[mythtv-users] The death blow to DRM has arrived

Simon Hobson linux at thehobsons.co.uk
Wed Jan 7 21:35:05 UTC 2009

Tom Dexter wrote:

>Absolutely...and for me the other issue is this:  Just because their
>anti-consumer crap might get hacked (even if the legality wasn't
>questionable), the simple fact is that none of that will change
>industry practices.  Only the publics refusal to put up with it will.

Exactly, it will stop when the crap they keep having to add causes 
more problems than the man in the street will accept.

>That's why I have no pay TV, and that's why I'm repulsed by Blu-Ray.
>It may be a loosing battle, but I for one am in.

Ditto. I've never bought a single track from iTunes, I won't have 
anything to do with Sky (subscription Satellite in the UK), and I'm 
in no rush to get anything BD.

I have thought of a good game for baiting the salespeople at your 
local big chain electricals shop :-) Look at the tellies and BD 
players, and then ask if they'll sign this  guarantee before you'll 
buy one - and the guarantee says something along the lines of "<big 
chain> guarantees that without limitation in time or cost, we will 
upgrade, repair, or replace any equipment that becomes inoperable in 
any way due to changes in DRM practices or technology on the part of 
content producers".
Put another way, it means that if the studios change the spec, or 
blacklist teh ley, or do anything else that stops a new BD disk from 
playing in full - the <big chain> will 'repair' or replace your kit.

When the manager has picked himself up off the floor - you then have 
the opportunity to explain to him how bad this DRM crap is for his 
business, and the legal implications if he doesn't explain the 
possible risks to purchasers.

Eric Sharkey wrote:
>On Wed, Jan 7, 2009 at 2:55 PM, Simon Hobson <linux at thehobsons.co.uk> wrote:
>>  But don't forget that IIRC the law has also changed in many places.
>>  The same bunch of ******* that inflicted the DRM on HD disks have
>>  also managed to make it a criminal offense to even possess tools to
>>  watch the disks in some places - let alone create and distribute them.
>Then call it civil disobedience.
>I follow my own moral code here.  I don't pirate discs, I don't
>download from the pirate bay/P2P/etc., I don't hand out copies.  I pay
>money to a retailer, buy a physical copy, and use that copy as I see
>fit in my own home, and I sleep well at night having done so.
>I'm not exactly Rosa Parks, but I feel I'm acting morally here, and
>I'm willing to face any (unlikely) consequences.
>Who's with me?

<rant mode> switch off now if you don't want the politics !

Will you still think the same when :

The police raid your home.

They remove all your computers - whether they are used by you alone 
or essential for your partner/parents/children/whoever to do their 

They keep said equipment for a year or more until they can get round 
to finding a technical expert to decide if it's even relevant and to 
clone your private data.

They lock you up for a week or two while they decide what to do next.

Having found on your computer that photo of your baby in the bath and 
decide that it's illegal (new laws in the UK that could make 
virtually any photo like that 'potentially' illegal), they bully you 
(without access to legal representation) into accepting a police 
caution - "it's in no way an admission of guilt sir". In practice, 
you are then a convicted paedophile, put on the sex offenders 
register, will never be able to get a job involving even being in the 
same building as children ever again.

Your employer tells you that they have to think of their reputation, 
and they can't have a convicted sex offender on the staff so they 
will have to "let you go".

Your friends desert you because they can't take the strain of being 
associated with a "kiddy fiddler" - which is how the press will 
portray it.

Finally after a year or two, you'll get your computers back, and be 
told there won't be any prosecution. You won't get an apology. The 
press won't announce that you were innocent after all. So you'll 
still be known round the local grapevine as "that pervert".

Will you still feel the same then ?

Ridiculous ? Pretty well all of those things have already happened in 
one form or other in the UK. If you get accused of something, the 
police can, and do, seize computers, and they can and do hold onto 
them for months or even years - tough if they happen to be essential 
to your business.

Recently, a chap was accused of child abuse for slapping his teenage 
daughter - who later admitted that she deserved it as she was being 
an unruly little ****. He was bullied into accepting a police caution 
which is considered as good as a confession and admission of guilt. 
He's now on the sex offender register, so his hopes of becoming a 
sports coach are dead.

And the laws on obscene images mean that most people will have at 
least one picture that is 'potentially' illegal - but the laws are 
written so as to be wide ranging and vague so "no-one knows" until a 
few people have been the subject of test cases to work out where the 
boundaries are. In a way, it could well be used as a "consolation 
prize" - they might not get you on teh original charge, but having 
seized your computers, they can have a look and see if you've any 
dodgy pics they can hang you with.

No, in this country they've made civil disobedience a very dangerous activity.

Oh yes, and just for good measure, we now have a legal system where 
"gossip" is now legally tradable by the police and other authorities. 
We have a system of enhanced records checks required for certain 
types of work - which includes working with children and vulnerable 
adults. The results will now include if you are "known" - which means 
any accusation, even if found to be completely false, will be 
reported as "known".
Simon Hobson

Visit http://www.magpiesnestpublishing.co.uk/ for books by acclaimed
author Gladys Hobson. Novels - poetry - short stories - ideal as
Christmas stocking fillers. Some available as e-books.

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