Why not turn off DRM on Disney movies?

In my comments to the post I made about Steve Jobs’ screed on DRM lots of people are giving me crap for this post. Pretty usual stuff “Scoble’s an idiot.” Tell me something I don’t already know.

But Michael Markman says I should have gone after Steve about movies since Jobs owns a lot of Disney. Why not open those up instead of asking music companies to open up music? Now THAT is an interesting question. Seems that Jobs already has the ability in his hands of opening up the world. Why doesn’t he take it? Thanks Michael for adding to the conversation instead of just calling me an idiot.

UPDATE: Cory Doctorow really deserves the credit for pushing an anti-DRM stance. He even spoke to a very crowded room at Microsoft a few years back to try to get Microsoft’ies to see the light (Bill Gates whined, but didn’t do anything about the issue). Here’s his reaction to Steve Jobs’ memo. Short version: he liked it, but wants to see action now, not just memos.

Comments

  1. Simple. Because there is no legal way to rip DVDs. Unfortunately, ripping DVDs is protected by the DMCA. Because of this, Jobs has almost no leverage to try and convince movie studios to rescind their DRM.

    Music, of course, is different because ripping a CD is perfectly legal.

    And you earlier rant is still absolutely braindead. You’re only rebuttal was that you spent $10k on Apple products. Big deal, that’s doesn’t make you any less of a dolt.

  2. Simple. Because there is no legal way to rip DVDs. Unfortunately, ripping DVDs is protected by the DMCA. Because of this, Jobs has almost no leverage to try and convince movie studios to rescind their DRM.

    Music, of course, is different because ripping a CD is perfectly legal.

    And you earlier rant is still absolutely braindead. You’re only rebuttal was that you spent $10k on Apple products. Big deal, that’s doesn’t make you any less of a dolt.

  3. Mujibur is right though, Steve Jobs points out that music companies are selling tons of CDs without DRM. So why shouldn’t they sell music online without DRM? The same flow of logic doesn’t work for DVDs.

    Also, the comment about Steve needing his $0.99 a song is rather lame. Most reports on the estimated portion that Apple actually gets out of that $0.99 is pretty small.

  4. Mujibur is right though, Steve Jobs points out that music companies are selling tons of CDs without DRM. So why shouldn’t they sell music online without DRM? The same flow of logic doesn’t work for DVDs.

    Also, the comment about Steve needing his $0.99 a song is rather lame. Most reports on the estimated portion that Apple actually gets out of that $0.99 is pretty small.

  5. If you’d read the letter, Jobs provides a distinction. People are used to ripping CDs and there’s no going back altho Sony tried with MS’ help leading to disastrous results. And there’s no benefit to the labels to have sell protected music when the same, but higher quality, music is already being sold unprotected.

    The cultural norm on standard CSS-encoded DVDs is protected, though ripping is fairly easy. However, it’s still illegal unless a court case changes it soon. So there is a very slim benefit to the studios.

    But with HD (HD-DVD or Blu-Ray), the cultural norm is protected, and not yet completely broken. So there is a very real benefit to the studios.

  6. If you’d read the letter, Jobs provides a distinction. People are used to ripping CDs and there’s no going back altho Sony tried with MS’ help leading to disastrous results. And there’s no benefit to the labels to have sell protected music when the same, but higher quality, music is already being sold unprotected.

    The cultural norm on standard CSS-encoded DVDs is protected, though ripping is fairly easy. However, it’s still illegal unless a court case changes it soon. So there is a very slim benefit to the studios.

    But with HD (HD-DVD or Blu-Ray), the cultural norm is protected, and not yet completely broken. So there is a very real benefit to the studios.

