1. The content they want.
2. Quality (i.e. resolution, bitrate, etc.)
3. Reliability (it actually plays)
4. Low annoyance (no ads, warnings, etc.)
5. Safety (guaranteed freedom from malware, etc.)
The movie and music industries haven't done a perfect job of delivering #1-4. Region coding means the content users want is frequently only available through pirate channels. Lower quality releases (DVD vs Bluray) are also often all that is available in some regions. Bluray is not reliable if users don't keep their hardware/software up to date. Nearly all DVD's and bluray discs on the market are utterly infested with annoying advertisements and warning screens.
#5 was the one thing that legally purchased media had an undeniable edge in over pirated media. If users lose trust in the safety of legally purchased media they will be driven to piracy in unprecedented numbers.
It is tempting to give RIAA and MPAA the rope to hang themselves with, sit back, and laugh. However, let's not forget that every piece of code they write and every root-kit they successfully deploy will soon be taken advantage of by black-hats, quite probably in ways that will cause damage to systems completely unrelated to media playback of any sort. The only way I can see to let the MPAA/RIAA proceed is to require them to post a significant bond (in the billions) to pay for damages their rootkits will cause. Managing how damages are going to be awarded is going to be a legal nightmare though, since this will not affect only U.S. systems and citizens. If the U.S. permits this, I sincerely hope other nations hold the U.S. government responsible for damages, so the U.S. had better make sure Hollywood is ready to foot the bill.
Disagreed. Sony rootkit was on the legally purchased media. DRM on streaming services can do all kind of stuff without users consent. DRM built into hardware with cameras can do even weirder stuff (just note the crazy DRM idea patented by Microsoft regarding detecting the people in the room). Since DRM is a black box, you never know what it can do. There is completely no reason to trust that it will respect your privacy and rights. Therefore DRMed media has no edge over pirated media at all.
Safety requires transparency (for the user), as well as trust in the used technology. DRM by its very definition is non trustworthy and non transparent, it's the antithesis of that. It's totally opaque precisely because it attempts to hide something from the user. Because ironically, DRM proponents don't trust the user! User is treated as potential criminal by default. How can users in situation when they aren't trusted, trust the DRM vendor in return? They can not, and they should not! Trust can be only mutual. I.e. DRM always implies something shady and risky. DRM proponents should be treated as potential criminals by default in return. And what do such criminals usually hide in their code? Malware.
So this is different - in degree if not in kind.
I believe that the content industry is relying on a sufficient number of people still finding it easier to buy a DVD/Bluray rather than pirate. For technical people, pirating is already sometimes more convenient for reasons that you stated.
There is also a
Some people do not find pirating ethical under any circumstances, and will inconvenience themselves to avoid it.
For the record, I don't pirate music anymore. Spotify has made pirating too inconvenient.
> “The easiest way to stop piracy is not by putting antipiracy technology to work,” Newell said. “It’s by giving those people a service that’s better than what they’re receiving from the pirates.”
Steam single-handedly killed even the temptation to pirate games for me, because it's ridiculously convenient to just fire up Steam, click a button, and have the game delivered to my desktop at multi-megabit speeds without any obnoxious DRM getting in the way of me being able to play. Pandora, Spotify, and most recently Google All Access make music piracy a complete non-issue for me, because I don't want to have to spend time chasing down a song or even futzing with iTunes - I just punch something into search and it's playing. Netflix and Hulu provide so much content that I can't watch all of it - while they don't always have the most recent content, they have a lot of it.
Provide me a service that is a. affordable (Steam Sales and $8/month for movies or music are excellent models here, content folks) b. convenient (click button, enjoy content), and c. reliable (no explanation necessary) and I won't have any incentive to pirate content.
I'm convinced that the people who can afford stuff but pirate it anyway do so because of distribution problems in getting that content legally. The people who pirate stuff who can't afford it, or wouldn't buy it if they can are arguably even a net benefit - they aren't lost sales, but they increase the reach and visibility of the product. In either case, it's not really worth worrying about them (though the studios sure do love to gripe about them as if they're all lost sales), which leaves us with one very easy solution - have the best distribution channel available, and people will pay for it. At that point, piracy is about as solved as it'll get from an economic standpoint.
Vegan products are mass market commodity goods like any grocery. Just because vegan goods consist of a smaller slice of all grocery and food sales doesn't mean you'd be a fool to make a business out of it.
There's also underage sexting, media piracy, cryptocurrencies, and marijuana. Some things aren't globally agreed upon as ethical or unethical, but the law still attempts to address them.
Identifying the overlap is difficult.
They could decide that they on want to steam on another platform if that is a better deal for them.
I didn't intend to offend the users of streaming services. I subscribed to rdio myself, only as a tastemaker though - I still buy a lot of lossless music.
