Originally posted by mark2005
The law as written is foggy, but I think the intended end result is that any DRMed media I buy from any media store should be playable on any media player (including computers).
is foggy, is the reporting of the issue. The bill may
also be foggy, but I haven't read it, so I don't know. Anyone know if the bill is available to read online? Somehow I doubt that it is.
All reports have stated that the bill "forces companies to licence their DRM schemes". The reports have then gone on to interpret this is many flawed ways, such as saying this would force all devices to play back all content and all content providers to provide content playable on all devices. I do not believe that that is what the bill actually states. I believe the bill is just an effort to level the playing field so that someone could
make a player capable of playing anything if they wanted to
, and someone could
introduce a store that sells tracks with all the different sorts of DRM if they wanted to
Originally posted by mark2005
To those that think this law was good, I challenge you to think through the issues more deeply and tell me how it will work for consumers and companies. I've worked it through down the multiple paths. I bet you'll find it's going to be real messy for consumers/companies when using multiple DRMs, or that DRM will need to be dominated by one proprietary scheme, or that DRM will need to be open source (which is no DRM at all, equating to very limited media sales).
Messy for companies to implement - a little. Messy for customers, not really.
So, scenario 1. I want to make a hardware device capable of playing anything. Lets call it a "jFlock". I implement the following decoders: AAC, WMA, ATRAC, MP3, Apple Lossless, FLAC, OGG Vorbis, AIFF, WAV. I go to Apple and I say: "tell me how to decrypt FairPlay, in exchange for this here money", and they tell me, because they have to under this law. Ditto with whatever Sony call their DRM scheme, and ditto with PlaysForSure. Now, I can implement all the DRM decrypting too. So now my jFlock has all the necessary tools for playing all current files. I could make my player compatible with iTunes, Napster and SonyConnect, so in each program, only those files that the program recognises are visible. i.e., when I plug jFlock into my computer and launch iTunes, I see all AAC+FairPlay tracks (and probably AAC and MP3 files too) that are on jFlock. If I launch SonyConnect, I see all the ATRAC tracks, and with Napster I see all the PlaysForSure tracks. Additionally, these programs would pass the necessary keys to jFlock for the decrypting of DRMed tracks.
Alternatively, I could produce my own music library management software that can manage all the different files itself. It would just need to be given the keys for any DRMed stuff by the respective music stores. This could be implemented easily, as part of licensing a DRM scheme would have to involve mechanisms for key retrieval (i.e. instructions on how to communicate with the music stores).
Scenario 2. I want to introduce a music store capable of selling music in every format. So again, I license the DRM mechanisms and implement all the necessary codecs (in this case, I only need WMA, ATRAC and AAC). The person buying the music selects which format they want (I could provide a help section of my site listing all the popular playback devices and which formats they play). If someone has an iPod, they choose AAC+FairPlay, and the song is downloaded. If I'm nice, I even offer the opportunity to download the same track in multiple different formats for no additional, or very minor, fee. To make things easier for the user, I'd probably implement a music library manager too, but if they wanted to use something else, that wouldn't matter. I'd just have to pass the DRM keys to the customer's chosen program. This would not be difficult to implement.
Note that none of this would have any impact on the usability of the iTunes+iPod combination. It would also mean that devices such as the Roku SoundBridge could implement FairPlay and complement
the iTunes+iPod combination.