Microsoft DRM – because fuck you is why

I’m not a big fan of the way big companies approach issues of copyright.  Which is to say, fuck those guys!  As a creator of original content the principles of copyright are important to me.  I’d like to find some way to make money from what I do.  I get angry when someone flat out steals my work and makes money from it (which has happened multiple times).

So why don’t I like the actions of the big entertainment companies and their bought-and-paid-for political institutions around the world?  Put simply, because their actions are nothing to do with protecting and enriching artists and everything to do with increasing their controls over consumer behaviour for their own enrichment. 

Often when I say “fuck copyright” people will say that we need copyright so that artists can make a living.  I agree.  Sometimes people will go so far as to say some of the insane behaviour in the US like the introduction of the DMCA and the RIAA suing music fans are good things.  I’m never sure if these people are naive or if they’re fucking morons.

The big entertainment corporations do not give a shit about the artists who actually make them money.  Selling the works produced by creative artists is a massive profit centre for these companies.  Giving fair compensation to the artists is a cost centre.  These companies are frequently guilty of breaching contracts with artists who make them rich simply because they can get away with it. 

I’m not talking about them having some moral responsibility to make artists rich.  I’m talking about them being legally responsible.  They routinely breach contracts because they’re the ones with the lawyers and the artists are the ones with nothing.  They can fuck over an artist, use them up and dump them because there’s always some other poor sucker eager to jump into their place. 

And don’t even get me started on the insanity of suing and criminalising customers.  Again, this is supposed to benefit artists.  So, given the hundreds of millions of dollars these companies have made from lawsuits that fuck over consumers, how much money have artists received?  None, apparently.  It’s getting to the point where some significant artists are considering suing.  If the Rolling fucking Stones can’t catch a break, what chance do you and I have?

The thing that has gotten me pissed off about this all over again is news that Microsoft have decided to fuck over their customers  to an extent that is in no way required by law in an attempt to suck up to big media companies.  Some of the provisions of the DMCA and other laws proposed around the world are outrageous.  But this act of bastardry is not even a requirement, despite the weasel talk coming out of Microsoft.

What sort of moron breaks functionality their customers want for no reason?  Especially when there are alternatives available?  It’s as if they want to push consumers to free alternatives that aren’t encumbered with this bullshit.  Actually, I’d like to think this is all because of some deep cover free software mole buried deep inside Redmond. 

“Hahahahaha” the free software mole cackles diabolically.  “The fools have put in restrictions that will drive more and more users away from Micro$haft products.” (Free software proponents can’t resist calling Microsoft “Micro$haft”.)  “They are sowing the seeds of their own destruction without realising it!”

I would have a lot more respect for a company that was being duped by a double agent than I would for a company that purposely anally raped their customers this way.  Sadly, I strongly suspect it’s the latter.

With this in mind, I visited the good folks at Despair.com to produce the following motivational poster

microsoft - because fuck you is why

I think that says it all.

41 Comments

Filed under Internet

41 responses to “Microsoft DRM – because fuck you is why

  1. DOA

    I avoid using linux on home computers like the plague. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just that I can only read so many man pages before my eyes start bleeding.
    Still I get the feeling that the day is not far when we’ll need at least one non-windows machine in the house.
    And when that day comes I pity the fool who doesn’t know how to use it.

  2. The whole RIAA and MPAA issue is way out of hand. While there are legitimate claims of copyright infringement, you are absolutely correct in calling them fucktards for they way they’ve handled things. When I first read that the RIAA has culled in about $400M and not given $1 back to the artists, it was pretty clear that this had little to do with the artists’ rights (not that I was convinced before).

    Microshaft isn’t any better and I fear that Apple is going down the same road with some of its licensing terms.

    I’m all for giving fair compensation to creators, but let’s be honest and fair about it.

  3. simon

    Fuck that, i’ll set up a decent video recorder and record the screen and seed it on peer to peer networks so anyone who missed the show can find it.
    We can fuck them over too-by countering thier counter measures lol

  4. Vladimir

    DOA: it’s either been a while since the last time you tried Linux, or your demands or hardware are too specific. Recent Linuxes not only became quite simple to use, but, strangely enough, the installation process is easier than the one of Windows. (Not evangelizing Linux, I use Windows, mostly, but “credit where credit is due”).

