Macrovision, a company that's well known for its DRM products, made quite a splash today with its announced plans to buy Gemstar-TV Guide for $2.8 billion
. The rationale for the deal seems to be that the folks at Macrovision may actually believe the commonly stated myth
that DRM "opens new business models." Macrovision talks about how combining its DRM with Gemstar listings and content could enable a bunch of new offerings -- but it's difficult to believe those new offerings will be particularly compelling. DRM has never been about enabling new business models, but about making any content less valuable by limiting its usefulness in the hopes of being able to charge separately for each use. Perhaps that's what they mean by "new business models" but it's hardly a business model if it's simply pissing off consumers. As Saul Hansell at the NY Times notes, the direction Macrovision seems to be moving in is (along with the recent story of hard drives
that block MP3 sharing) one where technology companies feel that they need to be policing how people use content. That's a very anti-consumer position to be in -- and it's generally not a good business proposition to be focused on limiting consumers. Apparently, investors agree -- as they've sent the stock price of both companies way down
in reaction to the deal.