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Thread: Pipelight: A Way To Get Netflix On Linux

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by dee. View Post
    I'm seriously hoping that this whole NSA deal will get more people pay more attention to security and privacy of their hardware (and software). Otherwise, we're in for a grim future.
    Well, people generally dislike DRM as it is. That's why nigh-all kickstarter games are DRM-free and that's why GOG.com is doing pretty good. If hardware DRM starts causing issues to regular consumers, and there is at least one hardware vendor that realises this and releases DRM-free hardware that is good enough, people will buy that and not the DRM-infested one. With movies it's unfortunate in that there are no DRM-free vendors, nor DRM-free physical mediums (while Lib-Ray is still not complete).

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by erendorn View Post
    [*]Netflix are the ones that would develop their DRM module, and they don't care about ideological incompatibilities.
    Netflix has already explicitly said they don't care about linux support because no one uses it. At least, that is their opinion.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatEmerald View Post
    DRM-free physical mediums
    VHS?
    ........

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by dee. View Post
    VHS?
    ........
    How about punchcards? :P

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by smitty3268 View Post
    Netflix has already explicitly said they don't care about linux support because no one uses it. At least, that is their opinion.
    That was my point.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatEmerald View Post
    How about punchcards? :P
    Magnetic cylinders? Clay discs?

    Going to the other direction... I predict: in the future, compression algorithms and mobile cameras will advance so much that we can easily save entire movies in QR codes. How will hollywood ever stop "piracy" then? People will just go nuts and print codes on everything possible from t-shirts to coffee mugs... you could fit all the blockbuster hits of one year into one t-shirt.

    Btw, it just occured to me... QR codes are just optical punchcards.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by dee. View Post
    Going to the other direction... I predict: in the future, compression algorithms and mobile cameras will advance so much that we can easily save entire movies in QR codes. How will hollywood ever stop "piracy" then? People will just go nuts and print codes on everything possible from t-shirts to coffee mugs... you could fit all the blockbuster hits of one year into one t-shirt.
    Hollywood movies don't take many bits to compress
    bit 0: includes Tom Cruise
    bit 1: Angelina Jolie
    bit 2: explosions
    bit 3: completely predictable plot

  8. #58
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    Default DRM issues are not issues w Pipelight but with DRM itself

    In all my calls for boycotting DRM'ed media like Netflix, I did not intend for Pipelight itself to be blamed. It's Netflix, not Pipelight that gets the blame. Pipelight is simply an effort to get around Hollywood's attempts for force people to use a paid OS. Should be far easier than in Windows to intercept and copy the video stream at the kernel level, underneath WINE and everything else. If Netflix can't use browser fingerprinting, etc, to determine that Silverlight isn't actually running under Windows, they won't be able to counter-block this. I see on their page that a useragent switcher is in fact required to make it work on many sites, as an example of this kind of back and forth.

    The ability to make a full-function workalike for Silverlight could be benefiical in many other scenarios. Example: a video site offering both Flash and Silverlight, where the site, your version of Flash, or your implementation of it in Firefox is buggy. I've seen a LOT of that sort of thing lately, though usually with sites offering Flash or HTML5, and no H264 support on common, non-unique versions of Firefox. Now we need a project that would enable H264 support in Firefox without being "fingerprintable," perhaps by pretending to be IE11 and its H264 support in both useragent string and plugin set.

    An approach similar to Pipelight but not requiring WINE could be used to support newer versions of Flash in Firefox by loading it into a fake version of Chrome running in a sandbox and loading the plugin indirectly into Firefox. Why the effort? Because Firefox is a lot easier to secure against tracking than Chromium.

    If Pipelight comes across to a web server as being Silverlight, and is good enough that a skilled hacker can make Netflix's DRM work, that means all the other Silverlight capabilities should also work, something we've not seen with an open source Flash replacement. I'd have left out DRM support, but anyone can boycott Netflix and not download the DRM modules they use.

