DRM Moves From Digital To The Real World With Anti-Photographing Device
from the just-what-no-one-needed dept
There’s been lots of talk today about the system under development at the Georgia Institute of Technology to try to stop digital cameras from working in some areas. It works by detecting the presence of digital cameras, and then “blinding” them with white light. There are still some kinks to work out — and apparently the system sometimes confuses things like diamond earrings with digital cameras. They talk about how this can be used to stop people from videotaping movies, for instance, but this is really just an attempt to expand “DRM-style” blockades to the photography and video of objects in the real world — and, just like DRM on digital content the arguments don’t make much sense. While perhaps the technology can be used to stop some people from videotaping movies, it won’t stop anyone with an analog still or video camera, and all of that content will still be available online (usually from better sources than taping in the theater). Instead, what’s more likely is that this technology will be used to prevent ordinary people from doing perfectly legal things like taking a photo of their kid with Santa, rather than paying the professional photographer to do so — or, perhaps, it will be used by overly paranoid security people to stop perfectly legitimate photographs of buildings. Once again, it won’t stop the availability of this type of content, but it will annoy plenty of people by preventing them from doing perfectly legal things.