DefectiveByDesign’s Anti-DRM Campaign Gets Trashed by Digg Readers

Something that I
personally find hilarious is that DefectiveByDesign, the Anti-DRM Group that was formed last year, is
getting trashed by the growing user base that actually understands some of the
problems behind content protection and DRM. 
This is a very good day in the world of DRM and Digg.

Here’s a few example
comments from Digg
about DefectiveByDesign’s upcoming Vista Launch Events in NYC.

  • So,
    the guys at are going toi be the jackasses that pretend
    to be cool and nonconformist by going to a windows party and making fools out
    of themselves? Thanks, we reaaally needed to know that, couldn’t have survived
    without it on the front page. P.S. all the info in the article is old news, no
    reason to digg it.”
  • “Wait wait, people are pissed off because Vista
    supports HDCP? If I’m not mistaken, Vista has to support it in case Studio’s
    enable the god damn feature”

  • “I’ll say this loudly:IF YOU DON’T AGREE WITH
    At least with Windows you have the FREEDOM to decide for yourselves, unlike
    some operating systems I could think of.”
  • “Pathetic. Apple will also include the DRM
    required to playback all new content that’s produced and requires the shit.”
  • “So what happens when media starts coming out
    that needs the DRM systems, either others OS will have to implement it in some
    way or hack a way round it which would probably be illegal.”

I’m a big fan of Digg
in general, buy generally don’t spend more then five minutes reading the ignorant
comments left by the users.  I’m a fan of
targeted websites and blogs that can cover a subject without their user base
being subjected to incorrect information and endless FUD about certain
features, mainly relating to DRM.

I’m all for ending DRM
that restricts fair use; however I do believe that content owners should have
the right to protect their content if they want to.  The problem is that we need to get to the
point where this can happen.  AACS in HD
DVD and Blu-ray is a good first step, with the concept of Managed Copy.  It’s not perfect by any means (I shouldn’t
have to pay for a copy of the media I already purchased) but it’s a good first

needs to understand that if they want to help, they need to actually go after
the people that matter.  Microsoft is not
who they should be going after.  Stage
your foolishness at the MPAA, collectivity “Hollywood.”  They are the reason that Microsoft has to
waste millions of dollars developing the framework to allow users to actually
play this media.  Feel free to attack
Microsoft for the stupid things they do, like locking their Zune DRM out from
PlaysForSure.  Attack Apple for not licensing
FairPlay.  Attack the record labels
(RIAA) for requiring Microsoft, Apple, and others to develop their sort of
protection framework.  Actually attack
the companies that are the problem, attack the root of the problem.

Of course, there are still loads of users that comment the
other way, but they seem to be increasing getting corrected by those who get

DefectiveByDesign is
not helping anything, all they are doing to making fools of themselves.


Content Will Be Crippled When Output in Vista?

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10 thoughts on “DefectiveByDesign’s Anti-DRM Campaign Gets Trashed by Digg Readers

  1. Media Center is a sham in Vista. Black screens from resume, lockups when Media Center first loads while it thinks about updating the EPG; the list goes on.

    I used to be a big fan of Media Center but the product just doesnt work properly. Half baked features, bugs galore even with new kit. Ive tried three commercial media centers and built my own (so they are clean builds with latest drivers uncontaminated by antivirus etc) and they all suffer from pathetic bugs; Standby, lockups, black screens, loss of tuning information with DVB-T. Not forgetting lack of features for UK and Europe digital TV servioes.

    Then there are the dreaded bugs in Media Player and MC Vista with cover art for WMA/MP3 tracks and not forgetting the meta data bugs either.

    Add DRM that really limits user usign their own media they ahve paid for and you’ve got one real dumb dumb product.

    I really do hope Apple lauch something that will be a viable and sexy alternative. Whilst the Office, Server and Collaborationd departments in Microsoft shoudl be rewarded for good work, the Ehome and Windows divisions need to be shown the door !!!

  2. UK User: I point of this post was that the DRM that is in Windows is used to not limit what you can do. It is meant to enable you to actually play the content. Without the protection framework, you can’t play what you have purchased.

    To stop Microsoft from having to enable such framework, you need to go after the source; the content owners.

  3. I can’t help feeling that MS jumps into bed with the content providers. Im sure they could have come up with more lenient DRM technologies. DRM is required, but for music ? I can buy a CD without DRM and rip/copy it. For movies, sure, but make it workable. What Microsoft did with Zune DRM and plays for sure is terrible and a fine example of why DRM CURRENTLY does not work [for the consumer].

  4. yet another group of useless people that are going to interupt normal people, raise the cost of the product because of security needs instead of actually going to talk to the people who make a difference.

    their elected officals. the ones making the laws so the people making content and wanting drm actually have a legal leg to stand on in court over it…

    Well done. you should be proud for not even understanding who is to blame.