  7. As noted above, Steve’s argument is that with music the horse is already out of the barn, so it does no good to lock the door. Audio CDs have no DRM (except for some evil ones that do), so it’s ludicrous to lock some digital files while other digital files of the same content float around the universe unlocked. Also, the music companies have hinted a few weeks ago that they are considering dropping DRM. (see http://www.techmeme.com/070123/p3#a070123p3)

    While there’s slim to no practical chance that the movie studios will offer their movies without DRM, Cory made a very strong case at Microsoft.
    http://www.craphound.com/msftdrm.txt

  8. As noted above, Steve’s argument is that with music the horse is already out of the barn, so it does no good to lock the door. Audio CDs have no DRM (except for some evil ones that do), so it’s ludicrous to lock some digital files while other digital files of the same content float around the universe unlocked. Also, the music companies have hinted a few weeks ago that they are considering dropping DRM. (see http://www.techmeme.com/070123/p3#a070123p3)

    While there’s slim to no practical chance that the movie studios will offer their movies without DRM, Cory made a very strong case at Microsoft.
    http://www.craphound.com/msftdrm.txt

  9. But Michael Markman says I should have gone after Steve about movies since Jobs owns a lot of Disney.

    Steve is the major stockholder, and a board member. Note: member

    He is not the CEO, he is not the President of the company. He may be pushing for this, he may not be, knowing Steve, you’d never know unless something happened. But as a board member, he can’t take unilateral action that directly changes the day to day operations.

    It’d be the same as if Cash or Gilmarten decided to order the WM team to fully support Linux. They’d be off the board so fast that they’d leave a sonic boom and a flame trail, and Microsoft would be correct to fire their asses.

    While you’re at it, a community college class or two in business would help you out.

  10. But Michael Markman says I should have gone after Steve about movies since Jobs owns a lot of Disney.

    Steve is the major stockholder, and a board member. Note: member

    He is not the CEO, he is not the President of the company. He may be pushing for this, he may not be, knowing Steve, you’d never know unless something happened. But as a board member, he can’t take unilateral action that directly changes the day to day operations.

    It’d be the same as if Cash or Gilmarten decided to order the WM team to fully support Linux. They’d be off the board so fast that they’d leave a sonic boom and a flame trail, and Microsoft would be correct to fire their asses.

    While you’re at it, a community college class or two in business would help you out.

  11. Scoble — your cleverly missing the point.

    Steve Jobs was righfully turning the attention of the Europeans heat back to the record labels. its their content — they’re the ones screwed by CD’s they have to work out how to make the business model work. DRM or No-DRM.

    Turning the attention to Movies, which is not nearly as mature for piracy, or ripping or downloads is missing the point, as mentioned by the other contributors here. DVD-ripping is illegal. Why would Steve Jobs advocate that?

    This is a great and Bold step that Steve Jobs has taken, perhaps under pressure, but nevertheless, to be applauded.

    We could do with a bit less cynicism around your posts. — Please! :)

  12. Scoble — your cleverly missing the point.

    Steve Jobs was righfully turning the attention of the Europeans heat back to the record labels. its their content — they’re the ones screwed by CD’s they have to work out how to make the business model work. DRM or No-DRM.

    Turning the attention to Movies, which is not nearly as mature for piracy, or ripping or downloads is missing the point, as mentioned by the other contributors here. DVD-ripping is illegal. Why would Steve Jobs advocate that?

    This is a great and Bold step that Steve Jobs has taken, perhaps under pressure, but nevertheless, to be applauded.

    We could do with a bit less cynicism around your posts. — Please! :)

  13. Lets all bash Scoble. I am but a minnow in this world due to personal constraints such as LOTS of drugs for a degenerative back disease, chronic pain and depression, but I read the rants against Scoble and you all hve two things in common.
    1. Most hide behind masks. I have followed links and got NOTHING. Scoble has the guts, and the audacity to do two things: 1. Speak his mind regardless of financial lines of sponsorship or direct sponsorship. And 2. Back his convictions with evidence and explanation.
    IF web 2 is to survive it need to be funded. Transparent and audacious commentary that brings viewers is what that is about.
    I Too have been disappointed by the number of (for example) Seagate “infomercials”, but they ALWAYS come with a disclaimer, and so I feel SO WHAT??????????
    What I really get pissed about, and at LEAST half of you wingers do it, is taking advertisements (BRIBES) and then coming here to probably the most dynamic, multi-platform, fair and focused blogger on the tech blogging net, and SLANDERING him.
    SHAME
    SHAME
    SHAME
    Pull your collective socks up. Join the CONVERSATION (not personality dissemination) and provide constructive, non partisan comments.
    I, as well as Scoble, (who lives a continent away, I have never, and probably never will meet). Hi Robert!
    Lastly, If you dont like it, PISS-Off.

