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A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection
University of Auckland Department of Computer Science ^ | 23 December 2006 | Peter Gutmann

Posted on 12/23/2006 5:51:48 PM PST by IncPen

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To: ImphClinton
"Books are different than video. However Books are in libraries. It is obviously not stealing to go to a library."

Uh, they're trying to do EXACTLY the same DRM stuff with "electronic books", which is why that has never taken off (and is exactly what Jim Baen proved with his "Free Library" was not necessary).

And there is these things called "Blockbuster" and "Netflix" that do exactly for video what a library does for books.

141 posted on 12/25/2006 3:54:05 AM PST by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: rlmorel

"Thanks for that answer."

You're welcome.

Here's some interesting breaking news about Vista - I predicted that some flaws would be found in the 1st month  after release - I was right.  That has happened with most of MS OSes.

    Flaws Are Detected in Microsoft’s Vista - New York Times

Flaws Are Detected in Microsoft’s Vista

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 24 — Microsoft is facing an early crisis of confidence in the quality of its Windows Vista operating system as computer security researchers and hackers have begun to find potentially serious flaws in the system that was released to corporate customers late last month.

On Dec. 15, a Russian programmer posted a description of a flaw that makes it possible to increase a user’s privileges on all of the company’s recent operating systems, including Vista. And over the weekend a Silicon Valley computer security firm said it had notified Microsoft that it had also found that flaw, as well as five other vulnerabilities, including one serious error in the software code underlying the company’s new Internet Explorer 7 browser.

A thread about this was started earlier this morning.

Here's the link to that thread:  Surprise - NOT! Flaws Detected In Microsoft's Vista


142 posted on 12/25/2006 8:49:34 AM PST by RebelTex (Help cure diseases:
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To: RebelTex

This whole thing is making me nervous.

143 posted on 12/25/2006 10:55:38 AM PST by rlmorel (Islamofacism: It is all fun and games until someone puts an eye out. Or chops off a head.)
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To: rlmorel

    What, me worry?

144 posted on 12/25/2006 11:15:10 AM PST by RebelTex (Help cure diseases:
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To: RebelTex

I've owned a Mac of one kind of another since 1987 and have never owned a PC, but my job involves the support and use of hundreds of PC's (75% Win2000, the rest XP) in a Radiology department. So I work with PC's and appreciate the relative advantages and disadvantages.

However, we are tied into Microsoft products, no getting around that. If we get into situations where they are not being patched/unsupported or whatever by Microsoft, my job is going to be hell.

I just have a hard time believing even Microsoft would go down this path.

145 posted on 12/25/2006 11:20:59 AM PST by rlmorel (Islamofacism: It is all fun and games until someone puts an eye out. Or chops off a head.)
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To: Logophile
I keep hearing the same assertion (1 wouln't call it an argument) from people who apparently think it should be their right to enjoy what I produce without paying me for it. They never can explain why I should consider this a Good Thing. Can you?

I think that's really the moral core of the whole issue. Not whether copying music is technically stealing or whether monopolistic control over a work is good or bad for innovation. The core is the idea that a person who expends effort deserves to get compensated for that effort. This is where I think most of the arguments in favor of "sharing" fall down. They want to use the fruits of another's labor but aren't concerned that they get compensated for the labor that produced the fruit.

On the flip side is the question of how much compensation a person deserves for a creative work. The ideologically pure free market conservative response is that the person who produces a work can set whatever value they want and should be able to stop anyone from using their work whenever they want. Where that argument falls down is that copying is so cheap, easy, and (sorry) natural (e.g., I copied your words as a lead in to my response, quote Monty Python and Star Trek with friends, sing "Happy Birthday" at birthday parties, save articles I've read online for reference, etc.) that it requires conscious effort or technological barriers for people not to do it. It's why footnotes and citations were developed. It's why most of Disney's most famous movies were based on traditional fairy tales, why parodies from Weird Al to the Scary Movie franchise are so successful, and, why movies, books, and music fall into identifiable genres in the first place. Heck, it's why the printing press revolutionized Western Civilization and the photocopier and fax machine revolutionized business. And like it or not, the world would work far worse if there were no free copying than if there were no copyright protections. Heck, the very act of learning is the act of copying information into your brain. It's an effort and burden not to copy whenever possible and build on what you've read, seen, or heard.

To the consumer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfic is no different that Disney copying Beauty and the Beast or West Side Story ripping off Romeo and Juliet and the motivation is the same. It's not a matter of taking compensation from Joss Whedon but of building on something they learned and like. Technically, every next-day water cooler conversation that discusses what might have happened on a TV show if the main characters had done something different is a derivative work stealing someone else's creative effort to build on. And if you don't think a water cooler conversation is a problem, why does it suddenly become a problem if they type that very same conversation into their web page and post it?

