Obama's Gift To British Prime Minister Rendered Useless By DRM

from the learning-process dept

A few years back, it emerged that US Senator Ted Stevens had been given an iPod by his daughter, and it had changed the way he saw the RIAA and the measures for which it lobbied. It's always seemed to me that once politicians -- at least those not beholden to the entertainment industry -- experienced the stupidity and frustration of the locks and controls that groups like the RIAA and MPAA put on content and want backed up by law, they'd realize they were little more than attempts to frustrate consumers and prop up outmoded business models. Maybe the UK is prepared for a similar political inflection point: its Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, was recently given a gift of 25 DVDs of classic American movies by US President Barack Obama. When Brown sat down to watch one of them, he found he couldn't -- because Obama had given him Region 1 DVDs, unplayable in Brown's Region 2 DVD player. The pointless DRM didn't stop any piracy, it prevented an absolutely reasonable use of legitimately purchased content. Maybe this experience will help the British government understand how many of the entertainment industry's efforts to strengthen intellectual property controls do little more than irritate legitimate consumers in the name of supporting failing business models.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Ryan, 19 Mar 2009 @ 4:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:Weird Harold

    This is a complete understanding of markets. The distributors are using laws and codes to create artificial markets so as to gouge more money out of the regions that can afford it, when consumers could otherwise get it more cheaply and easily at no extra overhead to the distributors.

    For an illustration of how this is not true market economics (and how unfair it is), let's presume that each copy is not coded for the market, but for the individual. Thus, they charge someone making $50,000/year $20 for the DVD, but they charge one making $400,000/year $50, and they charge a millionaire $100. Clearly, this is complete bullshit, designed to allow them to get more than the market price for each sale--and they are able to do so only because they influence many governments enough to make it illegal to avoid it.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
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.