  14. Lets all bash Scoble. I am but a minnow in this world due to personal constraints such as LOTS of drugs for a degenerative back disease, chronic pain and depression, but I read the rants against Scoble and you all hve two things in common.
    1. Most hide behind masks. I have followed links and got NOTHING. Scoble has the guts, and the audacity to do two things: 1. Speak his mind regardless of financial lines of sponsorship or direct sponsorship. And 2. Back his convictions with evidence and explanation.
    IF web 2 is to survive it need to be funded. Transparent and audacious commentary that brings viewers is what that is about.
    I Too have been disappointed by the number of (for example) Seagate “infomercials”, but they ALWAYS come with a disclaimer, and so I feel SO WHAT??????????
    What I really get pissed about, and at LEAST half of you wingers do it, is taking advertisements (BRIBES) and then coming here to probably the most dynamic, multi-platform, fair and focused blogger on the tech blogging net, and SLANDERING him.
    SHAME
    SHAME
    SHAME
    Pull your collective socks up. Join the CONVERSATION (not personality dissemination) and provide constructive, non partisan comments.
    I, as well as Scoble, (who lives a continent away, I have never, and probably never will meet). Hi Robert!
    Lastly, If you dont like it, PISS-Off.

  15. PS.
    Robert, Explanations are great, but appologising to these wingers is tantamount to empowering them. Most are jealeos of the access and relevance.
    Apologize for the majors (Ie. Major Gaffs that ANY live blogger will make), ONCE.
    Then move on, don’t provide cannon fodder for the idiots of the world.
    (Yes I have had a bad day, have been in bed most of it and really don’t give a @@@@ right now. BUT I am sick of Powerful?, influential and important people catering for the LOWEST common denominator. What are they worth? They are important customers/clients/readers, but should ONE greasy wheel get ALL the grease???

    Secondly, as a psychologist, in my lucid, drug free moments, feel sad for those who disenfranchise themselves by being constant warts on the backside of great minds they can’t compete with…

    Scoble, and Maryame keep up the good work. I doubt ANYONE could transition from M’Soft to Podtech as elegantly, sincerely and effectively. It is now 12-30, apologize for typos. Best for the future.

  16. PS.
    Robert, Explanations are great, but appologising to these wingers is tantamount to empowering them. Most are jealeos of the access and relevance.
    Apologize for the majors (Ie. Major Gaffs that ANY live blogger will make), ONCE.
    Then move on, don’t provide cannon fodder for the idiots of the world.
    (Yes I have had a bad day, have been in bed most of it and really don’t give a @@@@ right now. BUT I am sick of Powerful?, influential and important people catering for the LOWEST common denominator. What are they worth? They are important customers/clients/readers, but should ONE greasy wheel get ALL the grease???

    Secondly, as a psychologist, in my lucid, drug free moments, feel sad for those who disenfranchise themselves by being constant warts on the backside of great minds they can’t compete with…

    Scoble, and Maryame keep up the good work. I doubt ANYONE could transition from M’Soft to Podtech as elegantly, sincerely and effectively. It is now 12-30, apologize for typos. Best for the future.

  17. BTW, Robert, my “should” was conditional. I said that IF you wanted to go after Steve, you should talk about his movies. But why do you want to go after Steve? I also noted that he doesn’t control the Pixar movies any more. Love being quoted. Hate being misquoted. I’ll bet you know the feeling.

    Maybe in the great someday, DRM on movies will be dropped. I’m not holding my breath. Meanwhile, the best first step is to drop DRM from music. We should be cheering Steve on, not sniping.

  18. BTW, Robert, my “should” was conditional. I said that IF you wanted to go after Steve, you should talk about his movies. But why do you want to go after Steve? I also noted that he doesn’t control the Pixar movies any more. Love being quoted. Hate being misquoted. I’ll bet you know the feeling.

    Maybe in the great someday, DRM on movies will be dropped. I’m not holding my breath. Meanwhile, the best first step is to drop DRM from music. We should be cheering Steve on, not sniping.

