Instead Of Less Annoying, Why Not Rethink DRM Altogether?

from the inching-forward dept

The entertainment industry is slooowly coming around to the idea that some piracy is aresult of their own actions, and that it should learn to compete against it. Now, the CTO of the MPAA has come around to a similar conclusion, saying, “I understand that if we frustrate the consumer, they will simply pirate the content.” He also suggested that the industry is looking into ways of making DRM less annoying. This is a line we can expect to hear a lot of going forward. The industry would like to have it both ways, acknowledging that DRM in its current form is irritating to customers, while promising that new methods can be developed that won’t cause the same problems. But this Goldilocks DRM (not too restrictive, not completely open) isn’t likely to come about. The whole point of DRM is to assume that each customer is a potential pirate, and that they should be treated as such. DRM that allowed a file to be played on multiple devices at any time would cease to be DRM. Still, progress is progress. The fact that an MPAA higher up is talking about the problem of irritating customers is a surprising and welcome development.


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Comments on “Instead Of Less Annoying, Why Not Rethink DRM Altogether?”

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13 Comments
Solo says:

“I understand that if we frustrate the consumer, they will simply pirate the content.”

Nooooo… If we frustrate the consumer, they will simply seek ways to bypass the DRM scheme in order to use the content as they see fit.

Stripping the DRM should not make me a pirate. I bought the tune form iTunes, I want to play it on my (*MY*) creative mp3 player, I have to strip the DRM out.

THAT does NOT make me a pirate.

Bob Jones says:

It needs to be strict. In the UK we have a movie download service Sky By Broadband, for customers of the sattelite service, and can download free movies. Obviously they are DRM’ed – you can only play it on the PC, is that too strict? Not when you think that allowing you to put it on a standard DVD would break the DRM and allow it to be copied unlimited times, why bother buying the DVD then?

No kidding says:

Alternatives is RIGHT

I posted this once concerning the RIAA, and it applies here too.

a huge drop off in CD sales is going to send the message pretty lound and clear, we don’t need or want to support these organizations. The artists DON’T need them, and it may be difficult in the mean time, but a world without the RIAA/MPAA would leave the individual artists a great amount of leeway with which to promote/sell/give away their product as they see fit.

As for DRM being “less annoying” it’s been said before. If I can see or hear the media involved then getting around the DRM will ALWAYS be a possibility. The industry can never hope to eliminate piracy in all forms, and frankly, it’s never been that BIG of a problem. What they fear is that the average consumer will have the ability to pirate thier content without having any technical know-how. I can understand the concern, but they have a bigger problem on the horizon. A world so saturated with DRM, that the consumers to paying for legitimate versions and begin purchasing pirated copies just to get around the DRM. Just wait, it’ll happen.

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