so weak that they are just waiting for a chance to become a whore.

      • Re:garage bands (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Patoski (121455) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @03:37PM (#10269873) Homepage Journal
        Uh, garage bands that are successfull turn into standard RIAA bands. There's no way to win unless you eventually drop support for the band that USED to be a garage band.

        Generally this is true but it is not always so. There are many artists who have taken a second way and are involved with labels which are not affiliated with the RIAA. I know of several artists [madison-park.com] who have created their own labels to distribute their music and are available in all the major retail stores, amazon, itunes, tower records, etc. Getting distribution using this method is difficult but it isn't impossible. If more people would take the DIY distribution approach we'd have a lot more diversity in music than we do now and the artists would be getting paid far more.
    • Re:garage bands (Score:5, Informative)

      by gorre (519164) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @03:25PM (#10269670) Homepage
      Places to buy music:
      Radio stations: Please add more suggestions (or point out if any of these outlets suck).
  • by richieb (3277) <richieb AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:46PM (#10269166) Homepage Journal
    ... by the time LongHorn comes out...???

  • by h00manist (800926) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:46PM (#10269167) Journal
    Copy protection would be the best gift MS could give to the open-source movement.

    95% of all windows boxes must contain 100% pirated software.
    • by hrtserpent6 (806666) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @03:01PM (#10269386)
      I know mine does!...I mean...I know this guy...er...
    • Bullshit (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Moraelin (679338) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @03:47PM (#10270034) Journal
      "95% of all windows boxes must contain 100% pirated software."

      And I'll call bull on that. Except maybe if you're talking China or ex-USSR where they can't even afford to pay hundreds of bucks for a text editor or 40 bucks for a game. (If a game costs as much as your monthly salary, or more, and you also have to eat out of that salary... well, moral decisions just get a lot easier.)

      Even by the BSA's BS statistics, about the highest software piracy rate in the USA is in North Dakota, at almost 40%. And in some states it's in the low teens.

      That's a bloody far cry from your 95% bullshit.

      And bear in mind that there's a reason there's BS in BSA. Their statistics are inflated beyond belief. If some chinese kid downloads 3DS Max to toy around with making models for a game (e.g., "X2: The Threat" only supports 3DS Max models), the BSA counts it as $6000 lost sales. On account that surely every single kid, even in china, would have paid $6000 to make mods for a $40 game.

      Yeah, right. Dunno in which country kids get $6000 as pocket change.

      I.e., again, in practice, the real piracy rate is actually lower than that.

      The reason why a majority of Americans or Europeans pay for their software isn't that we're more stupid than the Chinese and just can't find a crack. It's because we're not the kind of cheapskate whose only options are free beer or stolen beer. Because it's the morally right thing to do.

      Some of us actually paid for Windows. Yes, go figure. I went and bought the Win2K copy I'm writing this on. Retail. And for Linux too, for that matter. The SuSE 9.0 I use at work, I've actually went and bought the funny green box. And for a ton of other software, copy-protected stuff included.

      In fact, I'll tell you what: if Microsoft could actually come up with a copy-protection scheme that actually _works_ and actually stops pirates, Microsoft would have my heartfelt gratitude. Speaking as a consumer, and no, I don't work for MS. I'm sick and tired of seeing good games companies going bankrupt, while freeloading cheapskates (some driving SUVs and sports cars) leech their games on P2P.

      (On the other hand, crap that only inconveniences the paying customer and doesn't actually do anything to pirates, I've still had enough of.)
      • Re:Bullshit (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ivan256 (17499) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:38PM (#10270807)
        In fact, I'll tell you what: if Microsoft could actually come up with a copy-protection scheme that actually _works_ and actually stops pirates, Microsoft would have my heartfelt gratitude. Speaking as a consumer, and no, I don't work for MS. I'm sick and tired of seeing good games companies going bankrupt, while freeloading cheapskates (some driving SUVs and sports cars) leech their games on P2P.

        You're living in a dream world. If people can't get little utilities and general purpose software for free anymore they won't start buying it, they'll stop using Windows. Software companies don't go bankrupt because of piracy. They go bankrupt because their software isn't worth what they charge for it. Sure, people may use pirated copies because the program is useful at the low price point, but almost everybody who pirates software would do without rather than pay for the application they "stole". This mentality isn't limited to "$6000" software as you imply. It's the same for $50 software too. Who has $50 to spend on a silly utility, or a mediocre game? Not many people. $50 is more than a week of groceries for a family of four for most of the world, including in the US.

