QuoteAccess to Hollywood content is also baked into the chip--a technology called Intel Insider. "This will unlock premium high-definition content, like movies, to your PC," Kilroy said. "We've gone out and engaged with the studios. So, you'll see Warner Bros. and Fox at launch [of Sandy Bridge] and several other studios to come. They're eagerly embracing this platform as a distribution means for premium high-end content--as Internet content [offered] directly to the end user."
Kilroy continued. "What Intel Insider does is deliver HD digital distribution rights to the PC. This could be enabled through multiple content storefronts through OEMs (PC makers), retailers like Best Buy. Essentially, the PC now becomes an on-ramp for HD 1080p movies," he said.
And Intel has added security features to protect the content. "And we've built in security capability into this platform that will enable end-to-end hardware protection for the content. So, it will protect the premium content rights of the studios," according to Kilroy.
QuoteI don't have any clear information on what the issue is since I'm not in the office, but clearly the extended downtime and lengthy login issues are unacceptable, particularly as I've been told these servers are constantly monitored.
I'll do what I can to get more information on what the issue is here first thing tomorrow and push for a resolution and assurance this won't happen in the future. I realise that's not ideal but there's only so much I can do on a weekend as I'm not directly involved with the server side of this system.
QuoteAnd surprisingly, EFF doesn't necessarily want Microsoft to also offer refunds. After Microsoft shuttered MSN Music, the company announced last spring that it would stop issuing DRM keys. After being criticized, Microsoft decided to continue supporting its music for three more years. McSherry said that Microsoft's decision ensures that customers get what they paid for. That's all EFF wanted.
"In both cases, each of the companies has been forced to acknowledge they must do right by their customers," McSherry said. "I do hope that any other vendor (selling DRM-protected media), learns a lesson. They all must live up to the conditions that they set when they sold their music."
QuoteThe NBC spokeswoman said the network had no intention of blocking the show but declined to specify how the error was made. Flags that have been issued accidentally aren't uncommon, some industry insiders say. While acknowledging that it "fully adheres to flags used by broadcasters," Microsoft said that it was working with content owners to reduce the number of false flags. "The success of the entire distribution chain is dependent on all involved maintaining the necessary checks and quality control so that coding is correctly applied," a Microsoft spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail to News.com. Meanwhile, the larger issue for some is that Microsoft and possibly other hardware and software makers will honor broadcast flags. "Customers need to know who Microsoft is listening to and how that affects their equipment," said Danny O'Brien, a staffer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group for Internet users.
QuoteMass Effect uses SecuROM and requires an online activation for the first time that you play it. Each copy of Mass Effect comes with a CD Key which is used for this activation and for registration here at the BioWare Community. Mass Effect does not require the DVD to be in the drive in order to play, it is only for installation.
After the first activation, SecuROM requires that it re-check with the server within ten days (in case the CD Key has become public/warez'd and gets banned). Just so that the 10 day thing doesn't become abrupt, SecuROM tries its first re-check with 5 days remaining in the 10 day window. If it can't contact the server before the 10 days are up, nothing bad happens and the game still runs. After 10 days a re-check is required before the game can run.
QuoteMSN Entertainment and Video Services general manager Rob Bennett sent out an e-mail this afternoon to customers, advising them to make any and all authorizations or deauthorizations before August 31. "As of August 31, 2008, we will no longer be able to support the retrieval of license keys for the songs you purchased from MSN Music or the authorization of additional computers," reads the e-mail seen by Ars. "You will need to obtain a license key for each of your songs downloaded from MSN Music on any new computer, and you must do so before August 31, 2008. If you attempt to transfer your songs to additional computers after August 31, 2008, those songs will not successfully play."
This doesn't just apply to the five different computers that PlaysForSure allows users to authorize, it also applies to operating systems on the same machine (users need to reauthorize a machine after they upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista, for example). Once September rolls around, users are committed to whatever five machines they may have authorized-along with whatever OS they are running.
