Norwegian consumer group opposes iTunes TOS

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 69
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Chucker

    But while the latter can perhaps be somewhat easily agreed upon, what about the former? Who's to judge whether a patent is "trivial"? The bottom line is, you cannot objectively neutrally say so. That problem will always haunt patents, no matter what. Too-trivial patents will get permitted, and not-trivial-at-all patents will get rejected.



    At the patent office's desk, PEBKAC. As always.




    Which is why I'm greatly hopeful about the recent proposal to open up the process to the public. ANYONE can view the filings, and comment on them, find prior art, etc.



    They're overloaded, we all keep bitching about it - now's our chance to step up and do something about it.
  • Reply 42 of 69
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bikertwin

    Gotcha. My bad.



    No worries.
  • Reply 43 of 69
    ajmasajmas Posts: 601member
    Apple is the focus because they are the most dominent company selling digital downloadable music online. The focus should include the media companies and the restrictions they require. Apple is playing along because it is in their interest (they make money), and they are probably being very careful not to upset big media.



    On the other hand I would be curious whether an independent label can ask Apple to sell its music without DRM on it? If the answer is no, then Apple can't use big media as an excuse in every case. After all eMusic manages to do it, so why not Apple?



    If anyone manages to ask Apple and get a response let us know.
  • Reply 44 of 69
    mark2005mark2005 Posts: 1,158member
    One option to balance consumer and creator rights that has been pursued somewhat by others, is to charge everyone a media (culture) or broadband tax, and then make the digital media free. However, I don't see that happening in the US or Asia, given the tax-consciousness in those societies. But in the more socialist parts of Europe, it may happen. And that could start the ball rolling throughout the rest of the world, since the Internet has no boundaries.



    But if there is no DRM that can't be broken, and there is no tax, then digital media's role will have to be this: to generally serve as an enticement (a give-away) to get you to buy something else, such as services like concert tickets, or physical products, like branded clothes or devices. The creators can still try to sell it at a really low price, but that price is really for the convenience of the sale, not for the media product itself (which can be gotten for free elsewhere but through greater effort). Sadly, isn't this the whole point of American Idol?



    Bottom line: the media creators can't rely on income from digital media sales. And that's the dramatic change in paradigm that media creators will have to accept and adopt.
  • Reply 45 of 69
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,430member
    Norway isn't focusing on the real cullprit of this fiasco.



    The major music distributors KNEW that online digital downloads were a proven entity with Napster being at the forefront of the revolution. So what to thise Einsteins do?



    Instead of collaborating on a fair and rather ubiquitious format for DRM and downloads they simply told anyone who'd pony of the license fees for their music that they could roll their own. So know you have music balkanization and Norway has the gall to blame the most successful company?



    This is basically a witch hunt against Apple because if we're talking prescendents then like Kickaha said a law here would invalidate just about any EULA out there. Norway should quickly become the piracy capital of the world



    As long as I have the ability to burn a CD track I have a means for transcoding my song into whatever formats I have audio encoders for. This is just baseless legal principal on Norway's part. I'm rather sickened.
  • Reply 46 of 69
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    As long as I have the ability to burn a CD track I have a means for transcoding my song into whatever formats I have audio encoders for. This is just baseless legal principal on Norway's part. I'm rather sickened.



    How long will you have that ability? The record labels desperately want to shut out CD burning, and are doing what they can to push things in that direction. They'd like to relegate CDs completely to the past and replace them with nothing but heavily-DRMed media.



    I'd rather toss out DRM completely. If I have to live with DRM, I'd want to see a system that banishes proprietary, competition-limiting attempts to control the software and hardware you use, and a system which also respects traditional fair-use rights.



    There are real and reasonable technical limitations to interoperability in some cases -- you can't reasonably expect a DVD player to work with VHS tapes. But there's no good reason at all that one MP3 player can't play everything that any other MP3 player plays -- such restrictions are artificial and deliberately calculated impediments to interoperabilty which have nothing at all to do with enforcing copyright protection.



    If companies do try to create such artificial impediments, it should be perfectly legal to reverse engineer those problems and work around them -- regaining fair use and invigorating competition shouldn't be classified as illegal acts, but under laws like the DMCA, using "protecting the artists" as a smoke screen, that's exactly what has happened.



    Just look at what Lexmark is trying to do, abusing the DMCA to try to block competition from cheaper toner cartridges. Fortunately it looks like they won't get away with it, but as far as I know the case hasn't been settled yet.



    I applaud Norway's action here. I don't want to live in the world the greedy record labels and other content producers want to create, where every song and video and software title you purchase remains forever tighty tethered to the providers, who can arbitrarily, even after purchase, impose whatever restrictions they like on the usage of "your" stuff in their efforts to squeeze every last penny out of not only the media itself, but out of the cozy deals they've made to restrictively distribute and play or run that media.
  • Reply 47 of 69
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    As long as I have the ability to burn a CD track I have a means for transcoding my song into whatever formats I have audio encoders for.



