DRM

Digital "Rights" Management, Digital Restrictions Management, Dishonest Relationship Misinformation

This is a generic acronym used to describe a system of software, often including technical measures, used by copyright holders who "claim" that this stops or reduces copyright infringement. DRM in fact does not affect those engaged in unlawful activities, and can only impose hidden digitally encoded contract terms on law abiding citizens.

Please see: Alphabet soup of acronyms: TPM, DRM, TCPA, RMS, RMI, Protecting property rights in a digital world.

Department of Homeland Security Official Weighs In on Sony DRM

Stewart Baker, recently appointed as the Department of Homeland Security's assistant secretary for policy, has been reported to make the following remarks about the Sony Rootkit and related DRM:

"I wanted to raise one point of caution as we go forward, because we are also responsible for maintaining the security of the information infrastructure of the United States and making sure peoples' [and] businesses' computers are secure. ... There's been a lot of publicity recently about tactics used in pursuing protection for music and DVD CDs in which questions have been raised about whether the protection measures install hidden files on peoples' computers that even the system administrators can’t find."

"It's very important to remember that it's your intellectual property -- it's not your computer. And in the pursuit of protection of intellectual property, it's important not to defeat or undermine the security measures that people need to adopt in these days.

See also: Dwight Silverman, Wired, Michael Geist,

DRM - Digital Rights Minimization

A BLOG article by Mike Evangelist, former Director of Product Marketing for Apple's "Pro" applications, includes:

The latest episode in the war between music companies and their paying customers (the one where Sony decides it’s OK to surreptitiously take over your PC so you can’t make a copy of the music you thought you bought from them) has finally pushed me over the edge.

See also: The Sony Boycott Blog, RedHerring: Sony BMG Swears Off Spyware, InformationWeek: Sony Still On The Hot Seat

Defining paracopyright...

I created a stub entry for Paracopyright on Wikipedia, and it has already been greatly improved.

Paracopyright is a term that refers to an umbrella of legal protections above and beyond traditional copyright. It is also sometimes called "pseudocopyright" or "metacopyright".
...
Technological measures are used in combination with contractual license agreements as a substitute for copyright. As a a concept, therefore, paracopyrights are perhaps better understood as a part of contract law and not copyright law. Unfortunately, important regulations regarding consumer protection and the "freedom to contract" are not imported directly into paracopyright laws, potentially creating imbalances in the law and harmful unintended consequences.

See also: The Word Spy

Europe: Give us digital rights for digital consumers

This The Register article by Lucy Sherriff includes:

The UK's National Consumer Council (NCC) has lent its voice to pan European calls for the music and film industries to stop treating consumers like pirates.

The pan European consumer organisation BEUC is launching a campaign, backed by MEP Zuzana Roithova, to see consumers' digital rights enshrined in law because it believes consumers' rights being ignored by many online music vendors.

Please write and ask your MP why they aren't fighting to protect our rights in Canada!

Why does parliament wish to legally protect authors of malware (Rootkits, Viruses, Trojans, etc)?

The following letter was sent to many MPs, including the Heritage and Industry Ministers and critics.


As the Webmaster for Digital-copyright.ca, I have received many letters from Canadians about malware being used by the content industry. They are very concerned about the desire of the Canadian Government to legally protect the perpetrators in Bill C-60.

Example letter from Thornhill, Ontario constituent Larry Lean http://www.digital-copyright.ca/node/1192

It is critically important for legislators to be aware of the type of "technical measures" that are being falsely claimed to protect Copyright.

'Bots' for Sony CD software spotted online

This CNET News.com article by John Borland includes:

A first wave of malicious software written to piggyback on Sony BMG Music Entertainment CD copy protection tools has been spotted online, computer security companies said Thursday.
...
"This is no longer a theoretical vulnerability; it is a real vulnerability," said Sam Curry, vice president of Computer Associates' eTrust Security Management division. "This is no longer about digital rights management or content protection, this is about people having their PCs taken over."

See also: CNET News.com: Are these the Sony rootkit CDs?

Sony hit with DRM lawsuit

This Reuters article includes:

RECORD company Sony BMG has been hit with a class-action lawsuit by consumers claiming their computers have been harmed by anti-piracy software on music CDs.

See also: BBC: Sony sued over copy-protected CDs, EFF: Are You Infected by Sony-BMG's Rootkit?, eWeek: Microsoft 'Concerned' by Sony DRM.

Copyright Act Amendments and Rootkits

The following letter was sent to me by Larry Lean (Personal contact information removed), a constituent of Thornhill, and was copied to the leaders of the 4 parties with seats in parliament.


Hi Russell,

I am just one of likely a zillion Canadians who occasionally send you an email out of the blue of good wishes, or bad tidings. This is good wishes.

Briefly, I am a government auditor by day who has recently specialized in intellectual property, particularly Copyright, in the past 3 years and over the past 12 years have held strong interest in the area (post my degree in economics where I studied well "information theory", etc.).

Rant Mode Equals One: Score: Digital Privacy 0, Digital Piracy 1.

This rant by Paul Ferris expresses the frustration that many of us feel for governments protecting the rights of corporations to hack into our PCs, but not protect our right to keep them out of our private property!

Just in time for Christmas, Sony gives us the gift that keeps on taking: A CD copyright theft prevention mechanism that root-kits your PC. Awesome public relations move, Sony -- helps offset the possible goodwill your Linux kit for the Playstation created back when the PS/2 was announced.
...
What about some laws to safeguard your PC from exploits like Sony's root-kit? Guess what, another corporate focused piece of legal tripe called UCITA gives Microsoft the ability to remotely disable your software -- it's great for saying what you (as an individual) don't get. Call it what you like -- it's another form of individual piracy, Microsoft style.

Why they say spyware is good for you.

This CNet News.com article by Declan McCullagh includes:

Sony rightly came under fire last week from programmers and Internet users for injecting an undetectable copy-prevention utility into Microsoft Windows when certain CDs are inserted.

Now the lawyers are taking aim, too. Robert Green, a partner at the San Francisco firm of Green Welling, says he's readying a class action lawsuit against Sony.

Bill C-60 would introduce this type of nonsense to Canada. Technical measures protect contracts, not copyright, and as such should not be mentioned in copyright law at all. If C-60 passes this type of US-style lawsuits-for-the-sake-of-lawsuits that only benefit lawyers will be further imported into Canada.

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