        Games provide a great illustration of this point. Many games these days have an online component. Most online games have an effective copy protection mechanism, and few if any of the online players of these games are using pirated copies. This hasn't stopped the majority of these games from tanking though. The fact of the matter is that most games, even good games, don't do so well, and it's not because of piracy; it's a matter of supply and demand. More and more games come out on the market every year. Supply is infinite in the sense that nobody has the time to play every game that comes out... Yet the price point is fixed. This ensures that only the best of the best games make a signifigant profit. And those games *do* profit, even if there is some, or a lot of piracy. Most game development companies are started out of a passion for games, out of an idea for how to be profitable, which is what feeds the oversupply of games. Once you pass that through the publishing cartel you're guaranteed that many of your favorite development houses are going to go out of business, piracy or no piracy.

        What will really happen if Microsoft figures out how to stop piracy once and for all is that people will start using platforms where everything that is non-novel (Office software), or can be written by one guy in less than a week (practially every shareware application released in the last 10 years) is free, or in the case of games, they'll do without for the most part; countinuing to buy only a select few each year and maintaining the current situation.
      • Re:Bullshit (Score:5, Interesting)

        by vhold (175219) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:42PM (#10270856)
        Unfortunately, virtually any form of copy protection is an added nuissance. A large percentage of the time, people who pirate software have fundamentally fewer annoyances then people who acquired it legally. Thats really backasswards.

        Everytime I buy a game, I immediately go out and look for a crack for it because having to throw in it's CD everytime, and sit there and wait while it churns around looking for flawed sectors or what have you is really annoying. Used to be one of the things that made games on the PC so great is that you didn't have those kinds of load times and you didn't have to hunt for a disk. By going out to look for cracks, it exposes me to all kinds of extra piracy potential that normally I wouldn't even be remotely close to.

        Same thing with operating systems even, I legitimately own a copy of windows XP pro, but I have a second sort of experiment on computer that I went and got a cracked copy for because I didn't want to have to constantly be dealing with some microsoft hotline each time I changed the hardware. It's over the top and more or less useless. When it finally becomes totally impossible to bypass all this junk, when they've finally totally bolted it down to their ultimate hapiness, guys like us will stay on the old platform for as long as possible and eventually just move off forever.

        As for expensive office apps, I just can't justify spending $400 so that I can familiarize myself with them. My workplace totally will pay that amount for their computers, and it's totally advantagous to Microsoft in general if I'm familiar with a product enough to justify spending work's money on it. But if I can't *cough* evaluate it on my own terms, I'll never get to that point.

        I think it's in that particular arena overall that open source stands to gain the most from ridiculously overpowered DRM. There are a lot of problem spaces in productivity applications where opensource flounders around because people can play with the commericial stuff for free with piracy, they learn it, head to work with it and buy it there. Forced away from that, those commercial products are going to have significant brain drain slowly over time, leading to less sales at work, and nobody will pay those high prices at home. I think they'll really shoot themselves in the foot here, unless, for example, Office XP Professional becomes $50. If those kinds of high end apps actually had reasonable pricing for the home enthusiast, I'd probably own like 6 major apps as opposed to zero.
    • by nightsweat (604367) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:29PM (#10270658)

      Sadly, real copy protection would probably be followed by legislation (via MS-Congress) making it illegal to distribute hardware or software that didn't include the DRM.

      Sound far-fetched? Try buying an HDTV tuner card to build a Myth-TV box after the middle of next year that will ignore the broadcast flag.

  • by example42 (760044) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:46PM (#10269169)
    Does this mean that alternate OS's such as Linux and OS X could be consider encryption circumvention devices under the DMCA and upcoming Uber-DMCA's in the USA and around the world? This of course assumes that Microsoft's protection scheme is Windows only. And I think that's a safe bet.
    • There's a difference between circumvention and simply not supporting the DRM.