    Oh, yeah... You do realize, don't you, that you have to suffer a penality in sound quality here, or a very large penalty in file size if you want a good-as-original copy, when you burn music to CD and re-rip it? Any attempt to apply lossy compression (like AAC or MP3) to the uncompressed version of a once lossily-compressed source causes a generational loss in sound quality, roughly equivalent to what happens making analog copies of analog recordings.
  • Reply 48 of 69
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
    Actually I think the main concern from the norwegian consumer authorities is that Apple reserves itself the right to change the terms for music you already bought.
  • Reply 49 of 69
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:

    Oh, yeah... You do realize, don't you, that you have to suffer a penality in sound quality here, or a very large penalty in file size if you want a good-as-original copy,



    You do realize the CD itself is already a compromise in sound quality? When you watch television at home you are watching a fraction of the quality of the original recording also.



    The sound quality of ripped music is pretty subjective. I rip with Apples Lossless codec and its fine for me.



    Quote:

    roughly equivalent to what happens making analog copies of analog recordings.



    No analog and digital are two completely different animals.



    In analog you are making a copy of the actual audio wave. The waveform cannot be perfectly copied without additional signal degradation or noise.



    Digital does not record the actual audio wave. Digital samples the audio wave, makes a map of the waveform, and stores the map in binary code.



    When you make a copy, you are not copying the actual waveform you are copying the map of the sampled waveform.



    Compression is essentially getting rid of redundant information. Compression software finds repetition and pattern within the audio wave to reduce the data size. Lossless compression more or less removes sound that is not audible to the human ear, lossy does remove sound that we can hear.
  • Reply 50 of 69
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by TenoBell

    You do realize the CD itself is already a compromise in sound quality? When you watch television at home you are watching a fraction of the quality of the original recording also.



    The sound quality of ripped music is pretty subjective. I rip with Apples Lossless codec and its fine for me.



    No analog and digital are two completely different animals.




    You don't get it.



    Yes, analog and digital are very different, BUT lossy compression introduces some vaguely analog-like problems back into equation, especially when it comes to multi-generational decode/encode cycles.



    If you take an original CD, rip it to AIFF or WAV or Apple Lossless, burn that file to CD, re-rip the CD to the same kind of format, burn again, rip again, burn again... You'll never lose any quality over the original CD. Barring outright data failures, you can make perfect copies generation after generation. (Snooty audiophile concerns that CD "isn't good enough" in the first place have absolutely no bearing on what I'm talking about here.)



    The same cannot be said if you're using AAC, MP3, or any other lossy codec.



    When you use lossy compression, the first time you encode the music some frequency bands are dropped, and some are recorded but at reduced resolution from the original, introducing higher quantization noise.



    Further more, all of this complex processing is done by taking amplitude/time domain information and converting it into discrete frames of frequency/phase/amplitude information. Even if you never dropped any frequency bands, and never reduced the resolution of any frequence bands, simply going back and forth from one numerical representation to another would cause generational sound quality loss due to computational rounding errors.



    When you burn a compressed audio file to CD, the on-CD result is every bit as good as the compressed file, which, however, is not the same quality as the original material for that compressed file.



    If you take this CD and re-rip, you can avoid further loss of sound quality only by re-reripping to a lossless format. This is the very-big-file penalty I spoke of.



    If, however, you want your re-ripped files to be smaller than Apple Lossless or FLAC files or the like, and use AAC or MP3 or the like, you will incur additional losses, on top of the losses incurred during the first generation of lossy compression. The effects of encoding losses are cumulative.



    Burning a 128 kbps AAC file (like something you'd buy from iTunes) to CD, then re-ripping that CD back to a new 128 kbps AAC file, produces a definite, and sometimes even wretched, loss of sound quality. On the other hand, I find 128->CD->192 gives pretty satisfactory results. While that cycle isn't perfect, to my ear there are no terribly obvious losses like 128->CD->128.



    There are theoretical lossy encoding schemes under which recompression of a decompressed signal can result in a result no worse than the original compression produced, but no popular lossy codec works that way, or even comes close.
  • Reply 51 of 69
    Quote:

    Originally posted by shetline

    I applaud Norway's action here. I don't want to live in the world the greedy record labels and other content producers want to create, where every song and video and software title you purchase remains forever tighty tethered to the providers, who can arbitrarily, even after purchase, impose whatever restrictions they like on the usage of "your" stuff in their efforts to squeeze every last penny out of not only the media itself, but out of the cozy deals they've made to restrictively distribute and play or run that media.





    You do realize that Norway's action has nothing to do with DRM, and that was just a sidetrack of the thread, right?



    The whole thing is that in Norway a software company must be held responsible for any security holes it opens. The iTunes EULA, as well as pretty much every other EULA ever, denies that responsibility.
  • Reply 52 of 69
    Quote:

    Originally posted by gregmightdothat

    You know that Norway's action has nothing to do with DRM, and that was just a sidetrack of the thread, right?



