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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Suicide by Silverlight?

Muktware caught my eye this morning via Google reader.  the title?

LoveFilms Goes Suicidal, Ditches Flash For Silverlight

Say what?  But, but....I thought Silverlight was dead


Apparently not.


As quoted from the Muktware article:

 

"LoveFilms, an Amazon company, is ditching the dying Flash technology for already dead Microsoft's Silverlight. The move gives indications that Flash will soon lose its significance on the PC as well. Adobe recently announced killing Flash on mobile platforms.

The bad news is the insecure Hollywood studios are going with Microsoft's non-standard technology Silverlight. I wonder if Microsoft pushed for Silverlight as it sees Adobe killing Flash fo good."

So which is it?  Is the rumor of Silverlight's death grossly exaggerated or does LoveFilms know something we don't?

It's obvious that the MPAA has their greasy hands all over this decision, and there is probably little doubt that any licensing agreement between LoveFilms and the content owners was contingent upon them switching over to Silverlight.

 Duh....I figured that all out on my own.

Let me 'splain something to those that demanded this change-over. 

The people that are "stealing" from you are going to do it regardless of whatever bullpoot DRM you put up as an obstacle.  Fact is, there are streaming websites that locate themselves WAYYYY out of the legal reach of the "AA's" and US law.  Some of the servers are physically located in places like Tonga, The Bahamas and Sweden. They show stuff literally minutes after its first premiere or showing.

I can usually watch a television show that aired PST just minutes after it airs in my time zone...without the bloody commercials.  You have no idea how much that in itself is of value to me.  I despise television commercials, almost as much as the ones they now want me to watch in a movie theater.

The particular site I use does not actually host any files but acts as a link page for those that do....and there are a lot of them.  One movie or TV series episode might be listed under 10 or more servers showing the same program.  Recently this "linkpage" was taken down by British authorities and the site operator was arrested.  No sooner did he make bail, he purchased new servers, registered his website under a .ms domain and they were back in business.  Downtime?

 About 4 days.

At this moment. I have 11-11-11 paused as I write this entry.

Yeah, it might be a cam or a screener but as one who boycotts the movie houses anyway, I get to watch it in the comfort of my home, and with the aid of a certain Firefox extension, I can slide the burned disk of said infringement into my "playsanyformat" box and watch it on a 42 inch TV screen.

These devices were, at one time, considered illegal via the DMCA for import into the US but said laws were challenged and they are available in some stores and most places online.  I payed 45.00 for mine but prices range extensively so shop cautiously.

So what good does this move to Silverlight do....I mean outside of the Microsoft Counting Rooms?

Again, DRM hobbles the legitimate user and provides a few giggles for everyone else.  See, I never "pirated" a thing until 2000.  That's the year Metallica and Dr. Dre sued Napster and the whole filesharing thing got dragged kicking and screaming into US awareness.

I made it a point to download every single song I could possibly consider enjoying that same day.  My entire music collection consists of 419 illegally downloaded songs...songs that I still play on a weekly basis.  I would no sooner purchase a major recording company CD or a movie DVD than I would girl-slap Mike Tyson.

 When the artist gets a more proportionate share of the sale, then, I will re-examine my stand.  But while the RIAA siphons off the real money percentage-wise...well, I personally cannot condemn the practice regardless of how wrong it might be. My last foray into the seedy world (sorry) of music downloading?


Nickleback.  That gives you an idea of what I think of most commercialized music since then.

Case on point, I've bought The Who - Who's Next album/CD six times in my life.  It either gets scratched, lost or just plain worn out.  Since the year 2000, I haven't purchased a replacement copy once.  My opposition to a heavy-handed RIAA saw to that.  So instead of discouraging pirate behavior, you've encouraged it?  How many other customers have done the same thing worldwide?  I would guess a bunch.

I can name one sweet old lady who did the same thing.

As soon as I get some clarification on certain statute of limitation laws, I will tell you a story about something I was involved in between 2001 and 2003.  I am proud to have been a part of this "project", although I've never talked about it publicly.  

But I will if I can.  I think you will like it.  Stay Tuned.

All-Righty Then

 


24 comments:

Anonymous said...

