I'm repeating myself, but I just left this on Burningbird's blog about debating DRM.

A couple of quick thoughts.

1) Several jurisdictions around the world simply do not have the concept of “Fair Use”. For instance in the UK, the copyright notice on CDs forbidding copying means exactly that. By copying for your own personal use you are breaking the terms of the copyright. So unfortunately we have to consider DRM in a global context. Which is particularly troublesome when >500k DNS servers were found world wide with an XCP rootkit infected PC behind them.

2) “we only have to turn our little eyeballs over to iTunes to generate an “Oh, yeah?” Does iTMS make any money directly? Isn’t it rather a loss leader that bolsters the sale of iPods? What is unknown is whether the iPod would have been just as much of a success without Fairplay and iTMS. I rather think it would have been.

3) The most cogent argument I’ve seen against DRM is that it leads to spyware. Give someone the encrypted text, the algorithm and the keys and you can’t control what they do with the plain text. In order to try to control them, you have to install spyware. And since no informed computer user will knowingly install spyware you have to trick them into it. So if it can always be circumvented, DRM will never work to stop counterfeiters. So by adding it, you do nothing to stop genuine piracy, while upsetting and hurting your genuine customers. Does that make any sort of business sense?

4) Why do the tech companies want to be in the content distribution business? The existing content distribution companies are hurting, their business models no longer work, and they are surrounded by a whole range of disruptive technologies that are changing the marketplace irrevocably. So why would any tech company want to get a piece of that failing action? The content owners appear to have this blind faith that DRM will save their existing business model and the tech companies, far from pointing this out, are actively encouraging them. Why? From an anti-DRM stance, every one of them including Apple, and now including Google, are part of the problem.

5) Perhaps what we really need is for DRM to fragment completely into a large number of incompatible “standards” with ever more ridiculous terms and activity. Maybe then the market will decide and back the one player that turns it’s back on DRM. On that basis, Sony is a god send. Go ahead. Screw up. Please.

6) I will not buy any DRMed content unless there is a ridiculously easy work around. So I’ll happily buy a multi-region DVD (available from any store in the UK) and buy region encoded DVDs. But I won’t buy a “not a CD” ever again and I will never buy a crippled, low quality download tune when there’s a dodgy Russian alternative that serves up uncrippled high quality at a 5th of the price.

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[ 10-Jan-06 10:23am ] [ ]