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Don't Buy The Open Source DRM Hype

from the useless dept

Back in 2005, we wrote about Sun's doomed plans to offer an "open source DRM" solution. Not surprisingly, that went nowhere fast. Last year, Tim Lee took apart the claims of "Marlin," a supposedly new "open source DRM" solution. As Tim noted, open source and DRM are a contradiction in terms. So, it's not clear why last week some were celebrating the latest version of Marlin. As some pointed out, just because it's open source, doesn't mean that it should be "blessed" by the tech crowd. DRM is about destroying options for what you can do with bits. Open source is about multiplying the options. To mix them together makes no sense.

Filed Under: drm, marlin, open source


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  1. identicon
    Mike M, 31 Oct 2008 @ 11:26am

    Open Source DRM

    The original article and some of the comments are just way out there. The fact of the matter is that there are several open source technologies used everyday by all sizes of business to control content; DRM is no different.

    Just because the DRM stack is open source doesn't mean that the DRM will be more easily crackable (take a look at OpenSSL for a good comparison).

    Open source is a far too often used term that people apply to a movement, a method of software release, community sourced projects and so on and so on. I think you'll find that many members of many open source communities still protect their data (sometimes, gasp!, with open source operating systems).

    Open source is about providing the source of your software allowing others to benefit from the lessons it can teach. It's also many times about allowing others to alter the software for their own purposes. This benefits the community AND the project. Nothing in there precludes protecting the data used by open source applications.

    Now a creative commons DRM solution would be wacky, but not an open source DRM solution.

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