  5. DOA: I know what you mean, no matter how much some people tell me it’s easy to use I’m a little wary of Linux.

    qiranger: You’re right about Apple, they don’t do their customers any favours.

    Simon: You’ve highlighted another reason their actions are stupid – they can’t possibly plug every hole.

    Vlad: I think I’ll probably get around to trying it one day

  6. custador

    Hell, if it comes down to it I’ll just fire up Fraps and then compress it all to MPEG later!

    Seriously, though, Micro$haft have always made a fortune out of ripping-off other people’s work, so to be honest:

    “Hello Kettle, hello Kettle, this is Pot. You are black, repeat, you are black, over!”

    Seriously: DOS was written by somebody else and Bill Gates paid a pittance for it, Windows 3.0 was a DIRECT rip-off of Amiga Workbench, and Vista actually IS OS-X but not as good! How can a company like that introduce bullshit DRM systems and keep a straight face? And, more importantly, how do I turn it off?

  7. I am a big fan of the Linux movement. But to be perfectly honest, Linux is not as straight forward (relatively) to use as Windows. This is why I still use Micro$oft/Micro$haft products. They are at least unified in their bid to take over the world, one piece of hog bloated, buggy, swiss cheesey security, worthless bell and whistle riddled software at a time.

    However the lengths they have gone to squeeze every last red penny out of their products, customers be damned, ticks me off to no end. OS’s DRMed so tight that we are one step shy of a full body cavity search just to run software we paid for with our own cold hard cash. Nowadays I actually run two systems, one with Micro$shaft Bendovers and the other with Linux. Several flavors of Linux actually.

    And seriously, even with the most user friendly distros like Ubuntu and it’s gazillion variants, some things are a pain. And it’s still all kind of pointless, because at the end of the day there are so many things i need access to that NEED the $haft to run, I’m still stuck with that bloated pile of …

  8. custador: what bugs me most is it isn’t even in MS’s long term interests. How the hell can screwing over your paying customers unnecessarily be a good thing?

    phyre: MS is kind of a painful necessity for many people but I can’t help thinking that every time they make it more painful they move people closer to one of the alternatives.

  9. tc

    I wonder if Microsoft’s marketing people get a little chuckle about comments like “Windows is a necessity for most of us” and “MS is slowly pushing us towards alternatives”. As long as the conversation stays at this level, then MS wins.

    The truth is that there are alternatives, like Linux, that are suitable in most cases. If we computer users knowingly opt for Windows, with all of its restrictions and DRM, then we can blame only ourselves.

    Talk is cheap. Do something.

  10. It’s “Because Fuck You, that’s why”

  11. KevDog

    After install Ubuntu, if anyone states the Linux is hard to use — they are lying to you. I’m not saying there is not a place for Windows, however really Linux is a viable alternative. My 6 year niece was using Ubuntu (using Firefox — browsing the web), and didn’t even know she wasn’t on Windows.

  12. Wally

    Why would you want to watch that shit in the first place, let alone record it it watch again…

  13. Chris

    The reason that M$ can say “fuck you” is because of their deals with hardware vendors. It doesn’t matter if you like Vista or not… it’s still sold on every new PC that you buy. Throw it away and load Ubuntu (and I use Ubuntu as well), you still paid for Vista.

    The reason they’re in bed with the RIAA/MPAA is that they’re angling for sole playing rights for that content. Of course they’re going to be all about DRM because that’s what the studios have decided will save their golden bonuses.

    So, if you want to hurt M$, make sure that “no-OS” and “Linux” are available options for every hardware vendor by continually asking for it. If M$ has to actually compete with their OS, you’ll see them be more responsive.

  14. CousinFucker

    I switched to Mac because linux was too much tweaking and the Mac just works.

    99% of my windows apps have a Mac port or run perfectly well under VMWare:Fusion.

    Vista was made in conjunction with the FBI and NSA.

    Hmmm….

  15. RealityMaster

    CousinFucker, Apple is just as bad as Microsoft with respect to DRM, and are actually WORSE in some areas (for example locking down the iPhone and bricking the phones of people who have worked around their restrictions).

  16. StCredZero

    Once again, it pays to be the middleman! The middleman is always the one with the power. They have the most access to goods and market information about those goods.

