Newfangled DRM Even Better At Punishing Paying Customers
from the that-sounds-backwards dept
Slashdot points us to an interesting story that highlights the ongoing farce that is Hollywood's anti-piracy efforts. A guy named Davis Freeberg says he purchased a shiny new high-definition monitor, and discovered that one of the consequences of his upgrade was that he could no longer play movies downloaded (legally) from Netflix. After some further research (research that a lot of consumers would have neither the patience nor the knowledge to perform) and several tech-support phone calls, he concluded that the procedure for re-enabling Netflix would likely cause him to lose the ability to watch videos downloaded from other services such as Amazon Unbox. The really absurd thing about this is that all of these "security" features don't in any way prevent him from going to a peer-to-peer site and downloading illegal copies of the movies he wants to watch. It's only when he foolishly tries to obey the law and pay Hollywood for the movies he watches that he's cast into tech support hell.This kind of problem is a predictable consequence of Hollywood's constantly-escalating demands for copy protection. Normal engineering principles dictate that devices should be designed for reliability, and should attempt to recover if it detects a problem. But DRM turns this principle on its head: if something appears to be amiss, it assumes someone must be trying to circumvent it and shuts down. So as DRM becomes more and more intrusive (and the copy protection systems in Vista are downright pervasive) it becomes more and more likely that something will go wrong. As a result, you end up with the absurd situation in which paying customers are punished with a never-ending stream of mysterious tech-support problems.