Kodi Wants to Beat Piracy with Legal Content and DRM

Megalith

24-bit/48kHz
Staff member
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
13,003
The Kodi team is bending over for copyright holders, and they are even providing the lube. In order to offset their media player’s notorious reputation for powering pirate boxes, the developers may be introducing low-level DRM so content providers could offer legal content through add-ons and such. I smell the potential for a massive exodus, since this idea could blossom into something more insidious.

…the media player is currently considering whether to add support for DRM so that content providers can offer their videos in a protected environment. While some users may cringe at the thought, Kodi believes it’ll help to get rightsholders on board. “Our platform has a lot of potential and we are looking into attracting more legal and official content providers. Additionally, we’re looking into adding low-level DRM that would at least make it more feasible to gain trust from certain providers,” Kaijser tells TorrentFreak.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
30,662
I think it depends on the implementation.

One of the problems with Kodi over time has been that they have taken the moral high ground and opposed DRM, at the expense of features.

While it has been appreciated that they have taken that stance, it has also meant that it has been either impossible or very difficult (depending on the time and the service) to get such things as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc. to work with it, requiring obnoxious hacks and workarounds that never seem to work quite right.

After months of troubleshooting I was finally able to get Netflix to play on my boxes through a hack that launched Chrome in a full screen mode, but it didn't work well, and suffered from tearing.

If done right, it can bee a boon to the platform, if done wrong - as you say - it can result in a mass exodus.
 
Last edited:

Seventyfive

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 14, 2004
Messages
1,347
What's funny is that all the content providers have to do is give customers what they want, most of us are not monsters and we are happy to pay for a good product. I wouldn't even call Netflix all that good anymore (new rating system, most new original content sucks, lost most good 3rd party content) but people still pay for it just fine.

Instead of content makers doing a simple easy on demand OTT solution, they want to completely price gouge, add commercials, delay content, etc... Shocking that people don't like this. Instead, you have pirates offering the content at a higher quality, using a friendlier UI, and for free. If I could have a legal version of the Kodi App I use to watch movies and TV, I'd have no problem paying $50 to $100/mo for it. But it doesn't exist. Things like HULU which is a JV of NBC, Fox, Disney, and TW does a shit job, has always done a shit job, and proves that Hollywood just doesn't get it.
 

aliaskary77

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 18, 2006
Messages
327
as long as i can still continue to play my own ripped media unhindered and not modify anything, i just see this as replacing the streaming add-ons with some officially supported ones. will see how implementation pans out.
 

mashie

Mawd Gawd
Joined
Oct 25, 2000
Messages
4,219
It would be a dream come true if they could add the Kaleidescape DRM/movie store or similar service where we can buy and download bit perfect copies of movies for offline viewing.
 

ianken

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Messages
1,953
If this means Kodi can get a legit Netflix and Hulu? Sure. But I'd rather have a consistent UI (it is ESC or BKSP to exit the current screen? Fucking flip a coin!) and better library management.

To be clear, the major providers of video are never going to go DRM free. I work on a streaming video service. DRM is a huge steaming PITA to work with but content providers are adamant that it be applied.

That is the reality. You can arglebargle all you want about how (take huge bong hit) "the information WANTS to be FREE, MAN!" but that's the way it is.
 

Gigus Fire

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Messages
2,275
this is retarded.
Kodi, an open source media player wants to add low level drm? Does no one see the issue with any of this?
Ohh, so you added drm to your code base? Time to compile the kodi-experimental branch that neuters your drm and allows me to save netflix videos.
 

grtitan

Telemetry is Spying on ME!
Joined
Mar 18, 2011
Messages
1,266
Aahh, the dumb idiots in Hollywood are, once again, ignoring the facts.

They are their own worse enemy.

People want simple and cheap access to their crap, but they insist in making it as hard as possible.

Since Kodi is OSS, someone will just fork it and the fun will continue.
 

RaxusCraxurFace

Weaksauce
Joined
May 22, 2015
Messages
95
What's funny is that all the content providers have to do is give customers what they want, most of us are not monsters and we are happy to pay for a good product. I wouldn't even call Netflix all that good anymore (new rating system, most new original content sucks, lost most good 3rd party content) but people still pay for it just fine.

Instead of content makers doing a simple easy on demand OTT solution, they want to completely price gouge, add commercials, delay content, etc... Shocking that people don't like this. Instead, you have pirates offering the content at a higher quality, using a friendlier UI, and for free. If I could have a legal version of the Kodi App I use to watch movies and TV, I'd have no problem paying $50 to $100/mo for it. But it doesn't exist. Things like HULU which is a JV of NBC, Fox, Disney, and TW does a shit job, has always done a shit job, and proves that Hollywood just doesn't get it.

