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Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?

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Simon Ubsdell
Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 21, 2013 at 2:42:10 pm

Adobe are clearly not the only company to have incurred the wrath of its user base by attempting to get a stronger hold over DRM.

There does seem to be a general feeling that aggressive implementation of DRM is a slap in the face for loyal users while at the same time not being as effective against illegal use as software companies (and of course entertainment providers, to reference a much larger case) would wish.

An obvious recent example is the Sim City "Always Online" debacle which has some obvious parallels with this case.

Which way is the balance ultimately likely to swing? Towards the disgruntled user or in favour of the large corporations who are desperate to find new ways to protect their rights and maximise revenue?

Does "people power" actually have a chance of winning in the long run?

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 21, 2013 at 3:21:05 pm

I think it's just going to keep oscillating back and forth w/o a definitive solution emerging.

To extend your video game example, games have been addressing piracy for years in various ways ranging from total lockdown (like the most recent example Sim City) to the recently popular (and polar opposite approach) 'freemium' model where the game itself is free but there are a variety of micro transaction opportunities within the game to generate revenue. I even remember some games in the early 90's where during instillation the game would ask you questions and the answers could only be found in the game's manual. If you couldn't answer the questions the game would stop installing.




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Dave LaRonde
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 21, 2013 at 3:33:54 pm

The "freemium" model you suggest sounds horrible at first blush. Now, I understand you merely speculate, but that one is spooky:

USER: "Hmmm... this clip is a little bit shaky in the middle of the shot. I think I'll use Warp Stabilizer on it"

ADOBE: "That will be 95 cents, please."

I hope that particular scenario never sees the light of day!

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Chris Borjis
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 21, 2013 at 4:03:31 pm

[Dave LaRonde] "USER: "Hmmm... this clip is a little bit shaky in the middle of the shot. I think I'll use Warp Stabilizer on it"

ADOBE: "That will be 95 cents, please."

I hope that particular scenario never sees the light of day!"


On that day I would switch to Avid.



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Matthew Keane
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 22, 2013 at 11:07:15 am

That reminds me of something... A good few years back, Acrobat 4 (I think it was v4, but I could be mistaken) had a 'paper capture' OCR function built in. Then along came version 5 and the OCR function no longer worked in the desktop version, but was an online service. The first five or so conversions were free, and then you had to pay. Funnily enough, that function was rolled back into the desktop version of Acrobat 6, so I'm guessing people didn't react too kindly to paying for a function that had previously been included in the software, but I wouldn't put it past Adobe to try again if it looks like a promising source of income.

Which is probably why I'm not happy about the move to CC. It's not so much the technical aspects, which Adobe seems to be addressing, or even the DRM. It's the fact that Adobe is trying to lock me into a long term financial commitment to them, even though there is no reciprocal commitment - or even a vague roadmap - from them about how they see their products and services evolving. Which functions will be added, or spun out into a subscription only basis? How often will products actually see significant upgrades?


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Chris Harlan
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 21, 2013 at 5:04:01 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "I even remember some games in the early 90's where during instillation the game would ask you questions and the answers could only be found in the game's manual. If you couldn't answer the questions the game would stop installing."

I had forgotten about those!


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 21, 2013 at 3:35:14 pm

And look at what DAZ 3D does. They made their expensive 3D software free, and they sell mountains of assets (models, characters, scenes, lighting setups, textures...) to people who either don't care to, or don't have the time, to create their own. It's a whole new model for them, yet somewhat akin to the old "give them the stapler, then charge them an arm and a leg for the staples".

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 21, 2013 at 4:12:28 pm

To clarify what I was getting at, there does seem to be a growing groundswell of displeasure across the internet among customers of large companies that they are getting to resent more and more the feeling (whether rightly or wrongly) that they are being policed, cornered, coerced, threatened etc.

Whether they are in fact being policed, cornered, coerced, threatened etc. is not the issue - the perception is what is the most relevant thing.

It will be interesting to see if the power of the internet gives the customer back the ability to coerce/threaten/corner in return - or whether the petitions and the outrage will ultimately come to nothing.

How much does it matter in the end if your customers hate the way you do business if they either don't have the choice but to buy your product or they actually quite like buying your product after all?

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Gary Huff
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 21, 2013 at 4:20:53 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "It will be interesting to see if the power of the internet gives the customer back the ability to coerce/threaten/corner in return - or whether the petitions and the outrage will ultimately come to nothing."

Petitions don't effect Adobe's bottom line and of themselves, which is why they are useless. The only thing that will change any of this at all is that if there is enough of the userbase out there who doesn't like this direction and is willing to not renew their subscription, or not sign up in the first place.

If it's significant, you better believe Adobe will do an about-face, no matter what inane "Creative Cloud is the future." dribble their CEO will continuously repeat.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 21, 2013 at 4:28:15 pm

[Gary Huff] "Petitions don't effect Adobe's bottom line and of themselves, which is why they are useless."

I'd be very much inclined to agree.