So here's the deal. You deserve compensation for your work but it's not natural for people not to copy and build on it. Do you really think the best way to handle that conflict of interest is ever more onerous technological barriers that stop people from doing legitimate things (e.g., back ups of a DVD so I don't have to buy a new copy of a movie I already purchased if I accidentally snap the small plastic disk in half -- remember, I didn't pay for the small plastic disk) and ever more onerous legal punishments (e.g., fining parents tens of thousands of dollars for things they didn't even know their teenagers were doing -- what is too harsh of a punishment?)? Or maybe the problems are how people get compensated for creative works and how many people not involved in creating the work are sticking their hand out to take a slice, raising the price?

Perhaps. But the IP pirates have been stealing work that they had no hand in creating.

Did you never borrow ideas from any other author in your writing? You've never sung "Happy Birthday" at a birthday party without buying the sheet music? What makes West Side Story a legitimate play and Disney's Beauty and the Beast a brilliant adaptation but some geek's fanfic worthy of prosecution? Why is one artist's song that sounds similar to another artist's song simply in the same genre while another artist's song that copies one note too many (perhaps simply out of ignorance) illegal? Why can I sit around with my friends quoting Monty Python but if I want to write a story about my friends and I quoting Monty Python, with quotes, I need permission to use those quotes? Yes, you can give me explanations for all of those things but they will be justifications, rather than the natural moral conquence of the argument that taking the work of others that you had no hand in creating (the argument you are making above) is in some universal way immoral.

One could argue that Disney continues to produce movies financed in part by the "wild profits" they make. (By the way, what level of profit qualifies as "wild" in your view?)

In contrast, file sharers and other IP pirates produce nothing.

Should I point out that Cindarella is a derivative work. Snow White is a derivative work. Beauty and the Beast is a derivative work. Pinnochio is a derivative work. Need I go on? Why is it moral for Disney to borrow those creative ideas but wrong for a Disney fan to write Beuaty and the Beast fanfic based on the Disney movie?

(1) What is a "reasonable duration" of copyright protection, and why?

10-20 years. Why? Several reasons. First, it's about the time it takes for a work to become a "classic" or part of the "public conscience". Second, given that the purpose of a copyright is to encourage creation, that's more than enough time for a creator to come up with a new trick and free their creation for others to build on if they can't or won't do it. Third, it's often about the time things go out of print, become difficult to find, and get produced as cheap easy-to-buy copies. There will always be a market for official anniversary copies of popular works with new materials (e.g., commentary, introduction, a new song or cover of a song, extra material, etc.). I also believe most people would consider that duration fair, which would improve voluntary compliance. The exception I would make is that if a work took more than 10-20 years to produce, the copyright protection to extend to the time it took to produce the work.

I would also more tightly limit what's protected by copyright. If you utter something in public in a free and open forum or post something to an internet forum like this, I wouldn't protect it. I think a creator needs to make some attempt to control their creation for it to warrant protection.

(2) How would you go after the corporate "copyright leeches" without also harming writers, artists, and other producers of IP?

Put copyrights in the hands of the creators rather than corporations. Make the maximum time that a corporation can contract for a copyright only half of the duration of the copyright, maximum. Thus if the copyright law was changed to 10 years and a 10 year renewal, the most a record label could get a contract for is 10 years. So if a musician gets a hit, they can do whatever they want with it for the last 10 years. Yes, I know there are loopholes and issues like works for hire that would have to be addressed but I think this could help. Corporations can be a wonderful thing but they are not people and employees are not slaves.

(3) What would you propose be done about those who steal IP after the law has been changed to your liking?

IP owners can learn a good lesson from taxation here. When people think that taxes are fair, they pay them voluntarily. They don't cheat as much, don't look for as many loopholes, and don't complain as much. The right thing for IP owners to do is to make it easy for people to comply with voluntarily by making compliance cheap, easy, and fair. Yes, there should still be legal consequences to illegal copying just as there are legal consequences to evading taxation but look at what happens when people perceive taxes to be draconian and unfair -- the punishment becomes more and more draconian and the attempts to prevent evasion become more and more onerous. Where does it end in either case? With taxes, anyway, it ended with a harbor full of tea and a new country.

That last question is important because, despite your assurance that "all of this mess would go away," I am not convinced. Once a large number of persons come to believe they have the right to enjoy free music, movies, and other IP, why would they ever pay a dime for it?

That's a much bigger problem and it's two-fold. First, commercial television made people believe that television is free. I think the pay cable channels show the way out of that mentality. Second, I think creators need to think of more ways to get compensated before they create a work, not afterward. Old-fashioned patronage is one option there. Other options include what musicians do (get paid for appearances) and getting direct fan compensation through appeals (e.g., PBS member fundraising, telethons, etc.).

