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.

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  1. identicon
    RD, 19 Mar 2009 @ 8:57pm

    well, no...

    "Seriously - you guys could find fault in anything. Sometimes we get places not because we aimed to be there, but because it is how things worked out. Region codes for the most part work and do what they should do, and that's okay. This is just one of those examples where people who don't know (and Obama is proving there is lots he don't know) do something stupid."

    Wrong-o, shillmeister. You are skipping/ignoring/missing one HUGE part of this equation. All of these schemes to limit the availability (or in some cases, the content, as in #18 above) serves only one purpose: to line the pockets of the studios. Now, there is NOT ONE SINGLE REASON that these things need to be done this way. This is what the studios have CHOSEN to do. Its not a technological issue, its not a legal issue, its SOLELY so they can extract EVEN MORE MONEY out of people.

    "But RD!" you say, "The studios can do whatever they want, its their product!" and you are right, it is. But just because someone CAN do something doesnt mean they SHOULD (or are you not old enough to have learned that about people yet?) and it doesnt mean its a GOOD IDEA to do so. Many a monarch has had his head removed thinking this way in the past. See also: "Let them eat cake."

    So, now, in 2009 people en masse around the world are saying "ENOUGH!" and do not want to have to deal with these artifical, greedy and anti-consumer restrictions. That is also why you see so many people on this site siding against the various *IAA industries. This is a pro-consumer rights site, not a pro-screw-everyone-over-as-much-as-possible-becuase-we-can-big-business site. If these attitudes are not to your liking, I'm sure you can find a whole host of other sites to your liking. RushLimbaugh.com perhaps, or maybe RIAA.com. You'll be preaching to the choir there, but hey, at least you wont get people trying to tell you what the reality of the modern consumer mindset is, and you can continue in that little fantasy world you share with your industry buddies.

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