    The way to fight power is to disperse it. Linux can be a tool for this, since it dilutes Microsoft’s domination as the OS middleman. What we need is a way to connect fans and artists directly. Also, fans need to start ponying up! Support the artists you love. You always pay in one way or another. Broadcast TV was free, but you ultimately paid by giving up control over what you got to watch.

    http://tipjoy.com/

  17. DrFrankTate

    Linux absolutely ROCKS as a home computer. Anyone who buys a Mac to counter Microsoft’s evil empire doesn’t realize that Apple WANTS to be like Microsoft. Macs “just work” if you want to do EXACTLY what they allow you to do. But it’s pretty painful if you want to do things your own way. Some examples:

    1. Itunes uses Apple’s own proprietary encoding (with DRM) when you rip a CD by default. You can dig into the menus of iTunes to change this to MP3 (which is what IMO most people would want), but it’s pretty hidden.

    2. That stupid, stinkin keyboard that is frustratingly only compatible with Apple-approved software. You can run Windows VMs in VMWare:Fusion, but there are some (very useful) Windows and Linux key combinations that can’t be made on the MacBook/MacBook Pro keyboard.

    I currently use Windows, OS X and Linux, and Linux is in some ways easier than OS X. If you install the latest version of most of the distros (Fedora, OpenSuse, and Ubuntu are the ones I’ve looked at), you’ll be AMAZED with their capabilities. The only reason I don’t use Linux on my laptop is that I have an nVidia card with proprietary drivers that give Linux fits with power management. If the stupid suspend/resume worked on my laptop (I have had no problems with it on desktop systems, but my desktop systems generally just have embedded graphics), I would be using Linux on it.

  18. Not Original

    Original?

    Nice theme…..

    hmmmm…

  19. Ron

    I’ve been using Ubuntu Linux for several weeks and very seldom ever need to read a manual page. The newer versions of Linux are far more easy to install and use than the older versions were. I still keep a dual boot copy of Windows on my machine for a program that doesn’t work well under the Wine windows emulator (see: playchess.com), but that’s the only reason I keep a copy of Windows around at all anymore.

  20. notsobad

    Did you try recording anything else? Maybe microsoft has a feature built in to help you not waste your time trying to preserve the worst possible examples of what passes for television these days.

    Why would you admit to watching that shit? Or trying to record it?

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  22. Martin Konecny

    You forgot to mention that record companies dont share any of the money with artists that they gain from lawsuits.

  23. blund

    Nice post.

    This discussion is important, but I agree with tc:
    – We’re not changing the world by just talking about change.

    Open Source/Free software empowers the users by letting people use their computer the way they want, legally spread their software to their friends, study the code and change it for the better. A free and open application grow and evolve in relation to how many users it’s got. Why? Because if enough users speaks out about a certain bug or a feature they want to see implemented in the application, someone can and will destroy the bug or add the feature, eventually. The building blocks, or source code is there for anyone to grab and play with.

    Linux based, free operating systems like Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE (to name some of the most popular) are a part of the solution. And by using them you don’t have to worry about DRM controlling your files telling you what to do and not to do with them.

    Another step in the right direction is to support alternative record labels like Magnatune.com who distribute Creative Commons-licensed, independent music letting their customers pay 5-18 USD for an album. You pay what you think it’s worth while knowing the musicians get 50 % of the money.

    Just like iTunes has it’s built in iTunes store, the Open Source and free Amarok music player/manager has Magnatune built in so you can listen to and purchase music with a few clicks. And by avoiding iTunes, you’re not allowing one of the biggest sources for DRM-crippled files to grow. You simply vote with your dollars.

    Using, supporting and spreading the word about Linux, Amarok and Magnatune are some of the things I do to make a change. Those are easy steps to take.

  24. John Thomas

    Linux ROCKS! Got a brand new Dell with Vista on it, crashed RIGHT out of the box! What a joke. Hunted down and updated all drivers ( the video driver Dell shipped with was from 2005!) but the laptop still crashed. Wiped the hard drive, reloaded with LInux! No problems since. Imagine that!

    JT
    http://www.FireMe.To/Udi

  25. Dmitri

    I use Linux (ubuntu) at home, on my laptop and at work, and I love it! Yes, there are some issues and problems, but worldwide community is working 24h on them, and it’s a big joy to see progress from month to month, when I update my system. I recommend everybody to try Ubuntu, especially now Wubi (wubi-installer.org) allows you to install Ubuntu without creating any new partitions, which was the biggest problem for many people.