Artists make the vast majority of their money on tour, which is more or less unrelated to the choice of distribution channel, except that a more prolific channel results in more people attending a show.
Again, I don't intend to offend the users of those services - just saying that Spotify, rdio and co. alone won't work for many artists.
It will be stupidly easy to execute; if the malware shuts down computer when it detects illegal download, the only thing an attacker needs to do is to trick the computer/user into downloading illegal content. And that's it. Though this simple trick doesn't let them steal data or take control of the computer, there are many uses an attacker can find for just killing the machine. Blackmailing, social engineering, or just disturbing some crucial business operations. I can even imagine 4chan folks trolling people like this for fun.
Moreover, if computer-locking DRM malware becomes commonplace, a market for cheaper-than-police unlocking will emerge, with incentives favouring hacking the DRM to then earn money on fixing it.
 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ransomware_(malware)
 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_security_software
Wouldn't it be the opposite? Like a free pentest? Malware they come up with would be widely available (included in the price of any movie) for dissection.
BTW Next release of Qubes will need an "entertainment" AppVM.
I would think that once my computer spends any length of time not under my direct and exclusive control, I would no longer be solely liable for any actions that may have been taken with it. There would be huge doubt, no?
Right now their enemies are just pirates wanting to watch Game Of Thrones for free. A business threat, certainly, but one they're generally handling well.
But start infecting people's computers, and a portion of them are going to fight back. Then the entertainment industry has enemies actively trying to destroy their systems.
A whole different level of conflict, and one which I am certain they are not prepared for.
Never go for an escalation you don't need and will hurt you more than it hurts them.
I am more and more disturbed with the way OSs are going in general. They are...slowly removing usefulness from themselves, making it hard for admins to work with them, and adding on crap, like Windows Store...which is not needed. It's starting to feel like the computers I work with are...owned by someone else...which means I will start caring for them a lot less. The least of things which currently bothers me are the cross-threading errors which seem to appear in Windows 7...why have these not been fixed?
All the windows only applications I used to use for fun and hobbies (games, music apps) I've either found Linux replacements for (I basically buy the Humble Bundle whenever it looks good), or I simply do without. I would buy Linux applications for these functions if they were available AND the applications were sane, cross-platform developers sometimes try to treat your Linux box like its an MS box (wanting to put files all over the place etc) which is unacceptable.
We simply cannot trust MS or Apple. At least in the Linux community there is a strong culture of transparency, privacy, security, and freedom.
E.g. a common approach is to look for common third party applications that require admin/root privileges for some part of their functionality, and look for ways of tricking them into executing your code (via e.g. buffer overflows, or by finding ways of modifying the configuration with lower privileges).
So unless you never install third party software, you are potentially vulnerable even if the OS is flawless (and it isn't - no matter which OS you pick).
so to be fair this is actually where we are today, if you remember the efforts of anonymous and sony, etc...
1) Anonymous/Lulzsec aren't necessarily a best-of-the-best of the 'hacker world.' Do they want to raise the ire of even more skilled people?
2) Anonymous/Lulzsec are/were in it mostly for the publicity, and 'cheap thrills.' I'm sure that they could have done a lot more damage had they been focused on being as malicious as possible.
You mean... for the lulz?
I've not bothered to pirate it, yet.
There are easier options if I care. But to be honest, right now I don't.
Not sure they are going to convince people that don't have Foxtel that they should pay $60+ a month for the service purely on the back of Game of Thrones.
A reasonable point, but I think their argument about "we won't allow seeing GoT without a cable subscription" still is incredibly short sighted.
It lets them make money in a way they understand now. I would very happily pay them money straight up, but since I'm not in the US, it's not really about wanting access to free stuff - it's about access to stuff in the first place. They would lose money on setting up such a system in the short term, sure, but they are only delaying the inevitable - that such a system is what is required if they want to compete with bittorrent in the long term.
this is actually way worse than the headline indicates. the crazy bastards want the legal authority to actively exploit other peoples computers and "take back" information from it. they want the ability to re-write the world.
it would be pretty frightening that digital media companies were unaware that you couldn't "retrieve stolen information" from computer systems, except no other company seems to know that this is actually impossible so it's just kind of de regueur.
I want to say that this will of course go nowhere because the legislatures support of far weaker measures (like CISPA) is lukewarm, but then again this is the group that brought us the DMCA. it would be especially ironic if the MPAA was more empowered to use computer hacking to protect popular music from theft, than technology and national defense companies trying to protect national defense information and private consumer information.
A problem now which is more frightening (I can secure my network from the media companies, not worried about that one bit) is the remarkable number of companies with known security problem that won't and don't disclose it. Going on the offensive should be illegal unless they can disclose damages which justify it and then their customers can sue.
I don't see this happening in a healthy world, defense will get much much better much more quickly if it was to be legal though, ultimately it would involve violence though.
