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Donna Wentworth
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Ernest Miller
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About this weblog
Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this weblog are those of the authors and not of their respective institutions.

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

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March 24, 2004

Real Hypocrisy

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Posted by Ernest Miller

Derek Slater points out the hypocrisy of Real Networks' complaints about Apple's proprietary DRM for iTunes when Real is busy promoting its own proprietary DRM called Helix (Pot to Kettle: You are Black). My favorite part of Real's complaint is how it is phrased as advice for the benefit of Apple (Real's Glaser exhorts Apple to open iPod):

"Apple's (market) share will go down if they continue to do this. The only way to presently put songs on an iPod is to (buy) them from iTunes," Glaser said, referring to downloads purchased from online music stores.

Of course, Real fails to note that iPod supports non-DRM'd MP3s. How about that?

Doesn't anyone get that the ongoing DRM Babel is only slowing market adoption and doing very little to inhibit piracy? And, oh yeah, even if one proprietary DRM scheme does manage to dominate the market, are copyright owners really going to be better off with some technology company that has a stranglehold on one layer of the distribution stack?

Comments (4) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: IP Abuse


COMMENTS

1. joe on March 24, 2004 1:04 PM writes...

In the network model of the Internet... there is one protocol to rule them all... this is the IP protocol. However, this is a set standard... not a proprietary format... so I could see one format for DRM, as long as it is reached by a standards body and incorporates the wishes of non-industry folk like EPIC, EFF, CC, etc.

Permalink to Comment

2. Aaron Swartz on March 24, 2004 1:19 PM writes...

A public DRM standard seems something like a contradiction in terms, because current DRM schemes rely upon secrecy to work.

Permalink to Comment

3. Cypherpunk on March 25, 2004 2:01 AM writes...

DRM schemes shouldn't have to rely on secrecy. While there may be encryption of data, and secret keys embedded in devices, the scheme itself, the protocols, algorithms and data formats, can be public. I believe that is the approach adopted by the HDCP specification, for example.

Permalink to Comment

4. sotto voce on March 25, 2004 7:36 AM writes...

Helix is available for linux developers too... btw. hats lot more open than apple.

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