  19. By this logic, Scoble should be ripshit because Windows Vista requires validation. Since we’re already comparing apples to oranges, so to speak.

  20. By this logic, Scoble should be ripshit because Windows Vista requires validation. Since we’re already comparing apples to oranges, so to speak.

  21. Without DRM. You basically have put all music into the public domain free from any trademark and copyright laws. Sure it’s illegal, but the only way to track the music is through servers. The underground music economy will just go to burning the actual files on to disk and passing them around. The first rule of ipod music swap club is there’s no ipod music swap club.

  22. Without DRM. You basically have put all music into the public domain free from any trademark and copyright laws. Sure it’s illegal, but the only way to track the music is through servers. The underground music economy will just go to burning the actual files on to disk and passing them around. The first rule of ipod music swap club is there’s no ipod music swap club.

  23. I would like to see what DRM Steve uses for his Reality Distortion Field. Apple fans actually think its a crime to get out of the field.

  24. I would like to see what DRM Steve uses for his Reality Distortion Field. Apple fans actually think its a crime to get out of the field.

  25. In fact, we have Steve Jobs and Apple to thank, everyone of us, for preventing Microsoft from conspiring with the music companies to put DRM on CDs and online music both. Not Apple DRM. Microsoft style DRM: You play it once and then pay us again.

  26. In fact, we have Steve Jobs and Apple to thank, everyone of us, for preventing Microsoft from conspiring with the music companies to put DRM on CDs and online music both. Not Apple DRM. Microsoft style DRM: You play it once and then pay us again.

  27. “Without DRM. You basically have put all music into the public domain free from any trademark and copyright laws.”

    Utter nonsense. If I start printing off my own copies of Harry Potter and selling them, I’ll be behind bars pretty fast.

  28. “Without DRM. You basically have put all music into the public domain free from any trademark and copyright laws.”

    Utter nonsense. If I start printing off my own copies of Harry Potter and selling them, I’ll be behind bars pretty fast.

  29. What I really get pissed about, and at LEAST half of you wingers do it, is taking advertisements (BRIBES) and then coming here to probably the most dynamic, multi-platform, fair and focused blogger on the tech blogging net, and SLANDERING him.

    1) Cast out the beam in thine own eye before thou pointest out the mote in mine.

    2) The word you want is “libeling”. Slander is spoken.

    3) Secondly, as a psychologist, in my lucid, drug free moments, feel sad for those who disenfranchise themselves by being constant warts on the backside of great minds they can’t compete with…

    Those would also be the times you want to post.

  30. What I really get pissed about, and at LEAST half of you wingers do it, is taking advertisements (BRIBES) and then coming here to probably the most dynamic, multi-platform, fair and focused blogger on the tech blogging net, and SLANDERING him.

    1) Cast out the beam in thine own eye before thou pointest out the mote in mine.

    2) The word you want is “libeling”. Slander is spoken.

    3) Secondly, as a psychologist, in my lucid, drug free moments, feel sad for those who disenfranchise themselves by being constant warts on the backside of great minds they can’t compete with…

    Those would also be the times you want to post.

  31. Thanks for the link to Cory Doctorow’s post. It was good reading. I think you had a valid point in asking Jobs to lead the way by opening his own house first and I wont be surprised if he will. Maybe someone will send him your rant. :-)

    The bigger Question is what will Microsoft (90% OS market share?) do or what “should” MS do! Bill Gates admits DRM sucks in his interviews but to be honest he does little to fix it or propose or implement consumer friendly solutions. His excuse is the business model is not quite there yet.

    I would like to see Bill Gates reaction to Steve Jobs post.

    In fact I bet You, Scoble (given the number of people who you know there) could get a real journalistic scoop if you would ask current MS employees what they think of MS DRM strategies (at different levels of rank and file at MS) and present that in your blog (by anonymising the dissenting sources if requested to). I speculate that the majority of employees do not agree with the choices being made at the top.

    The ones who do raise their voice friend are kindly reminded by senior management that MS is helpless in these matters as the content creators want DRM, but thank you for your valued opinion or challenged to tell MS what the guaranteed business model is and why MS should disrupt other existing revenue models in existence.