For real!!!!

I have zero issue at all paying for stuff that I want. I am not going to pay for a huge steaming pile of crap to get the one or two things out of it that I want.

Piracy would almost cease to exist with decent options.
 

Zepher

[H]ipster Replacement
Joined
Sep 29, 2001
Messages
17,657
I haven't pirated music in forever. Because of apple music. They should do something for movies like that. I would buy a subscription.
Apple Media or Apple All Access for $49.99/mo? Access to Music, Movies, and TV Shows. 60 to 180 day delay for new movies before being added to the All Access library, 1 to 3 week delay for new TV Episodes.
Does $50/mo sound reasonable?
 

Edgar

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 24, 2005
Messages
2,633
Apple Media or Apple All Access for $49.99/mo? Access to Music, Movies, and TV Shows. 60 to 180 day delay for new movies before being added to the All Access library, 1 to 3 week delay for new TV Episodes.
Does $50/mo sound reasonable?
If there was no delay. It would be reasonable. I would pay that if I could access whatever. Whenever. On whatever device. Piracy would die. I wouldn't have to buy more storage drives. Totally worth it to me. But that will never happen :(
 

tazeat

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 3, 2007
Messages
1,263
Keep the DRM to plugins, make the implementations clear and not affect other portions of the application, and I don't see this as an issue. BUT if not, it has the potential to be very destructive to the application, especially if any of the owners start selling out and trying to make money off of this.
 

cyberguyz

Gawd
Joined
Aug 28, 2014
Messages
710
If KODI does this I can see its code getting forked off half a dozen ways - all of them without the DRM crap. This is not something those of us that have android streamers would likewise *erhm* bend over for.
 

dandirk

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Messages
1,831
When did DRM ever work?
Piracy exists because there is a huge discrepancy between supply and demand when it comes to consuming media.
All DRM does is fuck over people whose demand is already satisfied by the supply.
Netflix
Steam
AmazonTV
Hulu

Should I keep going?


DRM has worked pretty much flawless in those client based implementations above, for me at least.

I will certainly agree older methods like stand alone DRM, on products like physical PC games, CDs etc have their bumps and problems. The implementations talked about in this case is generally flawless.

As mentioned by another poster the app/client type DRM works well but does create a usability issue because it fragments the content and silos you into a particular app not only for content but their playback as well (I hate Amazon's player controls vs Netflix).
 

M76

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
11,187
Netflix
Steam
AmazonTV
Hulu

Should I keep going?


DRM has worked pretty much flawless in those client based implementations above, for me at least.

I will certainly agree older methods like stand alone DRM, on products like physical PC games, CDs etc have their bumps and problems. The implementations talked about in this case is generally flawless.

As mentioned by another poster the app/client type DRM works well but does create a usability issue because it fragments the content and silos you into a particular app not only for content but their playback as well (I hate Amazon's player controls vs Netflix).
Locking playback in to their player is already a side effect of DRM. I have my own preferred player. And I'll buy content from those who allow it to be played in the player of my choice. And who allows me to download it for my own personal use. These are my two simple demands of any online media provider.
Steam is an exception since you're not playing games inside a player. It doesn't change the experience. Their DRM doesn't affect me at all, and since they allow in house sharing there is nothing detrimental to it anymore.
But netflx is one of the worst offenders when it comes to geolocking content, and taking previously available content away at a whim.
 

RanceJustice

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 9, 2003
Messages
5,923
There is the difference between the ABILITY to offer DRM and making it intrusive, mandatory etc.. Honestly, I'm worried. Kodi ends up in the crosshairs of content cartels because of how many low-end TV boxes/gumsticks bundle the excellent, open source Kodi app (or some horrible fork of it) with shitty addons that link right to prefab pirate content. It isn't Kodi's fault at all and they shouldn't have to answer for it, but nor can they allow themselves to be bullied into restricting functionality so it doesn't happen or otherwise making it obtuse (ie like a paid, licensed "approved" set of repositories or add-ons etc). If end users choose to add a pirate addon to their Kodi install, there shouldn't be any DRM nonsense that freaks the hell out and disables other functionality (ie Addon X won't work because we detected a NO NO UNREGISTERED BAD ADDON THAT COULD BE EVIL PIRATAN). Kodi as a foundation has enough clout/donations to qualify for Wildvine or whathaveyou certification, so I wouldn't have any problem with them adding/bundling an official "DRM Addon plugin" that could be easily enabled or disabled. If this means that Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO Go/Now etc... will make comprehensive, fully compatible Kodi addons (that work on ANY operating system Kodi works on. ) that just so happen to have the DRM Addon activated in order to work..okay, that's fine. Hell, that's great. Provided of course that the DRM Addon ONLY affects certain addons that hook into it directly.