    Also, assuming Pipelight tells websites that it is in fact Silverlight, that removes the browser fingerprinting concern that can be a substantial deterrent to using any unusual plugin that can be identified as such. Were it not for that, I would definately be playing with Gnash and Lightspark, which as it stands have been cited as an explicit item that can flag a browser as unique. If Pipelight calls itself Pipelight to the serving website, that should be changed or made user changeable the way useragent strings are.
    Last edited by Luke; 08-21-2013 at 02:50 PM.

  9. #59
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    Default This is another fine kettle of fish you've gotten me into, Ollie.

    I don't spend as much time here as I'd like, but even so, this has been one of the livelier and to me more informative threads of late. Thanks, all. There were easily seven or ten posts I wanted to reply to but I'm lazy and thought it to be more efficient to have one reply suffice.

    I have been opposed to DRM - the R for rights or restrictions depending where you stand both philosophically and in the product stream - since its inception. While I understand it's much more about vendor - software and hardware - lock in than anti-piracy, it stems directly from copy-protection schemes going back to 16-bit days (8-bit was more about sealed carts or looking up a word in the manual), where one encountered everything from non-standard floppy formats to dongles. As some have pointed out, DRM is sold to the naive as copy-protection, and to the insiders as the eventual locked-in silo from producer to display device.

    I believe that a working man deserves to be paid for his work. I do not believe he should get ripped off by anyone - whether it be a studio, a distribution middleman, or the user of the work. It's simple if I build someone a table or a house - I get paid for it by the first end-user.

    (My OS and almost all software is open-source and I contribute where and how I can, which usually amounts to sending a developer five bucks or so - or whatever price he sets; I buy from Humble Bundle, etc.; and buy from authors who offer their ebooks DRM-free at Baen, Amazon, and elsewhere.)

    It's more complicated if I write something. Being paid for a magazine article is one thing, and simple. If however I write a novel... I would these days likely choose to self publish and go through one of the writer- and consumer-friendly publishing houses (essentially a hosting service with nominal fee or percentage for upkeep and an "end") or the like. I would set what I consider a fair price, and offer a text-only version for direct download or a torrent link. No DRM, of course.

    With "big-ticket" entertainment comes the rub. Just as corporations started as a way to gather enough capital to do big projects, so studios - they front the production resources and take a cut. While there have indeed been some excellent fan fiction, documentaries, and such that's available on YouTube, Vimeo, Vodo, there's the middle-ground area, shows such as Sanctuary or Pioneer One, where funding of resources and post-production is a hassle. Kickstarter and others have helped but it's not yet a total answer to the difficulties.

    So for larger entertainments we're stuck with the current major-studio situation. Hence this discussion.

    W3C should have no truck with anything closed.

    We've already got nigh ubiquitous Flash, and Silverlight, even though they're being abandoned by their makers. They're there, they mostly work, and access via things like netflix-desktop and Pipelight work. I see absolutely no need and no good purpose of new standards or implementations that require more new blobs, although they're apparently going to happen one way or the other.

    Understand something: the people who know about any of this stuff, let alone care, are found in places like this and at the EFF and a few other places - and no where else. Everybody else just wants to watch a TV show or a movie, and they'll do it using iTunes store, Amazon, Hulu subscription, or Netflix, and the like. It's reality. Deal with it, however you choose to. It's one thing to try to inform people you meet about all these realities but don't bother preaching, because no one is listening.

    I use Netflix. I've been using Eric Hoover's Compholio edition to watch Netflix since last Fall on my five-year old DIY system and it works just fine. I can watch stuff easily at my convenience on my monitor in a window or full-screen. (I don't own a TV; I can't afford one and have no place to put one. (I'm saving for a new monitor.)) Even given my impure compromise, I still oppose DRM, and support as I'm able independent producers and Kickstarter projects.

    I don't generally torrent anything other than distros and the like. Not saying I never have, or may not in future; it's just that in my present situation the risk, while actually small, carries a price that is way too high. Further, to the extent that some of my fee to Netflix goes eventually to the makers is some consolation.