    Anyone else reading this interested in such a piece by Scoble, on the dissent within MS about MS'”pro-consumer” DRM policies?

  32. Thanks for the link to Cory Doctorow’s post. It was good reading. I think you had a valid point in asking Jobs to lead the way by opening his own house first and I wont be surprised if he will. Maybe someone will send him your rant. :-)

    The bigger Question is what will Microsoft (90% OS market share?) do or what “should” MS do! Bill Gates admits DRM sucks in his interviews but to be honest he does little to fix it or propose or implement consumer friendly solutions. His excuse is the business model is not quite there yet.

    I would like to see Bill Gates reaction to Steve Jobs post.

    In fact I bet You, Scoble (given the number of people who you know there) could get a real journalistic scoop if you would ask current MS employees what they think of MS DRM strategies (at different levels of rank and file at MS) and present that in your blog (by anonymising the dissenting sources if requested to). I speculate that the majority of employees do not agree with the choices being made at the top.

    The ones who do raise their voice friend are kindly reminded by senior management that MS is helpless in these matters as the content creators want DRM, but thank you for your valued opinion or challenged to tell MS what the guaranteed business model is and why MS should disrupt other existing revenue models in existence.

    Anyone else reading this interested in such a piece by Scoble, on the dissent within MS about MS'”pro-consumer” DRM policies?

  33. Bill Gates whined because there would be no way for MS to make money without licensing their draconian DRM scheme. Oh, boy Cory Doctrow gave a speech. He has leverage. How exactly does MS make money if they can’t sell their DRM package? Why they can make there own hardware…drop support for partners hardware & compete with their own business partners. Sign me up!!!
    Big talk from another MS idiot exec. Do those people up there get anything? DRM is broken & we (MS) can fix it if you make our DRM the standard & we can charge a DRM tax to everyone that makes anything having to do with entertainment & anyone that purchases it. Then it will only kind of work & we will blame the consumer & third party apps for breaking it. What did you used to do at MS? Towel Boy?

  34. Bill Gates whined because there would be no way for MS to make money without licensing their draconian DRM scheme. Oh, boy Cory Doctrow gave a speech. He has leverage. How exactly does MS make money if they can’t sell their DRM package? Why they can make there own hardware…drop support for partners hardware & compete with their own business partners. Sign me up!!!
    Big talk from another MS idiot exec. Do those people up there get anything? DRM is broken & we (MS) can fix it if you make our DRM the standard & we can charge a DRM tax to everyone that makes anything having to do with entertainment & anyone that purchases it. Then it will only kind of work & we will blame the consumer & third party apps for breaking it. What did you used to do at MS? Towel Boy?

  35. Lawrence Lessig points out that there are independent artists on iTunes who would be happy if the DRM on their music were turned off today. Why doesn’t Steve start there? And start now?

    Without knowing the details of the RIAA deal that Apple has to do for the iTMS, there’s no way to know, but there could be a dozen reasons why, from contractual to convenience.

  36. Bringing up Movies is kind of silly when Steve’s “Thoughts on Music” was about, you know, _music_. Steve never suggested DRM be removed from videos. I suspect this is because DVDs have always had DRM of some kind, so his argument about music CDs with no protection does not apply to DVDs anyway.

    Oh, and Steve is simply on the Disney board, do you really think he can pull off getting DRM removed for a product that has traditionally sold with DRM (see my first paragraph)? Just what power do you think being on the board holds? Google’s seat on Apple’s board couldn’t get Apple a deal with Gmail instead of Yahoo! Mail on the iPhone, could it?

    Your initial blog entry on Steve’s memo was fine, if way to cynical and avoiding the music DRM debate in lieu of taking jabs at Jobs. But this entry is just ridiculous.

  37. Lawrence Lessig points out that there are independent artists on iTunes who would be happy if the DRM on their music were turned off today. Why doesn’t Steve start there? And start now?

    Without knowing the details of the RIAA deal that Apple has to do for the iTMS, there’s no way to know, but there could be a dozen reasons why, from contractual to convenience.