      If it plays in a CD player it has two channels of 16-bit 44.1KHz PCM audio. You're not circumventing encryption, you're just not listening to the shit that tells you not to rip the unencrypted PCM streams.
    • Fortunatly, some people (including me) will be running an older OS, as I want to be able to listen to music on my computer with out having to comply with every RIAA standard/requirement. If it gets to the point where I have to provide proof-of-purchase in order to listen to a CD, and I can only use RIAA-aporved software to rip my CDs, then it's gone way too far.
    • by crimethinker (721591) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:53PM (#10269285)
      As long as it can be played on a regular audio CD player, I can still rip it. Of course, that would assume that I buy CD's, which I don't. Not because of P2P, but because, almost without exception, all the stuff the RIAA is pushing is crap. Unlistenable crap. I just rely on my existing collection for music, sometimes picking up CD's directly from bands' websites (fuck you, RIAA, no cut for you) or mp3.com back when it existed. I can't even listen to the radio any more it's such shite.

      The copy protection will be defeated, just like any safe can be opened, it's just a matter of time and effort. So let's go ahead and crack their safe, and when we get the huge steel door open, we'll find the safe contains a bright and shiny TURD.

      What's the point of preventing people from copying shitty music?

      -paul

      • by gosand (234100) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @03:35PM (#10269839)
        What's the point of preventing people from copying shitty music?

        It's what the people want.

        Look, I don't understand it either, but for some reason the "public" wants this crap. They want something easy, and formula - like Jessica Simpson. Something absolutely bland and devoid of ... well, anything. I keep hearing the suburban cows at work talking about the likes of Britney Spears or Ashley Simpson - I guess that is Jessica's younger sister. I was flipping around one day on MTV, and there she was. OMFG - she can't sing any better than I can! Yet she is supposedly popular. It seems like a big joke, kind of like that movie "Trading Places". Someone is just proving a point, that they can take a nobody with no talent and turn them into a star.

        What pisses me off is that it is so hard to ignore it! I don't know much about pop culture these days, but I pick up (more than) enough just flipping through the channels. These shows like ET, Access Hollywood, etc are banality^2. Do people really give a flying F about this stuff? It is all just shameless fluff. And people seem to want it. They read People, and talk about JLo and "Brad and Jen" like they actually know them. I really don't get it.

        • What's the point of preventing people from copying shitty music?

          It's what the people want.


          Well, either you believe the RIAA's bullshit about music downloading eating into sales, or you believe that today's music is not at all what the people want. [ifpi.org]

          Those are the only two possible explanations for the four-year drop in CD sales. And none of us reasonable people believe downloading has had any noticeable net effect on CD sales.

          Personally, I've bought one new CD in the past two years. And I'm one of thos
    • by smartin (942) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:56PM (#10269319)
      No it means that other OS's will be locked out of mounting and playing any popular media. This has been M$'s driving goal for a long time. The bottom line will be that you will need a device that contains Microsoft code to mount and play any format that participates in the DRM system. This means all media players and most computers. Microsoft will not license the technology to Linux under the excuse that it is an insecure platform. This will help them lock down both the desktop and embedded markets.
      • by xwinter (632755) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @03:10PM (#10269499)
        And this means that the hundreds of millions of customers with regular "non-MS certified" CD-Players in their homes and cars will be unable to listen to the music they bought and paid for. This is an absolute failure before it even begins, because most normal people do not use their computer to play music in their home and car, and most people would not be willing to buy a new CD player to play said special CDs. This proposal is DOA.
  • Crap (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:47PM (#10269188) Homepage Journal

    We imagine Apple won't be willing to play ball on this front.

    Likely not, but what if the files are DMR-locked (somehow) to only play with a Longhorn-capable client? Reverse engineering would go against the DMCA likely.
    • Re:Crap (Score:3, Insightful)

      by abb3w (696381)
      Likely not, but what if the files are DMR-locked (somehow) to only play with a Longhorn-capable client? Reverse engineering would go against the DMCA likely.

      I'd think that would be difficult to impossible for Windows to lock out Apple without it being accused of egregious violations of the settlement agreement. If Apple doesn't want to let people use iTunes to copy files to the hard drive in AAC format, that's stupid-- but fine. If Microsoft doesn't want to let Apple's iTunes copy files to the hard drive

  • by malkavian (9512) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:48PM (#10269203) Homepage
    Only one copy protection mechanism to overcome, and then it's time to go back to freely backing up you data again.
  • Quid Pro Quo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Atragon (711454) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:48PM (#10269204)
    Sure, we also gain a standardized copy protection format which will be tuned not to break things like some existing copy protections *cough* Starforce *cough*.

    And...standardization is good, just a single standard to bypass if we want to make backups instead of having to learn how to bypass multiple protections.

