A company that has built a type of DRM technology for software used by the Defense Department is now trying to take that same technology and hit the commercial market as well. It's relatively expensive, so don't expect to see it on your next music CD or copy of Microsoft Word just yet. Of course, the company likes to claim that since its technology is useful in protecting Defense Department technology, it must be useful in protecting commercial software as well. However, they leave out a few things. First, while the article doesn't go into great detail on the technology itself, it sounds rather cumbersome to implement. That also likely means it's fairly cumbersome to use. That might be fine in some environments, but it limits how useful this product actually would be. Second, the DRM is quite expensive to license, meaning that for any software company worried about margin, it seems unlikely to be very interesting. Third, they hype up one of the software companies using this technology by talking about how the maker of the DRM technology successfully hacked the customer's software, saying this gave them credibility. Of course, hacking their software and preventing others from being able to do the same are two totally separate things. Fourth, the people quoted in the article completely ignore the beneficial side-effects of copied software, of which we're reminded today by an article about the marketing function of piracy, which quotes a study showing that 80% of authorized software purchasers are influenced either by unauthorized software in some way. So, if that's the case, it seems rather counter-productive to spend so much time and effort blocking this rather effective marketing channel, while likely pissing off your own customers as well.
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