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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » A tangled web we weave... » » A Manifesto on DRM (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

pghdude80
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I know the DRM issue has been addressed elsewhere, and I hate to beat a dead horse, but I do think it is worth noting that all magicians have the right to protect their intellectual property. I, like many others, do not appreciate secrets being leaked freely over the internet, and it is our responsibility as practitioners of this art to protect it for the sake of those we hope to entertain (if not for ourselves!).

However, I think I can also say with certainty that secrets will leak no matter what. DRM is not a fix-all, and skilled computer hackers will find ways around it (if they haven't already!).

As I see it, DRM does two things. It makes it much more difficult to distribute or share protected material, but it also places significant limits on those who have procured the illusions through legitimate means. While I agree that the protection of intellectual property is important, I also think that they buyer has rights.

One could say that books are a better option, that we purchase the DVD, or that we should simply boycot sellers who use DRM technology. None of these options are sufficient, in my opnion. While books are nice, visual learning is a very effective method as well (more so for some people). I, like many, use my computer for a number of things. If you're going to offer your material as a download, you need to put it in a format that makes computer-based learning relevant. Also, boycotting buyers avoids the original problem: you want to learn a new technique!

I would simply urge sellers to consider carefully the interests of the consumer. That is a very basic element of good business practice. Why would a seller restrict the use of a product that we (your supporters) have purchased leagally...putting money in the seller's pocket! I think we have the RIGHT to back up our files, put them on multiple computers, burn them to discs, easily access and view the material, etc. Moreover, those of us who use computers (such as Mac) that do not support DRM are left out to dry. Like it or not, the computer world does not revolve around Microsoft products.

Of course I appreciate your contribution and the integrity of intellectual property...that's why I BOUGHT the trick in the first place! One needs not go far online to find tricks for free. I have CHOSEN to support the seller. The least a seller could do in return is make their product both informative and useful. The use of DRM is restrictive and, in my opinion, an offense to those who help you make a living doing what you love.

Just my (somewhat irritated) two-cents.

J
MagiClyde
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Ok, I know I'm going to get razzed for this, but what the heck is DRM? Doe-Ray-Me? Enquiring minds want to know!
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
ScottRSullivan
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Clynim,
Easy to not know what it is unless you deal with it on a regular basis.
DRM = Digital Rights Management.
It's basically copy protection for files (video, audio or other files). It can come in the simple form of "Enter password to open document" or a complex form like encryption that is tied to a user's specific computer motherboard chip or hard drive. In cases of the latter two, if you change your motherboard or hard drive, the file no longer opens.

Some DRM is open, some is restrictive. It depends on the person/company who is delivering the content.

J,
I am behind you in your frustration. In fact, I produce videos for magicians and have a direct need for DRM, I still agree with your thoughts on DRM. DRM makes things harder for everyone. I never encode anything with it.

In fact, I produce a magic podcast that I give away for free as mp3 files.

However, there is one thing you mention that I have to pick a bone with. Don't take this as an attack against you. It's just a strong belief I have. You said:

Quote:
While books are nice, visual learning is a very effective method as well (more so for some people).


As Denny Haney said in our last podcast, how exactly did everyone learn just fifteen years ago. How did Thurston, Kellar, Blackstone, Henning, Copperfield or any of the thousands of nameless magicians out there learn magic? They either had a mentor or they read books.

I am at a loss as to why so many people say they cannot learn from books or that "Instant Downloads" are so much easier.

When you think about it, though, books have the ultimate DRM. Only one person can every read it at a time. You can transfer the DRM. It will never be out-dated by a new video format. It will never be deleted by accident. It will never run out of battery power.

And it's way easier to read at the beach! Smile

I'll end there. J, please don't take it as an attack. It isn't meant to be. As I said, I am in full agreement with you regarding the DRM. But I just think books are still the best way to learn.

Scott
Bill Palmer
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I have addressed both of these topics -- intellectual property rights and learning from books -- in my "column" called "from the Wizard's Cave."

I think all of us are on the same page, so to speak, concerning ownership of intellectual property. In fact, I would say that about 10% of the e-mails and PM's I get are from people who are trying to track down the origins of a move or a trick. And the age span is amazing! People who have just been doing magic for a couple of years are very conscientious about this kind of thing.

Books are a wonderful source of knowledge. I see DVD's every day I n which historical information is incorrect or moves are called by the wrong name, and this is by people who should know better. You learn a lot from a book. You often learn historical context. This may appear to be inconsequential, but often it is not. You also learn a lot about the author.

You can tell by reading Ganson's work that he was not from England's upper class. You can tell by reading Walter Gibson's work that he really knew his onions about everything he wrote about, and he knew how to transmit his knowledge clearly.

Sometimes an author's lack of clarity gets in the way.

But if you have the determination to learn from books, you will learn a lot of things that have never been put on DVD's.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
pghdude80
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Hi Scott. First of all, don't worry about offending me, you make an excellent point and I'm always up for spirited debate!

I think you make some very good points when you say:

Quote:
On 2007-05-02 23:11, ScottRSullivan wrote:

As Denny Haney said in our last podcast, how exactly did everyone learn just fifteen years ago. How did Thurston, Kellar, Blackstone, Henning, Copperfield or any of the thousands of nameless magicians out there learn magic? They either had a mentor or they read books.

When you think about it, though, books have the ultimate DRM. Only one person can every read it at a time. You can transfer the DRM. It will never be out-dated by a new video format. It will never be deleted by accident. It will never run out of battery power.



Yes, books are a tried and true method of learning. Goodness knows I've got more than my fair share lining my shelves at home. And, as you note above, they are relatively safe from illegal distribution. In truth, I think you and I are in agreement on the issue. I would, in most cases, prefer a book to a computer file. My point was that there are many who enjoy having a visual demonstration/explanation of a trick over a written/photographic explanation, and that those who use computer technology have an obligation to the consumer. I don't think either format is necessarily better than the other, as both books and videos have their pros and cons.
Yes the greats learned from books, mentors, and live performances...but they also listened to their music on vinyl records, and they drove cars that got poor gas mileage. Technology can help us, and I'd just like to see it start off on the right foot within the magic community.

Thanks again for your comment! Always nice to carry on a conversation with folks who enjoy spirited debate!

Best,

J
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2007-05-02 16:23, pghdude80 wrote:
...I, like many others, do not appreciate secrets being leaked freely over the internet, and it is our responsibility as practitioners of this art to protect it for the sake of those we hope to entertain (if not for ourselves!).

However, I think I can also say with certainty that secrets will leak no matter what. DRM is not a fix-all, ...


IMHO that was a good start and then a nosedive into despair.

Do you want to protect the secrets you have and support an ethos which rewards that behavior and punishes infractions?

Serious question.

As to DRM... IMHO a diseased and dead horse which may be infecting the flies so let's avoid that one.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
pghdude80
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Interesting question Johnathan, although I'm not sure why my first post was a nosedive into despair.

Interesting though it may be, you ask a fairly broad question. Yes I want to preserve secrets. Moreover, I am willing to (and already do) support methods that allow me (and others) to do so...but not when that technology limits and restricts the buyer. Preserving secrets is important, but there are (especially when computers are concerned) many, many ways to do so. I'm not going to support a method of keeping secrets when it punishes or restricts me for behaving properly by buying from the creator/distributor.

DRM is still very popular among many who distribute magical videos, and I don't think the topic is quite as dead as you suggest. There are a number of people who don't even know what DRM is, and I don't want them to fall victim to it.

J
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