Stallman may be a nut, but when you think long and hard about what he says, and think about SOPA, PIPA, and this lobby, in horror, your face twists in fear and you watch, helplessly, as your fellow citizens bend over backwards and let the government have their way.
I don't even know what to do anymore. Nobody will lobby against Hollywood; people already gobble up TMZ and are too obsessed with celebrity pseudo-culture and movies and pop music that they won't do it.
We need more activists. And without them, we are fucked.
People use Skype because there's no clear alternative (maybe work on Jitsi... It still needs a server for the good stuff). People use Facebook because there's no alternative (maybe work on RetroShare). People let their government tell them what to do because they think it's better than anarchy (maybe work on a political Kickstarter). Copyright enforcement against BitTorrent users has gone into high gear because BitTorrent is good at sharing but weak in anonymity. Fix that. Don't make tools to break laws, just make tools. Write software to empower individuals and make institutions unnecessary and you won't have to spend as much time cleaning up after institutions and the egos that run them when they get carried away.
Promoting open-source software as a way to counter spyware, and general activism, is better than nothing, but the best way to change the world is still to invent it IMHO. (Just don't throw yourself on the fire unnecessarily either... Bitcoin's author was wise to keep his identity out of it.)
What's a few hundred hackers to a huge industry? If we want to really make a difference, we need all the support we can get. Perhaps even start an organization to lobby against the MPAA/RIAA similar to what sinak has done, but with far greater support.
How many times will this happen? People must wake up.
Yes, he is a nut. In the sense of "no one will ever take him seriously, especially anyone involved in mainstream decision-making, who has ever read anything he has written," which is in this case the most relevant metric. Stallman is never going to be any help here, nor is anyone like him, because any "normal" person -- that is, one that other people won't ignore out of hand -- will ignore him out of hand. This includes politicians, to whom said "normal" people are the all-important majority.
"We need more activists" is bullshit. You think we need more activists? More of those outliers that get lampooned in every media outlet for railing against the status quo? Because that's what activists are to most people: Nuts and/or malcontents.
Of course, my real problem with this statement is exactly the same reason I'm not making it. You think we don't have enough activists? GO BE ONE. If you think they can do any good and you believe that "we are fucked" without them, stop posting on HN, get off your ass, and DO SOMETHING.
Otherwise get back on the bench with the rest of us, because all your whining about mass media and celebrity culture is just that. You can gripe all you want that people aren't doing anything, but as soon as you start telling people what they SHOULD be doing, either you'd better be doing it yourself or you'll have to excuse those of us -- everyone -- who will not take you seriously.
In the event that you actually are interested in backing up your hollow rhetoric: The only way to work this system is from the inside. So start campaigning, or start schmoozing, because while real change is essentially impossible, the only way to mitigate damage is by convincing the relevant politicians that it's in their best interests to do so.
They were activists.
Do you really think we'd have so much free/open source software today without the contribution of Eric S. Raymond, Stallman, et al.?
Do you really think that we'd be here today if Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington never existed?
They were -- yep, you guessed it -- activists.
The American Revolutionary War was started because of political activism. They saw a chance to start a new country in whatever manner they pleased, and leapt at the opportunity. Even just a little effort put to really trying to get a voice in parliament would have worked fine, but instead we went and write the bloody Declaration in an attempt to rally support of other nations not really pleased with England (I'm looking at you France), and filled it with rhetoric, half-truths, and blatant lies. Okay, maybe not blatant, but they're there.
Really amazing that a war is mistaught to most American students. Okay, it isn't that amazing, I mean, you're going to teach your country's history in the most favorable light possible, but, still...
Your claim is wrong.
That's how the history is written, yes. And how the history is written...is irrelevant. Where are all these profitable, distant colonies with voices in parliament today? Australia? Canada? Technically not sovereign, but they operate as separate nations. No country in the world fits the description of the U.S. you claim would have otherwise been inevitable, and you don't give this a second thought. The oldest truism is the ephemeral nature of Empire. You let your piecemeal study of history delude you.
The civil rights movement and the early neocon movement are two examples of movements that suppressed crazy elements, and were highly successful for it.
Stallman is absolutely part of the answer.
Sure, not everybody can be RMS and live the way he does. He's still correct about the importance of values he's staked out and made a lifelong effort to demonstrate and respect. And to the GP's point, when you have content producers arguing they need legalized malware to police every machine, it makes it all the more obvious how much we need voices insisting on user freedom.
> More of those outliers that get lampooned in every media outlet for railing against the status quo?
While I agree it's good for activists to consider how their messaging might be received by various audiences, the fact that media outlets -- and even everyday citizens or presumably otherwise intelligent commentators on HN -- tend to collapse people to caricatures may not be an indictment of activists.
> Otherwise get back on the bench with the rest of us, because all your whining about mass media and celebrity culture is just that.