  26. Creative Type

    The DMCA isn’t all bad. The provisions that allow us small-scale creative types have IPs take down our work without going to court is actually quite nice, IMNSHO. It’s easier for me to file a report than to take someone to court.

    Before you get your knickers in a bunch, note that the law allows people to contest a report. So, big companies can’t just do it spuriously and have it stick. If the other side contests the report, then it has to go to court as the next step. At that point, most big companies in the wrong will drop it. But, the DMCA provisions have helped me as a small fry.

    Not to say that the DMCA is all good or god’s gift, but it’s not as 110% evil as some people seem to want to say.

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  28. Joe Rolls

    DrFrankTate, you’re just flat wrong on your complaint number one about iTunes. Yes, the default format for a ripped CD is AAC, not MP3, (for MP3 you just change the prefs in 3 seconds), but even then, AAC is an open standard that is most certainly NOT contain DRM. There is no way in hell Apple is adding DRM to music you rip. The only DRM you get from iTunes is on songs you download from the iTunes store, and even then for most songs you now have a choice of a DRM-free version if you prefer.

    I do hate the keyboard, though I manage to map every key I can think of. But your iTunes point is way, way off base.

  29. evil

    Great article… and perfect argument here.

    All people who whinge at the thought of Linux because it is too hard, quit complaining. It is about as difficult as the difference between driving a manual and automatic transmission car… the choice is between a Pinto with automatic, or a free BMW with manual, and crap, you take the Pinto rather than learn to drive stick? You deserve your fate!

    Seriously, the next person who says Linux is too hard to learn better be over the age of 70 and on AOL, or they need to be severely beaten about the head and neck with a duffel bag filled with their collection of For Dummies books…for our sake, not theirs.

  30. Lerris

    The problem with DRM is that is actually encourages the exact behaviour its trying to stop.

    A ‘legitimate’ user is forced through all kinds of bullshit security, and extra hoops to use what they have, and that functionality is crippled.

    Somebody like me grabs the latest crack (like say the windows genuine advantage killer and the WPA goes the way of the dinosaur too) rips the software wide open and then happily goes about using the product he owns in the way he wants.

    I recently upgraded my system and a buddy of mine nearly shit him self when I didn’t have to phone microsoft to reactivate my system when my hardware configuration changed, and yes i can still use the windows update page just fine.

    Guess what? Instant convert to the dark side.

    Oh and my movie and music collection? Stripped the DRM out in the cases where I couldn’t find versions with no DRM (and yea that means the pirate bay most of the time), this means I’m not living in fear that the company that thinks it ‘owns’ my media will decide to stop supporting a certain type of DRM. Which has happened in the past like the MSN music service.

    Whats it all add up to? People like me who are now criminals for wanting to use the products they bought get an easier time of it than the people who follow the rules big corporations are trying to shove down our throats. More and more people are going the ‘illegal’ route just for peace of mind, I know people who payed for their copy of windows and then asked me to crack it anyway because it was that much easier to use with the bullshit gone.

    I’m not a bad person, I’m not fucking with anybodies IP, but what I am doing is using a product I purchased the way I see fit. I bought it, its mine now. End of discussion.

  31. dude

    DrFrankTate, you’re spreading a bit of FUD, allow me to correct you.

    “1. Itunes uses Apple’s own proprietary encoding (with DRM) when you rip a CD by default. You can dig into the menus of iTunes to change this to MP3 (which is what IMO most people would want), but it’s pretty hidden.”

    Firstly, it’s AAC by default which is not an Apple proprietary encoding (wikipedia is your friend here). Second, there’s no DRM when you rip a CD, it’s wide open, copy those files from iTunes directly to your desktop and send them to your friend/play them in a different app, no problem. Lastly, it’s not hidden it’s right there in the prefs pretty front and center.

    “2. That stupid, stinkin keyboard that is frustratingly only compatible with Apple-approved software. You can run Windows VMs in VMWare:Fusion, but there are some (very useful) Windows and Linux key combinations that can’t be made on the MacBook/MacBook Pro keyboard.”

    This is apple being worse than microsoft? Because they don’t limit their keyboard designs so that they’ll work perfectly with legacy operating systems? Silly. However, even if you did think that made Apple the bad guy, let me mention that I ran windows using virtual pc with a powerbook g4 and I run windows on my fiance’s macbook – the keyboard works great in both because Apple _supplies drivers to you_ for the keyboard. This’ll be a shocker, at work we’re forced to use windows (a decision which costs everyone plenty of time every week due to constant issues) and they supply the crappiest keyboards you could imagine. So what did I do? I _bought_ and brought in my own new aluminum apple keyboard and use it _every day_. Every ‘key combination’ works, and the amount of development I do I’d wager that I use more keyboard shortcuts than most.

