DRM is about sales, not piracy

Here's an interesting problem: A person buys a new monitor, with the end result that Microsoft wants full access to all of his files on his computer, and Netflix wants to delete all media files bought from competitors, e.g. Amazon.

Well, technically they're not deleting the files, but they're revoking access rights. But to most consumers, the end result is the same: it won't play.

And why? Because of DRM - Digital Restrictions Management. You could circument it by buying a separate "DRM-approved" -monitor (and, I'm sure, a part of the money goes into the coffins of the media industry).

Cases like these show well that DRM is not, and really never has been about fighting piracy or preventing copying. It's just a ruse to force you to buy things that are "approved" or "officially licensed", and to make sure you keep buying the same stuff all over again.

Why? Because it's cheaper to sell you the same record several times over, than it is to create new content. There's an overhead in creating new content (remember, the artists need to be paid, and not all of them succeed), so it's more economical to take the same content you already have and re-sell it all over again. Witness the gazillion different Collectors Editions and Director's Cuts out there on the DVD market...

Funnily enough, the unprotected (e.g. pirated) files on the hard drive of course have no such problems. They cannot be revoked or resold to you - you essentially own them and it's up to you to take care of them. It's really difficult to comprehend why you would use anything which has DRM on it, if you plan to keep it. If you just watch/listen it and throw it away, then it does not really matter. A lot of media is like that. But a lot of it isn't. I couldn't really give a hoot whether my last.fm stream is encrypted or not (it isn't), but the stuff I buy - well, I think it's only fair that I don't have to go and beg for permission to listen to it if I buy new loudspeakers.

(And, before I have my comment section filled with people who say that I just want everything for free, let me point out that I'm entirely happy to pay for the things I like. I just find it evil that when you buy something, you are treated as a potential criminal, for example, get threatened every time you start watching a DVD. Also, since DRM is not proven to be effective in curbing piracy, only creates problems for the consumer [imagine, if you had to talk your grandparents through the situation described in the article], and is mostly used just to achieve after-sales consumer control, I find it rather offensive.)

(Via BB)


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"Main_blogentry_030108_1" last changed on 03-Jan-2008 14:26:13 EET by JanneJalkanen.
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