  38. Bringing up Movies is kind of silly when Steve’s “Thoughts on Music” was about, you know, _music_. Steve never suggested DRM be removed from videos. I suspect this is because DVDs have always had DRM of some kind, so his argument about music CDs with no protection does not apply to DVDs anyway.

    Oh, and Steve is simply on the Disney board, do you really think he can pull off getting DRM removed for a product that has traditionally sold with DRM (see my first paragraph)? Just what power do you think being on the board holds? Google’s seat on Apple’s board couldn’t get Apple a deal with Gmail instead of Yahoo! Mail on the iPhone, could it?

    Your initial blog entry on Steve’s memo was fine, if way to cynical and avoiding the music DRM debate in lieu of taking jabs at Jobs. But this entry is just ridiculous.

  39. Wow. Amazing how the “debate” seems to return to ripping CD’s being “fair and legal” while DVD’s are not. True, but ignoring the facts don’t make them go away. DVD’s are as easy to rip as CD’s. If you don’t think so, you’re either naive or doing something wrong. HD content is fairly simple to rip also. So that pretty much levels the playing field in terms of differentiation. So MPAA is being given preferential treatment by the courts, which could be argued (by a very expensive attorney) as predatory practice, by the RIAA, but they won’t likely go there. So, one house is protected by the law, the one next door is not. Amazing. These laws were written when the vast divide between video and audio content was noticeable. They no longer are.

  40. Wow. Amazing how the “debate” seems to return to ripping CD’s being “fair and legal” while DVD’s are not. True, but ignoring the facts don’t make them go away. DVD’s are as easy to rip as CD’s. If you don’t think so, you’re either naive or doing something wrong. HD content is fairly simple to rip also. So that pretty much levels the playing field in terms of differentiation. So MPAA is being given preferential treatment by the courts, which could be argued (by a very expensive attorney) as predatory practice, by the RIAA, but they won’t likely go there. So, one house is protected by the law, the one next door is not. Amazing. These laws were written when the vast divide between video and audio content was noticeable. They no longer are.

  41. Wow, skatterbrain, you just ignored the inconvenient truth to make your argument there. We’re not talking about whether it’s possible to rip music CDs as opposed to DVDs.

    Steve’s point is music CDs are ALREADY sold WITHOUT any DRM, so why are the music companies obsessed to try to DRM something they already sell without any DRM.

    As has already been pointed out to the slow of thought or the cynical, the difference is that DVDs ALREADY HAVE a DRM system on them. Unfortunately for consumers, undoing a DRM is illegal thanks to a DMCA. That’s why ripping a CD is okay (because there’s no DRM to break) while ripping a DVD is illegal. That’s the inconvenient truth of what the law as it currently stands.

    So forget this irrelevant argument about whether it’s easy to rip a DVD or not. It doesn’t matter. It’s still illegal beause in the process of ripping, you are undoing the DRM, which is not the case with music CDs.

    Maybe someday we will reach a stage where DRM in all forms are deemed worthless, but that day is not today. But the time is right to talk about music, which doesn’t have the issue of needing to circumvent any DRM with regard to CDs.

  42. Wow, skatterbrain, you just ignored the inconvenient truth to make your argument there. We’re not talking about whether it’s possible to rip music CDs as opposed to DVDs.

    Steve’s point is music CDs are ALREADY sold WITHOUT any DRM, so why are the music companies obsessed to try to DRM something they already sell without any DRM.

    As has already been pointed out to the slow of thought or the cynical, the difference is that DVDs ALREADY HAVE a DRM system on them. Unfortunately for consumers, undoing a DRM is illegal thanks to a DMCA. That’s why ripping a CD is okay (because there’s no DRM to break) while ripping a DVD is illegal. That’s the inconvenient truth of what the law as it currently stands.

    So forget this irrelevant argument about whether it’s easy to rip a DVD or not. It doesn’t matter. It’s still illegal beause in the process of ripping, you are undoing the DRM, which is not the case with music CDs.

    Maybe someday we will reach a stage where DRM in all forms are deemed worthless, but that day is not today. But the time is right to talk about music, which doesn’t have the issue of needing to circumvent any DRM with regard to CDs.