Items tagged with DRM

At this year's Macworld, Apple announced iTunes was (finally) going DRM-less. However, if you wanted to remove the DRM from your pre-existing iTunes library, it was all or nothing. Proving that they do listen , Apple has changed things, and you can now upgrade your music to iTunes Plus (AKA DRM-free) one song at a time. If you go to the iTunes Plus upgrade page via the Upgrade to iTunes Plus link on the iTunes Store's Home Page, there's a Buy All button for a one-step upgrade, or you can click Buy buttons next to individual albums or tracks in your library. Admittedly, if you have a ton of songs, doing them one at a time is going to take a while. You sure you don't want to do it all at once?... Read more...
To DRM or not to DRM, that is the question. (For the uninitiated, DRM stands for digital rights management, and it is a means publishers use to restrict users from making unlicensed copies of software and other digital media--in essence, it is copy protection.) On the one hand, DRM limits the ability of casual users from making copies of media and then giving the copy to someone else. On the other hand, many DRM implementations impact the ability to easily access the media and sometimes even cause the media to be inaccessible--so that while publishers attempt to protect their intellectual property from pirates, they wind up biting the hand that feeds them: paying customers.Ubisoft, a game publisher... Read more...
Spore is not only a retail hit, it's a BitTorrent hit, according to a recent top 10 assessment of PC game piracy by TorrentFreak. Spore's SecuROM DRM earned it negative customer reviews at Amazon.com, protest Spore creatures, as well as lawsuits. According to TorrentFreak (and honestly, many others), it also earned the game a ton of pirated downloads. As expected, Spore is by far the most downloaded game on BitTorrent, in part thanks to the DRM that came with the game.Spore has been, by TorrentFreak's numbers, downloaded 1.7 million times already, and that's just since the title was released in September. It's as many, including me, have said: people who really want to pirate a game will do so.... Read more...
Spore is a critically-acclaimed game, but (at least by users) its DRM has been universally panned. Many of those who know anything about the SecuROM copy protection used in the game don't want it near their computers, unless they absolutely have to. And while Electronic Arts (EA) has "loosened things up" slightly, the DRM has spawned thousands of negative reviews at Amazon.com and protest creatures. And now, it has birthed a class action lawsuit (.PDF). The lawsuit was filed on Sept. 22nd by Melissa Thomas, represented by Alan Himmelfarb and Scott Kamber with KamberEdelson LLC. The lawsuit makes a number of statements, including: What purchasers are not told is that, included in the purchase,... Read more...
Spore's rather draconian DRM, which besides being the already hated SecuROM limits the user to 3 installs and only one online account per CD key, has fostered extremely bad user reviews on Amazon.com as well as "protest creatures." At least part of that DRM will get loosened up soon, via a patch, according to reports. When asked by MTV's Multiplayer about the activation issue, which is mostly a problem because you can't de-authorize PCs, as you can with iTunes, for example, EA's response was: That will be changed, according to the EA spokesperson, who told Multiplayer that the current limit on the number of computers that can be associated with a single copy of “Spore” is “very similar to a solution... Read more...
Don't expect this issue to go away anytime soon. We know many are (understandably) upset over the DRM used on the critically-acclaimed game Spore, not just because of SecuROM but also because of the "three activations limitation" and one account per CD key (which was not noted in the manual; in fact the opposite was said in the manual!). And hey, if the game allows you to create the creatures you want, why not create a protest creature, eh? A look at Sporepedia (Spore's official encyclopedia of creatures) shows that users aren't shy about expressing their displeasure. A search for DRM, for example, leads to a ton of creatures, one shown above. A typical "Description" is given above --- "Get rid... Read more...
What would be the ideal form of DRM?  Besides, obviously, no DRM, copy protection that's industry-wide, so that you could snag something from one store or retailer and play it on any player, whether it be a Zune or an iPod, or even your DVD player, would be the dream of consumers.  While piracy is the bane of the industry, the fact that Apple owns Fairplay and has a stranglehold on its market share is an obvious other consideration.  One DRM would be helpful for the rest, though Apple probably likes things just the way the are.Still, the industry would love to make things more open, while still keeping it closed, so to speak.  And that's the aim of the Digital Entertainment... Read more...