    Sure, call me a pirate, but when want to play games on my laptop, I don't want to have to tote the CD around, I'd much mount the disc image to a virtual drive so I don't have to tote a breakable CD for every game I might play while traveling.
  • Is this a joke? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Captain BooBoo (614996) <dellcomputers@nOsPAM.hotmail.com> on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:49PM (#10269210)
    If they can't secure the code on the CD what makes you think they can secure the CD?
  • Ok... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by El_Ge_Ex (218107) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:49PM (#10269211) Journal
    Why do customers want to upgrade to Longhorn? I seem to keep losing reasons, or never had them in some cases.

    -b
  • Boringhorn (Score:3, Interesting)

    by slashpot (11017) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:49PM (#10269217) Homepage
    ...and how is this going to stop me from jacking the sound out to the sound in on my sound card, recording a wav file, then compressing it to mp3?
  • by denlin (733557) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:50PM (#10269223) Journal

    Since copy-protected discs are not standard CDs, Apple Computer says they are not meant to be played on its products. In addition, repairs required to undo damage caused by such discs may not be covered by its warranties.

    Apple designs its CD drives to support media that conforms to (published Compact Disc) standards. Therefore, any attempt to use nonstandard discs with Apple CD drives will be considered a misapplication of the product. Under the terms of Apple's one-year limited warranty, AppleCare Protection Plan, or other Apple Care agreements, any misapplication of the product is excluded from Apple's repair coverage.

    Some copy-protected audio discs are causing Mac OS computers to start to a gray screen. In some cases, the discs will not easily eject from the computer.

  • by blankman (94269) <blankman42.gmail@com> on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:50PM (#10269234) Homepage
    The CDs are still going to have regular audio tracks, so they can play in regular CD players. Longhorn will still read regular audio tracks, so it can still play old CDs that don't have a DRMed copy of their content. Even if Longhorn checks for a mixed-mode CD and restricts access to the music portion, that breaks older mixed-mode CDs that have the music on the audio portion only, and other content on the data portion. Bottom line, it sounds to me like I'll still be able to just hold shift.
      • The CDs are still going to have regular audio tracks, so they can play in regular CD players. Longhorn will still read regular audio tracks, so it can still play old CDs that don't have a DRMed copy of their content. Even if Longhorn checks for a mixed-mode CD and restricts access to the music portion, that breaks older mixed-mode CDs that have the music on the audio portion only, and other content on the data portion. Bottom line, it sounds to me like I'll still be able to just hold shift.

      Right now th

    • by Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:42PM (#10270853) Homepage
      Your post is a violation of USA law under the DMCA. It provides information on ("trafficking in") circumvention.
  • gored by longhorn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by koan (80826) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:50PM (#10269238)
    Thank you M$ you just gave me the "final straw" to migrate to Linux.
  • by ttys00 (235472) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:50PM (#10269239)
    ...the more star systems will slip through your fingers.
  • Sounds so arrogant (Score:5, Insightful)

    by scotay (195240) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:51PM (#10269247)
    For someone who has no problem with MS, this is really arrogant. I don't care how much the music industry wants copy protection, I bet this letter did not go over well. On September 2nd, you give me a letter that gives me 18 whole days to make a decision that has major implications on the future of the entire industry. I bet this must leave even the most jaded observers questioning MS sanity and arrogance.
  • by Pig Hogger (10379) <pig.hoggerNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:51PM (#10269253) Journal
    What if a country who cares about it's citizen's rights (like Germany, where Macrovision is illegal, because it prevents backups) and decides to OUTLAW the copy-protection scheme?
  • Buying CD's? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blenderking (324269) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:51PM (#10269256) Homepage
    I figure in 2006 (when Longhorn is supposed to ship) I won't be buying CD's anymore; I barely do as it is now. I really enjoy ITunes and the pricing for a full album's material is almost always better than any retailer's (including Amazon) price.

    ITunes restrictions are reasonable enough that they don't get in my way...and it's cheaper. I don't need a physical CD anymore. Music on demand. I like it.
  • by ediron2 (246908) * on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:52PM (#10269260) Journal
    Cool.

    This'll be like DiVX and TurboTax. Oh, and Windows XP.

    Face it: people without longhorn won't suffer, people with it will, all previous generations of appliance-level devices won't work with the item, and we'll still be able to make perfect copies of an almost-perfect first-generation analog copy. No upside, a zillion downsides.