Finally, I think the value of creation is going down as the cost of creation has gone down. Word processors and a good education make almost anyone a writer who wants to be. Electronic music allows a single muscian to command a virtual symphony and there are all sorts of web sites that provide a delivery mechanism. As film shorts like Troops and fan efforts like New Voyages demonstrate that good production quality (though not always good acting or writing) are now within the reach of fans and amateurs willing to work for free as a labor of love. For better or worse, people are stepping in who are creating as a labor of love, willing to give their work away for free (as they are with open source software) and that's going to eat into the market for paid creativity.

146 posted on 12/27/2006 8:42:56 PM PST by Question_Assumptions
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To: Wonder Warthog

I just tried Ubuntu Linux. If I can work out some hardware issues, figure out the convoluted process of installing files and "mounting" drives, I might consider flipping MS the bird.

This is ridiculous. Why have all this high-definition content if we won't be able to see it or hear it?

147 posted on 12/29/2006 11:16:58 AM PST by RockinRight (To compare Congress to drunken sailors is an insult to drunken sailors. - Ronald W. Reagan)
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To: Northern Alliance

Mostly gaming. And I play SOME games, but not enough or often enough to need vista for now.

148 posted on 12/29/2006 11:18:10 AM PST by RockinRight (To compare Congress to drunken sailors is an insult to drunken sailors. - Ronald W. Reagan)
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To: Vermont Lt
It drives me nuts to see some high school kid using my sports photos on his "myspace" without even asking permission.

Is he charging money for it? Is it a full/high res TIFF, or is it some small JPG he thought was cool and visually represented something he wanted to convey?

If the latter he should at the very least credit you as the photographer if he knows, or the original source of say some web/news/sports site out there he found it on.

If the former then he should have gotten permission from you and arranged a percentage of sales. Did you contact him via his myspace page and ask him to at least credit you as the photographer?

149 posted on 12/29/2006 12:14:12 PM PST by AFreeBird (If American "cowboy diplomacy" did not exist, it would be necessary to invent it.)
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To: Vermont Lt
It drives me nuts to see some high school kid using my sports photos on his "myspace" without even asking permission.

I understand your aggravation.

What we have here is a two-fold problem.

1. Once you publish something, everyone has access to it. In the old days, someone would have to go to a library, check out your book, and take it to a professional publishing house or photo studio to copy your picture. Today they just go "click."

2. Copyright is a limited-time monopoly provided by the government. It's original purpose was to ensure that people don't hoard their artistic talents and sell them only to rich collectors. In return for the artist putting their work out into the public view, the artist is given a limited monopoly, after which the work goes into the public domain.

Since the 1930's or so, large companies have been lobbying Congress to push, twist and deform the "limited" part of limited monopoly until it has no meaning. Now that part 2 has been made meaningless, and part 1 has made ignoring copyrights effortless, artists have a problem.

So artists have two options. 1. Lobby Congress to make copyrights mean something again. People will be more willing to wait for something to go into the public domain if it's not 100 years from now. Or 2 figure out another way to make money off of your work.

150 posted on 12/31/2006 2:26:22 AM PST by Knitebane (Happily Microsoft free since 1999.)
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To: Knitebane

I disagree with you on your points. I copyright my material so that others may not profit from it. For example, recently a national Sports Magazine ran a picture of mine that I had originally provided to a college. The rights forwarded to the college specifically prohibited that kind of use. As a result, I was able to obtain my usage fee for the magazine's use of the photo. Without formally copyrighting my materials, I would have been SOL.

Use on myspace irritates me, but I know the kids dont know any better. I usually send them a note explaining why I dont want them "stealing" the photos. In most of those cases I simply extend a right to them for use on myspace.

Copyrights are important for those "artists" out here that are trying to make a living. I dont spend my life chasing my work--I'd rather be out shooting. But, when I see it being used without the proper permissions, the formal paper from the government gives me significant protection. Without that step (the formal registration) I would only be able to stir up the pot and hope to get paid.

151 posted on 12/31/2006 7:10:36 PM PST by Vermont Lt (I am not from Vermont. I lived there for four years and that was enough.)
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To: Vermont Lt
I copyright my material so that others may not profit from it.

That is the typical use. Do note that copyright is not a natural right. It is a government-granted temporary monopoly.

Copyrights are important for those "artists" out here that are trying to make a living.

Granted, but that's not the primary purpose of copyright. It's the motivator. The primary purpose is to advance the arts and sciences.

The problem is that the secondary purpose has been stretched and distorted so much that it's occluded the primary purpose. As such, many people just ignore it.

This will continue to be a problem as long as copyrights are extended into infinity.

152 posted on 01/01/2007 1:29:28 AM PST by Knitebane (Happily Microsoft free since 1999.)
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