You've managed to work up a good froth of whine yourself there for somebody complaining about whining -- apparently summoned up to promote the ethic of more quiet frustration.
Even if effective political action can't let its end be posts on a website, it starts with people talking to each other. Maybe even here.
We live in a shallow society and the best thing the pro-privacy movement can have are moderately attractive, presentable, glib spokespeople.
How might I be exaggerating?
> Yes, he is a nut.
Eccentric is what he is. Must be fun living in a black and white world.
EDIT: ok, that foot eating thing is weird.
If advancing a rational cause is nutty, being a nut sounds like a good plan.
You can change the system from within as well. While it is impractical to go out and run for President and hope to win, one of the things I hope the current crop of young adults will see is that they have the power to become the system and change it. First build a resume in public service (city council, county supervisor, state representative) then use your training to help you and your fellow revolutionaries move into a position of power and change.
One of the saddest things is that the folks in power have convinced the youth of America that they are powerless and nothing can be done forcing them into acts of "activism" which allows them to be identified and eliminated.
Perhaps an example that doesn't resonate with you but has been doing what your compatriots have not, is the Tea Party. These folks have shown you that it isn't about dominating the world, its about setting a theme, recruiting to your cause, and then using the institutions that are in place to allow you to affect change, to work for you.
Generally, astro-turfing (the use of a PR engine to create the appearance of grass roots support) is designed to get a candidate elected (or issue passed) that favors the money financing the campaign. We have seen a number of these in California and there has consistently been a strong correlation between benefit and later funding source analysis.
However, some really earnest but ineffective people were elected under the guise of the 'tea party'. Much to the disgust of the Republican Party power infrastructure (the speaker of the house cannot count on all of his own party's votes for that reason). Generally, power interests that are trying to manipulate the system don't throw random people into the mix like that.
My conclusion after looking at the folks who were elected that way is that a large number of them, perhaps the majority of them, were elected by people fed up with the system and not an interested third party.
But lets set that aside for a moment. Lets say you and your friends can get elected to city government. If your city runs well, and you don't put up with the baloney that sometimes passes as politics these days, you can parley that into county government. And that into state government. Assuming that you are good enough to learn the skills you need to make that trip. It can take you 6 - 10 years to go from city supervisor to state representative. Once enough people around you know who you are, you can chose to focus on local elections or national ones.
The starting point though is that in order for this to work someone with the idea of doing public service to serve the public and not their own interests has to step forward. Waiting for someone else to step forward has never been a good idea, either seeking out people and supporting their efforts or putting your hat in yourself are the workable choices.
This is diverging from your original point so I won't push it too hard... But you don't think this has more to do with the larger trend in GOP members of congress over the last few decades? There has been a pattern of primary challenges against moderates for some time; it did not start with the 2010 election, it was only slightly re-branded and allowed to have a majority after a 4 year hiatus.
This is less about going after little Timmy for downloading a movie and more to do with a Chinese firm stealing biotechnology secrets from a U.S. company to produce its own products.
The "three strikes" was intended for violent criminals, not little Timmy who smokes a joint with his friends. Guess how that turned out.
No it isn't. The proposals are for going after anyone who attacks American corporate/government systems, including Americans themselves. The report spends much time waxing philosophical on int'l contributions to IP 'theft' -- specifically China -- but nowhere does it restrict jurisdiction to foreign entities.
As laid out the commission seems to want broad application here that plausibly could allow use by consumer entertainment companies. The problem there is that while you don't think consumer entertainment seems important enough for companies to bother protecting, consumer entertainment companies do. So it while you'd only bother securing Important Research Co. with genius solutions like rootkit-as-a-feature, Big Music Corp. is going to do it to little Timmy's copy of a Biebz single.
Here are the members of The Commission of the Theft of American Intellectual Property, the commission that authored the paper:
Dennis C. Blair (co-chair), former Director of National Intelligence and Commander in Chief
of the U.S. Pacific Command
• Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. (co-chair), former Ambassador to China, Governor of the state of Utah,
and Deputy U.S. Trade Representative
• Craig R. Barrett, former Chairman and CEO of Intel Corporation
• Slade Gorton, former U.S. Senator from the state of Washington, Washington Attorney General,
and member of the 9-11 Commission
• William J. Lynn III, CEO of DRS Technologies and former Deputy Secretary of Defense
• Deborah Wince-Smith, President and CEO of the Council on Competitiveness
• Michael K. Young, President of the University of Washington and former Deputy Under Secretary
Which of those is from the MPAA?
I'd disagree. The majority of corporations have a financial interest in freedom. Getting them to commit resources to any lobbying effort is the challenge.
Now, the internet is of course not an automobile. But my point is, batshit insane legislation aside, perhaps maintaining the maximum amount of freedom is not as valuable as we think? I'd hate to be stuck with late 60's cars.