I am concerned however that Kodi is going to be willing to do things wrong in order to protect their "good name" from being associated with the things the content cartel hate, though. This will be the time to write to Kodi and/or donate to them with a note telling them not to be too swift to kiss the ring (or something else) of the hostile content cartels and instead make sure that their improvements never infringe on user experience - even if that user wants to pirate.
 

nilepez

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 21, 2005
Messages
11,695
All I can say is I hope this happens. And to all the pirating whiners: don't let the door hit you on the way out. If I could get Amazon Prime Video and HBO Go (both with 5.1 audio), I'd be thrilled.
All the whiners can just continue pirating all their movies as they always have/will.
 

Shotglass01

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
1,929
All I can say is I hope this happens. And to all the pirating whiners: don't let the door hit you on the way out. If I could get Amazon Prime Video and HBO Go (both with 5.1 audio), I'd be thrilled. All the whiners can just continue pirating all their movies as they always have/will.
This is simply not true. And, especially with us older generation pirates, I'm finding a change. I would want to support content. I would be happy with it without commercials, need the ability to pause and resume, and ability to time-shift. Commercials for me is the #1 reason I use 'methods.' The white hairs controlling content in this day and age still believe it's the 80's and 90's so I don't think I'm likely to see a radical shift in my lifetime. But I'm not going to bend to the will of outdated, outmoded, and prehistoric copyright law with their equally prehistoric delivery methods. They're going to need to attract me as a customer again.
 

nilepez

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 21, 2005
Messages
11,695
This is simply not true. And, especially with us older generation pirates, I'm finding a change. I would want to support content. I would be happy with it without commercials, need the ability to pause and resume, and ability to time-shift. Commercials for me is the #1 reason I use 'methods.' The white hairs controlling content in this day and age still believe it's the 80's and 90's so I don't think I'm likely to see a radical shift in my lifetime. But I'm not going to bend to the will of outdated, outmoded, and prehistoric copyright law with their equally prehistoric delivery methods. They're going to need to attract me as a customer again.
Doesn't work without DRM. yes it can be broken, but there's a delay. If everyone could get Netflix for free, many (most?) would. We've seen what happened to the music industry, which had no DRM on CDs and they got hammered as soon as the tech was their to get it for free and their was a fast enough pipe to download it.

I fail to see how Netflix having DRM is an issue. Can I download everything? No, but I can download an a lot of content. Enough that when I went on a month long trip including several long flights, I had entertainment throughout, with content I downloaded before I left.

Same is possible on Amazon. HBO could use that too, as well as an app on Windows. We can bitch about DRM all day long, but if you look at a program like Wavelab, it was endlessly pirated until they required a dongle (which most people hate). After that, I think version 6 was eventually cracked and that's it. They're now on Wavelab 9.

If you don't protect your IP, people will steal it. Or as an old co-worker once said, "If it's free I'll take 3." Given how cheap streaming currently is, DRM just shouldn't matter.
 

Shotglass01

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
1,929
Doesn't work without DRM. yes it can be broken, but there's a delay. If everyone could get Netflix for free, many (most?) would. We've seen what happened to the music industry, which had no DRM on CDs and they got hammered as soon as the tech was their to get it for free and their was a fast enough pipe to download it.

If you don't protect your IP, people will steal it. Or as an old co-worker once said, "If it's free I'll take 3." Given how cheap streaming currently is, DRM just shouldn't matter.
I never said anything about DRM. Although it's complete shit for paying customers. Aside from that, you can't protect your IP. At least not long-term. Someone always cracks or circumvents it. I said they're going to have to attract me as a customer again. That means recent stream options, no commercials, fair price, etc. The entire content industry is doing exactly what the music industry did and it's turning out exactly the same way. And, I'm happy about that. They've abused copyright for far too long.
 

htpc_user

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
1,425
Doesn't work without DRM. yes it can be broken, but there's a delay. If everyone could get Netflix for free, many (most?) would. We've seen what happened to the music industry, which had no DRM on CDs and they got hammered as soon as the tech was their to get it for free and their was a fast enough pipe to download it.

I fail to see how Netflix having DRM is an issue. Can I download everything? No, but I can download an a lot of content. Enough that when I went on a month long trip including several long flights, I had entertainment throughout, with content I downloaded before I left.