DRM is a great technology which protects content providers from unscrupulous thieves (e.g. freetards) who seem to have it in their heads that everything should be free.

Luckily the laws of many a country are prosecuting theses thieves.

:D

Michelle Minkin said...

Luckily the laws of many a country are prosecuting theses thieves.

Theses thieves? Did you mean thesis thieves? Probably not.

Fortunately, many more countries are not. Caught up with Swiss news lately?

Make the content available to those who want to purchase it and you'd see piracy decrease dramatically. Netflix switching over to HTML5 will increase their subscriptions by an entire continent or two. Now, with this Amazon holding switching over to Silverlight, how do you suppose Linux users are going to access the content on that site? Not that it really offers anything especially entertaining. They won't. They'll find it other ways.

Thanks for the tip on fastpasstv btw.

Note to Ken. I like to see the first comment on your blogs as flamebait. That means you've pissed someone off. Unfortunately, said moron doesn't have enough conviction of belief to sign his name to his comment.

Call me after 8 my time. Satphone will be on from 8 to 9. I want to talk about some parts donations for HeliOS.

Chelle

Kevin (Whizard72) said...

Well the music industry has made music available cheaply through places like iTunes and such but for movies I don't download them, I get them somewhere and rip them and then watch it when it's convenient to do so It's kind of like a DVR without the DVR.

Am I a thief? These videos don't leave my house, they're stored on my personal drives for my personal use. If I shared with the world, I think then I would be a thief.

What I do is NOT fundamentally different from recording to my DVR and watching whenever I like.

Gavin said...

Anonymous #1 - "DRM is a great technology which protects content providers from unscrupulous thieves (e.g. freetards) who seem to have it in their heads that everything should be free."

First of all, I think this blog post has made it quite clear that DRM is NOT protecting the content providers at all. Did you actually open or mouse over any of the provided links?

Secondly, I ultimately have no interest in protecting the rights of the content providers. My interest lies with the content creators. Those who make great content should be rewarded, and such is not quite the case today.

Legally, I "walk the line" and pay my own way, but only because of fear, not respect or love; and even then the content providers receive very little from me annually. What was it that Machiavelli wrote about fear and love? It is better to be feared than loved, but better still to be both feared and loved? Being one who believes that DRM is "a great technology" I have no doubt that you could quote The Prince far better than I.

Adam Gonnerman said...

The entertainment industry in general has been way too slow in figuring out a means of delivering content affordably online, choosing instead to attempt to defend a dying medium (CDs and to a lesser extent DVDs). Adopting a very limited solution for streaming videos, such as Silverlight, is only further evidence of how far out of touch with the real and potential market the industry is at this point.

Anonymous said...

I read Ken talk about FastpassTV a couple of months ago and since, I don't think I've used BT for anything. I live in the EU so many of the movies I want to see are delayed or just are not available here. I never did "collect" or share movies I downloaded from BT. I deleted it when I finished watching it. Fastpasstv gives me the freedom to watch it at my leisure without incurring the wrath of my ISP should they catch me downloading movies.

So is watching movies on FastpassTV stealing. No, it's taking advantage of an option that is open to you. With the hundreds of servers and sites offering this same service for free, I think the MPAA is screwed. They will die a death of a thousand cuts.

Gavin said...

As to the technical side of the issue, Silverlight was indeed on the chopping block within MS, and still is, but as far as I know it is being allowed to continue as a zombie until HTML5 is completely done. Completely done as far as MS is concerned, at that. IE10 and its HTML5 capabilities will need to be a sufficient platform for the delivery of content previously handled by Flash and Silverlight before MS will finalize Silverlight's death. MS had to bow to customer demands (customers such as NetFlix) when it first tried to announce the death of Silverlight.

From a business perspective, this is a very wise choice on the part of MS. But it does mean that the rest of us must suffer with zombie-Silverlight until IE10's HTML5 engine is up to snuff, which will probably be several months after Firefox and Chrome are playing in HTML5 land.

tracyanne said...

I am another person who once would never have "pirated" media. Unfortunately the media companies make it too difficult to do things any other way.

