While there's not much necessarily new
in this recent TechCrunch piece by author Jon Evans, it does make a nice point that's worth repeating, in that empires built on barbed wire never last
. The article notes that one of the problems of the old Soviet economy was the fact that so much effort was wasted on production of things that didn't really aid the overall economy, but instead held back others. For example, a significant amount of effort from the metallurgical industry was focused on creating barbed wire, rather than building something that might actually improve the economy. And, as he notes, "DRM is the barbed wire of the media world." It serves no productive purpose, but is simply designed to "protect." From there he notes:
Although it pains me to say this, it's the pirates who are on the right side of history. Empires built on barbed wire inevitably collapse, and the sooner the better; while this one reigns, it perpetuates yesterday's regimes, and squelches innovation and progress. Is piracy wrong? Yes, but that's the wrong question. The right question is, which is worse: widespread piracy, or the endless and futile attempt to preserve DRM everywhere? So long live the pirates. Those jerks. Please don't make me say it again.
Of course, there's a corollary to this as well. If you recognize that getting rid of DRM helps allow for more openness and greater innovation, at some point it occurs to you that perhaps you shouldn't be so worried about "pirates," and can start focusing on actually using their enthusiasm to your own benefit.