Podcast: What happens with digital rights management in the real world?


I wish Cory would explain how DRM is different than ARM (analog rights management). When I read his article I wonder, why is it that no one should mind that a movie theater has walls to keep out non-paying customers or a printed book limits the number of readers to one at a time. I don’t feel that the Movie theater owner or the publisher is treating me as the enemy. He might answer, well digital copies cost nothing so they are different. But would he think filming inside a movie theater would be legit? Afterall I’m not costing the theater owner anything by filming, and my distribution of my copies would be free.

On the other hand DRM lets them make it really convenient for me. I dont need to go to the theater for see the film, I can invite the theater with it’s walls inside my home for a brief visit. I don’t surrender anything. I’m gaining something I could not otherwise have. it also lets them sell me the product cheaper and earlier. the alternative would be to wait for the DVD and pay more to own it like a book.

Now I think there are times the DRM people take it too far. THe sony root kit was not a temprorary visit. It left the walls behind and stole something from me. So yes DRM can be evil. But so can many nasty forms of ARM. FOr example NDA and employment contracts that prevent a former employee from freely working for a competitor. So it’s not the rights management that is the flaw, or the digital ness. It’s just some cases are onerous.

If cory has an argument then he needs to explain why he opposes all rights management not just DRM. He’s a succesful author who found that he can make money selling Paper rights management.

Wish granted! Just reading the excerpt, you would find a major concern that applies to DRM and not places like movie theaters or bookstores:

For DRM to work, it has to reside in a computer whose operating system is designed to obfuscate some of its files and processes: to deliberately hoodwink the computer's owner about what the computer is doing.

In fact it’s kind of the main point, so you may want to read the article again more carefully.

Sorry, But I don’t get that. I’m not being a jerk, I just don’t see how I’m getting hoodwinked. if you invite the walls in you invite them in. At least now you get to see the show.

Some very imperfect analogies that don’t do this justice. Do book publishers hoodwink me by making it physically hard to copy the book without advanced technology (xerox machine). If I rented my computer from a company, so that I did not own it, would that be acceptable then? That’s effectively what my cable box does. There’s no hoodwinkery then? If the program were in my computer as part of the firmware, baked into the intel chip, rather than software would this be hoodwinkery? It’s not modifying my computer in any way. After all that’s what Bluerays and HDMI TVs can do. I

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