Tuesday, February 19, 2008

DVD-Jon at it again

Dagbladet reports that Jon Lech Johansen, also known as DVD-Jon has released new shareware (Beta version of course) for filesharing. Thus continuing his cycle of doing nothing but cracking copyright-protection placed there by corporations which for some unknown reason want to protect their product.

I don't see why some people portray DVD-Jon as some kind of modern-day Robin Hood - the Prince of Nerds if you will. All he does is give out crowbars for free and encourage looting. However you want to spin it, his only apparent talent is to gaffle products from creative people and sell it under the guise of some imaginary freedom that people allegedly are being deprived of.

"Because I can" is a very poor reason for theft. "Because their product is impractical for me" ain't that good either - as a consumer, your power lies in whether or not you purchase or endorse the product, not in your ability to steal it. iTunes makes it hard to use a product you have legitimately bought with other applications? Don't buy that product. Simple as that - don't act like having .mp3 files of your favorite artist is a basic human right. There are so many other battles which are actually worth fighting....

10 comments:

Anders said...

Ok, we sort of been through this discussion before, but I want to add a couple of comments to your post anyway.

Filesharing
This is not illegal by default. It just depends on what you share. Filesharing is basically what we do with the Guita Quiz, and that one is completly legal. And if you read the article, it does say that this should be only be used to legit sharing og multimedia files.

I'm not stupid
Despite people's impression of me, I'm not that stupid. Of course this software will be used to share copyrighted material. But that's another discussion.

Copyright protection
This seem to be a biproduct of the program. It breaks iTunes copy protection. Well, as long as it's iTunes protection, I'm all for it. I hate it, because it's not easy to find out what media that are supported to play back those files. And when I discover that I can't play it on my cell phone that I originally bought the songs for, do you really think iTunes will give me my money back? No way, Jose!

But that's not the point. The iTunes software now allows you to save your purchased songs as unprotected mp3-files. It just annoying that you have to let the software convert them before you can play them on any media you want, so why iTunes still "copy protects" their wma-files is beyond me. It may even be feature that is built into DVD-Jons software. If his software let the iTunes software convert it to unprotected mp3s, I can't see how that is illegal.

To summarize, this isn't DVD-Jon's worst project. By far.

Wilhelm said...

Yes we have, and no - we don't agree ;-)

Nope - filesharing is not illegal by default. Neither is selling a crowbar. However; giving out software for filesharing AND breaking of copyright protection is like handing out crowbars during riots. Surely you can't deny that Douchebag-Jon is encouraging people to break the law. Having both features and then stating that *wink wink* this should only be used for legit filesharing *wink wink* doesn't fool anyone.

Who forced you to purchase anything from iTunes? I agree their product sucks, but that's not enough of a reason to screw them over.

While I agree that this isn't the worst thing Douchebag-Jon has done, it follows a trend of him being what he is.

Anders said...

You missed my point. If the software "breaks" the copyprotection of the iTunes file, it isn't any new. The latest iTunes software (which you must install if you wanna buy from iTunes) already has the option to convert the file to unprotected mp3-files. If DVD-Jon software copies those mp3-files, the software hasn't done anything illegal.

My main beef with DVD-Jon is that he takes credit for other people's work. I don't know in this case, but it really smells like he says that he has "made a software that can break the iTunes copyprotection", but when it in reality takes unprotected files already converted by iTunes itself.

Surely you can't deny that Douchebag-Jon is encouraging people to break the law.

Yes, we agree. As I said under the I'm Not Stupid header above: Of course this software will be used to share copyrighted material. Of course it will, but I also see the potential of a legit use of this software. The guitarquiz and soundclips on this blogg is an example of good sharing of media files.

Anders said...

Who forced you to purchase anything from iTunes? I agree their product sucks, but that's not enough of a reason to screw them over.

I only bought from them once. It was nearly impossible to find out that the files where incompatable with my cell phone before you purchased the files and tried them out. That was my main beef. However, I did convert those files into unprotected mp3s, without breaking the copy protection. Any idiot can do that, it just takes time.

I got no beef with iTunes now after they included the option of converting the files to unprotected mp3-files in their software. In fact, there are some rare Rainer-material I can recommend you... ;-)
I only wish that iTunes will include more music. I see iTunes as a great way of making out-of-print music avaiable without the large costs of a new CD production and distribution.

Wilhelm said...

The guitarquiz and soundclips on this blogg is an example of good sharing of media files.

Sure - because it's voluntary sharing of files, unlike cracking of DVDs or CDs with copyrighted content on them.

Anders said...

So, you do not like cracks on you CDs and DVDs?
/end bad joke

This is were we agree. It is too bad that illegal file sharing, or let's just say it straight out: grand scale pirate copying and distribution of other people's work, should be made easier.

And it's too bad that the people from "Pirate Bay" should ruin it for the rest of us. Having kids that goes medival on the CDs/DVDs in my house, I now see the benfit of being able to take backup. And I also welcome any invention that can make it easier for me to copy my CD collection (or other sound files) to my mp3-player/ cell phone. All of the above I think the record companies would think is fine, and they wouldn't dream of including copy protection to prevent me from doing that. The problem is that internet has made it so much easier to mass distribute high quality copies, and the same software that I would like are the same that would make illegal copying easier. Bummer.

Kjerstin said...

Yes! All this online sharing has to stop!

Wilhelm said...

Kjerstin: Do you honestly think the comparison between online "news" articles (or print versions for that matter) and music from CDs holds water?

Or rather; would you like to see a list of analogy breakpoints?

Kjerstin said...

Kjerstin: Do you honestly think the comparison between online "news" articles (or print versions for that matter) and music from CDs holds water?

Well, yes. They're both copyrightable, intellectual property with a certain threshold of originality, which is the prerequisite for copyrightable works. I don't see any differences between music and other intellectual property that's substantial enough to justify why distributors of music should be granted different working conditions than any other creator or distributor of copyrighted material.

Wilhelm said...

OK then.

I think I'll make this into a separate post.