    I can't wait for this show...

  • IANAL (Score:3, Informative)

    by TeaQuaffer (809857) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:54PM (#10269292)
    nor so I speak Latin, so I didn't know that Quid Pro Quo means "An equal exchange or substitution." ( American Heritage [reference.com])
  • by here4fun (813136) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:56PM (#10269322) Homepage Journal
    The letter, dated 2 September 2004, says that Microsoft's offer came "literally in the last few days" but requires that labels across the entire industry agree upon a specification for the functionality of the protected discs by 20 September.

    Trying to push something at the last second never works. There will be mistakes, a need for new patches, who knows.

    I would think as long as a CD-Rom can read a disk as a data disk, then this will all be meaningless. Someone will write an application which will skip over the "bonus" track. The only way this can work is if MS decides their windows media player is the only player they will allow. But didn't the courts tell MS they could not do that?

  • by Maestro4k (707634) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:57PM (#10269325) Journal
    What I found most interesting about the article was this little blurb from near the end:
    • Many independent labels are rumoured to be terrified by the proposal, our sources suggest, which could grant Microsoft the mandate on CD copy protection and, if it is accepted by the industry, potentially increase the costs of CD production.
    While here on /. we take it for granted that cries of Microsoft's trying to take over/muscle into a new market/etc. will occur but this is the first time I've heard of a company from well outside the computer industry voicing similar concerns. If this happens and their fears are realized Microsoft would effectively be able to leverage their OS monopoly into practically owning an entirely new industry for them -- the music industry.

    I don't know about you but that thought's pretty scary. I don't like copy protection at all (I bought the damn thing, I want to do what I want to with it, and no that doesn't include sharing it illegally) if it's going to happen I don't think Microsoft is a trustworthy steward to have in control of it. Based on their past actions the whole music industry would probably get worse than the current corrupt and abusive (to artists and fans) system.

    • "would effectively be able to leverage their OS monopoly into practically owning an entirely new industry for them -- the music industry.

      The RIAA knows that MS is after their industry. If you must pay MS to copy protect your content then MS effectively controls your industry and you will become irrelevant. RIAA is in the distribution business. The cost of distribution has effectively gone to zero, so now RIAA is trying to stay relevant by "protecting" content - handing over the "content protection" busine

  • by RealProgrammer (723725) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:58PM (#10269345) Homepage Journal
    This is really good news for Linux vendors.

    Microsoft got to be the dominant OS vendor by lowering the barriers for acquisition of its products. No copy protection (mostly), and it came on every box.

    I guess they learned their lesson. If you leave off the copy protection, those silly consumers will start using the stuff right and left and then where will you be?

    Market share is everything.

    And Microsoft pushing around the RIAA -- that's wonderful stuff.
  • Competition Good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KrackHouse (628313) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:59PM (#10269357) Homepage
    Forget about lower prices and increased innovation, the real benefit of having an alternative in Linux IMO is the protection of our rights as consumers. MS will simply speed the migration to Linux if it tries to cram DRM down our throats.
  • by grunt107 (739510) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @03:03PM (#10269418)
    Unless the MS encryption scheme was given to all music media players (including rival OSs), a music industry crushing fair use lawsuit should be brought. Music has always been (by design) a portable genre. Old example - I buy an LP and make a tape (or mix tape if it's for m'Lady) so I can play it in the car. When CD burners came along I pulled the LP into the PC, split tracks and cleaned the audio - then made a CD. I also ripped these tracks into my MP3 player to go jogging (like I jog!).
    Movies are less portable, but I should be allowed a backup, and I used to be able to 'cut' a scene and make it my desktop wallpaper. Those should also be 'fair use'.
    • Unless the MS encryption scheme was given to all music media players (including rival OSs), a music industry crushing fair use lawsuit should be brought.

      Not to mention that there are countries where refusing to honour fair use would make this completely illegal. There are countries where it is a consumer right to copy any media for personal use. Many countries have very deliberate laws governing and protecting consumer access to copyrighted or licensed material, and have had as much for many, many ye

  • Bonus Track? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by javaxman (705658) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @03:08PM (#10269474) Journal
    or a track, which would otherwise be there already, that is unlockable only on a computer with Windows Longhorn installed?
  • Stop Whining... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tshak (173364) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @03:18PM (#10269581) Homepage
    ...And stop buying. Seriously. A major company is catering to another major companies needs. Film at 11.