And are late 60's cars really that bad? There weren't any of the fallback mechanisms we take for granted, such as airbags, so people drove better. Styling is questionable, but many cars on the road look and drive like bloated, lifeless wagons. The cars were actually fun to drive...
Maybe I'm being romantic about 60's vehicles, but if you care to argue, please do so.
Late 60's cars are not horrific or anything like that. But be realistic- the performance, longevity, emissions, driveability, and weight of engines have all come a very very long way, and in my personal experience a multitude of other characteristics have made leaps and bounds as well, such as suspension- though that is mostly just more sophisticated now, rather than more electronic.
I love old sports cars, and I love their soul. But if we are talking engineering, ground yourself- take a gander at this article: http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/articles/soccer-moms-reveng...
And there's no equivalent of manufacturers selling a car such that it is impossible for you to swap out parts unless Microsoft has signed them.
In this increasingly digital world, many people are going to be totally beholden to Microsoft, Apple, et al in terms of what software they are allowed to install on their devices. In certain cases they are already constrained by the ideology of one provider. This should frighten you. And it's even more frightening that we can already legally prevent people from altering the software on their own device to make it behave as they wish.
In sum, your car is never going to refuse to take you to an adult bookstore, that's why it is different.
"The second and even more pernicious effect is that illegal theft of intellectual property is undermining both the means and the incentive for entrepreneurs to innovate, which will slow the development of new inventions and industries that can further expand the world economy and continue to raise the prosperity and quality of life for everyone. Unless current trends are reversed, there is a risk of stifling innovation, with adverse consequences for both developed and still developing countries."
2. The major thing retarding development of new inventions and industries are the wealthy luddites digging their feet in and trying to extract as much as possible from actual innovators.
On another note, thanks for linking to the source material.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"
Such bizarre phrases make me seriously doubt the intelligence and education of the people who wrote this.
"MPAA told Congress that they wanted SOPA and knew it would work because it was the same tactic used by governments in "China, Iran, the UAE, Armenia, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, Burma, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam."
When do we treat this sort of nonsense as a threat, ala the Boston rapper. If I announced a business model of selling something for $0.99, but claiming its real value was $150K and then using the millions of dollars of "damages" to justify rooting through your computer, I'd have the police called on me. So why doesn't this extend to the real criminals in our society?
I doubt they'll get this, but they need to be kicked for even asking.
That's actually the fundamental problem in democracy - the assumption that everything is up for grabs if you win some popularity contest, and that there are no limits on how often you can ask. If I asked if I could do something horrible to you, you'd say no and move on. If I ask your government I just keep doing it until fatigue or human error on your part lets me win.
Lobbyists are a rootkit against democracy.
They are trying to protect U.S. companies from having their R&D stolen and used by foreign companies, calling for sanctions via the FTC and by amending the espionage act to go after those who steal trade secrets, for example. The whole paper is on protecting the innovations developed in this country from being copied by foreign entities without repercussions, and when viewed in this light, the proposals are not that crazy.
I recommend reading the paper directly, as the BoingBoing link completely misrepresents it.
"Informed deliberations over whether corporations and individuals should be legally able to conduct threat-based deterrence operations against network intrusion, without doing undue harm to an attacker or to innocent third parties, ought to be undertaken."
"he Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and law enforcement agencies should have the legal authority to use threat-based deterrence systems that operate at network speed against unauthorized intrusions into national security and critical infrastructure networks."
Apart from the proposal that starts "In the future..." and ends "The Commission is not ready to endorse this recommendation", that's as crazy as it gets.
edit: after reading the boingboing article I see it's about 20 words and two out of context paragraphs.
The first paragraph specifically states that "such measures do not violate existing laws on the use of the Internet." It is simply recommending this as a measure to protect corporate IP, not as something that should be changed.
The second paragraph is immediately followed by noting that such actions are currently illegal, and then recommending deliberation on whether it should be made legal.
>>> that's as crazy as it gets.
Not really. If you read recommendations on page 81, it does not explicitly endorses, but consistently hints at the law as inadequate in areas where it prohibits discussed offensive techniques. See "second" and "finally" parts where it does not explicitly says the mentioned tactics should be allowed but again strongly hints the changes in the law should be made, and implies allowing such methods are those changes.
The issue of IP theft is not simply moral panic. There are national security implications, as we saw in the Chinese attacks on defense contractors.
(Not that I believe that embedded rootkits would have been helpful or anything)
Would I want the RIAA/MPAA to install rootkits in media files that are distributed to customers? Absolutely not.
Would I want the ability to install rootkits in engineering schematics and documentation that are never intended to be distributed outside of my organization and are only activated in cases where data theft has occurred? Absolutely.
I certainly have the right to disable my car remotely if it is stolen. I also have the right to lock the doors and take pictures of the assailant who stole it and send them to the police.