QuoteThe video gaming industry is poised to overtake the music industry in the US, with global spending on video games surpassing music spending as soon as this year, according to consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. PwC released the data in its annual "Global Entertainment and Media Outlook" report covering 2007 through 2011, which outlines expected growth in the entertainment, film, music, and video game industries, among others.
The information not only reflects the gaming industry's strong trajectory but also serves as a painful reminder that the music industry continues to suffer. EMI recently reported, however, that sales of its DRM-free songs and albums have been good since the launch of iTunes Plus, with CD sales of those same albums dropping during that time. If the gains made by selling DRM-free music online outpace the losses from CD sales, EMI's decision to go DRM-free will prove to be a good one, and the rest of the industry may follow suit.
QuoteThe MPAA does recognize that progress on DRM needs to be made soon, or impatient consumers will increasingly turn to unauthorized sources for content. "We're working on this right now, trying to find ways to make it interoperable," he said, but added that pricing and business models for such a system are "way beyond my pay grade." Dean Garfield, VP of Legal Affairs for the MPAA, told me that he has confidence in the market to sort all of these issues out. "You have to give some thought to how young the digital distribution market is," he said. "I suspect that the issues confounding people today won't be the issues challenging the industry six months from now."
QuoteConsumers who have already purchased EMI tracks containing Apple's FairPlay copy protection will be able to upgrade them to the premium version for 30 cents, EMI said. Full albums in DRM-free form can be bought at the same price as standard iTunes albums. "We are committed to embracing change, and to developing products and services that consumers really want to buy," said Eric Nicoli, chief executive of EMI. Nicoli cited internal EMI tests in which higher-quality, DRM-free songs outsold its lower-quality, copy-protected counterparts 10-to-1.
QuoteBit Player reports that our old friends at the RIAA issued a response today lauding Apple's offer to license FairPlay as a "welcome breakthrough" that would be a "real victory for fans, artists and labels." There's only one problem: Jobs didn't offer to license FairPlay at all. In fact, he makes it pretty clear that he thinks that switching to an open model for DRM wouldn't work...
QuoteBeneath the gloss they have hidden traps that take away important consumer rights, force expensive and environmentally damaging hardware upgrades. All computer hardware, such as monitors and sound cards, will have to obey Microsoft's rules for encrypting content in order for consumers to use Vista to play 'premium' content, such as Blu-Ray and HD DVD disks. Although it is unlikely to prevent copying, it will make Vista more attractive to Hollywood film distributors, while also locking them into a Vista content distribution system.
QuoteEngineering one-upsmanship aside, combo DVD players will likely be costly, at least initially. Standard Blu-ray players cost $600 or more, and HD DVD players go for $400 or more. The lasers used in Blu-ray players also remain in tight supply. That limitation played a role in Sony's PlayStation 3 shortage as the game consoles--which contain a Blu-ray player--went on sale late last year. A combo player would have duplicative or more specialized parts and thus cost even more. Another factor adding cost is royalties. Manufacturers that build combo players have to pay fees to both the Blu-ray and HD DVD organizations. Although LG has said it will ship its combo player in the first quarter, it won't reveal the price until Sunday, a spokesman said.
QuoteThe settlement agreement was announced Thursday by the state of Massachusetts, the lead plaintiff in the case. In addition to the $4.25 million, Sony BMG will also pay up to $175 apiece to consumers whose computers were damaged by the software. "We're pleased to reach these agreements," Sony BMG said in a statement. The announcement comes just after the music label announced similar deals with Texas and California. With the settlements, Sony BMG, jointly operated by Sony and Bertelsmann Music Group, has taken a major step in resolving a controversy that caused a public uproar last year.
QuoteLikely so, but the deal with California and Texas won't be the end of the "rootkit" fiasco for the music giant. Sony still has to contend with a consortium of 13 states, including Massachusetts, Nebraska and Florida, that are expected to look for a similar deal, according to Jeff McGrath, deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County, which took part in California's case against Sony. In addition, McGrath said an investigation launched earlier this year by the Federal Trade Commission looms. A spokesperson for the FTC declined to comment.