    This is one of many cases that I think the free market will work. If people don't think the quid pro quo value is in their favor, than the RIAA loses because people will stop buying their product.

  • by Java Pimp (98454) <java_pimp.yahoo@com> on Thursday September 16, 2004 @03:20PM (#10269615) Homepage
    God I hope so! I was worried for a second!

  • by Dashing Leech (688077) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @03:25PM (#10269675)
    ...and the consumer loses all their rights for the "quid pro quo" of a bonus track."

    Sounds about as enticing as losing a dental plan for a keg of beer.

    Dental plan.
    Lisa needs braces.
    Dental plan.
    Lisa needs braces.
    Dental plan.
    Lisa needs braces.
    Bonus track.
    Lisa need fair use.
    Bonus track.
    Lisa need fair use.
    Bonus track.
    Lisa need fair use.

  • *sigh* (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jugalator (259273) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @03:32PM (#10269793) Journal
    You seem to really need to bash it into the skulls of Microsoft and RIAA that copy protection won't help much. They just aren't getting it.
  • by pritcharda (716158) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @03:37PM (#10269864)

    "...with the computer giant instructing labels that the compatible secure CDs must contain additional multimedia content, such as bonus tracks, "as a quid pro quo for adding effective [DRM] into the consumer experience"."


    This is a classic marketing move on Microsoft's part. First, you hit them with the down side. You will have to include this information on all of the CD's you produce. Before anyone can think of the potential options, Microsoft gives an example that the music industry is ok with, "bonus tracks".

    Not so bad on its surface, but what "bonus tracks" could Microsoft possible what to add? The obvious answer is commercials! Just like DVD's. Microsoft will control, and license, the area that will play to every user before they listen to there music. Each time they play the CD.

    It's a brilliant move, but one that is very scary at the same time.

  • by Isao (153092) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @03:38PM (#10269882)
    In our haste to lambaste anything that Microsoft does, and any kind of DRM initiative, let's look a little closer at this rumored proposal.

    Microsoft appears to have offered DRM to the music industry, in exchange for which the music industry must include additional content over unprotected media. This appears to be a move by Microsoft to spread the winnings around the table, if only a little. Here's how I see it:

    . Microsoft gets its own DRM technology approved by the industry, and with control of the main PC platform establishes it as the de-facto standard.
    . The music industry gets a widely-deployed DRM technology to stem what it sees as an erosion of its marketplace.
    . Consumers who purchase DRM-enabled media instead of standard media would get additional content not available elsewhere.

    I think this move should be acknowledged by the digirati as a small step towards a real solution, though not the final one. It appears Microsoft is attempting to exact a concession from the music industry on behalf of consumers. (Of course, it would be more heroic to suffer a cost themselves, but Microsoft is anything but financially stupid.)

    Now for some problems with the alleged proposal:

    . DRM is DRM, and some of us don't want any of it.
    . If you must have DRM, an open standard would be preferred.
    . It's likely only a matter of time before the DRM is broken, bringing the music industry back to square one.
    . Additional content for our troubles is a nice touch - make it worthwhile (like videos of all the tracks, lyrics, Bio's, discographies, Lo-Fi non-DRM MP3's for portable devices, etc.).

    But let's not just hammer the participants out of reflex. Slashdot may be a mob, but we're supposed to be a smart mob.

    • by Alsee (515537) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @07:08PM (#10272344) Homepage
      It appears Microsoft is attempting to exact a concession from the music industry on behalf of consumers.

      Buhahahahahahahah! What are you smoking? Can I have some?

      The sole purpose of the supposed "bonus content" is to ensure that the disk has at least some crippled content to entice consumers into buying crippled hardware. Content which almost inevitably would have been available one way or another anyway.

      There is absolutely nothing pro-consumer about this. There is no way in hell this is any sort of step towards a "real solution", and there is no way in hell I will EVER buy a single peice of such crippled crap.

      Perhaps you aren't aware of just what Microsoft's Longhorn DRM system is. It requires you to have new hardware with a Trust chip embedded. A chip designed to keep secrets from it's owner, designed to lock the owner out of his own files, designed to turn over effective ownership of the machine to someone else and deny the owner control of his own computer.