But I'd have to ask an open-ended question as to whether any business can entirely ride out an internet storm without some damage to its bottom line. Is it possible for a company to be widely and vocally hated across the internet and not suffer any negative consequences?

Is the only significant thing whether or not customers open their wallets and nothing else matters very much in the long run?

Maybe all this PR for Adobe is actually mostly a positive. You can be sure that no potential user of CC is now unaware of what it's all about!

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 21, 2013 at 4:38:27 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Is it possible for a company to be widely and vocally hated across the internet and not suffer any negative consequences?"

If it's possible to quantify brand value - and well, it is, then it's possible to quantify brand value damage.
It would be hard to believe that the adobe brand is currently being nourished.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 21, 2013 at 5:06:48 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "If it's possible to quantify brand value - and well, it is, then it's possible to quantify brand value damage.
It would be hard to believe that the adobe brand is currently being nourished."


I wonder whether we haven't reached quite an epochal moment.

Large corporations are now more widely considered as being fundamentally likely to "do evil" than ever before - whether it's Starbucks, Amazon, Google (so ironically), and (unthinkably) even Apple these days, the list goes on and on. Has it ever been the case in history that so much resentment has accumulated at one time all focussed on this same issue?

The internet fuels this resentment like nothing else in history ever could have managed.

And yet are the corporations actually going to be damaged? Are we perhaps still going to slope back to Starbucks and keep ordering those cheap goods off Amazon and keep feeding our addiction for everything Google makes?

Or is there a sea-change on the horizon?

Cynically you would have to say that the betting is ultimately on the corporations to win. The brouhaha may continue but the actual purchasing decisions won't be that much affected, if at all.

Is there really any dialogue possible between consumers and corporations or is it all merely empty noise?

The other day David Lawrence posted a link to the delightful Cluetrain manifesto:

http://www.cluetrain.com/

A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter—and getting smarter faster than most companies.

Corporate firewalls have kept smart employees in and smart markets out. It's going to cause real pain to tear those walls down. But the result will be a new kind of conversation. And it will be the most exciting conversation business has ever engaged in.


Hmmmm - maybe.

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 21, 2013 at 10:49:32 pm

good read like.

this bit and all:

"But learning to speak in a human voice is not some trick, nor will corporations convince us they are human with lip service about "listening to customers." They will only sound human when they empower real human beings to speak on their behalf.

While many such people already work for companies today, most companies ignore their ability to deliver genuine knowledge, opting instead to crank out sterile happytalk that insults the intelligence of markets literally too smart to buy it.
"

Ah - Pity the poor souls sent out to say that "X company is listening" for that is a looonnnely wicket.... spare him a thought as he staggers from forum to forum, around and around, feet aching, in a neverending cycle, walking through mile after mile of complaints FUD and insult... oh! poor soul...

Also to be fair - its true, a lot of corporate speak is beginning to sound almost silly.

this bit like -
68: The inflated self-important jargon you sling around—in the press, at your conferences—what's that got to do with us?
Maybe you're impressing your investors.


So I couldn't resist:

"Changing the world by changing Adobe.

Within Adobe, we have challenged our teams to make bold changes that serve the evolving needs of the creative community. We know that such change often leads to uncertainty and apprehension, but we passionately believe in a more connected creative process.
"

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Richard Herd
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 22, 2013 at 2:45:36 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Has it ever been the case in history that so much resentment has accumulated at one time all focussed on this same issue?"

Look up: Bolshevik Revolution. ;)


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Tom Daigon
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 22, 2013 at 2:52:34 pm

The latest numbers of folks unhappy with Adobes current license policy.



Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 21, 2013 at 5:30:03 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "But I'd have to ask an open-ended question as to whether any business can entirely ride out an internet storm without some damage to its bottom line. Is it possible for a company to be widely and vocally hated across the internet and not suffer any negative consequences?"

MS, Apple, the major record labels, cable companies, Netflix... they all have riden out internet hatred of various lengths and intensities. I'd say MS might have the crown for longest vilified company on the Internet. Sometimes public pressure makes companies adjust course a little, a lot or even not at all. I think it really boils down to the risk/reward scenario the company has laid out. For example, Netflix dropped the Qwickster idea but it kept the price hikes (some might even argue that Qwickster was red herring designed to allow Netflix to keep the price hikes it wanted while placating the masses by backpedaling on Qwickster).

I think DRM is much more pervasive than most people realize and will only increase as computers become more and more like appliances. I mean, when you buy software for your smart phone or tablet you have no way of reselling it or letting a friend borrow it. Amazon has a feature that allows people to loan their Kindle eBooks to other Kindle users but on the flip side a judge recently ruled that people do not have the legal right to resell songs they've purchased via iTunes. A whole generation of kids is growing up paying subscription fees to stream movies (Netflix) and stream music (Spotify) and whether or not this is the start of a cultural shift regarding the concept and importance of ownership or just a phase of youth is yet to be seen.