The trend towards DRM-free music seems to be giving Dell the notion that the market's ready for another digital music player. They tried to sell MP3 players five years ago, but got washed away in the Apple iPod tsunami and gave up in 2006. There's a whiff of "me too" about anybody trying to make portable music players now; Apple's devices are so ubiquitous that people call any such device "an iPod" at this point. But Dell's hoping that by hiring an ex-Apple executive to oversee the  making of an inexpensive player that will play music from any vendor, they can make inroads into Apple's  iTunes/ iPod audience. As we've noted before, the move to DRM-free tracks won't be enough to help... Read more...
As though we need still another reason to hate DRM, here comes one.  Remember the now-defunct MSN Music store?  Hopefully you weren't one of the few to use it.Customers who have purchased music from Microsoft's now-defunct MSN Music store are now facing a decision they never anticipated making: commit to which computers (and OS) they want to authorize forever, or give up access to the music they paid for. Why? Because Microsoft has decided that it's done supporting the service and will be turning off the MSN Music license servers by the end of this summer.MSN Entertainment and Video Services general manager Rob Bennett sent out an e-mail this afternoon to customers, advising them to... Read more...
April 15th is not my favorite day of the year. I doubt it's yours, either. But the IRS is not the only acronym you need to start worrying about on that date. This year, your DirecTV digital video recorder will be getting the DRM treatment for pay-per-view content on April 15th. The days of recording and watching entirely at your leisure are over.Under the new policy when you purchase PPV movies, sporting events, etc., you’ll have 24-hours to finish watching it, after which time it will expire and if you want to watch it again you’ll need to pay for it again.The same rule applies to things you’ve started watching but haven’t finished–once you pay for something the 24-hour clock starts ticking.Not... Read more...
Like Basil Fawlty telling everybody not to mention The War, while doing it himself over and over, Microsoft has a new media playback protocol called PlayReady, and it's not a DRM platform! You could waterboard a Microsoft executive but he won't utter the acronym. Don't mention the DRM platform!PlayReady has some interesting features that might make the DRM pill an easier swallow. As well as being able to handle any type of file type, restrictions are based around the idea of domains: you sign up for a subscription service with someone such as MusicStation, and that subscription defines how many devices you may have in your "domain". Each of those devices is registered with MusicStation and media... Read more...
In a major coup, Amazon.com announced Thursday that by the end of January you'll be able to download MP3 versions of Sony BMG music from their DRM-free Amazon MP3 store. Thus officially dies DRM."We are excited to offer Amazon MP3 customers DRM-free MP3s from SONY BMG, which represents many of the most popular musicians from the past and present. Our Amazon MP3 customers will be able to choose from a full selection of DRM-free music downloads from all four major labels and over 33,000 independents that they can play on virtually any music-capable device."We never thought this day would come.  However, with Warner Music moving to an MP3 format, Sony had little choice, as if 3 out of 4 music... Read more...
Sony has confirmed what was rumored last week: DRM-free downloads are coming.  The silly part is you have to go to a retail brick-and-mortar store first.The No. 2 record company after Universal Music will sell plastic cards, called Platinum MusicPass, for individual albums for a suggested price of $12.99. Buyers enter a code from the card at new Sony BMG site MusicPass.com to download that card's album.Best Buy, Target and Fred's stores will be first to sell them. By Jan. 31, they'll be in Winn-Dixie, Coconuts, FYE, Spec's and Wherehouse. Like gift cards, MusicPass cards are activated at the store.Sony BMG initially will offer cards for 37 albums by performers including Alicia Keys, Avril... Read more...
It wasn't all that long ago that online music vendors starting selling DRM-free tracks, often at a small premium and/or small loss of audio fidelity.  At the time it was viewed by some as a marketing experiment to see if people would pay more to avoid  headaches related to Digital Rights Management, and now it appears that there is a definitive answer to that question:“DRM-free music sells at a much higher rate online than protected music, according to UK-based digital music store 7 Digital. In fact, customers buy it four times as often as they do DRMed music. As a result, almost 80 percent of the store's sales are of DRM-free content. 7 Digital may not sound familiar to some, but it... Read more...
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