“Sony’s rootkit, as bad as it was, isn’t the real story. The way the entertainment cartel is applying DRM as a whole is the real story. They’re applying DRM in a way that the Sony fiasco was inevitable. This wasn’t the first time lack of DRM interoperability manifested itself in the end-user experience in an ugly way, and it won’t be the last. Sure, the rest of the entertainment industry is rewriting its DRM playbook to keep from repeating Sony’s history. But rest assured, another DRM-inspired trainwreck will come along that will light the grapevine ablaze and some other content company will end up with egg on its face when, in reality, it’s Microsoft and Apple that we should really be angry with; two companies that are driving incompatible DRM technologies into the marketplace in a way that twists the royal (or should that be ‘royalty’) screws into the world,” David Berlind writes for ZDNet.
“And, it’s only going to get worse. Unbeknownst to most people, what started with music (let’s just say audio) already applies to video and it’s not going to stop there. Video that’s wrapped in Microsoft’s DRM has been in the market for quite some time already. The fact that video has been added to Apple’s iPods and that FairPlay-protected video will be sold through Apple’s iTunes Music Store (IMS) only adds insult to injury. Just like with music purchased at the IMS, the video you buy at the IMS can only be played back where Apple lets you play it back. This is different from the old days where you could buy a DVD knowing that you could play it in any DVD player,” Berlind writes.
Full article here.
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Nonsense. Berlind writes, “This wasn’t the first time lack of DRM interoperability manifested itself in the end-user experience in an ugly way, and it won’t be the last.” Too bad it wasn’t “lack of DRM interoperability” that was the problem with Sony. The problem was installing a rootkit that opened security holes and phoned home each time a user played a song.
We should blame Microsoft and Apple? Well, one out of two ain’t bad. Apple has the de facto standard for online legal music DRM, FairPlay or protected AAC, with over 700 million (estimated) songs sold to date and a firm grip on 80% of the market. Why does Microsoft insist on trying and failing to propagate their proprietary DRM (as proprietary as Apple, granted, but without being the de facto standard) scheme on the world? It is Microsoft that’s responsible for the incompatibilities. Remember that Apple’s iTunes is free and works for both Mac and Windows, unlike all of Microsoft-based online music stores which are incompatible with Macs.
Apple will eventually license FairPlay to others, thus ensuring that Apple’s DRM becomes to unquestioned standard. But, the time is not now. It’s too early and there is no reason why Apple should hurt themselves for no economic benefit. Let the others try to compete with the iTunes+iPod juggernaut. After they fail, Apple can begin licensing what they’ve worked so hard to build wholly on their terms. If they miraculously begin to succeed, Apple would license FairPlay, too. It’s a timing issue more than anything.
To sum up, without some form of DRM, there would be no legal content online. The content providers demand it. Users should be angry with Sony for going too far and Mac users should be wondering why Microsoft can’t seem to make their DRM compatible with Macs, if they and their WMA-based online music store partners want to compete so badly.
We see Sony addressing the XCP malware-style ‘root kit’ issue for Windows users, but we see no mention of Sony’s other SunnComm-laced CDs that can install kernel extensions on Mac OS X which is what prompted our boycott of all Sony products in the first place. This is highly troubling, to put it mildly. Therefore, MacDailyNews and iPodDailyNews are continuing to boycott all Sony products until this and other “copy-protected CD” issues are addressed appropriately by Sony and recommend that our 2.2+ million unique visitors per month from 136 countries worldwide do the same.
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