Why DRM is the root of all evil


I think the real way to fight DRM is to treat it the same way businesses do - as an externality.

They offload most of the cost of fighting the (perceived) threat of piracy on to their customers. I don’t think it’s sustainable in the long run, since offloading externalities on your customers is a dumb idea. They will simply go to your competitors, which in this case is often actually the pirates.

Anyways, the way to make DRM go away today is to close the externality. Say a company wants to add DRM to their media or hardware? Fine, but they are legally required to meet any legal request by a customer to backup, transfer, etc entirely at the company’s expense. Failure to do so in a timely fashion will be met with significant fines.


The only way is to not spend money on anything that has DRM, and to communicate your actions to those who sell the stuff you want wrapped in it.

Yet, here I am watching stuff on Netflix. It’s pretty hard to put into practice.

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DRM is the root of all evil

No, it’s “The love of DRM is the root of all evil”.

Nah, the original quote covers it. “The love of money is the root of all DRM evil”.

Also, unicorns.

The DMCA was not an effort to make life easier for US citizens, it was a law bought and paid for by lobbyists. WHO is going to bribe the government to make your proposed law?

The simplest way to fight DRM is don’t buy products which have DRM. Now, there’s clearly some irony here because BoingBoing does shill for Kindle books from time to time but then Cory also loves Disney the magic kingdom but hates what Disney the corporation does.

I think it says something really sad about our government that people feel the only way to get reasonable law is to create judge-made law. It’s a poor substitute for a statute repealing the DMCA. It could promptly get quite pear-shaped if the courts rule badly, and courts rule badly all the time.

Thar be another way, matey.

What’s the externality? Arguably sharing of information/data is the real externality—albeit a positive one—and DRM is intended to close that externality.

I think getting a critical mass of people to abandon DRM is more farfetched.

Almost all DVDs, bluray, TVs, game consoles, smartphones, tablets, etc have some form of DRM built in.

I think the DMCA should be repealed. I also think there should be a statue protecting consumer rights in the form of ‘if you’re going to use technology to prevent your customers from exercising their legal rights over their own property, you are responsible for providing a reasonable remedy.’

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