One More Time: DRM Doesn't Enable Anything, Except User Frustration
from the doublespeak dept
DRM developers and supporters are constantly saying that DRM "enables" new business models, services and applications -- and it's hogwash. The DRM itself doesn't enable anything. It merely deludes backwards-thinking content owners that it makes it "safe" to try new things, but DRM doesn't enable any innovation; really, it serves as a barrier to it. Still, a Microsoft exec takes the party line in an interview about the company's latest DRM scheme for mobile and portable devices (you know, the one that sounds pretty much like their earlier efforts), saying that it is about " enabling digital goods and commerce between consumers and operators." No, it's about locking content down. What enables digital goods and commerce are a network connection and a device. Acting like DRM is an integral part of content distribution or payment is a joke, as any of the things that the guy talks about -- such as superdistribution or content bundling -- are certainly possible without the DRM. It appears the big selling point of the PlayReady copy-protection technology is this idea of "domains", which MS says will allow content providers to license content to a group of devices a user owns, rather than just a single one. That's great and all, but it also means the content providers can choose not to license content to particular devices a user owns, so it really does little to erase the headaches that these pointless restrictions create for legitimate consumers. That's all DRM really enables: continued consumer frustration.