The uproar over Sony's DRM started in October 2005 when a computer programmer discovered that one of the company's CDs was restricting his computer's ability to copy music. He had installed Sony software that enabled him to listen to a CD on his computer, but without his knowledge, the disc also installed a DRM program that would limit the number of copies he made of the CD and barred him from creating unprotected MP3s. The DRM also provided a place where malicious software could hideout and operate undetected. The feature is known as a rootkit.
QuoteVista's DRM technologies fall into several distinct categories, all of which are either completely new to the operating system or represent a significant change from the technology found in previous versions of Windows. The Intel-developed Trusted Platform Module (TPM) makes DRM harder to circumvent by extending it beyond the operating system and into the PC's hardware components. TPM is used with Vista's BitLocker full-drive encryption technology to protect a PC's data against security breaches. A TPM microchip embedded on the PC's motherboard stores unique system identifiers along with the BitLocker decryption keys. If a system is tampered with -- for example, if the hard drive is removed and placed in a different machine -- TPM detects the tampering and prevents the drive from being unencrypted.
QuoteThe problem has arisen because tracks from the MSN Music site are compatible with the specifications of the Plays For Sure initiative. This was intended to re-assure consumers as it guaranteed that music bought from services backing it would work with players that supported it. MSN Music, Napster, AOL Music Now and Urge all backed Plays For Sure as did many players from hardware makers such as Archos, Creative, Dell and Iriver. In a statement a Microsoft spokesperson said: "Since Zune is a separate offering that is not part of the Plays For Sure ecosystem, Zune content is not supported on Plays For Sure devices."
Quote"DRM is a technical device, but it's being used in an all-embracing sense. It can't be circumvented for disabled access or preservation, and the technology doesn't expire (as traditional copyright does). In effect, it's overriding exceptions to copyright law," Brindley said. The British Library hopes to protect statutory exceptions and fair dealing, which enable libraries to make and preserve copies of content, and make them available for research purposes and for disabled people.
QuoteMicrosoft's Zune will not play protected Windows Media Audio and Video purchased or "rented" from Napster 2.0, Rhapsody, Yahoo! Unlimited, Movielink, Cinemanow, or any other online media service. That's right -- the media that Microsoft promised would Play For Sure doesn't even play on Microsoft's own device. Buried in footnote 4 of its press release, Microsoft clearly states that "Zune software can import audio files in unprotected WMA, MP3, AAC; photos in JPEG; and videos in WMV, MPEG-4, H.264" -- protected WMA and WMV (not to mention iTunes DRMed AAC) are conspicuously absent. This is a stark example of DRM under the DMCA giving customers a raw deal. Buying DRMed media means you're locked into the limited array of devices that vendors say you can use. You have to rebuy your preexisting DRMed media collection if you want to use it on the Zune. And you'll have to do that over and over again whenever a new, incompatible device with innovative features blows existing players out of the water. Access to MP3s and non-DRMed formats creates the only bridge between these isolated islands of limited devices.
QuoteThe technology, which can also be used for Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs, will allow movie studios to remotely track individual discs as they travel from factories to retail shelves to consumers' homes. Home DVD players will eventually be able to check on the chip embedded in a disc, and refuse to play discs which are copied or played in the 'wrong' geographical region, the companies behind the technology expect. "This technology holds the potential to protect the intellectual property of music companies, film studios, gaming and software developers worldwide," said Gordon Yeh, chief executive of Ritek Corporation.
QuoteGlobal investment bank Goldman Sachs has signed a deal for digital rights management software to protect its confidential documents from unauthorized access. The software, from U.S. vendor Liquid Machines, allows the bank to encrypt documents so it can control access regardless of where the data travels. Document authors can define what users can and cannot do with the information, providing protection against loss, theft or modification.
A Goldman Sachs employee could control who might open, read, forward or print a file irrespective of the user or file's location. For example, an employee could see if someone was attempting to open the document from home. Authorized users are still able to cut, copy or paste data to other applications, with the data remaining protected. The value of the deal was not disclosed. Goldman Sachs is an investor in the privately held company.
