Disney's Keychest: Is Giving Back Your Fair Use Rights With More DRM Really A Step Forward?
from the redefining-fair-use dept
With Keychest, when a consumer buys a movie from a participating store, his accounts with other participating services--such as a mobile-phone provider or a video-on-demand cable service--would be updated to show the title as available for viewing. The movies wouldn't be downloaded; rather, they would reside with each particular delivery company, such as the Internet service provider, cable company or phone company.The idea, supposedly is:
to address two of the biggest hurdles blocking widespread consumer adoption of movie downloads: the difficulty of playing a movie back on devices other than a PC or laptop, and limited storage space on those computers' hard drives.Now, while you must admit that allowing people to access the same content after a single purchase on multiple devices is definitely a step up from the "old" way of doing things, it does kind of ignore some important points: such as the fact that, for the most part, you could already do this on your own. As we know, it's legal to rip your CD's and then store that content on an iPod or on your computer and listen to the music how you want to do so. And, even though this is perfectly legitimate fair use of content for movies as well, Hollywood has used the worst provision in the DMCA -- the anti-circumvention provision -- to block people from doing what is accepted fair use with movie and television content.
So all Keychest really seems to be doing is giving you back your fair use rights on content -- but also wrapping it in additional DRM, such that it only works on "participating services." Oh, and it could include other limitations as well:
And Keychest would allow movie studios to dictate how many devices, connected to which distribution networks, a given title can be played on.So, kudos to Disney for recognizing that people hate having to buy the same content over and over again and hate being limited on what devices they can view content on... but, creating a new, more permissive DRM solution, just to give back some of an individual's fair use rights, isn't really a huge win.