DRM posts on CNET - Page 4

DRM

Wal-Mart DRM reminder: The nightmare returns

This afternoon, an e-mail popped into my inbox that--at first glance--looked ripe for immediate deletion. The word "Wal-Mart" in the subject was what set me off. But in that split second before my finger went down to send the message into oblivion, something else caught my eye. And, well, I'll let the e-mail do the talking:

Coming upon this note today--in January 2011--made me chuckle, sigh, and shake my head all in the span of about 30 seconds. Really, it's quite depressing to be reminded that there are still people out there who are stuck dealing … Read more

Free e-book downloads for iOS

Enter OverDrive Media Console is an app that cuts out the middleman (i.e., your PC) when it comes to getting free epubs on your mobile device. With OverDrive, you can download library e-books (and audiobooks) directly to your iOS device.

That's the good news. The bad news is that getting the app set up is a major pain, and as e-book readers go, it's mediocre at best. Plus, the selection isn't what we'd call extensive, at least from our test library.

To download books, you must first "Add a Website" (meaning choose your … Read more

Piracy possibility emerges with Mac App Store

A weakness in copy protection--the antipiracy mechanism at the heart of many a digital distribution system--has reared its head with Apple's brand-new Mac App Store.

The store, launched yesterday, includes digital rights management (DRM) technology designed to ensure that only a program's purchaser is authorized to run the program. But a hack distributed online apparently can be used to get around the system in some situations.

Although several have reported successful use of the hack to circumvent copy protection, it stems from problems in how software developers get their applications to verify permission to run, not from an … Read more

OverDrive app for iOS: Free e-book downloads

Back in November I told you about Bluefire Reader, an iOS app with support for the ePub e-book format used by many public libraries.

In other words, you can use it to check out books free of charge--but you had to do a lot of desktop hoop-jumping to make it happen.

Enter OverDrive Media Console, an app that cuts out the middleman (i.e., your PC). With OverDrive, you can download library e-books (and audiobooks!) directly to your iOS device. I just grabbed "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," and I have "The Help" … Read more

Free public-library e-books for iOS

For people who love to read but don't have a lot of extra cash to spend on books, nothing beats the public library. (Thanks Ben Franklin!) Even better, in recent years, many libraries have started offering e-books that you can check out for a few weeks, just like the real thing. Unfortunately, despite the plethora of e-book readers in the App Store, you couldn't read these DRM-protected library titles on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad.

Until now, that is. Bluefire Reader supports not only ePub and PDF formats, but also the Adobe DRM used by most libraries. During … Read more

Bluefire Reader brings free public-library e-books to iOS

For people who love to read but don't have a lot of extra cash to spend on books, nothing beats the public library. Love ya, Ben Franklin!

In recent years, many libraries have started offering e-books that you can check out for a few weeks, just like the real thing. Unfortunately, despite the plethora of e-book readers in the App Store, you couldn't read these DRM-protected library titles on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad.

Now you can. Bluefire Reader now supports not only ePub and PDF formats, but also the Adobe DRM used by most libraries. I just … Read more

VLC for iPhone may get pulled from App Store--by the developer

News of the weird: Remi Denis-Courmont, one of the developers of the VLC Media Player app, has apparently sent Apple a "formal notification of copyright infringement" and asked that the app be removed from the App Store.

Yes, we have apparently crossed over into Bizarro World.

In the old days, it was Apple that did the app yanking, usually for obscure or arbitrary reasons. In recent months, however, the company has lifted--or at least loosened--many of its previous restrictions. Prior to that, it's unlikely the VLC Media Player would have been allowed in the first place.

As … Read more

Classic PC game site GOG.com back from dead

Classic PC gaming fans were thrown for a loop last week when the GOG.com Web site was replaced with a terse message about changing market conditions and the promise of a forthcoming further announcement. The digital distribution service also known as Good Old Games was known for offering officially licensed versions of older PC games, all packaged as DRM-free executable files, suitable for modern operating systems. But with the site down, members could no longer re-download games they had purchased (an important selling point for customers), and the future of this DRM-free experiment seemed shaky at best.

It turns … Read more

Are we at the beginning of a PC-gaming renaissance?

The past several years have seen a steady drumbeat of negative prognostications for PC gaming, both as a creative medium and as a viable business. High-profile releases were steered to living room consoles, with perfunctory PC ports at best, and messy DRM and hardware incompatibility made many of the remaining PC games more trouble than they were worth.

Magazines such as Computer Gaming World shut down (after an embarrassing sponsored name change to Games for Windows Magazine) and the only bright spot seemed to be the online multiplayer game World of Warcraft--even if other MMO entries found it hard to bottle that lightning twice.

No one was more at the forefront playing Taps for PC gaming than myself, having gone from a cheerleading booster to sober realist in the space of a few short years.

Yet, for the first time in a long time, I find myself much more interested in what's going on the PC side of the video game industry than the console side. My office and home laptops are suddenly buzzing with new and upcoming games, including StarCraft II, Civilization V, and OnLive's various streaming-game offerings--whereas this year's big list of holiday season console releases elicits a shrug at best, filled by the annual installments of mass-market cash cows. How did this potential reversal of fortune take place?

First, the companies that make PC games and the consumers who play them all seemingly decided it was OK to stretch the boundaries and leave their respective comfort zones. The seeds were planted over the past few years as game publishers opened the door to new ways to distribute their wares, losing the most frustrating parts of the DRM equation with services such as Steam and Battle.net (say what you will about online authentication, it works a lot better than discs, especially for those of us who like to install games on multiple PCs).

The next step was online stores like Good Old Games that offer classic games for less than $10, completely DRM-free. It's amazing how much goodwill one can build up by not treating customers like criminals.… Read more

YouTube: Why the Flash era isn't over

Google is among the biggest proponents of a collection of Web technologies that reproduce many important features of Adobe Systems' Flash, but it's not yet time for regime change at YouTube.

One of the most important parts of the upcoming HTML5 standard is support for video that can be built directly into Web page without requiring a plug-in such as Flash Player. Other open standards such as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for formatting, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), and Web Open Font Format (WOFF) for typography can mimic Flash features, but Flash's ability to deliver streaming video to multiple … Read more