-Andrew




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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 21, 2013 at 4:30:20 pm

[Gary Huff] "The only thing that will change any of this at all is that if there is enough of the userbase out there who doesn't like this direction and is willing to not renew their subscription, or not sign up in the first place."

that's really the only point of the petition, and raising any and all even vaguely reasonable or plausible FUD , er, including scaremongering the hell out of activation... it would be to get enough people to hesitate long enough that Adobe might feel they have to improve the terms. Lease buyout after 4-5 years seems to be the preferred middle ground by the some of the guys here and at John Nack's blog.

After all, this isn't apple with FCPX.
If the professional market stops and puts its hands in its pockets adobe actually do sort of have a problem.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Gary Huff
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 21, 2013 at 4:58:45 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "If the professional market stops and puts its hands in its pockets adobe actually do sort of have a problem."

I agree, which is why, even though I've had a great experience with Creative Cloud, I have disabled my automatic membership renewal and have started looking at other options.


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Jim Wiseman
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 22, 2013 at 2:39:54 am

To bring all this back to earth, I will never do my work with software I can only rent, that causes me to lose access to my projects, which are really most often these days either historical in nature or my art. Once you accept this model, you can never go back, no compatibility. For me that would be crazy. I will not fall victim to this mass hypnosis

Adobe's image is their problem. I think it is very badly damaged. CS6 is the end for me unless perpetual license is an option. The latest placative trial balloon: Five years from now, they'll let us out. That is a very slim promise from a company I no longer trust. Who knows where you or I will be in five years, let alone Adobe.

I don't rent my tools, I don't give up my projects.

Jim Wiseman
Sony PMW-EX1,Pana AJ-D810 DVCPro, DVX-100, Nikon D7000, Final Cut Studio 2 and 3, Media 100 Suite 2.1.3, Premiere Pro 5.5 and 6.0, AJA ioHD, AJA Kona LHi, Avid MC, Hexacore MacPro 3.33 Ghz 24Gb RAM GTX-285 120GB SSD, Macbook Pro 17" 2011 2.2 Ghz Quadcore i7 8Gb SSD, G5 Quadcore PCIe


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 22, 2013 at 3:09:16 am

[Jim Wiseman] "I don't rent my tools, I don't give up my projects."

Since all of Adobe's apps require activation servers what is your backup plan for when those servers are unavailable and you need to re-install and/or re-activate your software?




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Jim Wiseman
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 22, 2013 at 4:00:10 am

I don't require 24/7. I assume they will be around for CS6 as long as they will be for CC. I imagine keeping my computers running will be the biggest challenge. I've had very good luck with Macs. Have ~20 year old ones running. I also use five different NLE's. I'll survive without CC.

Jim Wiseman
Sony PMW-EX1,Pana AJ-D810 DVCPro, DVX-100, Nikon D7000, Final Cut Studio 2 and 3, Media 100 Suite 2.1.3, Premiere Pro 5.5 and 6.0, AJA ioHD, AJA Kona LHi, Avid MC, Hexacore MacPro 3.33 Ghz 24Gb RAM GTX-285 120GB SSD, Macbook Pro 17" 2011 2.2 Ghz Quadcore i7 8Gb SSD, G5 Quadcore PCIe


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Ben Mullins
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 22, 2013 at 10:39:42 am

Simon Ubsdell
Large corporations are now more widely considered as being fundamentally likely to "do evil" than ever before - whether it's Starbucks, Amazon, Google (so ironically), and (unthinkably) even Apple these days, the list goes on and on.

I think right now, in the UK at least, any company that provides a service or product that people can't live without is viciously increasing their prices without any fear of serious reprimand. Petrol, electricity, gas, housing rent, food, train travel... if you can't live without it you are going to pay more for it. There are no meaningful regulatory bodies in place that can effectively punish big corporations, all they ever do is launch an investigation or fine them amounts that in the wider picture are inconsequential. Perhaps Adobe figured they now own a suite of products that people can't live without?



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Gary Huff
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 22, 2013 at 1:50:31 pm

[Ben Mullins] "Perhaps Adobe figured they now own a suite of products that people can't live without?"

There is definitely a set of price points where people can live without it.

No one likes Motion (hyperbole, yes), but they'll learn to like it if After Effects alone costs $75 per month to use.


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Ben Mullins
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 22, 2013 at 2:37:45 pm

Absolutely, I think if they keep their prices down and take on board some of the feedback/concerns people have they won't have any problems but once they start to squeeze even Photoshop users will find another tool.



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Chris Borjis
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 22, 2013 at 4:17:24 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "Since all of Adobe's apps require activation servers what is your backup plan for when those servers are unavailable and you need to re-install and/or re-activate your software?"


Months ago adobe provided perpetual keys not requiring authentication servers
for the line of CS2 products for exactly the reason you stated.

Perhaps they will do that for cs 6.



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Is this part of a much wider backlash against aggressive DRM?
on May 22, 2013 at 7:29:48 pm

[Chris Borjis] "Months ago adobe provided perpetual keys not requiring authentication servers
for the line of CS2 products for exactly the reason you stated."


I suppose a System Disk clone would work, too.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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