Same is possible on Amazon. HBO could use that too, as well as an app on Windows. We can bitch about DRM all day long, but if you look at a program like Wavelab, it was endlessly pirated until they required a dongle (which most people hate). After that, I think version 6 was eventually cracked and that's it. They're now on Wavelab 9.

If you don't protect your IP, people will steal it. Or as an old co-worker once said, "If it's free I'll take 3." Given how cheap streaming currently is, DRM just shouldn't matter.
Cassettes were always easily dubbed. They even made dual decks just for that purpose. But no one ever was that concerned over it.
 

nilepez

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 21, 2005
Messages
11,695
I never said anything about DRM. Although it's complete shit for paying customers. Aside from that, you can't protect your IP. At least not long-term. Someone always cracks or circumvents it. I said they're going to have to attract me as a customer again. That means recent stream options, no commercials, fair price, etc. The entire content industry is doing exactly what the music industry did and it's turning out exactly the same way. And, I'm happy about that. They've abused copyright for far too long.
No, they're not. You can get Netflix and Amazon for 10 bucks/month (or less with Amazon).

These aren't purchase options, they're rent options. Both netflix and Amazon allow you to download to your device for consumption when you don't have an internet connection. Sorry, but if these are too restrictive, you just want shit for free. Admit it and fire up your favorite torrent app or your favorite pirating addon for Kodi, but please quite pretending you're a potential customer. These prices are not bad...especially given that you can cancel at any time.
 

nilepez

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 21, 2005
Messages
11,695
Cassettes were always easily dubbed. They even made dual decks just for that purpose. But no one ever was that concerned over it.
1. Original Cassettes sounded like shit
2. Dubbled copies sounded even worse.
 

chenw

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 26, 2014
Messages
3,977
While I personally do not like this, this does not affect me directly, as my use of Kodi has nothing to do with streaming, and if I were to use streaming, I would not use Kodi either, I would have used the service's native client before I would use Kodi for it.

If Kodi eventually also DRMs local content, it still won't affect me as all that means is that I just need to keep the current Kodi installation on my RPi3 box around on a more permanent basis until an alternative player is found.

This is one of the woes of free software, if it is popular enough, it will bound to end up being used or abused for monetary gains, and ends up completely tainting the image of the original free software. Kodi is a victim, and there are signs that RetroPie might be abused, as they recently encountered that their name got trademarked by someone else in the US and has been issuing takedown notices, and not on behalf of the guys behind RetroPie.
 

M76

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
11,187
Doesn't work without DRM. yes it can be broken, but there's a delay. If everyone could get Netflix for free, many (most?) would. We've seen what happened to the music industry, which had no DRM on CDs and they got hammered as soon as the tech was their to get it for free and their was a fast enough pipe to download it.

I fail to see how Netflix having DRM is an issue. Can I download everything? No, but I can download an a lot of content. Enough that when I went on a month long trip including several long flights, I had entertainment throughout, with content I downloaded before I left.

Same is possible on Amazon. HBO could use that too, as well as an app on Windows. We can bitch about DRM all day long, but if you look at a program like Wavelab, it was endlessly pirated until they required a dongle (which most people hate). After that, I think version 6 was eventually cracked and that's it. They're now on Wavelab 9.

If you don't protect your IP, people will steal it. Or as an old co-worker once said, "If it's free I'll take 3." Given how cheap streaming currently is, DRM just shouldn't matter.
DRM only prevents paying users to take advantage of their fair use rights. It doesn't and never did prevent pirate kingpins from circumventing it and uploading the content. And if they removed the DRM many users like myself would use them as a source instead of the pirate who stripped drm from the content. It's not about money, it never was since I was working for my own living. It's about convenience and it's about owning what I pay for.

This "pirates will be pirates" is a non argument. I don't pirate because I want to fuck over everyone who creates the content I pirate it because laughably piracy offers a more convenient service. On occasion purchased some movies to support whoever. But when I saw the hoops I need to jump trough to actually watch it I decided to just pirate the movie I already owned.

I happily and continuously am a paying customer of those whose content I myself can easily strip of DRM, or who have no DRM at all.
 
Last edited:

J-Will

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Messages
1,725
Its a fine line. If they implement this, they could achieve a new revenue stream and turn Kodi into something much more mainstream. If they fail, it'll be a rapid demise similar to Napster
 

Master_shake_

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 9, 2012
Messages
13,186
i can't recall a time when DRM made anything better.

i guess a wheel barrow full of money delivered to your door makes DRM more palatable.
 