I haven't rented a movie for nearly 10 years, I haven't been to a movie theatre in at least that long as well. Yet I've seen all the current movies that interest me, nor have I purchased music in about as long.

To the person who mentioned itunes, I don't have it, nor do I have access to it, you see I don't have a Mac nor a Windows computer.

Alan Moore said...

I don't like "big media" any more than the next free software advocate, but I sense a bit of hypocrisy here, ken.

If I were pirating Windows or Photoshop, you'd probably ask my why I'd break the law to have those things when I could be running Linux or Gimp legally for free.

So when there are thousands upon thousands of artists releasing music under creative commons and other free media licenses, why are you infringing the copyrights of "proprietary" music?

How about supporting some of the artists you can find through these services who aren't trying to prevent you from listening?

Blog of helios said...

Alan if you read what I said, you would see no hypocrisy at all. The last song I downloaded "illegally" was "Feeling Way Too Damn Good" by Nickleback...that was what...2003? I'm a child of the 60's. All the music I care to listen to, I got on that download "rampage" in 2000.

How about supporting some of the artists you can find through these services who aren't trying to prevent you from listening?

Two reasons:

Most any of the type of music I enjoy hasn't been written in a decade or more and most of what is out there now, in my opinion pretty much sucks.

For me, music is more like a warm blanket. I like the heft and feel of MY blanket...I don't want to use a different one every time I feel the need for a blanket. I like MY blanket. I don't feel the need to "discover" new music Alan...I'm more than happy listening to my collection and letting the younger around me listen to theirs.

And a third reason that comes to mind... Any music I downloaded then was done as civil disobedience. Right or wrong, that was my motive.

Hans Bezemer said...

I wrote about this a long time ago and predicted this behavior. The reason is simple: unprotected content has a higher value than protected content. You can copy, convert it, basically do everything you like. And why not? You got a LICENSE to that content - and don't argue me about restrictions, I'm protected by Dutch law. There is not a single judge in Holland that is gonna convict me for breaking protection and using the content myself. I even suggested a higher price tag for unprotected content if they want to continue their business model. The problem with the industry is that they are completely unable to "think" in terms of the digital era: to them the content is BOUND TO THE PHYSICAL MEDIUM. There are even idiots in the industry that are still public talking about phonograph records (vinyl they mean). That perfectly illustrates the gap between their them and their customers.

Alan Moore said...

Most any of the type of music I enjoy hasn't been written in a decade or more and most of what is out there now, in my opinion pretty much sucks.

For me, music is more like a warm blanket. I like the heft and feel of MY blanket...I don't want to use a different one every time I feel the need for a blanket. I like MY blanket. I don't feel the need to "discover" new music Alan...I'm more than happy listening to my collection and letting the younger around me listen to theirs.

And a third reason that comes to mind... Any music I downloaded then was done as civil disobedience. Right or wrong, that was my motive.


Believe me, I understand. I am well past the age of being interested in finding new music myself.

But my point is this: you have a group who is offering their work under reasonable terms, and a group who is offering their work under restrictive and unreasonable terms.

Would you do the same "civil disobedience" if the works were software? Does the "warm blanket" excuse work if it's MS Office or Windows XP?

And does such an act ultimately help or hurt the cause of free/reasonably-licensed media?

I'm not calling you out here, nor do I begrudge you your warm blanket (I have my own, to be fair). I just hope that as a prominent proponent of free software, you consider the larger impact of what you're condoning here. Copyright reform is bigger than software.

Blog of helios said...

I don't disagree with you Alan and I raised holy hell over a recent HeliOS client pirating Windoze 7 for the very same reasons.

Surely it is wrong to pirate anything whether it's music or software and we get the "but I know Windows, I don't know Linux" argument all the time but that still doesn't justify stealing it...just as my "justifications" for downloading music are lame...it's just what I did at the time.

Physically, there is a huge difference between software and music. Philosophically, not so much. Most people pirate software from necessity, not recreational needs. If I enjoyed the newer music, of course I would purchase it, but I don't. Does that mean I would continue to pirate stuff I do enjoy? No. I might rip it from a friends CD, but I wouldn't pirate and share it.

