How DRM is making companies steal what you legally bought

Pretty much proof of how companies can retroactively steal back something you legally bought to own.


OK, I’m not sure how it goes today, because I did quit Windows and most of those Win-only software.
I remember, when Adobe shut down the activation server for Cs2 (I have a copy of Photoshop CS2, and it still works for me on WINE :D), so when the decided to shut it down, I could download a new installer from my account site along with another serial, which did not require activation.
MAGIX, after bought Vegas suite from Sony, took also the registration servers over. They did run it for a long time.
Last year I installed my old Vegas suites on a Windows 7 VM, just to keep it just in case. As a working software museum :smiley: I could not activate it the usual way, but contacting MAGIX support did the trick. They provided me the -probably very last- activation codes.
So maybe it’s just my luck, but I did not experience the “steal back” phenomenon. Maybe this guy should contact Adobe support, but that will work only if he really bught the licences :wink:
I assume he did. :smiley:

The “steal back” thing is just one of the worse scenarios. We encounter issues with DRM in general, every day though. One of the most famous examples was the SimCity disaster, where people paid full price for a brand new game, but could not play it ONLY because it was DRM’ed in such a gross way.

This being the most prominent examples, there are still hundreds of other examples, where software you bought is locked up behind incredible DRM gates, that pretty much make your life harder, even though you paid.

Ironically, shareware which was not paid for, is often more convenient, easier and better to use, than using the same shareware and legally buying it. Sometimes DRM can even impact performance. Such properties are absolutely inacceptable and ridiculous, especailly since DRM is always broken, anyway.


I detest DRM - but - I also detest people who just LEACH and leech and steal creative works and NEVER ever contribute to the original creator… PARASITES!

Me? If I REALLY really like an e-book I “borrowed” from an online “lender” (I’m using these terms loosely) - and I think - “I’d like to buy this book it’s so good…”… I then buy the book, mostly through Kobo, but I have also purchased through Amazon e-book store before (VERY reluctantly)… If I can’t find a non DRM version of that book - I will find tools (they mosly only exist for Windows users :frowning: ) to remove that encryption, because it’s a pox, and, what if I want to read that e-book OUTSIDE of their hideous proprietary “sandbox”? That’s the worst thing… It’s like Amazon said, if I bought a paperback from them, that I wasn’t allowed to read it on certain airlines, and I could only read it in a Burger King or Subway “restaurant”, but not McDonalds or Taco Bell, the only coffeeshops I could read it in were Starbucks and NO OTHERS!

And - these vendors are usually giant inefficient monoliths anyway! Their tech is often 5 years behind everything else too!

Take for example a recent case : I really enjoyed Helene Wecker’s “The Golem and the Djinni” ( ) series, Book 1 - which I found a DRM free copy of to “evaluate” and decided she should get some money, so I BOUGHT both books 1 and 2 (and will buy 3 when it comes out) - and last night I just finished reading book 1 (the “eval” non-DRM copy) on my Kobo reader last night, so I went to open Book 2 which I’d paid for - AND - it didn’t appear in my f–king LIBRARY (I’d bought it days earlier) - so I thought “Bugger this, oh well…” and I fingered the “refresh” widget on the ebook reader, and waited… BUT STILL NOT THERE! And when I browse their “store” from the Kobo reader - those books are listed - but I HAVE TO BUY THEM AGAIN!!! ???

So I’m getting pissed off NOW! I have to get up from the f–king sofa go to a f–king computer and fire up a browser and see if there’s any answers, and, Rakuten Kobo suggest you “repair” - so I go through that exercise - and - NOTHING! Still not there - WHERE ARE MY BOOKS I PAID FOR???

And - there’s no Kobo desktop app for Linux…

So - I fired up the desktop app on my Macbook - and - I can see both DRM copies of books 1 and 2 in my Kobo library… Next thing I have to find a F–KING USB micro “a” cable to hook the Kobo up to my Mac - here’s WHAT I LOATHE about USB micro A cables - some are charging ONLY! WTF? Why? A USB data cable can also charge! And either would cost the same to manufacture, so WHY NOT MAKE ALL USB Micro A cables DATA cables?

Most of my stuff is USB C these days, and it took me 5 attempts to find a cable that would do data between the Macbook and the Kobo (and had to go through a USB hub 'cause macbooks only have USB C ports!)… So I sync - and - get my books I paid for on my e-reader - but WHY??? I don’t think I’ll ever buy another Kobo… but I won’t give a cent to that evil bastard Bezos either if I can help it…

So - here’s what’s evil about DRM (and even vendors like Steam) - you NEVER own the “thing” and they can take it away any time they damn well please… you only hired the right to use while they continued to grant you the right to keep using it, at their pleasure… I haven’t seen this with Kobo - but - I have seen / heard about Amazon remotely ripping book out of customers Kindle devices… And I know Steam rip games out of your library…

I buy approx 90% of the music I listen to through Bandcamp… and I love it… I download lossless copies (no DRM!) to my hard drive (and my smartphone) to listen to “offline” - they also have a smartphone app - but I prefer NOT to “stream” using my mobile 3G/4G/5G data… They have “Bandcamp Friday” where 100% of the royalties go to the artist - and the rest of the time artists get 80-90% of the revenue. Spotify and Apple? I think the ratio is something like this - it takes 10,000 listens from a a user for an artist to get paid TEN CENTS! That’s sharecropping / slavery level remuneration! Seriously F–K SPOTIFY (and Apple Music).


