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
    SomeLittleGuy, 19 Mar 2009 @ 4:25pm

    Re: Re:Weird Harold

    "Third, it has to do with pricing: Local prices for movies in a place like, I dunno, thailand or india might be different from the pricing in England or Germany. If the same cost per unit licensing fee was charged in all markets, the movie might be unsellably expensive in thailand, or needlessly cheap in europe."

    So... isn't that similar to price gouging? If the movie costs $10USD to make, then why would they charge the equivalent of more than that or less than that in other countries unless the price is artificially inflated? I'm admittedly not a international law expert, but export tariffs and the like would be paid(and reflected in the price charged in the region) regardless of where it originated.

    You've basically proven the point that the only benefit is to the original owner of the content to charge people who can afford it, more. (And before anyone tries to claim otherwise, even in the "cheapest" regions, it is still being sold at a profit or it wouldn't be sold at all.)

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