Fix Me

Gawd
Joined
Mar 20, 2007
Messages
700
Keep the DRM to plugins, make the implementations clear and not affect other portions of the application, and I don't see this as an issue. BUT if not, it has the potential to be very destructive to the application, especially if any of the owners start selling out and trying to make money off of this.
Yeah, I assume the DRM will just be in the plugins in question. I don't see the problem and if it all goes to hell after they start having DRM plugins, just stick with whatever version didn't have them or switch to something else. I can almost guarantee that if they screw it up, someone will take the code and continue on with it without the stuff people don't want.
 

Shotglass01

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
1,929
No, they're not. You can get Netflix and Amazon for 10 bucks/month (or less with Amazon).

These aren't purchase options, they're rent options. Both netflix and Amazon allow you to download to your device for consumption when you don't have an internet connection. Sorry, but if these are too restrictive, you just want shit for free. Admit it and fire up your favorite torrent app or your favorite pirating addon for Kodi, but please quite pretending you're a potential customer. These prices are not bad...especially given that you can cancel at any time.
I think you need to stop telling me what I want and don't want. You don't know fuck about me. We need a Pandora for movies and TV. Like hell if I'm going to pony up $10 to $15 for each service. We need a pool that covers 90% plus of content. Do not assume you know what a potential customer is. Did you also forget about RECENT? That's pretty much non-existent today.
 

nilepez

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 21, 2005
Messages
11,695
I think you need to stop telling me what I want and don't want. You don't know fuck about me. We need a Pandora for movies and TV. Like hell if I'm going to pony up $10 to $15 for each service. We need a pool that covers 90% plus of content. Do not assume you know what a potential customer is. Did you also forget about RECENT? That's pretty much non-existent today.
I see, so you want to pay 15 bucks for 90% of the content in the world?
 

htpc_user

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
1,425
Yeah, I assume the DRM will just be in the plugins in question. I don't see the problem and if it all goes to hell after they start having DRM plugins, just stick with whatever version didn't have them or switch to something else. I can almost guarantee that if they screw it up, someone will take the code and continue on with it without the stuff people don't want.
Same thing I was thinking. There's a reason a lot of people know about Kodi. If it can no longer do what it has always done, people will drop it left and right and it will be yesterday's news. Then someone else will continue it as something else or as you said, people will use the last version that worked the way they wanted it to.
 

nilepez

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 21, 2005
Messages
11,695
I think you need to stop assuming anything about people. :rolleyes:
I think you need to learn to say what you mean and mean what you say. Your message was a muddled mess and I asked if what I thought you meant is it. Instead you come back with a snarky reply that says absolutely nothing.
 

SighTurtle

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
1,412
I think you need to stop telling me what I want and don't want. You don't know fuck about me. We need a Pandora for movies and TV. Like hell if I'm going to pony up $10 to $15 for each service. We need a pool that covers 90% plus of content. Do not assume you know what a potential customer is. Did you also forget about RECENT? That's pretty much non-existent today.
If I owned the company that owned the pool that covered 90% of content, I wouldn't keep selling that 90% of content at whatever low price consumers would happy about.

This is a never ending battle, Netflix was only a temporary disruption, now that networks have awoken up, the marketplace is getting crowded. Whatever happens, I find it strange that people are annoyed about dealing with multiple apps, or providers. They are competing for your money, Netflix, Hulu, CBS whatnot, HBO, with their content libraries, their pricing and their ease of access. Its much better than the networks and providers forcing you cable packages of channels. If Netflix had actually "won", would you really expect them to not increase prices?
 

Shotglass01

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
1,929
I think you need to learn to say what you mean and mean what you say. Your message was a muddled mess and I asked if what I thought you meant is it. Instead you come back with a snarky reply that says absolutely nothing.
Naw, mine was right on target. Stop making assumptions about people. Is that clear enough?

If I owned the company that owned the pool that covered 90% of content, I wouldn't keep selling that 90% of content at whatever low price consumers would happy about.

This is a never ending battle, Netflix was only a temporary disruption, now that networks have awoken up, the marketplace is getting crowded. Whatever happens, I find it strange that people are annoyed about dealing with multiple apps, or providers. They are competing for your money, Netflix, Hulu, CBS whatnot, HBO, with their content libraries, their pricing and their ease of access. Its much better than the networks and providers forcing you cable packages of channels. If Netflix had actually "won", would you really expect them to not increase prices?
And, eventually, there will be another consolidation and a few winners will emerge. Signing up for 4 or 5 services for $10 or $15 a pop per month is putting you right back to cable in costs. And, long term, it's not going to work and we'll be left with a few providers anyway.
 
Top