Same here. If I am convinced by the borrowed product, I always buy it, if it is still available. Some things just aren’t sold anymore, even though software could just be infinitely sold. For example, most racing games have an expiration date, due to brand licenses being only valid for a couple of years since the game’s release. Then you have no choice but to get a key from a key reseller or just get this stuff the clean and DRM-free way.
Same goes for certain game editions. For example, Skyrim has a new Special Edition which is absolutely horrendous crap, because it limits freedom of mod makers, etc. incredibly. However, the previous Special Edition (or whatever it is called) is actually the best Skyrim version. In this case, you cannot buy the old version “officially”, except through key resellers or by getting it the free DRM-free way.

There are tons of more examples like these.

That said, if I am able to, I always try to give back, karma-style. If a good product has done me good, I usually buy it or, if it’s for example an open source project, I usually donate some dough.

This reminds me of how the last time I saw digital music sold is when they were demanding quite a dump of bucks but only offered mp3… “Seriously…?” is what I thought…

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If I really want something - and I can’t find it on Bandcamp (which to be fair, is mostly “alternative” stuff - but - they do have a few major labels like Mike Patton’s [Faith No More] Ipecac recordings - but most of the stuff I like is “alternative” anyway) - I’ll look elsewhere - I’ve bought a few lossless albums off zdigital( - but they’re kinda weird, if you buy the lossless copy - you have to pay again to get the mp3 version… dumb dumb dumb… converting FLAC to mp3 is like a 5 minute CLI job (for me anyway) - but when I buy from bandcamp, I can download ALL supported versions, as many times as I like…

In the past I’ve paid for music (mp3) on google music, and one time when I was very short of cash (I was unemployed) I used an iTunes giftcard to buy an album from iTunes (then had to fire up a Win7 VM to run iTunes to get the album).

I actually miss my old “reading e-book workflow” - it worked quite well.

I’d either buy, or locate, or download, or borrow, an e-book, with or without DRM. On a computer in Google Chrome - I’d drag and drop that ebook into my Google Books account…

Then I could fire up Google’s e-book reading app on my ancient Ipad 3rd gen… And Google books was kind enough to keep track of the book (e.g. I could fire up Google Books in Chrome at work - and it would show me what page I was up to on the iPad 3 at home) wherever I was… But the iPad3 getting long in the tooth, and emitting “blue light” - so I decided I’d go for a paperwhite, and was happy with the Kobo, for a while… I can use Calibre to upload DRM free books to it… But I can’t upload DRM free books to my Rakuten Kobo “cloud”, nor can I sync “to the cloud” - i.e. Kobo’s system aint got enough smarts to cloud share my “where I’m up to” page of a book I’m reading…

Actually, I think, this is very smart, smart, smart!

The FLAC version is for the worthy smart people and the extra paid MP3 version is for the absolute morons, who do not put the 1 minute effort of searching the difference between FLAC and MP3 on their favourite search engine…
I think, the people that are so careless and absolutely moronically stupid, should not be excepted from being exploited, by people behaving too extremely well-intentioned.

I agree - kinda / sorta…

So - maybe not dumb - more like “evil”…

But - the potential victims of this “scam” probably couldn’t tell the difference between WAV or 96 kb mp3 format anyway… So yeah… It’s pretty much “academic”…

But I was surprised, because bandcamp are so convenient, I don’t have to convert between formats myself, they do it all for me…

I can get my purchases in :

  • MP3 V0 (what ever that is - maybe 128 Kbps?)
  • MP3 320 (320 Kbps)
  • FLAC
  • AAC
  • Ogg Vorbis
  • ALAC
  • WAV
  • AIFF

They do ALL that and more - and - give 80-90% of revenue to the CREATOR - and - on Bandcamp Friday they give 100% to the CREATOR!

Anyway - most bandcamp stuff I can evaluate before I buy anyway - I can play the music through a browser on their website… What this also means, I can use “bandcamp-dl” (“pip3 install bandcamp-downloader”) to download via a bandcamp artist / album URL… to “evaluate” before I buy… I think the best I can get is 128 Kbps using that method…

Here’s what I HATE about bandcamp… they’re in the USA, probably on the East Coast… if I pre-order an album, I can’t get it until the East Coast of the USA has woken up and started their business day - despite the fact that Spotify, Apple, Youtube ALL got it at 00:01 am (in my region) on the day of release! I’ve logged tickets with them before, the most recent one they said it was down to the artist - I don’t believe that… Because most times I can’t get my preorder until like 11 pm when it’s been on f–king Youtube all f–king day!

  • so - that slight niggle about the lag between “international” release, and bandcamp relase aside, I still prefer bandcamp…

Okay, as far as my patience goes, I can am very patient with waiting for any kind of entertainment. Whether it’s a game or other media – I can wait for it. I can, however, get very impatient when waiting for something that’s important, right now, or if I already planned to use that product that weekend.

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