    The whole thing is that in Norway a software company must be held responsible for any security holes it opens. The iTunes EULA, as well as pretty much every other EULA ever, denies that responsibility.




  • Reply 53 of 69
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by gregmightdothat

    You do realize that Norway's action has nothing to do with DRM, and that was just a sidetrack of the thread, right?



    From the article at the top of this thread (emphasis mine):



    "The group argued that Apple iTunes terms of service is in violation of Section 9a of the country's Marketing Control Act and also said that iTunes' digital right management violated consumer protection laws."



    If that article is incorrect, you have a point, but it sounded to me as if DRM was a big part of the consumer group's complaint.
  • Reply 54 of 69
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:

    You don't get it. Yes, analog and digital are very different, BUT lossy compression introduces some vaguely analog-like problems back into equation, especially when it comes to multi-generational decode/encode cycles.



    The reason for this is different from analog. The digital file works nothing the same as the analog waveform in the first place.



    Quote:

    Even if you never dropped any frequency bands, and never reduced the resolution of any frequence bands, simply going back and forth from one numerical representation to another would cause generational sound quality loss due to computational rounding errors.



    This is not a generational loss in the same sense of an analog loss. You cannot always make a clean transfer from one digital codec to another, because the information was a representation of the original sound in the first place. That is a digital phenomena that has no relationship with analog audio which is a literal recording of the original sound wave.
  • Reply 55 of 69
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by TenoBell

    The reason for this is different from analog. The digital file works nothing the same as the analog waveform in the first place.



    Gee, I'd never have known THAT without your expert testimony here. Please, professor, tell us more!



    As I originally said, emphasis added: "a generational loss in sound quality, roughly equivalent to what happens making analog copies of analog recordings"



    While the mechanisms of degradation are different, multi-generational lossy compression adds noise and distortion with each generation. That sounds "roughly equivalent" to what happens in analog recording to me.
  • Reply 56 of 69
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    You are mixing concepts that are not the same.



    Sound degradation from compression or codec interoperability problems is not really the same as analog generational loss.



    Quote:

    Please, professor, tell us more!



    The analog equivalent of digital compression is called band-pass filters.
  • Reply 57 of 69
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
  • Reply 58 of 69
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by TenoBell

    The analog equivalent of digital compression is called band-pass filters.



    Christ on a crutch, you are being thick!



    ROUGHLY equivalent. ROUGHLY.



    As in "you might want to be careful about this, because just like in the old days of copying one cassette to another cassette, the second cassette isn't as good as the first, so be careful".



    Besides, lossy codecs do much more than bandpass filtering. Other parts of the process, such as allowing selectively decreased bit resolution, introduce quantization noise, with an effect very much like good olde-fashioned analog harmonic distortion.



    To the extent bandpass filtering often favors against high and low frequencies, cumulative frequency response deviations can also show up, again in a ROUGHLY similar manner to analog.
  • Reply 59 of 69
    Quote:

    Originally posted by shetline

    From the article at the top of this thread (emphasis mine):



    "The group argued that Apple iTunes terms of service is in violation of Section 9a of the country's Marketing Control Act and also said that iTunes' digital right management violated consumer protection laws."



    If that article is incorrect, you have a point, but it sounded to me as if DRM was a big part of the consumer group's complaint.




    Oh, shit, you're right. I'm apparently only half awake today. Sorry
  • Reply 60 of 69
    mark2005mark2005 Posts: 1,158member
    I just read the letter.



    1. Shouldn't they also send a letter to every music download store in Norway that uses DRM, since those stores also do not allow consumers to freely use their legally purchased music (I assume this is limited to computers and media players)? And those other stores reserve the right to change the contract. Of course, WMA-protected stores also do not allow their music to be played on non-Windows computers. Shouldn't Microsoft or those other music download stores be required to make player software that works on a Mac? In a NYTimes article (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/09/te...cnd-apple.html), it says "It's not particularly healthy for any one company to have such a dominant share," said Peter Jamieson, the chairman of the committee. "We would advocate that Apple opts for interoperability." Well, it's not healthy for any one company (MS) to have such dominant share in the computer market. I don't see Norway saying that MS should opt for interoperability.



    2. Shouldn't they also send a letter to every online download digital media retailer, including software companies, since they also disclaim responsibility for any viruses? i.e. Apple for Software Update, Microsoft for Windows update, Google for any of their software, Adobe for Acrobat Reader/Flash, etc.



    I just think singling out Apple is discriminatory. The quote shows they are driven by heading off the dominance of Apple. Otherwise, he should've said market share doesn't matter - the principle of free usage is the point.



    The other point of course is if you don't like the contract terms, you don't have to buy it. Absolutely no one is forcing them to use digital downloads to listen to music. Hey, Sony still has CD Walkmans for sale. And this is nowhere near as bad as being forced to use Windows PCs as the only method to transact business with a government.
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