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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Digital Rights Terrorism.

Before I start my rant, I would like to say that we should all fight software pirates. I believe that the software pirates should be hunted down where ever they are and taken out. Pirated copies of software is a major source of destructive viruses, often avoiding detection by anti-virus programs designed to prevent infected files downloaded from the Internet. These pirates and hackers have the know how that enable them to navigate through binary code. With that knowledge they attack license management systems and valuable algorithms. Piracy is theft, plain and simple, it's smash and grab, no doubt. Theft is theft and should be punished, and intellectual property is no different. We can see that much of it is an inside job. Why is it that companies are willing to make every one suffer at the hands of an invasive DRM scheme, but they can’t seem to take a few basic steps to find the person or organization that has sold them out? I have seen games show up on P2P days or even weeks before hitting retail shelves, how is that possible, I mean really? The marketing and PR companies want you to believe that they are combating piracy of their content with DRM. This is completely untrue. Every DRM scheme out there can be easily defeated by a person with the will, time, and money. So what is DRM really designed to do?

It attacks people that has nothing to even do with the intellectual property war. Terrorist kill civilians and can justify it as the lesser evil in a particular circumstance. Some digital media content publishers claim DRM technologies are necessary to prevent revenue loss due to illegal duplication of their copyrighted works. Just like terrorist if the only way to win (the intellectual property war) is by intentionally targeting non-combatants, then they are morally right to do so. Digital Rights Terrorism does not effect pirates and everyone knows that. Every DRM scheme out there can be easily defeated, any software protection system can be cracked, just as any lock can be picked or any door can be broken.

French video game maker Ubisoft demanded a constant Internet connection in order to play Assassin's Creed II. So now I must have an Internet service provider to play a single player game offline? I already bought the game. Now I must pay for internet service too? How is this defeating the pirates? After Assassin’s Creed 2 was released, the custom DRM was cracked within 24 hours. Days after that their servers used to authenticate the game went down. And guess what? The people who legally paid for their game could not even play it . And it gets even better..For a time the pirated versions were the only working copies of the game.

Blu-ray’s copy protection DRM is based on regularly updated encryption keys. Blu-ray firmware changes on a regular basis. Once a key is compromised, an update is released, which then also requires updates to Blu-ray players. Once again the non-pirates/ non-combatants were attack without mercy. People like you and me who bought a movie but could not watch it. People reported problems with playing the Avatar Blu-ray disc on some Samsung players. It got so bad that Amazon now gives a warning message on their movie’s product page. The Book of Eli, Sherlock Holmes, and Invictus I heard had problems too. Again if you had pirated version of Avatar , you are not affected by this problem. If you legally paid for it, your night can be done. These kinds of copyright protections actually make more people to turn to piracy. If the companies choose use more of this kind of terrorism against consumer non combatants then they may find even more people turning to P2P to avoid the hassles of registering and obtaining licenses for products they legally purchased.

So why not take this war to the people who are raging it? Why not go after foreign governments that have rogue organizations doing this kind of business within their borders. Torrents and p2p networks have made it hard to effectively crack down on piracy and colleges and universities have not done enough on their networks either. We know that the nation of Georgia is the world's top software pirate, with 95 percent of all software used in the country deemed illegal. Why not start there? Its the poster child for intellectual property infringement. Because like terrorist, The Business Software Alliance and others feel its better to go after civilians than they do their real enemies aka pirates.

DRM was a big issue with music downloads, but these days places like currently have non DRM in their downloadable music files. We all remember the Sony BMG CD copy protection scandal of 2005. They used something called XCP. It used a rootkit technology to hide certain files from you on a your own computer and that technique turned out to be a security threat to computer users. One of the uninstallation options provided by Sony BMG introduced further vulnerabilities to computer systems. They realized that attacking non pirates did not make them any friends. It was a black eye and bloody nose for the music industry at large.

We all can agree that Piracy has gotten worse in the world as Internet connection speeds have improved. The Business Software Alliance should flex its business power and hunt them (intellectual property pirates) down...all of them. Bangladesh is also country with a high rate of software piracy along with Indonesia , Vietnam, China and India. Send all your forces to theses gangster nations and protect us all from this underworld. Why not set up snitch funds to reward people for turning in bootleggers. Using DRM Terrorism is wrong. It never hurts pirates and punishes people caught in the the middle. Digital Rights Terrorism attacks the freedom of people who has committed no crime.


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