QuoteFrance's main opposition party, the Parti Socialiste, has promised that, should it be elected in 2007, it will revise the law, after consulting with artists, consumers, businesses and Internet service providers. "The law is unworkable, and its problems are growing," said Anne Hidalgo, the party's national secretary for culture and the media.
QuoteThe discussion went on for almost two hours and didn't often stray from concerns about fair and personal use, privacy and rights protection for digital content. The criticism of Sony and its industry was fierce, considering the audience consisted of computer graphics industry professionals, who themselves benefit from the protections of copyright laws. There was one source of consumer irritation, however, that Singer did not even try to defend. "Why, when I buy a DVD, am I forced to watch commercials?" an audience member asked. "I know. I agree. I'm with you there," Singer said, laughing.
Quote"We've been publicly trying to convince record labels that they should be selling MP3s for a while now," writes Yahoo Music blogger Ian Rogers. "DRM has a cost. It's very expensive for companies like Yahoo! to implement. We'd much rather have our engineers building better personalization, recommendations, playlisting applications, community apps, etc, instead of complex provisioning systems which at the end of the day allow you to burn a CD and take the DRM back off, anyway."
QuoteTower Records chief marketing officer Russ Eisenman said the digital store fit perfectly with Tower's history of offering music in all formats that prevailed throughout its 45-year history. All of the music is in Microsoft's Windows Media Audio format, encoded at a higher bit rate than most other online stores to provide better audio fidelity.
QuoteOn Friday, June 23rd, we will coordinate a day of action, and this time it doesn't involve yellow hazmat suits. You don't even have to leave your desk. We will provide contact numbers for executives at the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and similar organizations around the world. We're asking you to proclaim your support for digital freedoms by calling the RIAA and telling them what you think of DRM and what you think of them!
Quote"It puts Hollywood, acting through the FCC, in charge of how consumer electronics manufacturers should build their devices," said Art Brodsky, a spokesman for the nonprofit group Public Knowledge, one of the plaintiffs in the suit. Senate committee aides said earlier this week that a number of Republicans share concerns about the government's wading into technological mandates. They would rather not see the provisions in the bill at all but added them after pressure from Democrats like Barbara Boxer, who counts a large chunk of the entertainment industry in her California constituency.
QuoteCongress is mandating the use of DRM, plain and simple. Although one part of the bill seems to give a nod to fair use, it's done in the same way as it was under the DMCA. Meaning, the bill ignores fair use. It reads that the FCC's regulation won't affect fair use rights-well, it won’t. Those fair use limitations still exist under the copyright law-but as we know well, DRM legally trumps fair use thanks to the DMCA.
QuoteDigital radio laws would limit automatic recording to set programs, time periods or channels. You won't be able record an individual song, and you won't be able to separate individual songs from a recorded session and play them in a different order. You won't even be able to burn the music onto a CD or send it to another device. Digital radio would be shackled into historical feature sets that analog radios have had for decades with little room to innovate. Music fans will be cheated out of the benefits of digital technology.
QuoteFor instance, a DRM system may allow a CD to be played on a PC but would not let tracks from that album be copied so they can be listened to on a portable player such as an iPod. The MPs' report made several recommendations and called on the Office of Fair Trading hasten the introduction of labelling regulations that would let people know what they can do with music and movies they buy online or offline.
QuoteThe term is audacious: Web 2.0. It assumes a certain interpretation of Web history, including enough progress in certain directions to trigger a succession. The label casts the reader back to Sir Tim Berners-Lee's unleashing of the World Wide Web concept a little more than a decade ago, then asks: What forms of the Web have developed and become accepted enough that we can conceive of a transition to new ones?
QuoteSweden's domestic intelligence agency said it would probe why the government's Web site crashed on Sunday amid reports hackers had sought revenge for a crackdown on alleged online piracy. The government Web site went off line in the early hours of Sunday. The Internet home page of the national police crashed in similar fashion on Thursday.