      Many notebook computers abd some desktop machines are already shipping with an embedded Trust chip. The plan is that in a few months every single new computer will be shipped with such a chip standard. When you replace your old obsolete machine you will simply be HANDED a Trusted Computing compatible machine. So over the next 4 ears or so essentially every computer will be replaced with a Trusted compatible machine through normal obsolesence.

      An increasing quantity of software will only install on a Trusted machine. And increasing number of data files will only be usable on a Trusted machine. An increasing number of websites will only be viewable with a Trusted machine. Microsoft has anounced it intends e-mail which will only be viewable on a Trusted machine.

      And in a few years, when most machines have been replaced with Trusted machines, ISP's can even start installing Cisco's announced Trusted Computing routers. These routers deny you and internet connection unless you have a Trusted machine and run the mandated software. They are being billed as "fighting viruses". As a Washington DC Gobal Technology Summit the president's Cyber Security advisor has called on ISP's to plan to install exactly this sort of hardware, and to make Tusted Computing compliance a MANDATORY part of the terms of service to get internet access. And perhaps you've noticed the recent Slashdot dupe story about Intel wanting to fix/replace the internet - same deal - Trusted Computing only networking is part of their plan. The Intel Prescott CPU already has a Trust chip embedded within the CPU itself. The plan is for all CPU's to eventually come with Trusted Computing built in.

      Trusted Computing is supposedly "voluntary", but you'll increasingly be locked out of software and files and websites and e-mail and eventually the internet itself unless you submit.

      THIS is the system Microsoft wants the RIAA to start including on music CD's, to drive initial adoption of Trusted Computing "enhanced" hardware.

      -
  • by yagu (721525) <yayagu.gmail@com> on Thursday September 16, 2004 @03:40PM (#10269922) Journal

    I don't know when this becomes critical mass, but I find the trend in media disturbing. But, before it does, and I don't suggest the time, place, or mechanism, I wouldn't mind seeing a mass customer revolt. It wouldn't take long for the RIAA to raise eyebrows if virtually everyone stopped purchasing music until the future of "owning" music looked less draconian. I know much of this is driven by the fear of pirating, etc., but the future does more than assure less piracy and seems more to ensure beaucoups des revenues (pardon the butchered French) for RIAA and cohorts.

    If we can organize flash-mobs, we should be able to organize flash-boycotts (assuming there are others who see the trend in media control as untenable).

  • *how* many years..? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by spasm (79260) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:00PM (#10270222) Homepage
    let me get this straight.. microsoft are ramming some hastily conceived and rush-designed security format down their partner's throats, and will be locking themselves and said partners to it.

    and then they're giving us *how* many years to come up with workarounds or outright cracks?

    heh. hehehehehehe.
  • by Anonymous Writer (746272) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @04:04PM (#10270292)

    Microsoft is moving their monopoly control onto the CD music industry? Will these copy-protected CDs be able to work on any other platforms other than Longhorn? What about Linux and Mac users? Will we be locked out?

    I find it so infuriating that the moronic recording industry is implementing these sorts of things. If a CD is copy protected, someone is going to get copies of the tracks onto P2P networks somehow anyway, and they will be accessible only through illegal means. They are forcing legitimate customers to resort to music piracy as their only avenue to get the latest albums.

    I'm honestly one of those people that used to buy a lot of CDs. I have no qualms about paying for it legitimately, so I find it offensive that I have to be subjected to copy protection to prevent me from getting it onto my computer, which is my stereo as well. Not only can't the SuperDrive on my Titanium PowerBook rip the CDs, but it can't even play them as regular audio CDs either. I no longer buy CDs anymore, because my laptop can't read them and I can't play them, because they are all copy protected. I was a good customer and now I don't buy their products!

    Doesn't that say something about the shit-for-brains strategy they're implementing? I don't share my ripped tracks on P2P networks. I actually find it useful to own CDs because they serve as backup copies. And since they are uncompressed, you can re-rip them using different algorithms, like if you choose decide to switch from the default 128 kbps to 192 kbps or higher for better quality, or if you decide to start using the Apple Lossless [apple.com] audio codec.

    They are actually stopping me from buying their product. They are such fucking unbelievable idiots. And guess what? Music from the recording industries isn't necessary in one's life as much as their marketing would like you to think. I'm fine with the music I already have. Like I said, I was a good customer- a really good customer- so I already acquired a decent collection of CDs before this copyright crap came along. They are locking out honest paying customers. That is the dumbest thing ever.

It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster. - Voltaire

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