Windows DRM Not Up To Snuff, Claims BitTorrent Founder

On the opening day of the VON conference, Bram Cohen (the founder of BitTorrent) was among several others who spoke out against digital rights management software and specifically the implementation of it in Microsoft Windows, saying it is slowing the shift of video to Internet. "We've got a problem we share with everyone. Content owners want a DRM, consumers know what a DRM is" and they don't like it, said Cohen. "We are using Windows DRM because it is the only solution that has been vetted widely, but we are not happy with how it affects playback from a technology point of view, it sometimes makes playback not work." Nevertheless, Cohen, who claims BitTorrent (San Francisco) has the largest catalog of digital video now on the Web, expressed confidence the Internet will become the primary source for video in the future. BitTorrent has several projects in the works including a new product to let businesses distribute content, an ad-supported video service and a streaming video capability.

Separately, Network2, a video Web site started by VON conference founder Jeff Pulver, has submitted a petition to the Federal Communications Commission asking that Internet video be exempted from existing cable and broadcast regulations as well as any new rulings. Pulver also announced the Video on the Net Alliance, a new advocacy group to promote the interests of Internet video. "The nascent video on the Net industry must learn, and learn quickly, how to engage policymakers and speak with a unified and consistent voice, or rules will be set for this emerging industry by those who might not know what policies would best advance Internet video," said Jonathan Askin, co-founder of the alliance. However, several other panellists said it is unrealistic to expect the Internet will steer clear of future restrictions in areas such as universal services and government access. "We can no longer operate under the myth that the Internet is unregulated," said Robert Pepper, a senior manager of technology policy for Cisco Systems.

News source: InformationWeek

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@ cinemanow if you have purchased a movie and lost it, we will let you re-download it as long as we still carry it. And for most movies we will let you sync the drm on 3 devices.

Of course people many people will prefer to download illegal copies, because they are simply free. But overall it is still a big pain to download an xvid video from a unreliable torrent and then convert it to a dvd so you can watch it on your pc.

The DRM/online purchase sites like cinemanow and bit torrent are offering something more similar to an on-demand service. With our movies you can start watching them within 1-2 minutes after you purchase. And with rentals at 1.99/2.99 and purchases at 9.99/15.99 it's not even worth it in my opinion to try and get pirated content.

I mean how poor are people and how little do they value their time, if they are willing to spend hours with illegal torrents and converting and burning rather than just paying a small fee to buy the dvd or download it legally. If I have to guess, it's more like a hobby for these people than anything else. In which case they will always be there.

These sites are more for the general public who just want to watch a movie and order a pizza and not have to leave the house after a stressful day at work.

There is no copy protection on most music CDs, and why exactly do you need to make 'backup copies' of your DVDs? I have literally 100+ DVDs, some of them from 1999, and not one of them has become unplayable. A little attention and care goes a long way. You don't get to make backup copies of books either, but do you wind up destroying those by accident?

I buy my music and video.

I don't think it's right that when I purchase DvD and music cd's I have to rip out the protection to make a backup copy.

It's like I am some kind of criminal.

You can just as easily buy a CD which has no DRM at all. You can then rip as many MP3s off it as you want. Even Bill Gates has said that this is his preferred method for getting music.

The reason people download music and movies is because they don't want to pay for music and movies, not DRM.

i work as an engineer for cinemanow.com, we also use windows media DRM. It does have its quirks that you need to figure out, and it does have limitations, such as device support, etc... But unlike he claims the drm itself does not cause content not to play. The actual windows drm sdk is very simple and is pretty solid if implemented correctly. My guess is that the problems actually lie in their architecture and code. It took us years to get our site to the stability and reliability that we have now, they just launched like last month of course they will have bugs, no big deal. but they shouldn’t just blame microsoft and ask microsoft to write thier code for them. No one ever said it was easy.

i do kinda wish there wasn't drm myself, it would make my life a lot easier. I also wish I didn't need to renew my registration every 2 years, and I wish I had that thing from the jetsons that dressed me automatically in the moring.

I don't think any company has "good" DRM, and it's all just about degress of crappiness. I've personally only experienced some Windows DRM, and I couldn't get it to play right in Windows Media Player (the files were rejected with some confusing message and no further guidance), so that made me trash those and cancel that service. That's what I think DRM does in a nutshell to a number of potential users. Apple's "FairPlay" (as ironic as "PlaysForSure" -- it's like it's a sport...) DRM is quite common due to all the iTunes users, but then there's the horrible incompatibility with other players, which make it end up in the trashcan too for me... I wish the studios would evolve to the next step where they respect and trust their paying customers, but I guess that will have to wait a bit longer...

Jugalator said,
I don't think any company has "good" DRM, and it's all just about degress of crappiness.

Yes, there's no such thing as a "good" Aids

Basically he's saying what we already know. All (media) DRM sucks. The WM DRM sucks every so slightly less.

I still think the future of multimedia content is DRM-free.