Wouldn't locking the doors effectively be kidnapping?
Especially as it is unlikely this would affect serious criminals: If tech like this becomes common, then nobody sane would open stolen files without ensuring it was done in a self-contained environment and with software that ought to be unable to execute any of this crap. It will be trivial to stop for all but people who are unaware.
I already fought back. I don't watch movies, nor TV. No cable, no Netflix, no movie theaters, no nothing. Fsck 'em.
You want to do the same? Stop watching their lowest common denominator tripe and read a book or make something up for yourself. When they have no money they'll go away. And what will we have lost? Wasted hours sitting in front of their junk.
Fuck'em. They don't deserve our attention. I prefer a free culture of exchange to a centralized culture of consumption.
And with secure boot in Windows 8, it will be harder for rootkits to remain undetected by hiding in the boot loader. Will the entertainment industry push for laws that force operating system vendors to provide back-doors for the official malware?
The scandal erupted on October 31, 2005, when Microsoft researcher Mark Russinovich posted to his blog a detailed description and technical analysis of F4I's XCP software that he ascertained had been recently installed on his computer by a Sony BMG music CD. Russinovich compared the software to a rootkit due to its surreptitious installation and its efforts to hide its existence. He noted that the EULA does not mention the software, and he asserted emphatically that the software is illegitimate and that digital rights management had "gone too far".
And if we remember what happened the last time that happened when an entertainment company deployed a rootkit. They made it much easier for unskilled malware writers to hide their work. And IIRC it wasn't trivial to remove the rootkit Sony deployed.
On the other hand, I suspect that the MPAA would be in for a world of hurt if they did this. They would not only be dealing with file sharing, but also a coordinated campaign by blackhats to take down their systems, boycotts organized by the EFF and the like, lawsuits from companies whose employees brought rootkit infected machines on the corporate network, etc.
I know Anonymous is one of the prime offenders in this area, but I wouldn't be surprised if many on Reddit organized and attacked the MPAA's systems.
I'm pretty sure something like this would get the greys and whites involved too.
> there are increasing calls for [...] that allows companies [...] actively retrieving stolen information
They are still living in the last century, and think that if somebody steals something from them they can take it back. They have yet to grasp what this 'digital media' is.
Now it seems that more companies want to learn a lesson the hard way.
“It is already clear to me that this report is going to make a very important contribution to the discussion about the grave danger that IP theft poses to our economic well-being. In particular, all should carefully read what the report has to say about Chinese economic espionage. I heartily agree that Congress and the Administration need to act quickly to help American companies defend the hard work and innovation that is the life-blood of our economy. That must begin with getting cyber information sharing legislation signed into law."
The report and Congressman's statement came out on the same day.
Straight from her biography:
...she focused on business development and new-market-entry relationship building for Aegis LLC and the worldwide Aegis Group, drawing on her established global network of relationships with key stakeholders in U.S. federal civilian, defense and intelligence agencies, foreign governments and leading private sector companies to pursue and secure new business opportunities in Latin and South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Africa, and to land U.S. defense and intelligence contracts. [Ibid] (emphasis mine).
She presumably still has equity in Aegis Group.
Playing up the Chinese espionage threat plays well with her key stakeholder relationships, and making everyone less secure certainly opens up new market opportunities and brings more visibility to defense services.
Rogers' agenda is just to influence the legislative process to line his own pockets. Business as usual in Washington.
Local, state, federal police, IRS should install rootkits to monitor all transactions and activity, turn on audio and video capture from webcams.
Of course it's absurd and would destroy consumer trust of any device connected to the internet.
This is beyond wacky in light of serious security threats from both organized crime and foreign governments. The same machines they want to root to check on your music and movies are used for serious work in industry and government.
> The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property
> With U.S. companies suffering losses and American workers losing jobs
Jobs. Translation: this is a PR piece.
> The Department of Homeland Security, the Department of
Defense, and law enforcement agencies should have the legal authority to use threat-based deterrence
systems that operate at network speed against unauthorized intrusions into national security and
critical infrastructure networks
Huh? This includes national security now? Are they deliberately blurring the lines between pirating and national security? Why I think so.
> Informed deliberations over whether corporations and individuals should be legally
able to conduct threat-based deterrence operations against network intrusion, without doing undue
harm to an attacker or to innocent third parties, ought to be undertaken.
They want to legalize Sony's rootkit, but they want to do it right. Rootkits in the wild cannot be tamed, don't even go there.
> if counterattacks against hackers were legal, there are many techniques that companies could employ
that would cause severe damage to the capability of those conducting IP theft.
You do something that the system thinks is pirating and your computer blows up. What could go wrong.
> ...The Commission is not ready to endorse this recommendation because of the larger questions of
collateral damage caused by computer attacks
Ahh I see, they're reasonable after all! IOW, they want to make their rootkit legalization idea sound sane.
