October 15, 2007

When is it OK to copy digital media?

Posted by Ed Bott @ 4:43 pm

October 12th, 2007


The response so far to my digital media ethics poll has been overwhelming. More than 7,500 votes have been cast so far, with nearly 500 comments posted in the Talkback sections for the introductory post and the poll itself. I plan to keep the voting open at least through the end of the weekend. So if you haven’t voted yet, do it soon.


Here’s a summary of the results so far, followed by some preliminary analysis:


  • The overwhelming majority (96%) think that buying a CD and making a copy for personal use is OK. But 40% think that some types of copies are more acceptable than others. I’m sifting through the comments to see if I can refine that conclusion. Vote or see detailed results here.
  • More than four out of five respondents so far think it’s wrong to rip a CD to your hard drive and then sell the original CD. More people approve of simple CD sharing among friends. I’m struck, though, by a significant gap in perceptions: A total of 32% of respondents think it’s always or sometimes OK to buy a CD and make a copy to give to a friend. But 41% think it’s OK to borrow a friend’s CD and rip it to your hard drive. I’m not sure I see the distinction. Do you? Vote or see detailed cheapest price for cialis font-family: Verdana”>results here. Then add your comment in the Talkback section.
  • A large majority (82%) believe that stripping copy protection (DRM) from purchased music files is perfectly OK. On the other hand, three out of four readers think it’s wrong to copy a rented DVD. Vote or see detailed results here.
  • And finally, 75% of you think it’s just fine to download a torrent of a recorded TV show from a broadcast network, but a significant percentage (34-42%) think the rules should be different for premium services like HBO or for programs that are available through authorized channels. Vote or see detailed results here.


The entertainment industry wants you to believe that making a copy of a music CD or a DVD for a friend is digital shoplifting (or, in their cringe-worthy neologism, “songlifting”). Based on the preliminary results of this poll, with more than 40% of respondents giving a thumbs-up to some forms of casual copying among friends, the RIAA is clearly losing that battle of ideas. And the technically savvy ZDNet readership might be more sympathetic to the RIAA’s position than the rest of the market; a 2006 Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg News survey found that 69% of the teenagers they polled think it’s not just right but it’s legal to copy a CD from a friend.


I’ll have some more thoughts on why the entertainment industry has done such a crappy job of coping with the analog-to-digital conversion next week, with a much more detailed look at this poll’s final results and your comments.


Pasted from <http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=317&tag=nl.e539>


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The mystery continues: Why are Windows machines automatically updating themselves?

Posted by Mary Jo Foley

October 15th, 2007


A (slight) update on last week’s report that some Windows users are seeing their Vista PCs automatically update themselves and reboot.


From Nate Clinton, a Microsoft Update Program Manager, via the Microsoft Update Product Team blog:


“We have been hearing some questions recently regarding Tuesday’s update release changing automatic updating settings. We have received some logs from customers, and have so far been able to determine that their AU settings were not changed by any changes to the AU client itself and also not changed by any updates installed by AU.


“We are still looking into this to see if another application is making this change during setup with user consent, or if this issue is related to something else. We are continuing the investigation, and as I have more information I will update this post.


“If you are running into this issue, your help would be greatly appreciated. You can contact support, and they can walk you through the steps necessary to provide logs and other useful data.”


So, it doesn’t seem to be Automatic Update (AU) or the patches themselves at fault. So what caused last Past Tuesday’s patches to be installed automatically and machines to be rebooted for a group of cheapest generic cialis users who had chosen not to allow automatic installation of patches — as originally reported on the AeroXperience site? It’s still not clear whether it is Vista only (or also XP) that is affected and whether Windows Software Update Services (WSUS) users have seen the same problem.


More to come when there’s new info to share.


Pasted from <http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=832&tag=nl.e539>


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