Looking at the world of media: from music to RIA.

Anti-DRM day

September 1st, 2006 Posted in Digital Rights Management, Distribution, General Media / Stuff

Defective By Design (DBD), an anti-DRM (Digital Rights Management) organization, is proposing a “Day Against DRM” in which they want to organize a massive online and meetspace awareness day. Some of you may have already heard or even seen some of DBD’s work, such as the protest at the Apple store wearing hazmat suits. (read about the hazmat/Apple protest)

Over the last year I have talked about DRM and a few of the issues that I have with it, but most of my writing focus has been on how it impacts digital music. What many people don’t realize is that DRM is more then just a music issue. It is a much bigger issue that involves all forms of media, software and hardware. An example of hardware DRM meets media is Sony’s newest hi-def media device, the Blue-Ray DVD.

Another horrible example of DRM gone wrong is the HDMI image constraint token. The idea of down-rezing an image to protect the high-quality material source from being captured by an unauthorized device and then being able to redistribute without the DRM protection.

The irony of most DRM is that the people that it is trying to stop (i.e. pirates) often work around it within days of its release. A perfect example is the print-screen hack that allows full quality capture if hi-def video. Once again proving if there is a will there is a way.

I fully support what DBD is doing and I am a staunch anti-DRM opponent, albeit I have a bad habit of buying some DRM enabled devices cough iPod cough. Although, I don’t buy from iTunes nor will I because of FairPlay. Still, I am not as pure a anti-DRMer as I could be.

One of these days I will get motivated enough to work out a multi-day post on DRM and my thoughts about how it is impacting the music industry and how in the end it really just hurt’s customers. I will leave you with a quote from DBD’s homepage:

“If consumers even know there’s a DRM, what it is, and how it works, we’ve already failed” – Disney Executive.

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