> Recommend to Congress and the administration that U.S. funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) program budget in whole or in part be withheld
At this point I want to punch someone in the face.
I can't read anymore.
At my current address, I have access to my own coconut bundles by the dozen, but I still have to wonder, if this came to pass, imagine how many coconuts would I get for 'unlocking' and recovering the computers they would leave at my door due to MPAA 'stabilizing' their situations!
Put another way, like DVDCSS, this is just another minor annoyance to the technically inclined, and only serves to penalize the less-computer-literate, and enrich the people who do favors for them.
The trouble with all of this is that it's ruining politics. The way you optimize social utility is for each side to negotiate in good faith and give up the thing which is more valuable to the other side than it is to them. But in a situation where each side has a veto on getting anything done, refusing to compromise is an extremely effective strategy for exactly as long as it takes the other side to mirror it, and then it becomes a high stakes game of chicken where everybody goes over the cliff unless both sides blink. Because a screaming contest is ineffective, but one side utterly and repeatedly capitulating to the other is even worse.
And that's the situation we're in until the extremists at the heads of these companies give up on demanding absolute control over everything.
Before we blow-up this topic we probably should collect all the nasty parts hidden in the document and fight-off all of them at once.
There are consequences to this kind of thing and many things to consider. I mean imagine if hackers somehow managed to find a security exploit in the malware the entertainment companies are forcefully installing on peoples computers? Ransomware one minute, botnet the next.
I suspect $world = USA here. The chances of anything as daft as this happening in Europe are small. Some European countries already have taxes on blank media/contributions to copyright organisations. Australia and Canada had court action against Sony last time this was tried.
UK politicians do persist in trying to pass legislation allowing monitoring all communications in UK, but we all know how effective that will be.
I, for one, have begun to make efforts to -- legally -- contribute as little as possible to the bottom lines of these organizations.
Put it this way: I look at "Hollywood", and I see bunch of prima donnas (admittedly, amidst a sea of workaday "nonames") who want to root my system.
I'm significantly less inclined to purchase their wares, every time I'm reminded of this.
Then I go outside, and discover I've better things to do with my time, anyway.
At this point they're just flexing their muscle to see how much wiggle room they've got. A small part of me wishes votes on legislation were anonymous so our congress-critters would avoid the constraints of having to vote along party lines (and notably their campaign donors' wrath).
It's true that campaign donors have too much influence over the success of legislators, but maintaining a representative democracy is far too important to lose in order to deal with that issue.
I would dare to say this could be a contributing factor to the state of politics and law. Essentially, laws and regulations are bought by the highest bidder.
I think many agree with me that neither religion or money should have influence on direction of politics.
For the anonymity on legislation; No.
Legislation, political- and judicial processes IMHO be 100% transparent.
"Most people don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?"
What you decide to put on your computer is up to you. If someone wants to put something in the software, the agreement is between you and them. So long as they disclose what they are doing, it's not like anyone reads the those agreement contracts on the internet.
A company that deploys rootkits, then survives class actions and angry consumers? Not likely.
Suppose I don't have any Hollywood stuff on my PC, am I then immune from the poison-ware? Can you easily recover costs if you are falsely accused? People must remain unaffected unless they are successfully sued or convicted, in a court with proper procedures and evidence.
They will be dressing up in multicam and running round the woods pretending to be devguru operators with paint guns next.
So... they want their people to pay for the crimes of others?
Last night I went looking for info on the game Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon. I ended up on several forums and discovered something I found interesting. Turns out that the official legal version is plagued with various problems. But oddly, it seems that people who downloaded the leaked version are having no reported problems. I had a look at comments on various download sites, and yes there were some problems, but not many and they were normally about getting the cracked version to run, and these problems were quickly solved.
Now, while I accept that there would be an obvious difference between feedback from downloaders and customers, I do wonder if this happens a lot. And if the "pirates" are actually releasing versions of games, that actually work, while the likes of UbiSoft and Steam are angering paying customers with reportedly terrible support and poor product, why would any one in their right mind pay up? On top of that, it would seem that people who used "illegal" copies actually got quicker support that solved the problem from the users on the download site its self. Again, I can see the arguments and flaws there, but on the face of it, its madness.
What completely amazed me was the number of people saying they bought the game, it didn't work, they got no useful support, so they downloaded and played the pirate version.
If paying customers end up having problems, (say the root kit fails to install because for example it doesn't like your NIC, so you cant play the disk,) using other media, TV, Movies, etc, then they too would surely end up having to get their media in other ways. Then, experience would teach them to continue with other sources.
If this becomes any sort of trend, such businesses don't deserve to survive.
I could release reports all day long about how incredibly beneficial it is to eat my soufflé, but that doesn't mean congress is going to pass a "t0mcat soufflé protection act of 2013" bill.