However, if a piece of open source software does not do what I need it to do and a proprietary title does, I will buy that software. Philosophies split from pragmatic reality when dollar signs are introduced into the equation. I can't in good conscious recommend a FOSS title to a client when I know it won't meet her needs any more than I would pressure someone into spending money on something when a FOSS title would do nicely.

Gavin said...

It is an interesting discussion, but I wonder how much of it is related to the differing fundamentals of static content vs non-static content.

Software is a special breed of "content" in that it is non-static and has extremely limited value beyond a certain time frame. It eventually becomes obsolete because of the fact that software and hardware are linked so closely. Win98, for instance, would not even install on a modern PC, just as I imagine Fedora Core 4 would have difficulties even running. Yet music from 1998 is still perfectly valid as music and "runs" just fine on modern MP3 players.

Movies are largely static as well (unless you are George Lucas) and retain their validity for decades; in fact, I doubt there has ever been a movie that has become "obsolete" as a movie. Books and other writings are similar. This lends itself well to the idea that you can "buy" static content once and enjoy it indefinitely. Or can you?

What if a music CD becomes scratched? What if a book gets wet and moldy? What happens to VHS tapes after you watch them 200 times? Conversely, what happens to digital content when the electric grid goes down?

I wonder if the Mayans ever struggled with such concepts. Could they have ever conceived of the notion that later visitors to their cities would be unable to read their written language? Could ancient civilizations have ever thought about the fact that their method of recording history was proprietary? What is the history of lost cultures but a George Lucas take by modern scholars? If the proprietary method of accessing information is no longer available, is the information still valid? Or have we obsoleted it by our own inaction?

WorBlux said...

"DRM is a great technology which protects content providers from unscrupulous thieves"

It's actually

"Digital Restiction Management is a treacherous technology that prevents fair use and archival activities, while it unscrupulously protects media conglomerates from competitions. DRM techs are patented and illegal to reverse, thus excluding players not already established in the cartel from their field.

Besides that the term of copyrights are insane. In an age where the production, advertising, and distribution of a work can occur faster than ever before, protections on such works last longer than ever before.

Anonymous said...

So when there are thousands upon thousands of artists releasing music under creative commons and other free media licenses, why are you infringing the copyrights of "proprietary" music?

I can't speak for Ken but for myself, I think most of the CC music sucks. I spend an inordinate amount of time looking through the titles and I've maybe found two songs I like. I even bought one or two for my collection but for the most part, I think they are garbage

How about supporting some of the artists you can find through these services who aren't trying to prevent you from listening?

See above answer.

Viktor Rabe said...

If you don't want to support the entertainment industry (and there are plenty of reasons not to support them), just don't buy their stuff. But don't go about bragging how you pirate stuff, patting yourself on the back for doing so. Sticking it to the man ... yeah. Are you still stuck in the teenage rebel phase?

The problem with you people is that you don't have principles. You don't want to pay for the cake, but you sure want to eat it.

Two things are utterly wrong with your approach:

1. Pirating instead of boycotting will give the entertainment industry ever more excuses for justifying their misguided actions.

2. Pirating is not justified, however you look at it. Of course the smart people will remind me very soon that a digital copy is immaterial, and therefore nothing of value is lost. But that doesn't matter. For a certain item, be it a movie or an music album or whatever, you would've had to pay money to the copyright holders. If you deny them that then you basically deny the free market.

Sure, you can't (at least not easily) waltz into a car dealership and steal a car. But you can easily get almost anything digital somewhere on the net. There's a huge discrepancy with regards to the "easiness" factor. And yet, that doesn't mean you should, just because you can. Or does it?

That's why I hate supposedly pro-consumer campaigns like Don't Make Me Steal. It's more like Don't Make Me Laugh. Their demands may not be unreasonable, but their delivery clearly shows the inevitable hypocrisy involved: "fulfill our demands or we'll take what we want 'by force'".

I like what you do, Mr. Starks, but this is clearly one of the most ridiculous posts you've ever written.

Randy Marshall said...

@ Victor.

but this is clearly one of the most ridiculous posts you've ever written.

Actually, this is one of the most forthcoming posts he's ever written. See, I watch people like you just lurk until you can pounce on someone who opens up and dares to say something that might bring him criticism. You say people like "him" have no principles? He's probably one of the most principled bloggers I've read.