  5. DefectiveByDesign message is stupid. Just another ignorant bit of people following that of Cory Doctorow. They really just make things worse, but think that they are doing the >right thing” by informing people. Just like Cory, the DefectiveByDesign people need to sit down and learn about DRM first. Then, approach it in an intelligent way.

  6. Chris, your comments that Microsoft has had to waste money developing DRM would hold a lot more weight if they didn’t charge a fee to license the technology. The money is not wasted if they can turn it into a profitable venture.

    You almost try to paint Microsoft into the innocent bystander role, where they must obey the demands of the big, bad content owners. You should keep in mind that Microsoft is also in the IP business, and that they stand to benefit from IP companies licensing and implementing Microsoft’s DRM technology. Microsoft has even introduced a DRM server product for their Office application, so they certainly see the potential behind creating and owning a DRM framework for content.

    Their implementation of DRM for Vista CableCard storage is also more restrictive than it needs to be. CableLabs allows any recorded program flagged “copy-freely” to be accessed and used as desired. However, the Microsoft WM-DRM will not allow users to enjoy that ability. CableLabs allows those same recorded programs to be written to DVD. Once again, Microsoft’s implementation will not allow users to enjoy this ability either. Two small examples where Microsoft is not interested in preserving their customers ability to use content as they desire, but instead, where Microsoft DRM restricts above and beyond what CableLabs requires.

  7. Very true Rob! However, we don’t know how much of this is because of WMDRM, and how much of it is because what happens behind closed doors with CableLabs. Remember, it’s CableLabs way or the highway when you are looking to support their technologies. CableLabs also doesn’t depend on Microsoft, so exactly what reasons do they have to let Microsoft open it up?

    That said, I’m not sure if there is a good way to burn WMDRM protected video to DVD (taking DVD Video, not Data DVD). I’m sure it could be done, but I don’t know of a good way at his point. If would have to be re-wrapped in another DRM system if so.

    While CableLabs might allow you to do whatever with Copy Freely content, what other platforms allow you to interact with the files? While you might be able to do what you wish with the files, does something like a TiVo S3 present you the ability to do so?


  8. I agree with most of your criticism of DefectiveByDesign’s campaign, they are attacking the actor instead of the scriptwriters. Tactically it makes sense to use the Vista launch event to get some press, but their main message should be on CableLabs and their ilk forcing the tech companies’ hand.

    On the other hand, painting MS as a completely faultless victim stuck between a rock and a hard place (i.e., CableLabs/AACS LA and customers wanting CableCard/HD-DVD/Blu-Ray support in Vista) would be to underestimate MS’ market power. Apple managed to get a deal with the record companies where customers can burn music to unprotected CDs, and that at a time where the majors were putting DRM on everything. MS should be pulling a Steve Jobs, not bending over and over-implementing the CableLabs requirements.

    While you might be able to do what you wish with the files, does something like a TiVo S3 present you the ability to do so?

    I might be reading you wrong here, but are you really saying that limiting the functionality of general purpose PCs is ok if current application specific appliances don’t provide a given function?

  9. Well, Microsoft’s MSN Music at the time had CD Burning too, so I’m not sure where you are going what that. Most of the DRM protected music services allowed burns to CD (unless then were subscription services), the question was how many burns you got when you purchased the song.

    I’m not saying it’s “okay” to “limit” the PC because a TiVo can’t do it, I was just replying to Rob saying that while CableLabs might not forbid an action in writing, doesn’t mean it can actually be carried out by the CableCARD licensee very easily. While CableLabs might say that you can do whatever you want with a recording that is Copy Freely, there are other things that get in the way of that. If there were not, you would still have TiVo2Go.

  10. > Apple managed to get a deal with the record
    > companies where customers can burn music to
    > unprotected CDs.

    And so can purchases made from just about any PlaysForSure music service. If you are buying your music one song at a time just like you would do on iTunes, you can burn to unprotected CD from MSN Music, Napster, Wal-Mart, and dozens of other services.

    Can you burn movies purchased from iTunes onto a DVD? I’m really asking, I don’t know the answer.

    > Painting MS as a completely faultless
    > victim…underestimate[s] MS’ market power.

    I don’t think so. “Hollywood” would prefer that HD movies be completely unplayable on PCs. People play movies using a dedicated player hooked up to a TV. That’s the most common model today, and it’s the model the studios would like to stick with. If MS were to threaten to remove playback capabilities unless DRM restrictions were loosened, the reaction would be cheers of joy from Hollywood offices celebrating that they don’t have to worry about the PC anymore.

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