Additionally, can consumers claim DMCA violations?
You never know with W3C these days.
This is our fault though. We have these companies that sell us digital recordings of media we want at a price they've chosen. We found a way to circumvent the buying process and get it free. This is simply not okay. We can debate how fair artists get treated, the price of media, and whether or not distributing copyrighted materials online is technically stealing all day long but in the end any rational person sees this is wrong.
So while we infringe on the copyright holders rights for years any time they try to take steps to curb this behavior (which is on a scale way larger than other types of black markets and impossible to ignore) we act shocked and appalled as if we've dont nothing to instigate it. Each time they fail to curb piracy they come back with an even more deplorable plan to stop it. In the end we're all losing, both the media companies and the consumers.
I still can't understand why anyone would think piracy is okay. I've done it myself but I know its wrong. Using reasons like region availability, pricing, and the usual copyright complaints to justify it dont make sense. They're usually all excuses for the person with "I should be able to get this on my terms because, uhh, freedom" syndrome.
Sometimes the complaints are legitimate but still don't excuse piracy. We've created this problem ourselves and the only way to stop it is to vote with our wallets. Piracy does not count as voting with your wallet. To vote with your wallet you have to be willing to live without the thing you desire or go to a competitor until the seller starts giving the consumer what they want. A black market is not a competitor and it undermines the goal of getting media companies to start making it convenient to buy their product at a reasonable price. Piracy just shows them we want what they've got but don't want to pay. The only way to compete with piracy is to shut it down which is impossible and leads us to crazy proposals like the one discussed here. But lets say HBO and Shotime both aired Game of Thrones. If HBO sucks at distribution and pricing consumers go to Shotime instead. HBO sees this and can't shut down Shotime so the solution is to get better at pleasing consumers.
My point is that you can't compete with a black market and this constant arms race to implement and circumvent anti-piracy measures will lead to a stalemate where we all lose. If we quit both pirating media and buying it, that would start leading to changes in a positive direction (for those of us who aren't just pirating to be cheap at least).
*Side note: unfortunately, getting media online has the potential to become VERY convenient but can never be as convenient as piracy as it'll always require a payment step but is that really so awful?
I'd like see them try to root my Gentoo box.
It'll be similar if this law passes. There's a binary blob for Windows and OSX. It's illegal to reverse engineer that blob. It's illegal to circumvent the need for that blob.
Hmm. This leads me to the idea. Why care for software rootkits when PCIe hardware may actively screw with the system? Considering MAFIAA already had success with enforcing HDCP on almost every modern video card out there...
Your description sounds good. This book doesn't sound that good but it is future England, has to do with computers has pirate in the title.
The book is okay, I was kinda surprised at how good he was at keeping the tech believable... still he mostly failed as authors who know little about tech do
Also OS level virtualization is not the only protection worth using in a scenario like this. Sandboxing at the syscall level (restricting allowed syscalls and arguments substantially) is also highly useful, and if we start seeing a threat from apps that people are expected to intentionally install knowing that they pose a risk, we will see a lot more aggressive security work.
That's incredibly optimistic.
Given that already when I last bothered with pirated software in the early 90's, serious warez traders were mostly only interested in software weeks before its scheduled release (it was not uncommon for unfinished versions of games to leak), which involved not just getting hold of the releases through leaks or hacking, but breaking any protection, and this would make up the first serious challenge for the warez scene in many years, and this will draw not just the warez scene, but security researchers, as well as a lot of "regular" developers like me who are fed up with these kinds of attempts, they are facing pretty much an army that will be dissecting every release.
Sure, some will slip through for some users, but every single instance will result in new counter-measures, many of which you can expect will cover as-yet undiscovered flaws in addition to just fixing specific issues.
E.g. a logical protection against attempts at attacking faulty filesystem permissions settings is to blanket ban access to the filesystem and whitelist specific files, specific directories, and sanity check all access to them.
For every loss, we will win more robust application sandboxing capabilities, and more people will be motivated to consistently make use of them.
It bothers me. I'm probably wrong, but it feels like we have a bunch of sub-optimal OSs that have security kludged in as an after-thought, built on legacy hampered hardware, with a lot of concentration on "preventing people playing illegal content" (but also strictly controlling what people do with their legal content). There's a kind of arms race with pirates and anti-pirates competing on DRM schemes, and it feels like if all that effort had gone into better directions that we'd have 24 cores at 3.5 GHz and better threading with decent nice architecture.
And I know it's just marketing, and that washing powder (Whiter than white!) has been doing it for years, but being told that my content (which was sold to me as best quality available last time) is now being called garbage and I'm told I need to upgrade. In the past I didn't need to upgrade. I could keep my record deck and buy a CD player and rip those CDs to digital for my streaming media player. But in the future this is not going to be allowed. I'm going to have to buy an extra licence for family use.