Forget DRM, Microsoft Looks To Build Digital Manners Management

from the mind-your-manners dept

If there's one thing companies should understand by now, it's the idea that restricting people from doing stuff that they want to do tends to backfire, badly. Just look at every attempt to create "DRM." Well, apparently Microsoft is trying to create a different sort of digital restrictions policy: one based on hard-coded "manners." A few folks sent in notice that Microsoft has applied for a patent on a system for "device manner policy" (DMP). Basically, such a DMP system would restrict the use of certain features in certain locations. So, for example, a mobile phone that has the DMP technology might not be able to ring in a movie theater, but would instead shift to vibrate. Or a digital camera or cameraphone would automatically disable the ability to take photos in a museum. Really, this is just another form of DRM, restricting what people can do with the technology they own. While it's nice to think that technology could somehow block out rude uses of devices, the opportunity for problems and abuse seems quite high. Wouldn't we be better off focusing on social norms to get people to learn when it is and is not appropriate to use certain technologies?

Filed Under: digital manner policy, manners, patents
Companies: microsoft


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Holy Crap, 11 Jun 2008 @ 4:59pm

    Yes - Miss Manners will control your life

    This is just the first step. I imagine that this silliness will be introduced into your automobile next, because there are too many rude drivers out there. Couple this with GPS, video/audio surveillance and there will be automatically issued fines, depending upon local jurisdiction, for things like speeding, swearing and rude gestures. After that I suppose your home would be next. Imagine walking up to the fridge for another cold one only to be met by a stern voice from the fridge proclaiming that you have had enough to drink tonight. This would create a new class of hacker / criminal and therefore more legislation to be hammered out - WoooHooo !

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.