  32. dude

    So apple goes out of their way to supply keyboard drivers so you can use their awesome 2008 keyboard with an OS from 2001, and microsoft doesn’t even supply the simplest of utilities so you could use a zune on a mac… And apple is just as bad as microsoft?

    note: Not that I would ever suggest someone use a zune… Just saying😛

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  35. Isaac

    @dude on June 5, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Windows=huge market share.
    Mac=not huge market share.

    therefore, Mac seeks out Windows compatibility; not vise-versa.

    not saying Microsoft is right, here. like, I know some mp3 players allow you to access them as usb mass-storage devices. This would give you easy access from Windows, Mac or Linux (probably even BSD and Inferno/Plan 9)…..

    oh…. .flac, .wav or fuck you.

  36. XD

    DOA, linux doesn’t require thousands of man pages now. Just get Linux Mint (what I’m using) or Ubuntu

  37. Marcus

    Im praying for firefox to support netflix and everything easeley i had other issues with streaming music from wzor 94.7 radio station’s website i believe once obuntu’s firefox supports everything media on the web and does it so easey a windows user can use it i will think that more people would use liniux which is expecially importaint because the few less win 98 users are no longer going to be able to watch you tube because they are ending support for ie6 and all the versions of firefox that you can download now will not run on win98 so they will eventually have to switch to obuntu or run a non ligit copy of xp to use you tube

  38. Over28

    To any external observer, the movie industry is making the same mistakes as the music industry has. the publishers are quite obviously run by fossils that are living in another era and cant grasp the internet.

    Recently i have witnessed a video library close down on the eastern outskirts of Melbourne, leaving legitimate customers of the old model no where to go within a reasonable distance to hire a video, they will just download a rip. my local video library is currently having a major purge of old DVDs to make room for Blu-Ray discs. the store seemed pretty quite. this will have an effect on the behavior next generation, where ripping without contributing is just a normal part of life. the industry is shooting them selfs in the foot by not allowing downloading of the material they own copyright to for an insignificant price which supports the industry.

    I realize that without money being recovered from the production of films, that the funds available for new films will be harder to obtain, reducing the number and quality of new films, reducing choice for consumers.

    The studios have long sort to control the equipment that the content is played back on, and this is becoming more evident now. an old example of what they will try and do if they can get away with is the DRM on minidiscs. and its the consumer that pays for it with more than just money. one example is that DRM slows down innovation, with the entry requirements to develop new applications for the technology far above the reach of the average person.

    It is unlikely that the film industry is going to embrace the future, i think the quality of the material they have been releasing has been mediocre for the last few years and getting worse. we (the citizens of the world) need to take control of our own destiny.

    I propose an alternative:
    *Establish an entirely new movie industry funded from the general public donating to this body using a fund raising model of some form across the whole world, with a charter that ensures that greed is not acceptable practice.
    * the management of the organization would be voted in by the people that donate. and have a wage that is not excessive.
    * The donators vote on what projects get commissioned.
    * The distribution of the final product should be encoded on an open source format, without DRM of any kind, and have a creative commons license after roughly one year from when it is released (so funds can be recovered post production for new productions), as well as all of the source material used to make the production.
    * The decisions should be as democratic as possible.

    There should be more than enough people in the world able to fund a vast array of productions of different generas, of which like minded people can contribute to what they want so see in one way or another. this would make for a very rich world culture.

    I know some of you will be laughing at me now, put i don’t care.
    You the citizens of the world can improve on my very basic idea. hopefully one day it will bear fruit.

  39. painkiller1961

    DRM (greed) has crept into everything, tracking your every transaction.
    the only ones affected by it are the sheep who except it. (80% of FAT, DUMB, America)

    its getting to the point i think my doctor put DRM in my implants!
    we just passed the point of no return for this ball called earth.

  40. Bottom-line: Best choice a high level moderate downloader if torrents are throttled
    or banned for you. This couldn’t be stopped as people get many movies a single cd or dvd besides being able to play it over and over. That covers everything because of this bit torrent file sharing self-help guide to bit torrent file sharing.

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