Sure he admits to pirating music in the past. Like you friggin' have not. He wasn't bragging in my opinion, you weren't reading...OR you were reading what you wanted to read.

Starks doesn't condone piracy, he even said he will watch movies on streaming services instead of using a bit torrent client.

At least he published your semi-incoherent and rambling comment. It's probably more than I would have done.

Anonymous said...

Who the f*** is this self righteous VicKtor prick?

"fulfill our demands or we'll take what we want 'by force'".

I have signed that petition and I have read every word, every link on that site. It doesn't say anything about "or we'll take what we want..." The above poster is right. You are reading a lot of fantasy and projection into stuff bubba. It's gotta suck to be you without medication.

Bernard Swiss said...

In response to:
"So when there are thousands upon thousands of artists releasing music under creative commons and other free media licenses, why are you infringing the copyrights of "proprietary" music?"

Anonymous replied:
"I can't speak for Ken but for myself, I think most of the CC music sucks. I spend an inordinate amount of time looking through the titles and I've maybe found two songs I like. I even bought one or two for my collection but for the most part, I think they are garbage."

Welcome to the history of popular music. And to Sturgeon's Law (Sturgeon's Revelation, if you prefer) "ninety percent of everything is crap" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturgeon's_Law . He was talking about literature, but it holds true in all the arts, and all the sciences (and horribly underrates the problem in politics).

And there is plenty of good Creative Commons licensed music. Here in Canada, "Spark", a national CBC radio program focused on "digital' and technological stories, had excellent reception to their use of CC licensed music in their broadcasts and podcasts. But they eventually found it necessary to replace using CC works with those licensed under more traditional licensing arrangements, out of more traditional, proprietary catalogues. The listening audience was very unhappy -- both on account of principles, and because they liked the showcased, CC music very much.

Besides, Louis Armstrong died a long, long time ago -- he won't mind me listening to his music...

Jason DeLeon (Jaisnap) said...

Da** Viktor, go get a girlfriend or something. You rant like someone with something terribly wrong in their life.

In the first place, boycotting or "voting with your wallet" does not and never has worked as a means of sending a message to anyone. As long as the main market demographic for mucic CD's is 14 year old girls, then your "boycott" is so much pi** in the wind.

Helios didn't brag about pirating. He simply stated that he did and offered his justification for doing so, and readily admits here in his comments that his justification might even be lame.

The fact is, he makes some pretty good arguments for pirating, even if it is wrong. I think the majority of us have helped themselves to some digital recreation at one time or another. Even you have, I am sure. Your post just comes off as self righteous silliness, and if I had about 30 minutes, I'd drill a million holes in your logic but for most of helios readers, it would be redundant.

And just a helpful piece of advice. Before you go addressing any group as "you people", then making blanket statements about their behavior, you might want to take a better look at who "you people" are.

Blog of helios said...

Besides, Louis Armstrong died a long, long time ago -- he won't mind me listening to his music...

You and me both Bernie...I enjoy him immensely. - h

Anonymous said...

I 'll be happy if Silverlight die. Every site I use to watch passed from other technologies to Silverlight are now heavier and slowier the before. Everytime a new technology is slower and heavier than an older one I'm disgusted. Some videogames now , needing for 4GB ram and fast processor ,are crappier than games on the commodore c64 of the '80.Maybe programmers now are crappier than before.

Steve - Italy.

Kevin (Whizard72) said...

Who does this Viktor a-hole think he is? People in this country are losing entire life-savings, retirements, etc and yet companies like Microshit are doing business-as-usual with their $180 biannual OS 'upgrades' and $150+ overrated office suites.

Don't even get me started on Zune. Pay this much a month, get as much as you want but you don't own ANYTHING. Really? Really?

While Microsoft's stock has been flat for 10 years, Apple's continues to climb while selling new copies of their OS for $30 for a FULL VERSION and no activation or any other DRM of any kind. Apple's OSX (based on BSD/Unix) has proven flexible as it runs on iphones, ipods and ipads seamlessly while looking at windows phones and tablets makes me laugh. A lot.