    Vendor lock-in, "trusted computing" - TPM, sealed and soldered chips on the mobo, proprietary BIOS and now vendor-crippled UEFI: no way. The problem for us will increasingly be in finding manufacturers who offer alternative configurations. (Btw, the whole UEFI thing - so long as the mobo maker conforms to spec you will have access and be able to enter and store keys as you choose; heck, for a $100 you can buy your own cert from Verisign and sign whatever you want to.) As for TPM - the original design and spec, while it indeed allows for total lock-in by the unscrupulous, was to try to manage a portion of a trusted chain of events from power-on to working desktop so as to preclude pwning. (Yes, I know about chains and weak links, etc.)

    Like so much these days, we have to try to protect ourselves, help each other, and resist the power-mad de facto feudal lords. Good luck to us all, and choose as you see fit.

    Btw, if y'all need something extra to get worked up about, there's always perpetual copyright and the rape of public domain. (Steamboat Willy, my ass. Even Walt basically said he 'borrowed' him.)

  10. #60
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    Default Vendor lockin can also be done by walled gardens containing your intended audience

    Quote Originally Posted by kermidge View Post
    <snip>Vendor lock-in, "trusted computing" - TPM, sealed and soldered chips on the mobo, proprietary BIOS and now vendor-crippled UEFI: no way. The problem for us will increasingly be in finding manufacturers who offer alternative configurations. (Btw, the whole UEFI thing - so long as the mobo maker conforms to spec you will have access and be able to enter and store keys as you choose; heck, for a $100 you can buy your own cert from Verisign and sign whatever you want to.) As for TPM - the original design and spec, while it indeed allows for total lock-in by the unscrupulous, was to try to manage a portion of a trusted chain of events from power-on to working desktop so as to preclude pwning. (Yes, I know about chains and weak links, etc.)

    Like so much these days, we have to try to protect ourselves, help each other, and resist the power-mad de facto feudal lords. Good luck to us all, and choose as you see fit.
    <snip>
    That more than anything else is what I worry about. Of course, the manufacturers might have trouble SELLING all that locked down shit, not because its locked down but because people don't need it. For example: Intel has had real trouble getting offices to dump their Core2/WinXP machines because they are powerful enough for their purposes and work. They can run any later OS that does not require secure boot.

    The Windows 8/Secure boot issue was enough that some people stockpiled the highest-end BIOS boards they could find. This time around, they didn't have to, but suppose 10 years from now, everything is ARM? I DO advise that people not throw away any computer capable of playing video at 360p resolution at this time. Due to the current trend towards locking what they can get away with, it is crucial not to buy anything today without checking online first to make sure it can run Linux! The Windows EULA has been changed to "bundle" it with the hardware, and that means the computer store could legally refuse to give you a refund if your hacking skills are not up to getting rid of Windows on a new machine now or ten years from now. All ARM hardware requires explicit checking-some is locked, some lacks drivers, some works. Also avoid Poulsbo graphics, never buy such a machine used.

    I just wish I did not have to ensure that media I publish is compatable with machines running paid operating systems, I once found out I had put out months of news videos some Windows machines could not play be default, back when Liveleak was sending back the files as I sent them. They played fine in Flash on Firefox in Linux, but apparently Flash in some Windows XP machines in IE could not play them!

    That raises one other problem: Paid software is becoming a walled garden. If they can't keep up off the network, they will try to migrate users to walled garden apps that are not compatable with our systems. Suppose over time, Youtube was displaced by an iTunes app from Apple, made available only for iOS, unrooted Android, and Windows 9. If Apple then made a new contract requirement that Android had to block video sharing in the browser or by competing apps(and did the same themselves), that would mean no paid smartphone could watch free video, and if that iTunes app used DRM, no free computer could watch the paid provider video either. This "walled app garden" may become a greater hazard that secure boot ever dreamed of, assuming the apps are locked to prevent running in a VM. Perhaps MS would configure Windows so that any software capable of watching the oldschool video could not coexist on the same install with the paid app, as a way to discouraging people from watching "pirate" video clips uploaded to outlaw video sharing services. At that point, producers of free video like myself would be locked out of all of our user's computers except those also running free software.

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